Review 4 ‘Passenger’ Alexandra Bracken

Hi guys,

Review time – Passenger, Alexandra Bracken

 

Spoiler alert!

 

So, I’m going to start with the briefest ‘Passenger’ sum up. Over the past few days I’ve tried so many times to write this without giving too much of the plot away for those who haven’t yet read this book. Finally, I came up with something.

Etta is a young violinist whose life is transformed when she learns of her ancestry. After a dramatic occurrence interrupted one of the biggest opportunities of her musical career Etta is thrust into a strange new world. Suddenly finding herself in the 1700s surrounded by a group of pirates was something she would have previously deemed impossible.

Nicolas is a young man who lives and breathes the sea. All he wants to do is to sail around the world and become captain of his very own ship. He spent much of his childhood battling racial discrimination before he escaped servitude and found himself at sea. It is there where Etta is forced into his life and he swiftly feels an unnatural need to protect her.

The Ironwood’s are the most prestigious and notorious time travellers. They rule over all others who have matching abilities. The head of the family Cyrus is searching for a valuable piece of treasure that he believes will bring him more power. This was once stolen and he is convinced that is the only person who can find it for him is Etta.

Together Etta and Nicolas embark on a journey through numerous centuries in search of the valuable treasure. Etta is determined to stop the Ironwood’s from gaining more power and causing catastrophic consequences while Nicolas has intentions of his own.

‘Passenger’ is one of my favourite reads this year! I was so excited when I heard about this book and I couldn’t wait to read it. There is nothing better than something that combines my two passions, reading and history. The Outlander series is one of my all-time favourites and I could not wait to tuck into another time travel series, especially one that written for YA readers.

Now for me the story started off quite slow but once it got going I was hooked. This seems to be the case for many people who have already completed the book. Sadly, there were other instances throughout the novel where the story started to drag a little. I did notice on several occasions that my mind was wandering. There I was creating birthday present lists.  However, when you take into consideration the amount of information that needs to be included within this first instalment I can completely understandable. I am hoping now that this information has been provided the second instalment will bombarded me with more romance, action and drama.

Everyone knows I love a dual narration within a book, as long as it is done well I don’t have a problem. Bracken alternated between Etta and Nicolas perfectly. The third person narrative used within the book was a welcome surprise. I’m so used to first person narrative when I read dual narration books that I really enjoyed the change. Both sides of the story were compelling and overall it was great to experience both perspectives during their journey.

So, I absolutely adore how all the female characters throughout this book are strong and independent individuals, especially Etta and Sophia (a young relation of Cyrus). Now I know that Sophia isn’t the most loveable character but you have to give it to her she demonstrates all the attributes previously stated, you can’t deny it. The use of strong females throughout this book makes the story even more compelling.

The ending! My God the ending! It left me reeling. I mean what a cliffhanger. I’m torn between being pissed that it ended that way or being grateful that it has kept me hooked . I have to say I’m glad I don’t have too long for the second instalment.

 

Memorable Quote(s):

‘It’s our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises’

And soppy me wanted me to add:

‘It matters not who you love, but only the quality of such a love. A flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts an hour, and not days.’

 

Rating:

I rate this book 4.5 stars.

 

Lucy xx

 

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Review 3 – ‘Illuminae’ Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Hi guys,

Review time – Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and  Jay Kristoff

 

Spoiler alert!

 

It’s 2575 and a war between two rivals has taken an intense turn and dramatically changed the lives of many. One particular person it has affected is Kady. Kady is an average student, she has big dreams and has experienced her first heart break after recently breaking up her with boyfriend Ezra.  When Kady finds herself in the centre of the war we follow her and Ezra’s journey as they overcome their differences to evade contracting a deadly plague and courageously fight for survival.

Warning number one: This will be a short review.
Warning number two: Many of you may not agree with my opinions.

When I started this book I knew it was going to be like marmite. Either I was going to fall in love with every aspect of it or I was going to absolutely hate it. Now, when it comes to marmite I love the stuff, nothing beats a slice of toast with marmite on for breakfast. Sadly, when it gets to Illuminae I’m not of a fan.

When I first received the book I thought there was so much potential. The synopsis sounded appealing and the unique format of the story instantly made the anticipation of reading this book even more exciting. I just couldn’t wait to get tucked into it.

