book review

The Blinds

by Adam Sternbergh

Length: 400 pages
Published: August 1st 2017 by Ecco
Medium of Consumption: hardcover

The Rundown:

Ceasura- rhymes with tempura- is a place where people go to forget.  It’s residents are part of a special witness protection program.  Prior to entering Ceasura, residents are required to have their memories wiped and forgo all outside contact.  Everyone they ever knew is forever lost to them. They’re then given new names, chosen from a list of movie stars and Vice Presidents.

It’s a quiet, boring life for the residents.  Until one of them is killed, shot point blank.

The sheriff, Calvin Cooper, is trying to find out who would do this in their town.  And more importantly who has a gun?  As events unfold, and unforeseen twists impact the different members in the community, will they find that the threat lies within their numbers or is it an outsiders doing.  

Welcome to The Blinds.

What I Thought:

I chose this little number for my August Book of the Month book, and just to FYI I am never disappointed with any book I get through them.  This book had me hooked from start to finish.  It’s very “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but in this case it’s criminals forgetting the shitty things they did. This book definitely kept me on my toes, I really had a hard time predicting what would come next.  Would love to check out more stuff by this guy in the future!

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4.5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you like suspense
  • If you like who-dun-its
  • If you like a book with more WTF moments than you can shake a stick at
book review

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

by Iain Reid

Length: 224 pages
Published: June 14th 2016 by Gallery/Scout Press
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Jake and his girlfriend of a few weeks are driving to the country to Jake’s parents house.  She finds herself regretting taking to trip with Jake because she realizes that she may end their relationship soon.  Although they seem like a good match, she feels like something is missing.  As they engage in banter and exchanging stories on the car ride, she goes back and forth from wanting to give them another chance to wanting to make a clean break.

Jake’s girlfriend doesn’t talk about the strange caller that leaves her cryptic messages.  

Jake’s girlfriend tries to make the best out of the unsettling visit to Jake’s parents.

Jake’s girlfriend doesn’t want to be here.

What I Thought:

This is hands down one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read.  It definitely was not what I expected it to be.  I have this bad habit of just looking at ratings or a book cover and reading it without checking out a synopsis whatsoever.  Maybe it’s not a bad habit but it can sure lead for pleasant surprises.

This is an incredibly smart, intense, masterfully written book, and at about 200 pages there is no excuse to not binge this in one or two sittings.  My heart was beating so hard while finishing this book.  The suspense was overwhelming up to the final twist, which was amazing.  If you’re looking for a spooky book for Halloween, I strongly suggest this one.

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5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you want something totally creepy
  • Any horror reader
  • If you need a short intense read
book review

City of Glass

by Cassandra Clare

Length: 541 pages
Published: March 24th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Clary has to travel to the Shadowhunter country of Idris in order to help her mother.  Although all the Shadowhunters in New York City are making the journey to discuss the war that is brewing with the Clave, Jace is adamantly against Clary coming with them.  

As Jace and Clary uncover hidden truths to their family’s past, the attack on the capital city of Alicante has only just begun.  It seems the only way for the Clave to defeat Valentine is to ally with Downworlders, but can these Shadowhunters put their prejudices against them aside?  

Clary realizes her gift could aid in this war.  Jace realizes that the mantra he lives by, “To love is to destroy,” maybe isn’t so true.

What I Thought:

Can I just say this series has totally surpassed how I thought it would be?  I had pretty low expectations and finishing this third book blew them out of the water.  I loved how fast paced and action packed it was.  I loved the story arc of their possibly incestual relationship.  Each time I started reading I did not want to put it down.  Jace’s sarcasm is so fucking great, there was dialogue that made me burst out laughing.  I still get mildly annoyed with Clary’s immature mentality sometimes, but I brush it off knowing she’s suppose to be 16 and that’s how 16 year olds are.  

Overall, this was a bad ass book.  I saw an interview with Cassandra Clare and she suggests reading her books in order of publication.  So for now, goodbye Clary and Jace and hello Infernal Devices!  

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Check out my City of Ashes and my City of Bones reviews.

Recommended To:

  • If you read the first two books
  • YA readers
book review

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

by Erik Larson

Length: 447 pages

Published: February 11th 2003 by Random House Audio Publishing Group
Medium of Consumption: eBook and audiobook

The Rundown:

H.H. Holmes is one of the most infamous people in U.S. history.  The first known serial killer on American soil, he committed insurance fraud and heinous acts of murder.  Pretending to be a kind spirited doctor and pharmacist, his charms lured his victims into their often gruesome deaths.  Holmes’ macabre acts were done in a hotel he owned near the soon to open Chicago World’s Fair ground, easily taking the lives of fair goers without a trace.   

Daniel H. Burnham was the architect leading the construction of the fair.  Undertaking a project of grand scale, he faced many obstacles.  The death of his partner, architectural failures, and a scramble to finish building before the fair’s scheduled opening.  

The fair’s overwhelming success made Chicago, the White City, a prosperous, elegant hub that attracted people from the far reaches of the world.  But unbeknownst to them there was danger masquerading as a friend.  

