Life Among Pages

Book Reviews and Personal Musings

Category: Book Review (Page 2 of 4)

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen | ARC Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Cover of An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen on my iPad next to a vase of purple flowers

3.5 stars

“You know, what makes you human is individual variations moving away from the median data. If you were neutral, if you were just in the middle of all the graphs and charts, then you would be no one. You would be a zero. You would be a computer.”

THANK YOU TO TEXT PUBLISHING & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

An Uncertain Grace is unlike any I have read before, mostly because it isn’t in my usual genres. That being said whilst I did find it highly unusual, I quite enjoyed it. The novel isn’t broken into chapters; instead, it was broken into five parts, each about a completely different character (Casper, Ronnie, Cameron, M, Liv).

“Some time in the near future, university lecturer Caspar receives a gift from a former student called Liv: a memory stick containing a virtual narrative. Hooked up to a virtual reality bodysuit, he becomes immersed in the experience of their past sexual relationship. But this time it is her experience. What was for him an erotic interlude, resonant with the thrill of seduction, was very different for her – and when he has lived it, he will understand how.

Later…
A convicted paedophile recruited to Liv’s experiment in collective consciousness discovers a way to escape from his own desolation.
A synthetic boy, designed by Liv’s team to ‘love’ men who desire adolescents, begins to question the terms of his existence.
L, in transition to a state beyond gender, befriends Liv, in transition to a state beyond age.
Liv herself has finally transcended the corporeal – but there is still the problem of love.” – Summary from Goodreads

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Mini Reviews | E.B. White Collection

Growing up I watched the film adaptations for all the books mentioned below, they were a definitive part of my childhood. So I was excited to read the stories that they were inspired by, and what can I say except that overall I was left rather disappointed. E.B. White had quite an odd story style, it would jump about quite a bit (especially in Stuart Little). I also wonder what set off his love for talking animals. I have recently learned that the reason Stuart Little is quite rushed is because for some reason he felt like he was about to die and had to finish. But then went on to live for many years after. That being said, if I were about to die. I would not want to compromise my work in such a manner as he did with Stuart. I’m glad I read them, but once was probably enough. The Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte’s Web I will probably read to my future children. But as for Stuart, I might just stick to the film.

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Her by Garry Disher | ARC Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Cover of Her by Garry Dishner on a glass table with a potted chive plant

3 stars.

“Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by with his wife, who had cost him twelve shillings once upon a time, and a wispy girl, who had cost him ten.”

THANK YOU TO TEXT PUBLISHING & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

Her is definitely not my usual genre of reading, so it took me some time to get into it. That being said it was also a very quick read and I finished in a couple of days.

“Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by . . .

Her name is scarcely known or remembered. All in all, she is worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence counted into her father’s hand. She bides her time. She does her work.

Way back in the corner of her mind is a thought she is almost too frightened to shine a light on: one day she will run away.” – Summary from Goodreads

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Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren | ARC Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Cover of Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren next to a vase of fake blue flowers

5 stars

 

“I think I’m only now realizing how hard it must be to be a woman. Too thin or not thin enough. Do your job flawlessly, but don’t show up any of the men. Speak up, but don’t be bitchy. Smile. And then you have people like Brad totally playing into it.” 

THANK YOU TO HACHETTE AUSTRALIA & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

I absolutely adored Dating You/ Hating You! I had read a few reviews and all of them had been positive, but I would not have expected how much I devoured this book. This is probably my first official New Adult genre novel, and I am definitely going to be looking into the genre in the future, (so if anyone has any good suggestions please leave them below!), the romance had me swooning.

“Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirty-something professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Whether these two Hollywood love/hate birds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.”Summary from Goodreads

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Only Dead On The Inside by James Breakwell | ARC Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Only Dead On The Inside by James Breakwell, on my iPad with a first aid kit, torch and skulls.

3.5 Stars

I RECEIVED AN ADVANCED COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.

Only Dead On The Inside: A Parent’s Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse is written by comedy writer James Breakwell, who became internet famous through his Twitter @XplodingUnicorn where he posts about his family. He became well known when one of his tweets went viral after being shared in a Buzzfeed article. Which is probably when I discovered James’s writing. I am definitely a fan of his Twitter, it is always amusing reading about the antics of his family, even if its been exaggerated.

