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Book Review – You

Title: You [You 1]

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Genre: Thriller, Contemporary

Length: 424

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 1, 2

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Description/Synopsis:

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book creeped me the hell out. I mean this in a good way, but the combination of the writing style, unique character perspective, and the great voice acting in the audiobook left me feeling creeped out pretty much the entire way through the book.

And I will never again underestimate the power of anticipation. There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.

In You, we are gievn the perspective of a sociopathic stalker. You follow his actions as he follows and obsesses over a girl that came into his bookstore one day. I think the most confronting part for me about getting things from this perspective was listening to his interpretation of his actions. He looked into them in a way that fed into his delusions but looking at the same things from my perspective or from the perspective of a sane girl of about the same age, I just kept wanting to scream at him.

“NO! YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON! IN NO WAY DID I DO THAT FOR YOU! YOU ARE WRONG!”

I think the writing in this book was amazing.  I was hooked from the get go and it even made me a little paranoid. I thought it was pretty accurate as to how someone like this would think and behave. I would avoid listening to this book at night because it was just too unsettling.

Other than Joe and Beck, we don’t get very many characters that are really relevant to what is happening in the story. Beck is the main person that Joe is focused on, and he only cares about the other people around them as far as they were suiting his obsessions or if they were getting in his way. I can’t even say I liked any of the characters in the story. There are no golden people in this story. They are all human, and they are all flawed. None as flawed as Joe except for maybe Mr. Mooney who I think just strengthened a lot of Joe’s craziness. But I was so stressed about what was going to happen next, if any of the characters did anything actually good I worried about what Joe was going to do to them because of it.

SPOILER – There was one thing that bothered me about the overall story though. He seemed just a bit too lucky. With all the things he did over the course of the book, he didn’t get busted on anything. He even managed to put some of those things onto other people with seemingly little effort. I don’t know, it seemed to easy. Perhaps I have too much faith in the idea that the bad guys actually get caught. – END SPOILER

The only thing crueler than a cage so small that a bird can’t fly is a cage so large that a bird thinks it can fly.

I am eager to pick up the next book in this duology, but I will be giving myself some breathing space between the two because I just need to get away from the inner workings of Joe’s mind for awhile. If you like thrillers I think you will really enjoy this book. I haven’t read anything with this perspective angle before.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Clan of the Cave Bear

Title: Clan of the Cave Bear [Earth’s Children 1]

Author: Jean M. Auel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 512

Rating: 5 Star (4.5)

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Description/Synopsis:

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book had been on my TBR since about the time I started reading really. This is one my mum read when she was younger and she was always raving about it and telling me to read it. This however was always followed by “It took me about nine years to finish it because the start is really boring, but the end was worth it.” So as you can imagine I was curious, but also a little hesitant.

But I needed a new long audio book to listen to on my long driving trips I do every day, so I thought why not and picked it up. I am so glad I did.

My mum was right. The start of the book did have one seriously sloe part where the properties of plants was talked about for quite awhile. If I had not had the warning beforehand, and had been reading a physical copy of the book rather than an audiobook, it might have taken me an extra moment to get through it as well if at all. Maybe not nine years, but probably awhile. I think the audio aspect really helped me here, as while I was driving I could start to zone out on the road for the sections that were boring. The voice acting was also very good and easy to listen to.

The rest of the book up until the last chapter was evenly paced and was interesting the whole way. I loved the sort of old magic that came with the Clan and the way Ayla’s new worldness affected them, and her way of thinking about things conflicting with what they have taught her her whole life. Then it rushes at you at the end.

All the characters are well written, at least all the ones you deal with on a regular basis. I love Ayla, Iza, Uba, and Creb. Their family dynamic was so beautiful at times. Ayla’s relationship with the rest of the clan was strained at times but there were shining moments of glory when they accepted her. Brun was a good leading and considering their way of thinking he was very reasonable to her and his act of kindness to her at the end was lovely. Their way of thinking about women though really irritated me and it was hard for my ‘strong independent woman’ brain to swallow the more degrading parts of the book. Broud is everything I hate in someone.

The overall sort of sad tone to the book and the rush of things left me wanting to pick up the next book. I made the mistake to read goodreads reviews though and none of them are too positive and my mum never once told me to read the next one, so now I am oohing and aahing about it. One day perhaps.

