Review of American Spirit

It took me a while to get into this book – mainly because my husband was going through a similar health scare and it was a little too close to home. I persevered though and was very glad that I had. This book is a well written, very witty tale about Matthew, a forty-something media executive who has hit crisis mode in every aspect of his life; his marriage has broken down, he’s screwed his job up and his health is suffering.

Matthew launches on a life-altering escapade that sees him dealing drugs, trying his hand at mug design, a stay in a national park with his friend and two crazy tag-ons. He finds romance in an unlikely place and then manages to screw that up too.

This is an absolute hoot of a read, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments – for me, the funniest part was when Matthew is staying in the log cabin and the neighbour is telling him about the bear encounters. Matthew’s thoughts on this are hilarious!

I actually did not think I was going to enjoy this book, given what was going on in my own life at the time, but I am so glad I continued with it because it brought much needed laughter to my life at a crazy time.

Very well written. Lots of laughs and even when Matthew is being a jerk you cannot help but feel for him. Very poignant too, as the book follows Matthew on his journey of self discovery right through to his operation in Bali. After my initial reluctance I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. It really is a funny book and brilliant read!

***** 5 stars. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Review of Angel on the Ropes.

This book is about a trapeze artist, Amandine Sand, who has a secret – she is also a leopard!

When I first started reading this book I was quite taken aback by the leopard revelation. I thought at first it was maybe a children’s book that I had accidentally requested to review. After I read a few more pages I realised the story was a futuristic, sci-fi/fantasy tale.

The story follows Amandine as she performs at the circus and helps her own kind, the leopards, find safety with the help of a group of people known as the Seekers. The story has a fair amount of terms and characters that are often referred to and I was left wondering if this particular story was part of a series. I felt a little more description would have helped the reader to better understand some parts.

That said, the story is quite interesting, particularly for sci-fi/fantasy lovers. For all there was a lack of description for some characters involvement I did enjoy the read. Towards the end I felt quite a lot of things were rushed, but also there are a lot of loose ends – the hook for a sequel?

I felt the author researched the circus background pretty well, the scenes where Amandine and Jango are performing and practising their trapeze sequences were very well written. I loved all of the circus parts, felt a strong sense of hatred towards the Plaguellants – who I felt were very cruel.

I thought the book was a good read, particulalrly if you enjoy this genre. I am not so sure readers who aren’t familiar with the sci-fi/fantasy genre would appreciate it though, it is pretty futuristic and leans heavily on the fantasy – which makes it a wonderful read for anyone who loves this genre.

Well written, one or two confusing parts – for me, anyway – but on the whole a good read.

**** 4 stars.