Monday, 17 August 2020

Reviews: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Millers and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid



The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.


My Thoughts:
I listened to this book on audio and I need to give the narrator a high five for he was wonderful! He told the story wonderfully and breathed life into Patroclus but irrespective of how good the narrator Miller's writing was so beautiful! This was such a beautifully written book that I just can't get over it. 

Everyone knows (or I assume they do?) the story of the Iliad. Of Hector and Achilles, Helen and Paris, of Agamemnon, Menelaus and Odysseus... And of Patroclus. It's a story of friendship, love, loss and fate and Miller's retelling is perfection. It's more engaging than the original text (although that wouldn't be hard...) Through the eyes of Patroclus, she makes the arrogant Achilles likeable! She makes a well-trod tale seem new and fresh. She made me smile, took me on a journey to the past and made it come alive. I knew what was to come yet she still managed to destroy me when it happened! Patroclus and Achilles... The way she told their story, the love they had for each other... I just can't describe it. You need to read it. 

This is a perfect example of a book I loved with every piece of my soul yet have no words to tell you why. It just struck a chord and I suspect I'll love it forever. 


Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band's album Aurora came to define the rock 'n' roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group's split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock 'n' roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

My Thoughts:
I think you have to have been living under a rock if you're a reader and haven't heard of Daisy Jones and The Six. This book released with a bang and the hype train just got bigger, louder and more emphatic as the months went on and more and more people read it. 
I must admit, I was curious but intimidated by the hype. Overhyped books come with expectations and that rarely ends well but, in this case, it did!
Daisy Jones and the Six is worth the hype. I found the beginning to be a bit... Slow? It was interesting learning about Daisy and about The Six but it wasn't unputdownable. However, the minute Daisy and The Six collided I was hooked! Together is where the story took off for me and I couldn't stop turning pages until I'd read the last one. 
A rollercoaster of emotions is a phrase that gets used a lot but there is no other way to describe how I felt reading this book. From soaring high to sinking low, the book takes you on an unforgettable journey that you wish was real. It feels real. It feels like you should be able to head over to your preferred streaming service and listen to the album, click on youtube and watch endless clips, and head to the book store and read countless biographies... These people are fascinating... Not always likeable but compelling just the same! Their journey is engrossing. And the fact that they're a figment of the author's imagination blows my mind. The characters jump off the page vibrant, living, breathing beings and the fact it's all just a story is perhaps the most heart-wrenching element of the entire book!
I can't recommend the book highly enough. It was wonderful. The only reason it was 4.5 stars (and not 5) for me was because of how I perceived the beginning but I can one hundred per cent see why so many people would disagree and give it all the stars!

4 comments:

  1. So excited to see Daisy Jones get 5 stars! I agree that the characters were fascinating, even though now necessarily likable. I was so hooked and so invested. And so dismayed that I couldn't download their music. LOL

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  2. I've wanted to read The Song of Achilles for years - I really need to get on that. LOL I DO have Daisy Jones though, so I'm hoping to read that one ASAP.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  3. My review for Daisy is going up Thursday but I was kind of hooked right away - I got a little bored further in when it was just circling around the same issues but I really loved that one. I was shocked by how much I liked it.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  4. Nice reviews! I'm seeing Daisy on a few blogs at the moment. Glad you enjoyed it!

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