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review 2017-06-18 00:34
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
The Love That Split the World - Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Emily Bronte, Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Richard Henry Dana Charles Dickens

Genre: Science Fiction Romance


Year Published: 2016


Number of Pages: 390 pages


Date Read: 4/23/2017   



Publisher:  Razor Bill

 

 

Love


“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”


I must admit that I rarely read romance novels that deal with time traveling since time traveling stories tend to confuse me due to trying to figure out what events are going on in the present versus what events are going on in the future and sometimes, the line between past, present and future can be blurred in certain stories. One such novel that I had read called “The Love That Split the World” by Emily Henry actually dealt with time travel and I have to tell you that it was one doozy of a read!

Natalie Cleary was your average high school student who is friends with her ex-boyfriend Matt Kincaid and Megan and lives in a happily adopted family with her siblings Jack and Coco and life was going well for Natalie. One night however, Natalie meets up with a mysterious boy named Beau at her high school football game and the two instantly fell in love with each other. But then, Natalie starts noticing some weird things going on around her small town in Kentucky, such as a preschool suddenly appearing where the garden store should have been and when the people in town suddenly disappear before her very eyes. It was then that a mysterious old woman called “Grandmother” came to Natalie’s dreams and gave her a warning that she has three months to save someone she really cares about. So, Natalie spends the majority of the book trying to find out who she is going to save while spending some time with Beau and trying to figure out these weird events happening around her town.

I have to admit that for a time traveling story, Emily Henry has definitely done a great job at putting a unique spin to the usual time traveling story as its core focus is the romance between Natalie and Beau and how they try to stay together throughout the different time rifts that goes on throughout their worlds. I also enjoyed the relationships between the characters, especially between Megan and Natalie and Natalie and Beau. I loved the fact that Natalie usually confides in Megan about her various visions that she has and how Megan is so understanding about Natalie’s “odd” dreams and visions as it is nice to have another character who knows about the main character’s secret abilities without having the reader go through the entire book wondering if the main character will ever reveal their secrets to anyone else. I also enjoyed the relationship between Natalie and Beau, although I found it a bit too contrived at times that Natalie suddenly thinks that Beau is her true love upon their first meeting. I loved the fact that Natalie and Beau truly love each other and I really like their cute little bantering with each other, despite the turbulent situation that they are stuck in.

The reason why I gave this book a three-and-a-half-star rating is because while the story had a strong start at the beginning, the story got a bit confusing once the time travel elements got introduced and I started to lose a bit of interest in the story due to being constantly confused about what is really going on with Natalie and Beau’s time traveling shenanigans. I also got a bit annoyed with Natalie throughout certain parts of the story as it seems like all she does is whine and complain about how bad her life is and how she is indecisive about her feelings about Matt when it is obvious that she would rather be with Beau in pursuing her relationship. Also, there were times where the pacing was a bit slow, especially during the scenes where the time traveling aspects were being explained in full detail and I was hoping for these scenes to be shorten so that we could get to the action sequences much faster.

Overall, “The Love that Split the World” may had had a strong start, but the story came apart once the time traveling aspect was introduced and it might be difficult for some fans of time traveling stories to get into. However, it is an interesting read for anyone who is a fan of time traveling romances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-03 17:22
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers

Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2013
Number of Pages: 387 pages
Date Read: 3/19/2017
Series: His Fair Assassin #2  
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin

 

Dark

“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.”

I must admit that it has been awhile since I had last read Robin LaFevers’ hit novel “Grave Mercy.” However, years later I finally read the sequel of this fantastic series called “Dark Triumph” and I must say that it was even more exciting and personal than “Grave Mercy” was!

When Sybella first arrived at the convent of Mortain, she was mad with grief as she used to live with her monstrous dictator of a father d’Albret and her brothers Julian and Pierre and her life there was full of misery and turmoil. Just as Sybella was enjoying her life at the convent, her life takes a drastic turn as the abbess of the convent forces Sybella to go back to d’Albret’s kingdom in order to find a means to weaken the dictator during Brittany’s war with France. When Sybella founds out about this mission, she becomes truly heartbroken and she starts doubting the existence of Mortain as she wonders to herself about why would Mortain force her to go back to a life of pure misery with d’Albret? It was not until later on when Sybella meets up with one of d’Albret’s prisoners, a huge and ugly man called Beast who is a loyal servant to the duchess of Brittany and a pawn that d’Albret wishes to use against the duchess. When Sybella meets up with the prisoner, she decides to free him in order to prevent d’Albret from using him against the duchess and the two make their way towards the kingdom of Brittany to turn the tides in the war against France and d’Albret himself. But, Sybella will soon realize that she may have feelings for Beast and that might turn the life that she has known all her life upside down.

