Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski Review

Six stories Review

The book that….lured me into its trap.

Synopsis:
The novel is constructed as a series of podcasts, in which an investigative journalist describes the circumstances around the death of a teenaged boy in an outward-bound centre, interviewing witnesses, suspects and people close to the incident. Their six accounts form the six stories of the title, creating a “chilling and compelling, page-turning thriller that also delves deep into notions of truth, perception and loyalty”.

This book has a very interesting format which really made it a compelling read. It is written as a podcast interview series with 6 people about the mysterious death of a boy. I absolutely love this format the format. It made it feel like the story was being told me like in an audio book.

The writing was a bit awkward at times, especially in the very beginning. It could be very wordy in a way that made it hard to get into the story and made it drag a bit. However, once I got into it, I couldn’t get out. I was reading this during a very busy week of work but somehow I found ways to sneak in a few pages here and there. The format of it being written in 6 different short sections made it fly by.

The setting and the characters were so good and so realistic, it felt like this could have happened in real life. The author perfectly captured how friends groups during adolescence can form and the wondeful things and heartbreaking moments that go along with being young and trying to find your place in the world.

I hadn’t read a thriller in a while and I think that this was an amazing one to get me back into the genre. I will definitely be looking out for more books by this author in the future.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Sealskin by Su Bristow Review

The book that…used a frustrating plot device.

Synopsis:
Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous, and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives—not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence? Based on the legend of the selkies—seals who can transform into people—evokes the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice. With exquisite grace, Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance. Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set.

I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

This book reads very quickly and I found myself flying through it to see what was going to happen next. Su’s writing did nothing to slow down the story but neither was it the greatest writing. I think it did the job of telling the story well and keeping me moving through the story.

As far as the characters go. I wish that we could have heard from Mhairi in the story. I think the story felt a bit lacking at times with her being such an important character but us not being able to hear from her ever. Donald, our main character, was a okay main character but a tad boring. He could have been fleshed out more in my opinion since the story focused so much on him and not on other more interesting characters. His character development was fairly jumpy with him making too much change all at once instead of letting us see him change gradually.

I thought that the rape scene at the beginning would have been an okay beginning to the story if it had been addressed more. As it is in the book right now, it felt like it could have been completely cut out. I have a big problem when authors use rape as a plot device and never address the issues of rape culture and the actual consequences of rape. It seems as if Donald’s actions at the beginning are thought of as okay because she is a mythical creature and not fully human. And even later in the book it hints that because Donald was nice to Mairhi later on, that makes up for raping her which is simply not true and a dangerous sentiment to say. This only perpetuates the idea and mindset that men can take what they want, when they want from women and everything will turn out fine anyway. As a woman, this made the entire book frustrating and concerning to read. I may have been able to give in a higher rating if that had not been in the book.

As long as Su stays away from this in her next novel, I am excited to see what will come next from her.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

The book that… I have been anticipating for a long time.

This book was mostly a cover buy because it is such a gorgeous book. I had never heard of this book but it sounded interesting so I picked it up. However, it has sat on my shelf for over 4 years. I have thought about picking it up so many times but just never did. My sister decided that I needed to read it already so she put in on the list of 12 books that I am reading this year. I decided to pick it for my June read which I actually read in July because I was extremely busy in June and didn’t get to it.

I ended up giving this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Synopsis: Tom Cole, the grandson of a legendary local hero, has inherited an uncanny knack for reading the Niagara River’s whims and performing daring feats of rescue at the mighty falls. And like the tumultuous meeting of the cataract’s waters with the rocks below, a chance encounter between Tom and 17-year-old Bess Heath has an explosive effect. When they first meet on a trolley platform, Bess immediately recognizes the chemistry between them, and the feeling is mutual.

But the hopes of young love are constrained by the 1915 conventions of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Tom’s working-class pedigree doesn’t suit Bess’s family, despite their recent fall from grace. Sacked from his position at a hydroelectric power company, Bess’s father has taken to drink, forcing her mother to take in sewing for the society women who were once her peers. Bess pitches in as she pines for Tom, but at her young age, she’s unable to fully realize how drastically her world is about to change.

I loved the setting of this book! I had never before read a book set near Niagara Falls and after reading this book, I want to go and visit. The setting was so vivid, it was almost a character on its own and was the perfect backdrop for this story. There was also a hint of magic realism in the writing and the setting which I adored!

The characters in this book, especially the main character were well-developed and I found myself attached to Bess and her story. There was a lot of family drama in this book which made me a little hesitant as sometimes that can come across a bit ridiculous and often turns me off to a book. However, the drama in this book was executed very well and never went to far, but felt realistic and made me want to find out what was going to happen next.

This book has very compelling characters and an addicting plot. I found that I was often thinking about what was going to happen next even when I was not reading it. There were parts of it that were a bit predictable but a few reveals really caught me off guard. The book was a bit slow for the first half but the last half was very compelling and I had a hard time putting it down.

I thought that some of the writing in this book seemed liked a fact dump. I could tell the author had done a lot of research in order to prepare for the book but some of the information seemed like it was in there to show how historically accurate the author was trying to be rather than actually adding to the plot. It was also a bit heavy on the descriptions at times but for some reason, it seemed to fit with the hot summer weather I was having while reading it. I think it is a good summer read as it begins in summer and summers are great for a fictional vacation to Niagara Falls.

I would highly recommend this book to people who like historical fiction and someone who enjoys very character-driven books.

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You can buy the book here and I will receive a small commission.

Series Review: The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin

The series that….had many ups and downs.

