Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This edition published in April 2011 by Bloomsbury. First published in 1999.
At the request of Lord Merton, Corinna has been asked to abandon her position as Folk-Keeper for Rhysbridge Home to take it up again in the bigger and grander Cliffsend Manor in the Northern Isles, where the Folk are said to be exceptionally wild. She is to spend her days in the dark cellar, placating the folk and taking their furies upon herself. But gradually Corinna will learn that the folk are not the only ones with powers, and she will finally learn the truth about herself in the caverns and passages of Cliffsend. She must also deal with the jealousies and resentments of Sir Edward, and the easy charm of the red-haired Finian.
Read this one because of all the buzz Billingsley’s latest novel, Chime, was getting. Also because there were Folk and the chance of a sea creature or two, and gothic-style settings and a narrative voice with just the right amount of cynicism and acerbity. Corinna and the closest thing she has to a friend, Finian, are the real winners in The Folk Keeper. Great characters with a real chemistry and relationship pitched almost perfectly (except the end was a little rushed, I thought). I loved the presence of the Folk and the idea of a ‘Folk-Keeper’ although I agree with a few other reviews I read that this storyline and Corinna’s own personal story did not quite gel.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Well my favourite news of the day: Friday Night Lights, one of my absolute favourite television shows (after, of course, the delicious Doctor Who), has been nominated for four Emmys this year. Best Drama, Best Writing for a Drama and Best Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama for Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.
Oh my goodness, this show totally took over my heart when I first started watching it. My first reaction to it was probably similar to a lot of peeople: Yuck, I don’t want to watch a show about American football. And there is a lot of football in it, but it really only serves as a background to all the wonderful characters and drama and stuff that this show presents in such an honest, intimate, brilliant way. And I found I got so invested in what was going on that the ‘football bits’ were equally as exciting and engaging as the rest of the show. The small town of Dillon, Texas, has a near religious devotion to football but what this show does so well is have all the glory and excitement of the game collide with reality and the realisation that off the field, the glory doesn’t last. Away from the lights and the cheers and the adrenalin, life is just that little bit harder.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This edition published in 2010 by Little, Brown, Hachette.
Hmmmmm. By all means Hate List has the makings of an ‘important book’. It should be intriguing. It should be challenging, hit you in the guts, leave you thinking about it, running the emotional gauntlet afterwards. I feel like this book should have the shock or the wow factor. To be honest, that’s why I read it. All these reviews were telling me it would be all these things. The concept was telling me it would be all those things – that it was one not to be missed. Hate List concerns the aftermath of a teenage girl’s active role in a school shooting; a few chapters even concern the act as it was happening. Pretty big, controversial stuff. And yet this is what I came away with: boring. Emotionally un-involving. I wanted it to end SO BADLY, just because I’d had enough. And I don’t think it was bad by any means – I didn’t hate it – and it is certainly a brave book. But it just doesn’t feel terribly important.
Her Mum was annoying, her Dad was an ass, and her brother had potential to be an interesting character but towards the end he kind of started to embody a cliché. Her classmates didn’t really stand out to me; they kind of just said and did what they needed to in regards to moving the story along. I did like her psychiatrist and some of the teachers.
he scope of the book well, and I know the subject matter is depressing and tragic, but it just needed something to spice it up.
I really, really wanted Hate List to work, but for me, it was just too dull. Not even by-the-numbers – just more that I couldn’t feel anything towards it except a vague irritancy that I still was not at the end.