Mini Book Reviews

According to everyone, I read too much. This isn’t true. I’ve only read 54 books this year.

It’s been a while since I did a book post. March was the last time apparently :/

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For this post, I’ll take a few books I read since then and give a short summarization of my opinion.

enjoy:)


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 4 stars

I loved the story, and Cath was basically me (we almost even have the same name). However, there is a lot of swearing. But I love the theme of going on even when it won’t hurt you to give up. 

The Mirrorworld Series-Reckless, Fearless, and The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke. 4, 5, and 4 stars respectively.

Often when I read fantasy I wonder how the world could have been around for so long and not be as technologically advanced as our world. Mirrorworld is not like this. it’s is in the middle of it’s industrial revolution but there are still fairy tale aspects to it. It’s realistic, and still fantastical. The characters are wonderful, and the storylines kept me on the edge of my seat.

Paper Towns by John Green. 4 stars.

My main problem with this book was all the foul language and the dirty humor, but the wonderful writing, the characters, and the story itself made up for that. And just Q and his relationship with Margo was so much fun and heartbreak at the same time.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner. 3.5 stars.

I think I was tired when I wrote the review on goodreads because I don’t remember disliking it that much…anyway, I love the story and enjoyed seeing the differences between the movie and the book. (I kinda prefer the movie. I’m sorry). There was made up swearing, but no romance at all which made my soul happy 🙂

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. 4.5 stars.

This book was amazing. I loved the message of it, and I’d share my favorite quote but that kinda gives away the book. Ed is a wonderful character, painfully ordinary, but that’s what makes the book so special. The only problem I had with it was the language and Ed constantly thinking about sex. I don’t know if that’s how all allosexuals think or if it’s just him *shrugs*.  Anyway, because of that, I would not recommend this for anyone younger than 18. 

Every Day and Another Day by David Levithan. 4.5 stars.

Every Day is the story of A who falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon, but he changes bodies every day, so he never looks the same, is never the same gender, but is still the same person on the inside. Another Day is the story told from Rhiannon’s perspective. Disclaimer: I believe that homosexuality is wrong, and these books say that it’s okay. But I love the overall message which is that you need to love someone for who they are and not because of what they look like. 

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. 2 stars

So the main reason why I checked this out is because I was curious about the whole racism debate. I didn’t find the book racist, but there were definitely things I didn’t like. I thought the romance was unrealistic and pointless (though there isn’t that much kissing surprise surprise), and there were holes in the worldbuilding that left me as a very confused potato. The cover is pretty though. 🙂

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. 5 stars.

The story was gripping, scary in places, and I loved it so much! Jacob is an intriguing narrator and the peculiar children are so precious and wonderful.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. All the stars

This book blew me away. I loved the story, I loved Eliza, I loved Wallace, I loved Monstrous Sea….I loved everything :). For once, I thought the romance was well done and incredibly cute, and the story within a story was wonderful and now I’m wishing I could read Eliza’s webcomic in it’s entirety. The only downside was the amount of language. It reminded me a bit of Fangirl, but better. 

Becoming Nikki by Ashley Elliot. 4 stars.

I just finished this book today, and while it’s not my favorite, it was well done, though I found a few plot holes and didn’t like the main character that much. But I love the focus on sibling relationships which filled me with happy. 🙂


Now we reach the conclusion of mymini reviews. Let me know if this convinced you to read any of the above titles, and maybe recommend me some books in the comments :). 

Happy reading!

Catherine

Two Amazing Stores I Discovered Recently

I used to love shopping, but recently I have begun to despise it because it takes too much time; time that I could be spending writing or thinking about writing or another method of procrastination.

But, over the course of the last month or so, I have been shopping a few times and I discovered two stores that I really wish I had encountered a while ago.

Just like with my previous post, Two Amazing Things I Discovered This Week, everyone is probably aware of these stores’ existence, most likely have been there a couple of times, and it’s just me who is uncultured because I never go shopping.

So the first store I discovered was Hot Topic. I had heard about it, mostly on the internet, though one friend had recommended it to me.

My sister decided to go to the mall and I came along, packing a book or two just to make sure I wasn’t bored. It must have been May 2nd because that’s when I started reading Paper Towns. She was looking for a dress. I was looking for something anything that was less than ten dollars (no luck there). The mall is just too dang expensive and I don’t understand why girls would even want to wear half the stuff I saw.

Then, as we were walking around Abercrombie and Fitch or Aeropostale or <insert clothing store name that starts with an “A”>, I happened to see Hot Topic just down the hall. I went in, passing a rack of graphic tees and tanks, the one on the front saying “Panic! At the Disco”, and fell in love.

