Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review of Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

Alias Hook
by Lisa Jensen
Standalone
368 Pages
Paperback Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan's rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.



I don't know why, but I had very high hopes for this book. There wasn't really a rational reason for me to have such high expectations for this book. The Goodreads rating wasn't that good, and i hadn't heard anything about this book other than that. Sadly, this book couldn't live up to the hype that I gave it. I was so excited for this book because of the pirate element of it. It is no secret that I adore pirates, but this book was a poor representation of them.

I was expecting a great story filled to the brim with a mariner's wonderland, but that was not even close to what I got. This book was boring, and I skimmed everything after about page 100, and that is saying something since I don't skim books. I didn't see a point to most of this book. It was just Hook being angsty (something that I expected him to have grown out of by age 45), and complaining about him miserable life. Well, boo hoo, Hook.

I really did not like Hook as a character. As I just said, he was whiny and immature. Also, he met one grown female, and all of a sudden his whole world changed. I can appreciate a good romance, but this one just didn't make any sense to me. It went from Hook and Stella talking as pals to them taking their clothes off. whAT?! WHAT!! There was no real development in their romance. It was like Hook saw a girl for the first time in 200 years and he stops caring for anything else. I cant begin to fathom a scenario where someone would give up their entire life's work for someone they just met.

Back to the plot of the story. Yeah, there wasn't any. This book should have been half the length it actually was. It was all just fluff. AND NOT EVEN INTERESTING FLUFF!! Just pointless. The best parts of this book in my opinion were the flashbacks, but after about 100 pages, they just disappeared. I really liked the flashbacks, but they were too long, and broke up the flow of the book. I really wish the author would have broken the flashbacks up into smaller sections and thrown them throughout the entire book rather than just in the beginning.

I am just so disappointed about this book. It was supposed to be SO GOOD! Pirates in an amazing setting is all I ask for in a book, but this was just so poorly done. I feel like this book was really a missed opportunity. I am really trying my best, but I cant find any redeeming qualities about it. Oh well.

The Rating:

XOXO,
Belle



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I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review of Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Because You'll Never Meet Me
by Leah Thomas
Standalone
352 Pages
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.




I really, really, really like this book, but I didn't love it. I was close though. I was so close to loving this book. It honestly was an amazing story. I loved that this was through letters, but it was not just a diary like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Instead, this book was told through two different distinct voices, and it worked VERY  well.

I don't think I have ever read a dual-perspective book that captured the voices of each character so well. I think I could flip to a random page, and know who was writing the letter since each voice was so developed. You really got to see everything the character had to say, and he told it in his own way, and it was amazing what the author could do with both perspectives.

What was in the letters, however, killed me. It was so emotional, and there were many times in this book where I was on the verge of tears (I never cried though). The letters told the life stories of the character writing them along with some of the things they were getting up to in that moment, and of course their commentary on their life and actions.

What I am wondering is how in the hell did they remember every word to a conversation from years ago? I don't remember every word from a conversation from today much less months or years ago. I get that this was just to make the story go smoothly, but still. This element was in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading it. Don't be alarmed, fellow readers, it did not at all affect how I read this book. I still appreciated it just as much as if they forget a word or two.

I enjoyed the characters so much in this book. I don't think I have read about such strong characters in a very long time. They had such troubled pasts, and have dealt with so many awful things, it was no wonder that they were how were. The character arcs of both Moritz and Ollie were so endearing. They grew so much as people just from writing letters to one another.

The mystery element in this book was fantastic also. Both characters were hiding something from one another, or there was something about their past that they didn't know. Them finding that out was probably the best part of the book. I loved how close the two boys got, and how comfortable they were with each other. Neither boy would be the same person that they were at the end if they stopped their letters or never started them.

My only real problem was that there wasn't an epilogue. I want an epilogue. I know this is probably never going to happen, but it would be more than amazing if the author wrote a novella about six months after this book ended. There are just so many questions that I still have about the characters and what happens next. I just want more. Leah Thomas, if you're reading this: can you please, please, please write a novella; all I need is thirty pages.

The Rating:


*



XOXO,
Belle


______________________________________________________________________________

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.
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* If I gave half-stars, this would have gotten a 4.5

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review of Lost Property by Andy Poyiadgi

Lost Property
by Andy Poyiadgi
Nobrow 17x23 Collection
24 Pages
Publisher: Nobrow Press




Gerald is just your regular everyday mailman. One day, having lost a precious and personal item, he visits his local lost and found. There he finds far more than he bargained for, because in this "self storage," each and every one of Gerald’s lost possessions has been kept and contained.






I really love the 17x23 collection that Nobrow has. On the back flap of the book it says, "17x23 is a graphic short story project designed to help talented young graphic novelists tell their stories in a manageable and economic format. The hope is that, while the series encourages artists to write one-off stories, 17x23 can act as a springboard for more ambitious projects." I just think that is an amazing idea for a publishing company to do since it allows people who are not professionals or completely comfortable in the publishing world to publish their stories.

Now that I've rambled about my undying love for Nobrow, I will talk about the actual story.

