Friday, December 25, 2015

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Series/Novel: Novel
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction and Romance
Pages: 490
Publisher: Vintage Books
Year Published: 2011
First Line: “The circus arrives without warning.”

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way--a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a "game" to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved--the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them--are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.
But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.
Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.”

My Rating: 5/5

Happy Holidays! I hope that everyone is warm and safe. This book was an excellent surprise it included magic, competition and love. It really made me wonder about the what ifs of human possibilities. It also all tied in so beautifully together, let it be known that at the end of this fantastic novel everything that you have read begins to really hit home and tie together. The author did an excellent job making characters both larger than life, but also realistic, characters a reader gets to know and falls in love with.
I’m so happy to have had the chance to embrace this novel during the school and holiday season although I wished I had had the time to read it in one sitting, I’m grateful that I took the time to fully immerse myself in the circus, the different sights, sounds and just the sense of wonder that is throughout the whole book.
I’m excited that this book was wrapped up in such a beautiful way. A way that made me not long for more but feel a sense of peace at the end.
The setting was so well developed that as I read I felt both at home and full of wonder about the circus and the surroundings, everything was perfectly

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Happy holidays all of you lovelies. I hope that you are all safe and warm on this beautiful day/night/evening.
This was a fantastic fall/winter read. I enjoyed the thought of magic all wrapped up in my blankets with a cup of coffee. It was an excellent distraction from all the school work that was flooding in.
The setting in this novel was so well described that I felt as though I was really entering the circus and finding out the mysteries with the participants.

♥ Celia: She is really something else. I enjoyed the fact that she was so strong and powerful although it was heartbreaking to see her alone, so when Marco and her hooked up I was excited but also hesitant as they were competitors. As the story went on and we find that only one will survive I began to wonder what in the world they would do to either save each other or to stay together. As the story unwrapped, I began to see what the others were planning, but I had no idea if that would work. In fact, I worried about the fate of everyone in the circus. Would they consider it to selfish to die together and leave the others attached. In the end, I understand why they did what they did, so as to save all those around them.

♥ Marcos: He was a really struggle to get to like after the way he treated his other little friend, but in reality, he was lonely and people have been known to do worse when they are lonely. He is great for Celia. They belong together and were certainly my definition of star crossed lovers. I enjoyed watching their romance unfold and seeing them lose themselves to each other. I’m happy that they were able to pass on the circus to Bailey, Poppet and Widget, they will surely take care of it.

♥ Poppet: She’s a little odd, but truly a smart and loving girl. She cares so much for those around her and I hope that she does not get hurt by that, but her smarts will likely guide her along with her extraordinary talent.

♥ Widget: I worry about him befriending the man in the grey suit. I don’t trust him, to pit others against each other to the death is unacceptable. But he is a natural storyteller, as you can tell by the way he describes the circus throughout the novel.

♥ Bailey: To give up your family and home for the unknown is brave, but to bind yourself to something ever changing and so full of wonder. I hope that Bailey never loses his appreciation for the circus.

I could go on to mention all the other characters, but in reality I could go on forever.

Moments to Remember:
♥Pg. 477
“‘Stories have changed, my dear boy,’ the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. ‘There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case.’”

♥Pg. 490
“You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.”

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series/Novel: Matched (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 366
Publisher: Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group
Year Published: 2010
First Line: “Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?”

Cassia has always trusted the society’s choices.
And when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia is certain he is the one... until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
Now she is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one dares follow… between perfection and passion.
Society matched them, but love set them free.
In society officials decide
Who you love.
Where you work.
When you die.”
My Rating: 5/5

I guess I’m finally admitting it. I love dystopia. I know that it’s a strange love because dystopia is all about the what if’s of our society, but that’s precisely why I enjoy it so much. Who's to say that our society won’t fall into The Society. This book brought on different subjects for readers. A place that seems calm and perfect. A place where people follow the rules and don’t get hurt. But just for one minute, what if you didn’t want to just follow, what if you wanted to choose? That’s unheard off, isn’t it?
This book follows the change of following to choosing, from being subconscious to fully conscious. Cassia is learning things that others may have waited years to discover. It interests me to the fullest. 
I must say that this book being a romance wasn’t something I was interested in but considering the subject materials and the choices The Society makes for you it all makes
perfect sense that love should be anticipated and awaited. The only questions is who's the love of her life truly? And if there is not only one what in the world will she chose?

Thank you for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Matched by Ally Condie

I think this is one book that I’ve read the fastest in a long time, and half way through the book I ordered the other two in the series because I simply could not wait to read more, know more and hear more. I even went to the college cafeteria with friends and said, “Hold on a minute guys, I only have 20 more pages” lucky for me they indulge this behaviour.
Matched follow Cassia a young girl living in a society where choices are not necessary. All her life she has seen the greatness that comes from The Society. The perfect amount of food, the perfect job, the perfect family and generally the perfect life. That is until she is Matched. Although she is Matched to her dear best friend, it doesn’t take long to realize that he isn’t the only match in the system for her. What will she do when she is expected to follow the same rules she has always followed, and will the need for safety overwhelm the one for passion?
I loved this book. It was interesting to think about how much easier it would be to have someone make all our choices for us, but at the same time how disheartening it would be never get a choice. To always know that someone else seems to know what’s better for you and where you belong. 

♥Cassia: She starts the novel by loving the society and completely trusting in it. And who can blame her. She has never remembered a time that the society has messed anything up in her personal life. She’s lived a happy life. I think that when she sees the possibilities of a different match she begins to wonder, but when her grandfather is put to death at the ripe age of 80, which is customary in the society, she wonders more and more. After getting to know Ky, I don’t blame her for falling for him. He’s hurt and no one understands him. She just wants to
understand him, and he’s the first person he’s let in. I’m surprised that she chooses to continue Ky even with everyone’s warnings, but what else would you do for love.

♥Ky: Ok I didn’t care for him at first, but he’s definitely got a soft spot in my heart. He came from hard beginnings and although we don’t know all of what he’s had to deal with, we do know that he has had a tough life that can’t be expected to get any better. Even after finding Cassia, they are pulled apart. It’s too dangerous for society to see that they might have a choice. I hope on the front lines he will find a way to join his people uprising in the outer province. He shouldn’t have to fight for something he doesn’t believe in. Ps. What the hell did your parents do? Anything?

♥Xander: This poor soul. Thought he found love and then lost it before he even knew what was happening. I hope that he can recover, but I have a feeling he won’t be matched again. People will likely think he is cursed. How grateful I am that the red pill didn’t affect him, but what happened the other time?

♥Grandfather: I thought that I would include him this time instead of parents because he played such a vital role in changing Cassia’s lense on society. He helped her to imagine more. Some place she could chose and be chosen. 

♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 188
“When I come out into the foyer, my father and my brother wait for me. ‘You look beautiful,’ my father says.
 ‘You look all right,’ Bram says.
 ‘Thanks,’ I tell him, rolling my eyes.”

♥Pg. 246
“‘I think people should be able to choose who they Match with,’ I say lamely.
 ‘Where would it end, Cassia?’ she says, her voice patient. ‘Would you say next that people should be able to choose how many children they have, and where they want to live? Or when they want to die?’”

♥Final Line: “And they will change from ash and nothing into flesh and blood.”

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Review: PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Title: P.S. I Love You
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Series/Novel: Novel
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Fiction
Pages: 503
Publisher: Hachette Books
Year Published: 2003
First Line: “Holly held the blue cotton sweater to her face and the familiar smell immediately struck her, an overwhelming grief knotting her stomach and pulling at her heart.”

“Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry.
They were childhood sweethearts- no one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other.
Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry’s death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms Holly discovers that Gerry has left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding her into her new life without him, each signed ‘PS, I Love You’.
With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing- and being braver than ever before.
Life is for the living, she realises- but it always helps if there’s an angel watching over you.”

My Rating: 4/5

So I'm a little behind on the times, that's not terribly new. But after an emotional week I decided it was time to get my emotion out with a book, and it proved to be helpful. PS. I Love You follows the emotional story of Holly who has recently lost her dear husband of 7 years and the love of her life for the past 15. This story follows how she copes through her loss with a hilarious group of characters, a crazy city and an even crazier family Holly begins to find her way through her new life.
I grew very fond of Holly. She's a wise woman who I'm assuming many of us can relate to. She's an honest, brave and friendly person who does more than many would given her circumstances.
Obviously she goes through her grief that one would naturally expect after loosing one that she truly cared about. This book is a reminder about what it is to truly love and loose. Is it sad? Of course it is. But it’s so much more than that, it incompases a love that can survive death. A true love.

Thanks For Reading,
Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

This was an interesting book that I didn’t expect to hold me captive the whole 500+ pages but it did it’s job. I was entertained, made to feel so many emotions and encouraged through this book. This book entertained me through the side characters. The things that they came up with made me think of some people I’ve meet the past two years and how they react to certain things. Sharon is perfect and reminds me alot of my best friend. I felt the obvious emotions of sadness and empathy towards Holly, but I also felt her joy when she remembered Gerry, the way he laughed, smiled, lived just simply lived. Finally I believe that there is a form of love that can live after death. This book makes that quite obvious to the readers that Gerry and Holly’s love will continue.

♥Holly: I’m happy that Gerry’s letters were able to affect her from the grave. Although I doubt she will ever fully move on, I know that she will be able to live a life worth living even though he is not physically with her. Gerry really knew how to get her to chase her dreams. By being able to find a job she enjoyed and reentering her friendships as her whole self she was able to find a new way of life. I hope that at some point she can find love, even if it’s not as full as Gerry’s.

♥Denise: Ok so she’s a little moody, but we all have that one friend we love just for that reason. She’s a laugh if nothing else and I fully approve of her getting married.

♥Sharon: She by far reminds me of my best friend, blunt but honest and loyal to the end. She’s compassionate and gives all she can to Holly. I was excited when we found out she was pregnant, but sad that she felt she couldn’t share it with Holly in a better time. But there really would have been no good time.

♥Gerry: Although we never met him, in the memories and through the letters some of us (cough) might have fallen in love with him.

♥Richard: Goes to show we never really know what’s going on in someone’s life unless we take the time to get to know them better. I hope that his new job will bring him joy rather than stress and that he finds life without that rude ex-wife of his.

♥Ciara: Perfect how wild she is. Sure for a laugh, even when she was sad about Matthew you can see that she would figure something out.

♥Daniel: Here is where it gets tricky. I wanted Holly and Daniel to fall in love even though it was too soon. I felt that they got along so well, but in reality sometimes people are just better off friends and this is a perfect case. Neither of them were over the other person they had been with.

Moments to Remember
♥Pg. 9
“Instead, Gerry and Holly travelled the world together. It made far more sense that way because when they weren’t together… well, Holly just felt as though she was missing a vital organ from her body.”

♥Pg. 254
“As much as Sharon tried to tan over the years she just ended up getting sunburned and then it would peel. She had finally given up trying to tan and accepted the fact that her skin was meant to be pale.”

♥Final Line: “In the meantime, she would just live.”

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Unable to Comment

Hi there readers,

I haven't been able to comment on this site for some reason so I figured I would post this information here. I know this is even more informal than usual. Which is really saying something....
So Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen Series is releasing a new book for the series next month. It is title, Unforgiven and follows Cam. The description can be found here: 

Have a great day,
Sidny xoxo

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Book Review: Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

Title: Such Wicked Intent
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Series/Novel: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 213
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Year Published: 2012
First Line: "The books flew open like startled birds trying to escape the flames."

"When his grieving father orders the destruction of the Dark Library, Victor retrieves a book in which he finds the promise of not just communicating with the dead, but entering their realm, and soon he, Elizabeth, and Henry are in the spirit world of Château Frankenstein creating a growing a body."

My Rating: 5/5

This book is the first one I've really taken the time to read while being in college, and I certainly do not regret it. This instalment in the Victor Frankstein's life was ridiculously good. It was entertaining as well as thrilling. I found it difficult to put this book down once I had the time to pick it up, and was shocked around every corner. I thought frequently back to what was happening in the book (surprisingly not that helpful in class), and fantasized about the characters. I thought frequently of the relationships that were growing between characters in the novel and how they would manage to overcome the impossible, by simply reading a book.
Books like this one simply do not go out of style or out of date. There is no technology that is semi current as there are in some current novels (for example reading about IMing now might make us giggle), rather this book creates a world of it's own. One prior to the world in which the Monster as we know comes alive. Rather it features one man's love for his brother and how love can make one do wild and crazy things.
The mixture of this with alchemy is astounding and truly magical. Or should I say clearly a science.

Thank you for reading,
Sidny xoxo