Rapid Fire Review: The Alice Network

Let’s get this out-of-the-way right now because I have some things to say.

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

I have never returned anything late to my library. If I can’t renew it, I’ll just bring it back and get back in line to borrow it again. I was halfway through this book on the day it was due back. I wanted to know what the answers to the never-ending questions were. I was interested. And, I had been 50th in line to get the damn thing so I figured I could swing a 25 cent late fee to finish it up.

I should have just brought it back and grabbed another book. However, then! You would not have the pleasure of reading my review which I will say right now, is not a positive one. So, if you don’t want to hear why I did not enjoy this book then scoot. If you doooo want to hear it–here we go.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
This novel is told in two alternating perspectives. The first, is Charlie in 1947 and the second is Eve in 1915. The book takes place in France. And if you haven’t figured it out from the dates given, Eve’s narration is during WWI and Charlie;s from just after WWII.

Now the synopsis for this book was amazing. Female spies during the World Wars, Really!?! I mean, from a historical standpoint, that has the potential to be the most interesting story. You don’t hear about the women who spied on the Germans anywhere near as the Turncoats or the men who fought the Germans. To say I was pumped to read this book is an understatement. And then, I actually read it.

Charlie St. Cloud is 20 years old. She is from an affluent family. And she has found herself unwed and pregnant in 1947. Charlie is fucking annoying and I quickly disliked her. Oh and I have reasons!

First of all, she is incredibly naïve(true to someone of her age) but, believes she knows more than anyone else. The author gave her a talent with numbers but I’m honestly not sure why as all she ever did with it was argue checks at restaurants. She abandons her mother without so much as a note to go on a search for her missing cousin Rose. Now, her mother and father are sending her away to a center to have her “Little Problem” taken care of.

Let’s just pause right there. For the majority of Charlie’s story, she refers to her pregnancy as her “Little Problem.” REALLY!? I mean, sure she can be scared and not sure about it but why, if your parents are such an issue for you would you adopt the name they are using for the situation. Especially since you randomly decide to keep this baby and then still go on calling her Little Problem. Not sure any child wants to brought into the world being known as the “problem.: UGH!

Charlie herself is sooooo self loathing that anytime she is given a moment to describe herself she tears herself down. Not one time does she refer to herself in a positive manner except to say that she is good with numbers and quick-witted. Not to mention the umber of times she refers to HERSELF as a whore. OMG. That drove me insane.

She did sleep with a lot of boys at her school. She is unwed and pregnant. She does not know who the father is. Does that mean you should continue calling yourself a whore over and over and over. And I do mean, over and over because it is in her narrative CONSTANTLY.

Now, I did like that the women in this novel were sexual however, I could have done with something that made sense. I mean, a woman can be sexual without her grieving (Charlie) or trying to gain information (Eve). A woman does not have to throw herself on every attractive male because she’s previously had sex (Charlie) and is therefore no longer worthy of more. Yeah.

While I’m on that topic. Finn is a Scottish solider who is essentially Eve’s assistant. During Charlie’s search for her cousin Rose, she stalks locates Eve and they end up on this convoluted search together with Finn as Eve is not able to drive or do much more than bitch due to her injuries and age (ohhhh we’ll get to her in a minute). Finn is a brooding character and for one whole chapter he thwarts Charlie’s suuuuuuuper forward advances. I mean, she literally has a sip of liquor and then jumps on him saying he can have her since she’s already stuck with her problem. Yeah, cause that’s attractive. Not to mention, he is quite a bit older than Charlie. I’m no stickler for age differences but it’s just weird to have a romance between these two IMO.

Which leads to the thing I was most annoyed with and the moment I actually considered just giving up on the book as a whole.

Without having the label for it, Finn suffers from PTSD, much like Charlie’s brother did when he committed suicide (oh yeah! there’s a little bit of everything thrown into this just shy of 500 pages mess). Finn’s PTSD causes him to go into blind rages. In particular, in the scene where Charlie finally finds out what happened to her cousin Rose (Spoiler alert: Nazis killed her and bonus! the same guy Eve hates is involved! How convenient.) Finn is brought back to his own time as a solider and is taken by emotion and then, has one of these rages. During this, he is beating on a particularly racist dick that was sitting at another table (possibly working at the café they were at. I’m not even sure at this point) and Charlie is trying to stop him. And! He punches her in the face.

