Nowhere Safe: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway and I just have to say that this is one of the better books that I have received from a giveaway.

There is a lot going on in this book, to the point where at times it is hard to keep track of everything that is going on. It definitely doesn’t help that the point-of-view changes multiple times in a chapter, so you really have to pay attention to the names of the characters.

The fact that there is a lot going on in the story really was what made the book such a winner for me; it was literally edge-of-your-seat action the entire time! Once all of the characters were introduced and I was able to keep track of who was who, I couldn’t stop reading!

The topic of the book is interesting, pedophiles and a killer who takes them out. The author does a fantastic job of portraying the thoughts of the pedophiles in a believable and disturbing manner. I spent a lot of the book being disgusted by what the pedophiles were thinking about.

There was a little too much talk of sex throughout the book for my taste, but I understand that this is a book mainly about pedophiles so it was probably to be expected. The relationship between Jake and September I couldn’t have lived without though, it seemed like it fit awkwardly in the book yet it definitely added more excitement to the storyline.

Although I really enjoyed this book, there was nothing to really set it apart from other books in the genre. While it’s an enjoyable and quick read, this book is probably not one you will remember years down the road…

Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars, the story was enjoyable but not one that’s destined to become a favorite. I’m still glad that I read it as it provided good, thought-provoking entertainment for an evening.

Tumbledown: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway and I truly enjoyed this book… up until the last chapter or so. Then I felt that things just fell apart (maybe that was the point though, who knows).

The writing style was interesting – each section by a different character overlapped with sections by other characters, providing insights into significant events by multiple characters. There were also some jumps back in time to Candler’s past, as his family history is revealed to the reader.

The story itself follows the lives of a few mentally ill individuals as well as their counselor, Candler (referred to mainly by his last name throughout the story). There isn’t really a significant or intense plot throughout the book, it mainly just follows the day-to-day lives of the characters and the only legitimate conflict that occurs is the result of the romantic feelings that all the characters have for someone else and each other (yeah, it’s a little odd).

If you’re a little confused at the beginning of the story just stick with it because the characters, and the relationships between them, become clear after a chapter or so. And if you think things are confusing at the beginning, just wait until the end! As Candler’s life begins to fall apart, the story falls apart also…

Bottom Line: I would give this book 6/10 stars. If you do read this book, it might be better to bail out sometime before the last chapter so the story isn’t ruined for you. The end section took my rating from an eight star book down to a six.

Steel: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

After reading a short story written by Carrie Vaughn I knew that I had to read more by her! I picked this book up at my local library because the premise of the story sounded intriguing and like something I would enjoy.

The writing in Steel was definitely not as well done as her short story Game of Chance. The writing in this story is very plain; there aren’t any artistic flourishes or traits that really stand out throughout the entire story. The writing in this book is very simplistic and to-the-point.

The plot of this book is pleasant. Vaughn definitely seemed to tone things down for the younger reader, as there really isn’t that much mystery or intrigue. There was just enough mystery to keep me reading until the end though.

I was a little flustered by the main character, Jill. She was rather dull and unemotional throughout the entire story. For example, she didn’t seem too bothered to find herself away from her family and trapped on a pirate ship in a different era… I expected a little bit more of a reaction from her.

The setting of this book is absolutely fantastic. The modern day world is described in just enough detail to make things pleasant, without being redundant, while the past world is described in great detail. Vaughn did a fantastic job of transporting the reader into a different time period, providing just the right amount of researched facts to make the world seem believable.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars. This is not Vaughn’s best work but it is still a refreshing young-adult book that reads quickly and enjoyably.

The Wave: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

I was a little bit disappointed in this book. I had initially picked up this book to learn about where giant waves were occurring, what causes them, etc. and while there was mention of those things, this book was mainly about surfing those giant waves.

At the start of the book, when the author is first introducing the reader to the surfers who will feature throughout the story, I didn’t really care about the surfers themselves. Yet the author does such a nice job of portraying the surfers as likable and relatable people that by the end of the story I actually cared about what was going on in their lives.

On the other hand, the author portrays the scientists interviewed throughout the story (although there aren’t very many) as aloof and unlikable. While reading the story it almost seems as though the author doesn’t understand the concepts and theories that the scientists are talking about and feels much more comfortable with the surfing crowd, as opposed to the scientific community.

