Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Giver: A Review (The Giver #1)

Goodreads:

This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he's given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
My Review:

I originally read this book when I was about twelve years old. I saw the movie when I was nineteen. When I saw the other books of the series for sale at this cute little bookstore, I realized it was time to begin this series again.

Now I'm a lot older and far more mature, I found The Giver had so much more meaning. Jonas was trapped in a world where they desperately wanted to control every aspect of every one's lives. There was no since of choice. Of agency. You lived, and you died. That was it. There was absolutely no substance to life.

All because of those pills they were forced to take. These pills suppressed every normal human emotion, blocked certain hormones from running through the body.

This book really opened up my mind to how we take to granted everything we have. All the choices we have. The choice we have to marry, to not, to LOVE who we want, to have as many children as we want, or to not have any, to live where we please, to enjoy what ever hobbies we love.

No wonder this book was once on the banned list, and still is in certain countries. It reminds you of the choices and freedoms life can give you.

I have never been so grateful for my life until after I read this book.

It's been a while since a book provoked my thoughts so deeply. I think everyone should read this book. Also, Lowry has mad skill with describing things without using color. I don't know how she did it, but wow; she's an incredible author.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Ask and the Answer: A Review (Chaos Walking #2)

Goodreads:

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

My Review:

Todd now knows more than he probably ever wanted to. He has been running from the evil Mayor Prentiss and his army of men. Viola has finally become comfortable enough with Todd, only to be nearly killed.

Now that they have reached Haven, Todd and Viola are faced with a whole new set of problems. Todd had no clue people still lived this far out in this world. They start talking more about the old world and how they have come to settle this one. In the beginning, the people of Haven seem normal, kind even.

Only some of them are just as bad as Prentisstown...because Mayor Prentiss had won the race to Haven.

Todd and Viola must juggle between who is right and who is wrong. Todd is taken down a path he wanted to resist, but found he couldn't help following. Viola is worried, but she is being kept separated from him.

Mayor Prentiss is as convincing as ever, and having gathered others from the various towns he had gone through, his army is stronger than ever. He begins to use Todd, and although Todd goes along as a spy, will he really stay strong enough to resist the charismatic Mayor, who seems better every day?

Who will win? The Ask? Or The Answer?

Again, another wonderful novel by Ness. Truly, this is a series to be listened to. The narrators are wonderful and capture the fear, joy, and anguish Todd and Viola go through.

5 out of 5!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Knife of Never Letting Go: A Review (Chaos Walking #1)

Goodreads:

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?



My Review:

Lately, most books I have been "reading" are on audio book, because that's what I have had time for. Yet, I will say the Chaos Walking Series SHOULD be listened to. It captures the effect of hearing everyone's thoughts and you are left feeling just as worried and sometimes disoriented as Todd.

Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown. You become a man at age 13, and since he's the last "boy" he is very nearly an outcast. He has been raised by his parents two best friends, and he has known nothing but the men in Prentisstown. All who are a little on the strange side... especially the priest, Aaron *shudder.*

He has never seen a woman. At least, not in person. He's certainly seen the men's fantasies about women in their audible thoughts.

Only when he is out on his normal escapades, does he stumble upon the first woman he has ever seen.
The minute he finds her, is the minute his life will never be the same again.

This was a fun adventure. Following Todd, Manchee, and the girl was not only fun, but filled with intense moments. Apparently being friend with a girl was the worst thing Todd could have done. 

Patrick Ness is an incredible author. I was riveted the entire book.

4.5 out of 5!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Escape from Asylum: A Review (Asylum #0.5)

Goodreads:
In this terrifying prequel novel to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, a teen is wrongfully committed to the Brookline psychiatric hospital and must find a way out—before he becomes the next victim of the evil warden’s experiments. With the page-turning suspense and unsettling found photographs from real asylums that led Publishers Weekly to call Asylum “a strong YA debut,” Escape from Asylum is perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

The nightmare is just beginning.

Ricky Desmond has been through this all before. If he could just get through to his mother, he could convince her that he doesn’t belong at Brookline. From the man who thinks he can fly to the woman who killed her husband, the other patients are nothing like him; all he did was lose his temper just a little bit, just the once. But when Ricky is selected by the sinister Warden Crawford for a very special program—a program that the warden claims will not cure him but perfect him—Ricky realizes that he may not be able to wait for his mom a second longer. With the help of a sympathetic nurse and a fellow patient, Ricky needs to escape now.

Set long before Dan, Abby, and Jordan ever walked the hallways of the Brookline asylum—back when it was still a functioning psych ward and not a dorm—Escape from Asylum is a mind-bending and scary installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide missing puzzle pieces for series fans.


