Books

Book Review #84: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Finished Reading: 02/10/15

The 2nd book of the Kingkiller Chronicles. This book is about Kvothe telling a story about his life, of how he became notoriously known for his antics and bravery.

Kvothe seems to find trouble at every turn in his life. This time he must leave the University for a while. With a plan on impressing the beautiful Denna by reclaiming something precious to her, he manages to lose possession of it. Kvothe needs to head out to Severen town to meet the Maer in hopes of gaining something more to life and to earn some money to reclaim Denna’s treasure.

This book is full of mischief and surprise. Kvothe is sent on a mission to retrieve the King’s taxes, but along the way there is magic, death, Felurian from the Fae, martial arts, music, and most of all trouble.

My thoughts: ***SPOILER ALERT***
I really enjoyed most of this book. The subtle uses of magic, the beliefs of different people from different towns, the drama between Kvothe and Denna, the way Kvothe manages to overcome every difficult situation in his life.

Parts of it felt random and the whole Felurian chapters just felt out of place, but I guess the author wanted to explain where Kvothe got his amazing shadow shaed from.

The book is beautifully written. I felt engaged in the story and I honestly didn’t want to put the book down.

I absolutely hated the ending but I am still hoping for another book in this series.

Written by Ling Lee (03/10/15).

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Book Review #12: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished reading – 25/02/13
My 11th book this year.)

This book is the 2nd of the “Perfect Chemistry” series. It is about the 2nd boy, Carlos, in the Fuentes Family. He is just like his brother, Alex, used to be. Full of attitude, spirit, surrounded by gang drama but eventually having hopes and dreams of a different future.

The main female character, Kiara, is the good girl who wants to make a difference. But she has a speech impairment causing her to stutter whenever she is nervous, embarassed or under pressure. More of a tomboy who prefers hiking boots and big baggy T-shirts over the latest fashion. Kiara also knows her cars, how to bake, and comes from a loving family.

The 2 teens play pranks and challenge one another until one day their games become more serious.

So the big drama is the battle of keeping the relationship together whilst they work out gang issues, trust issues and Carlos’ troubled past and Kiara’s unique personality.

At 1st, this book felt like I was reading Perfect Chemistry (book 1), all over again with additional scenarios. But then the last quarter of the book was very well written. Although I feel like the gang scenes could have done with a little more imagination, I absolutely loved every moment that Carlos and Kiara had together.

I would recommend this book to any teenagers. I guess the older generation would probably not enjoy this series as much as I have so far.

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Book Review #11: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This is a very difficult book to rate. But I guess overall I would give it a 3 out of 5.

I guess I was disappointed with the first half of the book. I’m surprised that such a large number of readers have gotten this book a rating of over 4.10 on Goodreads.

The story itself didn’t really feel real even in my imagination. The words don’t seem to flow as smoothly as many other supernatural books that I have read. The style of writing makes the book feel like it was written for young teens, or maybe even a younger audience than that. But then the story has a lot of random gruesome scenes and a very disturbing relationship between two characters. I don’t want to mention their names as I hate spoiling books for those who are intending to read it.

But then about 2/3 of the way through the book, it feels like a different writer has picked up where the first person left off. I began to enjoy the book towards the end and felt like the first part MUST have been either unedited or more probably written by a ghostwriter.

What I loved about this book is the way the ‘sight’ allows certain people see demons and other supernatural beings. The way ‘glamour’ (the cloak/mask that humans see) can make something terrible look magnificent or visa versa.

Usually I try to start of with a brief review of the book. I hate leaving negative comments about books but there’s something about the way this book was written that I just cannot place and cannot keep to myself.

Very briefly, this book is about Clary, raised as a human but with ‘shadowhunter’ blood in her. One night out, Clary all of a sudden gains the ‘sight’ and watches a ‘shadowhunter’ kill a demon. She cannot understand what she has seen, especially when there’s been a murder but the bodies just disappears.

Then her mother suddenly goes missing. Clary then finds herself getting dragged deeper and deeper into this whole new world where vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks and demons all coexist. Clary’s human best friend is Simon. Simon has secretly had feelings for Clary since forever, but as always she just doesn’t know it. Then along comes shadow hunter Jace, who is a good looking ‘bad boy’, who slowly develops feelings for Clary. Clary also begins to fall for this boy. The ‘shadow hunters’ team up with a pack of werewolves on a search for Clary’s mother, meeting challenges and betrayal all the way.

