YVO’S SHORTIES #36: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops & Click’d

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around again two different genres… A non fiction book about books I’ve been wanting to pick up for a while and a MG read I decided to pick up on a whim.


Title: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops
(Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops #1)
Author: Jen Campbell

Genre: Non Fiction, Humor, Books About Books
First published: March 27th 2012
Publisher: Constable
Finished reading: July 30th 2018
Pages: 128

“CUSTOMER: I read a book in the sixties. I don’t remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?”


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I love books about books and after reading The Bookshop Book by the same author back in 2016, I added Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops to my wishlist. It took me longer than expected to actually get, but this was just the right book at the right time for me. This is the perfect book to use as a gift for anyone working in a bookshop or library, or any booklover in general for that matter! Fun, entertaining and full of weird situations that will make both your eyebrows raise and wonder what those customers were thinking when they opened the door to the bookshop that day… But at least it has given us this book to brighten up our day. I like how Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops is divided into three different parts, with the last part being little anecdotes from bookshops around the world. It’s good to know there are weird customers out there in every little corner of the world… Although I’m not sure I would still want to work in a bookshop now. (Just kidding; I would still love to!) Remember this title if you are looking for something fun to gift to a bookish friend.


Title: Click’d
(Codegirls #1)
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
First published: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Finished reading: July 30th 2018
Pages: 304

“Because I have three best friends.” She pointed to each in turn. “And I don’t need to click with anyone else but you guys.”


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I absolutely loved Every Last Word when I read it back in 2016, so when I was browsing my books the other day and Click’d popped up, I decided to pick it up on a whim hoping to add another favorite to the list. I didn’t realize it was a Middle Grade read before I started it, but I don’t think this has influenced my opinion in a significant way since it’s not the first time I’ve read and loved a MG read. Somehow, Click’d didn’t stand out in the way Every Last Word did, and I ended up feeling slightly disappointed. Click’d wasn’t a bad read and I really liked the idea behind this story, but overall I found the story to be rather bland. The plot has that geeky feel with two of the main characters creating an app/game and the whole progress of coding and dealing with bugs in the code plays a big role throughout the story. The other main theme is friendship, which could work really well, but there were just too many cliches for me involved. I don’t mind a cliche or two, but if there are just too many piling up it starts to get annoying and less interesting. Overall, I think Click’d lacks the little something extra that could have made this story into something wonderful. It’s not bad and without doubt a superfast read, but not the new favorite I was hoping for. The younger half of the MG age group might enjoy the story better though.


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BOOK REVIEW: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer – by Mark Twain

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Title: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
Author: Mark Twain

Genre: Classics, Fiction, Middle Grade
First published: 1876
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Finished reading: October 20th 2016
Pages: 225
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“Can’t learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what’s coming?”

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Like most people, I already knew most of the details around the life of Tom Sawyer and I think I might have seen a TV series at some point, but I’m ashamed to admit I had never actually read the original story as it was written by Mark Twain all that time ago. And since I needed to read more classics in the first place, I thought it was a great excuse to finally pick up my copy of The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer. Unfortunately I can’t say I fell in love with this classic. I’m not saying it is a bad read, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Part of the problem might be that I read it too late; I would probably have enjoyed this story a lot better fifteen to twenty years ago. That said, I did think there were too many religious references to my taste, although that can probably be explained by the fact that it was written back in 1876. But classic or not, I did have a hard time to get a proper feel for the story and it only started to get more exciting after their ‘graveyard adventure’.  Slow start and stronger ending; I guess it would still make a great middle grade, especially for boys.

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Tom Sawyer is not like most of the boys in the Mississippi River town where his lives. He doesn’t really feel like behaving and doing as it is told by the adults around him, and is always looking for a way to escape his tasks. Tom is without doubt very clever, and is able to convince the other boys of just about everything. From the fun in whitewashing a fence to the games they play and the things that happen at school, Tom Sawyer is always a busy boy that normally means he will ends up in trouble. Trouble that might be turning into a really dangerous situation after what happened at the graveyard… But even trouble and danger cannot make Tom to stay away from his adventures and the creativity of his own mind.