Let’ me say that again, Finn PUNCHES Charlie in the face. Then he runs away all ashamed of his behavior and obviously to calm down. What does she do? She goes after him, strokes his face, and then jumps on him.She jumps on him. Because if a man punches me in the face my reaction is to have sex with him. In a car no less.

I already did not like Charlie, at this point, I just gave up on all hope of her story arc going anywhere I cared about. Not to mention, this is a little over halfway through the book and we’ve solved the mystery we set out to. THERE WERE STILL 100 PAGES LEFT.

Let’s move on to Eve, shall we?

Eve is an English woman. She is multi-lingual. Super smart. And has a stutter. She had trouble finding work and wants to find a way to fight in this crazy war in 1915. So boom! She gets recruited as a spy and popped into a café where she works for Rene this really smarmy profiteer.

All of the narrative that is from Eve’s perspective save the very end of the book is in 1915 and it is used as a response to whatever behavior she has displayed in the Charlie narrated 1947 chapters. Confused, yet?

So Eve is a spitfire and her chapters were far more interesting than Charlie’s because come on, she was a spy! Infinitely more interesting than anything going on in the Charlie chapters. In fact, had this novel been just the Eve tale, I think it would have been a better novel all around. Not sure it would have garnered much more rating wise from me but I may have enjoyed it more.

Don’t get me wrong though, I have issues with her too. Really, I have issues with the depiction of women in this entire story.

In this case, Eve as a spy is placed as a server in the café that Rene owns. He forces his authority and connection to the Germans on her and they end up in a sexual relationship. In the course of the relationship, she gains intel and shares it through the network. In the end, when he figures out she must be a spy (there is an arrest that happens that leads to this assumption) he attempts to gain information he can trade for his life (because you know, Nazi’s aren’t known for being understanding) by torturing Eve and breaking all of her fingers. Which is why the old battle-axe in the 1947 narratives has “claw like hands.”
I said I don’t like the depiction of women in this story, correct? There are three women talked about the most in this novel. Eve-our spy and battle axe; Charlie-our naïve 20 something; and Rose Charlie’s lost cousin.

All three of these women end up pregnant at some point in their tale.
Eve as a result of the sexual relationship she is in with Rene has an at home abortion.
Charlie as a result of her response to grieving her brother’s suicide is going to have a clinical abortion but ends up keeping her baby.
Rose as a result of a loving relationship also keeps her baby.

I understand why it may be important to just talk about the struggles a women who found herself pregnant in the 40’s had. However, was it necessary for everyone to have that struggle. Additionally, did Rose and Charlie’s lives have to parallel to the point that both have disapproving parents, both end up leaving home behind, and they each name their children after each other.

Additionaly, in the case of Eve and Charlie, they are depcited as using sex or being forced to use sex and then that being the way they view sex going forward. There is no growth there.

There is also this underlying theme in each characters existence of guilt.
Eve is convinced by Rene during the torture session that she gave up her friend and fellow spy and blames herself for her friends imprisonment and ultimately her death (which is caused by a disease).
Charlie believes that she should have been able to save both her brother and Rose. Her brother commits suicide after coming home from WWII and Rose, as previously stated, is shot by Nazi’s.
Finn carries around guilt due to his service duties of clearing out concentration camps.
The recruiting Captain is guilty for ever putting Eve in her situation.
Everyone is all guilty all the time. Everything is their fault and they internalize all of it. It’s unhealthy and overused throughout the book.

Let’s talk about that Captain for a minute. So The Alice Network is a network of female spies during the world wars. Mr. Captain man recruits them, collects their intel, and gives them orders. He poses as their Uncle in the grand cover story they all have in which they are all related in some way or servants or whatever. Now this Captain is of course handsome because somehow the women all describe themselves as ugly but the men are all dashing and handsome (Even the profiteering sleezeball!) and he and Eve are in love. No, they are. I mean, that’s what is thrown in the middle of a chapter when Eve is struggling to continue sleeping with Rene. That she is in love with the Captain. Oh OH Oh  annnnd turns out he is in love with her too!

