Book 3 of the year is a re-read called Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I feel in love with Rowell’s writing with her book Fangirl, so when Eleanor and Park came out, I had to read it. It is both beautiful and painful at the same time. It definitely captures the feelings of a teenager in love for the first time but it also showcases some ugly in society that we still have today.
To start off, Eleanor and Park is about these two kids who meet their first time when Eleanor starts at a new school in 1986. She comes from a poor dysfunctional family and he comes from a well to do mixed race family. She is the new kid that everyone makes fun of the second they meet her, and he is the lone wolf that could fit in if he wanted. She needed a place to sit on the bus on the first day at her new school and he is the only person who doesn’t want to see her crash and burn and lets her sit with him on the bus. As the weeks progress, he has started to notice she reads his comic books over his shoulder, thus beginning of their relationship.
I have to say, out of all the books I have ever read, I think Eleanor and Park’s ending is one of the most frustrating I have ever read. I am not going to tell you anymore than that, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the book. It is a great book, trust me on that, but only if you like romance. When I say romance, I don’t mean like the trashy novels a housewife reads in her spare time to come up with ideas to keep things interesting in the bedroom. (I’m not sure if this happens to everyone housewife of every cultural background but the typical white suburban housewife tends to be stereotyped this way thus why I bring it up). This book showcases the first kind of love a teen has in high school, especially with someone they feel gets them so well.
Anyways, it’s getting late and I can’t think of anything else to say except read this book if you get the chance. It’s really good.
See you next book!
Book 2 of the year is a re-reading of James Rollins’ Black Order. If you followed me towards the end of last year, you will remember that I had decided to re-read all of Rollins’ Sigma Force novels. Same with the Harry Potter novels. That hasn’t changed with the New Year.
Now with Black Order, it wasn’t a favorite of mine of the Sigma force novels because I wasn’t interested in the historical part of the book and the science in the book is really hard for me to understand. Quantum Physics isn’t something that I really can understand that much, its one of those really complicated parts of science that needs, I feel, a little more analytical mind than mine. Not saying anything bad about my intelligence, it just doesn’t really expand in the realm of complicated sciences.
This book is really amazing in trying to explain the basic understand of quantum science. I read it and it makes sense, kind of, but I can’t really understand it outside of what is in the book. I hope that makes sense.
Anyways, we see an evolution in the characters with this book as well. Gray, who started a relationship with Rachel (the Italian police officer), is now faced with who he is in a relationship and what he really wants for the future. Monk and Kat are ready to start their future together and Painter needs time to reflect about himself and finds hope for a better future. I know all of this sound vague but I will say, I thought a lot of some of the things that happened were a little more drawn out but between Map of Bones and Black Order, a lot of things change in the characters’ personal life.
In the end, as I am re reading these book, I can’t help but wonder about the author and his ability to not only retain the historical facts and mysteries as well as understand and explain these highly complicated parts of science. He must have a high intelligence to be able to do all this.
Anyways, well on to the next book. See you soon!
First book of the year and it’s a good one.
First off, I want to say that saying this book is the love child or Rainbow Rowell and John Green is wrong in my opinion (It is the “review” on the cover of the book, for those who want to know). I don’t think this is a bad book or anything but the way Albertalli writes and tells a story is different from Rowell and Green in many ways. I feel like it’s insulting to all the authors by saying that and a little misleading for their fans. Now I am a huge fan of Rowell and I do like Green and I did enjoy this book but I didn’t get a vibe that it was like their books at all. Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book in its own right. It is unique in its delivery and it has a pretty powerful message. It actually hits home for me as I have a close family member who deals with the same issues, and had dealt with the same insecurities, as the main character. But before we go any further, maybe I should tell you a little about the book first.
The story is about Simon. Simon is gay, though he hasn’t really told anyone but his email friend with a secret identity. It’s not because Simon is ashamed he is gay, he just doesn’t know how the world around him will take it when they find out and that is a little terrifying. Understandable if you ask me. Unfortunately, someone at school as seen some of his emails with his email friend (who is also gay and Simon and him have a little bit of relationship starting through these emails) and proceeds to blackmail Simon into helping him spend time with his crush, Simon’s friend Abby. What is the poor guy supposed to do? He doesn’t want to help this desperate kid but he also isn’t exactly ready for everyone to know about him yet.
This is pretty much what the book is about. Now I completely understand the main characters feeling and insecurities. I’m not gay but, as stated, a close family member of mine is and I know that coming out to the family was terrifying for him. I knew it years before he told the family, not because he told me specifically but because it was in his mannerisms and the way he was. I didn’t care, his choice of sexuality was none of business and honestly, I didn’t want to know about him and anyone, regardless of gender. No one really wants to think of family members having sex and stuff like that. He was just himself and he was family and that’s all I thought. I bring this up because I think Albertalli give a really good account of how someone who is hiding this secret feels. And there is a quote in this book that really gets me. “As a side note, don’t you think everyone should come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever.” It is a profound statement and something for society as a whole to think about.
