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REVIEW: The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue

REVIEW: The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue

The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue

by Adrienne Kress 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35896551-the-reckless-rescue

“The he thought about himself. About not making it. About all the adventures he had never had because he had never known he’d wanted to have them”

I received an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a middle grade series about an adventure society and this book is focused on the rescue of one of their newest “members”. The point of view is told from 12 year old’s Evie and Sebastian. Evie’s perspective takes her on a journey to find Sebastian and her grandfather and Sebastian’s takes him on a wild ride of running from bad guys and being kidnapped. I would say this book is best suited for the younger middle-grade readers, probably 7-12. This book is a quick and fun read that focuses on the discovery of self and the love of adventure. It is action packed throughout and keeps the reader on their toes.

The writing by Kress is so much fun to read. Her chapter heading and footnotes are witty and hilarious, adding an extra bit of fun to the novel, especially during the slower parts of the book. The plot is well thought out and takes the reader on a wild journey. It is an excellent read. The only downfall to the book was that it seemed like a filler novel, because only the smallest bit of it drove the larger plot forward. That being said, the adventure they go in is necessary for character development and I found that he dynamic characters of Evie and Sebastian were relatable and realistic. they have their strengths and their weaknesses and they play on both in fun and interesting ways.

The Reckless Rescue uses fun and clever plot structures and dialogue to make an interesting adventure for all readers. A younger audience is suited because most of the plot, the younger characters are accompanied by an adult, lending to a feeling of child-like protection. I think the adults in the book are interesting characters all in their own and an older audience can learn from them as well. This is a book that will hook you instantly and keep you wondering what is going to happen next. There is something for everyone and the writing has a cinematic feel to it that makes the book come alive.

REVIEW: Caraval

REVIEW: Caraval

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

4.25/5 Stars

“Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game…”

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27883214-caraval

Wow. This book. Centred around two sisters who just want to escape the harsh realty of their lives and enter a world of magic, this story takes one sister, Scarlett, on a journey to find her sister, Tella, on the crazy game world of Caraval. Using clues she must find, the game take Scarlett through a devious plot where she can’t quite figure out who is real. Wonderfully thought out and beautifully written, Garber take the reader on this game too and has twists and turns that make everything more intriguing.

I thought this book was very well written and the plot was very well thought out. It had a unique twist on a normal carnival where the audience can become a part of the show. This book blew me away with all of the twists and turns, definitely not a predictable novel.

Spoilers!!

So.. If you have read this novel, I hope you are with me in how incredibly devastated I was at the end. The novel was great throughout, with drawing me in and creating the game around Scarlett, and ultimately me. However… The horrible mess that was the ending knocked it down a few pegs for me. Now, I think this was the whole point of the novel, and the ending wasn’t poorly written or anything but I felt like it ended too abruptly for the giant WHACK that I received with the endings truths. Scarlett spends the entire thing going through horrifying experiences, seeing people dismembered, her love dying in front of her eyes, and her sister bleeding out and broken before her…. This girl has just gone through HELL! and then … whoops SURPRISE! No one is dead and it was all just a fun prank, lol. NO! NO!

 

This ending was surprising and twisting, which made it entertaining, but ultimately made me want to curl up and cry. Scarlett is going to have some serious PTSD and trust issues after this and everything ends in a party. I just found the ending to be very unrealistic and maddening for me, though that may have been the point.

This rant being said, I REALLY did enjoy the novel immensely! It was well written and fun to read. I felt like I was a part of Caraval, which was enchanting and confusing. It is a wonderfully written book and I encourage anyone to read it that might love carnivals or fairs. Its also a good book for those who may enjoy Sherlock Holmes and puzzle games, it really makes you think and screws with your mind. LOVED IT!

REVIEW: November 9

REVIEW: November 9

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

4/5 Stars

“Meeting up once a year on the same date sounds like a really good basis for a romance novel. If you fictionalized our story, I’d add it to the top of my TBR”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25111004-november-9

This quote is exactly what happened to me. I have a stack of books on my nightstand so high they fall over from time to time if not set just right, and yet when the library told me that my hold on the Nov 9 ebook was available it went right up to the top of my TBR. I read it in less than a day. There is something so deliciously addicting about Colleen Hoover’s novels. Whether its the beautiful detail or the relatable characters, its REALLY hard to put down her books. I read it on the bus to school, during class break, on the bus back, and while walking up the hill home (almost getting hit by a car because i was walking like a drunkard while reading a particularly intense scene) and while eating supper until the book was done and I was a heap of feelings and covers on my bed.