Now, he has a wife and children but when Eve seduces him, he ends up sleeping with her. He has apparently, always loved her since they met and when he eventually passes away leaves most of his estate to her (despite having children?). This felt 100% unnecessary. It was like the thought process was, “Shit, I need to explain why Eve has money but never works. I know! The Captain loves her and he’ll leave her lots of money in the end. Boom!”

The culmination of this entire story is the revenge Eve would like to have on Rene for alllllll the crap he put her through, forcing her to turn in her friends, and the whole breaking her hands thing. conveniently, the man behind Rose’s death is , you guessed it, Rene. So! These two women go off and hunt him down to confront him. He’s still sleazy. We still don’t like him. What happens to him isn’t surprising in the end. You know it’s coming. I did like the addition of Charlie leaving a photo of him surrounded by Nazi’s because Nazis are bad and no one likes Nazis.

I gave the book 2 stars on Good Reads and I’ll tell you why. There is an author’s note at the end of the book that explains all of the historical elements in the book and how they tie in. That is the best written, most interesting, and best part of the entire book. For that, and the recommended reading list, I give two stars.

Otherwise, no. Not my favorite. The only shining spot on finishing this read is that I can check off a box on the bingo card I’m completing for my local library. Now, to pay my late fee and move on to something else. Oy.

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Rapid Fire Review: Anne of Green Gables

I have loved Anne of Green Gables since the first time I read the simple introduction of Anne Shirley, with an E, please.
I don’t remember if I saw the PBS movie with Meagan Fallows first or read the book first. I do know that after becoming quite obsessed with the movie, my aunt purchased the entire series for me and I devoured it in the span of a couple of months.
I love Anne. I love her so much. She was talkative and curious and imaginative and that is and was very much me. So when I saw that NetGalley had a graphic novel of this beautiful story available, I quickly requested it.

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for an advanced copy of this novel. 

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel
Adapted by Mariah Marsden
Illustrated by Brenna Thummler

Being that this is a graphic novel, let’s talk about the art, shall we? The style is line drawing and simple. Simple and beautiful. Green Gables looks as it’s described when you read the full novel. I loved the colors used for the landscape. The only thing I was a little bummed about was Anne herself.

I always imagined Anne as pretty, freckles and red-headed, but pretty. Diana was more beautiful but they were both pretty in their own right. In this graphic novel, Anne is incredibly plain and Diana isn’t much better. I wanted a little more beauty given to them. Gilbert was just as handsome as ever.

The story itself is like all of the best bits condensed into a one sitting read. I loved Mrs. Lynde, she was depicted perfectly peeking out of her windows watching Anne’s arrival to Green Gables. As I said, I really loved the way Green Gables was illustrated and Mathew and Marilla were perfection.

I audibly exclaimed “CARPET BAG” when I saw her bag. I remember being so interested in her bag when I was young and loving that it was a beautiful and somehow far too old for a 12-year-old. It also always made me thing of Mary Poppins so I was happy to see it featured in at least one pane of this adaptation.

I’m so glad that Anne’s obsession with puffed sleeves was included. She thinks of them as regal and important and far more beautiful than she deserves. It’s one of the sweetest moments in the book when Matthew goes to find a dress for Anne for Christmas and she finally gets to have her puffed sleeves.

I would love to see this continued into the Avonlea years, specifically the moments of Gilbert and Anne. In this particular novel, I would have liked a little more of the interaction Anne has with her friends but it was most certainly represented so you understood that she was loyal and loving to her people.

This is coming out on October 24, 2017 so if you have any love for Anne or want to introduce this classic to someone who may not want to read the original yet. Start them on this graphic novel.

 

Rapid Fire Reviews: Let’s Catch Up!

Books. Books. Books!!

I think I read all four of these in July but as I’m not sure, we’ll just call this a catch up of reviews.

