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Book Review – The Sun Is Also A Star

Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 344

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank the Penguin for sending me a copy of this book for review!

I am of two minds about this book. On one hand I didn’t mind the story and don’t regret reading/listening to it, but on the other if I had of known prior to going into the book that it was just about a day filled with insta love I probably would have given it a miss.

We only really have two characters worth mentioning because all the rest barely mean anything to the plot of the story and they are our main characters Natasha and Daniel. Two very different people that are both on the verge of life altering events and through a collection of random events end up spending the day together in the city and pretty much instantly fall in love. Specially on Dan’s part. In saying that though I think I liked Daniel more as a character because I felt he was more honest and a upfront and generally happy character.

While the insta love plot annoyed me greatly, i did really like the way this book was written. We get perspectives from a few different people other than just our main characters throughout the story. In these perspectives you get little tid bits about the random people Nat and Dan encounter in their day of travels and how each of them are connected and how each one of their days is potentially going to affect Nat and Dan’s and why. I found this really interesting because if it had not of been for these moments I would not have given any of the other characters any thought, and it made the story much more interesting to get these random bits of knowledge.

Now because this book was given to me by publishers and I had taken so long to pick it up i decided to get myself an audiobook of it so I could listen to the story while I drive, which is a lot of time. For the most part I liked the audiobook, the actors did a good job of distinguishing between characters. However it took me quite awhile to get used to the characters that were heavily accented. I just don’t find them easy to listen too and it was so sort of forced that it kept getting me out of the rhythm of the story. This was something I got over by the end though.

The ending of the book is really what made the plot for me though. I won’t go into in detail, but for a moment there I didn’t think it was going to end up where it did and I was internally (and a little externally) screaming because of it, but it got there thank goodness.

I think that is where I am going to leave you for this one. For those who are not yet totally sick of insta love, I think you will enjoy this book. For everyone else though I think you will be alright just picking up a different book.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Accident Season

the accident season

Title: The Accident Season

Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Length: 280

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book was a bit hit and miss for me. There are some parts I liked and some parts I didn’t like at all. One part that I enjoyed a lot that really has nothing to do with the actual story content was that I listened to the audio book for this, and I loved how the actually used voice actors with Irish accents. I found listening to them talk highly enjoyable.

The plot for this book mixes in a little bit of magic/fantasy into the reality, and normally I liked this sort of thing as with Ava Lavender, but with this book I was not so sure how seriously I should be taking it. We start off with this amazing concept that every October this family has this Accident Season where they have many simple accidents that gradually lead up to worst and worst ones and in some cases people have died. I know that if something like that happened to me every year I would have been killed off pretty quickly. I am accident prone enough as it is hahah. But as the plot progresses a question of how much of what is happening to the family is actually because of the Accident Season or is there a more real world issue that is causing trouble for the family. The twist that comes along with this is one you go along with. Its not a surprise, but I for one didn’t get annoyed that I already know what was going to happen.

The writing style is one that I love. Its really what I would describe as ‘flowy’ and even though it wasn’t perfect, it did a very good job at weaving the realistic and magical aspects together. I find this kind of writing super easy to get into and go along with no matter what you are actually reading.

Now the characters is where I think the book falls the shortest. While I enjoyed each of the characters enough, I didn’t find that they really had much depth. This lack of depth lead to me not really connecting to any of them. I didn’t want any of them to die or be hurt, but I didn’t love any of them. The character I liked the most is one that Cara and everyone else were looking for most the book and thusly wasn’t really in there.

I also found that all the characters had really weird relationships with each other. I wasn’t into the main love story in there. That kind of story has been done in a way where it didn’t bother me, but this one didn’t manage to do that. I think my weirdness for it was because the characters were weird with each other just in general. They had these secrets when there didn’t need to be secrets, and they were always changing their minds about everything and each other in ways that I didn’t really feel flowed or made sense.

Now I think I will leave this review here. I feel like I am having issues writing reviews that make sense lately, but with this book I cannot really talk about what it happening without spoiling things for you which will be my excuse as to why this one does not flow :D I would recommend this book to people who like a bit of magical realism, and want a book that has a creepy sort of undertow to it without flat out being actually scary.

 

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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Book Review – Soundless

soundless

Title: Soundless

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 266

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

First I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for review and I am sorry it has taken me this long to post it despite the fact I read it ages ago.

This book… I so wanted to enjoy this book despite all the bad things I had hear about it. I was still hoping that people just didn’t like a story outside of Vampire Academy. But I was really rather disappointed. It had so much potential. I mean just think about a small isolated town that can’t hear a thing and take great pride in their visual works because its their only medium and suddenly someone wakes up and they can hear things! Sounds pretty damn good doesn’t it? So much potential. . .

I will say this positive for the book though. Its still Mead’s writing. She has a way of writing things in a very simple yet still interesting way and lets you fly through her books. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the sounds.

One of the main things that I agree with everyone else about is the world building. There could have been more world building and this probably would have made the story more interesting. However, if I had to pick between what we did get and fixing something else that deeply annoyed me in this book I would leave the world building as it was.

