The Lovely Bones Review

Summary:

My name is Susie Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighbourhood.

Watching from her place in heaven, Susie Salmon sees her suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet…

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My Thoughts:

I loved this book. It was written in a unique way I had never seen, but thoroughly enjoyed. This book is written in the perspective of a murder victim, who is watching the aftermath of her death from heaven. I loved the insight she brought to the way her family reacted and the way they lived their lives in the wake of her death. I may not have liked all the characters, but I began to understand the motivations of their actions because of Susie’s insight.

To me, this book felt real. The way people reacted was authentic, the killer was realistic, and the book showed the real way that death brings communities together. Mourning was portrayed as something that does not last a few days or weeks, but something that can live with someone for years. This is not done often in books and was a surprising aspect of the book. The characters had believable flaws, and all together reflected the lives of average people.

The problems I had with the book came from the ending few chapters. The story seemed to drag on forever, when it could have been summarised in a chapter or two. Without spoiling anything, Susie’s attitude and personality changed in one particular chapter where everything she said and did was completely out of character. After that, she returned to normal as if nothing happened.

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone, however I must put a trigger warning for rape. There is more then one described throughout the book.

Jasper Jones Review

Summary:

The life of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish 14-year-old, changes irrevocably the night Jasper Jones shows him the dead body of Laura Wishart. In the summer holidays of 1969, Charlie sets out to find her killer.

My Thoughts:

Jasper Jones. What a roller coaster. I was hooked from the start and could barely put the book down at all. I wasn’t sleeping properly and all my time was consumed by this book. The writing was captivating and I loved all the characters (except you-know-who). The plot was amazing, and I was continuously guessing until the big reveal. The writing was unique in the way that you could tell it was Australian, and you could tell exactly what time period it was. It had all the tell-tale signs of the 1960s, with the discrimination against Vietnamese people, as well as the rampant fear of communists. Craig Silvey also used a crazy amount of Australian slang, some of which (even as an Australian) it took me a while to understand. It was perfect. The characters of this book were all believable and loveable. My heart broke for Jasper Jones, I pitied Charlie and I truly felt for Eliza. They all had flaws and weaknesses, as well as strengths. These were portrayed in a realistic light. For example, their weaknesses weren’t crippling (like Kryptonite for Superman) but they weren’t non-existent. They were consistent and real. The villains of the book were great too. I hated them with all of my heart, and yet, they were also real. They were people you hear about in the news, people we see in the world every day. And the plot… I can’t even begin to describe. I couldn’t for the life of me guess what had happened to Laura. I had no idea.

The only warning I can give for this book is the description of Laura made me uneasy, and the ending will make you feel disgusting. It’s realistic, but it’s also everyone’s worst nightmare. The book also has swearing, and does not shy away from the c word. Just a warning.

Overall, would I recommend this book? Yes! I think everyone should read this book, especially for lovers of mystery and suspense.

The Spectacular Now Review

Summary:

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

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My Thoughts:

The Spectacular Now sure was something! I enjoyed this book, but only to a limited extent. I couldn’t really connect with Sutter, as I don’t drink and party, however I liked his outlook on life. I did not like his outlook on women. He was alright, he wasn’t sexist or rude, but he based almost all of his judgements on their looks. When he talks about Cassidy, he rarely talks about her interests or thoughts, but mainly her curves and how good she looks. The same with Aimee, all we hear about is how she isn’t hot, so no one would date her. He has to come swooping in to teach her how to be attractive to men. It was just weird to me. Not to mention that Sutter literally only ever runs from his problems, a lot of the time literally. His whole point is to be a Hedonist. Run from any sort of responsibility, and always put your pleasure first. It just didn’t connect with me, which made it a hard read.

The good part is that I loved Aimee. She was like me. But then Sutter changed her. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a trope I see all the time. The shy girl must become extroverted to be attractive to the main character. There’s nothing wrong with being shy. However, I did like that this change helped her grow and stand up for herself. That’s the side I can appreciate. The rest of it just doesn’t sit well with me. The whole point of the book is people trying to change each other, while simultaneously avoiding anything real.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this for people who are looking for a light hearted, fun read because it’s not. It’s dark, it’s frustrating and doesn’t have a good ending.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Review!

Summary:

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

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My Thoughts:

Ok, I loved this book. I didn’t really have any intense desire to read it, I just did. I was thoroughly entertained this entire book. It was only 216 pages, and I loved every second. The characters were hilarious and the adventures unique and original. In my opinion, it was not long enough. There were so many places that were referenced left to explore, as well as ‘quests’ for the characters to do. I could’ve read thousands of pages of this book. The plot was entertaining, and experiencing different civilisations was a ton of fun. I enjoyed the fact that the author did not make every alien species humanoid, or do human things. Making aliens human/ humanish is a common (I don’t know if I’d call it a trope?) trope that I see in sci-fi books, which annoys me immensely as (in my opinion) it shows a lack of creativity. I don’t believe aliens would do anything remotely human, as they do not live with us or know about our history. I loved the inserts from the actual ‘hitchhikers guide to the galaxy’, as it helps the reader to understand the different events/places/people the characters are referencing, as well as a bit of history of the topic. This also helped to understand why everything was happening, which was super helpful.

