SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (Review)

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I wonder if this is just going to slowly start turning into me posting pictures of the places I eat breakfast… (just kidding, but if you want that let me know).

480 Pages

Odds are, you’re already familiar with this book.

This is one of those books that has been on my TBR list since it came out in 2015. I remember the buzz that surrounded it, and I think I wanted to let all of it settle down a little before I took my hand at it since I wasn’t already a fan of the author or hadn’t read any of her work yet.  But, at the beginning of this school year, one of my friends let me borrow it and when the whole year went by without me touching it, I knew I would have to give it back soon, so I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

Because of a lot of the names and elements I do not want to get wrong, I am going to copy and past the synopsis from Amazon:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price―and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity―and the adventure―of a lifetime.

Basic Thoughts

I think it is always slightly overwhelming to start a new YA read of this genre – a dystopian, speculative fiction type of world. The main reason being that you’re going to have to learn the meaning to knew words and terms that aren’t usually in the English vocabulary, but instead look like the author just smashed his or her face against the keyboard and where like “Yup, that’s our protagonists name – Zord Zovlfd (< see I just did it…pronounced Zord Zove-l-fed).

But, when done well, this can be one of the most amazing genres fiction has to offer.

Did Six of Crows manage to do this?

Overview

I think I’m going to stray away from the pros and cons list on this one.

In the beginning, not familiar with the Grisha series, I was extremely overwhelmed with new terms, as about 20 are thrown at you within the first quarter of the book. But, about half-way through, I felt I was comfortable enough to have a conversation about what was going on with the friend who had let me borrow it.

Is this book something I’ve never seen before? In short – no.

In my opinion, this is a very stereotypical YA book.

Did I enjoy reading this book? In short (again) – yes.

The reason that YA themes are so repetitive among works is because they’re entertaining and they sell. Does this book have a lot of the tropes that come with YA fiction? Abso-freakin-lutly. I was even able to guess the main character’s love interest within the first 50 pages (though it may have been intentional haha). But, what this book and many other YA books behind it do well is keep me (and many other people, for that matter) entertained.

I loved (most) of the characters, which were all super likable and interesting (especially Kaz and Wylan). The story was interesting. The world was pretty cool. And, while I don’t feel I received the most of what the world built had to offer, I’m going to give Bardugo the benfit of the doubt and say that the Grisha series and this duology combined would offer me a lot more of it.

One thing, that I have to say, is I do feel like this book was a little short, despite its nearly 500 pages, I almost wonder if the second book would have been just fine combined with this one, but, we’ll see.

In short, while this book is definitely not one-of-a-kind in most things, it did keep me very much entertained.

Final Rating:

Characters: 4.0 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 4.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 3.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 3.5  (3.667)

Final Thoughts:

I decided to round down on this one to a 3.5 for reasons that, while I enjoyed this book, a year or two down the road I’m, more than likely, not going to remember or care a lot about it (don’t worry, on GR I’ll mark it as a 4). I’m not itching to pick up the second one; I’m not starving for the movie. But, neither do I think that this book is garbage.

In the end, I’m glad I finally was able to read this one. I can not deny that this book did keep me entertained, and I did enjoy my time reading it. But, am I ordering the second book, rush-delivery? No.

You can buy it here.

Best,

Daniel

 

 

STICKY NOTES by Indy Yelich (Review)

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I don’t think it’s a huge secret around anyone who knows me that I have a huge, huge, huge respect for this family in general, as Ella (Lorde), is the person who pretty much helped me discover that there are people out there just like me, going through the exact same experiences. So, both her and her sister, the author of this book, Indy, I have been following on social media since around 2015. Basically, this family is a powerhouse of talent and creativity. However, I will not let any bias sway me in my thoughts towards this poetry book, so please keep that in mind.

I feel it’s only appropriate to give a bio of the author and then the description of the poetry book, in general.

