Book Review

Book Review | AND THE REST IS HISTORY, by Jodi Taylor

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And the Rest is History (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #8), by Jodi Taylor

Publish Date: April 13, 2017
Published by: Night Shade Books
Pages: 355
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

No one knows quite how, but Max and her baby are safe at last.

No one knows quite how, but Peterson has persuaded Dr Foster to marry him.

No one knows quite how, but Markham’s marital status remains unknown.

Certainly no one knows quite how a twelve-foot-high teapot could mysteriously materialise on the South Lawn, but it does.

But they do know that Clive Ronan is back.

They do know that he hates them and that this time he has good cause. And they do know that he will bring death and destruction in his wake.

Follow the disaster magnets of St Mary’s from the Egyptian desert to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, from Hastings to the Sack of Constantinople, and from tragedy to triumph and back again, in this, the eighth book in The Chronicles of St Mary’s.


My Review: Continue reading “Book Review | AND THE REST IS HISTORY, by Jodi Taylor”

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Book Review

Book Review | WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?, by Jodi Taylor

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #6), by Jodi Taylor

Publish Date: August 20, 2015
Published by: Night Shade Books
Pages: 328
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s tells the chaotic adventures of Madeleine Maxwell and her compatriots—Director Bairstow, Leon “Chief” Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more—as they travel through time, saving St. Mary’s (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea.

In What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Max is back, with a new husband, a new job, and a training regime that cannot fail . . . to go wrong. Take one interim chief training officer, add five recruits, and mix with Joan of Arc, a baby mammoth, a duplicitous Father of History, a bombed rat, Stone Age hunters, a couple of passing policemen who should have better things to do, and Dick the Turd. Stir well, bring to a boil—and wait for the bang!


My Review: Continue reading “Book Review | WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?, by Jodi Taylor”

Book Review

Book Review | READY PLAYER ONE, by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player Oneby Ernest Cline

Publish Date: August 16, 2011 (original hardcover)
Published by: Crown Publisher/Broadway Books (paperback)
Pages: 374
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.


My Review:

So I hadn’t really intended on reading this book this month, but I watched the trailer for the movie and, intrigued, picked it up and read the prologue to see what it was about. And somehow I could not stop thinking about it. Continue reading “Book Review | READY PLAYER ONE, by Ernest Cline”

Book Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2018 | Goals & TBR

Well, this year’s BTB isn’t over yet, and I can already tell I’m not going to be finishing my goal for it, but I’m still determined to keep going!  That’s why I am going to participate in the 2018 Beat the Backlist – just with a smaller goal.  For 2017 I tried to do 24 books, so this year I am going to aim for 20.  I don’t have a specific list, but rather some select ones on a Goodreads list that I want to choose from.

I do have one major goal, aside from the number of backlist books I want to read, though – I want to catch up on all of the series that I have started, and own the sequels to, but haven’t read yet.  This includes The Illuminae Files, The Diviners, An Ember in the Ashes, and The Nevernight Chronicles.

Will you be participating in the 2018 Beat the Backlist challenge?

Update: I am on team DEWEY DRAGONS!  Hear me ROAR!

Book Review

Book Review | WONDER, by R. J. Palacio

 

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Wonderby R. J. Palacio

Publish Date: February 14, 2012
Published by: Knopf
Pages: 316
Genre: MG Fiction
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

 


My Review:

Okay, so I finally, finally, read this book and I’m not going to lie, I was a little underwhelmed based on how much people talked about it (and also the fact that a movie has been made based on it). While I absolutely loved the characters and thought that they each spoke true to their own nature and their age level, I thought that the overall story fell into more preachy towards the end. These kids who spent the first half of the school year playing a game around not touching Auggie and bullying his one friend just because he was friends with him, suddenly turned around and were all buddy buddy with him after one incident involving kids from another school. So…it was okay when you did it but not when they did? Sure there was a period between where most of the kids just sort of let their bullying stop, but none of them actively ever apologized to Auggie or Jack Will either. So for me it just felt like a sudden turn-a-round of character that didn’t really feel okay because they never really acknowledged how mean they were to Auggie.

I feel like there was some growth in a few of the characters, like Jack Will and Amos, but I would have liked to see others grow as well. Julian remained a bully and instigator up until the end, and I don’t know if he will ever learn his lesson or not. And all these other side characters just had a sudden change of heart. I would have liked to see more of the teachers maybe saying something, or encouraging things – those precepts of Mr. Browne’s were really interesting and I thought would play a bigger role in the overall book, but they kind of just…fell into the ether in this book. They were there once or twice but didn’t make much of an impact on the actual story itself. Also, I hate it when teachers turn around and tell students that they were completely aware of the bullying situation they were in, but did absolutely nothing to help stop it.

Like I said I really enjoyed the characters themselves, especially Via, whose perspective was beautiful and heartbreaking, and the overall story was engaging and easy to read. I just felt that it fell a little short at the end and became a little preachy about choosing to be kind, when most of the students in the school could have used that advice many times over throughout the book rather than just at the end.


Beat the Backlist | Books Completed Toward Goal: 17/24