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Reviews Written by
Heather "star_reader" (Leeds, Yorkshire)
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High Fidelity
High Fidelity
by Nick Hornby
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, very funny..., 12 Feb 2007
This review is from: High Fidelity (Paperback)
This was the first Hornby book i read and definitely my favourite, though i would highly recommend anything by him as i think he is a really funny, intelligent writer.

This book has a great plot and the narrative and tone make it really funny and easy to read. Also it has really believable characters which the reader comes to care about. Unusually, i would rate the film just as highly as the book (definitely the best of his novel adaptations.)

If youve not read Hornby before then this novel is a great introduction to his writing and gives a real sense of what he is like


The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room"
The New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" and "Locked Room"
by Paul Auster
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique!, 12 Feb 2007
... Im beginning to feel like im over- using the word unique but in this case i really dont know how else to descibe this book as it so unlike anything i have read before. I was introduced to it on a university module called 'Contempoary American Fiction' and as soon as i started reading it, there was something about it that compelled me to keep reading.

The book is made up of three stories, of which i found the first and the third to be the most enjoyable and engaging. As you read the stories however, it becomes apparent how the three interconnect with the overlapping of names and identities in each story. This was both exicting and confusing and i found myself making notes as i went along to try and keep up!

The book raises some really interesting questions about identity and writing and Auster is definitely a writer i will look forward to reading again in the future.

A challenging but really worthwhile read, you wont be disappointed when you finish it so give it a go...


The Adventuress
The Adventuress
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.89

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another beautiful book..., 12 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Adventuress (Hardcover)
After being captivated by the unique and quirky 'Three Incestuous Sisters' i was excited to read Audrey Niffenegger's second 'picture novel' offering and would definitely say this is just as good. Slightly longer and more detailed than the first picture novel, i again found The Adventuress to be a really worthwhile and beautifully designed book with a unique story, definitely not like anything else you will have read!

If like me you love books and appreciate something beautifully crafted and 'good looking' then this book is definitely for you.

I cant wait to see what Niffenegger comes up with next.


The Three Incestuous Sisters
The Three Incestuous Sisters
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.76

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely picture novel..., 12 Feb 2007
For anyone looking for the next 'Time Travellers Wife' this book is not for you. It is however, a beautifully designed picture novel which could easily be read in minutes but spending a little longer looking at each image makes the experience of 'reading' this well worthwhile.

The illustrations are fantastically quirky, the story is both sad and funny and all in all this is a really unique book that will take pride of place on any bookshelf.

Well worth a look


Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love
Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love
by Courtney Love
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good looking book!, 12 Feb 2007
This is a great book, beautifully laid out and really unique. The pages are designed to look like a scrap book and you really feel like you are grtting an insight into Courtney's private thoughts and crazy mind!

The stuff from her early years, including school reports is really interesting and insightful and she writes well beyond her years. On one of my favourite pages (pg. 23)is something she wrote about death and is really moving especially when you realise she was so young to have such deep thoughts. She writes that "when i die, burn my body, take my ashes... let some linger in the breeze... leaving only all the love my heart has carried"

Also there are some really great, quirky photographs of her and Kurt. They make you feel like your looking in on private moments, especially of those with their daughter as a baby.

I agree with other reviewers who say this book lacks substance, if you are looking for a book with 'all the answers' then you will not find it here but for me and for anyone else intrigued by this fascinating woman then this book is excellent and the quirky pages will keep you mesmerized for hours.


Young Hearts Crying (Methuen modern fiction)
Young Hearts Crying (Methuen modern fiction)
by Richard Yates
Edition: Paperback

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic writer, 12 Feb 2007
After reading Yates's Revolutionary Road i was keen to explore his other novels and Young Hearts Crying did not disappoint. This was Yates's penultimate novel but returns to the post war period to explore the failings and breakdown of another young couple's marriage. It is not suprising then that Young Hearts Crying has received much comparison to Revolutionary Road.

While many critics and readers (and even Yates's himself) acknowledged that he suffered from having written his best novel first (Revolutionary Road)his later work remains extremely impressive.

