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Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy #1)

Today's review is on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Before I get started, yes this was my first time reading it, and no I have not been living under a rock.

At first I struggled to get into the novel, mainly because I kind of felt indifferent when I started reading it. But once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. There were some parts that were kind of disturbing to see how blood thirsty the audience could be. It reminded me of what I have read about the gladiator games in Ancient Rome. It was also distrubing to see how far some of the competitors were willing to go, and how everyone watching wanted more action and blood.

I loved the whole premise that Katniss takes her sister's place as a tribute in the Hunger Games, especially since she knows she can get further than her sister because she knows a lot about survival. Katniss seems to come across as kind of cold, but I felt like as the novel progresses, the reader finds out why she is like that.

I liked how it was told from Katniss's point of view.  I don't like novels told in the first person, but Suzanne Collins did a good job in making it work in the Hunger Games. I felt like it was well written and that Collins does a good job at developing the dystopian world that the novel takes place in, and I felt like she did a good job of developing the characters. She also does a good job at explaining several things that are unique to the Hunger Games world.

Will I read the rest of the series? : Yes, because I want to find out what happens to Katniss now that the Hunger Games is over.

Will I watch the movie? Yes, I have heard that they are good, and I want to see for myself what they are like.


Happy Reading,
Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations, let me know and I will check them out. :) 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

I am going to try my best and not give any spoilers from Cinder or from Scarlet in this review.


Scarlet is a Sci-Fi, futuristic retelling of Little Red Riding Hoods and it is the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The novel picks up just days after the events that occurred at the end of Cinder. Scarlet is looking for her grandmother who disappeared 2 weeks before the opening of the novel, she has no idea what has happened to her. However, she meets a street fighter named Wolf who seems to know about her grandmother's mysterious disappearance than he lets on. Together they have to travel through France to discover what truly happened to Scarlet's grandmother.

Meanwhile, Cinder is on the run after escaping from prison with the colorful Carswell Thorne, together they travel to France so that Cinder can find out more about her past after receiving life-changing news at the end of the first book (I can't say what it is because it will be a huge spoiler).

Once the news of Cinder's escape breaks out, the evil Queen Levana will stop at nothing to see her bought to justice, but why does she have such a fascination in the capture of Linh Cinder? (Again I can't say to much because it is a spoiler).

Cinder and Scarlet's lives do intercept later on in the novel, however for the most part it is almost as if there are two different story lines occurring, even though the reader knows that they are somehow related.

This book was really good, just like the first book in this series. It was unpredictable for the most part, which is nice because I hate novels that seem to be very predictable.

I listened to the audio book version of this book and the narrator, Rebecca Solers does a fantastic job with narrating, especially when she does the different accents which brings the story even more to life. I am busy listening to the third book Cress and I am happy that she is the narrator for that too.

Cinder continues to be a great character as she tries to figure out what to do next. Scarlet is also a good heroine, at first she seems to come across as helpless, but then it is soon discovered that she has spunky and feisty personality and isn't about to give up without a fight.

This books gets 5/5 stars because it was another thrilling adventure by Marissa Meyer and I am still amazed at every plot twist that occurs.

Happy Reading,

Janelle

P.S. Let me know if you have any book recommendations and I will check them out. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review: The Story Keeper (Carolina #2)

Today's review is on The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate

I read the first book in this series, The Prayer Box, last year and I enjoyed it, and the title of this novel intrigued me, even though I didn't read the summary.The Story Keeper was an interesting read as it switches between the present day  and a novel that the main character Jenn finds on her desk. I liked it, and I wish Lisa Wingate would publish the rest of the story of The Story Keeper.

However, even though it was an enjoyable read, it was hard for me to get into it, in fact I only really started enjoying it after the 3rd or 4th chapter. I don't know why I felt like that, maybe I wasn't in a good mood, I don't know, because there wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, except it was kind of slow paced.

It seemed to pick up once Jenn started trying to find out who wrote the Story Keeper. Along the way she has to come to terms with the past she left behind when she went to New York.

At first Jenn did not seem like a likable character, until you find out a bit more about her past and the challenges she had to overcome to get to where she was at the beginning of the novel. She becomes even more likable when she has to meet with her family, and I liked how she did not allow them to bully her (you'll have to read the book to find out more).

It was some what predictable who the author of The Story Keeper was once Jenn announced her suspicions, however it was still a nice read. This is  the kind of book you could read over a weekend or when you are on vacation. Even though it is 400 pages long,  once you get past chapter 4 it is a quick read.

The nice thing about the novel is that it is really a stand-alone book, so you don't need to read The Prayer Box before reading this novel, or any of the novellas that are also a part of the series. This is a good series if you like Christian fiction, or if you are just looking for a clean read.

I am looking forward to reading more books by Lisa Wingate in the future.

Happy Reading,

Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out :) 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Review: An Uncertain Choice

Today's review is on Jody Hedlund's first Young Adult novel that came out earlier this year called An Uncertain Choice.


The novel takes place in the  medieval ages. The heroine is Lady Rosemarie who has to enter the convent when she turns 18 because of a vow her parents made. However, a friend of her father's comes to her a month before her birthday and tells her that there is a way out of the vow if she falls in love and gets married before her 18th birthday. Unsure about whether or not it is the right thing to do, Lady Rosemarie decides that she will spend the month getting to know the 3 knights that her father's friend recommends.

It was an interesting read, I liked the whole concept of the novel, even though it was somewhat predictable. However, there were several plot twists that happened that I was not expecting at all, which I loved. I also enjoyed how the author ended the book on a cliffhanger to prepare readers for the next book in this series, A Daring Sacrifice, which is coming out at the beginning of next year some time.

This is a nice read if you want something quick and enjoy reading historical novels. I recommend you read the novella The Vow, which is a prequel to the novel. Although it isn't necessary, but there are a few past events that are mentioned in novel that are described in greater detail in the novella.

I give this book 4/5 stars because even though it was a little bit predictable, it still had plot twists in it that I did not see coming in it at all!

Happy Reading,

Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know :)  

Monday, August 3, 2015

To Be Read in August

Before I get started, I need to say that this was probably the hardest list to compile because there are so many books I want to read. However, I knew I needed to be a bit more realistic in the books I put on this list because I don't think I am going to read 20 books in a month, especially if they are all over 200 pages long!!!!  So I decided to narrow it down to five books I know I will definitely be reading this month, even though I know I will read a few others.

1. The Shepherdess by Jill Eileen Smith

This is actually a novella that comes out this month and it is Book 2 in the Loves of King Solomon series. I've already pre-ordered it, so now I have to wait for it to be released. Book 1, The Desert Princess was good, so I hope that this one is good as well.

2. The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen


I enjoy a lot of books that are set in the Regency and Victorian eras. I've read a couple books by the author and they are enjoyable reads.

3. The Texas Brides Collection by Various Authors


This is a collection of nine short stories written by various authors. I've seen these collections around, but I have yet to read them, this one will be my first. I expect them to be sweet but kind of predictable romances, but maybe I will be surprised.

4. Saving Wishes G.J. Walker-Smith


I picked this up for free in the Kindle Store because it recommended it to me because of another author I like, so I looked at it and read the summary and it sounded good, plus I rarely come across books that are written by Australians and are set in Australia.

5. Justified Means/ Argosy Junction by Chautona Havig



This one is undecided because both of these book sound interesting and Chautona Havig is one of my favorite authors and anything she writes is pretty good (at least from what I have read by her so far, and I have read a lot of her books). Plus both of these books have been sitting on my Kindle for over a year now, so I need to read at least one of them. Maybe Argosy Junction because it is a stand-alone, where as Justified Means is part of a series (The Agency Files). Maybe I will read them both.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Books I read in July

If you know me, or you are my friend on Goodreads, you probably know that I read a lot. At the end of every month I plan to post what books I read in that month along with a short paragraph on what I thought about the book. Let's get started:

1. Deepest Roots of the Heart by Chautona Havig (Audiobook)


So I actually listened to the audiobook and I started it near the end of June, however this was the first book I finished in July. This was a great novel and the narrator was really good too, in fact I hope he gets to narrate the rest of this series. There was good character development and the author was able to switch between time periods really well. It gets 5/5 stars.

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


I really wanted to like this book because the first chapter hooked me into this world, but it wasn't that great, I am just glad it was on sale in the Kindle store. Not much happened, and even though I am a little bit intrigued by what will happen in the next two books, it is not enough to make me read them, in fact I felt like I wasted my time reading this book. It gets 2/5 stars.

3. Knowing Love and Knowing Secrets by Rebecca Riley


I know these are two books, but they are actually novellas. These are the first two novellas of the Knowing series. They were sweet Christian romances. Although they weren't exactly well-written, I liked the concept and they make nice beach reads, or a nice read on a cold winter's night by the fire place. I gave both of them 3/5 Stars.

4. Follow the Heart by Kaye Dacus

 This was a really quick read, even though it was almost 300 pages long! I liked the whole premise of the story, even though the ending was kind of predictable (not entirely, but kind of). I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series soon. 3/5 Stars

5. HearthLand Episodes 28,29 and 30 by Chautona Havig


HearthLand is a serial novel that is still  in the process of being written and released. So far it is up to Episode 30 and I am patiently waiting for the next episode to come out. I have enjoyed reading this series so far, and I plan to do a review on the series once it is finished. 3/5 Stars because they are short and I really want to know what happens next.

6. Twenty Wishes (Blossom Street #5) by Debbie Macomber
This was a nice sweet, curl-up on the couch or take-to-the-beach read. it is pretty predictable, but it is still worth reading if you are looking for something light to read. 3/5 Stars

7. Summer on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #6) by Debbie Macomber
Also another sweet, light-hearted read. It was nice catching up with some old friends from the previous books, but it was also nice meeting some new characters. 3/5 Stars

8. The Story Keeper (Carolina #2) by Lisa Wingate

I really enjoyed this books, it had an interesting concept. The beginning was slow at first, but once it picked up I really enjoyed it. I will have a longer review up soon. 3/5 Stars because it took me several chapters to get into it.

9. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I gave a lengthier review of this book in yesterday's post. It was a moving and phenomenal read, however there are things that sensitive readers won't like, but one has to keep in mind that the time and place that the novel is set in is not a nice one, therefore the novel is very realistic of that which those of us who live in the West cannot begin to understand. 4/5 Stars because it was well-written, and it kept me captivated until the very end.

10. Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

This was the last book I completed in  July. This was my first time reading it (no, I haven't been living under a rock), and I haven't watched the movies either so most of it was pretty fresh to me (except for a few obvious plot points.) I enjoyed it, it was very entertaining. I will have a longer review up soon.  I am giving it 4/5 Stars.