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      July Supporter Giveaway   07/01/2019

      It's Christmas in July! The winner of the July Supporter giveaway will receive this beautiful Barnes & Noble edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, as well as a special Charles Dickens tea by  theliteraryteacompany.co.uk .   I've been keeping this book a secret for so long (I couldn't wait until Christmas!) It's actually from a really lovely independent bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, the town of books. I'm so glad I finally get to show you! The picture doesn't even do it justice. A nice feature that you can't see in this image - the page edges are gold and (an extra surprise for the winner) the back is just as beautiful as the front! We also now have twice as much tea as previous giveaways!  (Thank you Literary Tea Company!)   As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and a winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month. If you want to enter this giveaway but you aren't a supporter, you can join in here https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   Good luck  

karen.d

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About karen.d

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    'Queen Camilla'- Sue Townsend

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  1. 'Queen Camilla'- Sue Townsend I remember reading 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole' when I was a teenager and really enjoying it. So when I saw this book, I was looking forward to reading this.This novel is based on what would happen if the institution of the Royal Family was in exile and were living on a council estate. Britain is divided into many different zones, depending on your social standing and no one can cross zones without an I.D card. Also the police know your every move, thanks to cameras which are installed everywhere and they can access all information about the residents, using the Vulcan computer system.Firstly, I liked how Sue Townsend characterized the members of the Royal family, they are all very likable characters, funny characters. I also liked that we got the perspectives of the royal pets too, on what was going on.However, I found a few things wrong with this book. I personally like the British Royal Family, but, even though this book is funny, I could tell that the author wasn't entirely in favour of them and so I felt that at times, the jokes were a bit cutting and were laughing at the Royal Family, rather than laughing with them.Secondly, at the beginning of the book, I felt like this was making some interesting observation on modern British life. However, as the book progressed, what could have been a humorous insight into these issues, turned into a bit of a mess.Thirdly, the construction of the plot was very sloppy. The plot didn't seem to focus on one specific thing. What was a book about the Royal Family and the illegitimate son of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles , randomly turned into a farce about the dogs in the area. The comedy with the dogs at the beginning was funny, as I said before,, but it escalated into farce. Also, plot line involving a police officer having a crush on one of the lower class women in 'Slapper Valley', one of the exclusion zones, never got an resolution at all.. Finally, the ending for me, was very poor. It ended quite abruptly and was quite frankly, bizarre and unsatisfying.I started out really enjoying this book, but in the end, it turned into a bit of a mess. This was occasionally funny, but overall, a very disappointing read. My Rating ** 1/2
  2. Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't enjoy this book.
  3. As far as I know this is the first book in a trilogy, but I'm not tempted to read any more of the books.
  4. Thanks! It's a shame I didn't enjoy this book more.
  5. 'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke I read this novel for a book club and, even though the premise is good, it missed the mark for me.The characters were very well crafted, I particularly liked Dustfinger, because he's a complex mixture of good and evil. The interaction between the characters was very good.The problem for me, was the plot. The idea of book characters coming to life in the real world, sounded really appealing. When I started reading this, I expected it conjure up the magic I experienced when I read stories as a child. What I found was, that the plot of this book revolved around the characters going to a location, being captured, escaping and being recaptured and taken back to where they were before. This meant that.even though this was over 500 pages, I felt this book completely lacked drive. I liked the message of reading books being magical, but I felt like this idea was integrated into the story in a forced way. By the end it felt like it was preaching a little bit in my opinion.I also didn't like some of the decisions the characters made. It took a long time for any kind of resolution to happen and even then, the plan they carried out, felt a bit feeble and slightly rushed.I wanted to love this, but unfortunately, it was just an ok read for me. My Rating **1/2
  6. Read-a-thon 2019

    I was about 80% into the book when I wrote my last message. I've now finished 'Inkheart' and I found it very disappointing. I wanted to really love it too. I hope you enjoy it if you read this book, it wasn't for me though.
  7. Read-a-thon 2019

    This read-a-thon, I managed to read 305 pages of 'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke. Considering I'm not really enjoying this book (i'm too far into the book to DNF it), that's not bad!
  8. Read-a-thon 2019

    Yes, that's fine with me. I'll definitely be joining in!
  9. Read-a-thon 2019

    Hi when's the next read-athon? Thanks!
  10. A lot of people love this, it's just not my cup of tea! I haven't watched the film version of 'Never Let Me Go', but it would be interesting to see what's it like on screen. There are some good things' about 'The Keeper of Lost Things', but I think it could have been better.
  11. True! I can't remember exactly whether I figured it out early (I read 'Gone Girl' years ago). However, I kno9w when I was reading it, my friend was too and we had very differing opinions of the ending o this book. I'm currently reading 'The Girl on the Train' and I'm enjoying it, but, as I've watched the film version, I think it's not having as much of an impact on me, as if I hadn't have watched the film.
  12. I actually really enjoyed 'Gone Girl'.I know some people hated the ending, but I liked it.
  13. It's sad that her books don't seem to improve! It was a fun read, it's a shame that the organization of the plot and characters wasn't better.
  14. 'An Unwanted Guest'- Shari Lapena This is the first book I had read by Shari Lapena and I was surprised to find out this was her third book, because it feels like a first novel.I enjoyed the element of trying to work out who the killer was. However, I did have a problem with several elements within this book.Firstly, the dialogue at the beginning, is awful. You could tell that Lapena was trying to introduce each character using dialogue, but what she succeeded in doing, was creating forced, unnatural conversation. This does improve throughout the book though.Secondly for me, there were too many characters. At times, I got confused about who was who and had to keep referring to the beginning, to figure that out. I don't think that the characters were distinctive enough.I also found some of the decisions of the characters to be implausible and, things which seemed obvious to do, took nearly 200 pages for the characters to figure out.The ending for me was a bit weak. It felt like Shari Lapena wasn't exactly sure who the killer was herself. So as the book went on, the plot started to unravel. However, I did enjoy the little twist at the end.Judging by all of the criticisms I have about this novel, you would think that I hated it. However, despite it's many flaws, I quite enjoyed it. I might re-read 'An Unwanted Guest', but I have no intention of reading any more of Shari Lapena's books in the future. My Rating: ***
  15. 'The Hole'- Guy Burt I'm basing this review on a re-read of this novel. I read this book originally about 7-8 years ago and thought I would re-read it now, to see if or how my opinions changed.The things that stick out for me with this book, are the description and writing. It's a very well crafted piece of literature, which has realistic and believable characters. This book is not exactly centred on a plot as such, but focuses more on the psychology of the teenagers in the Hole and for that, it does that very well.The pacing of the novel is really good. The drama and suspense within this novel slowly creeps up on you, as you read through this novel.On my second reading, I did guess the majority of the twist which happens at the end, so I don't think it had as much impact on me as it did the first time I read this. However, the ending was satisfactory regardless.If you like a dark read with twists and turns, then I would recommend this novel. My Rating ****
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