Book Review

The Book of You by Claire Kendal (Book Review #121)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 06/06/17

My 14th book this year.)

Clarissa has been chosen for Jury service. It comes as a great relief as she needs a break from the trouble in her life. 

The case takes hold of her and she soon realises there are too many similarities between her real life and the story being told by Laura, the victim. 

Clarissa writes in her journal on a regular basis. The book is about you, Rafe. You have somehow wedged yourself into every aspect of Clarissa’s daily routines. You are here, there, everywhere at every turn both expected and unexpected. 

Clarissa knows how Laura feels. She knows the mistakes Laura has made so she knows the right kind of evidence she needs before she can get the help that she needs to escape this creep of a man. 

***SPOILER ALERT***

This book began with much suspense and I could feel the tension build as the journal was written. Then all of a sudden it felt to much, that not enough was done by Clarissa to prevent what was waiting to happen. 

I absolutely hated the abrupt “big moment” and the eay the story ended. It’s a shame when potentially amazing books are ruined by the ending. It just didn’t fit well enough with  the rest of the story. It just happened all of a sudden then we are not told how. 

I enjoyed the court case. I loved how there were similarities that helped fuel Clarissa’s fear of what would happen if she were to go the police. Having only just ventured into this genre, I am enjoying the new events and turns. I am enjoying “learning” new fears, how people might react and how some people are just completely unpredictable no matter how nice they might appear to the outside world.

Written by Ling Lee (06/06/17)

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Sever by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review #120)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 26/05/17

My 13th book this year)

Rhine has ended up staying with her husband’s uncle. Uncle Reed is an eccentric inventor with many crazy ideas and midway constructed items strewn throughout his rundown house. Whilst Rhine recovers from her last bought of forced experiments, all she can think about is how much her twin brother, Rowan, has changed. Nothing like the Rowan she knows from the year before when she was unwillingly taken to become Linden’s bride. The new generation males live to 25 years and the females live to 20 years and society knows the importance of finding the cure. But the experiments for the cure are based on mostly unwilling participants. 

Somehow Rhine has been granted some sort of freedom but it isn’t necessarily a better life. Together with her sister wife and Linden, their complicated and confusing relationship will bring them on a rollercoaster of a ride through too much sadness, loss and damage but  there is hope… hope for a cure.
***SPOILER ALERT***

The 3rd book of the Chemical Garden Series. I very much enjoyed the idea of this story. I am very open to dystopia and all the possible outcomes of our world over the generations to come. I try to live in the society that has been created as I read through the words of the authors. 

Linden is too soft, controlled and kept out of the dark making him ignorant to what was really happening in his household. 

Cecily is a feisty young teen who was previously an orphan. She takes to her new chance at life exceedingly well and wants to be the best of her sister wives. 

Rhine just never wants to follow the rules, yet she is kind hearted and very much family oriented. She likes to help everyonewho crosses her path and feels guilt at every bad turn.

If you don’t stop to analyse errors and just read the way the author intends, this series has an unusual storyline yet at the end of the day, it’s all about sacrifices and survival in this world.

I would recommend this book to other readers and find it strange that there were so many negative reviews for these books. 

Written by Ling Lee (26/05/17)

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Fever by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review #119)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 14/05/17

My 12th book this year)

Rhine has escaped her “husband” who has been holding her captive. All females will only live to the age of 20 and males to the age of 25, unless a cure can be found. Rhine needs to find her twin brother who has no idea what has happened to her and whether or not she is still alive. 

One of the house attendants have escaped with her. Now Gabriel and Rhine have escaped to freedom only to be caught in a whole different society where they once again become prisoners. 

Her previous Housemaster Vaughn is never going to let her truly be free. He is on the hunt for her and he wont give up until he finds her and brings her back to the house once again.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I really enjoyed most of this 2nd book of the Chemical Garden Series. Although some parts became annoying when incidentally the characters looking like long lost children of their captors, hence saving them from being instantly killed or buying them time to make an escape plan. 

I didn’t like the setting of this book but the story itself worked for me. I found myself drawn in and really wanted to find out what happens next. 

It became much more interesting once the group end up at the Lottner residence. The ending was very unexpected but if you can ignore the way she is found, you will still be held in suspense as to what becomes of Rhine.

I would recommend this series if you enjoy dystopian socities and are open minded to the world drastically changing. I rarely consecutively read nooks in a series but after book 1 & 2, I think this may be a first for me and I might just pick up book 3 next.

Written by Ling Lee (15/05/17)

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review #118)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 09/05/17

My 11th book this year)

In the new generation females die at the age of 20 and males die at 25. The older generation with normal lifespans are trying to find a cure. The new generation have become test subjects and the females are all being used as baby carrying machines. 

Rowan has spent all his life protecting his twin sister Rhine. They are now 16. Living in poor conditions but being alive and having freedom is what they aim for.

The day finally comes when tragedy strikes and Rhine is taken. Brought to another country, far away from the place she calls home, she is set to be forcefully married to Linden. To live as a “wife” (prisoner) and to serve her duty in securing a baby for her new husband. Her father-in-law is a scientist who is frantically in search for a cure. There are no limits to what he will try in order to achieve the cure.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Looking past the immediate “flaws”, I really enjoyed the storyline. I have a weakness for dystopia. I love to see different views and possible outcomes of our future. Many other readers have given this book quite low ratings but if you are trying to think outside the box and accept that the future will probably be a lot different from life as it is today, this book becomes quite enjoyable to read.

I like how the 3 wives have different lives prior to being held captive. Then how each of them react to their new lives. With such short lifespans they each want something different from life. One embraces the luxurious life, one just wants a place to die in peace and one wants freedom. 

Written by Ling Lee (10/05/17)

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Book Review 117)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 6/05/17

My 10th book this year)

Rachel travels on the same train every morning and evening. She likes to escape into the made up life for a couple she has named Jason and Jess. She watches them through the window almost everyday. What a perfect relationship she wished she had. Then one day she sees one of them do something to destroy her perfect world and she wants to help. She wants to find out the truth so now she finds a way into Jason’s life and caused much trouble along the way.

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a crazy end to the story. I didn’t feel the suspense, the story didn’t pull me in but it was good enough to want to continue reading. The further I got into the book, the more the characters seemed to blend together. Scott and Tom having so many similarities. Then Rachel, Anna and Megan having too many issues that correlate with one another. I began to suspect whether this book was about a schizophrenic living in and out of character.

I didn’t feel the rush at every turn. In fact I felt more disbelief as to how the story ended. So disappointing when the ending doesn’t turn out to be epic. With so much hype about this book I have finally finished it. Apologies for not agreeing with the majority of readers. I would not recommend this book but would find it interesting to discuss the issues with anyone who has.

Written by Ling Lee (06/05/17).

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Behind Closed Doors by Susan Lewis (Book Review #116)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 29/04/17

My 9th book this year)

Sophie Monroe has reached her troublesome years of being a teenager. Arguing with her step mother, exploring her flirting abilities, meeting new people and letting her heart fall possibly for the wrong man.

After yet another argument everyone believes she has run away, but then her disappearance and lack of communication brings many concerns for her parents and the whole community.

As discoveries are made, the possibilities open up. Now people are unsure if Sophie has been taken and no one knows if she will ever return.
***SPOILER ALERT***

How did I manage to pick this one up? I was actually meaning to read “Behind Closed Doors” by a different author and only realised the plot was totally different to the blurb after getting 10% into the book. 

About 75% of the book was captivating, interesting and suspense building. The ending completely threw me but unfortunately I absolutely hated it. 

I believed what the author wanted us to believe for most of the story. But then without warning, without hints, there is a whole new spin then a rush to finish the book. 

The agent responsible for leading the case has to relive the past as the same story seems to pan out right before her eyes with Sophie being missing and the agent’s sister is still missing since many years ago. 

I wouldn’t recommend this book but I would definitely be annoying and tell people the ending is totally wrong and doesn’t fit with the rest of the plot. It was like picking up a whole new book and readingthe end from that. 

Written by Ling Lee (30/04/17).

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The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (Book Review #115)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 19/04/17

My 8th book this year)

Melanie is Dr Caldwells’ “little genius”. She lives in a cell and everyday she has lessons in the classroom. When she transfers between rooms, a gun is pointed at her head whilst another guard straps her into a wheelchair. Arms, legs, body and even her neck, making movement absolutely minimal. She jokes she wont bite, but nobody finds her funny.

She is test subject number one. Melanie’s favourite teacher is Miss Justineu. Miss Justineu’s favoured student happens to be Melanie, even though she knows better than to get attached to any of the test subjects. One day Melanie tells Miss Justineu what she wants to do when she gets older and grows up. Her teacher is very sad and Melanie just wants to see her happy smile for always.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I accidentally picked up this book thinking it was something totally different to what it turned out to be. My first Zombie book and I was actually quite intrigued and compelled by the story. However, I absolutely hated the unexpected ending which left my rating at 3.5 stars.

I enjoyed how Melanie was oppressed yet she managed to break free and eplore her own thoughts. I enjoyed sharing her experience of the world.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to apocolypse and zombie lovers as I’m pretty sure this was an extremely tame version of the possibilities for this genre. For a younger audience and maybe first time zombie experience readers.

