Book Review: See you in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

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Read between: 10th-13th November 2019
Format: ebook
Published: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Synopsis: A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s, Walk Two Moons, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

Jack Cheng’s debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.

Rating:

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Review: I adored this book. It’s aimed at children, but it’s written as if Alex is recording the events through his iPod and his voice was lovely and mature for an 11 year old boy. There were times where his innocence came through and that made the story even more endearing.

From the very first page I knew this wasn’t the typical space book, it reminded me a little bit of Young Sheldon, but only because it’s a about a young boy who loves science. The similarities end there- also, there’s a dog. Any book that has a dog is a winner in my eyes.

It’s not just about his love of space, it’s also about his family. There’s a twist later on (after Alex discovers something about his dad through an ancestry website) which I was really worried would turn out for the worst but it didn’t and really added to Alex’s journey as we follow his narration through different moments in this period of his life.

I also loved the pop culture references throughout the book, it definitely gave it a real-world feel.

It’s a book to read and be enjoyed. It can be enjoyed by people of every age because rockets and space travel never age.

It’s a truly beautiful story.

5/5 stars.

 

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton.

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Read between: 4th-10th November
Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 330
Published: 1 February 2018
Publisher: Fig Tree/Penguin
Synopsis: The widly funny Sunday Times bestseller about growing up and navigating all kinds of love along the way. When it comes to the trials and triumphs or becoming a grown up, journalist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Glittering, with wit and insight, heart and humour, this is a book about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.

Rating:

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Review:

This year I’ve read quite a few non-fiction/memoirs so I was more prepared to read this book when I won it from Penguin than I would have been before. It’s a mix of Dolly’s stories, made up emails (not sure how they fit in) and recipes she’s made during times in her life. I tabbed those, I definitely want to try to make the Mac n Cheese. My favourite.

However, this book was not what I expected. To start with, Dolly is a party girl and reading about her endless nights getting drunk and kissing various men felt a bit repetitive. I understand why she did, it was relevant to her personal development as she got older. It just felt that she spent too much time talking about it.

Her friends, and the stories she has about them, was lovely to read. Friendships are stronger than relationships in Dolly’s case and although she may have resented their boyfriends to begin with, there was an understanding that that doesn’t change people- despite how hard you think it does.

The inclusion of lists, and texts, and other forms of writing away from the main chapters was a good way to break up the hard-hitting life story the author wants to discuss.

It’s a good book, it’s very personal, but I also felt like I couldn’t relate. At 25, I’m slightly younger than Dolly but what she experienced at 25 is very different to what my life is like. Everyone is different, but some areas felt like they were written in a general sense. Not just about Dolly.

I enjoyed it. It was different, but it could have been better.

I’m not saying don’t read this book. I feel like I wasn’t the correct target audience. For the most part I did like it, and there were definitely areas that made me laugh, I just feel it got very repetitive in places.

There’s only so many times you want to read about someones sex life.

3/5 Stars.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Storm- Phantom Islanders #1 by Ednah Walters

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Read between: 4th-6th November
Format: ebook
Number of pages: 272
Published: 25th April, 2017
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Synopsis: Sassy heroine, a legend and a race of people in peril…

Pirates no longer roam the seas.
Phantom Islands don’t exist.

Nanny to a wealthy family, eighteen-year old Alexandria “Lexi” Greendale sends most of what she earns home to support her disabled brother. She is determined to help him get the surgery he needs to walk again. Her dreams come to an abrupt halt when she rescues a man from drowning. How does he repay her? Captain Storm Orath abducts her, claims her as his chosen mate, and takes her to a magical island that is centuries behind times with barbaric customs.

For Lexi to make it home to her family, she must fight the lure of the man and the island he controls or stay trapped forever.

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review:

I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while, and when I pulled it from my TBR I admit at first, because it was an Indie Supernatural book I was dubious because I don’t get on with them as well. At the start, I couldn’t quite work out what Storm was.

Was he a werewolf?

Some sort of human hybrid?

When it was finally revealed that he was in fact an Islander (a pirate) I suddenly became a lot more invested in the story. Especially with all the descriptions of Steampunk fashion- well that’s how I pictured the outfits in my head.

I was very surprised by this book, the MC may have had a tragic backstory- but it didn’t make her whiny like most of the ones I’ve read, she had a sensible head on her shoulders and took her job as a Nanny seriously.

So I totally got why she was angry that Storm took her from that.

It’s a great introduction to the trilogy, and as a first book, it’s steamy and the sexual tension is on fire! It was great to see Lexi and Storm play off on each other. He thought she’d just willing let him have her, but she’s way too strong for that.

