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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - August 24, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

Average Rating: 3.67/5 stars
Published: July 5, 2016
Genres: Horror, Fiction

Summary according to Goodreads

An astonishingly inventive and terrifying debut novel about the emergence of an ancient species, dormant for over a thousand years, and now on the march.

Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Books I Did Not Finish

The following is four novels that I have DNF'd over the past couple of months. Let me know your thoughts on any of these books!

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I know, I know. I am not sure if it is just me, but I found this novel to be very bland. I was excited to pick up this novel because of all the hype, and the setting of a boarding school is not one I have read often. From the very beginning I was able to guess what this great tragedy was going to be, and was not something that I thought would get better (in my opinion). 

I gave this novel up after reading a little over half (I got past the “after”), and had still felt no connection to the character. Our main character Miles “Pudge” was an average character, who did not stand out for me at all. Reading his perspective felt like I was reading observations, and that neither him or I had any connection to the story. 

I appreciate what message was trying to be sent in this novel, but for me there were too many other distractions to really understand it. After reading this novel I have come to the realization that John Green novels are not for me. 

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

This is another novel for which my expectations were very high. I have since heard that this is a novel that you either love or hate, but every review I had heard was very positive. 

When I first heard the plot for this novel, it was not very attractive to me. A teenage girl getting together with her now-dead sister’s boyfriend? No thanks. Even after reading 100 pages of this novel, and trying to understand Lennie’s grief, I could not get over her relationships. I found no appeal to either of the love interests, and wish instead that there was more focus on Lennie and her family recovering from the grief - it had been four weeks since the loss of her sister.

Because this novel is on the shorter side I had expected to be attached to the story very quickly, and was disappointed when that did not happen. 

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuhen

This is a novel that I had had on my shelves for quite some time, but had heard nearly nothing about. I know now why this was not as popular as other young adult fiction. 

This novel follows a young man who goes to boarding school in New England, because of some family tragedy that happened a couple of years back. I did not read enough of this novel to find out what the tragedy was, nor did I care enough to find out. There were different references to what could have happened, but if the cover and symbolisms are any indication - this guy thought he was a werewolf. I went into this expecting a psychological thriller, but instead I was just confused the entire time, not connected to any of the characters, and bored throughout. 

Night Road by A.M Jenkins 

This is a novel that I had not heard about before, and was interested in the cover when I saw it sitting in my library. When I started reading this I did not know that it was a vampire story, but was still interested because that is a sub-genre I don’t read very often. Maybe vampire stories are just not for me, because I really did not enjoy this novel.

I read about 100 pages of this 360 page book, and could not push myself any farther. It was told in third-person when I would have preferred first narrative so that we could get deeper into the mind of Cole, whose story we were following. I did not enjoy the way they were describing how the “heme’s” lived, and still never understood what kind of a business they were running. Overall it was a very easy decision for me to stop reading it and return it to the library.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Auto-Buy Author: David Levithan

Auto-Buy Author: David Levithan

Average Rating: 3.84/5 stars
Genres: Young Adult, LGBTQ

Top Three By This Author:

1. Every Day
2. The Lover’s Dictionary
3. Two Boys Kissing

David Levithan is one of the first YA authors that I started reading when I got back into my reading a few years ago. I fly through his novels so quickly, and are always diverse in both their plot and characters. All of the novels I have read from him are character driven, with interesting and developed plots, and pages you don’t want to stop turning. His first novel was not published until 2003, but reading his novels pretty close to publication order, it is clear how much he has grown and developed as a writer!

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is another one of my favourites, especially in the winter, but I didn’t include it in my top three because it is one that he co-wrote. All of his novels are so quotable, I hardly have a copy that doesn't have page flags sticking out of it! If you are looking for a light contemporary with heavier plot undertones, I would recommend this author!

I own about nine of his novels, with a couple additional ones he has co-written. Whenever David Levithan announces a novel release, I preorder it. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

#fridayreads - August 19, 2016

Happy Friday!

