Book Review

Nevertell By Katherine Orton | ARC Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be executing a review for a book called Nevertell By Katherine Orton today. Nevertell is Katherine Orton’s debut novel and I was propitious enough to receive a review copy of this book from Pansing, also known as Definitely Books on Instagram. 

Before we head into the book review section, I would like to embellish you with the prerequisite:

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy.

Page Count: 384.

Release Date: November 7th 2019.

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

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are solely 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:

Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage – and a whisper of magic – if they are to survive…

My Introspections:

“Bodgan had pitched their hopes on a gamble. An extreme one, at that. But what was it her mother always said? Life is a gamble. Lina couldn’t tell the truth now without getting him into serious trouble. It was all or nothing.” – Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

When I first freed this novel and overset to the first folio, the very first sentence of the novel had already captivated me to read on as the writing style was so beautifully crafted and the prose used was on point. It was spontaneously explicit to me that the string of sentences was crafted punctiliously as the sentences were woven and strung together as seamless as silk. Although this novel is a middle-grade novel, Ms Orton did not fail to impress me with the omnium gatherum of words used and I very much appreciated that. Side note: there are illustrations emboss on every chapter headers and they are as beautiful as the writing style of this novel.

In this novel, we follow Lina’s perspective in a third-person point of view and through her eyes, there is a cast of characters christened Bodgan, Tuyaara, Vadim, The Vengeful Sorcerer, Alexei, The Commandant, Katya and more. Do notice that I coloured some of the names, by ‘some’ I mean 4 of them as I would love to proffer them notable attention. Bodgan and The Vengeful Sorcerer have more magnanimous character developments in the novel as they are prominent in almost every scene, The Commandant and Katya are the driving force of the novel and the rest of the casts are pretty much one-dimensional as they do not actually have any characteristics that are outside of the one-dimensional realm except for specific impulse which I could comprehend flawlessly. However, Lina – the protagonist of the novel – is the best. She is ingenious, expeditious and also, she adapts swiftly to a brand new environment. I cannot help but root for her throughout the novel as she had been through so much and yet, she had not uttered a single complaint. Lina. Is. Freaking. Amazing.

“Humans kill what they think is most terrifying and what is most precious. You cannot deny it.” – Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

One of the idiosyncrasies enmeshed in this novel that I savoured immensely was the pacing. It was fast-paced and I found myself flipping page after page to uncover the journey of the characters as each chapter in this novel ended with a cliff-hanger so fervent that I had to recapitulate. Ms Orton did not waste a single sentence on monotonous functions, she exhorts you on with the meticulously crafted plot and plays with your sense of dread as something nefarious is going to befall the characters. If you are in a reading slump, I think this novel will be a perfect fit for what you are going through as it will help you to get back into reading. 

“I come from a separate climate, far from here, and I haven’t been back in many years. So my warm magic has suffered. And besides, it takes a certain positivity of spirit to grow more than a few peaches, which I am not so inclined to any more.”  Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

The magic system that was installed reverentially in the novel was interesting and unique but unfortunately, it was not explored and scrutinised in the novel. For example, the author would exude an idea for the magic system and explained it for a few paragraphs and never touched upon it again. It occurred several times in the novel which was frustrating as I would love to learn the nonpareil magic system. In addition, I do not understand how The Vengeful Sorcerer arrived in our world and how she tied both worlds together. Moreover, her origin was unexplained and I kept wondering whether or not there were more like her… However, there was some magic used here that was explained in length and used which I totally savoured. 

Into the bargain, I would love to talk about the atmosphere and the world-building mixed into the cauldron of this novel. The atmosphere embedded in the clefts of this novel was suspenseful and chilling but ultimately, it was optimistic and dreamy. The protagonist went through several instances that were remarkably frightening and many times, those instances were near-death experiences. Thus, the suspenseful and chilling atmosphere became apparent in these commotions. The optimistic and dreamy atmospheres were solely due to the writing style. The prose used was extraordinary and in turn, it made the characters more vibrant than sombre. In addition, the world-building of this novel was crafted impeccably as the exchange between the real world and the mantillas asunder for the world of The Vengeful Witch were formulated without any circumvention. Thus, I had taken pleasure in experiencing both the atmosphere and the world-building that the author had established in this book.

In conclusion, I will furnish this book with an 80% (A) rating as I had fun reading the novel and watching the plot unwound. Although it had its flaws, the experience that I had with this novel was all-around positive. Thus, the rating.

