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Book Review – Poison Study

Poison-Study-Cover-2

Title: Poison Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 409

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5, 3.6

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Description/Synopsis:

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I loved this book.

I picked it up because it was laying around my nans house and had nothing better to do. Not going to lie, I went in with pretty low expectations but this book just so good.

I really can’t say that there was much lacking in this book. The plot was well developed and thought through but there were some parts where I could tell what was going to happen. I loved the mix of fantasy and dystopia. We are in a kingdom which has just gotten taken over by a military regime which has both its good and bad parts which I loved it for. One part I would consider bad would be the part where magic is banned and is punishable by death, and creates much drama and stress for our main characters Yelena who was orphaned, has no idea where she came from and doesn’t understand this power she was born with. You would think that something like that would govern most of the story, but that was no the case. We had the drama of her training/being the poison taster mixed in with political issues, and then we also had the very subtle and not over powering level of the romance that budded in the story.

I have read in some reviews that people would have liked more romance, and I both disagree and agree. With the way this story was written I think that the amount that was in there was good and slow developing which I like, but I do agree with some that if the story had just been an adult novel, which it so could have easily been because of the age of out main characters, you could have gotten much more steamy love, which I also enjoy. I think I agree it would have made a better adult book but I like it still the way it is.

I thought all the characters were well developed, and while there were a few kind of throwaway people in there, I feel like at least some of them will come back and serve more of a purpose in the coming stories. Maybe. I shall see I guess. Yelena I found to be a really realistic and just straight up awesome character. The amount of rubbish she has to go through, past and present,I am amazed she turned out as strong willed as she is. She is realistic about her abilities, and gets saved by others a few times, but not at any point did I think she was just a meek character who just needs to be saved all the time. She is constantly looking to better herself in her never ending struggle to make the right decisions to just stay alive. If anyone just deserved to be left alone and have a boring life if they so choose its Yelena. With the next book I think we will be focusing on her magic and her family back story more so I al really looking forward to seeing where that goes.

I would normally talk about other characters here, but since I think part of the fun of this book is that it surprises you about hwo the people end up being, if you don’t want to be spoiled about those kind of things, this would be a good place for you to end reading the review. You have been warned. All you need to know is that I loved this book, and I think you should read it.

Rand, I knew from our very first interaction with him that he was not to be trusted. I can’t remember what he did exactly that first time that made me think it, but I was like that is weird… This guy is being sus, I don’t trust him. Turns out I was right. I Valek was an awesome character He was just as mysterious as the head assassin of the Commander was supposed to be. I am really interested in how he is not effected by any kind of magic, and I hope we get to explore that more. While he seemed cold hearted at times, he also had his funny moments and cute moments that made me go awww. I love him as a character. The Commander confused me a little. I thought he was a very strong character despite the fact he didn’t pop up much, his big secret and issue seemed a bit lacking to me. While I know its a thing, and I don’t mean to be insulting to anyone who has read the book and knows what I am talking about, his reasoning as to why seemed a bit iffy. Almost insulting… sorta.

I think I am going to stop rambling on now. I thought this book was awesome and I am very put out that my Nan doesn’t have the rest of the series. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes assassins, magic, and political plotlines since the book has all of these things.

On a completely side note, this is one of those series where the cover seems to change with each book, and I went out to try and get it but one of the covers matched for the whole series/collection of books so I have been reduce to getting it on my kindle. Again. I hope that by the time all the books are released they would have worked out their cover drama!

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Passion of Dolssa

passion-of-dolssa

Title: The Passion of Dolssa

Author: Julie Berry

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Length: 271

Rating: 4 (4.5) Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.

Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.

The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.

When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank HarperCollins Australia for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for a full review! Sorry its been a long time in the making.

While I received an ARC of this book to read i noticed that my motivation for reading wasn’t very high last year when I received this book so I went out and got myself the audio book. I loved it. I would strongly recommend this books audio version. Its super easy to listen to and has good voice actors.

There was only one thing within this book that I didn’t completely fall in love with, and that was the high religious component to the plot. I don’t remember how I came about to get this book from the publishers, I don’t remember if I asked for or if it was just sent to me, and I didn’t remember this when I listened to it either so I went into this book pretty much not knowing anything about it, and I was not overly thrilled to find out that her passion was for god. Now I don’t want to offend anyone, I have nothing against people being highly Christian or anything, but I myself am Pagan so I am not really interested in reading about that Christian faith. Other stories I have reviewed such His Dark Materials have been marked down because of the high dose of religion. BUT it is major part of the story, and the more I got into it, really the less it bothered me.

