dimanche 24 juillet 2016

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.

Hi everyone!

I'm AnGee, I hope you're all doing fine today!

Today, I want to talk about a book that I read a few weeks ago and that is quite popular: The Miniaturist, written by Jessie Burton.

The Miniaturist is Burton's first novel, and it was acclaimed not only by the critics but also by many readers that I know. The book also received several awards, which intrigued me even more. As I was really interested by this novel, I decided to give it a try.

The Miniaturist is set in 17th century Amsterdam. Nella Oortman, who is 18, travelled the country to live with her husband, Johannes Brandt, and his sister Marin. Nella is quickly despaired by the atmosphere in the house: her husband does not really care about her and is often away, and Marin treats her like a little girl. But one day, Johannes gives her a very unique gift: a dollhouse that was made exactly like their real house. Nella decides to order things from a miniaturist to fill her dollhouse, but what she receives is not what she expected...

I really enjoyed reading The Miniaturist, firstly because of Jessie Burton's work. She managed to create a unique atmosphere, sometimes gloomy, sometimes elegant, that totally fits what Nella is experiencing. I especially like the way the dollhouse is depicted: I could almost see it in my head!

The story is fascinating and I was not prepared for what happens. Several people called the book "a page-turner" and I agree: I could not put it down and I read it extremely fast! However, I was a bit disappointed by the end. 

The characters are also really interesting: they all have flaws, and it makes them interesting. Nella's development and her relationship with Marin were two of the things that I liked the most in this novel. I also want to mention that the focus is not really on the miniaturist, but more on what happens within the house.

In short, The Miniaturist is a really unique book. Despite a few flaws (the ending, for example, or the lack of emphasis on the miniaturist), I enjoyed reading it and I'm interested by Jessie Burton's new novel, The Muse.


dimanche 22 mai 2016

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

Hi everyone!

I hope you're all doing ok!

Today I'm here to talk about a book I read recently and that I really enjoyed: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

I don't often read children's books, mostly because I don't know much about this genre. Even when I was a child, I used to read books that were considered as books "for adults". However, many of my fellow book-loving friends advised me to read Ella Enchanted. And as I wanted to watch the movie that was released in 2004 (starring Anne Hathaway), I've decided to give it a try.

Ella Enchanted is inspired by classic fairy tales such as Cinderella. It tells the story of Ella, a young girl who was cursed by a fairy called Lucinda: when someone gives her an order, she has to obey, even if she does not want to. We follow Ella through her adventures as she tries to find Lucinda to make her take away the curse. 

I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. First of all, I love Gail Carson Levine's writing: it is witty, funny and very enjoyable. I think I would have appreciated even more as a child! You can see the influence of other fairy tales and how Levine used them to create this story. I want to discover the rest of Levine's work. 

The story is also very entertaining: a lot happens, and from the beginning to the end, I was never bored. The story is a bit predictable here and there, but that's ok.

Another thing that I really liked is Ella. She's a very funny and clever girl, and she's different from the usual heroines of fairy tales. The other characters are also very interesting, especially the fairies. 

Now that I've read the book, I want to read other works by Gail Carson Levine. It made me want to read more children's books, and also to watch the movie. Maybe I'll do a review of it!

If you have any children's books suggestion, feel free to leave it in the comments! :)


samedi 30 avril 2016

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin.

Brooklyn tells the story of a young Irish girl, who wants to move to New-York. Then, she tries to adapt to the city, to meet new people, to manage her feelings and to deal with many twists and turns. The American ground is a dream for many young people, as a new life was possible at that time. Eilis ends up brutally being propelled on this unknown continent. The historical reconstruction is interesting. Colm Toibin plunges us in this after war years where the envy of a new life and happiness is present. However, I wish there was a little spark to make this novel unforgattable. Besides, I found it very hard to point what's missing. Maybe more explanation, depth and details.
I very much liked the heroine, Eilis. She is hard-headed, she faces reality and she constantly questions herself. She is confronted to an unknown world in which she has to become integrated : a job, new people, a new home and a new way of life. It also tell her transition from being a teenager towards her adult woman life. She has to make choices and to feel gnaw at. The minors characters are very well described. The author has a beautiful writing that embarks us with facility. We discover the work of seller in a departement store, the social diversity in Brooklyn, and a youth with a renewed hope.
It's an interesting novel about a young girl's life between Ireland and America, between her family and her new life, between her culture and her adaptation of the New-Yorker way of life. Ellis succeeded to touch me in spite of a little something more missing.

lundi 21 mars 2016

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Hello everyone!

Welcome to Read me like one of your French books! I’m AnGee and I’m thrilled (and a bit nervous too) to present you my first review! I’ve been working for several years now on a blog dedicated to literature, but it is the first time that I write a review in English, so I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Today I want to talk about a very popular book, a book that you probably already know a bit or that you’ve probably already read: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

I first heard of this book when I started studying English: the teachers in my American literature classes often referred to it, but I never had the opportunity to study it. Then, several people recommended this novel to me, and each time I read a review about it, it was always highly praised. But despite all these praises and recommendations, this book remained for a long time in the category of “books I really want to read one day because everybody tells me it’s amazing”. Finally, a few weeks ago, my mom bought the book for herself, read it and deeply loved it. She gave it to me, and that’s how I met your mother I discovered the amazing world of Harper Lee.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an incredible novel. So incredible that I want to find a way to time travel in order to find my 18-years-old self and slap her in the face for not buying this book.

The novel takes place in a small place in Alabama, during the Great Depression. The story is told by Scout, a boyish little girl who lives with her older brother Jem and her father Atticus. It evolves around several elements: the mystery of the Radley family, their neighbours; what it’s like to live in a small city in Alabama… But the main plot is the following: Atticus is a lawyer whose client is a Black man who is accused of beating and raping a White woman.

Reading To Kill a Mockingbird was like taking a hot bath. At first, I dipped my toes, got burnt, and hesitated a bit. But then, I got deeper and deeper into the water, until I could no longer get out. I found the beginning of the novel a bit long, and I did not get where Harper Lee wanted to go. And then, I reached the point where it was difficult for me to put the book down and do something else.

The story is captivating and fascinating, from the beginning to the end. A lot of things happen, enabling the writer to depict the lifestyle of her characters. It is also very well-written: the book is extremely enjoyable, it’s easy to read and rich at the same time, and I really liked Scout as a narrator. She’s very clever and her point of view gives a unique touch to the story.

Through the book, Harper Lee pinpoints several social problems that are extremely interesting: one of them is how poverty is handled by people and especially by children. Womanhood is also tackled through the character of Scout, how does not like and does not want to behave like a “proper” woman. But the most important theme is without a doubt the relationship between the Black and White communities. The novel shows that the Civil War has not solved the problems of racism and that the traces left by slavery and slave trade are still very vivid in the South.

To Kill a Mockingbird is undeniably a book that I will remember for a long time. I really enjoyed reading it and I strongly recommend it. I know that Harper Lee – who died a few weeks ago – recently published another novel, Go set a Watchman. Maybe I’ll give it a try too!

That’s it for today. Whether you’ve read the book or not, don’t hesitate to leave me your comments down below. Don’t forget to read a lot and take care :)