Endorsement Quotes on Book Covers: Who the Hell is SJ Watson?

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I bought two books recently that had something in common, which was that they both had quotes of endorsement on their covers from SJ Watson. It made me wonder two things. One, is there any value in them, something that makes readers gravitate towards books with them and choose them over books without them? And two, who the hell is SJ Watson?

Okay, so I know now that SJ Watson is the author of Before I Go to Sleep, which was made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. I haven’t read the book or seen the film (and didn’t know who he was) so clearly when I was choosing those two books, the presence of his endorsement was not a consideration for me. But then again, I read so many books that maybe I don’t need to whittle them down to a chosen few. For those who have less time to devote to reading than I do, perhaps those testimonials really are useful. Continue reading

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Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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Disclaimer #1: I don’t generally read or like fiction that classifies itself as fantasy.

Disclaimer #2: I don’t care what genre of fiction a book is, there are still universals when it comes to good and bad writing, plot, characters and style.

Going into reading this book (as a non-fan of fantasy), I at least hoped I would be able to appreciate it on an objective level. But there wasn’t that much to appreciate. Regardless of the fact that I knew I wouldn’t especially like the genre, there was nothing particularly original about the underlying story. A girl with a unique talent is forced to hide it from general society and is then captured and tortured by those who want to use that talent for their own purposes. There’s an insider who’s secretly on her side (what a stroke of luck, because she never would have gotten through it all in the end without him). There’s a hidden community of people just like her (although she can never really tell who’s on her side or not). And there’s a large group of people who are evil and duplicitous for no real reason that is ever explained. Continue reading