"Love & Luck" by Jenna Evans Welch follows the story of Addie, who, while traveling through Ireland, discovers a guidebook. As she embarks on a journey with unexpected companions, the novel explores themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery against the picturesque backdrop of Ireland.
In my opinion, "Love & Luck" failed to live up to expectations, earning a 1/5 rating. Despite the appealing premise, the execution fell short, making the overall experience less than satisfying. The narrative struggled to capture the my interest, and the characters lacked depth or development. Additionally, the storytelling or pacing issues contributed to the feeling that the book wasn't worth the time I invested.
"The Last Thing He Told Me" by Laura Dave is a gripping thriller that follows the life of Hannah Hall after her husband mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a note with the cryptic message, "Protect her." As Hannah unravels the secrets of her husband's past, she discovers hidden truths and forms an alliance with his teenage daughter. The novel masterfully blends suspense with emotional depth, exploring themes of love, trust, and the complexities of family dynamics.
In my opinion, "The Last Thing He Told Me" is a well-crafted and engaging story, deserving of a 4/5 rating. Laura Dave skillfully weaves a compelling narrative, keeping readers on the edge of their seats with unexpected twists and turns. The characters are vividly drawn, and the emotional journey they undergo adds layers to the plot. While the storytelling is strong, a bit more depth in certain explanations could enhance the reader's understanding of certain character motivations and plot intricacies. Nonetheless, the book succeeds in delivering a satisfying blend of mystery, emotion, and intrigue, making it a highly enjoyable read!
"An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green revolves around the quirky and intellectually gifted protagonist, Colin Singleton, who finds himself in a cycle of heartbreak. Having been dumped by 19 girls, all named Katherine, Colin sets out on a road trip with his best friend, Hassan, in an attempt to overcome the repetitive pattern in his love life. Along the journey, the novel explores themes of self-discovery, friendship, and the complexities of relationships. Green weaves in mathematical concepts and footnotes, adding an intellectual layer to the narrative as Colin attempts to create a formula predicting the duration of romantic relationships.
In my opinion, the novel falls short in execution. The heavy reliance on mathematical discussions, while unique, can be overwhelming or dull for readers not inclined towards that subject. The repetitiveness of the plot, with the central theme of Colin's romantic struggles, becomes a hindrance, making the story feel stagnant at times. Despite some moments of humor and insight, the overall experience may leave readers desiring more depth and variety in the narrative.
For a series that spanned over two decades, it’s nice to see that The Dark Tower ends on a titular high note. Other series may lose steam or fade to mediocrity as the stories to tell become less interesting. Or the author dies. While this series narrowly avoided this fate, the meta subplots in the last few books were well out of the way for the grand finale that is The Dark Tower. I’m almost disappointed that more of the books in the series weren’t like this, since there were actual stakes involved.
I don’t normally think of Stephen King as an “action” writer, but the fight sequences in this book were absolutely superb. These enemies had the “final boss” gravitas that made the battles so entertaining to read. That there was an incredible new superpower introduced in this book makes me wish we had more stories about that character since it was such a great ability. It’s always a mark of a great ending that I almost want to keep reading to see what else happens in this world—even with all the loose ends tied up.
King definitely understood that he was never going to write the most satisfying ending for the Roland saga since it had built up for 20+ years. His solution was a great way to both leave it as the best ending we’d ever imagine while also providing a satisfactory conclusion to the Gunslinger finally arriving at the Dark Tower. That there were as many happy endings in this book as there were made the experience of saying goodbye that much more bittersweet. The Dark Tower isn’t a perfect series, but it’s solid from start to glorious finish.
The best ending that the Dark Tower series could ask for, I give The Dark Tower 5.0 stars out of 5.
This book is amazing! The story will honestly warm your heart and keep you on your toes. The characters' development is done so beautifully and you definitely get an idea about how important life is. Don't waste another moment and please read this book!