The art aspect of the story was also a bit ruined for me. In this town everyone is divided into three classes, Artists, Suppliers, and Miners. Artists are the highest ranking and Miners are the lowest and thusly in this land with limited food the Miners are given the least amount of food. I can see why they Artists rank the highest since they create and document their history in a visually appealing way, but I don’t get why the food isn’t given out evenly or you know based on each individual. Miners have the hardest job, and supply the Suppliers with the things they need to get them all food so wouldn’t you want to keep them in the best health possible? By like… giving them more food?

Then we have our characters, which I am not even going to go into individually because I don’t remember much about them by themselves. There were not really flushed out, even the main characters. I wasn’t too invested in them and I didn’t care too much about the love that was happening either. It was a bit forced.

Now for the bit that annoyed me the most. The ending, and really the only fantasy part in this whole book. Oh my gods I hated it. I won’t go into it encase there are still some who want to get into this book who hasn’t yet, but it was so random. We had basically no fantasy up until then and it was so disorientating to suddenly have have some. The book could probably have been better had it just accepted the fact that it wasn’t a fantasy rather than panicking about the lack of it at the end and throwing some in.

I think this is where I will leave this review for now. Guys, it sounds bad, and in the grand scheme of things it was, but I really did enjoy at least the first half of the book and it was after than point that it started to go downhill for me. There are others who have really enjoyed it, so if it sounds like you would like it pick it up for cheap and give it a go. Its short, its not like you will be wasting loads of your time. If it sounds a bit iffy for you though just stay away. You wont get anything from it.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Special

special

Title: Special

Author: Georgia Blain

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction

Length: 320

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

I am not Delia Greene. I should not be here. Why haven’t they come for me?

Alone in my room, I log onto the Wastelands, the data dump where anonymity is guaranteed, where people go to throw their unfilled hopes and dreams, their despair, their pain, their loneliness, a great tangle and mess of words that cannot be unravelled, and I start to tell this story. The names are changed. So are the locations. As for the rest? It is up to you to choose what you want to believe . . .

Special is a beautifully crafted and atmospheric YA novel set in the not-too-distant future, where corporations control everyone’s lives from their DNA to their schooling and career. Where a Lotto Girl – designed from before birth to be Special in every way – can escape the slums and be given every opportunity to shine at an exclusive boarding school. Where the future is bright. Until it all goes wrong . . .

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to say a big thank you to Penguin Random House Australia for sending me a copy of this book to review!

I don’t really know how I feel about this book.

Part of me really wants to like it. The idea of it is pretty good, and it is totally something I can see our world turning into. Children are altered to become ‘specials’ mostly by rich people, but once a year 4 families from the poor districts win ‘the lotto’ and get to genetically alter their baby girl to be and have her go off and study at the special schools for the specials. These people thrive far above the rest while those who are poor remain their and live each day at a time because they might not have a next one because they don’t get given a chance to even earn enough for the one day.

See, good idea and totally something our meddlesome ways could potentially head towards. This idea combined with the very easy to read and well flowing writing style of Georgia Blain had me charging through this book up until about two thirds of the way through where my enjoyment sort of just stopped.

It was at this point that I realised that I hadn’t really formed any kind of attachment to the characters. They start to go through some stuff and found that I didn’t really care. I actually didn’t like our main character Fern that much she took her whole ‘special’ title way too seriously and was really up herself.

Spoiler – Then when she finds out she is probably isn’t so damn special she totally freaks out which I don’t get. If anything I feel like I would like to find that out, because she was able to keep up with all the other specials even though she was normal. But no, she totally freaks out because she cannot call herself special anymore. – End Spoiler

We don’t get any world building, and nothing in the plot really gets explained or we don’t get any answers to things. I know part of the book is that you are supposed to make your own choice about how things work out or what is the truth, but I don’t think that worked. The story because nothing was really answered seemed pretty pointless to me.

I don’t know if I would recommend this book to anyone. If you have free day to fill I wouldn’t say not to read it, but there are better things. It has made me want to read more from the author though because the style was nice.

 

Till Next Time…

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

DEWEY's

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)

DEWEY's

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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Book Review – My Heart And Other Black Holes

my hearts and other black holes

Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health

Length: 302

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am going to put a warning here like I do at the start of any book I review that revolves around suicide. I have very strong, negative views on the matter. If you, or anyone you know, or even if its a topic you sympathise with, you may not want to read my review. I will do my best to not sound like a jerk, but I generally cannot understand and have little sympathy on the matter. I apologise in advance. If this sounds like something you will not handle reading about, give this review a miss.

But just because it’s cowardly doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be easy.

I like the plot of this book, despite the rant I just gave. I think it was an interesting way to have people meet each other and take their journey together. The ending for these kind of books is generally predictable and I knew at least part of the result even before I cracked open the book, but learning how they came to be where they were at the start of the book, and how they changed between then and the end is something that interests me. I read these kind of books to try and get a better understanding on why some people commit suicide, but sadly this book didn’t help change my opinion or enlighten me in anyway like All The Bright Places did. There were a number of things that annoyed me too much to really make me have a better understanding about what people with depression go through, and it was really very predictable.

