Review: The Book Jumper

Imagine being able to jump into your favorite novel, being able to interact with the characters you love, and basically live the story! For Amy Lennox, that’s reality…or at least it becomes her reality.

ABEC5B42-1117-4ACA-B5BE-181C6F964474For as long as Amy can remember, it’s always been her and Alexis, her mom. Life hasn’t always been easy but it sure has been an adventure for the two of them. Until one summer. School had been hard on Amy. The friends she thought she had weren’t actually her friends and her mom was dealing with a hard breakup. So the two of them decide to spend a few weeks at Alexis’s childhood home, a little island called Stormsay.

While there, Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead insists that Amy read while she resides at Lennox House. Which isn’t much of a problem for Amy since she loves to read anyway. But Amy soon learns that her family holds a special power as book jumpers, able to interact with a story and protect the plots to keep the literary world in check. It seems like a wonderful ability, until someone starts stealing ideas from the classics. Dorothy’s cyclone disappears, the white rabbit can no longer lead Alice to Wonderland, and it’s suddenly snowing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But who is destroying the stories and why?

I was super excited to read this one. But it was a little slow going in the beginning. It wasn’t until I was about seven chapters in that the story started to pick up. While an easy read and an intriguing story, I felt that bits of it were thrown together haphazardly. However, part of that could just be the translation. Nevertheless, Mechthild Glaser has created a unique tale for all bookworms. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed about being able to talk with their favorite heroines or watch the classic stories being lived right in front of them?

There’s a lot going on in the book and it can get a bit confusing. I felt like there were too many underlying stories to the main one that at times it distracted from the awesomeness of the main storyline. Still, The Book Jumper was a good read with a surprise ending and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

Ghosts. Gods. And plot out the wazoo.

39679076._UY844_SS844_Annaleigh has just buried another one of her sisters. It seems as if her family had been in mourning for as long as she could remember. The islands they made their home believed there was a curse on their family. And when Annaleigh begins seeing the ghosts of her dead sisters, she wonders if they may be right. But that’s not the only strange thing going on.

I want more of this book! House of Salt and Sorrows is one-in-a-million. While being incredibly interesting, it also holds quite a bit of a spook factor. There were times where I didn’t want to read it alone because it gave me the heebie-jeebies in the best way possible. Mixed with fantasy and romance, the characters are incredibly easy to fall in love with. And there was just plot twist after plot twist! It was constantly throwing me off track on what I thought would happen. I seriously can not wait for this to come out in hardback because I will be snatching it up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Hazel and Holly

IMG_0944Hazel and Holly is the perfect novel for those who love witchcraft and magic. Living in a little place called the Grove, Hazel and Holly are sisters trying to find their way in a world without their parents. Their mother, Willow, passed away but has been trapped in a geas by their necromancer father. And now, Hazel has made it her mission to track down their father and make him release their mother’s soul so she may finally be at peace.

Filled with quirky characters and a compelling storyline, Hazel and Holly is the best of the magical worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, I did get a bit frustrated with the sisters here and there. Through making bad decisions and generally being annoying, they eventually became some of my favorite witches to read about.

There were a few moments where it felt as if the story dragged a bit but it quickly picked up again. I was expecting a epic ending to their journey but found it a bit anticlimactic for me. However, I do believe Snider left it open for more adventures from these two witchy sisters. Something I hope she delivers soon. Look for Hazel and Holly to hit shelves May of this year!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Shatter Me

264 days. That’s how long Juliette has been in isolation. No one knows what to do with her or even what she is capable of. After accidentally killing a little boy, just by trying to help him to his feet, she’s been locked away until someone can figure out what to do with her. That is, until the day she wakes up to find Adam Kent in her cell with her. Then things begin to get interesting.

IMG_0901In Shatter Me, society has fallen. What’s left of civilization has been broken up into sectors. Food is scarce and families are broken apart. A young man named Warner has taken a special interest in Juliette and her power. She is taken to his home and introduced to the world that she’s been away from for so long. It’s nothing like what she remembered. And it’s made even worse by the fact that Warner now wants to use her as a weapon for his own personal gain.

