Monday, 23 July 2012

High Summer Read-A-Thon: Wrap-Up Post

This time last week, I was bemusedly signing up for another Read-A-Thon and just getting stuck into Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  I also wanted to get to The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.  


Revisit my not-so-lofty ambitions and daily updates here.

This was a lovely sedate Read-A-Thon - lots of focus on reading, with just a couple mini-challenges to keep the more post-happy participants happy too.  I took part in a picture based mini-challenge, drawing from Fahrenheit 451.  As usual, I realised that I don't race through books at nearly the rate of my peers but I also realised (as usual) that I love spending a week focussed on reading to kick me into getting away from the laptop and into the pages of my book.   

Saturday was a complete bust read-a-thon wise - I went on a trip to the seaside with Boyfriend and his family and it was lovely.  We strolled along the coast for a few miles, ate some delicious sea food and drank some beer in the sunshine.  It was a bloody brilliant Saturday.

I managed to make up for it on Sunday, however, when I flew through 247 pages, which happens to be more than I read in all of the other days of the Read-A-Thon combined.  All it took was a day that let me pull out the garden furniture that had been hiding from the rain in the shed and spend some time sprawled out with a great book with plenty of icy cold beverages (and sun lotion!).  It was a bloody brilliant Sunday.

My stats for the week ended up like this:

Total pages read:  458 pages
Total books read:  1 and a half - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and (pretty much) half of The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

And I found some new blogs and Twitter peeps to follow!  A good week, all told!

Hope all of you other read-a-thoners had a wonderful time too and got plenty of pages read :)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

High Summer Read-A-Thon: Mini-Challenge

Hosted by Laura @ Book Snob

The Mini-Challenge: Take one aspect of your book and show an illustration/picture/photo for it.  Then explain it briefly so we know the connection to the book you are reading.


I've just finished Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  A must for any fan of books and reading, Fahrenheit 451 is a worryingly realistic picture of a world without thinking, creativity and liberty where books are seen as promoting nothing but discontent.  Books, after all, present conflicting ideas that confuse people and incite conversation and debate.  Since houses are now all fire-proofed, firemen have been redeployed to keep control of the populace by ridding the world of that great evil: literature.

"It's fine work.  Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes.  That's our official slogan"  
[Firemen's slogan, page 15]

Monday, 16 July 2012

High Summer Read-A-Thon: Kick off post

I had a wonderful time doing the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon back in May but passed up on the Once Upon A Read-A-Thon last week because it covered a time that I was flat out busy and I would only have felt bad about my non-reading!  This week, however, although I know that I have fairly busy week at work coming up as a big project that I've been working on nears completion but I've also got some train journeys that will hopefully provide some time where I can get some reading done.  Also, Boyfriend is going out this Friday and I've intentionally not made other plans so that I can have some "quiet time" - it'll be nice to have something to focus my attention on books instead of idly watching back-to-back One Tree Hill high brow documentaries.  

Hosted by Michelle @ Seasons of Reading!  Stop by and sign up - you know that you want to!

THE GOALS

I started Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury this morning and I love it.  I will definitely be finishing that.  After that, I think I might return to the Chaos Walking series with The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.  That's probably going to be all I'll get read since The Ask and the Answer tops 500 pages BUT if by some miracle I still have some time left, I think I'm going to go for...something that I haven't decided on yet!  Whatever I fancy :)


PROGRESS UPDATES

Monday 16 July 2012
Pages read today:  (as of 10.39pm) 39 pages
Total pages read so far:  39 pages
Total books read so far:  None

Thoughts from Day One of the Read-A-Thon:  I haven't actually been signed up for long enough to have many thoughts on it but so far they've gone from reading some of Fahrenheit 451 while having a coffee this morning to seeing the High Summer Read-A-Thon all over my GoogleReader and falling prey to temptation and joining up!  So a bit bemused, really.  And excited.

