Reviews

REVIEW | Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

BookReview12:17Rust & Stardust
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

Camden, NJ, 1948.

When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way. –goodreads.com

 

What I Liked

The one thing this book did that stands out is the fact that is broke my heart reading it. Even from the description you are warned that this is going to be a story where a man is going to abuse an 11 year old child, it did not prepare me for how much of a reaction I had. I was angry, disgusted, and devastated. This book made me cry, which has not happened for a while. Now it might sound weird to say that this is something I liked, but the writing and the way this story is told really made me invested.

Another thing I liked was that this novel was written in the manner that it was. Sadly, this story is based off of a true one, you can search the name Florence Sally Horner to find out about her case. But, it is also the case that inspired a novel well known called Lolita. I personally hated Lolita, it was creepy and rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like this story did more justice in telling the story of a child who has been abused.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I have to point out is that some points were difficult to read, but I would not remove anything from this book. It simply is a personal preference and I still really enjoyed reading this heart breaking book.

Overall Thoughts

While this book is filled with abuse of various kinds, made me very angry, and told an awful story. It did so in a beautiful way. The first thing I noticed when I started this book, right in the first chapter when she confronted by the “FBI” man, they way the story was written sounded like the narration was from a young girl. You can feel her confusion, her terror, and worry not just read about it. Over all if you are able to read this type of content I would highly suggest this novel.

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Author Links

T. Greenwoodwebsite: https://www.tgreenwood.com

twitter: https://twitter.com/tgwood505 

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tgwood505/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tgreenwoodauthor

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Book Information

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: August 7th 2018

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9781250164193

Pages: 352 pages

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* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Hauls · Revisiting

Revisiting | Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge

revisitingSo not that long ago I shared my Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge and I wanted to update you guys on the progress. While you can see my reading habits from A Week in Review posts, but I don’t really posts hauls anymore because I don’t buy many books. So I figured this is my haul of sorts.

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While I said I was in the mood for a new adult book, I ended up opting for a very different type of book. This year I have found a new author I have been loving and that is  Shirley Jackson. Since reading A Haunting at Hill House I have been wanting more, so I ended up getting The Bird’s Nest.

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The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

Description: “Elizabeth Richmond is almost too quiet to be believed, with no friends, no parents, and a job that leaves her strangely unnoticed. But soon she starts to behave in ways she can neither control nor understand, to the increasing horror of her doctor, and the humiliation of her self-centred aunt. As a tormented Elizabeth becomes two people, then three, then four, each wilder and more wicked than the last, a battle of wills threatens to destroy the girl and all who surround her. The Bird’s Nest is a macabre journey into who we are, and how close we sometimes come to the brink of madness.” – goodreads.com

While this content is something in the description alone has me interested, I know there will be more to the story. Jackson has a way of creating an atmosphere of creating a world that just makes you feel as the characters, so I am very excited. Having read a another book of hers and knowing how that book ended up playing out so differently than I thought my imagination is going all over the place with the possibilities. I am very happy with my choice.

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Classic Literature

Recs

So if you have seen my most recent Week in Review, A Week in Review | July 9th – July 15th, you will know that I have been reading, and enjoying, Anna Karenina. I have been wanting to read this large classic for what seems like years and I finally had enjoy guts to take on this 1000+ page Russian Classic. Now with reading this it had me thinking a lot about classics and why I like them. For me I find them more “domestic”, they talk more about home life or about individuals. There is less of a major plot element and it is character driven. Also, I love history and I love reading a book from another period because it really give you a look into the lives of those who live there. These are the books that were popular, this is what people read in their free time if they had any.

So I thought, hey why don’t I share some of my favorite classics? So here I am today to share my 5 favorite classics.

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A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet

I really do love any of the Sherlock novels and short stories I have read. I love how not only does this give a peak into the time period, but it also takes a bit of a look at human nature and really makes you think, “Wow, are we really this predictable?” Also, who is not down to read a murder mystery?