Now the only downside to this book is that you are scrambling in the beginning to understand who is who and how they play a role in the book. There is literally no introduction chapter about who is Simon and his brief history and where he stands in life… the normal thing that authors usually do. You know what I am talking about. The first chapter usually has a good about of back information about the character and what they look like and where they are so the reader can kind of draw a picture in their mind. This book, that’s a no go. It is a little off putting if you aren’t used to it but at the same time, it could draw in people who don’t usually like to read because it doesn’t have all that heavy background information.
There is something else that is interesting but I don’t know if it’s a bad thing or not since it wasn’t something that really got me at first. It wasn’t until I started reflecting about the book that I noticed it. The characters outside of Simon aren’t exactly fleshed out. Like you only know so much about them, so you actually don’t know when they react to Simon’s coming out, if it’s in character or not. It’s weird because I usually judge the characters around the protagonist because the author usually adds and grows those characters as well, but not in this book. The thing is, it doesn’t really take away from the story. Everything fits like it’s supposed to and it isn’t weird or not believable.
Anyways, these are my thoughts on my first book of the year. It’s a little weird to be starting at one after I had gone so far but a little refreshing as well. Well, I’ll see you next book.
So I started this blog as a way for me to write about the books I read and kind of keep a diary for them as well. I get to write out my feelings and thoughts so I can start the new book and also keep track of the books I read. That isn't changing at all. Actually this really worked out for me and so I want to keep it up. I know most of you probably don't read these but those that do, thank you. Thank you for dealing with my wildly scattered thougths on the books I read (I know I am not organized when I give a review like I want to be) and thank you for not judging on my grammar (or if you do judge, that you don't saying anything). Anyways, I am going to do the pop sugar reading challange again on top of my Goodreads reading challenge. The pop sugar reading challenge actually help me to expand my interest in different genres of book and I definately started to see a change at the end of the year of what I was reading from what I was reading the year before. My Goodreads challenge is the same as last year, 75 books this year. I barely made my Goodreads challenge in 2017, so I am not going to up it until I am start to go over 75 a little. You never know what the year will bring, I might not be able to read as much as I want so I think 75 is a good number to stay with for now. Well lets start with the book. Oh, BTW, sorry for the late post. I should have written this on the first day of the year.
OMG! I had to set aside the whole day to read this book because I needed to finish my reading challenge of 75 books for the year and I succeeded with an hour and 15 minutes to spare. My eyes hurt a little but other than that, I do not regret making Steve Berry my last read of the year. I haven’t really talked about him that much but his books are up there with James Rollins, thought I prefer Rollins way of storytelling a little more. That being said, I also enjoy Berry’s as well. His is a little different.
This book was, in my opinion, a little more of a step away from how his previous books were, at least that I remember of them. I actually haven’t read many of Berry’s books in several years because I have been caught up in other authors and such. Usually Berry is much like Rollins in that the main characters have to follow some clues or something that is attached to a historical mystery, phenomenon or event. This historical thing is important because it affects something to do with a dire event in present day. This book doesn’t have the main characters solving the puzzles of history but following someone that already has and trying to figure out who to trust and who is the real bad guy all while trying to prove that oil can be infinite. Interesting, right? I thought so at least. I wasn’t what I really expected but there wasn’t much of a lag in the story either. The only that that were kind of got me was that this book has a lot to do with Chinese history and how it is supposed to affect today’s present political situation. Why does that have me? Because I honestly don’t know much about the political environment in China currently or in the last decade so it was hard for me to follow along when they talked about the different people in charge and the tragedies that had happened there.
Honestly, that is all I can really say about the book. That is all that is on my mind after reading it. It wasn’t my favorite of Berry’s series but it was interesting and kept me hooked for the most part. Anyways, see you next year and the start of a new reading challenge.
Again, another re read but this time, much like the Goblet of Fire, it was an audiobook. I seriously recommend listening to the who series through audiobooks. Jim Dale does an amazing job at reading the story, making sure to give everyone there own little voice. It really does bring the story to light. Now I will say this, though the movie is really different and there is alot of extra stuff that Rowling puts in this book that doesn't seem relevent (I stated in my last review earlier this year or something of that nature), it was vastly different when listening to the book then reading it. I actually felt like I was at Hogwarts doing homework with the trio and going to classes. I actually wanted to learn more when listening to the book. I listen to this while cleaning, crafting, and driving to my family for the holiday, so I was able to give lots of time to the book. If I was reading it, I probably wouldn't have given so much time and had waited until the first of the year to finish the book.