Shatter Me was a pleasure to read! I loved every minute of it. I’ve been on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic kick lately and this fit right in with my mood. Mafi creates characters that make you want to read and her prose is beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause in my reading just to admire the wordsmithing. Beautiful! Uniquely written and kept on the edge of my seat, this book was a page-turner that I couldn’t put down. While I felt that the romantic relationship seemed to move a little quickly in Shatter Me, I still appreciated the connections made between characters.

Overall, an excellent read and I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series!

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

Is there anything better than reading in the mountains? I’m out in Colorado (heading home today) for my real job but I still found some time to cozy up with a book and get some major reading done.

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The Girl With All The Gifts is a post-apocalyptic tale focusing on a young girl named Melanie at the center of a chilling science experiment. The world has ended. People have been infected and are turning into “hungries”. Except the children. The children still seem to hold a sense of self-awareness and no one can explain why. But Dr. Caroline Caldwell is determined to find the answers, no matter what’s at stake. Meanwhile, Miss Justineau, a teacher for the children, has become attached to Melanie which causes issues in itself. When the base they are inhabiting is attacked, the three of them along with two soldiers must find their way back to civilization (or what’s left of it) without falling victim to the infection that has killed most of the population.

img_0841I’ll be honest, I was not expecting a zombie novel when I first picked this book up. I did what they always say not to do and I judged the book by its cover. Still, I’m glad I picked it up. M.R. Carey managed to write a not-so-typical zombie novel which kept my interest and had me on the edge of my seat through some of the situations these characters had to go through. Each character was easy to get attached to (or despise with a fiery passion) and I felt fully involved in each of their separate stories. I did, however, get a little lost in the scientific talk throughout the book but could understand enough to get the basic gist of it.

All in all, I highly recommend picking up The Girl With All The Gifts if you’re looking for a newer take on the zombie story, or if you enjoy reading post-apocalyptic novels.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

It’s been quite a while since this blog has seen some use. In fact, I think I see some cobwebs lying around. Sorry about that guys. Life got pretty hectic last year with personal life and my photography business. I am making more of an effort this year to lead a more balanced life. So here I am with a new review!

It’s possible to love your grandmother for years and years without really knowing anything about her.

img_0764My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry depicts an extremely unique and strong relationship between almost-eight-year-old Elsa and her Granny. Between the two of them, they have created a magical world with many kingdoms and thousands upon thousands of fairy tales. Fredrik Backman pulls you into this heartwarming relationship and the exciting and imaginative stories from the minds of these two characters.

But at the end of every fairy tale, there is a dragon and Elsa must face hers. However, she won’t do it alone. While Elsa and her grandmother spend their times in the realms of their own making, reality is much harsher and no less fantastical. Between the wurse, The Monster, and the sea-angel, Elsa has an army and a family at her back as she takes on the biggest dragon of all: life.

The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people left behind want to stop living.

I was blown away by the wordsmithing in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Every page is filled with beauty and emotion. You can’t help but be drawn into the relationship between Elsa, her mother, and her grandmother. The layers upon layers of stories were intricately woven in such a beautiful way. Definitely a story I would love to share with anyone. If you’re looking for a novel that will give you just about anything a literary piece can, look no further than this one!

#FictionFriday: A Prayer for Owen Meany

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

Welcome to another #FictionFriday, book lovers! The weekend is finally here. (Cue the angel choir) While I still have a lot of housework to do this weekend, I’m hoping to get quite a bit of reading done. Currently I’m reading through Carry On by Rainbow Rowell for my book club. Since it’s such a thick book I’m debating on adding a second book to my “currently reading” list. What do you think?

