I am a sucker for lifemate/soulmate stories and this seemed like it would cover all the bases with a fair bit of politicOriginally posted on Wordpress
I am a sucker for lifemate/soulmate stories and this seemed like it would cover all the bases with a fair bit of politics in a high fantasy setting. Sign me up. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I was approved for a review copy. Due to the strong start, but weak finish and a few unanswered questions I gave this book 3 stars.
The romance in this story was exactly as promised. Zara is the sun to her lifemate’s moon, and as someone who has been enslaved for nearly all her life, Zara has some reasonable doubts about this whole lifemate thing. Zara and her lifemate are adorable and the natural progression that Zara goes through in learning to trust is believable. The two of them are my favorite characters in the book. At first their pet-names for one another were cute, but then they were used so often that at times I forgot the character names. But the love was so believable and so natural that it was a joy to read. The book also showed the characters outside of that love, and showed different kinds of love. Love for family, love for friends, and love for self as well as romantic love. I think what I appreciate most about Sun and Moon is the fact that while Zara falls in love she discovers more about herself. She becomes more of an individual through love, and makes the choice of returning the love given to her. There’s not enough of that in YA lit, so that makes Sun and Moon incredibly refreshing.
I felt a bit let down by the lack of politics. It seemed like this world was well thought out overall but some things could have been expanded upon. I would have loved to have more details on politics as that was a key but off screen element. Details about how the lifemating works would have been great too. Why is it just Cadrebia that has this magical blessing? Can you be mated to someone in a different kingdom? What happens if someone converts to following the deity of Cadrebia? Those questions along with the ambiguous PoC (the descriptions said there were PoC but then the descriptions sometimes contradicted each other), left me scratching my head from time to time and took me out of the story.
I also found the plot twist to be predictable. It was a little too easy to see the set up of what was coming making the plot twist satisfying but predictable. Although predictable, the way the heroes handled the problem was well done and quite fun to read. The issue also brought some characters together in unique ways. This added a refreshing and enjoyable element to the story.
While there were some predictable and confusing elements, I really did enjoy reading Zara’s adventure and her discovery of the different kinds of love. Sun and Moon promised to be a warm and fuzzy romantic read, and that’s exactly what I got.
TL; DR: Overall this is was the warm, fuzzy, romantic read it promised to be and I enjoyed it. There were parts that felt a bit lacking, but there was a lot more good than bad in the story which kept me reading. If you’re looking for a quick romantic read this is a good bet....more
Fascinate is a fascinating book as corny as that sounds. While it had a slow start, going a little too in depth with the science behind each of the faFascinate is a fascinating book as corny as that sounds. While it had a slow start, going a little too in depth with the science behind each of the fascinate elements (innovation, passion, power, prestige, trust, mystique, alert), I felt like knowing the science behind fascination and other elements helped me become more aware of myself and the world. For that reason I think this is an excellent book for anyone who is into psychology. This book is more than just marketing.
For those of us that are reading it for the marketing element, I personally will be using this book as a reference in the future. Fascinate is a book with a mission (teach the reader how to build a fascinating brand), and the book succeeds. The author does a lovely job teaching and reiterating points. At times though it felt like there was a bit too much hand holding. Regardless, Fascinate makes a complex topic accessible and motivates the reader to create a brand they can be proud of.
I really do think that just about anyone can get something from this book, but you have to be interested in psychology or business/marketing for this to be a truly enjoyable read. As I've said, I know this is a book I'll keep on hand for reference and I'm glad I picked it up. ...more
My nephew fan-boys so hard over this book that I just couldn't say no when he told me to read it. I told him that because he's so into it, I'd read thMy nephew fan-boys so hard over this book that I just couldn't say no when he told me to read it. I told him that because he's so into it, I'd read the books and then together we could read books three and four and finish out the series. Reading together as a family is a big thing for us, and I would never do anything to damper someone's love for a book.
While I can see why my nephew (and so many others) love this book, oh boy was it a fight for me to get through. I loved the characters, but that was overshadowed by poor foreshadowing. I loved the world building and over all concept, but that was weakened by certain elements that showed the book was trying too hard to be cool. I swear I feel like I'm missing something here cause I think I'm one of the few people who's not head over heals in love with this. Luckily, there was enough good in it for me to give this book three stars.
I'm going to get all the bad stuff out of my system first. I like to try to end things on a positive note.
First things first. Foreshadowing is not a game of "HEY KIDS! DID YOU SEE THE FORESHADOWING RIGHT HERE?" yet that's exactly what it felt like to me. Foreshadowing should be subtle. You should barely notice it until you're slammed in the face with the big event which makes the foreshadowing click. The foreshadowing is to keep readers guessing. And because it was shoved in my face the whole book I was just so bored by it all that when the big reveals came, I had either guessed it or I just didn't care.