If you like historical fiction, don’t mind a bit of plant talk, and are open to history with a bit of magic, I think you will really enjoy this book. The second half is beautiful, and the first half is too between the boring bits.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince [The Folk of the Air 1]

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 370

Rating: 4 Star [3.5 rounded up]

Series: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I can’t quite settle on how to express my thoughts on this book. This might be because I have very mixed thoughts on this book. I went in with rather high expectations. I had heard middle ground to high reviews on the book, and about the author herself. This was my first time experiencing one of Holly Blacks works and while I am now interested in picking up more of her books, I wouldn’t put her on my auto buy author list after completing the book.

No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.

That I hate most of all.

The pace of the plot was a bit mixed. The start of this book was very very slow, so slow infact that for a brief moment I considered dnfing it because it had yet to grab me. I decided to continue on because I had heard good things, and it hadn’t made me angry or started boring me to tears. Once we get to the part where Jude starts playing a larger part in the going ons of court it started to pick up and become more interesting. I am glad I pushed through this first part because the way the book progressed and ended has made me really interested in getting the next book in the series when it comes out and seeing where Black takes it.

I really liked the whole set of the book. The idea of a raging Fae coming and killing his ex mortal wife and her new partner, then taking his Fae child and her two mortal siblings because of some some sense of honour. I liked reading about how Jude, Taryn, and Vivi interacted with Madoc based on this event that brought them together. I also just really liked reading about how Jude had to interact with the Fae in general, living in a world of magic that isn’t really suited to humans. I was really expecting to like Madoc’s character as the book went on but as of right now he is just sort of someone who just there. I might like him later.

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me.

Love interest wise I wasn’t really on board with any of them. I guessed straight away who Taryn’s mystery lover was right away and I can’t say it gave me a very good opinion of her. I know everyone is on the Carden and Jude ship but as of right now I’m waiting to see where the story goes before I get on. I think that there is more depth to Carden than what we really get to see in this book, but I don’t know if I like Jude as a character. I like her interactions with others and I like the role she ends up playing in the general story but she is pretty bloody stupid. Some of the choices she makes and just the way she thinks was rather frustrating.

I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.

The thing that finally hooked me into the story was the very ending. The twist that Jude but Carden through I didn’t actually see coming and I am so eager to see how it affects their relationship. If I was Carden I would be really mad and Jude should be a bit worried I think.

If you are a fan of Holly Black I think you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy stories about Fae I think this is one to at least give a try. Get past the very slow start and then you will be left with a very interesting ending.

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Book Review – Red Queen

Title: Red Queen [Red Queen 1]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 352

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This review comes after my second time of reading the book. I thought I reviewed it in the past but apparently not! I did it in audiobook form for the second time around and I really enjoyed the audiobook. Lets move on.

I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.

I want to say going into this book knowing how other people feel about it, saying that it wasn’t original and predictable, I was sad. I was so looking forward to the book and then I see all these really negative reviews, I had to drastically lower my expectations. Coming out of the book I can see what they were talking about, the story in a written world filled with dystopian books or hard done by characters who sort of become a chosen one, it was not original and yes at times predictable. But in a way now I am grateful for the reviews I saw going into this book because if I had gone into it thinking how new it was going to be I might feel the same way as everyone else, except I loved it.

The unoriginalness didn’t really bother me, specially the second time around. I decided to reread because I had not read the rest of the series and I am planning on meeting the author this month so now was the time to re-enter the world. Part of me expected to like it less and I think I ended up liking it more. I cannot believe how much I was enjoying being back in the world.

I loved the characters, even when I hated them. They were for the most part really well written and developed. The only ones I think could have used some more flushing out were the King, and maybe Mare’s parents. But that is a tiny gripe in a see of characters I liked.

I loved Mare. She was a flawed human being, but nothing she did in this book that ended up badly for other people was intentionally bad for those people. She is pushed as a very manipulative character a lot, and yes she is but she doesn’t really want to be. She doesn’t start her interactions with people with the mindset of stuffing them over most the time. Something will happen, and then a situation she is already in becomes a solution or involved in something else she is doing. I worry for the way things will go for her. I love the imagery of her power coursing through her, but she is surrounded by people who act first without really thinking about how using that power may affect them or anyone else later on. She is in a world were winning is really the goal in anyones minds and I worry about how that will affect her.

They trained me for this. It’s their own fault. They helped make their own doom.

