Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Settle for More by Megyn kelly

Source: Amazon.com
Settle for More by Megyn Kelly
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Autobiography/Memoir
Pages: 352
Publication Date: November, 2016
Rating: 5/5
Summary:
            Megyn Kelly, the anchor of The Kelly File, shares her life’s experiences. She discusses her family’s background, her stint as a lawyer after law-school, and her experiences as a news anchor. She explains how her time being bullied, losing a father at a young age, and experiencing sexism in the workplace have given her tough enough skin to deal with Trump’s attack on her during the 2016 election.
Pros:
·       This book gave interesting information about Trump’s actions during the election. Photographic evidence is presented in the book that back up the claims about Trump’s constant contact with Megyn Kelly.
·       I think this is a book that can help empower females without falling into the present-day feminist narrative of needing to put men down for women to get ahead. Instead, it shows that we should be empowering everyone so we can all have equality.
Cons:
·       Honestly, none; I really enjoyed the whole book. It is hard to find the cons of a book that are an memoir; who am I to say I disagree with how the author views her own life.
Final Thoughts:
            I absolutely loved this book. As someone who is about to graduate from grad school and launch into my career, this book came at a great time for me. It shed some great insight on navigating competitive jobs, dealing with loss of family members, and how to not settle for less in life. I knew next to nothing about Megyn Kelly before reading this book, but now I will definitely start following her career!
           


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko


Image source: Amazon.com
Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 457
Publication Date:  1998
Rating: 4.5/5
Summary (From Goodreads):
            “They are the "Others," an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.
For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard against the Dark. But prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will arise to spark a cataclysmic war.
Anton Gorodetsky, an untested mid-level Light magician with the Night Watch, discovers a cursed young woman—an Other of tremendous potential unallied with either side—who can shift the balance of power. With the battle lines between Light and Dark drawn, the magician must move carefully, for one wrong step could mean the beginning of annihilation.”
Pros:
·       I thought the format of having three stories in one book kept it interesting and fast paced.
·       The concept of a treaty between the Light and Dark to keep a balance, complete with a watch force from each side to enforce it, is quite interesting.
·       I really liked the main characters, they all have personalities that make them stand out from each other.
Cons:
·       The first story in the book was a bit difficult to get into. I’m not sure if that’s because of the writing or because I saw the horrific movie version of it first, which almost made me not read the book (skip the movie, read the book).
·       This book was translated into English which makes some of the sentences a bit awkward to read and understand.
Final Thoughts:
            I will definitely read the next book in the series, which is told from someone else’s perspective. The overall premise of Light and Dark, the twilight world, and having night and day watches made it stand out compared to other fantasy novels I have read.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Review: Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton

 
Aunt Dimity’s Christmas by Nancy Atherton
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 224
Publication Date: 1999
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary:
            Aunt Dimity’s Christmas is the fifth installment in the Aunt Dimity mystery series. This tale follows Lori Shepard as she searches for the true identity of a man who she discovers injured and unconscious in her lawn. She joins forces with a priest that has a connection to the man as they travel from city-to-city piecing together this mysterious man’s past. Lori must learn how to balance her investigation with upholding her mother’s traditions of Christmas parties, cookies, and decorations; all this while her husband, Bill, is out-of-town helping a client. Oh, and she gets help from the not-quite-dead Aunt Dimity through a magical journal.
Pros:
·       I loved the Christmas theme throughout the story. It was enough to remind you of the season but not too much. You can easily enjoy this book during 
the summer just as easily.
·       The characters Lori meets were quite the characters.
·       I love the concept of Aunt Dimity being a spirit that communicates through a journal. And Reginald, the stuffed rabbit.
Cons:
·       Now that I’m reading these books in order, I am getting kinda tired of the “Wandering eye” trope that seems to be in every book. It wasn’t as noticeable when I was reading this series out of order and with a year, or so, in between each one.
·       This book honestly made me feel a bit guilty for not being more charitable; it had very strong themes of charity, acceptance, and caring for all. Which is great, but it felt like too much for a quick, fluffy read.
Final Thoughts:
·       This was a solid read; it definitely was not my favorite book of the series, but worth a read if you already are familiar with the characters. It just felt like it was missing the mark compared to the others.


Image source: www.amazon.com

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Burned by Ellen Hopkins


Burned by Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 431
Publication Date: April, 2006
Rating: 5/5
Summary (From Goodreads):
            “It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.
This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it?
It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.
Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.”
Pros:
·       The format was really unique! I had seen Ellen Hopkins’ books before and had assumed that it was written in some difficult poem format. That assumption was completely untrue.
·       It was an interesting premise to see a focus on Mormons. It seems to be an uncommon religion in popular books.
·       The plot itself was amazing!
Cons:
·       I was not a fan of the open ending; however, I can fill in the pieces by reading the summary of the next book in the series.
Final Thoughts:
            I wish I had picked up one of Ellen Hopkins’ books earlier! I really loved this book’s plot and format. I will definitely be buying more of them.
           


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: Dark Webb by Harry Dayle


Dark Webb by Harry Dayle
Publisher: Shelfless
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 352
Publication Date: April, 2016
Rating: 5/5
Summary:
Taken from Goodreads.com:
            “Reclusive website designer Thaddeus Webb thinks he knows the internet, but a brief excursion into its shadier regions throws up more than he bargained for. He stumbles across a harrowing video of a captive girl, her destiny to be decided by paying voters.
When it becomes clear the authorities aren’t taking the plight of the victim seriously, Thad knows he can’t stand by and do nothing. Could this be his chance to redeem himself for the sins of his past?
Before he knows it, he’s become embroiled in a search that traverses both physical space and cyber-space as he works to track down the un-trackable, trace the untraceable, and try to save the blameless teenager before the vote reaches its grisly conclusion.”
Pros:
·       I loved this plot so much! It taught me a lot of new information about the dark web while keeping me entertained.
·       I loved how the story jumped from past to present to show two different stories that eventually are connected at the end.
Cons:
·       There were only a few parts that I felt dragged on a bit.
Final Thoughts:
            I loved this book way more than I expected to. It had mystery and crimes that were not too graphic. Each piece of evidence that was uncovered made me want to read more and more. I also have never found a book dealing with crime on the dark web so that made it stand out to me. It also taught me a lot about the dark web that I didn’t know. I would definitely recommend for fans of crime novels!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: The Supernaturalist

Why, oh why, do stores put ugly stickers on covers??

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult-Fantasy
Pages: 267
Publication Date: April, 2005
Rating: 2/5
Summary:
            This story takes place in the future, in a city called Satellite City. Cosmo Hill, a fourteen-year-old orphan lives at Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys. Here the boys pay their way by assembling things, testing products, really just being a slave. While the boys are being transported back from where they worked that day, Cosmo sees a chance to escape with his friend. After having a near death experience during the escape, Cosmo wakes up with a new ability; he can see supernatural Parasites. The people that saved him from death, are a gang that is dedicated to eliminating these parasites that so few can see. As Cosmo joins them on a seemingly simple quest, he realizes that the leaders of the city have bigger secrets than he thought.
Pros:
·       I thought the premise of hunting parasites that few can see was going to be interesting.
Cons:
·       There seemed to be a lack of world-building. It was hard to actually picture Satellite City.
·       I also thought a lot of the plot points were rushed and the twists and turns were too abrupt.
Final Thoughts:
            This book had such an interesting premise that seemed to fall flat in execution. As soon as I started to become interested in the current scene, something dramatic would happen that would completely change the goals of the characters. It lacked smooth transitions. Also, the topic seemed to be geared towards adults but the writing seemed like it was for young, young adults which was confusing.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

 
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Humor-Essays
Pages: 222
Publication Date: September, 2012
Rating: 5/5
Summary:
            Mindy Kaling, a writer from The Office, has written a collection of humorous essays about her life. She discusses what it is like to work on The Office, how she got her first job, and her take on romance.

MyThoughts:
            This is a hilarious book with essays that a lot of people can relate to, especially those of us who weren’t that popular growing up. I'm really glad I found this for only a dollar at Goodwill!


Pros:
·       Each essay was hilarious and relatable.
·       The essay length was good, not too long but not too short.
·       This book just makes me want Mindy Kaling as my best friend!
Cons:
·       There were really none. Definitely check it out if you like Mindy Kaling at all.