Books

Book Review: The Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult

Hello All

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I am here today after reading the Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult.  It took me a while to get through this book as  I had an exam to study for by finished it today!   This is the first Jodi Picoult book that I have read.  I know right,  she is a super famous and acclaimed author.  I am really trying to branch out of my horror suspense reading  genres.  I actually found this book as a pretty entertaining read with some interesting themes throughout.

It start off with the main character Delia and her hound dog Greta as a search and rescue team.   We read on the find out more about her life with her daughter Sophie and soon to be husband Eric.   Eric, herself and their friend Fitz have known each other since they were little kids.   You immediately see a deep connection between them and a love triangle transpires.  We meet Andrew, Delia’s father whom all the characters love and admire.

Things start to get interesting when Andrew is arrested for the charges of kidnapping.  It turns out that he took Delia, actually Bethany Mathews, when she was only 4 from her mother.   All the characters then fly to Arizona where Andrew will stand trial for the charge.  To make things more interesting Delia asks Eric to represent Andrew as his attorney, oh the tangle webs we read 😉

The story goes on from there and delves into the reasons why Andrew would kidnap his daughter from a mother she thought was dead.  Delia is having a hard time figuring out who she is now that this new information has come forth. She struggles with still having loving feelings towards her father but also angry at the lies.   The inner turmoil continues as she start having flash back memories of her old life.  The lines of her old life and new life become blurred to her. Delia is also nervous about meeting her mother.  We have all put people we are searching for up on this pedestal like dreaming of the man/woman we will marry.   This comes with the fear of what happens when we meet this person and they are not who we envisioned.   We fear the disappointment and rejection.

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As Jodi start to write about the trial and Andrew’s experiences in jail it starts to feel like a John Grisham book.   It really enjoyed this take on the events as it did not feel like the book was so taken over by emotions.  It gives us a little break from all the feelings we are experiencing while reading about all that has happened to Delia.  We find out that her mother was an alcoholic.  Andrew did not want Delia having to take care of her drunken mother and start resenting her so her took her away to give her the life he thought she deserved.   Near the end of the book child sexual abuse also comes out.  This theme always makes people uncomfortable but I feel that it is handled well.  Alcoholism seems to be a recurrent theme as Eric’s mother was an alcoholic and Eric himself becomes one.  I feel this helps Eric become more involved in Andrew’s defense as he uses his own experiences to help Andrew with his trial.  The feelings of not being taken care of by his mom helps him with some of his arguments in Andrew’s behalf of taking Delia from Elsie (Delia’s mother).

One theme I thought was very interesting is how she kind of put the reader in the mind set as to what we would do if we were in Andrew’s situation.  Do we break the law to save our loved one or do we hope that the person will straighten themselves out for their daughter/son sake.   Do we then tell them when they are old enough about what happened or is it safer for them not to know the truth in order to save them from certain disappointments.

If you guys have any comments on this theme or about the book in general please feel free to leave a comment.   Or if you have a book suggestion from Jodi Picoult I would love to hear it!    Happy Reading!!!!

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Books

Review Scarlet by Marrisa Meyer

Hello all  th0BLVX4WL

I come to you today with a book review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.  May I start by saying I am totally on the fairy tale retelling band wagon.   I love the fresh take on old stories.

This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series.   It starts off with the story of Scarlet, a take on the little red riding hood tale.  Her and her grandmere are local farmers.  In the first chapter we find out that her grandmere is missing.  Scarlet goes to a local pub for a produce delivery and there she meets the ominous ‘wolf’.  She discovers that Wolf suspiciously has some information regarding the where abouts of her grandmother. They team up and go to paris where his ‘wolf pack’ is holding her gandmere captive as they believe she has information on Princess Selene’s identify and location.

At this point I became very interested in the story.  I loved how Marissa intertwined the Cinder story to the Scarlet story.  Having Scarlet’s grandmother be the character that harboured the young and dying princess was brilliant in my books.   I really did not overly enjoy the relationship blossoming between Scarlet and wolf.  I found this very predictable but it still held its entertainment value as she has to ‘tame the inner beast in Wolf’.

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The inner beast genetically placed in members of the wolf pack by no less than the Lunar Queen herself.  The foreshadowing of a genetically modified army in the first book was elaborated on in Scarlet.  The blood shedding chaos at the end of the book that inevitable lead to the acceptance of the marriage proposal by Kai to the Queen was a great plot development.   The attack on the Earthen people created the momentum we needed to see in Cinder to accept her royal lineage.  Near the end of the book after the announcement of the proposal Cinder vows to take hold of her lunar abilities and fate so she may fight against the evil Queen.

I would have also like to read more about the Queen as also near the end of the book we may have a flash that she possess some human traits.  As she is watching her genetically modified army in training she becomes anxious as she  may not be able to control them with her powers.   It also hints that she craves the need to be loved by her followers more than craving power itself.  It will be interesting to see this theory develop, if I am right, and be a glimpse as to why she needs to feel loved by everyone.  What horror has happened to her in her past to make her the evil vindictive queen she is today.

