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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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NaNoWriMo Update – Week Two

Hello my lovelies! How is everyone going with their novels this week?

Again I am happy but not happy with mine. While I can see that my story still sorta sucks, I feel it is more because it needs a whole load of editing rather than me just not being happy with the actual story. I decided on a big plot point when it comes to what is going to fuel parts of the story and I have started writing it in and thus far I am really liking the direction that it is taking my story.

The part I am not so happy with this week is my word count. I had a few long days at work or just long days with life in general and I couldn’t get my brain to focus on writing enough to keep up with the daily word goals. Lets compare some charts shall we:

First of all here is my daily word counter. Please note that some days are a bit off because I forgot to update my time zone location when I moved from Melbourne to Brisbane, so if I updated after 11pm for that first week and a bit the words between my last update and then got counted for the next day. I think I have fixed it now but I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the daily word count goal charts. The first one is where we ended off last week and the second one is this weeks update.

As you can see there were a few days where I did nothing and even though I pushed out 2455 words this morning before I started writing this blog post, I am still quite behind. I obviously need to take a bit of a mental break now but I hope to write at least another 2000 words today and set myself up for a lot of writing for tomorrow (Sunday). I really want to be over the desired word count by tomorrow because I know I am having another really long week at week and I probably won’t gemuch writing done.

Now lets take a look at my chapter differences. The first picture is where we left off last week, and the second is where I am currently as of 1:19pm on Saturday the 10th of November.

As you can see I have not gone back to look at that first act. I am finding it a lot easier to pump out words for the second act, and as I am umping them out I am finding out more about my character and how their lives work and the people who are in it. I am starting to feel as though I am getting to a place where I can go back and fill in some more of the build up to me turning point between the acts. I was going to try and do a bit before writing this post, but after about 3 hours of straight writing I could feel my mind drifting and decided it would probably be better to try a bit later after my mind has had a rest.

And thats all the update I think I have for you guys this week. As always, link me, tell me how you are going, share any update posts. This community is part of the thing that makes this month so fun.

 

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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NaNoWriMo Update – Week One

And Nano is off! We are currently on day four and I am really loving everything that is happening at the moment, except for my story which sorta sucks. But before I get into my thoughts lets look at some charts.

Stats from day two as I forgot to take a picture on day one:

The chapter went on far longer than I intended it too and basically just become a giant introduction dump. All the chapters and general acts are a guess at this point as well. I also changed all the labels after taking this shot so there wasn’t one, because I found all that excess green really distracting and off putting when it came to the goal bars on the side.

Stats from day four at about two in the afternoon and plenty of time to keep writing:

The only reason the day four stats are captured so early in the day is that I wanted to get this post up at a more regular time for myself, and because I am going out to a friends house later so while I have time between now and then I may not do much more writing.

Thus far I have written every single day which I am so proud of myself. When they words are flowing I am truly enjoying the experience. You may see between the two pictures that I moved from trying to write in order to just writing the parts I had a clear image of in my head. This I am coming to find is a result of an insufficient amount of outlining on my part. I am releasing that I may not be cut out to be a pantser. I spent much of yesterday looking up castle designs and floor plans, and even spent some of today sketching things out because I found myself unable to write a scene unless I where everything ever was. I still don’t have a clear idea, but I am trying not to focus too much on the little things and just put words down.

Much of the words I do put down though I am struggling with. Unless its one of the scenes that have been crystal clear in my head since I thought of the idea for this book, the words come out much like pulling out one of my own teeth. This again I relate to my lack of an ability to be a pantser. I have a clear idea in my head of they key turning points in the book, who the villain is and what he does to my main characters, but I just cannot settle on a good reason as to why. I am working with an idea right now that is keeping me moving but I haven’t decided if it is actually enough to have sparked the plot.

Then the things I do get out I just want to go back and change straight away. Chapter one for example, is just a giant here s everyone and all the things you need to know about them all at once. I am unhappy with how the chapter turned out and my mind is just always nagging at me to back and change it and some of the dialogue of the chapter, which I am finding stale because I am not completely connecting with my characters yet. But I know going back and changing things this early on is stupid, specially since I am not set with the driving force to the plot, and I should just focus on getting as much as I can down and setting up something I can go back and work with at a later date.

My mind really doesn’t like it though which is why I am letting myself at the moment just write the parts I am sure of. In writing these out I am hoping I can work out a few things that would have had to come before and once I get the ball rolling the after will come naturally to me.

Now as you can see above that I just about a hundred words off of being up to date with the daily  word goals. My work schedules for Monday and Tuesday are full though, and while I might get a couple hundred words in on Monday I am fairly certain that I will not get anything done on the Tuesday. Like I have stated before for other posts on this blog, Tuesday is just a dead day to me. So even though I am going out and I want to write up a review for Kingdom of Ash before I forget too much today, I want to try and get two days worth of words done so that I am not scrambling on trying to keep up too much during the week.

The general amount written each day is also a bit different to what is shown here. I am finding that if I update late at night it counts for the next day even if my day hasn’t ended yet, so I haven’t actually written 2537 words today, though I hope to write more than that.

I think thats all the updating that is required for the day. If you are participating let me know how you are going! I always love seeing other peoples progress and I can always use more nano friends.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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October Wrap Up + November Schedule

I am going to keep this one short and sweet this week. I took part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon and managed to get a couple of books down, finish one from last month and I am currently a good way through Kingdom of Ash. I am really enjoying it and thus far it seems like its going to be a good way to end the series.

What I Finished

What I’m Currently/Planning on Reading

The November Schedule

I am doing Nanowrimo this month though so I may not get much reading done but I hope to get a lot of writing done. I am planning on doing Nano updates, they will not always be a full week apart, but will be scheduled for the day I would normally post at the closest day to it being a full week.

 

1st – Hello, welcome to todays post

4th – NaNoWriMo update week one

6th – TTT – Backlist Books I Want To Read

7th – Book Review – The Clan of the Cave Bear (Link will work on the upload day)

10th – NaNoWriMo update week two

13th – TTT – Bookish Things I Would Like To Own

16th – Book Review – You

19th – NaNoWriMo update week three

20th – TTT – Thankful Freebie

22nd – Markus Zusak event talk

25th – NaNoWriMo update week four

27th – TTT – Platonic Relationships

28th – Book Review – Kingdom of Ash (If I have gotten over it ending and/or if I am alive enough this close to the end of NaNo to actually form any words)

if anyone has a schedule up don’t be afraid to share, I would love to see what people are doing for the month! Also if anyone is doing NaNoWriMo link me to your page or give me your name I would love some more NaNo friends.

Till Next Time. . .

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Top Ten Tuesday – Spooky Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish, but has now been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Spooky Reads

This weeks theme was actually a Halloween freebie. I both love and hate freebies. When I have an amazing idea for it its great but when my mind goes blank as to what to do it makes a hard list harder haha. So this week I am going to talk about the top 5 spooky books I have read, and the top 5 spooky books I want to read.

 Top 5 Spooky Books I Have Read:

1. You by Caroline Kepnes. Being inside Joes head was truly a spooky experience.

2. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. I don’t remember how scared I was while reading this book, but the end of it caused me so much emotional distress that I bawled my eyes out, never picked it or any of the rest of the books up again.

3. The Passage by Justin Cronin. While I don’t like zombies as genre, I did like this book and when I get over how angry the ending made me I do want to finish off the trilogy.

 

 

 

 

4. The Archived by Victoria Schwab. It took me a moment to get into it but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t realise it was considered a horror.

5. The Dogs by Allen Stratton. I think this is literally every single horror book I have ever read.

Top 5 Spooky Books I Want To Read:

1. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. Back in the day when I bought the book I read the first two pages and was instantly hooked but made myself put it down before I read anymore because at the time I didn’t have a moment to actually read it and I have never picked it back up. Hopefully sometime soon.

2. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. I love the movies and really want to do the book. This is technically the second book but everyone knows what series I am talking about if I mention this one.

3. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I know nothing but it has been on my shelf longer than I can remember.

 

 

 

 

4. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. This has only been on my shelves for a few years I think but I still don’t really know anything about it. The blurb on the back has been enough for it to remain on my shelves even after some culling.

5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. An oldie but I hear its amazing.

 

 

 

 

Be sure to share your lists! I haven’t really read that many spooky books so I would love some recommendations for Halloween reads.

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

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Till Next Time. . .

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Mini Mondays – The Bronze Horseman, Magonia, The Miniaturist

Title: The Bronze Horseman

Author: Paullina Simons

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction

Length: 637

Rating: DNF

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I got really far into this book before I dropped it. Page 440 actually. I  debated for ages whether or not just finish the damn thing because I had gotten so far into that it seemed stupid to just drop it, but in the end I decided I had better things to read and while I enjoyed some parts of this book the romance just wasn’t doing anything for me.

Yes, I know there have been big discussions on the romance in this book before, but I went in without really knowing the details and I didn’t like the romance before I got to that section of the book that caused the most outrage. I actually had only really just gotten there when I dropped it, and it was those serious bits that everyone else hated that made me drop it.

I did like the first part of this book for the most part. I really liked the war side of things and the way the people in this book had to live. While its sad I liked the bits where everyone was dying because it was a really real description of the horrors of war. Then there was the romance which at first I was not liking but wanting it to work out. We have two main characters that love each other but the guy met the girls sister first and the other sister didn’t want to upset her by taking her man so declined him, and while he is there telling her he loves her he then decides to propose to her sister so he can still be in the other girls life? Messed up. I did really love him for all the help he provided for the family in the war though and when he became a jealous, abusive arsehole out of nowhere I was done with it.

Title: Magonia

Author: Maria Dahvana

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult

Length: 309

Rating: 2.5 rounded up to 3 star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I’m pulling an old one out of the box for this set of mini reviews. I have notes written down for this book that I could probably stretch into a full length review but I just don’t want to spend that much time on it. It was a bloody strange book, and while I have loved other strange books this one just clearly wasn’t for me and it took me ages to even get my head around it.

I loved the idea of this book. A story about a girl who is drowning on the air she breathes, and she finds out the reason she is slowly dying due to air is because she is supposed to be living in the sky and not on earth. I liked the writing style, and I connected with some of the characters, but it just went it ways I didn’t like. In all the directions it could of gone, I don’t think this one was very successful. Some parts just went too far on the weird scale and I just sat there wondering what I just read.

Title: The Miniaturist

Author: Jessie Burton

Genre: Mystery, Fantasy

Length: 400

Rating: 2.5 rounded up to 3 Star?

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This one is getting a mini review because I didn’t even know how to talk about it. My mum asked me how it was and my response was to groan and say slowly “It was alright.” It was really hard for me to get into this book and when i hit the 1/3 mark of this book I sent a plea out to the internet asking if it was worth continuing on with and I got quite a few responses telling me the ending was worth it so I kept going. It wasn’t really worth it.

I will admit that it did pick up towards the end. I didn’t see everything that happened coming, but I didn’t feel it really made up for the rest. The magical realism side of this book also really confused me. I didn’t really understand why it was in the book and I kept waiting for it to become a bigger part of the story but it never happened.

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – October 2018 Wrap Up

And its all over! I am really happy with how it went! I nearly participated in all the challenges and this is one of my best page results for this read-a-thon! I had an amazing time and would really like to know how you all did so link me to your wrap up!

Total Pages Read: 733

Books Finished:

 

Closing Survey!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hours 9 and 10 for sure. I actually crashed for about 2-3 hours after hour 10.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

 

 

 

 

3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?

I really loved The Rest of us Just Live Here. It was such an easy read and I did enjoy myself even if it wasn’t your standard fantasy.

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy?

I think I enjoyed the old structure for the read-a-thon, but in saying that I did like the more relaxed way of the mini challenges.

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?

I will definitely will participate again. I want to be active in other ways as well but I need to decide things like that closer to the actual event.

 

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – Hour 23

I have been doing challenges since we last talk but I am done with them now and I am ready to focus on just smashing out pages in these final hours!

Currently Reading:

 

 

 

 

Total Pages: 647

I am ready to finish my second book!

Mini Challenges

Draw it out!

Welcome to my mini challenge for this weekend’s readathon. When you need a little break from reading, get drawing! Please draw me a scene or character from your current read (or any other book you’re reading during the readathon). 

Jared from The Rest of us Just Live Here connecting with one of the cats. Find the challenge here.

Books Are Magic

For this challenge we ask you to show us what is coming out of your book.

There is more than one way to take on this challenge. You can draw on a blank paper sticking out of your book or from under your reader. Or you can take a picture of your book and arrange it in a digital editor. You can even stage a little sene with items you have around you. Be creative and have fun.

The Night Court <3 Find the challenge here.

Book and a Snack

Needed a quick break from reading? I have a fun mini-challenge, just take a picture of your current read and a snack, post it up somewhere and link it below. Use #RATbooksnack so I can check them out on social media!

I posted it on my instagram as well. Find the challenge here.

Escaping the Angst

For our October 20th @deweysreadathon, my challenge to Readathoners is to post here on Insta or on Twitter with the books that helped you escape the angst of your teenage years. 

Also on my instragram. Find the challenge here.

 

 

 

 

 

Till next Time. . .