Synopsis:

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

I read this trilogy a couple of months back and thought that it was worth a review. This was a series I had never heard of before but I picked up the first book at a thrift store because it seemed interesting. A year or two later and I found the third book and decided to jump in. I had a lot of thoughts about each of the books in the series but just mentioned the highlights down below.
The Wizard of Earthsea
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.
This first book was pretty slow moving for the majority of the book. However, this world building and character building really helped me get sucked into the world for the next books. The ending of this book was very fast-paced and intense and I flew through the final third of it. Even with the slow build, I ended up giving it 5 stars because the introduction to the world combined with the fantastic ending really sold me.
The Tombs of Atuan
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.
This book was by far my favorite of all three. It is the shortest in the trilogy and probably the most exciting and intriguing. I loved how it started completely away from everything we read about in the first book and I had no idea how it would connect until much later. It creates a brand new setting in an already familiar world which was awesome. From start to finish, I did not want to put this one down.
The Farthest Shore
I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads.
I liked this one but there was some thing missing in it. I found myself often confused during this book and just wasn’t that into the story. The ending was pretty good though and I did in fact have to wipe away a tear or two at the ending. While, it was definitely my least favorite book in the series, I did think it brought the trilogy to a good end so I think everyone should at least give it a try.

Overall, if you are a fan of fantasy and don’t mind some slower paced parts, I would recommend this series to you. It has everything a good fantasy series needs along with some really amazing characters. And it is considered a great and classic fantasy series. There is another book that was added to this trilogy which I may or may not pick up someday, as well.

Have any of you ever read this trilogy? Let me know what you thought of it down below. Also, let me know what some of your favorite fantasy series or books are. I am always looking for a new fantasy world to get swept up in.

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You can buy this trilogy here and I will receive a small commission.

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The book that….may have gotten me into science fiction.

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads because it was amazing!

This book was super good. I was reading it during a very busy time during school so it got sort of broken up for me. I think I would recommend that if you are going to read it, read it during a time when you can fly through it. It is a very fast-paced read and I ended up finishing the last 150 pages of it in one day when I thought I would only read about 50 pages or so. I just had to see how it ended.

I loved the main character’s snark and jokester personality. However, I felt that there were times in which I would have expected him to be freaking out a bit more. Not all of the things that happened in the book seemed completely plausible but most of the book was very believable,

When I was reading, I loved everything that was happening on Mars. However, I felt that the parts that took place on earth were much less interesting. There were times when it added to the tension so I understand why the author put them in there but I tended to want to get back to the Mars portions because they were so engrossing.

The writing in this book was not phenomenal, however, it didn’t hinder my reading of the book and this is a debut book which is understandable. I did think the author did an amazing job making the science-y parts of the books very accessible for those who don’t know a lot about the sciences being discussed.

I think this would be a great book for someone who is looking into reading sci-fi but doesn’t know where to start or is intimidated by it. I am not a sci-fi reader myself but quickly got pulled in to this book. I think it is a great place to start in that genre.

If you have read it, please let me know your thoughts down below. I would love to hear your opinion.

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Book Review: Cannonbridge by Jonathan Barnes

The book that…perplexed me.

I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. I ended up giving it 3 stars on Goodreads. This book will be released on February 10, 2015.

The beginning of this book was a bit confusing yet extremely intriguing. About 30 pages in, I was very invested in it and although I wasn’t quite sure if I understood everything that was happening, I was enjoying the story. As I read, though, this excitement flagged quite a bit. There was a lag in the story around the middle of the book that lasted for a while because I felt like I did not know what the characters were doing and where they were going. By the end of the book, I was extremely confused. I don’t want to ruin the ending for anyone so I won’t say any more but it was a little flat for me.

This book takes place in two different time periods, modern day and late 1900sI thought that the author did a great job of tailoring the writing style to the time period. When I was reading the parts of the book that took place in the past, It felt like I was reading something that was written in the past which enhanced my reading experience.

I love the references in this book to famous authors such as Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, and the Bronte sisters. I just thought that this added a really fun element to the book. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. However, there was something in the way it was written or in the way plot unfolded that kept me from being completely sucked into the story. I felt like the author didn’t really flesh out the ending of the book and it left me more confused than anything.

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Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The book that……I can’t believe I waited so long to read!

I am not posting a synopsis on here because I went into this book completely blind and I thought it really added to the story. However, if you wold like to read what it is about, you can read the synopsis here.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I had this book sitting on my shelf for almost 2 years. I think I had had it on my Goodreads TBR even before that. I always looked at it thinking I should read it. I don’t know why but I just kept putting it off. Finally I picked it up and I was hooked about 5 pages in. This quickly has become one of my top 5 reads of 2014. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the story is just so intriguing that you will want to keep reading just one more chapter way past your bedtime. I was not expecting this book to be as creepy as it turned out to be and I loved that eery feel that it kept throughout the book.

I absolutely loved the pacing in this book. It revealed new information relatively slowly but always gave you just enough to keep you reading furiously to find out what would turn up next. There was a little bit of a lull in the middle but I wanted to see hwo it would end so badly that I just kind of flew through that part. I also loved the vibrant characters in this book. There are a lot of characters but I felt that Diane did a great job giving them personality and really got the reader involved in their lives.

The worst part is that Diane Setterfield only has one other book! She also wrote Bellman & Black which sounds just as good as The Thirteenth Tale. I wanted to get it from my library right away but I think I will wait a bit so as to have one of her books to read in a couple months.

I would recommend The Thirteenth Tale to fans of Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier or to anyone who likes gothic mystery novels.

Have you read this book or have you finished a book recently? What did you think about it? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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