Reviews

REVIEW | If, Then by Kate Hope Day

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

If, Then Description: 

The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

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What I Liked

This was a very fast paced read that had you flying through the lives if the four propionate characters. I have been reading a lot of big novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo, so reading such a fast paced book, that didn’t feel rushed was wonderful and just what I needed.

I also enjoyed how this was a science fiction novel that wasn’t too out there. It just blurred the lines between alternate realities and did so in a really interesting way. As I was reading this I was almost getting NOS4A2 vibes in this respect. It was just a little science fiction that really lit up the story. It takes a skilled writer to just take something small and build a story like this surrounding it.

The writing in this novel was done really well. It takes talent in my eyes to be able to create a story that shifts so much between characters, time, and in some cases reality as the characters know it. If I had tried to do such a thing there would be plot holes left and right. Additionally, her writing style is very enjoyable to a point I will be looking into her future books, I hope she writes more.


What I Didn’t Like

Personally for me I did not get fully attached to any of the characters. This does not mean they were poorly written or anything like that. I just think because there were four main characters and the story flew by so quickly I didn’t really get a chance to connect with them. The characters themselves were interesting, especially since they seemed to be “battling” and experiencing such different things in their lives.


Overall Thoughts

This is a very intriguing and interesting book. The premise of this book reminded me of a combination of books I already enjoyed, while it was all her own. The book flew by, but I can also see how that can be a disservice to this story. Overall, it was a good read in my eyes, I was entertained and I wanted to know what would happen next so I kept turning the pages.  If you want a fast paced read that is a little out of the ordinary and has you thinking about alternate realities/dimensions I suggest this book to you.

4stars

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Author Links

Kate Hope Day

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Book Information

Publication Date: March 12th 2019

Publisher: Random House

List Price: $26.00

ISBN: 9780525511229

Pages: 272 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the WorldDescription

Prepare for the cutest world tour ever with Kawaii Doodle Cuties! YouTube celebrity artist Pic Candle will show you how to draw kawaii characters from every stop on the map!

The Japanese word kawaii translates to “cute,” and this how-to book is chock-full of super-adorable images from your favorite spots around the globe. From animals and nature to fashion and food, you will learn to draw cute artwork from countries all over the world!

Learn how to draw a cute Eiffel Tower and kawaii macarons from Paris. Master how to draw natural beauty like Holland’s stunning tulips and monuments like the Taj Mahal in India. Or sketch fashion fun with a cute K-pop skirt from South Korea or a kimono from Japan. The simple, step-by-step illustrations and instructions make drawing these characters perfect for beginner artists or anyone who wants to add a heaping spoonful of cute to their art.

Thanks to this adorable crash course in doodling all things kawaii, you’ll soon be enhancing your notebooks, stationery, artwork, and everything with unbelievably adorable illustrations!

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What I Liked

Right off the bat, I really liked the overall look of this book. It is cute, just like the title says. The authors style is really defined in this book, when it comes both to color pallet and technique. I also like how simple a majority of these are. While you do need to be able to draw ovals, circles, triangles, and other shapes to follow the instructions, with practice you will be able to follow most of these with ease.

I also loved how this book had adorable doodles from many, many countries. Including, USA, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Cuba and many more. They ranged from buildings to foods, a very wide array to represent each country in there.  I will admit I was a bit partial towards the foods, what can I say?  I love food and they were just too kawaii. They truly lived up to the title.

What I Didn’t Like

Some of the step by step recreations kinda take weird jumps. One example is the crepe. You go from adding. a few simple lines to then in the next stop add in all of the cream and. strawberries without giving a starting point. While the author does say to fill it with your own favorite toppings, it would be nice to practice drawing the ones in the book with more guidance to get better with perspective and layering. I do appreciate the author trying to give the reader more control, while learning there need to be more guidance,  then once mastered move on.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you.

4stars

Some of my doodles from the book!

