11 May 2016

#Readathon reviews

Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery: ★★★★
Caitlin is the only young person living on Middle Island. On the first day of vacation, she finds a tiny alien on the beach. Caitlin becomes close to her secret friend, whom she names Perijee, teaching him everything about her world and treating him like a brother.  There’s only one problem: Perijee won’t stop growing. And growing . . . Caitlin will have to convince the adults around her—and Perijee himself—that the creature they see as a terrifying monster is anything but. 
A really fun, quick read!  A little far fetched in places - a setting where, following an alien invasion, people are living in government camps guarded by soldiers or otherwise travelling around the country looting, yet Caitlin's dad is able to write a book about life from other planets, have it published and give a television interview about it in the space of a few days.  I think the author was a little unsure whether to go down the post-apocalyptic route.  However, this would be my only complaint!  Brilliant characters and lots of twists and turns, definitely a great adventure story for children.

Dreaming the Bear by Mimi Thebo: ★★★★ 
"When I get up, there's nobody home. Even Mum has gone out. The note says, 'I have to check my emails. I'll snowmobile to the meltline and be back soon. XX Mummy'.
And I think, 'Good. I can feed my bear...'"
This was such a lovely book.  I loved the characters especially the main character Darcy and the wounded bear she takes care of.  Darcy suffers from a chronic illness brought on by the change in altitude between her new home and the town she grew up in, and I thought this was described really well.  It was a touching story with beautiful description - and an equally beautiful cover!

Little Tales of Misogyny by Patricia Highsmith: ★★★
With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbors into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In the darkly satiric, often mordantly hilarious sketches that make up Little Tales of Misogyny, Highsmith upsets our conventional notions of female character, revealing the devastating power of these once familiar creatures— "The Dancer," "The Female Novelist," "The Prude"—who destroy both themselves and the men around them.
I don't quite know what to make of this one!  All I can say is that it's a very unusual yet strangely entertaining collection.  I would recommend to fans of black comedy.

St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell: ★★★★
Charting loss, love, and the difficult art of growing up, these stories unfurl with wicked humour and insight. Two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab; a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to 'Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers' (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Insomniacs; Cabin 3, Somnambulists. . . ); a Minotaur leads his family on the trail out West, and finally, in the collection's poignant and hilarious title story, fifteen girls raised by wolves are painstakingly re-civilised by nuns.
Possibly my favourite book of Readathon!  It took me a little while to get used to Karen Russell's writing style but I really enjoyed the stories in this collection - they're imaginative and beautifully crafted and I loved the magical elements to them.  I'm really excited to read more from Karen as she clearly has a wonderful imagination.  Some of the stories I liked more than others but all of them had really original concepts and a real mixture of human emotion and behaviour.

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