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review 2017-02-20 08:00
The Panem Companion
The Panem Companion - V. Arrow

I was not completely sure what I was thinking when I decided to read a companion novel to this popular series. There were some questions that I wanted to know an answer to, but in hindsight, I think it probably wasn't really something for me.

The thing is, that I can get annoyed when people start over-analyzing something, which most certainly is the case in The Panem Companion. There are a few interesting pieces like, where in America are the different Districts located and what do they all do, but a lot of the book is actually taken up either by fan theories (which you can find online by the truckload) or metaphors which are apparently planted into the smallest details of the story.

Not for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-02-29 08:00
Book Cover Designs
Book Cover Designs - Matthew Goodman,Nicole Caputo

I judge books by their covers. There, I've said it. There are simply far too many books to not shift though them in a fast way before looking into them. Even more so, many a time I've bought books (or chosen them as ARCs) just because I liked them. (I don't think I'm the only one though). And with my March challenge being (completely coincidently) Books chosen for their cover what better way to work up to March than with Book cover designs.

 

The title, in a way, explains it all. Many designers/designing companies briefly introduce themselves and their working process and than there's a collection of their covers. Some very beautiful covers (many of which I'd previously seen in book stores of course, but seldom do I stop to wonder who made the cover).

 

It was very nice to read about the process of making a cover. The best part, for me, was following the discussion that seemed to go on between the different designers on whether or not you should read the book to be able to design a cover (or perhaps you only need to read a little bit). Personally, I would say you have to read the book to feel what kind of book it is and what kind of cover would fit, but what do I know about it, I can't even draw simple things.

 

And while it was nice to look at the covers, some of them were frankly not so special. One really looked like it could have been made in MS Paint by my younger sister, but maybe that was just a very avant garde artsy one that I didn't get. Sometimes, I believed it unnecessary to show like six cover in exactly the same style, and in those cases I would have liked to see some more variation. Also, taste is a very personal thing of course.

 

Either way, if you love to browse book stores just to stare at book covers, you will certainly like to read this.

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-02-08 08:00
The Palace Library
The Palace Library - Steven Loveridge

I think that maybe as a child I might have enjoyed this novel a lot more than I did now.

 

Three children find a magic door which leads to a magic library that transports them through time where only they can save the Kingdom.

 

The parallels with Narnia are clear, I believe. I just couldn't get into the story, unfortunately. I think it is aimed at a rather young audience, because everything in the story happens very easily. No matter how big the problem, it is solved in a few pages. and most of the time even in less. The prophecy was never more clear in guiding the protagonists through the story and every one seems willing to help out. This makes that it is not a very interesting read unfortunately for anyone over about the age of 8. I was quite disappointed with the story, not in the least because the library only plays a very minor role in the story.

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-01-25 11:39
The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend - Katarina Bivald

There are few things better to read about if you're a book lover than the love for books. Every now and then you come across a book where the love for books just jumps at you from the pages (or in my case, from my eReader). If you want to explain to someone why books can change people, this would be the perfect kind of book.

 

Sara, recently unemployed and an avid reader, has travelled all the way from Sweden to Broken Wheel, Iowa, to visit her pen pal and fellow reader Amy, only to find out that she has recently passed away. Left in Amy's house with all her books and kind of adopted by the town of Broken Wheel, she sets out on a mission to share the love of books.

 

Definitely the best part of the novel was the books. Even though the books mentioned tend to be women's fiction and classics, and there was a heavy under representation of SFF. One girls comes in asking for a book featuring at least one dragon, and Sara had to think a very long time before finding something. And, as usually the title is given, not in this case. And I was wondering which dragon book she would choose (I have a suspicion it's Eragon though). I mean, Sara has every right not to be a SFF fan of course, but as she preaches 'You should read what you sell' I'd expected that would reach further than just the gay erotica.

 

Broken Wheel is not your everyday society. It had a big mid-20th century feel to it. And while I found the characters in small doses enjoyable, I found it hard to focus too long on their seemingly exaggerated problems. I admit that I don't often read women's fiction, just for this particular reason. Near the end I had the feeling the story deranged a bit and became stranger and stranger. To me it felt more and more like Bridget Jones, which is often mentioned in this novel.

 

All in all, certainly recommended if you want to read about books (don't we all) and are willing to therefore read through a somewhat - I'm not quite sure just how to describe it- (love) story that was not completely necessary in my humble opinion.

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2015-12-28 16:16
Tip, Tools, & Tactics For Getting Your Book Reviewed
Tips, Tools, & Tactics: For Getting Your Book Reviewed - Kellie Sheridan

I was a little bit surprised when I saw this book on Netgalley, but since it was by an author from who I read a series once and I was curious to find out what 'tips, tools, and tactics' would be discussed I decided to read it. It was a short book anyway.

 

Most of it is OK, I guess although there are a lot of things I think people would already know about since she stated, many authors are also readers so they might already know about Goodreads, Librarything and book bloggers. The book states multiple times that it is not okay to complain about bad reviews, pay for reviews or swap reviews with other authors. (It's of course sad that this needs to be said, but I'm glad she said it).

 

What I didn't particularly liked was her suggesting multiple times to mail bloggers directly. Even though I don't find that particularly annoying, I know a lot of people who do.
And she says in the beginning that if things are not clear from her book, you can always use Google. I agree that you can always use Google, but should a reference book not make things clear, is that not what it is for?

Also, although she spends time explaining that the product itself should be good and needs to be edited, I found a few spelling mistakes (it takes something for me to notice usually). Which again, I don't find that bad, but the whole book was less than 50 pages, so I don't think it would have cost so much (time) to have it edited.

 

What I thought was a little bit funny or perhaps strange was that this book was on Netgalley, while basically the biggest thing it's explaining is Netgalley. So, people who are going to find the book there are obviously already aware of the existence of Netgalley and are already using it (even if only for getting ARCs and not putting on their own books). However, the most interesting thing I thought was a link to where she explained what Netgalley looks like for a publisher (which I hadn't seen before).

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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