Mini Reviews Volume 2

Sometimes I have some reviews to post but they’re not quite long enough to warrant a single post, so I collate them into mini review posts like this one! This is PART 2 of this series. Enjoy 🙂


DISCLAIMER: I received free copies of both of these books in return for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.


The Adventures of WilhelmThe Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter


Young Wilhelm leaves home and travels the world. He not only discovers the value of different cultures and the importance of family and friendship, but he also overcomes obstacles with courage and cleverness. He returns home with deep respect for all creatures on this earth and a new sense of rat identity and purpose. (Goodreads.)

While I do often enjoy middle grade books, I tend to prefer middle grade books which are written in a less… simplistic fashion. By simplistic I do not mean that the writing in this book was bad because it certainly wasn’t, but the story was very obviously trying to communicate lessons through the story. And it did so by blatantly having the characters teach other characters the lessons which the author wants the reader to take from the book. This, to me, doesn’t feel like middle grade writing for 9-12 year olds, but more like older children’s fiction (5-8 years range).

I feel like books have the impact they do on people because they allow people to learn lessons more “naturally” by experiencing the emotions the book portrays. Anyone can tell you something, but only by really experiencing and understanding it can you fully believe it, which is where this story fell short.

Not only did it not have the impact it should, but the writing style left me feeling a little bit irritated and a lot like I was being either patronised or reading allowed to a younger sibling or child I was babysitting… except I was reading to myself during my lunch break at work.

That being said, if the writing style doesn’t bother you, the premise of the book is actually quite good and very thought-provoking. Although the writing style put me off enough that I could not finish the book, the actual plot of the book was fascinating and made me have some deep philosophical conversations with myself.

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As I did not finish this book, I can not give it a rating as per my rating policy.

 

WindswornWindsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway


When Eva discovers a young thief hiding in her woodshed with a stolen gryphon egg, the shy, timid girl is forced to leave everything she’s ever known to become Windsworn — elite warriors who ride fierce gryphons into battle…  (Goodreads.)”

Windsworn was comfortable to read. It was a good, familiar fantasy story, with some interesting world features, but generally fairly typical and familiar topics. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means the world wasn’t amazing but the book did use the familiar concepts well. It was fun and easy to read, perfect if you just want to relax for a little bit!

3 stacks of 3 books, 3/5 rating
This means I liked the book but it wasn’t anything particularly special! Check out my rating policy for more details.

So that was it!

Do you want to go and read either of these books now?

Happy reading, Keira x.

Books are an escape (+ recommendations)

I was thinking the other day about why I like books so much. As I’ve become older I’ve come to appreciate them as amazing pieces of work, and for the insight and knowledge which they can give me, but on a more basic, instinctual level, that’s not what draws me to reading. I came to the conclusion that books offered me an outlet and an escape from my life. They were a place of comfort when I wasn’t in the best place in my life, and when I am feeling good generally they are a fun pastime which allow me to let my imagination free.

In any case, today I thought I would share with you a couple of ideas about what you could read if you ever want an escape!


CHOICE 1: MAGICAL REALISM


Magical realism is great because it’s almost fantasy, but not quite, and will make you question basically everything. Because of the nature of this genre, magical realism books usually have gorgeous writing. A good place to start would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire. They’re on the line between magical realism and fantasy, but I love them. Another good choice would be The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.


CHOICE 2: FULL-OUT FANTASY


Magical realism not cutting it? Need dragons, magic and the lot? I’ve got your back. With a good fantasy book, you can forget the real world exists at all! I especially recommend Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. If you’re more into the adult fantasy genre, then Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson is excellent.


CHOICE 3: A GOOD LAUGH


When the world gets touch, maybe laughter is the best medicine! I don’t read comedy, but these books cracked me up. If you like some non-fiction occasionally Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari is excellent (Aziz Ansari is a well-known comedian, if you didn’t know). In search of something a little bit lighter? Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli deals with some important topics, but is also hilarious, or you could reread Twilight and (if you’re me) laugh at the old you who thought Bella and Edward were the most romantic couple ever.


CHOICE 4: CRY IT OUT


When I’m sad, one of my go-to things to do is to watch Les Miserables and cry for the whole two hours. It’s incredibly cathartic, so why not find some books to do the same! I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is one of my all-time favourite books, The Icarus Show by Sally Christie is beautifully yet horribly sad and if you’re looking for some nostalgic tears, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is definitely the way to go.


And that’s it!

What books do you like to read when you want to escape? Or do you have something else you prefer to do? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy reading, Keira x.


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Mini Reviews Volume 1

Sometimes I have some reviews to post but they’re not quite long enough to warrant a single post, so I collate them into mini review posts like this one! Enjoy 🙂


DISCLAIMER: I received free copies of both of these books in return for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.


Sarah's GhostSarah’s Ghost by Ben Kavaliro

SARAH’S GHOST is a supernatural thriller that will make you laugh, cry, and reel in shock. It contains terrifying suspense and multiple twists. (Goodreads.)

I struggled with connecting to the characters in this book or with feeling sympathy towards them. I found myself being unusually apathetic towards major events, simply because characters are perhaps the most important aspect in determining whether I enjoy a book and I could neither connect or enjoy the characters in this book. Perhaps they are simply too far removed from my reality or my interests, but whatever the case, I could not get in to this book because of that. I found some of the humour crude and many of the issues dealt with in the first 40% to be outside of my interest.

That being said, the writing style is engaging and for those who are more invested in the supernatural or plot aspects of the book may well have enjoyed this book, especially in the latter half which I did not read.

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As I did not finish this book, I can not give it a rating as per my rating policy.

A Dance With DemonsA Dance With Demons by Sir Richard Alexander

Two neighbouring nations have never been at peace, but become even less so now. One summons evil creatures to fight for them and the other bolsters their militia with their own people. (Goodreads.)

A Dance With Demons was fun. It wasn’t particularly revolutionary, world-changing or otherwise mind-blowingly brilliant, but it was a good, fun read which made me look forward to reading some more of the fun fantasy stuff that I have sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read when I particularly need saving from boredom.

Although at points the romances were a bit too awkward for my tastes, some of the friendships were pretty good although they could do with filling out and developing (perhaps in the next instalment?) and the personality of some of the side characters in particular was both amusing and engaging. (I particularly enjoyed Shen’s blunt logic and Rick’s sweet optimism.)

The plot really carried this book for me and it was decently fast paced, making this book an ideal boredom reliever!

2 stacks of 3 books (2/5 rating)
I wavered between a two and a three for this one, so it’s more like a 2.5, but seeing as I don’t do half ratings for books we’re rounding down because I like to be harsh! This just means I liked the book, except for a few aspects. Check out my rating policy for more details.

So that was it!

Do you want to go and read either of these books now?

Happy reading, Keira x.