The plot of this story was just spot on. It was very dark and had some pretty gruesome parts in there while also having some lighter moments. The way it was written had me waiting on the edge of my seat and making me eager to get back into the car again or made me sit in the car longer than was necessary so that I could hear the conclusion to something. I don’t remember finding anything predictable and parts of it nearly broke my heart. Everything was beautifully described and the pictures that Berry painted with her words were spot on.

All the characters in this book are well developed and thought out. There isn’t anyone in this book for the sake of trying to move something along needlessly or that seemed pointless. They were all well developed and had a purpose and enhanced the story by them being there, whether that took the story to a happy or sad place it didn’t matter. Despite the plot being very powerful this would have to be a character driven novel because each part was decided wholeheartedly by the characters.

The characters were great by themselves but they were also great in groups. Each relationship is introduced in a sort of gentle way that by the time you are done learning about each relationship you feel as though you are part of it and it just straight up hurts when something happens to any of them. You hurt because you care about them, and you hurt for those who also love them.

Something I also noticed more when picked my ARC up for this review that I feel needs mentioning as well is that Berry did a truly wonderful and great job at researching the time period that she set the book in. There are historical notes, additional readings, and glossaries for it all in the book! I think she did such a wonderful job that if you took out the dates, people could probably still work out what time frame in history they were reading about. You can also go into it knowing absolutely nothing about the 1200s and still just know and understand and visualise everything in perfect detail. I really love when an author puts that much research into their stories.

This is where I am going to leave you for this one. This book book was surprisingly good, and had me totally hooked. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction in any regard. For those who are turned off by religious things like me, take me word for it, you wont care about it by the end. I think most people would enjoy this book, if only the word of it was out a little more.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Top Ten Tuesday – Loved Less Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would

 

1. A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I loved the show so I thought I would like more details. It didn’t go the way I wanted.

2. Soundless by Richelle Mead. I was sooo excited for this book. It had so much potential.

3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. It still shocks me that this one gets so many positive reviews.

4.  The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead. While I was sort of prepared for a not the best ending, I still had the highest of hopes.

81NoUIhBD5L._SL1500_ soundless everything-i-never-told-you-original-imae2ffkwzr5r57x Ruby Circle

 

 

 

 

5. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Becky Albertalli. I had heard so many good things and it just didn’t reach all of them for me.

6. Looking for Alaska by John Green. Ok, not the best and not really up to how crazy people are about it. For me anyway.

7. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headly. I WAS SO EXCITED AND IT WAS SO SAD THAT I BARELY LIKED IT.

my hearts and other black holes looking-for-alaska Magnolia

 

 

 

8. Half Bad by Sally Green. Again, it sounded like the best thing ever.

9. His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman. This was a hype one for me. I get why others liked it, but it just didn’t reach that level for me.

10.Across the Universe by Beth Revis. More hype. I went in expecting so much.

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Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

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Till Next Time. . .

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Sunday Shopping – December Nerdybookworm & Owlcrate

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Mystery Figure from Funko!:

Cost – US – 11.5, AUD – 15

Shipping – I have the option to buy these instore here so I have decided to leave shipping prices off this one.

Thoughts – The one i ended up with is pretty damn cute.

Would I Buy It – Yes, but only if I had an $15 to blow because they are rather pricey for what they are and I might not get one I actually want.

Lord of the Rings Pin from Ideal Bookshelf:

Cost – US – 11, AUD – 14.35

Shipping – US – 10.95, AUD – 14.29

Thoughts – I think its something I would never have thought to get but its super cute.

Would I Buy It – If I were to get into pins, I know I would go at them hard but as of right now I don’t think I would buy it because they are not something I am really interested in.

Game of Thrones Coasters from Dark Horse Comics:

Cost – US – 9.99, AUD – 13.03

Shipping – Dark horse don’t seem to ship these kind of things to Australia so unless I found them in another shop I cannot find the price of shipping.

Thoughts – I don’t really have any furniture nice enough for me to ever feel the need to use coasters but I spose one day I might?

Would I Buy It – Nope.

Greeting card from Susanne Draws:

Cost – The shop was closed when I looked to get prices (it opens tomorrow of course) so if I remember I shall update it.

Thoughts – Cute but not something I would buy. I might buy something else from the artist, but not a card.

Would I Buy It – Not a card.

Darker Shade of Magic Sticker from Miss Phi:

Thoughts – So i couldn’t seem to find the sticker option on the page, so I don’t know if the sticker was a one off or if you can normally get them.

Would I Buy It – Perhaps not a sticker but I like the looks of the store so I might buy something else from there.

What I Paid For The Box: US – 49.98, AUD – 60.87

Box Worth: US – 61.17+, AUD – 79.69+ 

Final Thoughts: Not the best but I am getting another.

Not the best one I have gotten before but I am still happy with the value and the overall experience so I shall continue to buy.

 

Till Next Time…

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Thursday Tags – Totally Should’ve

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Welcome to another Thursday Tags. This weeks tag was created by the wonderful Emma of emmabooks.