This novel is about a girl who suffers an accident that derailed her entire life and career at age sixteen. After healing physically, at age 18 she meets a boy who defends her by pretending to be her boyfriend. Despite the fact that she is leaving that night for NY they spend the day together, enjoying each others company. when it comes time to leave they just cant say goodbye, despite not wanting to drag out any long distance communication. They decide to meet once a year on that day, Nov 9 until they are 23. Every year they meet… but as life happens to them both they have to make some tough decisions.

and chaos ensues of course yada yada yada, I’m not crying YOU’RE CRYING!

SPOILERS!!:

Hoover does such a fantastic job at addressing so many relatable topics in her novels, and even a few widely used new adult tropes. In Nov 9 she addresses the idea of “insta-love” and whether or not this is real, it definitely made me think a little differently about how long it truly takes to fall in love with someone. (May have to change that ranting Romeo an Juliet paper for school now..). What I love most about Hoover’s books are her characters. Where most NA books focus heavily on jaded pasts and angsty boys to men, Hoover gives her characters depth. In some NA novels, the back story of a character seems to be put there only as a plot devise to make them angsty, where with characters like Fallon, her difficult past, her scars, are what make her the person she is, and instead of being used as a jaded past, Hoover shows her readers that flaws are human. This makes her characters so relatable.

I absolutely loved Ben. Mostly because he says exactly what comes to his mind at all times and I think thats so admirable. He straight up tells Fallon within half an hour of meeting her that he wants to see her naked, and not as a flirting technique or in a creepy way, but because he is being honest. Even though he keeps a pretty big secret to himself, these little honest moments made me fall in love with him as quickly as Fallon did.

the layout of the novel was also a fantastic element of it. You only got the most important snippets of this love story, sans the brooding and the difficulties of their years. I loved that this story was told through one day each year, because despite it only being one day, and that would be excruciating for the characters, it was nice not to have to read the lulling parts of their lives and skip right to the action.

All in all, Hoover has yet to disappoint me in her novels despite my general distaste for NA. I highly recommend these if you want to be glued to you pages all day or want something as addicting as crack cocaine and don’t mind your emotions going for a rollercoaster while you’re at it.

 

Top 8: Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump

Top 8: Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump

I was in a reading slump for the last few months, picking up books and reading a quarter of them before putting them down and BAM they’ve probably just instantly made it into the dreaded DNF pile, all because I was in a slump. And just because they are good books didn’t help, I just couldn’t seem to finish a whole book. It was a dark, dark time and I couldn’t see an end…UNTIL I DID! That is the thing with reading slumps, you may not know what is causing them and so all of a sudden the horror is over and you can finish an entire book again.

Here are some methods I find generally work when trying to bust through the brick wall of a reading slump…

  1. Don’t read. Take a little hiatus and maybe take up knitting or something, this way, whatever is causing your slump wont have you waisting book after book in an effort to beat it. Sometime you just have to take a break.
  2. Binge watch a show. Sometimes reading can be tiring, a lot on the mind and sometimes your entire body. Watching a tv-show is like reading without all the effort or exhaustion, if you want to zone out for a while, you can. then when you’re ready for something a little more in-depth, try picking up a book again.
  3. Join a book club. Sometimes reading becomes such a solitary activity that you may feel lonely and slumpish in general. Book club with allow you to still read but with the ability to share with others. Plus it’s incentive to finish the novel so you don’t embarrass yourself.
  4. Go on Bookstagram/ Booktube. Theres nothing that gets me more excited than other people excited about books. looking at all the lovely pictures or videos people make will help remind you why you love reading and may inspire you to pick that book up again.
  5. Re-read your favourite book. This one is my favourite. Read something you are familiar with, because, like watching a show, it requires a lot less effort and concentration but its still a book. This may help you focus on why you love reading.
  6. Write something. Sometimes it’s difficult to read because we are looking for something specific. Chances are if you’re picky, you are not going to find it so instead of reading a bunch of half- books, write down something, it’ll get the imagination flowing again.
  7. Explore other genres. Sometimes it is just a specific genre that is slumping us, even if we may love it. Sometimes in a slump I will turn to romance novels because they are fluffier and easier to take in. Try exploring something new that may pique your interest.
  8. Play a video game. This may not be for everyone but it may allow you to take control of something creative the way a novel can’t give you control. Maybe try something related to a genre of novel you enjoy.

There are countless ways that readers will use to get out of a slump. Some slumps are more persistent than others so patience is the key with this. In my last slump, which I have only just gotten out of, I started and DNF’d five books and it took about two months for me to finally finish a new book. Be patient readers, you love books, that’ll never leave you. Punch your slump right in the throat and head to the bookstore because you can do this!