Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

review

Where do I even begin to explain how great this book was? It’s one of those books that I insist you drop what you’re doing right now and go read it! Usually I am not one for historical fiction or more romance heavy plots but oh man was I glad I picked this one up!

Trigger Warnings: Parental abuse both physical, verbal, and emotional, racism, and homophobia (I understand that the last two coincide with the time period but it could have been challenged a bit more in the story)

PLOT

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” overall is just such a fun, light-hearted, and hilarious story that is all very reminiscent of “My Lady Jane” so if you enjoyed that book I definitely recommend checking this one out as well! It’s very fast paced, full of plenty adventures and shenanigans in which Monty gets everyone tangled up in one problem after the other. They even have run ins with highwaymen and pirates both! So yes this book is very much entertaining and never has a dull moment!

I also really enjoyed Monty’s narrative and inner monologues because of how sassy and sarcastic he was. I found that this is a majority of why I thought this story was so hilarious!

The overall setting is on the characters’ Grand Tour of the Continent so we get to have places such as Paris, Spain, and Venice as our backdrop to all of the trouble Monty seems to get himself and his friends into. We don’t see too terribly much of the cities or countries but there are a few landmarks mentioned and I just found it all to be very exciting. Venice was definitely my favorite place they visited…just saying.

Mackenzi Lee’s writing is also simply amazing, it had me hooked right from the beginning and had me turning pages all the way up until the end! I loved how she made it additive, hilarious, and touching all at once. There was also never a dull moment and we were never bogged down with pointless or boring details, we got the journey without all of the fussing!

I also really loved the ending even if it was a bit unrealistic.

There was also diversity! We got to have a bisexual narrator along with a M/M romance and Percy was also of a diverse ethnicity (I’m pretty sure he was English/African but I’m not 100% positive).

While I’d love to rate this 5 stars it just didn’t feel quite like a 5 star read for me so 4.5 it is!

characters

The characters were definitely my favorite part of this book, easily! All three of the main characters (Monty, Percy, and Felicity) were straight up amazing and adorable, they were all just so likable! I also felt that they were very realistic, had their flaws, and learned to deal with them or overcome them. So I guess you could say they developed very well over the course of the story.

Henry “Monty” Montague is our narrator and as I said earlier he is FULL of sass and sarcasm which ultimately gets him into quite a bit of trouble, well that and the fact that he loves to drink, gamble, smoke, and fool around with both men and women all the time. People that know him often refer to him as a scoundrel and it’s quite fitting. I find that most often his personality was hilarious in this way but he could be quite an ass sometimes, but his friends would call him out on it immediately and he would actually listen and learn from it. That’s right a character who actually learns from his mistakes and friends that aren’t afraid to call him out!

I also really loved Percy and Felicity since both were adorable but Felicity is a bookish badass! I’m actually really in love with Felicity’s character because she didn’t take shit from anyone and with the way the story ended with her I’m super pumped to read her spin off “The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats and Piracy”.

romance

I’m usually not the biggest fan of YA romances since they’re usually so filled with tropes but this was perfect! I shipped Monty + Percy so freaking much! Honestly they were both the most adorable and you could have cut the tension with a knife, seriously. I also found it very cute that they both were head over heels for each other but were both so completely clueless they thought their love was unrequited! I also really liked how their romance had a bit of a “forbidden love” feel to it since that’s one trope I can’t get enough of!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • Fun, light-hearted, and hilarious story
  • Great, adorable, and likable characters
  • Diversity!
  • Tons of adventure and shenanigans!
  • Pirates!
  • The amazing and fun writing
  • The settings (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, etc.)
  • The completely adorable and ship worthy romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Honestly nothing I loved everything! (it just didn’t feel like a complete 5 star for me personally though)

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly recommend checking out “The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue” because there’s definitely something for everyone in here! It’s overall just such a fun and entertaining book and I want everyone to read and enjoy it as well!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

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Book Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

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description

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

review

This book pretty much met every expectation I had for it:

  • A brutal, fierce, warrior heroine
  • A complex, thrilling plot
  • Tons of detail and overall development
  • Action, betrayal, and revenge galore!

So I guess you could say I was definitely not disappointed and very much impressed with this book and I cannot wait for the sequel!

