Thursday, June 30, 2016

*Review* Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford


Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: June 14, 2016
Pages: 384

Synopsis

The Great War is over, and change is in the air, in this novel that brings to life the exciting days of early British radio…and one woman who finds her voice while working alongside the brilliant women and men of the BBC. 

London, 1926. American-raised Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job as a secretary at the upstart British Broadcasting Corporation, whose use of radio—still new, strange, and electrifying—is captivating the nation. But the hectic pace, smart young staff, and intimidating bosses only add to Maisie’s insecurity. 

Soon, she is seduced by the work—gaining confidence as she arranges broadcasts by the most famous writers, scientists, and politicians in Britain. She is also caught up in a growing conflict between her two bosses, John Reith, the formidable Director-General of the BBC, and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary director of the hugely popular Talks programming, who each have very different visions of what radio should be. Under Hilda’s tutelage, Maisie discovers her talent, passion, and ambition. But when she unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to make their voices heard both on and off the air…and then face the dangerous consequences of telling the truth for a living.


Review

I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.

This book had an Agent Carter feeling to it for me, which is kind of weird because the main characters were not officially secret agents. They were just a couple of women working at the BBC in its infancy, at a time when women could be let go for getting married. I found the social aspect of the story intriguing but infuriating. It was less than 100 years ago and women were only allowed to hold a few select jobs, and once they were married they were out the door to care for their husbands and homes. My feminist head was practically exploding.

I absolutely adored Hilda. Everything she did to help draw Maisie out of her shell and help her become the amazing, confident woman she never knew she could be was really heartwarming. Every time something good happened for Maisie because of Hilda (or at least with Hilda's subtle pushes), I cheered a little. 

The final highlight for this book for me, is that the mystery involved in the story relates directly to the rise of the Nazi party and the build up to WWII, and I've always been fascinated by WWII, so even reading a fictional account of events that may have led to it, was interesting for me. I noticed many parallels to politics today, which frightens me. 

5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

Sarah-Jane Stratford grew up in Los Angeles with a deep love of theatre and literature. After earning a bachelor's degree in history at UC Santa Cruz, she then obtained a master's degree in medieval history at the University of York in England, where she wrote a thesis about women in the manorial court system which gave her a new appreciation for the modern era.

On moving to New York, she wrote her first two novels, The Midnight Guardian and The Moonlight Brigade (St Martins Press). She has also written articles and essays for a range of publications, including The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Marie-Claire, Bitch, Slate, Salon, Guernica, and BOMB.

In addition to theatre and activism, Sarah-Jane enjoys knitting (when the project is submitting to her will) and wandering around interesting places.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

*Review* Thoughts on Life: Random and Otherwise by Jennifer Rego


Genre: Self-Help
Published: December 4, 2014
Pages: 52

Synopsis

Thoughts on Life, Random and Otherwise is a collection of ideas, thoughts, and self reflections that the author has garnered through her own experiences. She shares these thoughts with the intention of inspiring others to reflect on their life, set thought patterns, and self-limiting memes by covering a broad range of topics in short, bite-sized and easily digestible pieces. It is meant to inspire change in the reader's daily life and actions, as well as entertain.


Review

I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review.

This book annoyed me. Based on the title, I was expecting the thoughts to be phrased as just that, thoughts (like "I feel" or "I've noticed"). Instead they come off as commands. It felt preachy and in at least one instance I felt like the author was contradicting herself a bit. She talks about being eco-conscious, preserving nature, and of how our rainforests are dying off, and then she tells us to send a letter, like snail mail (in a book that would be half the size it is now with different formatting). That's not very eco-conscious, and it's certainly not going to help to preserve the rainforests.