I liked both princes’ for the majority of the book. Cal and Maven are very different people but I thought they were both very similar at the same time. They are both very moody, dramatic, and powerful. But all these things come out in different ways and it makes them sort of at odd with each other. I felt bad for Maven at times because being compared to the golden child that is Cal, and then also having a whisper for a mother would really mess with his head. I loved and didn’t love Cal. He seemed so good to Mare and wanted to help her but had no interest in helping of the millions of other people like her. I can see why, he didn’t want war, but I couldn’t really get over that.

SPOILER – I knew how the book was going to end the second time obviously, but towards the the last third of the book I was really starting to doubt if I remember right. I remembered from the first time round that you are lead to believe that Cal is actually the more ‘evil’ brother and Maven is sweet and pure, but then Maven is the one that betrays Mare in the end. I knew this, but as I was reading I started questioning this knowledge. Is Maven actually going to betray her? Or did I get them muddled up in my head and its actually going to be Cal? I really loved that about the second time round. Aveyard had written it well enough that after some time between the two reads and already knowing what was going to happen, I had to question my own memory. – END SPOILER

Side character wise I wasn’t too interested what everyone else was doing, but I can appreciate the characters the same. I thought Kilorn was so damn stupid. A well written stupid but oh my god I just wanted to smack him. Stop making bad decisions because you are sulking that Mare in an attempt to save you from being conscripted is now in a life and death situation that isn’t all about you! I can see myself liking Farley more as I get to know her and she doesn’t just seem like a pushy person. She has some guts though, I would have broken for sure going through what she did in the book. Queen Elara was just scary, Julian was lovely and I pray that he is as lovely as I think he is, and just thinking about Lucas breaks my heart.

Anyone can betray anyone.

I know this review ended up being more about the characters, and thats because I liked that development the most. I really liked the world building and the idea of what is going on in this world and why everyone is at odds is so good, but the plot isn’t anything new that we need to talk about here. Despite that though I loved this book, and I cannot wait to dive into the next book in the series. Go into this one with lowered expectations and you may come out like me, a huge fan. If you are looking for something ground breaking then this isn’t the book for you.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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From Manga To Anime – Vampire Knight

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Title: Vampire Knight [Vampire Knight Season 1]

Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Anime

Rating: 5 Star

Anime Series Reviews: 1, 2

Manga Series Reviews: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-19

Description/Synopsis:

Vampire Knight tells the story of Yuki Cross. The earliest thing she remembers is being attacked on a snowy night by a vampire, and being rescued by Kaname Kuran, who is also a vampire. The story takes place 10 years after that event, Yuki is now the adopted daughter of the Headmaster of Cross Academy. She and her longtime friend Zero Kiryu keep peace at the academy, making sure no problems arise between the Day Class (humans) and the Night Class (vampires). However, the peace they try to keep is fragile, and personal feelings begin to interrupt their duty. It’s based on the manga by Matsuri Hino, which is excellent. If VK is half as good as the manga, it’ll be a great anime. There is some action, but expect more romance from VK.

Anime Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Oh how I love it.

For the most part the anime follows really closely to how the manga was written and I love it even more for that. However, it does go off script and change a few things now and again. The third episode for example is pretty much their own creation. It shows things that never happened in the manga and moves around and hints at things that dont get mentioned till the end of volume five like Ichiru Zero’s brother. He gets mentioned a couple of times but he was not brought up in the manga for quite awhile. Yagari also gets introduced differently. He just shows up in the manga and he gets introduced in the anime.

Im a little sad to say that the anime is not as well drawn as the manga. I find the faces a bit… odd at times. That being said though it is still very pretty and they went to great lengths to make certain scenes stand out. Like when Yuki remembers things or is having inner turmoil they really play upon the ideas of how that would look visually from the manga. I think some of those sections are my favourite art wise.

The soundtrack for the anime (thus far) is very simple but very well chosen I feel. The music is very dark and it suits the overal mood of the anime very well. The opening and closing songs are also well done. The opening song for this season is Futatsu No Kodou To Akai Tsumi by ON/OFF, and though it kind of has an upbeat sound, I interpret it as more of a song that demonstrates all the struggles they are going through, its up and down and kind of has a just keep going feel to it. The beautifully drawn and Matsuri Hino inspired opening art also feels that way to me. The ending song is Still Doll by Kanon Wakeshima has a very different feel to it. The music is both creepy and dark. It has moments with it perks up with the creepy and then kind of goes down into despair. This combined again with the inspired darker Matsuri Hino VK drawings of Yuki sitting with a creepy bunny with red tear running down her face. This I think is great cause it kind of speaks to how Yuki always feels like no matter what she does someone she loves gets hurt. Still Doll and just Kanon Wakeshima in generally are some of my favourite music to date.