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange

So, this book is a weird one. It is more of a modern classic and is so vile that it was actually outlawed in multiple countries. Trigger warnings: rape, violence, language, and more that I cannot remember. The reason why I like it is because it make you think about the fact that we see individuals who do these horrible things as monsters, but we cannot forget they are human. I feel that sometimes when we say someone is a monster that we also forget they are an evil human, we need to remember that someone of the same species is capable of doing this horrible things. In some way I feel saying someone is a monster allows us to compartmentalize this behavior as something that cannot happen in the human world, but it does. I hope that makes sense.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women

Now back onto a more happy novel/series is Little Women, this is my all time favorite book and series. I loved this family since I was a young, young girl. It taught me that it was okay to love books and learning, it was also to do things that were “not lady like”. It also showed  me that war broke up families, but hope kept them together. It taught me about death in a respectful and unthreatening way. It is so odd to have a book that taught you so much, but at the time you don’t really notice it. At the time it was just me following a family through their lives.


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White

I loved that this book seemed to be a ghost story, but also told a story of love and honesty. While this book is over 600 pages I few through this, but a fun way to read this is to read it like when it was originally published as a serialized book in a news paper. Due to this interesting way of publication there are many cliff hangers and a lot of action when though you are following someones live. I was gripped from the start of the book until the end.


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

This is a very short classic that not only teaches you about morals and perception, it is also a bit of a scary story. Since originally reading this I have read it a few times and each time I find more symbolism than the last. The writing is blunt, but beautiful.

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What is your favorite classic?

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Reviews

REVIEW |Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

BookReview12:17Anna KareninaDescription:

Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Kareninaprovides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature – with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author’s own views and convictions.

Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch. As Rosemary Edmonds comments, ‘He leaves the shifting patterns of the kaleidoscope to bring home the meaning of the brooding words following the title, ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will repay. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

I liked that the story followed not just one person or one couple, but a mixture of couples who were connected, but dealt internally with different worries and moral issues. I felt that even though this was written so long ago, a lot of the ways these characters felt were relatable. I can see who people still talk and discuss this novel and it has held up to the test at time.

Also, this translation of Anna Karenina was done wonderfully. It kept the air of being a classic and used a lot of words that remind me of the time period, but they made it readable. I was not reading at a very slow pace, but it was not fully modern. They found a great balance.

What I Didn’t Like

At times I felt that I would have rather have read this story individually instead of intertwined, but it in no way ruined the story for me. I would say going over the spark notes and getting a list of of names (DO NOT READ THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARACTERS THERE BECAUSE OF SPOILERS) because having a running list is helpful because they sometimes use their proper names and then nicknames that seem to have no relation in english, they might in the texts original language of Russian.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I felt that this was a very wonderful book and it was very thought provoking. If you are interested in a soap opera type of book with deceit , betrayal, and scorned individuals this is a book for you. This is a wonderful and timeless novel, that is a commitment. I am very glad that I finally read this novel.

3stars

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Book Information

Publisher: Vintage Classics

Publication Date: January 5th 2017, originally published in 1878

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 9781784871956

Pages: 963 pages

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Wrap Up

Currently Reading | Jan. 2018

CurrentlyReading12:17

Hello everyone, I wanted to write a quick blog post talking about some of the books I am currently reading since the month is about halfway through. I always like being nosy to see if people are actually sticking to their TBRs or not. I will admit, I rarely do since I am such a mood reader. But, that is the fun about reading. You can go on any adventure you want to, you don’t have to plan ahead. Anyway, without anymore rambling here is what I am currently reading!


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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I am currently on page 149 or somewhere very close to that. I have to say I am enjoying this books, but for some reason I am having a hard time actually going to pick it up. When I do pick it up I fly through 50 pages at least. Has this ever happened to you? You enjoy a book, but have a hard time picking it up? I find it so odd that I am having this “issue”. It has never happened to me before.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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I am currently on page 172. So far I am very much enjoying this story. Donna Tartt’s writing so beautiful, and man does she make characters with some serious flaws. For some reason I am enjoying not totally liking the characters in this book. That doesn’t usually happen, normally if I don’t like the characters personalities I don’t like the book. Donna Tartt has done the impossible and has made me like a book where I don’t like the characters. Additionally, it is great to be reading this with some awesome people.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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I am currently on page 58, which I read all of that in one sitting. So that means I read nearly a quarter of this book in one sitting. I have really been enjoying it and I find the writing very enjoyable. I think in the start it did take a few pages to get used to it though. Also, I am aware this is book 10 in a series, but not reading the pervious 9 has not really impacted my experience with this book. Bottom line is I am enjoying this book. I plan on finishing this book this weekend.