Note: These reviews are 100 % my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
HOLY FUCK! This was one hell of a ride. I mean, this haunts you the way Gone Girl does. You are reading and suddenly in the middle of this insane story that can’t possible be going the way you think it is.

This is trigger after trigger after trigger. The story centers around a horrific sexual assault and it is discussed extensively throughout the story. In great detail due to the basis that a psychologist is working on retriving memories a drug cocktail took from the victim.

This book will disgust you and intrigue you and confuse you and by the end you are thoroughly impressed by the writer’s ability to weave the fucked up web they weave.

ALSO! The move rights for this have already been sold! Kind of excited to see if it holds up to the book.

Such a good read but I stress–sooooo many triggers in this.

Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner
I have no idea why it took me so long to read this. One of my favorite movies is In Her Shoes so I’ve been interested in reading Jennifer Weiner since that came out. This was fluffy yet somehow empowering in that vein of “chick lit” we all know and love. I really enjoyed it but, if it wasn’t that I’d already acquired it’s sequel, I’m not sure I would continue with Cannie’s story. She was a wee bit annoying.

Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny
OK! Truth time! I get recommendations from everywhere. This particular recommendation was made by one (super famous hobbit) Dominic Monaghan. Ummm, I love him. Like, I think he is the most adorable man ever. Did you see The Wild? OMG I love that show-I so hope it magically comes back because watching him gush over animals is my favorite. ANYWAY. I follow him on Instagram because super adorable man who posts super interesting things including book recommendations.
Because who better to suggest a fantasy read then a freakin’ hobbit, right?
So! On to this book, the story is really interesting. It’s about a man who wakes up with no real memory and discovers he’s kind of royalty in this alternate world, Amber.
This book is the first of 10 in the series. There was a lot of world building and sort of back story so I finished it confused but kind of intrigued to continue. Not sure yet. I may pick up the next one since one of the local libraries has the whole thing. We shall see.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
This is my first foray into the “cozy mysteries” genre and let me just say; it was fun! I adore the main character: 34th in line to the throne and hilarious, Georgie. I liked that it was an actual mystery- I wasn’t sure who had done the crime or not. I wasn’t sure if the dapper man who shows up was a catch or crook. I loved it. I also enjoy that there is a woman who is sexual and in an inner circle of well to do people. And! A gay couple! I will definitely continue with this series.

 

 

Rapid Fire Reviews: The Girl From The Sea

OOOOOOOoooooOooo! Bitches be crazy!

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers

This is a short read, like just under 300 pages. It’s billed as a “psychological thriller.” Basic synopsis is a girl washes up on a beach with no memory and the more she learns about herself the more crazy the story becomes.

Now, I picked this one up off my favorite shelf at the library: New to the Library. Sometimes they are new releases, sometimes its just something that was added to the stacks recently. I always seem to scoop up fun stuff there. This one had a weird vibe to it. The cover has a chick looking all exorcisty floating out of water or drowning although to me it looks like floating.

The blurbs on the back compared it to The Girl On The Train annnnd Gone Girl so I excepted a thriller and a half. I mean, I remember actual moments where I had to remind myself to breathe when reading Girl on the Train. And Gone Girl had that crazy ass other half where you went “wooooaaahhh, bitches be crazy.”

Although this did pack a punch in the last 30 pages or so, I would not compare it to either of those books. I didn’t feel that exhilaration you get from a thriller. I wasn’t gasping or shocked. I was absolutely intrigued by what the hell happened to Mia.

And! I actually liked Mia! I feel like it’s been a minute since I liked a main character. Amnesia Mia was all kinds of empowered and her inner monologue was relatable. And thennnn–bitches.be.crazy.

I liked the book. I enjoyed the twist to the story in the end. I would certainly pick up another book by Shalani too. It was a good one.

and as happens when you read a good book, I jumped right into my next read.

Happy to feel back on track.

Rapid Fire Review: Weekend Reads

I managed to read two books this weekend. Well, technically I finished up the second this morning but it still counts.

Let’s get the more disappointing one out of the way.