Totally Should’ve Book Tag

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

I am not going to touch this because good things should be left alone. We all know things that have been ruined because they get dragged out,

2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series

I know I have answered this before, but I can’t for the life of me think of one…

3. An author who totally should write more books

Leslye Walton who wrote The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. That book was amazing. Please write more.

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

Nana K from Nana by Ai Yazawa. I had a rant about this last week.

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. The whole direction in which the plot went should be changed. The deaths can still be the same, but like the big big thing needs to go.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

Not franchise by I think I would like All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven would be a good movie.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I don’t really need to go into why I don’t think.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

I don’t think I can of a book or series that would have been better with just the one point of view.

9. Totally should have a cover change

Any VA or Bloodlines books by Richelle Mead. I know VA got a cover change but they still weren’t any good.

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Even though I didn’t like it this series looked stunning until they changed the covers.

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Where She Went sort of ruined it for me (even though I liked it) I try to think of it as a separate thing altogether.

 

 

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Top Ten Tuesday – Not Sexy Romances

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Romances That I Didn’t Get Into

Now even though this is on valentines day and its supposed to be lovey dovey, it hasnt been that long since I did a list revolving around romance I liked. So I decided to do a list of romances that I didn’t find sexy or that I didn’t get into. These are not all romance books, just romances I didn’t like. If you wish to see a list of ones I did enjoy you can go to Books That Make Me Swoon. These books are not in any kind of order scale, just the order I thought of them. Enjoy!

1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. This is not my idea of a healthy relationship. Made my ovaries dry up.

2. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Bill by far is the most boring ‘hunk’ to ever walk the earth. I basically fell asleep everytime he popped up.

3. Head Over Wheels by January Valentine. Both of the main character suffered serious PMS and I wanted to kill them both most of the time.

4. Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. The boyfriend was a tool. Enough said.

fifty-shades dead-until-dark head-over-wheels-by-january-valentine 9780140360462

 

 

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5. Nana by Ai Yazawa. I am pretty sure the romance I didn’t like pops up around vol 6. Takumi is satan. You choose wrong Nana K! Any other choice would have been better.

6. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. Another perfect example of a very unhealthy relationship. This one had me screaming with the hate of it.

7. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Becky Albertalli. Unhealthy start to a relationship. Probably would have been better as friends.

nana6 our_chemical_hearts_cover_0 my hearts and other black holes

 

 

 

 

8. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner. Just so soo so dumb. Its shoved in our aces then doesn’t happen for such dumb reasons.

9. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead. Its not that is was bad I guess… It was just really really boring.

10. Soundless by Richelle Mead. Again one I just didn’t care about. What has happened to you Mead?!

the maze runner glittering court soundless

 

 

 

 

Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

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Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil

tell the truth

Title: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Author: Melina Marchetta

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 405

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Bashir “Bish” Ortley is a London desk cop. Almost over it. Still not dealing with the death of his son years ago, as well as the break-up of his marriage.

Across the channel, a summer bus tour, carrying a group of English teenagers is subject to a deadly bomb attack, killing four of the passengers and injuring a handful of others. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

The suspect is 17 year old Violette LeBrac whose grandfather was responsible for a bombing that claimed the lives of dozens of people fourteen years ago; and whose mother, Noor, has been serving a life sentence for the part she was supposed to have played in the attack.

As Bish is dragged into the search for the missing Violette, he finds himself reluctantly working with Noor LeBrac and her younger brother, Jimmy Sarraf.

And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more Bish realizes that they may have got it wrong all those years ago, and that truth wears many colours. Especially when it comes to the teenagers on board the recent bus bombing. Including his daughter.

Tell the truth. Shame the devil. Bish can’t get Violette LeBrac’s words out of his head. But what he may get is some sort of peace with his own past as the worlds of those involved in two bombings, years apart, collide into the journey of his life.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. Sorry it took so long to publish!

I am going to apologise straight off the bat if anyone finds this review lacking depth. I am reviewing this a while after I read it and I find thriller books hard enough to review the day after I have read them. I held off writing a review for this book because I found it hard to come up with words for it and its not any easier for me now.

This book is very different from everything Marchetta has written before, but you can still feel that it is her writing the words. She is there in the way that the story unfolds, that she is more interested in the way terrorism or racial profiling affects certain families more than people on a grand scale (even though she does touch on this).

I really enjoyed the plot of this story despite the fact it is not something I am normally interested in reading, there is enough of this kind of thing just happening in our world for me to read about. I liked the different perspectives that we were given and the way we are made to question just about everything, In saying all that though I do feel like a few things were shoved down my throat more than what I would have expected from Marchetta’s writing style.

