Not the best book ever written, really predictable, but I had so much fun watching the story unfold that didn't really matter. Not to mention that I gNot the best book ever written, really predictable, but I had so much fun watching the story unfold that didn't really matter. Not to mention that I got really attatched to these characters. This book did remind me of Twilight in some ways but the world was so different and the fantastical elements so smartly written in my opinion that I don't think it would be fair at all to call this a "Twilight ripoff". The only thing I didn't like was the way the ending was written. I didn't mind where it ended but I thought it needed something...more. As is, it seemed a little unfinished. I read an ARC though, perhaps I need to compare to a completely finished copy to see if I'd still find my statements about the end true.
Looking forward to the next one...in the meantime there is Shadow Days....more
It's kind of funny to call this book dissapointing when I had no expectactations getting into it. I only picked it up as something extra to read in caIt's kind of funny to call this book dissapointing when I had no expectactations getting into it. I only picked it up as something extra to read in case I needed something between other reads (and then because I couldn't find my kindle charger adapter for a few days). But it was dissapointing. It does everything I dislike about plot and only a few things right. And it seemed...cheesy. I think the only reason I read all the way through as fast as I did was that I kept waiting for something to happen. Almost the entire book was this girl, Jessie, trying to figure out if she liked this boy, Pietr. We know he is a werewolf - that's blatantly obvious from the beginning (even though it seems the author is trying to make this a mystery and just forshadowing...it's just too obvious to be all that interesting) but Delany doesn't do anything with that until the very end of the book. Instead she focuses way too much on whiney teenage angsty friendships. Given the last 20 pages of the book I wonder why. There is so much the author could have done plotwise with what was revealed here. Was it supposed to be a surprise and she left everything out on purpose or was this whole book just written on the fly and Delany only thought of somewhere interesting to go with all of this as her word count ran out? It's really hard to tell. I'm not sure if I'd read the next book in the series. Given this is the first book it's always possible the story will get better. But then it's always possible the author will fall into the same bad habits again. I'll have to wait and see....more
I was very skeptical about this book at first. I like books that take place in an Amish setting but I really, really don’t like ‘sappy’ romance novels, which is what most of the Amish books I’ve been seeing lately are all about. But this book was passed down to me by two people who really enjoyed it and were excited enough about it to find someone to share with. I had to at least try it, right? After leaving it for about a month and going back and reading the back cover, realizing it was actually a mystery, I was much more intrigued and ready to start reading.
I really enjoyed this book but I do find it hard to describe it without seeming a bit negative (keep in mind I really did enjoy this book). At first glance there really doesn’t seem to be much different from this book than any other standard mystery. It’s pretty formulaic in that way and there’s nothing really different about Harper’s writing style that makes it so special. The formula? Woman’s husband dies in a freak ‘accident’ but she doesn’t think it is one, mysterious things are happening all around her, she meets a man who happens to want to help her but she doesn’t know if she should trust him, there are twists and turns to throw the reader off and eventually everything comes together in one giant reveal, woman decides what to do about man who has been helping her and she lives happily ever after.
But there was so much about this book I personally really enjoyed that made it hard for me to put it down. First, Rachel is Amish but it’s not the standard Amish story. Rachel isn’t as sheltered as her other community members. She has an English friend and spends a lot of time with her, even using her as a babysitter for her children. She visits the library and reads English books and throughout the course of the story she gets involved with many other English people. This makes her place in the community very unsteady and makes the mystery behind her husband’s death (and her new possible romance) very interesting. It also makes all the explanations of Amish vs. English lifestyles much more realistic. It fits into the storytelling unlike those other stories where the Amish are too sheltered to make the kind of comparisons authors usually do. There is of course romance in this book but it’s not the ‘sappy’ romance I was afraid of. The mystery and ‘creepy’ vibe from the story is much more prominent here. There was lots going on in this story which gave me lots of things to want to find out and keeping me reading. It was very hard to put down.
Bottom line is, I really enjoyed this story. Enough to search through Karen Harper’s other stories to find some future reads....more
I saw this posted up on the Kindle group over at GoodReads. Science fiction isn’t normally something I am excited about and therefore is not something I am normally curious about when I come across suggestions or postings on little-known books within the genre. So it was a different experience for me to have this catch my eye. First, it’s title was something I was very curious about. What exactly is a Space Junque? What does it mean? And a paranormal space opera? What does that mean? For some reason there was something inside of me that just had to know. This little novella (or novelette) was cheap enough that I decided to take my chances.
