Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

★★☆☆☆

vampire academy

A 3 would be giving it far too much, I think… and I have to say looking at all the other reviews I feel like something is wrong with me. Everyone else raved about this book, not me.. I muddled through it.

The characters were flat, or just out right annoying. As in, I prefer Twilight personas over these, and Twilight was fairly horrendous.

Rose is a hard ass that just tries too much.

Lissa is a weakling.

Dimitri is flat and stern.

Christian probably is about the only one who has a bit of a personality that is likeable..

Most of the book I found boring, with Rose’s superficial thoughts. There was nothing deep about her, nothing moving or really all that relatable aside from her bond with her friend. The dialogue and the monologue were lacking for me. Quite honestly, I’m glad that this book ended in a good spot, because I wouldn’t want to feel like I HAD to pick up the sequel to have questions filled.

I would only purchase the sequel if it were on mega sale through an amazon deal or FREE. Would I recommend it? I’m not going to tell you NOT to read it, but don’t be so hyped about it, I was let down and I wouldn’t want you to be as well!

The boy in the striped pajamas by John Boyne

★★★★☆

boy in the striped pajamas

I don’t care what other reviewers may say about this book being a joke, or pointing out some flaws in this book. Every book has flaws, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

This is my review though.

Again, I’m behind times on reading a book. I saw this movie a while back and it has stayed with me. At a young age I found myself enthralled with this topic, I wanted to learn more about the survivors and those who had been forced to endure such horrors that would almost seem fictional. This is a topic that makes me physically hurt for the Jewish people for what they had faced then and what they are surely to face again.

Bruno is a rather naive 9 year old boy, but I believe this is the purpose. He is shielded from the life that his father lives, an upper officer in the army. The family is forced to leave their luxurious home in Berlin and are to live at a concentration camp where Bruno’s father is very much needed. Since he is sheltered, he doesn’t know much about where he is or why there are hundreds of people who live behind a fence. This has been ridiculed as him being a nonsensical, foolish nine year old who acts more like a six year old in previous reviewers, but I think it add a naive, innocent quality to him… that stays with him.

You see him develop friendships with the obviously Jewish people and he is perplexed with the treatment of them by his family as well as other officers. He sees them as people, treats them as no differently than himself, because they are people. He develops what comes across as a shallow friendship with Shmuel, this is because of Bruno’s brand of naivety. He doesn’t grasp much of what is going on and as things begin to click into place he still doesn’t seem to let it change his views.

The end of this book differs from the movie, but it isn’t any less heartbreaking.

‘You’re my best friend, Shmuel,’ he said. ‘My best friend for life.’

Confessions of an unlikely runner by Dana L. Ayers

★★★★★
Confessions of an unlikely runner

“We actually made it to mile seven without taking any walk breaks, because we were so busy trying to do math while pretending there was a chance we’d actually finish at all.”

I really loved this book and yes I’m going to review it even though it’s a short book, it’s only 110 pages via kindle. I was able to get it free and was thankful that my running buddies suggested it.

This is a must read for any runner or individual thinking about running. Personally, I just started running last October and I haven’t been able to train consistently due to having a young family. I can relate to MOST if not all of these circumstances and I think any runner at one point or another can as well. Since I just signed up for my FIRST half marathon [for those of you who don’t run, that’s a whopping 13.1 miles!] and have been just as consistently inconsistently training for it.

Everything in this is relatable as well as hilarious.This is a comedy/diary of a runner and if you have the time, I would recommend it. It’s a great doctors office read, or hair appointment. Heck, read it anywhere any time! Dana L. Ayers is accurate and hilarious.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

★★★☆☆

The Thief
I actually can’t remember how I came by this book, whether it was one I picked up at a library book sale or one I acquired from the recommendations on Goodreads and bought from BetterWorldBooks. I don’t remember! But it had been on my TBR list for quite some time.

I wanted something fairly light and quick to read, because the year is winding down and I’m doing fairly poorly on my reading challenge, [66/122!] So, I picked up this book.

We know that Gen is a thief who is imprisoned when we first meet him, that the King’s scholar, has an inkling as to where an ancient artifact might be, a real game changer for whoever possesses it. This is where we open ourselves and to be honest the first half and then some is fairly non action packed. It IS NOT fast paced, it crawls because it’s just chattering back and forth where they pick up camp, camp, pick up camp, camp… Squabble, pick up camp.

What held my interest was purely Gen and his smart mouth and humor which made me chuckle.

The history about the gods and mythology of the book was filler to me, lots of info dropping, [possibly setting up for deeper stories down the line,] and again… it just kind of began to tread water for me.

We don’t really pick up or become interesting until you’re nearly finished with the book and then it does become a page turner, you begin to want to know what happens when they reach their goal. Things begin to unfold and if you’ve read reviews you’re expecting a twist, but if you’re like me you were rolling your eyes kind of like “yeah, right… a twist would be not setting up camp and moving or squabbling…” but more than that happens.

Boom, the ending is rather surprising and leaves us at a good ending to begin the next book.

All in all, it was a fairly quick, decent read.. and it is worth a solid 3 and possibly a 3.5 simply for the ending. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy quicker, smaller fantasy reads.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

★☆☆☆☆
Deep Blue

Alright, I decided to sleep on this review, because at the time I was rather uppity about my disappointment in this book.

I don’t know why, it IS a Disney book.

I had been really excited about the idea of this book, the first installment of a series! Except only a few pages in I found it to be similar to a history lesson, but hey it was educational, right?

