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Tag: Bookworm

Book Review: The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller

Book Review: The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller

Happy Saturday, bookworms! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend (and enjoys their extra day off on Monday if their lucky enough to have it!). Below I have a review of a great book for you guys. Trust me on this one, add this book […]

Book Review: The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Book Review: The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Hey readers! I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday. Below, I’ve got a review for a book I just finished. The Changeling has been on my radar for a while as I really enjoy fairy tale retellings, and it did not disappoint! I had […]

Book Review: The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith

Book Review: The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith

Hey bookworms!

I’ve got a book review that I’m really excited about to share with you today. I’ve been wanting to read The Sky is Yours since last year when I first heard about it, I mean just look at that cover! The book came out January 23, and this story was a pleasant surprise for me and different than my normal fantasy reads.

Under the watchful eye of the two dragons who suddenly appeared above Empire Island, torching and forever circling the island, three young adults are suddenly thrust into the gritty, violent world when Ripple’s family mansion is attacked. Ripple, a spoiled reality star; Baroness Swan, his fiance; and Abby, his girlfriend–who he found living on an island of trash when his Howfly crashed, find themselves alone in the world, battling not only the monsters above, and those that have been created below, but also those lurking inside themselves.

This book started off very slow for me. I loved the premise, but it took a while before I became invested in the story. I think this was due to my immediate dislike of Ripple. As the story progressed, he turned out to be an interesting character that I went back and forth on. On one hand I hate him. He’s all the worst parts of a stereotypical spoiled, rich, college boy. He’s sexist, egotistical, thinks he’s god’s gift to the Earth, and calls women wenches. On the other hand, he has moments of genuinely caring about those around him and several times did what was right, not just what was easy.  

I love Swanny (or Baroness Swan). She was smart, witty, and didn’t take shit from anyone (including her philandering fiance or the king of the underworld). The teeth issue Swanny had was a weird addition that was actually kinda cool, but I felt the author didn’t fully explore this part of the plot; as the story went on, she just kind of let this plot point go. I felt bad for Abby, the girl raised and left alone on a island of garbage before she meets Ripple. That said, I loved seeing her grow as a person throughout the story once she left the island and learned more about the rest of the world. The twist about her past at the end blew me away. I didn’t see it coming and loved how intertwined to the story she became.

The secondary characters were interesting, and I loved Uncle Osmond (and his relationship with Swanny when she needed someone most) and Sharkey. They both weren’t what they appeared to be on the surface, and I enjoyed their parts of the story.

The book contained a lot of large/uncommon vocab (mostly from Swanny who was a voracious reader).  It fit the story/characters and didn’t seemed forced. I do wish I was on my kindle a few times because I would have loved to look up a few words that I was unsure about.

In the end, I really enjoyed this story. It was a unique plot that had plenty of new ideas to offer. I do think there was a little too much going on at times, and, because of that, some story lines just sorta faded into the background rather than actually being wrapped up at the end.

Rating 4/ 5 – This was a fun new dystopian fantasy that had more going on than the blurb suggested. Although I’m still not sure what to think of Ripple, the leading ladies were wonderful, fascinating characters. This is a fun pick up for any fantasy fan.

Thank you to the following for permitting me access to a copy of The Sky is Yours. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.
Source: Blogging for Books
Author: Chandler Klang Smith
Publisher: Hogarth
Pub Date: 23 January 2018

Running Out of Pages Reading Challenge January Update!

Running Out of Pages Reading Challenge January Update!

Hey Bookworms! I’m so excited to be checking in with my first update on the Running out of Pages Reading Challenge! If you missed what’s going on, you’re not too late, check it out here. I tackled the category “A book set where you live” […]

January – What I read this month

January – What I read this month

Hey bookworms! I can’t believe January is almost over! It flew by with work stress and all the meal prep (and dishes!) involved in Whole30. I’m looking forward to February, which hopefully will be a bit more relaxing! I read 10 books in January. I’m […]

Book Review: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Book Review: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Hi Bookworms!

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent is a book I’ve been hearing about a lot recently (both good things and not-so-good things). It has been billed as a haunting story with fierce language and a dark side. With a description like that I knew I had to read it.

Readers – be aware there is a lot of strong language and dark/tough themes in this book.

My Absolute Darling is the story of fourteen-year-old Turtle who lives with her survivalist father along the North California coast. Turtle lives her life roaming the woods, keeping students and teachers at arms length at school, and spending time with her declining grandfather.  When Turtle stumbles upon two high-schoolers, Jacob and Brett (who are lost in the woods), she learns that there is more to life than what her father makes her believe. When her father brings home another young girl, Turtle needs to use all the survival skills her father has taught her not only to save herself, but also those friends she’s finally learned to let in.

