Some authors have an amazing way with words, and Bill Bryson is definitely one of them. After a single false start, he proceeded to make me utterly hoSome authors have an amazing way with words, and Bill Bryson is definitely one of them. After a single false start, he proceeded to make me utterly homesick for a country I've in large part never visited at all (three weeks total in Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney is nowhere near enough). I learned a bunch of new things about Australia and new places I want to visit. Bill Bryson's love for the country is unmistakable, and makes this not only a fascinating memoir and travel-account, but also an adoring ode to a soul country.
Interesting things I learned from "Down Under": - The concept of "Tomorrow, When the War Began" (John Marsden) wasn't actually as farfetched as I originally thought, but could have been based on a very real threat during WW2. - Racism is alive and well in Australia - the Aboriginals don't seem to be very accepted at all, and as late as 1970 their children was still considered wards of the state rather than of their parents and could be removed at will. - As of the time of writing, there was still a single territory that had declined becoming a state of Australia... meaning that though they could vote for elections, their votes didn't actually count for anything. - Australia is unique both from a geological and a botanical viewpoint and HUGE parts of it haven't been properly surveyed... if surveyed at all. Also, it has the coolest names for places, plants and animals :D - I WANT TO GO!!!...more
Very satisfying follow-up to "Gratuitous Epilogue" and perfect for people who want to know more about how Cass' family adapts to a new planet.
I knew fVery satisfying follow-up to "Gratuitous Epilogue" and perfect for people who want to know more about how Cass' family adapts to a new planet.
I knew from the set-out that Cass wasn't the main character of this book, but was slightly surprised by just how little a role she played in it. At times it almost seemed like she was left out deliberately, which was a bit jarring.
But apart from that minor nitpick, I really enjoyed it. I loved hearing more about Cass' Australian family, and how they all managed the huge change to their lives. Of course the epilogue only resulted in making me want to know more! I hope Andrea Höst will revisit the universe at a later stage....more
The first stand-alone stort-story / novella I've read by Mira Grant (all the others have been in her Newsflesh universe), and it reminded me why I preThe first stand-alone stort-story / novella I've read by Mira Grant (all the others have been in her Newsflesh universe), and it reminded me why I prefer longer novels in order to flesh out the universe more. I loved the premise of the story (revisiting problems via dreams and augmented reality), but thought the writing could have been better. The suspenseful part of the story wasn't nearly as powerful as it would have been, if you'd gotten to know the characters better, and I missed some sort of proper resolution / explanation at the end.
Still, Mira Grant always writes stories worth reading, and despite my small complaints I did enjoy the book and am as always eager to read more from her hand....more
Please note that this is a review of the book version only. There is also a version on Wattpad, which has some significant changes. Ironically, I beliPlease note that this is a review of the book version only. There is also a version on Wattpad, which has some significant changes. Ironically, I believe I would have rated that one higher, but this is the version provided to me by NetGalley, so so be it.
It will be hard to review it properly without spoilers but I will do my best.
Most of the book was excellent. Well written and captivating - written in the style of a YA Liane Moriarty novel. Sure, it was kinda sweetly tacky in places, and unrealistic in a chick-lit kinda way, but it worked. I stayed up much too late to read it, and despite a few glaring plotholes (most notably the MET storyline which was never tied up... I also have questions about both Blair and the therapist) was ready to give it a solid 4 star rating.
But then came the last 5 pages. I realize they were added for shock value and to get people to read the sequel, but when I read them, I didn't know a sequel was in the works, and thought this was the end - and it basically ruined the book for me. Only the fact that I was reading it on my tablet saved it from being tossed across the room.
At that time I was ready to give the book just 1 star, but a quick look on Goodreads informed me that a sequel is indeed in the works (and spoilers are aplenty on Wattpad) and that all is obviously not how it seems. That mellowed my opinion a fair bit, and made me raise my rating from "I didn't like it" to "it was okay". Still not sure I'd want to read the sequel though....more
I think I've been reading too many of these too close to each other. It was still really good, but a) it gets a bit repetitive. b) it becomes increasiI think I've been reading too many of these too close to each other. It was still really good, but a) it gets a bit repetitive. b) it becomes increasingly difficult to find something new to write about the books.
But I liked it. It was a quick read, even if a rather disturbing one. I liked the extra insight into Stormy's psyche, even if I did think there ought to have been hints in the earlier books. It seemed a bit too much like it was just invented for this one.
