Book Review

Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll By Thomas Kingsley Troupe | ARC Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be reviewing a book christened Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll By Kingsley Troupe today. I received this book via NetGalley and I am so grateful that the publisher- Jolly Fish Press, accepted my request to attain an eARC for this novel. So, before we dive into the review, I shall equip you with the genre, release date and the page count of the novel:

Genre: Middle-Grade; Horror

Page Count: 136

Release Date: September 1st 2019

So, without further ado, let us enter the realm of the review for this novel.

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

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Synopsis:

Alejandro Padilla isn’t superstitious and he doesn’t believe the stories that an old sailor doll in a Key West, Florida, the museum is haunted. Robert the Doll might look creepy, but that doesn’t mean the doll is cursed. So Al ignores the tour guide’s warning to ask Robert’s permission before taking the doll’s photograph. But it isn’t long after Al’s field trip to the museum that strange things start happening. Al is quick to dismiss the odd occurrences as coincidence and bad luck . . . that is until they become more frequent and more sinister. Is the doll tormenting Al? And if so, what will Al have to do to get him to stop? 

Every state has its own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses real-life ghost lore as jumping-off points to new, chilling tales. An author’s note provides historical origins and fascinating facts, but beware: sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.

My Introspections:

Although this is a middle-grade novel which I am slowly detaching from due to a constant change in my reading preference over the years, I was- surprisingly- able to fully immerse myself into this book and to take pleasure from the experience because of the atmosphere and the horror aspects that are enmeshed in the novel. In addition, I enjoyed the pacing and the style of writing entangled in this novel. Without those aspects, I would probably dislike the novel and I did not particularly like certain segments of the novel but we will converse on that later on.

“Robert thinks it’s rude to take his picture without asking. We’ve heard about the things that have happened to people who don’t follow the rule, and . . . they’re not good.” 

In this 136 pages novel, the pacing was adroitly composed. In the first chapter, we learn about a school trip to a museum that holds a doll that has a spirit imbued into it. Our main character named Alejandro Padilla travels with the school to the museum to visit this enigmatic doll. He snubs the rules and regulations surrounding the doll and snaps a picture of it, supplementing with insults to fuel the spirit’s seething disturbances. Therein, eerie instances start to occur. The story itself made me flip page after page until I reach the end because of how compelling the writing style was. OH! I almost forgot, there are gorgeous illustrations which expedite the pacing of the novel and keep readers invested in the story. 

“His breath rushed out of him like a balloon releasing all of its air in one sputtering gust.”

The atmosphere that enwreathes around this novel is thick and slick with suspense because with each sequence accentuating the scope of reality that the background story of the doll is real, the protagonist becomes more frantic and the readers of the novel continue to be encapsulated by the character’s distress and troubles. I definitely felt the atmosphere when I read the book because of, again, the writing style and the character’s decisions and to add on further is his intuition. Everything just coils around the theoretical box of the story conscientiously.

“Al managed a fake laugh that felt foreign coming out of his mouth. Nothing that had happened to him in the past day was funny, but he wanted to make it seem like nothing was bothering him.”

The style of writing for this novel which I had been gushing about for the prior three sentences finally make an appearance in this review. I enjoyed the panorama view on how Alejandro Padilla– the main character was handling the issue at hand since he does not believe in anything paranormal and uncanny that will provoke goosebumps to roam around the surface of your epidermis. For example, the quote above suggests that he is slowly sinking into madness due to the recent activities. The author provides us with a writing style that could easily be embedded in our brain and I relished on the way he hones the power to craft such intricate details of the novel.

“And end up on the “wall of shame” with all of the other dummies who believe in this supernatural garbage? Al thought. No way!”