Now let's get to that cursing. This book tries to score cool points by saying thinks like "shuck" and variations which is so obviously code for the f-word and other swears. It's so obvious it's painful. I've been a kid and we thrived on that kind of thing. And trust me, as someone who hangs out around a lot of kids, that has not changed. Everyone picks up on it. And in this day in age, you'd be surprised how young kids are when they start using the f-word (or maybe you wouldn't be). While cursing and strong language can certainly have its place and create a more realistic atmosphere, if overdone it's just dull and crass. Guess what's overdone in The Maze Runner? Yep. The fake swears. I get it, it was used to try to establish a dialect and enhance the world building. If Dashner had cut back on that, it would have worked beautifully.
Now for what I liked. Cause this book did earn its three stars from me and I feel comfortable in going ahead with the series. I loved these characters. Even the ones I didn't like, I really enjoyed disliking them. There was genuine diversity and while some felt a little underdeveloped, all were interesting and important. Newt and Minho are hands down my fave with Chuck and Thomas coming in at a close second. The monsters were really well done too. Dashner has a great ability to help the reader visualize everything, from the maze to the people, to the monsters. I feel like the monsters were such a core element that they really did help with the world building and character development. They added flavor to the Maze. I also really liked the ending. The story promised suspense from the get go and never really delivered for me until the end. But that end was worth it. While my nephew says he didn't like the second book as much, I think the second book might be more of my jam and help me appreciate The Maze Runner more. I certainly want to read it thanks to the end events (although I wouldn't call it a cliff hanger).
Ultimately The Maze Runner tries to give the grit and depth of Hunger Games but only is able to truly deliver on the grit aspect. The foreshadowing is done in such a way that I felt insulted as a reader, and the uniqueness of the world was hidden by the poorly disguised foul language. Despite that, there's some unique and interesting elements as well as wonderful characters. The characters are well done and are truly the driving force of the story. If you're a fan of dystopian, read it, it's got some strong stuff in it. If you're not into dystopian, pass on this one.
TL;DR:The Maze Runner is an original concept that tries too hard to be cool. Fake curse-words that are easily seen for what they're substituting, and foreshadowing is shoved in the readers face instead of being a quiet shadow, put a damper on the story. On the up side, the characters are great and the world is unique. The end of the book is startling and amps up the suspense to what the book promised in the beginning. If you're a fan of dystopian, read it, it's got some strong stuff in it. If you're not into dystopian, pass on this one. ...more
I’ve must have done something right at one point because lately I’ve really been lucking out with my non-fiction. UsualOriginally posted on Wordpress.
I’ve must have done something right at one point because lately I’ve really been lucking out with my non-fiction. Usually I’m deeply unsatisfied with my non-fiction, but #GIRLBOSS promised a lot and delivered more. I really think for any woman interested in business this should be mandatory reading. There were just one or two things that bugged me though so I gave it 4.5 stars.
I’ll start with what bugged me first. Amoruso gives it to you like it is, which is great and very needed. Many a times I read a book (especially a business book) that does more coddling than helping. There’s no coddling here which is fantastic, but sometimes it felt like Amoruso was a bit too blunt. There’s a fine line between giving it to you like it is and being outright mean and once or twice for me Amoruso crossed it. That is my only complaint though.
Otherwise I think this book is fantastic. Amoruso does an excellent job combining her life experiences with how she made it in the business world. She gives tips that she used and uses to not only help women become #GIRLBOSSes like herself, but also to just live better lives. A great example is her tip about putting 10% of all earnings into savings and use it as an emergency fund. Most people don’t put nearly that much in if they do that at all. That’s just one of the tips and the great thing about it is that her tips are quite practical and easy to implement.
I think the beauty of this book is that because Amoruso holds nothing back, you realize that being a boss (or in this case #GIRLBOSS) isn’t just about being a CEO or manager, it’s about taking control of your life and keeping your cool in the uncontrollable situations. She shares her bizarre life and business experiences and owns up to her mistakes-but also to her successes. There’s a lot of details I could go into, but for me the most powerful part of the book was when she was growing Nasty Gal from her home, and her home was just being overtaken by everything. While she was nailing her business, she was also so in over her head. Yet she never gave up and took that as a sign to enlist some help. And there’s some pretty great stories with that too (not everyone sticks around). Just like Amoruso takes responsibility when she hires someone, she makes you take responsibility from the get go by always referring to the reader not as “reader,” but as “#GIRLBOSS.” By the end of the book, that phrase kind of gets ingrained in your head. Frankly, it makes me really want to live up to it.
It gets even cooler from here because when you talk about the book, the title of the book isn’t Girl Boss, it’s #GIRLBOSS. So when you use that hashtag, you’re making yourself a part of a community of women who have also read the book and are taking control of their lives and businesses. I noticed this when I posted a picture of the book on Instagram. Which is insanely cool to me because throughout the book Amoruso talks about how important it is for women to support each other and not to start fights. And just through the title of the book she helped build a community of women who are willing to work together.
If that’s not a boss move I don’t know what is.
TL;DR: This book should be mandatory reading for women who want to go into business. Not only does Amoruso show the behind the scenes of building Nasty Gal from the ground up, she adds in personal details that shows that no matter how rich and cool you are, you’re still human. And humans are bound to make mistakes. But as she shows us, every mistake comes with a lesson and taking control of those learning experiences is what makes a woman not only a better business leader, but a better person in general....more