VictoriaNickers

I can't do normal... I've tried. Stephen King and John Steinbeck are my heroes. 

Ready Player One

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

This book is definitely worth your read if the future or even life in general interest you. It combines so many genres with elements of dystopian futures, technology/ video games, the 80s retro and a little bit of a Star Wars/ Star Trek feel mixed in to it.

 

I have not yet been able to fully process it. My mind is still kind of reeling from all the information. This book has so many 80s references in it that Cyndi Lauper should have written a blurb for it. I knew a fair amount of 80s trivia but I still needed to google different references.

 

But, this book was so weird yet so on point. The world or the universe that this book is set in is so close to exactly how I envision the future that it kind of scares me. Maybe not as close as 2044 but somewhere near that time period. It seems so cool and intriguing yet so dreadful.

 

It is not perfect, there are so parts that are so descriptive, maybe too descriptive, that it ends up being a little boring, especially in part two. I listened to the audiobook so I could not really skip through those parts. It was a little predictable, I mean I had figured out the outcome but I could not figure out how it was going to get there. Some parts seemed too fitting yet other parts threw me for a loop. it was more of a 4.5 star. Definitely cannot wait to see the movie.

Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey - Sophie Kinsella

it was.... it was cute.

 

I am not sure why but I expected more out of this book. It was supposed to be on the the topic of with social anxiety but it actually never dealt with the subject. It sort of only danced around the perimeters, sort of mentioned it here and there but only as a minor complication to the story. It was more on a preteen love story.

 

It was not a horrible book. I do not feel like I wasted my time or anything. It was a quick read and it was funny. And I know that Sophie Kinsella is "queen of chick-lit" with a huge following so I know this is going to be unpopular. But, Honestly, the writing in this book lacks the wit and cleverness of other writers who write for this age group such as Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary. The book just does not stand up to books like Superfudge or Ramona

Vicious

Vicious - Victoria Schwab

I was going to give this book a solid 4.5 star but, after I had let the story sink in for a while, I gave it 5 stars instead. The more I let it mull in my brain, the more I want to do a re-read.

 

I loved the whole villain vs. villain with lots of revenge seeking mixed in. Honestly, I took to Victor, the main character, right away. I do not know what that says about me but I was in his corner the whole time. He is very much the anti hero trope that everyone roots for, kind of like Tony Soprano.

 

It was a entertaining easy read but without a lot of the fluff you normally get. The writing was simple, sometimes a little basic, in almost a YA type of style. But, it was really engaging. It sucks you in from the start. V.E. Schwab writing almost reminds me a bit of Stephen Kings, in that she has amazing ability to weave a story.

It is labeled as a fantasy but I would argue it is more magical realism. I hope they make it into a movie. In my mind, Victor looks almost like Voldemort.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I and II (English)(Hardcover) - John Tiffany & J K Rowling Jack Thorne

I have been putting off trying to rate this book/play because I have just so many mixed emotions. I am just not sure how to rate it.


I first cracked it open the night of the release party at midnight. (Yes, I went to the midnight release party and no, it was not my first HP midnight release party.) It was a feeling of 'ah, I have missed you, old friend'. I was so excited to have a new HP book in my hands. I had already bought tickets to see the play.


But I got about a third of the way through and I lost my will to read anymore. I thought I had figured things out. And then the book sat on my nightstand for months. Until one day my friend asked me what I thought of the book/play and I said I had stopped reading. I told her my theory and she laughed. Told me I was completely wrong. So, I picked up the book again and started from the beginning... And I was wrong, totally wrong.


It differs from Harry Potter because I feel like Albus is an asshole. I just did not feel the same connection or was invested in him as I was with Harry. He is not a very sympathetic character, especially in the first part. which was a little disappointing to me. At times, I thought Harry was not really Harry either.


I did enjoy the story, over all. I think that there is so only so much you can do with a play and it will never compare to the book series. I am very excited to see the play even though I have to wait until 2017. I hope it translates better on stage. I will keep you posted.

