Book Review: Some Kind Of Fairytale by Graham Joyce

I'm not really sure how I came about this book. I think it was one of Amazon's recommended for you's, had a great price for a hardback copy (which I'm known to love) and featured fairies. Anyway, buy it I did and then shelved it and forgot about about it for a few months (I'm ashamed, it's a problem when you have far too many books arrive on your doorstep every week).

 Then over Christmas, feeling like something Christmassy, I remembered about it and hunted it out. While it ended up being not at all Christmassy, aside from the fact that it starts on Christmas day, I did enjoy it. It was different, and I liked that.

 Tara Martin disappeared without trace from her sleepy English village aged Sixteen. Twenty years later, she turns up on Christmas Day thinking only six months had passed. Her older brother Peter knows something is really not right and is determined to get to the bottom of it. But Tara's explanation is more than anyone can understand or accept.

 When I started this book, I expected it to be very fantastical. I know fairies aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I quite like them and find the mythology and folklore behind them fascinating. Some Kind Of Fairytale surprised me by being very much grounded in reality, and it was the family and friends of Tara's relationships that interested me more.

 Yes, there is alternating chapters of Tara's life during her disappearance and yes, it can be assumed she's with fairies, although she refuses to call them that. But even these chapters aren't as I expected. The 'fairies' are more like a hippy commune with only the suggestion of something more magical, and even then you could wonder if Tara was just on drugs. The 'fairy' world is both subtle and in your face and I was never quite sure whether I should believe in it or not. I think that's the response the author intends, and  by the end I still didn't know.

 The main story of this book though is the people who were left behind, specifically her brother Peter and boyfriend Richie. I thought the relationship between the two men was really, really touching. Both deeply affected by Tara's disappearance, the book made me think a lot about fate, how lives could be different 'if only'...especially in Richie's case.  Tara's character and story really only serves to bring about their story, which is in fact very real and human.

 The books title is perfect for this story, it is some kind of fairytale-it even has a kind of happy-ever-after ending, even if it's not the one you're expecting. I was left confused a couple times and felt I'd possibly skimmed over vital information and clues in sections (the chapters narrated by Tara's psychiatrist didn't particularly hold my interest and I think I perhaps should have read them a little more carefully) Overall though, while  I wasn't blown away by this book, I did like it enough to finish.

Keeping Cosy and Alert

I was going to write up and post a review today, but as I'm just taking a quick break from an assignment and don't want to loose my train of thought it'll have to wait.

Brr it's cold today too. Not that crisp, snowy cold we were promised (well not here anyway) instead it's damp, dark, rainy cold...which for some reason always feels worse. I'm not using my heating either. Two  reasons. First, I'm now at home for 2 extra days a week which on one hand is work. Yay! But on the other, I wouldn't usually have the heating on those days, and the thought of increasing the gas bills any further now I'm working less isn't the most welcome thought. Secondly, if I'm toasty warm by a radiator, I'm likely to nod off. I need to stay alert today.

So I'm going old school and cosying up with loads of woolly clothes and a hot water bottle. It's working really radiator induced fog head or dozing. (And yes, I really do hold a pen like that, gloved or not. That teacher who made me write like a 'normal' person for an entire year when I was ten would be disappointed to see this)

The cats keeping me company too, though she seems more interested in Faber's Book Of Beasts than I am at the minute. Of all the beautiful poetry in the world, I'm studying one about cows. *sigh*

Anyway, back to the books before I get lost in blogland...

Top Ten Book Goals Of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 

Here's my list...

1. Read at least 52 books in 2013...I'm going for a goal I know I can achieve this year
2. Allow a total of 2 new books a MONTH into the house. (a difficult, but essential one) 
3. Write reviews of books within 24 hours of finishing. Or at least take detailed notes. 
4. Read a couple of classics to prepare for next years uni course. 
5. Read a good mix of adult, YA and kids books and be unafraid of mixing genres.

6. Catch up on a few series I'm way behind on.
7. Say no-no matter how tempting! Realistically, I can't read all the review books I'm offered so I'm not going to try. I'll be operating a very strict review book acceptance policy. 
8. Get back into the habit of participating in the blog community.
9. Update seriously out of date Review A-Z and interview links (ongoing from 2012-eeek) 
10. Read The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (a compulsory goal-for the 3rd year running!)

New Year...New Start

Happy New Year!

Well, 2013 I'm ready for you! I'm feeling quite positive about the new year after 2012 was just so bleurgh. My poor little blog ended up going a bit to pot too, but I'm ready to put that behind me now and start again.

So I've done a little housekeeping and have a new look, inspired by the beautiful spring I'm hoping will be right around the corner (I told you I was was feeling positive).

I've always been a book blog, since way back in 2009 when I very first created this blog (and wrote and deleted posts for a few weeks before daring to put it out there) 2013 though is the year I'll probably mix it up a bit and get a bit more personal. I've recently taken up sewing and I'm attempting to learn to cook (because at the age of 35 I want to do more than open a jar a pasta sauce!) so I'll probably be posting about that.

I've also decided to try and embrace a more frugal lifestyle. I think we've all been feeling the pinch, I know I have, but it's more than cutting back. I just suddenly realised one day how utterly pointless a lot of this buying is. I decided that in 2013 all that wastefulness is going to stop, and I've promised myself I won't be buying anything new unless I really have to, and then I'll see if I can get it pre-loved first. Oh ok second hand.  I'm not going to start lecturing anyone, but I might record my highs and lows (and as a former shopaholic I'm sure there'll be plenty) here. Anyway, the sewing/cooking/ kind of all ties in together to a hopefully more simple, straight forward lifestyle. Let's see how I go!

But there'll still be books! Both Lucy and I are ready to get back to talking about books again, and I have a couple of new ideas going round my head for fun features. It'll be a much more relaxed approach, but I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. First book of 2013 is Cat Clarke's new book Undone-which is FANTASTIC! So here's to a year of good books, edible meals and a healthy bank balance :D

What are your plans for 2013?-Share below...

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