What are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Book Haul | October 2017

Book Haul

This month I wanted to try something new, so I made a book haul video instead of just taking pictures and putting them into a post. Let me know what you think!

 


 

Books Hauled:

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle

Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell

What the Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong


 

Which book should I read first?

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Decluttering

Decluttering | My Books

declutter

So this time around I did not take pictures of my declutter for two reasons, I had way to may books to fit in a single picture and the second was, I did not want to look back on some of my unread books and get mad at myself.

Now in the KonMari method you are instructed to get rid of all your unread books and only keep books you have read and spark joy. You are not allowed to read descriptions and you cannot open the book. You can only look at the cover and hold it in your hands. Now as a book worm running a bookblog I obviously love books. I love surrounding my self with them and often buy new ones even though I have some unread ones waiting for me at my house. This category was very difficult for me.

I decided to break this category down into two groups read and unread. I decided to tackle the read ones first then the unread ones, more on that later. I think the longest part was taking all the books off of my shelf. I counted all of my beloved books and it was nearly 200 books. Even though I am a book lover, for some reason this just felt like to much. I knew deep down I was never going to reread 200 books. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.

When I finally conquered my read books I took all the unread books off of my shelf and placed them on the floor in front of me. Now, I broke a rule. I kept some of my unread books for a few reasons. The first was I just went on a short vacation with my mom and I bought a few books that I have already started to read so I knew I was going to read them and they filled me with joy. The second reason was even though they were unread they filled me with joy. Now the whole purpose of this method is to surround yourself with things that spark joy, well just because something is unread doesn’t mean it does not spark joy. Even though I broke this rule, I did end up admitting to myself that I was not going to read all the books on my TBR, so they went into the donation bin.

When I finished going through all of my books I went from nearly 200 down to 119. I donated nearly 80 books. Even though I have already done this and all the books have found a new home at my local library I cannot believe I had that many books. I am currently sitting looking at the books I have left and I cannot imagine where those 80 books fit.

Even though I removed 80 books from my collection I am very happy. All the books I have are sitting properly so their binding will not be damaged. I can see each book I own. All the books I have make me happy. As a bookworm it is like a dream come true. My books reflect me, they are well taken care of, and they aren’t crowded or hidden away.

Now that the hard category is finished, on to an easier one!

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TBR

September TBR | 2017

TBR

This month I am only planning on reading 2 books, mainly because I have been slowing down on my reading lately and I do not want to force myself to read and make everything worse. So without further delay here are the books I plan on reading in September…wow, it is already September. Where is 2017 going?

Where the Light Falls by Allison Pataki & Owen Pataki

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This is a historical fiction novel that takes place during the French Revolution. I am excited to see where this novel takes me.

From the courtrooms to the battlefields to the alleyways of Paris, with cameos from infamous figures in French history, the Patakis have crafted an epic, action-packed novel of the French Revolution as it has never been seen before. Three years after the storming of the Bastille, Paris is enlivened with the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy has been dismantled and a new nation, for the people, is rising up in its place. Jean-Luc, a young optimistic lawyer, moves his wife, Marie, and their son to Paris, inspired by a sense of duty to contribute to the new order. André, the son of a former nobleman, flees his privileged past to fight in the unified French Army with his roguish brother. Sophie, a beautiful young aristocratic widow and niece of a powerful, vindictive uncle, embarks on her own fight for independence.

The Dire King by William Ritter

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This is the fourth book in the Jackaby series, which if you are new here, is one of my favorites. I have never been disappointed by one of these books. Each one is always better than the last. If you have never read any of these books I would encourage you to try them.

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook.


What are you going to read this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul | August 2017

Book Haul

It is that time of the month once again to share with you the books I picked up this month. August turned into a huge book month for me. A book I preordered came out, there was a library sale, and I took a trip to an independent bookstore. I was also lucky enough to receive a few books from publisher to review via print and ebook. Without further delay here are the books I am adding to my every growing TBR.

