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review 2016-03-31 22:31
At the Edge of Empire
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire - Daniel Kraus

This is the type of book where it's either your cup of tea, or it isn't. I personally enjoyed this book very much, from the writing, to the characters, I thought it was really interesting.

The main complaint with this book is that it dragged on and didn't go anywhere, and I can understand why. The purpose of this story is to tell the life of Zebulon Finch, as narrated by Zebulon himself. It takes you from his childhood, to when he ran away from home, to him becoming a gangster and so on.

I enjoyed the writing of the novel, as well as the pace. With the exception of Zebulon getting extremely horny every once in a while at the sight of an attractive girl, there wasn't any purple prose, there was enough to paint a picture and keep things interesting. Zebulon's narration of his life was witty and honest, he didn't sugarcoat anything, even if it meant showing him in a bad light.

Every person that Zebulon meets serves a purpose in shaping in his character, and all of these people come back to him throughout his life and change it again. Every character in the story is different, has different personalities and stands out, I was actually able to remember them throughout the story. Sometimes these characters turned out to be exactly how you thought they would be, and sometimes they were a surprise and turned out to be someone completely different.

I liked the fact that the story actually acknowledges that Zebulon breaks every law of science and actually makes an attempt to discover as to how Zebulon is still functioning even though he is dead. The story doesn't ignore the fact that Zebulon's body is decaying because he is dead, how the sun and hot lights affect him, how he looks compared to everyone else.

Not every character that is introduced in the story is meant to be liked, in fact, most of them are terrible people, and yet, I didn't find myself hating them the same way that I have a burning hatred for two dimensional characters in other novels. You could understand them, for example, the Barker, he was a terrible man, but it was hard to hate him. He was struggling to survive, just like everyone else was, he did what he had to in order to survive. Zebulon himself isn't a very likeable person to begin with, and yet throughout the story, I didn't find myself necessarily liking him, but I could understand him as well as why he did the things that he did. He tried to right his wrongs throughout the novel, he tried to become a better person despite the fact that he failed continually. Every character in this book changed in some way, whether it was for the better or for the worse, they changed, and personally, I felt the character arcs were perfect.

The situations that Zebulon found himself in were especially interesting, so interesting that I had to plan time to read this book because once I started I couldn't stop reading. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I would recommend giving it a shot just to see if you're interested.

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review 2014-07-15 21:39
Notable
Notable - Marni Bates

I don't think that I ever expected to actually like Chelsea Halloway because she seemed like Queen Bitch Extraordinaire but then she became a lot less bitchy towards Jane so I figured I'd probably really like her, or at least learn to tolerate her.

The one great thing that I really love about this Awkward series is that I find something that I can relate to with each character. Mackenzie, Jane, and Chelsea are all different people with different personalities and yet with each of them, there's something that they go through, or a characteristic of theirs that really let's me connect with them and understand the way that they think and feel and why they act the way that they act.

And it just makes the book better for me because now I can sympathize with these characters and the story becomes a lot more personal to me.

I understood how Chelsea felt about always having to try so hard and yet it was never good enough for anybody. I know how it feels to be told that if you don't take one class then you won't be accepted into any university, granted Chelsea's marks are shit and mine are not but still, I understood how she felt. It is not encouraging to have someone tell you that you are never doing enough.

Trust me, I have experience in this type of area, I'm amazed this girl hasn't cried herself to sleep throughout her high school years.

But I admired how she took charge of the situation that she was in (as unbelievable as it was) and I really love how she matured throughout the story without ever losing her Chelseaness. She was still sarcastic and she still had power over the other sex and she still loved to flirt but she had softened. She was a lot nicer and she actually cared about everyone, she thought about other peoples feelings instead of just herself.

I loved her relationship with Houston as well, yeah they argued all the time but they were really cute together (when he wasn't being condescending) and I loved how they got together in the end.

I loved the characters and I loved Chelsea and I especially loved that she managed to let go of Logan and move on at the end of the book. She may not be book smart but I have absolutely no doubt that even with her shitty grades she would make it far in the world. I just had a lot of fun in this book to be perfectly honest and if you're looking for something quick I'd suggest reading it.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-02-28 00:11
Invisible
Invisible (Smith High) - Marni Bates

I think I was able to relate more to Jane than I was able to relate to Kenzie. It's not that I related more to Jane's personality but I could totally understand what her problem was with her friends and what she was going through.

In the beginning I was worried that I wasn't going to like Invisible as much as I had liked Awkward simply because Jane seemed really judgmental of Isobel (I'm pretty sure that was the girls name) and I generally can't stand characters who don't stand up for themselves. I was going to keep my distance with this character but the more I kept reading the more that I understood the situations that Jane was going through and why she didn't just speak up about her feelings. I can't believe that I'm saying this but, Kenzie, Logan, and Corey were really getting on my nerves by how much they all seemed to be ignoring Jane. For goodness's sake, Scott was being a better friend to Jane and she didn't even like him!

