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!

Me and Mr. Darcy

★★★☆☆

Me & Mr. Darcy

If you’re looking to read an extension piece to Jane Austen stop, if you’re a rabid fan who wants to ream anyone looking to have fun with a retellings, stop. Why would you purposely try to annoy yourself? Put your copy down, get rid of your e-book. Just stop.

This is a romantic COMEDY. A retelling of an equally rabid fan of Jane Austen’s.

This about Emily, our MC, who has had horrible luck with dating and all she really wants is for Mr. Darcy to come walking off the pages and sweep her off her feet. Mr. Darcy is her ideal man and was her first love. Needless to say after her last bad date in New York she hops on a plane, flies over the pond and finds herself amidst a book tour – a Jane Austen tour where they visit many places that were in the movie/tv shows/book.

Amidst her journey she finds herself in [somewhat irritatingly,] similar situations as Elizabeth. You find there is a Wickham figure, a Kitty figure, Darcy, etc.

At first I wasn’t sure if it was just by chance, but no, it seems it intentional and with that in mind I kind of laughed and went with it. Of course there are some ridiculous things in here — it’s a comedy after all, a modern comedy with a P&P twist to it. I’m assuming most who will want to read this have watched Austenland, Lost in Austen, etc. You would enjoy it.

Does Potter capture Mr. Darcy well? No, I don’t think so, but what I think she does capture well is the very thought that surrounds Mr. Darcy, that all of us are quite guilty of. Spike, who is our MC’s romantic interest. He’s not some polished man, he’s a journalist and has rumpled shirts, messy hair and despite being a writer is NOT eloquent with his words.

He can’t dance,
He can’t woo,
He can’t even really hold a proper conversation.

Nelson “Spike” Hargreaves is real.

However there were things I want keen on, there are some events in the book that mirror the events in a modern time and yet our MC, Emily, seems none the wiser. Which to me didn’t make sense since 1. She’s on a Jane Austen tour, 2. She’s reading the book for the umpteenth time. Why wouldn’t she realize?

What I did like about it? Was that even though the MC was so stuck on her fantasy about Mr. Darcy, by the end of the book she realized that was exactly what he was – a fantasy. No one would ever be Mr. Darcy and he belonged right where he was, between the pages of a beloved novel written by Jane Austen.

“And so it seems I have the final advantage. Because although I might no every woman’s fantasy [Ok, I’m not any woman’s fantasy] and I’m certainly far from perfect, it’s ultimately the real guy who gets the girl.” – Spike Hargreaves, “MR. DARCY: THE DREAM DATE”

The real guy. Not a man from a book. Okay, well he actually IS from a book, but in the case of the book he’s real. 😉 In the end he truly does prove his point. In the end it’s quite similar to P&P, with a little differences.

Do I think Jane Austen would roll in her grave? Likely not. I think she would be flattered, possibly amused at this notion and though Mr. Darcy wasn’t truly Mr. Darcy – he suited the purpose that Potter needed.

If you want a chick-lit read, something comical, then I do recommend this. It’s not a heavy book – it’s just a lazy afternoon read.

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

★☆☆☆☆

Scarlet

Why. Why. Why!? What did the tale of Robin Hood ever do to you, or my eyes for that matter. Ugh, okay, I’ll be nicer. Now that my brain and eyes are no longer throbbing.

I couldn’t get past page 50, to be honest. I didn’t want to force what wasn’t there and let me tell you it took a lot to keep going past page 15, let alone getting to page 50.

Why? Well, let’s see.. the ideas here are great.

-Girl posing as a male
-Girl longs for a male, but she is dressed as a male
-Girl wants hunky male

Does any of this sound familiar? I think someone wrote something similar to this at one point.. I don’t know, I think his name might have been…William Shakespeare? Yeah, just a small name…right?

I don’t mind retellings, I don’t mind incorporating Shakespearean stories into plots either. The man wrote everything – so why not?

This.. however… I could not for the life of me get into. Perhaps because it is written in a very illiterate tone and while they may be the point to it as it is written in first person, I *cant* make my brain accept it. Everyone else in the story talks normally except for our Scarlet.

Scarlet blushes, constantly. She’s a ‘hard ass,’ but to me it’s just like she’s constantly trying too hard to be masculine… and she just comes off as a hot headed you know what.

From there – I can’t tell you what happens or even summarize as I didn’t get far into this at all. I am a Robin Hood enthusiast and was really excited for this… now I’m trying to cleanse my mind and apply aloe to my eyes.

The real mother goose by Selena Kitt

★☆☆☆☆

The real mother goose

Yeah, okay. I really do read everything and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ve read Anne Rice’s novels and I can deal with it… but this offered no story, it was really poorly executed in my opinion.

I don’t have much to say about this because I didn’t get very far in it before I stashed it in a DNF [did not finish] pile.

This was beyond smut and not something I enjoyed.