Bookish Discussion

Book Genres Tendency | Bookish Discussion

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be performing a self-evaluation on the book genres and their contents that I tend to gravitate towards today. I discern that this is not the usual content that I publish on my blog but I would like to manufacture a bridge between my old contents and my newer ones to allow you guys to perceive my transition process. Just for your information, this article will be placed under the category of bookish discussion. 

So, today we shall dwell on what genres I normally manoeuvre towards, study the pattern of its tracks and finally, how can I extricate myself from my comfort zone to read a diverse range of genres that I do not normally advance to. 

I hope this article will succour you to read other genres as much as it will assists me. Thus, without further ado, let us dive right into the discussion!

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There was once a book genre named Dystopian which had embezzled the spotlight of multiple genres and advanced forward to a mesmerizing future until its throne was abdicated by other genres yet again. 

Yes, I am talking about the genre that produced a wondrous beauty like The Hunger Games. Yes, again, to the Maze Runner series and the Divergent series. 

To tell you the truth, I still read novels that exemplify the items in a classical Dystopia world such as corrupted government, compact and harsh lifestyles and deaths and my eyes often latch onto the books in a bookstore that meet those requirements. Guess what happens next? My hands are filled with those books while my legs are filing out of the store.

In all honesty, I figure that what makes a dystopian novel so popular is all convoluted with its addictive quality and its petrifying world. Sometimes, the plot of a dystopian novel can be absolutely balderdash in which you can take Divergent or rather- Allegiant as an example, however, with the help of those elements, it carries the readers through the unexpurgated novel without a sense of dismay and instead, a sense of ease in our hearts. Why?

It is because people enjoy reading about the characters’ pain and their journey to salvation. This may sound absolutely insane and I cannot speak for everyone but we need the action, the torturous pain in their expedition towards their goal and a good and not insta-love romance in these novels to make our heart fulfilled with joy and would instantly give a high rating to the novel.

I was once a die-hard dystopian fan and was not afraid to share my opinions about a dystopian novel among my friends even if our opinions differ. If you can postulate it right, I was that kind of fan that shunned other book genres and only read Dystopian until they had gotten tiresome.

Mind you, I still read Dystopian novels like I had said earlier but just not as much as I used to (just from time to time I will pick up a book from this specific genre to read). Dystopian novels had gotten such a bad reputation from others was merely because of the plot which was more or less the same, the characters which sometimes lacked personalities, the cliche plotline of this girl/boy who was meant to be the one to save this useless piece of shit society and finally, the uninspired romance which becomes tedious as more books in this genre get published.

That was when I realized I had to take a break from this genre and move on to the next. So, a tip:

#1: DO NOT wait until the last minute to convert yourself into another genre

It’s better to extricate yourself from one genre early if you notice that you are getting bored and tired of the same old boring plots which were brought about in books. If you remove yourself from one genre later than intended, you might not catch up with the other genres as there are so many books already released and it’s hard to catch up with the train-wagon. Honestly, only 35% of the people will survive that, others might just give up and jump back into their comfort zone- the dystopian genre. 

If you do not want to give up, read: for example, lite fantasy before pressing forward to the hardcore, everybody loves, high fantasy. High fantasy are for fans that have been moving about in that genre in a while so, in order to catch up, I advice you to read lite fantasy first to see if it is your cup of tea. Repeat the process with other genres too!

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Moving on, we have the fantasy genre that has me captivated and obsessed until this contemporaneous time. Thanks to ‘I am Number Four’ By Pittacus Lore who introduced me to both Science Fiction and lite Fantasy, I was able to draw level with the incessant flow of Fantasy novels that were dominating the market. Additionally, I would also love to thank Laini Taylor’s prodigious series christened as Daughter Of Smoke And Bone. If it were not for that series, I would never have entered the High Fantasy zone. 

As for this genre, tip number one does not apply here because Fantasy has a broad range of sub-genres and elements. For example, a fantasy novel would sometimes include Urban Fantasy, Light Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, etc. See? It does not always limit itself to a certain space and it allows readers to imagine the unimaginable and to view the inevitable. As for the elements factor, a fantasy genre be it a Light Fantasy or an Urban Fantasy or whatever has, again, a insurmountable amount of items to be filled into. For instance, a well-developed magic system, a plethora of settings, a diverse range of complex characters, a status of power, characters’ inner conflicts, greed, etc. All of these elements and sub-genres make a difference in each fantasy novels and that’s why Fantasy novels are entertaining and will never lack the quality of reading addiction unlike Dystopia.

However, traditional fantasy novels would sometimes become a chore to read as they often portray similar settings, conflicts and finally, offer one-dimensional characters. Not all Fantasy novels are like that but most of the popular ones are. For example, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Gracia and Margeret Stohl which I hated or The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson which I adored. These types of novels habitually engender a cleave between readers and I love the split as I could acknowledge other people thoughts on certain aspects and understand why they despised/loved a particular novel. As for that, I would like to give 2 tips to all readers:

#2: Do Not Be Afraid To Share Your Opinion

This tip may not coincide with the article that I am conversing on and may also be a little out of topic but I thought I had to stress on this because people of all ages have been afraid to share their opinions on a novel that they loved/despised due to the fact that they might receive ‘hate’ if one is to dispense their introspection into the world. I was once afraid of apportioning my reviews on books to the world because of the reason above but I pushed pass the thought and anxiety and bravely share it. Now, I feel so much confident to share my thoughts on a novel. Thus, I would like those of you who are afraid to not be petrified by those things. 

#3: Take a look at the synopsis of a Fantasy Novel before purchasing it

If you have been reading a tremendous piles of traditional Fantasy novels lately, you might be sick and tired of how cliche and similar everything is. Now, I would like you to read the synopsis of the Fantasy Novel first before reading/purchasing the novel as you could tell if the book’s content is similar to the ones you read earlier. Look for Fantasy Novels that you seldom see the contents of and read that instead of boring old cliche novels.

However, if you no longer have the interest in reading Fantasy novels, do not force yourself to fly through its text. You will not appreciate the content of it, so please move on to another genre until you feel like reading a fantasy novel again.

