Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

★★★★☆

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“”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.

Dead until dark by Charlaine Harris

★★★☆☆
Dead until dark

“I want to call you all those gooshy words you use when you love someone, no matter how stupid it sounds.”

So eloquently written…NOT! If that is what you’re looking for here, a book that is poetically dark then stop there and consider reading Carmilla by Le Fanu instead. This is kind of the bottom of the barrel as far as supernatural romance goes, so please if you’re looking for quality storytelling or insight to the dark world of vampires as well as other ‘underworld’ characters, look somewhere else!

I decided to read this way late in the game, I had been an avid True Blood fan and when the show ended I decided that I would begin reading the books. Now, we’re talking just recently – as of July 2015. I’ve been able to suck down these books and I don’t want to review them individually, but I’ll give a vague review that can be [i’m sure] applied to all of them.

Sookie Stackhouse calls her ability a disability, which kind of got me uppity from the beginning and the fact she goes around calling it this peeves me off continuously. However, this aside, from the get go Sookie comes off as being a bimbo and though she tries to say she’s a learned woman, that she isn’t stupid – she is. Very stupid in fact. In the show Sookie enraged me because of her stupidity, but the show Sookie might be smarter and far more independent than what novel Sookie is.

S: He better think twice about orderin’ me around! I’m my own woman and he better remember that!

B: Take off your clothes. Wear this outfit.

S: Okay, B! You just like my ass in these jeans!

B: I like you in nothing, but these jeans…I like them.

S: You got it boo! Oh, no…don’t start.. I’m not in the mood, B. I’m really tired.

B: I want to. So we’re going to.

S: Oh…alright…we can.

This sort of thing drives me crazy. She is not her own woman, she listens to what Bill says all the time. If he wants her dressing a certain way she does.. if he wants sex she drops it like its hot. She never stands to her word and its a weakness that just irritates me when she goes around waving her “I’m a woman hear me roar” flag – when she’s mewling like a weaned kitten!

So, then Sookie is shown this world of supernaturals, she gets drawn into their drama and is eventually used. She allows them too as well.

All in all, I really don’t care for this book OR the book series, but it has me drawn in because I do want to see how it differs from the show. My morbid curiosity and my love for Eric, which yes… he’s in the books and Eric is Eric. He’s the saving grace, I suppose.

Bill is even MORE flat – if you didn’t think that is possible, think again.

I wish I had great things to say about this series, but I don’t. Yet, I’ll continue to read until the end so I can say “I did it, I suffered, I conquered…. I DID IT!”

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

★★★☆☆

Immortal Beloved

I really had difficult getting into this book, it starts out with Nastya, our lead female who is a party goer and is inexplicably what is described as an “immortal,” what we come to later find out that these immortals are essentially witches. She is 400, nearly 500 years old and has lost her humanity, she happens to blot it out with partying. Nastya makes bad choices and hangs out with an awful crowd of people who make worse decisions. When an inevitable horrible thing happens by the hands of one of her friends, it wakes her up.

So, we hit a flashback which takes place about 80 or so years ago. There is a woman named River that she meets at another tragic event, do we see a pattern here? This woman tells her to find her in Massachusetts at X location when she grows weary of her current life. Bounce back to the future, Nastya is tired of her life, she’s terrified and on the run from her so called friends, [who are also immortals.]

The story begins to really pick up when she is thrust into what is essentially a rehab for immortals, the idea really struck me as interesting. Immortals live so long that they lose their humanity and ability to really care for what surrounds them, this rehab which is headed by River as well as her partner, is to rehab these immortals to bring normalcy into their life, to ensure that every moment and every breath in their life truly counts. Mundane tasks are preformed by way of gardening, harvesting, taking care of horses and sweeping. These are all tedious things but it gives an individual time to think, reflect and feel.

Enter Reyn, a hunky stuffed shirt that she finds herself drooling over and also being brought back to flashbacks of a horrible past. She finds herself pulled to him and repelled at the same time. It’s a mutual feeling and as the story unfolds you begin to see why.

I wouldn’t gush over the book because at times it was slow and I felt some pieces were unimportant but it was a good “moral” as to letting the past be the past and it’s never too late to change. I would recommend this read, but be forewarned that there are flaws by way of lack of story development, depth of character and a few minor details.