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!

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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!

Bookish Fun!

Aesthetic Books On My Shelves

Hey Guys! It’s Max here and we will be diving into the beautiful books on my shelves article today but before we dwell in the crafting and the sutures of the covers of these sumptuous novels, I have a few- really, there are only two- announcements or rather, alerts to execute. So, we shall address those announcements first before we move into the actual article:

First communiqué

Kotobee had reached out to me through E-mail the other day and they presumed that the readers of Maxxesbooktopia will attain the helpfulness of this list (a compiled list of book fairs all around the world) and would love to share it with all of you. With that, I have decided to help them to spread this remarkable list around so that you guys will be able to view it and locate the book fairs near your area or are currently in your country but you did not know about. Here’s the website where you can look for the book fairs around you: Book Fairs (click here)

They have infographics and have punctilious the date and location of the book fairs. In addition, you could use Google’s Fine setting (Ctrl+F) to look for your country and find out about the book fairs near your area on the page. 

Second communiqué

I came back to Bookstagram after being gone for a year and several months. If you are wondering where all the older posts that I had shared in my previous years went to, they are in the archived shelf. So far, I had posted 3 pictures on Instagram and I hope you guys will give me a follow there and like all the pictures as well for moral support (I extricated myself from my comfort zone to take pictures of me with books). Thank you, I really appreciate it.

Instagram page: Maxxesbooktopia

[shameless self-promotion]

Without further ado, let us get into the article!

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1. The Kiss Of Deception By Mary E. Pearson

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Honestly, I do not know how to comment on the covers of these novels except for how exceptionally beautiful they are. I will try to talk about the colour scheme and the artwork and effort put into it though or else this article will be such a failure and the pictures that I had taken will be trash being thrown into the swamp. 

For The Kiss Of Deception, the font of the title is very well composed. For example, The and Of are not accentuated on the cover but instead Kiss and Deception are more prominent due to the fact the story is all about deception, lies, kindling romance and manipulation.

The artwork of the maiden on the cover is very diluted with colour and the precision put into it is very well illustrated as everything starting from her hair strain to her dress are eloquently expressed. Personally, I found the flower crown embedded on the top of her head most interesting because of the details and the amount of arduous work put into it is not to be missed.

The colour of the sky and the wheat are again, well defined with the conventional usage of colour and the intensity of it. It further emphasises on the atmosphere of the novel and what place or rather, setting the story will be placed in. In addition, the two birds soaring through the sky captured the two would-be lovers of the runaway princess. The building, the man and the woman on the cover encased her workplace, her friend and an assassin, ready to murder her if her time is up.

If you are wondering, I gave this book an A (80%) rating. I thought it was an immeasurable novel and you should give it a try.

2. Sleeping Beauties By Stephen King & Owen King

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Sleeping beauties cover is just purely aesthetic. It does not have much but the intricate lining of the butterfly engrains above the eyes with its body against the nose of the woman just makes the cover eye-grabbing. The lips and the authors’ names are in red to intensify the colour of the already dark cover. The sinuous line of the title, again, engrains on the butterfly’s superb wings further strengthen the colour scheme that is already splashed across the surface of the book.

Personally, what caught my attention from this cover other than the author’s name was bright to the shadowy scheme of the novel. As you can see, the sides of the novel are wrapped in darkness and the core of the novel wraps in the light. The Azure colour helps in creating the portrait to be more memorable. Thus, it had made it to the list of gorgeous book covers on the shelves.

3. The Ghost Of Heaven By Marcus Sedgwick

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The spiral staircase ensnared the story as the novel is all about spirals and spiralling down a deep dark hole. The font for the novel, both the title and the author’s name, are very well placed. They did not block the view of the spiral staircase, the sea and the sky. Most importantly, the man on the staircase.

The colour swashed across the cover caught my attention when I entered the bookstore to look for books to purchase. Not going to lie, I bought the book due to the amazing cover. But, I read the book and found the story that laid beneath a beguiling cover to be wondrous as well which rarely happens because most of the time, books either have enchanting covers or captivating stories. So, this really surprised me.

Overall, A+ (100%) for the cover alone.

4. The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon

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First of all, disregard the price tag that is affixed on the cover. I could not get it off which pestered the heck out of me because it has calumniated the beauty of the cover. Well, with that being said, let us get into the cover review.

The clock hands that are assembled together resemble a sundial due to the numbers situated below the clock hands. The blueness of the cover further accentuates (I am employing that term a number of times today) an eye-grappling experience.

I have nothing else to speak on this cover other than how gorgeous it is and the number of words that I had disposed of above.

