Abomination: Review

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Title: Abomination

Author: Jane Dougherty

Published: March 22nd 2016

Length:  206 pages

Source: Received for review

 

 

I think once in a while we all like to read a dystopian, post-apocalyptic sort of novel. I don’t know if that happens to anyone else but sometimes i just crave a particular genre/topic and i need to read a book that contains it. That is the genre this book falls under, so here’s the synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)

Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off…the something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen.

Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.

Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality—when the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.

But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out, and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.

I actually liked quite a few aspects of this book, but at the same time there were some things that made were left unexplained… Many dysoptian novels of this type tend to make the cause of the ‘apocalypse’ an outbreak of disease or some other reason. I really liked that it demonstrated the consequences of global warming, making the reason for all the chaos… US! You can probably tell from the title that one of the main protagonists is of colour, so that was another thing, we had a diverse cast! As readers I think most of us enjoy it when a book is written from multiple perspectives, this book was written from about three perspectives which gave us an insight into what happened leading up to the present.

Characters: Now I’ve praised the book I’d like to address some things that I put a little question mark next to… One of the biggest YA tropes is the idea that we have ‘the chosen’. That our main characters is so special and unique and precious only they can save a certain situation. OR only they have a desired characteristic. Now I don’t have much of a problem with authors using some YA tropes, sometimes its those aspects, that if done well, can make a book fairly successful. But at the same time I’m not here for the when a book exaggerates and puts emphasis on the fact that the main character is special, is somehow superior to the rest. Alright clearly I need to make a blog post on this! Now I would like to say that although this story is around 214 pages I definitely saw character development as the story line progressed. OMG another thing that doesn’t really make much sense to me, when a character magically gains survival skills, or like any fighting skill as soon as they need them. It just doesn’t make sense and is frankly quite unrealistic.

World Building: This was actually done alright, our characters have to inhabit an empty shopping mall, and so the story is based there. This story included flashbacks to when basically the world broke into chaos, and I found that the author was able to immerse us in each setting she took us to.

I am a bit conflicted as to how to conclude my review because of this. I didn’t find that there was anything particularly bad about this book, but at the same time it didn’t blow me away. If you’re craving to read a short post apocalyptic story, this would be a decent read. I don’t know if that happens to anyone else but sometimes i just crave a particular genre/topic and i need to read a book that contains it.

My Q&A Blog Post!

 

HELLO! I know that I said I would post this sooner, but I actually had to let the post simmer a bit so I can accumulate enough questions to make a full blog post :D! Let’s jump right in!

 1.What are you guilty pleasures?

I feel like this has 100 questions in itself, i have guilty pleasures in food/film/books so I’ll say one from each category!

Books:I lalalalove that sort of forbidden romance, I don’t know why but there’s just something so scandalous yet sometimes heartbreaking about it that i just love reading books that incorporate that into their stories.
Food: Anything chocolatey, that is literally my weakness, I love over the top chocolatey cakes that would probably make anyone else sick.
Film: There’s one that comes to mind when i think of a film I wouldn’t really boast about loving and that’s The Duff… It has maybe the weakest storyline I’ve ever watched and it literally doesn’t benefit me in any way, but hell i still can’t stop watching it!

2. How do you find time to read that many books AND blog about them all!

I’m probably not the best person to ask this question seen as I’m probably not the most punctual blogger! I love reading, so that’s something that doesn’t take much effort, but there are times when I’ve finished reading a book but I don’t really want to write the review straight away. So i just jot down major points about that book and maybe the next day I’d get back to writing the review. Also there’s a feature where you can schedule post uploads which actually can be fairly useful especially if you’re travelling!

 3.What Book do you think everyone should read in their lifetime?

Wooo that’s a bit of an intimidating question… I should probably think of a life changing book but I would actually want everyone to read at least one of Beverly Bartons crime thrillers. I just think they’re sooooo good! I would probably encourage people to read more classics as a genre instead of just one particular book!

4. What’s your favorite kind of ice cream??

Absolutely any chocolate flavour, double chocolate chip or chocolate fudge omg stop I’m drooling at this point!

5. Where do you go from here. What are your goals for your blog?

I would actually like to broaden my horizons in terms of the content that I read and probably help my readers explore the literary world a little more too! I want to also be able to post at least 3 times a week! To me its a bit of a long stretch but i will hopefully be able to start doing that soon. Definitely going to get a new laptop which means my laptop wont just shut down whilst I’m writing and delete all MY CONTENT!