The story is told through an assortment of diary entries, repots, interviews and instant messages. Before I began I felt like I was in for a real treat. It was something new for me to experience and I couldn’t wait to get enthralled into a new world. Unfortunately the copious amounts of writing formats used to create this story made it too difficult for me to connect to both the story and the characters.

Moreover, I have always loved a story with duel narration. A story is always enthralling when you can see the story unfold from more than one perceptive. However, there were definitely too many narratives to follow. I got ridiculously irritated and bored with all of the changing and chopping of different percpectives. This also made it extremely difficult to connect to the story.

There were several instances where I found myself skipping over certain chapters (if you can call them that) to hurry the reading along. This then resulted in me having no idea what was happening and losing my way through the story. I found myself wanting to give in and start a new book on a number of occasions.

Several people had suggested listening to the audio book instead of reading this book before I started reading it. Now I might be a strange individual but I have always been sceptical about listening to an audio book. I love reading for myself too much. Towards the end of the book I found myself wishing I had taken notice of everyone’s suggestions. With this particular book I can definitley see it being a completely different experience.

At this moment in time I can’t see myself reading the second instalment in the series. I do have it on my bookshelf in case I change my mind in the upcoming months. If that does happen maybe l can  finally experience my first audio book.

Memorable quote: No quote! I tried, I really did. I just couldn’t find one that stuck out to me.

I give this book 2 stars.
I have to award it something for the unique format it’s very clever and fun but overall it’s just not for me.

 

Lucy xx

Review 2 – ‘Red Queen’ Victoria Aveyard

Hi guys,

 

Review time – Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard.

 

Spoiler Alert

 

Red Queen takes you on a journey in a new world where the colour of your blood determines your position within society. You have the silver bloods who are the elite. They are the upper class who rule the world and have wealth and super powers. (Some can control elements such as water and the earth, others can read minds. Overall there are some pretty impressive skills amongst the God like individuals). The red bloods are normal people like you and I. However, they live in poverty and have very little opportunity to achieve anything. They are controlled by the silver bloods and are forced live in run down slums and are treated as slaves. The tale follows the life of a red blooded pick pocket called Mare. She’s spent all of her life knowing she’s going to be conscripted and sent to fight on the front line of war when she turns eighteen. One day Mare goes against all odds and demonstrates super human abilities that she shouldn’t have. As this is witnessed by the silver elite and she is imprisoned in a new world where she is expected to marry and follow an elaborate scheme where her true identity cannot be revealed. With an upcoming rebellion putting the silver elites control in jeopardy we witness a ruthless and dangerous fight for change.

I really liked this book! It reminded me of The Hunger Games and The Divergent series’. I saw many mixed reviews before reading this book and so many people were stating how they didn’t like it because it was too similar to other stories. However, I enjoyed it. I wasn’t put off by the comments and quiet liked the familiarity.

I can’t lie and say I got into the book straight away, it started off slow and took a couple of chapters to get into it. But my gosh when I did I couldn’t put it down.

I’m going to have to jump on the bandwagon and mention the betrayal in this book. It was these moments that made it for me. I loved the twist! The emotions that I felt when particular things occurred made me do a Joey. (YES! It’s a Friends reference. Remember when Joey got upset when he read Little Women he put the book in the freezer? Well I have those moments too. I don’t really have enough room in the freezer for a book but my bedside table draw is a great alternative. If a book pisses me off, upsets me, scares me, even makes me angry away it will go). It’s been a long time since a character has made me so angry I had to hide the book. I just couldn’t get over the betrayal straight away. There is nothing better when you read a book and something unexpected and shocking happens. I take my hat off to Victoria Aveyard for including this twist, it was a great move and I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I’m too trusting as well?

Mare her self irritated me slightly at particular points of the book. Yes, she had the wit and the sharp tongue but I don’t think she is a fearless as I would have liked her to be. I have yet to read the second book and I’m sincerely hoping that some changes have been made to her character and she’s more ‘badass’.

The love story in this novel makes for an interesting conversation. Many people in the reviews I saw were classing it as a love triangle but I don’t think you can call it that. It is evident that there is only one person Mare has feelings for and it’s not her husband to be. I don’t believe she ever liked him in that way. Yes, she became close to him and there is a very trusting relationship between the two of them but it’s definitely not love.

I really did enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the second instalment of the series.

Memorable Quote: ‘The truth doesn’t matter. It only matters what the people believe.’  (Quite a relevant quote in todays society I think. It just stuck with me).

I give this book 4 stars.