However, several aspects of the novel that I did not savour were some of the horror scenes. Some of the scenes or rather, commotions were mildly run through without the character lingering in the situation to show his inner turmoil. Moreover, there were various horrifying scenes which I felt that they were a little too relaxed for the character. For example, a hand pops out from his locker and he, definitely, is shocked for a moment but the moment is quickly replaced by interruptions from his friends or acquaintances or family and nothing happens after those sequences. I was disheartened as I thought the petrifying uproars will last longer but it did not. 

“But when you see him in real life, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.”

Moreover, I thought the characters and family aspects of the story could be ameliorated as I came out of the story kenning the plot but not the characters and the protagonist’s family background. For example, the main character’s mother is not present in the story and I would love to know more about their family history and how it was waxed to be in this way. To be honest, I was waiting for the mother’s appearance but her presence was not adjacent in this novel. In addition, I cannot grasp the characters’ personalities as they were all very generic in my eyes and without their personalities, I cannot understand why they implemented various actions sometimes. 

In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a grading of C (60%). I did actually enjoy myself while reading this book but it could not appoint it with a higher rating due to the segments that I did not expressly fancy. Thus, the rating.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll By Thomas Kingsley Troupe! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Fun!

March Reading Wrap Up | 2019

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be manufacturing my March Reading Wrap Up today. In March, I read a total of eleven novels which exhibited a sense of insanity to me because I have never read that much in a month before until last month did I set a new record. So, before we plunge into the books that I had read in the month of March, I am going to present you with a rundown of my reading statistics in March:

  • I read 1995 pages;
  • Average Rating: 3.09 stars

Without further ado, let us take a nosedive into the books that I had read last month!

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1. The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner By Stephenie Meyer

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Page Count: 178 pages

Genre: Paranormal Romance

I will not discourse much on this as I had composed an intact review on this objectionable novel but I will exert a quote from my review to give you a rundown of what actually occurred in this awful book:

“They went hunting for food together + they conversed on random notions + they kissed + they will die for each other + Bree wanted to die when she realized that Diego died + all of these scenes in less than 24 hours = WTF-INSTA-LOVE

Honestly, I am still experiencing the atrocity that this book had proffered. The final rating that I had given this book was E (20%).

2. Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng

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Page Count: 338 pages

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Again, I had made an entire review of this novel and the vast difference between Little Fires Everywhere and The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner is that I enjoyed this novel so much more than the other. My review for this book will be linked here

Final rating: A (87%) 

3. A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness

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Page Count: 237 pages

Genre: Magical Realism

I re-read this in the month of March as I was in the mood to cry and so I picked this book up to read and to reevaluate my feelings towards this novel to check if they were still homogeneous to the first time I read this book and precisely, they were.

If you did not distinguish or you are fresh to this platform, I really luxuriate in this novel as it made me very fervid and it caused my feelings to be flurried around the cauldron as if they were just another potion or ingredient.  

My final rating: A+ (100%)

4. The Wolf Wilder By Katherine Rundell

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Page Count: 231 pages

Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction

I lamented not drafting a review for this book because as soon as I closed the novel as I aspired to prattle with someone about the outcome of the book. Mind you, this book has a predicament of comely binding and lovely writing but with a disastrous ending. 

Why did you say that?

I perceived that the ending of the novel desisted too adroitly that it suffered a crisis of ‘non-realistic’ ending. The lead character, if my memory serves me right, was a wolf wilder- a person who untamed the wolves that had been tamed, and she was only thirteen/fourteen in this novel. The oldest character in their group (excluding the adults) was fifteen. It does not make sense to me that the oldest character would be competent to guide the children ranging from the age of 9-14 to battle against a man who had all the power in the country and it baffled me even further that they contrived to win and ‘annihilated’ the old man. In addition, the adults were unavailing and they conceded their children to combat against this man who vilified his power while they observed the plight being brought about. To further complicate the matter, the children were only trained for 5 days prior to the opt-out war. What in the world?

Although I despised the ending of the novel, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2/3 quarter of the novel and the characters were well-built and thus, I shall be bestowing this novel with a D (56%).

