Monday, 31 March 2014

Legend (Marie Lu)

Legend is a science fiction, action novel that also has hints of romance and survival. The story alternates between the view points of the two main characters, June and Day. Personally I’ve never been a fan of multiple perspectives however, in this book, it adds to the feel of the story and brings more to it as well. It adds to the plot because the two characters come from two very different lifestyles that co-exist in one city.
The Book Cover
The novel starts off a bit slow, introducing you to the world in which it takes place, but then it reaches a point and drastically picks up the pace to the point of not wanting to put it down. I really struggled to pace myself as I passed the halfway point of the story. Normally I would be disappointed by a slow-paced beginning of a book, but in this case there was something about it that kept me hanging on. Since the plot takes place in a corrupted society and the hierarchy of the citizens was determined in an unorthodox way, I found myself enjoying the prolonged descriptions.

The first main character, June, is brought up in the upper class society and never has to fight for her high quality of life. Despite that, she has grown to be a grounded and morally driven person; this adds a dynamic of contrast that you get to see develop. The second main character, Day, is brought up in the lower class society and is the criminal of the city. Despite that, he too is very grounded and never commits crimes without moral reason. He focuses on what he needs to do to survive and never just lays down and allows the upper class to rule him; this too adds a dynamic of contrast compared the to the lower class civilians.

Legend is the first novel in a trilogy followed by Prodigy and then Champion.

I would rate this novel 4.3/5 because it really held my attention for the majority of the novel.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag (Alan Bradley)

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag was the second book in the series of six involving the character Flavia de Luce. After reading the first book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - and loving it, I was quite excited to start this one because I loved the character Flavia de Luce.
The Book Cover
Upon beginning the novel, I was faced with a little confusion. The story began in such a weird way that I struggled to grasp the plot that was evolving. Once getting on track with the storyline, I was faced with some disappointment. I knew before starting this novel that it was not a sequel but was, however, a continuation of the character and her town.

Despite knowing this concept before starting this novel, I was disappointed by the fact that it was basically the same plot outline, but with different people and a slightly different mystery. This put me off the book and eventually I gave up on the story; I never finished reading it.

I would rate this novel 1/5 because it failed to hold my attention and it was simply a disguised repeat of the previous novel.
*(Despite this low rating, I ask that if you liked the first novel to at least try this one. When reading this novel I was faced with moving to University and perhaps my focus was off therefore making my judgement clouded.)

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Alan Bradley)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a mystery novel that follows the thought path and detective work of an 11 year old girl named Flavia after a murder in the garden of her family home. This book, though a little slow at the start, is quite fast paced and takes many unexpected twists and turns.
Similar to all mystery novels, the goal of the story is to determine who committed this act of murder and make sure an innocent person does not go down for it.
The Book Cover
What intrigued me most about this story was the character Flavia. Despite only being 11 years old, she has this maturity and confidence about her that draws you in. Personally, this aspect is what really kept me reading - other than finding the murderer - because I was fascinated by the fact that an 11 year old girl could have that much confidence; it sprung from the pages even more as the story progressed. That little girl made me reflect about myself and the confidence, or lack there of, that I myself possess.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first novel in a series of 6 books by Alan Bradley:
  1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
  2. The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
  3. A Red Herring Without Mustard
  4. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
  5. Speaking From Among the Bones
  6. The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches 
    The First 5 Novels (6th not shown)
I would rate this book 3.7/5 because of the hidden theme throughout the story and the well thought out storyline; however, it did lack some aspects of mystery novels that I enjoy. I found this mystery book to be a little too light-hearted and "fluffy".

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Allegiant (Veronic Roth)

Allegiant is the third book in the Divergent trilogy, written by Veronica Roth. The book continues to share the same feel as the other two novels, but instead varies in the writing style. For this third book, Veronica Roth wrote the story in alternating, first person perspectives between Beatrice and Four. Whenever I come across books written like this, I am usually quite excited to be able to engross myself even further into the story; however, this time I was cautious. It is not often that you come across a change of writing style part way through a series. Despite my first hesitations though, I did enjoy the change for this portion of the plot, as it did add an additional dynamic.
The Book Cover
The story follows the path and journey of both Beatrice and Four throughout their mission. The book picks up right where it left off from Insurgent and the pace remains quick throughout the entirety of the novel. I struggled immensely to put the book down every night to get some sleep and to not pick it up again right when I woke up the next morning.

The plot line itself is very intriguing and takes many unexpected twists and turns, including some that had me going over the previous two books in my mind as I started to re-think everything I had read. Every chapter forced the characters to push the boundaries in which their choices from the first novel placed them. This theme is one that reflects life quite perfectly. Throughout life, as you grow and develop your character, you face challenges that push what you believe you are capable of; this can be physically, mentally, and even morally.

Overall the book was outstanding and never once left me feeling bored or not intrigued. The only thing that I have bad to say about the book is that it left me bawling my eyes out as the story came to a close. Not many books have the ability to make me cry, but when they do I know the author has successfully written a good book! I won’t give away any spoiler regarding why I was in tears, but I do warn you to prepare yourself for unexpected plot twists.

