Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (***) – Full of what have become such icons of piracy, this was a fun adventure story with some really exciting scenes. I felt the beginning dragged a little, but enjoyed the story overall. Jim is the ideal ‘boys adventure’ protagonist – brave, noble and reckless – and Silver is a complex and believable villain.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (**) – I liked the fairytale/ fable feel to the story but felt the morality tale aspect to be quite patronising. Coelho’s key phrases (Personal Legend, Soul of the World etc) are repeated ad nauseam and I wasn’t keen on the philosophy that Santiago should abandon everyone and everything to go after his dream. Maybe something of the magic people rave about got lost in translation, or maybe it’s just me but I was underwhelmed.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (****) – I was shocked that this book is so short – it certainly packs a punch and shows how it’s possible to really connect a reader with your characters quickly and efficiently. Very few books/ movies make me cry and I wasn’t actually planning on using this story for this prompt. I knew nothing about the plot except that it’s a ‘classic’ so was probably the only person unaware of the ending. A wonderful story and a tragic ending, that did in fact bring a tear to my eye.


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