⇛ This book will be available at all good bookstores when it is released. Do give it a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Nevertell By Katherine Orton! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

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Book Review

We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar | ARC review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be handling a book review today. The book which we will be reviewing is called ‘We Are Lost And Found’ by Helene Dunbar. I received an Advance Readers Copy of this novel from the lovely publishing company christened Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley to appoint you all with a book review. 

Before we jump right into the book review, I would like to furnish you all with the fundamentals: 

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT Historical Fiction.

Page Count: 304

Release Date: 3rd of September 2019

So, without further ado, let us dive right 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:

A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming of age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate. 

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.

My Introspections:

Apart from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margeret Atwood, this might be the most important novel that I had read thus far this year. As the synopsis had stated, the story is set in the 1980s, where societal attitudes toward homosexuality were not pleasant and the threat of AIDs was discommoding to the gay community as no one understood what was going on and how this disease was supposed to be prevented. This novel allows us to witness the struggles of the people back in the ’80s which I will converse more on in the atmospheric section of this review. 

“But it’s like going back to your old elementary school to visit your teachers and finding the water fountains too low to reach. Maybe The Echo hasn’t changed, but I have.”

This novel follows Michael, a closeted-gay whose father had recently banned his brother from coming home as he had come out to his parents for being gay. His plan was to lay low and not make irrational decisions in fear of being kicked out of the house like his brother by his father. His father, who was verbally abusive, tormented him with abhorrent terms day and night and the only way he could forget all of these for a little while was attending a club christened ‘The Echo’ where he danced it all out and dissipated himself in the flow. As the story progresses, the imminent threat of AIDs became more apparent and everybody in the gay community was afraid that they might catch the disease if they were to have sexual intercourse. This affected our main character on several levels as he was afraid for his best friend, James and his brother’s lives. 

“Oh, Michael, seriously? What do you think they said? That it was random. Wrong place, wrong time. That sort of thing. But even if they’d caught someone, you know how these things play out. They’ll claim I made a pass as them, that they simply couldn’t help but protect themselves from the onslaught of my passions. As if.”

The ambience around this novel was gripping, upsetting and agitating. Upsetting because of how the protagonist and his brother were treated at home. Gripping because of how the threat of AIDs was exterminating people and that there was not an excavated prevention to AIDs as they do not understand what it was back in the ’80s. Agitating because of how society treated people who were gay back then and it tugged at my heartstrings to read about it. 

“James hesitated because he knows I hate inviting myself to places. The feeling that I might be intruding.”

Similar to the writing style of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, the writing style of this novel lacked quotation marks. To be honest, I do not like this kind of writing style as it does not correlate with me and I would also be confused half of the time by the lack of quotations. A sample to how lack of quotations in writing style goes in my brain: Is the character conversing? Is he having an internal monologue? Is he exhibiting his emotions or is he saying his feeling out loud? What? Oh, he is conversing with James. Other than the paucity of quotations, I thought the writing style was well-rounded and polished in a debonair manner. Moreover, I could not stop excerpting the book as the whole book was so quotable. For example:

“Her answer feels wrong. Limited. Like, there have to be more than two options.”

“Rules. My father’s rules: Don’t make noise. Don’t draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself. Don’t stand up for anything you believe in. Don’t show any emotion that isn’t anger. Don’t be yourself.”

“Books. Cassettes. Tiny origami shapes: dragons and roses and stars. My father sneers at these gifts when I don’t get to them first.”

GOOSEBUMPS, am I right?

An element in the book which I did not particularly enjoy was the incessant repetition of our protagonist going to The Echo to dance. It took several homogeneous scenes of our protagonist rollicking in The Echo for something to finally transpire. I thought if those scenes could be shortened down and the plot was to be impelled forward without those verbose displays, this would absolutely be an irreproachable book (exclude the quotation marks). 

In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a (B) 75%. I thought it was an important novel that should be read by everyone as it would give you an insight into the ’80s and how people were treated back then with the emerging fulminations of AIDs. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye! 

Book Review

Again, But Better By Christine Riccio || ARC Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be conducting a book review for Christine Riccio’s debut novel christened Again, But Better today. If you did not know, Christine is a Booktuber who orates about books on youtube and she recently released Again, But Better which I was fortunate to acquire an ARC of it from MacMillan Publisher. Before we inaugurate this review, I shall furnish you with the information regarding this novel stapled below: 

Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 377

Release Date: May 7th 2019 

So, without further ado, let us enter the precinct 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:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

My Introspections:

“Now, I’m thousands of miles over the Atlantic in a giant hollowed-out pen with wings, on my way to a study abroad program that’s irrelevant to my major.” 