Serafina is our MC, she’s a sixteen year old merl Principessa [har har, girl/mermaid, get it? yes, the book is also littered with Mermish. Yes…Mermish.] Who is readying to be appointed heir and also studying her songspell.

Everything about her from the start is more than a trifle tedious and ridiculous. From the nature of her waking up to how she deals with stress. I get it, she’s sixteen years old but she acts more akin to a twelve year old.

A twelve year old might act more mature in these days.

I guess for the majority of the book.. it’s just childish. Imagine a disney tv movie, NOT a major motion picture, but a disney tv movie, that’s LIKE OMG..TOTALLY NOT AWESOME… this is how this book reads.

Onward to the other characters in the book, Neela, her merlfriend Princess. Oh yes, truly that word is in the book. Need I remind you that the slang in here is terrible? Terragoggs, JACKWRASSE? you can guess what that one means. There are several characters thrown at us and likely because there is little no development or actual story going on that Jennifer Donnelly felt the need to introduce MORE flat characters.

If you’re hoping Neela and her cousin, Mahdi, the crown prince of Matalin add any depth to our story here, wrong. It just gets a little more ridiculous with every passing moment. There is absolutely no depth to this story at all. There are events that take place that should add character growth or should make me go, ooh..ahhh… but they fall very short of it.

I felt like action was thrown in because nothing else was there, the way Serafina dealt with it was ridiculous too. Being tossed in a prison and then giggling like “OMG..WE TOTES ALMOST DIDNT MAKE IT..”

I really had high hopes for this and I’m really upset that I didn’t enjoy it at all. The ideas were there, the plot and the characters just weren’t.

If I were 10-12, this story would seem interesting, but as a 28 year old…No.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

★★★★☆

Inkheartinkheart

“”Every book should begin with attractive endpapers,” he had once told Meggie. “Preferably in a dark color: dark red or dark blue, depending on the binding. When you open the book it’s like going to the theater. First you see the curtain. Then it’s pulled aside and the show begins.””

Some reasons why I love Inkheart.

-it’s about book fiends such as myself
-it’s also about writers such as myself
-it’s about the characters we either read or create for people to read

I am late to the party, tragically late, but I have finally made it and enjoyed my time there. The book and movie shouldn’t be compared, both were wonderful in their own way but different and worth the watch and read.

What I preferred about the movie is that you get more depth from the movie than in the book. There are points to the book that irritate me but it’s a point..like the ignorance and arrogance of our villains, but that my friends is the very point the author is trying to make, still its just how I feel. I prefer a learned villain! Then of course the over protective father who aims to retain his daughters naivety and innocence by keeping her ignorant… That is tiresome but again it is a point in the story. Or at least that is what I’m gathering with how common it is.

Overall it can be a mite drawn out all over, but it is beautiful and written for strorytellers and story readers alike.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

★★★☆☆

The Maze Runner

So, first of all, I’m going to be as nice as possible given that if the roles were reversed, I’d definitely want someone being nice and not roasting me!

We start off the story utterly confused alongside the mainer character, Thomas. We don’t know where we are, where we came from or pretty much anything else because his memory has been wiped. Immediately, we are thrust into a world that is bizarre! The language and jargon used isn’t the most clever and can honestly be more annoying than funny.

We learn there is an order and to step outside this order is to spark the ire of the higher ups, which are just boys as well! Thomas is supposedly sixteen years old! Yet he questions things like he is a twelve year old – memory wipe aside – there are still things he would know and not feel the need to question. Which leads us into all of the questions that are not answered for the longest time if ever answered.

I remember reading something in regard to mystery, it said to keep your audience guessing, but give them enough to keep them interested. I honestly had to read into 130 pages to find myself interested at all, because questions began to be answered. Sure, more came at me, but they were finally answered in some fashion – I could have just shut the book at 30 pages into it, because I wasn’t satisfied with what I was reading. Cranky characters not willing to divulge information and a writer who was likely snickering at being so clever to withhold all this information – it was frustrating for me.

So, we fast forward to a girl arriving a day after Thomas – yeah, 130 ish pages or so into it and it’s only been 24 hours! Things begin to pick up from here, you begin to see some answers coming out of the weeds [literally.] The girl is Theresa! And we’re beginning to view Thomas as an enemy, things are changing immediately after his arrival.

There are a few things that happen in here that change the story a little and still don’t really answer your questions. Just more fingers are pointing at Thomas.

I’d like to step away from the story for a moment to point out some of the characters. They aren’t really set apart from one another.. They’re somewhat flat and this includes our Main Character/Hero, Thomas. Others just somewhat blend in together, although my personal favorite was Minho. He seemed to have more personality than the rest.

Back to the story! We’re beginning to see things unfold, if you stayed with the book, you’re probably almost 230ish pages into it as things actually begin to become interesting. You find out more and more with the page turning, as everything seems to begin to be rushed through.

Now you’re left with more questions which has hopefully [or maybe not…] driven you to read the second book in the series.

In closing, I’m going to say that personally I felt this book had great ideas, there was amazing visuals, but the nonsensical chatter that often occurred left a bad taste in my mouth.. and a lot seemed to be filler to lead up to what will just loop you into the second book.

Personally, if my sister hadn’t been cheerleadering me through the trilogy I would have dropped this book and wouldn’t have looked back with regret.
Altogether I will give it 2.5 stars…3 is generous.
Happy Reading!