Well I took my chances and believe I did alright with them. The story is intriguing. It follows a woman named Char and her journey from Earth into outer space on what turns out to be a grand adventure. The world is futuristic and much has changed from our current times. We get to see glimpses of the people (mutants, “ghosts”, DOGs, even gods and other spirit creatures) and politics (one world government) along the way and hear Char’s take on the way things are. The world is certainly a very interesting place and adds a lot to the story.
My little quibble with the world building here is that we don’t really get to hear enough these aspects. The author mentions them, we come into contact with characters that either are or know more about these things but they aren’t really explained. For example, Char mentions the “ghosts” quite frequently at the beginning of the story. She sees them and explains what they are doing. She is afraid of coming into contact with them. But if you asked me to tell you what the “ghosts” are after reading this story, I could not tell you. It’s never explained. As for the DOGs, we learn that they are terrorists, we come into contact with them, see how they operate, but the author either leaves out or forgets to explain what the acronym stands for.
Then there is the strong aspect of the story – the one that really kept me reading. Here’s Char’s social life, an unexpected romance, the mystery of what happened to Char’s twin sister Sky, and what appears to be the coming apocalypse on Earth. I’m not sure if it was the scandalous mysteries surrounding these aspects or the unfolding events which really brought them to life but this part of the story was just great. It is filled with action, twists, and turns that will keep you on your toes, flipping pages furiously until the very end.
As a few readers have said over on GoodReads, I wish this story was longer to make it more flushed out. But I also wish this story was longer just so I could keep reading. Despite my reservations about the world building I really did enjoy this little tale. Surely, I will be reading any sequels that come up in this series....more
I received The Naked Gardener at the start of November. It came direct from the author as a giveaway to participate in a book discussion over at The Next Best Book Club. The book came and immediately made me smile with its extra touch of including a package of flower seeds attached to the book with a pretty ribbon. I began to wonder...are these flowers so that I too can garden naked? The thought of it made me giggle. There is no way I am doing THAT. I may have a tall fence but there is also an apartment block towering over my neighbourhood and who knows how far their “peeping Tom” eyes can reach :D I began to read almost immediately, wondering what was in store for me in what seemed on the outside a crazy little book.
Well, the book surprised me in such a great way. Both the writing style combined with the interests and the voice of the book’s main character, Katelyn, spoke to me in a way that seemed incredibly close to life. Within the first few chapters I began to wonder if I was really reading fiction or if I was somehow mistaken and reading non-fiction instead. I even went so far to check the back of the book and online as well. It was indeed fiction and this really impressed me. One of the things I enjoyed most at the beginning of the novel was the description of gardening and Katelyn’s summer home. The gardening scenes reminded me much of both my mother and grandmother in their own gardens (okay, leave out the naked part, and there you go). However, as the book continued and Katelyn’s group of friends went on a weekend-long canoe trip this burst of reality came to life on a whole new level for me. The conversations these women have and their reactions to each other were yet again faithful to the way (I believe) many women actually act in real life.
On yet another level, L.B. Gschwandtner brings up the issues of equality in women’s lives, the importance of being one’s own person, and finding a place in the world (in a woman’s own life, with her own wishes and own circumstances). I’m not sure I quite understood everything she was doing here while I was reading the story or if I necessarily agreed with every detail of it. However, I really enjoyed how this was done. I really started to think about the issues of feminism and the downfalls of being “too preachy” with feministic agendas (the issue of equality really stands out here) in fiction. When I think of feminism I tend to think of a lot of negativity towards men or women trying to act like men to get what they want. I like LB’s gentle approach instead – lifting women up, allowing them to feel great about who they are (rather than trying to change them) and not trying to downplay too much the importance of men in women’s lives. I can’t be sure if this is the reason or if there is another I have not thought of, but I felt a constant air of joy while reading this story. There are some “complaints”, some tough decisions, and a few predicaments the women get themselves into. Somehow throughout all this I managed to have a constant smile on my face while reading – a joyful smile. Periodically – giggles.
But before I get too deep into what I liked most about this book I’d like to point out one small problem I had – and the only thing really holding it back from me considering this a perfect read. I did find it hard to relate to some of the characters. I’m not sure if this is because four of the characters backgrounds and physical descriptions are given to the reader one after the other and my memorizing skills just don’t work that way or for the following reason. L.B. points out in our discussion that she purposefully tries to show women at various stages of their lives. Looking back, it does make sense that the women I connected to most were those closest to my own age. I think this was a very clever way to create difference in her characters as well. I just wish I could have connected to all of them, but perhaps this just goes to show how much I loved the overall story that I actually cared about wanting to connect with the characters at all.