4473This #FictionFriday, I’d like to share with you A Prayer for Owen Meany. If you’ve been following my page for a while, you’ll know that I read this book last year. I’ll be honest, I’m not very familiar with John Irving’s writing and that’s simply because I’ve never read any of his books up until I picked up this one. I’d seen the movie Cider House Rules which was based off one of his books. But that doesn’t really count.

A Prayer for Owen Meany follows two young boys, John and Owen, in the 1950s and beyond. Owen is a strange boy with an abnormal voice and a belief in miracles. What do you do when your best friend believes he is God’s instrument?

I have to admit, I wasn’t immediately taken in by this book. It’s not something that I would have picked up on my own but I enjoyed it. It took a bit but eventually I was hooked wanting to know what happened to Owen Meany. I’m still not quite a fan of Irving’s writing but I enjoyed this book. Perhaps I’ll pick up another one soon. Any lovers of John Irving out there? If you have a book you think I should read, send me a message.

The Bear and The Nightingale

25489134._UY1000_SS1000_This book has intrigued me for quite some time. I’ve heard some good things about it and was excited to finally add it to my list.

Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale is the first book in the Winternight Trilogy. The Bear and The Nightingale is set in Russia, where winters are hard and household demons run rampant. Vasilisa is the last born of her mother, and just like her mother she carries magic in her blood. She can see and speak with the wood spirits, the river goddess and even the vazila in the horsestables. But her stepmother is a Christian woman who fears the old gods and tries to bring her husband’s lands under a Christian rule. But in doing so, she puts everyone in danger. It’s up to Vasya to save her people and discover who she really is with the help of an unlikely alliance.

Arden weaves a tale of literary beauty and fantasy. While each character has about four different names, which can make it a bit difficult to keep track of them all, the story itself is beautifully written. Perfect for a winter read. I easily fell in love with the characters and the flow of the story had me staying up way past bedtime in order to finish another chapter. I highly recommend picking up The Bear and The Nightingale and I’m excited to read the second installment of the Winternight Trilogy.

Time’s a Thief

512g7Rgn-sL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_B.G. Firmani’s Time’s a Thief takes place in 1980s New York, and early 2000s New York. We follow Francesca “Chess” Varani through her years at Barnard. Coincidentally also where Firmani attended. Immediately we meet Kendra Marr-Lowenstein, a wild child from a high class family.  Chess is instantly taken with Kendra and her crazy ways. Throughout Firmani’s novel, we follow the ups and downs of Chess and Kendra’s friendship as well as just how deeply Chess finds herself in the Marr-Lowenstein family and the number they do on her.

While Time’s a Thief was easy to fall into and very easy to read, I found myself annoyed with the incessant lists of poets, composers, and literaries that seemed to add nothing to the story other than to flaunt Firmani’s knowledge. Beyond that, the novel read like a stream of consciousness writing. Very Bohemian and Kerouac-esque. I didn’t love the book but I didn’t hate it. I won’t give anything away but the ending seemed very bland to me as if nothing had actually happened through the entire story.

Still, if you’re looking for a novel to kill the time then Time’s a Thief is a good choice. As Firmani’s first novel it could use some work.

I received a copy of Time’s a Thief from NetGalley for review.

The Children

20170804_105908This book was difficult for me to get through. Not so much that it was a heavy read but more that it didn’t hold my interest. For those that know me, I’m a completionist, which comes in handy when I need to finish a book but just can’t find anything to keep me hooked.

The Children tells the story of a jigsaw family, one that has been split up and put back together but not quite correctly. The pieces sort of fit but there’s still some dissonance amongst them. Especially when Spin brings home his new fiance Laurel. In a family where no one talks about anything and secrets are being kept, how can a family move on from the past?

Ann Leary gives a cast of characters not quite unique and a story that for the first fourteen chapters doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Nothing seems to really happen until the last four chapters of the book. By that point, I had kind of given up hope on the story. I was never quite sure where Mrs. Leary was going with this family or what the endgame was. In the end, it was a mediocre story with an ending that seemed to be rushed and half-hearted.