The advice wasn't necessarily bad, but I felt like the delivery left a lot to be desired. 2 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

After working for 14 years in the financial services sector, and obtaining her MBA, Jennifer uprooted and moved across the country from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest where she's lived and worked for the past ten plus years. She is co-creator for the quirky and clever Columbia River Tunnel Permit sticker that decorates cars up and down the Columbia River and serves on the board of directors and as Treasurer for a local non-profit. In addition to her years of business experience, Jennifer is a also certified yoga instructor, Reiki Master, Advanced Polarity Practitioner, and a devoted student of Baba Shiva Rudra BalaYogi. She is constantly seeking ways to incorporate the principals discussed in her book into her daily life.
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*Review* From Titans by Mary Ting


Genre: YA/Paranormal
Published: June 24, 2016
Pages: 215

Synopsis

Everyone is searching for Mason. 

Zeus sent Hermes, and the Oracles have used their magic, with no success. A sparkle of hope arises when Eris, the goddess of Chaos, sends an invitation to her wedding engagement party. She’s holding Mason hostage, and Skylar and her friends only need permission to enter Eris’s world to rescue him. 

At the party, Eris gives them one condition: In exchange for Mason, they must travel to the Land of Reverse and bring back the bottle of gold water King Midas used to wash himself free of his gift. Further chaos follows when Eris not only sets up a hunt in the Labyrinth of Crete, but makes a bargain with the Titans she rescued. 

The Titans possess power more than anyone anticipated, and Cronus is hungry for revenge after his own children locked him up in Tartarus. No one is safe. Not even the humans.


Review

I was hired to proofread this book. Ms. Ting is probably aware that I would be reviewing because we have worked together in the past, but it was not part of our agreement. I just review every book I read. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review biased, so be it, but this is my honest review.

I have actually read this entire series (I feel like I can't say that about very many series anymore) so I already felt a connection with these characters. I do highly recommend you read the series in order, as you will at the very least be exposed to some pretty big spoilers for the early books if you don't. I've wanted these characters to get an HEA since book one, and have consistently found myself somewhat stymied on that score, time and time again. Things just kept going wrong!

I felt like a lot of this story was pretty predictable. I was not surprised by the ultimate outcome, and a part of me wishes that more painful sacrifices had been made. I was intrigued by the mystery at the beginning of the story. And even though it was predictable, I was ultimately satisfied with the story arc, because sometimes you just want to be right. 

Overall I give From Titans 3.75 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Ways to keep in touch with the author:

Newsletter Updates: http://eepurl.com/YMyCn

Website: www.authormaryting.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormaryting
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CrossroadsBook
Twitter :@maryting
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11283685-crossroads
Blog: http://www.marytingbooks.blogspot.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/authormaryting 

*Review* Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs by Jen Funk Weber


Genre: Education/Science
Published: February 10, 2016
Pages: 32

Synopsis

Spotting wildlife is a thrill, but it's not easy. When Cole comes to visit his friend Helena, he can't wait to see all the wildlife the forest has to offer and is disappointed when all he sees are a few birds. Together the kids set out on a hike and encounter plenty of animal signs along the way. Through observation and her knowledge of animal behavior, Helena helps Cole learn what each of the signs means: something had been there; something had done that.


Review

I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review. 

As a homeschooling parent, I'm always on the lookout for educational books that are more interesting than your standard textbook. This book fits that bill in my opinion. The language is simple enough that a first grader could read it with minimal assistance. There is a matching activity in the back that could reasonably help demonstrate information retention from the book (as well as problem solving in the event that information was not retained well). And the animal sign spotting activity that is described at the end could feasibly be implemented to a degree at a zoo if you live in a more urban area. The facts about the wildlife discussed in this book are an added bonus. This is a book I will definitely be using with my children.