Tuesday 17 July 2012
Pages read today:  50 pages
Total pages read so far:  89 pages
Total books read so far:  The first part of Fahrenheit 451

Thoughts from Day Two of the Read-A-Thon:  Tuesday wasn't a great reading day - I got back from work pretty late so I squeezed in an hour before I slumped over my book and fell asleep :-s

Wednesday 18 July 2012
Pages read today:  58 pages
Total pages read so far:  147 pages
Total books read so far:  Two parts of Fahrenheit 451

Thoughts from Day Three of the Read-A-Thon:  In my head, Wednesday was a much better reading day but, as it turns out, I read pretty much the same amount of pages!  That's possibly because I spent the afternoon doing workshops at a local high school about "What it's like to be a lawyer" and it was EXHAUSTING!  Honestly, teenagers are hard work.  They were more interested in what lawyers earn than what they actually do all day, so it wasn't great fun.  So when I got home, I was frazzled and went for a long run to clear my head before settling down with my book.  Still, Fahrenheit 451 is still amazing so it's more quality than quantity this week, I think!

Thursday 19 July 2012
Pages today:  64 pages (as at 8.50pm)
Total pages read so far:  211 pages
Total books read so far:  One (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)

Thoughts from Day Four of the Read-A-Thon:  So it seems that my page count is growing daily, even if it's staying pretty small.  Today is turning out to be a good day and I'm planning on posting my mini-challenge post and then head off to start The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.  Incidentally, how is it already Thursday?!  This week has FLOWN! Other thoughts?  I must read more Ray Bradbury and throw copies of Fahrenheit 451 at lots of my friends and members of my family.  Onward Read-A-Thoners!!



Friday 20 July 2012
Pages today:  23 pages (as at 8.48pm)
Total pages read so far:  234 pages
Total books read so far:  That would still be ONE (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)

Thoughts from Day Five of the Read-A-Thon:  WHY DO I HAVE TO WORK?!  No, not really.  It just happened to be one of those days that made me want to curl up away from a ringing phone and blippy email account and read a book in my pyjamas.  Which is actually what I'm about to go and do now.  Happy days indeed! :)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

In My Mailbox #6: The Unexpectedly Large One

During this past week, I wandered in to get a book and then stood for a little while wondering why my study was starting to look a little bit ragged around edges.  The shelves have reached the point where there's just no more room and the little piles that are creeping onto the edge of the desk seem to be breeding.  I knew that I'd brought in quite a few books recently, I just didn't quite realise how many. This week is pretty indicative of many of my recent weeks.  Fortunately, most of them are library books whose residence is only temporary so it's not so bad...

Borrowed from the library

I went into the library to collect a book that I'd reserved.  I somehow came out with six books.  Standard.  


 The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower series: Book 1) by Stephen King - I've been wanting to read this series for a long time.  I was reminded of that when Hanna (Booking In Heels) bought it from Ellie's (Musings of a Bookshop Girl) and this was one of those shiny new library copies that is impossible to resist.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin - the book that I went in to pick up.  I'd accidentally borrowed the fourth in the series a little while ago and decided that I should start at the beginning. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt - another one that I've been meaning to read for years.  VERY EXCITED about this one!


The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking series: Book 2) by Patrick Ness - I read (and reviewed) the first in the series just over a year ago. I really should finish the series.

Geist (A Book of the Order) by Phillippa Ballantine - a random pick from the Fantasy section.  We'll see how that turns out.

The Girl in the Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles: Book 1) by Kady Cross - I'm not desperate to read this but I do kind of feel like I want to.  Probably the bottom of the list but I'm glad I found it.


Bought in Waterstones

The Waterstones in Leeds has to be one of my favourites.  It's not quite as pretty as the one in Bradford but it has everything that you could possibly want.  I could live in there and be perfectly happy (because it has a Costa in it too so I wouldn't even have to starve or be caffeine deprived...).  In an exercise of restraint, I bought just these three:


 The Black Prism (Lightbringer series: Book 1) by Brent Weeks - More Brent Weeks on the shelves is never a bad thing.  I read and loved Weeks' Night Angel trilogy recently (review of the first here) so this was inevitable. 


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - After the outpouring of praise for Bradbury's work that rained down on the blogosphere shortly after Bradbury's death, I decided that I really should finally read this.  It was calling to me from the Waterstones bag sat by my desk at work the whole day after I bought it and I still can't wait to get to it.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - Half price with The Black Prism.  It would have been rude not to.


