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Bogormen
So many books, so little time.
Title: Half Bad (Half-Life #1)
Author: Sally Green
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 380
Date read: January, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?


I think, possibly, my expectations were too high. I liked it well enough, and found myself nicely entertained, but I never really got interested in Nathan's plight, and though Sally Green used too much of the book to define the universe and set the stage for the next book, and too little on the actual plot.

So though very little was actually resolved in this book, I'm in no rush to run out and pick up the next one. But I do understand the high ratings it has received - it was good... just not for me.

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Title: Breaking Free
Author: Beth Moore
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 289 pages
Date read: December, 2016

Do you want to know God and really believe Him? Do you want to find satisfaction in God, experience His peace, and enjoy His presence? Do you want to make the freedom Christ promised a reality in your daily life?

In Breaking Free, Beth Moore embarks on a study of selected passages from the book of Isaiah, drawing several parallels between the captive Israelites and today’s Christians, in order to show how to make freedom in Christ a daily reality. Moore teaches readers to remove obstacles that hinder freedom by identifying spiritual strongholds in their lives and overcoming them through the truth of God’s Word—truth that will set us free.


I've only ever heard good things about Beth Moore's books, so it was with high expectations that I approached this book. Unfortunately it couldn't live up to my expectations. I found her main points interesting and relevant, but unfortunately her examples and anecdotes were much too vague for me to be able to draw any sorts of parallels to my own life. Her reasoning was not to lock the reader into thinking those were the only situations relevant, but unfortunately it didn't work for me.

At the end of the day, I remember her main focus-point (escape satan's strongholds in your life, by seeing his lies for what they are, and focusing on Christ's truths instead) - which is the important thing, of course, though nothing I didn't already know - but nothing else... and I have no better understanding of how to apply that to my life than I did before reading this book.

So I guess I'd recommend the book to a new Christian - but "experienced" Christians (for want of better word) probably won't get much new out of it.

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Title:
Wish Upon a Star
Author: Trisha Ashley
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 468
Date read: December, 2016

Single mum Cally’s life is all about her little girl Stella. She’s resigned to the fact that the only romance she’s going to get is from the rom-coms she watches, and with her busy job and her daughter, she doesn’t have time to even think about love.

But life gets very tough when Stella gets sick. Balancing her job as a recipe writer and looking after Stella is all consuming, so when Cally meets handsome baker Jago the last thing she wants to do is fall in love, especially when she’s been badly burned by a Prince Charming from her past. Can laid-back, charming Jago unlock Cally’s frozen heart and help her find true love and magic under the mistletoe?


Not really sure why this is labelled a Christmas book? It's even less so than "The Magic of Christmas". But it's so sweet and adorable that I loved it all the same, and was actually disappointed when I turned the last page.

Trisha Ashley writes little-town communities so very well. True, her books do get a bit formulaic, but they're so charming that I don't really mind. I loved Cally, Stella and Jago, and would have liked to read more about them. And it was so refreshing to read about main characters with a spine for a change! Even if Aimee and Adam need need more than subtle clues to finally get the point!

Lovely book, and though total fluff, it still deserves a five star rating for pure enjoyment and a fairly realistic description of subconscious courting :-)

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Title: The Magic of Christmas
Author: Trisha Ashley
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 412
Date read: December, 2016

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show…

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!


Not really very Christmassy until the last few chapters, but very much a cozy comfort book, so I enjoyed it all the same. I liked reading about life in a small village, and even though I did feel the romance was tied up a bit too quickly, there'd been signs throughout the book, so I only really minded because I thought a certain guy was assuming too much, and didn't really care for that.

There were a few surprises along the way, but I'd guessed the final twist concerning Tom's death at a fairly early stage. Just glad it all got sorted out though.

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Title: The Book of Strange New Things
Author: Michel Faber
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 512
Date read: December, 2016

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.

Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.


I really can't figure this book out... it was fascinating and boring at the same time, and I'm not even sure how that works! Also, I have no idea what story the author was trying to tell! (But then I had much the same thoughts after reading "The Crimson Petal and the White", so perhaps that's just his writing-style). I was intrigued by Peter's experiences on Oasis and liked his time at C-2 much better than when he was back at base. I loved the natives and wish we'd seen more of their lives.

