Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review: Everything Everything

“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”

This is one of those books that just blows your mind. I loved this book so much. It is a cute YA contemporary with an amazing twist. With that said it has many issues. I will list those and then explain my review. Here we go! 

Things I disliked about this book: 

1) Insta love / Boy crazy main character / Borderline stalker vibe
2) The book lacked a story due to the lack of chapters. 
3) Way to many drawings / instant messages / other things 
4) Story was slow, felt like it went no where until the end.
5) Ended way to soon, in a pretty package with a lot of unresolved questions
Read number 6 only if you want to be spoiled. 

6) Weird way the decontamination / air lock was explained. Felt like a plot hole.

Everything Everything was a sad story about a mystery illness. It starts out with this girl Madeline, who is a sweet girl version of the boy in the bubble. She has a mystery illness that makes her allergic to almost everything know to man. This is a rare issue. Instead of a bubble her house keeps her extra safe with air filters and even an air lock/ decontamination center. 

What I loved about Madeline was that she was a person of color. It gave this book a much needed diversity. I also loved the fact that she was a prolific reader. She even gave little book reviews when talking about her reading. I disliked that sometimes they actually spoiled the books. She quickly connected with me because I read constantly. Any character that reads books, is good in my book. 

I loved the relationship with her mother in the beginning. I actually found my self wish my mom and I could be as close as it seems that they are. At the same time I would be lying if I didn't admit this made me a tad bit suspicious of her. It was almost as if they had a fake relationship. For what ever reason, this woman gave me red flags. SPOILER ALERT!! READ AT OWN RISK: [Her mother ended up lying to her the whole time. She was never sick, at most she had a ear infection or something in her early life (don't quote me). While it is never explained I believe her mother had munchausen by proxy. This is when a person who is mentally ill makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. This is never mentioned or really explained which made me so annoyed.

I found the relationship a tad bit tedious and at times overly described. 

The story changes when a hunk of a dream boat boy moves in next door. Which brings me to issue number one on my list. Insta love and a bit of a stalker vibe. Our main character becomes obsessed with them, even writing down their schedules. It turns out his family is dysfunctional and his dad is abusive to almost everyone in his family. SPOILER: His dad hits his mom and maddie is extremely upset by this. She is eager to go outside and save him because of this. She is also eager to get to now him. The family next door tries to make nice with the neighbors and brings over a bunt cake. Maddie mom says no, honestly I thought that this situation this situation could have been handled differently. She was overly rude to them. This situation is the catalyst for everything that continues forward. 

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic book! It was extremely funny and sad, which was a nice mix. I definitely recommend this one, especially if you like cute, unique contemporary books.

Goodreads Description: 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review: The Fir Tree

Title: The Fir Tree
Author: Has Christian Anderson
Illustator: Sanna Annukka
Publisher: Hutchinson 
Publication Date: October 18th 2012
Source: Blogging for Books
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is one of the most beautiful classic editions I have had in a while. The book The Fir Tree' by Hans Christian Andersen is a beautiful short story about a fir tree that is living in the woods. He is still rather small so hasn't been chosen. He wants to grow up and be a big strong tree with all his might. The new editions is beautiful while the story is not. 

This fir tree yearns and yearns to grow up. Eventually the fir tree grows tall enough to be picked as a Christmas tree. Unfortunately are little tree friend has no idea what that means, he believes his life will only be better, he will be happier. Of course he is wrong. It is too late, and his fate is sealed. 

The story of growing up, dissatisfaction, and lost of childhood in pursuit of lofty goals is the moral of this tale. The author of course can write a super sad story. I haven't always been a fan of his work for this reason. I am extremely happy this story didn't get edited or retold. 

The illustration are magical. Sanna Annukka has a style that is interesting and brand new. She uses geometric shapes that create at a whole new level of interest. There are nice contrasting colors that show a variety of scenes like a forest, fish swimming, and other beautiful ornaments. It is not your typical illustrations. It is a breathe of fresh air. 

I received a review copy of this ebook from NetGalley and a print version from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Description: 

Gorgeously packaged with intricate illustrations from Finnish illustrator, Sanna Annukka, this new edition of Hans Christian Andersen's well-loved fairy tale, The Fir Tree, is the perfect holiday gift for adults and children alike.