The Wise Man's Fear

By Patrick Rothfuss The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2) (First Edition) - Patrick Rothfuss

Here's my big dilemma! I am not actually sure how to rate this book. I really love the series. Kvothe is one of my favorite character of all time. He is, and I cannot believe I am going to say this, up there with Harry Potter and Sirius Black. The world in which the novel is set also rivals HP as well. I call it a novel but it seems more like a volume.

The problem is, that even thought I really loved this book, a lot more than most books that I have rated five out of five stars, I do not love it as much as The Name of the Wind. So, it gets 4 out of 5 stars because it just does not compare with the first one. I do not want to spoil anything for anyone but, there were times where I just did not care about any events that were happening. In fact, there is a significant part in the novel, mainly about his love life, that I just lost interest and it really slowed my reading. There are at least 200 to 300 pages in the middle that could be removed because they do not serve any real purpose. But then, I found that it ended too quickly. I was left thinking, wait that's the end? What?

Rothfuss blows my mind again and again with the world and all its parts. It is crazy to think of how he could imagine all the different parts and tie them all together so neatly. He is truly an amazing writer, creator and storyteller. But there were parts in this novel that I feel he was trying too hard. Trying to give too much information that I did not really need.

I loved The Name of the Wind. It is one of the only books that I think I would re-read for fun rather than just because I forgot most of the plot of the novel. I am not sure if I would re-read this one. It was kind of exhausting at times. I would definitely skip though some parts if I did. That being said, I would absolutely recommend this book.

You should read this book. Read the first one, then read this one and then read the third one when it comes out. Hopefully it will blow these two books out of the water.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame-Smith

This book is sheer ridiculousness. If you are a die hard true loyal Jane Austen fan, you will not like this book. If you're people like me on the other hand, who don't really relate that much to Pride and Prejudice, you should pick it up. No, it is not a great work of fiction but it's super fun.

 

I did notice that everyone in this book is described as handsome, especially the ladies. They are not pretty but they are handsome. That was something that annoyed me in the real Pride and Prejudice but I found it quite comically here. I still hated all the characters except Mr. Darcy. In fact, I think I hated most of the characters even more in this version.



The Bennet's were supposed to have been trained by Shaolin Monks but there is nothing Buddhist in the way that Elizabeth Bennet is portrayed. She has very violent thoughts. The book as a whole is very violent in nature. I guess if they are fighting Zombies then you might have to be but they don't really fight Zombies very often.

 

It's a 3.5 Star book. It's a nice fun read. Now I need to see the movie.

 

Big Magic

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert

A creative living guide to life by following your happiness. This is definitely a self-help book. It was written for perfectionists and anxiety driven people like me and a reality check for everybody else on how to accomplish anything and everything in life. Yes, there is no earth shattering advise in this book. It is mostly common sense. Just basically all the good advise you have ever heard on becoming a productive creative person all in one book. It is about letting go of the excuses and moving beyond them.

 

Elizabeth Gilbert has a unique way of straight up telling you what you need to hear to move beyond all that chatter in your head about not being good enough. Her writing is so relatable it almost feels as if she is specifically talking to you.

 

If you are looking for motivation this is the book for you. If you need a kick in the pants to start a project that you've been dreaming off, then pick up this book. Great to read on those dumpy days or if you have every felt in a slump and not living your life to the fullest. It is going to be one of those books where I can just pick it up and read a chapter here for motivation.

 

I love her TED talks on creativity and watch it frequently as well. My favorite linked below. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA

 

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Hamlet (Cambridge School Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, Rex Gibson, Richard Andrews

The end scene is a WTF moment. I started reading Hamlet around Shakespeare's birthday in April. I was super into it at first then I just completely lost interest in the middle. It is a very long play. Having to force myself to finish, I am very thankful I did. Every time I read Shakespeare I am amazed at how many quotes from his plays have permeated into sayings in modern English. Hamlet is no different.

