reading

Book Review: She Is Not Invisible

This was not how I expected it to be. I liked the uniqueness of it, though, and how unpredictable it turned out to be.
It starts in an airport, with the protagonist and narrator (who’s name we learn to be Laureth) and her little brother Benjamin. We soon discover that Laureth is blind, which provides us with a very interesting account of the events of this story. They are going to America, alone, to find their father. He’s a writer, and holds his notebooks very dearly – so when Laureth gets an email about one being found in America when he’s supposed to be in Switzerland (and then he fails to answer his phone) she immediately assumes something is very wrong.

This is told mostly chronologically, but with memories scattered throughout. Laureth also gives slight hints as to what will be happening later on, reinstating the fact that she is writing about past events. I quite liked this – we were told about certain memories and events that were relevant to the story at that time, nothing more, nothing less.

It turns into quite a dark, suspenseful hunt. Laureth starts to fear that her father may even have taken his own life. The pair even get cornered by a man with a knife who claims to have seen her father. His partner later breaks into their hotel room, searching for some valuable contents of her father’s safe. Coincidentally, they run in to her father just moments later.

The obsession of Laureth and Ben’s father is coincidences; a very interesting topic. He goes into great detail in his notebook (which we are shown throughout the book), discussing theories and particular physicists’ experiences. Bit by bit, he seems to be delving deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the universe. Laureth is caught up in this – she looks for clues in every page of her dad’s notebook. But is she looking too hard? Is she finding signs that aren’t really there?

Laureth relies on her brother to navigate the world, and although he is only going, he is superbly helpful to her. She is adamant on being an independent young lady, and even hides her impairment from most people she meets. As she is the narrator of this book, we are given an account that does not include any visual descriptions. Instead, the other senses are used far more – sounds and feelings especially. I really liked this.

The ending was wonderful. It was different – completely unexpected. I especially liked how her “coincidental” meeting with Sam turned out to mean nothing at all. And her father’s account of what had happened, and his realisation that his obsession was pointless, was so ironic. Laureth and Ben had been on this massive journey, worried their father was so caught up in his obsession that his life was in danger. They began to find strange patterns and signs everywhere – only to find out how coindences are completely fake. 

And the last page was so clever, too. It was numbered 354 which is clever in itself – this number holds a massive significance throughout this book – but then there’s also the hidden message that’s revealed. One of the last sentences prompts you to look closely at the book, and then you find a heartwarming little phrase. I really liked this idea – it seems a bit naff, but actually worked really well.

I did feel like this was maybe a little more for younger adults (I’m nearly 18) but it was really easy to follow and quick to read. It wasn’t lengthy or tiresome at all. 4 stars.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars

This is quite a short YA novel, a standalone book that I just picked up on impulse. I immediately got the impression that this was aimed at slightly younger teens – the protagonist was only thirteen, so I didn’t really connect that much. It’s that awkward age where you think you’re old, but you’re not. I could imagine thirteen-year-old me would enjoy this quite a bit.
Isabella lives alone with her father, a skilled cartographer. Her mother and twin brother had passed away, leaving the two alone. The Governor had taken control of the land, and his daughter, Lupe, attended the same school as Isabella. The two were very close, and Isabella’s angered outburst causes Lupe to run off into the Hidden Territories to prove she wasn’t “rotten”. A classmate of theirs had recently been found dead, and Lupe was going to find the killer.

Isabella, disguised as her deceased brother, shows Lupe’s note to her father and a small group begin going after her, Isabella included. They follow a map passed down to Isabella’s mother, through blackened forests scattered with bones. They do find Lupe, along with the Banished and, worst of all, the hell dogs from Isabella’s favourite myth.

This myth turns out to play an important role in their journey, and Lupe discovers something about her father when he sacrifices himself to fend off the wolves. They face Yote himself – the mythical fire demon – and Isabella finds herself returning home without Lupe.

It is quite a young teen book, as I said, and the plot develops all because of Isabella calling Lupe’s family “rotten”. This drama and exaggeration is pretty typical of a children’s/teen book, I find, and seemed a little immature to me. The writing was great, I just couldn’t get over the simplicity and immaturity of the plot at times.

For a teen book, it was quite dark at times – a lot of death was included. The ending was both happy and sad, which is nice. I get quite fed up of too many happy endings. 3 stars.

WWW Wednesdays

It’s been ages since I last did this (as usual)… Sorry!

What am I currently reading?
I’m still reading The Three Musketeers, Adamant and Apple Tree Yard, as well as Everybody Hurts, The Great Gatsby, Othello and Batman and Robin volume #2.

What have I finished reading recently?The books I’ve finished most recently are The Killing JokeThe SystemThe Earthsea QuartetHarley’s Little Black BookInkheartTyranny and Batman and Robin volume #1.<a href="https://bookmarkedreading.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/graphic-novelcomic-book-review-batman-and-robin-volume-1-born-to-kill/&quot; batman="" and="" robin="" volume="" #1

<a href="https://bookmarkedreading.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/graphic-novelcomic-book-review-batman-and-robin-volume-1-born-to-kill/&quot; batman="" and="" robin="" volume="" #1

<a href="https://bookmarkedreading.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/graphic-novelcomic-book-review-batman-and-robin-volume-1-born-to-kill/&quot; batman="" and="" robin="" volume="" #1

What am I reading next?

