Sample Saturday – elves, murders, and a girl grieving


Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery

Why I have it: Because I loved Hedgehog and The Gourmet.

Summary: Two young girls with exceptional gifts meet elves and change the world.

I’m thinking: Maybe. Yes, for lines such as –

“…for such a young child she bore herself in a most unusual way, incorporating some of the invisibility and trembling of the air, as a dragonfly would, or palms swaying in the wind.”

 but should I be concerned about a three-page character list for a 258 page book?!

All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford

Why I have it: A friend was talking about it.

Summary: Within six months of Pen Sheppard starting university, three of her new friends are dead. Only Pen knows the reason why.

I’m thinking: Maybe. Everything in the crime-genre is paling in comparison to Serial at the moment. I’m still completely absorbed by it. Anyways, I’ll keep this book in mind when I next need a page-turner (that’s usually on long-haul flights).

Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down

Why I have it: Saw it in a book shop window. I loved the cover – it’s like fireworks and coral and rainbows, all at once.

Summary: Three friends, mates since high school. One dies and everything is thrown off-kilter.

I’m thinking: Yes. This is the sort of writing that’s everything I love.

9 responses

  1. 3-page character list? That’s kind of worrisome. Although, at the same time it does sound kind of interesting and I really want to know how the author is gonna manage to cover so many characters in such a short book. I feel like it would be either awesome or horrible.

    • It seems to be getting an ‘awful’ rating on Goodreads… In the short but I read, I could have used a dozen quotes. Her writing is magic.
      Maybe all the characters are simply rafts of very small elves?! Either way, can’t stand having to look back at character lists b

    • I know… And there were a dozen other lovely passages as well. I think if I was to read it, I’d need it in hard copy so that flicking back to character list is easy – flipping through e-books drives me mental.

  2. I love this concept for a blog post. Never seen anyone do this before. 🙂 I agree with the other commenters – 3 pages of characters sounds like you might be stopping mid-read to flip back and forth to figure out who’s who lots of times. I know for me, it would definitely interfere with my ability to enjoy the book. But the writing sounds intriguing…

    • By all means, join in on Sample Saturday if, like me, you can’t resist sample chapters! When I first got my Kindle, I was impulse buying so many books. When I discovered the free sample option, I made myself hit that before ‘buy’…. But I still have to get through all the samples! Sharing samples each week force me to sift through them and gives me an opportunity to hear if other readers have enjoyed a particular book or not (and it seems the Elves is getting the thumbs down!).

      • I seriously might have to give this a go! I love that you’ve used it for the built-in accountability to read through samples, too. Such a great idea. (Bummer for the elves, though!)

  3. I haven’t heard of Serial… or maybe I have and my brain is fluffy… one never knows…

    Mostly enjoyed All THese Perfect Strangers – though didn’t LOVE the ending.

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