The Snow Child ~ Eowyn Ivey


The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very serious but beautiful novel about a couple who make a child out of snow. Ivey describes Alaska in a way that makes you want to live there and experience it all first hand. Magical realism has very quickly become my favourite genre, and while I do feel that this one could have done with just a smidge more “magic”, I could not help falling in love with it.

 

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The Peach Keeper ~ Sarah Addison Allen


The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wish I could give it six…

I am in love with Sarah Addison Allen. I know it seems like such a trite thing to say but she really caused a breakthrough around my own writing. I will always love her for that. Aside from the latest Allen – which I haven’t been able to get my hands on because I live here – this was the only one I hadn’t read. It was kind of expensive (I don’t know why her books are so expensive here in SA) but my brother got it for my birthday anyway. It was a kind of silly and predictable read, but in a gloriously satisfying way. I kind of expected just about everything that happened to happen, but it was comforting, happy making. I think that’s pretty special. If you write things that make people happy, then you are kind of friggen fantastic.
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Garden Spells ~ Sarah Addison Allen


Garden SpellsGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I tried not to read this book in one day but I couldn’t help it. Even though I had guests and things to do and people to cook for, I started this book on Saturday morning and but a little past midnight on Sunday morning I was done. Every time I read one of Allen’s books I fall in love. It is rather an exquisite feeling to be so enchanted with the mind and worlds of another. She creates true magic on the page and I must admit that I am eternally grateful to her. I started reading a bit of Magical Realism with Alice Hoffman but didn’t quite love her s o much. Ali Shaw excited me far better. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake excited me in theory but not in execution. And then Allen came along. The more I read her stuff the more empowered I feel to write the same genre and the idea excites me more than I can express. Some writers are so good at this particular genre that experiencing their stories feels like childhood fantasy come true. That childlike search for wonder has been satiated by these writers for me. How do you say “thank you” for that? How do you let someone know that because of them something in your own universe has shifted for the greater good and that they have given you a priceless gift for which you will  always be grateful.

If you’ll excuse me, I now have to go and find the rest of Ms. Allen’s books because it has become very clear to me that I need them…

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ~ Ransom Riggs


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! It is so awesome when a book you’ve been longing to read lives up to your every expectation and more. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is magically beautiful and will surely haunt me for many years to come. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

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The Girl With Glass Feet ~ Ali Shaw


The Girl with Glass FeetThe Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girl With Glass Feet is a love story about a shy photographer and a girl who is slowly turning into glass. It is completely whimsical, utterly devastating, and astonishingly beautiful in every way. I loved The Girl With Glass Feet in that quiet understated way that one might love a good cup of tea.

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Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel


Like Water for ChocolateLike Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tita De La Garza’s fate is sealed: As the youngest daughter in her family, her destiny is to remain a spinster and take care of her mother until she dies. When Pedro asks for her hand in marriage, Tita’s mother turns him down, and will not listen to reason. As a compromise, Pedro marries Rosara, Tita’s sister. He thinks that if he does this he will at least be able to stay close to Tita.

While I struggled to appreciate the love story that this book is about (I wanted to kill Pedro for being an idiot – which is probably what I was supposed to want to do) the rest of the book was gloriously delicious. Laura Esquivel takes passion in it’s rawest form and presents it to you as simple fact. With no explanations she tells you to believe that a house can be flooded with tears of agony, and that grief, bitterness and ecstasy can be tasted in food. The whole book is written with such pure innocence, it lacks completely in pretension and is an absolute joy to read.



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The Night Circus ~ Erin Morgenstern


The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An exquisitely written book that takes you into a world that you cannot help but wish was real. Not since Harry Potter has a novel so fully taken my breath away and woken such a longing for magic in me. I couldn’t help but savour every word, every poetic scene, every special detail. It is books like these that make me wonder why I bother writing at all. Never will I be able to enchant like this. It is one of those books that will continue to resonate with you long after you have put it down…

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The Girl Who Chased the Moon ~ Sarah Addison Allen


The Girl Who Chased the MoonThe Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve definitely started to fall in love with whimsical tales lately. Like Water for Chocolate, The Girl with Glass Feet. And now this one. So gently and upliftingly magical in a sweet way that makes your heart smile. Yes, I have become a mushy being who has been swept away by the idea that life can truly sparkle sometimes. And it’s going to be hard to move onto another book after this one…

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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake ~ Aimee Bender


Sadly this is one of those books that I built up so much in my mind that it was inevitable that I would be disappointed. I remember reading an interview with Jodi Picoult once where she said that she wished that she had written this book, and I thought surely it must be brilliant. I should possibly have known better! Now I’m not saying that you won’t enjoy this book. If you have no expectations you might…

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is basically about a little girl who can taste emotions in the food that she eats. So, if the person who made her food felt sad, she would taste it. It seems like a rather interesting gift to have but of course she wishes she hadn’t been burdened with it as to her it feels like an invasion of other people’s privacy – and rightly so.

I think I just didn’t gel with the lead character very well. I actually really like these kinds of books. I love it when a slight touch of the supernatural is placed in an everyday setting. But the book just didn’t deliver quite as much as I hoped it would.

 

The lovely bones


Title: The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Publisher: PICADOR

Pages:324

Where I got it: From my sister

Rating: 5

 

Susie Salmon was raped and murdered at the young age of fourteen. She finds herself in her own personal heaven where she looks down on her family and how they deal with her death. How they try to unravel the mystery behind her killing and how life goes on without her. The story is told from her point of view and how she has to face the interaction between her family and the man who killed her.

The story is feel-good and heartbreaking in the same sentence. Sometimes slightly nerve wrecking, but luckily, Sebold spared us most of the gory detail. What I really liked about it was how the author described Susie’s heaven and how she made the interaction between heaven and earth so real and possible. It makes one think twice about the shivers you get when no wind is blowing, the kiss you feel on your forehead at night when you lay in bed and you know no-one else is awake. It makes one think about life and death in general which is really kind of great from someone else’s perspective for a change.