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How does one fall into a genre? You might already be asking me that question as my previous tips did not necessarily provide any information regrading this topic so, I shall now furnish you with another one of my self-evaluation before I impart with a tip.

The Horror/thriller genre is tricky because the novels that are specifically dedicated to the genre might not live up to its expectation. For example, if a horror novel is not petrifying and lack the ambience of suspense and scariness, the horror novel did not manage to unnerve its readers and that could cause a rift between the author books and his/her readers by engendering the readers not to find interest in the author’s other works. The same goes to thriller novels.

I was not a huge fan of reading thriller novels before I read Night Film because there were many elements that I did not particularly enjoy. For instance, the lack of character development, the one-dimensional characters and the easy-to-guess plotlines and plot twists. However, after reading Night Film, I figure my knowledge on thriller novels was limited and thus, I began to read more and more novels from this genre.

As for horror, I have watched movies from this genre all my life and I adore the cinematography of them and with that in mind, I had decided to dedicate my time to read horror novels in book form and I am not going to lie, it was a colossal success. I read IT for the first time and was not disappointed with the horror genre and I am intransigent to read more books from this genre since I love it so so much.

Well, on with the tip:

#4: Read/listen to other people’s review

This is important because a person’s review would persuade you to try out the book which in turn, coax you to read books from the genre. I found ‘Night Film’ through Goodreads, Blog Reviews and Youtube by reading the reviews that were posted on that websites for the book and watching videos staunched to reviewing the novel and thus, allow me to view both the genre and the book in panoramic form. The same goes to ‘IT’. 

The genres are recommended by others through the books that they read and that was how I found my solace for each of them. You should try this method out too!

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Finally, the Romance and Classic genre. The romance genre is novels for all seasons. Literally. I cherish the idea of picking up a romance novel whenever I am anchored by a reading slump, feel stressed out or I just want a novel that would cheer me up. Honestly, I figure that the romance genre is the most widespread because it can be in any books such as Fantasy novels with a hint of romance, thriller with romance, dystopian is always filled with romance and many more. It’s everywhere and it also has its own genre which is super popular.

What makes romance a good read? A cute couple finding love while disastrous events occur, a quickly paced romance novel, great characterization and HEA (Happily Ever After). Especially the last one.  

Classic novels, however, are hard to perceive the ones that you would adore. This, in my case, I would like to have other people who are more experienced in this genre than me to recommend me books that they think I would enjoy. People like school teachers, parents and reviewers. 

Just to name a few books that were recommended by teachers and reviewers: 1984, To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm and The Handmaid’s tale.

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By the way, the children genre is a joy to read. It is, again, for all seasons and ages!

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There are genres that I did not mention such as Erotica and self-help books. Honestly, I do not think I will ever read Erotica because I do not enjoy reading about the mammoth piles of detailed sex scenes in books and I rather hate reading about them. Sorry if I have offended fans of this genre.

However, I have decided to start reading some self-help novels as I would like to improve myself as a human being and the ameliorate the good qualities and eliminate the amateurish qualities of my behaviour. Thus, I will be reading and reviewing some self-help books on my blog soon!

A tip:

#5: Set goals for yourself

Look for books from genres that you are desiring to read from on the internet and set goals for yourself to buy and intentionally finish reading the books from that particular genre. If you think the genre is quickly becoming one of your favorite, buy more novels from the genre and repeat the cycle of the tips that I have bestowed upon your shoulders.  

If it is not your cup of tea, move on to the next genre and repeat the cycle.


This is the end of my ‘Book Genres Tendency’ bookish discussion article!  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what genre you tend to go for down in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

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Book Review

The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent || Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and Happy New Year to each and every one of you! I hope this year will be ebullient for you and your reading experience will surpass and enhance its focus on the good books instead of the bad.

As for today, we shall review a book called ‘The Stars Never Rise’ By Rachel Vincent and I pretty much enjoyed the process of reading this novel. So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review! 

WAIT!

There is an announcement in which I would like to make. The reviews that I will be hosting from now onwards might differ from the ones that I did last year as I would like to manufacture a discrete style for my blog posts and reviews. Therefore, if you have grown accustomed to my older reviews and blog posts style, I would like to make an apology here for transmuting it.

In that case, here is what is to be expected for my later posts:

  • Book-related Discussions 
  • Different type of reviewing style
  • More ‘blogging’ my experience with a book
  • and more…

Thus, let us commence!

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:

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

My Introspection:

This novel was marketed as a Young Adult, Paranormal Romance and those elements were definitely ensconced in this novel but the genre that had a blind drawn to it was the dystopia ambience. Let us take a look at the society that the characters were existing in:

“Of course blasphemy is a sin. A lesser infraction than fornication and heresy, but grievous offense a strict matron like Sister Camilla would never let slide. Even in a five-year-old.

Especially a five-year-old who’d already demonstrated a precocious gift for profanity.

Sister Camilla dragged Matthew onto the stone dais in the center of the courtyard, then forced him to kneel. She was still scolding him while she flipped a curved piece of metal over each of his legs, just above his calves, then snapped the locks in place, confining the five-year-old to his knees in the freezing rain.”

In what world would you allow a child to freeze to his death in the rain? I can comprehend that it is not right to sacrilege but to punish a child this way is basically child-abuse. Moreover, this is a society controlled by the church itself because the world was overrun by demons and only the church could produce exorcists by training people to fight against them and send them back to Hell. Either way, it is still child-abuse to say the least.

In this book, we follow two sisters as they struggled to survive from the society and their mother who neglected them. Due to the lack of dime, they journeyed around their neighbourhood and the stores around that perimeter to steal items in which they found useful for the either school or living purposes. 

School, which was again, jurisdiction by the Church determined whether or not a boy or a girl gets to keep their sexual organs and they will inspect in detail on a boy’s sperm count or a girl’s ability to bear children or their genetic features, if they failed to receive the appropriate measurements, their sexual organs will ultimately, undergo the final process: sterilization.

Those declared fit would be given a second assessment before marriage, and a third when they applied for a parenting license.

Those declared unfit would be scheduled for sterilization. Immediately.

And, unfortunately, it was the year where Nina’s (protagonist) sister- Millie will be going through the test and that’s where the story starts because Nina’s sister was pregnant and Millie ran away from her designed position as fornication was a sin and thus, resulting in a thousand thoughts through Nina’s mind.