The only downfall I found of this book (and I could be wrong) is that there wasn’t a strong direction for the characters. Everything happened out of the blue, and they just went with it. There wasn’t an overarching goal for most of the characters and they had no reason to do what they did. Only one character had motivations in the book, the rest of them were just hanging on for the ride. However, this did not make the book any less entertaining or funny.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It’s a great space adventure suitable for all ages, and will hold the interest of most people.

 

Geekerella Review!

Summary:

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad’s old costume, Elle’s determined to win – unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons – before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

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My Thoughts:

I decided to read Geekerella after seeing and hearing so many people rant and rave about how much they loved this book. I mean, the premise is appealing to me, so I thought, why not? Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy this book until more than halfway through (I believe it changed at 163 pages for me). I was a bit disappointed, I went into this book expecting to love it wholeheartedly but it just didn’t work for me. The romance that built between the two characters wasn’t believable. I find it hard to believe that two people would fall in love despite not knowing each other at all, and the main character (Elle), didn’t even know who she was talking to. Only that he was male. Darien didn’t tell her a single thing about himself for the majority of the book. It was just too unrealistic. Someone else might be able to believe something like this, but I have absolutely no concept of how this would happen. Firstly, Elle has trust issues and yet, her walls break down when she talks to this mysterious person who she does not know, and does not know the intentions of. Once again, I just don’t get it. Someone might get it, but that person is not me.

That doesn’t mean I hated the book. It was mediocre for the first hundred and so pages, but after that it was actually pretty good. The interactions between the characters became believable and there was even some character development! Which was immediately crushed. But there was development! The only permanent character development was in the second half of the book, right near the end. I wish I got to see this character grow more before that, but I understand why the author did it (even if I don’t agree). I also loved the subtle Cinderella parallels sprinkled throughout the book. The author did an amazing job including these elements without ripping off the original story. The writing was good, which made it easier for me to continue the book and finish it, even though I didn’t like it. The second half of the book was amazing. There were twists that I didn’t expect and I began to truly hate the stepmom and her daughters. I hated them with every fibre of my being. The ending half also progressed at a nice speed. It wasn’t rushed and it wasn’t dragged out.

Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone looking for an easy read. However, I cannot fully recommend this book because it didn’t work for me. If you are someone who loves love or can believe in this particular type of love, this book is for you.

1984 by George Orwell Review

Summary:

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. 1984 is a dystopian novella by George Orwell published in 1949, which follows the life of Winston Smith, a low ranking member of ‘the Party’, who is frustrated by the omnipresent eyes of the party, and its ominous ruler Big Brother.

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My Thoughts:

1984 by George Orwell is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read in my life. The world has so many layers, from hierarchy to politics, that explore dark and relevant themes. I can’t even explain my feelings towards this book. On one hand I understand and sympathise with the characters and their motives, and on the other hand, I hate them. George Orwell managed to explain a completely new political system without confusing me, a system that I hated with all my being, but understood. It was a strange experience.

The characters were just like average people. They didn’t have superpowers, they weren’t particularly special, which made this book even more scary to me. They were were your Average Joe, and yet, the government had such a tight lease on them that they couldn’t even breathe without being watched. I can’t image being stuck in a world like that. I would go crazy! This is what made this book ridiculously scary and shocking. I was talking to my chiropractor about 1984, and he described it as relevant. And I think I agree with him. It’s easy to draw parallels between this book and the current world, which I think makes this book an essential read.

The only flaws (it’s not really a flaw, just something that bothered me) of this book was some of the thought Winston had towards the beginning of the book. He says to a girl that he dreamed of ‘raping and then murdering her’, which made me uncomfortable, but I understand while this is not an acceptable way to think, the context and time the book was written was different. So a warning to anyone sensitive to those topics.

Overall I recommend this book to everyone, as I believe there is something everyone can learn and take away from is book. That, and it’s super interesting and unique. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read. 100% recommend.

Where I am going with this blog, and where have I been?

Hello there!

I’ve been doing some thinking, and I would really appreciate it if you could stick around and see what I’ve decided to do with this blog, and where we are going from here. I have three points to talk about.

For one, my absence. I have not been able to do reviews recently because, well, I haven’t been reading. I have been crazy busy with school, and when I’m on holidays, I am way too exhausted to read. Hopefully this will change with my graduation, so we’ll see.

Secondly, my reviews. I will 100% be continuing to review, I just cannot do as many as I want to due to commitments. Again, I hope this will change after graduation.

Thirdly, and most important. I have decided to no longer accept self-published author’s books. This is because in my experience, the books are not what I am interested in, or because it seems as if the author has done no editing and want me to do that job for them. And this may seem blunt and rude, but the number of angry authors hating on me for commenting on their lack of grammar is crazy, and I just don’t want to deal with it. However, I would be happy to work with publishing houses, as they have their own editors and hold their novels and authors to a high standard.