My suggestion is, if you choose to read this book, then please, please, please read the WHOLE book. Sometimes the 2nd book in a series is better than the 1st, so I might be willing to give book 2 a try sometime in the future. But if I were asked to recommend a read, unfortunately, this would not be one of the books on my list.

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Book Review #4: Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

I rate this book 3.5/5 stars.
I loved the ending, this is what made the book worthwhile I guess.

The book is about a woman called Christine, who is in her 50’s. Every morning she wakes up having little or no recollection of her life over the last 20yrs or more.

She has a husband who lives with her and helps her survive with the condition that she’s in. He tells her a simplified version of her past with very little detail. But he has to explain to her day after day, that she has amnesia.

Some days she remembers very important flashbacks of her past. Leaving her more confused and doubtful of herself. Unsure of whether they are real memories or if her mind has been ‘creating’ memories to fill the void in her past.

Christine secretly communicates with, and sees Dr Nash on a regular basis. He is trying to help her regain her memories and recover from the accident that caused this. He encourages her to keep a journal so that she has ‘memories’ of her own to help guide her through her days. Dr Nash calls Christine to remind her of their meetings and to write in her journal. That way, when she wakes up remembering nothing, she can see for herself what progress she has been making.

She soon begins to doubt her husband. She believes that he lies to her and she can’t decide if it’s because he loves her or because it’s just easier to erase the bad parts of her life to make their daily routine more bearable.

With her condition slowly improving, along with her memories and her past, she finds that the few people she comes to rely on are all trying to protect her in different ways.

She needs to work out who to trust, who to believe and what is real in her life.

I would recommend this book because it has a lovely twist. The author made the book easy to read but I personally wouldn’t include this book on a list of books to read before you die. It’s a good book yet I can’t say that it will be on my favourites list.

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Currently Reading: (10%) Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson

As far as I know, this novel is about a woman called Christine. She has a severe memory problem that allows her to remember anything she does during the day, but once she falls asleep and wakes up again the next day, her memory is wiped clean.

I really enjoy reading books that differ from my reality. I always wonder what if I were the main character within the books that I read.

Waking up every day in a ‘strange’ place. Being married to someone that you have no memory of. Knowing only what this person chooses to let you know. I would feel scared, yet there would be no place to run to. You must rely on your instincts on whether you can trust the person you wake up with.

Then I looked over at my 3year old daughter and am even more thankful that this story has happened to an adult. I cannot even begin to imagine what life would be like if my daughter were to wake up and not know who I were.

Memories are of immense importance to each and every one of us. They help us to learn from our mistakes and grow into the people that we have become. Try to remember the good memories and don’t let the bad memories linger on your mind too much. Life is too short to waste on sadness and regret.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I like to lie in bed and choose a moment from my past and relive it, so that I can fall asleep with a smile on my face. 🙂

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Still keeping up with my New Year’s Resolution…

I’m still keeping up with one of my New Year’s Resolutions and it seems like this time I will even stick to this one until the end.

It’s time to decide on the next book to read now.

Having just finished Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, I feel like I need to read something drastically different. Although I enjoyed the novel, I need something with a bit more passion or action or drama.

The next books on my list are:
Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Forever by Judy Blume
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

So back to the topic of Resolutions. How are you all getting on? It’s time for another bit of encouragement. Even if you think you have given up on your resolution already, DON’T! Be positive and start again where you left off. You’ll feel all the more better for it when you complete what it is that you set out to do. The feeling of achieving something that you worked hard for is well worth the effort. So keep up with me and I will keep shouting out. Even if I fail to help anyone achieve their goal, at least I know I have tried.

Always try your best in all that you do! Keep fighting to keep your dream alive! It’s not always an easy thing to do. So don’t give up! If you keep trying then it means there is still hope for your dream to come true. 😀

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Book Review #2: Life of Pi by Yann Martell

This book is well worth reading. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5. Definately a book worthy of being on the “1001 books to read before you die” list. I am glad I chose this book on my TBR book pile challenge list.

