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January Reading – A Review


I have accidentally upped my aim to read 52 books to trying to read 75. I feel like I should try to top last year instead of equal it. Towards that aim, this month I have read:

Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor

Full review here

*

Can’t Live Without by Joanne Phillips

Full review here

*

Trash by Andy Mulligan (Hardback, David Fickling Books, 2010) Length: 211 pages. My copy borrowed from Liberty.

Opening Line:

My name is Raphael Fernández and I am a dumpsite boy.

~

Set in a world where poverty is extreme and depressingly common, Trash forces you to listen to the voices of people you would normally turn away from in the street.

The main narrators, Rat, Raphael and Gardo, are children of the dumpsite who live in the filth thrown out by the rest of the city, sorting through it looking for anything that can be salvaged, cleaned and sold for a pittance that will buy them another day’s worth of food.

They are honest narrators and you can’t help but fall in love with them as they work their way through an adventure that is much bigger than they are after finding something in the trash that turns their world upside down.

They uncover the secret of a stranger who wants to change the way their lives are led. A secret that the government wants to stamp into the ground before anyone can find it out, even if they have to crush a handful of street boys to do it.

The rich are merciless, the poor are desperate. Trash shows you the importance of love and friendship in the darkest of places and brings to light just how one person’s greed can affect a whole country of people if they are high enough in power and wear the right smile.  And also just how precarious the life of greed is when you make too many people too desperate.

I loved the pace of the story and the use of various narrators, all speaking as if they are telling you a story face-to-face, was very clever. It showed just how many people were involved and how it affected them personally making the story more believable and striking more nerves than perhaps it would have were it told in a more impersonal way.

Unlike anything else I have ever read, Trash really made me think about the inequality of our world, especially in countries where dump-sites really are the lifelong home of people and blind eyes are turned.

*

Oddities And Entities by Roland Allnach

Full review here

*

Welsh Fairy Tales by William Elliot Griffis (Kindle Edition, First Published 1921) My copy ‘bought’ for free on Kindle

Opening Line:

Long, long, ago, there was a good saint named David, who taught the early Cymric or Welsh people better manners and many good things to eat and ways of enjoying themselves.

I usually enjoy traditional Fairy tales, even when they’re a bit weird and stilted but this collection was dire.

I know it was written a long time ago but the language was dull and the random ‘modern’ comparisons Griffis used were jarring and out of place.

I struggled my way through stubbornly but there was very little enjoyment to be had – I knew several of the stories from living near to Wales all of my life and these retellings were far from the best I’ve heard.

I certainly won’t be rushing to recommend it to anyone, luckily it was free.

*

Her Best Friend’s Dad by Rachel Boleyn (Kindle Edition, July 2011) My copy ‘bought’ for free on Amazon.

Opening Line:

~

Free porn. More of a short story than a novel, not too much substance or character development but plenty of sex and foreplay.

If you are into the whole ‘girl fancies her best friend’s randomly attractive father’ or just ‘older guy with younger girl’ thing then it’s probably right up your street. Made me cringe a bit because I find the idea of sleeping with any of my friends fathers distinctly weird.

Fairly well written, not gratuitous or over-detailed and is a perfectly good twenty minute racy read if you like that sort of thing.

*

Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon

Full review here

*

~

Books read this year: 7/75

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