17 Aug 2017

Review: The Chronicles of Henry Harper


'' My name is Henry Harper and I am nobody important. ''

 ★★★★☆

We all know those main characters who state in the beginning of their story that they are not important. That no matter how many princes and princesses they have rescued and worlds saved, they still think so little of themselves. Henry Harper is exactly the epitome of those. Despite travelling through space to the unknown and achieving the impossible again and again.

The book contains exactly what it says on the cover, The Chronicles of Henry Harper. He accounts his own life story in a series of short stories told in third-person narrative. There is his own commentary before and after each story in first-person.

14 Aug 2017

Review: Holding on to Hurt


'' But we cannot give up hope. We've got to hold on to even the tiniest sliver of hope. We have to. ''

★★★★★

To what you compare the grief and sorrow of losing someone close to you? Most people can't find any comparisons but would talk about the memories of the past and the missed opportunities of the future. There isn't a thing you can compare it to. And that is what Holding on to Hurt is all about. Experiencing grief, trying to cope with the reality of the situation, and fear of losing hope.

The story is told through Irene Hurt's eyes. She is the wife of Bruce Hurt and a loving mother to Scott. Then one day her worst fears come through: Scott is in the hospital because of a school shooting. And after his surgery, he is not waking up.

The book explores the question what if and why a lot. It won't give answers to any of them, but it really, really makes you think. I haven't experienced this kind of sorrow in my life yet, but all of us will face it sometime in our lives. This story really brings out the hard side of the situation. No making things pretty and that is one of the most beautiful aspects of this book. There is no holding back with the narration, every emotion is displayed in its rawness.

13 Aug 2017

News and Currently Reading


Hi everyone,
Long time no see. Okay, not that long time. Anyway. It's been a while since I've written anything but reviews here, so I thought to pop in and say hi.

I'm living exciting times now with a huge change coming into my life in just a couple of weeks. I'll tell more about that later when I know more about my schedules and all. I give you a hint, my future includes many hours away from home and up in the air.

So, I have been busy because of the change and haven't had time to read so much so I have fallen way behind on my reading and reviewing schedule. This is not a good thing since I have so many books waiting in line for their turn and missing one review delays all those coming after. Now that I am whole three books behind, one could say I am treading on thin ice. Worry not. I will be doing all the reviews as fast as possible.

10 Aug 2017

Review: Two Hundred Very Short Stories


★★★★☆

 This collection of short stories is very true to its name. All the stories, with the exception of a very few, can be read in a just couple of minutes or less. 

Though the book is a combination of different stories the subject tend all to lean towards the miracles of life: birth, love, tragedies, and death. How one person's decision to stop and help the one in need may be a life-changing turn for both of them. How a tragedy can lead to happiness and happiness plummet to tragedy. Life changes quickly without us noticing it immediately and that's what this collection made me very aware of.

Although many of the stories were not happy or ended well, reading wasn't too hard. Sometimes a very emotional book is hard and slow to read and thus can't be read at your normal speed. This wasn't the case. The things that will slow you down are the gaps. You don't get to know everything, so you have to make your own deductions, and sometimes, read the entire story again to realise the answers hidden between the lines.

This was a great read. Normally I am not a fan of short stories, never have been, but this did not disappoint me at all. And just look at the cover. Such a pretty thing. 😍

Review: A Strange Affair


★★★☆☆

This novella is around eighty pages so it's really, really quick to read. Those eighty pages just flew past.

Ellie is not the girl to pick up a guy from the bar and have a one night stand. She is the one to go to a bar, though. There she meets Aaron, the new guy from another company in the building she works. Neither of them can deny the attraction in the air. 

You follow the story from two different view points: Ellie's and Aaron's. Though the novella circles more around Ellie's thoughts. both the characters are rounded and thought out well. They are portrayed from the beginning till the end as the same. Not too big dramatic changes with either of them.

The thing that I needed more was details. I understand that this is a novella and not a full three-hundred-page novel, but still, there was something more I missed. Anyway, this was fun to read and I might pick up something else from this author in the future too!

