Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Book Report: Devil's Cub

My first book in February seemed to go by very fast, probably because I finished The Summer Tree with four days still to go in January. That's fine, the further ahead I can get the better because then I might actually feel like I have time to tackle a longer book without falling off pace. 

Mixed. Very decidedly mixed. This book was a present - years ago - from Nickie, whose judgement I trust. On the other hand, it's still a Regency romance novel and as such I expected it to be pretty predictable. I made a wordsearch about romance novels for Valentine's Day and I've been wanting to give a bona fide romance a try every since - I'm not sure this quite fulfilled that niche in my mind. I might still need to track down Dare I Be Happy? or Cupid Rides Pillion

At least one of the plot twists in this book actually surprised me! For the first several chapters I thought I could see exactly where it was going: respectable, strait-laced young woman gets involved with dashing, impetuous junior lord in order to save beautiful but irresponsible sister. Of course, opposites attract and the two main characters will slowly fall in love and end up properly married and living out their happily ever after, right? In broad strokes I was absolutely spot on, but there were more steps to get to that end result than I was expecting and a certain turn of events that I won't spoil honestly threw a spanner in the works. 

I liked the characters — especially Mary. The background characters were very much straight out of an Austen novel, but Mary and Lord Vidal were at least a little different. I also got a fair few laughs out of some of the dialogue, particularly when the uptight male characters (Mr John Marling and Mr Frederick Cummin) come up against the wilder of the ladies. Georgette Heyer has the advantage over Jane Austen that she's writing for a modern audience and therefore doesn't have her jokes hinging on the exact type of barouche the characters drive. (Which isn't to say I don't find Jane Austen funny, I do — Mr and Mrs Bennet have perhaps one of the best comic relationships in literature.)

The plot was, after all, a little predictable. I knew from very early on exactly which characters would end up together and nothing ever happened that caused me to question that. 
The prose also suffered from a lot of showing not telling, especially when it came to Mary. Though Georgette Heyer describes how Mary feels for Lord Vidal it’s rarely shown in her actions, which causes her feelings to fall a little flat. 

Final Thoughts
I don't think I'll be rushing out to find more novels by Georgette Heyer, but it was perfectly good for what it was and I got a few laughs as well — 6 stars

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Music Monthly

Towards the end of last year, I read a description of someone's music ranking system. Apparently they kept track of their top ten songs each day, and then made a list at the end of the year. I thought that sounded interesting and decided to give it a go myself. Now, I didn't do it every day and I don't think I ever had a full ten favourite songs but I thought a monthy round-up would be worthwhile. So here it is: 

Two Magicians (Greg Russell, Ciaran Algar) - 10 points
No Doubling Back (Jason Mraz) - 10 points
Luck Be a Lady (Guys and Dolls) - 10 points 
Brave (Sara Bareilles) - 10 points
Oh Cecilia (The Vamps) - 10 points
Shenandoah (Peter Hollens) - 10 points
Stars (Collabro) - 10 points
 Who Am I? (Will Young) - 9 points
Friend Like Me (Ne-Yo) - 9 points 
Fight Song (Popchoir) - 9 points
Topsy Turvy (Hunchback of Notre Dame) - 9 points
Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat (Guys and Dolls) - 9 points
Pop 101 (Marianas Trench, Anami Vice) - 9 points
I Won't Give Up (Peter Hollens) - 9 points
I See the Light (Peter Hollens, Evynne Hollens) - 9 points 
 UB2 (Bend it Like Beckham) - 8 points
Boy Band Parody (Jon Cozart, Peter Hollens) - 8 points
Bad Day (Daniel Powter) - 8 points
American Girls (Counting Crows) - 8 points
Wake Up Little Susie (Everly Brothers) - 8 points
Air Guitar (McBusted) - 8 points
About You Now (Skipinnish) - 8 points 
Look at Us Now (Bend it Like Beckham) - 7 points
Nerdy (Busted) - 7 points
A Thousand Miles (Vanessa Carlton) - 7 points
Lucky (Britney Spears) - 7 points
Maybe Tomorrow (London Music) - 7 points
Girl Perfect (Bend it Like Beckham) - 6 points
Tough Love (Bend it Like Beckham) - 5 points
Mine, Mine, Mine (Pocahontas) - 4 points 


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