Illuminae

I was just so excited when I ordered Illuminae and it finally arrived in my mailbox three days later! I have had this book on my TBR for like a year now. I was so excited because it was so hyped up and I hyped up too.

This book is so beautiful and I skimmed through the pages several times before reading it because it was just so darned pretty.

BUT….now after reading it..I’m afraid I have a very unpopular opinion of the book 😦 I didn’t want to, I really didn’t, but I do. Sometimes, I just feel like I’m really hard to please.

This book ended up being just okay for me. I only really felt a connection to surprisingly the AI and Ezra. Other than those two characters everyone else was kind of blah. Kady was okay, but it felt like she was trying to hard to be badass and man can that girl hold a grudge! I thought I was bad at holding grudges, that girl takes the cake! Cool down little grasshopper!

I think because I had a hard time relating with the characters it kept me from really getting into this story. Not to mention the format, although brilliant and beautiful, really just ended up getting in the way of the story for me and that’s the real let down and I’m still kind of sad about it.

It was sometimes very hard for me to actually get into the action of things when real action was happening because I had just read page after page of instant messages between two people and my brain got lazy and didn’t want to read the third person perspective of what was happening through a severance camera.

Even though I was disappointed by this book, it was still an interesting read and overall a fun and different. I hope they make this book into a movie in the future because I might like it a little better.

3stars

ill

Safe

I can’t believe I read this all in one day! I was sick in bed so that helped. I love dystopian and this book by Dawn Housted did not disappoint. It was fast paced and kept me interested on each page. The three main characters are Penny, James, and Lucan and I loved them all and they are all so different from each other. I truly cared for each character, even when they did something wrong.
One of my favorite things about Safe is the world that Husted crafted. It’s very different from our own and at times very scary once Penny learns the true background behind the town she grew up in. People are born with ‘vines’ where their veins are black and show up throughout their body. The more vines a person has the stronger they are. A Perimeter is set up around the island they live in so infected people without vines can’t get in. That in returns means they can’t get out. But some babies are born without them and are thought to be infected and spreading the disease, but are they? I can’t wait to read more by this author, I really love her writing style.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19547736-safe

FIVE-STARS

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The Godfather

Just finished reading The Godfather and it gave me a lot to think about. It was an epic book and I enjoyed it. I can see why it’s a classic. 

On the flip side of that, I, unfortunately, thought the movies were much better. So if your on the line about what to do: read the book or watch the movies, I would just watch the movies, they are done better. 

The Good stuff: The Godfather is truly an iconic book. It brings you to the heart of gangsters of the 1940s. The book is gritty and graphic and doesn’t hold back on sexism or racism of its time. I liked getting to understand the underworld of the Corleone family and how it got its start and the individuals in the family. Even if part of the family tried to stay out of the family business it sucked them in anyway. I felt like no character was all bad or all good, “It’s just business.” This book has so many quoteables, some of which I didn’t even realize came from this book, most of which are in the movies. 

A difference between the books and movies: Once difference I noticed in the books and movies where that some of the characters came across differently. For example, in the book, I really liked Sonny and was sad about what ended up happening to him. He was a dynamic character with flaws, but he seemed more real to me than any of the other characters. 

In the movie my favorite character was Michael. He was cool and collected but didn’t want anything to do with the family business, until he was forced into it. In the book, it starts off like this, but his call to arms for the family comes without much hesitation. In the book, he is kind of boring and too much like his dad. It’s like a story with two different characters, but they are exactly the same. 

One thing that makes the movies so much better than the books is the cutting of unnecessary plot and characters. I could have done without ever meeting Johnny or Lucy and been better off never learning of their characters. I’m not really sure why they are there at all. They bring absolutely nothing to the table at all. 

The unfortunate: The main thing that got on my nerves reading this book, also why I’m giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is the writing. I’m not sure if the editors of this book just thought it wasn’t going to do well, so hardly made any changes, or editors back then just didn’t do as good of a job as editors now? Whatever the cause, the book has very weak prose. I constantly saw b for h mixed up in multiple words and other similar mix-ups. And the way Puzo writes just drove me a little crazy. He would explain something, then he would show it happen, and just to make sure you didn’t miss anything give you a rundown of what happened a few pages later. Sometimes I wonder if he even read his manuscript more than once before turning in to the editor. And this happens throughout the book. I’m thinking maybe the rules of writing weren’t around back then or maybe he just didn’t bother to look them up, but there is so much info dumping going on at every stage of this book.

When we finally meet the other 5 families we get an info dump for each one in case you really needed to know all their backstories of how they came to power and what their main bracket of power they hold (drugs, politicians, police, gambling, or prostitutes.)

Also, this book is pretty much all show an no tell. I didn’t really realize how much this bothered me until I read this book. 

I still recommend this book and enjoyed it despite the writing. 

gold star

godfather

American Gods

This is another book I put into a lot of book tags, but realized I hadn’t given a review yet. 

I really like Neil Gaiman’s writing. It is wonderful and his descriptions are great and I can see and understand all the things he describes. But that’s where I stopped liking this particular book of his. 

The concept of this book was really interesting to me any God you warship comes to live because of your belief in them. And in modern day. Very intriguing indeed. 

But these American Gods are actually very boring and don’t really have much of importance to do from day to day except stay relevant to stay alive or they will “die” so to speak. 

I was hoping someone like Odin would have more of a meaningful and exciting life, but he is more of some kind of mob boss, and not a very good and organized one at that. Most of his other friends are close to fading away and kind of live sad lives. 

Most of this story takes place through a character named Shadow’s eyes. He is a go with the flow kind of guy and basically does whatever Odin tells him to. I got to the 75% of this book and DNF’d. Shadow was running around a small town on some side mission and I guessed what was happening (my husband had read this book first and confirmed I was correct.) I was tired of this side story and was annoyed that Gaiman seemed to be going for some word count than giving me a well-rounded story that stayed on track. My husband filled me in on the rest of the story and I didn’t even feel compelled to read the rest.

3stars

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Wuthering Hights

*Warning* this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion review, but at least it’s honest. 

When I broke into this book I was just like wow! This love story between Catherine and Heathcliff is amazing. (hopefully, that wasn’t a spoiler) I just fell in love with the intensity of their love story. From childhood to teens and young adults, they just got each other, even when Catherine is being taught how to act properly and they are separated for a time Heathcliff is still the person who understands her.

Heathcliff is an orphan who is adopted by Catherine’s father and love ensues. But there are major setbacks (at least for them) Heathcliff has none of his own money and Catherine is a rich spoiled brat, so she can’t go down in the society pole, instead, to keep them together Heathcliff decides to go and make his own fortune. 

*Possible spoilers*

This is where things go downhill as you can imagine. Three years later Heathcliff finally returns. But Catherine didn’t wait that long for the boy she loved as herself but was too arrogant to agree to marriage so she married someone of her own economic standing. 

She still wants him to love her as much as he did before he left, but keeps him at arm’s length because she is married. One of those, “If I can’t have you no one can.” mentalities. Heathcliff keeps waiting for the Catherine he knew and love to come back, but she never shows up.

Instead, this becomes a book of Heathcliff’s revenge. He has no interest in Catherine’s husband’s sister but starts flirting with her to make Catherine jealous. Also to piss off Edgar, Catherine’s husband. This is where the book turns into a love triangle of sorts. I stopped reading somewhere around here because the book turned pretty petty and these people were no longer the people I fell in love with at the beginning of the book. The way Catherine treats Heathcliff when he returns is appalling. At one point she even tells him that even if he had returned earlier that she would have still married Edgar because Heathcliff was born in the wrong family (that was pretty much when I started hating her, I’m sure that’s when Heathcliff started seeking revenge as well). 

If this book had ended differently, or there were more redeeming qualities about these people I’m sure I would have liked this book, but instead it was depressing and disappointing to me. 

one star

wuth

Captian’s Couragous

This book by Rudyard Kipling is one of my favorites!! I actually saw the movie first with Spencer Tracy. The movie really captured me (probably middle school) with the relationship between Manuel and Harvey. My dad wasn’t exactly affectionate and I was just enamored that a father figure could be so caring and cultivate a positive personal growth. 

Therefore, in high school when we had to bring a book to read, of course, I chose Captian’s Courageous (well one of many).  I ended up loving the book as well, although, I think I liked the movie just a little more than the book. 

There are some significant differences. For example, in the movie he’s like 12 and in the book he’s 15, that’s a huge difference and it changes the aspect of the relationships on the boat. Instead of Harvey being besties with Manuel he is besties with Dan the Captian’s son, who is the same age as Harvey. The father figure switches from Manuel to Captian Disko. 

Harvey’s story is great in either aspect because his character arc is so significant. He starts off as a billionaire brat who is hard to stand and ends up a young man with a stand-up personality. He falls off his luxury cruise ship and Manuel picks him up floating in the water. Captian Disko doesn’t believe Harvey’s dad is as rich as he says and they are in the middle of fishing season, so he refuses to let down his crew and the money they will make by taking a detour bringing Harvey back. Harvey is forced to work with the crew to earn food and other luxuries on the boat (along with respect of the crew of course.)

Of all the books I have ever read I feel that in this one the character arc could be studied in writing classes it is so strong. This book is definitely a character-driven book and those are my favorites! If you too like character-driven books with adventure and no romance, this book is for you.

FIVE-STARS

captians couragous

Patriotism-Yukio Mishima

Patriotism is a short story by Yukio Mishima.  I kind of ended up reading this by accident, and I’m so glad I did! I read this in college because I swore it was on the syllabus. Either I missed class the day the proff said we didn’t have to read it or I read the wrong story because dyslexia. Anyhow, I ended up loving this story.

Right at the beginning, Michima tells you the ending. This is the third paragraph in the story, but I think it captures the story well:

“After the suicide, people would take out this photograph and examine it, and sadly reflect that too often there was a curse on these seemingly flawless unions. Perhaps it was no more than imagination, but looking at the picture after the tragedy it almost seemed as if the two young people before the gold-lacquered screen were gazing, each with equal clarity, at the deaths which lay before them.”

This is a story about a Patriotic man Japan who takes his position seriously. So much that he decides suicide was his only answer to an uprising that was taking place under his watch.

The main focus of this story is the love between Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama and his wife, Reiko. It tells of their love and their last night together, because if Reiko’s husband is committing suicide so is she because her patriotism belongs to him.

The way the story is written is very poetic and sensual. It’s what drew me in. This love story is much better than Romeo and Juliette and much more tragic.

FIVE-STARS

patriot

The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden

This was a fun middle-grade read my husband had from when he was a kid. He decided to read it this summer to everyone and I think I enjoyed it the most. (My kids don’t like books read out loud to them anymore 😦

Anyhow, this story is about a nasty nine-year-old girl named Maureen. She is rude to her teachers, her classmates, her mother and father, just everyone with no real reason other than that’s just the way she is. The books says she is “a hard slapper, a loud laugher, a liar, and a stay-after-schooler.”

One day when she is getting into mischief with a boy down her street she decides to go over a fence to the Messermen’s mansion. The old Messermen’s house is known to be haunted. It’s old and falling apart. No one has lived there in years. That is until Maureen finds a…and I’m not sure, here they describe a nome, but it turns out it’s a leprechaun. But that’s not all she finds she decides to go into the house and discovers seven painted portraits of seven sisters. The leprechaun tells the story of the Messermen house and how he got there and then strange things start to happen.

I thought this was a fun read. Sometimes things seem absurd, but I think that’s what makes this book fun and the mystery of what happens next? This book uses a lot of imagination and that’s what I loved about it. If you want a fun, quick, middle-grade read I suggest this book.

gold star

wicked

The Husband

Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors. The Husband is one of my favorites by him. You can always expect his books to be fast-paced and have you at the edge of your seat.

The Husband is about Mitch who is the owner of two landscaping businesses. Koontz only gives the reader time to establish who Mitch is before he receives a phone call that his wife has been kidnapped and he will need 2 million to get her back. He initially takes this as a joke, but the kidnapper has him look out the window and kills a man walking his dog.–I won’t get too much into spoilers, I always hate those.

Anyhow Mitch is worried because as a landscaper there is no way he can scrounge up that much money. Eventually, he contacts his brother for help and things only get more intense from there.

The Husband is a fast-paced suspense and has you wondering just who can Mitch truly trust? Can he trust his wife? Can he trust the detective? Can he trust his brother? The one thing that remains constant is that Mitch loves his wife wholeheartedly and will do anything to get her back.

FIVE-STARS

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Prey

Ok, I’m old schooling it today with Michael Crichton’s Prey. I really enjoyed this book, it wasn’t the best book I ever read, but it kept me interested.

Jack Forman a scientist in Nevada had just recently been hired by a company that his wife also works for and it’s all very hush hush. Strange things start happening and people start acting out the ordinary. Jack and several of his scientist friends begin to piece together what’s happening and have to figure a way to solve the problem or become prey to an invisible predator.

Prey is the first book I have read by Michael Crichton I’ve also read Andromeda Strain and enjoyed that one too. One thing I love about Crichton is that he is good about his pacing in books. The book starts off normal but really picks up speed as you read on. I liked the mystery that was stumping the scientist and trying to figure out along with them just what was going on, at one point it felt like a race against time. The characters were well rounded and I was rooting for Jack and was wondering what was up with his wife.

gold star

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