Tuesday, February 28, 2017
It's March?! But I'm still in January
Well the great news for this book is I'm dying to read more! That's a big compliment in my mind.
The not so great news is I'm not dying to read the next one because of amazing plot... but I do really like our characters.
The main gal, Lana, is written like and sounds like a real person with real life problems including money, shelter, school, etc. It's always nice to read about someone relatable and genuine.
The actual Fae, fantasy part of this book is where it's weak. If you're hoping that mermaids make a large splash you will be sorely disappointed. If you're hoping for some grand sweeping world building you also won't get it. But there is some potential here. I almost feel like Mermaid Trouble is the free short book publishers give to readers to suck them into a new series. If that is the future of this story I think it will drive many new readers to Andy Mulberry.
Overall this is a short but sweet, fun read. Nothing mind blowing or show stopping but that's okay sometimes you just want to read about a gal whose got problems like yours plus some fairies to deal with. :)
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review. Don't believe me? Check out the other books I've had eARCs for that I gave bad or great reviews to. I always give my opinion whether good or bad.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Miranda and Caliban
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Genre: Adult Fantasy, Retellings
Rating: 3 out of 5
Let me begin with this; I've never read the Tempest. I'm vaguely familiar with the storyline but not to any level of detail. So going into Carey's latest novel I didn't really know what to expect. Miranda and Caliban is a well written, quick paced book. It certainly kept my attention.
What it didn't do is really make me care about any of our characters, especially Miranda. I don't really know why but I just never understood Miranda. Maybe because if it was me I would have been much more defiant than Miranda is towards her father; or maybe because I feel like she is so naive and I can't imagine any one person knowing so little about their own feelings, thoughts and body. This likely makes me a snob, but I just couldn't imagine being her or relating to her in most instances.
Caliban however is a doll and the kind of character you just want to pick up and coddle for the rest of their life. He's both kind, naive, helpful, and loving without even realizing what most of those things are.
There was one thing that really dropped this book to three stars for me however, I cannot figure out the point of Ariel except for two moments in which I feel Ariel is not actually as critical as it seems. One is to report something happening, but let's face it the character that is alerted could certainly have stumbled upon the situation without Ariel leading him to it. The second is to carry out a 'task' that I think another character could have conjured on their own. Therefore it seemed like Ariel was only there to be an annoying, inconsiderate, mean figure that put doubt in everyone's minds. But let's face it eventually all of our characters are likely smart enough to have figured things out on their own. Maybe not as quickly, but I don't believe any one of them needed for Ariel to be present.
I'm going to think about reading Shakespeare's the Tempest now that I have read this as I'm curious to know what Carey took from the play and what she conjured on her own.
Overall this book is certainly worth reading if you like the Tempest or Carey's previous books. It's not near as good as :Kushiel's Dart| series, Banewreaker or others. That said it certainly lives up to the excellent quality of writing I except from Carey, even if the story didn't do it for me.
|Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review. Don't believe me? Check out the other books I've had eARCs for that I gave great or bad reviews to. I always give my opinion whether good or bad. ;)|
Sunday, February 19, 2017
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book is one of the most genuine, honest teenage narrations I have ever read. There are no points during our time with Hawthorne (who we experience the story through) that I thought weren't characteristic of what a teenage would think or do. Kudos to Chelsea Sedoti for capturing that teenage brain and thought process so superbly.
I didn't really love this book to start with, it was okay, writing was good enough however to keep going. I'm so glad I did. This is a case where a YA book is truly written for YA audience. Most adults are going to roll their eyes at some of the absurdity of this book; like werewolves potentially being real...and yet not really real. But I think many of us that enjoy YA books need to remember that we are not the target audience; and shouldn't be.
There are so many great awkward moments in this books including the loss of virginity, coping with death and grief, coping with bullying and overall coping with not knowing who you are or what you want to do. These are all moments we've all experienced. Some of us more recently than others of course (lol); but for those who are living those moments everyday, right now as teens I believe this book may speak to them and for that reason alone it should be in the library of every high school in the world. These tough topics are not dealt with in an overly sentimental, flowery way; instead they are handled in a real life, uncomfortable, uncertain, despairing way. Just the way the real world is.
