The Baggage Handler ~ Colin Browne

The Baggage HandlerThe Baggage Handler by Colin Browne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s scary when you have a book written by a friend on your bookshelf. To be honest – my pile of books written by people I know is getting bigger and I very seldom tend to it as I am a pure coward. Even if you don’t know that friend very well, there definitely exists a bit of tension between yourself and this book that you feel kind of obligated to. I know in some worlds a five star rating for a friend is a given – and I do not disagree with this because I believe that completely unbridled and biased support for a friend is absolutely wonderful and it has its place in holding up the receiver of that support – but I sort of feel unable to offer that kind of support in the book world because it is a world so close to my heart. If you were to create a video game or knit a scarf I might unashamedly brand you flawless – here I cannot do so without feeling like my integrity is being severely compromised. Now… it very unlikely that I will ever give a friend (or an acquaintance)a terrible review because for the most part I am not a soul-destroying art demon. What I do try to do is pull out the things that worked for me and focus on those. I also try to judge work for itself and not for what my particular tastes might be, which is not always very easy because I have such specific taste. For instance, I find YA fiction especially hard to judge because I don’t think I relate to run-of-the-mill teenagers very well at all. In fact when I read these books I kind of tend to think of my step daughter and go “will she like this in a few years time?” and go from there. Anyway – the point is that I try to judge a book for what it is and where it fits in as far as the literary world is concerned and then I go from there. But for this book? This book I just gave it five stars because I enjoyed reading it very much. It is 100% *MY* genre for one (can we call it “blokelit”? I love blokelit!)When I give a book 5 stars it is simply because the book has my *it* requirement. I never know when I am going to find my *it* requirement and I have found it so seldom lately but this one just had *it* for me. Keep writing Colin Browne my dear friend. You will be up there with Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby and Mike Gayle in no time. I am so glad I finally got around to nodding along with your book :)

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Little Library Mouse ~ Stephanie Lisa Tara

Little Library MouseLittle Library Mouse by Stephanie Lisa Tara

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet little story poem about reading. I love the illustrations too and I must admit that I often buy books just because I think the illustrations are pretty. I have now started downloading children’s books onto my ipad because I am hoping that my son might prefer them to real books. Sadly I can’t get the kid to show any interest in the gorgeous books in his bedroom! But maybe he’ll like them if he can turn the pages by swiping his finger over the touch screen!

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Open Heart (Farsighted #2) ~ Emlyn Chand

Open Heart (Farsighted, #2)Open Heart by Emlyn Chand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gosh I don’t know where to begin! I usually start by mentioning that I never read YA books and therefore never feel particularly qualified to offer an opinion on them, but considering the amount of YA books that I have read in the last six months I think it is safe to assume that this is no longer true.

I read Farsighted #1 last year and liked it just fine…but you know what I love about THIS particular book? I just can’t stop thinking “Damn Ms Chand – you’ve outdone yourself!” Simmi’s character is so well-rounded (and no I don’t mean fat!), so acutely observant and so brutally honest that you cannot help but applaud Emlyn Chand’s efforts. There is no shying away from tough subjects like bulemia or betrayal – it all just hangs out. And I think the best part is that all the insecurity is presented in such a way that instead of relating to it you recognize it. I don’t know how else to put it. Simmi does things and thinks things that make you go “oh you silly little girl stop being so hard on yourself!” but then you have to admit that you – another silly little girl! – like to be just as hard on yourself.

I know Simmi has gotten a lot of flak from others for her weaknesses, but I truly do love her. It’s so refreshing to be presented with a non-perfect character who isn’t prancing around in her blonde ambitious glory trying to convince you that she is too thin…

Thanks Emlyn! Looking forward to the next one :)

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Hallowed ~ Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok I must immediately say that I love that both books completely surprised me at the end (and in the middle….lol!) There”s not much else to say really. I liked these books. I love that they’re about God and Angels without being preachy or religious or pushing any sort of agenda. I love that the main character is someone who you can look up to and who is emotional without being pathetic and strong without being cold. I would happily allow my daughter to read this series without worrying about her being influenced in any sort of negative way. I am just bummed that the third isn’t out yet because I would like to get to the end of the story now…

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