Monthly Archives: October 2018

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (Book Review #198)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 26/10/18

My 54th book this year)

Kendra and Seth have been sent to stay at their grandparents for a few weeks. They rarely see their grandparents and it seems they are reluctant to be taking care of them.

The stay seems a lot more adventurous than they could ever imagine. It turns out grandpa has a secret, a whole forest of magical creatures both good and bad are kept on his immensely vast property. Grandpa is the caretaker of Fablehaven, one of the secret sanctuaries for magical beings.

Kendra and Seth stumble upon a witch, fairies, naiads, satyrs and much more as they get themselves drawn deeper into this world where the creatures are very much real and very much scarier than we would imagine. When grandpa goes missing after a terrifying night of trouble, the kids need to find a way to save grandpa or everything could be destroyed if the bad beings of Fablehaven escape out of the sanctuary.

***SPOILER ALERT***

This book is definitely for a brave young reader. Full of darker magical beings who cause mischief and mayhem. The magical world as we are led to know as youngsters suddenly becomes that bit scarier as their dark sides show.

Some parts could have been slowed down and elaborated more. Some parts could have been less dramatic as this book has so much potential. I have always had a soft spot for magic and I wish I had found this series when I was in my childhood years. I doubt your average adult reader would enjoy this book for what it is. Maybe the author, Brandon Mull, needs to write an adult version of this series. I absolutely loved the idea of this story. I love fairies, witches, satyrs, golems, imps… I’m sure in the next books to follow we will encounter many more of these magical beings and be mesmerised by Fablehaven all over again. I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers (early teens). Great job Brandon Mull!

Written by Ling Lee (26/10/18).

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See How They Run by Tom Bale (Book Review #197)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 21/10/18

My 53rd book this year)

Alice and Harry have finally fallen asleep, exhausted between them because of their newborn baby. They have no idea that some people have broken into their home. Until they are woken, scared out of their minds. They threaten to kill their baby if the couple do not reveal the whereabouts of Mr Renshaw, a man they have never heard of and have never met before.

Harry and Alice know the men have found the wrong house and the wrong people but now they know too much. They have been warned not to approach the police. They will be watched. They will be harmed if they have lied about knowing anything to do with Mr Renshaw.

Now they can’t even feel safe in their own home. Now they know fear, paranoia. Now they don’t know who they can trust as they both get separated whilst they run to save their own lives as well as to hope to be reunited as a family, all alive.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Action packed at every turn, full of violence, secrets and adrenaline. For me, this book turned out to be overly dramatic. These kind of situations are for movies, or maybe in the less civilised countries where drug lords and serious gangsters exist.

Quite a disturbing read due to the extremely violent scenes of death. Somehow setting aside the drama, the book itself held great pace and I felt pulled in to find out what was going to happen.

Nothing amazing about this book but I would definitely read another book by this author, Tom Bale. So I guess that means I would recommend this book to other readers.

Written by Ling Lee (21/10/18).

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The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware (Book Review #196)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 12/10/18

My 52nd book this year)

Hal receives a letter in regards to an inheritance under her name but she believes it was mistakenly left for her. Out of desperation due to her current financial situation and living condition, she has no choice but to try her hand at making the claim.

She arrives at the house, meets the rest of the family, gets herself entangled into the secrets of the Westaway family. Secrets unfold. Dark clues appear. Hal has no idea what she has gotten herself into and has no idea how to escape.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Although in the plot summary I didn’t mention Hal is a tarot card reader, it seems to be quite a frequently mentioned part of the story. Even upon finishing the story I can’t quite grasp why this choice of profession for the story, it did in part add to the mystery.

A disturbing secret within the family but I just about worked out the twist before I got to it. I enjoyed this novel. Other readers seem to have loved the twist but it didn’t quite work for me. I would have preferred a less dramatic end. I loved how the book drew me in and I found myself needing to continue turning the pages. I felt disappointed towards the end but the story was still worth reading.

Another well done to Ruth Ware. This is the second book of hers that I have read and have enjoyed so far. I am definitely excited to pick up another one of her books in future.

Written by Ling Lee (13/10/18).

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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (Book Review #195)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 06/10/18

My 51st book this year)

Ellie is 15. Living a great life with a wonderful boyfriend. She is fully prepared to take her GCSE’s with predicted A’s all round. Then she is gone.

There are no clues, no evidence of anything sinister. As time passes with no trace of Ellie, her family gradually get on with life.

Ellie’s mother, Laurel, finds her life falling apart, she loses her husband, her children grow up and move on. Laurel is still hurting, still needs closure, still needs to remember Ellie. One day she meets a man, Floyd, she falls for him, she meets his daughter… she looks just like Ellie but she is younger and her name is Poppy.

Laurel is stunned. But people can look alike. Laurel starts hearing things, finding out snippets of information that make her question once again what really happened to Ellie. She begins to feel unease around Floyd but she cannot pinpoint what it is. She wants to live her life yet she is forever trying to find closure. What really happened to Ellie?

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a lovely find. Not your usual type of missing person book. A strange twist to the story that was quite easily predicted. Yet this didn’t spoil the way the story flowed nor did it take away from the suspense of ravelling this novel.

Floyd was almost perfect for Laurel. Almost.

Poppy was a strange girl. Maybe she accepted the outcome too easily but this was a minor issue.

There wasn’t really much “wow” factor yet I still felt the need to keep turning the pages to the end. The suspense felt was extremely subtle but suspense all the same. I really enjoyed this easy to read novel and felt Lisa Jewell did a great job. I would recommend this book to other readers and would definitely like to try another book by this author.

Written by Ling Lee (06/10/18).

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The One by John Marrs (Book Review #194)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 02/10/18

My 50th book this year)

Match Your DNA is the world’s first scientifically proven test to 99% match you with the one person genetically meant for you.

Traditional relationships are still tired and tested, however some decide to take the plunge just before marriage to confirm whether their partner are destined for them. Some find their lives torn apart when they realise their match is someone completely unknown to them.

Most decide to act upon destiny and meet up with their Match. Such a big part of society that can tear families apart yet also bring soulmates together and to help be rid of the time wasted on being apart.

But then what happens if your Match is mentally unstable? Critically ill? The same gender as yourself? Someone abusive? A serial killer? Or even a Mis Match that isn’t supposed to happen? So many variables but so much goodness to finally find the one. Is it worth it to believe in your Match?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Totally unexpected from what I gathered from the plot. I was expecting a dystopian society full of strange reactions to finding a Match. Something along the lines of a mind numb, robotic utopian society where everything is perfect. I absolutely believe everyone has a soulmate and was extremely excited to explore this plot and its’ outcome.

It felt like five separate stories slotted together. The story about the Match of the same gender, the Match with the terminally ill, the Match who has died, the Match with the founder of the company and the Match with a serial killer.

It was immensely suspenseful to read the parts about the serial killer although this part could do with a whole novel of it’s own. It felt out of place for this book yet made it thrilling to read at the same time.

I enjoyed all the complications within each Match. I didn’t want the book to end. Maybe the story should have been longer, or separated into a series so we get more depth to each story. Maybe a series following two matched pairs at a time.

I would definitely recommend this book to other readers and would like to say a big well done to John Marrs for such a clever idea. I’m still lost in the book and am not ready to move on to the next book. Brilliant. Great find. Must read.

Written by Ling Lee (02/10/18).

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