Let us commence with this review by promulgating on the writing for this novel. I felt that the writing was disjointed and incongruous to the rest of the sentences in some domains and well-polished in others. For example, there was a scene in the novel that initiated with a character’s long-time crush trying to break her heart by flirting and outright assaulting our protagonist- Shane. In this scene, we would be able to notice that [said character] was upset with both Shane and the crush but a few pages later, they reconciled their bonds again without any resolution and this brings us to a topic which I will be commenting on soon – the pacing. In addition, the author applied a plethora of references from Twilight to Lost (TV Show) in her writing which could conceivably make the readers jump out from the character’s world and parachute into the mundane world. 

“If you could go back and do London all over again, knowing everything you know now, would you do it?”

The pacing of this novel was self-contradictory. The first 20+ pages were extremely relatable as the main character had a hard time making friends in the college she attended before and thus, she elected to study abroad to restart her college journey. In addition, she had a hard time voicing her opinions or just merely talking which were highly relatable until they were not. After those 20+ pages were glided over, she was, abruptly, able to make friends (with splutters in her speeches) and was also able to plan a vacation with them even though they just met. I had a sensation that these scenes were hastened in a serpentine demeanour to plunge into the romance section which we will be reflecting on later in the review. The scenes in the novel that were impassive were the ones that bridged the ravine between the starting and the climax (vice versa).     

“This is our second walk in three days. Is this a second date? I think this boy likes me. I think he’s feeling what I’m feeling, and I can barely contain the urge to skip down the road.”

The romance was much more substantial in the second fragment of the story than the first. The first fragment of the story for the romance department was a little bovine because it was an insta-love that bloomed faster than an egg could ever boil. The inner monologues that the protagonist had were tolerably cringe-worthy and if you are looking for an example, take a look at the quote above of this paragraph. However, the second fragment of the story took a different route for the characters as their decisions do not confuse the readers and they were able to be more conscious of their surroundings and resolutions to tasks at hand. Thus, the second fragment was ten times better than the first act. 

“Because of me. Because I let fear make decisions for me. Because I’ve chosen to let the world push me around instead of pushing my way through the world. Why am I even with [said character] if I don’t feel this weird magic around him? Because he asked me out? Because he was cute? Because he was convenient? Because he was there?”

I was surprised to learn that there were a plethora of plot twists in this novel which I was not expecting at all. The shock factors made me appreciate that the novel was not straight-forward without any shock values and it drove me to continue on with the novel and my curiosity for the plot emulsified as each of the plot twists revealed itself. However, there is a plot twist involving magic that had me thinking: ‘Wouldn’t this mess up the timeline? How does this magic even work?’ and the question is not answered in the novel so we will just place that in the plot holes category. 

“Great, I’m Bella Swan-ing circa New Moon.”

Before we move into the next paragraph, I would like to elucidate on the names of the characters that were invented by the author. The main love interest for this novel is cleped, Pilot Penn. Literally. One of Shane’s friends’ name is Babe (which is not her real name but everyone calls her that somehow). I was not used to them in the first 100 pages but after those 100 pages, I found it quirky and funny. Not going to lie, those names are sizeable unique. 

“My heart jumps two feet outside of my chest. Shit. Get back inside of me.”

If I have to speak on one segment of the novel which I particularly enjoyed, it would have to be the conclusion of the novel. I thought that the epilogue for this novel was well-rounded and the life of Shane came to a close with an epic ‘boom’ when the book concealed. Of course, I am not going to spoil the ending of the novel for you to ‘inadvertently’ pillage your fun from the novel. So, do pick this book up if you are interested in reading it. 

In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a rating of C (65%). This was a novel that had its ups-and-downs but in the end, it gave a satisfying conclusion and thus, the rating.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Again, But Better By Christine Riccio! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye! 

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!

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!

Book Review

Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng | Book Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and a little while back, I was buddy-reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng with Jessica from Endless Chapters and I completed it before she does because she joined the ‘reading session’ when I was midway through the novel [Sorry, Jessica, for not waiting for you]. A quick shoutout to Jessica from Endless Chapters: She has an astonishing blog and she writes wondrous reviews on books (Don’t mind me fanboying here) and I am indubitable that you guys will cherish her blog!  

