I received a free paperback copy of The Less than Perfect Legend of Donna Creosote from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you Bluemoose Books!
Donna Crick-Oakley walks on six inches of stories every day. She may live on the top floor of a tower block but she still pads her walls and floor with books to shut the real world further out. Or do they only shut her in?
I enjoyed this book, at its hearts it's a story about a girl who lives in books because she can't find her place in the world. She doesn't know how to live in the real world, how to relate to real people and wakes up one day and decides that she's going to venture out of the pages and into the world. But, she's not really sure how to do this and the real world isn't full of knights and princesses like her books. And so begins Donna's journey, looking to the characters in her stories, finding courage from fiction, she takes that first step.
Books are more than just objects, they are living, breathing, thriving worlds that allow you to escape the stress of everyday life and venture into other worlds, and I loved that someone else got that. I could relate to Donna Creosote in so many ways. Her love of books, for the touch, the feel, and the smell of the pages. Her ability to get lost in a story and shut the rest of the world out. Her need to be surrounded by books, to reach out to the familiar friends that live within the pages. All these are so familiar and something any avid reader will be able to relate to in one form or another.
There were many book related passages and sentences in this book that had me smiling and thinking to myself, see, it's not just me. She does it too!
"If it had been read and re-read and re-read until tattered, then it was more likely to be worth her reading as well..."
“The buying of second-hand books was, for Donna, somewhat akin to pet rescue…. such was her compassion for afflicted creatures that, upon noticing the book there on the charity shop shelf... she’d been unable to leave the premises without it.”
"The fact was, when given a choice between real life and books, Donna Crick-Oakley chose books every time... She chose books because they never left her lonely... Because company was often nothing of the kind, whereas a good book always was.”
However, I wasn't a fan of the way in which the dialogue was formatted. There were no quotation marks used to make the dialogue clear. The conversations between the characters differed enough that I could follow, Donna's was normal text and Sammy's was in italics, but there were times during the larger conversational sections where there were normal story sentences included between the dialogue and I found myself having to pay more attention to the text in order to keep the conversation and story separate, rather than just enjoying what I was reading.
There are times that Donna gets lost inside her own head, fantasising and reliving stories, picturing herself as the character in different fictional worlds. I enjoyed this but, one of these daydreams went on for quite a few pages and I found myself getting bored and my attention wandering.
The above two reasons are why I am giving this 4 stars and not 5 as I feel it had a negative impact on my enjoyment.
The Less than Perfect Legend of Donna Creosote is one that I would recommend. It reads very much like a modern fairytale. It's sweet and humorous but at the same time sad and melancholy. I really enjoyed it and kept being drawn back to it because I saw so much of myself in Donna.
Also, there's no such thing as "too" many books, just saying!