Saturday, May 28, 2016

Update: Construction?

So if you're a regular on this blog,  then you've noticed some changes. I'm changing some of the layout and deciding what suits me now as an adult, as I haven't changed a lot of the design until now. I've changed so much in the past 5 or so years and this design just didn't match who I was anyone. If anyone has any ideas of what might look better or work better for readers, please let me know.
I wish you all the best,

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Review: The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Rose and The Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series/Novel: The Wrath and The Dawn Series (#2)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 406
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2016
First Line: "The girl was eleven and three quarters."

"In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse- one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refused to be a pawn and decides a plan.
While her father, Jahndar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love."

My Rating: 4/5

This second and final instalment in The Wrath and The Dawn duology follows many characters from the previous novel. Some we grew to know quite well in the first book and others at first a bit of a mystery. This second book wraps up the love of a boy-king, a calipha and a childhood love with a bow on top. Not to mention the diversity, use of fantasy aspects and approach to the story that were all in all incredible.  I think that this book did pale a bit when compared to the first one, but this could be because of the busy time schedule I read it in as well. I found that it was hard to want to keep up with the book in the beginning as it started at a slow pace, but by the mid way point I was once again wrapped up in the different setting, interesting characters and fantastic use of plot. The twists and turns are surprising but exciting to endure and not over the top.
Overall this was a good way to end a series and I look forward to see what other books Renee Ahdieh brings to the table over time and where she'll take her career next. 

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

As mentioned in the review, this book was read during a pretty busy period of life, please excuse the scatter brain thoughts below.

So this is one of the only books I think I've read that is a part of duology. Now if you're like me, you're sitting there wondering who came up with this fantastic system to help describe a series, and I have no answers for you. But what I can say, is that it definitely worked for the story of The Wrath and The Dawn series. The two books fit together perfectly and although I am a fan of the first book, and believe the second to have taken a slight slump, I see them completed as a whole. They are told beautifully from many perspectives and in a unique setting. The descriptions were complex and beautiful, introducing uncommon aspects and describing them to readers who are willing to imagine.
These books had a great set of characters, although I found the second book to be hard to follow with the bouncing between characters. This being said, it was exactly what held the book together.

The story all in all wraps up with a great epilogue about the future and give the readers the perfect amount of answers, in my opinion.

The Characters:
Shazi: So Shazi became quite the powerhouse. Although her quick wit and stubbornness are what helped me enjoy her character. She would give all for those she loves and her character proves this time and time again. This being said, I found that Shazi in this book was a little less of a kick ass person in the first half. Having to live in a camp with your husbands enemies can do that to a girl. I do enjoy the ending of this story and how smart she is about her time in the dungeon. She is a wise character and while her temper is something else, I think that she was written perfectly. And the use of power with all this. Lovely!

Tariq: I'm the worst for saying this but Tariq needed to let Shazi go so badly. He was clearly hurting himself and Shazi, by acting as though he could change how she felt. Although he is stubborn he is not stubborn enough to change the feelings of another. But at the end it sounds like he was able to find someone to occupy his time, so that's good.

Khalid: He changed the first time we saw him. Back to the weary character he was in the first half of the story, but as time progresses we see his love for Shazi grow. We also know that he would do anything for his people, and those close to him. I enjoyed seeing him go to work to rebuild the city. That was a side of him I had never seen and I was intrigued by how people reacted to him. Also that army strategy though. Way to kick so a**.

Despina: I may have closed my book when we are reintroduced to Despina as a different person.  I was shocked and yet not so much that I was surprised. Although her acting skills are something else. She was able to find a way to save Shazi which I was excited to hear, but I'm curious about how she came to live in the castle with her not so husband husband.

Rahim: Hitting me right in the heart. What a great man, filled with honour and love for those around him. The loyalty though.

Irsa: I was glad that she was more of a part of this novel, because anyone with a sister knows that they are never far when you need them, but also when you don't. It was only a matter of time for her to appear. I enjoyed the description of how quiet and easy going she was and seeing the growth of her character being able to speak what she wanted. 

Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "'Then we begin with the first tale... 'Haroun and the Magic Carpet.'"

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

Title: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue
Series/Novel: Novel
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 321
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Year Published: 2010
First Line: "Today I'm five."

"To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world.
It's where he was born. It's where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. But to Ma, Room is the prison where she's been kept since she was nineteen- for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in the eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But these walls can't hold them forever."