One day, the year I was nine, Clare had refused to  kneel for worship. They gave her three chances. Brother Philip said refusing to recognize the Church’s authority was the first sign of possession. He called in an exorcist, and two hours later, Clare was sentenced. The exorcist said that since her possession was recent, her souls could be returned to the well of souls- if it were purified by fire.

They forced her to her knees on the dais, closed the steel cuffs above her calves, then burned her alive in front of the entire school.

She was seventeen years old.

What if they thought Melanie was possessed?

Now, I would like to talk about the pacing of the novel. I read this novel in the course of two days due to the jam-packed action sequences, the suspense and ultimately, the atmosphere of the novel. Moreover, the information that was given throughout the novel did not fall into the prey of ‘dump-n-go’ instead, it came by smoothly and allowed us to understand what’s actually going on before leaving for its goal. So, if you are a fast reader, this book will most likely take a day for you to finish. If you are a slow reader, at most 4 days. 

The world-building and the writing style were what I liked most about this novel. The style of writing was lyrical and it ran as lustrous as a silk word after word and because of its sleek state, it had contributed a huge factor to the world building of this book due to the descriptions that were punctured around the protagonist’s line of vision and the explanation adjoined to the system of its world and what had made it the way it was since a century or more ago. From the useful information to the tectonic writing style, it is hard to dislike this novel.

The complex family dynamics in this story were portrayed realistically and it offered a glimpse at what it was like before and what it was like now, how drastically different can a relationship be from a young age to an older age:

Since she’d stopped eating, talking, and coming out of her room even to yell at us. Over the past year, her angry, resentful tirades had faded into listless neglect as my mother retreated into her own head, into her room, and into nights spent out and days spent sleeping. Or unconscious. Or both.

The function of a demon was being explained in length and unlike other novels which usually just brush off the abilities of a demon or what will happen if a demon overtakes your body, this novel explains it in detail:

Disembodied demons have to find someone who’s sick or hurt or under some sort of chemical influence. Or even just someone sleeping. If the demon finds a body before he’s sucked back into hell… ta da! You have a newly possessed citizen, which means the ‘exorcists’ have failed.

I know I had already said my ‘favorite’ part of the novel but I have one more to share with you guys before we move into the dislikes that I had with this book. And that is: The characters! All of them are so likable and I had such a great time reading about how they team up to kick some demon ass. Take Nina as an example: She is a strong female lead with much independence and had a headstrong personality that dared people to contradict her beliefs. 

I wanted to be as straightforward and bold as he was, because he deserved that, but I had no experience with being straight forward and bold. I had experienced lying, and clothing myself in the darkness if in nothing else, and stealing, and paying high price for the things Mellie and I couldn’t survive without.

The team consists of: Finn, Maddock, Reese, Grayson and Devi. All of them had vastly different personalities and I would note on Devi, most of all. She was the most stubborn girl in the group and she, kind of or may, enjoy contradicting Nina which most of the time exploded in up rage. 

Well, on to my dislikes:

The freaking insta-love. I cherished the characters and how they handled the situations that they were positioned in but with the two of them that had barely known each other, was together for less than 24 hours and the mutual attraction mostly comes from Finn’s eye colour and Nina’s looks, it was pretty quixotic. If only they had known each other before all of these were pushed forward… If only the romance comes a little later in the novel, the story would get 95% from me. 

Another one of my dislikes was the fact that towards the end of the novel, the plot points started running thin and it was easy to discern as the author started stretching out certain scenes and it resulted in a slope on the hill for me. In other words, it fell flat. If only the ending was a little more epic, the story will be extremely fantastic.

And those are my only complaints.

In conclusion, I shall award this novel a 70%. I enjoyed almost everything that was presented in this novel and it is confirmed that I will be reading the next book in this duology because I need to know how it ends. So, I highly encourage you to give this wondrous novel a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent! 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!

Best Books Of 2018

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be producing an article called ‘Best Books Of 2018’ for my 3-part series towards the end of the year- 31st of December. Below will be a list of articles I will be producing for this 3-part series:

  1. Worst Books Of 2018
  2. Best Books Of 2018
  3. Most Anticipated Reads Of 2019

Now, just like the last article, Best Books of 2018 does not mean that I will limit only to the books that were published this year, I will take the books that I read in 2018 and compare the result of my overall reading experience for this year.

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

10. History Of Wolves By Emily Fridlund

History of Wolves

Synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Madeline lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as the last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Madeline is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr Grierson. When Mr Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Madeline as she wrestles with her own fledgeling desires and craving to belong. 

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Madeline finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has a purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a few days, Madeline makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Madeline confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do—and fail to do—for the people they love.

Me:

This story is not for everybody because of how the story was unfurled. 

The main character was odd and she had an obsession with stalking this particular girl called Lily and if you think she was an antagonist of the novel, you are wrong because of the plot twists at the end.

I thought this novel was cleverly written because it twisted the story and made everything seemed very grey. So, if you are into slow pacing and great character building novels, I recommend you to pick this one up.

9. Before I Fall By Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

Synopsis:

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Me:

Okay … Okay … Okay …

There are many things to love about this novel and if you would like to check out my review for this book, here’s the link to it: Before I Fall By Lauren Oliver

8.The Book of Ralph by Christopher Steinsvold 

The Book of Ralph

Synopsis:

A message appears on the moon. It is legible from Earth, and almost no one knows how it was created. Markus West leads the government’s investigation to find the creator.

The message is simple and familiar. But those three words, written in blazing crimson letters on the lunar surface, will foster the strangest revolution humankind has ever endured and make Markus West wish he was never involved.

The message is ‘Drink Diet Coke.’

When Coca-Cola denies responsibility, global annoyance becomes indignation. And when his investigation confirms Coca-Cola’s innocence, Markus West becomes one of the most hated men on Earth.

Later, five miles above the White House, a cylinder is discovered floating in the night. It is 400 feet tall, 250 feet in diameter, and exactly resembles a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Nearly everyone thinks the cylinder is a promotional stunt gone wrong, just like the lunar advertisement. And this is exactly what the alien in the cylinder wants people to think.