I really enjoyed the novel, and there were some areas that made me roll my eyes, like the repetition but aside from that it was a good book.

I ended up going onto Amazon and getting the second one because I’m very intruiged about where the story is going to go next.

3/5 stars.

Something different.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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October Wrap-Up

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The month of October has flown by, but my reading hasn’t changed as I’m still only reading around 3 books a month, and October was no different!

I did actually manage to review two of the books I read as well, so I will link them in this wrap-up if you want to know what I thought of them.

The first book I finished in October was Roar by Cecilia Ahern, I gave this book four out of five stars and you can find my review here: Book Review: Roar by Cecelia Ahern.
It was a great selection of short stories focused on women with different everyday problems and overcoming it.

I liked it.

The second book I read in October was Immurements by Norma Hinkens. This is an indie dystopian novel by an author I hadn’t heard of before and I found it pretty good! My review is here: Book Review: Immurements (Undergrounders #1) by Norma Hinkens

The final book I read in October is Ross Poldark by Winston Graham, the first book in the Poldark series. I loved the TV show, so I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to pick it up! I gave it 5/5 stars.

I really liked the writing and the character development and I can definitely understand why the series is so popular that is has two TV adaptations!

I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

And that’s everything I read in October, what did you read? And how many books?

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Immurements (Undergrounders #1) by Norma Hinkens

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Read between: 7th-14th October 2019
Format: ebook
Number of pages: 260
Synopsis: The Sweepers are coming. The hunt for humankind begins.

The year is 2069. Sixteen-year-old Derry and her brother live in perpetual fear of capture. They survive underground on a post-apocalyptic earth overrun by gangs and clones, and hunted overhead by mysterious hoverships. When her brother goes missing, Derry’s only hope of finding him is to strike a deal with a group of cutthroat subversives. Desperate to save her only sibling, she leads a daring raid to uncover the secrets behind the Sweepers’ hoverships, but she soon finds out the world she knows is a lie.

Keeping her brother alive may require trusting her enemy and opening her heart to someone scarcely human.

Immurement is the first book in The Undergrounders Series, a sci-fi dystopian thriller trilogy with a gritty heroine and twists you won’t see coming!

Rating:

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Review:

I actually really enjoyed this book, the mix between science fiction and adventure was written well as I loved the character of Derry. Not only is she a tough girl, but the love she has for her dog, Tucker made her instantly likeable.

There is such a group of characters, and Derry is the only female character of the main group which shows she is the one we follow, as well as not getting overshadowed by the boys.

It started off slower than I would have liked but the story really picked up and got really interesting. I really like the writing style, it may have had some repetition but there was a good amount of detail and world building that I can forgive that.

The Sweepers- the villains of the story were not what I expected. What they turned out to be made them even scarier and I can completely understand why the Undergrounders had a hard time trusting them.

There were definitely moments that pulled at my heartstrings.

It was good!

If you want a YA dystopian sci-fi that follows a strong female character then I would totally suggest that you pick this book up! I’m definitely curious about the rest of the series so maybe I’ll pick it up when my TBR reduces.

3.5/5 stars.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

Book Review: Roar by Cecelia Ahern

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Read between: 24th September-7th October
Format: Hardcover
Number of pages: 337
Synopsis: Have you ever imagined a different life?
Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided?
Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?

The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

Rating: 5521e-4stars

Review: I really enjoyed this book, it was a great book to pick up at random intervals to read on of the thirty stories inside. They all feature different women and focus on problems that women face on a daily basis.

It was great!

Some of the stories were sad, others made me laugh, and they were so well written it was really hard to pick a favourite.

However, the representation in this book is great- it features a muslim woman, LGBT characters- a wide range which I liked.

I can’t really go into any more detail, but I would definitely recommend it because there is so much there!

4/5 Stars

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

September Wrap Up

I had a very poor reading month in September, by only reading two books (I read a couple of comic books too but they didn’t take me long)

The books I read in September were:

  • The Last Hours by Minette Walters- This was a Netgalley book based around the Black Death. As someone who loves history I was interested in the premise but really the plague didn’t feature as much, instead the focus was on the characters- many who I couldn’t gel with so I ended up giving this book 2.5 stars.
  • Scythe by Neal Schusterman.- This book was AMAZING. I can see why it’s so hyped up. I was hooked from the first chapter, and I really liked the diary entries from the Scythes that were interspersed throughout the story.  It was fantastic story and I gave it 5/5 stars

So yes, not much reading done last month, but I did start a new job and have a convention every weekend so I didn’t actually have time to stop and read. Hopefully October will be a better reading month!

Thanks for reading
~Katie