Showing posts from 2017

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale


The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my first review with spoilers, because there are things I find confusing. So here goes....

Judging by the ratings, a lot of people seem to love this book. Me, on the other hand; I have a love-hate relationship with it, I think.

It took me a while to get used to it due to the way it’s written. There are very little conversation-openers, and the entire thing constantly shifts from ‘the now’ to ‘before’, that I had a bit of trouble at first determining which was what.

What I still can’t understand though, is how the thing all is. Offred describes having classes with the other handmaids, taught by the Marthas (or rather, Aunt Lydia in particular). But then again, in other scenes, she’s described as being the only handmaid in the household, apart from Rita & Cora who works in the kitchen, and Nick who’s the Commander’s driver. There is no mention…

Review: The Choice

The Choice by Samantha King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out of all the books I’ve read before, this was the only one where my suspicions are about 95% true. Having saying that though, The Choice got me hooked.

Without giving too much away, I suspected Annabel’s fate from the off. I also suspected Dom & Max’s intentions (it was an either/or situation) and to find out that I had been right had been a smug moment for me.
Madeleine’s suffering was very relatable. The way King describes how Maddie is feeling seems to perforate through the pages of the book, because I felt them as if I was living it as well.

The climatic scenes got me breezing through the pages, eager to find out what happens next. The grief she felt, the relief, the panic; this book basically took me on a roller coaster of emotions. There were times I felt so frustrated with one of the characters. However, the ending was perfect, and I admit I almost got teary.

Samantha King is definitely an author to look out for; I know…

Review: I Do Not Sleep

I Do Not Sleep by Judy Finnigan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very easy and pleasant read. Each chapter was only about 10 pages or less, and the font was fairly big. For a story about loss, the plot was fairly light, tone-wise.

Unlike other novels that tackle a grief-stricken protagonist, Molly was very relatable. She had her moments, but at the same time, I thought she was level-headed about it. Whenever she was being ‘unreasonable’, she would later contemplate her actions and the reactions of others. She did not wallow in self-pity and constantly feel sorry for herself; although the grief of losing Joey turned her into somewhat a zombie emotion-wise, she could still deliberate her actions after.

The theme also happened to coincide with a life event of mine, and the message that this book gave me had given somewhat of a comfort for me.

There was a pleasant surprise at the end too.

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Review: The Broken Window

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a bit hard to concentrate in the beginning. I had a feeling that I would take a while to finish this, and right I was: almost a month.

It got interesting about halfway through, and I admit that the revelation of the killer quite shocked me. The thing about me as I read novels are that I’d conjure up images as to how a character might look like. And I can say that the revelation kind of threw off the image I had about both the killer and another character.

But as with most books, you kind of know how it’s gonna end. The climax was interesting, but at the same time, you kinda knew that someone was going to eventually save the day, so that sort of played down the intenseness of the scene.

When Rhyme explained how he found out who the killer was, there was a bit that I felt didn’t exactly completely reveal that conclusion; but it might just be me.

Was it interesting? Yes, but only after almost about halfway through. Did I…

Review: The Ice Twins

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I vaguely remember seeing this book in a must-read list somewhere. So when I saw it in the Bargain Books store, I knew I wanted it; to see what the hype was about.

And true enough, I loved it. I spotted a few sentence structural errors, but it wasn't as bad as Zombie Britannica. And for me (a self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi) to still rate it 4 stars despite the errors, you know it's good.

There was just something about the story that pulls you in; making you feel like you're actually living it (as all good books tend to do). I could almost feel the damp, salty air described, and the relationship between Angus and Sarah had me spooked; it seems like any one of them could snap at any moment. Though granted, I feel that Angus, as frustrated as he was, was quite patient with Sarah. And from Sarah's point of view, I can feel her anxiety; her paranoid-ness towards Angus. The both of them seem to be treading on dange…

Review: Blood Born

Blood Born by Kathryn Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After my bad bout with a Kathy Reich book, I was a bit skeptical with this one. The former had bored me to death with with the terms used.

The little synopsis at the back of the book was interesting. Although this book had many forensic science-y terms, it was easy to keep up with. And if I came across a term that I didn't understand, I'd simply google it up.

Certain novels can be very heavy on courtroom and law terms, and can be hard to follow for someone who has no knowledge of the field. So I liked that this one had an equal amount.

Also, my frustrations with the Harbourn family are yay high. I feel mentally tired just hearing the lengths that the family goes to plan and cover up their crimes. Noelle (understandably, I think) annoys me the most.

I initially had a bit of trouble keeping up with who was who, and what their expertise were, though. And like Anya, I didn't get the initial verdict of the case. It made my hear…

Review: A Gift to Remember

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The only other book by Hill that I've read is The Charm Bracelet, and A Gift to Remember is similar.

Just when you think you've got it figured out, Hill throws a curveball. As you read on, I think the ending will be pretty predictable though, just like with Charm Bracelet.

It's not a heavy plot, so it goes for pretty light reading; though when Darcy goes to and fro trying to make sense of Aidan's things, and comes up with a blank, it gets a bit (predictably) exhausting.

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Review: Another Piece of My Heart

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, I felt pulled towards this book from the synopsis at the back. But nothing, I repeat, nothing, would prepare me to love the book as much as I did.

I started out slow; reading at a leisurely pace. Plus I had been on holiday at that time. But then, before I knew it, I was halfway through. Really, I didn't even realise it.

This book spoke about (for lack of better word) issues that I myself have either went through, or have been thinking about. Green wrote so beautifully that I felt every emotion of the characters: the frustration, the anger, the tears. Certain scenes were so intense that I teared up purely because the scene was so heartfelt. It was amazing that it wasn't based on a true story, because everything was so descriptive.

I felt emotionally tired just reading about Emily, and I really felt Andi's frustration. As I had like a quarter of the book left to go, I thought I had a rough idea on how…

Review: Zombie Britannica

Zombie Britannica by Thomas Emson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

And that's me being kind. Don't get me wrong, the plot was ok and everything, but what brought it down was the constant grammatical and punctuation errors. I don't mean to sound harsh, but honestly? It says that the author is an 'award-winner', but I'm seriously wondering how the hell that can be, judging from this book.

It also gets me wondering what on earth the proofreaders were thinking. Sure, I understand that a typo or so here and there are inevitable, but the ENTIRE book is FILLED with them. Unless of course, he didn't have a proofreader.

'Quiet' was spelled as 'Quite'. Question marks are absent where they should be throughout the book. And this may be just me, but certain names of the characters have such 'unique' spellings, that it makes me think that the author might not have known the correct spelling, and just cooked up his own spelling for it (Kathrine/Catherine …

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book to be similar to Rainbow Rowell's books. The chapters are short and the storyline light. The story is told in Lara Jean's perspective, and was a nice, light read that was addictive.

There were several parts that got me frustrated with Lara Jean. But then again, she's a teenager.

There was one character I never liked much in the beginning, and my feelings were the same throughout the character development. Although yes, there were developments, but I still found the character very full of themselves.

There is also a particular event that I felt did not have a proper closure; and that Lara Jean throwing herself back into it without that closure was a bit... rash and unreasonable, in my opinion. The character that I suspected had been the one to send out Lara Jean's letters had also turned out to be correct, with my guessed reason.

All in all, a nice light read.

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Review: The Lovely Bones

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew from reading the first few pages that I was going to love it. Yes I've heard of the title before, but I've never got around to reading it.

It was interesting to read about how Susie's 'heaven' was and what was in it. Without spoiling it, I have to say I was intrigued by the Ray-Ruth-Susie thing, and I'm still not exactly sure what happened. O.o

I can't seem to to put in words though the exact way that this book attracted me. There was this pull that reeled me in the minute I read the first chapter.

Give this a go if you haven't already.

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Review: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was something of King's that I hadn't ventured into before this: short stories.

I got this for Christmas, and naturally, was filled with glee as I'm a fan of King's, and basically getting any book will fill me with joy.

When I read the first story though, I felt... disconnected. I don't call myself a die-hard fan exactly, but I felt that the first story hadn't lived up to King's usual standards. It even felt a bit.. corny, for a Stephen King story. And I was disappointed.

Thankfully though, most of the others were ok. One of my favourites had been The Dune, where the ending made me silent-gasp. There are a number of good stories in here, but there are a few misses too, in my opinion.
Perhaps King's forte are full stories, not shorts. But then again, it might just be me.

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Review: The Hospital

The Hospital: How I Survived the Secret Child Experiments at Aston Hall by Barbara O'Hare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is amazing.
Not only for how it's written, but the story in itself.

More than once, I had to remind myself that this was a true story. It's easy to forget, seeing as how similar stories are usually fictional.

It broke my heart to see how she was mistreated at home, but then when she went to Aston Hall, I was appalled by how the kids were treated; how their innocence were exploited and how they were so tightly controlled.

I had mixed emotions about the nurses there. They were described as strict and emotionless, yet sometimes they showed hints of humanity; as if they themselves had not known the extent of the experiments carried out.

What I didn't agree on, however, was the person she claimed had 'saved her life'. Quite honestly, I felt that this person would not have done it if it weren't for another wee character.

One can only imagin…

Review: Thinner

Thinner by Richard Bachman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first (and only, I hope) Stephen King book (although technically it's written under his pseudonym) that I felt that I didn't really enjoy. I think having taken a little over a month to finish a book that is only 340 pages long kinda speaks for itself. (Seeing as I finished It, in all its 1376 pages, in about a month and a half.)

The only thing I was taken by with this book was the fact that Billy was cursed to be thinner. And I actually wished someone would curse me thinner. The entire book was pretty predictable, I admit. It wasn't until the last chapter or so that I was actually intrigued by Billy's character change.

There was also a plot twist in the end, which I didn't see coming at all.
Or maybe I'm just unobservant.

I've got a few other Stephen King books to read, and I can only hope that his other books are not like this.

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Review: The Kill Order

The Kill Order by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I could've finished this much faster, but I admit I took my own sweet time. =B

If anyone who hadn't bought this series as a set, let me just say this; if you're thinking of getting this book, know that it will not be about the Gladers.

The Kill Order is a prequel to the series, and it tells the tale of a group of people that experienced the Flare when it first arrived. In other words, this story was set years before Thomas and the Maze. Having said that, I feel that this book is 'optional' in the series, if you will. It's like a back story on how the Flare started and how WICKED was formed.

I don't think it would affect much of the trilogy in general even if you don't pick up this book.

That being said though, this is one intense book.

It's what I consider 'light reading', yes, but it's the kind where you can expect a cliffhanger at the end of almost every chapter. The scenes with…

Review: The Death Cure

The Death Cure by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is... something. I can say that in some ways, it doesn't involve another 'trial', as the first 2 books did. Though believe me when I say that it does not lack action and intensity.

There were incidents and scenes that I wasn't happy about; not in Dashner's writing, but with what happened with certain characters: characters that I had actually grown quite fond of. One such scene was when Thomas did not quite end up with the person I had been hoping for.

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Review: Needful Things

Needful Things by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

See, the thing about King's novels is that they mess with your head. You get pulled into the story, so much so that you start questioning your surroundings. Needful Things is no different.

When I first found out that Needful Things was the name of a shop, I couldn't help thinking that it didn't sound.... well, grammatically correct. I privately thought that 'Needed Things' or 'Needy Things' would have fitted better.
(Alas, the grammar nazi has chosen to rear its ugly head again. Don't hurt me, Stephen.)

When I read the synopsis, it was attractive, but I don't think it did the story justice. Without revealing too much, the state of the occupants of Castle Rock disturbed me mentally. It was not the kind that scares you; it just made me feel really uncomfortable, in the best way possible-... if that even makes sense. I'll never look at arthritis the same way again, and I'll be weary of grea…

Review: It

It by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephen, Stephen.
What do I say?

The main reason I got this book had been because I was going on holiday for a while and didn't fancy going through the trouble of bringing so many books with me. So I brought It and one other book, just in case.

The first 2 or 3 chapters were, I admit, a bit boring. I had a bit of trouble remembering all the characters (I felt that too many characters were introduced within such a short amount of time that I had trouble remembering who was who; especially since King used a surname-basis to describe the initial characters). I was a bit intimidated with the size of the book as well and was apprehensive if I could finish it in time. (I didn't fancy lugging the heavy book back if I could help it, and to save space.)
But about halfway through, things started to get exciting.

I couldn't help connecting It to the Boggart in Harry Potter (hehe), but I wondered how it would fit into the 'real world'…