Wow! Even though I had enjoyed reading Robin LaFevers’ “Grave Mercy” novel, I never would have thought that I would enjoy the sequel “Dark Triumph” even more than “Grave Mercy!” I loved the way that Robin LaFevers made this sequel much darker and more personal than the first book as readers are introduced to Sybella’s side of the story and how her life was full of turmoil and betrayal that made her doubt her existence in the world and how Mortain would allow her life to become so turbulent. I really enjoyed seeing the character development that Sybella goes through in this book as she had an extremely miserable life with her treacherous family and I actually felt bad for her during the moments where she starts doubting her existence in the world due to certain circumstances not going her way. I also enjoyed seeing the relationships that Sybella had developed over the course of the story, especially her relationship with Ismae, as they shared a sisterly bond that kept them close to each other and I like the way that Ismae tries to comfort Sybella during her times of stress. But the character I was the most interested in was Beast himself as he has many similarities to Sybella (both love to fight off the bad guys and both had lost people that they cared about) and yet, he still retains a happy and go lucky attitude during the whole ordeal with d’Abret and the French. But, I cannot leave out one of my most favorite aspects of Beast’s character and that is (seriously) his BODY TYPE! I like the fact that we have a hero who is described as not being handsome looking, but still has an extremely muscular body that is able to take down any forces that come up against him and it is this description of Beast that makes me really fall for him!

Dark

For those of you who do not like suggestive themes and strong violence, there are some surprisingly violent moments in this book which includes many characters getting their throats slit by the assassins that might be uncomfortable for some readers.

***SPOILER WARNING!!!***

Also, the fact that Sybella’s family, her brother Julian and d’Abret included, seem to want to get into a sexual relationship with her, despite the fact that they are “related” to each other and that might be a bit upsetting for some readers to handle, especially since it shows that Sybella clearly does not want to engage in such relationships with her brother Julian and d’Albret and they were basically forcing themselves upon her.

***SPOILER ENDED!!!***


Overall, “Dark Triumph” is a truly fantastic sequel to “Grave Mercy” that fans of historical romance and books that deal with assassins will definitely enjoy for many years! I am definitely looking forward to the third book in the series “Mortal Heart!”

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-04-15 02:18
Where Practicality is Overrated, Hopeless Romantic Rejoice!
The Sun Is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

I can be a hopeless romantic in the things I never thought I would believe in. At times, life can take me to some places I never expect to be, meet incredible and wonderful people through time and in the end, when I believe practicality is reality, it became overrated.

 

The Sun is Also a Star is by far truthful to that. I know, not everyone do experience that in their lives but I do believe in our choices, the universe plays a role. That one small decision can lead to big things. That significant sign will lead to an inevitable life-changing moment. And when we fall in love, it is instant without reason that only comes later. This book has it all. Reality and the inconceivable. Hope and lost. Science and dreams. I experience through all that... and this book writes it like its true.

 

Unlike Everything, Everything, this book is written in two main perspectives of two main characters and it all happened in a single day. I like how Nicola Yoon inserts other people's lives that gets affected by the main characters and a few small notable facts that she included makes it a grand read. Simple and yet beautiful, the flow of this story is more believable to me than Everything, Everything, which I had a harder time to accept. The romance is just what I felt a better execution and towards the end, it is what it is - that even hope may come true. The beauty of it is how one moment can connect the people we meet. I do believe this is true because it had happened to me before. And the debate of if we do believe that the universe plays an important role in our lives, for me I do feel its more truer because I always make small choices that changes every thing and if I do not make any choices at all, we will always be where we will be.

 

To read The Sun is Also a Star is to have an open heart and mind. Skeptics might get turn off by this book but I do feel this needs to be given a chance. Its a 4 & 1/2 out of 5 star rating for me. That missing 1/2 star would be added if not that I felt the exchange of dialogue between the two main characters weren't strong enough. I do recommend that this is a must read in one single sitting (I took too long and should have read it in a day or two but due to work, it takes longer than that).

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-04-08 15:33
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enemies Old, Enemies New Volume 2 by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 2: Enemies Old, Enemies New - Kevin Eastman,Tom Waltz,Mateus Santolouco

Genre:  Action / Ninjas / Animals / Superheroes / Retelling


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2/11/2017

Publisher: IDW Publishing


Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  #2

 

Ninja

I would like to thank NetGalley and IDW Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars


Introduction:

Now, I have to tell everyone this: I am a huge fan of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” I may not have the toys or the video games to prove that, but I sure as heck got a lot of movies and DVDs to prove that theory! So, after I read part of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original 1980s run of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (the comic book series that jumpstarted the entire franchise), I was looking forward to checking out more “Ninja Turtles” comics and lo and behold, NetGalley happened to have a volume of the legendary IDW series of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” available for free called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enemies Old, Enemies New Volume 2!”

What is this story about?

In this reboot of the famous franchise “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the story starts off with Master Splinter explaining to the audience about how he remembers a previous life in Feudal Japan where he was known as an honorable ninja named Hamato Yoshi, who was a member of the Foot Clan. But one day, when Hamato Yoshi’s former ally Oroku Saki wanted to kill a group of innocent people to show everyone that the Foot Clan was powerful, Yoshi disagreed with him and left the clan. Yoshi’s depature caused Oroku Saki to go to Yoshi’s house and murder his entire family and also Yoshi himself and at this moment, the audience wonders what became of this life that Master Splinter was reminiscing about. Meanwhile, during the present time, April and Casey Jones had finally met each other due to April needing someone to teach her self-defense, which Casey was obliged to do and Casey needing a tutor to help bring his grades up in school, which April could do. Later on, Baxter Stockman is up to no good as he creates a set of machines called “Mousers” in order to take down the Ninja Turtles and to grab Master Splinter so that way he could use Splinter’s blood to make super powered mutants for General Krang’s army!