But at the same time, I felt there were SO many questions that weren't answered! Mostly about what was happening back on Earth while Peter was away. And worst of all, the book had no real resolution or conclusion... it just ended, as if Michel Faber had written himself into a corner and couldn't figure out where to go from there.

At the end of the day, I think I liked it. And I did appreciate that it didn't poke fun at Christianity or missionaries. But apart from that, it had too many problems for me to really be able to recommend it to anybody else... unless you happen to love vague books with ambiguous endings.

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Title: Breaking Free
Author: Beth Moore
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 289
Date read: December, 2016

Do you want to know God and really believe Him? Do you want to find satisfaction in God, experience His peace, and enjoy His presence? Do you want to make the freedom Christ promised a reality in your daily life?

In Breaking Free, Beth Moore embarks on a study of selected passages from the book of Isaiah, drawing several parallels between the captive Israelites and today's Christians, in order to show how to make freedom in Christ a daily reality. Moore teaches readers to remove obstacles that hinder freedom by identifying spiritual strongholds in their lives and overcoming them through the truth of God's Word - truth that will set us free.


I've only ever heard good things about Beth Moore's books, so it was with high expectations that I approached this book. Unfortunately it couldn't live up to my expectations. I found her main points interesting and relevant, but unfortunately her examples and anecdotes were much too vague for me to be able to draw any sorts of parallels to my own life. Her reasoning was not to lock the reader into thinking those were the only situations relevant, but unfortunately it didn't work for me.

At the end of the day, I remember her main focuspoint (escape satan's strongholds in your life, by seeing his lies for what they are, and focusing on Christ's truths instead) - which is the important thing, of course, though nothing I didn't already know - but nothing else... and I have no better understanding of how to apply that to my life than I did before reading this book.

So I guess I'd recommend the book to a new Christian - but "experienced" Christians (for want of better word) probably won't get much new out of it.

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Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320 pages
Date read: December, 2016


You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?


Absolutely thrilling book. I could NOT put it down and read it in just two sittings (would have been one if it hadn't been for work). Told by multiple narrators (and not all reliable ones) it had me guessing till the very end.

It would have been a solid 5 star book... but unfortunately I did NOT care for the last two pages. That was a twist I could happily have done without and which (I felt) was totally unnecessary for the book. So that knocked it down a star, but I'd still consider it one of the best thrillers I've read all year.

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Title: Kiss and Spell (Enchanted Inc #7)
Author: Shanna Swendson
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 284
Date read: December 2016

When a freak accident leaves Katie Chandler with magical powers, it seems like a wish come true for the former magical immune. But it also means she's vulnerable to magic, just when the dangerous Elf Lord is cooking up another scheme in his bid for power. Anyone who gets in his way disappears--including Katie and her wizard boyfriend, Owen Palmer.

Now Katie's under a spell that obscures her true identity, living a life right out of a romantic comedy movie in a Hollywood set version of New York. Will she be able to find her true Mr. Right in time to break the spell with a kiss and warn everyone, or will she be trapped forever, unaware of the doom facing her world?


So far the last book in the series (although book 8 is due out December 2016), and with a very nice ending indeed :) The book itself was rather slow-moving however, so I think it's probably just as well Shanna Swendson ended the series here. I just couldn't get as interested in the plot as I would have liked.

I did enjoy the chapters just after Kate woke up in 'not New York' though (and loved how that was handled - for a minute there, I wondered if I'd opened up a wrong book on my Kindle!), and reading about how she slowly caught on to the fact that something odd was happening. I also really liked Florence :-) We saw far too little of her once Kate and Owen started plotting again.

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Title: Delicious!
Author: Ruth Reichl
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 384
Date read: December, 2016

Trying to escape her unhappy past, Billie Breslin leaves her home in California for New York to take a job at the premier food magazine Delicious!. Everyone there cooks but Billie refuses to, despite her perfect palate; she prefers to write about recipes rather than revisit a past she would rather forget.

At Delicious!, Billie discovers a treasure: the magazine's hidden library. There she finds the letters of Lulu Swan, a young girl who wrote to the magazine in 1941. As Billie reads Lulu's vivid evocations of wartime life, she finds that she is able to make peace with her own grief... and sets on a journey to meet her in person...


