The Sandcastle Empire–Kayla Olsen

I needed some young adult in my life after reading Lolita. 

WHOOOOOAAAA what a horrible way to phrase that.

And yet I left it so you could read it and be mortified with me and for me. 

You’re welcome.

Anyway: I love YA novels that have heart. And murder. Lots and lots of murder. And mystery. But mostly murder.

Is something wrong with me? Who knows. But this book was SO. DAMN. GOOD.

This book is about how Eden who had a pretty good life (talking good parents, nice house, just above middle class upbringing) until the revolution happened and then she was left with only a handful of relics and clues from her dad about where a secret island is. That which is a sanctuary to all those who reach it. Far from the horrible daily grind of living in a hellish world.

This book was part thriller, part female empowerment, and part suspense.

And I believe there was a hot ginger in there somewhere that had me happily trailing along through this book.

Read this if you were into The Hunger Games. Because it’s sort of like that but somehow more mature? I don’t know.

Can’t wait to read more! 

Constant vigilance!

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Big Little Lies–Liane Moriarty

Sometimes I give in and read popular books to see what the big fucking deal is. 

“Gone Girl” is an example of this. I read that because I didn’t want the mystery ruined. But I did not like that book. I could not remotely relate to the characters or understand their motivations. It seemed far-fetched. 

I read “Life of Pi” and was like “Meh. It was okay. Kind of annoyed at the ending.” *awkward shrug* 

I read “Simon VS. The Homosapiens Agenda” and was like ‘HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK THIS IS SUCH A GOOD GODDAMN BOOK EVERYONE MUST READ THIS AHHHHH” And threw it at everyone I know.

But that’s a story for another day. 

The point of my saying this is that sometimes books exceed my expectations. Sometimes. 

SO where does “Big Little Lies” rate? On a scale of Gone Girl to Simon? 

Somewhere in the middle. 

It was well written, and shocking in parts, and then everything exploded and I was left like “WHOA WHAT.” 

I didn’t think there was going to be so much intrigue in a book about three mothers and how they all come to be friends.

But sometimes a book is suggested by the entire world for a reason. 

Because it explodes at the end. 

Not…not literally. 
Although WHAT a surprise that would be! 

Constant vigilance!

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Ballroom Blitz

I’ve been pretty busy these last few mon–years. Things have gotten out of control and I’m only JUST starting to patch things together to make them workable.

One of those things being writing “reviews”, which at this point they are more or less just blurbs on like “Read it if you feel like it” and “HOLY HELL THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING”. Either way, things have gotten pretty laissez-faire around here. Which was my whole life until I realized that I needed to pull myself together because I’m reviewing books from last summer and I have no clue what to write about them.

Which is why I labelled this segment: Ballroom Blitz.

Because I’m going to throw a bunch of tentatively labelled “reviews” at you.

Bunheads–Sophie Flack

‘Bunheads’ was on my summer reading list last year it was a nice beach book for sure.

Not intense in content, but still a decent story and plot. It’s about ballerinas, one in particular, and you follow their story of competitiveness, heartbreak, life, and their need to dance.

It was really well written (unlike these reviews), and I look forward to finding something else of hers in the future.

Definitely take this on a trip with you.

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The Invisible Ones–Stef Penney

This book was pretty decent given that I didn’t know what I was walking into. The plot centres around gypsies and their lifestyle, but only because one of them goes missing and a cop is trying to suss out what happened.

It was well written and I look forward to reading some of the authors others books.

I liked reading about gypsies, and I enjoyed the characters and the plot twists.

Definitely a good mystery for anyone looking for one.

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The Night We Said Yes–Lauren Gibaldi 

This book was sent in one of my OwlCrate boxes, I was interested in reading it since it was all about how these people spent a night (you guessed it) saying ‘Yes’ to everything.

It was a silly story and definitely more for teens than even Young Adults. I’m neither, but still, it should’ve had a little more juice to it. It barely had any meat on its bones, and it was the first book from OwlCrate that I was really really disappointed in.