What I Thought:

Phew, it took me far too long to get through this book.  I picked it up because I had many friends that read it and gave sterling 5 star reviews.  And I love me some true crime, so book about H.H. Holmes?  Sign me up!  

Reading it I found that this was 80% about the building of the world’s fair.  Which is really cool and all but it just wasn’t the book I expected.  It was well written, although I found it dry at some points due to lack of Holmes’ chapters.  

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3.5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you want to know about the Chicago World’s Fair
  • Chicago World’s Fair enthusiasts
  • Chicago
  • Fair
  • If you want to know 10 facts about H.H. Holmes
  • If you like fairs
book review

Replica

by Lauren Oliver

Length: 520 pages
Published: October 4th 2016 by HarperCollins
Medium of Consumption: paperback

The Rundown:

Lyra only knows the world of Haven research facility. Surrounded by doctors, replicas and a strict regimen of medicines, her days are predictable and monotonous.  But the world she knows disappears when an explosion rips through the institute leaving nothing but charred remains.  Only her and another replica, a boy with only a number and no name, 72 survive.  In the marshes surrounding the remnants, they meet two people from the outside world who have come to find answers about Haven’s secrets.  

Gemma has always been sickly, and her wealthy over protective parents have forced her into a sheltered life.  When she decides to run away to join her best friend in Florida for spring break she hears disturbing news about an explosion at Haven research facility.  She knows very little about the place but over heard her father talking about it late one night and when she investigated it online found a slew of conspiracy theories about the happenings there.  Gemma decides to check it out herself and teams up with the son of the leader of Haven’s main conspiracy site to visit the island.  What they find is there are truths to some of these beliefs.  

What they find is that Haven has been making clones.

Lyra and Gemma’s stories intertwine together, finding out terrible things done to people who have tried to expose Haven.  They are being followed now.  They fear that each move they make could be their last.  

What I Thought:

First of all, I’d like to point out the unique set up of this book.  There are two sides to this book, and it doesn’t matter which side you read first.  I started with Lyra’s side and then flipped it over for Gemma’s.  There are the same amount of chapters that coincide with one another, so you could also switch sides every chapter!

You know how they say fact is scarier than fiction?  That’s how I felt reading this book.  Science is so fascinating but so frightening, where is the moral line drawn?  I somehow felt way more engrossed in Gemma’s side.  Maybe it’s because I’m not a clone and didn’t connect that well to Lyra in an emotional sense.  I loved how both sides did their jobs in uncovering mysteries about Haven and will definitely pick up the sequel this October.

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4/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • YA readers
  • If you like conspiracy stuff
book review

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

Length: 288 pages
Published: October 2nd 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Clay Jannon finds himself jobless when the company he does web design for goes under.  He takes up a third shift book clerk position at Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and finds his new job stranger than what it should be.  First, there are the Wayback Shelves, books that he is forbidden to read and only a select few customers carrying membership cards are able to check out.  Second, he is required to log every customer that enters the store in great detail.

Third shift book buyers are few, so Clay decides to design a model of the store on his computer.  Inputting the data of what books are checked out by the members of the WayBack shelf he notices a pattern.  A pattern to what?

Joining him on his quest to find out what these members are up to, his tech-savvy friends become just as engulfed in cracking what seems to be an impossible code to a centuries old book club.  

Can Clay find any meaning to all of this or is this some elaborate ruse 5 centuries in the making?

What I Thought:

This book was such a fun read!  Technology versus books is a huge theme, which characters either want to embrace both or reject one.  There are a ton of nerdy allusions that just tickled me pink!  The mystery aspect was pretty interesting, and it definitely was a page turner.  I loved how each of character played their part in helping Clay, and how varied their talents were.  You have the Google programmer who is like a computer herself, the haphazard artist who can work in any medium given to him, the archaeological nerd who can spout out any information about things make before 1200 A.D., and a few others who are equally as skilled in their own right.  This has totally made my top 20 list of books I loved in 2017, and there is still so much to read!

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This is a must read for any 21st century bookworm!

5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you like fun, witty books
  • Modern day adventures
  • Underdog characters
  • If you like nerdy stuff

 

book review · Uncategorized

Difficult Women

by Roxane Gay

Length: 260 pages

Published: January 3rd 2017 by Grove Press
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Difficult Women is a hard hitting collection of short stories. Each one giving a glimpse of different women’s lives, and often dealing with heavy issues and scenarios.

What I Thought:

I loved this book. Each story was so engrossing and every time I picked it up I couldn’t stop reading. This book definitely deals with a lot of different trigger content, so if you are at all uncomfortable with topics such as molestation or abuse I do not recommend it. These stories are so raw with emotion and well written that even if you do feel uncomfortable, just skip to the next story. Also guys: do not let the title or content fool you.  This isn’t a “feel good Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul book.”  Definitely well worth the read for any sex.  Will definitely be picking up another Roxane Gay book in the future.

5/5 Stars

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Recommended To:

  • If you are a feminist
  • If you have a pulse
  • If you know how to read
  • Just go get this book