All posts by Eloise

About Eloise

Eloise has been a part of the Mostly Books Young Writers Group since its inception and loves the opportunity to spend time with other young writers. Eloise has won awards for short stories and poetry and has a passion for reading and writing.

A Book Worth Stealing

I honestly have quite some difficulty writing a review for this book − it has shaken me up and wrung me out, and I fear that I may not be able to do it justice.

the book thief cover 1

You see, I am seriously considering The Book Thief to be one of the best books I have ever read, and I honestly can’t find any reason why it shouldn’t be.

Markus Zusak is an incredibly talented writer, and this is made very clear in this book. I often stopped reading just to marvel at how beautifully written a sentence or paragraph was, or how remarkably clear World War II Germany was in my mind.

With each page turn I found myself wanting more, but was scared to read on too quickly, for fear that I should finish it too soon. You cannot unread a book; you can reread it a million times or more, but never again will you have that same precious ignorance of what will happen next. The Book Thief is a book to savour and enjoy, and though you may not be able to be completely surprised the second time you read it, I do not believe that will lessen the book in any way. When a major event was blatantly exposed before it happened in the book, I was quite upset at Zusak’s (writing as Death himself) insensitivity. However, as I read on, I realised that knowing about the event before it happened did not make it any less profound or shocking. By knowing part of the end, I was eager to hold on to the story for as long as I could. And it worked − despite reading this novel rather quickly, I don’t feel I rushed it or skipped over a single word.  Rather I was caught in a paradox of anticipation and dread for the ending to come, and I clung to every word on the page.

So when you read this book, get angry, or sad or maybe even guilty, but don’t give up on it.The Book Thief Movie Poster Enjoy the intense response you have to the story and every character in it. Do not blame them for the unfairness of it all. Do not sit back and let it all come to pass. Rather, lean closer and take in Death’s story. Death may not always be welcome, or kind, or patient, but he is a phenomenal story teller and an incredible wordsmith. Lean in close and take in this incredible book.

The Book Thief is in cinemas on January 9th 2014 and is set to be a well made and presented film. I will certainly be going to see it, and so should you! (After you’ve read the book of course – see Niav’s last post for book and movie comparisons)

The House of Hades

WARNING: Spoilers for Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus #1-3.

The House of Hades

The House of Hades is the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, which follows on from the Percy Jackson series. These two series bring the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome to life in the modern world, with phenomenal consequences for the children of gods and mortals who are in a constant struggle to keep peace between the Gods, Titans, Giants, monsters and each other.

After a tense cliff-hanger (literally) at the end of The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades begins with a melancholy feel as the crew of the Argo II grieve the loss of Annabeth and Percy. The two fell to Tartarus after battling the                                                                                       cursed immortal Arachne for the lost Athena Parthenos. 

As always, I was gripped by this novel from the very first page. I honestly could not put it down until I’d finished it a day after I’d first picked it up (I would have finished it quicker, but I did have to sleep). This book is extremely well written and action packed with even more new villains and challenges than ever before. Setting part of the book in Tartarus really set me on edge, I was constantly worried if Percy and Annabeth would be able to make it through what was undoubtedly their toughest challenge yet. 

This installment of the series also had some major character development that made me realize how close we are to the end of the series, and possibly the world of Percy Jackson. There were many secrets revealed by the main characters that shocked and delighted me at the same time and also generated a lot of sympathy for certain characters. New relationships also developed despite the emotional and physical strain this quest caused the demigods (and their satyr “protector”). Now their quest is to save Annabeth and Percy from the depths of Tartarus before destroying the Doors of Death in Greece. But this won’t be easy; Gaia and her followers block their progress at every turn, and back in America the Greek and Roman demigods are on the brink of war.

This is quite possibly one of my favourite book series; I am constantly excited and surprised by the plot, challenged by the characters and enlightened by all the Greek and Roman mythology. These books are also incredibly funny, and despite the tense atmosphere of The House of Hades, the perfectly timed jokes (some of which were in Latin) and the sometimes humourous style of writing had me laughing uncontrollably.

Rick Riordan fans, and anyone who wants to become one, will fall obsessively in love with this newest book as they join the seven of the prophecy on their deadliest adventure yet.