Stephen King has written most of the horror I’ve read. In deciding to branch out from the master of the genre, I saw the cover for this book in the listing of audiobooks for my library’s reader app and thought it looked interesting. While the horror here was more body/gross-out horror—which I didn’t have any issue with—there are other, deeper problems with this book. I’ll grant that in terms of audiobooks, it was an interesting recording with the sound effects and “alien voice” bits. However, I can’t say I recommend this book based on those merits alone.
Perhaps this is an artifact of the times, but a book that came out in 2008 has not aged well at all. First, is the abundance of “men writing women” tropes that not only minimize the female characters to minor roles but doesn’t consider that perhaps not everything has to be about sex. Furthermore, while the main character was a person of color, there were a lot of negative stereotypes and mildly hidden racism that came through. Reading this book made it feel like I had gotten inside the head of a “bro” guy, and it was pretty cringe.
I think the biggest problem was that this book was too cavalier with its “gross-out” factor without having enough suspense to justify the constant violence. When I didn’t care about any of the characters and the vignettes that split off to explore one-shot characters didn’t give me enough time to be empathetic for them, then who cares about the violence that happens to them? More often than not, the pacing felt so slow that I had to check how much time was left, hoping that at some point it would go faster.
A horror story that was scary for reasons other than its violence, I give Infected 2.0 stars out of 5.
Brave New World presents a uniquely disturbing dystopia- but unfortunately, that is where its strengths end. The plot, aside from the setting, is so loosely strung together that a main character, main storyline, or even main theme is unclear. The story meanders from one under-developed character to the next and, without the support of a vivid setting, the novel would crumble. I admire the creativity behind the premise and the craft behind the writing style, but the plot simply lacks. The novel is only worth reading to delve into the vivid world that Aldous Huxley created.
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is about a teenage girl who gets enlisted in an FBI program, The Natural Program where she and other “Naturals” work to solve cold cases. I really liked the premise of this book. The teenagers are basically prodigies on reading people or reading crime scenes in a way adult agents can’t do . The protagonist, Cassie Hobbes, for example is really good at reading people and how they might react to situations. Others members are good at telling lies, knowing statistics or math, and reading emotions. I really enjoyed the found family trope with Cassie and the other Naturals and am hoping to see more of that as the series moves forwards. This first book while really good, kind of just felt like a beginning couple episodes to a tv show. We’re still learning about the characters, the program, and the main plot of the story as a whole. I will say it did encourage me to continue with the series and figure out how the Naturals react with other challenges and problems that come with being apart of the FBI.
Let’s be real for a second: if you want a snarky and admirably catchy writing style and you’re not adamantly opposed to romance novels, you arguably have to read at least one of Ali Hazelwood’s books. For this reason, I’d highly recommend The Love Hypothesis. This charming, witty, romantic comedy follows Olive Smith as she navigates the treacherous path of a Stanford biology graduate program and complex relationships within her department. It is a classic enemies-to-lovers and grumpy meets sunshine trope, as Olive and Adam pretend to be a couple to appease her roommate and his family. The relationship between Olive and Adam is unbelievably wholesome and will fill your heart with warmth and happiness. Additionally, all of the characters in the story are simple yet relatable, so you won’t find yourself drowning in unnecessary information. While the plot is easy to predict, the snarky and witty writing style of Hazelwood transforms this romantic comedy into a master piece. That being said, the plot is still immaculate, with a perfect ending that will rip your heart in two. Chefs kiss.
Enthralling, captivating, and unexpecting are all words that can be used to describe The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, an irresistible and stunning psychological thriller. The suspense from the first chapter is palpable, and the skillfully laid out plot leaves the reader second-guessing until the very end. It is truly, in the full sense of the word, a thriller, full of curveballs and red herrings, multidimensional realistic characters, thick, palpable emotions… The list goes on. Michaelides’ wonderful writing style and the perfect plot pace were just the cherry on top.