So, without further ado, let us get into the 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:

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

My Introspection:

This is the very first Domestic Fiction novel that I had read in my entire life and it did not foil. Note that I will be reading more novels dispense from Celeste Ng because everything from her writing style to the character structures was executed flawlessly- maybe not impeccable but this novel is adjacent to consummation. I will be getting my hands on a printed copy of Everything I Never Told You sometime soon as I was infatuated with how the story unfurled in Little Fires Everywhere

“Perfection: that was the goal, and perhaps the Shakers had lived it so strongly that it seeped into the soil itself, feeding those who grew up there with a propensity to overachieve and a deep intolerance for flaws.”

The strongest point in this novel was the root of each of the characters and their impulses and intentions. We have the Richardsons: Izzy, Lexie, Moody, Trip, Bill, Elena. Bill, the father of the four children, laboured for the erroneous side of the court to detach the mother essence from the baby. Elena, the mother of four children, who trailed after perfection and thus, resulted in the destruction of her home. Moody who betrayed his best friend. Trip who played with everyone’s feelings. Lexie who used people. Izzy who knew what was right and wrong.

In addition, we have Bebe, Mia and Pearl. Bebe who made a mistake and lost custody over her child and was determined to win her back from her baby’s adopted family and therefore, ended up in court. Mia who was passionate and meticulous in her artwork ran away with her child under certain circumstances and winded up in Shaker Heights. Pearl, Mia’s only child, was innocent. These are a class of characters with distinct personalities, each different from one another; each of them has their own motivation. Truth to be told, there are more characters outside of this globule and more stories to be told but I had just furnished you with the significant ones.

“A lot of times, parents are not the best at seeing their children clearly. There’s so much wonderful about you.”

This novel is definitely more character-driven than plot-driven as the author has given a chance for the readers to disinter the core of the characters and to answer questions as to why they behave the way they did. Let’s take Elena Richardson as an example, she is a perfectionist: she chases after perfection in everything such as family life, work life, college life, etc. and when a person comes in and disrupts the whole system of staying perfect, she is furious and somewhat afraid- thinking that she had missed out on something. It is that that drives her to exhume a person’s life, depositing that person unornamented. Each of the characters in this novel has their own personalities and they are again, distinguishable from one another and thus, making the novel enjoyable.

However, the first 100 pages of the book were tedious and somewhat boring. I conjectured that Celeste was trying to build up the atmosphere and the characters but I thought that certain scenes should be shortened down in order to make it more compelling. After the first quarter of the book, the pacing subsequently picked up and everything was much more enjoyable until the point where I almost forgot about the problems that I had in the first 100 pages. If you are someone who can tolerate slow pacing or is currently reading this novel but could not get past the boredom that is the first 100 pages, I highly recommend you to stick to the story as it will get better.

“How could these people, she thought, how could these people take a child from its mother? She told herself this all night and into the next morning, as she dialled, as she waited for the phone to ring. It wasn’t right. A mother should never give up her child.”

The crafting of the atmosphere was very adequately administered as the autochthonous setting which was set in a town dubbed Shakers Height yielded nostalgia for me because it exhibited a sense of hometown quality. For example, the streets that they walked, the way they talked and heck, even the phone that they used. It seemed to appear that I was there and this calls for the writing style: only a valid and conspicuous writing style would enable a reader who has the book in hand to be transported into the story and viewing the characters’ lives.  

“It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone or was it love?”

The style of writing for this novel intumesced my affection for this novel and this particular story even more. Celeste dwelled and adopted words to weave around a subject to increase the precision and intricacy of each scene. The author crafted each scene delicately: the words in each of the scenes; every sentence could not have abstained because if one of the words is withdrawn, the whole construction of the scene is demolished. At least, that was what it suggested when I was reading the novel.

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.” 

In conclusion, I am bestowing an A (87%) for this novel. If you are into Domestic Fiction with a firm character-driven story and slow pacing, I urge you to pick up this novel as I am assured that you will be able to fully enjoy the experience with this book in hand. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas | Rant Review

Hey guys! It is Max here and I will be making a rant review for Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas today! I know this is an unpopular opinion but I have a handful of reasons on why I dislike this novel. I do not hate it per se, I just did not really like it. So, without further ado, let us dive right in.

