(Yes, I’m awful, I haven’t posted for ages, I’m sorry.)
I spent all of last week lying on a sunbed at a spa hotel in Kos, therefore I had quite a lot of time to get some reading done. I devoured 3 books on the first day and then had to spend the rest of the week trying to read as slowly as possible to make my final book last as long as I could.
My first read was “The Phantom Of The Opera”. Izzy, from Thinking and Inking, rambled to me about TPOTO a couple of years ago and since then I have had it in the back of my mind to watch or read it. It was only £2 in a little bookshop that was closing down so I figured it was worth picking it up and giving it a go. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, and oh my goodness is the font tiny, but I really enjoyed this book. There are some really interesting and well-rounded characters including Erik (the phantom), Christine and the Persian. Christine was definitely my favourite character, in part due to her sassy line “I am a mistress of my own actions, M. de Chagny: you have no right to control them;”.
Book number two was “The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman”, and honestly its a little bit weird so I’m just going to try and explain the plot as simply as I can. There’s a postman who likes to nosy into other people’s business so he opens people’s letters, photocopies them, and then sends them on their way. He becomes obsessed with letters exchanged between a woman named Segolene, and a her lover, Grandpre. Segolene and Grandpre only write to each other in poetry, and the postman is captivated by Segolene’s words. This obsession gets more and more out of control during the book after a shocking event causes the postman to make some bizarre choices. Slight Spoiler/Warning: from pages 82-89 there is some weird almost sexting (written as haikus) that might confuse and mildly scar young children.
The third book, and my least favourite, was “The Great Gatsby”. Now, I know this is allegedly “One of the greatest works of American literature” but frankly, I found it pretty bloody dull. It’s not that I don’t like classics, it’s just that I found this book very, very dry. Like the woman in black, which I had to study for school, I felt like the plot could have been condensed into one chapter, instead of dragging on for a whole book. I appreciate this book as providing an insight into the lives of the wealthy in the 20s, but I found the plot ,and most of the characters, two dimensional and boring. Just my opinion, please don’t come for me Great Gatsby enthusiasts.
The last book I read was “The Three” by Sarah Lotz. This book was pretty strange, both in structure and plot, but I really enjoyed it. It’s written as though the events of the book are real events that have happened in our world, and are being written about by a woman called Elspeth as a kind of expose novel. Four passenger planes crash on the same day, and only 3 children survive the crashes. These children become widely mistrusted and deemed by some as demonic creatures. The book is written, not as one continuous narrative but as many short extracts that are either interviews with people involved in some way to the children or are articles that describe the events at the time. This unusual structure works incredibly well at providing a well-rounded look at all of the events, from multiple different perspectives. I really enjoyed this book, but again, it is not one for children as it’s incredibly dark in places. Heavy spoilers/trigger warnings at the bottom of this post under the dashes.
So there is a brief ramble about my holiday reads, I would definitely recommend “The Three” and “The Phantom of the Opera”. The other two have their merits, but weren’t favourites of mine. Don’t forget to wear suncream, eat some vegetables, tell a friend a reason why they’re great. Take care of yourself x
At the end of the book one man kills his niece, stabbing her multiple times, and there are some quite detailed descriptions of the girl’s body being found. There are also some scenes including a man visiting a prostitute, although they are not explicit, this is obviously something that would be a little tricky to explain to a child. On top of that there’s descriptions of the plane crashes and the bodies found, as well as a car crash near the end. There is a lot of gruesome death stuff in this book so seriously, not for kids or anyone who is sensitive to these kind of themes.