Tag: Motivation

John Williams – Stoner | Review

Title: Stoner

Author: John Williams

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 298

Rating: 5/5

 

 

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this, and I basically picked it up because I saw a beautiful copy of it in a charity shop and then kept it on my shelves for a while until my BookTube friend Mara mentioned she was picking it up and I asked her if she fancied a buddy read.

I’m glad that it gave me the motivation to pick this up, because it turned out to be pretty much the perfect novel. Sure, it was bleak and sad throughout, but I like that from books and so I wasn’t exactly complaining. I also thought it did an excellent job of telling the story of Stoner’s life from start to finish.

If you’re looking for a plot-driven read then you should probably look elsewhere, because that’s not what this is. The good news is that I tend to prefer plot-driven reads to character-driven reads, but I thought this was fantastic despite my personal preferences, so there might still be hope for you.

 

 

I think what Williams did well was to show some very human characteristics in some very flawed characters. I even liked reading about Edith, Stoner’s wife, even though she was kind of a terrible person. Because she was a part of Stoner’s story and we follow his wife from start to finish, we can see how she becomes the way she ends up being. The same is true of his daughter, too.

Then there’s the commentary on the first and the second world wars, and you really feel their impact in the small community of Stoner’s university. This is a contender for my top ten books of the year.

 

 

Click here to buy Stoner.


Cassandra Clare – City of Fallen Angels | Review

Title: City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 448

Rating: 3.5*/5

 

Cassandra Clare - City of Fallen Angels

Cassandra Clare – City of Fallen Angels

 

This is book number four in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, and as such it’s part of the series of buddy reads that I’ve been doing with a few BookTube friends of mine in which we’re trying to work our way through each of Cassie Clare’s books by doing one a month.

This isn’t the best so far, because that honour falls to City of Glass (which even then was only a 4/5). Still, it was all right, and definitely better than Clockwork Angel, the last book we read. Cassandra Clare seems to be some sort of divisive author that you either love or hate, but so far I’m pretty sure she’s just fine. Overhyped, perhaps, but her books aren’t garbage. Neither are they good enough to unseat Agatha Christie as my favourite (or at least, “most read”) female author. She’s just okay, you know?

The story line of this book felt a little weaker than those of others, and I’m bothered by how much of an emphasis keeps being placed on bringing characters back from the dead. I’ve always hated when authors do that because I think it cheapens death, and Clare does it in abundance. There are a few characters who I’m pretty sure have died and come back to life multiple times now, and we’re at the point where even if a major character like Magnus Bane were to die, I really wouldn’t care. In Clare’s world, dying and coming back to life is as common as changing your outfit.

 

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare

 

I also wasn’t too keen on the antagonist here. I think Valentine worked pretty well as a bad guy if only because he was so unorthodox, and because I could understand his motivation. But now, we’re pretty much left with antagonists who want the world to burn just for the sake of it, making it feel like something of a farce at times. I struggled to figure out why they were acting the way they were acting, although perhaps that’s my fault as a reader. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying too much attention.

Part of that was because of all of the love stuff. I mean, I get that that’s what a lot of this series is based on, but I really don’t care if Clary and Jace end up together or who Simon decides he wants to sleep with. In fact, every time two characters share a lovey-dovey moment, the pace of the damn story stops as suddenly as a car driving into a wall. Make of that what you will.

 

Cassandra Clare Quote

Cassandra Clare Quote

 

Click here to buy City of Fallen Angels.