If I were to suggest which language you should watch it in, I would suggest Japanese with English subtitle. Now, I may be a bit bias here suggesting that. The first time I watched Vampire Knight it was with English subtitles and whichever way I see/do something first is generally the way I would prefer it from there on. However, if I try to ignore that fact I think I would suggest it anyway. I don’t think the English voice actors were very well chosen, they just don’t really suit their personalities. I could probably accept most peoples but Kaname’s is just awful. The English voices try to make everyone seem happier than they are and Kaname just doesn’t have that naturally happy upbeat. He should always sound mysterious! Not chipper…

But what really matters in anything you want to invest your time in be it book or series? Is it good. Oh god yes it is. Do you still love the characters in the anime? Yes when they were in Jap with Subs. The anime portrayed them very well and because they stuck pretty closely to manga it conveys the characters correctly. Is there still action and romance? Oh god yes, if there wasn’t then it wouldnt be the same story in the slightest. A romance story that has people struggling back and forth not knowing what do to with each other in amongst a world that is naturally bloody and violent.

I think I would recommend that people start with the anime if they want to do this series. The anime is a bit easier to follow because of how they introduce things and kind of simplify everything, however, if you even remotely like the anime I suggest you start reading the manga. It continues on way after the anime ends and it is just in general is much better.

On a side note, Vampire Knight is where I got my ending line for my blogs. At the end of each episode it says

I’ll also show you a sweet dream

————————————- next night

it stuck with me until I got what I use now. Now go watch the anime!

Till next time…

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Book Review – Everything I Never Told You

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Title: Everything I Never Told You

Author: Celeste Ng

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 304

Rating: 1 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

‘This ghostly novel calls to mind The Lovely Bones,’ well while I have only seen the movie at this point I am fairly confident in saying, no. This is nothing like The Lovely Bones. TLB is a magically sad story which is also about accepting things, with diverse characters and feeling. This story is filled with just horrible characters on every front. I say the alternate title for this story would be “How to be a disgusting person and a bad parent 101.” Do not compare this book to TLB.

Because this book review will be more rant than review, there will be spoilers. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, so this will be my only warning.

The plot of this book, was just not what I was looking for I think. This combined with the just wretchedness of the characters did not work for me, but I shall talk more about them later. This book deals with a family whose oldest daughter went missing and was found dead in a lake by the families home. It focuses on how they come to terms with her death, and all the things that lead up until the moment they found out she was gone. I think one of the biggest issues I had with this was we never actually found out how she died. If we did, I missed it, but to me with was all left up in the air. Did she go out onto the lake despite the fact she couldn’t swim, fell out of the boat and then drowned? Was she taken out there by another person and then was killed? Was it an accident with another person there and they were too afraid to say anything? Was it suicide? I don’t know.

In this points defence though, it was realistic in the sense that people who suffer this kind of loss don’t always get closure like this. I cannot accept it though when I hated everything else. I guess when I was going into this book too, I was expecting it to sort of be from the dead girls perspective because of the title. I guess it did mention some things that none of the family said to each other, because this family doesn’t talk, but yeah. Wrong footing from the get go.

Now onto the part that was probably the most painful, the characters. I think the only ones I liked were the children. The way they were ‘acting out’ or less than stella people were because they were just trying to come to grips with what has happened. The parents on the other hand seemed to be making the worst decisions even before everything went down.

The children state at the very start of the book that the daughter who died was the favourite child, and they very rarely actually get any of their parents, specially the mother’s, attention. We then go back and get some backstory as to why this is. This is because the mother was so against being what her mother wanted her to be, which was a stay at home cook and wife and to pump out kids. Then after her mother dies and she goes off the clean out her house, she realises that she has done exactly that and freaks out. So then she makes the wonderful decision to, instead of discussing her issues with her husband and explaining things and organising to do the change as a family, decides to abandon her family in the middle of the night and leave without saying a word, and only comes back when she realises that she is pregnant again. When she is forced to come home she decides that she will live through her oldest daughter, putting much pressure and stress on her. I also believe that when she dies that she moves on to doing the same thing with one of her other children.

