Saturday, March 25, 2017

1984

You know... I'm not entirely sure that I actually did read this as a child. I swore I did, but I think I may have been confusing it with "Brave New World." Reading this as an adult living in a Trump run country was extra terrifying and made the book that much more powerful. This is one of those classics that is absolutely timeless. It only gets better with age. One of the finest examples of a dystopian future that I can think, Orwell does a masterful job painting a bleak picture and casting a poor hapless soul as the protagonist. Winston is not quite happy with life under Big Brother. He goes through the motions but he wishes things were different, he has no freedom because - "Freedom Equals Slavery." I don't want to say too much more and spoil the plot, but suffice it to say that this is required reading!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Princess Diarist

My opinion may not be popular on this book but I'm going to say it anyways. I did not love this memoir. It was a little choppy, pretentious, and didn't even talk about the filming of Star Wars near as much as the description implied. We hear all about the affair with Harrison Ford but that's about it. The middle portion of the book is her diary she kept while 19 and it's very flowery, and waxes poetic about Mr. Ford. She doesn't even come across as likable as I wanted her to be. I'm sounding like a jerk now, talking ill of the dead, but this book just didn't do it for me. Maybe hardcore Star Wars nuts will love it, but me... meh. It doesn't make me want to check out her other books later. It's well written, I just don't care for her words.... because I'm a monster.

Kansas City Lightning

A fascinating look at Charlie Parker's beginning. I assumed (wrongly) that this would be a full biography of Parker's life, but it stops before he truly hits the big time. It traces his rice in Kansas City, his hoboing to Chicago and then to New York to see the world and prove his worth, and ends with his eventual return to Kansas City. Included are many pictures, interviews with his first wife and a wonderful array of Jazz history and culture so that the reader can gain a better understanding of how Parker created a unique sound all his own while studying the Jazz masters of the day. A wonderfully informative book that makes me wonder if it's the first in a series. I want to know about his rise to fame, not just the beginnings!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Haven

This was my first and most likely last Kay Hooper book. I didn't realize that it was in the middle of the series until too late, but really I wouldn't have known if not for goodreads. It doesn't matter if this was a standalone or a series, this book sucked. Character development was minimal, the plot was laughably bare, and too much of everything was obvious. I straight up did not care who lived or died in this. Emma Rayburn fled Baron Hollow when she was a teenager and ever since she's been plagued with nightmares and dark visions. Her special crimes unit (full of psychics and shit) sends her back to her hometown to uncover why she really ran away and while there a body turns up. Oh no! Ugh., I can't use anymore brainpower on this one. Soo not a fan!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Disaster falls

A heart-wrenching memoir of loss, grief, guilt, and pain as a father re-counts the tragedy of losing his eight year old son. What was supposed to be a fun family trip soon turned into a nightmare when their youngest son drowned while kayaking on the Green River. Almost numb with pain, the author recounts with clarifying and insightful detail the emotions (or sometimes lack thereof) experienced by him, his wife, and their only remaining child. Spanning over the course of a few years, this memoir is a glimpse into the tragedy that many families experience everyday. A wonderful, but heart breaking memoir that beneficial for everyone to read. Not everyone experiences grief the same way and reading this will help readers with that cold hard fact.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Things We Lost in the Fire

A fascinating, dark, and intriguing glimpse into the modern day lives of Argentinians. Told in short stories, Mariana Enriquez, brings the mundane, the dark, the unimaginable, and the supernatural to the forefront. Each story is unique; the characters flawed, questioning, and wholly real. From a haunted house, jealous friends, river monsters, to burning women. This collection is not for the faint of heart, but it is so very rewarding and beautifully written and translated. In the same vein as Stephen King and Joe Hill, these haunting short stories will have readers hooked and questioning. Definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Our Numbered Days

It's been a minute since I picked up a poetry book, but after having seen the viral video of Neil Hilborn reading his poem OCD, I knew I had to read more. He has a very evocative, brash, alluring style that I find most appealing and his poems cover a variety of topics. I very much enjoyed this collection, even though you can tell some are meant to be listened to, not just merely read. Reading this has made me inspired to fit some other poetry in, I need a good palate cleanser from time to time. I would definitely recommend this and his online videos to get a feel for his style and rhythm.

We Are Okay

I'm going to be completely honest, I initially picked up this book because of the badass cover. It's intriguing, I had to know what it was about. I discovered a quick read (like 2 hours only) about a young girl who flees her old life in California to start anew at a college in New York. Told in alternating timelines (the past summer and the current Christmas break); Marin struggles as her estranged best friend flies out to see her for three days. They haven't spoken since Marin fled California and questions need to be answered, relationships discussed. There is good suspense as the reader tries to figure out what actually happened to Marin and wonder as to what she's going to do with her life. This book also explores themes of homosexuality, art, independence, and family. All around a quick, good read.

Alone Together

An exceptionally well researched book that explore technology and the unintended effects it's having on how we interact with others and ourselves. Broken into two parts, the first half explores the robotic movement and the second half discusses networking online. I really wish there was a new updated edition (this was published in 2010) because so much has already changed. Advances in social media, online privacy (or lack thereof), and robotic developments. Turkle does a wonderful job discussing the pros and cons of our technological advancements and brings forth many soul searching questions. Is our morality changing? Our we becoming less satisfied with our lives? How do we present ourselves online?  Is social media what determines our happiness? Are we becoming more fake and competitive? Wonderful and depressing read, a little outdated even though it's only 7 years old, jus goes to show how fast technology is advancing!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Evil

Four siblings rule the hallways at their high school. Popular, beautiful, feared for their temper; the Bradens incite awe and wonder. But there is more to them than meets the eye. Kellen is the undisputed leader of the bunch, commanding and authoritative, the only one close to matching him in strength is his younger sister Shay who refuses to admit her strength. Caught in denial about how different she is, and soon caught up in a steamy romance, Shay has more on her plate then bargained for. A standalone paranormal romance featuring strong family ties, anger issues, a torrid love affair, and some soul searching. Narrated beautifully by Jorjeana Marie who does a masterful job relating Shay's inner turmoil and the Braden family drama with her smoky, sultry voice. Filled with teenage angst, romance, and paranormal eccentricities; this young adult novel is intended for more mature teens and could also be classified as new adult.

Steelheart

This is one of those books that almost defies description. The cover and summary didn't grab me, but the first chapter certainly did. It's a dystopian novel with superheros and badassery. I know I won't be able to adequately describe it, but it was certainly gripping, exciting, and entirely unique. I'm absolutely reading the sequel. This book will appeal not just to young adults (for whom it's attended) but for adults as well. This would make an awesome movie, the characters are unforgettable and unique, an all around win!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Grimm Woods

Fun premise, especially for those who like cheesy 80's horror films and snappy young adult dialogue. Scott is less than excited to start his first summer as a summer camp counselor at a storybook themed camp. He cheers up though when he realizes that the counselors are all young hot, horny, and ready to party. Just as he's about to get into the swing of things all hell breaks loose. Counselors are being brutally murdered in gruesome ways depicted in the old Grimm's Fairy Tale book. To save themselves, Scott and the other counselors are going to have to learn the morals to the gruesome fairy-tale murders in order to stay alive. What sick freak is killing all the counselors? And to what end? Full of witty dialogue, gory murders, and fun. Probably of most interest to young adults.

I received this book for free from iRead Book Tours in return for my honest, unbiased review.