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review 2017-06-23 11:03
Review: The Memory Book
The Memory Book - Lara Avery

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This book was an absolute heartbreaker. And I loved it. Surprised because I really wasn’t expecting much considering I really didn’t like the last book I read by the same author, but I really enjoyed this one.

 

The novel tells the story of 18 year old Samantha, who has a rare disease which will cause memory loss and other nasty side effects, very few teenagers are diagnosed with the disease and very few (if any) survive. Sam is very smart and almost ready to graduate high school, with dreams of going to college in New York. Determined to survive and live her life the best she can, in spite of the horrible news she’s been dealing with.

 

She writes The Memory Book as a guide to her future self for when her memory has been sliding and she can’t remember things. She has two younger siblings, a brother and a sister and involved parents who are reluctant about the whole college thing. She sees a guidance councillor regularly and doctors regularly.  Sam is a brilliant debater, she’s off to Regional Debate Championships with her friend and debating partner Maddie, she’s set to be Valedictorian when she graduates. And the boy she’s had a crush on for years, Stuart, who went off to New York and became a published writer, has come back into town. All going pretty good. She’s going a high school party and actually talks to her long term crush.

 

However, it all starts to go wrong, symptoms of Sam’s illness which cause her to forget where she is, strike suddenly, and unexpectedly. Maddie freaks because Sam didn’t tell her about the seriousness of her illness, Sam is naturally crushed. Bright point of life is when she starts developing a friendship into something more serious with Stuart. At the same time her childhood friend Cooper has recently come back into her life as well, Cooper became a big baseball star in high school then blew it with a pot addiction. Sam finds an unexpected closeness with Cooper, opening up to him as they reminisce about their childhood companionship.

 

The novel was very emotional, I loved Sam’s voice, given what she was dealing with she was incredibly strong and very brave. Her inner monologue went from a range of emotions from excitement and swooning over her developing relationship with Stuart, funny, moody, despair. She talks about her fears, her desires, what she longs for. The struggles with talking about what she’s going through. Dealing with the fall outs when things happen.

 

There’s a love triangle that does pop up but it’s one that works really well and managed to surprise me. And still made me smile.

 

Sam’s memory book also includes input from her parents and siblings and later Cooper who all start adding to the narrative.  The emotional impact was incredibly deep and moving.

 

By the end I was in floods of tears. I was reading the last 20% or so during a slow afternoon at work and by the time I’d finished I had to leave the office and have a cry in the toilets for five minutes. I reread the end again at home and cried all over again.

 

Beautiful, beautiful book. The story manages to go from cute and funny to gut wrenching with some incredibly sad moments. Even so, it was a really amazing read. I loved it so much I bought a finished copy.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Hatchette Children’s Group.

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review 2017-06-23 03:59
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Percy Jackson & the Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan

In lieu of a proper review (which I just haven’t felt like doing lately), I present to you a Percy Jackson Checklist:

 

☑ Monsters show up at school; shenanigans ensue.

☑ A quest is given; Percy’s participation is crucial.

☑ Other characters have to school Percy on Greek mythology because apparently he can’t be arsed learning all this stuff his life might depend on him knowing.

☑ Token mentions of ADHD.

☑ Annabeth is conflicted and angsty.

☑ Luke is conflicted and sad/angry (sangry?).

☑ Kronos is six steps ahead of everyone.

 

I could probably keep going and expand this into a Percy Jackson Bingo Card. But, much like Percy learning Greek mythology, I can’t be arsed.

 

I wasn’t thrilled with the advent of the love triangle (square . . . ish?) in this book, even though it meant Percy finally got a love interest not related to him. I will not be fooled into thinking that Percy will end up with anyone other than Annabeth, his first cousin once removed. Bleh. I’m still enjoying the series overall, but this kissing cousins thing does dampen my enthusiasm a bit. I should’ve kept reading this series as it came out. You know, before I realized pretty much everyone at Camp Half-Blood is related to each other.