I really, really wish I could have given this book five stars straight, but it just didn't quite make it. The book is divided up into 3 parts, and the first part was so decidedly my favourite, that I had to subtract half a star because the other 2 parts couldn't quite live up to it.

This is the third book I've read by Ruth Reichl, but her first novel, and it completely lived up to my expectations. It had all the interesting food tidbits I wanted (at least in the first part... this was where the two other parts slacked off) and a large cast of interesting characters. I loved Billie, Sammy and Sal (... his entire family, come to think of it), and while I wish "Mr. Complainer" had been fleshed out more, he did seem decent enough.... even if I did think he was extremely unreasonable in their fight!

I'd guessed the "twist" at a fairly early stage, but that's alright - it made sense.

So all in all very enjoyable book. I just wish the first part had been longer!

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Title: Dragon Kin: Sapphire & Lotus
Author: Audrey Faye & Shae Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 247
Date read: December, 2016

The ancient prophecy speaks of the five, those who will come to save all of dragonkind. Like most prophecies, it leaves out a lot of the important details...

The very ordinary elf girl who runs for the hills—and gets lost in a forest instead. The dragon egg, precariously perched high in a tree on a dark winter's night.

And what happens when egg meets girl.


Utterly delightful book! Far too short though, as I found myself thinking about it for ages after finishing it, and wishing there was more to the story. Fortunately it's the first book in a series, so I have the rest to look forward to.

I can't quite explain the charm... the plot is very quickly described - the elf, Sapphire, bonds with the dragon, Lotus, and has to teach it how to behave... and most specifically, how to fly! - but the book showcases Audrey Faye's skill with the pen (a skill, it would seem, that her daughter has inherited), and I grew to love all the characters and wanted to know more about them. I smiled my way through it, and immediately sent it off to others for them to read.

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Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 342
Date read: November 2016

"Are you happy with your life?" Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable--something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could've imagined - one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


I needed an accessible book for a long train ride, and this fit the bill perfectly. I could dive right into it, and not return to 'real life' until the train pulled into the destination station. That requires a special kind of book (which means this would have been perfect for the readathon as well). Unlike many others, I didn't mind Blake Crouch's writing style - in fact, I thought it worked really well to emphasize Jason's confusion and frustration. I got to love Jason, and became quite fond of Daniela, Charlie and Angelica as well.

"Dark Matter" has definite shades of the old Nicolas Cage movie, "Family Man" - a man gets the chance (albeit unwillingly) to see what his life would have been like, if certain choices had been made differently. It was rather heavy on the science in places (sort of like Scarlett Thomas' books), but I don't think it matters too much, if the reader doesn't get all the details.

The book was a lot darker than I had anticipated - especially as we came closer to the end, and it seemed like there was no one right decision. I did ultimately feel satisfied with the conclusion though - despite the fact that it was rather open.

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Title: Deception Point
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 585
Date read: November, 2016

Rachel Sexton works for the National Reconnaissance Office as an intelligence officer. She is also the daughter of a Senator currently running for President. Her father's main offensive, and a very popular one, against the incumbent President is to attack the huge amount of NASA funding. Rachel is barely on speaking terms with her father, believing him to be totally corrupt, but is still worried she is being used by the President when he asks her to verify an amazing find by NASA, a find which will settle the arguments about NASA funding for ever.

Reluctantly agreeing to view the find Rachel is whisked off to the North Pole. What she finds once she gets there takes her breath away. However, she quickly learns that nothing is what it seems, and, with two civilian scientists, is soon fleeing for her life. Stranded on an ice berg they are rescued in the nick of time by a nuclear submarine, but once back in the US their attempts to expose the plot show them that they can trust absolutely no one...


Better than I'd expected, but of course it helps that I know nothing about the technologies described. Dan Brown likes to claim he knows everything about the things he describes in his books, but my experience so far has been that he really doesn't... artistic license is all well and good, but now when you start the book off with an authors note saying that "Everything exists exactly as described in this book" - WHEN THAT'S JUST NOT TRUE!!!

