These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Review: The Museum of Extraordinary Things

The Museum of Extraordinary Things The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about The Museum of Extraordinary Things.

Before I started reading the book, I knew it was a book of mixed reviews: some loved it, whereas others hated it. What seemed to divide people was how they felt about The Night Circus. Whilst I personally enjoyed The Night Circus, I’m not crazy about it in the way many other people are. I believe this I why I fall more on the ‘dislike’ than the ‘like’ end of the spectrum when it comes to The Museum of Extraordinary Things. I do not hate this book, yet it is not the extraordinary read I had been expecting it to be.

This book is part historical fiction, part mystery, part romance, and part magical realism. Excluding the first, historical fiction, I do not feel as though any of the other three components were all they were chalked up to be. I felt as though they were either lacking or forced, making it difficult for me to truly enjoy the story in the way I had hoped to. I was interested enough to see how things finished – in fact, that’s the reason this book earned a three star rating rather than a two star rating, as I found I had to finish the book to see how things came to an end – but I wasn’t engaged in the way I had hoped to be. I cared a little, but I did not have any emotional attachment to the story: I just wanted to know how everything played out.

In regards to the historical fiction aspect, it was really well done. The world was brought to life around us, and it was very easy to imagine the setting and the events going on. Truthfully, I found this to be the strongest aspect of the story. I cannot fault the historical fiction side – unless you want to take in the lack of emotional impact regarding events. Certain events that played out didn’t hit me in quite the way I had expected them to, failing to pull upon my emotions in how I had hoped they would. Nevertheless, the historical components were the strongest part of the book.

When it comes to the mystery aspect, it was okay. It was nothing amazing; it was just there. When a dead body was introduced I expected there to be a lot more drama than there was, a lot more amateur detective work, but things seemed to be glossed over. Events played to link things together and yet there wasn’t much by way of action: we were told this and that happened, we knew information was found out, and yet there wasn’t much in the way of heart stopping action that I like to see with mystery storylines.

The romance was just… well, there. I really didn’t care for it. I didn’t feel anything for either of the main characters, and bringing them together did nothing for me. Their relationship lead to a couple of interesting moments, but as a whole I could have done without the romantic storyline. There was no real depth to it, nothing that I cared for.

The magical realism didn’t seem to be there at all, in my opinion. We had a ‘freak show’ cast of sorts, but I wouldn’t label that to be in the realm of magical realism. I would view that as being a reflection of beliefs during the time the story is set in. Then we have a fish that… well, it didn’t really count as magical realism in so much as it seemed to be a reason to add more words to the story. I’m sure many will find some deep significance for the fish, but I really didn’t understand what it actually added to the story.

Basically, I wasn’t overly impressed with this one. There were a handful of interesting moments, but other than that it was merely an okay read.

View all my reviews

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