Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell book review

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I’m 4% in at the point of writing this and can already tell you I love it. I understand why people love this book so.

How many people identify with Cath? Because I can tell you that I do.

I don’t think I’ve felt myself in the characters shoes before. I don’t tend to connect to characters like that. Perhaps because I don’t generally read these types of books.

But it’s not just how strongly I connect to Cath, I don’t think this book would be so good if not for the writing too. Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful writer. I’ve always been a fan of more simplistic description than overly flowery.

Yes, I would’ve rather the book focus more on how Cath deals with family, college, social anxiety rather than romance. I was disappointed by how much the 2nd half focused on that,but that’s a personal preference. Many people will enjoy it.

This is a rare read for me, but I’m glad I picked it up. It’s one of those books that, when you finish, you feel a little different.

If you don’t usually read this genre, (like me), if you prefer sci fi, post apocalyptic ect, and, also if you’re someone whose social life is online, I still recommend you read this.

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Silent child by Sarah A. Denzil book review

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

I found this book while perusing kindle unlimited. The blurb sounded interesting, so I grabbed it and gave it a read.

It doesn’t quite live up to its gripping synopsis, but it’s well written, though there’s a lack of tension. I didn’t feel worried for the characters.

And it was very obvious who had taken Aiden, (to me anyway and I always say everyone, but who it was). Along with a couple of cliches of the genre that you’ll guess if you read it.

I would’ve liked more tension and perhaps more interaction between mother, son and father. We’re too much in the mother’s mind. I didn’t really get to feel the after effects of what happened Aiden, how it affected him. However, I did like how Emma was portrayed, I found her realistic.

It did keep me up at night though, stewing over the terrible events that happened in the book.

Despite this, it was a good, quick read if you’re looking for something crime/thriller-like that isn’t too heavy writing wise. It’s available on kindle for 99p or free on unlimited and I consider it worth it.

Note: This book does have themes of child abuse. It is only mentioned and never described graphically.

Normally, this would be considered a spoiler, but I considered it worth mentioning and considering the blurb, it should be fairly obvious anyway.

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Pokemon adventures volume 1, 2, 3 by Hidenori Kusake and Mato Manga review

Spoiler free!

Adventures based on the best-selling video games! All your favourite Pokémon game characters jump out of the screen into the pages of this action-packed manga!

Art: In the first 3 volumes, the art is very good and very typical of other manga’s, nothing that sets it apart or wows me, (more than great art does anyway.)

Pokemon adventures Volume 1

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The pacing is super quick, Red, our main character, zooms through dramatic events at the speed of light.

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Pokemon adventures Volume 2 

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The same issue as Volume 1. They move through plot arcs way too quick. There a multiple in them and, honestly, I would happy with the entire volume focusing on one or two of them so it could stretch out and have a more climatic pay off.

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Pokemon adventures Volume 3

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Now this is what I’m talking ’bout! The first half has great pacing. It follows one main event happening and builds up the tension.(And then the last half goes back to its bad ways). I still would’ve liked the entire volume to focus on that, but, hey, there’s hope for improvement in the series.

Something I like to is the character development of other’s than Red, particularly Blue, (who is Gary Oak in the anime?)

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Pokemon adventures volume 4

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Well. WELL. I was not expecting that. This is brilliant. Excellently paced with a great twist that runs for the entire book. It focuses on that one storyline. I LOVED it.

It ends with me desperately wanting the next volume something other 3 didn’t quite leave me feeling.

And I’m even more in love with the characters!

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The anime is much better paced, but I think I like the character development better in the manga so far. (I still love the anime though. Netflix, why you only got one season?!!)

It just seems to plop you into the story situation, and zooms through it so quick, that I’m dizzy and didn’t get a chance to sink into the story. The pacing is the biggest problem. This changes in volume 4 so hopefully this marks an improvement!

 

 

The girl with all the gifts by M. R. Carey book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

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I need to learn how to take better pictures. -_-

Initial thoughts

This blurb immediately had my attention. Short, sweet and hooked. Along with the fact, that the bookish community loved this book!

Writing

The beginning of the book was crammed with telling me stuff, I remember thinking, “I hope it isn’t like this all the time.”

Thankfully, it wasn’t. The book got into its rhythm and showed instead of told me. I liked the switches of POV between the main characters. Although, I’d preferred more in Melanie’s POV because I believed her to be the MAIN character.

The sciencey bits went over my head and some of the words choices were unnecessarily complicated.

Plot

This book is labelled as a thriller all over the book, but it didn’t read that way to me. It’s a familiar post-apocalyptic plot, told differently. I kind of wanted it to delve further into what was presented at the beginning and tension from the beginning dwindled away by the middle. 

This is most definitely a stand alone, it’s all wrapped up by the end, and it seems unlikely of a sequel, but there are a few plot threads I wanted to learn more about. The ending was excellent though.

Characters

The characters are the best thing about the novel. They are incredibly well-rounded. A few started almost like ‘cliche’ characters, but were revealed not to be. (Their story arcs were predictable though.)

By far, my favourite character was Parks. 

Overall thoughts

*Sigh* Me and Standalone’s have a love/hate relationship. I wanted MOAR. But, I find standalone’s always tell a story in a unique way with a message that always has me quiet and thinking when I finished it. 

I was disappointed that a few things were never addressed or used after being introduced, but I enjoyed the plot, the ending and the characters.


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Mudman by James A. Hunter book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

I requested, (and received), an e-copy of this from netgalley. (My first netgalley review! Whoop! Whoop!)

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Levi Adams is a soft spoken, middle-aged Mennonite man—at least he tries to be when he’s not murdering people.

Levi’s a golem, a Mudman, crafted from the muck, mire, and corpses of a World War II concentration camp—killing is just a part of his DNA. He doesn’t like it, but unfortunately he’s been saddled with a divine commission to dole out judgment on those who shed innocent blood. After seventy years as a cold-blooded murder machine, however, Levi’s trying to change his grisly nature. And the AA meetings and church services are helping. A little. But when he runs across a wounded girl, Sally Ryder, during one of his “hunting expeditions,” he realizes self-help may have to go on the back burner.

(I’ve actually left the last part of the blurb out because I feel it’s a bit spoilery.)

Initial thoughts

I really liked the premise of this book and, honestly, I sense that there may not be romance in it. I was in a very, ‘I do not want to read a book with a love interest’ mood when I picked this up.

Writing

I liked the writing. It moved with good pace and balanced action with explinations…when in Levi’s POV. There are two POVs. Levi’s and Sally’s. I wasn’t a fan of Sally’s POV. I had to grit my teeth between them, because then everything dragged. Luckily, it doesn’t happen often. 

The action scenes were brilliant, but they were just a smidge too long. If they were shortened a little I think the pace of this book would be top marks.

Plot

The plot is great. You’re immediately hooked by the mystery and it keeps feeding you little bits to keep you that way. It was incredibly enjoyable. The world is interesting too and I feel we’ve only scraped the surface. (And I need more of Levi!)

Characters

Levi is a fab character. I loved him to pieces. He was so different from the usual hero types and he’s an incredibly complex, but also simple character. (Yes, I make a lot sense.)

Sally…*Sigh* I don’t like her. I understand her character and she is a good character to a point, but she’s just meh for me. (This may be why I disliked being in her POV as well.) I feel she acted in stupid ways on certain occasions that were supposed to make her look like a badass, strong female and just had me rolling my eyes. 

Overall thoughts

Amazing, different kind of, main character with a well thought plot and world. Sally dragged the experience down for me, but many people may, and probably will, love her. 

It dragged a tiny smidge in places. The author’s hasn’t quite got a handle on the lull between action scenes, but it wasn’t a major thing. A great urban fantasy novel. Finger’s crossed there’s more!


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

This is the sequel to, The dark lord of Derkholm. Be sure to check out that review first!

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It is eight years after the tours from offworld have stopped. High Chancellor Querida has retired, leaving Wizard Corkoran in charge of the Wizards’ University. Although Wizard Corkoran’s obsession is to be the first man on the moon, and most of his time is devoted to this project, he decides he will teach the new first years himself in hopes of currying the favor of the new students’ families—for surely they must all come from wealth, important families—and obtaining money for the University (which it so desperately needs). But Wizard Corkoran is dismayed to discover that one of those students—indeed, one he had such high hopes for, Wizard Derk’s own daughter Elda—is a huge golden griffin, and that none of the others has any money at all.

Wizard Corkoran’s money-making scheme backfires, and when Elda and her new friends start working magic on their own, the schemes go wronger still. And when, at length, Elda ropes in her brothers Kit and Blade to send Corkoran to the moon… well… life at the Wizards’ University spins magically and magnificently out of control.

Initial thoughts

The Dark lord of Derkholm was the first Diana Wynne Jones book I read and I think one of the first fully fantasy novels I’d read. By that, I mean, properly set in fantasyland. It being the norm. 

I loved that book and so was super excited to discover a sequel. (Took me long enough to read it though.)

Writing

Diana Wynne Jones seems to have knack for juggle several characters at once. It doesn’t read chaotic or annoying. I really like enjoy it.

She does the occasional head hope, but not too much and, if I’m honest, it has a certain charm. (Rules made to be broken, am I right?)

Plot

The plot is fun and light hearted. No angst. Now I like me some angst, but sometimes it’s nice to read something that’s just good fun.

But there was a whole other plot happening in the background that you never get to see which sucked because it seemed interesting. A few things happened off scene. And some plot elements were wrapped up too quick or not evolved on. I think the book was a bit too quick and short. I would’ve loved more book.

I think you’d get away with reading this without the first, although you’d miss a couple of ‘inside’ things. 

Characters

Many of the characters from the previous novel show up, but only one is a main character. I was really sad about this because I’d loved those characters. 

But I really enjoyed the new characters too. 

Overall thoughts

The main let down is plot for me, but I still considered it to be an excellent, well worth reading novel. If you’re looking for something light and fun, then I recommend this!


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Three bags full by Leonie Swann book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

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Initial thoughts

I was recommended this by Vicky over at booksandstrips a whiiiiiiile ago. I remember reading the blurb and being really excited about it. A sheep detective guys. SHEEP. DETECTIVE. 

This is also written by a German Author and therefore translated from German. I’m  always interested in reading books from different countries. 

Writing

Now, this is the second book I’ve read where it has been translated from its native language and I think, whoever did it, did a fantastic job. Nothing seemed to be lost in translation.

It’s written in third pov of a flock of sheep. And that’s done well. The pace is a little slow. It moves well at the start and then it sort of petered out. 

Plot

I found this to be unique and refreshing. Being in the POV of the sheep, the sheep could only understand what they understood, but on the downside of that, some of the events were lost in translation. (And I mean from sheep to human, not German to English.)

I felt really distance from the human drama, (which was the whole point of the book.) I did enjoy the sheepy antics.

I did like the ending, but the mystery itself was a let down.

Characters

It is a very character driven book. All the sheep’s had personalites and I loved each of them. I kind of wanted to know more about them, but they’re sheep. It’s hard to have complex backstories.

The human’s were looked at from a sheep’s perspective so its hard to get attached to them.

Overall thoughts

A fun, enjoyable read that I’d recommend because of its uniqueness, but the mystery is lacking. I’m disappointed that the second book hasn’t been translated into English because I would’ve read it.


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames:  Flame 4 grey


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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

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

The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.

Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

Initial thoughts 

 I’d watched, and loved, the film when I was younger and so I’d always planned to read it. My Dad has introduced me to some great classics now that I think about it. It got bumped up because I’d read The Fireman by Joe Hill and it had been mentioned there and I was like, yes, wanna read it. NOW.

Can you believe this was written in nine days on a rented typewriter?!

Writing

I think the writing is going to be like Marmite. You’re either going to love it or hate it. I thought it was very good. Yes, at times a little too poetic-y, but I feel like we were in the chaos that was the character’s head and the world around him.It was still very plain language for the most part which I’m a big fan of. 

Plot

The concept, the message, was brilliant and I think is really important for today. It’s scary that this was written so many years ago, and it’s almost like we’re living in this Dystopian world now. But, while, the message was excellent, I felt like the book was over before it began. It moved way too quick and the story itself for the sake of the teachings in it. 

Characters

All of the characters are very, very interesting. I can see that they’re complex, but unfortunately we only get to skim the surface and I sooooo wanted to dive deep under. Beatty is one character I was SUPER interested in.

Overall thoughts

This book was really hard for me to rate. On one hand, I feel the plot didn’t live up to its full potential, but on the other, the message and meaning, transcended that. This book really spoke to me, and for that I’ll be giving it a higher rating than I would have. 


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 5 grey

Have you ever read a book that just spoke to you, even if parts were not that good? If so, tell me about them!


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Red Queen by Christina Henry book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

This is the sequel to Alice by Christina Henry. If you haven’t read that, then check out my spoiler free review on that first!

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The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.
 
Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.
 
The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…

Initial thoughts

I was looking forward to reading it. I wanted to find out if lots of plot threads would be dealt with. I was a little sad to leave the city setting though.

Writing

The writing is easy to understand and good quality. The description is excellent. I do feel the Author spent too much time meandering in Alice’s head. 

Plot

Hugely disappointing. When I finished this book, I had to sit for a moment and let the disappointment wash over me. There is nothing worse than a book that has potential and fail to reach it. 

Instead of tying up previous plot threads, more are introduced and then never answered. The ending was on of the most frustrating endings ever. Nothing was resolved, nothing was explained. 

I also felt that the book lost the dark tone of the first one and turned into something different entirely. 

Characters

By the end of it, I didn’t like the characters I’d already met and I didn’t feel connected to the rest. They’re very cardboard, as if they have no life before that moment and didn’t read very real.

Alice seemed numb and lost and not in a purposeful way, but as if she wasn’t sure of her motivations. 

Overall thoughts

I’m thinking these books wouldn’t be so popular if not for the Alice in wonderland attachment. It’s certainly what caught my interest. A darker Alice in wonderland has amazing potential.

There was sparks of good plot, but it needed to be worked on further and the writing is very good too, which is why I gave it 3 flames instead of 2.

You might’ve been able to read this book without the first because it was so different too.

I may end up writing a discussion post for these novels. I have a lot of thoughts I want to share in all their spoilery goodness.


Was it worth the read? No

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 3 grey


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Alice by Christina Henry book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!

Alice cover

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice

Initial thoughts

An Alice re-telling that’s apparently has a darker twist. I was really interested in reading this and the new covers are gorgeous. 

Writing

It has a simplistic, straightforward style which I really enjoyed. I could visualize everything really well. The mix of description and dialogue was good and it moved at a fast pace.

Plot

The plot was solid. Although, I would’ve liked more surrounding it. More inclusion of the government.

And the ending was the tiniest but anti-climatic. I thought a different ending, (which from the way it reads, I’d bet the Author consider doing), would have had more impact. I’m reserving judgment on that until I’ve read the next book.

One thing, I’m going to put a warning for right now. A strong theme is the abuse of women. 

Characters

Most of the characters are well written. Although, I’d have liked more backstory in general. We only got the barest glimpses of them and it’s all strictly related to the plot.

They aren’t many side characters. Most of it is focused on the two main characters, whom I like. And of course, the bad guys who everyone will really hate, as you should. 

Some I feel should have been used more .

Overall thoughts

While, I may have been disappointed by the ending, (as I said reserving judgement on one particular plot point), the plot is tight and wraps up the story while leaving enough to entice me for the next book which I’m looking forward to reading. 

This is not for young readers. The abuse themes in this a prevalent throughout.

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Maaaaybe

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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