Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton


The Lake House by Kate Morton


Title: The Lake House
Author: Kate Morton
Publication date: October 20, 2015
Number of pages: 678
Series: none
Synopsis: From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I can’t express my love for this book enough. While I usually don’t read mysteries, the genre is among my favorites to read if written and paced well. In my opinion, mystery books are both hard to read and write because the author has to know what happens without making it blatant to the reader from the beginning. This book definitely kept me guessing and second guessing myself. Another thing I like about this book was the cozy aspect of it as it was set in a small town.
Firstly, I loved how unique the book is, or at least to me it is, in that it switches between the present and the past to convey the story. This switch was especially interesting because it added more mystery to the plot. Since Morton switched between time periods, I was left wondering what would happen next, whose version of a story was true, and how everything connected. Again, I like how Morton wove this story because I wasn’t exactly sure of the timeline of events until the very end.
Second, I really liked the writing style, characters and plot in this book. The characters were all likeable, and each had a story of their own that needed to be told. The characters also had their own issues that were resolved in some way through their interactions with the other characters in the novel. Each characters’ story also helped to develop that specific character as well as the rest of the characters and plot. The writing in the book was full of details and I found myself trying to dissect each one for a possible clue to the mystery. Each detail was divulged at the moment when I thought I had the puzzle figured out, causing me to analyze the new detail and try to fit it into what I already had. The contrast between the cozy setting and the overarching storyline was well written, giving the book both a sense of comfort and a deeper sense of foreboding. I know, it seems confusing, but I promise that if you read the story you’ll understand what I mean.
My only complaints with the book would be the pacing and ending. In terms of pacing, I found it a little slow at times. Sure, it was mostly great, but sometimes I felt there were extra descriptions and details that weren’t needed. The beginning of the story had both too many details and too few details, which made it a little hard to get into. While I can understand Morton might have done this on purpose to create that sense of foreboding and comfort and give people cause to overanalyze everything, I found it to be a little overwhelming at times. In my oppinion, the balance between too many and too few details was a little distorted, detracting from the beginning and some middle parts. While I liked the ending and how things turned out for the characters, I felt that the last chapter/epologue could have been expanded upon a little. Still, I really liked how Morton wrapped everything up.
Overall, this was a great mystery that incorporated past and present in a unique way. It’s plot, characters, and writing style all helped to develop the mystery and a sense of intrigue. I would definitely recommend this to mystery lovers looking for the action and suspense of a mystery, while having a cozy setting.

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Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication date: June 28, 2005
Number of pages: 377
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Number in series: 1
Synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book is exactly what comes to mind when I think of middle grade bordering on yung adult books. Not only was it extremely well written, but the character and plot development, pacing, and humur really made this book what it is. The incorporation of Greek mythology into today’s society also makes this book really unique because it uses the myths and our society to create a new version of our world. Without changing much of our world, Riordan weaves the myths into it in a believable way that doesn’t seem overly outlandish.
Percy Jackson, the main character, is absolutely one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read. I really enjoyed seeing things through his eyes as it helped me connect with him and appreciate his humur. The male perspective was also really refreshing, and in my opinion adds something different to the genre. Most mythological retellings I’ve heard about are usually told through a female’s perspective, so the fact that this wasn’t adds a new dimension to the retelling and myths. Percy’s age also makes this book unique as most retellings are either told from an older teens perspective or from an adult point of view. Plus, his age makes the books enjoyable by everyone as it engages younger readers, older teens, and adults who might want to remember their youth.
The other characters in the novel were also really unique and added their own touches to the novel. Annabeth, a child of Athena, added brains, wisecracks, and her own special humor to the novel. As an experienced demigod Percy meets at Camp Halfblood, Annabeth is able to help him navigate the newfound parts of the world and their politics. She is also amazing at explaining the myths to Percy, and in turn, the reader. Grover, a satyr, is integral to the story because he introduces Percy to the world he’s a part of. He also helps out along the way, and acts as a mediator between Percy and the Greek world to ease Percy into everything. All three of these main characters’ developments was so much fun to read about because they all had something they needed to develop–whether it be knowledge, people skills, courage, or faith in themselves and others. Lastly, these characters were integral in the development of the plot and the rest of the characters and events that happened in the book.
Again, the inclusion of Greek mythology is amazing! I especially like how the myths are explained without prior assumptions that the reader will know them. Even for knowing most of the common myths introduced in this book, I had forgotten, or didn’t know the full story. Riordan also does a great job at shaping old myths and current events in the book around our past and current society. Events such as storms, hurricanes, and wars were shaped around the Gods, Greek myths, and demigods. Even so, Riordan shaped these myths into the events in a credible way that didn’t change the events themselves, but added a touch of magic to them.
The pacing in this book was well written and didn’t feel bumpy–it wasn’t overly fast or slow. I didn’t feel as if I was missing chunks at the beginning or that it was too rushed. Riordan kept the pacing consisstant throughout the novel, slowing and quickening at the proper parts while keeping the action level high throughout the book. Even at the end, the writing and characters kept the pacing steady.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to Greek myth enthusiasts. If you’re an adult and are hesitant to pick this up because of the age classification, all I can say is to give it a try because the writing in this book offers something for everyone.

