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three stars

Book Review

REVIEW: The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

After it popping up quite a lot and being rather intrigued, I decided to buy The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry. Being around ninety pages, it’s an incredibly quick read, and I managed to zoom through it one morning.

The Library of Unrequited Love tells the story of a French librarian who opens her section of the library one morning to find someone who has been locked in overnight. Written in second person perspective to this person, the narrator discusses her love of books, her problems with the library system, and shares her attraction to one library visitor in particular.

The Library of Unrequited Love is, of course, a book that will be loved by book lovers. There are many passages throughout the book I wanted to highlight and scribble over but it would probably pain me to do so because I hate to treat books in such a way. Even though the narrator isn’t in her dream section of the library, her passion for books really shines through. It’s one of the things I loved most about the book, and really stood out.

Something striking about our narrator is her bitterness. It was nice to read about a character who had such strong opinions about things as this really helped connect reader and narrator. This connection was very important, as there are a few gaps in the reader’s knowledge of our narrator, her name being one of those things. I think this worked in the books favour though, so it’s not a bad thing. It’s what makes the book so unique.

I’m not sure why I only rated the book three stars. The rating is not a true reflection of my feelings towards the books, because I could have given it five stars. There was just something stopping me from giving it five, or even four, stars. Rating does not equal enjoyment, though, so please remember this.

For such a short book, there was so much emotion and feeling packed in. It’s not a book I’m going to forget in a hurry. The length of the book was something I particularly liked. It wouldn’t be the same if it were drawn out for hundreds of pages.

And, another thing I liked reading about, was the French culture. As the book has been translated from French to English, I think the culture was shown more than if it had been written in English and not been translated. In the past, I haven’t enjoyed books that have been translated so I was pleased to see how well this was translated.

I really think you should all read The Library of Unrequited Love. It won’t take you long and is a lovely book to curl up with on long, winter nights.

Book Review

REVIEW: The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross

I think that The Soterion Mission is a book that teens and pre-teens will gobble up.  Ross has created a vivid and imaginative world that I know people will find believable and realistic.

A hundred or so years in the future, no one over the age of nineteen survives. Caused by a worldwide epidemic, by the time someone reaches the age of nineteen, they rapidly age in the space of a few weeks. This means that all knowledge before 2019 has disappeared and life has turned back to what it would have been like in medieval times.

When Roxanne turns up at Della Tallis, the home of a group of tribal people, Cyrus, Navid and Taja’s lives are thrust into danger, for they are about to embark on a journey that could help the fate of millions of people. They are looking for their peoples past, and the cure.

The Soterion Mission was told in a much unbiased viewpoint. Getting both the Constants- those tribes who follow the values of the people before them- and the Zeds- the brutal tribes who revel in other people’s pain- perspectives across really added something to the story line, and made it a lot easier to follow.

There were a lot of very humorous parts in The Soterion Mission, including a hilarious use of the IKEA catalogue. Mixed with the many sober moments, this created a nice contrast. The ability to swap between the two was something that greatly impressed me, as this is very hard to do.

The one thing that let me down with this book was the characterisation. Although I grew to like the characters, I didn’t become invested enough in them and felt that because of this their subsequent deaths had no impact on me. Yes, I liked Cyrus, Roxanne and the rest of them, but did I really care what happened to them? Not as much as I would have liked.

The opening chapter will instantly grip the reader and really sets the scene for the rest of the book. The Soterion Mission is an action-packed and convincing novel, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the sequel takes us.