<a href="https://bookmarkedreading.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/graphic-novelcomic-book-review-batman-and-robin-volume-1-born-to-kill/&quot; batman="" and="" robin="" volume="" #1

Next up are Jestus on Rampage, Sharp Objects, Justice League of America, Hawkeye, Batman and Robin volume #3 and Anything That Isn’t This.


WWW Wednesdays

 

It’s been a very long time since I posted one of these, which means this one will be pretty long… Sorry!

What am I currently reading?

I am reading The Three MusketeersThe SystemApple Tree YardInkheartAdamant and The Earthsea Quartet.

What have I finished recently?

Since it’s been so long since I last posted one of these, I’m going to only list the ten most recently finished books: RipplerThe HeirShade, the Changing Girl Volume #1New Super-Man Volume #1Justice League vs. Suicide SquadGlass SwordBatman Beyond Volume #1DC Essential Graphic Novels 2017Kahayatle and The Monstrous Child.

What am I reading next?

Harley’s Little Black BookSharp Objects and Tales from Earthsea.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

Book Review: The Monstrous Child

The Monstrous Child

The Monstrous Child (Mortal Gods #3) by Francesca Simon – Paperback, 320 pages – Published December 1st 2016 by Faber Faber

I finished this on Tuesday but have had some technical problems, which is why I’m posting it now. (Sorry.)

Apparently this is book #3 in the Mortal Gods series – but I read it believing it to be a standalone novel and really enjoyed it like that. It’s another short, new YA book, which a pretty large font to fill up more space. I never used to like short books, but I’ve found some I’ve really enjoyed recently, including this one.

One of Loki’s (monstrous) children is Hel, a girl with a perfectly normal human body… except her legs are deadLike, full-on decaying dead. Still, she’s a goddess, even if she’s never treated as one.

Hel has learned to just deal with what she’s got in life and carry on. But when she’s kidnapped and taken to Asgard – the home of the gods – she finds an unexpected light of hope. His name is Baldr, and he’s the only one who’s ever treated her like she’s normal. The only problem is that he’s married.

And then, just to make matters worse, Hel is literally thrown into the underworld, sentenced to be the queen of Nifelheim for all of eternity. It’s cold, smelly, and soon enough, full of dead people. She’s alone, plotting her revenge on the gods, with no chance of escape – but at least it’s hers. She can build her own fortress without anyone guiding her; she can order the dead around however she pleases. And she can have a high seat ready, beside hers, for when Baldr inevitably comes for her.

What she wasn’t planning was a third seat…

Anyway, Hel has created Hel for the dead, the End of Days is drawing nearer, and dear old Dad has dropped by for a favour. All very… fun. 

I thought this was a really different kind of book. The narrative voice is really sarcastic and youthful, pretty funny too, as well as still sounding like a Norse goddess. She also sounded somewhat modern, too – which I suppose would be the case if you were immortal. Sometimes I found her to find a little too sarcastic and bitter, a little too chatty and “different”. I don’t know, it just didn’t sound all that natural sometimes.

The whole Norse theme was refreshing – not some paranormal YA romance that you see everywhere – and really well told. Hel was a really interesting character, too; modern enough to relate to yet still believably a Norse goddess.

As I said, I read this without realising there were other books before it in the series. I didn’t realise that at all while reading – I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and still enjoyed it plenty. I’m going to say 3.5 to 4 stars for The Monstrous Child. I’ll have to look out for the other books.

DSCN9574.JPG

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume #2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume #2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #2: Bottled Light by Robert Venditti – eBook, 146 pages – Published June 6th 2017 by DC Entertainment

Following on from the previous volume, the Green Lanterns are back but Hal is gone. Sinestro has been defeated, but now the Lanterns are defending a planet from an attack by Starro.

While the Lanterns are fighting Starro, Hal Jordan finds himself in some mysterious realm with Abin Sur and other deceased Green Lanterns. The remaining Guardians of the Universe summon Kyle Rayner to try and retrieve Hal.

The Starro attack turns out to be a lure, though – bait. Brainiac is behind it, having captured the Green Lanterns (as well as the entire planet). But who’s behind him?…

It took me far longer than it should’ve to understand the title of this volume…

pro_reader

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

This is a really, really good story arc. I like this comic series in general, but this was really enjoyable and interesting. 4 stars. As well as the great plot, the writing is clever and pretty funny.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

WWW Wednesdays

I keep putting this off again. Oops. Sorry?

What am I currently reading?

I’m just starting Red Queen, and am also reading The Three Musketeers, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. #2 and Kahayatle.

What have I finished recently?

Since the last post, I’ve finished Manga Classics: Emma, Superwoman Volume 1, Supergirl Volume #1, Blue Beetle Volume #1, Superman Action Comics Volume #2, The Jigsaw Man and Dead to You.

What am I reading next?

I’ll be starting Ocean of Secrets Volume #1Rippler and Justice League Volume 1: Origins next.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

WWW Wednesdays

What am I currently reading?