Thank you so much for your patience, and for sticking with me during the last however long. I hope to improve on my blog, so any and all constructive (not rude) criticism is welcome.

See you soon!

Sheridan AKA thebooknookreviews

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Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

Summary (shorted, because of spoilers):

Ever since the extraordinary events of Inkspell, when the enchanted book Inkheart drew Meggie and her father, Mo, into its chapters, life in the Inkworld has been more tragic than magical.

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My thoughts:

I don’t think I have ever been so scared to read a book. My favourite characters were dead, or dying, everything was going wrong and I just wanted to bring the characters out of the book and keep them safe, like Mo does. Despite my fears, and everything that could go wrong, actually going wrong, I loved this book with all of my heart. I was still surrounded by fairies, brownies and water nymphs. And Ombra is so beautiful. It may not have been in the best condition, but it was perfect.

This book had great character development, and we get to see the flaws of our beloved characters, and how these effected the stories. It took on some serious problems, like alcoholism, depression and such in our favourite characters, which made the story seem more real. Along with this, the description of the Inkworld was impeccable as always.  It was a long read and it took me a long time, but it was 100 percent worth it. I am so much more in love with the world and its characters than ever. I can’t even begin to cohesively describe my feelings for this book. I look forward to reading more of the author in the future!

While this book was amazing in every way possible, I did feel like some of the problems were recycled, however, this is understandable, considering the complexity of the world and its characters. The ending was also a bit eh. I feel Meggie and Farid definitely deserved better, in the way that Meggie could have treated him better and vice versa. For example, the aspects of cheating that were fleetingly mentioned as not a big deal (Farid with Orpheus’ maid, and Meggie with Doria), which I think they definitely deserved better considering what they’ve been through. Even with these problems always at the back of my mind, I was still able to enjoy the book. I cannot express how much everyone needs to read this series at least once in their life.

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone! Inkheart would be particularly fun to read with your kids, however, Inkspell and Inkdeath are a bit more gruesome, and I would recommend reading it yourself before sharing it with younger ones. This trilogy is 100 percent worth your time, and should be read at least once in your lifetime.

To see my other reviews, click HERE

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Summary:

Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.

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My thoughts:

Inkspell is the sequel to Inkheart, taking place a year after the first book finished. I was hesitant to read it, as it is over 600 pages, and I was just about to start the new term at my school. Luckily, I did read it, because this book is as entertaining and thrilling as Inkheart. In this book, you get to explore the Inkworld, and watch your favourite character’s relationships grow and evolve. Unlike Inkheart, however, this book has a lot of character development, meaning that you gain more insight into the character’s motivation and what they’re thinking.

My absolute favourite part of the book is exploring Inkworld. While it is intense, and the characters are under pressure the whole time, you still get to experience the beauty around them. I loved meeting all the characters mentioned in Inkheart and seeing Dustfinger home at last. People were happy, and everyone was settling in perfectly (at least in the beginning!). The book progressed at a good pace and everything new that was introduced was explained well. I was not at any point confused, which is rare in a fantasy book. You were told everything you need to know about the places, people and the politics without it seeming like a boring report. It started to feel like I’d been there before. It truly was just amazing!

One thing I found in this book that I didn’t enjoy was that some of the most important scenes were not described in depth. Sometimes it felt like it didn’t even happen. This took away from the effect of the plot twists, or a moment that had been a long time coming. However, I was still able to enjoy the book and move past those moments.

Overall, I 100% recommend this book if you loved Inkheart, and are willing to tackle the massive book. I must warn you, if you want the characters to be happy and live happily-ever-after, you are in for a shock. There is a lot of sadness waiting for our favourite characters.

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Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Summary:

One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART– and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.

This is INKHEART–a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

My Thoughts:

I picked up this book after remembering how much I loved the movie as a child. I couldn’t remember anything other than Silvertongue’s power and of course, Paul Bettany. I didn’t have any expectations for the book, so I used it to get out of my reading slump. And thank God I did. The writing of this book was mesmerising and is incredibly easy to get lost in. It conjures amazing scenes in my mind and I didn’t even have to try. While the details of the scenery and characters are intricate, it does not compromise the easy and relaxing effect it had on my mind. It was all still easy to read!

I fell in love with all the characters (except Capricorn and the Black Jackets of course!). I could sit and watch Dustfinger’s fire show for hours or play with Gwin and avoid his snapping teeth for days. No words can express my love for this book, or my admiration for Cornelia Funke’s ability to weave words into beautiful scenes.

I truly, truly hated Capricorn and his men. They shot cats for fun, kidnapped children and burnt books. I will never understand how Cornelia Funke created such an incredibly evil group of men, that made me squirm from the other side of the book. On top of the well written characters and breath-taking scenes, there was never a dull moment! I never once wanted the characters to hurry up, in fact, I wanted them to slow down and stop walking into traps!

Overall, I 100% recommend this book to everyone and anyone who will listen. You will not regret it.