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photo 2017-06-23 01:29
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo,Jo Nesbø
Hector and the Search for Happiness - François Lelord
The Leopard: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 6) - Jo Nesbø,Don Bartlett
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill (6-Nov-2014) Paperback - Joe Hill
How to Catch a Star (10th Anniversary edition) - Oliver Jeffers
Die Trying - Lee Child
The Wrong Side of Goodbye - Michael Connelly
By Lemony Snicket The Dark (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) (First Edition) - Lemony Snicket
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances - Neil Gaiman
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
Booklikes-opoly
1st roll : ?8
2nd roll - Main street 14
Paradise Pier 30
Tomorrow land 36
Main Street 10
Cars Land 16
New Orleans 19
Monorail 29
Frontierland 2

Started on 15 April already. So I am a few days late. 


See details here. 

 

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/1552561/wanna-plan-a-game-it-s-booklikes-opoly-created-by-moonlight-reader-obsidian-blue  

 

Rolled dice 1st on 17 April and got 8 .  Landed at Question 8 on the board. 

So a mystery novel. Started with Jo Nesbo "The Devil's Stars" 

 

Collected $20 at Start. 

 

See how it goes. 

 

Update: 24 April.  Finished reading The Devil's Star. 522 pages. Collected $5.

 

New Total = $25

 

2nd roll dice of 7.

 

 

Get me to Main Street 14. Read a book that involves oversea travel or has a suitcase on the cover. 

 

Hector and the Search for Happiness 192 pages. 

 

30 April 2017. Read the book. Collected $2. 

 

New Total = $27. 

 

3rd roll of dice. A 10. 

 

Landed me at Water Works. "Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event." 

 

 

 

Rain is water. Picked "The Leopard" by Jo Nesbo. 740 pages. 

 

Finished the book on 4 May. Collected $5. 

 

4th Roll the dice on 4 May.: 8

 

Landed in Paradise 30 Suspense book over 555 pages.  

 

Picked NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. Supernatural suspense story 692 pages. 

 

New total: $32

 

Read the book on 9 May. Collected $5.

 

New total: $37

 

5th roll on 10 May: 6 

 

Get me to Tomorrow land 36 

 

Read a book with space in the cover. 

 

Picked How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. 32 pages. 

 

Read this book. Collected $1. Roll again. 

 

New Total: $38. 

 

6th roll 12: Landed Main street 10. Collect $20 at Start. 

 

Select Die Trying by Lee Child happened in small town USA. 557 pages. 

 

New Total: $58

 

15 May. Finished Die Trying. Collect $5.

 

New total:$63. 

 

7th roll: 6

Land at Cars Land 16 

 

Picked Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly, story happened in LA California. 400 pages. 

 

2 June: Finished the book. Add $3. 

 

New total: $66

 

8th roll: 4

 

Landed in New Orleans 19 

 

Pick a children book as I don't usually read horror. The Dark by Lemony Snicker. 40 pages. 

 

New total: $67

 

3 June 

9th roll :8

Landed Adventureland 27

Picked Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman 308 pages

 

 

13 June 

Read Trigger Warning and collect $3 

10th roll:11

Landed Monorail 29

Have difficulty picking a book. Do not want to read Girl on a Train. Interpret that a book with car on the cover also fit. Pick "Nemesis" by Jo Nesbo 706 pages 

 

 

New total: $70

 

22 June 

Read "Nemesis". Collect $5.

11th roll:10

Passed start: Collect $20. 

Landed Frontierland 2

Pick "Redbreast" by Jo Nesbo 636 pages. 

 

New total: $95

 

 

 ******************************************

Summary

************************************

 

Started with $20

 

1st roll 17 April -8
Landed at ?8
Read "The Devil's Stars" by Jo Nesbo 522 pages.
Finished on 24 April and collected $5.
New total $25

 

2nd roll 24 April - 7
Landed on Main street 14.
Read "Hector and the Search for Happiness" 192 pages.
Finished 30 April. Collected $2.
New total $27

 

3rd roll 30 April - 10
Landed at Water Work.
Read "The Leopard" by Jo Nesbo 740 pages.
Finshed on 4 May. Collected $5.
New total $32

 

4th roll 4 May -8
Landed at Paradise 30.
Read "NOS4R2" by Jo Hill 692 pages.
Finished 9 May. Collected $5.
New Total $37

 

5th roll 10 May -6
Landed at Tomorrow Land 36.
Read "How to Catch a Star" by Oliver Jeffers. 32 pages.
Read it and collected "$1".
New total $38

 

6th roll 11 May - 12
Landed Main street 10.

