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review 2018-07-25 22:54
3.5 Out Of 5 for this re-imagining of The Lord of the Flies
Damselfly - Chandra Prasad

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~BOOK BLURB~

Damselfly

Chandra Prasad

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Their survival is in their own hands...

 

Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she's alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team across the Pacific for a tournament. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they find the others, they set up shelter and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the teens realize they're on their own, stranded on an island with a mysterious presence that taunts and threatens them. Soon Sam and her companions discover they need to survive more than the jungle... they need to survive each other.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I never read The Lord of the Flies…I wasn't even sure what it was about…until I looked it up when I was about a third of the way through this.  The author has a spot at the end of the book where she talks about her inspiration for the book and as an author.  She calls this a Lord of the Flies with a diverse cast of strong female characters.  It does have male characters also, but they are definitely secondary to the females.

 

Damselfly is a story of what happens to a group of kids when they are suddenly stranded with no rules…or adult supervision.  Told from the pov of a shy Indian girl, it addresses some tough subjects really well.  Unfortunately, though, this felt under-developed to me and left me wanting something more from it; from the characters to general storyline.  Overall, this was just an okay read for me, despite, loving the cover.  It did remind me of the first few episodes of Lost (the TV show), so that was cool.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 2.5/5  Cliffhanger~ It kind of did…

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Book Cover~ It's very compelling, it's definitely what drew me in.

Narration~4 for Soneela Nankani…I like her, but she could use some work on her voices.

Setting~ Deserted Island, somewhere between the Mainland and Hawaii.

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-06-07 19:26
3.5 Out Of 5 "sharp-shooting" STARS
Gunslinger Girl - Lyndsay Ely,James Patterson

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Gunslinger Girl

Lyndsay Ely

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Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six-shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great...

 

In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Gunslinger Girl is more Dystopian than Western…it's really a somewhat near-future USA devastated by wars and such, with a western feel or flair to it.  Think Annie Oakley (Pity does a sharp-shooter show) in a Revolution (the TV show) type of setting.  With plenty of intrigue and action, it sounds like this could be super cool.  

 

Which is exactly how I felt...but, I don't know what it was exactly, because I didn't connect with the story or the characters all that much.  Basically, it was okay, but it didn't blow me away.  It could be a case of "it's not you, it's me, though.  I have been feeling sorta reading-slump-ish lately.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.3/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 3.8/5  Cliffhanger~ not really…

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Book Cover~ It's cool…

Narration~ 4 -Christie Moreau, she wasn't bad…

Setting~ Cessation, Future USA

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2017-12-02 22:52
If only the story could have lived up to that beautiful cover.
The Sandcastle Empire - Kayla Olson

 

Book Title:  The Sandcastle Empire

Author:  Kayla Olson

Narration:  Andi Arndt

Genre:  Dystopian | YA

Setting:  A Mysterious Island

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  3.5/5

Main Characters:  3.7/5

Secondary Characters:  3.2/5

The Feels:  3/5

Pacing:  3/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  5+/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  3.8/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5:  1

Total:  3.5/5 STARS - GRADE=B-

 

 

 

The Sandcastle Empire was both languid and quick moving.  Sort of like everything is draped in a heavy fog.  The writing and Andi Arndt's narration gave most of the book this warm, fluid, and free-flowing feel.  Until an action scene and then I found it difficult to keep up and comprehend the quickness of them.  The dystopian world that this depicts has the potential to be so complex but isn't really fleshed out enough and neither were the characters, unfortunately.  Mostly, it just left me feeling like I wanted more than what I got.

 

I've read that this is being made into a movie…it's possible, with the LOST-like island and its many pitfalls, that it might do well on the screen.

 

Will I read more from this Author This is her debut, I believe, so I might.  Especially, if they have such breathtaking covers…they pull me in every time.

 

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review 2017-10-21 15:24
You know that saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer…
13 Minutes - Sarah Pinborough

 

 

Book Title:  13 Minutes

Author:  Sarah Pinborough

Narration:  Rosie Jones

Genre:  YA, Mystery

Setting:  England

Source:  Own Kobo Audiobook

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  4/5

Main Characters:  2.5/5

Secondary Characters:  2.5/5

The Feels:  3/5

Addictiveness:  3.7/5

Theme or Tone:  3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Mystery:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  3/5  Could have been better.

Ending:  4.7/5  Cliffhanger:  nope

Steam Factor 0-5: 4

Total:  3.5/5 STARS - GRADE=B-

 

 

 

The first half of this book reads like Mean Girls, with a British flair, and the second half turned out to be a very clever mystery.  I didn't see it coming, at all.  This is by far, too promiscuous for YA, though.  It has explicit sex scenes between a 16 and a 19-year-old.  That's just eww, between that and the catty little bitch characters, I almost DNF'd this.  I'm glad I didn't, because ultimately, despite not liking any of the characters, this was mostly a worthwhile listen just for the mystery alone. 

 

The narration would have benefited from another narrator, to differentiate between the two different female voices because it was difficult to keep it straight whose head you were in.

 

Will I read more from this Author?⇜  Probably not…

 

 

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review 2017-09-22 23:53
A memoir about apple farming and all the pesticide woes...
The Orchard: A Memoir - Theresa Weir

 

 

Book Title:  The Orchard

Author:  Theresa Weir

Narration:  Ellen Archer

Genre:  Memoirs

Setting:  Iowa (I think)

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  3/5

Main Characters:  3/5

Secondary Characters:  3/5

The Feels:  3.7/5

Addictiveness:  3/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  3.5/5 

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope

Steam Factor 0-5:  1

Total: 3.5/5 - GRADE = B-

 

 

 

 

I don't read much non-fiction…I only decided to read this because of a reading challenge, it was also a short listen and the library had it on audio, so it was a winner in that aspect…because it didn't suck. 

 

Overall, there are some aspects to this story that could have been done differently to make the story more interesting, like some unfinished thoughts and glossed over parts of her life, that could have been explored more.  It's also told in a really somber voice that I never fully connected to, at least not until the very end, and seriously, something about the ending just clicked with me.  I believe it was the situation with her mother-in-law-from-hell that she had going on, I can relate, after all.  I even teared up, a little.

 

Will I read more from this author?  I don't know, most likely not.  I even own a book by her on my Kindle…it was a freebie.

 

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