In these moments, it always feels like my skin is too thin, like everyone can see right inside me, can see my empty and dark insides.

The writing style was probably my favourite part of the book. I am sure that you can see that by the number of quotes that I snuck into the review. I found many of the words to be very captivating and they were the things I connect to the most in terms of understanding. If the plot and the character development had of been more of to speed with the way things were explained or written, this book would have gotten a higher rating from me.

Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.

While I felt for Aysel and understood why she had the kind of feelings that she did, I didn’t connect with her like I did Roman. Roman to me, was genuinely suffering to the point where he was drowning, his issue was that he was unsure of how to swim in his emotions. Which ones to let go, which ones to hold on to, and whether or not he was allowed to feel any different. Aysel, while still having to deal with really traumatic things, I didn’t feel like they were things couldn’t let go of. That if she had just opened her mouth, things could have been better for her. There were things people go do and say to help her through what she was going through since a lot of her issues stemmed from other people, unlike with Roman where he had to come to those conclusions on his own because his issues where with himself.

Saying all that though, Roman made me far angrier than Aysel did at times. The way he acted because of his feelings, made him a manipulator, and just generally an complete selfish ass for the most part. He needed Aysel for his own reasons, and didn’t much care about hers for a long while. Confusing isn’t it? In terms of who I think I liked better as a person, it was probably Aysel, but in terms of actually understanding why they had come to the decision that they have to die, its Roman.

SPOILER – I didn’t like the way Aysel got over her issues really either. Yes, love can help you overcome many things and can help you get through dark times in your life. Did it have to be the romantic kind of love? It would have been much better story to me if it was just his friendship and his understanding that helped. If it lead to more later, that could have been cute, but it wasn’t gradual enough for me. – END SPOILER

I think I will end this review here before it gets much longer. I am not sure really who I would recommend this book to. If you want a romance book, this is not for you. If you want something that is a good representation of how depression actually is, I do’t think this book covers that really either. But I suppose that the book did raise some interesting ways to think about life and death. If these kinds of books interest you, I would read for the writing and the pictures it creates, just go into knowing that its probably not the best one out there.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – Losing You

losing you

Title: Losing You

Author: Nicci French

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Length: 304

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Nina Landry is supposed to be taking her two children on a Christmas holiday today. But the road away from Sandling Island seems littered with obstacles. Most pressing of all, her 15-year-old daughter, Charlie, has yet to return from a night out …Minute by minute, Nina’s unease builds to worry and then panic. Has Charlie run away? Or has something more sinister happened to her? And why will nobody take her disappearance seriously? As a series of half-buried secrets lead Nina from sickening suspicion to deadly certainty, the question becomes less whether she and her daughter will leave the island for Christmas – and more whether they’ll ever leave it again.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This is the second time I have read this book but it still managed to keep me agitated and caught up in what was happening. I think on its own merit the book is a 4 but as to my personal preference it was a 3.

The plot of the story is simple enough. A mother is supposed to take her children on a holiday but then the daughter doesn’t turn up to a few of the things she was supposed to and the mother begins to worry, even when no one else does. She then has to rush around the town to try and find her daughter. The events of the book happen over just a single day, and by the time I was done reading the book I felt just as exhausted as I am sure Nina felt. The plot had be so agitated in a good way that I wanted to put the book down repeatedly so I could have a break from the feelings it was making me have. I think because of how fast paced it was, the first time I read it I didn’t guess at to who was behind Charlie’s disappearance. There really wasn’t enough time for guessing.

Writing wise I think the only thing that really needs mentioning is that this book does not contain chapters, which I think was a fantastic little ‘trick’ in terms of writing. This, the fact it happens over one day, and the way Nina is just frantically going from place to place just keeps you so hooked and frantic with her. There is not a break for you to recover.

A downfall to the shortness of the book/day and the pace means that there wasn’t really much time to give some of the characters depth. They were there to annoy, hate, through you off, but other than that they had not more to them. The police were totally useless in the story, Rory was stupid and way too easy to hate, and Joel was just as stupid as stupid can be. I also had no idea why on Earth Renata was even in the story. Was she there to try and make things more complicated? She was just confusing. Then all the teenagers except for one were made out to be the most difficult people on the face of the Earth, which I took a bit of an offense too. Just because they are teenagers doesn’t mean they are going to give someone a hard time when they are looking for their child.

Nina annoyed me probably the most and she tended to have random thoughts that didn’t seem to fit whatever situation she was in at the time. I am going to put this down to shock, but it might have just been because she was a poor character. I did feel so sorry for her brother Jackson though, he just got pushed to the side and didn’t really understand what was happening. He was just there by himself.

I plan on reading this book again when the mood strikes, and I think others should pick it up also. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fast paced thrillers that are really easy to read. This book is not complicated, but it is good.

 

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…