Showing posts from 2014

Book 126: "Waistcoats & Weaponry" by Gail Carriger

Title: Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3)
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Supernatural Steampunk YA fiction
Read in: Nook ebook
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I think that I may be forming a small bias towards Gail Carriger books. I simply love them. I have yet to read a story of hers that I don't thoroughly enjoy. This is the third installment of her Finishing School series. As with most series, I love the first installment the most. But this is now my second favorite of the series. This book seems more true to the characters that we first fell in love with. Once again, Carriger's wonderful use of language has me enthralled. This is her young adult series, so expect the story to be slightly less complicated and slightly more predictable than her Parasol Protectorate series. That is really my only complaint (like I said, I may be developing a bias). I love that these books are easy to read and full of action and adventure while still managing to focus o…

Book 125: "This Is How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz

Title: This Is How You Lose Her
Author: Junot Diaz
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Read in: Trade Paperback
Genre: Fiction

This is the first book in a while that gripped me from the beginning and that I really enjoyed reading. It could be that it spoke to recent events in my life, but I think that it's mostly because it is very well written. I have to be honest that I'm usually partial to the style and voice that emerges from latin authors. The way they express themselves is often so compelling and human; generally it gives the air of someone telling you a story, rather than you reading one.

This Is How You Lose Her is written in first person narrative. It tells, in short segments, pieces of characters' lives; each segment showing some aspect of how relationships begin to fall apart. A strong theme throughout is infidelity, especially in the Dominican culture. I have to be honest that I know absolutely nothing about Dominican culture either in the Dominican Republic or for the …

Book 124: "Love Letters to the Dead" by Ava Dellaira

Title: Love Letters to the Dead Author: Ava Dellaira Publisher: MICHEL LAFON Read in:  Nook eBook Genre: Young Adult Fiction I had high hopes for this book; not simply because the protagonist has my name. It was recommended by authors I love as a phenomenol debut book. And while it wasn't bad. It was far from impressive. I felt like I was reading a the stories of Perks of Being a Wallflower and  Speak combined together. The big twist was highly predictable. But if the author, Dellaira, can find some originality there is hope for her to become a great author. She has many beautiful phrases and metaphors throughout the novel and her characters are well-devolped and easily identified with. However, I just couldn't fall in love with this book because I found it so very unoriginal. It made me want to re-read the two books I mentioned above. I hope that Dellaira finds a story of her own to tell- her writing can be beautiful. 

Book 123: "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane Author: Neil Gaiman Read In: Nook eBook Genre: Fiction/Fantasy Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers I love Neil Gaiman; he is an incredibly talented and probably strange man. If you're unfamiliar with his accomplishments and work, I highly suggest you check him out ( The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a short fiction book that is really like an adult fairy tale (not the Disney kind). It is written in first person narrative from an adult perspective of the protagonist's childhood memory. It tells the story of a magical, or spiritual, family that he encounters. Though like a fairy tale, I think this book reads like a mix of fantasy and magical realism. It is very well written. It is rather dark. I loved it. The story is not very complex, but it is deep and at under 200 pages it is a great read for this busy time of year. The book is also character driven, which you should know by now, is my preference for storytelli…

Book 122: "The Water Wars" by Cameron Stracher

Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Read in:  Nook eBook
Genre: YA Apocolyptic Dystopia

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher is set sometime in the future when the ice caps have melted and the world is almost completely out of fresh water. The story follows a young teen, Vera,  and her brother,Will as they risk everything for Kai. Kai has a secret ability that is priceless in their world.

The concept of a world with little to no water really intrigued me. The execution of it, however, fell flat. While the story is action packed and filled with likable and hate-able characters; I just never really felt involved in what happened to any of them. There were several themes and issues that were not given enough time to sufficiently develop in the short 168 page novel. Overall, I think that with more development of themes and character and less focus on action this novel would have been much better. All that said, it still isn't bad. It's well…

Book 121: "Bitten" by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Bitten (Women of the Otherworld Series #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher:  Penguin Group (USA)
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Urban Fantasy

After American Psycho, I needed something less disturbing and easier to read, so I picked up Bitten. This book is fluff fiction; it takes very little thought and is gripping to keep you reading. I liked it. So far, there are 13 books in the Women of the Otherworld Series. While I'm pretty sure I won't read all 13, I may read a couple more. This book is well written. It reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse; supernaturals with a mystery to solve. The main difference is that this book is less humor driven and about werewolves.

Elena, the protagonist, is a werewolf. In fact, she is the only female werewolf. When we meet her, she is struggling with her werewolf identity and her longing to have a place in the human world. Of course, a crisis drives her back to pack life, where she must reconcile who she is and who she wants to be, while helping …

Book 120: "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis

Title: American Psycho
Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Read in: Nook ePub (eBook)

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS (Which I figure isn't too big a deal since the book was published in 1991)
This is not a book for the faint of heart. In fact, it is the most graphic book I have ever read. It is graphic in every possible way; it is violent, sexually explicit and violent, verbally explicit, racist, and sexist. But it works. This book, for many reasons was very hard for me to read. I'm very glad to have read it and really have enjoyed tearing into it. It is not something I will ever read again.
The book is (mostly) told in first person narrative by Patrick Bateman. Bateman is very wealthy from both family money and his job as a wall-street exec. His friends are all also wealthy. They live in New York City. The majority of the book takes places in restaurants and clubs where they do nothing but rack up exorbitant checks and ta…

Book 119: "The World According to Garp" by John Irving

Title: The Wold According to Garp
Author: John Irving
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Read in: Mass Market Paperback
Genre: Literary Fiction, Fiction

My mom has been talking to me about reading this book for a very long time; I finally did. I finished the novel four days ago and I'm still not completely sure how I feel about it. Really, I felt like this book was a mixed bag for me. There are moments I was in love with it and moments that I really didn't care. I also discovered that this book has a serious generation gap, not for enjoyment, but for knowledge of the book's existence. My parents and anyone near their age /generation all knew the book or movie without hesitation. My peers, however, have never heard of the book or movie. I don't think I've been able to draw such a distinct generation gap with any other book.

