Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket


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Title: The Penultimate Peril
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series/Standalone: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book #12)
Genre: Fiction, Middle Grade, Mystery
Page: 353
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year Published: 2005
Format: Hardback Copy (Library Edition)
First Line: "Certain people have said that the world is like a calm pond,, and that anytime a person does even the smallest thing, it is as if a stone has dropped into the pond, spreading circles of ripples further and further out, until the entire world has been changed by one tiny action."

"Dear Reader,

If this is the first book you found while searching for a book to read next, then the first thing you should know is that this next-to-last book is what you should put down first. Sadly, this book presents the next-to-last chronicle of the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, and it is next-to-first in its supply of misery, despair and unpleasantness.

Probably the next-to-last thing you would like to read about are a harpoon gun, a rooftop sunbathing salon, two mysterious initials, three unidentified triplets, a notorious villain, and an unsavoury curry.

Next-to-last things are the first thing to be avoided, and so allow me to recommend that you put this next-to-last book down first, and find something else to read next at last, such as the next-to-last book in another chronicle, or a chronicle containing another next-to-last things, so that this next-to-last book does not become the last book you will read.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My Rating: 4.5/5

This story is the next-to-last book. If you didn't gather that from the description above. It was a really interesting last book it took place with so many different characters from the children's past. It was great to read about I can't wait to finish the series. This series is asking young readers tough questions what is good, what is evil? Are we all morally grey? I just wish I would have completed the series at a younger age though, as the twists and turns might be more shaking.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny 


Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray


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Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series/Standalone: The Diviners Series (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 578
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2012
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan's Upper East Side, every lamp blazes."

"Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City- And she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It's 1926, and new York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he'll discover her darkest secret, a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened."


My Rating: 5/5

This book gets hype so much and I totally get it. The Diviners is unlike anything that I've ever read. I really enjoyed the writing style, it was beautiful but spooky. I would give a precursor that this book is a little spooky with the idea of supernatural and the occult. But if you're fine with a bit of a thrill then I think you'd enjoy it overall. This story follows so many characters that you get a really good view of the world and the time period from so many different perspectives. 
The suspense in this book was on amazing. I had to do the thing where I would close the book and just stare at the wall to calm myself down. I would get so caught up in the story and then realize that it was a book, it was all in a book and I could calm my butt down. 
Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who loves paranormal elements along with a crazy mystery. Can't wait to continue on with the series.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Diviners by Libba Bray

So this is the first time in a long time that  full length book got a 5/5 stars from me. And here is why:
1. Characters that you fall in love with and who bring a lot of depth to the story.
2. The settting/time period
3. The writing style: beautiful, spooky, suspenseful, thrilling
4. PARANORMAL MYSTERY IN 1920s? Sign me up.

When I first heard about this book I proceeded with caution because of the hype. The more a book is hyped the less I tend to like it. Maybe I'm an accidental hipster... you tell me. But this book was amazing. It was so different than anything I'd ever read before, the language and the setting made it unique and interesting. I love the idea of speakeasies, the idea of the suspense that anyone could catch you at any time drinking.... scandal. The author does a marvellous job at keeping the reader intrigued and guessing.

Characters:
Evie: She is really something. The way she describes doing things "wrong" really caught me in this book. How she would try her best to do and say the right things at the right time but always felt like she was messing up. I feel like that's super relatable for most people. Don't we all just wonder if we are messing things up sometimes? There were other parts of her personality that I didn't care for, selling out stories to newspapers, sneaking into "abandoned" houses, ya know just things that didn't seem like the smartest ideas. I'm excited to see where her gifts take her next.

Memphis: I loved him more than most of the characters. The fierce love he had for his brother and the way he did anything for him made me heart warm. The way he felt about Theta and treated her was beautiful. I can't wait to see what happens in his life with so many people aware of his powers and those his brother possesses as well..

