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Book Review – Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire [Throne of Glass 3]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 562

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 0.51, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

God I am really enjoying my rereads of this series. For those of you who didn’t read my last review I am currently rereading the series in audiobook form in time for the last book, and reviewing them as I go since I didn’t end up reviewing them the first time around. So these thoughts are coming after reading all books except the last book in the series, but I will try and only comment on things I know I thought the first time around.

So because this is a first book in the series, there will be spoilers for the other books, I suggest you go read them and this book before you read my review. For those of you who want a spoiler free review, I enjoyed this book though not as much as the last one. The start of this book is very slow and while not hard to get into we are introduce to a few new characters that I wasn’t really interested in knowing anything about at first. It picked up more towards the end because Celaena has epic moments of course, we are left on a huge game changer, and some of the new characters seem like they are going to actually become interesting. Thats all I am going to say for those who don’t want spoilers, so come back when you have read the books!

Lets start at the beginning. The very slow beginning. Because Celaena is off to a whole new world filled with new people there was a lot of set up in the start of this new book. The main ones we get there would be Maeve and Rowan. Maeve didn’t really interest me all that much other than just being another sort of corrupt power than Celaena has to overcome. Rowan I warmed up to a bit but he is not my favourite. He was very stuffy and boring in the beginning but as we got to know him more and he and Celaena got more of a relationship I warmed up to him a bit. I really liked the moment when she nearly burned herself out and he picked her up and ran with her to the baths even though her skin was burning his. I also liked the way he was helping Celaena become more of a bad ass, though lots of the good early moments where just her exploding. I liked how he got her to shift by biting her, and I loved the moment where they are running from the skin walkers and they jump off a cliff and she burns them to pieces. I both liked and was really stressed out how he taught her to control her magic by taking one of her new ‘friends’ tide him up over a frozen lake and she had to get him out without burning the ice, and he accidentally put them all in danger because he didn’t realise there was giant bloody monster in the lake, but I was really happy with how she beat him up a bit after that. I know he is being set up as the new love interest for her, and while the moment he was so happy that she didn’t burn out in the end and exploded into Aelin to defeated the kings monsters and then freed him from Maeve, I am not onboard with it. I think he is an amazing friend, but I only want him to be a friend. At this point in the series I will go down with the Dorian and Aelin ship.

On that note lets talk about Dorian’s world right now. He has also found a new love in Sorcha. I was so not into that. At all. She was to me a very obvious filler character to try and help move the story along, and I saw her death coming from pretty much the very beginning and other than it upsetting Dorian I didn’t care at all. Then poor Dorian gets that awful collar put on and a Valg prince put inside him at the end. I am so stressed out for Dorian. How is Aelin going to help him now? Gah I am just so stressed.

Chaol was just wandering around being really in the grand scheme of things pretty useless. He found out some things with the help of other people and moved things along, but he was too busy really freaking out that the two people closest to him have power. Chaol is a bit of a magic racist. I was only really interested in his scenes because he spent a lot of time with a new character Aedion, who is Aelins only family member she has left, who has been working for the king letting him think he has control over him. Aedion is a new favourite character, I just love him so damn much. All he wants is to just see her one last time because he loves her. I seriously just can’t with how much I want them to see each other again. Aelin is going to come burning in somehow in a blaze of glory and save him from the chopping block and they are going to have a beautiful ruin and it is going to be everything. I actually forgot about how much I loved him until I reread this book it has been so long.

The only other character that is new that is worth mentioning is Manon the witch. Later on the series she becomes one of my favourite characters, but in this book she is just kinda there. The first few chapters of hers I could not give two fucks about what was happening with her. As we kept going though I grew more interest as she got her wyvern Abraxos. I loved that moment where she is furious at him because he is supposed to be a blood thirsty beast but all he wants to do is sniff wild flowers. I loved getting these relationships and seeing her develop more as a character that wasn’t so black and white. While her story interest did increase towards the end and I was interested in what I was reading. Abraxos made her and everything in that plot so interesting.

Aelin, she takes so many steps forward in this book and I have already mentioned a few but I loved all her back story parts where we get more details about her life and how things went to hell, and then all her loved ones come back to her in her mind to tell her to get up in a key moment. She stopped being scared in this book, and I cannot wait to see what she brings now that she is working towards saving her people.

