BOOKS: Mini Book Reviews #4

I'm back with another 4 mini book reviews, if you want to look at the previous books I've reviewed take a look here. To look at all my book reviews in full head over to my other blog here. 
The four books I'll be reviewing today are: Wonder, Gone Girl, Toby's Room and The Grimm Legacy.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
I actually read this book as part of my final project at uni so it wasn't one I chose to read for myself as it is a children's book. Don't dismiss this book on that point though because it's actually a beautifully written book that leans more towards Young Adult fiction. However I should point out that an adult version of this novel is coming out in August so it's going to be interesting to see what that one is like. Considering the topic is that of a child with a facial disfigurement and it follows his journey as he attends school for the first time aged 10 I expected it to be a little self righteous – a typical story of how someone overcomes adversity early on to go on an lead a perfect life – in all a little unoriginal. I couldn’t have been more surprised, what you get with Wonder is a simple, down to earth and real account of life when you look different to everyone else. 
Full review here.

 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I should have learnt by now not to buy hyped up books because they nearly always let me down and this one was no exception. I hated pretty much every character, so I didn’t really care what happened to them – they had no depth and no personality. You’re meant to feel sorry for Amy in her diary but I didn’t; I found her annoying and whiny, and the language used was pretty repetitive and quite unfitting for the novel. It was something I’d expect to see in an over-the-top American teen magazine. Perhaps the worst part of this novel was the ending, which was completely unbelievable and so far-fetched that I almost laughed at it. The novel is not particularly well written throughout; it only just scrapes being decent.
Full review here.

 Toby's Room by Pat Barker
Toby’s Room initially started off very well; it jumped right into the action and made me want to carry on reading. Sadly shortly after this it went a little bit down hill. I don’t want to give too much away, but I felt that an issue that first arose in the book was never properly explored: I assumed this would be the basis of the whole story, but it sort of took a back seat after a few pages and was quickly forgotten about, like it wasn’t important. Instead, the plot includes many different stories that didn’t really sustain my interest – it felt like the writer quickly got bored of her own storylines and moved onto something new. Toby’s Room could’ve and should’ve been a brilliant book; there was definitely potential there to write something much better than the average novel this turned out to be. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve read, but it certainly wasn’t the best, and it was the first time I felt as though the writer wasn’t really engaged with the book let alone the reader.
Full review here.

 The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
I was a little surprised by this book as it isn't really marketed as a young adult novel but I would say that it definitely is. It's an enjoyable read but it's on the quick and easy scale of things. The fantasy and fairytale element isn’t so simplistic or childish that it can’t be enjoyed by adults, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea given that it comes across very strongly as being aimed at a younger audience. I can’t really find a fault with the book as it was engaging and maintained my interest throughout, but I wasn’t expecting it to be for young adults at first. If you’re after a quick but interesting story, than it’s still definitely worth giving The Grimm Legacy a read.
Full review here.

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