Friday, July 13, 2018

Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Title: Warcross
Series: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 353
Source: Library
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★

I'd been wanting to read Warcross by Marie Lu since I'd heard it was coming out. I'd tried for it on NetGalley but was turned down - probably due to my seriously ridiculous backlog there. So when I finally found it here in the library, I snapped it up.

The book was well hyped before it came out and so many readers had said it was so good that I expected my mind to be blown. Instead, while it was most definitely good enough to earn it a 4 star review, it wasn't the mind-blowing experience I'd expected from the hype. In fact, I found it all to easy to put the book down and not pick it up.

The game of Warcross just wasn't interesting to me, and I found myself putting the book down for a bit whenever a game was described. I was much more interested in figuring out who Zero was - and unfortunately, it wasn't too difficult to figure it out. Honestly, I'd have waited until Wildcard, the second book in the series to actually reveal who Zero is... even if it was just in the beginning of the new book.

That being said, the book was very well written and I am looking forward to Wildcard being released. I'm hoping to be able to read a copy as soon as the library gets it because the story is an addicting one outside the descriptions of the Warcross games. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Title: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Publisher: Penguin Press
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 338
Source: Library
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★

 I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about this book. I mean, I rated it 4 stars, so I obviously I liked it, but I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the book.

Little Fires Everywhere is a wonderful novel. I'm not going to say it isn't. It's thought provoking. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you angry. You'll find yourself taking sides on issues raised in the book. You'll find yourself heartbroken for characters who have lost something. You'll find yourself hoping that characters get what they are looking for in the end.

I went out of my genre comfort zone for this book. I don't normally read books that are in the "Fiction" or "Adult Fiction" category unless I've been seeing them everywhere - which I've been seeing a lot of people talking about this book. I've seen where people say it's slow moving, which I suppose you could say that it is, but I read it in 2 days, so it can't be that slow moving. Usually when I think of a slow moving book, it takes me over a week to read the book because it moves so slowly that I can't get into it. I think it is more a matter of the book moves slowly if you simply aren't interested in it.

I fell in love with the kids in this book - Pearl and Izzy especially. I keep wondering if Trip & Moody really are named that or if they are nicknames for which we simply are never given their proper given names. The kids are just so genuine and I know how Izzy feels because I've felt that way on more than one occasion with my family (although in my case it is extended family who make me feel that way, not my parents).

The May Ling Chow/Mirabelle McCullough story line tugged at my heart. I can totally see how both sides felt, but I must admit, I sided with Bebe Chow. You'll have to tell me which side you chose in that debate.

All in all, the book is a really good read and I do recommend that you check it out if you're into adult fiction.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Book Review: The 11:05 Murders by Brian O'Hare

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Title: The 11:05 Murders
Author: Brian O'Hare
Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing
Format: eBook
Pages: 378
Source: Online Book Club
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★

The 11:05 Murders starts out slowly. Very slowly. The prologue doesn't make sense until several chapters in (after the first murder). The real aka the first murder, doesn't even happen until Chapter 8. The first 7 chapters are literally setup for some of the things you'll see later in the book.

 There are several plot lines that are used in the book to help keep the identity of the killer a secret. These are nice as it does help to keep the mystery going (I actually got the killer wrong), but the problem is that some of the plot lines weren't properly closed. I realize that this is a series of books and so it's a possibility that the plot lines that weren't closed might be closed in subsequent books, but it's a bit confusing when a book ends and you're not sure what happened to certain characters.

Then there are the obvious word flips - places where an incorrect word was used and it's just annoying as all get out. In this case, the word saloon was used instead of sedan... I'm pretty sure Mercedes doesn't make saloons.

All in all, the book was pretty interesting once it got going, but the long set up time, grammar issues, and plot lines without closure make me think this book needs some serious work before it can be a truly great book.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Book Review: Camino Island

Title: Camino Island
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 290
Source: Library
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★

While I kind of panned the last John Grisham novel I'd read, it was more because while it involved law and lawyers, it wasn't what I was expecting.

This novel was a departure from what I recall John Grisham doing previously, but this novel worked. It really did work.

The character development wasn't completely there, but it also didn't really need to be. Most of the characters, even though they appeared multiple times, didn't need the development as they weren't the main focus of the novel. The characters who did need development had it - Mercer and Bruce Cable. The rest of the characters were more or less window dressing, regardless of how much time you spent reading their words and actions. The only characters that truly mattered in the plot were Mercer and Bruce.

And it was a great book. It was hard for me to put it down to do the other things I needed to get done, but I managed. This book just flowed and I was constantly curious to see how the story would turn out. It turns out a bit differently than you might expect, but that just makes the novel even better.

This one got 4 out 5 stars only because there were some parts of the book I thought could have been taken out and the book wouldn't have been any less interesting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review: A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction by Terry Pratchett

Title: A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Doubleday
Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
Source: Library
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★

 This was my first foray into reading Terry Pratchett and I have to say, although the stories were good, they weren't GREAT.

Part of this is due to some of the stories having been written a long time ago, when he'd first started writing. Part of this is also due to my not being particularly knowledgeable about Discworld, and so the Discworld stories didn't really make any sense to me.

Terry Pratchett's writing style is very good. He knows how to tell a story. I'm not denying that. He knows how to develop characters in just a few short sentences so that a short story can get on with it. But some of the earlier works - I'm just not sure why the editors and publisher were willing to have them in there... and Terry himself was rather embarrassed by some of the stories.

All in all, it was a good introduction to Terry Pratchett and I would recommend it to those who haven't read his works as a way to introduce themselves to his writing style. Just keep in mind that some of the stories are from way back when and could use a little work.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Book Review: The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

Title: The Rooster Bar
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
Source: Library
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★


I'll be honest, I haven't read a John Grisham novel in years. I was really into his novels when I was in high school, but to be honest, after high school I kind of lost interest. I think the last time I'd read one of his novels was back in the early 2000s when I still lived in Texas.

The book was all right, but it wasn't the type of story I'm used to from John Grisham. I'm used to his books being more like The Pelican Brief and A Time to Kill. This one wasn't so much like that and I guess I was just expecting another lawyer making a name for him/herself because he/she took on a case that was making big headlines.

The book was well written, although you might have to get a notepad to keep track of changing names and what's going on with each person's family because it can get a bit on the complicated side. I don't think this book had quite as much character development as previous novels and to be honest, I think that was part of why I didn't like it. It just didn't have that John Grisham feel.

All in all, it was a good book but not one I'd really recommend to long time fans of John Grisham.

I'm Back...I Think

The past few months have not been the greatest. Financial issues caused us to lose our internet connection. Then with a lack of internet connection and a lack of funds to pay for the hosting on my blog, I lost my entire blog. While I recalled having set up database backups to come to my email, apparently those backups never arrived. It doesn’t actually surprise me, since I’ve often had trouble with any plugin that promises to provide daily or even weekly backups sent to my email. (Insert eye roll emoji here.) So here we are. I’ve moved to Colorado, obtained a new hosting account, and set up my domain here again. We have a fairly good library system here, so I’m hoping to get back into reading and reviewing again. I also have a huge backlog from NetGalley that needs to be read/reviewed, so I’m hoping to have some content here shortly. So I’m back… I think.