I enjoyed the story overlay of Cinder in some chapters and Scarlet/Wolf in others.  I would have loved to learn more about Scarlet and her grandmother but I also understand that this would have made the story sluggish and lagging.   I look forward to see where Marissa leads the story in Cress which I believe is a play on Rapunzel.   As always feel free to leave any comments or thought that you had of this book!  Happy reading !!

 

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Books

Review : Sleep by Nino Ricci

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I come today with a review of Sleep by Nino Ricci (spoilers alert).  This is not a book I would have pick up while perusing the bookstore.  It was suggested to me by and friend and since one of my goals this year was to read different genres I took it home.   I was surprised that I enjoyed reading this book, not a mind blowing revelation type of book but entertaining and a bit thought provoking.

So the premise of Sleep is it follows the main character David throughout the downfall of his life. David is a professor in a university and also has written a few successful novels.  In the beginning it is presented to the reader that he has some sort of sleep disorder.  The disorder is never officially named but David falls asleep at inopportune moments and has black outs at time.  The beginning few pages he actually falls asleep while driving his car with his kid Marcus in the back.  Right off the bat we learn to dislike David as he actually gets a thrill from almost killing him and his child.

The disorder in the beginning is blamed for the breakup of his marriage to Julia and the dead beat father vibe.  Throughout the story though we learn that David has a self destructive nature about himself even before he married Julia.  We find out that he sleeps with students before and while he was married to Julia.  He also sleeps with a possible new employee and royally screws up his and her jobs.  After he is ‘let go’ from his job and he is divorced from Julia he goes to work for his old friend Greg and sleeps with his wife Sophie.  We really wanted to root for him as he seemed like he was getting his life together.  However his old tendencies came out and continues to self-sabotage the new good things in his life.

It seems like he is chasing the high and addiction of having something he cannot have and the fear of getting caught, which is just as addictive as well.  He also finds the ‘high’ in the life-threatening situations he puts himself in.  First off there was the car incident in the beginning of the book.  Another episode, actually multiple, is when he finds is father’s old gun.  This spirals into ongoing thrill issues with carrying a loaded gun and going to firing ranges.  Not to rebellious right.  He then goes to an old construction site and shots the glass out of a bulldozer.   This brings of the theme of how guns and life-threatening highs that people seek try and fulfill  the need to feel ‘alive’ again.  This books covers the mundane activities of life and how it is easy to loose the sense of oneself quite quickly.

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A second theme is this book is David’s need to feel in or out of control.  The constant thrill seeking highs that David search for brings into question the sense of control.   Is David every really in control or are all of us for that matter.  The illusion of control vs the reality of control is a interesting theme to portray in a sleep disorder book.   We all perceive that we have control of our sleep.  We can control when and where we got to bed.  We can control our before bed rituals but we cannot control the pathophysiology of sleep and what happens when this becomes compromised.

All of these components made for a intellectually stimulating read even if the pace of the book was lagging.  I am pleased with my new genre read and will be looking forward to branching out of my typical reading genres more often.   As always feel free to leave comments if you have any questions or thoughts at all.   If anyone is wondering I gave this book a 3.5/5 star on goodreads.   Happy Reading !!!

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Books, fiction, Literature

How to get cheap books!

Hello  all

I thought today I would go over a few resources that I have found to feed my book addiction for cheap.  I hate spending full price for books.  Reading can become a very expensive hobbie.  Hopefully these resources can help ease the pocket book but still allow you to enjoy your craving for reading

  1. Libraries– so the obvious first choice is to support your local library. They are a great source of all type of reading options whether it be physical books, ebooks or audio books.   The only downfall is the timeline they give you for new releases – which generally have to be back to the library much sooner than other books you sign out.  Another option your library may offer is through the app called overdrive.  You just download this app and sign in with your library number and you can sign out ebooks and audiobooks right onto your ereader.  Libraries often have books sales as well so you can get used books for pretty cheap.untitled.png
  2. Thrift stores/ second hand books stores- thrift stores offer a great price on used books.  I do understand though that some of the books they offer are quite old and they do not often have new releases.  The thrift store is somewhere you can go if you are looking for books that are not main stream and usually really good finds.  Also local second hand books stores are a gem for decently prices gently used books.  The store owners often can get in books you are looking for and are a great resource for book suggestions.  If you are in the Hamilton\ Burlington area in Ontario may I suggest a book store called J.H. Gordons in Hamilton.  The owners are amazing and are able to pretty much find any book you may be interested in. 81d09f3ac600b68b7a43b852c99b623b
  3. Bookoutlet- I know a lot of book tubers have suggested this site and I must admit I have found a lot of great book deals on new and older releases.   Sometimes the only catch with this website is the amount they charge for shipping.  Sometimes when you include the shipping fee the book is just as expensive as in store.  You just have to be careful and when figuring out the price always include the shipping price as part of the book price.