5. Six Of Crows Duology By Leigh Bardugo

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You guys can clearly see how beautiful these covers are. The crow looks as if it is being moistened over there ‘fortuitously’ and honestly, I am savouring every second for them. Just… There are no words that could do egalitarianism for these portraitures.

Again, A+ (100%) book cover.

6. A Shadow Bright and Burning By Jessica Cluess

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✅ Good Font.

✅ Good colour scheme.

✅ Good sketching.

✅ Great placing of the author’s quote and author’s name.

7. The Gracekeepers By Kristy Logan

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This is simply the most impressive book cover among the table. The illustrations for both the bear and the woman are aesthetic. It immediately gives me the sense that the girl is elegant and the bear is tranquil as they are travelling on the same boat in a large expanse of sea. The quotes and the font of the title + the author’s name are very well located. The night sky permeates with a plethora of quasars attests how alienated both the bear and the girl must have felt at the moment. Thus, it is getting an A+ from me for the cover alone.


This is the end of the ‘Aesthetic Books On My Shelves!’ article. I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what beautiful books you have on your shelves 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

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!

Masochist

Popular Low-quality Novels On My Shelves

Hey Guys! It is Max here and latterly, I went onto Youtube to watch some Booktube videos and I exhumed a video called Reading The Worst Books On Goodreads By sarawithoutanH and it provoked (and invigorated) me to reflect on the rating of the books on my shelves and to read books that are egregiously rated. To say that I am a masochist is an understatement because I am going to turn this into a series of articles where I first proclaim on the novels that I will be reading, then the reviews for each of the novels will be attained and finally, a wrap-up for all of these books to see the rate of my enjoyment. 

This series will be long-drawn because there are a sum of 36 novels on my shelves that are badly rated and I, the pretentious human being, aspire to assay these books to perceive if I will savour any of them and also, to discern on why these novels had suffered bad ratings from people on Goodreads.

As for today, I will be picking on 5 novels that I will be handling over the course of a month or two and there will be another article like this where I pick another 5 or more books for a month or two and similar articles will come perpetually until the end of this list. In addition, these articles will be pigeonholed under a new category christened Masochist but they can be found in the Bookish Fun and Book Review Pages.

So, without further ado, let us get into the list!

1. Moby Dick By Herman Melville

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Genre: Classic

Page count: 720 pages

Rating on Goodreads: 3.49/5

Synopsis:

On board the whaling ship Pequod, a crew of wise men and fools, renegades, and seeming phantoms is hurled through treacherous seas by a crazed captain hell-bent on hunting down Moby Dick, the mythic White Whale who left him crippled.

Me:

I have never prodded a classic before besides To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee and I really enjoyed that novel. The average rating for this novel, however, did indeed waver me away from reading it for the two years that it has been sitting on my shelf and to make things adverser, this is a huge book with over 500+ pages. Well, I am finally granting it a chance and I hope it is ample but my expectation for it will be low since so many people hated this novel. 

Wish me luck!

2. The Second Life Of Bree Tanner By Stephenie Meyer

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Genre: Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 178

Rating on Goodreads: 3.5/5

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 like 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?

Me:

I should have anticipated witnessing this novel on this roster because almost all of the Twilight novels have inadequate grades. However, I did not see this coming. Maybe because I thought everything would get better from New Moon By Stephenie Meyer (I vehemently eschewed this novel) and onwards but the rest of the series did not match up to the first book so, I should not be astounded to see this novella here.

I hope I relish on this. I really do. Well, in order to be more optimistic: even if I do not, at least it will be a quick read as this short novella only contains 178 pages and I do not have to suffer for such a long time.

3. Chasing Harry Winston By Lauren Weisberger

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Genre: Chick Lit

Page Count: 288

Rating on Goodreads: 3.33/5

Synopsis:

Emmy is newly single, and not by choice. She was this close to the ring and the baby she’s wanted her whole life when her boyfriend left her for his twenty-three-year-old personal trainer – whose fees are paid by Emmy. With her plans for the perfect white wedding in the trash, Emmy is now ordering takeout for one. Her friends insist an around-the-world sex-fueled adventure will solve all her problems – could they be right?

Leigh, a young star in the publishing business, is within striking distance of landing her dream job as senior editor and marrying her dream guy. And to top it all off, she has just purchased her dream apartment. Only when Leigh begins to edit the enfant terrible of the literary world, the brilliant and brooding Jesse Chapman, does she start to notice some cracks in her perfect life…

Adriana is the drop-dead-gorgeous daughter of a famous supermodel. She possesses the kind of feminine wiles made only in Brazil, and she never hesitates to use them. But she’s about to turn thirty and – as her mother keeps reminding her – she won’t have her pick of the men forever. Everyone knows beauty is ephemeral and there’s always someone younger and prettier right around the corner. Suddenly she’s wondering…does Mother know best?