Handed it off to head to a thrift store. Hopefully some tween will enjoy it more than I did.

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Next week will focus solely on Roald Dahl’s works.

Constant vigilance!

 

Broken–Kelley Armstrong

The werewolves are back! The werewolves are back!

I love my wolf pack.

Honestly, I look forward to seeing them throughout the series more than any other characters, but I’m really glad that this series isn’t completely revolving around them. Kelley Armstrong writes in such a way that I’ll always be intrigued by this series. She keeps you on your toes!

“Broken” is about my beloved wolf pack, and things are changing. (Pun not completely intended.)

Remember Xavier? He was from “Stolen”, he was that dingaling teleporter that is really only after things for himself? Couldn’t really care about anyone unless they could do something for him?

Well. He’s back and he’s asking Elena and Clay’s help in stealing the “From Hell” letter that is rumoured to contain Jack the Ripper.

Go figure that they accidentally open a portal and unwittingly let him out.

The real problem with this? There are all sorts of diseases that come from Victorian England and Elena has a little parasite of her own happening.

She’s pregnant. Naturally, Clay is worried as fuck.

Great writing, one of my favourite books as you get to see this couple work together again and do battle, but also that you get to see Elena trying to act in the best interest of her future kids instead of just herself and Clay.

Loved it. Constant vigilance!

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The Dinner–Herman Koch

This book is about two brothers and their families. The two brothers and their wives gather for dinner in a fancy pants restaurant to discuss an issue that arises with their sons.

The writing was good even though it was translated (kudos to whoever did that without making it sound stilted and odd) from Dutch and the story was intriguing enough to keep me reading.

However (potential spoilers ahead) there were certain parts that I was extremely annoyed with. Like when an author decides that he’s not going to let the main character tell us some things because they aren’t crucial and they wouldn’t make a difference but then talk about how it got him fired from his job, or not tell you what made his wife sick, or what mental disadvantage (or neurosis) he has and might be passing onto his son while a doctor tells him that if they had amniotic testing back in the day his parents likely would’ve aborted him.

Don’t line it up without hitting it, you know? Just tell me! That’s your job as a writer. It’s your job to tell the WHOLE story. Sure, you can be mysterious and withholding at points, hello, it’s called foreshadowing. But don’t leave things out just to annoy someone without the end result of actually telling the audience what you were foreshadowing!

What in the hell Herman!

Overall, this book was good, quick read, but I don’t think I’d read it again in the future. Gave me some things to mull over (ie. What would I do if my future children accidentally murdered a homeless woman.).

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Strange Visitor–By Cassandra

On Hallowe’en night, I opened the door, and the first thing I saw (or didn’t see) was a missing left arm. The remaining limb hanging loosely at his side, blood dripping off it. Then a white shirt covered in blood, molded into his bald head, was his left arm. He was missing an eye, he smiled a toothless smile, and there tied to his tongue was his eyeball. He was missing two fingers on his right hand, they were sewn into his nostrils. He had huge scars all over his face, one is in the shape of a happy face. His nose with finger in each nostril is not in place, it’s on his left cheek beside a half ear.

He is barefooted and missing toes, but they’ve been glued to his knees. And he has strange green spots all over his legs and a hole through his stomach with a cat sleeping happily inside.

And the only thing he said was “Trick or Treat”.

The End.

By my older sister Cassandra when she was in elementary school. (Likely 3rd or 4th grade judging by the freshly learned cursive.)

Worth the wait? Haha

To Say a Few Words…

Here’s Paul Sheldon under serious duress:

He had heard the same thing time and time again. It came in different wrappers, but it always boiled down to the same thing: I remember getting into the car, and I remember waking up here. Everything else is a blank.

Why couldn’t that happen to him?

Because writers remember everything, Paul. Especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels, not amnesia. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is that ability to remember the story of every scar.

Art consists of the persistence of memory.

Who had said that? Thomas Szasz? William Faulkner? Cyndi Lauper?

-Paul Sheldon, Misery, Stephen King