Friday, 28 December 2018


A roundup of books I read in December and what I thought about them:

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
'At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable tale about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”'

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.”

All I really knew about this book was that there had been a crash and a group of boys were all alone on an island, without the supervision of an adult - I love books like this, it brings fear as it's entirely possible, being stranded on an island in the hope of being rescued and doing what you can to survive.
I instantly bonded with the character of 'Piggy' and hated everyone who picked on him, I just wanted to jump right in and help - kids can be so mean. Ralph grew on me and I pretty much hated the rest of them - leave Piggy alone! 
I'm glad Piggy had a friend in Ralph on that island, even if he did stick to calling him 'Piggy'. 
I enjoyed how this book explored 'Power' and how situations and behaviour changes drastically when there are no rules or repercussions. 
"Power lay on the brown swells of his forearms; authority sat on his shoulder and chattered in his ear like an ape."
I didn't enjoy the detailed slaughter of the Sow. I should have expected some form of slaughter, being on a deserted island, but that was a little too much detail.
4 stars.

What I learned in the Night by Emily Byrnes
'Things I Learned in the Night is a beautifully illustrated poetry collection and a tribute to young love in a society that so often tries to invalidate it. Many of the poems in this book are exquisitely woven with nature imagery; a subtle reminder that through our struggles and joys we must all remember to take deep breaths and run in the rain every now and then.'

I wrote a separate post with a full review on this book   ---  Click here to read it (opens in a separate window)

The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
'Sam and his friends are like any normal gang of normal young boys—roaming wild around the outskirts of their car-factory town, daring adults to challenge their freedom. Then one day Sam wakes to find the tooth fairy sitting on the edge of his bed—but this is not the benign figure of childhood myth. This is an enigmatic presence that both torments and seduces him, changing his life forever.'

This book had a very quick start which I liked but I also didn't like so much, I love it when a book gets right into things but I kind of felt like this was rushed and I would have liked a bit more at the beginning before the first encounter with the Tooth Fairy. Speaking of the Tooth Fairy, what a potty mouth! Be prepared to read an awful lot of bad words! 
The story for my was a little disappointing and, to be honest, I don't think I really enjoyed it. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, I found it a little dull but I did want to keep reading to find out what happens. The ending, for me, also felt quite rushed. I settled on 3/5 stars over on GR, it had a good plot idea - I wanted more story and more spook.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
'Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father's murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter . . .'

I enjoyed this book so much, what a story. Original, dark, intense and gripping. I loved everything about it. I enjoyed the idea of the magical tree, feeding on lies and dispensing hidden truths in the form of visions. I did find the first few chapters a little slow but as soon as it kicked in, I could not put this book down!
This is the second book that I have read by Hardinge and she may have just been added to my list of favourite authors! I also purchased 3 more of her books, I can't wait to read them!
5/5 stars from me!

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