Note: These reviews are 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

The Girls by Emma Cline

I have seen this book everywhere. At local book stores, in ads online, on booktube; everywhere. I heard it was chilling and interesting and all those buzz words that make you want to grab it up. It has a cool looking cover that suggests the story inside takes place in the 60;s. The blurbs! OMG. They were fantastic. They also leave me to believe we were reading different books.

Personally, I have always found the whole Manson Camp story fascinating. The fact that decades later he still maintains his innocence in the whole thing. The fact that the women involved were so devoted to him. I watched that fantastic show Aquarius and loved every episode (and that dude that played Charlie was perfectly cast). So, the fact that this story used that as a jumping off point intrigued me.

And it stopped there. Now, I read the whole thing. I found myself determined to finish it because surely it had to get better.

I didn’t hate it. Here’s why: Emma Cline is a beautiful writer. I mean, straight up haunting and flowy and borderline conversational. That redeemed the not so interesting story.

I kind of hated Evie. She was annoying. BUT! She is also 14 when the story opens so she should be annoying. Her mother was even worse. UGH! The girls that were in the camp itself were varying degrees of the mean girls in high school. Just grimy and eventually psychotic mean girls.

Russell was gross and skeevy and did not come across as charismatic at all. If he was some kind of ringleader here, shouldn’t he have a little charisma. I mean, Evie talks about him just willing people to give him things but he never felt like that kind of character.

The whole Evie and Suzanne friendship, worship, love thing just..how do I explain it? I didn’t hate it and it felt like the devotion you have to people who show you attention when you are young (hell, sometimes even as adults). I also didn’t love it, it felt contrived and obvious. Like that moment in a movie when they have two girls kiss for no apparent reason.

The entire book felt like something should be happening and then it would shift to a new part of the story which was so very aggravating. It’s told in a past and present Evie perspective so it swip swaps THE WHOLE TIME.

I feel like, I may try reading something else by Emma Cline because I liked the actual writing, not the style of this story (or really this story at all), but her actual writing. But yeah, not a fan.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman

Yesterday, Mom and I went on a little adventure and went to five different Little Free Libraries. I have this abundance of books kicking around in my storage room that just are not getting claimed on Book Mooch at all so I figured it was time to set them free in the world. If you’ve never seen or heard of Little Free Libraries, they are exactly as they sound: tiny little boxes filled with books that you can take for free and your encouraged to leave books as well.

I ended up getting a hardcover Liane Moriarty book that I am super excited to read, Shop Girl by Steve Martin, Mom grabbed another Debbie Macomber book (she’s addicted) and this one.

This book is a memoir told in sketches. The sketches are fashion related as the title suggests and they are lovely. It’s a quick read, just a tiny little book, but I really enjoyed it. I liked that glimpse into someones life and the styles for each year.

And that is what I read this weekend!

I have a pile of four more books from my library to attack and two out of three had that creep factor promise I’m in the mood for so hopefully one of them delivers.

Rapid Fire Reviews: Gemina

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

 

HOLY SHIT! I mean COME ON! This book was a ride, to say the least. If you have not jumped on the Illuminae Files train and you enjoy Sci-Fi reads with a YA flare, PICK IT UP NOW.

I was audibly yelling at this book while I read it. I said the phrase, “plot twist,” out loud and then sat with my jaw hanging while I continued.

This was such a good sequel. If you have not heard of Illuminae (my review is Here) it is a story that takes place in space after a crazy massacre happens and everyone escapes to different ships in a fleet. The first book follows Kady and her people and her lovely adventures with Aidan. Aidan is the AI system aboard the ship and he is by far one of my favorite elements of this story.

This book takes place aboard another ship and follows Hanna and her people. Now, in the first one, I loved Aidan so much that I about threw the book from excitement when I realized he was popping up again in this one.

My favorite part of this one was the surveillance updates. Whatever employee was writing those was just 100% snark and sarcasm and I loved it.

The book is made up of all kinds of different documents, just like Illuminae, and the addition of Hanna’s journal was beautiful. I loved the artwork.