The plot is utterly outstanding. From the first words, the protagonist, Alicia Berenson, shocks the reader with an unspeakable act of violence: she killed her husband. Why? That is the sole question I found myself asking the whole book. An even bigger question: why did she fall silent after the murder? And will she ever speak again? An added layer of complexity is her new psychotherapist, Theo Faber, who is anything but perfect. Theo’s obsession with Alicia raises another question: why is he obsessed? What are his motivations? As the plot unfolds, the mystery behind Alicia’s silence uncovers vast psychological trauma and the lies of her close friends and family. As the plot thickens, Michaelides creates a haunting setting as he delves into the intricacies of the human mind. It becomes evident that this novel is well-thought-out and plentifully researched to draw the reader into a realistic setting. Honestly, I have no criticism of The Silent Patient and could not recommend it enough for anyone looking for a suspenseful plot-twisty psychological thriller.
After the disappointment of Golden Son , I was leery of starting on the last part of the Red Rising trilogy. Oddly enough, this book was actually somewhat interesting, but in a way that made the first two books seem unnecessary. There was definitely a lot of action in this book, which is part of what made it more exciting than the others. And as far as a book that’s supposed to wrap up a trilogy, Morning Star certainly doesn’t leave too many loose plotlines when it ends. I still think the world-building is forced with all the Roman imagery and sci-fi tech, but at least now it’s over.
As with the previous books, I still had trouble with keeping track of all the different characters and their motivations. The main character was pretty straightforward (if not bluntly so) and his love interest just felt like she wanted to do whatever he was doing. Everyone else had weird names that made it hard to track who was who and which side they were on. At least the plot was simple enough that I could follow what was happening.
The biggest question that came from this book was, “What was the point of trying to get into (and be rejected from) the high society?” It seems to me the only reason to have the first two books was to give the main character a love interest from a caste that was above his station. I think if it could have worked some elements of the first two books into this one, then it could stand by itself. After all, the idea of an oppressed population rising to defeat their wealthy overlords is probably the most interesting concept in this series.
A trilogy finisher that could have been a standalone book, I give Morning Star 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde. It was originally published in 1890, and soon after its publication, it became one of the best-selling books.
It circles around the doctrine of aestheticism and Oscar Wilde's role in that movement. He, along with the other writers of that movement, explained that art should not have a political or social purpose to serve, and it also has nothing to do with morality or conveying moral or sentimental messages.
The idea of "Art for the Art's Sake" played a prestigious role in Oscar Wilde's novel, which means that art needs no justification and ought only to deal with beauty. The purpose of the art is to entertain and appreciate its beauty.
"An artist should create beautiful things, but he should put nothing of his own life into them."
The tale begins with Basil Hallward, a very talented painter, making the portrait of Dorian Gray, who is sitting in front of him. Dorian Gray is a splendid young man with a beautiful nature and heart. He is also considered one of the most beautiful men in Greek mythology, like Helen of Troy. He is everything to Basil Hallward because the painter believes that this charming creature with good looks will make him a famous artist. It seems as though he is made of gold and ivory, and the curves of his lips rewrite history.
Basil Hallward makes the portrait of Dorian Gray, which seems more beauteous and charming than his own personality. When he glances at the picture, he feels jealous of his own portrait. He realizes how sad it is that I will grow old, wrinkled, and ugly, but this portrait will always remain young and lovely. As it is written in the book:
"I am jealous of everything whose beautydoesn't die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose?"
Dorian Gray wishes to remain young forever. Whenever he sees his photo, sadness swallows him. He is ready to give everything for that sake, so his hedonistic nature forces him to sell his soul to the devil to get back his youth, and he also agrees that this picture will bear all his sins and doings.
