Monday, November 30, 2015

What I read in November

This month was a good reading month for me, I read almost the same amount this month that I did in September and October combined. I don't know how this happened, I do know that once Winter came out I spent almost every spare moment (when I wasn't doing homework) reading it. I am hoping that next month is also a good reading month, but it might be a bit tricky as the Fall semester wraps up.

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ( Harry Potter Series #2) by J.K.Rowling 

I enjoyed the second installment in this series, although it was little bit darker than the first one. I love how the author describes things, in fact there was one chapter I got creeped out because she did a good job of describing the scene and minor characters. 3.75/5 Stars

2.  Macbeth by William Shakespeare
I really enjoyed this play, I was able to understand a lot of what was going on, and I wasn't confused by the events that took place. 5/5 Stars.

3.  The Gospel According to the Apostles by John MacArthur 
This was a really good book, it deals with the whole topic of Lordship salvation and how it is supported by Scripture. Dr. MacArthur does a good job of explaining how he came to the conclusions that he does and he is able to support them accurately with Scripture. 5/5 Stars.

4. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
After having to read two tragedies back to back, it was nice to read something more light and comedic. This was a re-read for me but it had me in stitches, and it is a story that will never get old. 4/5 Stars.

5.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
There is a lot that can be said about this insanely weirdly beautiful novel. I will have a longer review on it probably in the beginning of 2016 sometime because a few sentences are not enough to describe this book. 4/5 Stars.

6.  Winter by Marissa Meyer
I read this book in a week, it was so good. It was a satisfying conclusion to the series, even though I am sad to leave the Lunar Chronicles world behind. I will have a longer review up soon. 4.5/5 Stars

7.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
This is a great read. It is considered on of the first horror stories and it definitely has a lot of the elements of horror. It creeped me out in certain places, but that is what makes it so good. 4/5 Stars.

8.  The Tempest by William Shakespeare 

I read this in several chunks over the course of two weeks, so I kind of liked it, but at the end I was confused because it had been awhile since I picked it up last. 3/5 Stars.

9.  Love in the Details by Becky Wade 

This was cute, predictable love story. It could easily be read in one sitting. I will have a longer review up later this week. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #0.5)

Today's review is on Fairest by Marissa Meyer. 
This was a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles series, as it is the story of the villain of the series, however, I think it is better to read it after reading Cress, as everything that happens in it  will make much more sense.

I loved this book because it seems to explain Levana as a character a little bit more. For the first half you feel some sympathy for her because she doesn't seem to know any better. However, this wasn't one of those books that tries to make the villain as just some misunderstood person, rather it shows Levana's progression into the villain that she is in the Lunar Chronicles.

Marissa Meyer does a good job of showing the readers more of Levana's background, as well as the world of Luna, which I think the last Lunar Chronicles book is supposed to take place there. It was interesting to read about past events that are briefly mentioned in the Lunar Chronicles and it made me want to read Winter right away, unfortunately I had to wait for November 10th like everybody else. But I finally read it, and it was so good!

As I've said already, this is another great novel from Marissa Meyer. It is shorter than the other novels, and it is a little bit darker because it  is dealing with Levana's back story but it is still really good. I am giving it 4/5 stars.

I listened to the audiobook and Rebecca Soler continues to be a fantastic narrator and I hope she gets to narrate more Marissa Meyer books in the future.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review: The Shepherdess (Loves of King Solomon #2)

Today's review is on The Shepherdess by Jill Eileen Smith 
This was a nice quick read, it took me about two and a half hours to read. It is a novella about Abishag who was one of King Solomon's wives. The author drew inspiration 1 Kings and the Song of Solomon (assuming that the Shunnamite woman is Abishag). One thing that I have always appreciated about Jill Eileen Smith is that she will always so that her books are a fictional account about real people, and that in order to know the actual story the reader should read the passages in the Bible concerning those people, even if it is just a small section.

It was interesting how she used the 1st person, in her other books she usually writes in the 3rd person. And she tells the story from Abishag's point of view. As I said before it is a fictional account of what could have happened, but it is just a nice read if you like Biblical fiction.

I look forward to reading the other novellas in this series when they are released, I am also looking forward to reading her new series, Daughters of the Promised Land.

I am giving this novella 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,
Janelle

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Review: Saving Wishes

Today's review is on Saving Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith
The author was new to me, but I was intrigued by the fact that she was from Australia and that the book was also set in Australia - Tasmania to be precise. It is the first book in the Wishes series and I got for free on Kindle. 

It was interesting reading a book that was not set in U.S or the U.K., but there were some words I had to look up because they are only used in Australia and New Zealand. This was a little bit irritating but at the same time it was interesting. 

The love story was kind of predictable, especially what happened in the end. The major plot twist that occurs was okay, but there was no build up to it, it just all of a sudden came up. I felt like the characters could have been developed a bit more, they all felt two-dimensional. The ending felt rushed, and it was kind of far-fetched, I can't say to much about it because it will spoil the whole book. 

The main character Charli was well developed except for the fact that she is a complete idiot. Her brother Alex was okay but I felt like his relationship with his girlfriend needed to be developed more. Charli's best friend, Nicole, also could have been better developed, especially with what she ends up doing near the end of the book. Another character, Gabrielle, Charli's French teacher  is a bad teacher with some of the stuff she allows her students to get away with. 

With everything I've said so far about the book makes it sounds pretty bad, but honestly it's not, it was kind of a nice read over a weekend, and it was pretty quick. One thing to keep in mind is that it is the author's debut novel and she self-published, so there are going to be some quirks in it that might not be in a novel that is traditionally published. Even though the novel could have been better, it was still good considering it was published without the teams of people that traditionally published authors usually have. 

Will I read the rest of the series? Maybe,  probably just the second book to find out what happens next but besides that I don't know. 

I am giving this book 2.5/5 Stars because even though I liked it there were a lot of things that needed to be improved. 

Happy Reading, 
Janelle 

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Today's review is on The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen. 
I love Julie Klassen's work, I think it's because her novels are set during the Regency era, the era of Jane Austen. As a lover of Jane Austen, I love reading about that time period. Her books aren't based off of Jane Austen novels, although they usually do mention the characters reading the books. Her books are just really well-written and really seem to capture the time period of Regency era, and The Secret of Pembrooke Park did not disappoint.

I loved the story, and I kept trying to guess what the secret was and it was only near the revealing of secret that I started to guess what it was as the protagonist, Abigail, starts to discover fragments of the mystery. The author does a good job of keeping the secret under wraps throughout most of the novel.

There were some sections in the novel that seemed a bit slow in pace, but there was never a dull moment. And everything seemed to occur at the right time, especially the romance that happens in the novel, it isn't fast-paced like most novels, it is slow and gradual.

I really liked Abigail Foster, the protagonist, because she was easy to relate to, especially her having to deal with feeling insecure. I did not like her sister, she was annoying. Most of the other characters were likable.

This book kept me captivated. I finished it in 2 days and it is almost 500 pages long! I highly recommend it to anyone who likes reading Historical fiction, Christian fiction and/ or Jane Austen's works.

I look forward to reading more works by Julie Klassen in the future and I hope she continues to publish books of this caliber during her career.

 I am giving this book 5/5 Stars because it was entertaining and intriguing.

Happy Reading,
Janelle

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