I also really liked the characters. I liked Bish the most even though I think he was a little bit hopeless at times. Marchetta is great at crafting just real characters who you can relate to and like despite how flawed they are. One small thing that I found annoying with the characters in this book though was just how many of them there were. There were a lot and each of them basically had there own plot/backstory being weaved into the main plot line and at times it became a little confusing or hard to keep up with them all.

And I think that is where I will leave the review for today. If you like Marchetta and thriller books or political stories then you would like this book and I suggest you read it. If you have not read Marchetta before and are just looking for another thriller then you may want to read some more reviews before picking it up. She has a certain style about her and if it had not been her writing it I don’t think I would have liked this book as much.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – The Glittering Court

glittering court

Title: The Glittering Court [Glittering Court 1]

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Length: 400

Rating: 3 Star

Series: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin Random House Australia for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review.

I was so excited when I heard this book was coming out. I loved the other books that I have read by Richelle Mead and when I saw that she was writing a new series I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on this book.

Plot wise I had heard a lot of talk that it was like the Selection (which I have yet to read), and with that came a lot of negativity because of how people felt about those books. Because I have yet to read those and I had all faith in Mead’s writing I was not deterred despite the fact that the plot only had mild interest to me. I don’t watch tv shows of this nature and have not read any books that follow the same sort of idea, but I had such faith.

I am sad to say that my faith was holding this book up a bit too high. I am not saying that I didn’t like this book, it did have parts which I enjoyed and it was a very easy read to get through. However, the plot was not amazing. I enjoyed myself right at the beginning,  Adelaide’s transition from woman of high standing to trying to pretend to be a maid was amusing. However I grew tired of it because nothing was ever taken to the next step. Nothing really got my interest or got my heart pounding. Everything was very mellow, even the romance. More intense romance or twists and turns could very well have saved this book for me.

The writing was all very disorientating. Both the plot and the writing style in this book brought back all the bad memories I have of Ruby Circle. The writing was very messy. While I was reading this book I had no idea that each book in the series would be telling the story another girl’s point of view to the same events. I didn’t find this out until later, and it made reading the book very disorienting. One of the ‘main’ girls in this book, which I now know will get her own book, was barely in the story. We kept getting told that these two other girls were very important but then we wouldn’t get any actual story of them and they just pop in and out at random times. Before I knew the structure of the series, I had no idea why these important people had such little appearance in the story.

I would like to go more into characters, but I honestly cannot remember anything about them. It has been awhile since I read the book, but even then normally I remember things. Scandals, people I like, my ideas on whats to come regarding people… But I have nothing.

So with that I think I need to stop this review here. I had many issues with this book, but they mostly came into play after the girls are taken to the new land. Before then when the girls where in ‘training’ for their new life I rather enjoyed it. If you are looking for the quality or that Richelle Mead that you got from Vampire Academy, I would not pick up this book. If you liked the selection though and haven’t read Mead before then I think this would be a good book for you to pick up.

 

Till Next Time…

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Wish Had More/Less Pages

topten

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Books I Wish Had More/Less Pages

I wish I had a more original idea for this week but I don’t so here goes! I have split it up between books I want more pages for and ones I wish had less.

More Pages

1. Nana by Ai Yazawa. I want more pages because its not finished yet and probably never will be. God I just want an ending D’:

2. Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. The end was sort of rushed and felt a bit messy and I just generally wished that the series never ended.

Nana 1 vk1

 

 

 

 

3. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead. Why oh why did you rush it. You didn’t need to smoosh it into that amount of pages. VA was twice as large, we were used to large!

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. It would have been so much better if it was split up ad given more time like the movies!

5. Soundless by Richelle Mead. Perhaps if she gave herself more pages the book would have worked better. Weaved in more of the fantasy.

Ruby Circle Mockingjay_novel soundless

Less Pages

1. Passion by Lauren Kate. The bits that were needed in this book could have so easily been put at the start of the last book or at the end of the one before.

2. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. Oh my god about a third at least of this book was the most boring thing ever. It could have been done in a much smaller amount of pages.

passion witching-hour

 

 

 

 

3. Magician by Raymond E. Feist. Again, there was a veru large section in this book that was just so boring. It should have been shorter.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It has that random bit at the end where people are studying the writing and I really don’t think its needed.

5. The Host by Stephanie Meyer. For so long I wished that this story ended earlier, either the sad ending or the first happy ending. I have grown more used to it now though.

The Magician the handmaid tale thehostcover

 

 

 

 

Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

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Till Next Time…

 

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Building & Organising My Shelves

Sorry this video is a day late. I had it uploaded but as I ran out the door to see David Attenborough (which was the best thing ever) I forgot to post!

This was filmed over a few days because I cannot film in the new house at night and I only have so many hours of the day where I am actually home. Enjoy :)