5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Buy the Book


About the Author

Jen Funk Weber began writing professionally while working as a winter caretaker for remote lodges in Alaska, often passing six months or more with no electricity, running water, or human neighbors. Jen has written numerous puzzle and activity books, including Nancy Drew: Hollywood Head Scratchers, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Wild About Alaska: A Children s Puzzle Book, Wild About Sudoku, and Alaska s Puzzle Bears. Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs is Jen s debut picture book. Jen lives with her husband in a house they built overlooking the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska. They see their moose and bird neighbors often, their human and porcupine neighbors sometimes, and occasionally catch a glimpse of a coyote or lynx.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

*Review* The Bear Who Couldn't Sleep by Caroline Nastro


Genre: Children's Illustrated
Published: October 1, 2016
Pages: 32

Synopsis

There s no place like home when it s time for bed. When Bear can t sleep, he goes on an adventure and discovers the wonders of New York City a parade, Central Park, hot dogs, and more! But when he finally gets tired and looks for a place to rest . . . he learns why it s called the city that never sleeps. What's a bear to do? Caroline Nastro's gentle adventure and Vanya Nastanlieva's engaging illustrations are sure to comfort and delight!"


Review

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fun story about a young bear who has trouble hibernating in the winter, so he takes a trip to the Big Apple and sees all the sights. But then he starts to get sleepy. This kind of sends the wrong message to children (that when you can't sleep it's totally okay to get up and do whatever you want until you're tired. Only adults are allowed to do that!) but I still thought it was a fun story nonetheless. And for me, the illustrations were reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, I'm really not sure why. I rather enjoyed them though.

I read this book to my five year old and she said that it was a good book. She liked the part where Bear was in the house with his family and didn't like the part where he wasn't.

5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

Caroline Nastro was born and raised in New York City, where she currently lives. She is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and theater director. This is her first picture book.
About the Illustrator


Vanya Nastanlieva was born and raised in Bulgaria. She currently lives in Cambridge, England. She received her MA in Children's Book Illustration from the Cambridge School of Art in 2011. Her picture book, Mo and Beau, was highly commended in the 2011 Macmillan Prize for Children's Book Illustration, and was published in 2015. This is her first picture book for NorthSouth Books.

*Review* Everywhere and All Around by Pimm van Hest


Genre: Children's Illustrated
Published: July 12, 2016
Pages: 32

Synopsis

Yolanda’s mom has died.
One moment she was breathing. And the next moment she wasn’t.
She was there, and yet she wasn’t.
Where could her mom be now?
“If you look for me, my darling, you will find me,”
her mom had told her.
So Yolanda decides to go looking.
Looking for her mom who died.
Along the way she gets help and insights from some wonderful people.

A poetic story about loss and about a little girl’s inspiring belief and touching confidence.


Review

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this was a sad story about a young girl who's mother has died. This is not a book that I would have as regular reading in my house, but I believe it would be immensely useful to help children continue to feel connected to loved ones who have passed away.

I went ahead and read this book to my five year old anyway, to get her thoughts, and she said it was a good book. She didn't like the part where the stuffed bunny was hugging the girl because bunnies hop (did I mention she's five?) She liked the part of the story where the mom was close to the girl again. When asked, she said the story made her feel good (however we have not lost any people close to us, so she may not have fully understood what the story was about.)

5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

After having worked as a teacher for one year, Pimm van Hest started his studies in psychology when he met his present partner. Soon it became clear they wanted to adopt a child. In 2007 their daughter Moira came into their lives. Since Moira s arrival he works at home full-time. 
Kristof Devos is a Belgium-based graphic artist who started illustrating children's books in 2013. 
van Hest and Devos are the author and illustrator of Clavis' well-received picture book "Weatherboy."

*Review* I Will Always be Happy to See You by Ellen Delange


Genre: Children's Illustrated
Published: May 10, 2016
Pages: 32

Synopsis

A sweet story about a little dog that knows he will always be welcomed home with open arms, no matter what trouble he may get into.

This is a great book to help your children — if they are starting daycare, school, or even university — to reassure them that, no matter what happens, you will always be happy to see them.


Review

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I like the message in this story, that even when a person does things to make us less than happy, we are still going to be happy to see them, which I kind of interpreted as we'll always love them, no matter what. 

I read this story to my five year old and she said it was bad (this is the first time that's ever happened). She didn't like it when it looked like the girl was going to fall down. She did like the part where the neighbors flowers were picked though. (I believe she thought the story was bad because so many of the actions described were "naughty" things, and not that the book itself was actually bad though.)