As the story proceeds on, hedonism ruins him and makes him corrupt and wicked. He goes out to watch a play at the opera, where he falls in love with an actress, Sibyl Vane, not because of her beauty but because she is an excellent actress and knows very well how to please her audience. One day, he with Basil and Lord Henry go to watch her play,but unfortunately she doesn't act very well, which makes Dorian Gray furious and disappointed because art is everything to him, so he leaves her crying and in pain. After some days, she takes her life, and Dorian is responsible for that, but he doesn't think so. When he returns home and glances at the picture, he notices some changes in it. The face looks a bit pale, dark and a hint of cruelty is also seen in it. He kills Basil Hallward because he knows his secret, and Dorian is afraid that the painter might reveal to the world his real face.He sees his portrait again, and the painted face on the canvas looks sodden and unclean. The cheeks become hollow and flaccid, and the hairs lose their brightness. It gives off a monstrous look, so he decides to end it up, seizes a knife, and stabs the picture with it. There rises a cry of pian so horribly that when the servants enter the room, they see the portrait of their charming master hanging on the wall. There lies a deceased man with a knife in his heart. He looks like a monster, and all his sins can be seen on his face.With his death, the portrait returns to its original shape and looks young and attractive again.
It is a fabulous piece about the idea of art for art's sake. Oscar Wilde explains vividly that it is not the duty of art to serve society or tell others about ethics what is wrong and right. The only priority of the artist is to create beautiful things and to provide pleasure to others. The importance of art can be seen in the book:
"There is nothing that art cannot reveal or express."
"The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."
The author warns its readers that bad external influences can exploit you ghastly. Don't let anyone overcome or make your decisions, because it happens with Dorian Gray.
Hedonistic nature is also a prestigious theme in this book. Dorian Gray is a hedonistic young man who wants to be beautiful forever without knowing that everything in this world must taste death. Don't be proud of your glory, beauty, and honor because death will swallow everything.
According to Oscar Wilde, we do everything to be famous, but once we have what we want, it no longer interests us. I don't agree with it because, for the majority of us, money, power, and fame are everything. We desire to have all this stuff, and none of us will ever want to throw it away.
In short, it's a wonderful book and contains some unique and important messages for its readers.
Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, 5 years ago. It's a closed case. But Pippa doesn't think so. I absolutely loved A Good Girl's Guide to Murder.
The story follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi, or Pip, a 17 year-old girl whose end of year project is a solved murder case.
The "murder" of Andie Bell, and the suicide of her boyfriend that followed. Pip doesn't believe the end result of the case, and that Sal Singh, Andie's boyfriend wouldn't have murdered her.
Pip shows up at Sal's brother, Ravi Singh's door, asking for help. She tells him she doesn't think Sal did it, and wants help proving it. The rest of the book continues with Pip and Ravi doing what the police couldn't. A deep dive into Andie Bell and Sal Singh's life.
This book was very well written, and so were the other books and novella in this series. The plot twists were perfectly placed and made sense, yet not easy to guess. This was not a book to take lightly, details from the very beginning of the book would resurface.
The other books in the series connected perfectly with this one, and each page left you wanting more. There was definitely a romance subplot, as Ravi and Pip got to know each other, but it didn't take away from the mystery at any point.
Overall, I really liked A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, and would recommend it any day, whether you are just starting with mystery, or are an expert.
Bone is one of those comics I’ve always been aware of but haven’t gotten around to reading until now. It’s interesting how the visual style of the titular characters evokes an older style of comics, while the other characters in the world feel more modern. The storytelling runs at a pretty fast pace that kept me turning the pages to see what happens next. There’s some pretty good humor here, as well as tense situations to keep it from becoming too silly. I can definitely see the appeal and why it’s been a notable comic since its origins in the early 1990s.
My only qualm with this book has to do with the main characters. The three “Bones” feel out of place in the fantasy realm, let alone our world. It also took me a while to distinguish visually between Fone Bone and Phoney Bone, which was only aided because this book mostly follows Fone. These characters are quite expressive for their simple design, which helps. I understand their simple white design would make producing the (originally black and white) comic easier, but they’re so jarring when everything else is so detailed.
It's funny how the Japanese isekai genre has picked up in recent years, only to have been solidly pre-dated by Bone. The concept of a group of people being transported/lost in an unfamiliar fantasy world is a huge genre today. The fantasy world-building Jeff Smith does in this first volume definitely holds to a lot of fantasy tropes while also taking humorous turns that make the world unique. I’m glad I picked up the colorized version of this first volume and I’ll definitely be reading the next volume when I get the chance.
A bold take on the isekai genre in an American style, I give Bone, Vol. 1 4.0 stars out of 5.
Six books into the Dark Tower series, and I'm glad that things are wrapping up. I felt Wolves of the Calla was only as good as it was because it was clearly a ripoff of The Magnificent Seven (1960). And with so many of the books in this series focusing on the men of the ka-tet, it was nice to get a book that mostly focused on Susannah's experiences. A lot of weird stuff happened in this book, but at least it laid the groundwork for the last entry in the series.
Perhaps the weirdest part of this book was its meta-narrative with Stephen King. I was a little surprised this fourth-wall-breaking move worked as well as it did. Then again, King clearly hinted that this was a possibility in the previous book in the series. Author self-inserts usually take the form of the main character living out the author's fantasies. However, literal author self-inserts are a little rarer. It also felt like King was trying to remind himself why he started on this Dark Tower series at all, which doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the reader.
I wasn't wild about the somewhat cliffhanger ending, but it didn't matter too much as I knew I could jump into The Dark Tower shortly after finishing this book. It's mostly frustrating because there are a lot of things that are cut short in this book that clearly will be resolved in the next. Song of Susannah gathered King's top ideas from his previous works, making it almost a "greatest hits" from his bibliography. That there's been some good action in books five and six of the series bodes well for the conclusion.
A meta setup for the last book of the Dark Tower series, I give Song of Susannah 4.0 stars out of 5.
The Stranger by Albert Camus is one of the most widely read novels in the world. It was originally published in French in 1942 and then translated into English as well. After its publication, thousands of copies were sold all over the world.
The novel presents Albert Camus's theory of absurdism, which says that the whole world is useless, and he also doesn't believe in this world.
The narrator of this story kills an Arab in the desert to save his life. He is brought to court by police officers on trial. He is ready to confess his crime in front of all the people and is ready for any sort of punishment, but the jury has different intentions, and he is flabbergasted when officers start questioning him about his mother, who died a few days ago. They blame him for not weeping at his mother's funeral. He might be forgiven for his crime, but he could not be pardoned for not crying when his mother died. He is ghastly criticised by all the members of the jury because he went to the pool and watched a funny movie with his girlfriend after his mother's death. After a few days of hearings, the court announces his death sentence, and no one has tried to find the elicit facts, as they are mentioned in the text book.
"After being charged with murder, he executed because he didn't weep at his mother's funeral. "
After suffering throughout his whole life and witnessing the deplorable behaviour of others, he no longer believes in God. His heart got badly broken, and the existence of God has no importance to him anymore.
The importance of memories is another big theme in this novel. Memories are very important in life, and they last forever, even till death. I must say:
Life without memories is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
When he is sent to jail, he has only the memories of his life and spends his time remembering the beautiful moments of life and the time he spent with his beloved ones. As it is written in the novel:
"I have learned that even after a single day's experience of the outside world, a man could easily live hundreds years in prison "
To conclude, the novel is a wonderful piece of literature because it explores the real events of the writer's life and contains some important lessons for others. That's why reading this book would be a good idea.
I love how books can give insight into things we might not otherwise know. How, when someone "writes what they know" in an autobiographical sense, the reader gets to experience that slice of their life. I'm not interested in fishing—in any of its styles. And yet, A River Runs Through It gave such a clear picture of what it's like to go fly-fishing that I felt like I had actually experienced it. I'm still not interested in trying it in real life, but now I feel like I get it.
Of course, A River Runs Through It isn't entirely about fly-fishing. There are other universal themes, like fatherhood, brotherhood, sonship, and unity with nature. I can also appreciate that there is a Christian tilt to the main character without being judgmental of the choices his family has made. This unconditional love speaks to what Christianity is all about. That's not to say that the actions of his family aren't frustrating to read about, it's just that going fly-fishing is something that washes away any bad blood.