Ralph, an eccentric extraterrestrial who’s been hiding on the moon, needs Markus’s help to personally deliver a dark warning to the White House. Ralph has a big heart, a fetish for Andy Warhol, and a dangerous plan to save the world.

Me:

I am literally so glad that an ARC of this novel was sent to me by the author, himself because I loved this novel so much. If you would like to know more about this book, you may click on this link as it is an in-depth review that I had produced on my blog: The Book Of Ralph By Christopher Steinsvold

7. The Curse Workers Series By Holly Black

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Synopsis for White Cat:

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers: people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, so he’s an outsider; the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail – he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behaviour of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.

Me:

I will not speak much on this series here as I loved it to the core of my being and I had also made a whole series (full-scope) review on this book… So, if you would like to give it a read, click on this link: Curse Workers Trilogy By Holly Black

6. The Slave Prince By Jeyna Grace

The Slave Prince

Synopsis:

For fifteen years, Thom believed he was a prince of Alpenwhist. He had climbed the castle turrets to survey his kingdom, learned to duel with the sharpest blades, and stirred up palace intrigue in disguise. But one day his identity is suddenly shattered by the revelations of a blind woman: he learns that he isn’t a prince at all, but a wretched slave.

In a kingdom where ruthlessness is part of everyday life, Thom fears this new truth could be deadly. He takes flight, running from the life he knew and the one he despises, but the call to free his people beckons him home. Armed with a magic stone that instructs him through surreal visions, he must topple his once beloved brother who has since become a tyrannical king.

A fantastical retelling of the story of Moses, Thom’s adventure forces him to question if he can succeed in his quest without truly understanding who he is. He must unravel his past, present, and future before he can set his people free.

Me:

I am so glad I gave Ms Grace another chance (Did not like her other book called The Battle Of Oz) because I absolutely adored this novel… More thoughts on it here: The Slave Prince By Jeyna Grace

5. Crooked Kingdom By Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Synopsis:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fight for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Me:

I did not exactly enjoy my rocky process of reading Six Of Crows… It might be my fault on that part because I was again, under stress. BUT, I LOVED THE HECK OUT OF THIS NOVEL.

I do not want to comment on anything about this because this is the sequel to Six Of Crows and I do not want to spoil you so, go and do yourself a favour: Pick this duology up in your local bookstore or library and start, Freaking, reading them.

4. The Nest By Kenneth Oppel

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Synopsis:

Steve just wants to save his baby brother but what will he lose in the bargain? Kenneth Oppel s (“Silverwing,” “The Boundless”) haunting gothic tale for fans of “Coraline,” is one of the most acclaimed books of the year, receiving six starred reviews. Illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen. For some kids, summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries.

Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to fix the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered. 

All he has to do is say Yes. But yes is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back? 

Me:

I have just written a review for this novel a few days back and it discussed the feelings that I had when I was reading this novel… More like my eyes being glued to the novel. So, if you would like to read the review, scroll down on the homepage of my blog and you will find it there.

3. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight By Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Synopsis:

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Me:

Here’s my review for this novel: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight By Jennifer E. Smith

2. Lady Of The Shades By Darren Shan

Lady of the Shades

Synopsis:

Ed, an American author on the hunt for a story for his next book, arrives in London looking for inspiration. A stranger in a strange city, he’s haunted by a deadly secret that refuses to stay buried, and no matter how hard he tries he cannot escape the manifest sins of his past. 

What Ed wants is answers, what he finds is something he definitely didn’t bargain for: the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. Andeanna is a woman who is dangerously bound to one of London’s most notorious crime lords, and if they are caught together it could mean death for them both. 

Ensnared in an illicit affair that can only be conducted in the shadows, Ed’s world is turned upside down as a series of shattering revelations blurs the line between what’s real and what’s not…

Me:

Yes, please? It’s so good.

Here’s my review for this novel: Lady Of The Shades By Darren Shan

1. Harry Potter Series By J.K Rowling

Image result for harry potter books

Synopsis:

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

Me:

Duh? Of course, Harry Potter, my beloved books, will be held at the first in this placing. I made 2 articles on this series and if you would like to view them, do click on the links below:

  1. ALIGNING MY LEAST TO MOST FAVOURED HARRY POTTER BOOKS
  2. READING HARRY POTTER FOR THE FIRST TIME | THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

And that concludes my ‘Best Books Of 2018!’ Be sure to let me know what your Best Books of 2018 are down in the comment box below! I hope you all enjoyed this article and follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Fun!

Worst Books Of 2018

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be manufacturing the ‘Worst Books Of 2018’ article! Just a side note: Worst Books of 2018 does not necessarily mean that the books on this list are going to only limit 2018’s published books, it will be the books that I read in 2018.

So, I know this is going to get controversial and certain people are probably going to be annoyed, therefore, I shall apologise in advance if I have spoken badly about your favourite books … But do not give me any hate comments because I value your opinion and you should do the same. 

If you do not know, I am currently working on this three-part series, like last year, where I published 3 articles towards the end of the year- 31st of December. If you would like to know what the articles are, here is the list:

  1. Worst Books Of 2018
  2. Best Books Of 2018
  3. Most Anticipated Reads Of 2019

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

9. The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Synopsis:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Me:

This is definitely one of those books that initially the chapters had ended and I had closed the book, I thought I had read something fabulous and thought-provoking… But after much speculation, I felt chagrined.

A review will be up on my blog soon or it had already been up by the time this article is published on my blog (I am pre-writing this article) and that review will go in-depth into my likes and dislikes for the novel. So, do check it out if you have some spare time! 

However, I would like to do some quick revision on why I hated this novel:

  1. I literally knew who the killer was before the ‘plot twist’ was uttered. 
  2. There were a lot of dull pages, in the form of slow progression of the plot.
  3. The characters never ever grow. In other words, no character development.

I thought this book was going to be fantastic since everybody loves it but I was so disappointed with it … Just imagine my disappointment with this highly acclaimed novel. 

8. Witch Hill By Marcus Sedgwick 

Witch Hill

Synopsis:

The fire was a family tragedy that Jamie can’t forget, even in his dreams. Now something terrifying involving a witch and a frightened girl is happening to Jamie in Crownhill, the village where he’s been sent to get over his problems.

