I picked up this book after having several people recommend it. All of them had said they couldn't put the book down. Was this the case for me? Yes, iI picked up this book after having several people recommend it. All of them had said they couldn't put the book down. Was this the case for me? Yes, it was.
While I couldn't put The Natural Way of Things down, it was still a difficult read. The content matter is tough to digest, dealing with the abduction of several women and their subsequent horrendous treatment. however, it is certainly worth the read.
You never quite find out exactly why the women were abducted beyond the fact they were being punished for their discretions. However, there comes a point in this novel where the reader no longer cares why they were taken. Instead you become completely involved in their survival. It is not normal for me to not even care for the why leading up to a story's events, but somehow Charlotte Wood managed to do it and for that I am eternally grateful as it adds a dimension to the story that is normally missing from these sorts of novels....more
To be honest, I first picked this book up after reading the blurb and deciding the book might be similar to Jean M. Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear serieTo be honest, I first picked this book up after reading the blurb and deciding the book might be similar to Jean M. Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear series. It's not. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed A Girl Called Wolf.
Right from the very start, the author manages to captivate the reader with the simplistic view of the small world of Anuka. As Anuka grows and matures, so does the narrative. The reader gets to grow and evolve alongside Anuka as her life journey takes her such a far, far way away from where she was born.
While the narrative is wonderful, there is one part of the story that lost me a little. Without giving away the story, Anuka ends up in a situation that results in her changing her whole life. This event is actually glossed over with the story jumping dramatically to further on in the character's life. I would have loved to have been involved in this event--harrowing as it was--because the jump tends to throw you out of the story and for a short time you are less engaged in why Anuka changed her life so dramatically. However, the story does quickly catch up and the reader finds themselves engaged once more in a story that is hard to put down.
This story is actually based on a real person although some parts of the story have been given creative license....more
Okay, right off the bat, I couldn’t put this book down. When it comes to the Southern Gothic genre, I just can’t help myself, so I picked up this bookOkay, right off the bat, I couldn’t put this book down. When it comes to the Southern Gothic genre, I just can’t help myself, so I picked up this book based on the genre alone. When I did the cover reveal for it, I was sold already!
I really connected with the main character. Reese is one of those characters that is probably not as likable in real life, but as a character in a book, she is one of my favourite types of main characters. Colton is equally as likable, in fact, probably even more so with his horrible father and bad breaks in life.
As for the small town element of Here They Lie, there was just the right delicious blend of southern hospitality mixed with buried secrets and double crossed characters to keep me engrossed in the setting as well as the story.
There is a wonderful blend of humour mixed with that wonderfully “chattiness” that comes with a decent southern Gothic novel that hooks me every single time. As a result of this, the story grabs you right from the first page and I found myself reading late into the night in order to “turn another page”. However, each page turned made me need to turn another, and another, and… well, you get my drift ;-)
There were only two faults I could find with this novel, First was the constant reminders that Reese’s family had a secret. While I know the author needed to build suspense and, to a degree, possible shame, about the family secret, I just found I was getting over being “reminded” there was a secret that the reader was going to be teased with it but not told what it was just yet.
Secondly, the end of this novel just felt a little under done. I think one more read over and polish up by the author would have helped considerably. While it wasn’t so much the copy edit, it was more along the lines of certain areas seemed glossed over or under-explained and found, while reading it, I was fumbling a little.
However, these gripes were minor ones and didn’t overly hinder my enjoyment of the novel. I can’t WAIT to read more by this author....more
I haven't read a straight fantasy novel for what feels like the longest time ever. And, when I get the opportunity to read a novel such as Al-Kabar, II haven't read a straight fantasy novel for what feels like the longest time ever. And, when I get the opportunity to read a novel such as Al-Kabar, I really question why I don't read a lot more in this genre!
Al-Kabar is what I would consider Middle Eastern Fantasy. There is deserts and magic and mages galore. I really love the feel of this novel, the author draws you in immediately and sets the scene nicely with the main character meeting a potential suitor. Her family is introduced and the everyday sense of the setting is engaging.
Then, stuff happens. And since I am not a spoiler heavy reviewer, let's just say that things go down and the main character discovers she is actually Al-Kabar, a water dancer (or mage) that is set to seek revenge.
Overall, the pace of this story was great. There were a few moments where I felt the story lag and get bogged down with the fine details of what was going on, but these moments were few and far between.
My main gripe with this novel is the fact that when the main character (who is female) becomes Al-Kabar, she transforms into, for all intents and purposes, a male character. While I loved the conflict that occurs after this transformation, when it first occurred, there was some confusion as the character was suddenly being referred to as a male when a chapter ago they were being referred to as a woman. However, this hiccup has been amended between the ARC and the published copy, so all readers have to do is sit back and enjoy the show!
