Thursday, 4 July 2013

Mermaid Tales

Hello readers,

How often do you reread books? I don't feel like I reread them enough. The most number of times I've read a book is five times and I'm quite certain it's a pathetic attempt. I still look through my bookcase occasionally and think, "I must reread that." I even made a list once of books I need to reread. There were some scribbled notes about 1984 and that's as much as I could make out.

The reason I'm inquiring is because on Tuesday I reread the second Zom-B book, Zom-B Underground. I feel sort of guilty about it because I like to pretend that I don't have around one hundred books still to be read. It's funny because I like to watch how my mood changes from either trying new experiences or sticking close to what I know. I grew up with Darren Shan and so when I read his books I feel completely in control.

In regards to books I'm actually supposed to be reading, I completed Ingo on Sunday night. I feel rather strange about it because it wasn't a book I picked out for myself, and being scared of water and swimming, it didn't seem like my kind of novel.

Written by Helen Dunmore, and part of a series called Ingo Chronicles, this book centres around the Mer, the Air, and the call of the ocean. Though it's focus is on the mythical Mer creatures, it also reveals a lot about humanity. The Mer are furious at how we use the ocean to dump waste and catch fish. Are we really hurting the ecosystems so much? Though I would've never picked it off a shelf if I saw it in a library, Ingo is a lot more chilling in ways I never expected it to be. 

Sapphire is a young girl, I'm not quite sure of her age, but she's around ten years old, perhaps younger. Personally, child narrators are my favourite kind of narrator. It's not only that I enjoy seeing the ways they perceive the world (for example in books like To Kill a Mockingbird or I, Coriander), but I also love writing from their perspective because it brings out an innocent side to myself I never knew I had.

Sapphire then goes on to make friends with a Mer called Faro and she discovers the world of Ingo. I don't want to give away too many details of the plot, but it's nicely thought out. I can see how it would work better out as a series though, because the story moves pretty slowly. I also felt as though sometimes the narrative voice was very forced, sometimes she didn't seem childlike at all, she sounded like an adult pretending to be childlike. Overall, I liked the book, but with tighter editing it could have been a brilliant story.

I wonder how many of you have heard of an author called Patrick Ness? He is most famous for writing the Chaos Walking series, but on Monday I read one of his novels called A Monster Calls.

The book was extremely powerful. It was chilling, funny, heartbreaking, thought-provoking and action packed. Once again, told from the perspective of a child, in this case a 13 year old boy, this book is the story of how a monster changes his life in ways he never thought possible. I have too much to say about this book, yet I'm rendered speechless when I try and think of anything to reference to. It made me tear up. Everyone I who has read this book has wept like a baby at the end, and also adores it with a passion. For a short one-day read or even a bedtime story, I highly recommend this.

After I handed back my copy of Mere Christianity to my tutor, I began scouring the internet to see some reviews of the book. I found it very disappointing how many people seemed to just disapprove of it. To clarify, I'm not a Christian, but his arguments made me really open my eyes to ethical beliefs and points of views which I'd never come across. Of course, there were numerous times where I completely disagreed with the points being raised, but some people seemed to be judging the book based solely on the fact that they aren't Christian. If so, why read the book if not just to scowl back at the arguments? I understand of people's weird need to argue science in the face of religion, but I literally have nothing to say to close-minded readers like the few I came across, it was intolerable.  I stress that not ALL reviewers were like this, only a minority.

Right now I'm reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, it's been on the bestsellers list for quite a while now so I'm sure you've heard about it. I borrowed it off one of my tutors at college, so I'm hopeful it's going to be a good read! I also borrowed two books from the Midnight Library.

I'll find time to update soon! Thanks a bunch!

Rachel x

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