4.5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

Ellen DeLange lives in Rothesey, Canada. She has been fascinated by picture books since she was a child growing up in the Netherlands. During her adult life, Ellen has traveled widely and extended her library with picture books from all over the world. While completing a doctorate in medical sciences, she wrote A Story with a Tail. This book was nominated for the Prize of the City of Hasselt. After moving to Canada and completing another graduate degree, she wrote her second book: I Will Always Be Happy to See You.

About the Illustrator

Jenny Meilihove is a freelance illustrator who loves making drawings, paintings and children books. She studied at Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem, in the department of Visual Communications and majored in illustration. Currently, she lives in Tel Aviv .


*Review* Tito the Magician by Guido van Genechten


Genre: Children's Illustrated
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 32

Synopsis

Manu, the magician at Circus Rondo, is fantastic. With a little magic powder, a wand, and a few words, he can pull amazing things out of his top hat. Tito, the little clown, would love to do that kind of magic. But when he tries with his own little brown hat, the magic doesn’t work at all. Maybe it’s because he’s uncertain and shy. What would happen if Tito were to ask Manu to show him how the trick really works?

An endearing picture book about magic and daring, for children aged 3 years and up.


Review

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a cute story about a kid who wants to do magic and gets a little bit of help from a real live magician. I like that the story doesn't give away the secret of magic and the bright, colorful illustrations.

I read this story to my five year old. She thought it was a good book. Her favorite part was when Tito pulled the white mouse out of the hat. She didn't like it when Tito didn't know how to do magic in the first place. 

5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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*Joood's Reviews* World Without End by Ken Follett

You may or may not know this already, but Joood - Hooligan of Platypire Reviews is notoriously bad at writing reviews after she finishes reading books. I'm serious, her to be reviewed list is almost as long as my Platypire Read-A-Thon list, and that thing is monstrous. So after much cajoling on Joood's part, I have decided to help her out and once a week I'm going to write one of her reviews for her because I'm a good friend like that, and there is no way this could possibly go wrong. I will be writing the reviews as if I actually am Joood.

This week I will be reviewing World Without End by Ken Follett. 



Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: October 9, 2007
Pages: 1014

Synopsis

World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time, the men and women among an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas -- about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race: the Black Death.



Because I'm not a quitter and Matt Schiariti made me read The Pillars of the Earth, I felt it was important to also read World Without End. However, since The Pillars of the Earth was so darn wordy, I decided to listen to the audiobook of World Without End. That was a big mistake, huge! The audiobook is like 45 hours long. I could have read the book myself faster. 

I felt like I related to this book a little bit more than TPotE, because I see some parallels to modern day America. Like I feel like we are currently at a crossroads of new ideas about medicine (health care), commerce, and justice. And being a more liberal minded person living in Texas, I feel like progress is a constant struggle, so I totally related to that in the book. And I'm pretty sure I had the Black Death a couple weeks ago, although it may have just been some allergies.

2.1 Platypires because Ken Follett's publisher clearly needs to update his bio on Amazon. - Joood - Hooligan

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About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, will be published in Autumn 2007. He has since written several equally successful novels including, most recently, WHITEOUT. He is also the author of non-fiction bestseller ON WINGS OF EAGLES. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of World Without End, just click any of the links below. 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Should Bloggers Charge for Reviews


It's Confessions day on Indie Authors & Book Blogs, and once again, I find myself with something long winded to say. Before I get started, the above confession does not reflect the views of the folks at IABB (well it might, but it was submitted anonymously and they are just gracious enough to provide the platform for the airing). It also does not reflect the views of the graphics artist that created the graphic. They have just donated their time to put the graphics together so we can view them each week. Again, the confession is anonymous, and only reflects the views of the anonymous confessor. 

So this confession doesn't have me ranty, but it does make me feel like edification is called for. A little bit of background, a couple of common themes on confessions are authors complaining about bloggers not being professional and not reading and reviewing in a timely fashion; and bloggers complaining about how we don't really make much money doing this and doing it in our free time. I went into detail on that score in The Business of Blogging. This semi-consistent back and forth between authors and bloggers led to the above confession.

On the surface, this actually seems like a good idea. I can honestly say that I have thought about how I could make it work to actually get paid by authors to read and review their books. But I immediately run into problems. First, how much do you charge for a book review? It takes me on average 8 hours to read a book, and then another 1-2 hours to write the review and build the blog post. So do I charge $70 for one review so that I'm making almost minimum wage? That seems a bit steep for a little blog like myself. I doubt many indie authors could even think about shelling out that kind of money for one review, let alone the dozens they need to really get some traction for their books. Maybe $5 per review sounds reasonable though, right? Surely that's feasible. But then I'd be making less than $1 per hour of "work" and at that rate, I might as well not charge at all, really. So I've weighed both sides of the rates, and I still don't even know where to begin with pricing my reviews. I imagine demand for reviews would plummet simply because most indie authors just can't afford to be paying for dozens of reviews from blogs.

Second, if I'm being paid to review books, I can't post them on Amazon. That's a violation of Amazon's terms of service and could get me barred from even being able to shop on Amazon, and since I currently live in Germany where I don't have access to all the American amenities that I love, I NEED Amazon. Additionally (and this doesn't actually affect me), if Amazon believes that an author is paying for reviews that are posted on Amazon, that author can lose their publishing privileges through Amazon. This is why Kirkus reviews (which are paid for) are always seen as Editorial Reviews on Amazon rather than in the customer review section. This is also why I don't post reviews for the books that I'm hired to proofread on Amazon. Even though I wasn't paid for a review, I did receive financial compensation in connection with those books.

Third, if I'm being paid to review books, I would expect my readers to question the integrity of my reviews. I would question the integrity of reviews written by other bloggers who were being paid to review the books they're reviewing. In fact, I suspect that you question the integrity of the reviews I write for the books that I've been paid to proofread. I will tell you that I'm actually more critical of the storyline in my reviews of books I've proofread, and while that's the honest truth, I don't expect you to believe me (because would the average person really tell you if they were less than honest in reviews for books they've worked on for money?) But this is also why I start my reviews with a disclosure about my connection with the books. I want you to know right off the bat why I had the book I was reviewing in the first place, so you can make your own informed decisions about how much stock to put into my review.

So you see, I'm not hiding behind doing this for free simply as an excuse to be rude (and I probably do come across as rude on occasion. I have a tendency towards snark, I don't sugarcoat my thoughts just to make them more palatable, and I have very little tolerance for people I feel to be inconsiderate.) I do this for free, because there is really no other way it can be done while maintaining my integrity as a reviewer, and for the most part, I am happy doing it, but I'm going to do it on my terms and my terms only. Do I feel undervalued? Yep...but as I mentioned before, I also don't really know how much I'd be worth and that is problematic in itself. And as far as the back and forth being a waste of time, I have to disagree. No one makes me engage with those confessions. I do that of my own free will. I make the choice to devote my time to commenting on them, just like I made the choice to devote some time to writing this post. Please don't blame others because of how you've chosen to spend your time. - Katie 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

*Joood's Reviews* Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

You may or may not know this already, but Joood - Hooligan of Platypire Reviews is notoriously bad at writing reviews after she finishes reading books. I'm serious, her to be reviewed list is almost as long as my Platypire Read-A-Thon list, and that thing is monstrous. So after much cajoling on Joood's part, I have decided to help her out and once a week I'm going to write one of her reviews for her because I'm a good friend like that, and there is no way this could possibly go wrong. I will be writing the reviews as if I actually am Joood.

This week I've chosen Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.


Genre: YA/Romance
Published: December 2, 2010
Pages: 372

Synopsis

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


Sofia the Great told me this was a pretty good book, and don't tell her I said this, but she has incredibly good taste in books (and cookies). I have to pretend to not want to read the books she recommends on principle, but I pretty much always enjoy them, and this book was no different. 

I was pretty excited about the prospect of Anna being shipped off to boarding school in Paris (Beauxbaton Academy anyone?), but at the same time, what kind of monsters must her parents be to ship her off to boarding school in a foreign country her SENIOR year of high school? Seriously, why now? (And I can't tell you the answer to that question because it's kind of a spoiler.) 

With Harry Potter on my mind, I was expecting the book to be rather magical, and the romance aspect was. Like I assume that Etienne's girlfriend must have been using some sort of love charm to keep him hooked even though he clearly wanted to be with Anna all year. And Anna was at a disadvantage because everyone knows that they don't teach magic at schools in Atlanta. 

I know most rating systems are 1-5, but I do what I want so I give Anna and the French Kiss 8.675309 Platypires. 

Buy the Book


About the Author

Stephanie Perkins is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. She has always worked with books--first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Anna and the French Kiss, click any of the links below. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

*Review* This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman


Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Published: December 23, 2014
Pages: 390

Synopsis

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

Review

I read the first book in this series, it was pretty cool. So I put a hold on this book at my library shortly after I finished reading the first one earlier this year.

When I started it I was pretty interested, the whole forbidden love thing is pretty awesome.

Except I just couldn't get into it. I kept trying, and I'd actually fall asleep while reading. Which is not something I do, ever.

I think the biggest issue is that I've read the Romeo and Juliet in space theme at least twice this year already. So, I can't help but compare this to them... and this one falls flat.

I made it to about 60% through the book before I quit. So, I really tried. And I debated struggling through to finish the last parts... but it is due back at the library in 2 days, and I'm just not going to finish it before then. - Joood - Hooligan

Buy the Book


About the Author

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping. 

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

*Joood's Reviews* The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

You may or may not know this already, but Joood - Hooligan of Platypire Reviews is notoriously bad at writing reviews after she finishes reading books. I'm serious, her to be reviewed list is almost as long as my Platypire Read-A-Thon list, and that thing is monstrous. So after much cajoling on Joood's part, I have decided to help her out and once a week I'm going to write one of her reviews for her because I'm a good friend like that, and there is no way this could possibly go wrong. I will be writing the reviews as if I actually am Joood.

This week, I will be review The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.


Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: October 1, 1989
Pages: 973

Synopsis

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known…of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect—a man divided in his soul…of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame…and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.
 
A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett’s historical masterpiece.


Favorite Quotes

"When she had the horse close, she looped the rope around the stump so that it could not move away."

"William felt sure people were cheating him--and they were probably laughing about it behind his back, too."

"The wind grew stronger, shrieking around the walls of the church, and she began to wonder whether even this was safe." 

Review

Matt Schiariti made me read this book. He came to my house and held an actual gun to my head and forced me to read this book all the way to the very end (it was a water gun, but, my hair). Thankfully, I'm a super great speed reader, so it only took three hours. He said his arm was getting tired by the time I reached the end (I should have read slower.) 

This book was so wordy that I'm starting to understand why Kanye West is a proud non-reader. He probably tried to read The Pillars of the Earth and just couldn't make it through to the end. It is such a long, pretentious book! I'm going to have to stick to picture books for a while just to regain my reading equilibrium. 

If I had to compare this book to another book, I would compare it to A Game of Thrones, because they're both really long and wordy. But The Pillars of the Earth has a lot less death and is about a church, not a throne made of swords. But there was some sibling rivalry, just like with Renly and Stannis in Game of Thrones. If you like big books and you cannot lie, then this is definitely a good book for you. 

3.42 Platypires. - Joood - Hooligan

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About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, will be published in Autumn 2007. He has since written several equally successful novels including, most recently, WHITEOUT. He is also the author of non-fiction bestseller ON WINGS OF EAGLES. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of The Pillars of the Earth, just click any of the links below. 

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