Archive for the ‘ Shit I like to read ’ Category

The Maze Runner — Cool Premise, Writing Could be Better


After reading some great young adult distopian literature over the past few years, I looked forward to another series entitled The Maze Runner series by James Dashner. So, I uploaded it to the kindle and got to work. And work it was. It took almost a month for me to get through this novel.

The premise, a group of boys trapped in a created civilization spend their days running what appears to be an unsolvable maze and their nights making sure that the horrible creatures that roam at night stay in the maze where they belong. But, when a girl shows up, the Gladers soon realize that things are about to change, is an excellent idea. However, the execution left me wanting far more.

The author struggles with moving the story along. There is a lot of fluff involved, including some annoying made up slang. Also, the novel is extremely predictable. At each “hint” that furthers the story, I’d figure out where the author was going . . . and yet the author wouldn’t reveal his lacking plot points until far later and by that time I was rather bored with the story.

I have started the second novel, The Scorcher Trials, in hopes that the writing gets better. I will definitely keep you posted on that front. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series, so maybe his writing just isn’t for me, but other people will just love it. (Kind of like my feelings towards Shades of Grey even though everyone else seems to enjoy it??) So, don’t let this review stop you from checking it out if the premise sounds good. I just wish that Dashner would have went in a little deeper, made me think a little more. The idea is there! It’s great! But the execution is what lacks.

The Fault of Our Stars — Best Book I’ve Read So Far This Year


I adore when Jen Lancaster comes out with a new lists of books to check out. Some people get annoyed . . . that she is simply promoting people from her publishing company, or simply promoting her friend’s works. Whatever. I don’t think she has an ulterior motives and instead think that she actually does LOVE these books, so much so, that she wants everyone else to love them too.

On a recent blog post, Lancaster talked about John Green’s fourth novel The Fault of Our Stars. A few things caught my attention: A) It was a young adult novel (which I love reading) and B) She mentioned the characters were so well written that I just had to see for myself. And I’m so very glad I did.

The Fault of Our Stars allows Hazel, a sixteen year old terminal cancer patient, tell the best story about living while dying I’ve ever read. As most young adult novels about sixteen year olds are, this novel is about love. It’s about love and living in a world that can be so hard to understand. And Green really gets a lot of it right. He really allows the reader to understand the feelings that Hazel deals with as she struggles with death and life and ultimately love. His writing sums up everything that I have felt about death. It gives me comfort in a way that has never really been felt before and I urge you all to pick this book up. You’ll finish it in a day and hopefully you’ll love it as much as I have.

Gone Girl — Pick This up NOW!


I’m honestly not sure where I got this novel from. I don’t know if I picked it up after checking out the NYT Bestsellers or if I just stumbled across the cover at Target, but it’s been on my kindle for a while now. I finally picked it up earlier this week. I will say, it took just a bit to get into it, but once I did I couldn’t put it down.

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is mystery/suspense novel that tells the tale of Amazing Amy Dunne, writer, devoted wife, and leading lady of the children’s novels “Amazing Amy” who goes missing on her five year anniversary. Naturally, her husband Nick, becomes a lead suspect but things aren’t always what they seem and there are plenty of surprises to go around.

This novel is written in a “He said/she said” type of forum which makes it very entertaining and as you round the half way point, Flynn reels you in for an edge of your seat shocker.

Pick this book up and I doubt you’ll be sorry.

**Note: There is some graphic language . . . so if you get all butt hurt about stuff like that, go ahead and avoid this one**

Divergent – Another Great Dystopian Tale


First things first, I need to apologize. I haven’t blogged in quite some time and most of that is due to having a baby. But, no worries, I have still been reading as much as I can and have a lot of new novels to share with you. First up on the list: Divergent by Veronica Roth. Roth creates another dystopian world that is easy to fall into. After the world collapses on itself, the survivors create five factions in the hopes that each faction will live in harmony with the other. The factions are Amity (for those that felt that the previous world ended because their wasn’t enough happiness), Candor (for those that felt that dishonesty caused the previous world to fail), Erudite (that believed that a lack of knowledge caused the downfall of civilization), Dauntless (who was certain that it was cowardice that caused their world to collapse) and finally Abnegation (that felt pride and selfishness was the problem with the previous world.)

 

In this dystopian land, a person grows up in the faction they are born in, but at the age of sixteen they are given a test simulation that reveals the real faction they should be in. It is then that the teenager can decide to stay with the faction they were born in, or move into the faction that they had aptitude for in regards to the simulation.
Divergent tells the tale of Beatrice (Tris), a born Abnegation that finds out in her test simulation that she is different than the rest. Instead of just getting one faction option, Beatrice finds herself having aptitude for three: Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. Having a mind that has aptitude for more than one faction is called Divergent and can be considered very dangerous if the wrong people realize that their brains work in that manner.
Tris ultimately chooses Divergent and struggles to pull herself from the “stiff” roots of her previous faction and find friends and companionship in her new Dauntless faction. But after a grueling initiation process, before she is officially welcomed into the Dauntless world a simulation causes anyone who is not Divergent to blindly wipe out nearly an entire faction and suddenly Tris finds herself in the most dangerous obstacle she has faced yet.
I really got into this novel pretty fast. I think it had a lot to do with my love for Dystopian fiction or maybe it was my want to find another book that would give me the same feeling that The Hunger Games did while reading. Whatever it was, I flew through this in no time and definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys that type of plot and setting. This is actually Roth’s first novel and she does a superb job of building characters that you want to fight for, which is always a plus in my book. I definitely recommend this novel and it’s sequel Insurgent. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Depressing


I picked up this novel after seeing a few previews for what looks to be a great movie. This is my third book to read this year and definitely the most depressing. I’m not sure if it was the layout on the Kindle or how the book was written, but there were a few times that I wasn’t sure on the timeline in the novel or who was narrating for at least a few paragraphs. Other than those minor flaws, it was a lovely story.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is a story about a boy who while mourning the loss of his father in the September 11th attacks, searches New York City for what he thinks is his father’s last message to him. While the novel is pretty good, it is quite depressing and even at the end of the novel, I didn’t feel like there was anything hopeful to look forward to. Maybe it is just the pregnancy hormones, but I wanted more out of it. I wanted the boy’s something more to come out of the key/message aspect of the novel and yet once the mystery is solved, that’s it! I understand that the ultimate meaning behind the story is how the boy works through the grieving process, but maybe the nosy side of me needed more closure with the key.

Either way, don’t let me sway your decision. Pick if up if you’re into it . . . I definitely look forward to seeing the movie and I think in turn that will make the novel even better.

The Book Thief – Drop Everything and Read it


This is a book I’ve had on my kindle for a while. Usually what I do is I check the top ten lists and write down the books that continuously make the list and then I load those onto my kindle. That’s why I end up having over 100 books on there at one time. Yeah, it’s a sickness I tell you.

Anyway, after reading the crap that was Twilight for a second time. (The second time was horrible . . . ) I wanted something with substance and I heard good things about The Book Thief and wanted to give it a go. I’m SO glad I did.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is an amazing story about World War 2 Germany narrated by the ever clever, exciting, and often entertaining voice of Death. The novel is about a young girl, Liesel, who moves in with her foster family, Rosa, and Hans Huberman on Himmel street, after losing her mother and watching her brother die at the tender age of 11. Death gives the reader insight into Liesel, The Book Thief’s, world during the war including lack of food, lack of jobs, and a lack of color. But, when a stranger shows up at the Huberman’s door one night, they must make a decision that might change their futures, and Liesel, forever.

Zusak seriously knows how to tell a story. I can’t wait to pick up another book of his. Death as a narrator is an extremely interesting idea and it works very well with the story. Death gives us more insight than a normal first person narrative can, and even spoils bits of the story for us (but it’s all worth it.) It’s very cleverly written and will stick with the reader long after the final page.

Hit up your nearest bookstore, library, or e-reader store and add this to your list immediately. You won’t be disappointed!

Stay — A Great Page Turner


Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I get a lot of my novel suggestions from friends and authors. Pretty much everything Jen Lancaster recommends I add to my list . . . she’s only let me down once. (Stupid Sarah Silverman)

The other day she posted on Facebook the names of two novels we, the readers, should check out. Stay by Allie Larkin was one of them and boy was it a great read!

Stay tells the story of Savannah (Van) a girl who is in love with her best friend’s husband. One drunken night after their wedding, Savannah finds herself ordering a 6,000 dollar “puppy” from a foreign country and thus begins the sweet tale of Savannah and Joe. Whether you’ve ever had a relationship with a dog or any other pet, you’ll find you can’t put this book down. It truly is a great read and I found myself not wanting to flip the last page and end the moment.

Stay touches on a lot of moments that really resonated with me: heartbreak, loss, grief, and of course love. While it could easily fall into the typical romantic love story, it doesn’t and instead makes it’s place in the genre.

I definitely suggest this read! Let me know how you enjoy it!