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Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on. Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived. But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for. (From Goodreads)

 

I am at a loss of words with this book. Where do I start? That it’s a fantastic somewhat retelling of Cinderella with a futuristic twist that includes cyborgs, other planetary beings, and a couple that you want together so freaking bad you can feel the sparks fly but when they’re so close they take two steps back and you fall back in your seat in complete frustration…yeah it’s that kind of book.

 

It didn’t take me too long to finish this one. It’s very engaging, loved the setting and Cinder as a character. She’s no Mary Sue, nor a damsel in distress. She’s just someone who was dedicated to taking care Peony and doing her job. We definitely love main characters like these!

 

The writing in the book was excellent, the characters are extremely well done enough that their personalities bring out the feelings from the reader. (My God, I hated Adri and Pearl so much I almost was spitting venom whenever they appeared in the novel). I loved Cinder and Kai. The chemistry is there, both of them are extremely likable, and you just KNOW they’re meant to be.

 

The plot is also well written. A plague is introduced in this novel, with otherworldly beings from the Moon also part of the story line with a ruler that makes all other dictators hang their heads in shame. The plot thickens with your usual villainous Evil Queen but I’m sure she’s got more up her sleeve as the series progresses.

 

YA lovers will absolutely love this book. It’s such a great read, it won’t take long to finish. Great start to the series, can’t wait to read more of this!

I give it a 9 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

February 14, 2017 at 8:13 am

Review of Marlene: A Novel by C W Gortner

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First, apologies for not having a good summary of this book available at the moment. Most that I’ve encountered all have what’s written in the back of the novel and it’s extremely **long** and would take up more than half of my post. (lol). So that being said, in a nutshell, this book covers several aspects of Marlene Dietrich’s life. From her childhood days in Post WWI Germany, to the decadence of Weimar Berlin, to her illustrious career in Hollywood, and her efforts to help the Allied War effort in WWII.

 

The first moment I got this book in the mail (Thank you, William Morrow Paperbacks!) I got excited and at the same time had to settle down (I was sick with an awful flu that knocked me down and got the entire household sick). It could not have come at a better time. I say that not only in the sense that I needed a book to get me out of a reading rut and also to distract me from this flu, but considering what’s going on in the world now, it’s perfect timing.

 

I loved this book. Everything about it was all that I had imagined Marlene Dietrich would be. The book captured who she was; strong willed, free spirited, glamourous yet determined to make her name out there known in the world. What I loved best was how her attitude during this particular time period. She participated in just about every deadly sin listed but did it with grace and poise. I loved how this book captured that essence and that was what made her shine even through the War. I absolutely loved her bravery and willingness to stand up against the Nazis even though she loved her country dearly and it tore her apart to see it ruined by the end of WWII.

 

The writing in the book is well done. It was enough to engage the reader and to keep the pages turning. Now, I do notice in some other reviews I’ve read, some readers didn’t like the fact that the book stops at a certain time period (after WWII). Fair enough, perhaps they wanted more out of Marlene. I was satisfied with it, because if you really think about it, the absolute highlight and prime moments of her life was during this time period. This book was meant to capture those particular occasions. So try not to feel jilted or robbed! It’s still a great read and it goes by rather quick!

 

I’d have to say one of my absolute favorite parts in the book was her experiences in Weimar Berlin. It was beautifully written and you could just feel the cigarette smoke, the music, and you can almost picture the decadence that permeated throughout the cabarets. It was perfect!.
Another part that I loved, and that I had waited throughout the book to read and was getting worried that it wasn’t going to be mentioned, was Lili Marleen. Such an iconic song it had to be in the book! And it was. It tugged at my heart and I welled up with emotion reading it:

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Beautifully written and an excellent novel I greatly recommend this book to historical fiction lovers or lovers of Marlene Dietrich. Her actions during the WWII is crucial and something to emulate. Especially for what we are going through right now in the world.


I give it a 10 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

February 6, 2017 at 7:27 am

Review of Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

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It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human. (From Goodreads)

 

At the end of this book I was yelling out: OH MY..EFFEN GEE WHY DID IT END THIS WAY WHY WHY WHY? Because it was EXCELLENT! AND I STILL CAN’T GET OVER IT.

Finally, I thought to myself, as I closed this book, a post apocalyptic plot that’s more realistic with no sugar coating and it’s all about survival. I felt myself turning the pages and staying up late to finish just one more chapter. It was so engaging and the plot itself was so well written it kept the reader near the edge of their seat.

For almost every chapter, there was always something new Alex would encounter and she would have to find a way out to survive or overcome. She’d have to be one of the most strongest and resilient characters I have ever read without acting like a lovesick naive twit like you do in some post apocalyptic YA’s out there. There was only one moment where Alex seemed to have forgotten about both of her companions from her journey but, I suppose she was sidetracked for good reason. I especially enjoyed the particular moment where Alex develops her skill to “smell”.

So what am I going to do? I think it’s about time to pay my library fines and take the second book out of the library (I’ve been slacking off about that) because I need to know what happens next!!! I most definitely recommend this book it’s an awesome read!!!

I give it a 10 out of 10

Written by Karoline

January 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

Review of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

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It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. (From Goodreads)

 

It is recommended you read Anna Dressed in Blood before you read this one.

(Possible spoilers. You’ve been warned)

 

I loved loved loved this book!!! I demand another one! (although I believe it’s only a duology – for now)

 

The creepy factor was good and well done throughout the novel. (The forest part..oh my lord that was so well written I’ll be remembering that scene for a while now). This is definitely a book you would read for the fall, it’s got perfect atmosphere and mood. Cas as a character pulls the book through and does the book justice.

 

His relationship was Anna is well done. It’s bittersweet but you know it was bound to happen. As for the other characters, wasn’t too crazy about Carmel’s actions. What the heck…how she brushed off Thomas just made me so mad I wanted to go in and tell her to smarten up and stop being such a twit.  

 

Another character I enjoyed reading was Jestine. She’s a female version of Cas and it was nice of both of them trading barbs here and there. Wish we could see more of her (in the future perhaps? One day? Please?)

 

Overall, great ending, great read. Fighting scenes were also notable. Sad to see this go but who knows I hope to see Cas in the future!
I give it a 10 out of 10

Written by Karoline

October 24, 2016 at 7:57 am

Review of Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson

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In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late. When the Robot War ignites — at a moment known later as Zero Hour — humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years. (From Goodreads)

 

You do recall World War Z right? For those have read it, they would be aware of the format and narrative of the book. It’s set through various points of views from various characters. Some may like this format, some don’t. I’m thinking that’s one of the deciding factors as to whether a reader will like this book or not. For me, I don’t mind it. It focuses on a small select group of characters so each one would have their own story arc.

The sci fi speak is comprehensive and it doesn’t make the book a hard read. In fact the action and different points of view make the pace of the plot fast and an enjoyable read. There’s plenty of moments where it can be frightening – in a society where we rely more on machines and robots only to have them turn against you and everything runs amok is a scary thought. (The part where Zero Hour happens is an example)

Now let’s be fair. Those die hard sci fi readers may or may not like this one. Perhaps it’s not sci fi enough, perhaps it’s too noobish, so I’m not sure if it’s for this type of crowd. Since I stop at the mention of quantum physics, this book is fine for me.

So did I like the book? YES I DID. I love the different points of view, I love the action, and the whole entire thing was an awesome read. I understand how it may not be for everyone but we all have varying tastes. It’s definitely worth a try in my opinion

Thank you Doubleday for giving me a Review Copy!

I give it a 10/10

 

Written by Karoline

August 29, 2016 at 8:20 am

Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs

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Tea shop owner Theodosia Browning knows that something’s brewing in the high society of Charleston—something other than her newest tea… The Indigo Tea Shop, Charleston’s favorite spot of tea, has just come out with its latest flavor: Gunpowder Green. Theodosia Browning cannot wait to hear its praises as it is unveiled at the annual yacht race. But when she hears the crack of an antique gun meant to end the race, a member of Charleston’s elite falls dead. Theodosia has a hunch that his demise was no accident—and will go out of her way to prove it. But if she doesn’t act fast, Theo will find herself in hot water with some boiling-mad Charlestonians—and more than a little gun-chai… (From Goodreads)

So this is book two of the Tea Shop Mystery series (Cozy Mysteries). I’m liking this! It’s quaint, it’s light with the same characters you’ve got to know and become attached to in the first one. What the reader will love besides a nice lighthearted mystery, is the nice descriptive setting of Charleston. Also, if you’re a tea lover, you’ll enjoy the various descriptions of teas.  One particular part that stood out for me was the “mystery tea” event. This scene stood out because the atmosphere and feeling was extremely well done and written. It was like the reader was part of the setting and taking a part in the event.

The one thing I do have to mention regarding this book, although the characters are extremely likable, and they’re well rounded out, the plot itself was a bit predictable and one could be able to guess who the culprit was. I hope this doesn’t happen in the next one as I’ll definitely continue reading this series.

Perfect choice for tea and mystery cozy lovers alike. It’s a great continuation after the first novel and I hope the others following will be just as good.
I give it a 7 out of 10

Written by Karoline

July 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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0312604521.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There’s a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up… (From Goodreads.com)

Before you actually dive into this book expecting mad rabid zombies trying to get into your house, while the characters try to survive and scrounge whatever resources they can to make it out into a world turned upside down, you’re not going to find it here. Yes it was disappointing. Is it worth a try? Maybe…maybe not.

In this case, besides the fact that the dead have risen. They’re shells of their former self. Not rabid things we’re so used to seeing. They feed and react to the living’s feelings. (For example if you react with disgust, or hatred, they’ll lash out). Seems interesting. Certainly a different approach. Zombie purists out there probably wouldn’t give this book a second glance. I like trying out different things (just like food!) as there are times when you do come across a gem. Do I consider this one a gem? Not really.

Although it deals with several issues; such as the loss and acceptance of a loved one, or how far would someone go to protect the love one had for someone who was deceased. So in a sense, it’s a book that does make you think (well that mixed with zombies? Sacrilege!) so if you want something for the action fast paced plot, you’re not going to find it here. You want something to slowly digest (har!), read on character development and thinking, and for something to think about then maybe, just maybe this is for you.

My view on this book, take it or leave it. I found it all right. Not the best read, certainly but worth a try just to have a book that actually makes you think about what would really happen in scenarios such as this. Would you sacrifice everything? Or curl up and cry on the floor as the world burns? It’s worth to mull over. Those that want something with raging undead at your doorstep, skip this and go to the next one.

I give it a 7 out of 10

Written by Karoline

June 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

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