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4. Paperbackswap- this is a new website for me and one that I have not used a lot.  The premise is that you sign up, post a book that you would like to swap for.  You pay the shipping fee to the person requesting the book from you.  Then you go back onto the website and pick a book that will be shipped to you for free- in the same manner.  This is a pretty smart idea and a good way for bookies to connect with one another.

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5. Boobbub- this is a website I probably use the most.   It is for ebooks only so for those who do not like ebooks this is probably not an option for you.   You make an account and then select the genres that you are interested in reading.  The website then sends you daily deals for books that are within the genres you have selected.  Some of these books are for  FREE and some are insanely cheap.  Also not a website to use for new releases but has some amazingly good finds on other books. This website has expanding my reading repertoire and I have found some of my favourite reads on this site.

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I hope these resources  may help you guys in saving some money but allow you to still enjoy a good read.  If anyone has any other suggestions or have any comments on the sites I have listed please feel free to leave a comment.   Happy Reading !!!

Literature

Some of the most anticipated books of 2017

BR_MostAnticipated_MobileA new year rolls around and there are so many great books to come out in 2017.  I am touching on just some of the most popular and anticipated books to come out.  If any of you have others to add to this list feel free to add a comment.  These are just a few of the ones I am looking forward to reading this year.

  1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins–  this books offers tragic deaths and an orphan girl who now is in the care of her aunt trying to find her way in a place she does not want to return to.  This seems like a great suspense novel!  She is also the author of the Girl on the Train so you know it should deliver
  2. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab– this is the 3rd book in the Darker shades of magic series.  A series I have as of yet to read but it seems to be getting great reviews.  For all those who have read the first 2 books this will be a must read this year
  3. Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles– this is the third and final book in the Pen Cage series.  I have read this first which is Burning Natchez and am currently reading the second book which is The Bone Tree.  An investigative series which delves into the takes of the KKK, the Doubles Eagles and hate crimes.  All of this following the main characters trying to fight for their lives and expose these heinous crimes of the past.  A very thrilling and heart tugging read.
  4. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys–  this is a historical fiction novel from WWII.  It looks at the refugees fleeing a war studded homeland which mirrors some of the issues we face today in the world.
  5. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.  This is a historical novel based on a true story following a Jewish family in WWII times.     It follows their lives through their break up and reunion.  This seems like another heart wrenching novel of perseverance of the family unit.
  6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas–  from reading the review and watching some youtube reviews this seems to be a book based on the events surround the black lives matter movement.  Since racisms issues seem to continue to be a modern day issue this book could not come at a better time !
  7. See What I Have Done by Sarah Scdmidt–  this a book that covers the Lizzie Borden murders.    I do not know a lot about this story so it will be an alluring read to say the least
  8. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden–  a fantasy/ fairy tale  novel set in Russia that touches on forest demons and an evil step mother.  A heroin hoping to defend her family in this new fairy tale is refreshing and promises to be a great read
  9. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich– this book follows a family and some sort of tragedy or event ensues.   It is told in many perspectives and is said to cover many different things from love, friendship to secrets and forgiveness.  Maybe one to add on the book club list
  10. A sepration by Katie Kitamura– This books looks at marriage and separation.  Once the lead’s husband goes missing she goes to search from him knowing no one knows of their separation.  Learning secrets about the man she thought she knew we are propelled in  the story of discovery alone with the heroin (of sort).

Hope this helps anyone with their TBR for 2017 reads.   As always feel free to leave a comment with any books you are looking forward to reading this year!

Literature

Book review  Drawing of the 3 by Stephen King 

Ok so this is the second book in the Dark tower  series and it is way better than the first one!   It is more action packed and faster paced than Gunslinger.  

Right out of the gate we have Roland face down some creepy crawlies! And loose some.parts of his body.  

I loved the take on the doors and how they are portals or views of different worlds and times.  All three doors offered a chance for Roldand to save his life more ways than one.  He brought back Eddie that really saved Roland life on many occasions and in return he saved Eddie from a life of addiction .  He saved Susannah in the end by being her 2 personalities out of conflict.  Finally Morty  offered Roland a chance at redemption to rescue Jack from being killed in his world after Roland let Jack die in Rolands world. 

Now Roland has a crew of new gunslinger to help him on his quest for the elusive tower.  As the reader I am still not 100% sure what the tower represents.  Will it be Rolands downfall or final retribution that will save not only the good in the world but put Rolands troubled soul to rest? We see the pop up of Rolands old family and friends at the end of the book.  Will the tower finally give Rolands the courage to move on and forgive himself for whatever happened in his past.  The third book the waste lands seems like it is going to elaborate more on his past which will make for an interesting read and give a greater understand of what made Rolands the troubled ‘heartless’ person we met in the first 2 books. 

Looking forward to delving into the dark tower quest further!