Right now I’m reading The Jigsaw Man, Kahayatle and Manga Classics: Emma.

What have I finished recently?

Over the past couple weeks (since I last posted a WWW Wednesday) I’ve finished Belle’s Tale and The Beast’s Tale, Evil Rises, American Vampire Volume #1 and My Heart and Other Black Holes.

What am I reading next?

I plan on reading 07-Ghost Volume #3, The Three Musketeers and Superwoman Volume #1: Who Killed Superman? next.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

WWW Wednesdays

It’s been a long time since I posted one of these. I could blame my school work, but honestly I know I’ve just been slacking off. Sorry.

What am I currently reading?

At the moment I’m reading Belle’s Tale (Beauty and the Beast Volume #1)My Heart and Other Black Holes and American Vampire Volume #1.

What have I finished recently?

It’s been a long time since my last WWW Wednesday update, so this list is going to be pretty long…

Nain Rouge: The Crimson ThreeZenn DiagramThe Stereotypical FreaksAdventure Time Volume #5The Best We Could DoBatman: Detective Comics Volume 1 – Rise of the BatmenHal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps Volume 1: Sinestro’s LawSuicide Squad Volume 1: The Black VaultSuperman, Action Comics Volume 1: The Path of DoomThe Jungle Book (Booktrack)MANGA CLASSICS Pride and PrejudiceCity of Heavenly FireThe OutsFrankensteinMANGA CLASSICS Great ExpectationsBatman: Night of the Monster MenNothing Tastes as GoodAdventure Time Volume #6Ensnared and Whisper to Me.

What am I reading next?

Next up is The Beast’s Tale, Evil Rises and The Jigsaw Man.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

Book Review: Nothing Tastes as Good

Nothing Tastes as Good

Nothing Tastes as Good by Claire Hennessy – Papberback, 336 pages – Published July 14th 2016 by Hot Key Books

I happened to see this book by chance, in my local library. I was drawn to it because of it’s cover, it’s title – I’m anorexic, and I happen to be drawn to things relating to mental health. It doesn’t expressly say on it that it’s about anorexia, but the cover made it pretty obvious to me. A warning to anyone that wants to read it: it’s hard. If you suffer from something like this, like me, then you will probably have difficulty reading something so close to home. Especially if you’re recovering. But it gets better. (I mean the book; I’m not using that “life gets better” crap.)

So Annabel is dead. I’m studying The Lovely Bones at school so the whole beyond-death narration isn’t that special to me now. But Hennessy does it pretty differently to Sebold.

We don’t know much about Annabel, not at first. But we begin to learn about her while she helps her assigned “soul-in-need” – The Boss (definitely not God) has promised her a final communication with her family if she helps Julia. And this looks easy, at first – Julia is from Annabel’s old school, with a loving family and good grades. Everything is fine, except she’s fat. Annabel thinks this should be easy – after all, she’s an expert in weight loss. She lost weight until she died.

But Annabel soon finds out that Julia’s issues are a whole lot more complex than her weight. At first, losing weight helps. But then her old scars come back to haunt her, and Annabel realises that maybe losing weight isn’t going to fix all her problems.

Aside from the obvious issue, this book does talk about a lot of important topics. It covers friendships and relationships, like most YA novels do, but it also combats ideas on feminism, affairs with older men, and people all having their own hidden demons.

At first, I wasn’t keen on Annabel. I wanted to like her – I felt I should, because I could relate to her story so much. But she was a bitch. She wanted other people to be like her, and rather than encouraging recovery and health and happiness, she shared tipped on weight loss. It really did hurt to read. Her ideas on “perfection” and being weak for eating just really hit a nerve for me. Not because it was wrong (though I’d never encourage an eating disorder in someone else), but because it’s exactly how I’d think about myself. Her behaviours, her worries, her anger – they were so real.

But Annabel, despite being dead, grows alongside Julia. Yes, she tells Julia to starve herself and run on an empty stomach and hate herself, but eventually she starts to feel for her. She wants Julia to combat her issues, to actually be happy. And she realises, despite having been so upset with her old friends for recovering, that maybe she wasted her life. Maybe she could have been something more, rather than striving to be less.

I found this really emotional. Annabel’s love for her sister, the sister she neglected for years while she was focused on her goals, and the future she cut short. The way Julia’s life changed when her passion for writing and journalism was overtaken by her obsession with food, calories, exercise. It’s so real and so sad. And the ending isn’t “happily ever after” – Annabel’s still dead, Julia’s in counselling – but it’s real. It gives hope that things can change, that Julia can really achieve happiness.

At first, I didn’t like this that much. I know Annabel is just a character, but I just didn’t like her. She was one of those girls that makes anorexia sound like a choice, a lifestyle, and I hated that. But later she realises she is sick, and I actually felt sorry for her. I was sorry that she had been brainwashed by her illness into believing she was doing what was right.

The only reason I’m giving just 4.5 stars to this book is because Annabel was a bitch. Yes, she is a character, and yes, she grows considerably throughout the novel, but her encouragement of EDs just drove me insane. Personal pet peeve, I guess.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491