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Author Links

Twitter: @PicCandle
Youtube: piccandle

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Book Information

Publication Date: November 6th 2018

Publisher: Race Point Publishing

List Price: $21.99

ISBN: 9781631065682

Pages: 144 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | Wintersong By S. Jae-Jones

BookReview12:17

Wintersong (Wintersong, #1)* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

What I Liked 

This book just felt like I was reading magic. As soon as I opened up my ebook I was sucked into the book and I could not put it down. I think I read this in a total of only 3 sittings. The main reason behind it was due to the characters. I really enjoyed Liesl and as the book went on I liked her even more. She was real because she had her faults. I hate when a character is just too perfect, it makes the story seem so fake. Another reason was the descriptions, S. Jae Jones paints the settings so well. I could close my eyes and feel like I could see everything. This book just swallowed me whole, it invoked real emotions from me and broke my heart. While I would love to keep gushing, I am a bit afraid I would end up spoiling some things for you. Bottom line is, the characters are well written and the world is vivid and beautiful.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that was a problem only some of the time was the pacing. At times it did feel slow, but this was not a constant issue in the plot. Even though it is not a constant, it is worth noting before jumping into this book.

Overall Thoughts

I ended up very much enjoying this book. I plan on eventually picking up the next book in the series. It delivered on is promise of adventure, brave young women, and a lot of heartache. Between her feelings for her sister and what she needs goes through as she goblin realm there is a lot going on in this book. Overall if you enjoy retellings and fantasy, this book is for you. Divider

Book Information

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: February 7th 2017

List Price: $18.99

ISBN: 9781250079213

Pages: 436 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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Reviews

REVIEW | Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo 

Book Review

Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. *

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I have to say that Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo took me on a ride. When I first started the novel I thought it was going to be a military/science book with top-secret mission, then as I read I thought it was a book about something similar to the Bermuda triangle. Then it ended up turning into something very different in a wonderful way.Before I jump more into the review I wanted to share the synopsis with you.

 

“On a research mission in one of the most remote regions of the world, former Navy SEAL Eric Slade and Dr. Anna Fayne are caught in a mysterious storm. Catapulted through a rift in space-time, they are marooned on a lost world.

Struggling to survive and desperate to find a way home, they must confront the dangers of this savage land—a dark wizard and his army of undead—a warrior queen and her horde of fierce Neanderthals that stands against him—and a legendary treasure with the power to open the gateway between worlds, or to destroy them all: the Eye of the Storm.“

via goodreads.com

One of the things I loved most about this book is that it avoids unnecessary information, which keeps the book fast paced and interesting. For me nothing ruins a good book like unnecessary  information that causes the book to drag. While reading Eye of the Storm there was never a dull moment so I read through this quickly. I ended up reading this 402 page book in four sittings. Also, the world Cavallo created is nothing short of magical. You can see the thought he put into the word his characters lived in as well as the characters themselves. His characters have attitude and determination, but they are also caring. Between Kerr, Slade, Dr. Fayne, Azreth and Threya there is not one character who is not well defined in their personality. Even characters other than this are well defined.

Overall, I have to say I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys epic adventures, science fiction or fantasy, or just enjoy reading about strong characters. I am giving this fast paced read 4 stars without a hint of hesitation. If any part of my review or the synopsis intrigues you, I think you will end you really enjoying this book.


Book Information

Publisher: Dark Serpent/Ravenswood Publishing

Publication Date: August 10th 2016

List Price: $18.99

ISBN: 9781535327077

Pages: 402 pages


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Wrap Up

March & April 2017 | WRAP UP

While the last two months I have not read a great deal, but a majority of the books I did manage to finish were very enjoyable. Although, I will say I DNF’ed two books. But, I still read some great books I am excited about!


Five Stars

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

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In March I finally got to another Jennifer Niven book. I read Holding Up The Universe, which did not let me down. I surprisingly wrote up a review for this, I say surprisingly because I rarely write reviews. I only write them if I get a review copy or if I feel like I need to share something with the world. P.S. This was not a review copy!

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

 

 

 


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

30555488This was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year. I was a bit worried when I saw some reviews saying the language/writing was difficult to get through so I put it off a little. But, I finally picked it up. I just have to say Colson Whitehead did a great job with this historical fiction novel. He took what every kid things of when they first here the term “The Underground Railroad” and mixes in the true horrors that many people faced. I found it interesting that he would take such a “childish” way of thinking of the underground railroad and telling such a serious and heart wrenching story. I personally did not find any fault with the writing style and I actually read this rather quickly.


