Reading Challenge

Book Review #90: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 10/05/16
My 5th book this year.)

Vin, a mistborn, with allomantic powers to manipulate metals into power for enhanced sight, hearing, speed, strength, push and pull on metals and to stimulate emotions. She is ever more powerful and on edge. Using her allomancy to continuously scout and protect Luthadel, she becomes more paranoid and jumpy in her mission to keep King Elend Venture safe along with all the people of Luthadel.

The kingdom prepares for war as Straff Venture, Elend’s father, tries to claim what he believes should be his kingdom. Kind hearted and honest, Elend struggles to keep his people under control. With a law written by his own hand, he gives the people of his land the freedom of choice. The choice of ruler, giving his people the option to make a majority vote for whom they wish to be king. The Skaa, previously slaves, have complete freedom of their lives. Now he realises it may have been foolish to grant freedom to the people as they all begin to make choices for a king other than himself to reign.

Straff Venture has a mistborn, Zane, he comes to Vin but that only adds to her confusion. He appears, she follows him, they spar. This soon becomes some sort of a routine leaving Vin wondering why. Zane finally begins to talk, but his words add to her confusion. He tells her she should be with her own people, Mistborn. She begins to doubt her way of life. Is she really just a pawn in Elend’s life, or should they really believe and trust themselves and their love?

Vin feels the mists begin to change, as does something within her. She hears a thumping that seems to be getting more distracting and louder over time. She can’t ignore it anymore and she believes she is the one that must do something about it because she is the only person who can hear it. She believes in the prophecies, the legends about the power held in the Well of Ascension. Her mission is to find it and to release it’s power to destroy the deepness hidden in the mists to save the people.

My Thoughts:

This 2nd book of the series seems to be a lot less exciting, very slow paced yet still full of fighting, trust issues, love and loss.

After finishing the whole book and recapping on the story, the reader is still left sorely disatified with the lack of understanding. Nothing much happens except for the preparations for war, a bit of politics, a lot of trust issues. The last part of the book made it worthwhile as something important happens, but it seems book 3 is a must read for curious readers who need to find out what happens next with someone’s new found powers.

I wouldn’t really recommend this book to read as a standalone, but the series so far is still worth considering.

Written by Ling Lee (10/05/16)

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Book Review #81: Altered by Jennifer Rush

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 29/12/14
My 40th book this year.)

Anna’s father is a scientist. He has 4 teenagers kept as test subjects. Anna has recently been trusted enough to interact with them and to help take test results. Over time she develops some sort of friendship with them.

One day, the leader of the project is ready to take the boys out of the lab and to utilise them as planned. The boys have been ready, somehow they put up a fight and escape the lab with Anna in tow.

All of the boys have had their memories wiped, but without treatment, they get flashbacks of possible memories or altered thoughts. Anna must decide whether she trusts them enough to help them get their lives back or to give herself up to the company.

My Thoughts: ***SPOILER ALERT***
The book was pretty average. It felt like the author tried to hide too many twists and turns in the one book. Although some of the twists were unexpected I guess in a way it helped push the book along.

I enjoyed the storyline overall. However, I can’t seem to believe in Anna. She acted abnormally in certain situations and I found it quite disturbing that she didn’t seem to think clearly even when her subconscious was unsure.

The boys were made to be weapons. But we don’t find out enough about the program as to why they have been chosen.

I can’t say I would recommend the book to other readers but I would still give book 2 a try, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Written by Ling Lee (29/12/14).

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Book Review #80: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 20/11/14
My 39th book this year.)

This book is about the most beautiful girl in the world, Buttercup, who is supposed to marry the most handsome Prince. But no story is that perfect. Westley has watched Buttercup grow up and has always been in love with her.

Westley spends his lifetime trying to prove his love. Full of adventure, action, torture, fighting, sword skills and much more.

My Thoughts: ***SPOILER ALERT***

I don’t know how to even begin this review. It took me much longer than expected to read. I didn’t find any part of the book appealing. I couldn’t understand why it is so highly rated.

Buttercup in all her beauty, she lacked a heart and I felt she was lacking in intelligence.

The Prince was an appalling character. A hunter who could hunt anything he trained his heart on. With a dishonourable heart, the complete wrong reason to get married. A dispicable character who has things his way no matter who is destroyed along the way.

Westley with his undying love, literally!! I just couldn’t grasp this idea of a story.

