Review: The Adrian Mole Collection: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole/True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole/Adrian Mole: The Wilderness

The Adrian Mole Collection: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole/True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole/Adrian Mole: The WildernessThe Adrian Mole Collection: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole/True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole/Adrian Mole: The Wilderness by Sue Townsend

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of the second, third and fourth books in the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend. The first book: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 gained a cult following which I believe also extended across the series.
I first read Adrian Mole books probably somewhere around the 1990’s when I was a teenager. At one point I actually owned the first book and borrowed the others from the library (my childhood library is no longer in service **sad face**). When I noticed my library had this available via their reading app and I was stuck in the middle of a pile of half read books I immediately thought back to how much I loved those books as a younger person so decided to borrow it and started it straight away.
Although I read through it fairly quickly, I just didn’t get the same experience from it as I remembered. In fact, this would be one of those books I would be tempted to say did not hold up to the passing of time. Or at least to me, it didn’t. Reading it during the 1990’s the years that are covered in the book are not all that different, children still hung around on the streets and although almost everyone had a TV, we were still only working with minimal terrestrial channels (I know we only had 5 during the 90’s, we didn’t have cable), divorce or separation of parents wasn’t really a common thing then or at least it wasn’t discussed as freely or looked upon very favourably. Reading this book in 2017 made me think that it sounded really old fashioned and I couldn’t imagine any teenagers (or at least none of the ones I know) from actually being interested in this book.
As the book obviously contained books 2, 3 and 4 from the AM series, I expected it to read that way, however, due to some unknown reason the collection starts with number four and then works backwards. Had I had realised this before starting I would have probably skipped to the back to read the second back and worked my way back through it.
As for Adrian, as an adult reading through his dilemma’s all I can think is how much of a whiny teenager he was. And how he thought himself to be of a much higher standing than he actually was.
I really wish I had Goodreads when I had first read this books as I probably would have been able to write a glowing review for it but now I feel cynical and mean (and quite old actually). I also wish, from another point of view, it could be used as a learning aid somewhere to teach people about life during that era but I really do just think that it is a whiny kid moaning with nothing of any worthy substance.
I do, however, highly commend the author as she managed to encompass a moany teenage boy and make the character believable. I feel like I could easily bump into a character such as Adrian (and probably his mother/father/Bert etc) any time I leave my house.
I am giving this 4/5 stars purely because it once held something amazing and I don’t feel like I am being fair to give it a lower score just because I have outgrown the topics discussed within.

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Library and Me

This is my second random post of the week, I need to keep up with the writing so please bear with me. The first is my Netgalley post.

This time I shall write about my experience with the local library and their system.

Back in 2015, I decided it was about time I rejoined the library. I used to use it a lot as a teenager (no money plus free books equalled heaven) but stopped as I got older. I also thought it would be good to sign the kids up.

I have used my library a couple of times in the past two years but not all that often. The books I want are either not there or reserved by about fifty people so the waiting list is really long.

I like reading graphic novels, and one I really wanted was available to order in from another nearby library. I requested it through their internet system and received an email a few weeks later when it had arrived for collection. Upon picking it up, I was charged 60p for the reservation. Now I don’t begrudge paying 60p to the library, after all they look after books, but what I do take issue with is that I wasn’t made aware of this at any point during the reservation process. I went back to check afterwards and it was in the FAQs but I never check those unless I’m having problems – so that’ll teach me.

The best bit about my library (and lots of other libraries) is that they now have moved towards the digital age and offer an ebook service through BorrowBox. It’s available as an app and you can use it for audiobooks and ebooks. The only two downsides I have found to BorrowBox is that you only get two weeks on your loan instead of the standard three weeks, and the library selection for my branch is pretty lacking.

BorrowBox is sectioned by libraries and you can only borrow books from the catalogue of your local branch, you don’t get access to the whole of the uk. If this was possible, I would never need to buy another book again.

The graphic novel section both in my library and the app are desperately lacking anything in the way of graphic novels. There’s a lot of one issue Japanese comics but none of the popular GNs that people want to read. As for the app section, there is a service that a number of other uk libraries use called Comics Plus, and they offer comics and graphic novels to library customers. I asked my library about offering the service and got a reply that said they’d look at it if enough people were interested but that the library service only has limited funding. They didn’t say that they would launch any information or make enquiries as to whether people would be interested. So all in all, a waste of time on my part.

Review: Wicked Wonders

Wicked Wonders
Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this one up from my library ebook app and usually I don’t manage to read them before they have to be returned. However, from the minute I picked this one up I struggled to put it down.

Firstly, books full of short stories are brilliant (as long as they are within the genres that I like) and this one is no different. The stories cover a broad range of topics, some fiction and others based on true events from the author’s life.
There are stories ranging from (view spoiler). The broad range of stories all fall loosely within a few genres in my opinion. A couple work well as thrillers, some as dramas and others as science fiction.
Some, as you would expect, were better than others but as a whole, the collection of stories was really good.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II by John Tiffany

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve never read a play before, yet in one month I’ve read both a play AND a screenplay… both from the Potter/Rowling Franchise too.
A lot of people said that this lacked the original magic from the HP series, I’m inclined to disagree. Whilst nothing will EVER compare or take us back to those 7 years we ALL spent at Hogwarts I felt like this was a step in the right direction. I can look back at the original books and know that everything really did work itself out in the end. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco DID make it through adult life. They moved on and managed to live lives like anyone else.
Introducing Harry and the Gang as 40 year olds revisiting old troubles, getting some idea how the grown ups in their lives felt finishes off a lovely complete storyline.
I wish more books did this, revisited the characters later on in life.
An amazing book, and the format was actually pretty easy to follow.

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Review: The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve become a bit obsessed with Neil Gaiman’s work recently. In a book club I run (alongside others) – (www.facebook.com/groups/fcbookclub2015) – we were given the theme to read a book chosen by a teenager. Truth be told, this book was chosen by a teenager for someone else, but due to my Gaiman obsession when I noticed it was at the library I had to borrow it.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me. Onto the book. I loved Nobody. I loved the character. I loved how he ended up in the graveyard. What I did feel is that is was a bit disjointed in places.
Liked it enough to give it a three star rating though so that’s got to be something.

I did LOVE the pictures before each chapter AND finding out that he (Gaiman) started the book at chapter four. It’s always cool to find out how the author came upon the story.

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