The Caffeinated Reader

I'm a 25 year old bookworm with too much time on my hands. I have various interests, including crocheting, technology, music, tea, coffee and, naturally, reading. There is nothing better than curling up in my ridiculously over-sized bed with a cup of tea or coffee (depending on time of day!) and my Kindle. Yup, I'm an e-reader person. I adore paper books too, but I have a serious lack of space and live miles from a bookshop, so the Kindle is a necessity. I'll read almost anything, with the exception of anything with the words "paranormal", "zombies" or "romance" in the title. Twilight - keep well away!

SPOILER ALERT!

A Return and Room

Room - Emma Donoghue

I've not posted here in a while, but I'm coming back for another go. My reading intensity has ramped up again recently, as the need to escape into made up worlds with made up people has increased. Having said that, I am just over half way through Room, which is not set in a made up world and the characters, whilst fictional, are not fantastical.
I've been meaning to pick this one up for a while, but the library ebook copy I had was formatted horrendously. As I wanted a "quickish" read that would fill a gap whilst I select my next long book from my TBR pile, I thought I'd do some calibre tweaking for my Kindle and give this a go. I started it at about 11pm tonight (or last night, whichever) and as of about 1.15am I was 57% through (cheers, Kindle stats!). I'm enjoying it, if you can enjoy such a depressing topic. Having a huge interest in child and developmental psychology, I love the fact that this is written from the child's POV, and the way he processes his environment and situation is almost too believable. The confusion and fear of the Outside is all too close to my own experiences of being outside of the care homes and units I have spent so much time in (long term mental health issues), and that's despite the 16 years I had living a "normal" life to prepare me.
I'm not sure where the next 40% of the book will go, with what I presume being the main event having just occurred (trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible!), although I am really hoping that we get to see how Jack copes with life from this point on, and preferably have a happy ending. I seem to remember some criticism of the writing from reviews I read a long time ago, but I have found no issues with it, it matches up perfectly with how I imagine Jack sees and feels everything. The story felt a little slow to begin with, but I realise it was important to build up the background to Jack's life so far, to understand how he has lived, so that we can understand how he is affected by the later changes. The only small criticism I'd make is that he seems remarkably advanced for a child who is just 5 years old and has had only the teaching his mother has been able to give in Room. Maybe this is completely feasible, but I feel that placing Jack's age at 7 or 8 would have made it a little more plausible. I know he is delayed in some areas, but he does show a certain level of maturity that I find hard to believe would be present in a child that young.
I will reserve final rating until I have finished the book completely, but at the moment I'd be tempted to give it a solid four stars, if not slightly higher, as it is both gripping and horrifying, fascinating and depressing. It's quite a marvel that these elements are balanced so perfectly, that the situation is not made overly light but that the reader is not so disgusted and horrified that they do not want to read just one more chapter.

Wool (Books 1-5)

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1, Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

So I started this book last Friday, and finished it on Saturday night. It was, in a word, exhilarating. I was a bit wary at first; although I'd seen many positive reviews, I did not really have a clue what the plotline was. As it turns out, I am glad that I didn't, as it added greatly to the suspense.

The book is told mainly from three points of view, starting with the Sheriff of the Silo, followed by the Mayor, and then another character, whom I will not detail as it would give away part of the storyline. I really liked all three of the main characters, which is very unusual for me. There were moments where my heart genuinely hurt, and moments where I was as terrified as the characters in the story must have been.

The writing was very good; not too flowery or overly-descriptive, but with enough detail to make you really understand the situation and empathise with the characters. The pace was excellent - there were very few occasions when the story dragged, and there was plenty of excitement.

If I was going to make any criticism at all, it would be that I would have liked to have seen more of some of the supporting cart, as some of them were very intriguing. Whether or not some of these stories are addresses in the sequels, I do not know. I cannot wait to feet my hands on the next installments, that's for sure!

Books 1-5 were included in the copy I read, with 6-8 being in the next volume. I believe the author is releasing the final volume in the trilogy at some point this year.

 

Rating: 5/5

Insurgent (Divergent Series #2)

Insurgent (Divergent Series #2) - Okay, so I did really enjoy Insurgent, but had one problem with it. I REALLY don't like Tris (the protagonist). I know she is having a hard time, but something about her really grates on me.I find the setting and culture of the series fascinating, and the ending... Well, it made me incredibly impatient for the next entry in the series!

Currently reading

Room
Emma Donoghue