Anyway, The World According to Garp is good. I liked it overall. It tells the life of T.S. Garp, beginning the story with his mother and his very unconvential…

Book 118: "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" By Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author:  Ransom Riggs
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Historical Fiction
Publishier: Quirk Publishing

The book has been highly touted as amazing. I'm sure you've seen it, it's everywhere. Recently the sequel was released. It (as you can see in the picture) has been on the NYT Bestseller list for quite some time. That said... it was okay. For less than 300 pages, it took me an absurdly long time to read. Why? It wasn't hard; it was easy. It just wasn't gripping. The one character I cared about dies at the beginning of the book. I care about all the remaining characters only in proxy to that one person; this doesn't make for a strong book. It is plot driven, which is most likely my problem, since I only really love books that are character driven. The book is well written and well-developed, it simply did not grab my attention. The storyline also took forever to actually go somewhere; the actual point of th…

Book 117: "Steelheart" by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Alternate Reality, YA
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I really enjoyed Sanderson's Mistborn series, so I thought I'd give him another chance. I was right to. This is the first book of the Reckoners series, the second book is due to release in Fall 2014, of course I didn't realize this when I picked up the book.... oh well.

What I enjoy most about Sanderson's books are that though they are definitely fantasy themed and formatted, they are not traditional fantasy in any way. (Excepting, most likely, the Wheel of Time series which he is now finishing for Robert Jordan (though I haven't read that series either; so please correct me if I'm wrong)). Steelheart has followed this same path.

Set in an alternate reality of the United States, Steelheart occurs after a phenomenon, Calamity, appears in the sky. This is best describ…

Book 116: "Dexter by Design" by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Dexter by Design (Dexter Series #4)
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Read In: Hardcover
Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday

This is the fourth book of the Dexter series. The books are maintaing their macabre sense of humor. This book was still really interesting. That said; Dexter in this book.... was disappointing.


When the reader is first introduced to Dexter, we are lead to believe that he is smarter than most. That his intuition is what serves him best; for the first couple books, this is true. However, he seems to lose his way when his Dark Passanger abandons him in book 3. Apparently Dexter hasn't recovered in book 4 quite yet. Though he does show some intuition, he seems incredibly hampered. I just felt that, overall, Dexter was not on his game this book and therefore quite a bit less enjoyable as an anti-hero.

The book was well-written and entertaining. Still a very dark, sarcastic humor, I just felt like pieces of Dexter were still missing. Hope…

Book 115: "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card

Title: Ender's Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre:  Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC

I have a shameful confession... this is technically my second reading of Ender's Game. The first time, I was twelve years old and found the book excessively boring; I never finished it. Knowing the impact it has had on young adult fiction and science-fiction, it has been on my try to-read again list for quite a while. Seeing the movie and a discussion of the book with a friend re-awakened my curiosty and I finally moved it to the top of my reading list. So.... what to do I think?

I liked it. I'm not in love with it or in awe of it. It was, obviously, well ahead of its time. It's very well written and the characters are well-developed. I liked the ending (SPOILER ALERT); to me, it was perfectly fitting that Ender and Valentine go off in search of not only making peace, but in finding it themselves. The politics get a little too involved for me; …

Book 114: "Divergent" by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent (Divergent Series #1) Author: Veronica Roth Read In:  Nook ePub Genre: Young Adult Dystopia Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Divergent is set in the dystopic future ruins of Chicago. After many years of war, society came to the conclusion that the only way to be peaceful was to split society, and the people within, into four factions that best encompass what good values a society needs. These factions are Abegnation, Dauntless, Erudite, and Amity. The Abegnation are selfless, responsible for running the government (because they don't want power and are not corruptible), helping the poor, and generally being uniform with each other. The Dauntless are brave, responsible for protecting everyone else. The Erudite are educated, responsible for keeping records, experimentions, and generally just pursue knowledge in all its forms. The Amity are peaceful, responsible for farming and solving disputes. Over time, of course, this system has grown corrupt. The main character T…

Book 113: "Curtsies and Conspiracies" By Gail Carriger

Title:  Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School Series #2) Author: Gail Carriger Read In: Nook ePub Genre: Young Adult Steampunk, Urban Fantasy Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Gail Carriger is quickly becoming my favorite present-day author. Her books are filled with wonderful vocabulary, sarcasm, and well-written stories. The second installment of the Finishing School Series is nothing less. As her young adult series, the stories are far less complex and more predictable than the Parasol Protectorate series. Her charming writing style that is filled with amazing vocabulary, metaphor, and humor makes the story fun and very enjoyable. Her characters, as always, are very round. They are easily identified with and generally fun to read about. Overall, I really loved this book, in fact, I hadn't had enough once it ended, so I re-read Soulless. It's a fast read and I enjoyed reading every paragraph.
If you're looking for a well-written, entertaining read, I hearti…