Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

So I went without my laptop for two weeks and I that time finished 3 books. (Typical of me to read and then not have a device to write any reviews.) SO! I’m planning on writing these reviews and publishing them over the next few days.

So I started read this as part of a buddy read that in all honesty pretty much failed. I don’t know how you buddy read but I don’t like doing a certain number of chapters a day because as soon as you miss one day you fall so far behind that you never really catch up and everyone just gets sick of the reading and no one really finishes.

I remember trying to pick this book up when I was much younger after the film came out. My mum owned Northern Lights but because the film was called Golden Compass I never made the connection. However, since the film the ideas of the story have really stuck with me and I tend to come back to thinking about it every so often.

So I really enjoyed the story in this book actually but I did not enjoy the reading process that I was shoehorned into and after a while I admit I gave up because I just wanted to consume this book rather than starving myself with limited chunks. I’ve read my entire life and usually that consists of just picking up a book when I can. I always carry it around with me on the off chance that I get to read a few pages here and there. I don’t like forcing time out of my day for reading which is why I don’t do readathons.

I really enjoyed the incredibly unique world that the author built up for us. It was just a lot of fun to be part of this magic system and the fantastical elements at play. My favourite part was when other species apart from humans were introduced. I just love when fantasy does it but explains the different politics in such a way that brings to light the differences between them instead of having to see from a particular perspective to understand. Most of this was from a first person perspective but nearer the end there was some foreshadowing and dramatic irony added in from other people’s discussions that our main character was not privy to.

This was just a solid read and I am looking forward to continuing on with the story but I’ll read it how I want to read it. I actually think that I’ll be picking up the beautiful anniversary editions because they are the nicest covers out there.

I know I talked a lot about the reading process but I think that’s a really important part of when you read a story. It changes how you feel about a book or a story. The experience of reading is perhaps 50% of how you feel about a book.

I’m planning on setting up an etsy and selling some homemade crochet book sleeves. It would be nice to know if anyone is interested?


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

So I did something with this book that I’ve not done in a while. I sat down and read most of it in one sitting straight through to 3am.

Going into this book I was really skeptical about it because of the overwhelming negativity behind it. I think the main problem is that people were thinking about the concept of not following the traditional main protagonists in a world changing event.

I think what I realised is that I like Patrick Ness’s contemporary work. I love the way he writes the dialogue and just the stories and progression. I just really enjoyed the characters that we followed and I think Ness creates well rounded characters without just following one at a time. The way he eludes to past history without having to describe everything allows the reader to sort of plant their thoughts into the book.

So each chapter contains the snippet of whats happening in the ‘traditional’ main storyline but in all honesty it isn’t needed but it doesn’t hinder the story. It being there reminds you of the books premise overall. I think it sort of gave you some foreshadowing but the main point of this book was focussed around Mike and what was happening with him.

I just couldn’t put it down and I think the negative feelings are really quite unjustified. I think people made this book into something it wasn’t and for that reason I can understand why people may have felt let down by it.

I personally enjoyed Ness’s insight into  what he thinks happens to the rest of the people in the vicinity while the heroes are off doing what they do. I think it is also an interesting look into we as a society react to things we don’t understand or don’t want to think about.

Pick up this book and make your own mind up because the discussion in the community maybe doesn’t fit what you would feel.

I also have decided that even with my negative start of Patrick Ness’s work that I love him as an author. I’ve often wondered if you can love an author even if you hate some of their work. I’ll be writing a blog post about this soon hopefully.

Anyway, that’s me for the day, take care of yourselves out in the world of non-book nerds.