8 Aug 2017

Review: Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist's Tale


''Each of us lives a life of illusion as the protagonist in his or her own often too polished and too edited personal play. I have no qualms with this. We can each have our truth. The important thing is to leave room for the truths of others.''
 
★★☆☆☆

 Originally, picked this book up because of my interest in the human brain and psychology. When looking into that aspect of the 'why' I really liked what the book had to offer. Theories and deductions based on those. The author goes through his life systematically from his early years to the present date reflecting everything he has learned in school and during his career. He makes connections and between different phases of his life completing what to a armchair psychologist appears to be a full detailed analysis of his life.

The entire book is gripping and easy to read, so you don't have to have a masters degree in psychology to understand it.

Then to the reason why the book dropped from my original four-star rating to a two. Some books have a great narrating. The narrator takes the reader to a journey and let's the reader be a part of the book in some way. Hatching Charlie felt more like a 450-page-monologue. The style of narrating fits better to a bit shorter works because the author's own voice dominates the story too much. The reader, in most cases, just sits on the sidelines. And that is why in the end got only two stars.

I would recommend this to those who find psychology interesting and is not too much bothered by the style of it's written.

While writing the last sentence, a thought popped into my mind: Since the author's voice is so strong and recognisable throughout the book, this would make an amazing audio book. Just sayin'.

5 Aug 2017

Review: Alpha Landon


★★★★☆

Procrastinating seems to be the one thing I'm best at. But with the not so gentle push from my friend, and here I am, writing the reviews that have piled up in the past few weeks.

Alpha Landon was the first book I read from Midika Crane (long ago on Wattpad). This wasn't her best book, but great nonetheless.

The story follows Althea and the Alpha of Power Pack, Landon. Landon hasn't morphed into an Alpha wolf yet in the beginning of the story. When he does, his outer appearance changes drastically. Gone is his geeky outlook and lanky frame instead pure muscle and power reveals itself. 

Althea has had a crush on Landon for years now. She hasn't told about her feelings to Landon and wasn't even planning to. After Landon's transformation, he starts to act differently towards Althea, implying that he might have some feelings towards her. At the same time, Althea is courted by other eligible wolves from her pack. 

19 Jul 2017

Review: The Eye of Nefertiti


'' All one can do is shape the present. ''

★☆☆☆☆

The Eye of Nefertiti is the second instalment to A Pharaoh's Cat series. They can be read individually, but they both are around two hundred pages so I recommend reading them both. TEON contains a lot of references to the first book, so reading it could shed some light. I didn't read the first book.

Wrappa-Hamen is a cat from ancient Egypt. He has the ability to talk, walk, and sense like a human. He got his abilities in the last book by a sacrifice he made in the first book.

Wrappa-Hamen lives in the twenty-first century with a High Priest Gato-Hamen, the Priest's girlfriend and their child, who is the reincarnation of the Pharaoh from the last book. 

18 Jul 2017

Review: The Limpet Syndrome


''Emotion is not what makes us weak, Brimstone. It's what makes us human. The ability to care, even if people often do not.''

★★★☆☆

The Limpet Syndrome takes you below the surface to the deepest pits of hell and back. Though, for some, the journey doesn't end there. If you suffer from the Limpet Syndrome your soul, through a complicated process, reincarnates itself into an animal. Most cases it's the animal closest to you in the moment of your death. And for John Hewson, things got a bit more complicated. Finding himself in a waiting room with a lady looking older than a dinosaur he knows something isn't right. Proceeding through his trial, he finds out that he has been selected to bring back two souls before the Summer Solstice or the world will crumble beneath his feet. The task isn't easy because there are other people hunting those two souls and because John is, well, dead.

16 Jul 2017

Review: Dining and Driving with Cats - Alice Unplugged


''British author Sir Terry Pratchett once said, ''In ancient times, cats were treated as gods; they have not forgotten this.'' We have found this saying to be key to understanding the behavior of cats. Another unidentified person once said, ''Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.'' These two basic principles have governed our relationship and adventures with two cats, which are partially chronicled in this story. And so, we begin...''

★★★★☆

Being the staff to a cat named Jamie myself, I could very well relate to the scenarios happening in the book. Running away one second, napping the next is a very familiar situation at home too. Munchie and Tuffy made this book so relatable. The cats are a big part of the story, they are present all the time surprising the reader constantly. Sometimes they make you happy, sometimes sad, and once scared for their lives.

The story flows forward like a movie. The present and past mixing together effortlessly. The story is a combination of a road trip, history lessons, and cooking class. Beware, you might get hungry while reading. The book contains a few recipes and many descriptions of foods that I hadn't ever heard of. Somehow the author has brought this all together, creating a combination so life-like. Well, the book is a true story, so no wonder there. 

All in all, this is a story of how the couple became who they are today. Taking the reader to places where they had been years ago was amazing. You could feel the love and fondness towards each other between the lines. Reliving their lives and experiences through this book was what made it great.

11 Jul 2017

Review: Chase & Chloe


''I'd kill him if I wasn't so bloody in love with him.''

★★★★★

Wow. Another gripping biker romance from Simone Elise. This one didn't let me get away from its grip, so I stayed awake the night before falling asleep in the early hours. And, of course, as soon as I woke up the book was back in my hands.

A bit background first. Chase is the president of his motorcycle club charter. As the eldest of his siblings, the responsibility of the McKenzie family fell on his shoulders with the death of their father. So, when he finds Chloe on the side of the road with her car broken down, he can't help himself but help her.
Chloe is used to having her walls up. She doesn't trust anyone, especially men, and suddenly finding Chase in her personal space is overwhelming. Having run away from her stepfather she needs to go as far as possible, but running away doesn't seem to be the option anymore. Not with Chase on her heels.

9 Jul 2017

Review: The Lot of a Nobody


''It was like something from a fairy-tale -more Brothers Grimm than Walt Disney.''

★★★☆☆

Sometimes your clothes just don't stay on you. Waking up on a weird island, totally naked, Lot Nobody realises his life isn't the same anymore. Transporting to a mystery location and then returning buck-naked to the same place he vanished from. Neat trick, right? Except when Lot vanishes from school. Completed with mysterious carved statues with numbers, and a shady businessman, named Hector Shady, wanting to collect them all. The book is full of humour and snarky comments that are guaranteed to make you laugh.

6 Jul 2017

Review: The Bucket List


''Running away is not the solution. You have- we have- to enjoy every moment we get to have.''

★★★★★

Damon and Leah. Leah and Damon. I've read their story. I cried, a lot, so if you're about to embark on it, you are warned. 

Damon and Leah were best friends for fifteen years. They did everything together until The Thing happened. Afterwards, they separated and never heard from each other again. Until Damon moves to the house next to Leah's. Many things have changed since they last saw each other. Leah's in college, living with her new best friend. Damon, on the other hand, is suffering. Diagnosed with an incurable sickness he is set out on living the most out of his final year. And that is how The Bucket List starts.

1 Jul 2017

Review: Poor No More: An American Dream



★★☆☆☆

Now retired, author Dr Steven Bentley was a successful emergency physician. But his path in life wasn't always an easy one. In Poor No More: An American Dream, he shares his story of how he survived a rare birth defect, abject poverty, an alcoholic mother, a KKK father, an abusive children's home, and a cruel step-mother.

That is the first of three paragraphs on the back cover of Poor No More: An American Dream. And that paragraph was what originally made me accept the book into reading and reviewing. So, thank you for sending me the copy!

Unfortunately, the description didn't match the story inside. Yes, there was the cruel step-mother and the alcoholic mother, but everything else was almost shrugged off with just a mention in a sentence or two. 

29 Jun 2017

Review: A Dragon's Treasure


'' ''Oh, my goodness.'' She sounded breathless. ''You're lethal.'' ''

★★★☆☆

Something different this time. For a long time, I've mostly reviewed young-adult books and now I made an exception to my normal routine. So, here it is.

We follow Connie who is on the run. In a 'wrong place, wrong time' scenario she witnesses a drug-deal gone bad. Leaving Chicago behind and heading to her cousin's farm where not only wolves run, but they also change into men. The wolf-shifters are not the only kind. Among them live other supernatural creatures, including dragons.