Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

Title: This Dark Endeavour
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Series/Novel: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 298
Publisher: HarperTrophyCanada
Year Published: 2011
First Line: “We found the monster on a rocky ledge high above the lake.”

“Sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein leads a charmed life. He and his twin brother Konrad, and their beautiful cousin Elizabeth take lessons at home and spend their spare time fencing and horseback riding. Along with their friend Henry, they have explored all the hidden passageways and secret rooms of the palatial Frankenstein chateau. Except one.
The Dark Library contains ancient tomes written in strange languages and filled with forbidden knowledge. Their father makes them promise never to visit the library, but when Konrad becomes deathly ill, Victor knows he must find the book that contains the recipe for the legendary Elixir of Life. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love- and how much he is willing to sacrifice.”

My Rating: 4/5

This book has some familiar names from literature in it. You guessed it the Frankenstein’s. But not in the cliché silly way that some would picture these fictional characters. This Dark Endeavour really gets in touch with the characters. A reader can find themselves experiencing many emotions at one time. Those of excitement, nervousness, fear, exhilaration and repulsion are only a few.
All and all this book was enjoyable. At the beginning I found it hard to get into. I think that the use of old English made it slightly hard to take seriously in the beginning, but by the end it all just seemed to piece together so perfectly. I felt as though I stood beside the Frankenstein family through their time of need. Being able to see things from many points of view, although not all.
Kenneth Oppel did an incredible twist on a classic, a personal telling of everyone’s favourite horror story.


Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

I found that this book was an interesting Young Adult twist on a classic. Not even so much of a twist as a prequel and an answer to “why”. Kenneth Oppel expands on the world of Frankenstein. He appears to do so while respecting the original story, just adding his own flair where he feels there is need.
The author made me feel for the characters, all of them. All though some of the time I agreed with characters, I didn’t want to. Throughout the novel I found myself agreeing avidly with decisions I never would have in different context.
And how about that ending, the suddenness, the shock and the numbness that could be felt within the last chapter were all emotions that one might feel in the same situation.

♥Victor: I can’t say that I agree with all his decisions. He was easy to trust although so many others seemed to warn him against trusting so easily. Although I found myself rooting for him and Elizabeth more than I wanted to, I’m a sucker for a bad boy. Even though he had no right to claim his love for her and attempt to steal her, I can understand how he would want validation as a human. To be constantly compared to your twin would not be easy. I was impressed that he never turned against his brother though. So truly he was not evil. He never wished illness on his brother, and even when he was trying to steal his girl, he still fought to cure him. So I suppose that that is respectable and loyal.

♥Konrad: As it is pointed out time and time again. Konrad is seen as better, happier, more social and all together the smarter of the twins. Although when it comes down to it, he does not agree with Victor’s image of him as the golden child. He does his best to keep his temper, even when he finds out about the stolen kiss and other’s feelings for his beloved. He even tried his best to keep her safe. His death was truly unexpected, but in the end I suppose we are really reading about resurrection of the dead.

♥Elizabeth: She is strong woman, who holds tightly to her beliefs. I can respect that. She is clearly loyal and would do anything for the one she loves. She is even willing to risk her life. Which is more of a love than some can say they ever find. I do believe that she and Konrad would have made an excellent couple, but she does have a wildness about her that is not unlike Victor’s. He certainly was not wrong about that.

♥Henry: He is cowardly. He consistently stays behind and the one time he is heroic he has trouble continuing his bravery. I hope that this improves in the next novel, as there is no doubt that more bravery will be needed.

♥Polidori: What a fiend. It does not surprise me in the least, but I thought him to be a little better of a man. I though he may mentor Victor but instead he turns against them completely. I believe that he does know who they are though; I think he is just waiting for the right moment to strike. I also strongly believe that Krake is not a lynx but some hybrid he conducted in his laboratory, but that may just be my imagination getting away with me though.

♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 223
“From the stained-glass windows shafts of coloured light angled through the stillness of the church. My thoughts drifted.
Wine to blood. Lead to gold. Medicine dripped in my brother’s veins. The transmutation of matter.
Was it magic or science? Fantasy or truth?”

♥Final Line: “I promised that I would see my brother again- even if it meant unlocking every secret law of this earth, to bring him back.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fall Update

I thought that a fall update was necessary. As some of you may know, I am a college student about to complete her last year of college to become an Early Childhood Educator. This means that the blog will once again be going slow, slower than ever before likely. 
So for this reason I would like to apologize. As soon as I am done my education, I should be able to pick back up on my reading.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series/Novel: Red Queen (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia
Pages: 383
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year Published: 2015
First Line: “I hate First Friday.”

“Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood- those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family to survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own- an ability she didn’t know she had. Except… her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of her own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard- the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince- and Mare against her own heart.”

My Rating: 5/5

This book was one of the most popular books being read right now, and my lovely boyfriend picked it out for me. He’s a smart guy, because this book was incredible. Looking at the cover of the book you can tell this book is going to be something different. It looks important, like something we should all read, almost as though it’s a warning.
But that could all just be fluff. This book takes place in a different type of world, whether or not it is post apocalyptic whose to say. I believe it is. The way the country in this book is described painted an interesting picture of how one single difference could change so much. The characters were perfectly portrayed. Although some I may or may not have thought of as Game of Thrones characters (the colours, the noble men).

