Monthly Archives: January 2019

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang (Book Review #216)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 29/01/19

My 8th book this year)

People are born with two souls in one body. Over time one of the souls are supposed to fade away, usually before the age of 8. Those who do not fade and continue having two souls fighting within are known as hybrids. Hybrids are dangerous and must be taken to doctors for the necessary treatment to save them.

Addie and Eva share a body. Their parents worry when either soul does not seem to fade. Addie and Eva soon realise they are not what society deems normal. They know to hide one soul, pretend Addie is dominant. Then they stumble across another hybrid who can control their body with both souls. Eva is interested and is excited to learn more. Addie is reluctant and wants to be “normal”

Soon they are taken to a testing centre. Soon they realise their lives are risk and something is hugely amiss. They are prisoners. They need to find a way to escape and to survive in this world that needs to “fix” them.

***SPOILER ALERT***

The first book of the Hybrid Chronicles was an interesting idea. I thought the plot was great although I hated not being given a reason why people had two souls. The beginning and end of the story were intriguing, but the middle was a huge let down. Most of the duration of being in the test centre was pointless. Not enough information, not enough clues as to what was happening and the revealing of events was not smooth enough.

I loved the idea of the two souls fighting mentally. One soul is dominant and controls the body, the other is trapped in the mind. But when the weaker soul sees a possible chance of being in control again, it seems natural to want to try.

I can’t say that this book is worth recommending to others, yet I am curious as to what will happen in the next of the series. For a dystopian novel this book was not challenging enough. The final product was not exciting or controversial enough for this genre.

Written by Ling Lee (30/01/19).

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Book Review #215)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 28/01/19

My 7th book this year)

There were once three Swan sisters who were beautiful, young and alluring. The townsfolk of Sparrow were convinced all three sisters were witches. There came a day when the sisters were captured, weights tied to their ankles then thrown into the sea to drown. Every year since their death they have come back to haunt Sparrow, cursed to inhibit the bodies of three girls who in turn will take the lives of boys or men in revenge of their deaths.

Two hundred years later, the curse still exists. Penny Talbot is a believer, she can also see the Swan sisters once they have chosen a girls’ body to inhibit. This year Penny meets an outsider called Bo. The eldest Swan sister has her eyes on him already, enchanting and enticing him to his death, but Penny manages to break the spell long enough to save him. So far there has been 3 deaths already. The towns people begin to take matters into their own hands.

Will the Swan sisters finish what they started to return again next year? Or will someone in Sparrow finally work out how to break this curse and end all the deaths in Sparrow?

***SPOILER ALERT***

A great plot. Creepy. Revengeful. Dark. Disturbing. I absolutely loved the Swan sisters story, but the amount of deaths believed to be linked to this curse was too dramatic. Multiple deaths each year.

I really enjoyed learning about the sisters when they were new to the town and still alive. I felt sad for them when they get their chance to come back back every year.

The twists were not subtle enough in the story so I managed to work out what was going to happen before it took place so this spoilt the book a bit. I loved Bo and Penny’s relationship.

Then things got a bit out of hand. In this day and age I cannot believe anyone could react the way that they did when accusing a local girl of being a Swan sister.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good book about curses and witchcraft but otherwise it is an average book with a great plot.

Written by Ling Lee (28/01/19).

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Sold by Patricia McCormick (Book Review #214)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 24/01/19

My 6th book this year)

Lakshmi’s family live in the slums of Nepal. With Lakshmi turning 13 her stepfather has decided she needs to go out into the world.

Lakshmi is sold, but she thinks she is going to get a job as a maid. She thinks she will work hard, earn money and finally afford a tin roof for their home to stop the rain from getting in.

The innocent journey of a young teen, wide eyed and in awe of seeing the city for the first time soon becomes the most terrifying nightmare where Lakshmi is held captive.

There is pain, sadness, sexual slavery, abuse, distress, yet through all of this, Lakshmi still holds on to the hope of freedom.

***SPOILER ALERT***

An eye opening book of a horrifying tale of sexual slavery. Here we have all heard of this issue, we know it exists, but this book goes into greater depth telling the story through Lakshmi’s eyes. A reminder to be grateful for what we have when there are many others out there who are less fortunate.

It was disturbing to travel with her through her innocent childhood, then her journey to her harsh new reality. Although as the reader we cannot even come close to knowing the distress both physically and mentally caused to these youngsters, this book gives enough insight into this traumatic type of life so many people have been forced into.

You feel the hatred for those involved. You seek justice and freedom for the slaves yet nothing can save their minds from these torturous memories even if they were lucky enough to escape the clutches of these evil beings.

This book captures this tale perfectly. Simple words being told by a simple girl who just wanted to help her family survive.

