Book Review: The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds (Darkest Minds #1)Image
Alexandra Bracken
Paranormal YA (Dystopian)
Published: 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
4/5

                When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp”. She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
                Now Sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
                When the truth comes out Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her – East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby but no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
                When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Image

                Going into the ‘Darkest Minds’ I was not really sure what I was going to be getting myself into. When most movies, books, etc., are over hyped I usually find it hard to really give myself fully to the experience. However, I was easily immersed in the effortless writing and progressive plot.
                Many of the things that Ruby experiences generally hurt my heart, I couldn’t imagine being a child and having been rejected by everyone and everything I had ever known and loved.  Knowing nothing about your situation or why you’re in that particular situation would be terrifying and I found that part of Ruby relatable in the sense that her reactions seemed genuine, they seemed similar to how I would have expected myself to react.
                One thing I really loved about the ‘Darkest Minds’ was all the unanswered questions, which may seem a little strange to you but to me it was refreshing. There is nothing I find more annoying than having all the answers before the story even really begins or has started to settle in.  Despite the story having been told by Ruby`s point of view, any information relating to her past is very secretive to the point where you wonder if she`s hiding it from herself. She seems to be just as much of a mystery to herself as she does to me.
                All of the characters really are shrouded in mystery and again that’s what makes this book so fascinating and why you find yourself without the ability to put the book down.
                Mind reading, mind control, telekinesis, etc., has always been fascinating to me. I couldn`t imagine a world where these things exist and if they do exist I hope it`s not such a brutal awakening as it were in this book. I thought that Alexandra Bracken did a marvelous and engaging job portraying these abilities and explaining them in how they pertain to the book.
                If you’re looking for earth shattering romance however, you’re not going to find it here. Obviously there is a little bit of lovey dovey stuff going between Liam and Ruby but it’s extremely mild, and yet very tender and realistic. Perhaps the other novels will have more of a thrilling romance but I don’t have high hopes for that as it seems to be that this book is definitely not a romance dystopian in the way that Delirium was.
                At any rate The “Darkest Minds” was a great success for me, I quite enjoyed myself and am looking forward to eventually diving into the next book in the series that’ll probably end on a terrible gut wrenching cliff hanger, because it seems to me that’s the way trilogies work these days.

Advertisements

Book Review: Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1)Image
Charline Harris
Adult Paranormal Romance
Published: 2001
Publisher: Ace Books
3/5

 

            Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, she keeps to herself and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty, because she is, but because Sookie has this sort of ‘disability.’ She can read minds, and that doesn’t make her too dateable.
            Then along comes Bill, he’s tall, dark, handsome – and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life…
            But Bill has a disability of his own; he’s a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of –big surprise- murder. And when one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next…

Image

Dead until Dark is a super popular series, at least I think it is. It seems to be at any rate Aand despite my interest I’m actually pretty glad I didn’t invest an actual money into reading this book.
            Sookie is immature, flat, boring, and really inexperienced in all ways of the world which I find hard to believe given her upbringing and her ability to read minds. In my opinion after a life time of hearing people’s thoughts you would think she would be more hardened, more modest and less… well just less like the way she is.
            It’s hard for me to feel any pity for anyone in this book, or feel any kind of sadness because she bounces back so quickly. Oh! Someone’s dead well big deal, I’d better go moon over the creepy vampire.  She also falls in love way to easily for someone who has heard the lusty thoughts of other people her whole life. She’s extremely trusting for someone who has so much knowledge. Also on a side note, if I was the American President I would have her on my staff as some type of spy. Obviously she’d be a great asset in discovering whom in your staff had intentions that were for anyone other than yourself. Talk about learning who is actually loyal and who is actually just looking out for themselves or in some cases someone else!
            Also, Bill, bleh, ugh, ick! Not my kind of tall dark and handsome! He’s also flat, boring and utterly predictable. They both suffer from a serious case of insta-love and it’s the kind of insta-love that really doesn’t make much sense.
            I found myself confused a lot by who the characters were and by what was going on because Sookie jumped around so much in terms of who she knew and how she knew them. Also there is just a slew of character introductions right form the get go witch I find is usually an auto fail for me in most books.
            despite all these falls it was an extremely easy read, it’s not highly detailed, nor is the plot thick and devious, in fact I almost feel like I could skip ahead two books and would be able to fallow along with realitive ease, other than not knowing who anyone was of course. I also was able to finish the book which is rare for me, usually when I really dislike a book I don’t even bother finishing it, which is why I post so many 4 and 5 star reviews. It’s not very often I’ll stick through something like this, which in the end is probably why I gave it three stars instead of two, I was feeling generous.
            Anyways, this book was a great disappointment for me and I am fairly positive I won’t be bothering with the rest of the series. My Library doesn’t have the next book anyways.

            What book have you read that’s left you feeling disappointed!?