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This book has taken my breath away. It points out parts of our histories as humans, but other parts are so unreal it’s insane. The ideas of different blood types developing is a wild idea, but who am I to say it won’t happen. Maybe not like this. The painting of the Red villages, factories and slums is depressing. The idea that at some point people decided that other people were lower than others is despicable. Then the difference between how the Reds live vrs. Silvers in their fancy cities and palaces. It’s a bold transition that Victoria Aveyard made, but it works. It did it’s job of helping me fight for the Guard.

♥Mare: To be thrown into such a insane new world, taken away from your family and the only world you’ve ever known is a trial in itself, but then to sign yourself up for a rebellious group that is working from inside the palace you live is a lot of work. And likely terrifying. Mare is strong, and although we know there are times where she is scared, she doesn’t let it break her. She made her mistakes in who she trusted, but in the end how was she to know. She wanted someone to rely on, to understand her and she thought that she had that with Maven, but in reality she would have had that with Cal, if her brain hadn’t been ripped open. Hopefully things all work out in the Scarlett Guard, but it will not be easy.

♥Cal:  He must have loved her to take her from her conscription to the army, and then to try to help her through the hall and keep her safe. To take a chance and kiss her even though you are betrothed to another. He’ll likely die, and it will break my heart.  He’s sweet, really he is.

♥Maven: A despicable, evil genius. Maybe some of the things he had told Mare were true. He felt left behind by his father, living in Cal’s shadow and that could all be true. That being said the things he did were horrendous.  I can’t decide if I hate him or not yet though. I want to, I really do, but part of me believes he’ll turn this around.

♥The Queen: I referred to this character this way in my head. With ominous music, of course, because what would a villain be without horrible music to follow her. We all knew she would cause trouble, but I doubt we thought she’d manipulate her only child to get what she wanted. She’ll be very upset that Cal and Mare have escaped with the Guard.

♥Kilorn: So there is yet another love interest. From what I know he is sweet, but seriously you had all the time in the world to speak up.

Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 111
“‘You’re a lot like Maven,’ he says after a long moment that makes my heart race.
 ‘You mean engaged to a stranger? We do have that in common.’”

♥Pg. 306
“‘What do we do now?’
He laughs to himself, eyes glint mischievously.
‘That’s not what I meant.’ But I can’t help but smirk with him.”
♥Final Line: “I will kill him.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Book Review: Last Summer by Hailey Abbott

Title: Last Summer
Author: Hailey Abbott
Series/Novel: Summer Boys (Book #4)
Genre: Young Adult, Chicklit, Romance
Pages: 233
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Year Published: 2007
First Line: “‘Congratulations, graduates!’ cried the principal of Martin High, directly into the microphone.”

“Stealing kisses. Keeping secrets. Making memories.
Beth: Who says you can’t be friends with your ex? It’s the summer before college and George and I are keeping things totally platonic. Aren’t we?
Ella: I love Jeremy. But seeing Peter, my old flame, hook up with a new girl is driving me a little too crazy.
Kelsi: Bennett and I are ready to take things to the next level—except we’re so far apart. Long-distance makes everything harder.
It’s the steamiest summer yet on the beach. The girls have saved the best for last.”

My Rating: 5/5

This is the end of the series by Hailey Abbot. It’s a bittersweet end for me. I feel like I’ve traveled so far with the Tuttle cousins. Seeing them through three summers of their lives. Important summers of their lives, I feel that being a teenager is a tough 7 years, especially when you notice the opposite sex. This final book made me laugh, cry and gasp in surprise. I will gladly say that this is one of my favourite chicklit series I have ever read. I’ve been wondering how the series would end and this seemed to be a perfect way to finish with the majority of the girls going out of high school and starting into the real world. To see the characters end on such a sad note was heartbreaking, but I realize that this is how it was meant to be. To leave Pebble Beach behind for a while and focus on each individual life afterwards.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Last Summer by Hailey Abbott

This series was a rough one to read. It reminded me of prior years and things that I wished I could have been, I mean who wishes they weren’t as confident as Ella. The Tuttle cousins slowly became my family too. I cried through their struggles, laughed when they laughed and got goose bumps as I watched them fall in love. It was a wild ride, but Pebble Beach became a second home to me, in my mind. That sounds insane, but I’m sure some of you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

♥Ella: I’m happy to see that she’s settled down with Jeremy. They’re made to be together. I understand her jealousy of Taryn. It’s hard to see someone your close to grow close to someone else. It often seems like you’re being left in the dust. But in the end it usually means you’ll find a way to make new friends also. Your sister will always be your sister.

♥Kelsi: The way she acted with Bennett was odd, but I understand that distance is hard. In the long run I don’t see Bennett and Kelsi lasting just because of their different life styles. I’m happy that she realized that she had to let Bennett follow his dreams and had to follow her own; even if that means that they are separate. I hope that she’s happy and has learned to follow her own dreams to her hearts content.

♥Beth: Beth lost so much this instalment. She lost the place where she spent all her summers, the place she fell in love, etc. She lost George, she lost her idea of moving on but in the end she found that people are even more important than materials. I’m happy that she realized that George and her will always have a spark. Whether she wants that spark or not, they can’t go back to being just friends when they’ve loved each other so much. This gave me hope that eventually they will be together.

♥Jamie: I really wish that we had been able see how the private school had changed her love life. It seems incredibly wild that she’ll be taking a year off to go to Europe with a boy she barely knows but hopefully that all works out.

♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 144
“‘You’ve been sad lately,’ Jeremy said, smiling at her. ‘And you know I hate that. It’s like, my duty to make you smile, and I like that.’”

♥Final Line: “But that didn’t mean that she had to leave anything- or anyone- behind.”

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo