Friday, 31 May 2013

Reviewing Holiday Reads Before I've Read Them.

I'm about to head off on me 'olidays soon, and I could not be more excited about it; apart from the distinct lack of warmth and sun this year, I'm going to one of my favourite places in the whole world. To top it all off, I'm going to be accompanied by the usual number of books - basically, too many. But this year I have the advantage of the Kindle - my old nemesis-turned-friend -  to carry all my books for me. In anticipation of this readathon, I thought I'd emulate something I attempted last year; a pre-read review, and I thought I'd have another go this time. However, I have got a lot more books this year,  so I'm throwing in an extra caveat - one-sentence pre-reviews. Let's see how well I get on with this before it turns into a stream-of-consciousness mess of no full stops...

1. A Load of Old Bones by Suzette A. Hill
Why I'm taking it: There's a cat and dog that go around a village solving crimes, and the story is told from their point of view; need I say more?!
Likelihood of enjoyment: 9/10; there appears to be an intriguing mix of comedy, silliness and thriller in here.

2. After Midnight by Richard Laymon
Why I'm taking it: To be honest, I downloaded it accidentally; what I thought was a crime thriller, which is a genre I'm loving at the moment, turns out to be a stalker/slasher horror story (typical girl-alone-in-a-house-but-she's-not-alone fare), but I've bought it so I might as well read it.
Likelihood of enjoyment: I am the biggest scaredy-cat in the world, so let's give it a 3/10 for expected enjoyment.

3. The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley
Why I'm taking it: This isn't my usual type of book, seeming a bit too angsty and weepy for me, but the low price and the plot (a girl's brother's best friend secretly protects her every night from the monster that comes into her room) was enough to pull me in.
Likelihood of enjoyment: It's completely unknown territory for me, so I'll lowball it at 4/10 and hope I'm proven wrong.

4. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Why I'm taking it: It's about an impending apocalypse, but if Gaiman and Pratchett's surreal comedy stylings are anything to go by, it won't be that simple.
Likelihood of enjoyment: 6/10, because whilst I love the sound of the story, I didn't love Gaiman's American Gods, and Pratchett has always confused me a bit; I'm going on strength of story alone here.

5. Honeymoon for One by Beth Orsoff
Why I'm taking it: This is my guilty-pleasure read; it's not big, or clever, it's just an easy-to-read, easy-to-put-down romantic comedy - simple holiday tosh.
Likelihood of enjoyment: no high expectations at all for this one, so let's go with 6/10.

6. Inferno by Dan Brown
Why I'm taking it: Dan Brown is the king of crap holiday literature, plus I'm hoping this will finally inspire me to actually finish Dante's Divine Comedy, the poem around which Dan Brown's - sorry, Robert Langdon's - latest escapade is centred.
Likelihood of enjoyment: Again, no high expectations, but I've not heard great things, so 5/10.

7. Last Chance by Sarah Dessen
Why I'm taking it: I actually got this as a free book with a magazine on another holiday years ago, and although I've lost the hard copy, I loved the story so much as a teenager that, for pure nostalgia, I downloaded it.
Likelihood of enjoyment: Well, I liked it about 10 years ago, so for the nostalgia factor, 8/10.

8. The Man Who Forgot His Wife by John O'Farrell
Why I'm taking it: The whimsical title actually hides the intriguing, heartbreaking truth of this novel; a man with amnesia is divorcing his wife, having forgotten he was ever married to her.
Likelihood of enjoyment: 7/10, seeing as I'm not usually keen on novels like this, but I just couldn't resist for some reason.

9. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
Why I'm taking it: It's a murder-mystery set in a Pride and Prejudice theme park, essentially; what's not to love?!
Likelihood of enjoyment: 8/10, because I really enjoyed the original Austenland that this is the sequel to, and allegedly this is even better.

10. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Why I'm taking it: It was recommended to me as a bit of a crime-thriller meets Harry Potter type book, and seeing as I'm enjoying my crime thrillers, and I'm a massive Harry Potter fan, sounds right up my street.
Likelihood of enjoyment: I'm going to say 8/10, purely based on my faith in the person who recommended it to me; I like to think they know me quite well.

11. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Why I'm taking it: Because I really enjoyed her other two offerings, Gone Girl and Dark Places; I just really like the way she paces her stories and packs them full of twists.
Likelihood of enjoyment: 7/10, because whilst I like the other ones she wrote, there's a reason I've left this one until last - it tickled my fancy the least.

12. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Why I'm taking it: Everyone on the Twittersphere seems to be talking about this time-travelling murder thriller, and I've heard it's a bit like Gone Girl which, as we've already covered, I really enjoyed.
Likelihood of enjoyment: As stated previously, I'm really going in for my thriller-type novels at the moment, so 9/10.

13. The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend
Why I'm taking it: An efficient mother and wife takes to her bed after years of running after her family; it's an intriguing notion and, as a fan of the Adrian Mole diaries, I'm inclined to think this will be pretty darn amusing.
Likelihood of enjoyment: Well, I'll say 6/10, because whilst I like Adrian Mole, I've not read any of her other stuff, so I don't really know much about her style.

14. Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson
Why I'm taking it: This story of a struggling writer who is tormented by his alluring wife and equally alluring mother-in-law is allegedly hilarious, and who doesn't love a funny on holiday?
Likelihood of enjoyment: 8/10, because having sneakily read the first few pages it does seem very promising in the hilarity stakes.

Now there's only one thing left for me to do - read them! Any bets on how many I'll actually get through?!

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