Imagine knowing that you were different, but not quite sure how. That's how Anna Sophia felt; different, but not able to pin down the why or how. AllImagine knowing that you were different, but not quite sure how. That's how Anna Sophia felt; different, but not able to pin down the why or how. All she knew for certain was that her thirteenth birthday was going to be special, practically life altering. And it turns out that she's right!
Found in a bear cave as a baby, raised by a trapper in the wilds of Siberia until she was six and then placed in an orphanage, Anna Sophia hasn't exactly had an easy life. But after her thirteenth birthday, things start to happen which she can't explain.
Thankfully, her mother left her a letter to be given to Anna on her thirteenth birthday. While it did answer some questions for her, it left Anna's head swimming with hundreds more!
Why did she also receive a strange drawing and carving with the letter? Why was the carving of a hand so lifelike? What was the significance of the drawing? Inquiring minds want to know!
Since the title of the book says it's a diary, there are diary entries from Anna as well as illustrations scattered throughout the book. Thought those were a nice touch.
This was a really fun story that read like it was aimed at a younger crowd, but this doesn't detract from the books overall enjoyment in any way.
At a little over 100 pages, this was a really fast read. I enjoyed getting to know Anna and some of her friends. Thought that the story was interesting and I liked that it had a message/moral. Makes me wish my niece was young enough to appreciate this book!...more
To be honest, this was a tough read. While beautifully written, it felt disjointed and confusing to me and I struggled to finish.
The book starts off wTo be honest, this was a tough read. While beautifully written, it felt disjointed and confusing to me and I struggled to finish.
The book starts off with the gentle tale of a rabbit family. Everything seems lovely...until the bombs drop. As the bunnies deal with the aftermath, Mr. Fin makes a sudden appearance in his garage, tinkering with his boat.
What happened to the rabbits? Who is Mr. Fin? The sudden switch between stories and characters left me scratching my head and it took me a moment to catch on.
This story reminded me of a stream of consciousness novel that I once picked up and couldn't finish, but the tale of the rabbits kept me intrigued enough to keep going.
I'm not sure if it was because the story demanded too much concentration or that Fin's condition hit a little too close to home (my MIL had dementia), but reading this story was not the enjoyable escape I normally expect from a book.
While it's not exactly to my taste, I'm sure that other readers will be able to appreciate Fin's skewed remembrances of beloved stories. And as I mentioned earlier, the author does have a way with words. It was just a little too demanding for me and left me floundering....more
What if you were invited to a party, but once you arrived you found out you couldn't have any cake until you had eaten a bowl of Brussels sprouts? YouWhat if you were invited to a party, but once you arrived you found out you couldn't have any cake until you had eaten a bowl of Brussels sprouts? You'd be pretty disappointed, right?
That's how I felt when starting The Well Path. I wanted the "cake" of how to reverse the aging process, but had to eat the "Brussels sprouts" of reading about the science first.
One of the problems I have with self-help books is that the author always wants to explain the science behind their theories. They want to explain the why before they explain the how.
All important information, but I wanted the good stuff! Maybe put the science stuff behind the plan instead of right at the front?
Since I do not like Brussels sprouts, I cheated a little and just skimmed the first part.
It was worth the wait though, as The Well Path actually sounds doable!
Everything is laid out for you in easily understandable steps, and there's even a Prep Week for you to get ready!
No harsh regimens. No forbidden foods. No killer exercise program.
Instead, there are small steps you take each week that gradually change your life for the better. And even better, there are no hard and fast deadlines! I can do small steps. Small steps are good!
Who knew that drinking a cup of warm lemon water every morning and having soup for lunch would be so life changing? Yes, there are other steps, but they're added so gradually that you sort of ease into them without hurting yourself.
I'm actually excited about this routine! I've just started, but think I can really stick with it because of all of the easy, gradual changes.
And best of all, the author says I can have cake!...more
Ever wonder if there's really an afterlife? If our time here on earth is it, or do we go somewhere else after we die? Firstlife sort of answers thoseEver wonder if there's really an afterlife? If our time here on earth is it, or do we go somewhere else after we die? Firstlife sort of answers those questions, with an interesting premise that hooked me in the first chapter!
According to the story, there are two realms where your spirit can go after death. Troika is the land of light, while Myriad is the land of darkness. Troika is a little stricter than Myriad, but they both have pros and cons. They both also have agents who try to convince humans to sign on with their realm.
Actually, there are three options if you include those humans who don't sign with either realm. They wind up someplace called Many Ends, which sounds straight out of a nightmare!
