About Me

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I am an aspiring writer living and working in Hull. I working on a novel, as well as writing short stories to keep my writing skills fresh. I decided to start a writing blog to connect with other writers. So please, take a look around and leave some comments - I'd love to read some of your writing blogs too. Nari X

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Book Thief, Green and Sugar Rush

I said that I would post a short review on The Book Thief, and realise I haven't yet. So here it is. I know quite a lot of you have said that you've read it, so I'd like to hear what you thought too.
The story is set in Nazi Germany and is, quite appropriately, narrated by Death. That was what drew me to it; as a basic concept, it is intriguing. It gives a kind of sombre focus to the story and holds onto the expectancy of tragedy. It almost prepares the reader in this way. We follow the story of a little girl, Leisel Meminger, and how she came to live on Himmel Street with her foster parents. 
Liesel is a well written and well developed character who constantly made my heart melt with love of her or the tragedy of her story. We follow her as she develops her love of books and learns to read, and as she builds strong relationships with those around her. We see how she copes with the heartache she has witnessed, far too much for a girl of her age, and how she pushes on against the backdrop of war and death.
It is a touching and tragic story, and well worth the read.

This has been sat in my drafts for weeks, so I thought I ought to post it as it is rather than pretend I'm going to have time to write more about it. I really enjoyed the book, and it is the only one for a while that has made me genuinely cry.

I am now reading the fourth installment of Ted Dekker's Circle series, and I'm not overly impressed by it, I have to say. It's getting readable, and I'm interested in what's happening to some of the new characters, but I've just read about two or three chapters of quite disturbing gore that culminated in a bit of a shrug that I didn't really understand. I just don't really get where this story is going. 
It seems to me so far that this is an unnecessary addition to what I felt was a wonderfully told and perfectly rounded trilogy that left you wanting more. The thing with that is, it doesn't necessarily mean that producing more is a good idea. And I am rather disappointed. 

In case you were wondering, The Circle is series that combines thrilling action-adventure with fantasy as the hero, Thomas Hunter, finds himself travelling between two different worlds when he falls asleep. He never quite knows which world is real. He works out that a terrorist threat at present in one world is the ancient history of the other, and thus derives that he has the power to stop it from happening. Of course, it is not that simple. The three books contain many beautiful analogies for Christianity and much symbolism in their representation of Good and Evil, and I'd definitely recommend them to you all, if you haven;t read them already. 
I suppose it is unfair to judge Green before I have finished it, so I will let you know what I think when I have finished it. 

In writing news, I have found myself at a brick wall with the novel. I'm fairly disillusioned from it at the moment, and I'm worried that I have lost enthusiasm for it. I have begun to think that it just isn't any good. 
So, instead of attempting to hurl myself at this brick wall and sustaining painful injuries, I have decided to hold off for a while. I have been looking back over a short I wrote last year called 'Sugar Rush', and editing parts of it from the feedback I have been given. I'm thinking about entering it into Writer's Forum soon. 
The story is essentially a cautionary tale for young girls, though it set out as something entirely different. I'm reasonably happy with the way it's going, and I will keep you updated. There is a link to the story on the left panel, so if you fancy reading it, I'd really appreciate hearing what you think of the first draft. Thanks :)
Anyway, thanks for reading.


  1. Hi Nari, I tried re-writing my novel for the first time only about 6 weeks after completing the first draft and got really disillusioned too. Then I read that Stephen King thinks you should have at least 6 months off in between first and second drafts. By chance, that's exactly the kind of time period I had off before re-writing it again at the start of this year and it was so much better. I was actually excited to get back to it! So you're probably wise to take some time off - go back to it when you actively miss it. Will read your short soon, though should you have it online if you are thinking of entering it somewhere? Soem competitions are v strict! Chlo x

  2. I loved The Book Thief, Nari, and In agree that Liesel was well drawn. I cared a lot about her and that made we want to read on. Very clever.

    Good look with your rewrite!


  3. Hi Nari. Saddened to hear that you've temporarily lost the desire to go on with your novel but I would agree with Chloe - leave it aside a while.
    I'm rewriting my military autobiorgraphy as a novel (laced with factual info), but I've found I've had to leave it alone because I keep thinking I'm the main character, but I'm not any more.
    Onto other things. I've just read 'Sugar Rush' and I have to say I enjoyed it. It might be an idea to lose a character or reduce one to even less of a presence but apart from that it is good.
    Writer's Forum might not be your best choice because they have a disclaimer written into the entry form 'not previously published ...' etc. That normally includes internet publishing.
    Judging from what I've read I reckon you have a few more short stories bubbling inside you my friend. Keep it up.

  4. Hi Chloe. That seems like sound advice. I think I will leave it be for a while and focus on the other stuff that seems to be blossoming. I would like to get my hands on Stephen King's writing book, as it seems to contain many pearls of wisdom.
    I hadn;t even thought of online counting as publishing, so thanks for pointing that out. I will take it down and be very thorough in my reading of the rules.
    Tom - It sounds like you do need a bit of a break. Your novel sounds fascinating, though, and like the sort of thing Rob (fiance) is in
    Thanks for reading Sugar Rush, I appreciate that. Which character do you think I should lose? I have a feeling I know, but just wondering. In my rewrite I am reshuffling the order of things a bit and have rewritten the roles and personality of a couple of the characters.
    I was also told the ending was too abrupt with so much build up, so I'm playing around with it.
    Nari X