Over all, I am giving Al-Kabar by Lee French, 4 out of 5 stars. I really, REALLY enjoyed this book!...more
Fractured Memories starts in a post-apocalyptic world where “skinnies” can be compared to zombies in that they have a compulsion to eat flesh, althougFractured Memories starts in a post-apocalyptic world where “skinnies” can be compared to zombies in that they have a compulsion to eat flesh, although they tend to be smarter than your average walker. I loved the immediate sense of bleak dread the author conjured up and then the later automatic feeling of confusion when a birthday surprise sours and the whole community falls.
However, I was a bit surprised, when the author had set the scene brilliantly to allow the reader to feel the ever present sense of urgency and impending doom, then she allowed her characters to step outside the community’s boundaries for something as frivolous as surprising one of the characters for their birthday. I was also surprised, later on, when one of the characters sleeps easily in the wild without any concern for encroaching skinnies.
Throughout this novel I found the main character, Wendy, as strong and independent, yet vulnerable at times, qualities I love in a female character. However, there were moments when I was confused as to just how much she knew about her memory of the downfall of her community. While the author created characters with ease that the reader could be automatically drawn too, there were moments the story was lacking because I was trying to work out just how much Wendy knew, when she was telling the truth about the matter and when she was pulling the wool over someone’s eyes.
There is also a few moments when I felt the world was not properly established for me to willingly accept the fact things like flying boots exist. While I was eventually able to believe it was plausible within the world, it would have been easier if the author had set up the boundaries for this universe a little more at the beginning.
It was the characters and Wendy’s personal development that really made it for me with this novel. While she is strong as nails, she keeps getting thrown into increasingly terrible situations. Yet, still she remains true to herself.
Overall, I am giving Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounding it up to 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads....more
Okay, I finished reading this book a while back but just haven't gotten around to reviewing it because I was hoping time would help me pick a rating fOkay, I finished reading this book a while back but just haven't gotten around to reviewing it because I was hoping time would help me pick a rating for it. Unfortunately it hasn't really.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this book - not by a long shot at all. However, the end threw me more than I could ever imagine. And, I can't even really talk about it because I don't want to give away spoilers. But, let's just say, the ending was not what I expected and I'm not really sure I liked where it took the story.
However, even with not liking the end, I will be chasing down the next book in this series when it comes out.
At first, when I was reading the start of this book, I was ready to give it 5 stars. I loved the way the main character is not your typical in your face aggressive forthright and spunky girl who is taking on the dystopian universe. The main character in Broken Lies is more unsure of herself, ready to admit she doesn't know it all and worries constantly about whether or not she is making the right choices in life. In fact, I really enjoyed all the characters in this novel. The author writes them well and fills out their stories with great effect. All the way through this novel I found I was engrossed in the world and completely believed everything on the page.
Then the end happened.
At first I wanted to give it 2 or 3 stars. While I really didn't like the way the author was going (and had thought she was taking the story in a completely different way), I was still in love with the characters and was invested desperately in their story - regardless of how much I rolled my eyes at the cliche.
But, after putting the book down when the story was finally finished, I realised 2 or 3 stars would be an injustice. While the ending was not to my liking, the characters were. The prose in this novel is wonderful and I was constantly emerged in the story. So, instead, I settled on 4 stars because I really think readers should give this book a go. Not for the ending, but to fall in love with the amazing people telling the story. Overall, I am giving Broken Lies by Claire Vale 4 out of 5 stars!...more
When I first started reading The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader, I was unsure as to whether I would actually like this book. I found the characters holWhen I first started reading The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader, I was unsure as to whether I would actually like this book. I found the characters hollow, parts of the story a bit too in your face (yeah, I get that the main character has lived in a heap of different countries already!) and there was a whole heap of telling rather than showing going on. But, after a while, the characters really started to grow on me and I was intrigued by the development.
I really loved the complicated mess that was Vivian and Rose’s relationship and I loved that it was never really resolved in this novel. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops in future books in this series. The aunts Vivian was sent to fascinated me and I could have read about them all day. Ditto for the townsfolk Vivian is introduced to. The author has a great flair for creating an eerie atmosphere and a creepy town.
At times this book just felt like a retelling of Practical Magic – the movie, not the book by Alice Hoffman. And there were even moments when I found myself thinking this novel would make an awesome hidden object game with all the creepiness going on and all the clues being laid out.
While I think this novel has potential, there were plenty of times where I just felt the author fell a little short, either in the way she told rather than showed the characters emotional journey or with all the cliches that were peppered throughout.