Review: Someone Like Him by Ann Herrick


Someone Like Him by Ann Herrick


Title: Someone Like Him
Author: Ann Herrick
Publication date: March 3, 2016
Number of pages: 125
Series: none
Synopsis: City girl, country guy. Will opposites attract—or clash?
When New-York-City girl Emily visits her cousin Janelle in Oregon, Emily wonders how she’ll survive the wilderness. Janelle wonders if the wilderness will survive Emily’s visit—and if she can convince her cousin to help save part of an old-growth forest.
Meanwhile, Emily also wonders if a big-city girl can get along with a county guy—named Bret. Under forest canopies and by crystal-clear waters she struggles with her growing attraction to him. But they’re so different. Whoever thought she’d fall for someone like him?


I received a copy of this book from the author on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I really liked how lighthearted and sweet this book was. Seeing the events that went on through Emily’s point of view helped me connect with her and appreciate her growth as a character. She really changed, learning to appreciate the wilderness and the differences between her lifestyle and that of her cousin. I also liked seeing her growth from a New York city girl into an open-minded girl who broadened her knowledge and wasn’t so quick to dismiss things. Seeing her cousins development was also really interesting because she really got out of her shell. As a somewhat shy person myself, seeing this played out really struck with me as I struggle to let loose sometimes, which like Janelle can make it hard to talk to people.
I also really enjoyed seeing the development of a sweet romance between Emily and Bret, and Janelle and Seth. The romance was slowly built, allowing me to see all of the parts, the slow growth of a crush, and then the romance itself. Sadly, I can’t really say much because the book was so short. Still, I thought the romance was well written and would have liked to see more of each phase as well as each of the girls’ thoughts.
Like I said, my biggest complaint with this book had to be the length; I thought this book was extremely short and would have liked a longer book to see more of the development in Emily, her cousin, Bret, and Seth. Had the book been longer, I think the author could have made a five star book that showed Emily’s full development as well as the development of all the relationships in the story. Due to the length of the book, I felt the development of all of the characters, although well-written and sweet to read about was extremely rushed, leaving out details that truly demonstrated their growth. I honestly felt that I would have appreciated the development more if it had not been so sudden–one second I was reading about Emily being a city girl with no appreciation for the wilderness and the next, she really appreciated it. The story itself would probably have been a little smoother had it been longer as the author could have given more background on Emily and her cousin’s homelife.
The second problem I had with this was minor, but still really annoying. I can’t believe that Emily didn’t know what S’mores or bigfoot are. Sure, she’s from New York, but still… They sell S’more flavored cookies, s’mores, and other things in stores. Also, with the internet around, as well as documentaries, I find it hard to believe she’s never even heard of bigfoot. She may be from the city, but these things she supposedly didn’t know are extremely hard to believe. To me, this was an exaggeration of what a city girl placed in the wilderness is like.
Overall, I thought the romance in Someone Like Him was really cute and liked seeing the development, but I found the book extremely short and some things a little unbelievable.

Review: The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson


The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson


Title: The Boy With Words
Author: C.E. Wilson
Publication date: April 23, 2016
Number of pages: 490
Series: The Boy With Words
Synopsis: Two Books in One Volume! (Five Seven Five & Five Seven Six)
White Frost has only ever known the darkness. Everything outside of her closed society is The Unknown – a strange and dangerous place accessible to only a chosen few. White’s only glimpse of the world beyond comes from her beloved cousin in the form of mysterious collections of words that hint at astonishing wonders. When an accident upends her simple existence, she’s given an unlikely chance to see the truth for herself.
What she finds is greater and more terrible than she could have imagined, and before long she is forced to make the most important choice of her life: does she accept her safe, limited world that she’s known or take a desperate gamble in a world not meant for her with the Boy with Words?