Disclaimers:

  • 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:

After serving out a year of hard labour in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My Introspection:

It has been forever since I last composed of a book review and I am finally back to reviewing the novels that I had read. So, from what I have heard, this book is grouped under the category of High Fantasy and I thought it did not warrant to be among that category and instead, be categorized under light fantasy. Although I could see the potential in the later books to be shelved under high fantasy because the ending of this novel hinted at it,  I thought the first book should still be placed under light fantasy instead of High fantasy and I will explain why.

“While he might be a Hallivard, he was… Well, she still very much wanted to kiss him.

Throne Of Glass has a lighter tone to it and it did not offer the darkness that high fantasy demands. Its tone lightens due to the heavy romance that was thrown into the plot of the novel. In order to not shy away from the truth, there is a love triangle in it and the love interest that she ended up with is beyond ridiculous. It was something like love-at-first-sight because I personally thought that they had zero chemistry together; it just happened due to mutual affection. Almost 15% of the novel deals with their kindling romance and they do not even know each other. Not one bit… Well, maybe a little but it is far too less to start snogging on each other faces. What if Calaena resolved to kill you? Huh? I don’t think the other love interest will even acknowledge it.  On the other hand, I thought the second love interest is better than prior as they had more chemistry together and they know each other.

“Are you fond of dogs?” asked the prince. She nodded. Why was it already so hot? “Am I going to be blessed with the pleasure of hearing your voice, or have you resolved to be silent for the duration of our journey?”

“I am afraid your questions didn’t merit a verbal response.”

However, what I do actually enjoy about the novel is Calaena insolence and the way she lashes out at people who did her wrong but that could be identified as a flaw as well as she is very stubborn with the ideas- always insisting that they are right even though they are, very clearly stated, not.

Leaving her act of impertinence behind, her precinct of qualities for being an assassin will now be commented on. Calaena who is the notorious, brutal and merciless slayer is recruited by a Prince- who she despised since she hates on the Royals vehemently,  perpetually and incessantly, for a competition which would lead to death if the ‘Champions’, also known as competitors, are not well aware. In court, Calaena the assassin dresses like a court-lady which is unnecessary and well, as if it could not get any worse, she dwells on the seams of the dresses and the softness and comfort that they offered instead of practising her skills to become the winner of this God-forbidden competition. 

Furthermore, she reads books in her spare time and readers of this novel almost never get to experience how she endures her training and how she practices her killing tactics except for certain instances which I thought those scenes were really well written. This novel mostly covers her spare time in which she would lend books from the library and piles of them will be all over her bed- a way to abolish the spines of the titles if you ask me. In addition, she plays the piano in her spare time and I can apprehend that she is a human with emotion and soul too but really? Do you have a death wish in which you would like to die in a competition? If not, you would use all the time in the world to train in order to maximize your chances of winning instead of dying. 

Moreover, you will think that she is an assassin, a pretty good one at that as she is being trained by Adarlan’s own hands. However, there are a copious of scenes which I thought her skills of being a slayer failed her and I definitely questioned if she is actually an assassin. Take a look at this quote:

“One! She slept that long? What about lessons with Chaol?”

Just to give you extra information, there is a monster roaming around the castle, killing off Champions like they are just another piece of wasteland and our protagonist knows that it is out there, somewhere, killing them off one by one on the precipice of their fingers. And here she is, deep in her sleep, the monster could just barge into the room and annihilate her. Where has her assassin qualities gone to? Isn’t an assassin, a good one, supposed to be alert at all times? I guess the prince has gotten all over her head since she is so love-drunk.

To be more optimistic, the pacing of this novel is fantastic. A 404 pages novel that moves with a speed of a 200 pages novel and I thought it was astounding that I would read this continuously without taking any extra break unless it is necessary. That is how addicted I was with the novel but that does not mean it is a good book. If you are a fast reader, you would devour this in two days. If you are a slow reader, you will consume this novel in three days because of the addictive quality of the book. 

Now, I want to talk about Calaena as a protagonist. To be honest, I feel a certain disconnection with her as a reader due to the fact that we did not get to know her as much as a person would like to. For example, her past is obscured and Sam, who I assumed is her ex-lover, is only ever mentioned once in the novel. Also, her childhood- the part where she was ‘bathed’ in her parent’s blood is only declared once and I thought that section intrigued me as it would give us information as to why she becomes the person she is as of today. But alas, information like this is not given and that disappointed me.

In conclusion, I am proffering this novel an E (46%) as a rating that would be suitable for my taste in novels. I will continue to read the series as I am intrigued by the ending of the novel and I heard other reviewers raving about the second book in the series and therefore, I would pick the book up from a bookstore someday soon.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!