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review 2020-10-11 23:19
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault
Virginia Wolf - Isabelle Arsenault,Kyo Maclear

I adore this short picture book! The artwork, characters, and story is charming. The relationship between the two sisters is absolutely adorable. You can tell they care for one another and want to be there for each other when life gets hard. I love how this book encouraged kids to dive into their imagination if ever they feel depressed because they may find the happiness they are seeking. As someone who constantly daydreams of one day going to a place not of this realm, I related to Virginia so much. I, too, dream of my own perfect world. And if we continue to search for it, through art or writing or any other creative outlets, we may one day find our Home.

 

This book is absolutely beautiful. I encourage you to pick it up! It's short but has a lovely message and beautiful artwork to go with it! Anyone can pick up this picture book and find enjoyment in it. May also encourage you look explore your imagination again in case you've been focusing too much on Reality. It's a great book!

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review 2020-10-06 02:48
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning (The Guardians, #5) by William Joyce
Guardians Chapter Book #5 - William Joyce

I've been reading this series for a long time now. I began reading this series earlier this year with the intent to read each book back to back to get the full picture of what William Joyce wanted to tell the reader. I started well with my reading adventure, reading all the picture books and the first four books in the series in a timely manner. Then 2020 happened and slapped everyone in the face including myself. I'm not going to lie, guys. It's been hard. Extremely hard. With the pandemic, the civil injustices happening in my country, wildfires raging madly on the West coast, and personal issues happening throughout, I have not had the time nor the mental fortitude to dedicate to reading. My health (physical, mental, and emotional) has not been doing well either. I just feel like I've been all over the place as of late. With that being said, I am hoping things are settling enough that I can get back into reading. Still being mindful and aware we are not out of the woods yet (nor will we be any time soon), but also capable of treating myself right and enjoy a good book from time to time. I'm still mentally clogged with everything going on, but I want to try to get back into the hobbies I love and miss doing this year.

 

And with that, I bring to you my review of Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning.

 

I really liked this book. It's not my favorite book in the series, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I don't intend to go into too many details with this review since it's the final book in the series but I did want to talk about a few things that won't spoil the plot.

 

It's a very good book. And the conclusion, though not really what I was hoping for, was not bad in any way. However, I had a few problems with it as I was reading it. The first thing that bugged me was the pacing. Joyce wrote this book after the movie came out and it shows. Which is a bit of a bummer for since his original story was magnificent. In this book he tried to tie in the movie and book universes too much and it did not blend well. It felt disjointed at times and forced. The pacing suffered because of this as well. The beginning was very slow. VERY SLOW. He kept rehashing certain scenes from the previous books and also diving deep into moments that took placed in the past and not during the actual story being told. A lot of the story was told in "flashback" moments which took the reader out of the current plot. It felt messy and rushed in some areas and it dragged in others.

 

The characters are still loveable and unique. But they definitely took a backseat in this book. Joyce focused more on action and "plot" but he completely forgot about what a lot of readers picked up these books for in the first place and that was to see these amazing characters interact in this whimsical world he created. When those parts appeared in this book, it was incredible just like it was in the precious books. But they were few and far between. Most of the scenes in this book was one battle after the other. That's it. I wanted to see more of the relationships between all of the characters,

 

I especially feel Pitch was left as an afterthought, almost. Yes, he's a lingering presence throughout the whole book, but he doesn't actually make an appearance until the end of the book, if you're not including the flashback portion. It was very underwhelming seeing what happens at the end. I was hoping for more interaction, more feeling. It was like (and I'm keeping it vague here on purpose) Jack does a thing, Emily Jane says thanks, and that's it! I wanted Jack and Pitch to have a full on conversation! To come to the realization that they are not so different after all. To say thanks or sorry or something! But we didn't get much of anything and it felt very hollow.

 

The ending... I'm not a huge fan of. It was an ending that would have meant something if we were introduced to certain elements beforehand. Not almost 250 pages into the book. It felt, like most of this books, rather empty and pointless.

 

That's not to say this book is bad. It's not. I did like it. I was just expecting to see more of the characters I fell in love with interacting with one another and understanding one another. Instead I got a bunch of action with no real substance.

 

If you've read the other books in this series, I do recommend you read this one. It's good to see the conclusion to this amazing series. Just don't expect too much going in and you may enjoy this a lot more.

 

I'm glad that despite everything that's been happening in the world, I was still able to finish this series that I have been meaning to read for quite some time now. I don't know what I'll be reading next but I hope that I will continue to read regardless.

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review 2020-08-08 21:54
Hereos by Stephen Fry
Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures - Stephen Fry

 

“You see?' said Prometheus. 'It is your fate to be Heracles the hero, burdened with labours, yet it is also your choice. You choose to submit to it. Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.”

 

Heroes by Stephen Fry is a gift, his Great Mythology series in general is a gift. I have loved the Greeks since I was kid, but in school it was barely touched upon. There is a lot of history and stories to wade through and I will happily let Fry do all the work for me, he's chosen cleverly to split the stories to make it easier for the reader. Book one focused on the birth and general histories of the Gods leaving room for further books to focus on other parts, and I'm glad he did. A lot of these hero stories are familiar to me, but I might not have known the whole thing, or known where the went after completing the task they're most famous for.

 

I also listened to this as an audiobook and I loved it, it might not be to everyone's taste though. Fry has written this with his distinct British quirky sense of humour, which translates whilst reading, but really comes into its own when he's narrating. Does he give his characters accents they would never of had, yes. Does it matter?? To me, no. It adds to the humour, adds to the silliness. I'd rather that then he butcher a Greek accent.

 

I can't wait for the next instalment Troy, which I've actually pre-ordered. Something I never do, but you know...when in lockdown. I was hoping it would be a book focused on the monsters and the baddies, but since watching the BBC adaptation and learning there was a lot more behind the story I'm really looking forward to it.

 

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review 2020-08-01 21:59
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
City of Glass - Cassandra Clare

 

“I am a man" he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown.”

 

The struggle has been real when it comes to this series, I've made no qualms about sharing my feelings in regards to the first two books. I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed and frustrated to the point of screaming at the characters. But something happened, maybe Clare took a writing class, maybe she went to the crossroads and sold her soul to the devil. Whatever she did, it worked.

 

This feels so grown up, so wildly different I can't put into my words the joy I felt reading this. I did spent most of it waiting for something to go wrong, but it didn't. This was a solid read, but to me this book is what the first two should have been. If I could throw all logic out the window, this would be a 5 out of 5, but this is the third book and by now I should have been all kinds of invested.

 

This book and it's characters feels so different, I finally stopped hating Jace...well mostly. I still have problems with his attitude, yes I understand he's putting on a front but behind closed doors he shows little in the way of remorse for his actions and his stubbornness, so it's hard to emphasise with him. Simon finally gets the respect he deserves and gets chapters from his POV, which I'm hoping will lead to Isabelle and Alec getting a chance to steal the spotlight in the final three books.

 

Of course it's not all sunshine and rainbow pooping unicorns. Clary is still a huge problem, she's rash, acts before thinking and is forever making dumb decisions after another. I understand her goal is to save her mum and help stop Valentine but she never looks at the bigger picture, there are so many consequences to her actions. She's a teenager acting like a kid and it's not for me, fingers crossed she'll stop charging off leaving others to pick up the pieces and fix her mess.

 

All in all, I'm glad I've stuck with it. City of Glass finally brought it, and it's given me hope for finishing this series. I am however going to take a break from The Mortal instruments and read her prequel series The Infernal Devices next as I need a break from these characters.

 

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review 2020-07-19 00:55
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
My Rating: 5 Stars
 
This book starts with the reader already knowing the ending. Some reviews I've seen state that it would've been better to save what Mallory's fate is until the end of the book, but I feel that the reason Elin disclosed her illness was so you could appreciate what a full life she led, although bittersweet.

This book is based on the play and movie, Same Time Next Year. Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud come into one another's life via her brother Cooper Blessing and connect romantically almost instantly in 1993.  Although they have chemistry from the beginning, Jake is in a relationship with his childhood sweetheart and Mallory is starting her life over on Nantucket. They agree to spend Labor Day weekend together every year, no matter what is happening in their lives.  are not to contact one another throughout the year unless there's a marriage, pregnancy or death, which they abide by.
I loved how each chapter began with real life highlights of events that were happening in the specific year.  Another highlight was the mouth-watering details in the meals they prepared and ate!!! I need some recipes for these dishes Elin!!!  She also peppers characters and businesses from her other books throughout the story, which is very comforting; makes you feel like you've been here before (and if you've read any of her books before, you kind of have been!)

Dislikes:
- I did not enjoy the politics within the book. (Beach Read...trying to escape reality here!!) - At times I felt sad for both Mallory and Jake because their situation could've been different if they were just honest with themselves and others in their lives.  They could've had more time together during their lifetime (life is short!)  - Infidelity. It is bothersome that both characters so easily could drift back to one another for one weekend a year and then just return to the rest of their lives for the remainder of the year.  ( they did find it difficult to separate and thought of one another when not together...torturing themselves.)
If this is your very first Elin Hilderbrand read, please don't totally judge her on this book alone.  It was a bit more 'serious' and depressing than some of her other books. Checkout 'The Blue Bistro' to experience just one of my favorites of hers!
 
 
 
Click here to purchase your copy! 
 
 
Source: allaroundthecircle.blogspot.com/2020/07/book-review-28-summers.html
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