Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Manila Pages: May Book Review

the idea to do a book review has been in my head for a little while now

i love books,
the way they fold in your hand
the weight of the pages as they flip
and i used to be a ferocious reader,
until uni whacked my butt into submission with all those tomes of textbooks
i still have the 'book diary' recording all the books i read for a few years of my childhood

so, in the interest of sticking with things we love
here's my book review for the month of May

This Charming Man - Marian Keys ($10)
Believe it or not, this dog ear-ed copy was brand new when i brought it home from chapters. It's quite a thick little book, very compact.
Set in modern day Ireland, the book tells the story of four women, all connected to a famous Irish politician. The story starts with his recent engagement, and begins with the tale of his girlfriend (who is actually not his fiance). It then moves to an ambitious journalist, a well off housewife (also the journalist's twin sister), and his actual fiance. The book starts off a bit frivolous, but eventually gets pretty heartbreaking, and finishes off nice and hopeful. I personally love books with intertwining story lines, and this one was pretty easy to follow. About half way through I started having trouble putting it down. Some parts are hilarious, others ridiculous, with a good dose of emotions, and is an overall good time.

I would recommend this as a perfect summer read.

Lullibies for Little Criminals - Heather O'Neill ($6.99 @ BMV books, $15 regular price)
I purchased this new at the BMV in the annex. Its got a wider surface, but its not very thick and very flexible.
Set in a grimy Montreal of maybe twenty year ago, this book is probably not what they would call a "feel good" read. However, its very engaging and really catches you off guard. Its told through the point of view of a twelve year old girl (named Baby) living with her drug addict single dad. As is often the case, Baby never realizes that she's living in poverty, and to her money have very little meaning. This book captures the moment in time when you begin to both reject and crave your parent's attention, and your parents start to have absolutely no idea what to do with you. Some parts will break your heart over the injustice of the system. Mostly, it made me realize that circumstances and choices aren't always black and white.

I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for something with a bit more emotional weight. If you're just looking to escape for an afternoon, you might want to save this for later.

Shopaholic & Baby - Sophie Kinsella ($5.99 @ BMV books, $17 regular price)

Another purchase from BMV books in the annex. I gave this to my mom as part of her mothers day present, but, obviously, sharing is caring =D.
I'd read all the shopaholic books a while back, (in fact i think i have most of them), but besides the main story line, i'd gotten a little fuzzy on the details. Set in present day central London, the book revolves around Becky, a certified shopaholic, and her husband Luke, a successful financial PR entrepreneur. In this book, Becky is pregnant with her first child, and suddenly discover that her famous trendy obstetrician is actually her husbands old girlfriend. It is a typical Shopaholic book, with lots of fun, laughs, and obviously shopping.

I wouldn't consider this her finest work, and I think to really enjoy the book you need to have read the other books in the series first (but don't read them all in a row, Becky gets a bit annoying if you don't take a little break). To me, the book kinda felt like visiting old friends, but I get a feeling that without knowing all the background story, this one wouldn't be very entertaining. And no, watching the movie doesn't count, cause it was nothing like the books. Overall another great quick summer read.

After getting back from school, I re-read the only four Harry Potters I have in my possession ( for whoever has my harry potter and the order of pheonix, I WANT IT BACK!) I'm not going to review them, as mostly everyone has read it (and I think the movies are almost done?), but rest assured; even the second/third/fourth/or fifth time around, they were just as amazing as ever.

I owe this blog many many posts, and hopefully i'll get around to them soon. Sorry for the wait, but hope this one was enjoyable!



rachel chen said...

I <3 all the Harry Potter books, amazing even after the 20th time around. Fabulous coming of age series. Good idea of a book review post! :) I might try that too!

f.chiu said...

so im like totally ADD when im studying, rolled around in this rolly chair and found lullabies for little criminals on the book shelf behind me (im in the library studying). i think i might take this out and take a stab at it.. seems like an easy read. i know you mentioned it about being emotional and stuff, lol. but the text is fairly large! so.. haha. iunno we'll see.