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wordswisdomwhitney

My thoughts on what I've been reading!

Month

October 2016

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer-3 Stars

cinder

I find myself in the minority with my feelings on this book. It had rave reviews, and I’ve been meaning to read it for awhile….

Basically, it sounds like a fantastic concept. A fresh new take on Cinderella, set in the future, with a cyborg as the main character?! I love retellings, but this one was a little boring and a lot predictable. Set in a world after World War IV, there are earthens and luna, who live on the moon.

Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing. She’s a skilled mechanic, and after her adoptive father dies, is under the guardianship of a terrible woman, Adri. Her stepsister Pearl loathes her, but her younger stepsister Peony is her only human friend. I knew exactly where the plot was going from the beginning in terms of who Cinder truly was so I just couldn’t get excited about the story.

3 stars for predictability but I did like the very last of it and may continue the series to learn more about what Cinder decides to do.

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Book Review: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd-4 Stars

shepherd

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a middle grades fiction set during WWII in a home for sick children. Emmaline is one of the girls in this hospital. Like the other children, she is ill with the stillwaters, which I come to learn is tuberculosis. Emmaline can see beautiful winged horses in the mirrors of the hospital, but the other children mock her, because only she and the groundskeeper claim to see them. When she finds an injured winged horse named Foxfire on the grounds of the hospital, Emmaline is tasked with keeping the horse safe from the Black Horse by the Horse Lord. She must collect items of all the colors of the rainbow to create a spectral shield in order to protect Foxfire. But with no family, a war raging, and a terrible sickness raging inside, Emmaline feels as if she’s only surrounded by gray. Where can she possibly find color in her world?

Filled with magic, mystery, wonder and hope, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a beautifully crafted novel. There’s black and white illustrations within that add to the allure of the novel. Shepherd creates a imaginative world perfect for readers of all ages to get lost in.

*I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley. All opinions are my own!

 

Book Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven-5 Stars

holding-up-the-universe

I don’t even know where to start with this book. It’s a raw, real, unfiltered story of bullying in high school.  We have Libby Strout, an overweight girl who was once called “America’s Fattest Teen” after she had a panic attack and had to be cut out of her house because she was so overweight. Her mother died unexpectedly when she was young and she began to gain so much weight she became housebound. Recently, she’s lost weight, became more confident, and is ready to go back to public school. And there’s Jack, Mr. Popular, full of swagger, occasionally a jerk, who has prosopagnosia- a brain condition that prevents him from recognizing faces, even his self and his own family. He has to rely on identifiers-hair, pointy chin, freckles, moles, etc.to decipher people, and even then he can’t always be 100% sure who he’s looking at.

When an bullying incident brings these two together, they are forced to spend time together in an after school program. Slowly, Libby and Jack begin to really see themselves and each other, beyond the weight, the brain condition, the bullying, the anxiety, and self-consciousness.

Libby is awesome- she’s strong and confident, yet she still suffers from anxiety due to her weight and the bullying she endures. Jack is dealing with a problem at home as well as keeping his condition a secret, so to compensate, he can be mean at times, even though he knows it’s wrong, I guess he doesn’t want to be judged for having an illness. Not really a main character, but I loved Jack’s younger brother Dusty. He was so sweet, honest, and downright precious.

The developing friendships and romance was so wonderful, and I love the message this book brings. This is a novel of hope and learning to love yourself. Highly recommend.

 

Favorite quotes:

“It’s my job in life, apparently, to teach gawking, laughing girls lessons about kindness.” Libby

“People are shitty for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they’re just shitty people. Sometimes people have been shitty to them and, even though they don’t realize it, they take that shitty upbringing and go out into the world and treat others the same way. Sometimes they’re shitty because they’re afraid. Sometimes they choose to be shitty to others before others can be shitty to them. So it’s like self-defensiveness shittiness.” Jack to Dusty

Book Review: Forever Too Far (Rosemary Beach #3) by Abbi Glines- 4.5 Stars

forever-too-far

The conclusion to Rush and Blaire’s story was PERFECTION. 4.5 stars.

I still hate Nan, and I got really fed up with Rush because she is AN ADULT yet he couldn’t leave her alone and let her wallow in her self brought on pity. Yes, she’s had a crappy life. WE GET IT. Good lord after 3 books, we get that Nan has had it rough. It seems to her no one wants her. That’s no excuse for how she treats others and how she acts like a CHILD. Blaire also has had a crappy life yet she’s strong and treats others with kindness, putting everyone before herself even when they don’t deserve it. If Blaire really came first Rush would never put her in a situation where Nan could say even one mean thing to her and blame everyone else for how she acts. 4.5 stars because the drama with Nan was too over the top and I got extremely ticked off with how Rush constantly had to run and rescue her.

More secrets are exposed and some relationships are mended while others continue to unravel. Blaire and Rush’s relationship continues to have ups and downs as with the first book but I enjoy their *HOT* love story. Rush promised her forever… but promises can be broken. Will Blaire find her forever with Rush?

Looking forward to reading more in the Rosemary Beach series!! I am so invested in all of the characters I’ve met so far in Blaire and Rush’s stories.

Book (Bible) Review: NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition-5 Stars

niv

I have the pink edition of this journaling bible. I’ve wanted to try a journaling bible for a really long time and this pink floral cover is adorable. I still need to practice my lettering skills but it has nice, wide, lined margins for doodling/journaling and notetaking. The NIV translation makes it easy to read for everyone and the fun, sturdy cover is great. The pages are thick enough that the ink will not bleed through nor can you see writing through the pages. This would make a great gift for yourself or anyone else that’s been interested in a journaling bible-the beautiful cover is a bonus! It has an elastic band attached which will come in handy if you keep papers inside. I received this bible from Harper Collins BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review!