Theta: She's amazing. I'm very interested in what she can do and how she will handle her past going forward with Memphis.

Henry: To be living his life in a time period where such things were considered much more than Taboo, it makes you wonder how he got so strong to handle rumours

Will: I want to know so much more about his life and what's coming? Why won't he take advice from any one whose letting him know their premonitions?

Jericho: How long before things mess up for him? Also I understand he's not interested in Mabel but maybe he should just tell her that, instead of her finding out that he's with her best friend.

Sam: I thought that Evie would end up with him for sure. What with their witty banter and the way they had started to get on throughout the book. Ugh. I like him I won't lie. I wonder where he'll come into play again.

Mabel: I wonder what she'll do if or when she finds out about the powers everyone around her seems to have.

Isiah: He might be the most in danger from Blind Bill of all people. What's that story about? I can't wait to see where that part of the story line goes. 


Moments to Remember:

Final Line: "he took her face in his hands and his kiss blotted out the sky."


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton


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Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series/ Standalone: Everneath Series (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mythology
Pages: 370
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Year Published: 2012
Format: Audiobook

"Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her boyfriend- before she's banished back to the underworld... this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance- and the one person she loves more than anything. but there's just one problem: Cole, the smouldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time on the surface draw to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's Queen.

Everneath is a captivation story of love, loss and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton."

My Rating: 3.75/5

This audiobook was exactly what I needed this month. It was a reminder about why i read and why I started to listen to audiobooks. Yes, parts of this book were incredibly corny, but that being said the story overall had a plot and an interesting idea. What would make you give up your life to someone else? Completely, emotions and all? I think that the author did a good job of showing our main character and her changing world. To be reintroduced to her life after forgetting so much must have been difficult, to say the least. That being said I was left with some questions and plan to continue listening to the audiobooks as the story line is enjoyable overall. I can't wait to see the boys and if they continue to fight for our Nikki.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: Saga Volume 4


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Title: Saga Volume 4
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 152
Publisher: Image Comics
Year Published: 2014
Format: Paperback Cover (Own It)

"Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alan struggle to stay on their feet."

My Rating: 5/5

I can't resist these freaking graphic novels. I love them to pieces and each one is more surprising than the last. Due to the vast setting and fantasy/science fiction aspect, there are still so many places this story can go. I love the way the art complements the story by being beautiful but still sharp and contrasting to the crude violent scenes.  I can't wait to continue the series and see where the story goes. I love our characters and wonder what other adventures they will go on. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi


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Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series/Standalone: The Star-Touched Queen (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 342
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffith
Year Published: 2016
Format: Hardcover Copy (Own it)
First Line: "Staring at the sky in Bharata was like exchanging a secret."

"Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance. Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most... including herself."

My Rating: 3/5

This book has been raved about on booktube since it came out and the sequel/companion novel also was spoken about highly and while I understand some of the praisings, some parts of this novel just fell flat for me. The writing in this book is beautiful and so poetic, but I found myself having trouble keeping up with where the story was going. Personally, I just think that the writing was too flowery for the story that was its companion. I also found that most of the twists and turns were predictable. I gasped once or twice over the choices of our main character, but other than that I found it all slightly predictable. 
All these things considered I have decided not to continue on with the series, but would be interested in other works that the author comes out with, just in a different series or subject.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

So this book was all over booktube when I first started watching booktube, and it was all over the place. People were raving about the cover, the story and the writing. So I decided to pick it up. Overall for me, this was just a bit of a letdown. It did not live up to the hype. While the writing was beautiful and almost poetic, it was too flowery for the story itself I had trouble keeping up with the metaphors and symbolism so much that I had to reread paragraphs to grasp where the story was going. I also found that the twists and turns were not as surprising as they were intended to be. I guessed that Amar was death himself and that Nritti was the villain in the story. These things aside, I won't be continuing the series/reading the companion novel, although I'm interested in other works the author may put out.