Me:

If you do not know, Marcus Sedgwick is one of my favourite authors of all time and I was so dissatisfied with this novel after I read it. That does not take away my love for Marcus Sedgwick’s work, it is probably just this novel that I felt vanquished about.

Again, the review might probably already be up on my blog so if you have time, do check it out!

Here is a list of things that I disliked about this book:

  1. The plot is all over the place.
  2. A lot of confusing factors involved.
  3. Lack of character substance.
  4. The Witch’s motives were not even explained.

I was especially annoyed with the Witch’s unexplained motives because the plot faltered if that was not explained since the whole book centred around the Witch and the Witch’s hill. Thus, I did not enjoy this novel.

7. Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve: Tiger Trouble By Grant Goodman

Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Tiger Trouble (Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve, #1)

Synopsis:

SECRET MISSIONS. SPIN KICKS. SINISTER GHOSTS.

Thirteen year-old Agent Darcy is one of the top students at the Bureau of Sneakery, where there are three rules every agent must follow: never make friends with an outsider, never speak of the Bureau, and never reveal your real name. Lately, Darcy has hit a rough patch: her rival, Agent Serena, keeps outdoing her. If things keep going this way, Darcy is convinced that no one will ever assign her a real mission.

Ninja Steve’s city, Ninjastoria, is the home of sword fights, throwing stars, and Tae Kwon Donuts. Unlike his genius older sister, twelve year-old Steve isn’t the best ninja student. He’d rather be swinging a sword instead of taking notes in class. Steve, however, is about to learn that being a true ninja means far more than being able to use a sword.

When Darcy is sent to Ninjastoria as an exchange student, it will turn both of their lives upside-down and raise all kinds of questions:

What do the mecha-moles want? Who is the man in the gray mask? What do ninjas eat for lunch? And why is there a menacing tiger on the cover of this book? 

Time to read and find out!

Me:

I have a 2100 words review on this book and it explains why I was so vexed with this novel and so, if you would like to have a look at it, click on the link below:

(Link to review)

6. The Fire Sermon By Francesca Haig 

The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)

Synopsis:

Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair one is an Alpha – physically perfect in every way – and the other an Omega burdened with deformity, small or large.

With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side by side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.

Me:

I read this novel when I was under stress due to my workload and it made me even more stress when I finally concluded the novel. Just a tip: I did not enjoy the process of reading this novel.

It was really boring, alright. They kept walking, running, hiding and repeat. I thought this book would excel and become ten times better if there were more action sequences and more character development.

I found the idea behind this novel intriguing but that just proved that the potential for this novel went to waste. So, I am not going to read the sequel of this novel as the final page for this book concludes with the protagonist, running away, yet again.

*She will never stop running*

5. War Storm By Victoria Aveyard

War Storm (Red Queen, #4)

Synopsis:

Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Me:

I adored this series and I gave all of its predecessors’ good ratings except for this concluding novel to the series.

Why would this book which was previously one of my most anticipated reads of 2018 be on the Worst Books list? 

That is all because of the Mare that emits nuisance.

For example,

I cannot be with Cal because he is the King.

I cannot be with Cal because he betrayed my heart.

I shall not set my eyes upon his.

How freaking annoying. Look at Evangeline,  her girlfriend was her brother’s betrothed and she still loves her all the same. Mare, on the other hand, does not have common sense because:

  1. She can still love Cal even though he is a King.
  2. She could suggest changes to him about the continent since Cal loves her.
  3. She could fight for the rights of the Reds through Cal.

Unfortunately, we have a dumb protagonist that lost her brain cells. So, that’s that.

4. Angelfall By Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Synopsis:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Travelling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Me:

#No

Another highly acclaimed novel that disappointed me. 

I think I mentioned it before, in one of my book tag article, that I absolutely disliked this book because the characters felt like they were fighting over a pastime. The fact that my distaste for this novel remained the same says a lot as it had been months since I last touched that novel. Therefore, I dislike this novel.

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)

Synopsis:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Me:

*facepalm*

Here’s the link to the review for this novel: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs

2. End Of Days By Susan Ee

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)

Synopsis:

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

Me:

This finale is somehow even worse than War Storm. 

End Of Days which was a book I was anticipating to read since the second book in this trilogy was such an improvement from the first novel that I thought the final novel would be an explosive ending… Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

This finale felt like a rush. It felt like the author wanted to excrete as much new information into this novel as fast as possible even though most of the new information does not make any sense. 

The characters were unrecognizable. They kind of fell out of character and swapped personalities in a time span of two books. Therefore, I despised this novel.

1. New Moon By Stephenie Meyer

New Moon (Twilight, #2)

Synopsis:

I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect – not healed, but as if there had never been a wound in the first place. 

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning…

Me:

Ew… The most revolting novel that I had ever set my eyes upon. 

Here’s the link to the review: New Moon By Stephenie Meyer


And that concludes my ‘Worst Books Of 2018!’ Be sure to let me know what your worst books of 2018 are down in the comment box below! I hope you all enjoyed this article and follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS || BOOK REVIEW

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be doing a long-awaited review on a book called ‘The Girl On The Train’ By Paula Hawkins. This is a highly-acclaimed novel and it was frequently compared to ‘Gone Girl’, another screw the pooch book that I had yet to read. Truth to be told, I did not like this book as much as everyone else seemed to enjoy and I will tell you why later in the review.

To be honest with you, I do not know how to summarize this book but all I can tell you is that this is an ‘Adult, Psychological Thriller’ novel that will make you either addle your brain with a concussion as a friend or make you dispute yourself on why you even read this book in the first place. I am the latter.

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

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!

The Girl on the Train

Synopsis:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

My Thoughts: The Beginning

This novel was frequently compared to Gone Girl for its plot twists and messed out plotlines. However, after I had experienced reading this book, I do not know or I highly doubt that I would enjoy the process of reading Gone Girl because I did not exactly relish on how the story was unfurled here and I shall let you all know why.

By the way, this review will not consist of the usual segments such as Writing Styles and Characters as I would like to try combining both of those segments in this section. Furthermore, this review will be kept short because it is a twisted thriller novel and I do not wish to spoil you with the knowledge of this novel that I had in my mind. Thus, let us begin! 

