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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Happy Reading!

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.

Thank you for stopping by!
Happy Reading!

#TBR Takedown Read-a-thon: Participation Announcement

Hello, everyone!

I decided to participate in this read-a-thon kind of last minute but I could not stay away! This read-a-thon is hosted by Leaninglights on Youtube and you can go check out her channel here. It begins on July 25th at midnight and will go through the 31st. There are 5 challenges for this read-a-thon. I did not pick one book for each challenge because there is no way that I will be reading 5 books during this week. I am also currently in the middle of a few books as well so I may try and squeeze some of those into this read-a-thon as well.

1. First Book in a series: I will not be doing this one because I am in the middle of so many series right now that I do not want to start another one.
2. Sequel Book in a series: I will be reading The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King which is the second book in the Dark Tower series for this challenge. I read The Gunslinger last year and am ready to keep going in the series.
3. Out of your comfort zone (genre, author, reviews, etc): For this one, I chose The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. This is a contemporary book which I do not usually read or like that much but I have heard great things about this author and am excited to try something of hers.
4. On your shelf over a year (or the longest): I chose All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark because I have had this book on my shelf for a couple years now and was in the mood for a mystery novel.
5. Most recently hauled book:This is not my most recently hauled book but it is one of the most recent. For this challenge, I will be reading Obsessed by Ted Dekker. This is one of his books that I have not yet read and he is one of my favorite authors so I hope that I will get to this one during the read-a-thon.

Well, there you have it! This is what I will be reading over the next week. Let me know if you are participating. I would love to hear what you are reading.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Reading!

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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Reading!

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.

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Reading!

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

Currently Reading: 6/14/2015

Hello, everyone!

Today, I thought I would share with you what I am currently reading since I haven’t done so in a while.

I am currently focusing on two different things right now. The first is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

This is my first time reading through the series and I am really liking it so far. I am currently 100 pages through this one and really excited to keep reading in it. I love how quickly these books read even though they are getting pretty massive.

The last thing I am reading is a manga series call Yotsuba&!. I found this series at my library and picked up the first few volumes. It is a very sweet manga and nice to read when I want something really quick, easy, and fun to read. I am currently reading the fourth volume and can’t wait to continue on in the series.

Well, that is my quick update for you. What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Reading!

2015 Reading Resolutions Update

Hello, everybody!

It is just about halfway through the year now and I thought I would talk about how I am doing on my reading goals for the year. If you would like, you can check out my 2015 Reading Goals post here or you can continue reading for a quick synopsis of my resolutions and how they are going so far.

1. Big Books – I want to read 10 books that have at least 550 pages. Last year, I did pretty well reading big books but I have a lot of them still sitting on my shelves that I want to get to this year.

I have only read one of these this year! I have really got to buckle down and read those big books. It is silly that I haven’t read more of these because I love reading large books and I have TONS of them on my bookshelves calling out to me. There is no excuse for my lack of progress with this one.

2. Classics – I would like to read at least 15 classics off of the Classics Reading Challenge my sister, friend, and I are reading through. I think that 15 classics will be a really good accomplishment for this challenge.

I have 3 read books off of this list so far which is okay but I am starting to get concerned about finishing this one. Classics are very time consuming but oh so worth it so I hope I can at least get close on this challenge.

3. TBR Pile – I will attempt to get my TBR pile of physical books below 200. It is currently around 250 or so. This includes books that I buy in 2015. I really want to spend this year reading mostly from my own shelves since I have built up a little library at home.

I have been utterly failing at this one because I keep acquiring new books at a rate faster than I can read. So far, I have read 11 books off of my own shelves though I have added more than that in books I have bought. I am hoping to really work on this in the last half of the year but the library is so distracting! 🙂

4. Series – Whether I have already started them or will start them in the new year, I want to complete 5 series in 2015. I own quite a few series and have a bunch more that I can get at the library. The top of the list on this is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I also want to finish reading the last 5 books in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

I am doing well at this resolution. I am currently on the 4th book in the Harry Potter series and have finished the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin. I am really trying to tackle some series over the summer so this resolution should be completed rather quickly.

5. Jessi’s Picks – For this resolution, I am going to have my sister pick 12 books from my shelves that she wants me to read in 2015. They can be any books at all and I will read at least one each month in 2015. This will help me read some books that I have been avoiding or just haven’t thought to pick up yet. I will not be limiting myself to one each month but I have to read at least one a month until they are all gone. I will probably do a separate post showing which books she has picked for me.

This one is also working really well for me. I have read one book a month so far and am loving having this set up as a part of my reading schedule. I have read some really great books as well as read books that have been on my shelves forever.

Overall, I am feeling the challenge of these resolutions right now. I am not taking them as hard and fast rules for my reading but I do enjoy having them as guidelines to help me choose what I want to read. I am always happy with the amount of book I read and even though I haven’t read that many books off of my own shelves, I am loving supporting my local library and just having fun with summer reading.

How are you doing on your reading goals for the year? Let me know down below. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Reading!