I shall wear midnight by Terry Practchett: This still has everything I love about Pratchett and the witches – the wry humour; the touching, human moments (“What good is a sky without stars?”, indeed; the willingness to face dark issues head on; the women being fabulous in so many ways and passing the Bechdell-Wallace test with flying colours in word and in spirit. It also feels like it’s suffering from not quite enough editing, the opening pages in particular. Aside from that, this is Pratchett saying goodbye to Tiffany, and probably the witches, and wishing her well on her life. She’ll be Just Fine, and kick arse while she’s at it.

Watermark by Penelope Todd: This had a fantastic beginning: mysterious note! Girl plunging into the unknown! A cool, mysterious brother and sister; queer-friendly moments and a wooden cabin, with survivalist-type trappings. <3! And yet, when I’d finished it, it felt just a little too crowded with events and significant happenings without quite enough follow through or time for any of it to have its full impact felt. Solidly written, but I don’t feel inspired to pick up the sequel.

Dirt Cheap by Elisabeth Wynhausen: The Australian version of Nickled and dimed. Not quite as interesting as I’d hoped, although it conveys the drudgery and feeling of being ground down every day, not being able to get ahead, quite well.

Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson: Surprisingly authentic, touching and realistic story of an English girl, her little brother and her mum escaping their violent mother’s boyfriend after they win the lottery. Recommended.

The other hand by Chris Cleave: I’m torn about this one. On one hand, the voice of Little Bee is wonderful, and parts of this book terrified me. On the other, the ending was pretty o.O ‘..they did what now?’ It really didn’t warrant the ‘this is a very special book, and we don’t want to tell you anything about it so you can watch it unfold’ type marketing.

Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro: I grabbed this off the shelf at work based on the movie trailer. The trailer gives away everything that happens in the book, but frankly, so does the book in the first few pages. I read it, mildly curious but not gripped, and spent some time thinking about it afterwards. I was completely convinced by Ishiguro’s British voice – the narrator sounds like my grandmother so completely. I think I’m so used to narratives where the point of main character/s Rise Up and overthrow the bad things, and this... isn’t that narrative, that I felt like something was missing. Nothing’s missing though, it’s just a very quietly introspective look back at a character’s life. I don’t know if I recommend it or not.
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