Over on mutteringmummy’s blog, there is a monthly round up of books that people have been reading. It’s a great way to share what you have read and get ideas for books you might like to try. Here’s my selection for March:
The Guardian – Nicholas Sparks
I’ve read a lot of Nicholas Sparks books, starting with Safe Haven, which was chosen on the basis that it had been adapted in to a film (I know that you are supposed to read the blurb and all that, but I’m a sucker for a book that also has a film version). But anyway, I loved his style and after that read (and watched) quite a few more, until I decided I needed a break. You can read a review of some of Sparks’ other books in a previous post I wrote, dedicated entirely to him!
The Guardian is a romance novel with a twist (as most of Nicholas Sparks books are). The twist in this book, which I haven’t come across in any of his other books, is a thriller element. The story revolves around Julie, a young widow, her best friend, Mike (who was her husbands best friend) and Richard, a man whom Julie dates for a while. Julie and Mike are in love with each other, but because of the connection to her husband, neither can admit it. Richard is in love with Julie, but she doesn’t feel the same way about him. So basically it’s a love triangle, a doomed one at that.
This is one of those stories, where you know early on what is going to happen, but you don’t know how the author is going to play it out. Let’s just say it kept me on my toes and there were a few surprises along the way.
Wonder – R.J.Pallacio
I have wanted to read this book for a while, after so many people had recommended it, mainly other mums, who had borrowed it from their children. So after my daughter picked it out and loved it, I decided to borrow it too. August is a ten year old boy who was born with a severely deformed face, due to a rare mix of genetic disorders.
Despite several operations, his doctors had never been able to correct his features and as a consequence he had been in and out of hospital all of his life and unable to attend a normal school. But his parents decided that going to middle school might be a good experience for him and this story tracks his first year and the tentative steps he makes to fit in to ordinary society.
There are some heartbreaking moments and equally some heart warming ones too. What is interesting about this book is that it begins with August telling the story, but along the way you get to experience the view point of his sister, Olivia, her boyfriend and some of the children who befriend August at his new school.
For all the children who feature in the book and those who read it, this story is a lesson in overcoming what you see on the outside, what society has led you to believe is different and looking deeper, to appreciate that everyone is a person in their own right, no matter what they may look like. The ending of this book brought a tear to my eye. I would definitely recommend it, to adults and children alike.
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan
If you read this post last month, you will know that I read the first book in this series with my daughter. Percy Jackson is a son of Poseidon and a human woman, which makes him a ‘half blood’. But being a son of one of the ‘big three’ Greek Gods, Percy is prophesied to either save Olympus and the world, or destroy it.
In this second book of the series, Percy returns to camp half blood, the training camp and safety zone for all half blood kids, only to find that it is being destroyed. The sacred tree which guards the camp has been poisoned and the only thing that can save it is the Golden Fleece. So Percy and his friends set off on a quest to find it, encountering the usual amount of challenges in the form of monsters and wayward ex campers along the way.
Unusually, we saw the film adaptation of this book before we read it, but there were so many different elements to the book that weren’t in the film, that it didn’t matter. If you enjoy fantasy books, then this series is for you. Equally, we are learning quite a bit about Greek mythology as we work our way through.
My daughter has already started reading the third book, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. Either that or I will have to read it on my own. The other day I found her still in bed with her head stuck in the book when she was supposed to be up and ready for school. She had gotten so caught up in it that she’d lost all track of time. It must be good then!