➵ Pros

I savoured the writing style that the author had provided for us in this novel because not only was it easy to read and get through because of the addictive element that the author had annexed into the making of this novel which of course, made this novel entertaining but the author’s writing style was perfect for concealing some facts about certain characters and later used it to confuse the reader and ultimately, reveal her genius plan to make everything right. I thought it was well done and I would, honestly, give Ms Hawkins another chance on reading her latest work if not for the ‘Cons’ which I will later share with you all. 

Moving on, I would like to converse on the atmosphere of the novel. I enjoyed the ambience of anticipation, suspense (as long as it lived) and the feeling of desire in this novel. The air of perplexity will be spoken more about later in the Cons section and as for now, I would state that I appreciated it while it lasted because it commenced dispersing when the book progressed. However, the ambience of anticipation and the feeling of desire were there throughout the novel and I thought it was blended conscientiously and agilely. The constant hit of the atmosphere would have you wanting to feel bad for the characters and thus, I enjoyed the ambience of the novel.

Now, I would fancy addressing the idea of the novel. The idea was immeasurable albeit, the execution of the novel was amateurish. I loved the fact that this was included: A random passerby witnessed a ‘crime-scene’ and thought she was to be involved as she had valuable information to provide to the police but little does she know that she was actually involved in the whole situation. 

The idea was great alright! I thought it could do the idea justice if the execution was not half as bad as what this book had provided. Oh, wells, another idea had gone to waste, at least, that is what I thought. 

Finally, I savoured on the pacing of the novel. This novel was fast-paced and thrilling in the first 100 pages as you would like to acquire information on what in the living world is going on and in the last 200 pages of the novel, certain scenes were dragged and thus, it tarnished the golden plate of being ‘fast-paced’ but still, it went on decent speed. If it was not for the pacing, I thought I would end up DNF-ing the novel right there on the spot because the characters did not hold my attention as they do not have anything special to share and bestow on their readers. So, if you would love to read a thriller that is fast-paced, do give this novel a read, I guess?

➵ Cons

The characters’ developments in this novel were almost non-existent. We had three narratives in this novel: Rachel, Anna and Megan. One is a drunk, another is a cheat and the last is a liar. None of them is reliable which I thought, when I was reading the first 200 pages of the novel, was the strongest point of the novel but as the story proceeded, my mind started to wonder whether it is actually the most influential point of it all and here is why I thought it was not as mighty as it had appeared:

Anna, who was regarded as the third protagonist of the novel had the least page count and therefore, I dismissed the fact that she was a protagonist and placed her, in my mind, as a side character. Now, side characters in novels can grow too but Anna only had a minimum development when the last page was disclosed. Her attitude towards Rachel had a slight improvement and I thought that was great to see but that does not terminate the fact that she almost had no development. Also, her character was not as well-built as I initially thought it would. Her character was just there to play the role as a cheat and that’s all it is. No dwelling into her family history and her life before she became a cheat, just purely her cheating self.

Rachel, who was the main protagonist of the novel had the most page count and we are mostly in her head. Gosh, she was such an imbecile. I enjoyed her flaws, initially, as it made the characters more fleshed out and real but as the story progressed forwards, I thought otherwise. Here’s a question: If someone understands that they require full attention on something, they would not- first thing, run to drink alcohol, that would only make the situation worse as it would cause drowsiness if one does not handle the amount of liquor they consume. This person is, with no doubt in mind, Rachel! She was conscious that she should not drink when she is going out to ‘interrogate’ someone but she did it anyways! When I thought she would quit drinking, like what she had said in the book, she went out and disappointed me. Clearly, she continued drinking until the novel ended. So, there was not any character development. However, she was better built than Anna, her history and experiences were written on the page and we could somehow sympathize with her but that is it. No character development in sight.

Megan, who was the liar that had ill intentions. I will not go in-depth with her character as she was twisted and you had got to read the novel to understand her but I would say that she does see the light in the end. She understood what she did was wrong and somehow made a really minor character development by rectifying her past mistakes. By mistakes, I meant to say lots of them. Her history was clearly written on the pages as well, perhaps even more in-depth than our main protagonist’s history. So, if I were to choose one character to root for, not that I liked any of them, I would have to choose Megan as she was the most developed character in this novel.

Moving on, I hated the fact that I knew who the killer was even before it was revealed. Now, I am not an avid reader of the genre of thriller, I tend to gravitate towards Fantasy and Young Adult Fiction novels and even I seem to notice who the killer was before it was unveiled. I thought this was to be blamed on certain plot details that were exposed in the first 100 pages of the novel which was when the book switched protagonist to Megan’s. I cannot help but kept some important points in my head and when the killer was revealed to be this ‘person’, I completely lost interest from this book because of how noticeable it was. So, in truth, the plot twist did not surprise me at all and I hope it does not do the same to you.

The relationship was something that I absolutely despised in this novel. Again, the first 100 pages of this novel, the author allowed us glimpses of the broken relationships and the abuses that some of the characters took on from their partners but after a while, everything just suspended. The bonding between characters does not mend, not that I want them to, but realistically, if you have been through something traumatic with someone and they shared the burden with you, you would find the bond between this human being to strengthen but in this novel, it does not. So, that is all I am going to say.

Moreover, there was some plot hole in this novel and it hindered my mind that it was so prominent. I do not want to spoil the book but the plot hole is about: one of the main characters in the book is cheating on her husband with 2 guys and when the killer was revealed, everything had gotten muddied. If you have read the book, you would know what plot hole I am conversing on.

Finally, I would like to discuss the atmosphere specifically, the air of suspense of this novel. The air of suspense was thick when this novel first introduced us that one of the prominent figures in this novel had died. It kept us reading to find out how the plot would escalate from therein. However, as the story progresses, the ambience of the novel started thinning and that made the ending flat because the air of suspense just evaporated. It happened because there was not much plot to support the backbone of the story and somewhere in the middle, the story dragged with Rachel being a drunk. Therefore, I did not really like the ambience of the novel except for certain parts of it.