I would highly recommend this book. For anyone reading my review and thinking they would like these things also – I urge you to seek out this book. Then you too may have a smile on your face!...more
First off, this is the second book in the Rabbit series and I recommend reading the first, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider before this one. It is a continuation of the first story but takes place seven years after book #1 ends.
I should probably say that when I finished Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider I had no idea there was going to be two more. And so while reading I wasn’t searching for any clues about what might come next. That’s why when I started Rabbit Legacy it was really like starting out fresh again. About a third through I was really happy with what was going on here. First I was happy with it taking place seven years in the future. This meant that we got to skip all the gritty details of the in-between years. And let’s face it, not everyone has a big adventure twice (or three times) in a row. It was a lot more realistic to me that these in-between years occurred but I was glad that as readers we got to pick up again when all the action was starting up for a second time. And then I was really happy with all the back-story between two of the characters – Roman and Javier – and the addition of some fresh new faces to spruce things up a bit. And speaking of sprucing things up, the rules have changed, the Rakuum understand the power of “Beth’s God”, and there are all sorts of interesting things happening here.
In terms of spiritual lessons, this book is an abundance of them. I really never even thought the term “vampire Christian book” was possible in this sense but I can see from reading this book (in my case, even more so than the first one) that the pairing of vampires and spiritual lessons is just perfect. My favourite line, spoken by Rakuum leader Rufus is “I know the plans I have for you and they are all about me.” My jaw literally dropped and I had to blink away my shock. This is God’s assurance to us but twisted in a selfish way. God says that he has plans for us and they are not to harm us. Considering the way these creatures think of themselves as gods, this line is really something to ponder. Yet Ellen Maze also makes it clear that if they are willing to acknowledge and come to Him, God will allow it. There is ‘salvation’ for all. But my biggest eureka moments in this book, and this is what I held on to in the last book as well, was just what makes people do things they know are bad for them. Why do people have such a hard time with temptation and lust that they are not living the way they want to. Or that it has so completely taken over their lives that they don’t see reason for any other way of living. Really, it made me think of my own attitude towards certain things in my life. And I think that’s what makes a great book. This is such an amazing book for that and I haven’t even scratched the surface here. There really is an abundance of thought-provoking questions (and answers) that it seems like there is something for everyone.
I really loved this book and recommend readers of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider to keep on reading. Don’t be scared of sequels. This was just as great as the first! If you haven’t started the series yet, I recommend you do. And if you are Christian and already a Paranormal Fantasy reader what is stopping you? I can’t wait to get my hands on Rabbit Redemption and am just really grateful that there will be other books by Ellen Maze until then.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dec 13th temporary review: I will write a review sometime this week. For now I leave you with...
This is not the book you are looking for. This is not a weight loss book. It's not about dieting. It wont make you feel badly about your body. It does notThis is not the book you are looking for. This is not a weight loss book. It's not about dieting. It wont make you feel badly about your body. It does not contribute to the massive amounts of imagery and false values that being "healthy" means loosing weight/dieting that has plagued the younger generation with anorexia and bulemia. You wont find any promises that the solution to all your problems are "just that easy".
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum takes a respectable look at an addiction that plagues the world today. I picked this up because the idea of an author writing about sugar addiction that was not solely about weight loss and obesity was a foreign concept to me. Was it too good to be true? Not so. And so - I was pleasently surprised. You see, like millions of people I too suffer from sugar additiction. Rockets. One of my worst enemies (because I love them so). But alas, I am not overweight. And I don't need to be told that I can loose weight by abstaining from sugar. What I do need is healthy information that does not contribute to an unhealthy body image.
Rant aside, this was a great book. You get to learn what "type" of addiction to sugar you have - namely, why is it that you reach for sugar. Once you do that it's a matter of focusing on how to get even better results for that reason by cutting down sugar (which has worse effects in the long run) and finding alternatives. And Dr. Teitlebaum gives just the right amount of alternatives that there is enough choice without it being too overwhelming. There is also a large section on physical problems, how sugar contributes to these problems and how to cope with them in natural, healthy ways.
It's an informative book, not exhausted, but is a good start on a new healthy lifestyle for the reader. It's a unique approach, and as said previously, I give this author high points for not focusing on weight loss, but on lifestyle and health. Something that I have looked for previously in books but has been neglected as a source of information for us non-overweight people who sugar has taken a toll on as well.