Bio: Indy Yelich is a 19 year-old young writer living in a world of lights and loudness, hopping between LA and NYC (recently settling in NYC), who is the sister of the famed, young icon Lorde, and the daughter of accomplished, New Zealand poet Sonja Yelich. Indy likes M&M’s and writing sticky-note reminders to herself.

Description: sticky notes is the debut poetry collection from rising poet Indy Yelich, separated into to two section LA and NY. The poems in this collection tackle everything from heartbreak, to city life, to being “the sister”.

Basic Thoughts:

I had been aware that this was coming out for quit awhile, and was honestly half super excited, half nervous. The “half-nervous” part comes from the fact that, while it’s really unfair to compare Indy to anything but herself, I feel the world had a lot of pressure placed on her leading up to the work; she had a lot to live up to. While I understand that this stigma of being “the sister” or “the daughter” is something she wants to separate from and, as a student, is something that I try to not base my opinions on, it is an issue that is there and may be ignored by me, but won’t be ignored by some.

Before getting deeply into this, let me say I deeply commend Indy for taking that step and putting herself out there – stepping away from the stigmas that come with being the sister and daughter of people that already have such a huge reputation.

NOW, getting into the poetry itself…

It’s good. It’s actually quite good. But, just like anything, there are pros and cons.  Let’s get into it.

Pros:

  • Very easy reading; great for people unfamiliar with reading poetry
  • Very emotional and the author was able to get the point across easily
  • I think the book covers a very wide spectrum of things, which I found nice (i.e. they didn’t all harp on heartbreak, etc.)
  • Reading this made me feel really “in-touch” with the author; it was a very intimate experience
  • Extremely relatable to youth, in general

Cons

  • Some adjectives got in my way
  • I thought the content lists were poems

Overview

I marked the hell out of this one. Not with corrections, no, but just because I felt like it.

Starting with one of the pros, I felt like this book is, and is going to be, very easily accessible to people who aren’t that familiar with poetry already. All of the poetry is free verse, so you won’t see many rhyming patterns in it or anything, which I think helps it convey the emotions it wants to get through a lot easier without any of the cheese. I felt that, a lot of the time, the message Indy was trying to get across to the reader was usually pretty easy to get within the first read or two.

I feel this book does show a very wide variety of raw emotions and feelings that are easily accessible to youth (and older people reminiscing about youth), but also looking at many things from different perspectives. I felt that I was really digging into Yelich’s mind at some points.

I do have to say that I thought the two content pages in the beginning were actually poems because I’m…I don’t know. But, I’m quiet embarrassed by that, but I think Yelich should be proud that she managed to make poem titles that strung together in such a way that I thought them poems haha.

One point of contingency for me was that sometimes I felt some of the adjectives were a little over-used and could have been taken out and still had same effect on the reader, but I feel that is just any pattern you see with younger poets (including myself), so it’s nothing to really ACTUALLY fuss about, but I did have to mention it.

While the book is filled with a couple of Rupi Kaur type poems – really short, if we’re being basic about it – the majority of the book is filled with nice, full poems that make you swoon at some points (my favorites being “thievery” and “hero”, both from the LA side of the book). I feel that Indy is very in-touch with her emotions and knows how to convey that to the audience – managing to do so in her first collection

FINAL RATING: 4 out 5

Final Thoughts

Overall, I felt that this was most definitely strong first publication from Indy.

I felt all of the content were things highly relatable to my life, especially as a new adult.   This book, from what I can see, has managed to get youth reading and get people actually excited about poetry, which is one thing that is so magical about this work. I feel like Indy has a lot more to say, and I’m excited to see it.

Indy is on her way to honing her poetic voice down to a tee, and this is an amazing start to that. I’m excited to see were her career grow.

But, for now, I think she’s definitely managed to separate herself from the title of “the sister”.

Best,

Daniel xx

Buy the book here.


I did a really cool interview with a local poet that you can check out here!