I still want to read more books in this series, but think I may just take a small break before the next one....more
I can't quite figure out what I thought of this book. I read it in one sitting, so it certainly had that going for it (even if it is short), but it waI can't quite figure out what I thought of this book. I read it in one sitting, so it certainly had that going for it (even if it is short), but it was awfully depressing at times. I kept reading, because I wanted to know what the trigger was, but when it was finally revealed, I felt that it was far too 'little' to warrant such a major (over-)reaction, which detracted somewhat from my enjoyment of the book, and meant it packed less of a punch than it could have.
There were definitely aspects of it that I enjoyed, and I loved Mabel's parents, but as a whole, I was fairly underwhelmed....more
A 3.5 star review. Rounded up, as I was surprised by how much I liked it, and kept finding excuses to read more. I can't even quite explain why, as thA 3.5 star review. Rounded up, as I was surprised by how much I liked it, and kept finding excuses to read more. I can't even quite explain why, as the plot itself was fairly straight-forward, but the writing kept me interested, and I was satisfied by the ending, even if I had seen it coming ahead of time. I used to say that I don't like whodunnits, but I think it's probably safer to say that I'm very picky when it comes to that genre. I'm not a fan of Agatha Christie and that ilk, but love crime novels that read like an episode of CSI or similar. This was closer to the latter (despite the main character being a possible victim rather than a cop) and kept me nicely entertained for all 198 pages.
It's a very quick read, and nicely contained, even if it does pave the way for more books in the series.
A 3.5 star review. Rounded up because of the shear delightful absurdity of it :)
I'll be honest - I almost entirely picked up this book based on the suA 3.5 star review. Rounded up because of the shear delightful absurdity of it :)
I'll be honest - I almost entirely picked up this book based on the sub-title. "The Part-Time Evil Minion's Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero"? What's not to like?! (as an aside - my DH asked me what I was reading, and I gave him the full title. He blinked a couple of times... "I'm not sure how to process that" ;-D )
Fortunately the story itself mostly lived up to my expectations. It toed the line a couple of times in becoming too much of a stereotypical "romance novel" for my taste, but thankfully never crossed the line completely... which meant that I'd occasionally put down the book for a bit in order to brace myself for the next part... and then pick it up again, only to discover the "next part" turned out to be much better handled than I'd feared and there was no cause for preemptive wincing ;)
And there was so much to like with this novel! I liked reading about Pat and Nick's growing relationship (and Pat's realization of why Nick called for him in the first place!), I liked Pat's family, and I loved the idea of super-villains (excuse me - Challengers!) having families and that any children would be required to do minion duty :-D
So all in all, a very enjoyable read with a plot suitably absurd to fit the title :-)
Besides, the ending was just CUTE! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the next West family dinner though!...more
A fairly traditional fantasy that was made utterly charming by the very sweet two main characters. Granted, their 'insta-romance' was perhaps not entiA fairly traditional fantasy that was made utterly charming by the very sweet two main characters. Granted, their 'insta-romance' was perhaps not entirely believable, but I found myself not minding, because of the very stereotypical "fairytale feel" of the entire novella - most of those have rather instant romances as well. That this was a M/M romance just changed the parameters around a bit.
Short and enjoyable. I liked both main characters, and appreciated how we got to hear the story from both sides. I would have liked a bit more resolution near the end, but accept that the comeuppance was never to come and that Solae's best revenge was to live well and be happy....more
Huh! I'm starting to wonder if I read a different book than the others did! So many 4 and 5 star reviews, and mine can only just sneak its way up to 2Huh! I'm starting to wonder if I read a different book than the others did! So many 4 and 5 star reviews, and mine can only just sneak its way up to 2.
Because my honest opinion is that this book was absolutely ridiculous. None of the characters seemed believable or acted in an even half-way realistic manner.
A shame too, because the plot had potential, and could have been really interesting if the characters hadn't been so hopelessly exaggerated. And twist seemed completely unmotivated and was never properly resolved or explained.
Granted, it did keep me reading, and despite how overdone everything was, I did want to know how it ended. But when push came to shove, I couldn't really bring myself to care about any of the characters other than Maggie, and most of them seemed more like charicatures than anybody you'd meet in real life.
With all the awesome YA books out there, give this one a miss....more
Almost as good as the first book in the series! I had a few more problems with the ending than I did with the first book, but thought the plot as a whAlmost as good as the first book in the series! I had a few more problems with the ending than I did with the first book, but thought the plot as a whole every bit as tightly written and executed. No odd translation errors in this one either! ;)
What happened to Sarah broke my heart, which is probably why I didn't find the ending satisfying enough, but I hope to hear more about her in the next book - much like we did with Bonnie in this one.
It's a fast ride, and hard to put down. I've already gotten my hands on the next book in the series.