Overall: The Ending

With my flaming hatred for this novel, I shall award this book with a 29% rating as it had some redeeming qualities and I thought it was not half as bad as some books that I had read this year. Thus, the result for this novel is uttered.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins! 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!

DECEMBER TBR 2018

Hey Guys! It is Max here and today, I will be sharing my December To-Be-Read piles with you guys! I promise you that this TBR will not get too ambitious as I am going to travel to another country on a plane for the first time! 

If you are wondering where I will be heading to, I am going to visit Australia and I cannot wait to feel the wondrous atmosphere there! 

Sorry for babbling on but we shall now dive into the TBR pile for December 2018!

Image result for finger pointing downwards

1. The Kiss Of Deception By Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Me:

I am going to read this on the plane when I am heading to Australia since it is a 7hr+ flight in order to release myself from the boredom and kill some time. Mind you, I will be taking notes when I am reading this novel to compose a review for it on my blog to allow you guys to observe if it is worth the read or not.

So, stay tuned for that!

2. Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

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.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster or heartbreak.

Me:

I will be reading this novel on the way back home from Australia because, again, it is a 7hrs+ flight and I do not want to get bored so, stay tuned for the review!

3. The Nowhere Girls By Amy Reeds

The Nowhere Girls

Synopsis:

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Me:

I will read this novel in Australia when I have some time off from having fun and visiting picturesque places/locations. So, if I am not able to finish this novel there which I highly doubt, I will read it on the plane, alongside Little Fires Everywhere.

4. Rebels and Fools By David Michael Williams

Rebels and Fools (The Renegade Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis:

The greatest peace treaty in Altaerran history is unraveling. As civil war threatens the Continent United, two fallen Knights of Superius are forced to join the rebels they once condemned. Hounded by assassins and assailed by doubt, they flee to Capricon in search of answers — only to discover the island harbors dark secrets of its own. 

Alongside a mostly reformed thief, a dethroned pirate king, a mysterious woman with a magical sword, and other would-be heroes, the fugitives encounter a sinister power that has taken root within the Alliance. If the Renegades and Knighthood can’t rise above their bitter rivalry, both factions — and the realm itself — are doomed. 

Me:

I am currently reading this novel and I thought what I was reading was really pleasant because the story unfurled properly although I am just at Page 69, could not really say much of anything but I am truly enjoying the process of this book’s cycle.

Again, stay tuned for the review!


Now, there’s a bridge between this section and the section above because the above is the books that I want to read and this section will be the books that I had already read in December. So, let us begin!

1. The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Synopsis:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Me:

Meh. I did not really like this novel. A review will be coming on my blog soon so, we shall discuss my likes and dislikes for this novel there! 

2. Witch Hill By Marcus Sedgwick

Witch Hill

Synopsis:

The fire was a family tragedy that Jamie can’t forget, even in his dreams. Now something terrifying involving a witch and a frightened girl is happening to Jamie in Crownhill, the village where he’s been sent to get over his problems.

Me:

Again, a really ‘Meh’ read. I did not like the execution of this novel and thought it could improve? A review will, again, be up on this channel really soon so we shall discuss the novel there.

3. Tiger Trouble By Grant Goodman

Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Tiger Trouble (Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve, #1)

Synopsis:

SECRET MISSIONS. SPIN KICKS. SINISTER GHOSTS.

Thirteen year-old Agent Darcy is one of the top students at the Bureau of Sneakery, where there are three rules every agent must follow: never make friends with an outsider, never speak of the Bureau, and never reveal your real name. Lately, Darcy has hit a rough patch: her rival, Agent Serena, keeps outdoing her. If things keep going this way, Darcy is convinced that no one will ever assign her a real mission.

Ninja Steve’s city, Ninjastoria, is the home of sword fights, throwing stars, and Tae Kwon Donuts. Unlike his genius older sister, twelve year-old Steve isn’t the best ninja student. He’d rather be swinging a sword instead of taking notes in class. Steve, however, is about to learn that being a true ninja means far more than being able to use a sword.

When Darcy is sent to Ninjastoria as an exchange student, it will turn both of their lives upside-down and raise all kinds of questions:

What do the mecha-moles want? Who is the man in the gray mask? What do ninjas eat for lunch? And why is there a menacing tiger on the cover of this book? 

Me:

A review for this book is already up on my blog and if you have read that review, you would get the idea that I pretty much spurned this novel so, do examine it if you have the time to read it!

4. The Nest By Kenneth Oppel

The Nest

Synopsis:

For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.

All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?

Me:

I freaking love this novel! I thought it was such a cute read and again, if you have the time, do check out the review that I had composed for this book!

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows By J.K Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Synopsis:

Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind.

The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding.

To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.

He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.

Me:

I. FREAKING. LOVE. THE. HECK. OUT. OF. THIS. BOOK.

This book is literally a sob fest. So many people died and so many people saved like I was glad that certain characters did not die but the others, their lives. Oh my gosh, what a sad conclusion. I cannot even grasp the fact that this is the concluding novel.

If you would like to see my ranking for each of the Harry Potter Books, here’s the link to the article: ALIGNING MY LEAST TO MOST FAVOURED HARRY POTTER BOOKS


This is the end of my December TBR list! I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know your December TBR down in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

THE NEST BY KENNETH OPPEL || BOOK REVIEW

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be reviewing a book called ‘The Nest’ By Kenneth Oppel today! I found this novel randomly in a book sale and the cover had latched itself on to my brain and before I knew what I was doing, I placed it in the cart. And thank goodness I placed it in the cart and did not have second thoughts about it because I enjoyed this novel immensely!

The Nest is a Middle-Grade, Magical Realism novel that follows a boy named Steve whose family is going through a depressing period due to their New Born baby’s health condition and how it affects Steve’s mood as this sort of thing continues to occur.

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!

Image result for the nest by kenneth oppel

Synopsis:

For some kids, summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.

All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?

My thoughts: Introduction

Let us initiate this review by conversing on the World-building and the atmosphere of this novel. There, honestly, was not any need for world-building as this world coalesced with the real world but the landscape which I will talk more about later on in the review, was described beautifully and every scene was crafted as if they were canvases filled with wonderful art. 