*Cough* Sorry, I got side-tracked. Like I said, I know nothing about the techs described in this book, so the inaccuracies didn't bother me, as I could just ignore them. The funny thing about Dan Brown's books (at least the ones I've read so far), is that the plot itself is seldom anything special, but his writing is so action-packed that it pulls the reader through the pages anyway. And even though I recognized his antics for what they were here, I didn't really mind, and still wanted to know what happened next!

There were a few twists and turns in this book... some I'd guessed ahead of time, others I hadn't. It seemed rather far-fetched in places, but I'd gone into it knowing that I probably shouldn't fact-check too much, and as a whole, I rather enjoyed it. Not really a book that lends itself to rereading though.

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Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 351
Date read: November, 2016

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.

You'd like to get to know Grace better.

But it's difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn't work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.


This is one of those books that's almost impossible to rate. It was ridiculously well-written, and I could neither put it down, nor stop thinking about it when I finally did. I read it in two days flat.

At the same time, it was incredibly disturbing. Parts of it made me physically sick to my stomach, others I had to skim through, as I couldn't handle reading them. At one point I seriously considered just leaving it, as it made me feel so awful to read.

But I had to know what happened.

Fortunately it improved. Reading about a person being broken is never fun. Reading about a broken person learning how to fight back immensely more satisfying. I wouldn't go as far as to say I enjoyed it, and I certainly cannot recommend it in good faith, but I'm glad I stuck with it, and was happier with the ending than I'd expected to be.

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Title: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Author: Rachel Joyce
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 357
Date read: October, 2016

Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie--who is 600 miles away--because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.

So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories--flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband.


I'd expected to love this, so this low rating was both surprising and disappointing.

My opinion of this book changed hugely while reading it. It went from being slightly slow-moving, but very charming and British, to being really frustrating and kinda depressing... although it did have a hopeful ending, I guess.

I'd heard it compared to "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared", which is a misrepresentation if I ever saw one! The two are nothing alike! (I'd be more inclined to say it has shades of "Forest Gump" - but it's been so many years since I read that one, so I might be wrong). I got fonder of both Harold and Maureen as the book went along, but thought the 'twist' completely unnecessary (not the contents of the twist, but the fact that it was kept a secret to be revealed, rather than just being open about it from the beginning).

Apparently there is a companion novel, told from Queenie's POV. I don't think I'll be reading that one.

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Title: French Milk
Author: Lucy Knisley
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 194
Date read: October, 2016

Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde's grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk.


I love these graphic memoirs :-) This is basically just Lucy's journal entries from the 6 weeks she spent in Paris around her 22nd birthday, but it still worked for me. It's filled with anecdotes and fun facts about their rented apartment - in no way deep or intellectual, but an honest account of a sometimes-great-sometimes-not vacation. Other readers have mentioned that she complains too much, but I think to me that's part of its charm... well, not the complaining, but the honesty of it. It's her journal - it's not dressed up in any way (I don't even think it was meant for publication originally), it's just what she did and thought during this trip.

I enjoyed it, but if reading a somewhat superficial account (it does have loads of pictures of what they ate and shopped for while in Paris) isn't your cup of tea, you're probably better off picking up one of her other memoirs instead. "Relish" and "An Age of License" are my two favourites.

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Title: Wool (Wool #1)
Author: Hugh Howey
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 58
Date read: October, 2016

Thousands of them have lived underground. They've lived there so long, there are only legends about people living anywhere else. Such a life requires rules. Strict rules. There are things that must not be discussed. Like going outside. Never mention you might like going outside.

Or you'll get what you wish for.


I honestly don't know what I think of this book. I liked it well enough, but found it exceedingly weird! Even more so, because it's the first in a series. I think I'd have thought it less weird as a stand-alone short-story, but I really can't figure out where Hugh Howey will take it from here.

Guess there's only one way to find out ;)

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Title: Britt-Marie Was Here
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 377
Date read: October, 2016

For as long as anyone can remember, Britt-Marie has been an acquired taste. It's not that she's judgemental, or fussy, or difficult - she just expects things to be done in a certain way. A cutlery drawer should be arranged in the right order, for example (forks, knives, then spoons). We're not animals, are we?