The whole story was choppy and kept jumping between scenes. Random events kept taking place and I couldn’t understand the relevance and how everything pieced together.

This book failed miserably. I rarely rate books with such a low score. But in my opinion this book was very much a waste of time. I would definifely discourage people from even attempting this book.

Maybe I just couldn’t understand the reason behind the main storyline. Very disappointed and apologies again for not appreciating another such highly rated book.

Written by Ling Lee
(21/11/14)

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Book Review #79: Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 21/10/14
My 38th book this year.)

The final book of the Wicked Lovely series.

Bananach (War) is at her strongest point in life, she is ready to overturn every court and every Faery who doesn’t choose to stand alongside her or fight with her.

Keenan of the Summer Court, has made a reappearance as he tries to gain allies amongst the solitary Fae. Sorcha of the High Court is stuck in Faery. Aislinn, the summer queen, cannot seem to be able to make a crucial choice. Her once mortal boyfriend, newly turned Faery, or to embrace the summer king so that her court can become strong. Donia of the Winter court mourns her missing love. Niall of the dark court has lost all self control when his former dark king is lost to all. All the courts must stand together for any chance to either destroy Bananach, or to contain and control her.

Every regent of every court must fight their inner battles, strengthen their courts by making huge sacrifices, forgive one another’s wrong doings and to come together as one.

My Thoughts:

I’m not really sure how to write this review. This book is nothing like what I expected. It was just simply an ok read. Lacking in beauty, full of discord, too much lenience from Far Dorcha, Death.

I didn’t feel the usual excitement, the need to read as much and as quickly as I can to find out the ending. But nothing in this book gripped me. Maybe Niall needed to be crueller, Summer to be more carefree, winter to be colder at heart? I thought this book would have a few nasty ends. I don’t really want to elaborate anymore as I can’t, without giving away the last few chapters.

All in all I guess I would definitely recommend book 1, but I feel like reading all 5 books to reach this final book wasn’t really worth the effort.

Written by Ling Lee (21/10/14).

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Book Review #78: Epilogue by C. J. Roberts

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 25/09/14
My 37th book this year.)

Livvie is now Sophia. She is trying to live a normal life after being held captive but she doesn’t really know what normal is. With a deep sense of attachment and what she thinks is love, for her captor, Sophia must learn to forget the dark times and to struggle through life as best she can.

Caleb is now James. A rich nobody who can do as he wants. Caleb was a monster who took pride in his indecent pleasures. But James is a new man, well behaved, law abiding and very much seeking out the one girl he has ever loved.

James finds Sophia. He has no idea what to do, whether she loathes him or loves him, but he definitely needs to find out. James and Sophia must learn to let go of the pain and darkness that haunts them. They must explore their pasts in order to get through the present. Then maybe, just maybe, there could be a happily ever after, even for the monster.

My Thoughts:
What an amazing book full of passion, confusion, forgiveness, love, pain, memories, excitement. Too many wonderful words to describe this amazing author. A must read series but one again… U MUST start at book one, be open minded, non judgemental and just accept that maybe, just maybe, this could be a true story. If you can get past all the disturbing moments, this book is absolutely stunning.

With so many ups and downs. The reader is introduced to their relationship through James’ eyes and at times I had tears in my eyes. I wanted a beautiful ending. So many trilogies are disappointing right at the last moment. But this book was as close to perfect as books can get.

I love the banter. I love feisty Sophia who realises her needs are very specific. Whether they were trained into her or not, she has grown fond of being dominated and punished.

Full of explicit scenes and some very good conversations, I actually laughed out loud and often had a huge grin on my face. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish.

Please don’t judge, please accept, please just read the series because you don’t know what you are missing. I hope C. J. Roberts can keep up the amazing work!

Written by Ling Lee (25/09/14).

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Book Review #77: Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 21/09/14
My 36th book this year.)

Nora the good girl student. Patch the new guy. A new seating arrangement in their Biology class leaves them paired for the term. Nora is indecisive, erratic, easily confused but has a good heart and a best friend, Vee, who loves to party and loves to flirt just as much.

Patch is mysterious, handsome, surrounded by darkness and has many secrets regarding his past. Nora finds herself compelled to him, yet she fights her mind and tries to stay away. Something keeps drawing them together yet Nora wants to stay away from this bad boy. One eventful day Nora needs help and Patch has suddenly become so much more to her than just a lab partner.

My Thoughts: ***SPOILER ALERT***

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. The ending was too abrupt when Patch’s ultimate secret is revealed.

Patch is a consistent character and I guess in my case it is true that I am
drawn to bad boys. He is confident, knows what he wants, he’s definitely not afraid to take what he wants any way he can.

I think Jules ruined the book for me. It felt completely out of place with everything that happens and it was most definitely an unnecessary part other than maybe using it as a book filler for this (shorter than average) novel.

Vee is a typical teenager who loves to flirt and party. She is the opposite of Nora but many friendships work because of balance between the two extremes.

The rest of the story was mostly good. I love Patch’s secret. It possibly took too long for us to know for sure who/what he is but I love the grotesque scars on his back and the way he dealt with the sacrifice (what he was looking for throughout the book).

I don’t understand why this book has such a great rating. Only the scenes including both Patch and Nora were worth reading. The rest of the book felt eerie and unpleasant. The flashbacks/freaky moments that Nora has were odd and unsettling. I hated the reasoning behind it but I guess it was a clever idea.

I think the book would have been better if Patch’s secret were revealed at least at midway point. Then if Jules were removed and something else major were to replace it. This book felt choppy and didn’t quite flow.

I wouldn’t recommend this book, but I also wouldn’t say it’s not worth reading. Hopefully book 2 will be better. I won’t be picking up the 2nd of the series in a rush, but I will probably get round to it sometime in the future.

Written by Ling Lee (21/09/14).

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Book Review #76: Seduced in the Dark by C. J. Roberts

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 16/09/14
My 35th book this year.)

Livvie must obey her master or be tortured into obedience. Almost completely physically broken, Livvie continues to survive. The real life nightmare of becoming a pleasure slave haunts her. Her master, Caleb, has gotten soft and continuously lets her disobey without enforcing punishments. He has much to prove to the man who saved him. Caleb still owes a debt to Rafiq, the man who saved him from the same outcome as intended for Livvie.

With Livvie securely back in his life, he can fulfil his promise to Rafiq, revenge should be the only thing on his mind. Yet Caleb struggles to keep control as his feelings for Livvie are making him erratic. One minute he spoils her like a lover but the next minute he punishes her mentally to the extreme.

Will Caleb betray Rafiq and choose the one girl he cannot have? Or will he give up the one girl who has ever loved him just to prove his loyalty?

This book is just as dark, filled with just as much passion, pain, shock, horror, betrayal and love.

My Thoughts: ***SPOILER ALERT***

I felt annoyed with the way the story was broken up. I wanted the story to flow and read like the first book did. I hated the interruptions even thought they were necessary to help keep the story moving and to help keep people up to pace with all the drama.

I absolutely loved the ending. Not really what I expected but I loved it none the less.

This book made me feel so much worse for the people who end up with this kind of life. But it also made me question what is really right or wrong and if it really can be so clear to answer. Can two people in this situation really fall for one another, or are they both so messed up that they are the only ones meant for each other?

Highly recommended but please don’t pick this series up if you cannot be open minded. Imagine being kidnapped and your only instinct left is to survive. Don’t read this book with the thought of disgust and shame because that would be doing this amazing author an awful injustice. Don’t judge, just read and watch this story unfold.

Reflect on everything after you turn the last page because this story had me up until 1-2am for days. I fell for the story and I fell for both characters. I hope that doesn’t mean I have a dark and twisted soul too.

Written by Ling Lee (16/09/14).

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Book Review #75: Captive in the Dark by C. J. Roberts

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 13/09/14
My 34th book this year.)

A girl is chosen, captured, bound and about to be broken, only to be remade into a pleasure slave.

The captor has his reasons and one of those reasons include revenge. Revenge for the person who gave him a reason to live. Revenge for why his life was so dramatically changed and how he became Caleb, the monster, the Captor, the Master.

This story tells a tale of the girl, what happened with every detail of her experience.

This book is extremely explicit, disturbing, controversial and dark.

My Thoughts:
4.5 stars!!!

If you can get past what is morally right or wrong, past the mental instability and the two broken people… This book is actually amazing!

There are worse things in real life than being trained into becoming a pleasure slave. The children who have been stolen from loving families, physically and mentally broken e.g all their limbs removed, deliberately blinded etc just to be turned into slaves who gain money from kindhearted people. But that only fuels the underground badness to keep committing these horrendous crimes.