I liked this story. It was not the best book I've read from Nobrow, but that's understandable because this is just a short story. For being as short as it was, this was a very well done story. I do wish, however, there were a few more pages in this about something. I don't know exactly what, but this story was missing something. I am not hating, though. I appreciate this story so much.

There was not really any characterization. Okay, there was a tad of characterization. But for a 24 page story, you cannot really understand all the idiosyncrasies of the characters. It was just a nice little story about losing everything and being who you want to be.

I did really like the art. The style that the artist chose to adopt was very beautiful, and worked very well with the story. Everything was very clear and there were no points in the story where I was confused as to what was happening.

If you're looking for a short, cute story, I would highly recommend checking this out.

The Rating:

XOXO,
Belle

______________________________________________________________________________

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Currently Reading: April 16, 2015

Hey, guys! It has been a little bit since I've posted anything, so I thought I could do a little update post. I am going to tell you what I am reading at this point in time, so this should be quick.

First:
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
I am so glad to be getting to this book since the fifth book is supposed to be insane. I am really liking this book, at this point, it is probably going to get a four star rating, but something could happen that changes my mind. I have 211 pages led tin this book, and hope to finish it in the next few days. I am just going to point out that I started this book last Saturday, and I am probably going to finish it by this Saturday. HOW THE HELL DID THAT HEPPEN? I AM SUPPOSED TO HAVE READ THIS BOOK IN A MONTH, NOT A WEEK!!

Next and last:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I am reading this book for English class, and am a chapter in. I have already read this book, and loved it, so I am insanely excited to be getting into this world again. It will probably be a few weeks before I finish this one since English classes read books sloooooow.


What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? Tell me in the comments!

XOXO,
Belle

Friday, April 3, 2015

April 2015 TBR

This is going to be the month that I get VERY behind on my reading goal since I am embarking on a quest of epic proportions: SPRING BREAK!! That's not actually the reason, but you will see how I am screwing myself over in a second. Now onto the books!

To Finish:
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
I am reading this for two reasons. 1) There was a long line at the library so I perused the graphic novel section, and found this, had previously heard of it, and checked it out. 2) It counts as completing an entire series. I am about halfway done with this book, and am hoping to finish it later today. It is very good, so far. I love learning about a topic I know very little about.

Reading Over Spring Break:
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
This book is what is going to put me behind. I am very excited to read it, but it is going to take more than just spring break to read it. I am going to try my very best to finish this book before the fifth season of the TV show comes out, but I very much doubt that will happen. Also, getting caught up on this series is part of my reading goals for this year, so I really want to get this one out of the way since I have been told that it isn't that good compared to the book before and after it. I still very much want to read this book since I don't know that much where the story is going. 

Random Books:
Catalyst by Lydia Kang
I read Control last year, and preordered this book for my birthday, so I really want to finish this series. It would be really amazing if I was to finish two series in one month since last month I read a lot of sequels, I would adore to finish series this month not just make progress.

Since I have been super unrealistic with my TBRs this year, I am going to completely under ball this month. I wonder if I will even finish this much this month since A Feast for Crows is massive.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading this month? Tell me in the comments.

XOXO,
Belle

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March 2015 Wrap Up

              In my TBR post at the beginning of the month, I said I was going to read ten books, and at the end of the month I read nine books. Whomp Whomp Whooooomp. I felt like I read a lot this month, so I am not really disappointed that I didn't reach my goal. As of right now I am one book behind my Goodreads goal, and that meant I am going to get a lot more behind since SPRANG BREAK!!! Anyway, I digress, I am just going to get into the books I read this month.

I started this series last year, I think, and I liked the first book a pretty good amount, but I felt that the series really degraded from there. I did not like the last two books, but I pushed through this book only because I wanted to finish the series. I think my problem with this book is that I expect it to be super fast passed, but the author has a very slow writing style. I don't think I am going to be picking up her next series, but we shall see.
2/5 Stars

I had such high hopes for this book, and it really disappointed me. I preordered this book in 2014 when it came out, and then I didn't read it for about a year. I'm very glad that I did read this book since I am insanely interested in psychopaths/sociopaths. This book fell short of my expectations, and it was mostly because I didn't think that author really understand how a sociopath's brain works. I never got to the point where I could see the characters sociopathy; she just seemed like a normal girl who killed people, but sociopaths don't have empathy, and the character in this book did.
3/5 Stars

This was another continuation of a series that I didn't like as much as the first book. I felt that in this one, the characters really became weaker people, and they were just annoying since they could not talk to each other. Instead of explaining things, the two main characters wanted to protect each other, so they didnt speak. Other than that fact, this was pretty good, and it set up the next book in such a way that I have no idea what comes next. I am very excited for the conclusion of the trilogy though.
3/5 Stars

I was killing it this month with continuing series. This is a second book, and I liked it a lot more than the first book. Both books are very hard to read due to the subject matter, but the writing style of Ellen Hopkins is absolutely wonderful. I really want to read the final book since it follows different characters, but my only concern is not being able to find Fallout in this edition. 
3/5 Stars