Written by Ling Lee (19/04/17).

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The Witness by Nora Roberts (Book Review #114)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 31/03/17

My 7th book this year)

Elizabeth lives a very controlled life. Her mother decides every move she makes, what she wears, where she goes, what she studies, who she can befriend, even what she eats. Elizabeth has always been well disciplined but it isn’t what she wants from life. The day she stands up for herself is the day that her world gets turned upside down.

Highly intelligent with computers and having a photographic memory, she uses her skills to break the law for the first time. Making a fake ID and finally having a real night out. Little does she know she has caught the eye of a high member of the mafia, she sees something no one is supposed to see. Now she is on the run for survival because they will stop for nothing until they hunt her down for being the only witness that can destroy them. 

***SPOILER ALERT***

I am a huge Nora Roberts fan. This book started off amazing as always but then after Elizabeth went on the run, everything fell apart. The suspense, the thrill, the trouble just died out. This book could have been stunningly amazing. 

Once Elizabeth went into hiding, everything became bland, out of place and felt like a complete different book. All the way up to the end this book was disappointing. I kept hoping for the quick pace to catch up with her and her past but the rush never came. 

I enjoyed Elizabeth’s character when she became Abigail. But Brooks was a whole other story. Mismatched and forcefully inputted for the adult scenes that weren’t necessary for this book. I would not recommend this book to other readers, but the beginning of the book was absolutely gripping if you want to read the first 15-20%.

Written by Ling Lee (31/03/17).

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The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry (Book Review #113)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 18/03/17

My 6th book this year)

The Knights of the templar are forever trying to find the Great Devise. Something of utmost importance in proving the truth behind everything that people believe in. But the bigger belief is that there is an immensely huge treasure hidden with the Great Devise. Everyone wants to find the treasure and the race is on.

The knights and their master want to prove that Jesus is not real therefore obliterating Christianity. The Church and their believers need this information to be destroyed or remain hidden forever. 

With both sides supposedly trying to minimalise bloodshed, in self defense there is violence, betrayal, love, faith, loyalty. Everything is put to the test when facing life and death choices.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I didn’t enjoy the way the story was told although the storyline itself was quite interesting. It feels like the author is teaching a first timer about history, religion and the conflicts between the Church and the Templar Brotherhood. I dislike being told the story. Then at every turn there is a very detailed explanation as to what is believed, what could have happened and what is actually happening. I much prefer books that make us readers feel like we are on a journey WITH the characters. 

I didn’t feel the suspense and the need to keep reading. I didn’t really connect with the characters. The book was average at most. It held my attention but didn’t keep me gripping the edge of my seat. I unfortunately would not recommend this book to other readers. I much prefered Dan Brown’s books. Especially the Da Vinci Code. 

Written by Ling Lee (18/03/17).

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (Book Review #112)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 02/03/17

My 5th book this year.)

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…” the New Mrs De Winter finds herself haunted by the house, the people and everything to do with Manderley. What a difficult role to step up to with the First Mrs De Winter being perfect in every way. Beautiful, graceful, charming, educated, talented and kind. Mrs Danvers, the head housekeeper, is forever reminding the New Mrs De Winter of her flaws and how she cannot even begin to compare with her First Mrs De Winter. 

Maxim De Winter is much older than his newly wedded wife. Such a contrast to his late wife, young, uneducated, poor and dull but he has decided to bring her to Manderley in hope to bring life back to his magnificent estate.

Mrs De Winter is scared to make changes, unsure of her place in the  household, doesn’t know how to socially interact with the rest of the Manderley community but she must find a way to step up and be free from the lingering past of Maxim’s first wife. To build their lives and to begin to live as a lady rather than as the maid she once was.
***SPOILER ALERT***

This book had the most beautiful scenes. Manderley’s magnificence, Maxim’s curt demeanor, the new Mrs De Winters insecurities, the cold and evil aura emanating from Mrs Danvers at every moment of her appearance in the book. Manderley was precisely perfectly decorated by the First Mrs De Winter. She left her impression upon every person she ever came across and her death had a huge impact on every character in the book.

I really enjoyed most of the story even though nothing much happens until quite far into the book. But the beauty of the scenery was perfectly captured and we could feel every emotion that we as the reader are supposed to feel. 

The twist in the story spoilt the whole book for me. It felt too random and unexpected that it didn’t quite fit with the rest of the book. If the story had a different ending I may have been able to rate this book a 5. All in all this is a book that I would recommend to others but I would like to clarify it is not a ghostly story even though many reviews including my own mention the haunting feeling cast throughout the book.

Written by Ling Lee (02/03/17).

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