Young Hearts Crying tells the story of Michael and Lucy Davenport. Michael is a struggling writer who refuses to accept financial support from Lucy's sizable fortune and so the couple struggle financially while Michael desperately tries to establish himself and become a published poet.

What i love most about Yates is the way in which he creates characters who are lonely and vunerable and does not hesitate to spare the reader from confronting their lives. In Young Hearts Crying, Michael and Lucy try desperately to fit in with their 'arty' friends but despite their dogged efforts they remain on the fringes of these groups and never feel fully comfortable around them. The manner in which Yates portrays their desperation makes the reader cringe and you want badly for them to suceed but in Yates's fiction this is just not an option.

Yes... Yates can be bleak, and his characters can be desperately sad but he is a fantastic writer and one you will not regret exploring.


Notes on a Scandal
Notes on a Scandal
by Zo Heller
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read..., 11 Feb 2007
This review is from: Notes on a Scandal (Paperback)
I read this book a couple of years ago while on holiday and really enjoyed it, and since then it has always remained in the back of my mind as one i would like to read again.

It is well wriiten, subtle and nicely paced, describing the relationship between two teachers thrown together when the younger (Sheba) is disgraced after having an affair with a pupil and looses her job and family. The older of the two women, Barbara takes Sheba under her wing and documents her story (as in the title, Notes on a Scandal). The plot twists sightly, however, when the focus shifts to look at the relationship between the two women, rather then the teacher/ pupil relationship.

These sorts of 'scandals' are often reported in the news but i found it interested and refreshing to read a fictional account of this kind of story. A really well written, little read.


The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar
by Sylvia Plath
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the hype..., 11 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Bell Jar (Paperback)
For me this is a novel which gets better each time you read it, as with age, experience and insight you will get something new from it each time you read. For this reason i think The Bell Jar is a real modern classic.

The novel, somewhat autobiographically based on Plath's own life, tells the story of Esther Greenwood and her decent into 'madness'. From the outset, this obviously isn't the lightest of subject matters, but Plath so brilliantly manages to capture the dark humor of the subject that in places this novel will make you laugh. It is also very sad and will surely stay with you once you have read it.

Plath was mainly a poet and The Bell Jar is the only novel she wrote before her untimely death (from suicide) in 1963. The novel is however, memorable of her poetry in the poetic style that flows through all of her writing, making this a beautifully written book.

Writing this is making me want to read it yet again! A great novel which does not disappoint and one you can tick off your 'modern classics to read' list!


The Robber Bride
The Robber Bride
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Atwood's best, 11 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Robber Bride (Paperback)
I loved this book and am suprised by some of the negative comments by other reviewers as i would rate it highly on my Atwood reading list. (Much better than 'Alias Grace')

Reading this, i was really caught up in the tension the characters feel by the fraught memories and possible reunion with Zenia. For me this novel really captured the betrayal and hate that can seep into female 'friendships', much in the same way that Atwood captures the child bully relationship in 'Cat's Eye'. Atwood perfectly articulates the desperate loathing that women will feel for each other, when betrayed by those closest to them, with whom they have shared their deepest feelings.

A really great read that will leave you breathless and desperately waiting for the 'revelation'


Cat's Eye
Cat's Eye
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking... brilliant., 11 Feb 2007
This review is from: Cat's Eye (Paperback)
Cat's Eye was the first Atwood novel i read and i can definitely say that it got me hooked! (I am currently reading it for the second time.)

Atwood has one of the most unique and brilliant writing styles that i have read and i think this unique style is really showcased in Cat's Eye. It explores the relationship between Elaine and her sometimes friend/ sometimes bully Cordelia. Atwood is brilliant in writing about the awful complexities of the relationship between the bully and the bullied. She seems to express the things that we know go on between young girls but are afraid to admit.

This really is a great read, one that will get you thinking and stay with you long after you've finished the final pages.

And if you are interested in Atwood, i would also recommend 'The Robber Bride' and 'The Blind Assassin'.


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