Sunday, 16 August 2015

Summer reading

A week in Spain has given me a chance to catch up on my reading especially the pre-pub books that I have on my e-reader from Netgalley. The only problem being that most have now been published! Apologies for this but work and home life have got in the way of my reading. As things appear to be settling down on those fronts now (wait for A levels now over - and one child off to uni, just the wait for GCSEs now) I have an opportunity to catch up on my reviews.

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

The latest addition to the Princess Diaries  series and Mia is now a fully fledged adult balancing work commitments, royal duties, boyfriend, stalker and friend issues. Her father appears to be having a mid-life crisis, her mother is coming to terms with bereavement and a family secret is about to be unearthed - how is a princess supposed to cope? Coupled with this there is a wedding to plan.
The book races along and there is not much chance to develop some of the plot lines or characters. I was expecting more humour and the stalker plotline was never really developed properly or explained in my view.
 This book is apparently aimed at the readers who grew up reading Princess Diaries and I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers (11 or younger) as there are plenty of references to sex in the story. I think the readers who grew up on these books would want a book with more depth and development of plot and character.

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

I was really excited to get this as The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society which the author co-wrote is one of my favourite books.
Set in 1930s America, Layla Beck arrives in a sleepy Virginia town to write a history of the town for its 150 anniversary. Layla has been cut-off by her wealthy family due to her refusal to marry the 'right sort of man' picked out by her family. Arriving penniless she is taken in by the Romeyn family a once noted family in the town. As Layla begins her investigation in the history of the town secrets start to become unearthed and many in the town would prefer to remain hidden.

Willa the 12 year daughter is drawn to Layla and the stories she unearths, but her childlike view of her family puts everything she holds dear at risk, The story is very much about a child starting to realise that the world is far more complicated  than you first realise. Growing up means recognising that those you love are not always as perfect as you think. The Romeyn family in all their southern eccentricity are a great comic element in the story but there is a tragic side to them as well.

I enjoyed this book but I have to admit I think The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society is better


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

 As a Librarian how could I not be drawn to a book about the power of books and reading?
 I enjoyed this book about Sara arriving in Iowa from Sweden to visit her penfriend on the day of her funeral. The small town almost as broken as it's name take pity on her and takes her in whilst she works out what to do next. The next involves opening a bookshop and so the transformation of the town and its residents begins.

I know it sounds stereotypical and it is - small town characters that have appeared in other books, I can definitely see the influence of Fannie Flagg in this book but it is an enjoyable read. You may have to suspend belief at times but the author's love of books and reading comes across in this story.

It is true finding the right book for the right person at the right time can change a life, it is hard to believe that that is true but I've seen it myself. The right book at the right time can turn a non-reader into a reader or help someone through a difficult time .

This is a summer read that you never know may change your life!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Netgalley challenge

Going to try the Netgalley challenge so hoping this is going to post correctly! As a librarian I recommend books to users. My friends ask me to recommend titles all the time.