Collect $20 at Start. 
Read "Die Trying" by Lee Child 557 pages.
Read on 14 May. Collected $5.

New total $63

 

7th roll 15 May -6
Landed at Cars Land 16.
Read "Wrong Side of Goodbye" by Michael Connelly 400 pages.

New total $66

 

 

8th roll 2 June - 4

Landed at New Orleans 19 

Read "The Dark" by Lemony Snicker 40 pages. 

New total $67

 

9th roll 3 June - 8

Landed Adventureland 27

Read "Trigger Warning" by Neil Gaiman 308 pages

New total:$70

 

 

10th roll 13 June: 11

Landed Monorail 29

Read "Nemesis" by Jo Nesbo 706 pages 

New total: $90

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text 2017-06-16 13:30
Summer books you can't miss!

 

Summer is coming.

 

Now, after I've made that trying- to-be ASoIaF reference, it's time to talk about books! This time of the year is all about light. easy, enjoyable read no matter if you are somewhere on the beach with salt in your hair or lying in your aparment under the air conditioner.

I loved and utterly enjoyed every book listed below and highly recommend you read them!
 

1) Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Jenny Han

 

 

 

 Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

 

 

2) Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

 

 

 

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

 

 

3) 1000 Days of Spring - Tomislav Perko

 

 

 

 

A true story of a young successful stockbroker going broke, and lifting his thumb in search for his true self, by traveling the world.

After almost five years of traveling on five different continents, Tomislav laid down in a hammock in one village on the coast of Ecuador, and started writing a book. 

He was determined to put down everything he knows about traveling, and with that, answer the questions that many people ask him for years: 
- How is it possible to travel with almost no money? 
- Is his way of traveling safe enough? 
- What are the worst, and the best moments on the road? 
- How can you earn money while traveling? 
- Where to look for sponsors? 
- How did his parents and friends react? 
- Why is he traveling in the first place? 

Since it was impossible to give a simple and short answers to those questions, he started answering them in the only way possible - by telling his life story. 

Tomislav wrote about his student days, about the days when he had a well paid job as a stockbroker, about going bankrupt, about turning his life around, about first ventures on the road with a backpack on his back, and about finding a way that he will follow in the years to come - by traveling. 

Tomislav wrote about hitchhiking in numerous countries, sleeping in homes of strangers, camping on the side of the road, eating in supermarkets and drinking beer in parks, volunteering, many anecdotes that he encountered on the road, natural beauties that left him breathless, and about the beautiful people that he met on the way. 

Tomislav wrote about love.

 

 

4) The Storyteller - Andrea Tomić

 

 

 

 

Terrible things can happen when a storyteller falls in love.


There are thousands of stories of forbidden loves, many of them including a princess and a slave. When you live in a world of nine kingdoms and each has its own rulers and legends, the chances of not hearing a story like that are minimal.

Ever since her father, the king of the Third kingdom, passed away, princess Rachelle has been entertained by her servant Daniel. He would tell her his own stories or the ones she had already heard. None of this would be a problem if he hadn't fallen in love in with her over the years.
Now not only does he need to spend every day near his loved one knowing she could never love him back, but he has to hide every glimpse of his feelings. Because if he doesn't, he might get killed.
But when the princess starts feeling the same way, their fairy tale begins. 
However, unlike every other story he had ever told, this one might not have a happy ending. This time the Storyteller became a character and lost his possibility of creating happy endings. 

 

 

5) World Whisperer - Rachel Devenish Ford

 

 

 

Seven years ago, Isika’s mother walked out of the desert with three children in tow, leading the priest of the Worker village to marry her and take in her children. In all those years, fourteen-year-old Isika has never been able to fit in as a Worker or live up to her role as the priest's daughter, and worse, she has been helpless against the tragedies that have fallen on her family.

But now the four goddesses they serve want another sacrifice, and Isika's stepfather has chosen the next child to be sent out to sea: the little brother who Isika loves more than anything.

This time Isika will not be powerless.

Together, she and her two remaining siblings leave the walls of the Worker village to save their brother, traveling into unknown lands and magic they never could have imagined.

 

 

6) Confessions of a Queen B* - Crista McHugh

 

 

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

 

 

7) Chasing a Croatian Grl: A Survivor's Tale - Cody McClain Brown

 

 

 

This is the lighthearted story of American Cody McClain Brown’s adjustments to life in Croatia. After falling in love with an enigmatic, beautiful Croatian girl (whom he knows is from Croatia but assumes that means Russia), Cody eventually woos her and the two move to Split, Croatia. There, he encounters a world of deadly drafts, endless coffees, and the forceful will of his matriarchal mother-in-law. Chasing a Croatian Girl moves past the beautiful pictures of Croatia and humorously discovers the beauty of Croatia’s people and culture.

 

8) Slip - David Estes

 

 

 

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.

 

 

9) Luna Tree: The Baby Project - Maya Berger

 

 

 

Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn't let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.

 

 

10) Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

 

 

 

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?

 

 11) Once and for All - Sarah Dessen

 

 

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

 

12) Everwind - Barbara Mišković

 

 

Deep in the dark and dreary Scandinavian forest there lies an ancient fortress of Stormgard. It is an orphanage for talented children who posses the priceless gift of magic. Unfortunately, after the dreadful war that nearly devastated Stormgard it became difficult for the Archmage to find new teachers for his apprentices. A beautiful, fire-haired woman from Great Britain applies for the job of an enchantress but Torval is unsure if she's really cut out for the job. Little does he know that their new enchantress has a secret. A secret so great that it could change everything!

 

13) Republic of Stone - Tanja Radman

 

 

 

After decades of dictatorship of the tyrant Rector, a resistance awakens alongside the truth withheld from the young heroes, who suddenly face tasks beyond their understanding. Learning about their magical origin, as well as the powers they gained in a rather bloody way, five young sorcerers are preparing for another war - one which might change everything, or even worse, nothing at all.

'Republic of Stone' is a historical fantasy novel situated in the medieval times of the Republic of Ragusa (today Dubrovnik, Croatia). It is the first of the Lex Legis series, which was translated into English after the Croatian paperback version sold out in two editions. Combining real historical places, events and characters with elements of Slavic mythology and pure epic fantasy, this book will take you on a journey you will never forget. If you decide to be adventurous and visit Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you will be able to carry this book around real locations you can still visit today and relive the amazing magic battles from the story, bow before the evil Rector’s statue and defiantly whisper the forbidden sentence only the members of the Lunarian secret society know, learn about the hidden magical life of one of the most famous Croatian medieval scientists – Marin Ghetaldus, and walk the streets where the young heroes of this book learned about their destiny…

 

 

14) Bridesmaids - Jane Costello

 

 

 

Four weddings, three disgruntled ex-boyfriends in the congregation, two wayward 'chicken-fillet' boob enhancers, and one gorgeous man, it's tough being a bridesmaid.
 
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review 2017-06-14 16:08
Can't See the Wood for the Trees
The Domesday Quest: In search of the Roots of England - Michael Wood

Once I made up my mind to finish this book, I found it easier to read. That doesn't really make any sense, I know but I think I was just getting so hung up on the detail that I wasn't enjoying it. It's well written but kind of dry compared to today's standards of pop history. However, I did eventually get lost in the fascinating worlds of Dark Age and Early Medieval history even if I found Michael Wood's conclusions about pre-Domesday society hard to follow. There was a lot of conjecture which was all backed up by detailed scraps of transliterated original documents but this is where I got lost because most read like lists. I would read this again but for now it only gets 3 stars.

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