In addition, the atmosphere of the novel was dark and sometimes, fun. It was dark because of the materials that the author had resolved to annexe to the book and the insane approach behind new specimens producing a baby using their own way and letting the baby eat odd viands to fill their stomach to provide minerals for the body to function. It was fun because it is a middle-grade novel and the characters’ have an obnoxious and naive mindset that allows its readers to Laugh Out Loud. Therefore, I truly enjoyed the combination of dark and fun surrounding the ambience of the novel.

Furthermore, I would like to converse on the pacing of the novel. The pacing was expeditious because of the darkness and the addictive quality that the book has to it. The darkness of the book, like what we had discussed earlier, had a ting of what felt death and pain and the addictive quality of the novel had made the pages to fly through faster than it ought to be. The fonts for this novel was gigantic and the writing was easy to read and if you are a fast reader, the estimated time to finish reading this novel is 2 hours. If you are a slow reader, the estimated time to finish reading this novel is 3.5 hours.

Before we move into the final paragraph, I would like to discuss the relationship factor in the novel. The relationships between the characters are a little broken and disconnected. For example, the broken relationship between the protagonist and his family members due to the baby’s illness. Also, when Steve finally connected with someone or something that he thought was at his side to make amends to his sad life, the ‘thing’ went and stabbed him in the back. I enjoyed the portrayal of this kind of relationships in books, it showed a side of the world and widen the horizon of our imaginations.

Finally, I would appreciate bestowing some of my favourite quotes from the book:

“The baby was warm against my chest. I knew I was broken too. I wasn’t like other people. I was scared and weird and anxious and sad lots of the time, and I didn’t know why. My parents thought I was abnormal, I was pretty sure. They said I wasn’t, but you don’t get sent to a therapist if you’re normal.

Sometimes we really aren’t supposed to be the way we are. It’s not good for us. And people don’t like it. You’ve got to change. You’ve got to try harder and do deep breathing and maybe one day take pills and learn tricks so you can pretend to be more like other people. Normal people. But maybe Vanessa was right, and all those other people were broken too in their own ways. Maybe we all spent too much time pretending we weren’t.”

The above Quote is important as I will be talking more about it later in the review…

And…  

“A feeling is not a fact.” 

Writing: Middle Section Of The Review

The style of writing for this novel was conversational, emphatically and articulate. Like the review that I had posted before this, we shall break down each of the styles that were used to compose this book. 

↠ Conversational

This novel had more ‘tell than show’. Most of the information that we garner comes from the conversation or speech that the protagonist has with a person other than himself. I thought it was easy to read and was swiftly glimpsed through and it would appeal to a child in Primary school to easily grasp what the book was prattling about. 

Furthermore, I thought this type of writing style was fantastic for a middle-grade novel and it could easily hold a child, who has no love for reading, to start reading! Thus, I enjoyed the conversational style of writing for this novel.

Emphatically

Here’s the definition of this distinct writing style:

Making your meaning very clear because you have very strong feelings about a situation or subject.

I had placed ‘Emphatically’ here because I thought the story was written clearly and the meaning and feelings behind the story had a clear indication and would allow younger readers to get the message on what the author was trying to say.

↠ Articulate

The description of the protagonist’s surrounding and landscape was well described. You can totally picture the main character’s house, the Queen’s nest and what the baby was feeding on. With those images in mind, it radiates off a sense of excitement and horror that will make you both squirm and widen your pupils with delight. 

The writing style articulates the feelings and allows us, readers, to feel the landscape and to find it authentic. Thus, I enjoyed the writing style for this novel.

Character: 4/5 Section Of The Review

Steve

He is an eleven-year-old kid who suffered from OCD even though it was just briefly glimpsed through in the novel, it was clear that he was suffering from it because of this sentence:

At school, I drank only from some certain water fountain, and I washed my hands between every class. I also had hand sanitizer with me, just in case.

The thing that I did not really relish this novel was the fact that the mental illness was just quoted once in the book, and never again. I thought it would be ampler, since it was a children’s book, to elucidate what it is to adequately understand the terminology.

Other than that, I thought he was a strong boy who was going through the process of family depression and the battle with his mental illness. Although he did break down sometimes because it was too much for him to handle, he still continued to rise back up to his feet to fight for what is right and proceeded to live on with his life! Thus, I thought Steve was a great role model in this novel.

The Queen

She was a complex character, alright. Initially, she was a warm and kind-hearted ‘angel’ or ‘wasp’, whatever, but the thing was that her motive had gradually changed over the course of the months to so-called ‘repair’ the baby so that it will be healthier and livelier. 

I thought her characteristics were really well planned because it was unexpected that she was a two-faced wasp and actually did not give a crap about other people’s feelings and expectations except her own. Therefore, I enjoyed her as a character in this book!

 Parents

In the course of this 244 pages novel, the parents were present most of the time and spent those page time being depressed, disappointed and afraid and it was realistic as I responded the equivalent behaviour when the baby was first acquainted as sick due to a congenital disease that threatened the child’s life.

Their sorrows and frustrations were understandable and reasonable. For example, the dad being short-tempered with Steve because he was going on about a bee sting and how it hurt and more. However, he always made up to him and announced that he was sorry for being so mean.

The mom, on the other hand, had sorrows too but was coping better than the dad. She was not short-tempered but she had times where the mention of the baby caused her to go rigid and spin which was, again, understandable, given a child of her own circumstances.

Thus, I liked the portrayal and the roles that the parents had in the book.

Venessa

She is the babysitter of Steve and I thought she had a wonderfully rich history about her university life and more but it was, unfortunately, not explored. However, she did discuss her organ failures and how it might, possibly, happen again and she taught us a valuable lesson with it: 

All I’m saying is, sooner or later we’re all busted-up in some way.

It meant to say that we will eventually come to an old age and our bodies will die. No matter what diseases a person had, that person is still a human and that is all that matters. No one is perfect and that’s ok. 

Venessa is pretty much this only one in the novel that teaches such valuable lessons to the children and I thought it was a great way to drive the plot forward! Thus, I enjoyed her characteristic.

Overall: The Ending

I am very much in love with this novel and even though it had some minor flaws, I am willing to overlook it due to the hard-to-get enjoyment that I had experienced with this book. Thus, I shall award this novel with 90%.


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