Artwork and Book Reviews!

Posts tagged ‘fiction’

Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum

“Good things do not happen to boys who lie.”

This book was DARK and I mean REALLY DARK.

James Hook is a young boy living in London with his mother and father. Though he is young, he has always dreamed of becoming a man. To sail the seas and to smell like the salty ocean air just like his father. One night he decides to venture into Kensington Park and there he meets Pan. Peter Pan. And he has an amazing offer that James can’t refuse. A trip to Neverland.

What he thought would only be a nice short holiday vacation to Neverland with an easy going, fun and strange boy his age. Ends up being a nightmare he has never dreamed before.

Peter Pan is a complete asshole.. Sorry for my language but it’s true as that’s all it really comes down to. He immediately changes personality after taking James to his faraway land. He murders. He lies. He’s cocky and extremely controlling and there’s one thing you CANNOT cross when it comes to Peter, you cannot break his rules and that’s unfortunate for James.

Rule #1: You’re not allowed to know things Peter doesn’t know.
Rule #2: You’re not aloud to be taller than him.
Rule #3 (the most important rule): Absolutely no growing up

“Peter’s mood became blacker and blacker until every fairy had wisely disappeared from the party, and the air smelled vaguely like smoke and sulfur.”

He’s the freaking devil I tell ya..

This book is separated into several parts and we get to see the span of years that James spends in Neverland. I found the first part to be very slow and boring. It was hard to get into but the story became much more interesting and action packed as James became more independent and well.. grown up.

The book actually reminds me of a cartoon. Starring James as the Wildly Coyote who keeps trying different ways to kill Peter Pan, the Roadrunner but keeps failing because Pan is too quick and speedy. Yup. Definitely..

If you want to read a book that is just hopeless, depressing, full of despair and where nothing remotely heart warming happens, this book is for you.

3 out of 5 stars

Thank you Brianna for a copy to review.

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The Carriage by Jena Baxter

Siblings don’t normally get along, right? Well that’s the case for Alexis and Brooke. Except there relationship goes a little more extreme. While annoyingly arguing in the first 5 pages, Alexis and Brooke enter a carriage in the middle of modern day Central Park. Suddenly Brooke gets so angry at her sister that she disappears while sending the carriage and Alexis through time to Victorian England, 1870. I guess bickering leads to sending your sister through time these days..

So let me start by saying how annoying and just plain rude our main character Alexis is. She’s making fun of old ladies, being very bitchy to strangers who are kindly offering help.

“May I help you with something, Miss?”

“Who are you? Some kind of freak?”

He just asked if you needed help, god damn. Thankfully, this character goes through major character development. She becomes mature and less mean and definitely much more likable.

Now our second character, Ezra, is a dream. His perspective gives life to this story. Yes, I see the irony in that statement but it’s true. His whole side of the story is interesting and very satisfying to read. I always looked forward to his perspective.

I’m giving this book 3 stars because there was really nothing to the story. In fact the long, detailed synopsis gives away everything. The synopsis might as well be called a full summary wrap up because I knew exactly what was going to happen. I guess that was my fault for reading it. Also the book was mostly about Alexis and Ezra’s relationship problems. They’re fighting, then apologizing, fighting again, apologizing again. Not talking for two weeks, then finally talking. Over and over again but I found myself reading the last 50 pages as fast as I could to see what was going to happen. That says something, right?

I will say the writing is very beautiful and the words flow very nicely together which made it a fast read. I definitely appreciated that. I see a lot of great potential for this author.

3 out of 5 stars

Thank you Jena for sending me a copy to review.

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Dreamology by Lucy Keating

“I MADE HIM up. At least that’s what I always told myself. The combination of all my childhood adoration’s, combined into one perfect guy. The trouble is, I was wrong.”

Alice is a new student at Bennet Academy, having moved from New York. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to focus lately because of what she has been dreaming of at night. A completely made up boy named Max. Made up? Nope. That’s not the case when on the first day of school, she walks into Psych 201 and the boy of her dreams coincidentally named “Max” is sitting there in the classroom. Not only that but more of her dreams begin to seep into her reality.