I worked all day and am finally able to sit down and write this post. I recently got offered a job promotion so today I had to go to a different store to sign all of my paperwork - effective Monday! I am so excited! This weekend I will be going to a wedding, so any reading I get done will be tonight and Sunday!

I am hoping to finish Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier. I had taken this out of my local library but it was due back before I could finish it. I was enjoying it so much that I had to purchase it in order to keep reading. It was delivered yesterday so I am anxious to see how the story progresses!

If and when I finish that, I will more than likely be picking up Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. My reading has been off lately and I need to get in one last summer novel before I start up school again. I want to go back into my monthly TBR in order to get myself back on a reading schedule, but I will have to see how that goes entering my third year of university!

What will you be doing this weekend? Any reading plans? Let me know!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Not Me? Review

Why Not Me?

Written by Mindy Kaling
Number of pages: 223

Average Rating: 3.89/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Published on September 15, 2016
Read in August 2016

Summary according to Goodreads

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

My Thoughts

I need to start out with the disclaimer: I love Mindy Kaling. She is one of the most talented, multi-dimensional, interesting actors that I have ever come across. I have never watched The Office, which is something that she has written for and acted on, but I have seen every episode (at least three times) of her own show The Mindy Project. 

This novel is a collection of short essays, categorized mostly by life advice, and her past experiences. She talks a lot about relationships which I found to be honest and entertaining, as well as some harder moments in life such as losing her mom, battling with weight issues, and the struggle of trying to get her own show. After reading this novel I feel so much more respect for Mindy, because she has spent so many years building her career, and working hard to maintain it. She is in her late-thirties, but does not feel that she needs to change who she is in order to keep up with today’s standards. 

My only issue with this novel is that it was not as fast-paced as her first novel! I am not sure what the difference was, since both were told in short essays, but I found her previous release to be much more interesting. I cannot help but wonder if I would have given this novel a full five stars if I had been able to listen to it on audiobook (I had been on hold for months from the library) because she would be the one reading it. If I ever feel like reading this again, I will definitely be listening to it!

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and might be an even bigger fan of Mindy’s. I feel as though you would be able to read and enjoy this novel, even if you have not seen some of her works on the Office or the Mindy Project. Make sure you check it out!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - August 17, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

The End of the Line: An Anthology of Underground Horror edited by Jonathan Oliver

Average Rating: 3.84/5 stars
Published: October 26, 2010
Genres: Horror, Short Stories

Summary according to Goodreads

This collection of stories from some of horror fiction’s best authors will glue you to the page, but watch out; it may leave you too afraid to take the metro to work.

In deep tunnels something stirs, borne on a warm breath of wind, reeking of diesel and blood. The spaces between stations hold secrets too terrible for the upper world to comprehend and the steel lines sing with the songs of the dead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Grownup Review

The Grownup

Written by: Gillian Flynn
Number of pages: 64

Average Rating: 3.55/5 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Published on November 3, 2015
Read in August 2016

Summary according to Goodreads

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behaviour, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

My Thoughts

This was my first experience reading Gillian Flynn, which might come as a surprise when considering her popularity. I enjoyed the movie adaptation of Gone Girl, and was interested to see this novella sitting on the shelf of my local bookstore. The psychological thriller genre is one that I am new to, so felt I should give this a try because it is so short. 

The length did contribute to one of the reasons that I did not enjoy this story. I felt like there were too many scattered pieces to the story, a woman gives hand jobs for a profit and then is trying to ward off evil in someone’s house? Okay. I was fairly confused while reading this little novel, because I could never wrap my head around the plot. This story really messed with my mind which is why I’m giving it three stars, but nothing higher because I feel like it didn’t mean anything. It was just an easy way to help catch up on my reading challenge.

Overall, it was not something that I loved and wish I had not purchased. If you are interested in reading this story I would recommend checking your local library first, before spending the $10 on a hardcover copy.