Book Blogger Hop 9/8


Book Blogger Hop

Today’s Question is:

Have you ever bought a book because you liked its cover art?

 

Oh but of course! a lot of my YA books and fantasy ones have gorgeous covers. Of course, I would check to see what it was about first to see if I would like it or not. I find, whenever I do carry around a book with a lovely cover lots of people notice it. If they pick it up and read it, even better 🙂

Happy Friday all! let’s see if I can get some reading done this week.

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Book Blogger Hop 9/1


Book Blogger Hop

Happy September!

Today’s question:

Do you participate in The Bloggiesta?

 

I often don’t really participate in these events anymore. The most I’ll do now is a book tour. Likely because whenever I do sign up for these fun events SOMETHING always happens where I don’t get to do it. Life has a way of making fun of me when it comes to events.

Have a great long weekend everyone! read read read!

Book Blogger Hop 8/25


Book Blogger Hop

Today’s Question:

Have you ever read a book written in a foreign language you might be fluent in, and then read the same book in English?

 

Ooooo I like this one! what a great question.

I have read several books in a different language I’m fluent in. I’ve read various French books BUT I’ve never read the same in English. Just never thought of reading the same book in a different language. Maybe because most books I’ve read are a one time read and then I move onto the next one (very few books I would reread again.) I wouldn’t mind giving it a try to see if there’s any differences.

Have a Great Reading weekend! I need to pick up the slack from this week!

 

The Song Actually Fits the Novel…

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Newly reinstated to the Homicide Division and transferred to a precinct in Tokyo, Inspector Iwata is facing superiors who don’t want him there and is assigned a recalcitrant partner, Noriko Sakai, who’d rather work with anyone else. After the previous detective working the case killed himself, Iwata and Sakai are assigned to investigate the slaughter of an entire family, a brutal murder with no clear motive or killer. At the crime scene, they find puzzling ritualistic details. Black smudges. A strange incense smell. And a symbol—a large black sun. Iwata doesn’t know what the symbol means but he knows what the killer means by it: I am here. I am not finished. As Iwata investigates, it becomes clear that these murders by the Black Sun Killer are not the first, nor the last attached to that symbol. As he tries to track down the history of black sun symbol, puzzle out the motive for the crime, and connect this to other murders, Iwata finds himself racing another clock—the superiors who are trying to have him removed for good. (From Goodreads)

So if you’re into police procedurals where you want high speed chases, lots of action and a real fast plot you will not find it in this one. You read this more for the characters and how they’re involved or what they have in common with each other whether through association of one other person, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I do admit, this is a very lyrical and poetic novel. There’s snippets of song lyrics, and quotes in between the book that can be distracting to the reading experience and may cause some confusion. Also, you go back and forth in Iwata’s memories to show how he became who he was in present day. This part can especially be confusion because you’re not sure where it starts or begins (you get the rhythm of it however, once you get further into the novel.) This may be off putting to some readers. I found myself taking breaks in between. There’s a lot of characters to take into account and there’s a lot of putting together the puzzle to get why these characters are involved and how.

I took a liking to Sakai. I loved her fiery attitude (understandably so once you figure out what she’s been through) and in the end you do feel for her. I really liked her character, she puts up a tough front and you know she’s hiding something within. When you find out what she’s been hiding all along it’s sad but makes sense as to explaining her behavior.

The plot itself is slow moving and the setting is bleak and dark. The entire theme of the book is rather dark and gloomy. It does not have a noir feeling to it and I was hoping for something more on the creepy side considering a cult is involved. It’s not much scary or thrilling as it’s more dark and foreboding undertone throughout the entire novel. And it’s not just the police case that has this tone. It’s the characters, and Iwata himself that carries this feeling with him.

Iwata as a character, he’s not that likable or unlikable. There’s not much to him. He’s very stoic and takes quite a beating throughout the book. He can be wry with other characters in the book but when he puts his mind to his police work, he does the job even though he makes the rest of the department angry with him. He’s quite abrasive with his co workers but can be a great partner when need be.

Also, take the time to actually listen to the song “Blue Light Yokohama” the song actually suits the novel. 🙂

There’s a sequel supposed to come out with Iwata. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up or not. I don’t mind reading about the characters in depth and length but the plot could have been a lot quicker and less lyrical/poetic.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

 

American War is one of the must reads in your lifetime. You have to pick this one up.

0316182885.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgSarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be.  Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike. (From Goodreads)

I really enjoyed reading this book. It wasn’t a light read that’s for sure. Yet I liked following Sarat through her life and how she became to be.

Sarat’s childhood is pretty much ripped apart and continues its’ descent as the book goes on. She’s pretty much robbed of it – although she’s not like other children. She’s a tomboy, taller than most kids and sticks out like a sore thumb. She’s also very inquisitive and curious. Now if you sum those characteristics and consider the living conditions she’s in, and the setting, this is ripe for anyone to take advantage of these people and manipulation is key here.

You have to admit, you had to take a liking to Albert Gaines. He was proper, soft spoken, intelligent, was able to spin history as tales and stories for you to imagine. You knew what was underneath that exterior. You knew he had another agenda in his mind (it was evident that Sarat knew about this too, as did other camp inhabitants) but it didn’t matter. Living in squalor and having nowhere to go, someone with that much charisma can certainly be attractive, and Sarat was no exception. She felt special and wanted. She was perfectly manipulated into becoming an instrumental machine to their cause. You can’t blame Sarat for becoming what she ultimately came to be later in the book.

The setting and plot was good. It’s pretty much civil war in the USA and climate change has wrecked havoc in some parts of the East. You also have alternate future elements in the book where you have the Bouazizi empire who have expanded and wield influence in the world, and of course you have the North and the South fighting against each other again.

What really compliments the setting are the characters. There’s not many to choose from, since Sarat is really central to the story. Her family: Martina, Dana, and Simon are secondary characters. (Simon plays a larger part later in the latter half of the book). However, they’re very well rounded and you’re so attached to Sarat because she’s human. I loved Sarat for her strength and resilience. She displayed this even when she was a young child. That carried her throughout the novel and she maintained the strength up until the end. I really felt for her as she suffered immensely and yet you would completely understand her situation if it had happened to you. You would be out for revenge every chance you get. However it also goes to show how far her manipulation went and the consequences.

It’s definitely not a light read but one to read slowly and to be carefully thought through. Definitely recommended.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I can’t believe I fell for the Darkling…

0316182885.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgSurrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart. (From Goodreads)

 

I was so immersed in the book I didn’t even realize what time it was when I was halfway (about 2 AM in the morning.) Yes it was that good. I loved everything about it.

The plot was fast moving and good – although it had some different elements, it is with the same template of: “Girl finds out she’s got extraordinary powers to make a difference in the world and is sent to a boarding school to enhance those skills”. Although it’s not any different from those types of books out there, the characters and the setting make up for it and provides an exciting read.

It seems like the language is based on Russian words (correct me if I’m wrong here.) With the terminology and setting loosely based on the language. I found this pretty interesting and fun to read, it certainly does provide a particular theme and flavor to the novel which adds to the joy of reading the book.

Character wise, I loved just about everyone in the book. Alina isn’t your typical character. She’s got a wry humor and has a tendency to be hard on herself. I really like her though. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s a tomboy, but when push comes to shove she can look like a girly girl and enjoy it if she wants to. Her character develops throughout the book and she goes through some real tough times. She’s not whiny about it but she takes it all in almost to the point of admitting self defeat. I actually liked reading this about her. It’s makes her more human.

 

*****spoilers below you’ve been warned*****

Now who to choose? Mal or the Darkling? I fell for the Darkling. I really did. I loved his mystery and his charm and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for falling for him as hard as Alina did. He just HAD to be the bad one. Well, sometimes we just fall for the bad ones don’t we? 😉

I liked Mal too though. He was everything you wanted in a guy friend about to be boyfriend. He was just as charming but he had the good boy persona on him. I’d have to say, Alina had some good prospects (if only the Darkling didn’t have such a horrible agenda.)

Overall I loved this book and I’m definitely going to grab the second one. Can’t wait to see what happens!

I give it a 9/10

Book Blogger Hop time! woooooo!


 

Oh my. It’s been years since I participated in this. I remember this used to be my favorite thing to do until life got in the way (don’t we hate that?)

I digress let’s start over again with this shall we?

This week’s question by Billy at Coffee Addicted writer is: In one sentence, describe your passion for reading.

Reading is my happy drug.

(no seriously it is.) When I don’t get enough reading in, I get all moody and pissy. Which reminds me, I’m going to need a book light for night reading. My husband doesn’t like having the lights on when he’s sleeping and since I’m a vampire this is going to cause problems. The hunt for the book light begins!

Happy Friday and ta ta all! also follow me on instagram @sensitivemuse as I post my #fridayreads there too. 🙂 (among other things…like food).