Hello my loves,
Here’s March’s book reviews!
Deeplight – Frances Hardinge
4.5 / 5 stars
This !! Book !! I mentioned this in my aesthetically pleasing book haul and said that I thought I was going to absolutely love it…and I was right! This story was so beautiful and such a lovely read – Frances Hardinge really is an amazing storyteller, probably one of the best I’ve ever read actually. I fell in love with the main character Hark, he was such a lovely little boy and was written so well, as most young boys in books are (e.g. The Book of Dust) – this narrative was very similar to that of Philip Pullman actually so, if you like that kind of thing then I’d definitely recommend this! I loved the whole idea of the book and the little world that Hardinge created, it was such a unique and clever idea and I’d love for it to have been turned into a series because I think she could’ve done really well with it and I definitely would have read it.
If I could make one wish (not a criticism) it would’ve been that two things at the end of the book would have been ‘resolved’ as such – it’s hard to mention them without giving spoilers but I think Hardinge could’ve definitely gone somewhere with Quest and his would-have-been love and I wish we had more of Jelt at the end…if you know what of mean.
Either way, I absolutely loved this book and I’m so glad I read it – the cover is still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
The Murmur of Bees – Sofia Segovia
2.5 / 5 stars
I read this on Kindle hence why I don’t have a physical copy to show and yes, I did decide to read this because of the fact it has bees in the title. You all know my obsession. I’m a simple girl, I see the word bees, I click.
This is a Mexican novel set in…Mexico (well done Chloe) around the 1920s and to be honest…I wasn’t really that into it. In fact, I was left feeling rather deflated if anything, the whole thing just seemed very flat to me. It’s not a bad book per say, but for me personally it just wasn’t it and I didn’t really like it. I felt like I didn’t really…get it? The whole thing was just one big long monologue about…not a fat lot really, it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense and it wasn’t until about 75% of the way through the book that it actually felt like it was going somewhere and that there was a point to it, because before that it just felt like I was drifting through the narrative for absolutely no reason at all…because there just didn’t seem to be any point to the story.
At the beginning, there seems to be a clear idea of what the story is about and where it’s headed, but after a couple of chapters it just completely veers off course and goes in the opposite direction to absolutely nowhere. It completely lost its point and the characters involved in the beginning of the story we basically never get to hear about after the first few chapters even though they were essentially set up as being the whole point of the story and I just found myself thinking well…where did they go? Each chapter was split into different character POVs but honestly 9 times out of 10 I couldn’t tell who was saying what or which character’s point of view we were supposed to be reading from, it was all very confusing and indistinct for me, there was nothing to really distinguish one person’s narrative from the other. I also found some character’s POVs a lot more interesting to read than others, it was like we had the main storytellers that would feed us a tidbit of information everyone once in a while when it was their turn to narrate and then we’d get thrown back into a bunch of other character narratives that went nowhere and felt like they were there just for the purpose of bulking the book out a bit.
As I only enjoyed some character’s POVs I found myself losing interest quite a lot and wondering what the plot was because there didn’t really seem to be one, and after the first few chapters it just kind of…lost its plot. You could have skipped huge chunks of the book and still have had just as good an understanding of what was going on, there were so many unnecessary and irrelevant streams of consciousness going on that didn’t add anything to the story – like I said, it just felt like it was there to boost the word count up and fill the pages. We were given endless amounts of irrelevant background information that didn’t relate to the story or move it along at all and the whole thing just felt very standstill for me – I’ve seen some reviews and a lot of people have said the book doesn’t really pick up until the second half which I can completely agree with.
Some odd paragraphs, pages and short chapters were really good – they caught my interest and got my attention and I was thinking finally, we’re getting somewhere! The book is going somewhere! And then just as quick as it had arrived, it lost it again and went flat. We were given small snippets of good stuff I’d say every 50-75 pages so you can imagine it was a bit of a slog to get through and wasn’t really enough to keep the reader engaged. It all just felt like people essentially giving a monologue of their lives but there was no point to it, and it wasn’t until 75% of the way into the book that we actually got some action and I saw the potential plot / point of the story, which is an awful long time to wait for such a thing. It wasn’t actually until 75% of the way through that we got some dialogue, there was no speech – quoted or unquoted – and I didn’t even realise this until I actually saw some dialogue and was like wait a second…is that ?? Am I seeing… ?? Dialogue ?! Halfway through the book the narrative changed from third person to first I believe, though I can’t be 100% sure because the first half of the book went over my head and I didn’t retain any of it but it was only when the narrative changed that I actually started to find myself interested in what was going to happen.
I’m struggling on how to rate this book because the second half was so much better than the first half, and the last 10% of the book was absolutely beautiful – if the whole thing had been written that way, it would have been a 5 star for me. I thought the ending was very well done because for me, there could have been no other possible ending…I saw some people saying they wanted more answers and more of a conclusion, but I think the point is that it’s an emotional conclusion rather than a physical, scientific ending that can be explained with all the answers. I thought the ending was spot on.
Overall, a confusing book to rate. The first half is extremely boring and a slog to get through and feels as though it takes a lifetime to read, but the second half was much better and like I said, the last 10% was absolutely beautiful. Either way, it’s a story I’m glad I now know.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
Finally, at 22 years old, I did it.
I read the first Harry Potter book.
Now, you may be wondering Chloe, why has it taken you so long to do such a thing?
Despite being British (yes shock horror I’m a disgrace to the nation) and an avid reader since I was young, Harry Potter has just never really interested me. I’ve never seen the films, never read the books, never got involved in the hype…it’s just never really been something that’s on my radar.
I knew that one day I’d eventually read the books, just to say I’d read them – as a reader I feel like there’s some books you just have to have read and of course, Harry Potter is one of them – but I wasn’t planning on getting around to this anytime soon, it was just something very low down on my reading to-do list.
However, since beginning to read books on my Kindle again (also why I’ve included the Kindle cover here as I don’t have a physical copy to show you), I discovered that the Harry Potter series was free for me and so I thought well, now is a better time than ever to start reading them I guess, and now we’re here.
If you’re a Harry Potter lover which, I’m sure you are, you’ll be pleased to know that I have no complaints about this book. I knew that Harry Potter was a children’s book series, but I guess I was still expecting this complicated, long storyline to go with the empire that is, Harry Potter. However, the book was so fast paced which I did like, but also would be my only complaint if I had to choose something I didn’t like about it. It was very much he did this then she went there then they all ran here then it was the next day then this then that and it felt like no single event was lingered over for longer than a page at a time which, I guess if the books were re-written now for adults, would be a change to be made – include more detail !! But I can’t really complain because of course, these books are for children and so you’d expect that kind of narrative.
Despite that all sounding negative I really did enjoy the book, I love the world Rowling has created so much and I just couldn’t put the book down, every time I did I was itching to pick it back up again because I couldn’t wait to get back into that world, the way it’s all been created is so good. Definitely the best ‘world’ I’ve ever encountered when reading a novel.
Another thing I loved was the unmistakable British in it. I always say this but you cannot beat a good old British novel – they always remind me why I love being British so much myself. The slang, the way everyone was talking… *chefs kiss*. I loved it. Hagrid’s dialogue was so great and Ron’s was even more brilliant, that was probably my favourite aspect of the book.
Overall, a really nice read and I’ve already finished the next book (Chamber of Secrets) and have already started the third (Prisoner of Azkaban) if that proves how invested I am in the wizarding world already so, be prepared to see those in next month’s book reviews!
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna