The Queen Of The Tearling — Erika Johansen

Hello there,

I’ve made a list of things that I thought were worth mentioning about the book. But before I get to that…

Important note: Book contains profanities, sexual references and some violence 

Now on to the list! If you’d prefer to skip the list, I also included a TL;DR at the end of this post.

  1. This is the first book I’ve ever read that centers around politics, and it was surprisingly good!
  2. Something a lot of people mention about this book is that it went too slow. I admit, it was definitely slower than most books I’ve read, but I thought it was the right pace for this story and allowed me to get to know the characters well.
  3. Speaking of characters, I felt like I could relate to most of the characters from one viewpoint or another. Even when it came to the typically more “villainous” characters, I did not feel like they were just cardboard cutouts to be pelted with eggs. Instead, they were fully fleshed out and all their decisions had their motivations.
  4. Another thing that seemed to bug some readers was that the story was set in a medieval kingdom in the future. Although I did find this a little strange, it never bothered me simply because it was a fantasy novel. How would the Tearling be less believable than a world filled with dragons and monsters? Shouldn’t readers of fantasy expect to suspend their disbelief?
  5. However, what I thought could have been done better was the element of “Magic” in this book. Magic played such a key role in pushing the narrative forward, but it was never explored in as much depth as it could have been. Perhaps this particular facet will be explored in the sequels, which I will be getting to when I have the time.
  6. Little side note: I’m studying for my SAT test and this book exposed me to foreign words and expressions that I wouldn’t normally get from the Young Adult books I usually read.

TL;DR — I enjoyed the book immensely and will be picking up the sequels 🙂

Happy reading

Where’d you go Bernadette — Maria Semple

Hello there,

I read this book a long while ago but I distinctly remember it making me laugh. What I really enjoyed was the format of the book. It was written in the form of email exchanges, letters and invoices, providing glimpses and clues into the lives of Bernadette and her family. I also enjoyed delving into Bernadette’s life as an architect and what happened after. I particularly liked Bee, Bernadette’s daughter. I’m not sure why but maybe because I saw a little bit of myself in her, the ambition and quirkiness , traits I *believe* I possess (probably not). Even so, it was a crazy adventure all in all, with funny bits, albeit a predictable conclusion. (I personally didn’t guess, but it was glaringly obvious in hindsight)

Happy reading

More than this — Patrick Ness

Hello there,

Patrick Ness has done it again and what a wonderful sight it was to behold. This book is the third book I have read by the same author and he is starting to cement his place in my book as one of my favourite authors.

I’m glad I took the advice to go into this book without knowing much about it. You can dive into this book without reading the synopsis and you’d still be on the same page as anyone else who did. It is shrouded in an air of mystery, which could have backfired but it worked beautifully.

I only have one small issue with this book. The ending, and this is for two reasons:

  1. The book ended
  2. How it ended

Nonetheless, I was always at the edge of my seat, immersing myself in the world that Ness has created. That was more than enough to compensate for the love-it or hate-it ending.

Happy reading

The knife of never letting go — Patrick Ness

Hello there,

When I started the book, it looked like I was going to give up on it after a few pages. The language was strange and I had no idea what was going on. It carried on like that for quite a while. The going was slow and I didn’t feel like reading it. However, I’m glad I decided to push through because after the first part of the book, the pace quickened and I found myself immersed in the world of these characters. I subsequently flew through the pages and found myself eagerly waiting for the moment I can finally get my hands on the second and third books of the trilogy. Hopefully, they will only get better and better.

Happy reading

 

Luka and the fire of life — Salman Rushdie

Hello there,

This was my first Salman Rushdie book. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be quite an interesting story. The fantasy part of it and “exploring” the world that he created was the best part. The characters were also quite likable. All in all I think this book would intrigue younger readers and maybe even open them up to reading his other works. But for me, I didn’t find this one fantastic. Despite that, I’m still going to try out his other titles.

Happy reading

Trevor — James Lecesne

 

Hello there,

I picked this up mainly because I had heard about the Trevor Project before online. Naturally, I wanted to learn about the story that inspired the Project. This is a very very quick read. The perspectives presented in the book are realistic and sometimes painful to read about. However, at the end of the book, I felt hopeful that we could do something to be the change we wanted to see in the world.

Go to http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ to find out more about the Trevor project and the work they do to help LGBTQ youth in America.

They also have a free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week lifeline at 866-488-7386 if you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk. Your life matters, and you deserve help.

Happy reading

 

 

Charm and strange — Stephanie Kuehn

 

 

Hello there,

I read this book a few months ago. I remember that I wasn’t that impressed with the book but I couldn’t put my finger on why. So this post will contain what parts I do recall and because I have no evidence on why you shouldn’t read this book, the overall review is positive.

I liked the way the chapters were neatly divided into flash-backs and the present. It was a little disorienting at first but it was used elegantly. Information was dished out slowly, much like a having a meal at a fancy restaurant, small morsels that lead up to a great experience.

Thinking back, I was confused pretty much the whole way through, never really knowing what in the world was going on. I guess that was part of the point but I had some trouble keeping up. Sometimes, I had to keep re-reading a passage because I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I’m sorry but you’ll have to push through to the end if you want to find out if the pay-off is worth it, because I cannot recall how satisfied I was with the ending.