PLOT

“And I Darken” basically has everything I love in a fantasy book but this is actually historical fiction which may surprise some people, it’s a “retelling” of history in which Lada (the main character) is Vlad the Impaler. It was very, very interesting to read this book and then look up the corresponding history and make comparisons between the two this also may just be me since I’m a big history geek. Just a fun little tidbit there….

This book covers quite a large time span as we witness Lada and Radu’s birth, childhood, and growth into young adults. That being said I thought the pacing was pretty spot on, it wasn’t necessarily very fast paced the entire time and I never found myself truly bored while reading although I will say it lost a bit of steam in the middle.

As I said above this story has so much detail and complexity it’s practically mind blowing, there’s so many things going on and yet it wasn’t confusing to follow at all. A lot of the story revolves around war and politics…but mostly politics and I loved it. The best way for me to describe the plot is to compare it to a spider’s web, there are so many different threads going different ways and interconnecting everything. There are so many twists and turns and you just don’t know what will happen next a lot of it is completely unpredictable.

The setting was also very interesting we almost never see any YA Fiction books set in Eastern Europe especially as far back as the 1400’s. I don’t claim to be an expert on 1400’s Eastern European history but I thought Kiersten White did an excellent job making the setting feel as authentic as possible. Another thing that really adds to this is the addition of the religions, albeit subtle,  of Christianity and Islam and how the characters felt about each. And none of the historical or religious facts every felt preachy or like we were being info-dumped on.

characters

The characters in “And I Darken” are probably the best part of the entire book. They are brutal, complex, morally ambiguous, and despicable…… I adored them all. I was 100% invested in Lada and Radu’s characters I cared so deeply about both of them and a lot of what kept me reading was wanting to know what would happen to them.

Lada is one of my all time favorite characters now she is mentioned in the description of the book as brutal and brutal she most definitely is as well as fierce and just an all around badass. She is the total opposite of your typical YA heroine, she is no special snowflake that’s for sure. Lada is resilient and relentless in her desires she will not stop fighting until she has what she wants.

Radu, Lada’s younger brother, is the polar opposite of his sister. Where she is brutal, physically strong, and violent he is vulnerable, book-smart, and kind. I think I enjoyed seeing Radu come out of his shell the most, he’s quiet and pays attention to details others would overlook and is very key in some of the politics of the book because of the secrets and information he learns.

Big plus with this book? One of the strongest sibling relationships I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. I loved Lada and Radu because they got stuck in the same siutaion together and trust only one another, the bond is so strong between these too. They do some messed up stuff in order to protect each other at any cost.

Of course then we have one other very important chief character (although he does not narrate) and a slew of very complex and interesting secondary characters. I’ve said this many times before but I’ll say it again: if you want to impress me with your book you better have some well developed secondary characters. “And I Darken” certainly delivered on this front too.

romance

This was an aspect of the book where I’m unsure what to really say about it because it was about as complex as everything else! There is a bit of a love triangle although it definitely is NOT your typical love triangle there are a lot of different factors that get mixed in with it so it definitely is not the kind we all dislike so strongly in our YA books. I would explain more but I don’t want to spoil the surprise!!!!

Just know that while I shipped the romance(s) so hard, they were also very frustrating to read about! I mean this in the best possible way because I sat the entire time like this:

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Basically I approve of the romance in this book and that almost never happens.

in conclusion

I absolutely loved this book and the only reason I docked 0.5 stars is because I felt it didn’t quite live up to the other books I did give 5 stars to.

What I Liked:

  • The setting (as I said it’s a rare one)
  • Genderswapped Vlad the Impaler
  • The complexity of the plot
  • Well developed characters
  • Interesting (ship-worthy) romances

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The pacing slowed the tiniest bit in the middle

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly recommend taking a look at this book! If you love fantasy I think you’ll really enjoy “And I Darken” because while it isn’t fantasy itself it has all of the war and politics games you find and enjoy in fantasy books.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

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Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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description

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

review

Well this is me officially jumping onto the Raven Cycle bandwagon, I cannot even begin to explain how surprised I was by my love for this book.

This book and the entire series is CRAZY hyped and I was very nervous to read it, who wouldn’t be? I didn’t want to end up hating it and having a mob of fangirls attack me. Good news is I am now one of those fangirls and the hype was most definitely correct.

