Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us By Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date:  March 24th, 2015
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages 
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
On the outside, there's Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.

On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there's Amber, locked up for so long she can't imagine freedom.

Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls' darkest mysteries…

What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?

In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
I have to admit, that at first I thought I wasn't going to like this book. The book is told in dual perspectives from very unreliable narrators so I think that's what made me unsure, but now having finished it I can say that I really enjoyed this one.

The book is told in the perspectives of Violet, a dancer on her way to Juilliard whom is haunted by her past and her friend Ori going to a Juvenile Detention Center for something that happened three years ago that was her fault.  It takes awhile for us to figure out what the means, so that did annoy me at times. I also found her to be very annoying, and it was clear she was way too used to her privilege. Her self-centered attitude made me want to punch her. 

The other narrator is a girl named Amber in the Detention Center for killing her stepdad. Having finished this novel I'm still not sure if Amber actually did it or not. In the beginning she says how innocent she is, but then her story starts to change at the end. I think Suma left this up to the reader, and I like to think she was innocent and maybe it was her mother that killed him and let her daughter take the fall for her. Although I did want a clear answer on this, I think I'm okay with the author leaving it up for the reader to decide. 

I liked that this book brings in race and how the justice system is so flawed. I think it was really important part to the plot and the ending of this book.  I have read some reviews where some people didn't get the ending, but it made sense to me. I don't want to give it away, but just really think about the supernatural elements and concepts about afterlife.

This book was a surprise for me, and I'm really glad that I stuck with it because I was really satisfied with the ending. 

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Audiobook Review: Inkspell

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
Publisher: The Chicken House
Release Date:  September 23rd, 2003
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Narrated by Brendan Fraser

Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking ofInkheart, the book whose characters came to life–and changed her life forever.

But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the original tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the magical ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval inkscape once more.

Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long both are caught inside the book, too. There they meet Inkheart's author, Fenoglio, now living within his own story. But the tale is much changed, and threatening to evolve in ways none of them would have ever imagined. Will Meggie, Farid, and Fenoglio manage to write the wrongs of a charmed world? Or is their story on the brink of a very bad ending?
First of all, let me just say how impressed I was with Brendan Fraser's performance in this audiobook. I have never really heard him do accents before, so this one was a pleasant surprise. Aside from the voice he did from Elinor, I thought all the voices he did were pretty good and distinguishable from each other.  I just felt like he went too ridiculous with Elinor's old lady voice, but otherwise his reading really made the world in this book come alive.

While I did really enjoy this book, and I thought it was interesting to finally see the world of Fenoglio's Inkheart, I just didn't love it as much as the first book. Don't get me wrong the world building was amazing, and the themes in the novel were great, but it just didn't wow me as much as the first novel in this trilogy.

I think part of this was because I found Meggie to be really annoying in this book. She just did stupid things and made bad choices that really made me want to shake her. I think I also just wasn't sold on the love interest between her and Farid. Partly because for some reason I thought he was much older than her, but I think they were only a few years apart.

I think if you really liked the first book you will still enjoy this one, especially since we get a lot more about Dustfinger's world. For me, I just wasn't completely in awe with it. I would still recommend it, and I still plan on finishing this trilogy at some point.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Heir to The Jedi

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Publisher: Lucasbooks (Del Ray)
Release Date:  January 1st, 2015
Source: Library
Format: Hardback, 304 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.

Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive

So I really wanted to like this novel, I really did, but I just couldn't. Maybe it was because I was expecting Timothy Zahn's style of writing. Maybe because I'm still salty that according to the new Star Wars cannon Mara Jade doesn't exist. But if this is what the new Star Wars Expanded Universe reads like, I don't know if I can get back into it.

First of all there are a lot of things that I think messed up this book's publication. Originally it was supposed to be the third novel in a series that were standalone stories for our three heroes. However, when it was declared that everything in the "Old E.U" wasn't cannon those first two books were to be disregarded and this book was supposed to be apart of the "new cannon". I think that kind of upset the flow of this book. The whole time I was reading it I felt that it was seriously lacking some comic relief from Han or rationale from Leia. I just felt like it was Luke Skywalker courier messenger boy for The Alliance. That just made for a kind of boring plot.

I wanted to get into this book, but other than Luke finding a old Jedi's lightsaber there wasn't much significant that happened in the plot. It just felt like nothing happened in this book. Luke basically ran errands for the rebellion, talked to people and tried to figure out ways to outrun The Empire. It just all felt too dull for me. I needed more from this book, and at the end I just felt really indifferent to it.