I was really pleasantly surprised how the author flawlessly crafted many different characters and their perspectives, breaking apart high school cliques and stereotypes. I can’t stand when authors have to make every other character a bully toward the protagonist. We are lucky enough to not have that in this book! Celeste, who would normally end up being our main characters arch enemy, ended up being one of my favorite characters! Who woulda thunk?

Honestly, I loved these characters and the dynamic between them. I think Alice and Max are all the more powerful because it feels so real and honest. The only thing I didn’t understand was there whole reason for not being able to be together. They apparently missed too much of each others lives?

“Max experienced a whole life without me”

They’re only 16. Trust me kids, you haven’t missed a thing. Other than that, the people in this book feel both unique and universal at the same time.

Alice is a very quirky character full of metaphors about life that make you laugh. She’s super cool and you can’t help but relate to her. Especially the part about her bedroom being eggshell white with twinkling lights.. My bedroom. Also the part where they go to the alpaca farm.. My favorite animal is a llama. ❤

I’m really excited for any future releases by Lucy Keating. I’ll be keeping an eye out!

4 out of 5 stars

Release date: April 12th 2016

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Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz

“At 2:46 on Friday, March 11, 2016, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Tohoku region of Honshu, Japan. It was the strongest temblor ever to hit that quake-prone country, and the fourth largest in the world. It lasted six minutes. After the quake struck, a massive tsunami followed. Waves reaching up to 133 feet.”

11,106 aftershocks
Approximately 15,889 deaths
6,152 injured
2,601 still missing
127,290 buildings destroyed

This is Up From the Sea. We follow a young boy by the name of Kai living in a coastal village in Japan. We relive his whole devastating experience while he loses everyone he loves.

“At 2:46 p.m., when I’m sitting in Math, waiting for the bell to ring, and the earth starts to shake.”

Throughout the story we do get glimpses of Kai’s normal life before the tragic event which adds a blend of light and dark, happiness and not-happiness, and it’s incredibly effective.

I wasn’t planning on reading this book for another few days. I simply grabbed it from my shelf just to read the first sentence. A normal routine I do with every new book I receive. I read that one sentence. Sit down and found myself completely immersed and changing it from TBR to Currently Reading almost immediately. Which lead to me finishing the entire thing in one sitting.

The entirety of this book is written in verse and I thought “is that going to take the emotion away from this tragic eventful story?” NO. In all honesty, I wouldn’t want this book written any other way.

It’s heartbreaking, terrifying, disturbing, and oh so very important.

4 out of 5 stars

Thank you Leza for sending me a copy to review.

The Eleven by Fifteen Explorations by Laura Kitching

This is a very short collection of art by artist Laura Kitching featuring captions for each piece as well.
Being an artist myself, I can easily appreciate the work of art collected in this booklet. The artwork is very unique and all give a very mysterious and naturey feeling being blotted black and white and featuring mountains/mushrooms/ect. My favorite piece out of this booklet is number Three: The repositioning of geological structures.

I am very happy to have another collection of art by an awesome artist. It’s a great way to look upon and gather inspiration from.

To find more of Laura’s work, visit elkandowl.com

4 out of 5 stars

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The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

Odette is a beautiful young maiden who is the niece of a respectable merchant but she has a secret that needs to be kept hidden for the sake of the poor and starving residents of Thornbeck. She is poaching deer at night.

Unfortunately for her, someone is catching on. That someone is Jorgen, the local forester, who’s job it is to catch poachers and punish them.

These two are joined together when Odette is searching for a wealthy man to take her hand in marriage.

I have been eyeing this book on my shelf for so long now. Melanie Dickersons book covers are so beautiful and super intriguing!

With that said, the book starts pretty slow and not a whole lot happens so it’s very uneventful. It just really lacks a hook unless you consider the two main characters going back and forth for 200 pages about this poaching secret. It was very difficult to care about where this weakly-plotted novel was heading. There is no action, and the characters don’t have much personality. They all talk the same, they all react the same.. It’s a VERY laid back book but I do love the authors eye for detail when it comes to setting up the scenes. The dances and balls sounded beautiful, as well as anytime clothing was described.

I feel like I may have hyped this book too much in my head that when I finally picked it up to read, I was really disappointed.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you Melanie for sending me a copy to review.

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Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

A brand new book to add to my slowly building Contemporary shelf! This book sounds super cute and full of fun and adventure. This book releases on April 12.

Synopsis:

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and ever herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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