Saturday, 28 April 2012

Stolen AwayStolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well that was a pleasant surprise!! Maybe in the future I should always approach a book with lowered expectations!!! Though not quite 4 stars, I give this a very solid and well deserved 3.5.

This is the kind of story that doesn't pretend to be something that it isn't. It's got a relatively simple plot, characters that are pretty bog-standard and is written in a style that is minimalist and uncluttered. These may all sound like bad things, but they really aren't, at least not where this book is concerned.

Yes, the plot isn't overly imaginative, but sometimes it's refreshing to read something that you don't have to decipher and pick apart to get at the meat of the story.

I said the characters were unoriginal, but that doesn't mean they are the kind of bland, two dimensional caricatures devoid of human emotion and the ability to speak without moaning and/or mumbling, you would expect to find in a book like this one. They may follow similar patterns, the seemingly shy and quite girl who's actually a lot tougher than she appears, the best friend who has rather strange personal tastes, this one being obsessed with all things British and dressing as if she had emerged from a period drams. And of course there were the incredibly cute boys vying for the fair ladies' affections, one wholesome and good, the other a bad boy a little rough round the edges. Sounds familiar doesn't it? but there wasn't one point while I read this that I got bored, or found the characters tiresome and dull.

The author managed to take well worn themes and personalities and completely make them her own. And best of all? NO FREAKING LOVE TRIANGLE!!!! Oh happy days. I kept expecting one to crawl out of the wood work, but nothing. Not even a hint. The long suffering male best friend remained just that, a friend. This in itself makes this worth reading!!

I also mentioned the simplistic narrative style, but that's not quite right. While the author doesn't weigh us down with heavy metaphors, she still has the ability to write with flair, even more so because she doesn't assault the senses with reams and reams of needless waffle. Her writing is lyrical enough, but also to the point and is the sort of writing I can really sink into.

So what if this is basically Tithe with a smile? Humour is good, and in most cases for me, can mean the difference between an ok book, and a great book. Stolen Away is fun and highly entertaining with maybe a little fluff poking out here and there. Disengage brain to enjoy to the fullest!!

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