A Book Review For Movie Watchers: Leopard Rock
Hey there. Yes, you with the remote control. Care to put that down for a moment? Just for a moment, I promise... there you go, that wasn't so bad.
So, question: when was the last time you got truly lost in a good book? If you can't remember, then this is the post for you! If you're reading a good book now, then you can help me out here.
Let's face it, movies are becoming visual bubblegum. There seem to be more releases every year than ever before, but so many of them are sequels (how much Faster and Furiouser must we get??), or ideas that used to be unique but have been hashed and rehashed, until they lack the "something special" that the original versions used to have. I would even be so bold to say that many of the few good movies that have been released lately have come from....books.
I myself have been guilty of neglecting my passion for reading in favour of watching TV. But I've decided to actively add more books to my leisure time so that my brain doesn't go to mush (it's a serious concern).
Without too much modesty, I'm glad to say I've been doing well! Allow me to share the joy of my latest read with you:
Book Review: Leopard Rock by Tarras Wilding
An unlikely romance blooms between a fashion journalist and a game reserve owner when the magazine she works for takes her to a photo shoot project at his remote African lodge called Leopard Rock...
The Good Stuff
- It's got a likeable, funny, and quirky New Zealander female protagonist called Roo, who throughout the story we see coping with her demanding job while trying to make her dreams come true in her spare time.
- The book's Afrikaaner male protagonist is just as interesting, with layers that are revealed gradually throughout the novel. As different as the two are, the author skilfully makes their pairing believable.
- Its funny in all the warm and fuzzy places, with light humour springing from situations like mistaken identity, and contrasting cultural differences
- There are some thrilling action scenes which keep the pages turning
- The antagonist is very convincing, with a solid back story that makes their villainy easy to understand
- The pacing is good, and stakes are raised at the appropriate places (when you least expect it!)
- It's a very well researched story, creating a believable atmosphere with its thorough portrayal of the languages, cultures and nature.
The Not-So-Good Stuff
- The black African characters seemed to be more "part of the scenery" than people in their own right. For one thing, I would have liked to see the black best friend of the male protagonist have a more significant impact on the story's outcome. That said, the author made a fair attempt to portray him with dignity.
Read It If:
You enjoy a story about love against the odds, and personal growth of both lead characters, set in a believably beautiful African bush. It refreshingly lacks any cheesiness that many romance novels are smothered in, just real people with real problems, finding love - even if they may not know that they're looking for it.
My Favourite Quote:
"Oh look!" she said, trying to sound casual, "elephant dung!"
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