Review: How to Talk to Girls at Parties

How to Talk to Girls at PartiesHow to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The novel version of this was on my TBR so I decided to try out the graphic novel instead.

What a strange and perplexing story. I mean, I get it… It is teaching a young (15) guy how to talk to girls at parties. But the ending? I’m not sure how it ends in the novel but this sort of just stopped.

I was hoping to cross this off my TBR but nope, Imma have to leave it on because I have no clue why it ended like that and if that was how it was supposed to end.

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Review: Sons of Anarchy Vol. 4

Sons of Anarchy Vol. 4Sons of Anarchy Vol. 4 by Ed Brisson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was late to the Sons of Anarchy party. I binge watched all seasons of the TV show last year and I left it in tears because it had ended.

Having recently found a ‘thing’ for graphic novels, I got overexcited when I found this book available at my local library. Their GN collection is pretty dire tbh so this was a really good find.

Then, when I got home, my heart sank. Part of me knew it was my own fault but I didn’t read anything about it. Not the blurb or any details, I just got really really excited. However, it was volume 4 and I hadn’t read the first 3 so panic set in. Would I know what was going on? How would I manage to read the story if I had no idea what had happened before? Yadda yadda blah blah

Anyway, back to the book… So I really enjoyed it. It is a compilation of issues. Each issue is a stand alone story featuring a different member of the SOA. The tagline for the book should really be something along the lines of “You’ve seen them together, now see them alone” – however, they aren’t alone in the sense that they are the only member featured in that story but more because it focuses on one character. In this one, we have Jax, Juice, Happy and Bobby.

If you’re a fan, I’d definitely recommend it but if not then it probably won’t make much sense to you.

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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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July 2017 Reading Summary

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I read 6 books in July 2017. It was a somewhat slow month for me. However, on a brighter note, I did manage to reach and beat my Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year. I am currently deciding whether to increase it or leave it as it is.

I’ll talk a little about each of the books, ranked according to my favourites.

Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

This was a book of short stories that I stumbled upon by accident, whilst browsing my local libraries app. I’m glad I did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I even managed to convince someone else to read it so I must have done a good job at writing my review.

Memory Man by David Baldacci

This is the first crime thriller that I have read in a long time and I must say that I really enjoyed it. David B managed to grab my interest very early on and keep me enthralled right until the end. This is why this one makes my number 2 for this month.

Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughan

This series of graphic novels has been on TBR pile since forever. I was super excited when the first issue became available for free via Amazon Kindle. I really enjoyed this and have now added the second issue to my TBR pile (who knows, maybe that one will end up free).

Gotham Academy Second Semester Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher

This series has also been on my TBR pile for a while, further down than Paper Girls but still there. However, I was unsure whether I’d like it, so when this version was available through Netgalley I decided to go for it. As this is the second semester, I plan on going back to the beginning and reading them all.

Dark Screams: Volume Seven by Brian James Freeman

This is another short story collection, from Netgalley this time. Falling within the horror category there was a good mix of decent stories. I like short stories at the moment as they are quick to read, usually at the most taking only a couple of days to read each one. 

The Rage For Life by David Taransaud

This book was created as an aid for psychologists and councillors when approaching difficult subjects with children. The only reason that it is at the bottom of the list is that it is the one that I connected with the least. It was a complete blind download, again free from Amazon Kindle.

Stay tuned for more posts soon, I’m on a go slow at the moment at the kids are at home for the summer holidays




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.