I would rate Allegiant 4.7/5 because Veronica Roth did NOT let me down on this one (if we don’t take into account the state I was in upon finishing the book). In addition, the overall message of the book was one that struck a chord in me. I think everyone can learn a valuable lesson from reading this series, because I know I did.
The Divergent Trilogy
I hope you read the series and enjoy it as much as I did. Definitely leave a comment with your thoughts on Veronica Roth's trilogy!

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms <3

Monday, 17 March 2014

Insurgent (Veronica Roth)

Insurgent is the sequel to the popular novel, and upcoming movie, Divergent. This sequel definitely lived up to the first book and I quickly found myself sucked into the characters and plot; I never wanted to put it down before going to bed, much like the first book.
The Book Cover
Insurgent is definitely a fast paced novel with multiple twists and turns, many of which are very unexpected. When you open to the first page, you are immediately drawn back into the story right from where the first book left off. As a reader of quite a few trilogies and series, I admire an author's doing of this; there is nothing worse than a sequel beginning five years later, for example. For an author to continue a sequel where the initial novel ended means that they had already thought through the plot before beginning the series; continuity is a characteristic I value in series of books.

With this novel, I often found myself trying to predict what might happen next; however, I rarely was right! For an author to successfully lead their reader to a different plot path truly takes some skill. To direct a reader's thoughts in a direction entirely different from your own requires extra thinking and planning on the author's part. I definitely admire Veronica Roth for doing this so successfully.
Author - Veronica Roth
You continue to see character development from both Beatrice and Four, as well as some of the other secondary characters that you grow to love. The plot of this novel begins to show more dynamic and becomes very intricate in the sense that your brain is torn between many different thoughts.

I would rate Insurgent 4.5/5 because it was almost perfect, though part of me hates the cliffhanger; that’s probably because I had to wait so long for the next book.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms <3

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Divergent: the type of novel that is difficult to put down. A fast-paced, complex storyline with mystique characters.  
The Book Cover
I myself read this 487 page novel in under 6 hours. This book would fall under the fantasy/science fiction genre, however it does have other aspects outside of those two main themes. The main storyline involves a broken society of five factions: Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. The book follows the choices that the main character Beatrice makes as she reaches the age of one big decision; her future will be defined by that one choice.

The Five Factions
Divergent is a faced paced novel and almost immediately picks up on the main storyline. The author doesn’t waste time describing the whole landscape at the start but does instead give you more insight as the book progresses. This is an interesting approach, one that is almost risky to take. If an author chooses to pass up on initial descriptions, planning to incorporate them later, they could face the mistake of interrupting that immersed-feeling a reader may have later on.

The main characters are easy to fall in love with as their individual stories feel so real. Beatrice is the type of girl that isn't truly visible to those around her; I'm drawn to calling her a shadow. In a way, her character reflects that of a girl in high school who can't ever seem to find her place. Beatrice is almost unsure and timid, but yet still manages to maintain a sense of confidence and strength. Four, also known as Tobias, is essentially the opposite; I would say he's like a statue. He is strong and prominent in a visible sense, yet his mental state is withdrawn and hidden. This contrast between these two main characters adds a brilliant dynamic to the story.

Four and Beatrice (Movie)
Divergent touches on many themes, some hidden and some prominent, that really make you think and reflect. As much as I would love to break down these themes, I don't want to draw to much from the story in worry that I would ruin it for you.

If you enjoyed reading the Hunger Games series, then you should find this one just as appealing; however, do not mistake it as a knock-off because it definitely can stand on it’s own. The storyline is very different from that of the Hunger Games, but the overall feel of the book is similar.

Divergent is the first book in the trilogy. The second book is entitled Insurgent and the third book is Allegiant.

I would rate this book 4.8/5 because of the speed at which I read it; not many books can bring that out in me and still leave me feeling engrossed in the story.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms <3

Hello Bookworms!

Good Morning Bookworm :)

Before I begin this journey that I call a blog, I want to introduce myself and the concept of this blog. My name is Kelly, I'm 19, Canadian, and a University student. I love to read.
This is me :)
There is something very captivating about reading a novel or a series of novels. My mind becomes entirely focused on the world and characters dreamed up by the authors, as soon as I open to the first page. The words fall off the page and into my head, creating beautiful images and worlds in which I wish I could be - most of the time of course - and I think it's a real, powerful thing to be able to accomplish this successfully.

Whenever I begin a new book, I'm always looking for the same three things:
1. A sufficient introduction into the characters mind and life.
2. An understanding of the type of world in which the story will take place.
3. The storyline to begin and to not just be about the first two points; I want the story to trap me in the second I first start reading the words on the page. I don't want just descriptions.

After an author has successfully done those three things, I'm usually trapped in the story and am happy; however, I feel that the novels that grab my attention do a little more than just that. They make me think, reflect, and most importantly they leave me feeling fulfilled. 

With all that said and in mind, it brings me to the point of this blog. I want to provide a space for bookworms like me to come and feel that they can find a book that they know they will be more than satisfied to read. I want you to be able to trust my opinion of the novels I choose to read (and that you suggest to me to read) and to go out and read them.

I hope you choose to join me on my journey of finding known and unknown books that I think everyone should read. I'm hoping to put up a review at least once a month, and hopefully maybe two; that will depend on the amount of work I have with University.

Until the reviews,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworm <3

Note: This begin on Tumblr, so I will be posting them there too!