 

 

 

 

WOOL by Hugh Howey (Review)

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528 Pages

Wool has been on my TBR list for awhile, as have a lot of the reads I’ve been picking up lately. It was mostly on my radar when I was more into post-apocolyptic/dystopian things, as I thought it was interesting – being advertised as an adult book (or new adult) in this genre.

In a future where the air you breath could kill you, and humans live in Silos buried underground, we follow several characters as they live their lives transfixed by the thought of the outside world. People who even speak of leaving or commit any punishment are sent out for the cleaning of the cameras that show the world of the outside – using wool pads – for sure to end in their death. When Juliette is put in the position of Sheriff, she soon starts to realize that not everything is as nice and peaceful as it may seem in the Silo. And, she soon realizes that not everyone is on the side of peace, either. How did they get there to begin with? Why is the world so toxic outside? But, asking those questions in the Silo, she knows, could very easily get you killed.

Basic Thoughts

I think the premise behind this book is very intriguing. While I do feel that a lot of post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels follow the same pattern, I felt this one could break the mold.

It’s a long book, too, which I thought would help it achieve this goal in the end. What is this Silo? What is this world in which they all have been living in? Why are these people there?

Pros:

  • Interesting idea
    • The whole idea that the air is toxic, forcing people to live inside of a Silo is honestly quiet interesting.
  • Relatable characters
    • I do feel like a lot of the character’s ambitions are highly relatable, and Howey manages to portray them well.

Cons

  • Very wordy
    • While the chapters where short, there would often be chapters with absolutely    no dialogue. It made me wonder if they were necessary at all.
  • Some things didn’t make sense
    • The Silo is made up of around 150 stories, all connected by stairs. They complain about these stairs a lot. They have advanced computer technology but couldn’t build an elevator?
  • Doesn’t manage to break the mold
    • While it tried very hard, it is honestly just your average dystopian.

Overall View

From what I know, this book was very well received, so I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t have very high expectations for it.

My first point of critique would have to be the length. It’s a pretty lengthy book, which is good…sometimes. In this case, however, I felt it was about 200 pages too long. I felt the author often got lost in describing things that were not important to the story and that I, frankly, did not care about. This, of course, made this long book feel like not a lot happened. When I finished, I felt like hardly anything did happen. I felt like he lingered too much on the slow parts, and not enough on the parts that actually made the story exciting.

While some of the characters where amusing and their ambitions relatable, they felt entirely 2-D. Two of them falling for the insta-love trope around page 200, which I thought the character was going to be above…she was not. Especially when she is fronted as a “tough” character, yet so easily gives into to a lot of things.

This idea is pretty neat, I guess. The air outside kills you if you breath it, and people are put to death to clean the sensors outside of the Silo that allow people to see outside. However, one thing that was huge tear in the story, were the stairs. One of the main things the author continuously harps on is how hard the stairs are to climb for everyone. They have a huge department of computers, huge generators and water pumps…yet no elevator? If the stairs caused this much of a hassle for everyone, why weren’t elevators present, especially with advances they had?

Also, I did feel as though the book never really committed to this idea of an adult dystopian. You could have easily made the characters teen, and nothing would have been different.

Overall I just felt this book was too much and too long. While I’m not saying it wasn’t enjoyable, it was just, overall, nothing new.

Final Rating:

Characters: 3.0 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 2.5 / 5.0

Overall Story: 3.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 3.0 (2.84)

Final Thoughts:

I feel like it’s usually a huge hit or miss with books like this – books that get extremely popular outside of the book world, that is. Overall I just found this story no different from a lot of other things I’ve read, and just found the writing very lengthy at times.

Don’t get me wrong, if post-apocalyptic/dystopian is your main thing, then you’ll probably like it and may or may not agree with me.

However, I do think this novel was about 200 pages too long and could have easily had the same effect with less pages. But, I can understand why people generally liked it. It just didn’t hit all the marks I wanted it to as an avid reader.

If you’re curious, you can purchase it here.