Book Review: See Me by Nicholas Sparks-4.5 Stars

 

see-me

I haven’t read Nicholas Sparks in a long time but “See Me” has been on my list for awhile and I’m really glad I got around to reading it. “See Me” strays from Sparks’s usual dramatic romance as this is a thriller as well.

Colin-a hunky bad boy with a reputation for fighting, he’s trying to get his teaching degree and turn his life around for good. He’s taken up MMA fighting to keep his anger in check, and studies hard in school. His criminal record was expunged but a certain detective, Detective Margolis, has made it his mission to check in with Colin regularly so that when he messes up the teeniest amount, Margolis can haul him off to jail.

Maria- a beautiful, intelligent, lawyer-a previous case involving domestic violence ending in multiple deaths has left her feeling dejected in her job. She’s stuck at a firm with a partner who sexually harasses her constantly, and her work load is never ending. It seems the only time she can relax is at brunch on Sundays with her loving tight-knit family each week.

One rainy night and a flat tire bring Maria and Colin together, but not really in a good way at first! Thankfully, Maria’s younger sister Serena, a vivacious, social media butterfly, and outgoing party-goer, has classes with Colin and sets the two up.

Colin isn’t Maria’s type, but there’s something about his honesty and passion (and okay, he’s hot too!) that she can’t stay away from. Colin has great friends- Evan, who happens to also be his landlord, and Evan’s fiance, the epitome of a southern belle, Lily. I loved this friendship of these three almost as much as I loved Colin and Maria’s romance. The two fall in love quickly, but obviously, there’s bound to be some kinks along the way.

Unfortunately, one of Maria’s past criminal cases involving a family whose daughter was murdered is creeping back up. People are angry at Maria, blaming her for Cassie’s death. And they want revenge.

I alternated reading the print book and listening to audio (for the first time!) and really enjoyed it. The narrator of the audio was FANTASTIC- I loved how swiftly he could change the tone and voice for each of the characters.

While this had some of the blissful, relatable romance one can expect from a Sparks novel, it had quite a bit of mystery and suspense as well. I could have done with less fright and more romance. I didn’t find myself ugly crying at the love story part like I normally would at his novels, but I thoroughly enjoyed the thriller aspect and I was completely taken by surprise at the reveal, so I would recommend!

 

Book Review: Never Too Far by Abbi Glines (Rosemary Beach, #2)-3.5 Stars

 

never-too-far

After reading “Fallen Too Far” and falling in love with Rush and Blair, and all their friends on Rosemary Beach, I was anxious to get back to their world with “Never Too Far.” Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. Blaire REALLY got on my nerves. I get that she has gone through SO MUCH CRAP in her life, but my goodness, a girl can ask for help without feeling ashamed or like a bother, come on! I hated that she was planning on keeping a secret from Rush but I guess I can understand it since his whole family hates her. He loves her, he keeps telling her that, but after the big secret that came out in the first book she can’t trust him or be with him. And even though he says she comes first, I didn’t believe it because his sister Nan is always there to mess things up. Full of secrets, heartache, and confused but sexy romance, this series is great so far, I just wish Blaire would have acted differently in this book. If you’ve read book one, be prepared for another HUGE secret that I think will take the series in a great direction. (Obviously the theme here are lots of secrets! 😉 haha!) Luckily, we have two more books about Rush and Blaire so I’m hoping for a happy ending with no more secrets!

My favorite thing about this book was Woods! He’s so sweet. I can’t wait to read the book about him.

Book Review: Cradle and All by James Patterson-3.5 Stars

cradle-and-all

Apparently this book came out many years ago and was just now re-released as a Young Adult novel. I haven’t read “the original” so I can’t attest to any differences but I did note some modern day references to Adele and Pumpkin Spice Lattes that I highly doubt were in the first publication! 😉

Two teenage girls are pregnant-both are virgins-one is carrying the son of God, the other, the son of Satan. How can you be sure? Which is which? These questions rest on the shoulders of Anne, a former nun turned P.I, and two priests, Father O’Carrell and Father Rosetti.

3.5 stars for the fact that I couldn’t put it down. It was original, frightening, and enthralling. BUT, it was frustrating. 3/4  of the book was way too drawn out, the alternating POV’s every other chapter got confusing and then you’re abruptly hit in the face with a huge twist only to have the book end in less than 15 pages. Seriously?! Overall though I did enjoy this novel. It was a crazy, unexpected storyline that terrified me and kept me wanting to know the truth. I demand a sequel!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch-4 Stars

dark-matter

I’m sure everyone has wondered how their life would be altered if they had chosen a different path. In Dark Matter, Crouch explores the idea quantum superposition, where a person can exist in other realities, with different friends, successes, careers. Depending on the choices you make, your different life realities can stem from those choices creating multiple realities. I can’t adequately review this book without spoilers but just know it’s a total mind trip. It’s terrifying and enthralling. Highly recommend!

“What a strange thing to consider imagining a world into being with nothing but words, intention, and desire. If there are infinite worlds, how do i find the one that is uniquely, specifically mine?”

* I received a copy of this book for review from “Blogging for Books.” All opinions are my own.*

 

 

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