Image

Book Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue SeaImage
April Genevieve Tucholke
Paranormal, YA
Published: 2013
Publisher: Dial
5/5

                Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.
                Is River just a crooked-something liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
                Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.
                Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight and that’s just how River likes it.

Image
                Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a captivating gothic paranormal romance, set in a sleepy town full of interesting, lively characters with bizarre names. With a gorgeous cover and captivating blurb it would be hard to pass by this delicious book without the urge to pick it up.
                Like with most wildly popular books there are two sides. There are those who are going to love the book, there are those who are going to severely dislike the book. As with everything else in life, there is no such thing as a perfect book. They’re all flawed because we are all flawed and no one ever will be able to please everyone.
                For me personally this book had a lot of elements that make an engaging, enjoyable young adult novel. I’ve noticed recently that Young Adult fiction isn’t often doing it for me, the more I pick up the more I am putting down and I’m okay with that, fiction tastes change as you change and what you liked last month or last year doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it in this moment.
                I wouldn’t say that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is necessarily a case of insta-love as I’m often not a fan of those, but at the same time realise that insta-love does happen, in real life and in fiction. I knew that my Husband was the one within a week of dating him. It happens and when magic, and paranormal elements are involved I’m more likely to go with the flow of the story than stand there and judge it. I thought that April did a great job with the paranormal, fantasy elements of the book and that she wrote a story line that was both believable in their universe and a joy to read.
                Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea was very fast paced and I really wish it were double the size, largely in part of the fact that I didn’t want it to end so quickly and because I felt that the story could have used more back story, more pages of explanations and more time to develop the plot and the twists. This is the first book in either a trilogy or a series so I’m willing to let that go and allow myself to be filled with anticipation for the next books.
                This story is not complicated, it’s simple, it’s dark at times and light in other times and though a few questionable things happened I still felt myself suckered into it enough to sit down for 2.3-3 hours and finish the whole book in the same sitting despite having a super serious lack of free time right now.
                What Story have you read where those who read it either strongly enjoy or dislike the novel? How did you feel about the story in particular? 

Book Review: Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep (The Shinning #2)Image
Stephan King
Paranormal Horror
Published: 2013
Publisher: Scribner
4.5/5 stars

 

                On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs but as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
                Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
                Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shinning and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King Canon.

 

                                                                                ­­­­­_________________

                Doctor Sleep is a great work of fiction, Stephan King did a fantastic job bringing to life the rest of Danny Torrance’s reality. How he develops and who he becomes, how his past circumstances helped and hindered him in his development in his formative years and how that crossed over into adult hood where he was a struggling alcoholic was all very believable and made perfect sense.   One thing of note, this is not a sequel in the traditional sense and in my opinion it comes across as more of a companion novel which made this all the more fun to read.
                Dan Torrance’s character was soft, gentle, but he was also hard, and kept to himself. It was interesting to read how he would spiral, then build himself back up again only to spiral out of control once again. I was definitely happy when he finally got sober and was very happy to see that he stayed sober throughout the novel. I was disappointed however that Dan lost some of his ability in regards to his supernatural powers and was happy to find that eventually they came back. It was surprising to me that as a main character that Dan wasn’t the strongest character however, I believe that made the story more engaging and believable.
                Doctor Sleep wasn’t as scary as ‘The Shinning’ and I found ‘The True Knot’ not nearly as scary as I had been hoping they would be. Beyond the odd scene here of there, the focus on their power and what they were was more lackluster than I would have hoped. They weren’t nearly as scary as the cover flap would have led me to believe. I was hoping for more of a ‘coven’ feel in terms of their group but they seemed a little disorderly and for some reason I kept imagining them as people with poor hygiene and broken down RVs although it was clear that wasn’t what they were like.
                I found Abra’s character engaging, she was spunky and head strong. She is a twelve year old girl with terrifyingly strong powers and she was aware of them. She also struggles with trying to be normal in a world where she can never be just like everyone else. She’s unique, talented and beautiful and stronger than anyone else in this universe that Stephan King has created with ‘Doctor Sleep and the Shinning’. I found it refreshing however that she had flaws because as we all know a perfect character isn’t interesting to read at all. Characters need strengths and weaknesses to make them relatable and more realized.
                Over all, I really enjoyed Doctor Sleep. It was a fantastic addition to my Stephan King collection and I’m very much looking forward to all of the books that he writes in the future though I am not sure if I’ll ever anticipate a book the way I anticipated ‘Doctor Sleep’.
                Doctor Sleep was a great way to start my October reading month.
                If you’ve read Doctor Sleep what did you think of it? Or perhaps if you’re not interested in reading Doctor Sleep why not?  Interested in what you all are thinking!