There was Harry Potter merch in the front of the store: Hogwarts house tanks, Fantastic Beasts necklaces, mugs, pants, and other things. Then I soon found the Doctor Who section, and in the very back there were the band tees. I couldn’t decide which Twenty One Pilots shirt I preferred (there were maybe five styles). The interior was dark and small and they played “Death of a Bachelor”, among other songs that you never hear on the radio. I eventually had to leave, but I returned and finally decided on and bought a TØP shirt.

The second store I discovered was Barnes and Noble. I went there on Mother’s Day with a friend. I absolutely loved walking in and seeing all the books. I know a lot of people talk about smelling books, but I honestly don’t think that books have a smell. Sorry for being a bad bookworm

I wanted to sit there all day and just read all the books. Maybe buy one or two. In the end I bought a book, Made You Up, because I decided to indulge myself instead of doing the usual two hours of research and finding references before I make a purchase. I finally read it two days ago. It was pretty good and from what I understand is a good representation of schizophrenia, not to mention that the cover is beautiful. I did write a review on it, but it’s not all that great because I only spent fifteen minutes on it before I had to leave for work. And….just a little thing that made me happy….on the receipt, they had a list of books that you might like if you enjoyed the book you bought. I’m hanging onto it with the plans of eventually checking out those other books.

And the bags have the first lines of classic novels and beautiful black and white illustrations.

So, now I shall end this post saying that I am no longer fully uncultured and that I shall look forward to going shopping again at these stores.

I AM NO LONGER FULLY UNCULTURED AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SHOPPING AGAIN

Thank you for reading, wonderful person.

Let me know if there’s another fandom or bookish store that I should check out.

See you later,

Catherine

 

The Book Tag

I was tagged by Ashley over at Inklings Press (once again I kinda stole it instead of actually being nominated…).

Rules
You must be honest.
You must answer all the questions.
You must tag at least 4 people.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Technically, I have had Fox in Socks for longer, but I’m not counting it on account of not being a novel. Johnny Tremain was a birthday present to me when I was nine or ten, and has been one of my favorites ever since. There’s even a crease in the cover from where I accidentally sat on it. Let’s just say that there were a lot of emotion when that happened…

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current Read: Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. It’s a reread, and I am realising just how much I miss The Tales of Goldstone Wood series. Eleven year old Leo is the best:)

Last Read: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. My friend basically forced me to read it, and I liked it as much as I was expecting too. It wasn’t an instant favorite, but I didn’t regret any of my time.

Next Read: Les Mis. Maybe. But seeing as how I don’t plan any further than 10 hours in my future without having a nervous breakdown, this is not a definite. And seeing as how it has taken me nine months to get to 31%, we might be here for a while before I finish it.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

My cousins loved it and I read it out of curiosity. It was my first Sci-fi novel, and I hated it. Ender is a terrible person, and so is basically everyone else in the book. If I were to reread it, I might like it more and would no longer hate it because of the Sci-fi element, but I don’t think anything can force me to like any of the characters.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’dell.

I tried, folks. I tried. I’ve attempted at least five times, even got halfway once, but I don’t think it will ever happen.

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

Retirement? Seeing as how I don’t believe in this thing called planning, this is an irrelevant question. However, as soon as I’m eighteen, I will probably start reading the books in the Adult section at the library. I’m currently cautious around that section because I’m scared some adult is going to card me or something. Be proud of me, Adult family members who are concerned for my well-being: You will find me in the library, not in the tobacco store, exercising my right as an adult this November.

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I used to have a bad habit of reading the last page, but I have recently broken it. I will only know what happens later in the book now if I accidentally flip to the wrong page or I accidentally stumble across someone’s review that isn’t labeled for spoilers but should be.

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I like them! I very rarely ever read everything in the acknowledgement seeing as how they are full of names I don’t know and tons of inside jokes, but I definitely appreciate the author putting them in there. I want to be in an acknowledgement someday. I want to write an acknowledgement someday. #writergoals

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

This is a very hard question. I like a lot of fictional characters, but wouldn’t necessarily want to become them… Maybe I’d switch with a Hufflepuff in Harry Potter (not Cedric Diggory though) or some character in Tales of Goldstone Wood.

NO.

I got it.