My Review:

Ricky is sent to Brookline Hospital back in the 1960’s when it was in its prime. Warden Crawford is conducting his experiments and is highly interested in Ricky.

I was terrified as I learned historical background of what most likely happened in asylums similar to Brookline. It also made me so sad to think of people being treated so badly because people thought they were “sick.”

Ricky is strong however, and with his friend, Kay, they work together to try and overcome the evil workings of Crawford—though not without death in tow.

I really liked this installment of the Asylum series until the end. I felt it was too easy and didn't fit the story or Crawford’s attitude toward Ricky. It was a good read, however, but I probably won't read it again due to the ending.

3 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Banished of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #1)

Goodreads:

In a stand-alone series set in the world of Muirwood, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and heir to the throne. As a result of her father’s ceaseless need for authority, she was left disinherited and forced to live as a servant in her enemy’s home. When the king invites chaos into the land by expelling the magical order known as the Dochte Mandar, Maia finds herself on a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret—despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it. Hunted by enemies at every turn, Maia realizes that danger lurks within her, too. Her powers threaten to steal not only her consciousness but also her sense of right and wrong. Can she set herself free and save the realm she loves—even if that realm has forgotten her?


My Review:


Maia is the great-something-odd granddaughter of Lia and Colven. She has inherited her great-something-odd grandmother’s personality and strengthen. Her father is a monster and has disowned her, so now she travels with an assassin, a carpenter/hunter, and his dog as she goes about finding safety. Only, she learns she will never be safe until she handles what has been growing inside her. 

I was so excited to renter the world of Muirwood. Although Maia is from Comoros and is royalty, she is drawn back to her ancestral home of Muirwood. Which I'm excited to read about in the next installment.

I appreciate the references to Lia, even though this is a stand-alone series. Jeff Wheeler has once again written a clean fantasy full of page-turning adventure.

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crystal Storm: A Review (Falling Kingdoms #5)

Goodreads:

The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.


My Review:

It's about freaking time that everyone started working together instead of against each other.

Now with the threat coming from Amara and her Empire, forces them to work together to try and overcome her.

We learn more about our beloved characters and their backgrounds. We learn more about their motivations as they are faced with trials harder than ever.

This isn't the last book, but now I'm dying to know if this series can end happy. I really hope so, because I've grown attached the the characters that have survived this far…

Which probably means they'll all die. Every character I start liking too much dies.

Sigh. I guess we will see what the Kindred have in store for these guys in the next installment. This one already gave me so many surprises, I'm wondering if there is possibly anything I don't know now. I must know how this series ends!

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Table for Two: A Review

Goodreads:

Being a legal secretary is not exactly Jana Barrowman’s dream job, so when recently widowed Alex Steadman contacts her about the résumé she sent in more than a year ago with a job offer for a creative consultant position, she puts some serious thought into accepting it.The problem is, if she takes the new job, she will have to move to another state and leave her mom and dad behind. But when Jana determines that the move can help her get away from Brad—the overly adoring man in her life who she really doesn’t have any feelings for—she decides to go.

When Jana arrives for her new adventure, both Alex and his young daughter, Elise, are easily enamored with her—as is Jeff, the ward member who becomes Jana’s first date in her new town. However, Jana is not so sure about her feelings for any of them. And as she works side by side with Alex to transform a shabby house into a charming boutique, it becomes clear to her that Alex wants more than a friendship. Though Jana resists, she knows she has to work out her confusion before she loses everything that is becoming so dear to her. Will she be able to come to terms with the fact that Alex’s deceased wife, Vanessa, will always be a big part of his life, as well as Alex’s and her differing religious convictions and so many other complications that might not fit at a table for two?

My Review:

What you must understand is that this is an LDS, VERY cheesy, but very WONDERFUL love story.

Jana has been hired to help repair a craft shop for Alex’s dead wife. The decision is hard, but eventually she leaves her family and moves states away to take the job.

And let me say, I want to marry someone like Alex. He is so kind, so good to his daughter, Elise. Although he's a local celebrity, he is genuine and cares for others. He loves deeply with his whole heart and is so protective. *swoon*

Can I please marry an Alex Steadman?

Anyways, Jana is hesitant to fall in love with him because he is not a member of the church. Yet, she begins to discover her attraction to him undeniable.

And I love how patient Alex is. How understanding he is. And how receptive he is to listening to her speak about the gospel.

This was such a beautiful love story about a man coming to find God and a girl coming to learn that life will never be what you expect it to be. Seriously, I could re-read this book a million times and never tire of it.

5 out of 5!