Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: Version Control

Title Version Control
By Dexter Palmer
Genre Adult Science Fiction
Rating ⭐⭐

Synopsis
Rebecca feels like something just isn't right. Her world, her life, the president on TV. Nothing feels right and it's not just that she's still grieving the loss of her son two years ago. Her husband, a brilliant Physicist is working on a invention he call the casualty violation device (a time machine but don't call it that in front of him). He's close to success but he may have already succeeded.

First Sentence
Nothing is as it should be; everything is upside down. 




This was another Tournament of Books read but one I kind of wanted to check out anyway. I listened to this one on audio and always wonder how that affects my opinion. When someone else is reading in different voices and intonations than you might it skews your perspective a bit. And it was loooong! 25 hours or something like that. In print form it's about 500 pages.

And that leads me to my biggest problem with it. It didn't need to be that long. There was a bunch of little details that were completely unnecessary. And all these details seemed to be thrown in to make the book feel more like a story. Without them, it felt like reading a research paper.  That's not to say there wasn't a story, there was, just a story bogged down by science. The characters would have these conversations to explain things but it just made me zone out. I didn't really care how the machine worked or didn't work. I'm a reader, not a scientist, I don't need to know every little detail.

As for the characters, I hated, downright loathed, Phillip. He was a freaking machine. He acted so un-human that for a while I actually thought maybe he wasn't going to be human. There were other characters that I had suspicions about too but I never really got an answer...just another thing that bugged me.

This is making it sound like I totally hated the book and I didn't. Despite all the science and the length I was never bored. I wanted to know what was happening and how things would wrap up and I was satisfied with the ending if not in love with it.

It was an interesting read with plenty going on to think about. I liked the near future aspects and the character interactions. I liked that there were character interactions. This book could have easily fallen heavy on the story side but managed to be about people too. It made me think about the tech world we live in and wonder if things haven't gotten a bit out of hand and I think, maybe, that's what the author wanted.

Should you read it.
Can't say I'd recommend this one necessarily but I wouldn't outright tell you to avoid it either. I'll let you decide. ;)    

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: Hex Hall

Title Hex Hall
By Rachel Hawkins
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis
Sophie is a witch. A witch that just can't stay out of trouble. When she tries to help out a fellow student with a love spell and things go horribly wrong she ends up being sent to Hex Hall school for all the things that go bump in the night. Navigating her way through her new school Sophie is about to learn more about herself than she ever wanted.

First Sentence
"Well?"




This in one of those books that's been sitting on my shelf forever. I think I bought it when it first came out in 2010. I fell in love with the cover and thought it sounded like a fun read. But then of course I came home, placed it on my shelves, and proceeded to ignore it. I've been wanting to work on the books on my shelves particularly series so I finally picked it up.

I was worried it was going to be too juvenile and cliche. You know, love at first sight, love triangle. The typical YA supernatural/paranormal book. And, well, it was pretty cliche but there wasn't love at first sight or a love triangle so that's something.

It was a fun, light, fluffy read. It wasn't anything new or the perfect story but I enjoyed it. The world was the best part. I liked learning about all the different supernatural creatures and how they interacted. I liked learning more about Sophie and her history. While I'm not sure I'll remember this one for long I do think the characters will stick with me. They were typical but just sort of stuck out in my mind.

Sadly, I don't have the other two books in the series but I'd like to get my hands on them pretty quick so I can read the whole series together and knock another one of the list.

All, in all a fun read. Nothing new or extraordinary but still fun.

Should you read it? 
If this is your type of read, I'd say go for it.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tag-I'm It


I saw this tag on Kara's blog. She got it from some one else but I thought I'd just link to her and participate. Mostly so there's more than just book reviews on my blog. Sigh! So here we go and feel free to tag yourself and participate. 

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I'm going to go with Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy my first book purchase. I have a few children books that my mom got me for Christmas when I was a kid but I'm not counting those.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current: The One & Only by Emily Giffin. Needed a light book after Version Control by Dexter Palmer...which answers what my last read was. Next I'll probably be rereading Bone Gap for book club or reading The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer....Jenni??? 

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated? 

Um, everything? No, but it often feels that way. I'll go with Code Name Verity. I just read it and didn't like it but I feel like everyone else adored it.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Not sure, probably one of those pesky classics I feel obligated to read but don't want to. 

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

Um, no idea. There's still so many books to be released before I'll retire. What it if it's one of them? 

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I used to read the last page of books all the time. Now I never do. I know I'll get there eventually. 

