So here’s all the books I reviewed on my wonderful blog this month.
1. Dislocation by Lucy Lang **** – As a person who does not read a lot of autobiographical
or memoir type novel I was slightly tentative about reading this book but as soon as I got into it I realized this woman had the most turbulent life anyone could have as they moved around a lot due to her father’s work and the disturbing events that were taking place in Kenya around the time of her birth. In the first chapter a lot of deaths are mentioned particularly that of her grandparents on both side which prompted a journey to England to settle her grandfather’s estate (on her mothers’ side.)
2. PTSD Road to Recovery: One Soldiers Story by Bob Bray ***** – I loved the forward by
George Bissett as he gently explains what he understands PTSD is and how he like Bray’s story-telling approach to recounting his experiences which he himself encouraged. In the introduction Bray talks us through some of the conditions he and people he has worked with suffer with including what they are and how the affect people’s behaviors and personalities. These conditions include PTSD, ADD/ADHD and RAD. One thing I did notice in the introduction was a repeated paragraph but this doesn’t hamper the reading experiences unless you are a real stickler for grammatical correctness. Even though this introduction sounds very clinical it lays the groundwork for the story Bray is going to tell us throughout the remainder of this novel.
3. Emerge: The Awakening by Melissa A. Craven ***** – The first thing I must say about this book is I absolutely loved the family tree in the opening pages, I haven’t seen this often I have had family trees explained throughout the course of novels but never visually and the ominous prophecy just sent chills of anticipation up and down my spine. I can honestly say the opening chapter to this book was just divine it has the perfect mix of tension, suspense and warmth to make it feel so real. We are introduced to our protagonist Allie whose family moves around a lot for unknown reasons each time she leaves behind her friends and this time her boyfriend Gavin. Throughout this chapter there is an extremely ominous tone and Carson’s (Allie’s father) words just confirm that. This novel was so fast paced in this first chapter and I hoped the author could sustain it as I have read many books where the first few chapters were fast paced and amazing but just fizzled out and I was left disappointed by the end.
4. Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults by Bob Bray ***** – After reading Bob Bray book on
PTSD in which he talks about ADD/ADHD a lot of quite excited to learn more about this condition as he doesn’t go into a lot of detail about it in PTSD Road to Recovery: One Soldiers Story (the review for this can be found here – insert link). Once again Bray uses the delightful cartoons from his other novel, which I find make the understanding process a lot easier. In the introduction, Bray talks about how he feels he has established a connection between conditions like ADD, PTSD and addictions. The major of this is designed to educate people on what ADD and provide some simple methods on how to control and understand the condition itself.
5. Vapor Trail by Dick Hannah **** – Well, the prologue to Dick Hannah’s third novel; Vapor Trail certainly gripped my attention as a reader. It is told from Jeremy Stubbin’s point of view telling us how many explosions he has encountered. The first two are expected as he was in a war zone but the third absolutely stunned Stubbin’s and me. Hannah packs in the action, suspense and intrigue for the offset. As soon as you begin reading you can not put the book down until exhaustion sets in as it did in my case.
6. Prodigy by Marie Lu **** – The second installment in the Legend Trilogy follows the journey of Day and June, two teenagers who rebelled from the Republic to fight for what they believe in and travel to the military city of Las Vegas to seek assistance from the opposing group, the Patriots. As they reach Vegas, they are startled by the news that the Elector Primo died and is replaced by Anden, his son. Kaede, a Patriot rebel finds the two and brings them in their headquarters to meet their leader, Razor, or Agent DeSoto for the Republic. Day and June ask for their help to find Eden, Day’s younger brother and to help heal Day’s injured leg brought about by their escape from the Republic. Razor makes a deal with them and tells them about the plan of assassinating the new Elector.
7. Bible Say by Hal Lillywhite ***** – After reading A Dictionary of Polspeak showing Lillywhite’s political views and People Hunter which is autobiographical I was quite excited to see Lillywhite’s religious views in this novel. In the introduction Lillywhite gives a little disclaimer about how the book is his own view and we shouldn’t believe it but to seek out our own answers. In the beginning of this book Lillywhite explains how many sayings that we know like money is the root of all evil, which we believe to be in the Bible or closely related to biblical text are actually mistranslated or misunderstood. The mentioned saying should actually be love of money is the root of all evil referring to greed one of the seven deadly sins. Lillywhite explains that the purpose of this book is to encourage readers to study scripture more carefully and not to blindly follow and/or believe what is written there without questioning it to some degree. One of the first problems Lillywhite addresses is translation issues, any translation is difficult and often uncertain. Sometimes a word may have two or more possible translations in the target language and there is no word that clearly expresses in one language what a word in the other language means.
8. Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan **** – If I were author Rick Riordan, I’d not bother with my usual little introductory paragraph about the book I’m about to review. Rather, I’d leap right into the fray, and the page would be awash with exploding monsters and long lost siblings. But given that I’m a mild-mannered sort, I’ll hold off for a bit before giving you the wham-bam-shazam plot breakdown of Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse. The third in the Percy Jackson series, the Titan’s Curse follows on from Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (my review of which you can read here), and follows hapless Greek demigod Percy as he seeks not only to deal with the trials and tribulations of puberty and very odd familial relationships, but also to save the world from an ancient evil known as Kronos. Riordan is known for fast-paced, action-heavy writing and, as you might have inferred from my earlier comments, The Titan’s Curse is no different. Take a deep breath, because you’ll need it.
9. Astray by J. F. Rogers ***** – The prologue of this novel was ominous and suspenseful and had me hooked to see what would happen in the following chapters. While there were minimal hints of what was to come within the novel it would a great opening and succeeded in grabbing my attention as a reader. I was excited to see when this scene would come into play again within the novel.
10. Sick by Tom Levee ***** – The first thing I noticed while flicking through this novel is that the whole story is told over the course of one day which I found really unique in other zombie novels I have read the story is set usually over weeks so to see a story that just deals with initial chaos which was a very unique setting and I haven’t read a lot of books like this. The opening chapter introduces us to the majority of the main characters, they are a rag-tag and slightly wayward group each with their own teenage problems and hopes with no idea that anything is amiss. Brian is a 50/50 character for me, initially he seemed like a good guy but at times he can come across as a little bit of an ass, especially when he talks about his ex-girlfriend and her anxiety problems – this was the reason he dumped her. In the second chapter the seeds of the outbreak are planted but we haven’t seen any of it yet except for some early stages of infection. So we are only 10% into this novel and the chaos is already unfolding especially in the hospitals and possibly the school too. I have to say I was a little skeptical about this novel as the zombie thing has been done so many times as it becomes very repetitive over time especially if you read a lot of this genre like I do, but I was pleasantly surprised with the layout and format of this novel.
11. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn **** – The story is about young Camille Preaker, a
journalist from Chicago. She is sent by her boss to her estranged family in the South to investigate the murder of a young girl as well as the disappearance of another child. The killer has not been found yet. Camille has severe mental problems and had completed a stay in the mental hospital prior to returning to her job. Her problems include depression as well as severe self-harming. Camille’s younger sister, Mariann, is mentioned several times throughout the book. She died when she and Camille were younger and Camille misses her dearly.
12. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling ***** – The long awaited book of
(magical) children’s fairy tales as mentioned in the Harry Potter books is finally here but was it worth the wait…….oh come on, of course it was!! Only a 105 pages in length this is a beautifully illustrated and dare I say it a pretty little book, but chaps, don’t let that put you off because the stories it contains are certainly not of the Enid Blyton variety and lend themselves more to the Brother’s Grimm tradition of story telling.
13. Sequence by Lorraine M. L. M. **** – The first thing I noticed about this book was it was split into separate parts as well as having defined chapters which isn’t something I see very often in YA novels. The preface of the book was great we are introduced to an unnamed protagonist who can hear the thoughts and desires of others telepathically. After breaking down during an exam she/he is sent to Isle Speranz for a complete psychotic breakdown. I loved this opening and it really gripped my attention as a reader and I was pumped to continue reading. We learn our main protagonist is Alessia Appleton an ordinary 16 year old apart from the fact she hears voices, while Alessia is incarcerated in London even the best doctors there say she is beyond help and she can’t be cured. Despite this Alessia knows there is no cure for her as she has always been this way, she is different from other people. This is very intriguing as the author has provided an outline to us but without giving us any major details at all.