Characters:
Maya: She was a sad main character at first and to see her struggling just to feel alive and like she belonged broke my heart, but when she found Amar it seemed like things started to head in a different direction. Until she was naive enough to believe everything anyone freaking told her. It was frustrating that she believed anything anyone told her when she was so quick to question Amar to begin with.

Amar: I liked him but during the flashbacks, I saw why she stepped into the pool of souls for reincarnation. To say, fine go is a horrible idea but that happens in so many couple arguments. I also think that his love for her was beautiful, but I wish that their story of the meeting had been expanded a little more (and yes I know there is a novella and no I am not going to read it).

Gauri: She would be the only reason for me to read the companion novel. And I loved her attitude by the time we saw her again. Her power and the love of her people are beautiful. 

Gustpa: I'm very interested in his background but not enough to read the prequel, unfortunately, his love of riddles was sweet to read about and reminded me of the riddles in ACOTAR

Kamala: Everyone seems to love her, but I didn't really care for her overall. We saw her for a short time and when we did she was just obsessed with chomping on someone. Which is fine.

Nritti: Obviously the villain but her story was also tragic. That being said, he was going to be reincarnated, but that's not soon enough apparently. 


Moments to Remember:
Pg. 269
"'You're not a sadhvi, not a thief and not entirely a charlatan,' said Mother Dhina. 'Who are you?'
If I could tell her, I would. But that answer was beyond me, so I gave the only one that felt right.
'I'm a dead girl walking.'"


Final Line: "I was Queen of Naraka."


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Review: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre


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Title: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
Author: Carmen Aguirre
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Pages: 277
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Year Published: 2011
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "As my mother bit into her Big Mac, her glasses caught the reflection of a purple neon light somewhere behind me."

"A gripping, darkly comic first-hand account of a young underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s Chile.

On September 11, 1973, a violent coup removed Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, from office. Thousands were arrested, tortured and killed under General Augusto Pinochet's repressive new regime. Soon after the coup, six-year-old Carmen Aguirre and her younger sister fled the country with their parents for Canada and a life of exile.

In 1978, the Chilean resistance issued a call for exiled activists to return to Latin America. Most women sent their children to live with relatives or with supporters in Cuba, but Carmen's mother kept her precious girls with her. As their mother and stepfather set up a safe house for resistance members in La Paz, Bolivia, the girls' own double lives began. At eighteen, Carmen herself joined the resistance. With conventional day jobs as a cover, she and her new husband moved to Argentina to begin a dangerous new life of their own.

This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the eventful decade from 2979 to 2989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet's Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Carmen captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. 'Something Fierce' is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life."

My Rating: 4/5

I've always had trouble rating no fiction reads because who am I to rate someone else's opinions, life or memories. I'm not someone who can do that so the number rating that you see above is based purely on my enjoyment of the writing style and approach. I think that this Carmen Aguirre does a great job of giving a huge over lay during a difficult time in South America as well as a difficult time in her life. That being said at some points in this book I had to take a break from reading, to get caught up with the idea that she had moved to another country, or it had been a large gap of time. Still, she has a unique perspective since she was directly involved in the revolution, after being involved with her family. I think that this book is an important read, especially if you're like me and don't know a lot about historical happenings. It really opened my eyes to the struggles of those in Latin America, as well as helped me to understand things that I'd heard as a child but did not understand. My family would listen to the news and I remember hearing things about protests in the streets in the south, but I didn't really remember anything else about it. I'm very privileged to lead the life I do, and this book has inspired me to reach out those for those who can't. I hope to read more nonfiction in the future, especially on serious matters.

Thanks for reading,

Sidny


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


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Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series/Standalone: Shatter Me (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 338
Publisher: Harper
Year Published: 2011
Format: Hardcover Physical Copy (Own It)
First Line: "I've been locked up for 264 days."

"I have a curse.
I have a gift

I am a monster.
I'm more than human.

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back.

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."