I also felt like the secondary characters were really two-dimensional so when bad things happened to them I just felt rather "meh" about it. The Givin he goes to rescue was significant because there wouldn't have been a plot without her, and I did think it was interesting to read about a culture that based their lives around math, but Nakari could have easily not been in this novel. That was really disappointing, because she just seemed like this pretty thing for Luke to look at, and that really annoyed me.

The only reason I started getting into the EU again is because I'm listening to The Star Wars Stacks Podcast, so I'm really interested in what the trio has to say about this one. I just wasn't a fan of this one.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Confession: Ack I'm drowning in my TBR list!!!

It's time for Deanna to make another book confession. I feel like it's been a long time, but I felt like right now I needed to do it. It might not look like it, but I feel like I'm struggling to write posts on the blog. There are a few reasons for this, but most of it is because I'm drowning in my TBR list and I'm not reading fast enough to write reviews. So here are a few reasons why I'm drowning in my TBR list.

  • Relocation
    I've mentioned this before, but I recently moved in with my boyfriend of 5 years. We met in college and he was a year behind me, so for the past 2 years he has been living at his mom's house which was 2 1/2 hours from my parents house. He was sick of his job, and I was sick of taking the Amtrak train to see him. However, I got SO MUCH reading done whenever I took Amtrak to go visit him. I was reading so many books that I wasn't even reviewing everything I read.

    So now that we live together, I don't have 2 hours sitting on a train reading a book every other week. I'm also finding it hard to read because we always want to just watch just one more episode on Netflix. We always want to do stuff together, so it's getting hard to find time to read. I have actually uttered the sentence, "Um...do you want to play video games tonight? Because I really want to get some reading done." I'm not even kidding. 


  • Mass Effect

    So my boyfriend is a big gamer and he's always been trying to get me into gaming, and he won. He totally won, and he was totally right that I would love Mass Effect. So I've really been neglecting my reading because yeah I really want to read, but I also was really busy beating the first game and now I'm in the middle of the second with so many things to do. I love this game, but I also need to better manage my time and shut off the game some times so that I can get some actual reading done. It's a struggle.
  • DUNE By Frank Herbert
    I think that the biggest culprit of me drowning in my TBR list is the fact that I am currently still reading Dune. Seriously, do you know how huge this book is? Huge! So I've really been taking my time and reading books in between (for book club, library holds, etc) so that I actually have things to review on the blog. Because this one is going to take me way too long. Not that it's bad, it's just taking me a long time.

So if you've noticed that I've fallen off the map, I didn't, I'm just still drowning in my TBR list. Or if we're being honest I probably just fell down the rabbit hole that is the Mass Effect Trilogy.


Happy Reads Everyone!



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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Manga Review: Sailor Moon, Vol. 1



Sailor Moon, Vol. 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: ToykoPop
Release Date:  January 1st, 2003
Source: Brave New Worlds
Format: Paperback, 240 pages

My Rating: ★★

One of the most-beloved of all Japanese manga titles, Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon has enthralled millions of readers worldwide since its debut in book form in early 1992. When Usagi Tsukino adopts a stray cat, she gets more than she bargains for The talking cat, Luna, informs Usagi that she is actually Sailor Moon, a magical princess from the future and protector of the Solar System. With the help of her new friends, the Sailor Scouts, and the mysterious Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon embarks on a quest to save us all from the evil powers of the Negaverse.
Okay...this review might be extremely biased because love is blind, and I love me some Sailor Moon.


No for real. If you were here with me in my very first post on this blog, you'll know that I started my interest in writing by writing Sailor moon fanfiction. Only it was the late '90s and I don't think we had a word for that yet. Or maybe we did, I don't know. But anyway! I adore Sailor Moon and reading this first volume of the manga made me remember how much I loved this anime as a kid.

So yes I absolutely loved this one mostly out of nostalgia. But the reason I loved the anime in the first place was because I loved the story line. I think this might be why I still am waiting for my superpowers to awaken. Seriously, when will I be awoken as a guardian? I love that Usagi is a flawed hero. She doesn't want to be a hero, all she wants to do is sleep, and I think a lot of people can relate to that. You don't want responsibilities, but you have to woman up and rise to the occasion. I love that lesson in this manga so much.

There were parts of this first volume that did annoy me at times. First of all that ending! I just wanted to open up the next volume, but I don't have it yet! Another thing that bothered me was that in the beginning of each "Act" we are reminded who the sailor guardians are. Like, I got it twenty pages ago. I think this might be because this was originally released in single "act" issues, but in a complete manga it was a bit tiresome. However, I will say that for the anime TV show this format works really well.

A lot of people complained that Usagi was too immature, but I always thought that was the point, and also realistic. I mean, she is fourteen! Who is mature and responsible at that age? Not a lot of kids I knew back then. I definitely knew I wasn't, and maybe that's why I've always related to her.

If you grew up watching the original anime, you'll enjoy this manga. Actually, if you're watching the rebooted Sailor Moon Crystal, you'll probably notice how it is a panel for panel adaptation. I'm not sure if I like that, but I do want to continue reading this manga series.


Happy Reads Everyone!
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Audiobook Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe By Benjamin Alire Saenz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date:  April 9th, 2013
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook narrated by Lin-Manual Miranda

My Rating: ★★

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
First of all I have to say that I am so glad that I did this book on audio, because I would have been pronouncing any of the spanish slang used in this book incorrectly. I think that Miranda did a great job narrating this book. At times the female voices annoyed me, but otherwise I think he did a good job voicing Ari's angst and frustrating with just not understanding who he was.

Being a kid and never feeling like I fit it--and being a twenty-five year old whom still feels that way--parts of this novel really resonated with me. There's a part in the novel where Ari admits that he just likes to be alone. I have moments of that when I just want to shut out the rest of the world, so I really understood that feeling. 

I thought the topic of this novel was pretty obvious straight away, and I was just thinking, "oh my god, how don't you know?" But this book was not just a coming of age story about a lonely kid trying to figure out who he was. It was also a lot about identity and dealt a lot with strained family relationships. I really liked the message that Ari's mom says when she says something along the lines of, "We try to do the best we can, but sometimes that is wrong." Ari's parents never talking about his incarcerated brother really affected his life and how he behaved and I thought it was good that his parents finally came to terms with how sheltering him from that wasn't the best thing. I think sometimes it's good to understand that parents are people too. They are not perfect, and as kids sometimes it's hard to realize that your parents can be wrong A LOT. 

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, and it was nice to read about a culture outside of my own. Seriously, I am getting pretty tired with all the white girls in YA, so it was nice to read about Mexican teenaged boys. The topic of this novel is heavy, but I found it was a quick and easy read to get through.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Review: Hold Me Like a Breath

Hold Me Like a Breath
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date:  May 19th, 2015
Source: Doylestown Bookshop
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

My Rating: ★★


Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
Okay, so hear me out on this review, I think this book just wasn't for me. I had read a lot of reviews that weren't positive on this one, and the only reason why I read it was because it was the August pick for my book club. The author is local, but I'm really glad the girl who hosts it decided not to bring her in because there's not much I have to say that is positive. So I'm trying to make this review as critical as possible without sounding unprofessional. I'll also try to make it spoiler free as possible.

So why only two stars? 

It wasn't just that I felt like Penny was a really two-dimensional character; I could have handled that if the plot was really good. In the beginning I was really interested in the plot and the seedy background of the Family life that Penny has, but halfway in after certain events occur, I felt like the book forgot what it was. No longer did we have much on the Family or the organ trafficking, but it turned into this sappy instalove romance that I found really unbelievable. Also, it was pretty obvious who this guy was that Penny felt was "her reason for breathing." 


Like serious girl get a grip! I wanted to slap the crap out of her at this point in the novel. Especially since I felt like it didn't do much to move the plot along.

Like I said, I had a lot of problems with the main character. How she acted and presented herself was probably my main reason for not liking the book. Penny has this blood disorder that makes it hard for her to have a normal life. In the beginning of the novel there was so much emphasis on how she needs transfusions but once she was on her own, the only thing we get is that she keeps on bruising. I expected her to collapse and go into the hospital right away, so I felt like it was a little realistic that that didn't happen until the end of the novel. She had gone WEEKS without any sort of treatment, so I found this a little unbelievable. 

Penny also had no perception of how people live without privilege. She led a really privileged life and was used to getting her own way. I found her to be a spoiled brat, and it really irritated me. In the beginning of the novel, I kind of understood it because she was sheltered in her house because of her condition. It didn't make sense to me that after a lot of things happened to her she still acted this way, and I generally just found her to be really immature. Her story became way too dramatic for me, that I just wanted it be over.