So that's what has managed to sneak on to my shelves in the past week - what's been in your mailbox? :)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Review: 'The Secret History of the Pink Carnation' by Lauren Willig

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis

Nothing ever goes right for Eloise. The day she wears her new suede Jimmy Choos, it rains. When the Tube stops too quickly, she's the one thrown into some stranger's lap. And she's had her share of misfortune in the way of love. So, after deciding that romantic heroes must be a thing of the past, Eloise is ready for a fresh start but first she must finish her history dissertation on those most romantic of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. While rummaging through a pile of old letters and diaries, Eloise discovers something amazing, something that historians have missed: the secret history of the Pink Carnation - the most elusive spy of all time. As she reads on, Eloise begins to wonder just who this brave secret agent was, but as she gets tantalizingly close to the answer, she is distracted by the very modern charms of Colin Selwick - is Eloise about to find a dashing hero all of her own?

Review


I read this on our recent holiday in Estonia - it is the perfect holiday read.  By that, I don't mean that it's insipid and/or contains a vapid romance that may or may not take place on or near a beach.  I mean that it's smartly funny, has plenty of adventure of the swash-buckling variety, has a romance that is actually enjoyable to read (*gasp*) and is completely and utterly absorbing.  Honestly, I read this at every available second and forced gently persuaded Boyfriend to sit for an hour with me in a park when I just HAD to read through to the end (the sun was shining and he had a book to read too so I’m not that awful a girlfriend, I promise).

Set largely in France in 1803, this elaborates on Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel (which, by the way, I now really want to read!).  The titular character of Baroness Orczy’s work has now retired, with the younger Sir Percy Blakeney stepping into his stealthy shoes as the Purple Gentian, aiding the French resistance against Napoleon one cloak-swirling mission at a time.  Words can not express how much I loved Sir Percy Blakeney.  He is the epitome of ‘dashing’ and everything you could possibly want from a necessarily duplicitous hero.  Since a significant portion of the book is told from his perspective, there’s plenty of time to get to know the spy.  I actually think that the split narrative is what makes this book work so well.  Don’t get me wrong, Amy is great but I liked the behind-the-scenes look at the Purple Gentian’s escapades and his perspective did add a certain level of maturity to the whole thing that was a good balance to Amy’s naivety.

So, Amy.  When she first starting narrating, I wasn’t convinced that I was going to like her.  She drags her life-long friend Jane around like a sidekick and comes across as a bit immature and a lot petulant.  They in fact end up in France because Amy is looking for “adventure” and a way to contribute to the French resistance.  As the novel went along, though, I couldn’t help but like her.  She’s impulsive and brave, regularly makes the wrong choices and then tries desperately hard to make everything better.   

The identity of the Pink Carnation wasn’t a surprise to me at all and I suppose (hope?) that it isn’t supposed to be.  I was happy enough watching the characters mixing up each others’ alter egos that I really didn’t mind that there wasn’t an edge of mystery for me. I was more than content to be in the role of amused spectator. It says a lot about the writing that the mask-based mix-ups never once got on my nerves – usually I would be gripping the pages and getting ever more grumpy about identity confusion (“Just PULL OFF THE MASK!!!” etc...).  In short, the plot just works.

There's probably a heftier dose of sarcasm than was actually present in Paris in the early 19th century (I imagine...) but that's an addition that I'm perfectly happy with that exercise of artistic licence as it suits my sense of humour down to the ground.  The scenes with Percy Blakeney's family and his old friend Miles are particularly well-written and full of quips and witty dialogue that genuinely do make you feel as though you're stood in the drawing room with them.  I defy anyone not to like them.

This is all getting a little gushy, isn't it?  Ok, you want some balance?  As with most historical fiction that also features a modern day side-plot, I always felt a tinge of disappointment when I turned the page and found myself dumped back with Eloise.  That wasn't helped by the fact that Eloise kept going on about how she didn't want to do anything but read more about the Pink Carnation and I couldn't help thinking, "Eloise, I know the feeling, stop wittering and get back to the good stuff!" Which isn't an indictment on Eloise or the plight of her poor Jimmy Choos, it's just testament to how flipping good the chapters set in the 19th century really are.