Didn't care for the prologue, but loved the rest of the story!
Ten, the main character, has been sent to a horrible asylum to be tortured because she refuses to sign with one of the afterlife realms. The treatment dished out to the residents is beyond belief! What's worse is that they're all kids. What kind of parent sends their child to a place like that? Yikes!
Turns out that both Troika and Myriad really want Ten to sign with their realm, so they send agents into the asylum to help make up her mind. They really, really want Ten on their side, so guess that alls fair in love and war.
Really enjoyed this one, as I've never read anything like it! Great characters, an interesting plot, and a well-placed storyline made for a great read! Definitely a great start to an interesting new series, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next!...more
The Beautiful Bureaucrat is an odd little story that left me scratching my head.
Josephine takes a job entering numbers into a database. After severalThe Beautiful Bureaucrat is an odd little story that left me scratching my head.
Josephine takes a job entering numbers into a database. After several months of unemployment, she's not going to complain about her new boring job or ask any unnecessary questions. But there were several questions she didn't ask that left me wondering what was going on in her head.
For instance, she never asked her interviewer's name or title. She even acknowledged that she missed her opportunity to ask his name, but I found that odd. I mean, wouldn't you ask his name on day one? And no one gave her a tour of her new workplace, so why not ask her new boss where the break room was instead of knocking on doors?
Her relationship with her husband also left me scratching my head. They were no longer newlyweds, so I couldn't understand why she wouldn't demand to know where he disappeared to when he didn't come home one night. I mean, who wouldn't freak out if their partner doesn't come home? Then no explanation? That struck a false chord with me.
Josephine seemed way too passive for my tastes and I wound up not liking her. She lets too many things slide and has odd reactions to what's going on around her. I mean, who wouldn't wash the sheets in a sublet before sleeping on them? Especially white sheets that were now a dingy grey? That one stuck with me and maybe it's just me, but yuck!
Mildly annoyed with the main character's habit of word play, she also seemed to have a few hallucinations that weren't really explained. But at least she was more developed than the other characters, which isn't saying much.
The premise of this story held so much promise, but sort of petered out with an anti-climatic ending. I was really looking forward to seeing what would happen next, but was ultimately let down. A disappointing read overall, but it did have some nice descriptive passages that showcased the author's potential. Will be curious to see what Phillips does next. ...more
The Witch Hunter is about Elizabeth Grey, a young girl who has been taught to fear magic and blames witches for the death of her parents.
Trained to huThe Witch Hunter is about Elizabeth Grey, a young girl who has been taught to fear magic and blames witches for the death of her parents.
Trained to hunt down any magic practitioners and bring them in for punishment, Elizabeth is very good at her job. In fact, she's one of the best witch hunters around, despite her young age.
Then one day Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft herself and thrown in the dungeon to await her turn at the stake. Stunned by the betrayal of her mentor and bereft when her best friend doesn't return to rescue her, Elizabeth has no choice but to go with a known wizard in order to avoid certain death.
While she at first plans to betray the outlaw wizards in order to regain favor, she soon learns that there's a huge bounty on her head and returning is no longer an option.
Left with no other choices, Elizabeth agrees to help the wizard in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Along the way, she learns that wizards and witches aren't as evil as she was led to believe.
Elizabeth also learns a few other things that leave her shocked and confused. Has her entire life been based on a lie? Left wondering what to believe and who she can trust, Elizabeth must make some difficult choices.
Really enjoyed this story! I liked Elizabeth, even though some of her decisions made me want to smack her! She wasn't a total idiot though, just a naive young girl in over her head. And yes, a trained witch hunter can still be naive!
While it wasn't really explained why witchcraft was illegal or why the penalties were so harsh, the world was familiar enough to be believable.
Really enjoyed the world that the author created! This book had a decent plot, an interesting premise, and good characters. It was a fast read for me and left me wanting more! ...more
Illuminae is a fun read, mainly because it's told through a collection of transcripts, emails, reports, interviews, etc. Very clever, but not at all dIlluminae is a fun read, mainly because it's told through a collection of transcripts, emails, reports, interviews, etc. Very clever, but not at all difficult to follow.
The story starts off with a bang, as the two main characters are interviewed about what happened the day of the attack. Which just happened to be the day that the couple broke up. What lousy timing!
Due to a personnel shortage, Ezra is conscripted as a fighter pilot. Kady wants nothing more than to keep her head down, despite having a way with computers. She deliberately fails the assessment tests and winds up using her talents to hack into the system to find out what the authorities aren't telling the survivors. What she finds is not reassuring.