Then there is the father, who pretty much leaves the family after his daughter dies, going off and sleeping with his students. He also has the huge issue of being ashamed of his family, that they were poor and Asian, hating the fact that people stare at his family because his wife is white and his children bi-cultural, and really hating anything that makes him or anyone around him stand out in anyway.

I could go on all day. But in conclusion, I felt the children were much more mature and just straight up better people and I felt for them and what they have and were going through in their lives. The parents on the other hand I cannot get over how much they disgusted me, so I will end this rant here. I am sorry for the way this review turned out, I generally just don’t have anything nice to say. I know other people have loved this book, reviewers I admire, but for me this was obviously not my thing.

 

Till Next Time…

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – April 2016 (Hour 5)

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Feelings:

Im feeling rather tired now. I think its time to crack out the V.

What I Read:

  1. Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Special by Georgia Blain

Pages Read: 109

Road Trip Challenge

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Dear Ivy,

I think of you every day. I have found out so much about you and what it was actually like for you those few years at Halton and I cannot begin to go into what they must have been like. I wish I could see you again, but you never came back from the ‘tests’. When everything fell apart Lark and Wren sent me away with a new identity to hide out until things were better. If you are still out there, are you going through something similar? While I miss everyone terribly, I must admit that I am enjoying moving from place to place and seeing the world that I was never supposed to see. Being able to make up my mind about things in a way I was never able to before. Its almost freeing not being Special.

F.

Reading Fortress

 

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Twitter link.

 

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – April 2016 (Hour 3)

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Feelings:

Since it is hour one I am feeling pretty good. I have eaten some pizza, and I am having a bit of a drink. The drink might not be a good idea cause it might put me to sleep, but meh.

What I Read: Dragonfly In Amber

Pages Read: 77

Intro Meme

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Australia mate.

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

special

 

 

 

 

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I will probably get sushi at some point. It will be good.

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!

I have already been awake

5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Try not to sleep?

Our Bookish Childhoods

  1. The love of reading was awakened in my by my father reading me things like The Hobbit when it was time for bed.
  2. Because I am dyslexic, something no one ever bothered to test me for but its very obvious now in adulthood, learning to read and write was very painful and very embarrassing. But one of the first books I got into once I got past the reading part of this hurdle (I still cant spell) was The Woman In the Wall by Patrice Kindl.
  3. One of, if not the first, serious series I read was Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda.
  4. Some of my favourite childhood books where the Fear Street books by R.L. Stine.
  5. When I was younger I would get up at 5am so that I could have some time to read before school, and got very upset when others woke up that early because that was my time in the morning.

Five Word Story

Re-arrange words to find stories.

Overwhelming noise within dizzying silence.

Twitter link.

 

Till Next Time…

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Mini Mondays – Midnight Embrace, What She Left, Sprout of Deception

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midnight embraceTitle: Midnight Embrace

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Adult

Length: 378

Rating: 2 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

When I thought back to the times I first read the Amanda Ashley books I have, this is the one I remembered liking the least. Now that I have read it again I can clearly see why. The characters were very simple and very cliché. The story repeated itself so often I started counting how many times things popped up. I hated how he was always going I wont leave you but then two seconds later he would say I’m a monster get away from me. She was such a weak characters because she was supposed to be ‘innocent,’ but she should have been stronger. Then to top it all off the ending was very rushed.

Also, only people who have read the book will understand this but what on Earth happened to the horse?!

The only reason why this book got a 2 star was because I liked some of the romance sections in it, and has a nice poem at the very start of the book. I would not recommend this book to anyone, there are far better Amanda Ashley books, or just romance books in general out there.

what she leftTitle: What She Left

Author: T.R. Richmond

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 380

Rating: DNF 25%

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Thank you Penguin for sending me this book for an honest review!

The first thing you will notice here is that I didn’t give this book a rating. This my first DNF (did not finish) review and I am feeling a bit iffy about it. I am sad I cannot say I got further than 1/4 of the way through the book, so I thought it would only be fair if I left the rating off these reviews because didn’t finish them.

One of the reasons I only got 1/4 of the way through is that I just couldn’t get into the format of the way it was written by using articles from the news, internet, peoples laptops, letters and what not. I found it really disorientating and the information these articles were giving us I just found really boring.

