All posts filed under: 4 stars

Book Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

I heard about this book ages a go, and heard it was great, but with no ebook available, and it generally impossible to find anywhere, it did take me some time to get around to reading it. Seriously, make ebooks available people. You will make more money, and I wouldn’t have to die waiting for the next book to arrive. Anyway… What it’s about: A girl in an Amish community takes in an outsider during a vampire apocalypse against the advice of her elders. What I thought: Really freaking enjoyed it. The main character, Katie, is an Amish girl who wants nothing more than to go on her Rumspringa and see the outside world. Katie is generally considered a bit too headstrong for the Amish, but is essentially a very good person at heart. She’s sensible, she cares deeply about the welfare of others, and is the sort of person who will always do what she thinks is right, even if others disagree, and the consequences may be fairly severe. She’s also sensible and for …

Book Review: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

“Stories can start revolutions.” What it’s about: A young wolf wilder (someone who takes in formerly domesticated wolves and tries to rehabilitate them so they can again survive in the wild), Feo, is perused by soldiers, and their insane captain, through the Russian wilderness as she attempts to save her mother from being falsely imprisoned, while trying to avoid being swept up in a revolution. What I thought: Well, firstly, this book surprised me in the fact that it is not a fantasy novel, as I had originally expected. At most Feo’s role as a Wolf Wilder could be described as slightly uncanny. But that shouldn’t really count against the book in any way because it is a beautiful little oddity of a book. “People say we can’t do anything about the way the world is; they say it’s set in stone. I say it looks like stone, but it’s mostly paint and cardboard.” This book isn’t one I would recommend to those who require a great deal of action in their novels. This book …

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Reading anything by Neil Gaiman is always a really special experience, but it really doesn’t compare with listening to Neil Gaiman read Neil Gaiman. Although I have a physical copy of this book, I decided to listen to the audiobook of this because Neil Gaiman often reads his books himself, and he does it really well. What it’s about: This is the story of a boy who is raised by the residents of a graveyard (as in the dead ones, not like an old gravedigger named Joe. The ghosts) after his family is brutally murdered. What I thought: Loved it. Loved it. Loved it a lot. I don’t read a huge amount of middle grade books because I usually find that they tend to beat you over the head with obvious conclusions (which is fine when they are being read by their intended audience who may need that, but I tend to find it annoying). But I do occasionally dip my toe in the middle grade pool for books I think will be worth it …

Book Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

So just a quick review for this one. This book was released last halloween I believe, but I really enjoyed it, and thought it deserved a mention again this year. What’s it about: A haunted Orsk store (fictional equivalent of Ikea). When strange things start happening at their work, they decide to spend the night…. it does not end well. What I thought: I really enjoyed this book! There is something about it that gives it a zombieland (but with ghosts instead of zombies) vibe. It’s a really fun horror read. Having had my first trip to Ikea only recently, and having to miss my lunch plans because I was “trapped” in the store and couldn’t get out, I felt that this book perfectly captured that trapped feeling. I loved the store manager character, Basil. If Moss from The IT Crowd managed an Ikea, I think he would a a bit like Basil. The best thing about this book is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a really fun book. And it’s quite …

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Sorry I have been completely absent of late. I am currently writing up my PhD thesis. It’s been taking up pretty much all of my time. One might say I’ve been sciencing the shit out of things. On to the review. I’ve been meaning to read this for a really long time, but I finally got around to it and I loved it. What’s it about: An astronaut is left alone on Mars when his team leaves him for dead (whoops!). He has to try to survive alone on Mars until he can be rescued. What I thought: This book is so entertaining. Everyone I know who has read this all say the same thing: they read it in one sitting. It is absolutely impossible to put down. I though the format in which this book was written both worked and didn’t at the same time. Mark Watney (astronaut left on Mars)’s perspective is written in the format of his log. It works in one way because it’s absolutely hilarious. I found the whole end …

Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is one of my absolute favourite authors, and it will never cease to amaze me how unique each piece of his work is. And this piece is definitely unique. “Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.” What’s it about:  This book is set in a town where there are  Indie Kids. You know the type, tragically alternative, always the ones that the interesting (and dangerous things happen to). The Bella Swans and the Clary Frays. The ones who fall in love with vampires and fight ghosts. This story is not about them. This story is not about them. This story is about a group of non-chosen ones who just want to …

Book Review: The Humans by Matt Haig

“This book, this actual book, is set right here on Earth. It is about the meaning of life and nothing at all. It is about what it takes to kill somebody, and save them. It is about love and dead poets and wholenut peanut butter. It is about matter and antimatter, everything and nothing, hope and hate. It is about a forty-one-year-old female historian called Isobel and her fifteen year old son named Gulliver and the cleverest mathematician in the world. It is, in short, about how to become a human.” Isn’t that just a fantastic start to a book? I got this book after hearing Becki (or thebooker) from A Word Shaker rave about it. “Men are not from Mars. Women are not from Venus. Do not fall for categories. Everyone is everything. Every ingredient inside a star is inside you, and every personality that ever existed competes in the theatre of your mind for the main role.” What’s it about: Andrew Martin is not Andrew Martin. What Andrew Martin is is an alien inhabiting …

Book Review: A Game of Thrones

So, I tried to read this book (unsuccessfully) for a long, long time. I just couldn’t get through it. Every time I got to a chapter of a character I wasn’t particularly fond of I would put it down and not touch it for months. So I tried the audiobook, and low and behold, SUCCESS! We all know what A Game of Thrones is about. It’s about a group of families doing awful things to each other while claiming it’s got something to do with ‘honour’ while they fight over a fancy chair. As for the actual story, I ended up loving it, despite hating so many of the characters in it. How did one person think up so many nasty people!?! And this is only the first book! But there are also good, honourable people in there too. I thought before I embarked on this little adventure that I would love some character’s chapters, and then groan my way through the others (or just stop listening, like I stopped reading so many times before) …

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.” Before starting this book I actually didn’t have particularly high expectations, but I actually really enjoyed this book. It was just a really fun read. “The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” What’s it about? It’s like a fantasy set in a dystopian world ruled by X-men villains. Its set in this strange world with an old-timey royal court with ancient roman influences, but also technology and super powers. The Reds are basically powerless slaves ruled over by the super-powered Silvers.  When a young Red girl finds out she has more in common with the Silvers than she thought, she’s thrown into their world, ans things do not go well. “Words can lie. See beyond them.” What did I think? I really liked this book. It thoroughly exceeded my expectatioms. It was just a really fun read and there wasn’t a single second that I didn’t enjoy. Its fast-paced, never …

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

“I often don’t say things out loud, even when I should. I contain and compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you’d never guess from looking at me.” If you’ve been living on planet Earth, then there is no way you aren’t familiar with this book. And there is a reason for this: this book is impossible to ignore. Whether you’ve read the book or seen the movie, one thing is for sure, you’re probably terrified of Gillian Flynn, because this lady is dark. “We weren’t ourselves when we fell in love, and when we became ourselves – surprise! – we were poison. We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way.” What’s it about: I’m not sure if there is anyone out there who doesn’t know what this is about, but in case you’ve been trapped in a cave for the last few years, I’ll sum up for you. This is about two terrible people  (Nick and Amy) who somehow managed to find …