I struggled with this book in the beginning.  The language is extremely strong (which doesn’t normally bother me), but for some reason it came off a little deliberately offensive. I understand Tallent was trying to use it to paint the picture of Turtle and her life, and while sometimes I think the strong/offense language works well in stories, I’m not sure I liked it in this one. However, once I got through the first 60 pages or so I was sucked into the story. I loved Turtle as a character and her growth throughout the book was done so well. I couldn’t help but root for her and I had to know how the story was going to end.

I thought Tallent did a good job crafting detailed characters. Turtles’s father was intimidating and yet incredibly charming. Anna, Turtles’s teacher, was strong yet struggled to always know the right thing to do. Jacob and Brett were typical teenage boys, but were still smart, funny, and stood up for their friends and Turtle, even when it might have gone better for themselves if they didn’t.

I loved the confrontation of Turtle and her father at the end of the book, Turtle didn’t suddenly become a different person, which I feel sometimes happens when authors get to the climax of books. She struggled but fought and finally became to believe in herself. However, after the confrontation, I was really let down with the conclusion of the book. Tallent takes 30 pages to wrap up the story but nothing really happens, and some of the things that do happen (or not happen – don’t want to give anything away) just make me mad. I’m not upset that Turtle doesn’t bounce back right away (that is to be expected and realistic), but how the author crafts it I just feel like there’s little hope (minus the last like 3 pages that do show Turtle having hope for the future).

Rating 3/ 5 – This book was a roller coaster, both with the story and with how I felt about it. While I really enjoyed the middle of the book, the growth of Turtle, and the crafting of the characters, the book had a very slow start and in the end let me down. I think this book is worth giving a chance, but for me it fell a little short of the high expectations I had going in.  

Book Review: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Book Review: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Hi friends! I’m so excited about the book review I have for you today. If you’re like me, you’ve seen signs/ads for TNT’s new show, The Alienist.  And if you’re anything like me, you like to read the book before watching the movie/TV show. Caleb […]

Book Review: The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Book Review: The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Hi Readers! Thanks to Goodreads Giveaways (and St. Martin’s Press) I got a chance to read The English Wife by Lauren Willig, which comes out today (January 9th), and this one did not disappoint! When Janie’s brother Bayard is found with a knife in his […]

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Hey Readers!

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin comes out January 9, 2018, and I was lucky enough to snag an ARC last month. Check out what I thought about this book that is already starting to get a lot of attention this year!

 

The Immortalists

If you could find out the day you would die, would you want to know? The four Gold children take the risk one hot summer day when they are young and bored and what they learn from the fortune teller shapes they’re lives forever.

I love how this book was set up. Each section features a different Gold sibling and is told from their point of view. Each successive section picks up in time where the one before it left off, but with the next Gold sibling (there is a pattern to the order that I loved, but don’t want to spoil). The story flowed so well as time moved on that I hardly noticed that years had passed since the book started.

I wasn’t as sucked into this book from the start.  It took me getting through the first quarter of the book before I got into the story line. I never felt the need stay up reading late hoping to find out what happened to the Gold siblings. I also thought this book would have more magical realism from the blurb and what I’ve heard about it, but that’s not the case at all. This story is definitely more literary fiction/family drama than anything else.

Some lines in the story were weirdly graphic/vulgar/crass for seemingly no reason and other parts almost made me cry. Which is all the more interesting because I never actually really liked any of the siblings when I was reading about them. There were moments when I understood why one of the siblings did something, but I didn’t find myself rooting for them or agreeing with their choices.

The overarching question of “did the siblings act they way they did because they believe what the fortune teller told them about when they would die” (or would everything have been the same if they had never known when they would die) was done really well. The story kept circling back around to it in subtle and not so subtle ways.

Rating: 3/ 5 – While there were some parts of the story I really enjoyed and I liked the flow of the story something about this one fell a little flat for me.

Let me know if you pick this one up on the 9th and what you thought about it! 

Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of The Immortalists. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.
Source: NetGalley
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Publisher: Penguin Group Putnam
Pub Date: 09 January 2018

Running Out Of Pages 2018 Reading Challenge

Running Out Of Pages 2018 Reading Challenge

Hi friends! In the last few years I have really gotten into participating in reading challenges. I read a lot and I feel like picking a challenge or two helps me branch out from my normal reading habits and be more deliberate with my reading […]


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