Sunday, November 25, 2018

Review: The Next Best Thing

The Next Best Thing The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a nice light read. I liked the first book in the Gideon's Cover series better. I thought maybe we would see characters from the first book, but this was a stand alone.

Lucy and Ethan were both fun characters and I enjoyed the story. I was a little annoyed with Lucy at times but for the most part I liked the characters and it was a nice light read.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Review: Royally Endowed

Royally Endowed Royally Endowed by Emma Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story, but it covered a lot more time than the previous novels in the series. I think I would have liked it more if it hadn't had to cover quite as much time. I get that it needed to start at the beginning but I would have preferred a more fluid narration.

I did like the characters and the chemistry between them. This series has been my first from the author but it will not be my last. I've enjoyed every single book and the steamy relationships.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Review: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a difficult book for me. I decided to listen to it after a few times opening it in the past, reading a few sentences, and saying I wasn't in the mood over the last few years. I decided it was time to give it a real go, so I got the audiobook. I did not care for the the first part of it at all. If I'm honest, I really only liked parts of the book. I did enjoy the second half more than the first half, but I still didn't love any of the characters.
The book opens with Adam Ewing's journal. I found him to be irritating, and I have to agree that his journal doesn't seem like any journal I've every read. Also, for all of his philosophizing and analyzing he was blind to the people around him. If I had not known that the book was going to switch narrators, and soon I might have given up again at this point.
Second, we have Robert Frobisher, a composer, writing letters to his friend Rufus Sixsmith. Robert came across as needy and whiny. I again contemplated putting the book aside and saying it just wasn't a book for me.
Third is Luisa Ray, a journalist. Her story was the first that actually held my attention, and didn't have me wondering when it was going to end and the next narrator begin. I think part of this is that it was told as more of a novel. It flowed and I felt like I got to know the setting and characters a little better.
Fourth is Timothy Cavendish an older man in publishing. Again, I found him needy and whiny, and I started hoping for his narration to end and be over with quickly.
Fifth we have the first future setting with Sonmi-451. She was by far the most interesting of the narrators, and her story was one I would have been happy to listen to for longer.
Last, and the only narrative that is not interrupted is a far future setting with Zachry narrating and Meronym as an outsider staying with his tribe. I didn't for the most part like this section. I wasn't waiting for it to end like I did with the others, but I also didn't really care.
Then of course the book goes backwards through the characters again. I did enjoy them slightly more the second time around, but I still can't say that I really enjoyed majority of the book. As a whole it was ambitious, and I like the idea behind the work. It at times worked, but there were a lot of points when it just didn't work for me. I can say with certainty that if I had been reading the text I would never have made it all the way through the book. I probably would have stopped somewhere shortly after reading the first 100 pages. That being said I didn't dislike it, I even liked parts of it, but over all I wanted something this book was missing, and because of that I wouldn't recommend it.

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Review: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a difficult book for me. I decided to listen to it after a few times opening the book in the past reading a few sentences and saying I wasn't in the mood over the last few years. I decided it was time to give it a real go and so I got the audiobook. I did not care for the the first part of it at all. If I'm honest, I really only liked parts of the book. I did enjoy the second half more than the first half, but I still didn't love any of the characters.
The book opens with Adam Ewing's journal. I found him to be irritating, and I have to agree that his journal doesn't seem like any journal I've every read. Also, for all of his philosophizing and analyzing he was blind to the people around him. If I had not known that the book was going to switch narrators and soon I might have given up again.
Second, we have Robert Frobisher writing letters to his friend Rufus Sixsmith. Robert came across as needy and whiny. I again contemplated putting the book aside and saying it just wasn't a book for me.
Third is Luisa Ray, a journalist. Her story was the first that actually held my attention and didn't have me wondering when it was going to end and we were going to get to the next narrator. I think part of this is that it was told as more of a novel. It flowed and I felt like I got to know the setting and characters a little better.
Fourth is Timothy Cavendish an older man in publishing. Again, I found him needy and whiny, and I started hoping for his narration to end and be over with quickly.
Fifth we have a future setting with Sonmi-451. She was by far the most interesting of the narrators and her story was one I would have been happy to listen to for longer.
Last, and the only narrative that is not interrupted is a far future setting with Zachry narrating and Meronym as an outsider staying with his tribe. I didn't for the most part like this narration. I wasn't waiting for it to end like I did with the others, but I also didn't really care.
Then of course the book goes backwards through the characters again. I did enjoy them slightly more the second time around, but I still can't say that I really enjoyed all of the book. As a whole it was ambitious and I like the idea behind the work. It at times worked, but there were a lot of points when it just didn't work for me. I can say with certainty that if I had been reading the text I would never have made it all the way through the book. I probably would have stopped somewhere shortly after reading the first 100 pages. That being said I didn't dislike, I even liked parts of it, but over all I wanted something this book was missing. Because of that I wouldn't recommend it.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: Selected Poems

Selected Poems Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Collection of poems was short and for me that was a good thing. I had a hard time accessing the poetry. They sound nice read aloud, but the meaning often took some digging to get to. While that isn't a bad thing it isn't what I look for in a collection of poetry. I want to be able to enjoy the sound and meaning of each poem without having to stop and dissect each line.
I wasn't really familiar with Emily Dickinson's writing prior to reading this collection. I had read one or two poems in high school and college writing classes, but she wasn't an author I sought out. Having read this collection, I think I can say that she is not the poet for me. That doesn't mean she wouldn't be great for someone else. However, out of the whole collection there is only one poem that I really felt a connection to. Normally there are a few in each collection that I connect with. Because of that I'm not recommending this collection. Unless you are looking for a very short introduction to Emily Dickinson I would suggest you choose a different poetry collection.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Review: All the Birds in the Sky

All the Birds in the Sky All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting novel in that it melded fantasy and science fiction. Most novels pick one and stay firmly in that genre. I liked that this brought them together. The world is similar to the current world but there is magic. Natural magic that is in the service of nature, and then there is science that is far advance from our own. The planet has been damaged by humans and two forces, science and magic, are looking for a solution to this problem. Their approaches are different though and that leads to conflict between the groups.
Patricia and Laurence start out as rejects at their school. This brings them together until an assassin who saw the future appears and begins pushing them apart. The novel is divided into four books. The books give us time to know the history of the two characters and I think that really made the story engaging. Also, both characters were enjoyable at young and older ages.
I have been reading darker fiction recently and this was a lighter read. It wasn't all light but the negative was limited in scope. When I finished this novel I didn't despair for the human race.
I recommend this book. It was an easy read and the story was enjoyable from start to finish.

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Review: Royal Assassin

Royal Assassin Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought this was the strongest book of the series so far. In the last we see Fitz grow into a young man. In this we see him taking charge of his life even if it goes against what others believe is best. I could see how he was making changes to the world around him in this book. In the previous book we was being acted through.
Even though the Wit is consider Beast magic and unclean, Fitz uses it. He bonds with a wolf, Nighteyes, and uses it to protect himself from the white ship and those who wish to harm. He does his best to hide his use of Wit magic and keep people from discovering he has it.
At the start of this book Fitz is ready to give up on life but he quickly changes his mind when he thinks about his childhood friend Molly and what may have happened to her. Once he thinks of her he has the courage to leave he Mountain Kingdom and return to Buckkeep. He is still recovering from being poisoned when he gets back and having the maintain his appearance is at first hard for him. However, he finds solace in Molly who is now at the castle.
This book covers a lot of ground in a short about of time. I'm looking forward to the next book, and seeing how Fitz grows into himslef. He is an interesting character whom I enjoy spending time with.

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