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I always read them. I may skip over the names of people that mean nothing to me but I like to read them. Some are quite funny. 

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Oh dear. I don't know. These questions are hard. Any character living in London??? I really want to live in London. 

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

Speaking of London. I've been there twice and on my first trip I read Interview with a Vampire and started reading Dracula. So both those books remind me of London. 

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way. 

The Lovely Bones. I used to work at a hotel and someone left it behind in one of the rooms. One of the housekeepers brought it to lost and found and I picked it up and started to read it. I loved it so much that I ended up bringing it home and having my mom read it. Still have it...and don't worry. The rightful owner never came back for it. 

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Not that I can think of. I remember liking The Adoration of Jenna Fox and wanting a certain sister of mine to read it. I bought her a copy. 

12. Which book has been with you most places?

Um, if you count all the books on my phone...a lot. But I'll go with Odd Interlude (A Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz). I brought it with me on a Mediterranean cruise. Didn't get much reading done but it did see Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Germany, and Sicily. That's something, right? 

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
I was homeschooled so I didn't have required reading. I read whatever my little heart desired. 

14. Used or brand new?
Both.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Sadly, yes. I read The Da Vinci Code when everyone else was. I thought it was mediocre. Dan Brown has the most annoying habit in his writing of creating suspense by having characters say, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" And then ending the chapter. It got incredibly tiresome. 

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

So many! One that sticks out is Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. That stupid pink sugar cookie on the front drove me crazy! 

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Me. Sorry, but its true. I don't always pick winners but I have a pretty good idea what I'll like. So if anyone says to read a book I'll definitely check it out but in the end I decided whether I'll read it or not.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Once upon a time I hated reading fantasy. Anything fantasy I'd avoid. Then my sister got me to read Harry Potter and, well, here we are. There's not really a genre I won't give a shot to now. 

That was fun! Join if you'd like. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: A Madness so Discreet

Title A Madness so Discreet
By Mindy McGinnis
Genre YA suspense
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis
Grace is in an insane asylum. She doesn't speak. The ever growing bulge in her belly speaks for her. Speaks of the dark secrets of her family that landed her there. Rescue comes in the form of a faked lobotomy and a strange doctor who is making strides in a new form of solving murders. Grace's eye for detail is put to use and her new home and friends make life worth living again. But can she escape her past or will her past catch up to her?

First Sentence
They all had their terrors.



This is one of those books I bought based solely on the cover. Isn't it a beautiful cover? It's a more metaphorical depiction of the story within its pages, however.

So, I started this one and was not liking it...at all. I was rather bored and wanted to know where it was going. I actually set it aside to finish another book I was working on and when I came back to it I gulped it down in a few hours. I guess I just wasn't in the mood the first time or maybe it just took a bit to get going? I'm not sure but either way I ended up liking it.

While I found a lot of it highly unlikely and unrealistic I easily overlooked those things and just fell into the story. The characters were all great. I loved that good people were to be found in even the darkest of places.

This one was a sad story with a lot of hard things to read about but offered hope in the end. I really ended up liking it and am glad I picked it up based on that lovely cover.

Should you read it?
I would highly recommend this one. Know that's it's a tough one to read and a bit sad but worth it.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Code Name Verity

Title Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein
Genre Adult Historical Fiction
Rating ⭐⭐


Synopsis
Follows the friendship between two women as they put their lives in danger during WWII.


First Sentence
I am a coward.






Another book club read and another book that got rave reviews and I just don't get it. I promise I don't just choose to not like books like this because everyone else loves them. I have my reasons.

First of all it was slow. So Slow! It had the longest slowest start to a book ever. And it's not just that it's slow but so confusing. I mean, for like 100 pages I was desperately trying to grasp exactly what was going on. That's not a good thing! It's one thing to have mystery, it's another to be so vague and unreliable that I'm losing interest by page 10.

Don't believe me? At our book club discussion there were several people there who had read this one a while ago so they kept asking questions about things to refresh their memory and those of us there who had just read it kept looking at each other in confusion trying to remember as well. And we'd JUST read it. Geeze! I hope the author is proud of herself; that she pats herself on the back because she wrote the first ever book where you need to reread the four hundred plus pages right after you finish it just to figure out what the hell you just read. You should want to reread books because they're good, not because you have to.

I'm not sure why this book is considered YA. It's about adult women in war, There's torture and death and a lot of things that made me think it should have been marketed as adult not YA.

In the end, I didn't outright hate this one but I did have a lot of issues with it.

Should you read it?
I think most of you have. If you haven't and choose to, plan on reading it twice. *rolls eyes*