Anyways, I am reading and am going to start the next book in this series. Don't know which I will finsih as I usually don't get to read that often when visiting family so we shall see. See you next book!
Book 73 is the start of a trilogy called Innocent Blood and yes it has vampires. It is written by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell and it’s amazing. So this is a re-reading as well, seems I may be ending the year with re-readings. Don’t know, depends on how fast I get through this trilogy. I am going to start reading another of my mom’s authors but also, I want to read the couple of my Christmas books as well so I might switch to them. Mostly, I am just happy that I am reading again. Again, I am a teacher so which Christmas break coming up, I will have plenty of time to read so I will do that.
Anyways, this book is amazing because it has the whole dark part of vampires (nothing like Stephanie Meyer’s version where like blood sucking fairies and not evil soulless creatures) but it also brings in the Christian mythology. When I say mythology, I don’t mean to say that Christianity is based on falsehoods, I am talking about the stories that aren’t necessarily in the bible as well as mixing stories in the bible. The Sanguines are a sect in the church of vampires but they are able to be soulful because they only feed off the blood of Christ (the wine turned into the blood, the communion). It starts with a seemingly natural disaster in Masada that opens a tomb that is supposed to have the Blood Gospel, the book written by Christ in his own blood. Unfortunately, the book is not there and it will set off a journey for Erin and Jordan, two humans drawn into a prophecy that has dated back so many millenniums. Erin is an archeologist that was mysteriously called forth to examine the tomb for clues and Jordan is a solider that was brought in to help with the victim of the natural disaster. Now I think the disaster wasn’t natural but something in the universe started this when it collapsed Masada into the ground and unearthed the tomb.
Now my favorite character is Rhun, who is the Sanguine who is to help Erin and Jordan because of the prophecy. Why do I like him the most? I think because he is the tortured soul. He fell from grace at one point and now understands the horrible truth of his life. He spends every waking moment regretting his fall and wanting and trying to find a way to fix it. Especially in the next two books. In the end, his constant conflict and torture is awarded but I won’t tell you about it until then, and even then I’ll keep it vague because you should seriously read this book trilogy.
Erin bothers me on some level. I don’t hate her but there is something about her that annoys me on a certain level. I think it’s because she has feelings for Jordan but I feel she adds to Rhun’s torment when she allows him to even think for moment that she also has feelings for him. A Sanguine can never love, they are priests and the moment they let their guard down, they attack (Rhun’s fall from Christ has something to do with that). Jordan is everything that people think a solider from America is. Confidant, loyal, protective, he embodies all of these aspects and I love him for it. I know, it’s funny that I like the male characters and not the female character but I only feel it towards Erin in the first book. Because of something that happens in the very end of the book that puts Rhun at risk, that is also done with no regard to Rhun’s past since Erin didn’t know what exactly happened in Rhun’s past, I kind feel annoyed at her. But the next two books, the possibility of Erin and Rhun is nonexistence because Rhun’s past is not completely dead and comes back to haunt him.
Anyways, I am on to the next book. See y’all later!
Book 72 is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the audiobook. Now if you actually follow me on this blog and am not just popping in ever now and then, you would know that I read this book just a couple months ago. I wanted to read all the Harry Potter books in order before the end of the year but I got a little busy and since I had just read the book in September, it was harder for me to get through. Most of the story was still fresh in my head so re-reading such a long story was a little taxing. I decided to listen to the book instead and it was amazing. If you ever get the chance to listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks, you should do it. They are fantastic. Jim Dale reads the books and he does such a fantastic job. You can tell the subtle difference he makes for each character and it adds a special layer to the story, really making it come alive. Not only that, it make mundane things like driving and cleaning more bearable.
As stated in my previous post, I really hate how the movies destroy the essentials to this book. If they had added only 2 scenes to the movie, they would be able to show the transition to the 5th movie better. Until this year, I had not read these books since I was in high school, senior year in fact. I forgot why everyone didn’t believe Dumbledore and Harry when they said that Voldemort had returned but I re-read Goblet of Fire. If they had just added two scenes, one of Hermione reading the article the Rita Skeeter writes about Harry fainting and getting into mischief because of the different things that happen to him each school year and then where Fudge confronts Dumbledore and refuses to believe him because of said article, then the beginning of the Order of Phoenix would make so much more sense for those who haven’t read the book. I know they can’t put in everything that make the Goble of Fire, in my opinion at least, the best in the series but those 2 scenes would make everything more believable and understandable.
Anyways, enough of the ranting. I know there are going to be things in the Order of Phoenix that I think should be included in the movies when I listen to it. Then again, I remember when I read it in Feburary I thought the movie interpretation was actually pretty good considering there was a lot of things in the book that made it seem a little drawn out. I think JK Rowling added in to show very small clues and to help the readers get a better sense of Hogwarts since, other than the Goblet of Fire, the other books were very much to the point. But that is for another post. Don’t think you will see it for a couple of weeks, depends if I decided to read and listen at the same time (I am thinking about it so I can meet my quota of finishing the series this year). Anyways, see you next book.
James Rollins Sigma Force novel at it's best is Map of Bones. This book is what made me fall in love with James Rollins' writing. It had history and action and even science embeded in the story. And there was a little romance (even if I didn't think the two people should be together, seemed a little cheesy to me).
Map of Bones starts off with a mass murder at a midnight mass at a Cathedral in Germany. The murder was performed in mysterious circumstances, so mysterious, DARPA's secret force, Sigma, was called in personally by the Vatican. This sets Grayson Pierce and his team, Kat Bryant and Monk last name I can't spell at the moment, to meet Vigor Verona and his neice, who is an Italian police investigator, to solve the puzzle of the Magis' bones.
This is actually a re reading of this book, but I read it a looooong time ago. We are talking about towards the beginning of my college years, and the time my reading selection started shifting from romance to more adventure and fantasy. I had actually forgot exactly what Gray and his team were searching for as in every book there is something historical and scientfic that is thrown together. I honestly thought they were searching for the lost Library of Alexandria but then that didn't make sense since it was never really "lost" but just destroyed. It wasn't until this reading that I remembered it had to do with Alexander the Great and the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The scientic element had to do with metals in m-state and how they can be used to create superconductors. It has always been hard for me to discribe what the scientific element is because I don't understand alot of the really complicated sciency stuff but I get it when I read how Rollins' characters describe/talk about it.
As always, this started my big crush on Grayson Pierce because who doesn't love a man who is human, intellegent, and a badass. Granted he has his own issues to deal with personally but he is awesome. And everyone else as well. I love how Rollins builds his characters.
Anyways, haven't decided if I wanted to start on his blood trilogy or if I will read the next in the Sigma series. I am almost done with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire audiobook so I will commenting on that soon too, so keep an eye out for it. See ya next book
Book 70 is Sandstorm by James Rollins. No, I haven’t stopped reading Harry Potter; I have just started re-reading another favorite author of mine as well. I actually switched to the audiobook for the Goblet of Fire which is making it really interesting. But that isn’t what this post is about. This book is about the prequel of the Sigma Force novels that I love so much. I have decided to go back and re-read the Sigma Force novels as well as Harry Potter because none of my other books are really that interesting for me at the moment but I am so close to finishing my reading challenge.
So Sandstorm is the prequel of the Sigma Force novels. I know that is probably not the official title, some places quote it as the first novel but I fell that it sets up the series more than anything. Anyways, this book is the about the race to find the lost city of Ubar, also known as the City of Brass. It is a “lost city” in the Arabian Peninsula and is supposed to hold many wonders. What sets off this race is an explosion in the British Museum by mysterious circumstances. A statue explodes because of a lightning ball. It is revealed that the explosion had to deal with degrading antimatter found in the statue and that the secret clues the statue left behind could lead to a bigger source that could potential wipe the Arabian Peninsula from the face of the earth or worse. So the US government send is Painter Crowe, one of the top agents in the Sigma Force, a secret organization under DARPA (DARPA is actually real so this could actually be a thing, just saying). Painter’s mission is to help the scientists and archeologists that are connected to the statue and it’s finding in finding the source and securing it so that it doesn’t explode and cause a catastrophe. But these plans are made difficult when Painter’s ex-partner and mole in Sigma turns up trying to get to the source of antimatter as well to sell to the highest bidder. She works for the Guild, the antagonist to Sigma. They deal with money, power, and influence.
Why I feel like this book is a prequel, it’s about the mission that Painter is apart of that helps him clean Sigma up from moles and puts him in command. The rest of the series is mostly centered on a different character, even though we see Painter and other characters help this one character often.
I do like that we get to see Painter in a more vulnerable situation, him not being in complete control. You don’t really see any of the other characters usually seen in the rest of the series.
Now the confession I have to make. I didn’t finish the book the first time I read it many years ago. I read half way through and got upset because I wanted Painter to end up with Safia, the main archeologist in the race to Ubar. But I read the epilogue and she ends up with her ex fiancé, and Painter doesn’t end up with anyone. Mind you, I was really into romance novels at the time, so I liked seeing people end of together. As years have gone by, I have moved far away from romance for the most part and still with fantasy or really go thrillers. The point is, I finished the book this time around and it was amazing and the ending was perfect. I also say that because I know that Painter ends up with a great person later in the book series and he finds happiness himself.
Anyways, that was it on this book. I’ll check back with all on the next book.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.