Other than that, I have some exciting things coming up soon, so keep an eye out!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Best,

Daniel xx

 

 

 

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson (Review)

 

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214 Pages

I had heard about this book awhile ago through BookTube, but was first really introduced to Shirley Jackson in English Composition II when we read “The Lottery”.  I ended up writing an entire paper on the significance of the Black Box in that story, but I always had We Have Always Lived in the Castle in the back of my head in my mental TBR list.

Marry “Merricat” Katherine Blackwood and Constance Blackwood, sisters, and their Uncle Julian, as well as Merricat’s feline friend, Jonas, live life in their sprawling home left to them six years ago when a terrible tragedy left the three (or four) of them to fend for themselves. Shirley Jackson weaves a dark and terrifying story of the mysteries behind this family and why everyone is so afraid of them. What actually happened to the Blackwoods?

Basic Thoughts

I went into this knowing very little, but the opening paragraph hooked me and I could not put it down from there.

The dark and twisted world of the main character, Merricat, is one of intrigue and suspense. The way Jackson shapes the vocabulary and ignorance of Merricat and the world around her are what truly make this a haunting read, all spinning around the question of:

What really happened to the Blackwoods?

The tension as Merricat goes into town and how the people treat her is nearly impossible to imagine, but then you think of the time we’re in now, and how easily ridicule could come on to someone, or a family, so easily. How easily it would be to get shunned like that – especially in a small town.

But, Merricat, her sister Constance and Uncle Julian have managed to get by, even with the town’s distaste in them and the mystery surrounding their family – shutting themselves away and creating their own little world at the Blackwood home. But when Cousin Charles shows up, befriending Constance and disrupting their normal routine, Merricat isn’t pleased. How will she restore this bliss that they had in their castle?

Pros:

  • The writing style
    • I quite favor this type of writing. It reminds me so much of the writing of J.D. Salinger in The Catcher in the Rye. Jackson manages to portray the innocence and ignorance of the young so beautifully.
  • Fast, but fulfilling read
  • Leaves a lingering impression

Con:

  • Very little on the outer world beyond the house

Overall View:

Starting with the single con, Jackson doesn’t paint a very broad picture beyond the world of the Blackwoods. While this did not bother me, per se, as I believe she was attempting to showcase the fantasy world Merricat has built in her mind, this could be an issue for some, as the townspeople aren’t really portrayed except in criticizing the Blackwoods.

Focusing on the pros, Jackson’s writing reflects the ignorance and innocence that is Merricat and what she stands for. And, while this a fast read, it is one that leaves you “book full”, if that makes any sense. It manages to pack so much successfully (mystery, suspense, childhood youth/ignorance) that it leaves the reader feeling fulfilled.

One of the main things I enjoyed was the dialogue between Constance and Merricat and then also Merricat’s own, personal thoughts. Reitterating on the theme of this childhood ignorance, these are the main things driving that point to the reader of how young Merricat’s mind is – how unaware it is to the outside world.

Speaking of Charles, who shows up at about 50 pages in, I do feel like he was more of an object than an actual person or character in the story, as he was merely a disruption and not an actual living being it seemed upon reflection, in what I think is a disillusioned retelling of the fall of this “perfect” thing between Mary Katherine, Constance, Uncle Julian, and even Jonas, the cat.

Speaking of the cat, Jonas, appearing in many of the scenes of the book, offers a deep extension of Merricat’s mind and how she describes this cat as if he is a human, which goes into the further supporting argument that Jackson is a master at painting the mind of this disillusioned youth that is Mary Katherine.

While I’ll admit, I did kind of see the twist coming, this book, I feel, wasn’t about the twist, but about everything around it – the town and how it has reacted to the Blackwoods, the entire mystery and power behind rumors, and then being smacked in the face by truth and the consequences of that.

While this has probably been said many times before about this book, Jackson has created a masterpiece.

Final Rating:

Characters: 4.5 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 5.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 5.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 5.0

Final Thoughts:

Another 5 star review already! Wow!