 6. Where in the world do you most want to go?

I actually feel quite lucky to be Moroccan and have a family that live in Europe. I was born in the UK but my parents are Moroccan so we end up going there pretty much every summer. We also road trip there from london so we drive from the north to the south of Spain! I’ve also been Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. Who’s drifting off topic again? I would pretty much would love to travel the whole world, but I really want to visit places I can see the Northern Lights. Sweden. Norway, Finland…

 7. What tips can you give those who have backlogs in reading?

Being a book reviewer that tends to be an inevitable thing! However I think pre-planning what you’re going to read at the beginning of the month actually helped me quite a lot! Something like monthly TBR and wrap up, if you stick to it, it’ll probably mean you’ll read more! IT means that you don’t almost have a panic attack when you’re faced with the pressure of picking a book from your shelf .

8.What’s your favourite book at the moment?

It would probably be a book I read quite recently which is All the Ugly and Wonderful Things! It’s a fairly controversial book and one that tackles some tough topics but I just felt so attached to the story I wished there was more. My review should be up very soon!

BoyzNite: Review

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Title: Boyznite

Author: Xane Fisher

Published: August 2016

Length:  17 pages

Source: Received for review

 

 

I love reading short stories, but I really love reading short stories that impact me in a way I never expected! The title is pretty self explanatory for the story, we have a law student who comes home for a break. He decides to go out with his friends and it turns into a night of realisation!

There are a few things that add a lot to my reading experience and one of the most important one for me is probably the writing style! I really loved Xane Fishers style, it made the main character feel a lot more familiar. The emotions felt real and natural, it felt like a friend was telling me a story because the writing style made me so comfortable with the character!

We are always so busy, whether we’re studying or working, or doing both! We can sometimes zone out of our surroundings and become somewhat self absorbed. Only our successes, achievements and goals matter. We get so caught up in trying to achieve them that we forget, other people lead more difficult lives, people we may know quite well. This story shows just how much contrast there may be between your path and someone else’s, our main character comes across an old friend whos struggles he’d been oblivious to.

I would personally recommend this to anyone, its very short and quick read with only 17 pages. But with the authors style and fluidity it leaves you wishing there was more!

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I’m sorry how many?? 

 

So we just got 1500 followers!! I say we because it’s a collective effort, y’all I don’t know why the hell you choose to  read my rambles but thank you 😂😂!!! When I started this blog a few months ago I didn’t think I’d get 100 let alone 1000! So I thought I’d finally do a Q&A, it can be about absolutely anything, book related/personal! Leave questions in the comments and I’ll post the answers tomorrow!
Again, THANK YOUUUUUU!

Mystery & Mayhem: Review

 

Mystery-and-Mayhem-front-coverTitle: Mystery & Mayhem

Authors:  Katherine Woodfine, Clementine Beauvias, Elen Caldecott, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Frances Hardinge, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls, Kate Pankhurst, Harriet Whitehorn, Robin Stevens

Published: May 2016

Length:  305 pages

Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley

This is a collection on different crime cases for young children, I would probably say this was suitable for someone around the age of 8-12. The cases are really fun and engaging, and as this is meant to be an interactive book it provides enough information for the reader to attempt to solve each case. I also enjoyed that there quite a few cases and they all differed quite a bit, ensuring that you’d enjoy at least a few of them.
Again this isn’t something I’d read as it is aimed at a younger audience but I definitely think that it’s something my younger brother would enjoy!
There are twelve cases in this book, and so they are short but actually quite entertaining! Each story is captured within the case so it didn’t feel overwhelming, and for a younger audience it’s actually quite easy to keep up! They’re also really addictive; as soon as you finish a case you find yourself already half way through the next! This was really a great read, light, fast paced and thoroughly entertaining, even for someone who’s a bit too old to be reading it! I would definitely recommend this to families with younger children, I personally think it can be a great gateway to reading!