These three very different girls have been best friends for a decade in the greatest city on earth. As they near thirty, they’re looking toward their future…but despite all they’ve earned – first-class travel, career promotions, invites to all the right parties, and luxuries small and large – they’re not quite sure they like what they see…

Me:

This novel was given to me by my father’s boss. So, I did not technically buy this novel but it is on my mantelpiece and I have resolved to endeavour on reading this book. However, I have an inkling that I might resent this novel due to the abridgement; to be specific, this line: around-the-world sex-fueled adventure. On top of that, it is a Chick Lit Novel which is a genre that I have never attempted to read prior to this experiment… So, let us see if this novel will make or break the genre for me.

Once again, wish me luck!

4. Wedding Night By Sophie Kinsella

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Genre: Romance

Page Count: 464

Rating on Goodreads: 3.41/5

Synopsis:

Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad — not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse.

Me:

I am surprised to see a Sophie Kinsella novel on this list as she is a famous author who had written a plethora of books. You may know her from the Shopaholics series starting from- Confessions of a Shopaholic or her YA novel- Finding Audrey. I have not read any of her works but I had heard numerous praises for them and thus, I am intrigued to find out what the general consensus does not like about this novel. Well, I do hope that I will enjoy it and dissent from the people on Goodreads. Do wish me luck with this and every other work on this list.

5. Soundless By Richelle Mead

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page Count: 267

Rating on Goodreads: 3.37/5

Synopsis:

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zip line that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zip line shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Me:

This proffered me a shock. Richelle Mead is a famous author who had written the Vampire Academy series and the Bloodline series. Again, I have not read any of those books and I do actually have Vampire Academy on my shelf but have not proposed to pick the novel up yet. While people sing praises and commemorate the other series, this novel is left in silence and it is time to find out why that is so.

Again, wish me luck with all of these novels.


This is the end of my ‘Popular Low-quality Novels On My Shelves!’  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what low-quality books you have on your shelves 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

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!

Bookish Fun!

February Reading Wrap-up | 2019

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we shall dive into the books that I had read in the month of February and converse on my Goodreads reading challenge today.

To be honest, I did not expect February to be over so soon but it is the shortest month of the year so, I should not be surprised at the dosage of the novels I had consumed last month. If you are wondering how many books that I had covered last month, I read 5 books and we shall discuss on my Goodreads challenge before we linger on that topic. 

I have just monitored my Goodreads reading challenge and I had read a total of 13/100 books in the past two months and I am 3 books behind my reading schedule. Not going to lie, I am a little stressed out but I will attempt to ameliorate the tension and just read at my own timing. I presume that the reason why I am enduring this phenomenon is because of the worldwide epidemic- reading slump. I did not know when it happened or how it came about but I am going to persist until it evacuates from my cells. 

Now that we have discussed on the Goodreads topic, we shall move on to the February Wrap-Up.

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1. Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian By Rick Riordan

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Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

Page count: 381

This is the last book in the Percy Jackson series and the first novel that I had finished in the month of February. Obviously, I am not going to summarize this book for any of you because I do not want to drop an inadvertent spoiler and make you fluctuate far away from this series! All I can say is: I adore this book series from the start to the end and even though it is a middle-grade series, anyone can read it. I hope you will give it a try if you have yet to read it. 

Now, for the ones that have read this novel, I did a spoiler-filled ‘vlog’ style read-with-me article that you can survey to examine how much I enjoy myself when I read this novel. So, I shall drop the link here: READING PERCY JACKSON FOR THE FIRST TIME | THE LAST OLYMPIAN

Overall, I gave this book a gorgeous (A+) 100%. It is a perfect end to a fantastic series.

2. How to win friends and influence people By Dale Carnegie

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Genre: Self-Help

Page count: 288

This self-help novel took me forever to dispatch. Do not let that statement reel you away from this book though, that is not my intention. The reason why it had taken me a long time to finally terminate the novel is because of the writing style; I am not used to it. Basically, the author lectures us with lessons on how to improve ourselves to become more humane and compassionate towards others by providing 6 stories of famous/obscure people lives and how they dealt with things or how to learn from their mistakes. Each lesson we are given 6 different people stories. I figure that that is why it took me so long to finish it because this is the first time that I am embarking on a quest to extricate myself from my comfort zone to read a self-help novel and I am just used to novels that tell a coherent story.

However, I did learn a collection of good materials that I can apply in my life and I am grateful that this book existed. Now, I am going to copy my review from Goodreads for this novel and paste it here:

‘Although I do not agree with the term ‘win friends’ and thought that this self-help novel was far from impeccable, I thought that this novel should still be read as it covers a plethora of infallible and incisive points in which we could apply in our lives!’