Overall, I am giving The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader 3 out of 5 stars. It will be interesting to see how this series develops....more
This a book where I read the blurb and went ‘Are you serious? A stripper who can nudge people out of money? I’ve gotta read that!’ Totally picked it uThis a book where I read the blurb and went ‘Are you serious? A stripper who can nudge people out of money? I’ve gotta read that!’ Totally picked it up on a whim and totally disappointed when I discovered it was only 40,000 and I had gobbled it all up and now I was left with awkward book lag.
The thing I loved the most about this book was the two main characters, Marley and JC. They are sassy and flawed and unbelievably likable. The book kind of reads like an old crime novel from the 40’s so there is almost this larger than life feel to the characters and yet I don’t think I have ever fallen so hard, so quickly for book characters.
I must admit, while reading this book, I made hardly any notes. Mostly I just read and laughed and lived in Marley and JC’s world for a while.
About the only fault I could find with this story was when the author flipped to the main characters back story. It did become a little clunky at times with the transition. But that’s it, the very worst thing about this book.
Actually there was one other scene, that I thought I would hate, it involves describing a strip tease and these are inherently embarrassing to read. But, somehow – and I still can’t work out how – the author manages to make this scene not at all weird.
Mostly though I was just laughing out loud and making notes that went something like this: “Hahaha!””So funny.” “I want to marry these people.” And, just so you know, I have already stalked the author on Twitter and this book is the first in a series she is currently writing, so you don’t need to worry about falling in love with this book and then thinking it’s a stand alone, it’s not and I am so thankful for that.
Overall, I am giving Just a Little Nudge by Jesi Lea Ryan 5 out of 5 stars!...more
The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner starts with such dramatic descriptives that I was convinced I would end up disliking this book! But, once I settled intThe Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner starts with such dramatic descriptives that I was convinced I would end up disliking this book! But, once I settled into it and the author relaxed a little on these wild descriptions, I found myself falling in love with this book.
I originally picked up this novel to review because it had a main character who was an archaeologist and novels with that as an occupation are few and far between! However, I was disappointed to find that even though the story moves across the world and covers some areas of the character's field, this novel is not really an archaeology novel. If you are expecting Time Team or Indiana Jones, than you can walk away now.
But I am certainly glad I picked up this novel. The characters are so rich they burst from the pages and the reader gets a real sense of living in their world and feeling all their pain. About the only character I couldn't quite get into was Stephen, the main character's husband. While he is a main part of the story, he just feels a little hollow to me. I think the author was too busy trying to develop an air of mystery and 'did he, or didn't he' that she forgot to make him human.
Even though Stephen lost it for me a little, the characters are what makes this book. The way the author displays all their faults and all their normality to the reader is what made me devour this novel in only two sittings.
Overall, I am giving The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner 4 out of 5 stars....more
Okay, to be honest, I picked up this book for the title alone. Harry Styles, One Direction, the apocalypse – I was hooked! Unfortunately the book didnOkay, to be honest, I picked up this book for the title alone. Harry Styles, One Direction, the apocalypse – I was hooked! Unfortunately the book didn’t deliver. There were only really two reasons:
1. The book had nothing to do with Harry Styles. If you are naming a book with product placement just to get people to buy it, you bloody better well put the titled product in the book! While there were a few characters that really, REALLY liked Harry Styles and One Direction and that one thing at the very end that was another blatant attempt at putting a 1D reference in, this book was not at all about what they were claiming. Yeah, I guess for legal reasons it probably couldn’t have been a book about Harry, but I knew that and I was guessing it would be about a main character who learned to deal with the apocalypse thanks to their love of Harry Styles or One Direction. Instead what I got was just another apocalypse novel. Which is annoying because, if I had read it without assuming the book would be about 1D, the premise of a surge that took out all electricity – ALL, even stopping cars in the street and sucking the life right out of cell phones – is a pretty awesome idea to delve into, one that I haven’t read much about before. Sexist overtones. There’s a lot of this in this book. A lot of the time I was just yelling at the book because there were women blatantly added just for eye candy or to support the heroically buff men. And then there is that whole thing at the country club and by that stage I was getting ready to put the book down for a while. I know I’ve been hard on this book but it just really pisses me off when a book is advertised using a gimmick they know will sell. I guess it’s the same when I see all those parody books on 50 Shades of Grey. While that book may be badly written, it’s just not nice to jump on the coat tails of an established platform – especially when you don’t deliver what you promised.
2. Sexist overtones. There’s a lot of this in this book. A lot of the time I was just yelling at the book because there were women blatantly added just for eye candy or to support the heroically buff men. And then there is that whole thing at the country club and by that stage I was getting ready to put the book down for a while.
I guess I’m just so mad at this book because it showed so much bloody potential and then just lost it completely for me :-(
Overall, I am giving Finding Harry Styles by G.B. Hope 2 out of 5 stars!...more