I received this book from the author on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
When I first began the book, I was pretty intrigued. Right away, I could tell that this society was different–one in which people feared the unknown and were fed a story about the world they lived in. However, I found the writing and world building at the beginning a little dull. I had a hard time connecting with White, the main character and sympathizing with her situation.
As the book progressed, I began to really get into the society. I can’t say much without spoiling, but suffice to say that Wilson brings up some really interesting concepts about humans, their attitudes towards differences, and science. If closely examined, the society White lives in reflects some of the same problems in our society and made me really think about various things. The character development in this book was not only really well written, but it was also sweet to read and actually be able to see and imagine the characters developing.
Although I initially disliked White, she definitely grew on me by the end of this book. I felt a connection with her because she was extremely curious and wanted to experience things she was told she couldn’t. As a blind person, I am constantly told I can’t or shouldn’t do certain things, which makes me feel more curious. Seeing White’s curiosity grow throughout this book was really what made the plot move along and what shaped her development as a character.
Another thing I found unique about this book is the fact it is two books in one, but reads as one book. The individual books are called 575 and 576, which I found as weird titles, but whose meanings become clear at the end of the book. Knowing that this was two books in one volume, I was worried that the story would be a little disjointed in order to set up the next book, but I actually found the transition to be quite smooth
I know this review is extremely vague, but I can’t say much without going into detail. If however, you want a more detailed review with all of my thoughts, let me know and I can do that for you as I really think it’s worth discussing and would like to discuss this with people.
That said, I did have a few problems with the book. Mainly, I felt the writing could have been a bit smoother, thereby fixing some of the pacing issues I had. Again, I felt that the beginning of the book was rushed in order to get to the more exciting middle chunks. Personally, I would have liked more background at the beginning and would have liked to see more of Shade. I also thought the ending was really rushed and would have liked a little bit more–especially smoother writing and more details. I felt as though the book was just wrapped up, but the bow, or a piece of the wrapping paper was left off.
Overall, I would recommend this book for people wanting to read about science, humans, and a different, yet similar society. Again, let me know if you’d like a more in-depth review.

Review: The V Girl by Maya Roberts


The V Girl by Mya Robarts
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and the author for giving me the chance to read this. Be sure to check out the rest of the reviewers on the tour here.


Title: The V Girl
Author: Maya Roberts
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Number of pages: 363
Series: none
Synopsis: In post-apocalyptic North America, sexual slavery is legal. Lila Velez desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute for love.

Lila’s coping mechanism to cope with her mother’s loss is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man who she distrusts because of his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.

With threats looming at every turn and no way to escape, Lila fears that falling in love will only lead to more heartache. The consequences of laying down her arms for Aleksey and welcoming hope might destroy more than her heart. They might force her to face the worst of her nightmares becoming a reality. Is love possible in a world that has forgotten what the human touch is?
Book links:

Add it to Goodreads
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Buy it on Amazon–CA
Buy it on Amazon–AU
Buy it on Kobo

AUTHOR BIO:

Mya Robarts is a bookaholic who regrets nothing.
She spent years trying to become a contemporary dance choreographer. Eventually she realized that she enjoyed writing her stories rather than dancing to them.
Robarts is obsessed with books that present damaged characters, swoon-worthy guys, controversial topics and happy endings.

Author links:

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I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours and Maya Roberts on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Throughout most of the book, I had a hard time deciding how to rate it because I wasn’t all that engaged. However, as I read on, I began to realize that the action and world building I usually enjoy in dystopian societies aren’t what make this book stand out. Instead, the slow build up of trust, relationships, and love are what make this book unique. Its exploration of rape, consentual sex, love and trust within oneself and others, and PTSD really blended together to create a story about a girl who learned to trust in herself through the interactions she and her family had with other members of their society–both good and bad.
I especially liked seeing how the author explored the notions of rape and consentual sex in a way that brought out the severity of the issues, while also developing the characters and story around them. Roberts slowly built up each concept, exploring their differences through the characters development, but especially through Lila’s growth.
The discussion questions at the end of the book really helped put the story and current societal issues into perspective. As stated in one of the questions, the issues in the book are exagerated to reflect their severity and, in my oppinion, make readers reflect on the story and current societal issues. If simplified, the concepts in this book really resonate with issues of rape and consent in today’s society. The beliefs in Lila’s town, Starville, somewhat reflect certain perceptions our society has about rape, consent, and the roles victims–men and women, perpetrators, and society play.
While the world may have been a little complicated to understand because of the way information was dispersed, I didn’t feel like I was missing all that much. Sure, I would have liked some more explanation on exactly how and why the war started and a better understanding of the different armies, but the book explored different aspects of the world and armies, focusing on them rather than on the world building. Again, it chose to explore aspects of the society which, although exaggerated–as pointed out in the discussion questions–can be simplified to reflect some of the current issues in society.
Overall, I really liked the slow build up of the story, because it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the issues in the society and connect them to our own. It also told the story of a girl who needed to find love and trust in herself and others, in order to push past her fears and be able to heal. Although it sounds cheesy, I really believe this book explores both Lila’s story and current issues in such a way that, at least for me, left me reflecting not only on what I read, but also on the society we live in. Lastly, the discussion questions at the end really made this book stand out, and if for nothing else, I recommend you read it just to be able to understand and reflect on the questions.


Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
•2x $25 Amazon gift cards
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Review: Vanquished by S.E. Green


Vanquished by S.E. Green

Book: Vanquished
Author: S.E. Green
Publication date: November 10th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Thriller

Synopsis: Where society’s elite go to explore their darkest desires. And where promises of freedom are just manipulative lies.
For a price, the world’s most powerful people can have their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean, they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.
Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.
Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.
After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.
But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .

Book links:
Goodreads
Amazon
B&N

AUTHOR BIO:
S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of several novels including the teen thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, and the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.

Author links:
Website
Shannon Green’s Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Blog tour information:
Xpresso Book Tours
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for the oppurtunity to review this book. Check out the other bloggers on the tour here. Read on for a giveaway at the end of this post.

Review:


I received this book on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The first thing that caught my eye about this book is it’s unique premise. It’s warning about being for mature audiences also caught my mind. I was also intrigued by the underlying premise of human and sexual trafficking.
Having read the summary and warning, I was excited to read the book, but apprehensive because I was worried it would be too explicit. However, I found the level of description to be just right. I felt that Green balanced the levels of description in such a way that I was able to understand the seriousness and depraved nature of the situation Valoria and the other characters were in while not making the descriptions extremely gruesome.
The pacing throughout the novel was just right for the situation and helped me connect with the characters better. It started out fast paced and kept the pacing consistent during the whole novel.
However, I rated the book four stars because I thought it could have been longer and that more information could have been conveyed. Despite having suspicions of the setting in the book, it took a while for them to be confirmed, which made things a little confusing.
Overall, I really liked Vanquished for its unique plot and sincere exploration of sensitive issues.


Giveaway
Prize/s: $25 Amazon giftcard and 3 eBook copies of Vanquished
Ends June 16
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Review: Those Girls by Lauren Saft


Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Book: Those Girls
Author: Lauren Saft
Series: none
Publish date: June 9, 2015
Number of pages: 336
Summary: Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can’t help but stab you in it.

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they’re the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them–and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band–without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically….she’s not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever….or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.
Rating: 2.5 out of 3 stars


I received a copy of this book via NetGalley on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.


When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be about some popular girls and their drama, how they ruled the school, and how they manipulated others as well as each other. However, the book ended up being about three rich, popular girls and their sex lives. If it had revolved on their sex lives and had a little more plot, I think I would have enjoyed it, but the fact that it revolved on their sex lives and the other plotlines were just side plots made the book less enjoyable for me.
First, the story is told in three points of view: those of Alex, Molly, and Veronica–the three popular girls and supposed best friends. While I usually like a book told in multiple points of view, I was not able to enjoy this or really connect with any of the characters. It is stated that Alex and Molly have been best friends and that Veronica joined their little group late, which is very clearly shown by the way the other two exclude and talk about Veronica to her face and behind her back. Each point of view was not seamlessly connected with the others, and I felt myself passively reading the book.
Secondly, I felt the way Veronica was portrayed as a slut who just put out for everyone was horrible. Sure, she did have sex with a lot of guys and crossed a lot of lines, but I felt that the other characters, who were supposedly her friends, shamed her because of it. Their language to her was awful. I understand that the author was trying to portray high school life, but some of the things she said were over the top and seemed unrealistic.
Lastly, I couldn’t connect or feel anything for any of these girls and their situations. I was also unable to believe the things they did and the lines they crossed. As I said, the book felt forced and unrealistic to me–a former high school student. Most of all though, the ending was extremely unbelievable considering all of the circumstances that happened throughout the book.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book and read it passively, waiting for it to end.

Review: Uprising by Jessica Therrien


Title: Uprising
Author: Jessica Therien
Publication date: October 2, 2015
Series: Children of the Gods
Number of pages: 388
Synopsis: Elyse has done everything she can to protect her friends from The Council’s reach. As long as they believe she’s dead, she has time to rest and train for war. And war is inevitable.

When Kara arrives with the news that Anna and Chloe have been captured, Elyse is faced with the realization that no one is safe until The Council is stopped and Christoph is destroyed. She doesn’t need a prophecy to tell her to lead an army. Christoph has done the one thing that ensures she’ll fight to the death. He’s threatened the people she loves.

It will take more than the words of an oracle to help them fight against the most powerful Descendant alive. To break The Council’s oppression and rise up against a plot so many years in the making, Elyse will need to get dangerously close to her enemy. So close, in fact, she may not survive.


Uprising by Jessica Therrien
**I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author, publisher and YABound Book Tours for this opportunity).**


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After reading Opression I was so thrilled to be able to continue straight away with the series! I really enjoyed this book, though I still prefer the first. Much like the first book, this one had Elyse as a strong, kickass character, but I wish there had been more action all the time. I understand why the first book lacked in action at times, but this one seemed to move too slowly sometimes and made me miss the action. However, the book had plenty of action by chapter seven and kept it going right through the end.

This book definitely expanded the politics of the descendants and the reasoning behind the council and Elise’s fight for freedom. It developed some of the council members more thoroughly and presented reasoning behind their actions.

Lastly, I really liked how this book flowed seamlessly from the first and portrayed real life. It kept all of the emotions appropriate to each situation and they were definitely raw and real. I could imagine myself doing, saying, and feeling the same way as Elyse and some of the other characters. The book was also a nice lead-in to the third book!

Overall, I really enjoyed Uprising but did miss some of the action from the first book. I definitely enjoyed the plot and character development in this book and can’t wait to continue with the series!

Review: Ella Enchanted by Gayle Carson Levigne


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I went into this book with a vague idea it was a retelling of Cinderella but not much else. I’d also watched the movie–well, not really, just bits and pieces–and knew Ella had to obey every command she was given.

When I started the book, I wanted to stop reading because I wasn’t captured by the narration. However, I’ve never read a retelling and thought a short retelling of Cinderella would be perfect to wet my feet. I’m so glad I read this book, but do wish it had been longer.

Ella was an extremely likable character with lots of spunk and free will despite her gift which was actually a curse. Even though she was cursed with obedience, Ella never let it get her down for long. Not even her mother’s death–which she grieved and whom apart from Mandy, the cook, knew about her curse–kept her docile and helpless. To me, this was one of the most admirable qualities in Ella because most fairy tales depict helpless girls who are waiting for a prince to gallop in and save them.

Next is Ella’s unending kindness. Throughout the story, Ella was kind to everyone she met even when they were horrible to her. Sure, she would try and find loopholes in their commands, but her disobedience was never malicious or harmful. For a person to display such kindness in the face of cruel people is again admirable and further enhances Ella’s free will. Instead of finding malicious loopholes, Ella use the little free will she had to find loopholes that would not harm anyone and were little in the grand scheme of things.

However, the thing I liked about this book was how different it is from most fairytales. As I already said, Ella was unlike most girls because she took initiative and acted for herself. Secondly, and probably most important, I loved how the book didn’t hinder on the young maiden waiting/needing the true love of a prince. Even in the end, the book never once hindered on a prince’s true love.

Overall, I really enjoyed Ella Enchanted and found it completely unique from any other fairytale. The only thing I was left wanting was for a longer book.

Review: The Witness by Nora Roberts


The Witness by Nora Roberts
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Let me start off by saying how happy I am to have picked up this book. Not only was it completely different from what I usually read, but it was just so refreshing and definitely what I needed. I really enjoyed a lot about this book–the characters, writing style, and shifts in point of view. If you have any suggestions, please, please, please let me know!

I really enjoyed how Roberts began creating every character slowly and kept adding to their personality, and to some extent, their appearance. Each character was unique and well-developed. The main character, Elizabeth, was especially well-written and I loved seeing her grow into her own person.

All of the events in the novel were deliberate and I enjoyed seeing how they tied up and connected with each other. Seeing how each event shaped the characters and led to their interactions with one another was wonderful as I felt I saw exactly how characters’ actions led to events that led to more action.

At the same time, I kind of wished that the book had moved a little faster in parts. It didn’t drag much, but I did feel that some of the descriptions were just too much.

On the other hand, I really liked how Roberts flawlessly incorporated shifting points of view into the novel. I feel that reading the book through multiple perspectives let me better see all of the characters’ development. Having those multiple points of view let me have a glimpse into different thought processes and see characters through each different narrator’s eyes.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Witness and would highly recommend it. Again, if you know of any novels like it, please let me know.