Divergent: Review

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Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: February 2012
Length:  487 pages
Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley
I should probably preface this review by saying I haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy. I mention this because I’ve heard time and time again that Divergent is a little too similar to The Hunger Games. Now in terms of Divergent, I have mixed feelings… So the premise of this book is that basically a war broke out, and to restore peace factions were created. These are basically groups each based on a virtue:
⦁ Candor is based on honesty
⦁ Dauntless on bravery
⦁ Amity on peacefulness
⦁ Abnegation on selflessness
⦁ Erudite on intelligence
The reason for these factions are that if everyone belongs to a particular group, chaos is prevented and there would be a lot more order! The story follows our main character Beatrice Prior who like all 16 year olds has to choose a faction they will become permanent members of. We follow her after she’s made this decision and as she uncovers a secret about herself that is pretty much a threat to her existance if anyone finds out!
As someone who hasn’t read a lot of ‘popular’ YA books this premise to me seemed unique, HOWEVER having said that I found that this book was quite predictable… I generally enjoyed reading the book and got through it quite quickly, however there were some events that really made me step back a bit. Lets get on with the review:
World Building: This was actually done quite well, I really got a sense of this dystopian world and a feel for the faction Beatrice was in and also ones she’s just knows of. What I would’ve liked a little more was for someone to fill us in on what happened that lead to their current situation. Anything would’ve helped really justify this new system to me and also help me understand why anyone saw this as a viable solution. I’m finding it quite difficult to actually review this without accidently spoiling anything. The synopsis/blurb for the book doesn’t actually give that much away and I really appreciated that!
Characters: I actually didn’t mind Beatrice Prior I completely understood her character and her struggle to fit in her parents faction. Tris however got a little annoying at times, and did some things I really couldn’t reason with. Again I’m not going to spoil anything but towards the end she did something very stupid, who knows maybe in the next book they justify this? I also found Beatrice a little more believable than I found Tris. However I really liked Tris’ group of friends, their friendship felt really genuine and when there were betrayals it made sense. There’s also some romance which I really appreciated. When the initiates are going through the grueling physical and emotional stages a little romance story is a welcome distraction!
Plot: Again this is difficult to talk about with no spoilers! I enjoyed the pace of Divergent, I didn’t at any point feel bored or that it slowed down which kept me reading to the end! However the main plot is something I’ve read multiples times before and I think because of that I found the ending a little bit predictable. Having said that, I didn’t find that it took away from the enjoyment, I literally breezed through the last 50 or so pages because as I reader I was engaged in the story! Throughout the book Tris always asks about what the outside world is like, and I’m thinking that may be hinting at what will happen in the next book so I’m very excited to read it!
Is it the best YA book I’ve read this year so far, probably not. BUT I do understand the hype and I see why this is a popular YA trilogy. I know for the most part my review is critiquing the book but I actually really had fun reading it. Its written from the perspective of a 16 year old and the writing style does reflect that. If you enjoy reading YA dystopian I definitely think you should give this a try!

Monstress : Review

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Title: Monstress

Writer: Marjorie Liu , Illustrator: Sana Takeda

Published: March 2016

Length:  72 pages

Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley

 

First of all, there’s something to be said about the contribution of art style and choice of colour tones to a comic! I’m not an expert in art and I won’t pretend to be but as a reader I am able to identify when the art adds something to the story! I think that Monstress really demonstrates just how much these artistical aspects bring to the  story. Here’s the synopsis:
‘ Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.’

(I know that this synopsis doesn’t give much away but I actually prefer it like that! I think you should just go ahead and read this comic!)

This review is JUST for the first issue, but I’m going to hold off reviewing the other issues and just review volume 1 as a whole. The basic premise of the story (from what I’ve gathered) is that there was a war between humans and other creatures.  Some of these ‘creature’s include realllllyyy cutteeee little hybrids of humans and foxes or other animals. Honestly they were so cute! Post-war the humans have the upper hand and are basically the ruling species. That’s as far as I’m  willing to risk in terms of explanations, the rest you’ll have to find out for yourselves!

World building:  Whenever a writer includes flashbacks in their story I immediately appreciate them! This is a high fantasy story, and you can tell from the first issue that you’re going to have to read on to discover and understand this fictional world on a deeper level. Having said that, there were flashbacks in this comic that kind of filled the reader in, or provided them with enough information to be able to follow the story! Again the art style and tone of colours played a huge role in the portrayal of this world! HOWEVER, I did feel like this issue was a little all over the place, it is way longer than first issues tend to be. But I felt like the structure was a bit off, we were hopping from place to place and it got a bit jarring.

Characters: Surprisingly the focus on the main character came at the end of this issue. We have the typical protagonist who possesses a power she doesn’t fully understand or know how to use. Accompanied with this usually we have a story of self discovery so I’ll be looking forward to learning more about our main character! One thing I appreciated  is the diversity of the characters, this is a purely fictional world and it’s always refreshing to see that writers choose to use a cast that is more representative.

Connecting with the main character is essential to successfully engaging the reader, in my opinion. I feel like I can do this better when my first pages reading about the character don’t include them in intense scenes . That is the case in this comic and I think because of that I haven’t been able to really immerse myself into the story, I feel like I haven’t gotten to know the character well know to know what she experiences in certain situations.

All in all it was , very intriguing and engaging and unique in in its premise. We see from the first issue that this story and it’s characters has a lot of depth to it, and one I’m definitely going to carry on reading! I would recommend this to probably anyone, but in particular if you have an interest in fantasy, you’ll love this !