If you follow me on GoodReads you will have seen the journey this book took me on. OMG the weird little slimy drug providing creatures were things of nightmares. Those poor cows! Also, cows in space?! hahahaha.

I absolutely loved this one from beginning to end. I may wager that I liked it even better than the first. I can not WAIT for the third installment. It was pushed back already but is slated to be released in March 2018.

Rapid Fire Reviews: June

I have a feeling this may be my style of review. Well, atleast this time around because I have not written any reviews for the past ohhh six books I’ve completed and I don’t want to feel like I am INSANELY BEHIND ON LIFE.

Thus, rapid fire review. Let’s talk about the books I completed over the past month.

Note: These opinions are my 100% own. These reviews may include spoilers. 

Ready? GO!

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

I have this whole goal to pull things off my very, super crazy, stuffed shelves by reading books by the same author, if I have them. I completed  The Wonder and knew I had Room kicking around on my book shelf from what was supposed to be a group read years ago. I was impressed with Emma Donoghue’s writing style and wanted to get into another of her books.

I love Jack. I love him. I love him so much. He is the sweetest, most adorable, little fictional boy. I mean, I love him like I love Lucy from Narnia. The way that this particular author writes children makes you remember how it feels to be innocent and untouched. To be vulnerable and imaginative. I love Jack.

The story itself is a dark one at its base. A girl gets kidnapped and held captive for 7 years by a swarmy kind of dude who lied about a sick dog to grab her. Jack is the light. I loved that he has a kind of growth that no other charectar gets in the book.

I gave it 5 GR stars and would pick up anything by this author.

Bonus: Watched the movie (cause I do that) and I have to say- I get why people lovvvve Brie Larson and Jacob Trembley so much. MAN! They were lovely. I found the discrepancies from book to movie made parts of the story lack the same feeling they did in the book but overall a solid film.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café by Max Lucado with Eric Newman and Candace Lee

You know how Hallmark makes all those feel good, sometimes Christain centric, made for TV movies that you end up watching without meaning too? That’s what this is.

I was grabbing a book for Mom at my library and this super cute cover distracted me and 20 minutes later I was devouring this book. Seriously, it’s super short, it’s kind of adorable. It has a bit of an It’s a Wonderful Life vibe with the angel coming to help the struggling Momma.

The whole story gave me the warm fuzzies. Manny, Mr’ Angel come to help, is hilarious! And totally obsessed with Star Wars which made me happy. Your main charectar is Chelsea; a separated, newly single Mom. She is trying to keep a café that’s been in her family forever running. She is a baker. She is struggling and it just so happens that her sister is part of a church (married to the Pastor) and they all pray and it’s lovely. And then poof! Manny shows up and people can talk to God in her café. Yup. They can connect to God through WiFi and ask him questions directly. It’s like a newfangled prayer line.

It was an adorable read. I kind of loved it without meaning to. Super quick read.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

This is the one Epic Reads made me pick up and OMG was it worth it. Holy Crap! This has twists and turns and crazy drama on just about every page. It’s told through dual perspectives. So one chapter is the twin sister, Carys, and one is the twin brother, Andreyus. I swear, at some points, I don’t know which one was crazier. I mean, your dude is in love with a Seer and willing to risk everything for her. Oh and POWER HUNGRY. Your chick is some kind of medieval drug addict and a badass!

The only negative I had with this book was the sudden need to give Carys a love interest. I mean, why? Was it necessary? Did she need to have a crush annnnnnd some dude who came to be her hero? I don’t know. Despite not liking that aspect, I did love the appearance of a random hero who I’m fairly certain is evil. Or at least related to evil.

I can’t wait to grab the next one in this series. I will say, if you’re not a fan of cliffhanger endings-wait for the next book to come out before you grab this. MAN.

If that wasn’t enough reading I blew through two more books this weekend while on Dog Duty at my sister’s place.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

OMG! I get the hype! I am one with the hype! I loved this. Loved it, loved it, loved it. This is novel that is comprised of a collection of documents about a crazy event that occurred. Therefore, this isn’t your typical read. Some of it is in chat form. Some is email. Some is letters. Some is diagram or drawing. And then there is the actual dialogue moments.