The writing in this book is decent. The author does a nice job of mixing quotes and facts in a way that reads fluidly and efficiently. The author does not do a nice job with presenting data in an effective manner. The interviews with scientists seem very disjointed and the author seems to struggle with presenting their data in an understandable manner. Most of the scientific data is buried under mundane information about the characteristics of the scientists themselves.

If you’re looking for a book about surfing giant waves with a little bit thrown in about the science behind those waves, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book mainly about where rogue waves are occurring and what causes them, look elsewhere.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 6/10 stars. This book wasn’t what I had expected, I wish there had been more information about the science behind the waves rather than just information about the surfers surfing those waves. I would have given it a lower rating but the book itself is easy to read and still rather enjoyable, even if it wasn’t exactly what I expected.

Death Ain’t But a Word: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

First of all, I received this book from the author for free on the condition that I would give it an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book! It’s a unique story and was definitely much better than I expected. Judging the book by its cover I honestly didn’t expect to like it, but this story took me by surprise. I began it one afternoon and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it (later that evening).

This book takes a couple of chapters to really get into. The first few chapters are a little confusing, but once all the characters are introduced the plot really gets moving. Whether it’s a chase scene or ghosts seeking revenge on the people who wronged them, this book is full of action. That being said, this book did read more like a movie than a well thought out novel. There might have been a little bit too much action and not enough character development in this story for my taste.

Even though there isn’t a lot of character development in this book, the characters are still likable and enjoyable. Wilkin, the main character, is relatable and he does show some growth throughout the story. Having a crack-head as the main character isn’t extremely common in books of this genre, but I thought it definitely added a unique perspective. I’m hopeful that Wilkin’s future life will morph into a series of books as he deals with the ghosts that surround him.

There were a couple of parts in this book that read awkwardly, really just a sentence here or there. I wasn’t entirely sure if the author was purposefully trying to make sentences seem disjointed or if it just turned out that way. Usually though, the story flowed nicely and was easy to read.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action packed books with a strong supernatural element. Even if you don’t think this book is your cup of tea I would definitely recommend giving it a shot, odds are likely you will be pleasantly surprised by the time you’re finished reading.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 7/10 stars. There was a little bit too much action and not enough depth for my taste, but this book really was a pleasant surprise. This is definitely one of those books to take a chance on, not to just be judged by its cover.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

Once in awhile you encounter a book that is so good you don’t even know what to say about it. This is one of those books.

The book starts off simply enough- a middle-aged man revisits the places of his childhood after attending a funeral. The story then goes back in time as the man revisits events in his past. That’s when the magic begins.

The reader is introduced to the Hempstock Family – a group of loving and magical women who have lived at the end of the lane for generations. One can not help but fall in love with the Hempstock’s, especially Lettie (the youngest Hempstock). The reader is also introduced to some less likable characters – Ursula Monkton being the prime example.

The setting of this book is fantastic, evoking in the reader a childlike sense of endless spaces and adventure. The ocean at the end of the lane is an absolutely fantastic idea – while still a pond it manages to be so much more (but I won’t give anything away).

This book is a quick read. At only 178 pages or so, it’s easy to finish in a night (and trust me, you won’t be able to put it down).

Bottom Line: I would give this book 10/10 stars. This story manages to invoke a strong sense of nostalgia for the magic of childhood while still retaining the qualities that make up a good adult novel. This is truly the best Neil Gaiman story I have ever read.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: Review

Posted on Updated on

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 11.44.47 AM

If you’re intimidated by the fact that this book is non-fiction, don’t be. This book reads more like a novel than a work of non-fiction.

The writing in this book decent, but I was a little bit disappointed. This book reads more like a travelogue (which is pretty much what it was really going to be) than a full-length non-fiction book. That being said, there were times when the authors writing was truly enjoyable and easy to read.

The plot in this book is decent as well, everything up until the murder and trial is basically just an introduction to the characters and the setting. The coverage of the murder and trial itself is, well, somewhat lacking. There’s a little bit about the murder and trial but the author doesn’t seem like they know how to do any investigative reporting. I would have liked a little bit more of an insiders view of the things that were going on (especially in regards to Jim… what an interesting character!)

That brings me to my next point, the characters! My goodness, is it even possible for a book to have weirder characters? And these were all real people!! I had a hard time believing, throughout the story, that the characters actually existed. It seemed as if the author didn’t even care about the normal people in Savannah, Georgia (or maybe there are no normal people there).

Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars. I honestly enjoyed reading it but there were a couple pieces (such as the writing) that appeared to be a little lacking.