Remember HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey? AIDAN, the AI on one of the ships, reminded me a little of HAL when he decides that he is right and the humans are wrong. Every time AIDAN replied that he was unable to comply with an order, I heard:
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
AIDAN just wants to protect the fleet, even if he has to destroy it. Bummer when an all-powerful artificial intelligence goes rogue.
Really enjoyed this story, though I don't usually like sci fi space operas. I don't really think it's science fiction, despite taking place aboard spaceships, one with a rogue AI computer. Guess because there wasn't too much science talk, which makes my eyes glaze over immediately!
This was a fast read for me, despite being a little over 600 pages. The story sucked me in right away and I read it in less than 48 hours! I usually shy away from big books like this, but the premise was too good to ignore and I'm so glad I didn't let the size intimidate me.
Great characters, a fascinating premise with a fast-paced plot, awesome writing, and OMG the suspense! I was frantically turning pages to see what happened next!
Highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read! Even if you don't normally like science fiction or YA, I think you'll like this one! Yes, it's just that good....more
Alive grabs your attention from the very first page with a young girl waking up on her twelfth birthday....in a coffin! Unable to move due to restrainAlive grabs your attention from the very first page with a young girl waking up on her twelfth birthday....in a coffin! Unable to move due to restraints on her wrists, ankles and hips, she struggles to break free and stop whatever is biting her neck. Talk about grabbing the reader by the neck from the very first page! I was immediately hooked!
After freeing herself, she finds herself in a room with several other coffins. M. Savage is written on the end of her coffin, so she assumes that is her name. To her surprise, Em wasn't the only one trapped and there are five others. Six survivors out of twelve coffins, with no one else in sight.
All of them think it's the morning of their twelfth birthday, but look much older physically. Where are they, who trapped them in the coffins, and more importantly, why can't they remember their own names? Curiouser and curiouser!
Elected by the others as leader of their small group, Em decides to find out what's beyond their room instead of waiting to be rescued. The first order of business is figuring out how to get out of the room. And so begins a fascinating adventure!
This book reminded me a little of The Maze Runner with the set up of young people trapped in a strange location with no idea how or why they're there, but it's definitely its own story!
Really enjoyed the book! It had an interesting premise, good characters, was very well written, and took a couple of left turns I never anticipated. If you're looking for a good read, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Alive! ...more
Crewel is the first book in a trilogy, but I'm not sure that I want to read the rest.
Adelice, the main character, struck me as selfish, unlikable, andCrewel is the first book in a trilogy, but I'm not sure that I want to read the rest.
Adelice, the main character, struck me as selfish, unlikable, and unsympathetic. I know that we're supposed to feel sorry for all she's been through, but so much of it was her own fault that I couldn't muster up much sympathy.
Trained for years by her parents to hide her ability and told that she needs to fail the testing session for her own safety, Adelice "slips" on the final testing day. To make matters worse, she lies to her parents when she gets home and lets them believe the ruse worked.
I got the impression that her parents had a plan in place in case the ruse didn't work, but things turned out terribly because Adelice wanted to pretend that everything would be okay. How incredibly selfish and immature!
Almost every bad thing that happens to Adelice is her own fault. Maybe not entirely, but at least partially. And yet she won't take responsibility for any of it, which annoyed me even more!
Yes Adelice is incredibly gifted, but too many people give her warning after warning and risk their own safety, which left me at a loss. Why would so many people try to help her when she wasn't very nice? And why wouldn't she listen?
Even when Adelice is punished and we're told how awful the punishment was, it didn't seem to matter to her. I know I'd have a quick attitude adjustment after being left in a dark, dank dungeon for days on end, but not Adelice! Are we supposed to admire her spunk? I just thought she was reckless and foolish.
That sounds really harsh and like I didn't enjoy the book at all, which isn't the case. I loved the idea of the Spinsters, weaving time and material like the Fates of old! I wish we had spent more time with the other Spinsters and learned more about the process.
The world that the author has created sounds fascinating too! The Powers That Be have absolute control over their citizens, dictating every detail of their lives, from how many children you can have to when you die. Terrifying!
And despite the power the Spinsters have, women are definitely second-class citizens in this society. Not allowed to travel and kept in traditional female occupations, they have very few rights. I would have liked to explore this world in more detail!
The ending left me a little torn. The big finale seemed like just another reckless action by Adelice and left me liking her even less, but I sort of want to read the next book to see what happens. I think I'll wait and maybe time will soften my feelings for Adelice....more