Oh, also, I've seen a 1-star rating on GoodReads, given because the reader was disgruntled at finding a little raunch in the story.  Did I mention that there's romance?  I think I did but, just to be clear, there is ROMANCE: it’s believable and relevant and fits into the story seamlessly BUT the characters do more than have a little saucy eye contact or the occasional hand-holding session.  If you like your romance novels chaste, this perhaps isn't the one for you.

At the moment, there are nine instalments in the series and, from what I can gather, they each focus on a different character.  I'm hoping that means that the series stays as bright as this book.  As with a worrying amount of books, I doubt I would have heard of this book if it hadn't been for Hanna's review of the third in the series (The Deception of the Emerald Ring) at Booking In Heels.  Don't judge this series by its woeful covers, just read it and love it!

Overall:  I honestly can't think of any more ways to convince you to read this - if you have ever even been remotely interested in historical fiction or romance series with a dashing hero in a black cloak and mask (*swoon*), this is for you.  And if you haven't ever been interested before and you're idly thinking about branching out?  I'm pretty sure that you see where I'm going but, yes, this is also for you.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Date finished:  23 May 2012
Format:  eBook
Source:  Bought
Genre:  Historical fiction; romance
Published: in February 2005

Monday, 9 July 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #9

A Monday recap, courtesy of BookJourney

It's been a while since I've taken part in this particular bookish meme but I always think that it's a nice way to start a week!  It's been a good few weeks for reading, both in a pages read sense and a quality sense, which is a happy combination!  It would have been nice if some of my reading time had been spent outside but, alas, it's still horrendously wet in Yorkshire (although fortunately we haven't had any floods!).  So instead I've been huddled under blankets with hot drinks and big, fluffy socks - it could be worse :)




What have I been reading this week?  

Last weekend, I finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It was definitely unique and once I got used to the various characters and Oskar's quirks, I really enjoyed it.  It was a bit...heavy-handed in places but it was still  very moving and I'll be recommending it here soon.  I've also read my first book for Hanna's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen challenge!! *FANFARE* I read the devilish The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and, while I wasn't completely in love with the ending, it's a great book.  I realise that it sounds stupid that I didn't know the ending going into it, it being such a well-known classic and all, but I didn't.  The writing is hugely atmospheric so it's PERFECT for a stormy night!


What am I reading at the moment?  

After the malevolence of The Phantom of the Opera, I thought I'd take a little jaunt into science-fiction territory and try out the TimeRiders series (by Alex Scarrow) that I've heard a lot of good things about.  The first one, handily also called TimeRiders, is shaping up nicely.  There's time travel, a ragtag bunch of teenagers hand-picked by a mysterious old man that are being trained to 'police' time and stop people mangling history and I assume that at some point there will also be a/some bad person/people.  I'm intrigued (because I totally love having my mind bent by time travel plots!) and it's light so I'm a happy reader so far.

What am I planning on reading next week?  

I'm missing epic fantasy, I think, so this week I'm going to try and refresh my memory on the first 11 books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and get stuck into The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) before the FINAL instalment is released next year some time.  This was the first "proper" epic fantasy series that I read and I used to save up and buy them one at a time.  They occupy the top shelf of my favourite bookshelf and I love them.  The ones I haven't read yet are those  contributed to by Brandon Sanderson and I was kind of planning on getting used to Sanderson's writing before I went into these BUT I really want to read these now so I'm just going to go for it...

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Review Minis: The Mystery Edition

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that my Books Read 2012 list over there to the right is increasing at a much higher rate than my reviews are appearing.  That's in part owing to the fact that getting back into blogging has taken longer than I expected after our accident but mostly to the fact that work is all kinds of busy at the moment.  SO to catch myself up, I'll be reviewing the books that I've read over the past couple of months that I've enjoyed but that haven't completely rocked my world are going to be the subject of little mini-reviews until I get myself back on an even keel. I'm going to at least try to bunch them into genre lumps because that appeals to my overly-organised side!  First up...


