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KarenV

KarenV

Currently reading

Miracle on Regent Street
Ali Harris
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan Cain
A Reckless Magick - Stephanie Burgis I bought this trilogy on a whim as they were 99p each in one of Amazon's monthly sales and I'm so glad I did.

They were all good but this final instalment was definitely the best. Exciting, fast-paced, tense and funny, I was swept along with the story and really didn't want it to end. I'm quite sad that this is the last of Kat's adventures - I really hope the author will write more at some point.
The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King On reflection, I revised my rating down from 3 stars to 2.5. I found the story hard to get into but then it suddenly got going, a couple of chapters in and I started to enjoy it. However, the pace wasn't sustained and I ended up finding the whole thing patchy, overly long and tedious by the end (I found I was skim-reading the last 100 pages a bit just to get it finished and find out whodunnit and why). A shame, because I loved the original SH stories and hoped that this might be a series worth pursuing. I doubt that I'll bother with any more of them though.
The Pocket Scavenger - Keri Smith Update: 8/9/13 I've enjoyed working on this but after having completed 46 of the 72 alterations, I think it's time to give it a rest for a while.

I've been working on this journal since I got it last week and am having so much fun with it! I'm a perfectionist, so it's a bit hard to just do the alteration process but I'm trying not to second guess things too much and just go with the flow.

I'm not working on the pages in order, just filling them in as I find the instructed items. Also, you're supposed to flip the book upside down and randomly open it to pick the alteration but I wasn't keen on that so DH created me a random number generator in Excel that marks off the numbers I've already used. I think that the chance element of the exercise means that you could (and probably should, if it came up) do the same alteration twice but I prefer to do something different each time. Definitely helping me branch out creatively and be less concerned about a "perfect" end result.
Stardust - Carla Stewart 3.5 stars.
Left Neglected - Lisa Genova 4.5 stars. I found the first few chapters of this book rather frustrating and uncomfortable to read. Sarah's incredibly busy, multitasking, impatient, high-powered lifestyle is completely at odds with how I choose to live my own life and I felt myself getting stressed, anxious and angry just reading about her typical, nonstop, high pressure day. It was almost a relief when she had the accident and was forced to slow down.

That being said, as with Genova's book Still Alice, this book is well-written, engaging and easy to read and the subject of Left Neglect was handled in a very accessible and interesting way. I enjoyed the story more and more as Sarah started to rebuild her life and focus on what was really important and found some parts especially moving.
44 Scotland Street - Alexander McCall Smith Aargh! I typed out a review and it obviously didn't save - darn you, Goodreads app!

Anyway, 3.5 stars, blah blah, pleasantly surprised, blah blah, will read more in the series. Bah!

Knife Edge

Knife Edge - Malorie Blackman I read Noughts and Crosses several years ago and remember really enjoying it but never got around to reading the rest of the series. I did try to give this one a go but couldn't get into it. No rating.

The Forbidden Queen

The Forbidden Queen - Anne O'Brien Ugh! This is the third book I've abandoned in as many weeks. I don't know whether I'm just not in the mood for a particular genre, I'm too distracted to get into a book properly or whether I'm just picking bad books but it's unusual for me to abandon so many at once.

Anyway, The Forbidden Queen actually started off quite well, although I thought the chapters could have been shorter - sometimes the focus of the story changed at a point when a new chapter would have been better, rather than continuing with the current one. The story was interesting though and provided a good insight into a period of history with which I'm unfamiliar.

However, once Henry V died and Edmund Beaufort came onto the scene, I was suddenly transported into a Mills and Boon romance, with page after page (after page) of gushy declarations of love between Katherine and Edmund. I tried to stick with it but it was just too much. I even skipped ahead a couple of chapters, only to find they were still madly in love and I wasn't in the mood for it. The author has been favourably compared to Philippa Gregory but having read several of Ms Gregory's works and thoroughly enjoyed them, I'd have to disagree.
A Most Improper Magick - Stephanie Burgis Brilliant! I loved it from start to finish.
Fremont - Elizabeth Reeder I persevered with this because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews and ratings, both here and on Amazon UK, but it really wasn't my cup of tea.
Love Anthony - Lisa Genova 3.5 stars. Good but not great and definitely not a patch on Still Alice, which I read earlier this year. It was a bit patchy and a little unbelievable. Having said that, I do enjoy Lisa's writing style and will definitely read more of her work.
Ketchup Clouds - Annabel Pitcher I borrowed this from the library after I saw it had won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, expecting a good read. However, I got to page 90 and decided I'd had enough. I didn't like the subject matter or the way it was written and wasn't interested enough in the outcome to slog through another couple of hundred odd pages.
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul - Deborah Rodriguez 2.5 stars. A quick and easy read but not that well written.

Bone Quill (Hollow Earth, #2)

Bone Quill (Hollow Earth, #2) - John Barrowman,  Carole Barrowman Update 11/3/13 - downgrading this to 3.5 stars. I did like it but I don't think it deserved to be rated the same as Hollow Earth, to which I awarded 4*

I'm going to be generous and give this 4 stars because I truly did enjoy the last few chapters. However, for me much of this second book in the Hollow Earth series was slow going, without the consistent page-turning quality and excitement of the first book. I think it took until I was 48% through it until I really started to enjoy the story. That said, it's still an excellent series and after such a thrilling cliffhanger, I will definitely be picking up book 3 when it comes out.

A Little Princess

A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett Loved it! Such a charming story, I enjoyed it from start to finish. I actually enjoyed it more than The Secret Garden, which I read for the first time last year.
Wildflower Hill - Kimberley Freeman Thoroughly enjoyed this - a real page turner