Tag: Formatted

James Frey – A Million Little Pieces | Review

Title: A Million Little Pieces

Author: James Frey

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 518

Rating: 4.25/5

I was given this as a birthday present from someone who’d read it themselves and enjoyed it and who’d seen that it was on my ridiculously large want to readlist. I don’t actually get given books that often because more often than not, I end up resenting them because I feel as though I have to read them whether I want to or not. But as this was off my big old list, we dodged that problem.

I think I first heard about this on BookTube, although I can’t remember who was talking about it. It basically instantly went on to my wish list because it’s a non-fiction drug book and I’ve always been partial to books about drugs. I even quite like it when you get references to opium in stuff like The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy falls asleep in a field of poppies.

Because I find the subject matter interesting, I was pretty much guaranteed to like this one. However, there are some other factors that come into play too. For example, the dialogue is written without quotation marks or indeed any form of punctuation, which some people might offputting. It’s the first thing I noticed when flicking through it and that, combined with a blurb from Irvine Welsh on the back, made me think it might be a tricky read. It turns out to actually work better and to flow more smoothly like that.

I guess that’s because of the style of the book. It’s written as a sort of stream-of-consciousness memoir and reads as though Frey is just chatting to you at a bar, and so this style of punctuation is perfect. At the same time though, I’m sure it’s not quite to everyone’s tastes, and that’s okay. And besides, if you like drug stories but you can’t deal with the punctuation, there’s always the movie version, which I’ll probably watch at some point or another.

Other than that, I’m not sure that there’s much more that I can tell you. I think as long as you have an interest in the subject matter – that of a recovering addict trying to get clean – and you don’t mind dialogue when it’s oddly formatted, you’re in for a treat. I will say that he spends the majority of the book either thinking about drugs or wishing he was dead, and so it can sometimes feel a little samey, but that can’t really be helped due to the subject matter and you have to respect the honesty.

Overall then, I’d definitely recommend this one, especially if you have an interest in drug and addiction memoirs. Otherwise, if you’re worried about trigger warnings or if it just makes you unhappy to read about stuff like this then maybe give it a miss. You’d be missing out on a good read, but it’s also a difficult one that can be quite confrontational too. As for me, I’m glad that I read it. A good gift!

Learn more about A Million Little Pieces.


John Green – Looking for Alaska | Review

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 272

Rating: 7/10


John Green - Looking for Alaska

John Green – Looking for Alaska


This is my second John Green book, after The Fault in Our Stars, and I have to say that I wasn’t particularly impressed. It was an okay read, and edited and formatted to a professional standard, but I found it to be predictable at times and almost more of a character study in a bunch of characters that I didn’t really care about, rather than an epic novel with a mind-blowing story line.

Still, for what it was, it was decent enough, and I’m still glad that I read it if only because I can now say that I did so. And it won’t put me off reading any the author’s other work – I mean, it’s easy-to-read, it’s just not quite as deep as I was hoping for. For me, it’s a little bit like Dan Brown – his books may feel formulaic at times, but you can’t deny that they’re competent.

From John Green, though, I was hoping for a little more, some sort of magic that felt like it was missing. I set my expectations too high, and I also have a feeling that if I was ten years younger, I would’ve thought more highly of it. But then, I’d have less to compare it to.

Either way, one of the good things about this book is that it doesn’t take long to read, and at less than 300 pages with large print and lots of spacing, it’s not going to take you forever to get through it. So there’s that.


John Green

John Green


Click here to buy Looking for Alaska.


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