As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is definitely one I would highly recommend –  especially if you enjoyed the writing in The Catcher in the Rye. (However, do not misunderstand, the story line between this book and The Catcher in the Rye are nothing similar, but the style of writing is something comparable, in my opinion.)

For some reason I’m a sucker for characters who like to tell it how it is and aren’t afraid to share their opinion, even if they’re wrong, which is something I could definitely feel in this.

This is a book I want to put on my shelf permanently, and I think anyone even moderately interested in literature today should pick this one up as you can see many themes that resonate in modern-day storytelling.

Please, treat yourself and buy it here. (Note: This version is fewer pages, as I checked mine out from my University library and it is a different printing.)

Again, HIGHLY recommended. This will be added to my list of favorites.

If you have read this book, I would love to hear what you have to say about it.

Even if you didn’t like the book, I must remind you that these are just the honest opinions of an English Major.

Best,

Daniel xx

 

THE LIVING END by Stanley Elkin (Review)

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144 Pages

When character Ellerbee finds himself shot dead in a robbery of his liquor store, he is soon transported to the pearly gates of Heaven, only to be casted straight to the center Hell to learn his lesson.

Basic Thoughts

Even thinking about this book right now is making me sluggish.

I’m going to try to make my words short on this, but in basic terms, I did not enjoy this book at all. I thought it might be a clever concept, as it started off comedic when the “main character” was running his liquor store, etc. That part was entertaining.

After he is killed and sent to hell, however, we don’t even see Ellerbee anymore, as a new, less interesting character comes into play.

DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHEN THE AUTHOR TRIED GIVING DIALOGUE TO JESUS AND GOD.

Pros

  • Interesting start (first 30 pages)
  • It’s short

Cons

  • Sacrilegious
  • The dialogue between God, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary, etc is trash
  • Boring characters
  • Boring premis

 

Overall View

I usually have a lot to say about books I don’t like, however, this one was just so short and so awful I can’t think of anything else.

Do not wast your time, as this book will leave you feeling muddled in the mind. I don’t even want to think about it anymore.

The plot line was hard to follow/didn’t really make sense, the characters were like stale crackers, and the whole premise was just blown around page 30.

Avoid this one at all costs. Trust me.

Final Rating:

Characters: 1.5 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 1.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 0.5 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 1.0 / 5.0

 

Final Thoughts:

I disliked this book so much I nearly didn’t write a review for it, but I figured that would be unfair of me to limit this blog to only books I enjoyed, as that ruins the whole premise of what I’m trying to do here.

I hope you take my warning of this book seriously.

Avoid it.

Even if it is just the ramblings of an English Major.

Best,

Daniel xx

 

THE SECRET PLACE by Tana French (Review)

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452 Pages

I was first introduced to Tana French through a Popular Fiction class focusing on Detective Fiction through her novel Faithful Place, and I enjoyed it so much that this book ended up on my Christmas list!

Detective Stephen Moran is bored to death, stuck in Cold Cases. When one day, Holly Mackey, the daughter of the infamous DetectiveJohn Mackey, comes to him with new evidence to the murder of a popular teenage boy at her school, Chris Harper, gone quiet for almost a year. With a card posted on the school bulletin-board that says I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM, Moran sees his window to get out of cold cases and into where he really wants to be – The Dublin Murder Squad. Detective Moran soon meets the head Detective on the case – Antionette Conway. Conway, needing a new partner, gives Moran the chance he’s always wanted. But, they both know time is running out on figuring out who killed Chris. Heading to the all-girls Catholic school that this all took place at, the two detectives have one last chance to figure out who killed Chris – with two rival, teenage cliques as the main suspects. Will they be able to tell through the lies? Will Moran be able to prove himself to Conway? Or will the secrets between the tight-nit cliques be their ultimate defeat?

Basic Thoughts

OH MAN!

Let me say that again.

OH MAN!