5. The Five People You Meet In Heaven By Mitch Albom

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Page Count: 196 pages

Genre: Religion Fiction

Honestly, I do not know how to discourse with you all about this novel because part of me really fancied this novel and the other segment of me shunned this book. I will just succinctly encompass through the things that I admired and the items that I did not like about this book:

Likes- The idea of the story and the characters that appeared in this novel to tell their stories. Mostly about how an action will affect the other and how we were all connected in this world, whether we knew it or not. I thought the messages that this novel sent were empowering and entertainable. 

Dislikes- Some of the stories were tedious and boring. Some of them felt rushed and I thought it could be extended into a longer period to further insinuate their stories to make it more subterranean and impactful.

Therefore, I am going to bestow this novel with a C (65%).

7. A Compilation of Graphic Novels By Various Authors

                   Image result for Paper Girl vol 1Image result for black widow vol 1Related imageImage result for doctor strange vol 1Image result for doctor strange vol 2

Genre: Graphic Novels

Page Count: 752 pages

Authors: Nathan Edmondson, Brian K. Vaughan and Jason Aaron

I despised the Black Widow chronicles as the story in it was incoherent and confusing. However, I enjoyed the art style as it was well-drawn and beautiful. Thus, attaining an F (15%) from me.

Doctor Strange started out strong with gorgeous illustrations and a decent flow of the story but it, once again, fell into the trap of an incongruous story as the timelines were jumbled up and flurried all around the place. Thus, it achieved a D (55%) from me.

Paper Girls would get an A- (75%) from me as I thought the illustrations and the story were fun to read and view and both of them consolidated into an overall fantastical tale. Thus, the only graphic novel that I enjoyed last month was Paper Girls.

8. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Recently, I have been attempting to read more books regarding sexism and feminism as I would love to be a part of the movement. I want to associate more about sexism and how society views it. If you have any suggestions on what feminist books I should read, please leave a comment in the comment section below as I would love to know.

As for this book, I learned many valuable lessons and thus, it shall attain an A+ (100%) from me.


This is the end of my ‘March Reading Wrap Up!’  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what your reading wrap up was in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Have a great day ahead!

 

Book Review · Masochist

The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner By Stephenie Meyer | Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and lately, I inaugurated a series denominated as Masochist and in the very first article that I had composed for this fastidious series, I appended a table of books on my shelves that have low ratings on Goodreads and the book that I will be fractionating today had desisted on that list. The novel is none other than The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner By Stephenie Meyer who had written the Twilight Series, The Host and The Chemist.

Just to recapitulate what I had constituted in the last article, the statistics for this novel will be written below. This way, it will be more insouciant for us to distinguish what others had elucidated on this book and what I have to say about this book: 

Current rating: 3.5 stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 178 pages

The number of people who rated this novel: 168,408

So, without further ado, let us get into the book review!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

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Synopsis:

Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes, and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood…life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don’t draw attention to yourself, and above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn’t know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they only know as her. As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

My Introspection:

We shall commence with this review by stating on the scene that had transpired in the movie- Eclipse and to forge a contrast with the homogeneous scene that had occurred in the book. Honestly, the movie version of Bree’s persecution was remarkably desolating due to the outstanding performance of the actress who acted as Bree. In the movie, her inclination towards death was flaunted whereas, in the book, she embraced her death as if it was no big deal which also implored that she did not scream or cry or be afraid of the stages that will be taken place. Extra information: She is only 15 years old and her second life just originated. Clearly, it made no sense whatsoever because who would not be scared of getting persecuted- in this case, burned vigorously, innocently? Therefore, it concluded that I fancied the movie version of her death more than the cessation of her life scene in the book.