This book was wonderful. I absolutely adored it. I felt that this was a contemporary novel in which the characters actually had personalities, pasts, and aspirations beyond each other. The greatest part of this book was that you understood every character. Whether you saw them for one page or eighty pages, you really got to know the characters. I really hope to be able to read more of this author's books in the future, for this was a great read.
4/5 Stars

Yes, this is another sequel. And yes, I liked the first book better. Don't get me wrong, this book was great, but it was not as emotional as the first book. Of course, there were times where I teared up, but I was never sobbing like at the end of Not a Drop to Drink. I loved the adventure in this story, and that you got to follow Lucy's perspective rather than Lynn. This is a series that I would highly recommend. Also, I talked to the author, and there aren't plans for a third book, so this is  [as of right now] the end of the series.
4/5 Stars

As I said in my review, I had no expectations going into this book, but I don't really think it was the book for me. I kind of found it boring, but it was written in a way that I could read it very quickly if that makes sense. I didn't think the flashbacks were woven in well in this story, and for something as emotional as this book, I felt nothing towards any of the characters. All of that being said, I am most likely going to read the second book at some point, but I don't know when that time will be.
3/5 Stars

Columbine by Dave Cullen
This was the book that my class was reading for school this month, and surprisingly enough I really liked it. It is a nonfiction book about the Columbine shooting and all the people/events surrounding it. I though this was a very fascinating story, and the way Dave Cullen wrote this book was amazing. My only problem was that it felt very repetitive towards the end, but I don't thin Cullen could have really cut anything out. 
Also, my class is sky ping Dave Cullen tomorrow, so if I end up going, that will be hella exciting.
4/5 Stars

I don't even know where to start with this book. It was awesome. I wanted more of an explanation to what the hell happened, but I thought this book was stellar. It had lots of twists and turns. It was very realistic (or as realistic as a post-apocalyptic book can be), and it was sad at times. When I was reading it, I thought it was going to be a standalone, but after I emailed the publisher that I opted my review, the lovelies told me that the author is working on a sequel!! I am so incredible excited for the sequel, I don't think I will be able to control myself for the next year or however long it takes for us to get the next book.
5/5 Stars

Well, thats all I've read this month. What about you? What did you read in March? Have you read any of these book? Do you want to?

XOXO,
Belle

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review of Carousel by Brendan Ritchie

Carousel
by Brendan Ritchie
Standalone
352 Pages
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Fremantle Press

Nox is an arts graduate wondering what to do with his life. Taylor and Lizzy are famous indie musicians, and Rocky works the checkouts at Target. When they find themselves trapped in a giant mall, they eat fast food, watch bad TV, and wait. But with no sign of any other humans, the novelty of having their own mall quickly fades. When days turn to weeks, a sense of menace quickly grows.



Going into this, I kind of assumed this was going to be a typical YA novel, but I was happily proved wrong. I don't really know if you can classify this as a YA novel since there was only one character below the age of eighteen. The other three characters were most likely into their mid-twenties when this book took place, but I don't remember if their ages were ever said for certain. This didn't read like YA either. It was much slower and more drawn out than any YA book I've ever read. I don't know what age range I would classify this as to be honest. It doesn't really fit in any one category. That is okay, however, since this is a great book.

I loved how realistic this book was. It wasn't like the people were okay with being stuck in a mall; they all had their own sort of cabin fever (nothing near as bad as The Shining), and that made you understand their characters more. You really got to see the habit, quirks, and flaws of each and ever character in this book. The beginnings of the all characters were a bit fuzzy, but you got the basics throughout the book, and I think that for this book, thats all you really need. 

I was really interested in Taylor's obsession with the doors and escape. I really understood that she felt like she was going insane as the book dragged on, and she needed to get out more so every day. Nothing was ever certain in the mall, and she wanted her life back. It was exactly what you would expect a famous indie rock person to want: freedom.

I adored the emphasis that was put on art in this book. Everything came back to art. The characters were always reading or listening to music or making music or writing, and I appreciated that the author found artists to be of utmost importance. I loved all of the music references that were weaved into this book; they may not have all been entirely necessary, but I got a better sense of who the characters were by the music that they liked. I most enjoyed the Wilco reference. 

I have to appreciate the bluntness of the author's writing. If he wanted to curse, he would. It was no big thing for him. If he wanted to mention a character masturbating, thats exactly what he would do. There was no sense of what he was saying was inappropriate for the readers, and I liked that about his writing. 

My only real problem with this book is that you didn't really get a full explanation of 1) why they were in the mall and 2) what the fuck happened. I really wish you got a detailed account on what happened, but I think the reason that we only got snippets was because the characters knew as little as we did. I don't hold this against this book, but I really wish there was more of a resolution to the question of why are they here.

Now I just want to touch on the ending. I liked that it was open ended, but I wish I got five to ten pages more. It would have wrapped everything up a lot better, and I think this book would have felt more complete. 

To sum this book up in two words: Wow. What?

The Rating:

XOXO,
Belle


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I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.