The Mystery Edition


Virals by Kathy Reichs (Find it on GoodReads here)

Genetic mutations, eyes that glow in the dark and a bunch of teenagers that run around in the wilderness at night in an attempt to foil a murderer.  I found this in the local library and remembered Ellie's review at Musings of a Bookshop Girl.  This year has seen me read much more crime fiction than probably any other year ever so this book slotted in nicely. I liked it - it's a rip-roaring, action-packed way to spend a couple of hours with healthy doses of deserted island atmosphere and grand conspiracy theories to keep things interesting.

That said, it's very much a YA book.  Tory Brennan is a feisty narrator and has a voice that I'm sure will appeal to other teenagers.  It took me a while to get used to but it does lend a youhful tone to the book that helps it carry off some of the more...erratic actions of its teen cast and I can't imagine the story working any other way.  Likewise my grumpiness at some of the characters' decisions - despite the fact that there would obviously be no story but for their independence, sometimes I just wanted to grab the kids' ears, drag them to their liberal parents and force them to explain their problems and ideas so that they would stop being rash and getting themselves into pickle after pickle, while also making sure they understood the irony of their trying to fight crime by committing their own.  "Be tolerant" is all I can say, folks, it is worth it.

In short, I'm pretty sure that this is what you would get if you crossed the Famous Five with Spiderman; over-enthusiastic youths + animal-related genetic mutations = Virals.  

Rating: 3 stars out of 5 for being fun, frantic and delightfully random.

The Keep by Jennifer Egans (Find it on GoodReads here)

Another library selection and one that's been on my wishlist for years.  Billed as a ghost story, this is actually more of a twisting story-within-a-story-within-a-story, with each layer eventually colliding in a conclusion that had me staring at the pages in a rather gormless fashion.  Danny is spending some time with his cousin at an abandoned keep in Eastern Europe while he renovates it and creates a luxury hotel amidst some eery goings-on (hence my plonking this in the 'Mystery Edition').  The 'keep story' is, however, at the whim of its writer, a prison inmate taking a writing class, who is reading it aloud to his fellow inmates and interrupts himself without warning to respond to hecklers or provide some background notes.  There's also a third story mixed in but I won't spoil the ending by revealing what that is.  

Ultimately, this is a very clever look at the nature of stories, how they can take on something of their author and how useful literature can be as a source of escapism, with a neat sideline in the modern world's reliance on technology and social media.  It's also a genuinely gripping and wonderfully surreal story itself with a potential haunting, damaged  (potentially psychotic) but intriguing characters and a gnarled plot that is extremely difficult to fully  keep a handle on.

Even though I loved it, I will smack a health warning on this reviewlette:  This will most certainly not be for everyone.  Each storyteller is distinctive and compelling in their own way but most are far from likeable.  If you're the type that has to like or sympathise with a narrator/protagonist, you and The Keep are probably not going to be the best of friends.  There's also very little in the way of punctuation, which I assume is to keep it true to the 'prison inmate turned writer' concept. PLUS, there's some bad language so if you get twitchy at the F-bomb being dropped, you're going to be unhappy.

Rating:  4 stars out of 5 for being utterly unique in style and content.

The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan (Find it on GoodReads here)

Yet another library find but one that I'd never heard of and grabbed on the off-chance that it would be a hidden gem.  A mystery of the historical variety, this was a slow-moving one that I fell out of love with somewhere along the way.

Mary Finch is wending her way (oh-so-bravely, apparently) to her Uncle's estate in order to build some familial bridges.  She definitely isn't going to visit her rich, elderly relative (of whom she is the only potential heir) because she happens to come from the poor side of the family and is looking to improve her lot.  Sadly, in attempting to convey that (dubious) message, Mary comes across as a little pious and a lot naive.  