I was seriously shocked by the change in Chelsea, I didn't know what to expect from her but I actually ended up liking her in the end. it really says a lot about your friends when the person that you hate is being nicer and more supportive of you than your actual friends are.

Jane really changed throughout the book. At first she was just this shy girl who didn't want to speak up because she didn't want to hurt peoples feelings but by the end she no longer cared what anyone wanted to say and defended herself and got out her side of the story. I was so proud of Jane by the end of this book because she had really grown!

My favourite part, hands down was when she barged over to Corey's house and apologized to him and then just dove in on her friends. She pointed out to them exactly how horrible they had been to her and how it hadn't been fair and how they were treating her wrong. That was by far my favourite part.

The thing that I related to the most in the book was the relationship that Jane had with her friends and the way that she kept everything that she felt and wanted to say bottled inside. I mentioned this at the beginning but let me explain exactly why I could relate to that. I am currently in a position and have been in this position before with my friends. They just planned everything without me, I was never even asked if I wanted to go to places, everything was just arranged and everyone but me was going somewhere together. Except for me, all of my friends skype each other and talk to each other every day constantly and whenever we're actually together in a group, I might as well not be there because no one talks to me. Jane understood that, Jane felt what I was feeling. Jane was dealing with what I was dealing and she put into words what I couldn't and it felt so nice to find someone out there that was dealing with what I was dealing.

The speech that Jane gave to all of her friends at the end was really good to read because it's exactly what I want to say to my friends and even though I can't say that to my friends, it made me happy to see that a character in a book was doing what I couldn't. Plus, if I ever need a drama monologue, that speech is going to be it and I can assure you that I'm going to nail it.

I like Scott and the way that he got along with Jane. I mean, I found him a little creepy at first considering the fact that he kept following Jane around and everything but I grew to like him. It was so great that Jane got along with him so well and it was wonderful that she could be honest with him about everything. She didn't care if what she said hurt him or not, she just said it.

But basically, I really enjoyed the book and I loved the ending and I don't know about anyone else who has read it, but I would recommend it.

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review 2014-02-25 00:00
Pulse: Truly Modern Recipes for Beans, Chickpeas and Lentils, to Tempt Meat Eaters and Vegetarians Alike
Pulse: Truly Modern Recipes for Beans, Chickpeas and Lentils, to Tempt Meat Eaters and Vegetarians Alike - Jenny Chandler

Published 17 September 2013 by Pavilion

Number of pages: 272

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  It was amazing

 

"At last pulses are ditching their 70s hippie label and are back in vogue. Pulses are incredibly economical and healthy and, increasingly, people are looking for new sources of protein as meat eating goes on the wane (for both environmental and economical reasons). The time is ripe for a truly modern look at preparing these under-exploited ingredients. 


Including a guide to pulses, this exhaustive volume will also cover all you need to know to buy, prepare and cook pulses, and how to store them. 180 recipes are divided into dips and purees, fritters, croquettes and patties, soups, salads, formal starters, sides, vegetarian mains, and 'the full monty' (hearty mains, including meat). Jenny Chandler has collected a mouthwatering range of recipes that are truly international in flavour and will provide plenty of tips for everyday catering. With modern, crisp photography and an elegant design this is a book to update every foodie’s bookshelf and will be a go-to book for years to come."

 

Pulse - it certainly got mine racing! We all know about pulses and that we should eat more of them, however we don't because of their reputation for being very difficult to cook.

Jenny Chandler explains it all, in a very clear and concise manner. She literally spills the beans on exactly how to choose, prepare, and make the most out of these wonders of nature, no matter how they are available to you (fresh, dried, canned). All of her tips and tricks are shared with us and are invaluable.

The author does not just focus on cooking pulses, but also explains how to easily obtain the tastiest and healthiest shooting sprouts at home with minimal effort.

The plentiful collection of recipes is full of additional suggestions and variations to suit vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike.

This book will get you reaching for those unloved beans and pulses in your cupboard and compel you to give it a go. A true must-have for any household.

Source: bookschatter.blogspot.com/2014/02/pulse.html
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review 2014-02-22 00:00
The Christmas Dragon: Among the Mythos [2] - Ruthanne Reid
The Christmas Dragon - Ruthanne Reid

This novella is an engrossing teaser to the epic world that Ruthanne promises to introduce us to in the very near future.
Dragons, magical creatures and more are awaiting you.

Ruthanne Reid is definitely one to watch if you enjoy immersing yourself in a complexly woven alternate reality.

I simply cannot wait for the next instalment to learn more about Grey, the Fey, and have started to read "Strings" which is currently being serialised on Wattpad, in eager anticipation for the release of Notte, and to see how it will all then interlock with Ruthanne's first novel, The Sundered.

*disclaimer: I received a preview copy of this book, but did not receive any remuneration and have no affiliation with the author*

Source: bookschatter.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-christmas-dragon.html
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