Book Review: The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The Life of Pi Book CoverThe Life of Pi is a story about a young Indian boy and his family who decide to give up their Zoo in Pondicherry, to move to Canada. All does not go to plan when their ship sinks in a matter of minutes, leaving Pi and a small assortment of animals as the only survivors. 

The book follows Pi’s 227 day journey, where he battles with despair, hopelessness and a Tiger, before stumbling across land.

Pi spends the first 100 or so pages talking about religion and spirituality, which gets tedious in parts and I found myself fighting hard not to skip pages. Amongst the talk of religion there are some gems, funny lines and nice quotes about life, so all is not completely lost.

Disappointingly the first part about religion doesn’t exactly contribute to the rest of the story, aside from implanting in your brain that ultimately Pi will survive, taking any kind of tension away from the book.

Pi finds himself sharing a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena and a tiger, and there’s a stray orangutan in there somewhere as well.

I really struggled to read about animal violence and suffering, I know it’s nature and it’s what happens but it really upsets me. A kitten with the sniffles is enough to have me reaching for the Kleenex, so reading about a hyena chomping on the insides of a zebra was tough to read.

Despite that, I really enjoyed it when Pi decided he’d have to try and tame the tiger, called Richard Parker, otherwise he would wind up discovering the insides of a tiger. He is successful and the two seem to build up a friendship and a mutual respect for each other, so I was quite sad to see Richard Parker disappear into the jungle at the end of the book.

In terms of the writing style, it was a bit erratic and all over the place, which sometimes made it hard to read and hard to keep up with, so all in all I wasn’t a fan of it.

Worse than that I don’t feel like I cared about Pi at all, there was no emotional connection. In fact, this book is completely void of emotion. You’d think a young boy who had just lost both of his parents and his older brother would be upset about it, but he doesn’t seem to be. At the end of the book Pi says that he thought about his family every day, but they were barely mentioned at all.

The lack of emotion combined with it being written in past tense meant I wasn’t gripped or hooked at all. I knew Pi would survive and the book offered up no reason for me to be concerned or worried about whether or not Pi would survive.

I was disappointed by this book, I was really hoping I would enjoy this book after hearing a lot of good things about it. I was hoping to read it and then go and see the movie, after reading the book though I don’t see how the movie could be any better, so at least I won’t be wasting a tenner and two hours of my life watching that.

Would I recommend it? 

Not really no. No, I lie; if you find yourself stranded in an airport for 6 hours due to a delayed flight, then yeah this might help you pass the time.

2 Out of 5. 

What did you think of The Life of Pi. 


The Twilight Saga Book Review

I read Twilight and the start of New Moon a few years ago and didn’t like it and went about bashing the series, “sparkly vampires, how ridiculous!”

Four years later I decided that I’ve changed a lot since then and that I might enjoy it if I tried it again. Little did I know that I would be eating humble pie by the end of it. 

I really enjoyed Twilight and New Moon, New Moon was by far my favourite of the series, I felt I really got to know the characters of Bella, Edward, Alice and Jacob. The plots were great, the pacing was good and you could feel the emotions of the characters.

I didn’t really feel that I got to know the rest of Edwards family as well as I wanted to, and I kept getting Jasper and Emmett confused, maybe I’m just stupid?, so it would have been nice to get to know more about them. I really think it would have been nice if we’d found out more about Carlisle as I imagine there’d be a lot of interesting things we could have found out about him.

Eclipse was a bit of a disappointment for me, in fact I’m struggling to remember what actually happened in Eclipse, so I guess that means it was forgettable too.

I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Breaking Dawn, mostly because it frustrated me so much. The first part of the book seemed so out of place it could have been from an entirely different book, but the book did win me over with the second part of the book being told from Jacob’s point of view.

The series was full of cliches and in places (most of Breaking Dawn) the pacing was awful, as if Stephanie Meyer couldn’t be bother to explore something any further, it certainly could have been better in places. The thing that really frustrated me was the wedding, it’s an important event and we start building up to it in Eclipse, but she barely describes anything. We don’t know what the dress looks like, what Bella and Edward look like and how the house looks.