That is where I am going to leave this review. I know it was more talking about the characters here but this one was really more about the characters. I touched on the main points that all pretty much happen right at the end to all the characters, and thats about all the story progress we got. I hope you are reading along with the series as well and you enjoyed this review. Let me know your thoughts on the story, have you read it more than once and did you like it more knowing more things about certain characters than you did the first time. I did find it more interesting knowing this information but overall it didn’t change anything for me.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Cruel Beauty

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Title: Cruel Beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling

Length: 342

Rating: 4.5 rounded down to 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I thought this was just a stunning book.

This book had me from the very first page. I loved the story of Beauty and the beast and I thought this was a really interesting beautiful way of going about retelling that story. I went it with very low expectations because I felt like it would mar one of my favourite fairytales, and I had heard such mixed things about the book. I am so glad I picked it up. It is just filled with quote worthy moments as well which is always a bonus.

Don’t look at the shadows too long or a demon might look back.

The plot of this book is just awesome. Nothing in this story is black or white, and this includes the characters. It had a plot that I thought I had an idea of where it was going but the more I read the more I second guessed myself and it really surprised me in a good way, even if it was a little bit confusing.

It stars Nyx, a twin whose father entered into a deal with The Gentle Lord or Ignifex, the demon king who lives up on the hill by their city, to have his wife conceive a child. Ignifex agreed, granting him twin girls but in exchange the father must choose one of those girls to be his wife. Thinking that he could outsmart Ignifex and his deal the father agreed, but sadly his wife died during childbirth. Choosing his first born daughter to be the one who must marry Ignifex, he trained her to be an assassin and a sacrifice, knowing full well that this mission would more than likely kill his daughter. The day finally comes and Nyx marries Ignifex and try not to die before she learns to understand the house that keeps on changing, and outsmart Ignifex so that she may end his life to avenge her mother. There is also some Greek mythology elements woven into the plot as well to add an extra element.

I thought all the characters were interesting, but Nyx was probably the best. She was brave and kind, but she was also angry and hateful. She accepts that she will die and she goes off to meet her fate without looking back. But then she has had to live with the knowledge that her father picked her for death, that he does not love her, and that her younger sister will get to continue living her life. She both loves and wants to protect her sister, but hates her at the same time for this knowledge.

If one of us had to die, it ought to be the one with poison in her heart.

I found her relationship with her sister probably one of the more interesting aspects of the character relations. Before Nyx goes off to Ignifex she views her sister as the innocent who has been spared all the ghastly things, that still has hope and doesn’t completely understand the situation that Nyx is in. But when she returns, she finds that this isn’t really the case, that her sister was hiding who she was just as much if not more than Nyx herself. Things probably would have been greatly different for Nyx if she had of just shown herself truly to her sister. I found that she actually had more poison in her heart just naturally than Nyx ever did knowing she was getting sent off to be killed.

If you’d ever asked, I would have crawled to help you. But you never wanted my help. You only wanted me to be your sweet and smiling sister. So I smiled and smiled, until I thought I would break.

I grew to love her relationship with Ignifex, I grew this love as they grew it for each other, the way a good love story should be told. The start of their relationship was very anger filled and hinted with a touch of fear when it came to Nyx. But one night when Nyx’s looking for a way to bring down the house leads her to a run in with demons that were second from ending her life, Ignifex comes to her rescue, facing the night time whispers and attacks that he hates so much. Then when they over come him, Nyx leaves him there to suffer. After leaving him for hours, she decides that she doesn’t want to be that person who lets someone suffer, someone who is not all he appears to be on the surface, and goes back to save him. From here starts their back and forth love hate relationship that slowly starts leaning more towards love.

“You deserve all that and more. It made me happy to see you suffer. I would do it all over again if I could. I would do it again and again. Every night I would torment you and laugh. Do you understand? You are never safe with me.”

“That’s what makes you my favourite. Every wicked part of you.”

Nothing is this book is as it seems when you first look at it. Both our villain and heroin are just as bad and as good as each other. Plus, Ignifex has a wonderful sense of humour that makes you want to forgive every bit of blood on his hands.

Since I don’t want to ruin the end of this book at all I think I should end this review here before I ramble on and start talking about it. All you really need to know that this was an awesome book and I will be suggesting it to anyone who appreciates people and stories that are not all black and white, and anyone who loved the story of beauty and the beast. The only reason why this book did not receive a 5 star rating from me was because parts of the ending where a bit iffy.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Book of Lost Things

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Title: The Book of Lost Things

Author: John Connolly

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling

Length: 502

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really enjoyed this book. It was a dark retelling of stories children have been hearing all their lives and the end result was just magical. This will be a spoiler filled review.

In this book we are lead through the life of the young David whose mother sadly dies and his father finds a new girlfriend Rose and together they have another baby boy and they move into Rose’s big house. None of these things really what David wanted out of life and he struggles and is made angry with the changes and hatred starts to fill his heart.

But things in this house are not all what they seem. The books whisper to him and contain the name of a boy from Rose’s family that disappeared with his younger sister years before. There is also a crooked man with a crooked hat who sneaks into David’s room and stares at his baby brother, and from a section of the garden he can hear his dead mother beckoning to him, urging him to save her.

David follows his mothers voice, squeezing himself through the cracks in the stone fence and out the other side of a whole in a tree into another land. This land throws him many many challenges and trials as he makes his way through old stories that are not quite the way he remembers them. He looses friends, questions whether or not he is alive, all to find the king who holds The Book of Lost Things to find the answers on getting back home, and to see if his mother is actually alive.

At the end of his journey he finds the King is none other than the boy whose name is written inside David’s books, The Book of Lost Things nothing but his childhood book of how he came to be here. His heart was also filled with hate because of the change that a new sister brought into his life, and the Crooked Man came and offered him the chance to be king if he sacrificed the life of his little sister, an offer he agreed too. For years the Crooked Man has been living by the hatred of children and the spirit of the innocents that were sacrificed.

David gets offered the same deal, but upon reflection of his family and all that he has learned on his journey, he declines and The Crooked Man dies because of the lack of new sacrifice, but not before he could curse David. David travels back to the tree and climbs through desperate to be back with his family.

He wakes up in a hospital bed with Rose by his side. Was it all a dream, or was it all real?

As the years go by, the curse that bad things will happen to his loved ones that the Crooked Man placed upon him comes true. Rose and his father split up, his younger brother is killed at war, and his wife and child die in childbirth. When Rose dies David moves back into the home and seals up the cracks in the stone fence so that no other children can wonder on through, and writes a book of his journeys and entertains many children with his tales.

I loved this book because while the story isn’t very happy at all, you can almost feel peaceful with the outcome by the end. The dark underlay and the theme of not hating change and letting go of things you cannot change was really something wonderful. This will be a book that I read to my children when I have them. I highly recommend that people at least try this book, you may just find something within its pages.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Cress

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Title: Cress [The Lunar Chronicles 3]

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling

Length: 550

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: Novelas, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

And we are back to five stars! Such a great book. I am sorry people who haven’t read this book yet, this review will not be for you. It will be filled with scary spoilers throughout.

As you might have already guessed or read this book is about Cress or Crescent Moon, the girl with the crazy hair we met in the first book urging Cinder to go to the ball and warn Kai about the Lunar queen’s plan. I am a bit ashamed of how long it took me to work out that she was Dr. Erland’s daughter. I didn’t work it out until we had already spent quite a lot of time with Cress and then switched over to Erland and he started talking about his daughter that it clicked. I was panicking so hard that she would run off and never find out about him. Thank god that didn’t happen, but of course she finds out just as he is dying. Bit sad.

Her relationship with Thorne however was just adorable. Cinder and Kair have a more adult and serious relationship, but Thorne’s and Cress’ is more sweet and easy going. Even thought I was freaking out that Thorne went blind because nothing is ever allowed to happen to him, I think it really made their relationship what it was. She had to help him and he had to kind of help her with life despite the fact he cannot see. At one point Cress gets kidnapped and taken to Erland’s lab place before everyone works out they are all friends, and Thorne with the help of the escort-droid that he got for Iko so that she could have a pretty human body (which was just adorable), he charges in their blind to save her.

Cinder comes along just a little bit later and runs into the droid which result in this:

He’s just gone inside to be heroic. I’m sure he’ll be glad to know you’re here.

I love the writing style. It always takes a moment to be funny. Another moment I loved was:

What happened? Why is the ship screaming?

Another new character we met was Jacin. I don’t know how I feel about him. We think he is on our side for awhile but it turns out that he is actually wanting to help the queen’s daughter Winter and NOT Cinder so we don’t know how much we can trust him. I did think it was pretty amusing though when he finally works out who Cinder is though and why she was so confused about who he was loyal too. He just gives a sly smile and lets it go. I look forward to finding out what happens with him.

I thought wolf was the biggest idiot in this book and I kept wanting him to leave. He was pretty much useless the entire time because Scarlet gets captured by Lunar again. Something that was really all his fault. Cinder told him to stay because it was more dangerous for him to come but what does he do? He follows her anyway and of course everything goes wrong just like Cinder knew they would. Then he goes and tries to kill Cinder, twice, because Scarlet is gone. Gah. He just annoyed me so so much. We didn’t get much of Scarlet in this book because of the kidnapping, but part of me was glad. The torture she was going through and having to chop off her own finger. I felt so bad for her. I did like the interactions with the crazy princess Winter though and I am so excited for her book. I love me some crazy characters.

“You shouldn’t call me crazy. They don’t like that.”

“But you are crazy.”

“I know. Do you know how I know? Because the palace walls have been bleeding for years, and no one else sees it.”

I was so excited about the Kai kidnapping. It had to happen and I so desperately was Kai and Cinder action. The kidnapping was really funny, I loved how Cinder just shot Kai with a tranq dart. Then when he is on the ship and Iko screams for Kai not to look at her because Wolf wrecked her new body and she isn’t pretty and is embarrassed. The awkward interaction between Kai and Cinder when she is telling him who she is, after all the yelling of course, then the wonderful Cinder breakdown and their kiss. YAAAAYYYYY! I am so excited to get more of their relationship in the next book.

Just encase you didn’t figure it out already, I really really enjoyed this book. Even though I didn’t think the Rapunzel theme showed through enough and Cress lost her long hair too quickly. This book is an easy solid 5 star winner and I think everyone should read this series.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Scarlet

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Title: Scarlet [The Lunar Chronicles 2]

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling

Length: 452

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: Novelas, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

After the last one, this one let me down a bit but I still thought it was an amazing story.

I think the only reason why this one fell a start from the first for me was that we were introduced to some new people, two of which are Scarlet and Wolf, and they are telling us the story of little red riding hood (but not really that much). While I liked these two new characters, compared to Cinder and Kai I didn’t really care about them at all. Pretty much the entire time I was reading about them I was thinking to myself how they were going to connect up with Cinder and the rest of her crew, I wasn’t really concerned much with their story.

Sadly, we don’t get any Cinder an Kai time because CInder starts off in jail and must break out and Kai is off doing Emperor like things elsewhere. This made me very very sad. This was kind of made up for however in the new non-romantic partner is crime (because they are off being criminal together) Thorne. Thorne is the accidental person Cinder picked up along the way while breaking out of prison who happens to have a ship. Their relationship is just amazing. It starts off with Cinder being really annoyed by him but by the end you know they love each other. Iko also ends up being the ship and this was just so funny. She made a pretty damn awesome ship. My favourite moments in this book involve Thorne and Cinder and sometimes Iko. There is a part where ‘captain’ Thorne was trying to fly ships, something he apparently doesn’t do well, and Cinder is just there saying “We are going to die.” Then Thorne comes up with lines like “We’re having another moment aren’t we?” when Cinder only kind of wants to hurt him. So funny.

If you don’t want spoilers, you should probably leave here for the rest of this review will be going into detail about events in the book.

I loved the scene were Cinder and Thorne find the very creepy basement at Scarlet’s house where her grandmother had helped Cinder’s adoptive father build her and piece her all back together after she was nearly burnt to death. A process that took eight years! Wow. Yes, that would explain why Cinder has no memory before the age of eleven. She was submerged in goo. I also thought it was really interesting that that was why she has the google thing inside her head, because she had no idea of the world and this would allow her to find things out without people really noticing that she had no idea what anything was or how things go.

I was so ashamed of myself when it came to the whole Scarlet and Wolf side of the story. So many hints were dropped that Wolf wasn’t from Earth but was in fact a Lunar but I didn’t make the connects at all until he ‘turned’ on Scarlet and lead her into his pack’s ‘den.’ Not that he could turn crazy and rip a person to bits with just his hands, not the fact he had wolf teeth, not when Scarlet’s father was saying that the people who had him captured forced him to hurt himself, and not when he didn’t know what a tomato or a carrot was. Nope. Not even a thought about it. So shameful.

At the same time though when Scarlet gets captured and Wolf is secretly trying to help her, I got really happy because I just knew that Cinder was going to fly in with Thorne and save the day. I tell you, that saving scene was so action packed. I thought it was pretty funny that Cinder shot Wolf with tranq dart because she thought he was going to eat Scarlet. Part of me was screaming at them to leave him there because it was such a hassle to save everyone with this giant guy all knocked out and useless.

Cinder was so much more kick confident in this book I feel. She went about everything with a determination that she didn’t completely have in the last book. I was actually really worried that this would make her go a bit evil with her Lunar powers, so I pray that doesn’t happen by the end of the series. I think maybe perhaps she will build new chips to make is to the Lunar’s don’t have to use their powers without side effects and so humans can be protected. I think the part the showed her toughness the best besides breaking out of jail and saving everyone, would be at the end Scarlet is yelling at her. Why hasn’t she done something sooner to save everyone/fix everything since she is the lost Lunar princess? Cinder just turns around and is basically like, well for your information Scarlet I only found out three days ago and since then I have broken out of prison, fixed a ship and come and saved you. Haven’t had the time to overthrow an evil queen just yet. Scarlet is just standing there going oh… ok then. Hahaha so good.

ANYWAY that is enough rambling from me. I liked this one but there were a few things I didn’t like as much as the first but I still loved it and I am picking up the next book in the series right this second. Tell me your thoughts on everything that happened in the book. Did you pick up on the Wolf thing quicker or am I the only that was blind?

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Wide Window

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Title: The Wide Window [A Series of Unfortunate Events 3]

Author: Lemony Snicket

]Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery

Length: 183

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 12, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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Description/Synopsis:

Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all.If you haven’t got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Though I liked this one I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first two.

In this book the orphans travel to their Aunt Josephine’s house which is atop a hill off the edge of the cliff over the lake. The setting of this book was quite exciting. It was interesting to get a story based around a lake that is filled with leeches that eat you all up if they even sniff a crumb on you. They will even sink a boat to get to you, which is a hardship the children must survive thanks to Josephine. It was all very exciting really.

However, Aunt Josephine is the very reason why I didn’t like this book quite as much. I want at least one side character to like other than the children. Aunt Josephine is such a horrible person. She is terrified of just about everything and will not do or let the children do a great many things that would make life easier or just plain comfortable because she is terrified about something horrible happening. For example, she is afraid to cook hot food despite how cold the house is because the stove might burst into flames. While all this could be forgiven, she does look after the children despite the stupid challenges she invents. She also actually teaches them things like grammar cause she thinks it the most important thing ever. None of this though makes up for what she does at the end of the book so if you have not read this book skip the next paragraph.

Her fear of Count Olaf, which is understandable I suppose since he tried to get her to kill herself, makes her offer the children over to him even though she knows he will make them suffer for their money, in exchange for her own life. I was so mad. A part of me was happy she got eaten by the leaches because she created all the issues herself. I did feel bad for the orphans when that happened though because someone else that was suppose to love and look after them had died and this time they had to watch it.

I don’t really know what else to say because the overall structure of the stories seems to be the same. Find new home, some bad but not so bad things, Count Olaf appears in a new outfit and tricks everyone because he has shoes on, some bad things happen, children solve issues, Count Olaf is discovered and disappears again, children move into the next home and book.

I continue on reading for I want more substance and I hope that I shall get more the more I read/listen.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Reptile Room

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Title: The Reptile Room [A Series of Unfortunate Events 2]

Author: Lemony Snicket

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery

Length: 169

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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Description/Synopsis:

The story may seems cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I think this book was more heartbreaking than the first one.

We go into this section of the story into a lovely household with an Uncle that treats the kids amazingly. He tends to all their needs and desires and really rather spoils them rotten. I love Uncle Monty, though I couldn’t take him seriously in audio book form. The voice that was used for him was like a drunk British guy. I suggest this book in non-audio format for this one reason. Uncle Monty was not a drunk! He was lovely and had awesome animals.

Sadly, we are also told straight away that we shouldn’t expect these happy times to last very long because Uncle Monty was going to die and the children did not pick up on any of the clues or think of any way to stop the events in time to save him. My heart broke for the children. Again they kind of tried to stop the bad things from happening, but they couldn’t seem to get any help.

Poor kids.

The writing style though really good does have a downside to me. It was present in the first book as well but I didn’t want to mention it in that review, the story tends to break out of its rhythm to explain what a number of the words used mean. While I am sure this is good for younger readers, I find this quite annoying. Much like the children get frustrated that the adults in their lives are always explaining what words mean when they already know their meaning. The only thing that keeps it from driving me totally nuts was that sometimes the explaining of the words isn’t always straight out of the dictionary and were given a humorous twist to it.

So yes, I enjoyed this book very much despite the annoyances. I feel so sorry for the children and things are not going to get better for them. If you liked the first read this one because for the small moment which Uncle Monty was alive in this book it was very nice to see them have those moments. I worry about what other things they will have to face.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – Thirteen Reasons Why

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Title: Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 288

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

A word of warning before I write this review. I have intensely negative views on suicide that will offend people and I am sure they are going to seep out in this review because its the whole plot to the book. So if you know don’t like people looking down upon those who have killed themselves, move on. We do not need to have a fight about it, the review is not worth it. If you can handle someone doing this though, read on. You have been warned.

I was greatly surprised by just how much I liked this book. I had heard great things from a few people in the book world but I was a bit iffy about it because of the reasons stated above. But I actually found it quite moving.

We start off the book with Clay receiving a package full of cassette tapes from Hanna Baker, a girl who killed herself the week before. It states the thirteen reasons and events why she killed herself, and the only reason you would be hearing the tapes are if you are one of those. I was a bit confused about the whole thing to begin with the voice and the person talking at the beginning of these tapes just seemed so strong to me. I thought This person killed herself? But she is so fired up! You could tell she really wanted to stick it to all the people who she accounts for why she chose to die. But as you go through the tapes, she looses some of that fire and by the end I was thinking There is that weakness I was looking for. I suppose that was well done. With each event she got more worn down and became weaker and weaker till she just gave up.

For example, at the beginning of the tapes Hannah is unable to say the word suicide during the tapes when talking about her plans, but by the end of them she is freely saying it with ease.

The people in her life are just disgusting. If I was surrounded by such horrible people that turn their back or do some of those thing to me the way they did to her I might be seriously depressed too. The only person in the whole book though that I felt sorry for was Clay. Not Hannah though I did at the beginning but that wore off quickly. Clay is such a sweety and having to listen to these tapes was just so hard for him. It got some closure to, but I think he just felt so hurt by the whole thing. Having to listen to her say that she didn’t have anyone on her side and no one would help her and listen to stories that the end about her putting herself in situations that would make her want to kill herself, knowing full well that they would not end well. I agreed with everything Clay was saying to himself at the end. You did not ask for help, Hannah. You sent him away when he was there. You always have another option. Poor, poor Clay.

All that being said though he is guilty of being one of the stupid people at times and he should have tried harder to be there for her because then she might have actually asked him for help. He was too scared to get close until she was already too far gone. I don’t mean he should have seen the signs, I just mean that he shouldn’t have let the opinions of others get in his way for something he really really wanted, such as Hannah.

While I don’t look upon people who commit suicide… fondly, I can understand to an extent I suppose. Things spiral and even the small things become big and depressing and life shattering. I believe though that people should be able to see this happening ans slam on the breaks and slow things down or call out for help. To more than one person. If they can’t though, I think this book is a very good telling of how these things can happen. The story was very well written and really amazingly presented and best of all realistic.

I would recommend this book to anyone who maybe wants a little bit of insight on the topic and how things can realistically happen. If you expect people to need huge reasons to die I would stay away, this is a story about more little things and you may not like it like I did. It is a short read though so it might be worth it. I will probably even pick it up again at some point.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – If I Stay

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Title: If I Stay [If I Stay 1]

Author: Gayle Forman

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 138

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2

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Description/Synopsis:

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I loved this book. I picked it up because the trailer for the movie looks amazing and when the book is so short I don’t really have an excuse not to read it before I see the movie now do I? I was a little bit worried about reading it because things get hyped and I don’t always like them but I was very pleasantly surprised.

There will be spoilers in this post so you may want to skip over it if you have not already read the book.

The idea of the story is very simple, should she wake up from her coma or should she move on and be with her family? The simplicity of it though is what makes it good. How does one make a decision like that? Are your dreams or friends or even boyfriend a good enough reason to wake up seriously injured and have to face the rest of your life without the people you loved the most in it? When you were the only one to live? I think some of you would just be like yes! Of course! But just think about how tired Mia must have been, it goes into her injuries in quite alot of detail. I don’t know what I would choose.

Because Mia is in a coma for pretty much the whole duration of the book, there is alot of back and forth between memories and the things going on around her in the hospital. I think this method worked well in the book because you slowly got depth to all the layers of things in her life including family, friends, boyfriend and of course the cello. I am a bit worried about how they are going to do this in the movie though because in the book they will just break off from the present to the past and that kind of thing works in a book but visually it might be not so great.

I felt connected to most the characters but I really, really loved the way her parents are portrayed and the general family dynamic. Her parents sound like the best people in the world. The one thing I highlighted in the book was when Mia’s brother Teddy was being born:

“Music! Goddammit! Music!” Mom screamed.

“We have some lovely Enya. Very soothing,” the midwife said.

“Fuck Enya!” Mom screamed. “Melvins. Earth. Now!”

I did like Mia quite alot and her relationships with everyone was cute. All of Adam’s attempts to see her and communicate with her throughout the book were just adorable and I loved him. The for alot of the book though I was screaming at her about one thing. Her brother Teddy. In the beginning she was like I must find him! But then she finds her own body and gets distracted and I can understand that. It must be shocking. But then she does very little thinking about him in present tense after that. The whole time I had a pretty good feeling that Teddy had died, but still. There was such urgency then nothing… I just wanted to know for sure! Only complaint about the book really. The ending was very abrupt but I didn’t mind that.

This is a book about the small things that mean the world but you might not notice them until something huge like this happens. I would recommend this book to anyone planning on seeing the movie, and who likes a mellow book about life. I will be picking up the next book and I don’t doubt that I will read this one again.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Bad Beginning

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Title: The Bad Beginning [A Series of Unfortunate Events 1]

Author: Lemony Snicket

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery

Length: 141

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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Description/Synopsis:

Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

The description of this book is very apt.

This book though holding a middle grade title it holds the deeper meaning within is sad sad pages. This is a book that will teach children that not all stories have a happy endings. Even though the events are out there, the events in real life do not always end well even if you are just three very cute and interesting children. It breaks the unrealistic idea that all stories have happy endings. Though I like this story and the fact it isn’t happy (I like it in a sad way) I don’t really think that children need to be learning this lesson. I hope the idea kind of goes over their heads. The nice part about being a child is that you have those beliefs that everyone has a happy ending, its growing up and having our own unfortunate events that kill that idea. Better leave things hopeful as long as you can.

Following this train of thought, I kind of wish that this book wasn’t middle grade and had more depth to is in its contents. Another part of me of course didn’t feel this way though because if it was YA or Adult it might completely destroy what a lovely sad story it is at heart.

I loved our three main characters. They each have their own identify and accept those aspects as a definer of who they are. They are really very well together and confident children. Even Sunny, though I hope Sunny’s definer of biting kind of changes as she gets older in the series. Its cute now, but it wont be when she is bigger. I wonder how much the children will age during the course of the books? I love how the children stick together even though I don’t know how realistic that is. Even though they have gone through something horrible, children generally will not get along as much as these, but I suppose that is part of their charms. Their love for each other.

I found our villains greatly dislikeable, which is a good thing. They are very realistic in ways that children going to a new home with people/persons that they have no idea about are truly scary. They are also very realistic in the sense that children going into a new home do not always end up in a good home or even a safe place to live. The other adults that are not ‘the bad guys’ are also dislikeable and frustrating in a realistic way because no matter how often the kids tried to tell people about their sufferings they got dismissed because the adults wouldn’t take what they were saying seriously because of their ages.

The ending of this book was very sad but we already know that it was going to happen. There was never any chance of happiness in these books. The woes of the children are never ending and exaggerated. When the kids think back about all their hardships and include ‘Itchy Shirts’ in the mix with all the other, vastly worst struggles, I had to have a little giggle because that was such a thing children would count as a hardship.

So yes, don’t pick it up if you don’t want lots of suffering and no happy endings. But if you are willing to experience a different kind of middle grade book I think you should give it a go because its enjoyable.

 

Till Next Time…