Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review: Beware the Night / Deliver Us from Evil by Ralph Sarchie

                  

Published: June 
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
Format: eBook





Ralph Sarchie is an NYPD cop who works as a demonologist and exorcist in his free time. He is a devout Christian and believes that everything happens for a reason, Gods reason. 


According to Ralph people become possessed from dabbling in black arts, being the victims of evil curses but mostly because it's "Gods will". I find it a little fucked up that any god would subject his/her people to things mentioned in this book! Ralph reckons that what happens to these people brings them closer to god but I'm not so sure..


I am one of those people who believed that these cases of demonic possession were actually mental health issues. When you read of cases like annaliese michel you'd have to wonder if she would had survived if the right people had intervened.


At least in this book Sarchie admits that the majority of people claiming to be possessed are suffering mentally and he does urge them to seek medical help.


Sp your probably wondering if this book is preachy? Well yes, it is. As much as Sarchie tries not to be ( he even states so several times) his ideals form the basis for all his opinions. The only way to avoid being possessed is to be a devout believer and go to church weekly and pray daily and if you don't your screwed!


The writing itself isn't great I have to say. It's very repetitive and the pacing is sluggish for for the most part.


Personally I didn't take the religious aspects too seriously and enjoyed the book for what it was: a collection of creepy stories. I actually had to stop reading it at night because it was freaking me out!

Rating:

★★★☆☆

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Product review: Kindle Voyage



First Impressions


Its extremely tidy. The screen is the same size as the Paperwhite but with less frame surrounding the screen at the bottom so you can actually hold it in one hand It's also noticeably lighter than the paper white. I have arthritis in my wrists and fingers so this is important to me. I can't even hold a paperback for any length of time anymore but I can comfortably read with this.


Ergonomics


It took me a while to get comfortable with this as the frame is smaller i need to rest my fingers higher up. They still comfortably fit over the page sensors. The seamless design on the front works great I hated the dip in the paperwhite, it was nothing but a dirt trap!

The screen


It is much much sharper than the paperwhite. The font is crystal clear even on the smallest setting. The font and page settings are all exactly the same. It would have been nice to have one or two new ones though.

Page Turns


It might be me but I think it's a fraction slower. The text dissolves rather than fades so this also too a little while to get used to but I don't notice it at all now.

I have to say I hate the page turn feedback. Its is the only feature I don't use. It makes no sense. The vibration on the page turn is jarring and totally takes me out of the world I'm in! It can be turned off though so no permanent harm done!

Light & Brightness


 I find the light in the voyage to be much more even than the paperwhite which was a little blotchy at the bottom

Automatic brightness: I love this new feature and have it permanently switched on. The device is really good at recognisiing how bright or dark the room is and adjust accordingly so no eye strain!




There is quite a price jump from the Paper white to the Voyage but if reading is a big hobby of yours then it's worth it for the ultra sharp screen and page press . It really is the ultimate experience in eReading


Rating:


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Monday, 5 January 2015

Review: All the Bright Places by @jenniferniven

                 

Published: January 2014
Publisher: Knopf
Format. Kindle 


All the Bright Places was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review


At first glance I thought all the bright places would be a quirky light read. How wrong I was! This was such an emotional roller-coaster!
Violet and Theo meet under unusual circumstances. Theo is sitting on the edge of the bell tower wondering what it would it would feel like to jump and end it all. Violet is trying to get over the death of her sister. In the cesspit that is the American high school the two unlikely friends form a bond over a school project they are completing together.


On the surface this seems like your everyday  teen read. Yes there are those expected aspects. The angst, the love triangles and the huge problems that are really not that huge in the grand scheme of things.


But it's also much more than that. All the Bright places delves much deeper. We learn that Theo had a hard childhood and struggling with mental illness. In a world where everyone is finding themselves his is struggling with his own identity. Desperately trying to avoid the stigma he constantly tries to become someone else such as cool Finch, Bad ass Finch, and 80's Finch.


Violet has become the one constant in his life but he worries which Finch has she really fallen for and is it even the real him?


In an effort to find themselves they begin a journey of Indiana. A wandering so to speak and in the process violet finds hope in the fact that she doesn't have to be alone. She doesn't have to mourn her sister forever. She can become her own person again. Her future is once again bright.


Finch to her, was to her a once in a lifetime friend . Precious yet fleeting. Almost like a mirage.


It was so easy to get lost in the beautiful writing in All the bright places. This is a book everyone needs to read as it's going to be huge.


