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Search tags: Not-Sure-What-I-Just-Read
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review 2018-08-20 21:40
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Scorpio Races

Maggie Stiefvater

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Some race to win. Others race to survive.

 

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. 

 

Some riders live.

Others die.

 

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. 

 

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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For some reason, this book was never on my radar.  I can't really say why.  If it wasn't for a reading challenge where I needed a book with a race in it…I probably would have never read it.  I think this is why I'm so addicted to them because they force me to discover something I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

 

I really liked The Scorpio Races, with all of the broody, dark-ish, Irish folklore-ish, mythical atmosphere that it had going on.  This is a story about the Capaill Uisce or Water Horses…a version of them anyway and an island where they train these horses, as best as they can, to run in a race they have every year.  There are some lulls in the story leading up to the race, but the budding romance/friendship between Puck and Sean is so beautifully done, that I hardly noticed them.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Striking, both covers actually.

Narration~ 4.5 for Steve West and Fiona Hardingham, I did like Fiona better than Steve, but they were both exceptional.

Setting~ Thisby Island

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-08-20 18:04
4.7 Out Of 5 "all for a hidden egg" STARS
Ready Player One - Wil Wheaton,Ernest Cline

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~BOOK BLURB~

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

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It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. 

 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. 

 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

 

A world at stake. 

A quest for the ultimate prize. 

Are you ready?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Wow…while Ready Player One was not without its faults for me…it's ultimate message was amazing and amazingly well played.

 

The Not So Good:  The overly long, drawn out sub-stories and game descriptions left me nodding off at times, so thankful I listened to this rather than reading it.  I probably couldn't have gotten through it otherwise. 

 

The Good:  The nostalgic 80's references, everything from the movies, TV shows, music to the video games. I loved them all, well…all but Monty Python, because I'm never going to understand the appeal of that.  The dynamic between the characters was exceptionally done also. 

 

Overall, a book with a sincere message about the reality of life, despite being played out almost entirely in a virtual reality, and how perseverance can help you achieve almost anything, especially with help from your friends.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5+/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nah…

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Book Cover~ It's kind of boring…it definitely hides the potential of the story.

Narration~ 5 for Wil Wheaton, he was amazing with this content…my only complaint is maybe he lacked volume.

Setting~ Inside the OASIS, mostly.

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-20 15:02
The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky: a Novel
The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky. - jana casale
To be completely honest, I struggled with this novel at the beginning. I almost gave up on it but after about the 20% mark, I started to enjoy it. Leda was going through a rough time and she just needed someone to understand her.
 
Leda spoke a lot in the novel about how she always wanted to be linear, which I implied, she meant she wanted to be slim, attractive or desirable. Leda is basically lonely, she needs someone, anyone. She dreams about boys, daydreaming about having relationships with them. Leda head was full of conversations that she would have with friends, these friends were her imaginary friends because in real life, Leda didn’t have any friends. Leda needed to do something with her life to find someone to connect with. When she signed up for an art appreciation class, she met John. This is when the speed of the novel picks up and gets interesting.
 
John was a bit odd himself, so they were perfect for one another. John is offered a job in California and he wants Leda to go with him. Reluctant at first, Leda leaves everyone and everything behind and follow John. I liked how John allows Leda to stay at home yet Leda decides this is too boring, even as she tries to continue her career as a writer. Leda tries a variety of activities in the novel from joining a Meetup group, to returning to her grade school research topic, to getting a job at a coffee shop. It seems that Leda is always searching to find herself and match it with happiness and contentment.
 
John in the meantime is working and enjoying his relationship with Leda. He is content with his life. Years pass quickly and Leda realizes that John hasn’t made any effort to put a ring on her finger which angers her. Ready to walk away, John finally commits to Leda but Leda still not content. I begin to wonder; will she ever be?
 
The beginning of the novel was confusing but I liked the novel as I liked Leda search for herself. She was one of those individuals who wanted it all, yet what was it that she was searching for? I wished that Leda had set some goals so at least she would have felt like she accomplished some things along her life. I do feel that Leda felt that she did happy with parts of her life, especially with Annabelle.I enjoyed this story.
 
I received this novel from NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2018-08-20 04:39
The Solitary Summer
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

 

This was a buddy read with Themis Athena.

 

The Solitary Summer is a follow up to Elizabeth and Her German Gardenthey don't have to be read in any order, but Solitary Summer takes place in the same garden, about three years later.

 

I went into this book naively assuming that the "Solitary" in the title mean Elizabeth at home, alone, in her garden, for the entire summer.  While I made allowances for servants, I figured she'd sent Man of Wrath and her three children off somewhere for the summer, either together or separately. 

 

Shows what I know; the Solitary in the title means nothing of the sort.  It simply means Elizabeth and her husband agree that for one summer, May through August, there will be no guests descending on the house, expecting Elizabeth to perform hostess duties.  100 years ago, I suppose that would feel like a kind of solitude, but personally, if I were being subjected to the daily demands of husband and three daughters, I'd have long before whipped out my Sharpie pen and blacked out the entry for 'solitude' in all my dictionaries and been done with the concept.

 

Moving on from my luxurious pre-conceived notions, the book is ostensibly about Elizabeth spending the summer in her garden, free from hostessing duties, and therefore free to loll about in her garden all day, book in hand, alternately reading and soaking in the paradise surrounding anyone in a garden, wood, and field.  When she's not feeding her family, or handing out food to the servants, or entertaining her daughters.  The solitary moments do happen, in May and most of June, but after a spate of gales whip through, the tone of the book alters perceptibly; less garden, more musings on philosophy, reading, morality, class and village life.  

 

In my opinion, even though I picked this up in eager anticipation of the garden-geek-fest, it's the second half that should not be missed.  Elizabeth is a rare breed; she's able to stand apart from herself, to see herself and events around her with objectivity, brutal honesty, and wry wit.  She does not rationalise, she does not excuse or defend, she simply observes:  this is they way things/I should be, this is the way things/I are(am).  It's refreshing to hear this kind of voice, and if it doesn't make you think one way or the other, ... well, never mind.  But the issues she addresses in her musings are at least as relevant today as they were 100 years ago, with the exception of enforced quartering of troops and servant housing. 

 

From what little I know so far about Elizabeth von Arnim's background, her husband isn't what anyone today would call a gem; she calls him Man of Wrath for heaven's sake, and I doubt she's using the term ironically.  But there are moments of accord between the two, as well as many scenes of shared humour and witty banter that lead me to suspect their relationship was far more complex than history will likely remember it being, and I'm eager to find out more about them both to see if my suspicions stand up to available facts.

 

Either way, I like her.  I suspect, were we contemporaries and life brought us into each other's orbit, we'd be friends - or at least appreciate each other's love of nature, sarcasm, and our disdain for too many guests.

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review 2018-08-19 16:57
First Frost
First Frost (Mythos Academy, #0.5) - Jennifer Estep

Introduces Gwen and her paranormal ability. This is short and tells how her mom died and it was decided that she attend Mythos Academy. A few characters are introduced. Calling it now- Logan is going to be the love interest.

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