The girl has never really known what a “normal” life feels like, when her captor is being kind to her, she disturbingly “needs” his touch and his kindness.

Although the situation is awful, the story itself is so well written. To understand what it could potentially feel like to be the girl. The humiliation, the pain, the loss, the confusion but also the need, the hope and the will to survive.

I love the ending to book 1 and I am desperate to pick up book 2. (I rarely read the next of a series straight away.)

I would recommend this book for it’s shock factor and I guess a bit of a reality check. To remind us all how grateful we should be, that we are only the reader and not the girl in captivity. To never take what we have for granted and to appreciate those who care for us because in reality, there are real people out there who have nothing to exist for, but they still have hope and the will to survive.

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Book Review #74: Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 11/09/14
My 33rd book this year.)

Raven the Goth girl loves everything black and everything to do with vampires. Ever since she was young she has always wanted to be a vampire. When a mysterious family move into the creepy mansion, Raven gets her chance to prove vampires exist or at least uncover the truth.

Alexander, the home schooled teen is just as mysterious as the rest of his family. He doesn’t like the outdoors, he loves to be at the cemetery, he dresses odd and at least one of their family members are allergic to garlic!

Trevor the most popular boy in school loves to pick on Raven for being different. But Raven is full of spirit and very much enjoys fighting back. With all the taunting, the urge to outdo one another, to embarrass each other, Raven has a very strange relationship with Trevor. Raven’s heart belongs with the dark side, with the blackness, the bats and the possibly, maybe Vampire Teen.

My Thoughts: ***SPOILER ALERT***
This book is for young teens who want to believe in vampires. I’ve always wanted to believe so I know how Raven feels, but I feel like it’s too stereotypical for her to be a Goth Girl.

The whole story flicks between is he a vampire? Is he not? It got a bit exhausting. But I did enjoy their strange dates and the time they spent together as 2 people who are different from every one else, but have found their own type of people. I like the feeling of acceptance.

I can’t say I felt any real excitement, except when Raven would sneak into the mansion. But I did smile at a few scenes so I guess this book was only just better than an average 3 star for me.

I was truly disappointed the book was so simple and nothing much happens. I wouldn’t really recommend it but I am willing to give book 2 a chance at some point.

Written by Ling Lee (11/09/14).

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Book Review #73: The One by Kiera Cass

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 09/09/14
My 32nd book this year.)

The King is angered. Lady America must behave or suffer the consequences. She must obey the rules, abide by the law and never ever disagree with the King again.

Prince Maxon is still insecure about love; who he loves and what real love is. How can a man decide when he can be with every girl in the Selection. With his choices narrowed he still has to choose One to be his wife. But every girl has their flaws so which girl will he choose despite that?

Lady America continuously lands herself in embarrassing situations, full of spirit and willingness to fight for what she believes in no matter the consequences. This girl is who the lower caste of the nation root for. The people are ready for change, ready for a chance to live in freedom, ready to be rid of the castes that limit their lives to what they are born into. The majority of the people believe Lady America is the one to help change lives for them all.

With competition getting serious as the end draws near. Each girl can only hope she has done enough to be the One in Maxon’s heart.

My Thoughts: *** SPOILER ALERT***
I very much enjoyed this book. I rarely rate the final book of a series better than the earlier books. I find myself disappointed by many story endings. This book left me with tears twinkling as love is finally recognised between people.

I hated the King and Queen’s outcome. But I guess it made sense so the book could be rounded off with all loose ends tied.

I hated Celeste in all previous books, but she somehow redeemed herself and realised that life isn’t always about me, me, me.
I never felt much for Elise and even at the end I can’t say much about her.
I disliked Kriss even though she was the only one who knew her love for Maxon was true.
America is unknowingly funny when caught in embarrassing situations. She fights and any character who fights for people are amazing to read.

At the end I guess I liked Maxon. But through out each book, he was uncertain every step of the way. I prefer a man with confidence, who can make his own choices, stand up for the ones he loves and to be strong. Lady America brought out the best in him and was sure to tell him when ever she were not entirely happy with him.

I definitely recommend this series. But this is really a girly book. Beautiful gowns, emotions flying through every page. Please start from book one, push past book 2, just to get to this end book. I’m actually sad to have finished this series.

Written by Ling Lee (09/09/14).

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