I usually don’t go for any kind of paranormal romance or urban fantasy books since they’re usually full of YA tropes in my opinion and I originally thought “The Raven Boys” would be the same. I mean the description doesn’t do it justice at all, all it did was make me think the book was ALL about Blue falling in love with Gansey and not being able to kiss him. I’ve never been so glad to be proven wrong and I’m extremely happy that I took a chance on this series.

PLOT

First off let me address the things that I was expecting this book to be all about:

  • Poor girl meets rich boy and falls in love (kind of a forbidden love trope)
  • Insta-love ( I mean the description straight up says he’s her true love before they meet)
  • A very plot-centered romance overall

Yes, the description made me think this book was all about true love, kissing, and romance.

But….

It most certainly is the opposite.

This book is in fact more about psychics, spirits, ley lines, magical trees, and the search for an ancient Welsh king who waits to be woken. Now doesn’t all of that sound so much more appealing than the kissing? I know I found it to be, I couldn’t resist turning pages to find out what would happen with all of these things next! Stiefvater intricately weaves the paranormal with the fantastical, sure there are supernatural things happening but yet you still get the very distinct impression of magic. How could you not love a blending of the paranormal and the magical?

The atmosphere that was created, it was eerie and also suspenseful, I loved everything from Blue’s family demonstrating their psychic abilities to Gansey and boy’s quest for Glendower (you know…that ancient Welsh king I mentioned earlier). There are definitely a lot of things happening within the plot of this book, lots of different plot lines to be followed. It may come off confusing right away to some people but the mystery and anticipation is half the fun, trust me! There is also a bit of POV jumping, which I know can confuse some readers or at least annoy, so you’ve been warned about that now.

As far as all of the romance goes though there still is some but it really does take a backseat in the story which I appreciated very much. However, I don’t think any of you romance fans will be too disappointed with it. It’s a very slow-burn romance and it doesn’t completely take over the plot and the romance isn’t exactly between the characters you would expect…..

The pacing did get a little slow at times and it would really go up and down a lot, however, I didn’t mind since my thirst for answers concerning our many plot lines far out-weighed any slow pacing.

Overall I think my favorite part about this story and its plot is how original it feels, which is something I wasn’t expecting at all. I was actually expecting a book full of the same old tropes but I have definitely never read or heard of anything like this before.

characters

Honestly I think the characters are the best part of this whole book, the story is kind of character driven overall. There wasn’t a single character I disliked which is quite the feat on its own. Everyone is complex, developed, and interesting. Emphasis on the interesting. They’re also all very likable in general but most of all they’re realistic.

Blue Sargent is one of our MCs don’t let the description fool you into thinking this is a 1st Person POV told only by Blue because it isn’t. Blue and The Raven Boys themselves are on equal footing as far as the POVs go. I digress, I actually really liked Blue’s character she’s sensible (as she so often calls herself) and quirky and she doesn’t really take shit from anybody. Qualities I love in a heroine. She’s also a kind of the opposite of a special snowflake seeing as how she’s the only member of her family that doesn’t have psychic abilities which I like because it makes her just a bit more relatable as a character. However, Blue does make things “louder” for other psychics but I still don’t view this as special snowflake status.

Then we have our Raven Boys and they really are the stars of the show in my opinion and Blue pales in comparison,  I could sit and sing their praises all damn day. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah are just complete and utter perfection as far as characters go; they’re flawed, complex, and actually quite….swoon-worthy. I also really love how strong their friendship is and how realistically it’s portrayed. It’s also a nice change of pace to have interesting male main characters in a YA book.

Gansey is very determined in his quest for Glendower and he’s clever and a loyal friend. He’s also not my favorite character I just found something a little lacking with him, don’t get me wrong he’s still a great character and I like him but he just isn’t my favorite. Something just didn’t quite spark my interest enough with Gansey’s character.

Adam makes me heart bleed, I came close to tears every time we switched to his POV. He’s got the whole “rags to riches” thing going on but it doesn’t come without its costs and he’s had to work very hard to get where he’s at. Honestly I just wanted to give him a hug the whole time and he deserves one!