I was absolutely captivated by Lakshmi’s tale. I was reminded to be grateful for everything in life. Even the small things, especially the small things because one day it could all be gone in the blink of an eye.

Written by Ling Lee (24/01/19).

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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (Book Review #213)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 23/01/19

My 5th book this year)

Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum. Without her mother around, her six brothers protect her as best they can. Lord Colum is a strong and well respected leader of his kingdom, Sevenwaters.

One day Sorcha’s father brings a woman home to be his wife, the enchantress. She puts a spell on Lord Colum and turns all of Sorcha’s brothers into creatures of the lake. Sorcha is the only one who can break the spell. By enduring pain, torture, being strong willed and strong minded, she must stay silent a not utter a single word until the task has been completed and the spell is broken. Otherwise her brothers will forever remain in their unhuman form.

During her task she endures so much darkness, sadness, pain, terror, then she meets one of her father’s biggest enemies, Red. He saves her life, he vows to protect her, he gives her shelter and food for a long period of time. Red has upset his whole household by bringing the enemy to his home, but he is adamant he has made the tight choice in protecting her.

One day Sorcha has an impossible choice to make. Save her brothers or save the one who has somehow captured her heart.

***SPOILER ALERT***

A stunning beautiful and enchanting read. So much description of the forest, the waters, the caves, the people of the forest. So much magical presence subtly woven into the story. The fairy tale type of magic where terrible spells can be cast yet through love and endurance can still be broken. The imagery in this novel is eye opening to the mind and spirit. I felt the intended inner peace and the struggle of Sorcha’s endless task of pain.

Red was a wonderful character, alongside Sorcha, this book was all the more powerful. The characters had depth. Each of her brothers had a purpose, had their own destinies and were well defined.

Enemies being held captive, being forced to survive in one anothers’ territory. The possible outcomes from torture, from misunderstanding. What love can do to a person no matter their origin, their past, their future, their status.

An extremely well written book. The beautiful imagery in every turn of the page makes this book a success. Highly recommended read although maybe not quite to everyones liking.

Written by Ling Lee (24/01/19).

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In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni (Book Review #212)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 17/01/19

My 4th book this year)

Angela Collins has just admitted to killing her husband, but then her son Conner also gives a statement saying he killed his father. Now the detectives need to find out who is telling the truth or if either of them are telling the truth. As evidence is tampered with and so called witness statements not coinciding, the police have a difficult time in solving this case.

40 years ago a teenage girl, Kimi, died. It was ruled as suicide, then the case was closed. A young, new detective, Buzz, seemed to have a hard time believing this and dug deeper into the matter. With potential evidence he went to his superiors meeting nothing but chastisement for trying to make more work for the force on a case that was already solved.

Buzz decided to keep investigating in his own time. Even at his death he hadn’t found any answers. His daughter, Jenny, found the file and decided to continue what her father started. Many people believe Kimi did not commit suicide. People speculate, people have formed their own opinions. With modern technology being so much more advanced, the evidence is checked over again. There is evidence of a more sinister story. Kimi’s death was likely to be more than it seemed. But how do the police find enough evidence to uncover the whole truth to the story?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Another great book to the Tracy Crosswhite Series. The third book and I am still thrilled at the way Robert Dugoni takes us through the cases and keeps the reader hanging on and needing to find out more. He excels at delivering twists and turns to move the story forward.

I absolutely loved the way Kimi’s story unfolded. The twist was unexpected and was not overly dramatic, which is what I admire about this author. He doesn’t feel the need to make everything over the top. Great flow to the story and a very interesting plot.

The focus of this book was more on the case from 40 years ago. The current case of Angela Collins was rather neglected therefore maybe it wasn’t necessary to have this case in the story at all. Otherwise I would highly recommend this book, this series and previous books by this author. I am very excited to pick up the next book of the series.

Written by Ling Lee (17/01/19).

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The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (Book Review #211)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 13/01/19

My 3rd book this year)

Meghan Chase finds herself destined to enter the Nevernever realm of fey once again. This time to protect her family from the Iron Fey and the false Iron King. She must find a way to defeat him before he destroys her family and the rest of the fey realm is damaged beyond repair by the destruction caused by Iron.

Meghan is the Summer and Winter feys only hope. She is the only one of them who can enter the Iron kingdom and stand a chance at bringing peace to the other courts again. With the help of her Summer best friend Puck, and her Winter love, Ash she will try her best because it is the only way for some of the most important people in her life to keep surviving.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Quite a let down as the third book of the Iron Fey Series. There was no wow factor left. It felt like an anguished extension of the Iron Kingdom. Almost like the author ran out of ideas and had to fit another Iron kingdom book in just to keep writing.