The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkle 

30687200I loved this non-fiction account of the “Last True Hermit”. I loved how Finkel approached this story both interviewing Christopher Knight as well as research. I don’t really want to say much because this is such a short book, I don’t want spoil anything. Even though this book was so short it was very interesting. I was absorbed in the story within pages. I do talk a bit more about this book in my post entitled The Cake Book Tag. Take a look if you want to hear a little more of my thoughts.

 

 

 


Four Stars

The Radium Girls by Kate Moor

31409135This is a nonfiction book that I received from Netgalley for an honest review. I will link the full review below,  but I will say I did enjoy this story. Kate Moore did an excellent job talking about how Radium was used, how these women were exposed to it, and the aftermath. She made something that seems so distant come to life from the pages.

 

 

REVIEW: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

 

 


A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

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A wonderful classic, I really don’t know why it took me so long to start reading these stories. While these are classics they are very easy to read and didn’t seem to be work. I know for me some classics can feel like work when I read them so I was very happy.

 

 

 

 

 


The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

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All I can say is I am already waiting for the next book! This is the third installment in the
Bone Season series. I find it very enjoyable, fast face filled with interesting abilities, political chaos at times…it keeps me on my toes when I read. I feel like anything is possible.

 

 

 


Euphoria by Lily King

18467802I found this gem in my local used bookstore and read the description on the back and was intrigued. When I finally got around to reading it I soared through it. It is BASED upon the lives for three anthropologists who form a bit of a love triangle while out in the field. While I don’t usually love, love triangle (you see what I did there?) I enjoyed this book anyway. Now as I said earlier it is based upon a true story, but it is not a historical account. Which, for me only intrigues me more, what really happened? I talked about this book a bit in my The Cake Book Tag, if you are interested check it out.

The Cake Book Tag


Three Stars

none.


Two Stars

none.


One Star

none.


What was your favorite read in the last two months? What are your thoughts on the books I have read?

 

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Reviews

REVIEW: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

4

*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

There are a few things I would like to start off with before I go into this book review. The first being is that this book really hit me hard. I had to set it down a few times because the emotional roller coaster it put me through. This book talks about not only extremely brave and courageous women, but also how they suffered. Secondly, I wanted to let you know that I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In this book Kate Moore talks about workers rights and women’s rights as humans. She tells the story of those “lucky” women who were picked to paint clock faces 31409135with the shining element Radium. She writes this historical book with support from documentation, but presents it in a humanizing way. I have to say as someone who studied history, this is one of the few books that made me feel. Many history based texts are filled with facts to a point the reader is disconnected from the events. That is not the case for The Radium Girls, from almost the start I saw these people as humans, not a statistic. In the beginning of the book Moore states “no book existed that put the radium girls center stage and told the story from their perspective” (location 22, netgally PDF version), well I have to say she succeed, she gave them a voice and a spotlight.

I really liked how much thought was put into this book. Moore not just read about these women in the archives, but traveled and visited their families, their  loved ones. She took the time to know them outside of the documents. This can be seen throughout the book. I also enjoyed that this book was written more as a narrative, like we were following these women, not just reading about them. I honestly found it refreshing. I also liked how raw it was, Moore not only wanted you to connect with these women and give them a voice, but to also showed everything they went through. Earlier I said that Moore discusses workers rights and women’s rights and that is true. These women were told that this element was not harmful in the slightest, to the point they put their used brushes into their mouths. They were lied to, as humans and as workers. Now I also said that this book discussed women’s rights, and it does. During this time period, women were seen as less, they were not valued. Regardless, they came together to fight for what was right. It really blew me away how brave these women were.

Over all I decided to give this book a 4/5 stars. It was a great read and I highly suggest it to anyone who is interested in learning about how Radium was used, its effects, workers rights, and those who are interesting in reading about strong women. But, as I stated earlier, this book can really affect you. It goes into detail how being exposed to Radium effected these women, which I think is important, but might not be for everyone. This book is expected to be published on May 2nd, 2017.

4 STARS!

If you are interested in finding out more about The Radium Girls by Kate Moore or reading more reviews click here to go over to the goodreads page.


Book Information

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017

List Price:$26.99

ISBN:9781492649359

Pages: 480


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