 

 

 

Lucy xx

December TBR

Hi Guys!

So it’s officially December and 2016 is coming to an end.

This year has been huge for me. I have officially gained my third degree, qualified as an English teacher and I think I’ve gone through a pre midlife crisis. I’m hoping it is normal for all 24 year olds to question their choice in career.

As there is still a little while to go before we welcome the new year I want to use this time to make a dent on my catch up reading. Due to the lack of free time I have had over the year I’ve not being able to read for enjoyment and I can’t wait to get back on track.

This is my December update.

Currently Reading:
Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
TBR:
Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Illuminae – Amie Kaufman
Passanger – Alexandra Bracken
Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard

Reviews will go up after I have completed each book.

If anyone has any suggestions for next months TBR please don’t be shy! Let me know what I should read.

 

Lucy xx

Review 1 – ‘Rebecca’ Daphne Du Maurier

Hi guys,

 

It’s review time – Rebecca

 

Spoiler alert

 

For those of you who have not read Daphne of Du Maurier’s Rebecca, it is the tale of a nameless protagonist who marries the recently widowed Maxim de Winter, a wealthy gentleman who owns the most luxurious estate named Manderley. The story follows the two newlyweds during the first few months of their marriage and depicts the struggles that Mrs De Winter faces by living in the shadow of Mr De Winter’s late wife Rebecca.

This was a tough one for me to review. It really took a lot of effort on my behalf to stay with this book and complete it. I’ve stated in a previous post that a very close friend of mine expressed her love of the story and demanded that I read it.  Although I was reluctant at first it didn’t take me long to cave in. This book was completely out of my comfort zone; it is not something I would have chosen to read myself. I absolutely love my classic literature but when it gets to reading anything published between 1900-1980 somehow I really seem to struggle. (I don’t know why).

I started this book thinking it was going to be a gritty romantic novel full of suspense and gothic goodness. However, I found myself extremely disappointed. There is a lack of romance, not nearly enough suspense and a disappointing ending. I know some of you may be thinking ‘she’s clearly not understood the overall message of the book’ or ‘she has lost her mind’ but let me explain.

It became clear very early in the novel that romance is not the most significant theme within this story but the little romance there is is nonsense. We have a middle aged man who is quite clearly going through a midlife crisis and a young woman who is coming of age and seems to be obsessed with the first person that gives her attention. It may have been wrong for me to assume there was going to be an all consuming love between Mr and Mrs de Winter, I just expected there to be a more passionate relationship between the two of them.

Moreover, the way Maxim talks down at Mrs De Winter, as if she were a child swiftly grew irritating. It really doesn’t demonstrate a loving marriage in my eyes, just a relationship of convenience and it’s was not enjoyable to witness.

I also have an issue with Mrs de Winter’s attitude after Maxim reveals he murdered Rebecca. She is not the slightest bit concerned that her husband is a murderer and I don’t get it. If I had found out my husband had committed that crime, I would be running for the hills screaming. I’d definitely not be fawning after him even more because he’s admitted he never actually loved his late wife.

I thought there was very little suspense during the novel and towards the end I found myself figuring out what was going to happen. One particular occurrence that was surely supposed to bring suspense was when the housekeeper of Manderley, Mrs Danvers tries to persuade Mrs de Winter to jump out of the window. Sadly, this was yet another occurrence in the novel that I found utterly bizarre. It’s one thing to create an eerie character who depicts the perfect gothic traits, but I hated that Du Maurier did this. It was definitely one step too far.

The ending! So my friend has no problems with the end of this novel but I found it really disappointing. Yes, I know it is symbolic and another ending could have changed the complete meaning of the story. I just hate it! It would have made perfect sense to me to end the novel before they arrived back to the ruined Manderley or if they were not to return there at all. To burn it down, it’s too Jane Eyre for my liking.

I can’t lie and say that I despised all aspects of the book, there were parts of the story that I enjoyed. Although Du Maurier’s writing style is unique and mesmerising it was the hardest thing for me to overcome. I did wish on several occasions that she would get straight to the point. It took quite a few chapters for me to fully commit to the tale and get used to this writing technique.

I am glad I read this book and in the future I do want to try and read more of Du Maurier’s novels but for now I’m going to find me something new to read!

Memorable quote:
‘If only there could be an invention’ I said impulsively, ‘that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded. And it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.’

I give this novel 3.5 stars.

 

Lucy xx