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I guess I either read this story at the wrong time or it just wasn’t for me, because I can’t say I was convinced by especially the first part of The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer. It’s not a bad read and I can see why especially younger readers would love this story, but I had a hard time getting into the story. The last part is a lot more exciting though, and the story is quite readable even though it’s written back in the 19th century.

BOOK REVIEW: Carrie – by Stephen King

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Title: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Paranormal
First published: April 5th 1974
Finished reading: February 1st 2014
Pages: 253
Rating 3,5

“Sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. It’s what you say when you spill a cup of coffee or throw a gutter ball when you’re bowling with the girls in the league. True sorrow is as rare as true love.”

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The other day I finally got my hands on a few Stephen King novels…  And without knowing I chose Carrie, his first novel, as the first one on my list. Having read work of Stephen King in the past, I recognized Carrie as still being somewhat raw, unpolished. But without doubt this novel is shocking. More than just a horror story, it can also be called rather tragic. I almost felt sorry for Carrie and her unfortunate life. Stephen King was able to really make the characters come alive in this first published novel… He mixed parts of newspaper reports, scientific reports and personal journals with various point of views to make us believe the world he created is real.

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Carrie tells us the story of an unfortunate teenage girl named Carrie that has telekinetic powers. Set in Chamberlain, the poor girl suffers from bullying both at school and at home. Her mother is to be considered nearly crazy and over religious, and it appears she doesn’t let her daughter even breathe freely . At high school the teenagers are simply cruel, and it is a miracle she didn’t completely loose it before. The famous shower scene, where Carrie at the age of sixteen gets her first period, is appalling. It’s incredible someone can treat such a hopeless girl that way. You can see it coming that at some point the ‘bomb’ inside Carrie will explode, especially after she refinds and strenghtens her telekinetic powers. A disaster waiting to happen in Chamberlain…

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The most important scene, the prom night, comes surprisingly early in the book. When they were setting up the buckets of blood above the thrones I was just hoping something would happen to prevent disaster. But there was no escape, and Carrie suffers her ultimate and last humiliation. The rest of the book explains what happened in the aftermath. And I must say I felt sad inside when they finally found Carrie, even though she set half the town on fire and killed hundreds. Don’t read if you don’t like blood. Otherwise, a must read for both Stephen King fans and horror lovers.

BOOK REVIEW: The Abstinence Teacher – by Tom Perrotta

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Title: The Abstinence Teacher
Author: Tom Perrotta
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Religion
First published: October 16th 2007
Finished reading: February 21st 2013
Pages: 358

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“Abstinence is perfectly reasonable in theory,” Gregory said, “It just doesn’t work in practice. It’s like dieting. You can go a day or two, maybe even a week. But eventually that pizza just smells too good.”

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To be honest, I was completely underwhelmed by this book. I know I only started reading it because I didn’t have another book available at the time, but still… This was absolutely disappointing. The lack of imagination and the abuse of cliches made me almost throw my copy of The Abstinence Teacher against the wall. And trust me, I would have felt sorry for the wall. A sex education teacher versus religion, really? Very, very frustrating. The uninspiring and dull writing style wasn’t really helping either, and overall I’m actually surprised I didn’t end up DNFing this novel by Tom Perrotta. This author unfortunately will go to my do-not-read list… In short, this novel was even less than I expected when I started reading it and I would only recommend it to my enemy.

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Ruth Ramsey is a sex education teacher with liberal ideas about how to educate her kids. She believes that knowledge is power, but is then forced to change her approach to an abstinence-only program in which she has to go against all her beliefs. Tim Mason is a former member of various rock bands and addict who was saved by God. Tim now is an active member of The Tabernacle, an evangelical Christian church and he is also Ruth’s younger daughter’s soccer coach. This causes problems when he asks the girls to pray together after a game… Ruth has huge problems with The Tabernacle ever since they criticized her liberal ways of teaching and the school forced her into abstinence. Tim and Ruth mistrust each other, but since her daughter isn’t about to give up soccer and her older daughter actually wants to join the church, Ruth was left no choice and has to talk to Tim… With certain consequences.

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The struggle between Tim and Ruth is almost like a small ‘war’ where rather tacky opposites attract… And that is only one of the many cliches used in this novel. The Abstinence Teacher left me bored and above all frustrated wtih the hours wasted on reading it. I normally don’t enjoy to DNF a novel, but I wish I would have done it with this one. NOT recommended.