In the end, the book was let down by a weak mystery.  It sort of revolved around a man dying in the side of the road holding Mary's uncle's pocket watch, a band of smugglers and some spies.  There's some nifty smuggler code-cracking and some twists and turns that I didn't wholly see coming but overall I couldn't help but feel as though the story suffered from being stretched over too many pages.  There was a wishy-washy feel to most of the plotlines that was as irritating as over-diluted squash - it could have been delicious but instead I was left trying to find flavour dampened by too much water.  Rather like an over-stretched juice-related metaphor, you might say!  The writing was also quite repetitive.  If I'd been told one more time about how smart and cute and genteel Mary was, I would have screamed.  As it was, I only got to the stage of sighing dramatically and rolling my eyes.

Also, the ending was twee and predictable.  Enough said.

Rating:  2.5 out of 5 stars for being an acceptable historical fiction but being tainted by a touch of tedium.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Review: 'Attachments' by Rainbow Rowell


Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (taken from Waterstones.com)   

It's 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty. By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange. 

At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he really is, it's way too late to introduce himself. What would he say to her? 'Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mails - and also, I think I love you'.

Review

I was reading a book that I really wasn't keen on when I found myself with a Friday evening home alone.  I wanted to read, definitely, but the thought of spending a night in with a book I was struggling through wasn't a happy one.  So instead I started browsing Waterstones' eBooks to buy something that I could reward myself with when I'd finished the current read.  I'd seen an overflow of love for Attachments at What Red Read and Reading Rambo and had been meaning to buy it ever since so it was an easy choice.

I meant to just have a quick peak at the first few pages. How foolish! The next thing I knew, it was midnight and I had giggled my way through the first half and cared more about Beth and Jennifer than I do about some of my actual friends. If you're my friend and you're reading this: don't worry, I'm probably not referring to you...*ahem*...

Honestly, though, I loved it.  Beth and Jennifer's banter-y affection is just pure fun to read:

"Beth to Jennifer: If you were Superman and you could choose any alter ego you wanted why the hell would you choose to spend your Clark Kent hours - which already suck because you have to wear glasses and you can't fly - at a newspaper?

...

Jennifer to Beth: Aren't you missing the point? Clark Kent doesn't want to be famous. He doesn't want people to look at him. If they really look at him, they'd see he's just Superman with glasses. Plus, he needs to be someplace like a newsroom, where he's the first to hear big news. He can't afford to read "Joker attacks moon" the next day in the newspaper.

Beth to Jennifer: You make an excellent point. Especially for someone who doesn't know that Superman never fights the Joker"

[Page 85 in my eBook edition]

See?! They're FUNNY! And underneath all the joking and teasing, there are two friends who support each other through crap relationships, heartbreak and the daily rigmarole of working at a newspaper.  Like all the best romantic comedies, there are those moments where your heart hurts and you shed a tear that you would never admit to later.

There should also be something supremely creepy about Lincoln reading Beth and Jennifer's emails. And yet...there isn't. The thought of the IT chap at my office reading over some of my email chains with work friends makes me feel pretty icky but I still couldn't help but love Lincoln and desperately want for everything to work out well for him. I think it's because he seems so lost and lonely and broken that being mad at him would be like kicking a puppy (i.e. bad).  Watching him trying to find something to be proud of and find himself a life beyond his mother's kitchen made me want to reach into the pages, give him a hug and tell him it will all be ok.  He is, without a doubt, the most endearing email stalker EVER.

Ok, so it isn't the flashiest of plots and there's an outside chance that you'll see the ending coming but spending time with Rowell's adorable characters for a few hundred pages is more than enough fun for one novel.

In the interest of balance, I've tried to think of a downside. So far, all I've come up with is that for a short time after I'd finished reading this, I was disappointed that neither I nor my friends are as off-handedly witty as the wonderful characters in this book. Also, I can imagine cynics getting all bent out of shape about the ending. But then I suppose if you were that much of a cynic, you probably wouldn't have picked up a romantic comedy in the first place... 

Overall: Extra love went to Attachments for reminding me how much fun reading can be.  If you're feeling blue, in need of a chuckle or just like a little romance, I honestly can't think of a better book to read.   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Date finished:  23 April 2012
Format:  eBook
Source:  Bought
Genre:  Contemporary fiction; romance
Published (in the UK): by Plume in March 2012