Book-post!

Some actually-not-so-recently-reads and thoughts on them:

Elizabeth Scott – Love You Hate You Miss You
Author’s website / Find it at Amazon
Amy leaves rehab 75 days after the accident that killed her best friend, Julia. Her grief, issues with alcohol, boys, her parents (who are so wrapped up in each other that she’s not a priority) are handled well; part of it’s told in letters to the charismatic and charming Julia, who is perhaps not the greatest person in the world. There’s romance, too, as there tends to be, but I really-really-really like how it’s handled here, and that Amy has issues with intimacy.

Jasper Fforde – The Eyre Affair
Author’s website / Find it at Amazon
This was a book I’d been meaning to read for years and years and years, and eventually got around to it. The premise is that books are terribly important, that there’s an evil corporation, that the Crimean War is still going on, and that there’s a villain trying to interfere with literary classics like Martin Chuzzlewit and Jane Eyre. I liked the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter, books-within-books are always fun, but I’m not sure if I want to read any of the follow-ups to this – it was a fun read but the world or the tone, maybe, is not particularly my thing.

Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
Author’s website / Find it at Amazon
Clay gets a package in the mail: seven tapes, thirteen recorded sides, thirteen reasons why his classmate and crush, Hannah, killed herself two weeks previously. He listens to the tapes, follows a path around his town, and listens to these reasons, all the while waiting for his role in the matter, how he could be on the list of people who have to listen to these tapes. It’s worth reading – the incidents and seemingly minor reasons at the start all add up to something more – but I felt that the personal responsibility of those still living was emphasised over Hannah’s own personal responsibility, that while they were being chastised for having affected her life, there was far less of a sense of her own power over herself, or the sense that she might have influenced others. And yes, bullying and ignoring and crap do take away people’s power, but still… I’m not even sure if this point is about the book as much as it is about reviews I’ve read, where people talk about how it makes them realise how much they influence one another, how you can have an effect on someone else’s life when you’re not even aware of it… but it seems to be entirely from the people-who-had-a-bad-effect-on-Hannah side rather than the Hannah’s-effect-on-others side. Both Clay and Hannah are interesting and flawed characters: Clay a little too nice, Hannah a little too angsty. It keeps you reading, though, and I guess all-in-all I probably would recommend it.

About clairehennessy

Writer (mostly YA fiction), creative writing teacher, tea drinker, book junkie. View all posts by clairehennessy

6 responses to “Book-post!

  • Laura

    Ooh the first one sounds interesting! I also agree with your take on Thirteen Reason’s Why. A good read though.

  • Margaret

    I haven’t even read Thirteen Reasons why and I agree with you about it. I was looking at the book in a shop and read the blurb on the back and was thinking “but, but, but, isn’t it kind of cruel to leave a note telling people ‘ye’re all to blame for my death’?” I was looking for some indication that it might end with the main character realising the person who died was probably suffering from depression or something when they wrote the note and killed themselves and that therefore, they might not have been thinking entirely clearly at the time, but that wasn’t the impression I got.

    And Love You Hate You Miss You sounds really good. *wonders if it’s too late to add it to my Christmas list*

    • clairehennessy

      I think that’s more hinted at than anything else; not saying that it’s not at all there, but I think the emphasis is more on everyone else. And the not-noticing that someone’s depressed. All for people being more empathetic, but sheesh. 🙂

      It is pretty. *nods*

  • Ellen B

    I’m suddenly very keen to read Elizabeth Scott and Jay Asher, they both sound very interesting.

    I picked up The Eyre Affair myself recently, and my reaction was similar. It was fun, but it didn’t sit quite right with my taste. I got the next two books in the series out of the library and enjoyed them, but they feel a little directionless compared to the first.

    Also, I don’t know if you agree, but I feel that Fforde tried to do a little too much with the first book – time travel, entering books, Crimean War, Goliath Corporation, eveil supervillain Acheron Hades. . . It just felt like rather a lot to establish in one novel.

    That said, there is a Wuthering Heights family therapy scene in ‘The Well of Lost Plots’ (Book 3) that you must read, even if you don’t want to read the book. I’ll email you the page number 🙂

    • clairehennessy

      The viewpoint in Jay Asher’s book is pretty interesting to look at, too, the two voices.

      Wuthering Heights family therapy! Oh, man. Now I’m tempted. Yeah, I think you’re right – there is an awful lot in that first novel, which I suppose is partly to do with wanting to establish it as the first in a series rather than a standalone novel. And honestly, I’d have been perfectly happy if it was just a straightforward story of having to go inside Jane Eyre and play about with the plot. Less of this adventure malarkey! 😉

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