I'm not a big crier with anything really (you can psycho analyze that later), but I really don't like books where the point is to make you cry near the end. The great thing about The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is that I didn't feel like I was supposed to cry. I felt many emotions for our characters but not once did I feel like things were so awful that I should cry for them. This way of writing the story and experiencing it was very honest to me. Some of you who are big criers will have your possible moment (or two) but for those like me that avoid the 'make you cry' books I can honestly say that while it feels like maybe this would be one of them it really isn't.
Overall I believe Sedoti has created a voice in the YA section that most teens will understand and relate to. That alone would be enough for a good review from me, but the fact that she has also instilled some learnings, understandings and reminders that are in the best interest for teens to adhere to is the icing on the cake.
Buy this book for a teen (especially a girl) that you know, they won't know it but maybe in ten years they will realize it made an impact and that it changed their life in small, important ways. That's what kind of book this is; one that unassumingly validates what you feel and then gently suggests a better way to view it or cope.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Cute, cute, cute design!
14Count has a couple other cute patterns I may get in the future. They are just PDF downloads and there is nothing 'fancy' about the layout of the pattern. But who cares, they are affordable, from an independant designer and like I said totally cute! So forgive me for enabling but this little gem was just dying to be shared!
The Girl Who Drank The Moon
Title: The Girl Who Drank The Moon
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Genre: Young Adult/Children's, Fantasy
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
This lyrical beauty has a strong beginning and end. Sadly somewhere in the middle, for a reason I can't identify I lost a bit of interest (4.25 stars out of 5 for me). However that can't take away from the gorgeous writing that Kelly Barnhill has put together. The story is both cute, poignant and funny all at the same time.
This reminded me of a combination of Terry Pratchett's Discworld and Alice in Wonderland.
What I can really say about this book is just read it if it intrigues you at all. Don't be put off by its children's classification as there's so much more here than a pre-teen/YA book. I can absolutely appreciate why it has won so many awards and would buy it for so many people I know.
My small blip with it in the middle may have just been timing, my attention wandering for other reasons or any number of things. I think in a few years I'd be very comfortable and happy to re-read this book and feel like I was revisiting a real gem of literature.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Birthstone Dragons - Border Start
Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Magdalen Girls
Author: V. S. Alexander
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Literature
Rating: 5/5 stars!
This book is absolutely brilliant. Parts of it are based on true events or known situations which only makes the circumstances and treatment of the girls more tragic. Even without the tidbits of truth I believe Alexander would make anyone care about her characters.
I have always been intrigued by the way we, as humans in history and today, decide a person is unsuitable, mentally unstable or a harm to themselves or others. While there are many obvious cases in which intervention is needed ; I believe there are likely twice as many cases where prejudice, personal preference or other circumstances resulted in the incarceration of someone unjustly.
The problem with a lack of true scientific or compelling evidence (ie: video) is that suddenly the situation and what happened becomes subjective. The Magdalen Girls does an excellent job of showing how one person of power can ruin someone. I couldn't help but imagine, what if that someone was me? It's chilling.
This is an excellent book club choice. Lots of great content and moments that should spark conversation and possibly some good debates. For those who tend to shy away from religious books or women's literature let me assure you that this novel is really about injustice and how easy it is for things to get out of control. The means in which we are told the story are actually quite irrelevant at the end of the day. I didn't feel hindered at all by the religion (and I'm not Catholic or Christian so sometimes religion ruins things for me). This book is just written so well that I knew while reading it that this wasn't about priests, nuns or convents; instead it's about how unfair life can be. And a reminder that we all may be one misstep away from a very bad day that changes the course of our lives; because keep in mind this set-up is based on truth.
I highly recommend this book and am so grateful to have received an eARC copy. I liked it so much that it will be added to my list of eBooks that need to be on my print shelf.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review. Don't believe me? Check out the other books I've had eARCs for that I gave poor reviews to. I always give my opinion whether good, bad or neutral. ;)