Physical Books:

The Dire King by William Ritter

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The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook.

11/22/63 by Stephen King (Read)

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Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

Selected Poems by Robert Graves (Read)

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You can find a mini review here: Wrap UP | 7 in 7

Since these poems, written at the fairly constant rate of four or five a year since 1914, are offered to a public considerably larger than they reached in hard-cover form, I have omitted the more baffling or shocking ones. The order is roughly chronological.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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The orphan Pip is destined to become a blacksmith like his brother-in-law Joe. But when Pip meets the beautiful Estella Havisham, he yearns for a gentleman’s education in order to woo her. A mysterious legacy answers his ambition, and changes the course of his life, taking him far from the Marshes of youth—far, so he thinks, from his early terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, and his sister’s class resentments. In this fictional autobiography, Pip’s coming-of-age story becomes representative of the changing social landscape of nineteenth century England. As Pip’s education provides upward social mobility, he must also learn hard lessons about self-delusion and forgiveness, love and loss, and the true nature of his Great Expectations.

Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers

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This book introduces and adapts the concepts of mindfulness and acceptance to the observation and management of eating habits. The result is a series of exercises and meditations that reinforce healthy habits and lead to greater tranquility at meals.

Misery by Stephen King

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Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets: Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the best-loved figures in nineteenth-century American literature. Though he earned his central place in our culture as an essayist and philosopher, since his death his reputation as a poet has grown as well.

Audiobooks:

Under the Dome by Stephen King

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On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

Books from Publishers:

With Ballet in My Soul by Eva Maze

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A life spanning close to 100 years is noteworthy, if only because of its longevity. The rich life of a woman committed to a professional vision ahead of its time, filled with glamour, excitement, and adventure, is truly remarkable. Narrated in her own words, this is the story of such a woman, Eva Maze, who, from the time she left Romania as a teenager in 1939, dreamed of being a ballet dancer, and through a series a circumstances, became instead one of the most successful theatrical impresarios in Europe – with a career spanning more than 40 years.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”


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Reviews

REVIEW | And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone

Book Review

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

18302455This is a story following a young Mormon man named Adam who has taken time off of university to take part in a 2 year mission. The goal of this two year mission is to spread their religion to others around the world. Now traditionally during a mission an individual is  paired with someone else, they are always to be next to each and adhere to many other regulations dealing with dress, free time and communication. Adam is paired up with Brandon who he quickly learns has a very different upbringing than him even though they have been brought up in the same religion. This begins to open his eyes to the world outside of his family and his local church.

As Adam and Brandon spend more time with one another they learn about each others backgrounds and families. One of the things I enjoyed about this look is the insight to the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-day Saints. At the start of each chapter there is a few quotes. Not only this, Adam and Brandon discuss their religion from time to time. Now I am going to say I believe these discussion to be accurate.  I did a little research and have found that the author herself has first hand experience with the church. Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was the pacing. It was not to slow or to quick. I found myself not being able to put it down.

Adam Young is a devout, young Mormon following the pious path set forth for him by his church and family. But when his mission trajectory sends him to Barcelona, Spain, with a handsome mission companion named Brandon Christensen, Adam discovers there may be more to life and love than he ever expected.

Via goodreads.com

Now you may have guessed from the book description “handsome mission companion” Adam and Brandon relationship moves from friendly to having more feelings. I felt that this book created a realistic struggle. Both young men are obviously very committed to their faith. They have taken two years of their life and devoted it to spreading the ideas. But, this religion is not accepting of individuals who are LGBTQ. Witnessing their struggles with their feelings and their faith was heart breaking. I just wanted to sit next to them and tell them everything would be all right.

Overall, this was a very well written book. The story and the characters Laura Stone was able to create within 218 pages is just amazing. I give this a very strong 4 stars. It evoked emotion within me, it flowed, it was insightful, and it was beautiful.


Book Information

Publisher: Interlude Press

Publication Date: May 18th 2017

List Price: $15.99

ISBN: 9781945053153

Pages: 218 pages


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