Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Title:The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Author: Hiro Arikawa
Genre: General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher:Random House UK; Transworld Publishers; Doubleday
Publishing date: 2nd of November 2017
ISBN: 9780857524195

Synopsis:It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.
Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say.
Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and striking humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take. TRAVELLING CAT has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of kindness and truth. It slows, above all, how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives.

This is a very delayed review, because it took me longer to finish this book than I anticipated.

My Review:

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a charming and heartbreaking story about a cat and his owner traveling across Japan trying to find a new home for the cat. The story starts out, innocently, with the tomcat’s point of view, from before he knew his future owner Satoru, before the cat’s got a name.
Being a catlover this book sucked me right in from the very start. Nana (the cat) portrays a good picture of a cat, he is very much like the sarcastic and sassy way most cats will be described by their owners. And the voice of a feline is very much alive and personified in Nana.
As the story goes on Nana warms up and we learn more about Satoru and his past. The bond between Satoru and Nana grows with each chapter. While reading I did not want this book to end, I did not want to get to the final chapter and I had to take breaks from reading (Hence why this review is over a week later than I planned).
The end is inevitable, unless I quit reading the book, and it is heartbreaking. In order to avoid spoilers I will not discuss the ending of this book. However, I will warmly recommend this book to any catlover and anyone who enjoys Japanese literature, because this book hits home in both departments. From the first page, like with Murakami, you know you are reading a book translated from Japanese: it is just how the story is narrated, the way everything is described and the attention to vivid details that pops out at you. And going with a sarcastic, sassy and a little stoic cat, you can never go wrong.

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Bittersweet

cover61788-largeTitle: Bittersweet
Author
: Kimberly Loth
Publisher: Kimberly Loth
Publishing date: 21.03.2015
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk
ISBN: 9781508644125

Synopsis: 
Every Sunday Savannah Ray gets an email from her dead dad. She doesn’t know how the emails work but she’s finally ready to start looking for answers.

My Review:
It has been a long time since I have fallen in love with a book, but upon reading “Bittersweet” I felt a sad sort of love that I haven’t felt since reading “13 reasons Why (By Jay Asher).

The st”ory follows the troubled late teen girl Savannah as she comes to term with her father’s suicide. Her father’s death has made her bitter and withdrawn, and in many ways she seems to isolate herself from life. After years of denying grief she has become depressed and worries whether the “curse” will take her too.

The book is a Romance book, but the Romance plot does very much aid in Savannah’s rediscovery of herself Even though she hated the thought of moving to her uncle for the summer, getting away was a good thing for her. New people, and not all of them good, has a big impact of her. The story slowly unfolds and bit by bit the reader is introduced to the truth about how her father died, as well as the reader is invited into other dark secrets.

The last two chapters are the most impact chapters in the book and it is all woven together into a bittersweet ending which a high possibility of tears.

“Wintergirls” by Laurie H. Anderson. Book Review

clip_image002Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking

My Review
“Wintergirls” was first published in USA in 2009 by Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA). The book is written by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is about a girl who suffers from anorexia.
In “Wintergirls” we meet eighteen-year-old Lia who comes to terms with her best friend’s death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.

Many professional people are discussing whether “Wintergirls” is a how-to-be-anorexic guide and if the book will trigger girls to become anorexic. Because of this on-going discussion this has been a factor used to criticize the book and even been a factor to keep people from reading it and even saying that girls shouldn’t read this book because it could endanger their mental health. In this discussion no one has brought up the issue that anorexia isn’t a learned behavior; it is a mental disease, you either are anorexic or you are not, you can’t learn how to get the disease. You probably can learn to have it, for a while, but then you revert to your old habits. This book won’t make you any more anorexic than any other psychological book can make you have psychosis or make you schizophrenic. Continue reading