Book Review: Lost Lake

Lost LakeImage
Sarah Addison Allen
Fiction, Contemporary
Published: January 21st, 2014
5/5

 

                Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming.
                Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone.
                As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages – and her heart – back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again and sometimes you never even knew they were lost… until they are found.
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                I feel like I had to wait a million years to read “Lost Lake”, I had pre-ordered it but had also pre-ordered another book at the same time and they made me wait until they released the second book before they’d send me Lost Lake, which was unfair, considering they sent them separately. Not understanding why it had to be that way, but “Lost Lake” was definitely worth the wait at either rate.
                “Lost Lake” is the first book that Sarah Addison Allen had released since her diagnosis of Breast cancer in 2011, I’m happy to report that she has since beaten cancer and is currently in remission, which means that she’s (I’m assuming) happily writing again. When I heard that she was releasing a new novel I was over the moon excited and “Lost Lake” was well worth the wait.
                Sarah Addison Allen writes contemporary novels infused with magic, good food and strong family ties. “Lost Lake” has all of her staple elements and she pulls it off brilliantly. I loved hearing about the wet, humid, hot summer of Suley Georgia. I was able to imagine the whole setting without a hitch, the old dusty, faded cabins, Aunt Eby, the lakes mysteriously imaginary alligator, the hanging lanterns and I was able to even smell the delicious meals that were cooked by Lisette; a troubled young woman that Eby and her husband had met on their honeymoon in Paris.
                This book was over abundant in delightful, eccentric characters. I wish they all had their own books just so I could learn more about them. Never have I read a book with so many fulfilling, engaging, and fantastic side characters. I was enthralled with all their stories, all their backgrounds and the glimpses we were given into each of their lives.
                I loved how everyone came together in the end, and that even characters that didn’t seem like they were invested as much as others helped pull everything together and create a fantastic ending, to a fantastic novel.
                There is just something about Sarah Addison Allen’s books that resonate with me, they fill my heart full of hope and promise and we live in a world where there isn’t enough of that. Her books are perfect to curl up with and read all afternoon.
                I think if I had any issues with “Lost Lake” it would have been the length. It was really short in my opinion and I felt a little cheated. As though I wasn’t able to spend enough time at Lost Lake and I felt as though I missed out because of that. She’s never written very long novels, but Lost Lake felt shorter than all her others and part of me wonders if that’s because there was such an amazing cast of characters. I just wanted to know so much more about all of them, and spend more time with each of them.
                However, my expectations were met and exceeded and I’m already eagerly anticipating her next novels. In the mean time I am planning on re-reading some of her other novels… and I’ve re-read all of them 2-3 times.Image

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Book Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of MidnightImage
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
4/5

            After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

               Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

              Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
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            Crown of Midnight was a prime example of how fantastic a sequel can be. Where other sequels fall flat, Crown of Midnight takes this complex story to new heights.  It is possible that perhaps Crown of Midnight is even greater than Throne of Glass.
            Celaena develops and becomes considerably darker than she appeared in Throne of Glass and I was eternally thankful for that. With the life that she had lead up until this point it seemed strange to me that in the first book that she was so footloose and fancy free. She starts to develop and question things that she had already known, and we find out a whole lot of things regarding her past that I actually hadn’t seen coming. She falls in love, she is betrayed, she is lost at times and finds strength to continue on even when everything becomes bleak. She amazes me with her ability to forgive but not forget, to let go but to still hold others accountable to their actions.
           The romantic encounters are more realistic, and at times made my heart swell up with intense happiness and other times deflate with sadness, it’s clear to me whom I want Celaena to end up with if she does indeed choose either Dorian or Choal. She’s a complicated character and so are both of these men, and no matter who she chooses in the end, I’d be happy just knowing that she’s found love, peace, and acceptance with someone.
            Crown of Midnight switches point of view within the chapters and normally I don’t enjoy that very much but I felt it was important and needed and kept me captivated despite by previous grievances with novels that do this. Sarah J. Maas did an absolutely fantastic job integrating characters and giving everyone their own personalities and voices, no one person sounded too much like the other.
             The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger as Celaena embarks on a completely new quest and her story continues to grow. I’m eagerly anticipating the third book in this installment and this is definitely turning into a series I wish was already completed and published because I’m biting my nails with need and want for the next part of the story.
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Book Review: Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus 1 & 2

Magic Knight Rayearth 1 & 2Image
CLAMP
Shojo Manga
Published: 1993-1995
4/5

                Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, Fuu Hououji are on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower with their respective schools. The girls are blinded by a flash of light and hear a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro. They fall through the sky into another world, Cephiro. Once there, they meet Master Mage Clef. Clef explains, “In Cephiro, one’s will has the ability to change reality for better or worse. The dark fears in people’s hearts become monsters, while a well-intended wish can do miracles. One person, the Pillar, whose will is stronger than anyone else’s, is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro.” In the first story arc, the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude, has been captured by her high priest, Zagato. The three girls are charged with the task of saving the Princess. Magic Knight Rayearth follows Hikaru, Fuu and Umi along with their friendly sidekick, Mokona, on their quest to save the mystical planet of Cephiro.

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                Hikarua, Umi, and Fuu are all from different walks of life and all attend different middle schools, however one fateful day each of their respective schools and classes take a school trip to Tokyo Tower where they are suddenly blinded by a great flash of light and a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro.
              Once the girls are transported to Cephiro they find themselves falling through the sky and somehow they land on a giant flying fish that takes them safely to land where they meet the Master Mage whose name is Clef.
                Clef explains to Hikarua, Umi, and Fuu how the world of Cephiro works, how one’s ‘will’ has the ability to change the reality and even the landscape of the world forever, and that it can be changed for the greater good, or it could be used selfishly for dark intentions.
                The Pillar whose will is stronger than anyone else’s and who is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro, however she has been compromised and has been taken captive and it’s up to the Magic Knights to save her and restore peace to the planet Cephiro.
                This is a fantastical tale, it moves very quickly and your attention is definitely needed for every page and picture screen otherwise it would be easy to miss information and quickly become confused. I think this series had a lot of offer and I found it very disappointing that it didn’t have more details than what was given to the reader; there are a lot of unanswered questions and plot holes that could have been easily resolved with even one more omnibus I believe. There were also some fillers that I found were unneeded as the story progressed so quickly and it would have been considerably more enjoyable to have solid story line instead.
                The artwork contained in this series is beautiful and  your mouth will water in your  desire for more. You’ll not be disappointed with a single panel.  I really wish this series had continued on for longer so I could have continued to be immersed in the strange and lovely world of Cephiro.
                Magic Knight Rayearth is one of my favourite Manga’s that I’ve read so far, and it’s a story from my childhood that I’ll treasure for a long time.
                What’s your favourite manga series? Would you recommend it to me, if so, why?

Recommend reads of 2013

             This year I’ve read about 113 novels and they were all from a variety of genres. I’ve personally learnt a lot about my reading style and the books that I actually do enjoy and have discovered some interesting things, but perhaps I’ll do a separate post on that later.
            So without further ado, these are the books or series I’ve read this year that I recommend highly to you. Please click on the title to learn more information about each posting ❤

1. Across the Universe Series – Beth Revis (Young adult Science Fiction)
2. Easy – Tamara Webber (New Adult Contemporary Romance)
3. Such a Rush – Jennifer Echols (Young Adult Contemporary Romance)
4. Warm Bodies – Issac Marion (Adult Zombie Fantasy)
5.  The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss (Adult Fantasy)
6. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness (Young Adult fantasy)
7. Omens – Kelly Armstrong (Adult Paranormal)
8. Magic Knight Rayearth – Clamp (Manga)
9. Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Andersen (YA Fantasy)
10. The Witch’s Daughter – Paula Brackston (Adult Paranormal/fantasy/Historical)
11. The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker  (Adult Historical Fantasy)
12. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (Adult Science Fiction)
13. Pride and Prejudice –Jane Austen

Book Review: The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind (The King Killer Chronicle: Day One)Image
Patrick Rothfuss
adult Fantasy (aka best most amazing book EVER)
Published: 2008
5/5

 

                    MY NAME IS KVOTHE
                I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings, I burned down the town of Trebon, I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to the Gods, loved woman, and written songs that make the minstrels weep
                    You may have heard of me…

                So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature- the story of a hero told in his own voice. It’s a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

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                This book… is amazing, it’s addicting and honestly there are not quite enough words to describe this book fully. This book is one that you will not and cannot get out of your mind, when you’re not reading it you’ll think about it and you’ll feel an itch under your skin that you won’t be able to fulfill until this book is in your hands and the words are spread before your eyes, you will be addicted til the last sentence and then you’ll start obsessing over getting your hands on its sequel.
                This was an absolutely, hands down, brilliant start to what I think will become a very beloved and addictive trilogy. This book has everything you could wish for and desire within it. The depths of the thought that went into writing this book will blow you away. You’ll fall in love with Kvothe and you’ll need… Desperately to know what happens next. I have not been so enthralled with a story since I was a child reading Harry Potter. The Name of the wind is in a league of its own and should be put way up high with the likes of the Lords of the Rings Trilogy.
                This is a story that will pull at your heart strings for sure. It`s desperate, depressing, hopeful and fulfilling all at the same time, and that`s a pretty amazing thing. It leaves questions on your tongue and a secret wish in your heart that this world existed and how much you want to be a part of it.  There were parts of this story that made me so incredibly sad that I wasn`t sure if I`d be able to continue with the story because it was so devastating, raw and all at the same time it`s so beautiful and you cannot help but come back and root for Kvothe.
                I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment `The Wise Man`s Fear’… seriously… I HIGHLY recommend this book to EVERY SINGLE HUMAN ON THE PLANET and to all aliens if they so exist!
                So… stop reading this and get your hands on a copy of this book… like now. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3Image