Monthly Archives: November 2015

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Matched by Ally Condie

In a :

By the time I had gotten halfway through this YA novel set in a chillingly sterile future, I didn’t think that I was going to click with it at all, mainly because it centered around yet another love triangle. Young girl destined to end up with handsome but predictable good guy gets her head turned by the outcast, yeah yeah I’ve seen it all before. But once I got over my initial disappointment I found that I did actually like the story-line and the believable world that Condie had crafted. Her main character, Cassia lives in a future where the government controls everything including where you live and work, who you fall in love with and more ominously, when you die. Cassia accepts this system without question because it’s all she’s ever known, that is until a glitch in the system changes everything.  This book reminded me quite a lot of the “Uglies” series by Scott Westerfield but has just enough differences to make it enjoyable in spite of this. (n.b. it’s not that I didn’t like the Uglies books, I just don’t want to read them again)

 

Genre:

Young adult /Science Fiction

Number of Pages:

384

Interesting Fact:

Condie’s husband initially planted the seed for the story when he asked his wife, “What if someone wrote the perfect algorithm for lining people up and then the government used it to decide who you would marry, when you married etc?”

Been made into a film?

Not yet but apparently Disney are working on it with production already under way.

What I like about the book:

It’s well thought out in terms of how the dystopian world works and it’s fast pace will appeal to younger readers.

And dislike?

Perhaps it’s because it’s a YA read and not terribly long but I just didn’t feel that there was enough depth to the characters although it may be that this is addressed in the sequels.

Final thoughts:

An entertaining read that I’d recommend to my kids but I wouldn’t go out of my way to read the subsequent books in the series.

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Letters of Note compiled by Shaun Usher

In a 

This beautiful book was my Secret Santa present from my brother about two years ago, (my family can’t keep secrets) and is really fascinating to dip into every so often. Having copies of these letters beneath your fingertips even if they are only replicas is a snapshot of history right there in front of you and feels like a much more genuine portrayal of the past because it’s in the writer’s own words. Many of the letters are intensely personal, a few of them humorous and still more of them heartbreaking but all of them are interesting in their own way and this book serves as a glimpse into the past of ordinary as well as incredibly famous people.

Genre

Factual

Number of Pages

384

Interesting fact

Usher’s website of the same name has been live since 2009 and receives more than 1.5m visits every week.

Been made into a film

Nope, not sure that would work!

What I like about the book?

Everything! In fact this post has taken ages to write because every time I glance inside I get hooked again and end up reading on for ages. My favourite letter in the book was one entitled “Our Frank”, penned to the family of Frank Cualla by the Connell family after they found Mr Cualla dead following the Lockerbie disaster. It brings a lump to my throat every time I read it but also makes me feel glad to know that there is such goodness out there in the world.

And dislike?

Well my issue is a hardback so I can’t lie down and read it in bed. That’s about all that’s wrong with it I reckon.

Final Thoughts:

This is a really interesting read and makes for an excellent present. If you are anything like me it will also make you want to write to someone, even if is only your french penfriend who you  never understood anyway.

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