My Rating: 4.5/5

So this was a book a pulled out of my most anticipated reads tbr jar and I'm glad that it didn't disappoint. This first installment did such a wonderful job of setting up the world, introducing the characters and starting us on what appears to be an action packed adventure. Tahereh Mafi's writing style is beautiful and flowing, but still manages to shock the reader with the idea of this dystopian world. Based on other's opinions of the third book in this series (did you guys know we're expecting 3 more), I'm curious to see how the writing changes and how the story unfolds. I can't wait to get to the rest of the series and hope to order the rest of the books soon.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Shatter Me by Taereh Mafi

So as per usual I'm the last one on the hype train, and at this point maybe the only one. But hot damn this was a really fun read. I caught myself remembering how I started reading dystopian and how much I enjoyed them Tahereh Mafi's writing style is so lyrical and beautiful but also gets the reader to the point. I think that the way the main characters thoughts are crossed out throughout this book is also an interesting aspect and I wonder where this will take us in the upcoming novels. I know that people either really love this series or they really hate it and that makes me nervous, but it's also nerve wracking that I thought this series was over but apparently 3 more books are coming out. I'm not panicking at all. 

Characters:
Juliette: She is an interesting main character to hear from someone who has been in captivity while the world has literally fallen apart around her. For her to remember the world as we know it and see it go to shit so quickly.  She also has the interesting experience of neglect based on "what" she is. To see her able to touch another person was amazing, but to quickly realise that she could touch both Warner and Adam made me worried. Also what else is she capable of. Anyone else get Rogue from X-Men vibes.

Adam: Am I the only one who has read this first book and thought that this guy was too good to be true? I understand that they knew each other in the past, but they never even spoke. It doesn't make sense to me how they can feel so much for each other in such a short amount of time. Especially under such crazy circumstances.

Warner: He's also crazy, but like in the need to be locked up for stalking kind of way. Too freaking bad The Reestablishment is for in the most part in control. I wonder how he will hold on to power after he loses Juliette and what will happen to him once his father finds out. Also what is his past like? Is that what the novellas are about? Ugh so many questions, not yet enough cash to purchase the books.

James: This kid has seen too damn much for his tender young age of 10. And if Adam's power is to not be influenced by Juliette's touch does that mean that James has a power. I wonder how his life in the Omega Compound will change in comparison to what he's known.

Kenji: Who the hell is this guy? And I'm also getting super Red Queen vibes so that means my favorite series might have borrowed this, which was to be expected but also is helping me to enjoy this story line with powers even more.


Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "I'm ready."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Series/Standalone: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Book #1)
Pages: 359
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2012
Format: Audiobook

"Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship- the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be."

My Rating: 4.5/5

This book really blew me out of the water. I was expecting a short little contemporary that wasn't overly hard hitting and here I was going out for walks to have an excuse to listen to the audiobook. The characters in this story are incredible and the author touches on so many important topics without having the reader feel that things are getting bogged down. The story is so important for young readers. It asks readers so many questions about who they are and how they want to be. I also think that the fact that this story takes place in the past makes the story that much more lovable. I can't wait to read the companion novel and pick up a physical copy of this book. It seems like a great book to reread every summer..

Thanks for reading,
Sidny




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: It Wasn't Always Like This by Joy Preble


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Title: It Wasn't Always Like This
Author: Joy Preble
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical
Pages: 245
Publisher: Soho Teen
Year Published: 2016
Format: Hardcover Copy (Own It)
First Line: "It was gone."

"In 1916, Emma O'Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island of St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging- as do the Ryan's, her family's business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she's in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O'Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder- Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.

On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders- whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her- indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma's hope for finding the boy she's certain is still out there..."


