Charity Shop purchases
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli | **
The neon pink cover initially caught my attention and I vaguely recognised the title so I thought I would give it a go. It's undoubtedly a sweet little book about being different, how changing yourself to fit in probably won't work out, and how being more accepting of people's quirks can teach you completely new ways of seeing the world. I flew through it, and I can see why it's fairly popular with its simple prose and nice message, but it's not one of my favourite young adult/children's books. I love children's books, but I've read a few incredible ones in recent years so I think I just have ridiculously high expectations, which is probably a little unfair.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne | **
I'm not sure how I managed it, but I made it to my mid twenties without reading this book. I feel like everyone has either read it or seen the film, but beyond the basic premise I had absolutely no idea what it was about. The message is an important one and I appreciate what Boyne was trying to do, but I'm not convinced it was as effective as it could have been.
This is a novel I know very little about and I suppose that's a decision I've consciously made. I've heard a lot of wonderful things about Zadie Smith as a writer and got the impression that there's a very good chance I'll adore her work, so I've avoided any detailed reviews of her novels. Not knowing what to expect from a book and just opening it at the first page & seeing where it takes me is one of my favourite things. All I know is that this is the story of two North London families, the Joneses and the Iqbals, and themes of friendship, love, cultural identity and hope.
Do you enjoy perusing the book shelves in charity shops?