Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Five words from the blurb: love, disease, cured, lies, safe
Lauren Oliver seems to get universal praise on Twitter so I decided I ought to give her a try. I can see why people enjoy her fast paced/gripping writing, but I found it lacked depth. The characters were stereotypical and the plot was too predictable. I felt that I’d read similar books with this theme before (Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is far superior) and it didn’t give me anything new to think about. Recommended to teenagers investigating themes of love and belonging for the first time.
Eyrie by Tim Winton
Five words from the blurb: Australian, tower-block, bleak, friendship, problems
Eyrie is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Delirium – the writing is slow; the characters are all well-drawn, complex individuals and the reader has no idea where the plot is going. Unfortunately I failed to connect with the central character, Tom. He is living at the top of a tower-block and has a range of emotional problems. His loneliness and mental problems were accurately portrayed, but I just didn’t care. I became bored and depressed by his plight and there was no narrative drive to encourage me to proceed further. I abandoned it after 80 pages. Recommended to those who enjoy slow, dark, character studies.
Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman
Five words from the blurb: psychological, truth, intellectual, relationship, spirit
I loved The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman so was excited about trying another of his books. Unfortunately this one was very different in style. The second-person narrative annoyed me and, although this disappeared in part 2, I found the continual switching of narrator disorientating. I felt it was a simple story about relationships wrapped up in fancy writing and I decided it wasn’t worth pursuing. I abandoned it after about 150 pages. Recommended to those who admire experimental writing.