While it's a quick read, A River Runs Through It doesn't need much to convey the author's genuine attitude toward life. Because it's not about the details of actually fly-fishing that reveal how knowledgeable Maclean is at the sport. There weren't any facades that tried to paint the main character as a saint. All the characters had flaws, just some were more obvious than others. An accurate examination of an individual's life says more about what they've accepted than what they wish they'd wanted to be. And perhaps being in the "natural environment" where they're the most comfortable is the whole point of this book.
A heartfelt love letter to family and fly-fishing, I give A River Runs Through It 4.0 stars out of 5.
I suggest the book to people, who want to enjoy an intriguing, fast paced novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone is the perfect book for those people.
This novel is the first of the seven famous Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. This book is about 11 year old Harry Potter, who receives a letter from Hogwarts, which is a school of witchcraft and wizardry.
This book is full of imagination like at one point, Harry Potter is asked to catch the golden ball, while he is flying on the broomstick. Then he stands up on the broomstick and tries to catch the golden ball unexpectedly he falls off from the broomstick and throws up the golden ball to winning the game for his team.
This book keeps you involved throughout the book.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a good book to spark joy and imagination for anyone, regardless of age.
The novel was set down in 1958 by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, who was the inventor of modern African literature. It is one of the most widely read novels in the world and also has a prestigious role in African literature.
It tells the story of a great wrestler, Okonkow, who is the best warrior among the people, and he hasn't inherited that honor, fame, and reputation from his father or ancestors, as it happens in most of the cases. He becomes a well-respected man, and the tales of his bravery and fighting spread like a bushfire in the other villages .
Things Fall Apart is a true picture of Nigerian culture, language, living style, their religion, different sorts of gods (God of Earth, Goddess of Fire, etc.), and customs, and the people are very much attached to their traditions and religion. Especially, the proverbs are also a big part of their culture. You could sense their importance from this proverb:
"Proverbs are the palm oil with which the words are eaten "
Okonkow is ostracized form the village for seven years for killing one of the clansmen. In his absence, an Englishman comes into his village, asks permission from the tribesmen to live there, and gets it. That's the point where the Nigerian culture's destruction starts. White men come one by one and build colonies to recite there.
So, their traditions, religion, and gods are all crucified ghastly by white missionaries who call Africans uncivilised, savage, and dark people and say we are the ones who came to give them light and are gonna make them civilised, but eventually they put them into the heart of darkness and are responsible for their destruction.
All the nations are known by their own traditions, culture, religion, and language . How could you make an organised nation by destroying its culture? White men came to show Africans a way to come out of their darkness, but the real darkness was inside them. It is a worthwhile novel and should be read.
It's a rare treat to find a graphic novel with well-rounded characters, an interesting story, and an art style that has range. Even if it started as a webcomic, Nimona shows a surprising amount of depth for the medium. Sure, some of the early parts were clearly encapsulated in a serial format, but they were a quick way to introduce the characters and setting. When the story has some room to grow, it gets even better. It's definitely a page-turner, and I devoured it as fast as I could.
The heart of Nimona is its characters. Flipping the hero's journey on its head and focusing on the villain's perspective was a fun touch. Nimona's chaotic nature was a fun contrast to Lord Ballister Blackheart, who just wanted to do his villainous revenge alone. Perhaps the biggest surprise was how naturally the book handles LGBTQ+ themes. None of it felt forced or odd, even in a science fantasy setting. It was just there, with no winking nods or awkward attention brought to it. Then again, it was also a fantastic adaptation of the "enemies to lovers" trope—or would it be "lovers to enemies"?
As someone who likes to write science fantasy stories, I absolutely loved the science fantasy setting. It has all the trappings of a medieval time, just with video chats, laser guns, and dragons co-existing in a way that makes perfect sense. This is the kind of thing I can completely get behind. If anything, I hope this book inspires more writers to jump into this genre, as I desperately want to read more books like this. It's like the best parts of sci-fi and fantasy brought together in an awesome (but also deeply moving) story.
A science fantasy graphic novel with excellent characters, story, and art, I give Nimona 5.0 stars out of 5.