 

Hamlet is exactly how I envision princes to be, whiny and melodramatic with a little bit of sociopath mixed in. That being said, he is also everything I wanted him to be. I do not blame him for his actions. I would have done the same. Obviously that is what makes him such a great character. Not a fan of Ophelia. She is too much of an archetype. I did, however, find myself liking Queen Gertrude more and more as the play progressed.

 

Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers of all time. But the English is very old. I was able to grasp the concepts of what was happening but I also had to use a version of cliff notes and google to actually understand all the particulars of the play. It made me almost missed my High School teacher's and University professor's explanations. Like most plays, it is better to watch than read.

Three Days Road

Three Day Road - Joseph Boyden

This is a phenomenal and haunting book. I really loved the story despite most of it being set in the WWI. Maybe because it not the traditional stories being told of WWI. The characters are deep and complex. So powerfully written that it makes you stop and wonder what hell is going on with society. It's like a stab to the heart. It will make you very uncomfortable.

 

The story follows Xavier Bird, a young First Nations Canadian, journey through leaving the bush and nature, enlisting in and serving as a sniper in WWI, then through his the healing process of not only his body but his spirit in returning to his home in the bush. It also of his aunt Niska, who as been able to evade the assimilation into residential schools and the destruction of her traditional knowledge and spared the young Xavier Bird from the same.

 

It's very Canadiana. Joseph Boyden has an amazing ability of being able to share stories of Native First Nation Canadians experiences in a honest and true form. The school children of North America, and particularly of Canada, should be reading this in there English classes. This really should be made into a movie. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has done it again! He wrote just the book that I wanted to read. Both beautiful and haunting at the same time. He balances just enough myth and magic with a little bit of real life. It's a modern fairy tale for grown ups. Like most of his books, it contains that little bit of wisdom he imparts on the read. The only regret I have is not reading it sooner.

 

His characters are always fantastic. They draw you in. I loved the three generations of Hempstocks. As always, his endings always have that twist that you never really see coming. He is a genius at wrapping up his books really well.

 

The book is quite short, less than 200 pages. It reads super easy. It took me only one night to finish. I could not put it down. Magical realism is not for everyone. If you have never read Neil Gaiman and not use to his writing style then you probably don't want to start with this one.

 

Another book in to the to be re-read pile. 

 

The Archived

The Archived - Victoria Schwab

It was okay. I was not blown away like many of the other reviewers I have read.

 

The story itself is really good. Definitely a unique story line. It has much potential. But, just like A Darker Shade of Magic, I did not form any sort of connection or attachment to the characters. They were not annoying or anything. They just did not have, what I would consider, any overly redeeming qualities that I connected with. 

 

Argh, why do I never care for any of Victoria Schwab's characters?

 

Though I did not love the book, I do really like her writing. And, I REALLY want to love one of her books. It has a good flow. The pace and the writing is really what kept me into the story.

 

Not sure how to even categorize the book. Sort of a paranormal fantasy-ish horror maybe. It's a fast entertaining read as well. Easy to pick up and put down. I would be a good book to take with you on a trip or maybe to the beach.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

One of the best "true crime" book I have ever read. Every inch of the story is fascinating. It reads like a novel. I had to keep reminding myself that it was, in fact, a true crime book. From the very first chapter I felt drawn in. I immediately wanted to go to Savannah and see it for myself.

So often in true crime books the characters are a little flat. Berendt was really able to make them come to life. His writing made the whole city come to life. His ability to infiltrate the exclusive Savannah society and do such an awesome character study was amazing.

The characters or the personalities in the book, not sure what to call them, are so bizarre and fantastic. It is almost hard to believe that they all live in a small city together. It had almost the same Southern society vibe to it as Time to Kill. The focus was not so much on the crime but rather the mesh of characters are interwoven into the plot (if I can call it that). Just found out that it's a movie with Kevin Spacey. Wonder if it's on Netflix...

In to my re-read pile it goes!

The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson

Now, how can I put this nicely.... it's an easy entertaining read. I certainly enjoy most things about the book... all except for the chalkling things. The writing is brilliant. And honestly, I loved the story as a whole, just when it came to the chalklings being these big scary things that have terrorized the world, I wasn't feeling it. If you took them out and replaced them with some other magical system it would have been a phenomenal story. It just seemed too far fetched. I just did not buy into it. I am not sure if the idea was not fully developed enough in the book but it was lacking something, maybe a detail of the world. 

 

The characters are fantastic. And the relationships between all them, the social structures and the setting of the novel (minus the chalklings) are amazing. Great characters are a major must. They can really make or break a book for me. They made it very easy to look past the whole chalkling parts. The amount of detail in the defenses used by the Rithmatist are meticulous. It must have taken hours and hours to develop.

 

This was my first Brandon Sanderson book. I don't know why I do this, but I always try to start off small to help me ease into a well hyped author. It usually always backfires on me. I have done it with several authors lately. If I had read this after I read his Misborn trilogy, I have a feeling I probably would have liked it much more. Definitely will be reading more Brandon Sanderson.

Popular Crime.

Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence - Bill James

Sometimes you just need that non-fiction read to shake things up in your reading life. This was that book for me. I actually enjoyed it. I have always had an interest and have read many books on the theories of crime. It was a slow read. I spent a lot of time googling different cases that he brought up in the book, just to get more background.

Don't pick up this book thinking it will magically provide you with some fascinating insight on crime in the media. In fact, he states in the book that he's just some guy who's read a lot of crime books.It reads more like a annotated bibliography of crime throughout the 20th century than anything else. He actually recommends and doesn't recommend particular books throughout. Up until the very last chapter I was wondering if the book actually had a point (or rather a thesis). But he pretty much lays it all out in the last chapter, clear as day. If I had to read it all over again for the first time, I would read that last chapter first.

This should not be your first read about the social science of crime. You definitely need to have a solid back ground in some sort of social theory involving crime to full appreciate this book. The stories are very fragmented and he assumes his reader has a mastery over the knowledge of all the popular crimes throughout the 20th century, particularly in the later part of the 60s, 70s and 80s and has widely read on the subject. I can only think of maybe 4 people to whom I would personally recommend this book in real life

The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) - Patrick Rothfuss

If this book is still in your TBR list and you've been just putting if off like I was, you need to pick it and you need to READ IT NOW! You will not regret it. I promise.

 

I feel mad love for this book. Like school girl mad love obsession. I was a little weary to pick it up at first because of all the hype but now, I totally get it. Everything I have ever wanted from a book.

 

I love Kvothe. I love the world. I love the story. I loved the mysteriousness of it all. I love the rest of the characters, except maybe Bast. He drove me a little nuts. Did I mention I love Kvothe?

 

As a rule, I do not re-read books except for a limited few. This book is definitely going into my re-read pile. I may download the audio book and listen to it in my car (I just realized that does kind of sounds crazy obsessive), so I will know how to pronounce their names. I have tried to listed to how people have pronounced Kvothe a million times but still not really sure I've got it.

 

Question is, do I wait to read the Wise Man's Fears or read it right away and start the long wait for the third book?

A Farewell To Arms

A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway

If there is such a thing as chick lit then this novel is the polar opposite, man lit. I should have been reading this novel in a high back chair in some hunting chalet near the roaring fire with a single malt whiskey on ice. The testosterone almost jumped off the page. While I read, I kept thinking to myself 'this is how men think, isn't it? Is this how men think?' Who needs all those self-help relationship books when you can just read Hemingway.

The story is about World War I, and love in the time of war, and then there was a lot of war. But Thank God! I'm not really a big fan of war stories but I hated Catherine. She was such an idiot. But the book still kept my interest. The ending left me with a feeling of WTF!
description
Hemingway's writing style is blunt and in your face with short sentences. I have yet to read anything of his that was not a tragedy. A Farewell to Arms was no different. I understand how this may not be the most appealing to many people. I enjoy his writing style. There is no skirting around anything. It is just straight, to the point and sometimes over the head.

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