I don’t even know how to begin to explain how much I enjoyed this read! Ever since being introduced to French last year, I have been impressed, twice over, by how fantastic her writing is – how flawlessly she can weave a story and somehow not make it directly about the murder, but also make you care LOADS about the characters and what happens to them. And that’s a damn hard thing to do.

While this is apparently the ‘fifth’ book in The Dublin Murder Squad Series, you definitely do NOT need to have read any of the other books. While it could be helpful to have read Faithful Place first, as their are recurring characters and a couple of references to that work (I was unaware of this going in), it is most definitely not necessary.

Pros:

  • French is an absolutely seamless writer. You will want to read EVERY SINGLE WORD and bathe in them. It’s that good. There were ZERO parts that I found uninteresting or boring.
  • The characters are absolutely stunning. I felt like I could touch them and was their best friend.
  • The interrogation scenes of the suspects are phenomenal. As this is about a quarter of the book, it is a big part, and she manages to keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
  • The prose (writing) are just downright beautiful.

Cons

  • Conway could be slightly overbearing in the beginning.
  • While you could take a guess at who did it, it is very hard to be FOR SURE on who did it until it just flat out tells you, but this is a very minor con, as I love finding things out AS the characters do, though I know some readers like to play detective.

Overall View

The mystery, the characters, the dialogue, the everything is something that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. French manages to leave no loose threads in this tightly packed bow of a book.

Every single character is flawless, and it keeps you gasping for air until the very end. Her prose are just downright beautiful – from describing a tree to someone’s deepest, darkest emotion, French knows how to tug at your heart-strings.

As stated above, Detective Conway can be a little over-bearing when you are first introduced to her, but that’s just part of her character. And, as stated above, as well, it was difficult for me to solve the case myself, as you are learning WITH the detectives, which makes ME like it more, but it might be a con to some (however the story does go between past and present to help you have a little insight along the way). I definitely did not see the ending coming, which is one of the main things I look for in Detective Fiction – being fooled!

Final Rating:

Characters: 5.0 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 4.5 / 5.0

Overall Story: 5.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 5.0

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Final Thoughts:

If you like Detective Mysteries, MY GOODNESS WHAT ARE DOING STILL READING THIS?!?! GO READ THIS BOOK!!! BUY IT HERE!!

But, like I always say, this is just the honest opinion of an English Major.

Best,

Daniel xx

 

SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED by Jon Ronson (Review)

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I’m going to go ahead and admit that this has been sitting on my nightstand, half-read, for awhile now. Also, this is a non-fiction book, so it will be judged under slightly different criteria which can be found here.

Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed delves into the deep and utterly terrifying world of how someone’s life can be changed in a matter of hours over internet shaming. Ronson takes us through the process of internet and social shaming, as well as trying to shake the shame, by bringing in actual victims. Will society ever learn?

(Note: This is not in-review of the section entitled “Afterword” included in the paperback version, as it was not included in the original, hardcover version.)

Basic Thoughts

Oh boy, this is a juicy read!

I originally found this through the recommendation of Ariel Bissett. I mean, how intriguing? A book describing numerous public shammings and society’s role in keeping those shammings prevalent today. How one tweet, or comment, can ruin your life.

So, I bought it. And boy does it hook you with those shamming stories fast, and boy does it draw you in. Ronson does a fantastic job at keeping the reader interested in the topic, if they weren’t already, by giving you real interviews of these people who have shammed – showing the reader what it’s like and the impact society’s backlash has on people. And, boy is it powerful.

It really gets you to thinking about the next time you go out to tweet something.

Pros:

  • Interesting and relevant subject matter
  • Raw interviews
  • The author really doesn’t care what people think about his opinion

Cons:

  • I felt it dragged in some places, like, say, when you’re trying to reach a certain word count in an essay and you repeat what you’ve said numerous times.
  • I sometimes felt he would jump around with names of people he had talked about previously in the book, and I would have to be like, “Wait, what did they do, again?”