Ronan is by far my favorite character he’s the “bad boy” and I feel cliched for having him be my favorite but he’s so awesome I don’t even care. There’s actually a lot going on with Ronan and he has his fair share of secrets that keeps his character intriguing. Plus everyone loves a sarcastic little shit, right?

Noah is probably one of the single most adorable characters I’ve ever come across in a book, he puts fluffy kittens to shame. He’s quiet and very much in the background but that doesn’t make him any less important. I think the most significant thing I can even say about Noah is that he’s adorable, seriously that’s probably all you need to know.

There are also many secondary characters that are equally complex and play equally important parts in the plot. Mostly Blue’s family. They’re just as quirky and eccentric as Blue and they’re just overall a fun set of characters. Blue’s mom is definitely one of my favorite literary mothers of all time now.

in conclusion

“The Raven Boys” is a great, original tale that blends the paranormal with the mystical and has amazing characters that are easy to connect with.

I’m giving this a rating of 4.5 because I don’t quite feel it’s a full 5 star book but I’m also giving it that extra 0.5 star just because I can’t stop thinking about this book!

Overall I can say that the hype was worth it and I’m so glad to have finally read it.

RECOMMEND

I’m going to just add to about 100,000 other voices telling you to READ THIS BOOK, ok? I think even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea you should still take a chance on it like I did, you may end up loving it!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

(As of right now, if you own a Kindle, you can get a copy of this book for $1.99!!)

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Book Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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description

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

review

Usually I don’t read graphic novels, the only other graphic novel I ever read was “Watchmen” which is a classic. So needless to say I don’t have a lot of experience with them, so when Ariana at The Quirky Book Nerd recommended it to me I wasn’t sure. Pretty much everyone who read it loved it and gave it raving reviews, I was intimidated. There’s no way this graphic novel could live up to that much hype, right? Wrong. “Nimona” lives up to all of the hype. For me “Nimona” is going to be a gateway book into the graphic novel world, I can just tell.

The storyline was very engaging, there’s never a dull moment in this book! I couldn’t stop turning pages until I got to the end of the book and even then I was wishing there was more. It’s pretty fast paced, I finished it in no time.

We don’t just get a straight forward plot either, nope we get a series of flashbacks as well. A glimpse of everyone’s past, kind of like a super hero origin story. It made the characters feel a lot more real and interesting. While the plot wasn’t exactly predictable there weren’t too many shocking instances either. I’m used to Gillian Flynn plot twists so it takes quite a lot to really surprise me. But that doesn’t mean you’ll see some of the twists in “Nimona” coming.

I also loved how Noelle Stevenson did the humor in “Nimona”, I swear I was laughing during more than half the book!  Nimona herself was absolutely hilarious and that’s really one of the main reasons I found the book to be so entertaining.

Speaking of Nimona, talk about a GREAT protagonist. She’s quirky, fierce, and lovable all at the same time. She does what she wants when she wants, she’s completely unpredictable and I loved it. Nimona is also very well-developed, we get to really know her personality as well as her backstory throughout the book.

Then there’s Blackheart and Goldenloin, also excellent characters. Although Goldenloin’s character, to me, really wasn’t all that important or exciting. He was kind of just there to move certain plot points along, I didn’t care for him. Sorry! I did love Blackheart though, if there was any competition for favorite character it was him (with Nimona as the winner of course). He’s supposed to be the big, bad super villain when really he’s one of the only ones with a conscience.

I also really enjoyed the relationships between Nimona and Blackheart as well as Blackheart and Goldenloin. So much friendship, it warmed my heart!

Not to mention I loved the artwork, the illustrations were so vibrant and fun! I don’t really have a ton of experience with comics illustrations but I loved Stevenson’s work!

in conclusion

I wish I could do “Nimona” more justices by writing a better and longer review but alas I cannot gush anymore.

RECOMMEND

Dang right I do! I also think this is a great “starter” graphic novel, a graphic novel for people who haven’t really read a whole lot of them. It’s a truly wonderful book!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

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Book Review: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

a sasy book review

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)Title: The Monstrumologist

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: The Monstrumologist #1

Pages: 454

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: September 22nd, 2009

 

Description From Goodreads

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?

Review

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to find out about this series! I love horror and I don’t think there are enough great YA horror books out there, “The Monstrumologist” is one of the good ones.