So for anyone familiar with James Breakwell’s social media, this book is exactly what you would expect.

‘There are plenty of guides out there about how to survive the zombie apocalypse. All of them assume readers are young, fit, and unencumbered by children. In that scenario, the only living humans left will be smug, outdoorsy Millennials. That’s hell on earth, even without the zombies. Only Dead on the Inside is the answer for the rest of us.

Only Dead on the Inside blends traditional parenting advice with zombie survival tips, bringing together two totally unrelated genres in a book no one asked for but everyone needs.

If you want to make sure your family is apocalypse-ready, Only Dead on the Inside is your best–and only–chance at survival. No pressure, but if you don’t read this book, your children will die.’ – Summary from Goodreads.

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Photo of Heartless by Marissa Meyer on a scattered desk of cards with Queen of Hearts and Cheshire Cat magnetic bookmarks from the etsy Read and Wonder store

4 stars

“But hoping, is how the impossible can be possible after all, sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

I absolutely adored this book, I tore through it faster than I expected. I knew I would love it based on the premise alone. An origin story for the Queen of Hearts, yes please. Marissa Meyer did a superb job capturing the essence of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland in this retelling.

“Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favourite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.”Summary from Goodreads

“These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,’ he said, vanishing up to his neck. ‘They happen only in nightmares.’ His head spiralled and he was gone.”

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Graphic Novel Mini Reviews | Andrews McMeel Publishing

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

So I have decided instead of having my graphic novel reviews solely on Goodreads, I might start doing little batches of mini reviews here. I might try and have them all linked to a similar theme or series in the future (what do you guys think, leave any thoughts or suggestions in the comments below).

The theme for this batch of mini reviews, are that these are all graphic novels I received from Andrews McNeel Publishing through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, and would highly recommend reading any of these.They all brought a smile to my face.

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody | ARC Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Cover of Daughter of the Burning City on my iPad, surrounded by fake flowers 

4 Stars

“In short, there is a lot a city can see, hear and experience by traveling the world. Thus, we manage to mingle in the affairs of virtually everyone, and we gain enough intelligence from each destination to pull some powerful political strings.”

THANK YOU TO HARLEQUIN (AUSTRALIA) & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

Daughter of the Burning City was quite different to what I expected going in, for some reason I wasn’t expecting it to be as focused on the mystery. But I’m glad it did because it was really interesting following that and seeing it unfold before the characters. I will say that I correctly guessed one part of the mystery (why her family was being targeted) but did not call the other twists. They definitely caught me off guard.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smouldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet, even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so, she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear. (Summary from Harlequin Books)

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The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer | Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, held in front of a building under construction and a tree.

 4 stars

“From what I’ve seen, it isn’t so much the act of asking that paralyses us–it’s what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one. It points, fundamentally, to our separation from one another.” 

This book was incredibly different to what I expected, but in a way it was also much more. At first, I had thought it would be a mild advice book, backed up with analogies from her life. However, it was more of a memoir than self help, but that doesn’t mean you cant learn from Amanda’s experiences.

The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help is a very in-depth look into the life of Amanda Palmer up close, personal, and without a filter. It proves that even though she lives an insane life, and is very well known musician. She is just a person, like you and me. She is flawed, makes mistakes, and has fears and anxiety about life, just like everybody else. Which is why it was exactly what I needed to read, much of what she said resonated strongly with me.

Rock star, crowd funding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passers-by for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world’s most successful music Kickstarter.

Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn’t alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyses their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING.” (Summary from Goodreads)

“As I moved through my life as a statue and later as a musician, I started to understand. There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen.” 

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Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | Review

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter lying on the tiles surrounded by paper stars

4 stars 

“Why did it take me so many years to understand that Night is something you can talk to, something that might even decide to watch over you or kiss you just when you’re about to crumple from loneliness?” 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A few book reviews I had seen online warned that it’s strange, and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea etc. well it was definitely mine. I was enthralled. I do agree that it does have an odd vibe, but I did not find it as strange as some people made it out to be.

“In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighbourhood.

In Vassa’s neighbourhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes-innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs, in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighbourhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair” (Summary from Goodreads)

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