What I loved about this story:

Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz’s writing: I will admit that I was a bit interested in seeing how a reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” would look like since we were going to get a reboot of this long running franchise eventually. So after reading this graphic novel, I was actually quite impressed with how they rebooted the origin story of the Ninja Turtles while remaining faithful to the original series. I loved the fact that Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz retold Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki’s backstory to the audience since I have always felt that it was important to explain about Master Splinter’s backstory to the newer audience so that way, they could understand the world of the Ninja Turtles much better if they know about Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki’s backstories. Even though I wished that more was explored with in this department, I enjoyed how the characters interacted with each other, especially the turtles with Master Splinter and April and Casey with each other! I like the fact that the turtles refer to Master Splinter as their father as it made their relationship much more heartwarming to watch and actually gives a closer emphasis on how the turtles see Master Splinter as more than their sensei. I also enjoyed the growing interaction with April and Casey as I enjoyed seeing them share their personal lives with each other and I was also interested in how April was able to witness the turtles and Master Splinter’s transformation into the mutated heroes they are known as now and I am really interested to see where April and Casey will go after this volume!

Dan Duncan and Mateus Santolouco’s artwork: Even though the artwork is a bit too scratchy, I do enjoy the dark and gritty feel of the artwork as it shows that this retelling of the Ninja Turtles is dark and edgy like the original Mirage Comics and I also enjoyed the action sequences as they are shown in great detail.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this book a three and a half star rating was because while the story was interesting, I felt that the story tended to jump around a bit too much due to having so many events happening in one volume (the turtles learning about their origins, April and Casey meeting each other, Baxter Stockman building his mousers, Krang trying to create an army) and the story felt a bit cluttered as a result. Also, I felt that while the artwork showed the action sequences in great detail, it was a bit too scratchy for my tastes and it was hard to see exactly what the characters were doing with the artwork being halfway blurred out and not being able to fully see the characters’ actions.

[****SPOILER ALERT****

This is a bit of a small nitpick, but I find the fact that in this version, the turtles and Master Splinter were actually Hamato Yoshi and his sons reincarnated to be a bit too far-fetched for my tastes. Maybe as a long-time fan of this series, I was so used to the turtles just being mutated by ooze and the fact that they are reincarnated in this version just seems a bit odd to me. Maybe once I read future volumes of this rebooted series, I might start to get used to the idea of the turtles and Splinter being reincarnations of their former selves.

****SPOILER ENDED**** (hide spoiler)]


Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enemies Old, Enemies New Volume 2” was an interesting read and a pretty decent retelling of the Ninja Turtles stories, the cluttered storytelling and scratchy artwork made this volume a bit difficult to read through at times and I hope it improves in the next volume.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-03-14 00:23
Garfield Brings Home the Bacon by Jim Davis
Garfield Brings Home the Bacon: His 53rd Book - Jim Davis

Genre:  Humor / Animals / Relationships



Year Published:  2012



Year Read: 1/14/2017



Series:  Garfield #53

 

 

 

Publisher: Ballantine Books 

 

 

 

Garfield

Introduction:

Since I have been reading “Garfield” comics like almost every year since I started this comic book series years ago, I have decided to make it a tradition for myself to read a “Garfield” comic every year and this year, I picked up another “Garfield” comic called “Garfield Brings Home the Bacon” and it is just as hilarious and witty as the previous “Garfield” comic books I had read!

What is this story about?

In this collection, Garfield continues to have fun adventures with his dorky owner Jon Arbuckle, his dim witted sidekick Odie and the sane Liz as his adventures go from having dreams about food falling from the sky to smacking spiders left and right!

What I loved about this story:

Jim Davis’ writing: Jim Davis’ writing continues to be witty and hilarious to read through as I thoroughly enjoyed Garfield’s snarky comments about Jon’s dorky ways and Odie’s simple mindedness and I also loved the fact that Garfield and Liz seem to bond with each other due to both of them being snarky towards Jon’s odd lifestyle, although Liz is a bit more understanding of the two due to dating Jon. I also enjoyed seeing Arlene, Garfield’s love interest, in this collection since it is rare that we see storylines that revolve around Arlene and I hope that the future “Garfield” comic book collections feature more of Arlene just so we can see another cat who can match wits with Garfield!

Jim Davis’ artwork: Jim Davis’ artwork is as usual hilarious and creative to look at as all the characters are drawn in an exaggerated manner. But the two characters that really stood out in this volume were Liz and Arlene themselves as they are drawn with huge lips and eyelashes that set them apart from the rest of the goofy cast!

Garfield

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Garfield Brings Home the Bacon” is another fantastic collection of “Garfield” comics that anyone who is a huge fan of “Garfield” will enjoy greatly!


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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