Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series/Standalone: Daughter of the Pirate King (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Pirates
Pages: 311
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Year Published: 2017
Format: Audiobook

"There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I've gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map- the key to a legendary treasure trove- seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King."

My Rating: 4.5/5

I really loved this book and was glad to be able to get a copy of it through OverDrive for the Scally-Wag-A-Thon. I loved the concept, but the story itself blew me away. The use of mythological creatures and pirate fantasy was incredible to listen and the narrator blew the story out of the water (haha). I loved the use of pirate language and the different accents that are added to the audiobook and would definitely recommend listening to this story if you haven't already read it. I'm excited to read the second book and see where our story goes.
Overall, loved it!

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Hey guys, so I'm doing a thing this week. A thing called the Scally-Wag-A-Thon readathon. And while originally my TBR for this week-long read-a-thon did not have any pirate books, I was able to get a copy of this just in time for the reading to begin. 
I loved this story. The plot, the characters, the setting all of it was incredible to me. The use of accents in the audiobook and the change of pace that was adopted in this addition as well.
This book was a quick listen and I was addicted after the first sentence. I will certainly be reading the second book in this series (? Duology?) as soon as it's available in Overdrive from my library.

Alosa: She is bad ass and she knows it. She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and her crew. I loved that her crew was mostly female badasses who were willing to do anything for their captain. Her childhood would have been rough though, especially with her dad loving her under condition.

Riden: I loved his attitude towards Alosa and the way that he respected her even though she was a prisoner. Ok, maybe a little more than respect. I think that this book just really instilled the hot pirate stereotype. And I did not mind.

Draxen: This sick dude was a lot to handle. I wonder how he will deal with being locked in the brig and under Alosa's control. 

Vordan: He's smarter than he looks. The way he uses one of his crewmates to intimidate him and experiment on Alosa. That was a crazy smart move.

The Pirate King: I hope we see more of him in the coming book and his relationship with Alosa's mother. He was brave (or stupid) to give into her as a siren queen but in the end he was granted a daughter/heir.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Book Review: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Restore Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series/Standalone: Shatter Me Series (Book #4)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 448
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2018
Format: Hardcover Copy (Own It)
First Line: "I don't wake up screaming anymore."

"Juliette Ferrars thought she won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she's still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch- and now she's got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?"

My Rating: 5/5

I was prepared to be utterly disappointed with the second part of this series, especially since this series was originally released as a trilogy. And I was happy with the way the trilogy wrapped up. I understood how the author could use the storyline to create more in this world, but I was ok with it left off as well. I was impressed with the use of the knowledge we gained in the past books and the change of power in this book. I loved so much about this continuation and while I've heard others say that the first part of the story drags on, I didn't find it to drag at all. That being said, I finished the first half of this series recently which helped me to continue the series without a pause.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

This book was everything I wanted and more. Tahereh Mafi knows how to write a good love scene in a YA book without getting explicit. I also loved her writing style and her strange characters. I also loved the way this book switched perspectives. My love for Warner is so strong and it continued on in this series. I also enjoyed the addition of characters and the change of pace in this story. I can't wait to continue on with this series.

Juliette: I understand her huge confusion and Warner knowing that the people who abused her were not her real parents, but let's think about this for a moment. Her biological parents gave her up for an experiment and let their oldest daughter be tortured so she couldn't be used as a weapon. I wonder how she will escape her current predicament.

Warner: I loved him even more in this book than I did in Ignite Me. I really enjoyed the way the series was based on the understanding of his character. And the way that he tries to be there for Juliette but doesn't know how after he has to reveal the truth he finds. It hurts my heart to see them breaking up. But I also wonder how he didn't remember I childhood where she existed in one of the families.

Castle: I was the most frustrated with him. How dare he wait until now to have Warner tell Juliette about her past. And what about what else he might know? Did he survive?

Oceania: Not exactly the motherly type.

Kenji: I still think he's one of the best characters in this story. He is heartwarming and his past is heart-wrenching. I loved that he was willing to tell those around him what he thought whether they wanted to hear it or not.

Nazeera: I wonder about her childhood with Ella/Juliette. What made her turn on the Reestablishment overall. Was it the loss of childhood friends, or something more?

Moments to Remember:
Pg. 275

"Before? When Juliette couldn't decide between myself and Kent? That pain? That was child's play.
But this.
This is suffering. This is full, unadulterated torture."

Final Line: "The world goes black."

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Classics, Science Fiction
Pages: 227
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year Published: 1953
Format: Hardback Copy (Library Copy)
First Line: "It was a pleasure to burn."

"The terrifying prophetic novel of a post-literature future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is a discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books."

My Rating: 2/5

Based on how much I enjoyed the first part of this book I was excited to see an unusual dystopian. The start of this book was interesting to me but the more I read the more I dreaded having started this story. It was frustrating to see how the world had turned. But I also found the writing hard to read, and it seemed to drag on throughout the short 150 pages. I would not read other works by this author and did not read the other short stories in the back of this book. Overall, this book seemed to put me in a slump, and therefore I'm taking a break from classics next month.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Series/Standalone: The Heroes of Olympus (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology
Pages: 557
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Year Published: 2010
Format: Audiobook

"Jason has a problem.
He doesn't remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently, he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They're all students at a boarding school for 'bad kids'. What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn't understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn't recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she's going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there's weird stuff, too- like the curse everyone keeps talking about and some camper who's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them- including Leo- is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?"

My Rating: 4/5

This was a really good read. I was surprised at how the author aged the characters and how the change in dynamic really helped my enjoyment. I thought that the writing style has definitely improved since the Percy Jackson series. I also appreciated the change of pace and how quickly this crew of demi-gods was put to the test. I plan to continue this series by audio book as I loved the narrator and the storytelling.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

This series started off with a bang and the same sense of humour that I've got to know and love with Rick Riordan's storytelling. I loved the change of pace and how quickly our character got thrown into camp and out of it again with a new mission. I also enjoyed seeing demi-gods from other godly children. They were interesting to read about.

Leo: I really liked Leo and his tinkering ways. It made me happy to see a more diverse demi-god who has such a unique talent. I also liked that he was trained by Hera to be a "little hero." 

Jason: I think that his amnesia really drove the story overall and made the story a bit of a mystery. I also enjoyed the way that the characters interacted with Jason as they found out more about his past. I'm excited to see how his past is so different than Percy Jackson's.

Piper: I loved that she was a daughter of Aphrodite who was willing to go on a mission, not just reapply her lipstick and think about her looks. I loved everything about her.

Hera: What a catty character for a goddess. I loved that this was such a dilemma, whether or not we should save her, or let her suffer.

Thalia: Glad to see her again, with the hunters of Artemis.

Coach Hedge: I loved his attitude and his ego even though there were times where it was annoying.  I can't wait to see more of this character in the next book.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Beckman

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Humor
Pages: 294
Publisher: Atria Books
Year Published: 2012
Format: Paperback Copy (Library Copy)
First Line: "Ove is fifty-nine."

"A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. he's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. he has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. people called him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered on his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior, there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundation."

My Rating: 5/5

This was the monthly book for my local book club this month and it took me a while to get into the storyline and the characters, but the more I read the more I enjoyed the storytelling and everything involved in the story. This story is a great book to read, it's emotional in ways that make you laugh, cry and just stare into space filled with emotion. You know what I'm trying to say? This book will forever be in my mind, and I'm glad to say it will probably be one of my new favourite reads.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This book was heartwrenching. We start by following Ove, a man whose the main job would at first appear to be making everyone else's life miserable just due to the changing time. I also thought that this story was interesting to follow due to the loss, the backstory and the use of time. I loved the characters and the plot. 

Ove: Yes he is crotchety. He is rude to those around him, and he seems to not have a reason for it. But over time he grows on you and you begin to understand how his past has affected how he does things now and why things that are changing is hard for him to understand/deal with. I really loved the way he grew on characters around him and found a reason to live without the love of his life. 

Sonja: I wish we could have seen more of her years with Ove and how she handled his need to have everything a certain way. They were beautiful together and it hurt my heart to see how they met, fell in love and went through life together just for him to be left behind.

Anita: To have lost your best girlfriend, as well as to be losing your husband would be a horrible fate. To lay in bed beside someone who doesn't know who you are or to have the love of your life asking about things would just break my heart.

Rune: I would classify him as Ove's best friend. I hope that he had the chance to live a long and happy life with his wife, although his condition did not improve.

Jimmy: He was the sweetest person I could imagine, and I loved how blunt he was about things. 

Parvaneh: I think that she's really Ove's match in a human. Someone who can give as good as she gets from him while still managing to pull him out of his shell. I loved their relationship and the way he acted with her.

Moments to Remember:
Pg.  113
"'You like reading?' she asked him brightly.
Ove shook his head with some insecurity, but it didn't seem to concern her very much. She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life."

Pg. 176
"Ove knew there and then that he would never forgive himself for having got up from his seat at that exact moment, for not being there to protect them."

Pg. 227
"It was as if he didn't want other people to talk to him, he was afraid that their chattering voices would drown out the memory of her voice."

Pg. 266
"'Loving someone is like moving into a house,' Sonja used to say. 'At first, you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren't actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years, the walls become weathered, the wood splinter here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection, but rather its imperfections."

Final Line: "'Saab.'"

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series/Standalone: Legend Series (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Dystopian
Pages: 305
Publisher: Speak
Year Published: 2011
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "My mother thinks I'm dead."

"What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbours. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circle. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths- until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets."

My Rating: 3/5

I don't want this rating to get confused with my overall enjoyment of the book. Because I think that I enjoyed this first instalment for the first part. There were a few aspects that I had trouble getting over. This book is very similar to other dystopian's I have read and I found that the romance was too insta-love based for my taste. That being said, when I tried to ignore the romance, I found that my overall enjoyment of the action and story went up tremendously.
I found the world to be intriguing and I wondered about the other parts of the country and what they had become. It's clear that the Republic isn't into telling their citizens the truth, so what are the Colonies really like? 
I'm also curious about how the villains in this story will react to June and Day throughout the next story.

Thanks for reading,