A must for fans of Elanor and Park and The Fault in our Stars

Rating:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Mini Reviews: The Children Act and Broken Monsters

                   

Published: Sept 2014
Publisher: Nan A Talese


The Children Act was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review 


This was a strange one. I've been putting off this review for ages because I can't make up my mind as to whether I actually liked this book or not.

I enjoyed the law aspects of the story but the problem for me was that there wasn't enough of it. I think I expected more of a struggle. I thought Fiona's decision would take up more of the book. I think this was a bit of a missed opportunity.

I felt that the trouble in Fiona's marriage didn't really add anything to the story. It's clear that she is a different person inside the courtroom.

After the halfway mark it just got too bizarre for me. I also hated the ending!


Rating:

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆



                 

Published: July 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins


Broken Monsters was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review 


For the most part I liked Broken monsters. It's a book that really sucks you in by feeding you bit by bit. The characters are interesting and the writing is believable.

For a YA book the imagery is pretty horrific. It's the sort of Gore you'd expect more from an adult novel. A mad man disemboweling children and turning them into sick twisted taxidermy figures! Hey I'm not complaining I loved to be scared.

For me it was an edge of the seat thriller right until the end when it started to go south much to my anger and disappointment.

Spoiler alert: ** I hated the fact that it turned paranormal out of the blue. It seemed like a cop out ending to me. **Spoiler ends

Rating:

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 : My Year in Review




First of All I would like to say a big Happy New Year and thank you to anyone who has read this blog over the past year. I do it for myself but it's still nice to know that other people want to read what you write.

It's been an up and down year for me. Blog wise the biggest leap I made was getting a new design professionally made. It was the best decision I ever made as I am finally happy with how my blog looks!

As for the down part: My health took a turn for the worst this year so I have been finding it hard to keep up with all the regular things life throws at you never mind reading and blogging. The future is looking pretty unpredictable so I'm not sure If I'm going to be able to commit to regular posting all the time.

Now for the good stuff. My Year in review.


Favorite books of 2014








click HERE to read my review of Gretel and the Dark

Click HERE to read my review of Tony Hogan

I couldnt pick between these two so I had to go for both because they are so different. Both were amazing debut's though. I don't read a whole lot of YA but Gretel and the dark was incredible.

Tony Hogan was gritty and quirky. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Roddy Doyle.

You can click on the links beneath  to be taken to a more in depth review of each.


The Goodreads Challenge

At the time of writing it's not looking like I'm going to hit my goodreads challenge target. Every year I set it at 100 books and every year I have managed to break it, until now. Due to health and other things I had to reduce it to 90 books and at the minute I'm over halfway through book number 87. I might just cheat and change it back to 85 ha ;)

It's not bugging me this year as I'm trying to focus on spending time carefully choosing books that I know I will enjoy rather than randomly requesting loads of books on Netgalley and not really enjoying most of them. 


Netgalley Ratio

At the minute my Netgalley Feeback Ratio is over 90%. Woo! I'm going to do my best to keep it that way by being incredibly strict with myself!

So how was your year? What were your favorite reads? If you've done a year in review post please feel free to link me to it so I can check it out!


Wishing you all a happy 2015!

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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter

                    

Published: Novemeber 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format: Ebook



Finally, A YA book I didn't hate!!


I was so so sick of every YA book being full of Whiny teens who hate their parents and are caught up in ridiculous love triangles .


Ugly Girls doesn't pander to the reader and (rightly) assumes that they can handle more than some wuss crying over the new buff boy at school!


Danya ( knicknamed baby girl) and Perry have been friends for years. They dont really know whey their friends. They're not particular nice to each other. They dont talk about boys or other normal teens stuff. When they're together they just “are”. They seem to use each other to vent when ever it's needed. This venting comes in the form of hijacking cars from upmarket neighbor hoods or petty convenient store theft.

Baby girl seems to revel in her own insecurity. She ruins her appearance to match how she feels on the inside. Perry on the other hand is beautiful on the outside but rotten to the core. The perfect odd couple. That is until Baby Girl realises that Jamey is only speaking to her in an attempt to get close to Perry.

She someone manages to convince perry that they should meet up with him just to tell him to back off. This doesn't go to plan though and ends up being a sharp turning point for both girls.

I loved how descriptive the writing was. Hunter does a marvelous job of transporting the reader right into that dusty smelly trailer park.

I cant say I was mad about the ending. I'm not a reader who needs everything wrapped up in a neat bow but they're were a lot of loose threads left after turning the last page. I also had to knock of one star as it was pretty predictable.

However Ugly girls was dark, gritty and highly readable. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something more than the usual paranormal infested tripe that is YA.

Rating:

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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