The Mother Hen Blog A Day Challenge: A Book I Love And One I Don't

I love books. I have been obsessed with reading since I was old enough to read. I have a vague memory of my primary two teacher telling my Mum that my reading age was surprisingly advanced. Apart from a few years after university where I fell out of love with reading (Never do an English Lit degree if you love books), I've remained as love with books as ever.

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I have to admit that the prompt for this blog post stumped me a little. I have definitely abandoned many a book over the years, yes it's sacrilegious but I am so bad at forcing myself to read a book if I'm not enjoying it, but I struggled to remember a book that I finished and did not like. Possibly because unless I loathed it, I probably discarded it from my brain. However, I had a light bulb moment earlier and remembered a book from my childhood that I hated! Which you will find out later in the post. First up, a book that I love.

When orphaned young Maria Merryweather arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she’s entered Paradise. Her new guardian, her uncle Sir Benjamin, is kind and funny; the Manor itself feels like home right away, and every person and animal she meets is like an old friend. But there is something incredibly sad beneath all of this beauty and comfort—a tragedy that happened years ago, shadowing Moonacre Manor and the town around it—and Maria is determined to learn about it, change it, and give her own life story a happy ending. But what can one solitary girl do?

This is one of my all time favourite books. I first read it in primary school as a class book and I was so in love with it, at the end of the year my teacher gave me a copy as a gift. It's utterly enchanting. I've read it again and again over the years. It always transports me back to being a young girl who daydreamed about adventure and running off on adventures. The descriptions in the writing were so vivid that I felt transported. Good writing like that always sticks with you. Parts of the plot are a little unrealistic but as the book is billed as a low level fantasy fairytale I can forgive it that. Would reccomend this book to anyone who loves fairytales with strong minded heroines and magical settings. 

Fourteen-year-old Prue and her sister Grace have been educated at home by their controlling, super-strict father all their lives. Forced to wear Mum's odd hand-made garments and forbidden from reading teenage magazines, they know they're very different to 'normal' girls – but when Dad has a stroke and ends up in hospital, unable to move or speak, Prue suddenly discovers what it's like to have a little freedom.

Sent to a real school for the first time, Prue struggles to fit in. The only person she can talk to is her kindly, young – and handsome – art teacher, Rax. They quickly bond, and Prue feels more and more drawn to him. As her feelings grow stronger, she begins to realise that he might feel the same way about her. But nothing could ever happen between them - could it?

I adore Jacqueline Wilson. Her books are some of my childhood favourites. I reread my copy of Girls Out Late so much that it eventually fell to pieces. I never thought there would be a Jacqueline Wilson book that I disliked but boy was I proved wrong. I loathed this book. LOATHED. It took me well over a month to finish it because I disliked it so much. The story was so unrealistic and the characters, especially the main character, were so unlikeable. I know likeability isn't a necessity for a character to be good but Prue literally had no redeeming qualities. She was just a poor downtrodden, selfish girl who fell in love with the first bloke who showed her some attention. Just so happened to be her teacher, who then reciprocated her feelings. This could have been a great story that highlighted the issue of inappropriate relationships but no it was written as a star crossed lovers story ending with them both parting ways with no repercussions for the teacher. I read this when I was fourteen, I hated it then and I still hate it now.

I'd forgotten how much I loved writing about books. Some of the book reviews I've written on here have been some of my favourite posts. I should really try and get some book reviews posted after this challenge ends.

Let me know one of your favourite childhood books! I love childrens fiction. Some of the best stories I've ever read were from my childhood and as this post proves I still reread them as an adult.

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