“I struggled to calm myself and shut my eyes again. There were things they didn’t want me to hear, either. I could live with that- if it meant I could live.” (pg. 155) 

The style of writing was, ditto, not pre-eminent as of the rest of the Twilight series. I do not apprehend on how to meticulously pinpoint whether or not the writing was imperceptibly better in this novella than the rest of the books in the series because I examined that the writing was more concentrated and rigorous in the first half of the novel and the next just exerted a nosedive. For example, the quote above noted that she wanted to live instead of dying. However, when you sedulously scrutinize the previous sentences, she transcribed that she craved to die due to the immense amount of pain that she tolerated from her dead one-day boyfriend. In addition, there is a paragraph in the novel that I could not believe it had accepted to be published:

“I turned off my brain. It was time to hunt. I took a deep breath, drawing in the scent of the blood inside the human below. They weren’t the only humans around, but they were the closest.” (pg. 9)

I turned off my brain. I TURNED OFF MY BRAIN. What in the world? Hold on, if you shut off your brain, does that not mean that you are incompetent with the tasks at hand and instead, become an effigy that stands on a pedestal? Do take note that after Bree ‘turned off’ her brain, she is still able to move about and draws in the scent of human blood. To further obfuscate the material, this redundant paragraph managed to slip through the clefts of the editor and be promulgated:

“Weird. Diego was weird. How he sounded like a person having a regular old conversation. No hostility, no suspicion. Like he wasn’t thinking about how easy or hard it might be to kill me right now. He was just talking to me.” (pg. 7)

This paragraph is not half as nefarious as the one we had conversed on above. Still, it was repetitive and I effectuated that it was the reiteration of paragraphs and words or information that had prompted Stephenie Meyer’s novels to be more longspun than it should be. For example, we already sanctioned that she called Diego a weirdo but Stephenie Meyer decided to supplement the word count by placing: ‘Diego was weird’ as if we do not already know that. Thus, the writing style for this novel was overall confusing.

“Kissing didn’t sound the same with Vampires as it did with humans. No soft, fleshy, liquid-filled cells to squish against each other. Just stone lips, no give. I had heard one kiss between Vampires before- Diego’s touch my lips last night- but I never would have made the connection. It was so far from what I’d expected to find here.” (pg. 71)

Frankly, I do not wallow in that many details. Details like these: Kissing for Vampires is like stone grinding against a stone, causing friction which would erupt into flames if you are not careful. I exaggerated there but candidly, I do not need to discern how kissing sculptures for Vampires. That is just plain repugnant. Also, it induced me to reminisce of these undesirable scenes: Bella kissing a stone who is Edward. You are welcome.

“He was pretty, with dark, dense, curly hair, big, wide eyes, and really full lips, but then, who wasn’t pretty?” (pg. 4)

As for now, Diego and Bree will be in our limited circuitous notoriety. I am not even ribbing, Bree had no temperament and I do not discern on why she is the cyanogen of the story. Bella’s personalities blanched opposed to Bree’s. Diego had an insignificant nature and an even minor cleft in his personality: He was loyal (and vacuous) up to the apex where he does not notice that the one he respected and trusted will hurt him the most. He was attractive and of course, he will fall for that one girl who had no disposition. Do not even get me enkindled on the less than one-day insta-love. Whatever, I am going to ramble:

They went hunting for food together + they conversed on random notions + they kissed + they will die for each other + Bree wanted to die when she realized that Diego died + all of these scenes in less than 24 hours = WTF-INSTA-LOVE 

The only positive point in this book that I could denote is the middle section of the novel. I thought the core segment of this novel was the strongest in this whole novel because I finally sensed something that I could clasp on- the perplexity of the situation. I fancied learning about the Victoria Army and the layout to ambush the Cullens and procure Bella as the prize. I presume that that was the only time where I truly let myself immerse into the world and experienced the tension that the characters were having. Unfortunately, it was short-lived.

In conclusion, I am bequeathing this novella with an E (20%). I presume that you will appreciate this novella if you adored the rest of the Twilight series but I, unfortunately, do not relish on some of the books in that series and this book had now been stacked on top on that list. Thus, the rating.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!