I”ll be Owen from The Secret Series. He’s my favorite character, and I would love to have his skills 🙂

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

I envy people that can basically hide memories inside of books, but I just can’t. I tend to remember what I was writing during a specific time of my life. I can reread one of my old manuscripts and give a patchy description of what was going on in my life at the time. I can’t do the same with books.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I’m too young to remember this, but once I tore a library book to shreds so after paying our fine, our family got to keep it, so now there’s a scotch-taped picture book version of The Little Red Hen on our bookshelf.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Last year I gave away my Lord of the Rings piano book (it counts as a book, right?) to my previous crush’s little brother. I’m pretty certain I just let him borrow it, but I can’t remember how I worded it (so he might just keep it forever). The reason I let him have it was because he loves playing piano and Lord of the Rings, and he’s a special person because he has a cool name.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

First place goes to my Bible. Second place goes to Johnny Tremain. I’m certain I brought that book everywhere. Though in more recent times, Les Mis wins, even though it’s on my kindle and where it goes, fifteen other books come as well, but I have definitely read it in the most places: at my driver’s test, at my grandparent’s house, at my aunts house, at co-op, at home…

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Well, seeing as how I’m still in highschool…I only really hated reading The Knight of the White Cross, and I’m fairly certain I will still hate it in two years time. It was terrible.

14. Used or brand new?

Brand New, though more often than not, I will get used books because they’re cheaper.

And physical books are way better than ebooks.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope. Have you?

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

The Maze Runner, even though I actually haven’t finished reading the book, but I’ve gotten far enough to form an opinion.

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Every book in the Redwall series.

Who reads cookbooks?

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My friends, I guess, though one recommended Divergent and I regret ever reading that…

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Doctor Who Psychology. It’s a bunch of Essays. It’s non-fiction. I loved it.


Thanks for making it this far guys!

I tag these people(sorry if you’ve done this before. I didn’t bother to check):

  • Rubix
  • Victoria
  • Linda
  • Anyone who wants to do this! Even if you don’t have a blog, you can write your answers to the questions in the comments. I look forward to hearing your responses!

 

March Books

I enjoyed making a list of books I read during February, so here is another list of the books I completed in March, and my summarized opinions on them.

33118942Where the Woods Grow Wild

4.5 stars
This was a very good book! I’ve been eyeing it for a while, not quite certain if it was worth my money being a self-published book and everything, but then I got it for free. Who can say no to free books? This was a great lighter style fantasy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although there were a few loose threads that I found weren’t adequately addressed, but I guess that’s why we have sequels. Also, I really, really like the cover on this one:)

Skin

4 stars

I think my favorite horror/thriller author is Ted Dekker. Not that I have read any horror/thriller besides him and Frank Peretti. Out of all the books I’ve read in this genre, this one falls on the ‘meh’ scale. It was engaging and scary, but not frightening to the extent of “House” or as outstandingly amazing as “Thr3e”. So if you want to read something by Ted Dekker, read “Thr3e” because that is the best book ever! (Yes. I have a habit of recommending Thr3e every time I mention any other book by Ted Dekker)

The Selection & The Elite 

3 and 2 stars

Why did I read this, you ask? Well…I kinda heard it was different from the usual young adult style novels, but I don’t know who I heard it from because if I did, I would have found the person who said it and called them a liar. This is a typical YA where it’s a Hunger Games wannabe with a central Love Triangle. And they passed up on the opportunity to have a great guy/girl friendship that doesn’t end in attraction. Also, the most interesting part of this series for me is the politics. Which is not a good sign.

Shadows of the Hersweald & Mercy of Fate

5 and 5 stars

Shadows of the Hersweald is definitely in my top five books read this month. I can only say good things about it and it’s companion short story, Mercy of Fate. And for one who usually hates allegories and is a little wary of fairy tale retellings (though I just can’t stay away from them), this means my praise is not showered lightly.

Holes

5 stars

Well I have been reading this for several months now, spending a week at a time reading in the church library between services. Then my mom finally got it out of the library so I could finish reading the last fifteen pages. It was very good. Strange, but intriguing.

The Book Thief 

4.75 stars

This was an amazing book that practically left me in shambles. Probably my best read this month, although I definitely did not enjoy the swearing. Or Death’s predisposition to spoil everything. But I really did like Death. And my favorite character DIDN’T die, although my second and third favorite did. And I cried. or almost cried. That’s the problem with reading books like that in public. You are forced to keep your tears to yourself.

 

Overall:

8 books (Agh. it feels so small compared to last month…)

4.16 average.

Favorite characters deaths: 2

Have you ever read any of these books? What were your opinions on them?

Mercy of Fate: A Free Short Story!

Before the unveiling of Tauscher’s rebellion…

Before war descended on the village of Nerthach…

Before loyalties split and friendships shattered…

Haydn is determined to put his stealthmanship to the test. With Traveon’s help, and a gift for Gorawen as his goal, he is careless of any risk. As he gazes at the Governor’s Keep, he has two thoughts: he can’t allow himself to be caught, and this will be an adventure worth remembering.

A Shadows of the Hersweald short story.

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Hello everyone! I am here to tell you of an amazing short story that is available for free!!

Hope Ann is a phenomenal writer, and this story is no exception. Set several years before her newest novella, Shadows of the Hersweald, it’s a small insight into the background of the main character, Haydn, and it might give you incentive to buy the book. 😉

So you might as well go and get this story for free. Just click on the picture and it should take you where it’s supposed to go:

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Have a wonderful day!

Catherine

 

February Books

My goal for the year of 2017 is to read 100 books. So, hey? Why don’t I talk about all the books I read last month which went towards the goal? This won’t really be a collection of reviews (because I read a lot this month) but more or less my opinions and my suggestions.

The Abolition of Man. I started reading this book months back, but then I found it again and finished it this month. It was good, with some very deep concepts that actually made sense to me (I usually hate nonfiction like this because it never makes any sense). However, the Chronicles of Narnia will always be my favorite C. S. Lewis books.

Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman With a Box. This book was awesome! I read a review

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Isn’t it beautiful?

on another book in this series and discovered there was a Doctor Who version. After a little bit of thought, I bought the book and a few days later, I started reading it. It was a nice
reward for me after finishing my psychology class reading, and I kinda did a little happy squeal every time they mentioned one of the subjects I was learning about in my class. They covered many aspects of psychology, focusing mainly on personality which is the topic that made me interested in psychology in the first place. However, this was not written from a Christian worldview, so there is a bit of evolutionary thought, but not a whole bunch.

The Shakespeare Stealer Shakespeare’s Scribe. The first one was a reread, and I loved it as much the second time as I did the first, even though I remembered almost everything that happened. However, it was my first time reading the second one. It was faster in pace than the first, but I liked it a lot less, although Widge’s character development is to be applauded, but the author tore out my heart, ate it, stabbed it, then lit it on fire. Not certain if I’m going to read the third book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay. This. Was. Amazing!!! I had seen the trailers a hundred times and seen all the gif sets on pinterest (and read all the reviews that should have been marked as spoilers), therefore I knew more or less what was going to happen. But I still fell in love with the characters, fell in love with the story, and nearly cried at the end. Also this was the first screenplay I read other than my own (which I have never finished. hehe). Also, two days after finishing this, I went and watched the movie 😀

I am the Great Horse. This was a source of nostlagia for me because I read this book at least four times when I was a kid within months of each other (note that this is a very rare treatment because I usually cannot reread books). I rediscovered characters I had forgotten about (and one who might have become a bit of an inspiration for one of my own) and once again was reminded why I absolutely love historical fiction.

The Secret Series (books #1, #2, #3, &4). This was nostalgia again. I read the first two books once before on my cousin’s kindle and really really liked them, then reread them because I told my mom they would make great books for my younger brothers to read. They’re humorous, and full of fun facts about things like synesthesia and alchemy, although slightly dark for being a children’s book. Then I read books 3 and 4 for the first time. I love the author’s sense of humor.

Stars Above. I read the Lunar Chronicles a while ago and liked them a lot, so I was excited when I found out there was this collection of short stories. I didn’t really have a particular favorite, although I nearly cried over “the Little Android”, and was making happy squeals and everything over “Something Old, Something New.”

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Read this book right now.

Heartless. This was a reread, and boy am I glad I reread it. Tales of Goldstone Wood is the best series ever and you had better go out now and buy a copy of all eight books and novellas. If you want a reason, it is because Anne Elisabeth Stengl has put the series on hiatus and buying more of them will give her incentive to change her mind.

Rapunzel Let Down. This was a fast paced book (sort of) and I stayed up until two o’clock in the morning finishing it. Word of warning though, do not read this if you are a younger child. It’s got some pretty heavy subject matter, and almost too much for my taste. It stuck close to the original fairy tale, and that at least made me happy. And the fact that my favorite character didn’t die either, although I was really scared at the end that he would be killed. My favorite characters tend to meet those kinds of ends.

Counts:

13 books

4.30 average rating (They were all pretty good)

2 favorite character death ( not counting the death of my third and fourth favorite characters in I am The Great Horse) 

Have you ever read any of these books? What are your opinions on them?

Thanks for reading!

Catherine