I love the dedication from Ash towards Meghan, but their petty disagreements were too immature for their character and roles in the story. Puck became a less likeable character. The gremlins were adorable in their own destructive ways. Grimalkin the cat is the same as always. Appearing where necessary then disappearing unexpectedly.

Not much to elaborate on really. Just the feeling of amateur writing came through on this book. Apologies to the author but I cannot recommend this book to other readers and I am quite possibly put off from this series and may not find myself finishing off the series.

Written by Ling Lee (14/01/19).

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The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth (Book Review #210)

I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 09/01/19

My 2nd book this year.)

Essie had postnatal difficulties, one time she left her daughter at the park and went home without her. The second time round she is determined to show everyone she can get it right.

Ange is the perfect image of a perfect family. She is the real estate lady for their community at Pleasant Court. She is beautiful, hard working, her husband is perfect, her children are great, the image of a family life that every dreams of.

Isabelle is the newest member of Pleasant Court. She doesn’t fit the usual description. She doesn’t have a child or children, or a husband. She has an ex-partner. Throwing a huge imbalance to what they want their society to portray, but the residents all try to be welcoming.

Essie soon finds herself wanting to get to know Isabelle better, wants to spend more time with her, wants her company more than her own husband and children.

Life always looks better for others. When you look closely enough you begin to see flaws, you begin to see everyone has bad days, you begin to see trouble. Isabelle has a huge secret. But so do the others. When their secrets get out their entire community will be in great shock. But life goes on because that’s the way life works.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I just cannot understand how this book has such a high average rating. The plot wasn’t amazing. The execution of all the vital points to the story were too sudden then not enough happened after the big reveals of the secrets.

Each woman had a secret to share but Fran’s secret felt completely unnecessary. Just another detail to make the reader think “wow”, however it didn’t seem to fit into the story. Ben didn’t need to have his secret to make the story work either, so that felt pointless.

Isabelle was supposed to be the character that brings all the chaos but nothing really fit smoothly. The book felt erratic and there was zero suspense filled moments. Not at any point did I feel the need to continue reading, or feel the excitement in uncovering what was next. The book felt like a first draft rather than a completed novel. Compared to a lot of other books in this genre, for me, this book failed. Apologies to the author but I would go as far as to tell people this book is not worth reading.

Those who gave this book a high rating must not have read many from this genre. (I suggest try Liane Moriarty for a real story that is well put together.)

Written by Ling Lee (09/01/19).

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Winter by Marissa Meyer (Book Review #209)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!!!

(Finished Reading: 07/01/19

My 1st book this year.)

Queen Levana rules Lunar through mind control, brainwashing her subjects and threatening those who are not willing to serve her and accept her as ruler. When she first came to rule it was for her people and her planet but then she began to lose her way and the rising power got the better of her. She is now planning to forcefully marry the Emperor of Earth and to take over their planet too. She has unleashed a deadly plague upon the humans and she will only hand over this antidote if the Emperor agrees to marry her and to give her power over Earth and its’ people.

There is talk of a missing heir to the throne, Queen Levana is adamant to stay in control whether or not this rumour brings truth with it.

A secret revolution is beginning in the outer sectors of Lunar. Most of the poor and working status population are less than happy with their living conditions. In hope by winning in numbers, the revolution is being organised by Cinder, the cyborg, allegedly, quite possibly the true heir to Lunars throne.

Cinder has banded together with the strangest of people to help her cause, all with their own reasons behind supporting the revolution. The Queen’s niece, the nieces’ guard, a highly dangerous wanted felon, an android, a genetically modified part wolf; part human beast, Lunar’s best technologist and finally the Emperor himself.

A stunning book full of fairytale references, strong and unusual characters. Who will win? Good or evil?

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a stunning series, The Lunar Chronicles. This final book really pulled everything together although overly dramatic, I still absolutely loved this series. I love fairytale retellings. There were so many twists that kept pulling back to the basic plot of each princess’ story. I never knew I could enjoy a book about androids and cyborgs but Marissa Meyer has been exceptionally clever in pulling this off and making this one of my favourite series of all time so far.

I love how this book deals with the hardships in life. What some people must sacrifice for the good of others. What love can do to a person and what you can do for someone you love.

The book discussed discrimination although more to do with differing races, it was still about dealing with differences in society and the changes that take place over time.

So much sadness, darkness, war, violence, but then the goodness seeps in and out of each chapter, drawing you deeper into the story. A must read for fairytale lovers, young adults and for those of us who still believe in a bit of magic and the possibility of other realms.

Highly recommended read!!!

Written by Ling Lee (07/01/19).

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