Overall I really enjoyed the series, it wasn’t the best series I’ve ever read but it was a nice, fun and easy read. It’s also taught me that my tastes and likes change over time and I do enjoy vampire and romance novels, so I’ll be giving some more a go this year.

Would I recommend it? Quite simply yes, if you enjoy young adult, vampire and romance novels, you’ll enjoy it. If you’re put off by the hype surrounding it or have heard unfavourable things about, just give it a go. If like me, you tried it before and still have a copy lying about, give it another go.

Click on the links below to view my individual reviews of each book.

Twilight ReviewNew Moon ReviewEclipse ReviewBreaking Dawn Review


Rosie Reads: Breaking Dawn – Stephanie Meyer

The final instalment of the Twilight saga see’s Bella and Edward finally get married and end up having rather boring sexy times and accidentally create a half human-half vampire child, which almost kills Bella. In order to save her life Edward is forced to turn her into a vampire, finally granting Bella her wish.

The vampire council, the Volturi are lead to believe that Edward and Bella’s child, named Reneesme, is an immortal child, the one thing all vampires frown upon. Bella, Edward, the Werewolves and any other vampire they can round up are forced to face off the Volturi in order to save Renesmee and the Cullens lives.

– – – –

I have some serious issues with this book, so make sure you’re comfy and get ready for a right old ramble.

The back of Breaking Dawn has a review promising sexual tension, there was none of that I can assure you. Their wedding is dully described, she barely describes Bella’s dress and what the house looked like, which was disappointing. As someone who is currently plotting their wedding, I was looking for ideas and inspiration, Stephanie Meyer had the opportunity to impress and inspire me. She failed.

Their honeymoon is boring and sexy times are skipped over and admit it, you were curious to find out what human-vampire sex would be like. Well I’m sorry, you won’t find any of that here.

The next couple of hundred pages documenting Bella’s pregnancy are told from Jacob’s point of view. While the whole pregnancy thing was fairly boring, I found I grew to like Jacob again after wanting to punch him throughout Eclipse. I really enjoyed him breaking off and creating his own little pack and came to like Leah, though I couldn’t for the life of me imagine her in my head as I’m sure she was never described.

Bella and Rosalie were really close in the middle of the book, however as soon as Renesmee made an appearance, she was barely mentioned at all.

In the previous books we hear about how hard to control newborn vampires are and that Bella should expect to feel nothing but thirst for years. Well apparently because she thought about it and ‘prepared’ herself, she was the most perfect newborn vampire ever and didn’t even feel like ravaging a town once.

With just over two hundred pages to go I was talking to a friend about it and said that I couldn’t imagine how Stephanie Meyer could wrap the book up without going ‘and they lived happily ever after’. Well I wasn’t far from wrong, in fact there is actually a chapter called ‘Happily Ever After’.

After fearing their death and dragging their friends into it, it all boils down to a meeting between them and the Volturi in a field. The Volturi discover Renesmee isn’t a threat and is half human and half vampire and effectively go ‘my bad’ and walk off…and they all live happily ever after.

As for the big wolf in the room, the imprinting thing is creepy. I understand that that Jacob doesn’t have sexual feelings towards Renesmee while she’s young and just wants to please her, but when she’s ‘of age’, which turns out to be about 7 for half-vampire half-humans, he will have dirty thoughts about the daughter of the woman he loved. Now that’s a recipe for a brilliant episode of Jeremy Kyle.

Oh and another thing, you know when you’re really annoyed, not like ‘oh there are no biscuits left’ annoyed, we’re talking seriously annoyed, and you might say ‘I’m so angry I’m seeing red’? Well Bella goes one better, she’s so angry she actually see’s red. I wish I was joking.

I was disappointed in Breaking Dawn, I don’t feel like it did the series justice at all, the first 500 pages could have been from another series entirely, it just didn’t feel right.

For me, I know I’ve read a good book when I feel I know the characters, know there feelings and I’m left thinking about them days, or even weeks afterwards and I’m just not feeling it with Breaking Dawn.

3 out of 5 – just because it made me like Jacob again. 

What did you think of Breaking Dawn?

I’ll be posting a general review of the series over the next couple of days, I’ll even be be snacking on some humble pie.