So, I highly recommend you to give this self-help book a try. My overall rating for this novel is an A (80%).

3. We were liars By E. Lockhart

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Genre: Young Adult Mystery Fiction

Page count: 242

This book is almost impossible to summarize without giving away spoilers and I do not believe that I am competent enough to proffer a summary of this book to you because I am afraid that once it is given, the shock factor will be over and the book will not attract your attention anymore. Well, all I am going to say is: this novel is one of my favourite books of the year and it made me sob… for a good 5 minutes after I dispatched the novel. 

I am hoping to do a book review for it … *finger crossed* … But it will probably not be permitted because if I start composing the review, I have to be cautious of the information that I am giving and yes to the stress. So, let me see if I can make it completely spoiler free or not. If I can, I will definitely be posting that review on my blog. If not, then the review will be eliminated.

Well, my overall rating for this novel is an A+ (90%).

4. Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page count: 406

I furnished this book with 4 glowing stars on Goodreads initially as I thought it was a fantastic start to a series and I enjoyed myself immensely. However, recently I took it down to 2 stars because I retained on the characters’ decision and their incisiveness, the dialogue and the overall scope of the world and thought some of them were rather silly.

I am not going to loiter on this book for a long time as I have decided to construct a book review on it but let’s just dwell a little on the fact that Celaena is the world most infamous assassin and when she is being recruited by the Prince to be his Champion in a to-the-death tournament with other Champions, all she can think about is how handsome the prince is despite hating the Royals. When she is in court, her assassin’s qualities died and they were replaced by cutesy romance and love drunk goggling eyes and all. There is a love triangle in the book and the protagonist falls for- obviously, the prince which I thought they had zero chemistry even though they had mutual attraction. The other love interest has more chemistry with her and I thought she would end up with him instead of the zero chemistry dude. 

Again, being a notorious assassin means you will be observant at all times. Just to throw the ‘tournament’ in, you will think that an assassin will train and use up almost half of her time for that so that it will be more beneficial for the particular assassin to win the freaking contest. Instead of doing those things, Celaena dedicated her time to explore the palace, read books, play the piano, attempting to go to balls, wear beautiful dresses and etc. In addition, she is literally oblivious to her surrounding and monsters could just sneak up on her and kill her and she would not even know that she is dead. 

Gosh, there are so much more that I would like to converse on. I will be making a book review for this soon. So, stay tuned for that. Well, my overall rating for this novel is (E) 46%.

5. Creatures Of The Night By Kate Thompson

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Genre: Young Adult Mystery Horror

Page count: 260

This book has already made it on my Worst Books of the year list. I would give this book zero stars on Goodreads if I could because it did not even deserve 1 star. That is how I vehemently hated this novel. In case you are wondering, I will be composing a rant review on my blog to compensate my emotions because every time I think or even see this book lying around my house, my heart hammered with anger; my emotions: apoplectic with rage. Just to perform catharsis, allow me to bluster like a demented exasperated bitch:

  1. For a novel that is enmeshed in the horror and mystery genre, the horror genre is not even prominent in the slightest. The mystery element is almost laughable because it is not even resolved in the end and it only happened half-way through the book since the characters did not even acknowledge or care about the fact that a human being disappeared before they moved into the house.
  2. Characters lack substance; irredeemable; It was as if they were just there to abuse each other. 
  3. Foul language is conspicuous in every corner of the novel.
  4. Boring details on how to use farm tools and perform certain acts that are relating to farming.
  5. Inconsistent writing style.

There are definitely more as I have made an entire list sanctified to the crafting of the book review and to converse on the fact that I hated it. *At this point, I do not even care if hate is a strong word* 

My overall rating for this book is (F) 0%.

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Currently reading:
1. The Da Vinci Code By Dan Brown

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Genre: Mystery Thriller

Page count: 489

I just started this novel and I am definitely intrigued by the storyline. However, I have one minor issue with the writing style: it’s more telling than showing. Other than that, I am okay with the book and I cannot wait to see what I will think about it once I finish the novel! Let me know what you thought about the novel in the comment section below but no spoiler as I am still making my way through the novel.

2. Black Widow (2014), Volume 1 By Nathan Edmonson

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Genre: Graphic Novel

Page count: 144

I loaned the ebook copy from my public library and I am again, making my way through the graphic novel like The Da Vinci Code. It is my first time reading a graphic novel and I am excited to see where it will take me: will it make me read more graphic novels in the future or deliberate me away from the genre? However, I am enjoying myself – very much – when I open up the novel to read. So, we shall see if it is going to make-or-break the genre for me.


This is the end of my ‘February 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!