So I'm not saying that everyone will hate this book, but for me I just found it too problematic to really enjoy it. I was hoping it would be in the same vein as Holly Black's Curse Workers series, but I just found this one really disappointing.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Friday, August 14, 2015

Audiobook Review: Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky By Veronica Rossi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date:  January 3rd, 2012
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook narrated by Bernadette Dunne

My Rating: ★★★



Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
So I have to be honest here, I really put off reading this book because I thought it was going to be another YA dystopia novel that everyone gushes about, but I just feel "meh" about. Since I wasn't sure that I would like this one, I tried the audiobook first and boy am I glad I did. This debut came as a huge surprise for me, and I was immensely impressed with the overall book.

Unlike a lot of YA books, this one was written in third person, but we did get alternating third person limited from both Perry and Aria. I really liked that about this novel, because it allowed you to understand where both of them were coming from. I also enjoyed Bernadette Dunne's narration on this audiobook. I felt like she has a somewhat older sounding voice, but it didn't make it seem weird since she was the third person narrator. At the same time, I think she did a decent job at the different character voices. 

There are a few reasons why I really enjoyed this book. Firstly, no freaking love triangle! Yay! I loathe the love triangle trope that everyone keeps on writing in YA fiction, so I was so glad this story didn't have that. I mean does every dystopia novel really need that? No, and this book proved that. Another reason I loved how the author dealt with romance was that there wasn't instalove in this one. Perry and Aria loathe each other in the beginning (which is my favorite way to start romances) but they have to work together and get along to accomplish their separate goals. I loved the slow burn romance here, to me I thought it was pretty realistic and actually showed how relationships are built. Although at one point I did want to shake Perry because his philosophy on love and life was so freaking dumb!

I really enjoyed the world building in this one. I felt like I could really see in my head what the Pods were and what the "death shop" looked like. I also thought it was so realistic that everyone would wear a "smarteye" so that they could always be connected to virtual reality. The concept was eerily similar to the OASIS in Ready Player One, and I thought it was saying a lot about our current society. Once Aria was on the outside in the "Death Shop" I kept seeing it in my head as a desert, but I think it was more forest-like. I think that was just me though. 

The only qualms I have about the novel is that I didn't really understand what the Aether Storms were or what The Unity was. I think these things didn't really take that much away from the plot, so I was okay with not really understanding what they were. I'm hoping maybe it gets explained more in the other books.

I'm really excited to start the second book in the series. If you want a good sci-fi novel with great world building I would highly recommend this one.


Happy Reads Everyone!
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Audiobook Review: Abhorsen

Abhorsen By Garth Nix
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date:  January 7th, 2003
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook narrated by Tim Curry

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N ★ The Book Depository


The Ninth was strong
and fought with might,
But lone Orannis
was put out of the light,
Broken in two
and buried under hill,
Forever to lie there,
wishing us ill.
So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers.

Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions -- Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget -- have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.

To make matters worse, Sam's best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone.

Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.

Before it is too late. . .
 

Honestly? I don't know how I feel right now, because now this series is over! And I am sad, because I really enjoyed this trilogy. I know that Nix recently put out a prequel to the series, but I don't know how I would feel about not reading about Sabriel or Lirael or Mogget. If someone tells me Mogget is in Clariel I will read it. So I think I'm just a little hungover from this series, because I really enjoyed the ride but now that it's over, I don't know what to do with myself.

I actually think I liked the final installment better than the second book. I think it was hard to go from Sabriel's story in the first book to twenty years later. It took some getting used to Lirael, and it took a long time for the plot to tell you how they related to each other. So as much as I enjoyed the last one, I felt like it was kind of a filler. The second book didn't end in a big battle like the first book, and like this one did, so I think the final book made me realize things that were missing before. Like the first novel in the series there was a lot of action in this one and it ends again in an epic battle.

We get a lot of reveals in this book, especially when it came to Mogget and the disreputable dog. I didn't really see that sort of thing coming, but it made complete sense in retrospect. I loved both the animal characters the most. They were my favorite! I just kind of wanted more of Sabriel. The series turned into more about Lirael, which was fine but it's almost like the first novel was the prequel.

I'm not sure how I felt about the epilogue. It seemed like the author wasn't sure if he was going to write more about things happening in the Old Kingdom. I could definitely see the story continuing, and I would love to check in with Sam to see how he is doing as a wallmaker. Or see if Lirael has become the Abhorsen yet.

All in all, I really enjoyed this series and if you are a lover of high fantasy I would highly recommend it.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Read Authors


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the authors that you have read the most books by. This was such a easy topic for me, but if you follow my blog this won't be much of a surprise to you. 




MEG CABOT

Um...did you think I wasn't going to include the Queen of YA?


RICK RIORDAN

I think reading both The Percy Jackson series, Heroes of Olympus series & The Kane Chronicles qualifies as reading a lot of books by this guy.


TERRY GOODKIND

I loved this series so much, I own all 11 books, and I'm really tempted to read the new series he started about Richard and Kahlan but the Omen Machine has a lot of 1 star reviews and that does not bode well for me. 


SCOTT WESTERFELD

I've read all of Westerfeld's trilogies and a few of his stand alones. He's always an author that I go back to. 


SARAH DESSEN

I love Sarah Dessen, and I think the only book by her I haven't read is Saint Anything and that's just because I haven't had time to read it yet.


MAUREEN JOHNSON

Johnson is one of those authors that I forget about for awhile and then I go back to her books and remember, "oh yeah, I love her humor!" I think I've read all of her books at this point.


ALL OF THE GHOST WRITERS OF THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MARY-KATE & ASHLEY SERIES

I am not kidding! I read so many of these books when I was a kid. I'm about 85% sure the three pictured above are ones that I read, but I could be wrong.


DAVID A. ADLER

I read a lot of the Cam Jansen mysteries when I was a kid. I loved those books. I honestly can't remember them all, but I definitely remember the two above.


LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON

I call Anderson a part of my big three of authors for a reason. I really love her novels.


CHUCK PALAHNIUK

I read a lot of this dude in high school. A lot of his books! He kind of lost his appeal for me for a bit, but I still enjoy his work.

Which authors are on your list this week?

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review: The Drosten's Curse

The Drosten's Curse By A.L. Kennedy
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release Date:  July 14th, 2015
Source: Blogging for Books
Format: Paperback, 361 pages

My Rating: ★★★★


From award-winning author A.L. Kennedy, an original Doctor Who novel featuring the beloved Fourth Doctor, as played by Tom Baker.
“I shall make you the jewel at the heart of the universe.”
 
Something distinctly odd is going on in Arbroath. It could be to do with golfers being dragged down into the bunkers at the Fetch Brothers’ Golf Spa Hotel, never to be seen again. It might be related to the strange twin grandchildren of the equally strange Mrs Fetch–owner of the hotel and fascinated with octopuses. It could be the fact that people in the surrounding area suddenly know what others are thinking, without anyone saying a word.
 
Whatever it is, the Doctor is most at home when faced with the distinctly odd. With the help of Fetch Brothers’ Junior Receptionist Bryony, he’ll get to the bottom of things. Just so long as he does so in time to save Bryony from quite literally losing her mind, and the entire world from destruction.
 
Because something huge, ancient and alien lies hidden beneath the ground and it’s starting to wake up…

If you like Doctor Who (Classic or reboot) this is definitely a book for you. It has all the same quirkiness of The Doctor we have come to love, and the adventure that is in every episode of this delightful TV show. I didn't start watching Who until the reboot with Christopher Eccleston, so reading about Tom Baker's Doctor did take me out of my element. I know that he is beloved by lots of fans, so I know a lot of them will enjoy this book. For me I found it hard to get used to his style, and I think it prevented me from really connecting with the character in the book.

I actually struggled a lot with this book, but in the end I did come to enjoy it. I think for me, the beginning of the novel was kind of slow paced. Even though the first couple of chapters has someone getting eaten by a golf bunker. I think the writing style made it dull at times. I didn't really get into the story until Bryony and Putta finally entered the TARDIS and the action of the story started to beef up. One of other things that bothered me (and this just might be me) was the dialogue was in single quotes. It annoyed me so much! Maybe this is a preference thing, maybe this is just me being an American, but I just couldn't stand that stylist choice.

If you are familiar with the TV show, this book does bring about the same kind of themes. The Doctor is trying to stop a creature much like himself. A lonely, last of their kind creature whom is just trying to figure out humans. Or eat them. So it's almost like the monster The Doctor faces is a foil or mirror to himself. I like that this particular fandom is still trying to figure out if The Doctor is a good man or not, and I like that the unanswered question is still being asked. This story also explores second chances. A lot of the characters in the book get second chances on life, but some of them prove that not everyone is going to take them to heart. Some people will turn into the same type of person they once were. I think that's a really good lesson about humankind, and I thought it was a really nice subtle message to put into the novel.

All in all, spite my finicky issues, this was a really enjoyable book. It has all the action and wit needed for a Doctor Who book.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Happy Reads Everyone!
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