I mean the study of monsters? What about that doesn’t sound awesome? Although there is so much more to the story than just the monsters….

Let’s Talk About The Plot:

I’m going to go ahead and warn you right away, this book is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish of stomach. While not an overly terrifying story, “The Monstrumologist” is most definitely a gory and bloody one.

I don’t know about you, but I love gore. Something about it makes books more enjoyable for me, I know I’m weird. This is one of the goriest book I’ve ever read though I mean it gets down right nasty. There were parts of the book where I was legitimately gagging it was so gross, but I loved it. I have one scene in mind (if you read this book you’ll know which one).

Plus the monsters themselves are so well done, not only are they absolutely vicious but they’re very intelligent as well. Nothing is scarier than a monster with brains let me tell you. Which reminds me they aren’t the only monsters in this book, we also have them in human form and to be honest I don’t know which were scarier. The acts committed by some of the people in this book were more horrendous than anything the monsters could have done.

I know what you might be thinking: monsters aren’t that scary. Trust me when I say these ones are. Yancey writes them in a way that is truly terrifying. He doesn’t just rely on the physical appearance of the monsters to be scary but their nature as well, which of course is eating people. Now to me, being hunted and getting eaten is scary.

While I found the entire story to be extremely interesting and hard to put down, I can definitely see some people getting bored with it. The writing gets a little tedious and slow at times but it’s worth it to keep reading, trust me!

There’s also TONS of suspense, which of course is required in any good horror book. Not that it’s a scary book in a jumpy sort of way, but more of a quiet horror. Still quite the terrifying book and I got chills more than a couple of times.

Also the sheer CONTENT in “The Monstrumologist” is amazing. Even though this isn’t a fantasy book I would say that it’s on par with fantasy-like world building. If monstrumology were a real science, Rick Yancey would have done his research excellently. Everything he wrote describing the practice of it and the monsters themselves is very believable. Which is part of why I thought the whole book was so fascinating.

Now The Characters:

Excuse me a minute as a completely fangirl over our dark, broody, mad scientist Pellinore Warthrop.

Yes, I think it’s hard to imagine anyone reading this book and NOT loving Pellinore. Although he is kind of an ass…..but we forgive him because he’s so……um I’m not really sure but he’s definitely unique. Not your typical swoon-worthy character but there’s just something about him. He’s insanely smart and very dedicated to is work, he also doesn’t shy away from anything. Being unafraid, of course is mandatory if you’re going to study monsters. There was one thing that bothered me about Pellinore though: the way he treated Will Henry at times. That poor child needs LOVE not orders!

Will Henry, the main character, is adorable. He’s a 12 year old kid and I have a hard time not thinking he’s adorable, he does everything Dr. Warthrop asks of him and all Will wants in return is acceptance and maybe a little love. My heart ached for him, I wanted Warthrop to LOVE him as his own child! I wanted it SO BAD.

Will Henry is also very flawed, what 12 year old orphaned kid under the care of a monstrumologist wouldn’t be? Will gives into weakness and he’s not without his fears making him a very believable and realistic protagonist.

The only other real character of note would be Jack Kearns, remember when I said there are human monsters contained within this book? That’s all I’ll say about Mr. Kearns.

There was a lot of emphasis on Will and Pellinore’s relationship, Yancey goes pretty in depth about why Pellinore treats Will the way he does. Which stems from how Pellinore’s father treated him, it really helped develop both characters in the story.

Which is another thing I’d like to point out, character development. The characters were very well developed and complex, we get to know them very well in this book. Rick Yancey did an excellent job making his characters feel REAL.

In Conclusion:

There was nothing not to love about “The Monstrumologist”, it had everything I like in a good horror book. It was an excellently written and I’ll be more than glad to continue the series.

Recommend?

Yes, yes, yes. If you’re a fan of horror and want a gory read then definitely look no further than this book! Even if you’re not a big horror fan this book is still worth a look, although if you’re squeamish maybe skip it altogether.

Rating:

skull rating 4.5

Rating: 4.5

Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

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description

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

review

This is going to be a short, sweet review because honestly my review won’t do the book proper justice.

Where do I even begin to describe my love for this book? Oh right I know exactly where to begin, I’ll begin by thanking the lovely Ariana over at The Quirky Book Nerd for recommending this fabulous book to me! (She has great taste guys, go check out her blog for recommendations).

