Monthly Archives: September 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Look! Another book review! I’m so proud of myself.

So this is a book I was given for Christmas, by my baby sister, Sinéad, and I absolutely failed at reading it. In fact, I put it in a shoe box and completely forgot about it until she complained that I never paid attention to her presents (this was around my birthday, which is in April) and she wasn’t gonna buy me anything else. I, wanting to have a birthday present, immediately made the effort and started reading.
Then I gave up.

Eventually, I’ve gotten to the end of the book (in September, not bad!), and have gotten around to reviewing it.
It’s spoiler-free, by the way. I do hate spoilers in book reviews. Unless I’ve already read the book. Then I don’t mind.

So!
The story:
Eva Khatchadourian, mother of a notorious school killer, charts the journey of her relationship with her son, from before his conception to the modern day, through a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin.
It’s a chilling account of what happens when you don’t, really, actually love your child, and it lingers in the mind long after you’ve turned the last page.

I, for one, am looking forward to watching the film once Sinéad’s finished the book. Darren says it’s ‘powerful’, so that’s a good recommendation.

In any case,
The Good: Like Darren said, powerful. Entrancing once you get into it. It’s a worrying, chilling account of what happens when you don’t really love your child.
It makes me wonder, very strongly, whether it was a case of Kevin being truly evil, or that he turned out that way because he knew his mother didn’t love him.
It was a twisty, turny account of a journey from the discussions of whether or not to have a child to two years after the events of that ‘Thursday’, as Eva calls it.
You really get a sense of both the titular character and the narrator and immerse yourself in her doubts – was this her fault? Could she have loved Kevin better? Should she have had children at all?
The novel pulls no punches and constantly surprises. Several times in the course of the novel, I turned a page, discovered a fact and was surprised. I didn’t predict the ending as concretely as I would have thought I did, either, which is always good. I like not quite knowing what’s lurking on the next page, and it adds to the murky atmosphere of doubt which permeates Eva’s letters to Franklin.

The Bad: It was hard to get into at the beginning. Like I said, I got it at Christmas and didn’t finish it ’til September. I constantly put it down and never thought to pick it up again until Sinéad made some sideways remark about it. However, this really abated as I got further into the book. So I’m not sure if it’s a REALLY bad point.
It uses the wrong terminology for the crossbows. They’re constantly referred to as arrows, when in actuality, crossbows use bolts, and bows use arrows. Tut tut tut.
Lionel is a boy’s name, ok? A boy’s name!!

The Ugly: Four and a half out of five. Excellent book. I’m deducting half a mark for the slow start, though.

If you liked this, try: Hate List by Jennifer Brown (link forthcoming once I review it), Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

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Hunting

I’m going to the cinema on Tuesday.
I won tickets to a screening of a film in town on Tuesday.

So in preparation, I thought I’d read the source material, the book it was based on. I’ve read it before, it’s very good.
Before I Die, by Jenny Downham, is the source material. I read it a few months ago.

So I took it upon myself to find the book today. I was under the vague impression that it was in my room, so I went to my bookcase and searched through it. Not there, nope.

So I checked my pile of books in front of my bookcase. No success there. Desk? Nope. Under my bed? Not a chance.
Spare bed? No.
On the floor? Nope to that too.

So I moved on to my sister’s bedroom. Checked her bookcase, her shelves, etc. Nothing there.

My other sister’s bedroom? Well, that’s an undertaking and a half. Not only does she have two bookcases, she also has three piles of books four feet tall on top of the bookcase, three piles of books (roughly two feet) in front of the bookcase, a pile down the side of her bed and some in her wardrobe. Because everybody keeps books in their wardrobe (??).
I thought I was successful in finding the book. Before I … pick up the book and run with it, wahey!
Except, then when I looked at it again, I was holding Before I Fall. A good book, but not the one I was looking for. Sigh.
So I continued searching my sister’s room.
Still nothing doing there. I’ve also checked my parents’ four bookcases, and the book has yet to show up.

I want Before I Die, I want to read it, I want it to just magically turn up in front of me, some time soon.
In fact,
Now is Good.

Heh heh heh.

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Booklist

The following is a list of books which I have read or intend to read recently/soon, and hopefully a quick elaboration of the reviews forthcoming on the blog.
Because, let’s face it, I’m terrible at putting up reviews on this blog, and this list might shame me into actually putting some up.

We Need To Talk About Kevin
Hate List
Before I Die
The Fault in Our Stars – read, needs to be reviewed.
The Land of Stories
Why We Broke Up
Before I Fall
If I Stay
50 Shades Trilogy
Tarzan of the Apes
Lone Wolf

If I ever get around to writing reviews, which I hope I will, then I’ll come back and put the link here.
Then when they’re all reviewed (i.e. never) I can feel better about myself.
yay!

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