I did really like the idea of the plot and I really wanted to get into it. If anyone has finished this book, PLEASE tell me if you had these issues at the start and that I just need to push through. I feel bad about it too cause it was an ARC too D:

81NJh0tcJDL._SL1500_Title: Sprout of Deception [The Hangman’s Replacement 1]

Author: Taona Dunisani Chiveneko

Genre: Mystery, Cultural

Length: 492

Rating: DNF 30-50%

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am pretty sure I got this book in a goodreads giveaway years ago, so I just want to say thank you to the author for giving me the book.

I tried. I really did. I picked this book up and put it back down so many times. It got to the point where my kindle couldn’t even remember where I was up to at times so that’s why I don’t know at exactly what point I was in the book before I stopped it all together.

The first character we are introduced to I didn’t mind. I was interested in getting to know him and what he was going to have to go through with his new life. The story just got so ridiculously boring and slow and I didn’t care about a single thing that was being said or was happening. I think I might have moved onto another guy, but he was only slightly more interesting.

This lack of interest in a character and what was happening, combined with the fact that I just generally didn’t ever understand what was happening with the plot made this book a no go for me. What does a carnivorous plant have to do with hiring a hangman? It made no sense and didn’t have a point to me.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – His Dark Materials

his dark materials

Title: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass

Author: Philip Pullman

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk

Length: 423, 352, 560

Rating: 3.5 Star average

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Description/Synopsis:

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was going to review each of these books separately, they all cover completely different things in their stories since they all take place in separate worlds, but I realised I just straight up don’t have that much to say about any of them all by themselves. I also had one of resolutions that I would do short ones or group reviews on things so that this remains fun for me so this seems like a good place to start.

This first part will be a more overall discussion of the stories without revealing any of the plot points, but after I shall go into more details about things and those who do not want to be spoiled will have to give the second half a miss.

In terms of writing for this book I both loved and hated it. I really liked the descriptiveness of some things and I was really getting into the pictures that were being painted of the world. But then the descriptions didn’t stop, and they went on and on about things that didn’t need to be talked about. I am talking pages of useless description and all of a sudden my nice pictures in my head were covered in words like flies. Then of course there were things I actually wanted them to explain but of course that didn’t happen.

I also found there were a quite a lot of throw away characters and the ones that were not throw away, I found most of them didn’t have much depth to them. The one I thought had the most depth had to probably Lyra, who I actually liked as a character. She had spunk and was not afraid to stand up for herself, but most of all she seemed to learn from the mistakes she made along the way. I also really loved her and Pan’s relationship. I think I liked all the daemon/human relationships. They were the strongest. The next surprisingly would have to be Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter. At first I hated them both then all of a sudden there was a switch and the feelings I had for them were not so clear. Mrs. Coulter was the most surprising in the sense she was a gradual and I didn’t expect to have my feeling son her altered, but Lord Asriel was more of sudden switch and I didn’t really get it. I don’t know if I missed a part that had altered things or if I just didn’t understand him from the start.

I know that to some this is considered a childrens books, but I don’t really understand it. If I was not completely paying attention to the ramble, then I missed some complicated political thing that was happening or was being explained and I just don’t see how that is entertaining to or even understandable to kids. I suppose this ‘childrens book’ label can be used as an excuse for the simplicity of the characters, but I don’t really want to let it have that excuse. To me this was a YA book series.

Beyond this point is the more spoiler ridden section of the review, so if you are leaving me here I would give this series a miss if I could go back in time and tell myself my own thoughts. However, so may people rave about this book, so perhaps at the very least don’t do it in audio book.

Ok, can we talk about the huge religious element in this book. It was basically the entire plot and they went on and on about it all the time. That dust was religious and created by original sin, and they were in war with angels and God, have to say was probably the second big downfall for me next to the over description. I felt like I was being preached to in the most complicated way possible. The plot got so jumbled I really had no idea what side I was supposed to be leaning towards or anything. Really it was just very frustrating. It might not have been so bad if it just didn’t keep going on and on.

I also thought the end of the book was a bit sad. I felt horribly for them both, I wont say who, but I liked the book just a bit more because of it because it didn’t go with the standard every book has to have a happy ending. The ending was sad but it left room for hope of happiness.

So yes, again I would not read these books again. There were things I liked, some of the settings sounded amazing and I adored the whole daemon/spirit/soul thing and wish I could learn to see my own, but the writing, the depthless characters, and the overall lack of enjoyment in the driving plot, which by the way doesn’t come up until the second book, just was not doing it for me. Unless you know someone else who you trust their opinion on books and they suggest this series to you, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

 

Till Next Time…