Monday, September 16, 2013

Dual Review: The Radleys by Matt Haig

I am so excited with my first dual review that I went over the board to make this awesome graphic/image :-) ....I know, but it took me an hour!!!! God, I need to learn Photoshop or Illustrator.

Bookworm Brandee had The Radleys collecting dust until I came to the rescue.

Below are my questions to her and her questions to me, and then a little discussion of everything.

I think this is quite long but.... there must be somebody out there dying to read our deep thoughts on The Radleys!

Needless to say, - ok. maybe I need to say - this was so much fun! If anybody wants to do a dual review with me give me a holler!

Quickly: The Radleys is about a vampire family in modern society trying to be humans. The little problem is that their children don't know they are vampires!

Read the summary on Goodreads.

My three questions to Brandee:

Me: I'm going to start at the end. How did you like the ending of the book?

Brandee: I quite liked the ending. I thought it was very fitting, keeping the tone of the novel. It was an HEA nor was it grim. It was a compromise of sorts. There were second chances allotted, and the Radleys were choosing to live in a way where they no longer ignored their true nature - acknowledging they did not have control over every aspect of their lives. However, they weren't swinging to the opposite side of the spectrum either.

Me: The Radleys lived a supressed life. Do you think it compares to how we live today? In order words, do we, like the Radleys, supress ourselves to comform with society?

Brande: I think in many ways we do suppress ourselves in order to conform with society. I feel like we all, in some fashion, ignore out true natures in an attempt to fit in and be liked. And we use 'guide books', whether it be the Bible or a self-help book, to show us how we should live to have fulfilling lives.

Me: Which one was your favorite character and why?

Brandee: I really liked Helen, although I have to say she redeemed herself in my eyes quite a bit towards the end, which made me like her much more. She is a very conflicted character and she had a varied perspective on how to live life since she'd lived both as an unblood, a practicing vampire, and an abstainer. I also liked Peter. I admired that he continued to live as an abstainer to honor his wife's wishes. However, I think my favorite character is Rowan. I like characters to experience a lot of growth and development and I felt like Rowan was the character with the greatest growth. He went from not even knowing his true nature and suffering because of that, to having other secrets about his life also revealed and the repercussions on his psyche from those revelations, to essentially being redeemed.

Me: Oops! Totally forgot to ask her rating for the book! 
But from her answers I reckon she gave it 5-stars :-)

Brandee's three questions to me:

Brande: You started at the end...I'm starting at the beginning...sort of. What made you pick up this book? What about it appealed to you?

Me: I picked this book because I read its review somewhere... I just don't remember where anymore! After reading the summary, I was hooked because I like vampires, jut not the ones that are so beautiful that women fall in love with them with the blink of an eye. Except for Twilight, that is.

Brande: I'd also like to know your favorite character and why. I'm interested to see if we picked the same one.

Me: Definitely Helen! I like conflicted characters with OCD. She was obnoxious but came through at the end. I liked Peter too, but you asked for just one, so.....

Brande: What are your thoughts on Mr. Haig's references from The Abstainer's Handbook?

Me: I found the Handbook to be a nice addition to understand where their "rules" came from.... at first. I enjoyed the short references, but I totally skipped the pages where the references were too long!

Wrap up
#1. Brandee was dumbfounded that I skipped the references to the Abstainer's Handbook. Well, I felt they were taking me away from the development of the story and I really wanted to read what was going on. But, to redeem myself, after I finished the book, I went back to read it because they were really funny.

#2. Brandee, lover of happy endings, loooved the ending. I did not, because, obviously, it ended too happily for my taste!

#3. Brandee picked this book because the title, The Radleys, reminded her Boo Radley of To Kill a Mockingbird. Kudos for your photographic memory lady!

#4. In short, we both liked the same characters.

I have to add that the writing was wonderful; I wasn't bored one bit. And I give The Radleys four marvelous stars!