Anywho! Like I said this is one fantastic book, because who doesn’t love funny books? Unless you are literally a black hole that loves nothing better than consuming all happiness and humor, otherwise I can guarantee you’ll love this book!

“Hyperbole and a Half” is truly a hilarious book, I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard while reading in a long ass time. I kept trying to read it out loud to people and I couldn’t even get the words out I was laughing so much. I think the book will pretty much fit everyone’s type of humor, I can bet you’ll laugh AT LEAST once.

Plus I absolutely LOVED the illustrations, they added so much to the book. The book is simply incomplete without them.

I think I spent more time looking and laughing at pictures than actually reading…..

Also they’re so colorful and just overall fun to look at and read, I borrowed an e-copy from my library and I’m really regretting not reading it in its full colorful glory!

What I also really loved was how Allie Brosh dealt with real-life issues in her book, adding humor and honesty to things such as depression. I don’t know about you but when a humor book can make you feel better about dealing with mental health issues then it gets an A+ in my opinion. I have to deal with my anxiety and just reading Brosh’s stories/chapters on that really helped me feel a bit less hopeless about it.

I’ll actually go and buy my own personal print copy of this book and re-read it again, also give it to my friends and family and hope they read it too. Does that help you understand how great this book is?

The only reason I’m rating this a 4.5 instead of a full 5 is that I’ve already read some of the chapters/stories before so they lost the teeniest bit of their humor on me. That’s it though! The only reason I promise.

So really do you need more convincing? Go read this book now!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

a title here (7)

 

description

Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

review

This is going to be a shorter review than I’d like but the story itself is under 200 pages so I don’t have too many opinions about it.

Let’s start!

I loved everything about this book, it’s practically flawless just like the rest of Gaiman’s work. I don’t know if I can count myself a true Gaiman fan yet though since I’ve read 3 books but I’ll definitely be working my way up there!

PLOT

Trust me when I say it’s creepy because it most definitely is, but in a very simple way. I don’t think the goal was to scare you or creepy you out, but to just simply tell Coraline’s story. Well, and if we get scared and creeped out along the way that’s just a bonus isn’t it?

The plot line is very straight forward and it excels at delivering an overall eerie atmosphere at the same time. Coraline has moved into a new flat where her parents work all the time and ignore her a lot. She wants to explore and wants things to be more…..interesting.

Remember how people always tell you to be careful what you wish for?

Well that’s pretty much the whole plot because Coraline’s life does indeed get quite a bit more interesting. She decides to open up a tiny door that’s supposed to be bricked up, but imagine that, when she opens it there’s a tunnel. Of course she walks through it and appears in a copy of her flat where she meets her other mother and other father.

They have black buttons for eyes and they’re scary as fuck. But Coraline doesn’t mind because she’s suddenly in a new world that’s so much more fun than the other one she lives in. She gets to do whatever she wants and everything’s perfect.

Or is it?

The other mother wants Coraline for herself, however, and that’s really where the story begins. When everything starts to go bad.

Gaimain’s writing is, as always, beautiful and easy to read along with. You’ll be at the end of the story before you know it!

characters

Coraline is wonderful. She’s curious, clever, and courageous. “C” what I did there? I’m not lame. I enjoyed her character so much, she’s everything I love in a heroine! Coraline is determined and not easily fooled, which makes things all the more interesting.

And the cat was an awesome addition to the story! Who doesn’t love a good, sarcastic cat character? He pretty much talked and acted how I’d expect a real cat to, you know…if real cats could talk.

The other mother made for a great villain as well, she was actually very terrifying. If she just sat across from me and stared I’d be paralyzed with fear and if that doesn’t make for a great villain I don’t know what does.

in conclusion

Coraline is a great read for all ages, she’s a brave character that’s a lot of fun to read about. Plus everyone likes a good, creepy book once in a while right? Oh come on now, it’s not that scary.

I can’t wait to get my hands on more of Gaiman’s books!

RECOMMEND

Definitely, like I said it’s for all ages! If you’re a Gaiman fan and haven’t read this you’ll love it and if you haven’t read any of his books before this it’s absolutely one I’d start with!

 Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy