Monday, 8 October 2012

What Have I Been Reading?

Hello Abandoned Blog of Mine! So I think it's safe to say that I completely abandoned this whole notion of blogging once a week, the truth is, that I've found that I tend to read fiction books in more like two days and I take the extra time to read more business-development types book (e.g. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham) which take a lot more time and thought than curling up with a good book.

However, the following reviews will be coming soon! Maybe even today?!
  1. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
  2. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

And I'm going to be focused on The Intelligent Investor for the rest of the week and once I feel that I'm "allowed" to, I am going to dive into The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling...a book that's hype is entirely surrounding the author. I adore J.K. Rowling's writing style in that it seems like she knows every tiny bit of history about her characters. She seems like she hasn't considered my plea to simply never stop writing about the Harry Potter universe (my personal plea is for a series based when Lily/James/Snape/Sirius were at Hogwarts). So with that, I'm off to get ready for the day and I promise I will write up my reviews on the end of the Soulfinder Trilogy soon!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Book #11)

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Link: Good Reads

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die--but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman's noose.But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia's food taster--chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned--has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed--me--must be offered the position.

I picked this book up while browsing at Chapters, I spotted it on the shelf and after a quick check of reviews on Goodreads (I discovered it had a pretty favourable rating) I decided to give it a shot. I'll start off by saying that I was not disappointed that I picked it up and I currently have Magic Study (the second in the trilogy) waiting to be read! This book and the main character of Yelena are really interesting and I felt like the world/characters were fairly well developed in the areas they needed to be.

This book progressed at a steady pace, and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen from page to page - something I really appreciate when reading a story (it's no fun when you can guess the ending a hundred pages out). I felt like plot & character developments weren't obvious, and so, they happened extremely organically. I found it interesting of the entire world of Ixia, and particularly, the Commander, since it is very different then most books of this style.

What Type of Read Was It (One Word)? Well Written

Who would Enjoy this book? Someone who enjoys reading & fantasy (think Hunger Games, Insurgent, etc. etc. etc. {there are a million out there}), all three of these novels have been published (this one was originally from 2005) so it is a series that you can read all three back-to-back.

Will I read it again/The Sequels? Definitely yes to the sequels!!!

Overall Review: 4.5 out of 5 (Note: I really loved this book but I have hard time ranking it a 5 - which is what I ranked Divergent)

  1. Have you read Poison Study? What about did you like/ didn't like?
  2. What do you think is the key to character & plot development to have an organic feel?

Web of Angels by Lilian Nattel (Book #10)

Web of Angels by Lilian Nattel
Link: Good Reads

On the surface of things, Sharon Lewis is a lot like any other happily married mother of 3: she is the beating heart of a house full of kids, cooking and chaos, the one who always knows the after-school practice schedule, where her husband put the car keys and who needs a little extra TLC. Her kids and husband think she's a little spooky, actually, the way she can anticipate the tensions of any situation--and maybe they love her all the more for the extra care she gives them.
Life is definitely good until the morning Heather Edwards, a pregnant teenaged friend of the family, kills herself. The reverberations of that act, and the ugly secrets that sparked it, prove deeply unsettling to the whole family, and stir up Sharon's own troubling secret: she has DID, or dissociative identity disorder. And the multiples inside the woman the world knows as Sharon seem to know what happened to Heather, and what may be happening to Heather's surviving sister. Will Sharon's need to protect the innocent cause her to finally come clean about her true nature with her family and friends, and not just in the anonymous chat rooms on the web where she's connected to others like herself? Will a woman with DID be able to persuade her quiet and respectable community that evil things can happen even in the nicest homes?

I picked this book up on a whim, I thought the book was about loss & death and was intrigued. Well, after buying it and reading some reviews, I discovered that it was about a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder, "DID" - a subject that I only know about from a high school psychology course & watching "The United States of Tara" (which is not exactly a lot of education on the subject).  This book took a little while to get into, you do have to pay attention to it and I wasn't instantly "hooked" into reading it.

I really enjoyed reading this; this book was well developed and was told in such an incredibly realistic story that I could easily believe this happening in any small suburb. As the book continued, more was revealed about each character, and I feel like the DID was well explained and it was understand the main character and her stories.

I feel like this book is the definition of a "mature" book, although it obviously has an interesting story, it truly is about adults and this particular situation, which was partly why it was so realistic.

What Type of Read Was It (One Word)? Realistic

Who would Enjoy this book? If you're curious on the subject of DID, I would absolutely recommend this book.

Will I read it again? Maybe.

Overall Review: 5 out of 5.

  1. Have you read Web of Angels? What about did you like/ didn't like?
  2. Which do you prefer, a realistic book or a book that's a bit outlandish?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Beneath the Glitter by Elle & Blair Fowler (Book #9)


From internet stars Elle and Blair Fowler comes a scintillating new novel that takes readers Beneath the Glitter of the glitzy L.A. social scene.
Welcome to a place where dreams are made.  And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.
After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite.  Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor.  But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.
Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal.  Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other.


I picked up this book mostly out of pure curiosity, I had to know what the book was like and I wanted to be impressed by Elle and Blair's foray into writing -and of course, I was curious to know what their life is really like. In that sense, I was completely disappointed, despite a blurb at the beginning thanking their fans on YouTube for all the support, the sisters' making videos is barely even mentioned in the book. This books is really just a story about two girls living in LA and each of them being interested in two guys. I think I would have been a lot happier if they had just written an autobiography...maybe one day!

I think I expected different things from the book, I expected a novel about Elle & Blair, and I got an incredibly predictable story aimed at tween girls. Obviously, I'm not the target audience! I found the "fights" to be pretty random and unfounded, and the best way to describe it was there was a lot of "telling, not showing". I'm not sure how old the girls are in the book but it just surprised me how immature they both are. It made me think that what was "beneath the glitter" didn't go very deep. 

However, I will give this book two stars, for a few reasons: 1. this book wasn't what I was expecting and I can't fault it for not living up to what I wanted the book to be and 2. Despite not being the next War and Peace, one section of the book made me really sympathize with Elle & Blair. The one line was during a photo shoot when Ava wonders what they even did to deserve being so successful, and that she feels like a fraud. That one tiny part made me feel for them immensely. The book itself though? A lot of telling, not showing, i.e. "Ava's mad (and we're not going to explain why or how she got this way, she's just mad!!)" 

What type of read is it? Simple

Would I recommend this book? No.... I wouldn't recommend this to book to myself, but I'm sure that there's an audience of girls who would love this and be more obsessed with the social lives than business lives. 

Will I read it again/the sequels? Probably not...maybe if I see the paperbacks on a $5 special.

What's "beneath the glitter"? Modpodge that the glitter was stuck to.

Overall Review: 2/5 stars

  1. Did you read Beneath the Glitter? What about it did you like? Didn't like?
  2. How do you feel when you read a book that is different than you thought it would be? Do you keep reading it or do you give up?
Do you have any recommendations for me to read next? Please send me a message if you do, I'm open to all suggestions.

Quickie Updated

Once again... a list of books you can expect a review from in the coming weeks:

  1. Web of Angels by Lillian Nattel
  2. Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Book #2)

Links: Good Reads

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.


Despite having an incredibly serious subject that could get really dark and hopeless at times, it remains a somewhat light, relatable easy read. I finished this book over about four different reading sessions, but if I'd had my way, it would have been three. I was so engrossed in The Help for the last half of the book, I didn't want to put it down, I had to know what happened. This is the primary reason why I give this book 5/5 - I literally had to force myself to put it down, it didn't alienate me in a subject I (unfortunately) know very little of, and each character seemed to have a whole backstory that I was just itching to find out. I love it when you can tell that the author knows so much more about their characters than what's written in the novel, and that's how I felt about The Help.

Who would enjoy this book? I believe almost anyone would, but primarily women, as I just shortly realized after finishing it that the only main characters are women, every man is only a secondary character.

What type of read is it (one word!)? Engrossing.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!

Which character was my favourite? Skeeter

Will I read it again? Probably, I hope that if I read it again, I will find new details that I skimmed over before.

Review (in related to my reading style): This book is one of the best examples as to why I will sometimes blindly pick up a book to read based purely on buzz, I always figure that if there's buzz about a book, it must be good. I picked up this book based on the buzz and I wasn't disappointed!

Overall review: 5/5

This post got deleted somehow, it was originally posted back in June.

Update From My Mind: Books to read?

It is Sunday morning and I am settling in for a relaxing day of cleaning and preparing for the work week, I recently finished Web of Angels by Lilian Nattel and will be writing a review soon. I am debating whether or not to pick up Where We Belong by Emily Giffin as it is a novel that came out very recently and once I read it, I'll have basically no books of hers left unread (except for Baby Proof) Perhaps I should just go into my local Chapter's and pick something from the "Top Read" list....

In short, I do have books I want to read, but I am looking for some inspiration, so if you have any idea, please let me know!

How is your Sunday going? Hope you are well. 

Gossip Reader