But behind the passive-aggressive, socially awkward, absurdly pedantic busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realizes.

So when Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of 20 years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater that is Borg - of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it - and somehow tasked with running the local football team, she is a little unprepared. But she will learn that life may have more to offer her that she's ever realised, and love might be found in the most unexpected of places.


I'd read "A Man Called Ove" at the last readathon and thought it alright. Pretty good, but not the masterpiece other people made it out to be. However, I'd also heard that "Britt-Marie Was Here" was supposed to be better, so when a friend of mine offered to lend it to me for the October readathon, I jumped at the chance.

It was SO good! The very first page had me giggling, and I kept laughing out loud at regular intervals throughout the book. The last third turned slightly more serious, and the laughter turned into tears at times, but I still closed the book with a happy sigh. Funny and poignant, it was everything I'd hoped for, and I am now firmly convinced of Backman's talent as a writer.

I loved Britt-Marie (once I got over my frustration with her!), I loved 'Somebody', I loved Vega, Omar and Sami. I loved the ending.

Absolutely brilliant book all around.

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Title: Afterworlds
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 599
Date read: October, 2016

Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she's taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Woven into Darcy's personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love... until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.


"Afterworlds" is really two stories mixed together. Every odd chapter tells the story of Darcy Patel, her life in NYC and her experiences as a debutante author, and every even chapter is the book Darcy wrote.

I'm finding it extremely difficult to figure out what I think of this book and how to rate it. I enjoyed the chapters about Darcy - appreciating this look into the book publishing business and the life of an aspiring author, not to mention that I really liked Darcy, despite her tendency to turn into an emo teen. She's 18 - she's allowed to. Those chapters flew by and were a breeze to read. That part of the book probably deserved 4 stars.

However, the chapters about Lizzie were such a slog to get through! I LOVED the first one (and as that was the chapter I read as part of the sample, which made me buy the book, I feel kinda cheated), but once she went back to the flipside after that first time, I was done. That entire storyline just didn't work for me. I don't know if it's just that I'm really not into ghosts, or if I'd have disliked it regardless, but those chapters were a real chore to read. That part of the book would probably have been a dnf if it had stood on its own.

In the end the good outweighed the bad, and I finished the book - but it was a huge disappointment, and I'm disinclined to recommend it to anybody else.

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Title: Feedback (Newsflesh #4)
Author: Mira Grant
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 512
Date read: October, 2016

FEEDBACK is a full-length Newsflesh novel which overlaps the events of Feed and covers the Presidential campaign from the perspective of reporters covering the Democrats side of the story.

There are two sides to every story...

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the truth while competing against the superstar Masons, surrounded by the infected, and facing more insidious forces working in the shadows.

A companion novel to "Feed". Takes place at the same time, but focusing on another blogging team, following one of the democratic nominees.

Every bit as good as I've come to expect from Mira Grant's novels. Granted, it couldn't quite live up to "Feed", but then none of her subsequent novels could. The plot is pretty much the same as "Feed", just focusing on another team and another set of 'incidents', but it was interesting getting background on some of the characters who only briefly appear in "Feed". Besides, I love the universe and was happy to see more of it :)

I did think Mira Grant perhaps tried a bit too hard to be diverse in this novel. The blogging team included a lesbian, a bisexual person AND a gender-fluid person... who at the same time were white, Asian and black respectively. I'm all for diversity in novels, but this seemed more like checking off boxes.

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Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 352
Date read: September, 2016

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for - and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong...


Wow! That was quite a ride... and I had no idea what to expect when I first started it, which just made it even better.

"The Woman in Cabin 10" is the kind of suspense novel I enjoy the most - where the mystery is slowly unraveled, and seemingly inexplicable events turn out to have a very good reason indeed. No leaps of logic and - more importantly - no supernatural events, no dreams and no split-personality issues!

I liked the way the story unfolded, and loved that it took part on a cruise ship, as they have always fascinated me. Most of the book takes place inside Lo's head, so we don't get to know the other characters as much as I would have liked, but because of the way the story is written, it actually works, without becoming too 'navel gazing'.

Great book. I had a very hard time putting it down. People compare it to "The Girl on the Train", but personally I think it's heaps better :)

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