The event is uhhhh well, its the future and we live on planet-ish sectors. One sector gets destroyed. Everyone jumps on a spaceship and then the spaceships start flipping out. Legit. The spaceship has an Aritficial Intelligence system and it has a bit of breakdown.

I have to say. I really liked Aidan. The fact that the AI system gets to have a voice was fun. If you’ve ever wonderied (like me) if your GPS gets mad when you don’t listen to it, this book kind of gives you the insight that Yes, SHE GETS PISSED>

It was sooooo good. Like so good. Like if you haven’t picked it up yet and you like YA Fantasy Sci-Fi reads–go! Get it! NOW! Read! and then discuss it with me because none of my real life bookish friends know what I’m talking about!

Also–already started Gemina, the sequel, and YES!

And then! Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This one is because I was at my sister’s and finished Illuminae and needed another book. I went and raided my niece’s book shelf and she loved these books. The book is about hidden children. The country has determined that each family can only have two children. The third children are illegal and kept hidden. And that’s where Luke comes in. I’ll say that it was written well. The concept was interesting. The first book was a good one. I could not get into the second one so I doubt I’ll continue with the series.

Oh! I forgot one.

Son by Lois Lowry

This is the fourth and final book in The Giver Quartet. Now I absolutely loved The Giver. It was such a cool read. It had intrigue and a weird society and a kidnapping and crazy deaths. It was gooooood. Then Gathering Blue was not as exciting and felt like it belonged in a different series. Messenger, book number three WAS AWFUL. Beginning to end awful.

I had decided I just wasn’t finishing this quartet after Messenger. But! An old friend assured me that Son would wrap everything up and then the two middle books would make more sense.

Well screw that. Son was not any better than the two previous books. And yes, it does let you know where that ridiculous cliff hanger at the end of The Giver ends up but! it takes a hell of a long time to get there. It’s predictable and all in all just wasn’t a good read. The caliber of The Giver does not follow through to the rest of its books.

And that! That is why I was referring to myself as a Book Dragon because I am actually ahead on my Good Reads Challenge and just really enjoying devouring books.

With that said, I’m going to go back to Gemina!

Review Time! The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Guess who finally got into a book she could finish? THIS CHICK!

I picked up The Wonder by Emma Donoghue while waiting in line to pick up a book I had on hold for Mom at my library. I read the first little blurb and decided I needed to check it out.

Disclaimer: All of the opinions expressed are my own and this review may contain spoilers. 

General synopsis: A child is turning into a bit of an oddity and miracle in a small town in Ireland in the 1800’s. She is in her fourth month of fasting and is somehow still alive. A nun and a nurse are sent to determine if the fast is fact or fiction. The nurse, Lib, is incredibly skeptical and can’t wait for her week of nurse duty to be up.

Thoughts!

The child, Anna, is so adorable. She is devout in her religion and is praying constantly. She is also wasting away and somehow still kind of chubby. I loved her from the get go and also felt like she needed one giant hug.

Lib, the nurse sent from England, is a hard pill to swallow at first. She is skeptical. She is determined to make this child into some kind of villain. All in all, She’s a bitch. BUT! Here’s the beauty of this story, the character development for Lib alone is amazing. By the end of the book, I wanted to be her best friend. Her callousness made sense. Her sense of needing to prove herself in some way was so relatable.

Emma Donoghue has this beautifully, haunting vibe to her writing. I fell in love with it 10 pages in. I loved the descriptions of Ireland and the historical aspects that were thrown in.

All in all, it was an excellent read. I mean I honestly had no idea what was going to happen until those last few pages.

I rated it four out of five stars because I found sometimes that Lib as a narrator was a little too dry. It was a totally haunting read though. I found I’d put it down and then need to pick it up again because I couldn’t stop thinking of Anna.

I’ve been trying to clear room on my shelves by reading books by the same author (if I have them) so my next read is Room by Mrs. Donoghue and let me just say, I will read anything she chooses to write because she is just phenomenal at building a world you can just fall into.