**spoiler alert** BAD POINT 1: This book has a vampire that eats childrens balls. Balls. For dinner. Seriously. He cuts off little boys balls and eats**spoiler alert** BAD POINT 1: This book has a vampire that eats childrens balls. Balls. For dinner. Seriously. He cuts off little boys balls and eats them for dinner. For dinner. Ser.i.ous.ly. I still can`t get over it !!!!!!!!
BAD POINT 2: This book has a scene with a newly `undead` man with a constant erection attempting to rape one of these castrated boys who had already had his privates eaten for dinner. Ser.ious.ly!!!
BAD POINT 3: Halfway through this book you find out that the person the author was calling a girl is actually a boy. Make up your mind man!
BAD POINT 4: Characters have a big thing about speaking in broken sentences. There are whole converstations like this. Not enough to be part of the writing style, enough for a person to notice and start getting annoyed after the tenth or so time. Seriously, whole converstations go something like this: ``...did you...`` ``...but then...`` ``...well what...`` Then she walked out of the room.
Other converstations go like this: ``talking talking talking. A few sentences. Okay now lets stop in the middle of a sentence here and then say...`` The rest of the converstation went this way.
So obviously, all four of these things really bothered me. It actually wasn`t going so bad in the beginning. I could have dealt with some annoying writing techniques. The story wasn`t good but not terrible either. I was going to give it three stars meanig ``average``. But then the book started to crash and burn right around the time Eli`s name is short for Elias and the girl is actually a boy. Then the whole castration thing and then I think I read the rest of the book with a frown on my face.
But there were some unique-ish things to this book that I really enjoyed. Like how Eli was not only 12 physically but stayed 12 mentally as well even 200 years later. Like the way he dealt with having to kill people to survive (``I deserve to live too``, ``I`m no different from you``, etc). Like he relationship between Oskar and Eli - two little children who have no friends and find each other. How the author dealt with what I guess you could call vampire suicides. How fragile the vampires bodies actually were even if they could only actually be killed certain ways. Like the way a kiss on the lips from the vampire could allow them to get into the other person`s head, show them memories. Like the way I could see everything written on the big screen.
All in all though I felt this book was just too messy. There were way too many characters (I could have dealt without any of the drunk gang scenes), way too many storylines, etc etc. It kind of felt like the author wanted to fit all his ideas into this one book. Some of them were great and actually made we want to keep reading despite all the bad stuff. And others were just sick fantasies. ...more
Where do I start with this book? The writing is beautiful and it has a very distinct voice. The story is told from the perspective of four very different women during the summers of the 1920s to 1940’s. We know that some sort of tragedy occurred during this time period but we aren’t given the whole picture. In this way we are taken on a journey that allows these four women to come to terms with what has happened and the roles they played. Here is what makes the writing voice so distinct. The story really isn’t told as if it is a series of events that start at point A and end at point B. Instead it’s very psychological in nature. Basically, imagine a story where the events in a person’s life are told exactly as they are thought about. Imagine a story where when you question “what is that person thinking?” or “what’s that person’s side of the story?” or “does he/she ever think about that time?” we get to see exactly that. As said, the writing was beautiful, but this wasn’t just for the lyrical quality of it but the glimpse of raw emotional and psychological peril we are thrown into. The story was captivating and the characters are ones you will love to hate when you get to the core of it.
The problem I have with this book is – who do I recommend it to? I have a very hard time coming up with an answer to this question. I know that I thought the book was great, but will others? The story can be very repetitive at times both within the same person’s perspective and crossing into all four of them. The characters were very hard to get a hold of in terms of who’s who at the beginning of the story (thanks to the writer for including a character list at the beginning of the book!). The writer also does something that I know a lot of readers are not fond of – telling instead of showing. Don’t get me wrong, I want to recommend this book. I want to hand over my copy to family and friends so they can read it too. But I can’t be too sure that repetition and ‘telling’ won’t be bothersome to them.
If you like experimental writing styles, lyrical qualities, and family stories with mysteries to them you may like this book. But just beware of the potential that this book may not be an easy read.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the writer in order to participate in a September book discussion over at The Next Best Book Club (Goodreads group)...more
I found the first few essays were really weak for me. Not funny at all. After that it really picked up and surprised me how much I really ended up lauI found the first few essays were really weak for me. Not funny at all. After that it really picked up and surprised me how much I really ended up laughing. I'm not sure if I'd read more of his books but I'm glad I ended up enjoying this one in the end....more