This book is about a man called Pi Patel. His life where he is surrounded by beautiful animals and a lot of religion. We travel with Pi through his life as he goes to school, gets bullied, finds religion. Then the story abruptly moves onto the main story where Pi is on a cargo ship which ends up being his life boat for a 227 day journey of being lost at sea with a very unusual pick of animals, which include: a Bengal Tiger, an Orangutan, a Hyena, and a Zebra.

The book is very well written. With many gory details of survival tactics, the torture of starvation, survival, and the elements all betting against him.

Martell has an amazing way with words. His descriptions are so well written that when Pi suffers, you feel his pain.

I love the way the author describes the animals. Each one so precisely written that they come alive in your imagination with every word that Martell feeds us.

I hated the ending to this book. I would have much more enjoyed the book if it had finished at the point before the interviews took place. I wont go into detail here, I would even advise you stop reading once you and the Tiger see the last of each other.

The last 10% throw the entire story into a different context. But it also reminds us of what we believe and what we think we should believe can be entirely different. Different perspectives, but I will always choose the more beautiful story with the animals. 🙂

Please add to my review and say if you would choose the version with the animals or without!

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Back on Track: Writing continues…

Thank you for reminding me that I have wanted to be a writer since forever. (You know who you are!)

Getting sidetracked from your dreams is like giving up hope. Sometimes life’s problems, struggles and obstacles get in the way. Some days you feel too tired to get up and you just want to stay curled up in a ball under the duvet where it’s safe and warm.

Today I was lucky to have a friend remind me to keep my dream alive. Some days you just need a few words of encouragement to help drag you through the tough time(s).

Keep trying, keep fighting and keep working towards your dreams! No
one can make it happen but yourself, so never give up! Stay strong! Together we will walk this path, and together we can make our dreams come true 🙂

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‘TBR’ Book Pile Challenge 2013

Just Finished – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
Considering we are still in February 10/12 books is a good start for 2013. Looks like I will finish this reading list with ease.

Here is my reading list so far: –

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martell
(Started 07/01/13 – Finished reading 12/01/13).

2. Forever by Judy Blume
(Started 27/01/13 – Finished 28/01/13).

3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
(Started 05/02/13 – Finished 10/02/13).

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
(Started on 11/02/13 – Finished 18/02/13)

5. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
(Started on 13/01/13 – Finished 16/01/13).

6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
(Started 23/01/13 – Finished 27/01/13).

8. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This book has to be replaced. Somehow I’ve already read it but I don’t remember the ending and I don’t remember what I thought of this book. I only know that whilst reading the first few pages and flicking through the book, I remember having read it already.

9. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson
(Started 18/01/13 – Finished 21/01/13).

10. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
(Started 30/01/13 – Finished 04/02/13).

11. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
(Started 09/02/13 – Finished 10/02/13).

12. Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier

13. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
(Started 19/02/13 – Finished 23/02/13).

I have yet to complete this list. Please keep reading, supporting or even join me on this reading challenge. Any suggestions for the rest of my book list are welcome.

This book challenge has 3 ‘rules’:

1. The book must have been on your ‘To Be Read’ list for over a year, meaning that the book must be written at least a year ago. Think about which books you have been meaning to read but have never gotten round to it… These are the books that should be on your list.

2. You must have started reading the books from 1st January 2013, not a day before. The list must be completed by the 31st December 2013.

3. The list should consist of 12 books from your ‘To Be Read’ list. Don’t forget to finish reading them all by the end of the year.

I am doing this challenge slightly differently to the rules from the website. I haven’t compiled my whole list yet. You are also asked to register you list of books onto a link on the website but I have chosen to complete this challenge without registering, but I will still be posting updates on how I get on and reviews of each of the books as I progress.

(Reviews are posted separately from this entry.)

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Currently Reading: (16%) Life of Pi by Yann Martell

As part of the ‘TBR book pile challenge’ I am reading Life of Pi by Yann Martell. This book is on the list of ‘1001 books to read before you die’. It is also a recommended read from friends and family members.

Progress: I am only 16% into this book so far and this book has already covered bullying, experiences of being from a different country, life lessons to the extreme, the importance of religion.

The author has a way of helping us see from another perspective. I’m looking forward to the rest of this book. So far the only down side to this book is the sudden jump of topic between chapters. Sometimes it seems irrelevant and disrupts the flow of exotic ‘experiences’ as Pi.

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