 

Book Talk: Literary terms Part 1

        I thought I would take the time to write out what my definitions of genre’s and ‘readership’ labels mean to me. There seems to be so many vastly different opinions online about what they actually are and often times I find myself getting frustrated with people labeling novels incorrectly. However, that being said obviously everyone has the right to their own opinion, I just want to share mine with you
            This is part one of my definitions, and as it’ll be fairly long I’m going to break it up into at least two parts, likely three.
              What do you think of my definitions, do you agree or disagree with them? If you disagree I’d love to know why!  

Science Fiction; Deals with imaginative concepts, often in regards to futuristic technology, space travel, other planets and time travel. However science fiction is not limited, it can also involve aliens, vampires, zombies and werewolves. Many factors come into play when classifying creatures into the genre science fiction; i.e. a virus mutates and creates zombies, it’s a manmade mistake created by science.
                Examples of science Fiction
                                Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
                                Across the Universe – Beth Revis
                                Dune – Frank Herbert
                                Feed – Mira Grant

 

Fantasy; Deals with imaginative concepts that are often improbable or impossible. For example, many fantasy novels include animals such as dragons, trolls and elves. Fantasy novels almost always include a realm of magic, in example characters that are able to wield the elements, heal without medicines, or call upon mystical animals for help in battles. If Vampires, Zombies, aliens or werewolves are involved in fantasy they are almost always natural and not created by man, they’ve always existed in these worlds the way the elves or hobbits have. They are also often series, it is not often that you find a standalone fantasy novel; most that I’ve come across personally have been a part of a large series.
                Examples of Fantasy
                                The Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
                                The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J.R.R Tolkien
                                The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini
                                A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R.Martin

Horror; in its essence horror is intended to scare you, to keep you up all night with the lights on and send shivers straight through to your bones. The Horror genre is usually quite dark, violent and can at times be gory. Horror can either be supernatural or non-supernatural depending on the content of the novel. This includes but is not limited too; serial killers, ghosts, poltergeists, vampires, zombies, kidnapping, psychological horror, etc.
                  Examples of Horror
                                 The Shining – Stephan King
                                 The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
                                 Dracula – Bram Stoker
                                 Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice


Young Adult; This category is a little more tricky and can at times be vague but the general rule of thumb is that young adult audience intended are between the ages of 12-18 years old. Recent studies however have shown that 55% of young adult fiction purchased is bought by adults over the age of 18.
               Examples of Young Adult Fiction
                                 The Hunger Games Trilogy –Suszanne Collins
                                 The Delirium Trilogy – Lauren Oliver
                                 The Fault in our Stars – John Green
                                 Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen

New Adult; Deals primarily with protagonists between the ages of 18-25. Unlike Young Adult there is often considerably more descriptive sexual content, drug and alcohol use and more ‘real life’ issues. Despite having a genre, there are not many New Adult novels that are not contemporary, at least not that I’ve currently discovered. This is a highly HOT topic currently as it’s not clear if this is actually a clear genre, category or marketing scheme.
                   Examples of New Adult Fiction
                                      Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
                                       Slammed – Colleen Hoover
                                       Easy – Tamara Webber
                                      Fallen too Far – Abbi Glines

                               

Book Haul: August (Kinda)

 Image

                Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book haul but I’m here and I’m back in full action so I thought I’d update you on a few books that I’ve added to my personal library recently.
                Which books have you hauled this month? I’m always interested in hearing about new books and of course interested in what you’re reading!

Flesh and bone: Book 3 – Jonathan Maberry
Soul Screamers: Volume 3 – Rachel Vincent
Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Omens – Kelly Armstrong
Shades of Earth: Book 3 – Beth Revis
The Third Twin – Ken Follett
Fall of Giants: Book 1 – Ken Follett
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
Inferno: Book 4 – Dan Brown

Not Yet Released

Wishlist #2
-What’s on you wishlist?

1. Dr.  Sleep written by Stephan KingImage
            Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.
            On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
            Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
                                                                       
Release Date: September 24th, 2013

2. Lost Lake written by Sarah Addison Allen ****
   Image         This book does not even have a description but it really doesn’t need one because I love Sarah Addison Allen, she is by far one of my all-time favorite authors and I’ll buy anything she writes… ANYTHING because everything I’ve read that she’s written has been amazing and I’ve re-read all her books a hundred times. Trust me when I say that I am sooooo overly excited for this book that I’m practically counting down the days!
                                          Release Date: February 11th, 2014

 

3.  Omens: Cainsville Series written by Kelley ArmstrongImage
            Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech-firm CEO with political ambitions. But Olivia’s world is shattered when she finds out that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers, each still serving a life sentence.
            The news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, and Olivia thinks the best thing she can do for herself and for them is run away from it all. She ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her decision to uncover the truth about her birth parents. Olivia decides to focus on the Larsens’ last crime, the one Pamela Larsen swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel Walsh, Pamela’s former lawyer, start investigating, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. There are dark secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

                                                                        Release Date: August 20th 2013

4. These Broken Stars  written by Amie Koufman
         Image   It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury space liner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone; with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
                                        Release Date: December 10th 2013