Book Me! Five Mini Reviews

Coming up: two disappointing books, one fairly decent one and two of the best books I've ever read. Bit of variety for you.

Do You Remember the First Time? - Jenny Colgan
30-something woman goes back to her teens after wishing that she could amend past mistakes. I read it because I wanted something light, but it was a bit too light. Predictable and not as engaging as other Colgan books that I've enjoyed.

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
Epic tale set in Victorian Britain, about two young women whose lives become unexpectedly intertwined. The antithesis of the Colgan book; surprising and captivating. Captures Victorian London brilliantly- I kept forgetting that I wasn't reading a novel that had actually been written in the 1800s. Can't really fault it; this one definitely falls into the 'must read' category.

Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn
A journalist reluctantly returns to her home town to investigate a murder. I think that maybe reading Gone Girl set my expectations of Flynn a bit too high. It was still very readable, tense and sometimes disturbing, but just not quite to the same extent. I'd probably have really liked this if it was the first Flynn novel I'd read but, as it wasn't, I just quite liked it.

Fleshmarket Close - Ian Rankin
Inspector Rebus investigates the murder of an asylum seeker on a Edinburgh housing estate. It really frustrates me in detective novels when vital clues conveniently and unrealistically appear out of the blue in the final chapters. Mini deus ex machinas (machini?) if you will. This happened here. The themes around immigration are interesting, although not particularly subtle. I'm going back to my Val McDermids.

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Charlie has severe learning difficulties but undergoes a pioneering operation to dramatically increase his IQ. Written and set in the 1960s but still feels contemporary. The characters are beautifully crafted, which makes the novel feel very moving and realistic. Another brilliant book. Read it but make sure you get the tissues ready first!

I've been doing a lot of reading recently (summer holidays, innit?) so there'll be more reviews to come soon...


  1. Flowers for Algernon is one of those books which I've always meant to read but not gotten around to. I must. I had heard good things about Sharp Objects, but hated Gone Girl, which rather put me off.

  2. I am SO relieved that Fingersmith was one of the books you loved, I really don't think I could have been friends with you anymore* if you hadn't liked it. Isn't it just SO good?! I love all the twists and turns and I'm so jealous of anyone reading it for the first time who gets to discover it new.

    * Is it weird when an internet person calls you a friend? Apologies if so!

  3. They sound an interesting selection. I must confess, I've never given Colgan a go for the very reason you stated-I fear the lightness. Ive totally gone off writing book reviews, I used to do it but it seems a mission nowadays. So many unfinished in my drafts!!! Love reading them.though!Xx


I'd love to hear what you think...