Happy reading

Evidence of things not seen — Lindsey Lane

Hello there,

The title says it all, “not seen” being the key words here. Maybe I should have stopped myself from getting swayed by the beautiful cover and the promise of quantum physics but I picked it up anyway.

Warning: This isn’t a narrative-type story. This story is told in both third and first person perspectives. But every chapter is told through a different person. This isn’t a story about the life of Tommy, the missing boy, but the lives of those around him. Sometimes it links back to him or other characters but sometimes the different perspectives seem completely unrelated. It wasn’t in the inside flap so I thought you should know.

(WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

 

 

The biggest problem I had with this style of writing was that there wasn’t enough time to learn about each character and really empathise with him/her. They story never really progresses and there is no conclusion. I know that this is how real life is sometimes but what about the growth of other characters? They just come and go. We only see snippets of them, never a whole. Sometimes I get attached to a character but it’s a shame because I’ll get a different one in the next chapter.

One thing that I thought was interesting was that the lives of some of the characters intertwined. However, this required a lot of flipping back and forth between the pages to find out who was who and mentally string it all together. But by then, it lost the opportunity to make a bigger impact on the reader.

I personally would not recommend this book but this unique writing style may be right up your alley. Or maybe you’d just like to satisfy your curiosity. Either way, pick it up or don’t, no one’s judging. (I’m serious)

Happy reading

 

Alienated — Melissa Landers

 

Hello there,

This book is difficult to review. I feel incredibly conflicted about it. (If you read the book you’d get my reference here) Let me list out the good stuff first, then the not-so-good stuff.

Good stuff:

  1. I enjoyed reading about the alien race and the alien exchange program. The paranoia and riots against the alien race echoed the xenophobia and racism people face in our society, things that still happen around the world today.
  2. I admired the main character, Cara, for her tenacity and passion? I also liked another character Eron, you’ll understand why if you read the book.
  3. It was also incredibly funny, whether intentionally or not.

Not-so-good stuff:

You might want to read the book first because I feel like you should be entitled to your own unbiased opinion so if you would like to read the book without any other influence, now is your chance. Tab over and find the book now. Also, don’t go looking for information about the second book before you finish reading the first. I know that seems obvious but I happened to make that mistake and it might have ruined a bit of the experience.

(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS that concern things in the synopsis)

 

 

  1. Well, this book was written in the third-person but every so often the perspective would change between Cara and Aelyx. I was okay with this because I felt that the swaps were put mostly to good use and fit the story’s purpose. I just felt this point worth mentioning because it’s quite a different style of writing that some people might not like.
  2. The way Cara wrote on her blog was completely different from her character. It made her seem quite shallow, far from her strong-willed nature. It might have been intentional but I couldn’t see why it had to be that way.
  3. Too much romance. I know, I know, it’s in the synopsis but I felt that the “falling in love part” had already been established in the synopsis so they would fast-forward to the “fight for earth” part. That was what drew me to read to book, not another typical boy-meets-girl. Even if the guy happens to be an alien.
  4. Quoting straight from the synopsis “But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon, Cara will be in the fight for her life — not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.” Everything’s okay right? So about maybe mid-way through the book this conflict will be revealed and there’s this fight to piece the broken pieces back together and save the earth yada yada yada? No. This happens nearly at the end of the book. Maybe 40 pages left and Aelyx’s secret plan still hadn’t been revealed to Cara. And Cara’s “battle” was, what 4 pages? I was sorely disappointed, the fact that Cara was written to be a strong-willed and passionate character, made it even more important to me that she had a right to a better “battle”. (I’m sorry I have to keep saying battle, I can’t think of a better word) I felt that this hypothetical “battle” could have contributed so much to her character growth, maybe made her more mature. But the opportunity was lost and the story tied up in a neat(?) ending.
  5. I really didn’t like how the ending was done. I felt it was too rushed, as I mentioned above. The conclusion didn’t feel like one at all, it felt too slip-shod. It just felt like an advertisement for the second book.

Okay, on the whole, I felt the book was okay. It was a fun-enough read and incredibly funny. If you’ve read the entire review, I hope I didn’t dissuade you from reading it because many other people loved it. It should be worth a try. I enjoyed reading it but I don’t think I’ll be picking up the second book. We’ll see.

Happy reading

 

A whole nother story series — Cuthbert Soup

 

Hello there,

Heeding the unsolicited advice of a  friend, I read a trilogy written by Dr Cuthbert Soup.

The three books are A Whole Nother Story, Another Whole Nother Story and No Other Story.

It took 2 weeks for me to finish the trilogy. I am a slow reader so it should be considered a light read. It chronicles the adventures of the Cheeseman family (Mr Cheeseman and his three children) while they are on the run from corporate spies, the CIA etc. The reason why? They have invented a time-machine! Their objective is to go back in time to save their mother (Mr Cheeseman’s wife, not his mother) from being killed by the exact same people who are chasing them now. (I hope that synopsis made sense)

I was pretty skeptical of the book at first but I soon fell in love with the characters. After reading the book, real life seemed, a little dull in comparison. But the book was a fun escape into an imaginary world.(Well, perhaps fictional would be a better word.)

I have included the link to Dr Soup’s website. It includes excerpts from the books.

Link: http://awholenotherbook.com/

I hope you have fun reading it, just as much as I did. (Or maybe more!)

Happy reading

Note: This post was originally from my main blog (that is defunct as of this moment because I’m spending a lot of time here)

Link to original post: https://dreamaboutflying.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/168/