A Writer’s Review: Extraordinary Means

Well, I was not expecting it to have all of the emotions of John Green’s; The Fault In Our Stars, but that was exactly what started to happen as I got closer to the end. This would be the third book i’ve read about cancer. Well, actually, it’s not about cancer, it’s about TB. But this story was about Lane and Sadie. Two young teens who have both ended up at a hospital for young ones with tuberculosis. I really enjoyed the storyline, I loved the characters and what was going on. I found it really easy to follow along with. Again this book grabbed the style of using two characters to tell the story. Switching chapters between Lane and Sadie. I think this was used in a really good way, to keep the pace of things and make it easy to see what was going on. It also meant that you could see the emotions, thoughts and reactions from both sides.

Unfortunately though, one thing I think that to a degree failed with this book, was the progression. It took a long time for it to get anywhere. I would say the first 60% of the book was introducing us to the characters, the world around them and building their back story. It wasn’t until the near end when connections started to happen and events began to un fold. I’ve been thinking about this, and deciding whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Was the book unenjoyable? No, it was an enjoyable novel. Did I find myself bored at times? No, I found it quite easy to read. So why would the slow progression be negative? Honestly, I’m not sure. I feel a story is a story, and you need to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Whereas this felt like a beginning, a beginning and then an end.

– Michael Topschij.

A Writer’s Review: The Way We Roll

I love goats! My first ever pet was a goat and his name was Zack. I was disappointed that CeC in The Way We Roll (the goat in this story) was only introduced so far into the plot. But, the Way We Roll was an enjoyable and funny novel. I loved how the characters were portrayed in a certain light, that their introduction was made when needed. I will admit, I did struggle to grasp the importance of who was who until the story progressed further, but eventually understanding who was who’s sister, friend, girlfriend etc…

The Way We Roll is a story about a young boy who’s father did something that caused him to run away from home. I will admit, I know that feeling. Not the, father doing something, but the running away from home thing. I’ve ran away from New Zealand all the way to California when I was 17. And this story showed me what it could have been like, if I didn’t have family there. We saw Will smuggle himself into the underground of a bowling alley, sleep underneath freeways and flat with friends from his work as a supermarket trolley pusher. We learn about girlfriend sex tapes, and even make friends with a security guard goat who lives next door. It was definitely great to see an enjoyable story come from just across the ditch in Australia.

– Michael Topschij. 

A Writer’s Review: This Raging Light

I’m not sure how I should start my introduction, when I know in a few sentences I’m going to be negative or critical. Should I be? I’m not sure, but I’m going to be anyhow. I’ve completed reading This Raging Light by Estelle Laure. It’s unfortunate the feeling it gave me of the novel reading experience. I wanted the page turning to go faster and faster, because it just wasn’t getting anywhere. The story was lengthy, but, there wasn’t really a story. It was a simple love story at best, that essentially introduced us to a person who’s having some trouble in life and has to deal with puppy love in the meanwhile. In theory, that’s an iconic theme used throughout many top selling works. But for this, I’m going to say again, it just didn’t go anywhere. For lack of a better word, it was, boring… I definitely enjoyed some aspects of it, there were some parts of the story that really wrapped me into what was going on, and it was definitely well written those parts that did such. I was sitting on a train in California whilst I was heavily focused on the story, and I appreciated the message that this was trying to deliver. I just, don’t feel it did the best job it could.

To summarise, I feel that there was no beginning, middle and end. It was really, a middle that just carried on until a small final plot twist that wasn’t really a plot twist at all. With, all of that entire journey of criticism, I will still add this to books I love. That seems like an extreme act of hypocrisy from me, but I will explain why. The good…

This novel still did a golden act that well written books should do… Take you somewhere else and bring you into the story. I felt the characters emotions, I saw the events that were taking place and I understood the chaos that was unfolding almost before my eyes. Such talent of writing, was what kept me turning pages. Because there was still the desire, to see this through to the end.

– Michael Topschij.