Hans Christian Andersen's tragic tale of naive greed and dissatisfaction is retold through the striking and contemporary illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is elevated from a children's book to a unique work of art and makes an ideal gift for people of all ages.

The Illustrator: 

Sanna Annukka was born in Brighton UK to a Finnish mother and a British father.

She spent many childhood summers in her mother's home village of Paltaniemi in Northern Finland and together with her aunts and uncles they would head into Lapland to camp in the wilderness, pick berries and fish for wild salmon. Having spent some time living with her grandmother in her old wooden house, and helping on the family farm, Finland became Sanna's spiritual home.

Her love of the Finnish landscape and culture of the north was shaped by these early experiences, and her work draws on the magical quality of this special, wild part of the world.

Book Review : We all Sleep In The Same Room

This has got to be the most unique book I have ever read. Paul Rom's incredible debut novel is completely cringeworthy and good. This is a tiny little novel. This novel is a powerful and punch worthy novel. The author is an amazing author that focuses on the interesting lives of his characters. It seems that he really enjoys creating the backstory for each of his characters to thrive in. Although he gives just enough slack that you can add in details as you wish and come to your own conclusions. 

The book follows a man named Tom Claughlin a New York City Lawyer that has a reputation for being an advocate of justice. He wears many different hats. One being a husband and recent father. His home life is far from perfect and is very dysfunctional. He works a lot, his wife feels abandoned and spends more money than she should. He lives in a little one bedroom apartment, where they all sleep in the same room. His domestic life is falling apart while he begins falling for the newest intern, who is not helping the situation. 

Eventually a young, attractive male baby sitter begins stealing the attention of Tom's wife and even the son. Quickly we see both of them detaching away from Tom, even he can see it at points and does nothing. Spanning over a four month period in late 2005, Tom's world completely is destroyed in ways that you couldn't even imagine. 

This book is surreal, unusual, nauseating, and entirely ambiguous. This has the feel of a mystery, the immediacy of a private detective, and noir-style that will captivate you. The characters are brash and entirely obsessive. This book will question your morals, intimacy in your family and work. It has such an air of modern realism, that I had never experienced before. 

This is a transformative, and painful book. I believe both optimistic and cynical people can enjoy this novel. 

The story  follows four months in the life of Tom Claughlin, a union lawyer in his professional prime, who lives with his charming three year old son and wife of 21 years in a small, rent-stabilized one bedroom apartment in Union Square. As Tom revs up for a big case - getting a wronged clinic worker her job back - he finds himself spending more and more time with a young legal assistant at his law firm. When he breaks his abstinence from alcohol, a "symbolic pact" with his wife after the last time he got drunk and took things too far with a coworker, the pleasant facade of Tom's life begins to unravel.

About the Author: 

Paul Rome is a writer and coffee shop manager. He has written for The Huffington Post, PEN America, The Minetta Review and Mercer Street. His first novel, entitled We All Sleep in the Same Room, was nominated for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham award for debut fiction. 

The novel has been hailed by Electric Literature as "a New York novel... all the more memorable for its originality," and by HTML Giant as "a powerful debut by a writer who has almost preternaturally insightful things to say about all that is. ...

A cultivated style that is beautiful in its understated elegance."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review: Patience

Gosh, this was bad. I had to force myself to finish the book. It was one of the most disappointing graphic novel.

The story of this graphic novel begins in 2012, with Jack and Patience who are two poor but in love people who are about ready to have a baby. They are basically the your average American parents. Unfortunately we find out that Patience's has an extremely bad past. One that is about to catch up with her and cause her life to change. Spoiler alert, she dies. Her husband finds her corpse. The story should have ended here. Case Closed.

Of course for added drama the killer gets away and the husband never gets over it. Fast forward to 2029. It is crazy, and time travel is like a normal thing. It just so happens that the inventor is one of jacks friends.

I have read another one of Dan Clowes' books called Ghost World, which I also hated. It seems his books are very hit-or-miss, disappointing, or just plain boring. Honestly, out of the two Patience is the worst. It is a boring, overly long, confusing tale. That lacks purpose and frankly a point.

Maybe the name Patience is a warning??

I found it interesting that he went back in time to catch the killer, even though he had no idea of who it was? So he just picks an ex boyfriend. No planning, interviewing, thought processing, absolutely no detective work. The story line was none existent, and at some point they were just moments in time that were randomly sew together.

My last issue with this book is the BRIGHT AS CRAP COLORS, yes I understand the book was supposed to have a psychedelic 80's look to it, but it is more like off brand Crayola colors and gave me a headache.

Overall I DO NOT recommend this book to anyone. Thank goodness I got it at a library.

Goodreads Description: 

Patience is a psychedelic science-fiction love story, veering with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially “Clowesian” and utterly unique in the author’s body of work. 

This 180-page, full-color original graphic novel affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet.

Author Information: 

Daniel Gillespie Clowes is an Academy Award-nominated American author, screenwriter and cartoonist of alternative comic books. 

Most of Clowes' work appears first in his ongoing anthology Eightball (1989-present), a collection of self-contained narratives and serialized graphic novels. 

Several of these narratives have been collected published separately as graphic novels, most notably Ghost World. With filmmaker Terry Zwigoff, Clowes adapted Ghost World into the 2000 film of the same name, and also adapted another Eightball story into the 2006 film Art School Confidential. Before Eightball, Clowes worked on comic book series Lloyd Llewellyn, which in the later issues stronger foreshadowed some of the social criticism of his work with Eightball.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

This was an interesting book. I got the recommendation from my friend and I am actually really glad I did. It was a book that was far out of my comfort zone. I don't normally read horror books or books about serial killers and murders. It felt like it would be a great start in the genre because of the YA tag. I figured it wouldn't be extremely violent.

Jack the Ripper is a notorious serial killer. The brutal murders that were occurring in London in the 1800's have been studied and famous through out almost all of history. I was excited about learning more about this horribly tragic time in history.

The story just lacked a bit and was extremely tiring at times. Also the believability of this novel was nonexistent. This book is extremely modern for its time. As an historical fiction lover I prefer a story to be believable, accurate, and somewhat historically correct. This book is features an extremely "feministic" main character, and frankly had many view points that supposedly are taking place in a Victorian era. Now I am not saying that there wasn't feminist back then, I just don't think every single person was that way. The father of Audrey Rose was really the only believable main character in this situation.

The second issue for me is the perfect convenient solutions to issues. I mean absolutely zero logic and intelligence went into her problems and solutions. Even though she reminds us of how smart she is, regularly.

The third issue is how whinny and bratty the main character is. Honestly she was a spoiled brat. Half the time she is making really ridiculous remarks about people, or having a petty party. 

My last issue with this books is the freaking white washing apparently Audrey's mother was a " Indian with honey colored skin".  I felt like it was a weird racial spin. it even throughs in some mentions of naan, saris, and then bam story closed. In my opinion which might be wrong, it was incredibly disrespectful and biased.

Unfortunately I will most likely not be continuing on in this series. It just isn't interesting enough. Maybe the author will get better as time goes on. Please remember all thoughts are my own and you should always try a book for yourself. Please don't take my negative review and choose to not give this one a chance.

I was not sent this book for review. I borrowed this book to read from a friend.

Goodreads Description:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Book Review : What Does God Really Promise?

I have always had a hard time reading the bible, mainly because I have so many questions about what the passages mean. I worry about if I am interpreting everything correctly. I could read the various verses over and over again, and still feel on shaky ground when it comes to meaning. What Does God Really Promise? really attempts to answer these questions and feelings. This book will help solidify your relationship with God. 

I think we all have been there at some point in our lives, when we feel that God hasn't kept his promises to us. But, we know through the bible that God's promises were always kept. That is one of the main things that is talked about through out the book. Everything is in God's timing. 

Please, don't think that this is just a pretty book, that would be a "cutesy" gift for a Christian friend. The author Carolyn Larsen has stayed completely true to scripture and created a wonderful book that will help you grow closer to God. This would make a fantastic gift for anyone that is seeking truth and answers. 

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blogger Program for an honest review. 

Goodreads Description: 

God makes hundreds of promises to his children. Promises of protection, forgiveness, hope, eternal life . . 

Cheerful artwork with a modern whimsical style wraps around honest, easy-to-understand answers to your toughest questions about church, eternal life and the future, and what God really promises to his people. What Does God Really Promise? will inspire and offer comfort as you grow closer to God and gain a better understanding of who he is, why church is important, and what the future holds for those who believe. Also serves as a heartfelt gift of love and promise to those who are considering faith or are new believers.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Book Review: The Rector

I have to say this is not a book I would have normally requested. Honestly I really didn't enjoy it all that much. I am unsure what even possessed me to request this book for review. I have a bunch of deadlines and commitments. Oh well though I took a chance on this book. I want to also state that this wasn't that bad a of a book.

The Rector is a novel which takes place in Mississippi during the 1950's which is an era I enjoy reading about. This book has all the wonderful southern customs I am used to. I really enjoyed reading about things I am used to. This is a murder mystery that deals with the christian faith. This was honestly hard for me to understand and wrap my brain around. 

The main character Martha McRae is a widow living in Mississipi, following the death of her church's young rector, she becomes obsessed with the case. In her mind a murderer will go free, if she doesn't investigate his death. Unfortunately she becomes suspicious of a friend from her bible study. If this is true it will be a life changing, devastating discovery that will rock her church to its core. When a new rector comes to take the place, she is face with unspeakable evil. 

This novel is jam packed with great and interesting characters, a decent plot, and interesting discussions on various theological topics. Was it overly interesting? No. Was it life changing? Absolutely not. Was it a chore to get through? Yes. 

The book had a okay plot. But lost me on the theological and faith side. There are a few places in this book where God, is used as a cuss word slightly. One big point for many Christians is not using God's name in vain.

Despite a few parts that had me scratching my head on whether the author did enough research or not, I did enjoy the book somewhat. Although if any readers are Southern Baptist, they may not enjoy some parts of the book that deals with the Episcopal denomination. 

I can't recommend this book. I feel like the author wrote this book, and then thought hey, I will market a MURDER, mystery to Christians. It seemed like an after thought. It was not researched well. There are a big number of Southern Baptists, Fundamentalist, and other devout christian religions in the south. It made this book seem not realistic. 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and 100% unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you Book Crash for supplying this book to me.

Goodreads Description: 

Combine a suspenseful murder mystery with theology (the study and explanation of religious faith, practice, and experience) and you have The Rector--with an allegory of Christ's ministry!

Here's a brief synopsis: Martha McRae is a widow living in a small Mississippi Delta town in the 1950s. She's obsessed with the sudden death of her Episcopal church's young rector. A murderer could go free if she doesn't investigate. But Martha is torn. 

If she pursues the suspect, her Bible study friend's awful secret could be revealed. It would be devastating, and life-changing. When the new rector arrives, she encounters a new puzzle--one that takes her into Parchman Penitentiary, where she comes face to face with evil.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Review: The Lesser Bohemians

I keep trying Eimear McBride, and I keep being a little disappointed. I want to love her as much as everyone else does. 

The books premise was extremely challenging for me. It felt forced, awkward, and completely irrational. I wasn't excited about the plot to begin with so that might have been the original issue. The plot of this book is basically about a drama student that dreams of being a great actor. It was sort of not exciting for me. The main character goes to London iorder to study acting. Of course there is drama that the main character gets into. 

The main issue of this book was the choppy structure of this book. I really don't like short awkward sentences. It made it a headache to read.  lso many parts of this book are just monologues. I just thought that was boring. I didn't enjoy being forced to listen to long boring descriptives of peoples past. I think if they were shown a little more it would have been more enjoyable. The writing approach just is choppy and also overly drawn out. 

Also the book was more descriptively sexual than I was expecting. This book is completely filled with sexual and physical relationships. Both consensual and non consensual. I thought that many of the descriptions were almost pornographic. I wouldn't have ever picked this book if I had know this. 

The only part of this book that I actually enjoyed  was the cover and the name. At least it will look good on my self. 

I received this book from Blogging for books for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions are my own. 

Goodreads Description: 

The captivating new novel from Eimear McBride, critically acclaimed and Baileys Women’s Prize-winning author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

Upon her arrival in London, an 18-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she’s always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in—she’s young and unexotic, a naive new girl—but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.

Then she meets an attractive older man. He’s an established actor, 20 years older, and the inevitable clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.

A redemptive, captivating story of passion and innocence set across the bedsits of mid-1990s London, McBride holds new love under her fierce gaze, giving us all a chance to remember what it’s like to fall hard for another.