Overall View:

I hardly ever read non-fiction, and this book is a pleasant change. It’s interesting and it’s relevant.

Would I have rather been reading fiction? Yes. But, not because the book was poorly written, just because I like fiction better; I can get lost in it. However, if you are a fiction reader, like I am, and want to read your one non-fiction for the year, I highly recommend this one, as it touches on a topic extremely relevant in today’s society.

Final Rating:

Readability: 3.5/5

Credibility: 5.0 / 5.0

Overall Interest Factor: 3.5 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 4.0 / 5.0

 

Final Thoughts:

Like I said, if you’re looking to read that one non-fiction for the year, than this is one I would highly recommend. As a matter of fact, you can purchase it here.

But, do keep in mind that this is just the honest opinion of an English Major.

Best,

Daniel xx

 

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King and Owen King

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Stephen King is one of the most renown authors in the world of Fiction, known by readers and non-readers world wide for his incredible. Sleeping Beautiesa book written by Stephen and his son, Owen, called for an interesting call to the fans and to the fresh readers of King. Could he and his son weave a seamless story for King’s already huge fanbase? Our would they dissapoint?

Sleeping Beauties begins when a strange woman, later known by the name of Evie Black, walks out of the forest, killing two drug dealers in her wake. Soon, the woman population around the world start going to sleep only to be wrapped in a shrouded cocoon, not waking up, and if disturbed can become deadly. But, when Evie goes to sleep, she is perfectly normal. What will the men do with this mystery woman? And how will they react in this world without women?

Basic Thoughts:

I received this book as a Christmas present, and I knew, going into it, that there was going to be a strong, political message that the Kings were going to try and get across. I mean, a world without woman? How would the men get along?

But, that was fine with me. I thought it would be an interesting subject matter. My main concern at the time was: Could the Kings come together and write a story without me knowing that one King was writing over the others? Would this political message get in the way of the story? I guess we would find out.

Pros:

  • While I do consider myself a pretty heavy reader, this is only the second Stephen King (and first Owen King) book that I’ve read, and as stated above, I was weary of this “co-author” thing. The good about this, besides the first 50 pages maybe, I wasn’t able to detect any transition of writing style, making for that “seamless” feeling story.
  • The story is an interesting one, but the thing that really drives this are the characters. And, while the amount of characters is a little hard to keep up with some times, I felt that they all had a pretty powerful, distinct voice, which strengthened the overall conflict.
  • When the action scenes did occur, they were pretty damn cool.

Cons

  • This book is 700 pages exactly, which is definitely not a “light” book. The entire thing is a heavy based story with a heavy based conflict. That being said, I felt the entire book was about 200 pages too long. If the characters spent more time trying to find a solution rather than trying to prevent the inevitable, it would have made for a lot stronger story.
  • Without the political message, is there really a story worth telling?
  • Evie Black

Overall View:

The Kings manage to weave together a complex story with the question: Could society function without women? And while I think that’s a very interesting question to bring up, as a critical reader, I have to ask, is there a story without that political stand point?

I am sadly going to have to say “no”.

We are presented with this character, who may or may not be a protagonist, named Evie Black who is possibly responsible for all of this mess, and by the end, it’s almost as if the entire world forgets about her. The book fails to answer the question that readers have been waiting 700 pages to find out: WHO THE HELL IS SHE?

Also, when I read something (and I knew this going into it, so bare with me), I don’t want to be shoved with a political message. And while it was subtle enough that a person who never watches the news could not register the message, I couldn’t help but feel the Kings put this out as a “hey…we’re men who are feminists…we just thought you should know that…” leaving the reader just wanting to toss the book across the room at some points.

Wrapping it up in a sentence, though, without the political message you are left with the giant question of “Who cares?”

Final Rating

Characters: 4.5/5

Action/Dialogue: 3.5/5

Overall Story: 2/5

FINAL RATING: 3.5

 

Daniel Peralta