My Rating: 4/5

So this book wasn't at all what I expected. I couldn't remember what it was about and since it was so short I refused to read the description.  And I was very impressed with how well this short book completed the story. Overall I really enjoyed it. I will say that I didn't like some aspects of the characters, but other than that I found the mystery theme that took place throughout the book interesting. I also really enjoyed the idea of how living forever might make someone feel. I hope to read more works by this author. I would recommend this for lovers of crime shows and historical fiction.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: It Wasn't Always Like This by Joy Preble

So this book is a perfect weekend read. I think that the author did a tremendous job of completing a story about lovers, time travel and mystery all in under 250 pages. The interesting part of this novel for me was how many time jumps their are as well as, perspectives.  The setting was ever changing and completely interesting, it really helped to keep the story flowing throughout the time jumps.

Characters:
Emma: I found her character to be frustrating near the middle of the book. For some reason her attempts to play at real life, and then her diving into her life as a PI made me wonder about what else someone might do in her scenario. It just seemed like some things she got to easy,,, that is other than Charlie. I enjoyed that the author didn't make her seem pure, and holding on for Charlie 100%. Because she does find company, and people she can spend time with, but she always has him on the mind.

Charlie: This ass hole left her on her own. After losing her family, and being scared half to death of what was happening to her, he decided that she would be better on her own. The didn't take the time to think it out (oh to be 17), or to talk it over (damn angry mobs). I did think that his life took a far more interesting turn than hers though, overall. What with the wars and what not.

Pete: I liked this guy. He was a real trooper, and believed the unbelievable, which is really expecting a lot from a guy.

Kingsley: Makes you wonder how many cons he pulled on how many innocent people. What a sick freak?

Frank: Kind of creepy, but overall good.

Art: Kind of naive, but cared for his family overall.


Moments to Remember:
Final Lines: "Charlie held out his arms, and she closed the distance between them."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Book Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid


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Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Series/Standalone: The Diabolic (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2016
Format: Physical Hardback (Own It)
First Line: "Everyone believed Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear."

"Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator's daughter, Sidonia. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force; the one thing she's been told she doesn't have- humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her Sidonia, and the entire Empire."

My Rating: 3.75/5

I know that I thought I'd never give a funky star rating like this but I've grown as a person. I thought that this book was really interesting. The premise was really interesting to me. The idea of using genetically modified humans for different purposes is something that frightens me but also makes me curious about the future. I think that this author did an interesting thing by starting the story in the "breeding corrals" (I'm shuddering just having to type that). I also enjoyed the political aspect of this story. But in between that this story did a lot of info dumping and I just wasn't enjoying that part of the story. It was a lot to remember and a lot to put into a first book. I also thought that this book did a strange thing with pacing. I felt like no time had passed, but in reality, the book took place over quite a long period of time. So overall I enjoyed the idea and the characters, but the execution just fell a little tiny bit flat for me. That being said, I'm curious about the next book in the series that comes out in October. So if I see it and still remember the majority of the story, I will probably pick it up.

Thanks for reading,
SIdny


Spoiler: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

So this book has taken me a hell of a long time to get into. I read about 10 pages a day for a week before I forced myself to sit down and read today. And overall I enjoyed this book. I think that the author has an interesting concept, a unique setting and wonderful characters. This being said, I think this book did a lot of info dumping. Throughout I just felt like there was so much for me to take in in such a small amount of time. I also didn't appreciate how fast the rebellion seemed to work out. I would have appreciated it spread out just a little bit more. Maybe continuing to the next book.


Characters:
Sidonia: She was naive and sweet, but it makes you wonder what she might have become in a different situation. Would she still be so loving to "creatures"? Or would she be hard and callous like so many around her? I was sad to see her go but didn't grieve her as much the second time to be completely honest with you. 

Nemesis: The author touches on an important topic, what makes us human? And can we change certain things to disturb this humanity? I don't know the answers but I liked how the author tackled this topic with Nemesis. I also enjoyed watching her discover her humanity, along with realizing that fear is sadly natural. I think that she will be more than a little shell shocked in the next book and we'll see how the Empire views people like her in their society.

Tyrus: I don't know how I feel about him, at first I was all in and loved him. Now I'm thinking I should be more cautious. He will make an interesting leader. A cunning one for sure.

The Emperor: He was a sick freak, but none the less a puppet. 

Elantra: She wasn't going to make it far. Let's be honest she was an evil girl, who liked to flaunt what other's didn't have. She reminded me a lot of Evangeline in the Red Queen series

Cygna: So incredibly manipulative. I wonder what else would have happened if she had her way. 


Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "Whatever lay ahead, it would always be the two of us above the rest of the universe, and woe to any who dared step in our path."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: Tarnish by Katherine Longshore


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Title: Tarnish
Author: Katherine Longshore
Series/Standalone: Royal Circle
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 448
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2013
Format: Audiobook

"Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court- and to convince the whole court they're lovers- she accepts. Before long, Anne's popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice- but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart's desire and the chance to make history."

My Rating: 3.5/5

Ok, so while listening to this book on audio, I couldn't help but realise that I don't know a whole hell of a lot about King Henry VIII. I knew that he kept decapitating women who didn't bear him a son, but other than that I wasn't sure the details about his life and rule. I was intrigued by the idea of the Boelyn's and was interested in our main character Anne throughout the story. That being said, I found myself getting frustrated with her choices, possibly because I knew her fate. This being said, the character is an interesting one, especially because she was a character who spoke her mind... even when she shouldn't. In this time period that would be unheard of.  That being said, I don't plan to continue with the book series (or the books connected to this one). Ps. I don't think that there will be a spoiler for this review, based on my rating and the content, I just don't think I have enough spoiler details to fill one post.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley


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Title: Highly Illogical Behavior
Author: John Corey Whaley
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Pages: 250
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Mental Health
Year Published: 2016
Format: Audiobook


"Sixteen-year-old Solomon is an agoraphobic. He hasn't left the house in three years, where is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she's being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to 'fix' Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they've built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same."

My Rating: 4/5

I got this audiobook when I found out it included mental health elements as well as an LGBT main character. These are two things that when represented in YA either go over very well or poorly with an audience. I really enjoyed this book overall. It definitely has some anxiety triggers which should be anticipated based on our main characters illness. I think that this novel did a great job of showing how people with a mental illness feel and how those around them might feel. It really encompassed what panic feels like and how panic can affect a person's everyday life. It also did an interesting job in speaking about the idea of "fixing" someone which a lot of people agree is not the way to think of helping people with mental health. As someone who has both known people with mental health problems and has experienced them herself, it was frustrating to have the idea that one character planned on fixing someone, but throughout the novel you see a different approach taken towards someone who might need help.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny


Spoiler: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

If you guys are looking for a quick and diverse book I would definitely recommend it to young adult readers. This short book encompasses so much. The idea of mental illness, mental health, LGBT, teenage angst, and the walls we all put around us. 

I think that this author did a magnificent job showing the idea that "fixing" someone is not the right approach to helping someone with a mental illness, and while I've never experienced agoraphobia, I understand anxiety and panic attacks. I also thought the many perspectives we witness in the book were interesting. The friend who follows Christianity standards, the mom who thinks that being gay is a choice, the people around Sol who see him as he really is,  and those on the outside looking in assuming how things are.


Characters (Just to name a few):
Soloman: His character is so fleshed out for only have 250 pages worth of story. I think the fact that he follows his urges to get help and find what he can manage. The ideas that swarm his brain, made me feel for him so much and I loved that he was working towards doing what he could, knowing that he may never be "better", as so many people expected him to be. I loved the way we left his story in the end! Beautiful.

Lisa: I docked a whole star for this ass hole. I did not like her the majority of the book. She just seemed to have a lot of trouble remembering that not everything was about her. And while she helped Soloman, I think that he needed a friend, not another person trying to make him "better". And this is why I loved the essay in the back of the book. She grew so much as a character, thank goodness. 