My Rating: 4.5/5

This is not a book that was in my TBR, but a copy was given to me by my boyfriend's mother who said that it's an interesting read and she wanted to see what I thought of it. After this my mother told me that she had been reading this book as well and I should definitely read it, so we could watch the movie together.
Hard to wait when they're two people who are willing you on to read it. 
And they were not wrong. This story takes place from Jack's perspective. One gets to know his thoughts on the inside of the room and the developing story about how there is more to life than just the room. It was interesting to see how a child reacted to what he saw, was told and how the imprisonment had affected his overall development. Especially as someone who works with children I found his thoughts about reality and fantasy to be interesting.
This story is in four separate sections each one slightly changing is thought and further develops the characters. Overall this story was very good, but for me the ending left something to be desired. This of course is personal opinion, so tell me yours in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: Room by Emma Donoghue

As I mentioned in the review this novel was not on my TBR but was suggested by my mom and my mother-in-law (sort of). They were pretty adamant about me reading this novel and with a borrowed copy in hand who was I to say no?
As many of you mat realize this is an Adult Fiction book, which is something I don't normally go for. I'm more into YA (Young Adult), but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Possibly because it was not full of sex and adult problems that I am avoiding some how (nervous laughter would be implied here).

So for anyone who doesn't know, Room is a novel about a mother and a son who are in one room together. The son, Jack was born in this room and has had no interaction with the outside world. He is also the narrator of the novel, so everything you read is from his perspective. I thought this would get tedious, but I found it more interesting as I work with children I thought that the line of thought was certainly on the right track. By now you're probably wondering how the Mother got in this room. She's been kidnapped and kept there for the past 7 years. So if you're doing any math, Jack is 5. That should let you know about her captor. This novel goes through life in Room, and eventually life outside.

The plot is daring and the thought put into the child's perspective was what kept me drawn in. After reading goodreads I realize this is not everyone's opinion which is fine, if you have a separate opinion you can feel free to leave it in the comments, or you can go to and you may find people who share your opinion.

Jack: So Jack is the main character in the story and he is so curious about the world. Which only makes his thoughts more interesting. After only being in human contact with Ma, Jack has a different perspective of people. He also has a skewed idea of fantasy and reality. Jack is a tough child, although he is scared after so many changes he starts to prosper in an environment that is not room. With the help of those around him he is able to learn about new things through his fear. This being said, he still misses room, this is understandable considering it was his home his whole life. After a revisit, Jack is able to realize that there is so much more to life than Room.

Ma: She's a strong woman, and I respect that. To live through captivity, the birth of two children, rape, the death of one child. I was surprised when she tried to leave the clinic, but was not surprised when she attempted to commit suicide. After all she had been through, she was dealing well, but having publicity in your face, I can't say I don't understand. And it will take many years before she recovers. It's hard to believe that she was moved to independent living so soon.

Old Nick: What a sick freak! To have implanted a chainlink fence in between the ground and the floor and in the walls is so sick. I hope that anyone like him enjoys years and year in prison.

Dr. Clay: I think he is having trouble dealing with such an intense case. He has never dealt with anything quite like it he admits. He does very well with Jack, which I'm grateful for.

Grandma: She does an excellent job of encouraging Jack to explore the world around him. Sometimes with more patience than others, which is to be expected. She let's him experience many emotions, fear sometimes overwhelmingly (at the playground, or when exploring something new). I hope that she can let go of Ma, and let her have a life, but I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't workout because of the fear of losing her again.

Steppa: Steppa is an interesting character, apparently he's a stoner, but at least he's fun and not a jerk like the real grandpa. He's got patience as well and is willing to deal with the tough stuff when Grandma cannot in the story. He also plays with him instead of just watching which I think Jack appreciated.

Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "Then we go out the door."

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Wrath and The Dawn Series Novellas/Short Stories

It came to my attention after moving home, that there were three short stories. There are three in total that I found. 
The Moth and The Flame, The Crown and the Arrow, The Mirror and the Maze.

These are all either prequels or in betweens for The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. I must say that these were interesting short reads, but I don't believe they are necessary to read if you want to jump right into The Rose and The Dagger although I'm yet to start it. I enjoyed the brief snippets in between the stories, but I found them to be frustratingly short and not all that meaningful.
All and all I would give these book a solid  4/5. They are a fun short read if you have the time.
It looks deeper into the relationship between Jalal and Despina, as well as thoughts of Khalid. 

I don't think a review is necessary but I hope that this was helpful.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo