Book Report: October 2016

Well, I finally had a month where I read more than 3 books again. Didn’t read as much as I would have liked, though, so I’m still slightly behind on my reading schedule. Not that far behind – and I know I’ll have a bit of time for reading around Christmas this year because I have a longer break than I’ve had before, so I’m not worried.

Anyhow, here’s the report for October. As always it’s inspired by C.R.M Nilsson – link in the sidebar!

Continue reading “Book Report: October 2016”

Puck

Started: October 24, 2016
Finished: October 29, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

I received this book as an ARC from Doublet Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Considering all of the fairy tale retellings that have appeared over the last few years I was pretty excited to see this appear on my NetGalley feed. A Shakespeare retelling? Count me in! And yes, this was a pretty cool book to read.

It draws you in, this little novel. I started it earlier this week and read through five-six chapters in less than forty minutes and the only reason why I didn’t continue the day after was that I was hosting a theme week at school and it drained me (seriously; I fell asleep before nine every night). But I had a feeling that once I actually had time to read I would be able to get through it pretty fast because of the writing style and what I’d picked up from the story line in those first chapters. And I did – and I liked it!

This book follows Robin, more commonly known as Puck. She’s a troublesome teenager who’s been moved from foster home to foster home. At the start of the book she is jerked awake by two strangers – Nick and Barb – who take her away from her current foster mom, Paula, to a place called DreamRoads. DreamRoads is essentially a program for kids with issues. The people there – teenagers and counselors alike – spend 99% of their time out in the wild, doing various tasks in an effort to let nature change who they are. Puck, being the rebellious girl she’s always been, decides to not let this “hippie thing” get to her and basically keeps her shield up. Question is how long she’s capable of doing that and if her past will actually catch up with her.

The story’s funny, brutal and honest, but at times it seems that the authors have taken the easy way out. When you meet Puck you get the impression that she has a lot of baggage to deal with and you get really interested in finding out how she’ll deal with all of it once it comes back to the surface – but then the authors opt out of it by letting a lot of it be lies that Puck told people to keep herself safe. That did disappoint me a bit; if the authors had not taken the easy way out, this story could have been longer and even more in-depth when it comes to teenagers with a bad family background.

Overall, however, the story is a really good read and a novel that you can easily snuggle up with during a rainy October/November day.

Black Jade (Emma Donahoe #9)

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Started: October 11, 2016
Finished: October 23, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

fine-youre-good

Actual rating: 4.25/5 stars

Mind you; I love this book, I love this series, I love these characters. And I’m gonna miss it now that it’s finished and it’ll probably be a series that I go back and re-read bits and pieces of. This series – all nine books, not just the last trilogy – has helped me deal with the post-moving-back-to-Europe-from-China-feels and given me so much interesting tidbits of Chinese traditions and, yeah, I just love it.

However this was not the best ending. Yes, everything that was supposed to wrap up was wrapped up. Yes, there were many epic moments and heartbreaking moments. But I felt like there were so many things that needed to be solved and explained in this one book that the storyline was a bit jumpy. It almost felt like two or three shorter books made into one.

There’s definitely a big difference between the storyline’s flow in the first book and this last book and I think that even though change is part of growing as an author, there is a point when you almost have to stop and go back a bit. This book could have done with more thinking of the flow of the story.

The Siren

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Started: October 16, 2016
Finished: October 22, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 2/5 stars

No, I was not impressed by this book. There were elements that I liked and I can see potential in the storyline, but it just fell flat. I did not like the insta-love-romance, I felt like some stuff had not been researched enough. Like the fact that there’s a Swedish Siren called Aislinn… which is a name that is far, far, far from a name used by Swedes of any time (at the moment there are 8 people in all of Sweden with that name).
I am a detail-loving-person, alright, and things like that really tick me off.

As I said, I can see some potential with this story, hence why I’m leaving at 2 stars and not 1. But it could have done with further development.

And the Mountains Echoed

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Started: July 3, 2016
Finished: October 15, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

So I’m a bit disappointed in this book because of one major issue and that is the multiple storylines. It was really, really difficult at times to keep track of who was who and when things were happening. You really do jump from time to time and place to place in each chapter.

However the writing that made me fall in love with Khaled Hosseini’s other books is still there, weaving a beautiful literary tapestry. The characters and the social issues presented are also incredibly interesting and each individual storyline draws you in. It’s just that it’s difficult to keep up with how they tie in to one another.

Timekeeper (Timekeeper #1)

Started: October 1, 2016
Finished: October 9, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

I received this book as an ARC from Sky Pony Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Alright, so I discovered this book through a recommendation on Goodreads and thought it sounded like a really interesting debut novel. At about the same time I signed up for NetGalley, saw that it was a plausible book to request for an ARC, sent in a request on a whim and was shocked when I actually got one – in a good way, since this was a book that I really wanted to read this year but wasn’t sure if I would be able to get my hands on.

So this story has a lot of themes that I really enjoy; it’s a steampunk novel, it contains some underlying family drama and it’s LGBTQ+. Add a good writing style, interesting mythology and technology and you get a story that I get really into. This was a story that I actually had no trouble reading at work when I had a moment to spare – or when I’d had a tough couple of lessons and needed to zone out. The romance in this novel was supercute – instant fav ship here – and I had a hard time figuring out who the bad guy actually was, and I think that I actually gasped while reading it in the staff room at work.

However I found one thing a bit predictable, and that was that I always had a feeling that everything was going to work out. I just knew that this would have a happy ending and that’s what keeps it from getting a 5 star rating; it had no real final twist to the story. And this is the first novel in a series, which means that it sort of needs some loose threads for people to be interested in the next installment. I will still keep an eye out for the next novel because of that I loved so many other parts of this novel and this world that Tara Sim has created, but I’m also a bit worried about what the next novel is going to contain, because this story felt finished.

But yeah; a lot of good things to say about this novel and I definitely recommend people to read it.

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

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Started: September 21, 2016
Finished: October 2, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

Okay, so, positive feelings first; the characters, the world, the magic – just a lot of awesome things that were written so well and made me love this book as much as I loved the first book. The audio book recording of this is also really nice because they have different people reading the different POVs – and since this book has three POVs there were three readers and they all did a really good job with their characters.

But I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one.

Why? Because I found this quite slow. For more than half of the book the POV that I kind of only looked forward to listening to was Helene’s, because at least she saw some action. It picked up in the second half and got a lot more interesting, but then the ending was just meh. It felt almost like the author had started to write this as a duology but then, halfway through wrapping this up, decided that there would be more books, so she had to leave some loose ends.

I am looking forward to continuing the story mainly because of Helene’s storyline, but Laia and Elias’ has to improve in the next installment.