Clark: I liked how chill he was. I think he really helped Soloman and gave him something to hope for.

Soloman's Parents: I know a lot of adults might give them shit about letting Soloman stay home. And it's not that they didn't care, in fact, they cared more than so many. Anxiety is often crippling and they understood this and didn't push him if he wasn't ready. Maybe that's what helped him see what he might be able to do on a good day.

Lisa's Mom: She clearly has some mental health issues, and doesn't seem to care that those around her are affected by her actions. At the same time, the way she speaks with Lisa was so frustrating. To see her be the type of person to write it off on Soloman's parents, or a trend was frustrating as an open minded person. It leads me to realise that many people deal with judgements like these more often than being met with an open minded opinion.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny


Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


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Title: The Smell of Other People's Houses
Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Pages: 240
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Year Published: 2016
Format: Audiobook

"In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn't like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can't hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance with the life she's always known on her family's fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it's safer to run away than to stay home- until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled."

My Rating: 4/5

This is an endearing story about how our lives connect to those around us. It includes many different perspectives in a tense time after Alaska became a state and shows different perspectives on the results of that. I really enjoyed this book and think it showed amazing compassion toward humanity and the ability to try again and work harder. I am very interested in other books by this author. This book did the amazing job of getting me out a reading slump and I couldn't be more grateful. The characters are flawed but lovable and easy to picture in their day to day life. Due to the short length of this book, I do not have enough to spill into a spoiler. 

Thank for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Book Review: The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket


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Title: The Grim Grotto
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series/Standalone: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book #11)
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 323
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year Published: 2004
Format: Hardcover Library Edition
First Line: "After a great deal of time examining oceans, investigating rainstorms, and staring very hard at several drinking fountains, the scientists of the world developed a theory regarding how much water is distributed around our planet, which they have named 'the water cycle.'"



"Dear Reader,

Unless you are a slug, a sea anemone, or mildew, you probably prefer not be damp. You might also prefer not to read this book, in which the Baudelaire siblings encounter an unpleasant amount of dampness as they descend into the depths of despair, underwater.

In fact, the horrors they encounter are too numerous to list, and you wouldn't want me even to mention the worst of it, which includes mushrooms, a desperate search for something lost, a mechanical monster, a distressing message from a lost friend, and tap dancing. 

As a dedicated author who has pledged to keep recording the depressing story of the Baudelaires. I must continue to delve deep into the cavernous depths of the orphans' lives. You, on the other hand, may delve into some happier book in order to keep your eyes and your spirit from being dampened.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket."

My Rating: 4/5

This book took longer than anticipated again to read, but I enjoyed it so much more than the last one. This story shows so much growth for our characters and continues the mystery of VFD even further. Learning more about the Baudelaire's family past and introducing new characters always helps to keep the story interesting, and while I loved these aspects. I felt that Lemony Snicket's voice was missing in an odd way and wanted a bit more of that. I can't wait to wrap up the series in the coming months and then start the Netflix series which people have been raving about on booktube.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction,
Pages: 470
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2010
Format: Audiobook

"With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12th- 'Cupid Day'- should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is... until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined."

My Rating: 4/5

I didn't hope on this train either times it was really popular, both when it first came out and when the film was released this past year. I just missed the boat, but when I saw it available on audiobook through Overdrive I jumped at the chance to understand the conflict behind this book. And I do understand it. This book has triggers for mental illness, abuse, sexual assault, suicide, etc. There are problems with this book for sure, but that being said, this book does something similar to both Thirteen Reasons Why and If I Stay (both books I've enjoyed in the past). It asks questions about how your life affects those around you and what you would choose to do if you could change something. I thought that the author for the audiobook was very good and kept me interested. I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of the movie Mean Girls but be warned that this book deals with a few more series topics, rather than comedic ones. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny