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Search for Senna (Everworld Book #1) – K.A. Applegate – Review

imagesOne minute four strangers are standing on the bank of a lake. They are all watching a girl they know by name, but don’t truly know. The next moment they are pulled along with her into another universe. A universe where gods rule, giant wolves chase you down and nothing is impossible. Now the search is one to find Senna and return to their real lives.

 

 

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I was in love with this series when I was in high school. I read it over and over again. I loved the concept but I mostly remember loving the characters and the dialogue.

The dialogue was my main pull to this series. It was one of the first times I remember hearing characters that sounded real, like people I met every day.

I recently finished reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and I kept thinking of this series as I read it. I remembered this series uses all kinds of mythology and I found myself wanting to re-read these books again.

I was worried. Worried that the magic would disappear from these books. As someone who is almost 30 I thought I would not be able to relate to the characters. I thought I would feel like it was clunky or not well written. I wondered if this was a series I should just leave on my shelf for nostalgia purposes.

I am glad I began reading it again. In this first book I felt the same love I did when I was 16. I love the characters. They still feel real to me. They still talk like teenagers talk. There is no forced dialogue or weird sounding sentences. Too many times teenagers are written to sound like adults and that always annoys me. Here they use jargon, they makes stupid jokes and they all sound different.

I found myself liking David’s character more in this book too. I don’t remember liking him much before. Now I see his point of view better. He doesn’t want to live in a world that dictates every move. Much like myself he has serious problems with the pre-planned life that so many people seem to think you need to live by. He doesn’t want to do the path of graduate, job, marriage then kids. He wants something different and new.

I also noticed in this reading that there are much deeper storylines then I picked up on before. In this book were get hints of abuse in David’s life. I didn’t realize how dark this series was. I am curious to see how it progresses and how I pick up on how these elements shape him throughout the story.

I remember this series making use of a lot of different mythologies and legends. I am eager to see how they play together now that I know more about them. I like in this one that I understood the Norse mythology references. I think I will have a deeper appreciation for this world now that I have more knowledge about the source material.

What I was just okay with
The sentences in this book are quite short. Many of them are one or two words long. I am okay with the sometimes but I do feel like it may be overused here. It works when the character is in panic mode. But it isn’t necessary all the time. I think it slows things down a little bit too much.

I also noticed there are a lot of things mentioned that date this book. David talks about Blockbuster and Borders. It doesn’t harm the story at all. It just is interesting because I don’t feel like this is happening now. I know this was the past even if there is no date and time associated with the story. Just an interesting idea to think about the way things can date a story or change the timeline even if you don’t mean for them too.

What I Wished was Different_
As of this book I don’t have anything that is really throwing me out of the story. I still feel connected to the characters. I understand the world and I am still eager to continue on with this adventure even though I know how it ends.

I did take my rating down from 5 to 4 stars on Goodreads for this book. It is fun and exciting but I do think I am not as connected to it as I was when I was younger.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“But being scared was one thing. That was normal. How you acted once you were scared – that’s what mattered.” (pg. 33)

“‘Maybe dreams aren’t in your head. Maybe dreams are memories of another universe.'” (pg. 144)

Re-reading Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

8403656Last month the Harry Potter books came out with new covers for the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter books. I couldn’t afford the whole series but I did get the third book and the sixth book, my two favorites of the series. I recently re-read the third book so I decided to re-read the sixth book this time.

The reason the sixth book is my second favorite is because of the back story given to Voldemort. I am the kind of person who likes the villain of the story to have a story. I have a problem when the antagonist is just there to cause trouble but we never find out why. I believe a story gets stronger when we can understand why a person makes the choices they make.

The look into Voldemort’s past is fascinating to me. I loved seeing when he was as a child to the moment when he started figuring out how to become immortal. It is interesting because we see that he had several opportunities to turn around. We also got to see the resentment and anger that resided in him since he was a child.

When I first read the series I just saw him as this evil man who had no morals and no reason for doing what he was doing. In this book we got to see the reason. We got to see why he might have turned that direction. He was raised without any love or affection. He was forced to grow up quickly and take care of himself.

Now not every person who grows up parentless turns into a murderer (i.e. Harry) but this book gave  us a way to understand the man behind the evil actions. Part of me felt bad for him. I remember reading the first time feeling upset that he was left with this route. But then you look at Harry and see what choices he could have made.

Harry grew up without parents too and yet he was the complete opposite of Voldemort. Which then raises the question of nature versus nurture. Harry’s parents died protecting him, Voldemort’s abandoned him. Does that change things? Some very fascinating questions are raised throughout this story.

One of my favorite scenes is in this book. After Harry and Dumbledore look at the memory about the Horcruxes we get a speech that is very significant for this series. Harry doesn’t understand how love can be the power he has that will win him the final battle. He can’t see past what the prophecy says. He is stuck until Dumbledore makes him understand.

This whole speech is so interesting and important, not only for this story. Seeing Harry come to realize that his heart is what he has that has kept him whole his entire life. His heart and his love for those around him is what matters. Voldemort never allowed himself the ability to love. He closed that door when he was a child. Harry never gave up trying to find that comfort and love. He didn’t turn to the darkness for comfort. Instead he allowed people in, allowed them to take care of him when he needed it. We see what happens when you don’t give up, no matter the darkness that seems to surround you.

This book was also the first time I read a book where a main character died. Sirius’s death was tragic for me because I loved his character, but Dumbledore’s death was traumatizing in a sense. He seemed so important, so significant that I thought there was no way he would die. I had never read a book where someone like that died. That didn’t happen in younger books.

Dumbledore dying was the moment you realized that anything can happen. No one is immune and anyone can be gone tomorrow. I already knew this but this book hit that point home. The end makes you realize how important it is to say what you need to say to those around you.

Lastly I loved the very end of this book where Harry is trying to convince Ron and Hermione to allow him to search for the Horcruxes alone. Hermione reminds him that when they were in their first year he gave them the chance to turn back, to leave him. They decided to stay. Throughout five years they stayed by his side and they were not going to abandon him now.

The true power of friendship shown through this book. You see in this moment that those people who have stood at your side for years, through it all, are not going to disappear at the tough moments. If they had chances to turn back in the past and didn’t, then trust them to be there throughout it all.

What lessons have you learned from you favorite books?

Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman – Review

51C7IGsOYHL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Odin is the all-seeing father. Thor is the lightening god with the magic hammer. Loki is the trickster who is out to help himself. They are all waiting for the end of times, when they will fight and die only for the world to be reborn again. Dive into the stories of these heroes and myths and find out their origin stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I am a huge fan of mythology. I fell in love with it back in middle school when we studied Greek and Roman mythology. I thought the stories were fascinating and was even more fascinated by how they connected to our time today. You could see how they influenced people and then see how those influences changed over time.

I knew a tiny bit about Norse mythology but not a ton. I knew who Odin, Thor and Loki were but that was really where my knowledge ended. When I picked up this book I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know if it was a generic retelling, a story that used Norse mythology characters or a reworking of the stories. In the end it is a collection of Norse myths that Gaiman compiled and made his own.

I really enjoyed the collection because I felt like it gave just enough about the myths. I didn’t tell them all but it told the important ones (as far as I can tell). You got to hear the origin stories, the adventure stories and more about Ragnarok. It did a good job at giving me a crash course in these myths.

I think I felt like I could connect to the stories because he modernized the language a bit. I felt like he didn’t use the vernacular from that time and gave it a modern twist. I felt a bit like in portions I was reading about the versions of Thor and Loki from the movies. I liked this because I felt like I could sink into the tales a bit more because I wasn’t spending as much time trying to figure out exactly what they were saying.

One of the book series I loved as a teenager was called Everworld by K.A. Applegate. It was a quick read but I remember it involving a lot of different myths and legends. As I read through this book I started remembering some of the characters like Hel. I remember them from that series and now I want to reread that series to see how things compare.

What I was just okay with
At the beginning of the book Gaiman mentions that he took a few liberties with the stories. He talks about how he rearranded bits and combined stories. At the back of the book he quickly tells where he got each story from but nothing much about what he might have changed or altered. He quickly mentions some but I wanted a bit more.

As I stated I have very limited knowledge about Norse mythology and I wanted to know a bit about what he changed or what he kept the same. I think it would have been nice after each story to have a one pager thing stating what he changed and maybe why. Would have just been interesting to know.

What I Wished was Different_
I can’t think of anything that I wanted to change. It kept my attention. I was able to follow everything and I felt like I learned quite a bit.

 

I gave the collection 4 stars on Goodreads. I had fun growing my knowledge of this type of myth.

Smoke and Iron – Rachel Caine – Review

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Jess and friends are in trouble. They are separated. There is a plan but what will be the cost of that plan? Can a small group take on the might of the Library? Who will survive and what will their world look like after?

(This is a review for the fourth book in a series, thus there will be spoilers for the previous 3 books).

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4
All of the books of the Great Library series up until this point have been from Jess’s point of view. We have seen everything through his eyes so we get a limited look at what is going on around us. We get his opinion but we aren’t sure what everyone else is feeling. We have an idea but nothing concrete.

In this book we got multiple POV’s and I loved it. We got to see the story not only from Jess’s eyes but from Morgan, Wolfe and Khalila as well. (We also got a few moments from Thomas and Santi too). I loved this addition.

It is kind of odd to do something like this 4 books into a series but I think it really opened up the story. In this book specifically the group is split up for quite a while. If we only got Jess’s portion it would have seemed boring and a bit annoying. So much would have happened without our knowledge. It would have seemed forced and pushed.

I liked this addition not only because it helped make the story feel more connected but also because we got closer to some of the characters. I have always like Wolfe’s character. I think he is interesting because he has a past and a present that are so different. He has been tortured but still finds a way to move forward. He loves with his whole heart but still can hold grudges and anger. In this book we actually got to see his true depth and it made his character even better.

Khalila was always interesting to me but she never held my attention fully. I liked her but wasn’t attached. In this book I became attached to her. She is strong. She is no-nonsense. She is loyal and I want her to end up at the one who takes over. She is the perfect leader. I found myself actually caring about her in this book.

While this book did a lot set up again it did leave me anxious for the end of the series. I know there is going to be a serious fight. I just hope it all pays off like I want it to. I also hope we don’t lose too many of the characters.

What I was just okay with
I enjoy these books but one of the problems with them is the fact that I feel like they are always spinning their wheels. I understand why this book was full of set up, it had to be to get us to the end. Though I do think this one could have been combined with the last book.

I think this series would have been fine as a 3 book series. I think some of the going back and forth could have been cut and given us a bit more action. I think cutting some of the random wanderings would have upped the anticipation aspect of the story. We would have gotten a more urgent feel from this story.

The end of this book was so quick. There was a lot of lead up to the moment and it was all over very fast. Again I think if it was the half way point that lead into the finale I would have found it more satisfying. Instead I felt a bit let down and now I have to wait for the next book, losing all that momentum I had from that moment.

What I Wished was Different_
There is one point in the book where Morgan is doubting her love for Jess. She talks about how she know she loves him but doesn’t know if she is in love with him. I liked her hesitation at this point. I felt like it was going in an interesting direction. I thought we would see her struggling with the idea of loving someone but not being in love.

I thought maybe she was even aromantic in some manner. I thought it was interesting to see her discovering this part of herself but the end crushed that idea. She realizes she loves him, which is fine. This isn’t an insta-love scenario, it was developed over 4 books. I just thought it would be more interesting to see a character struggling with a bigger concept in the midst of the other battles they are dealing with.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I enjoyed it. I am anxious for the end. I just wished it was a bit tighter and left my heart racing a bit more.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“Power rotted from within.” – (pg. 18)

“Tyrants turned on their own, in the end; it was the only way to keep power.” (pg. 89)

“That denying knowledge to others was a tactic of war.” (pg. 191)

“Freedom doesn’t mean you have to leave. It means you choose. It isn’t done for you.” (pg. 246)

The Darkest Warrior – Gena Showalter – Review

35575251Puck is cursed with the demon of Indifference. He hides all emotions from the world or else he risks being incapacitated. He is resolute on finishing out a prophecy made about
him and his brother centuries ago. That is until Gillian walks into his life.

Gillian is an abused woman who is struggling to find a new life. She has been broken by her past and she is unsure if she can ever have a true and whole future. She is presented with an impossible choice, one that ultimately saves her life. She finds out that her past doesn’t have to define her and love is something that can be hers.

(This review is for the 14th in series so there may be spoilers for previous books).

What I Loved_-4

I really liked how Gillian’s story evolved over this book. I remember when she was first introduced into the series back in the second book (I believe), she was so broken and so lost. She was desperate to find somewhere safe. She had no one and nothing to live for.

I enjoyed watching her starting to trust the Lords and their wives and girlfriends. I enjoyed watching her learning to find a way to live on her own. This book completed that journey. Though there was a serious time jump, she was able to find her own way to overcome her past.

Gilly became a badass. She was no longer the one to hide. She was no longe scared of every man who came near her. She was able to overcome her past and find her inner strength. She became a warrior. She fought for what she believed in. I loved that transformation. Loved seeing her be able to take care of herself and not need anyone else.

I also enjoyed the glimpses we got into the Hades and William storyline. While it was not nearly enough it left me interested in the next book. I want to know where Hades and his storyline are going. I am also now very intrigued where William’s story is going now that he is not ending up with Gilly.

What I was just okay with
This was probably my least favorite book in this series and there were a few things that I was able to handle but not be thrilled with and there were things that I just did not like. First I had a bit of an issue with the serious time jump in this book. In order to give us the character development of Gilly, we skip ahead about 500 years.

While this is fine I wanted to see that growth. I wanted to see more than through a few letters. I thought her character deserved us to see that transformation and not just the end. I think her story would have been even more powerful if we not only watch her transformation first hand but also saw how that connected to her growing love for Puck. That would have been the powerful story.

I thought I was going to be really upset by the fact that Gilly didn’t end up with William. The series did make it seem like those two would be together for about 12 books. I thought that would by hard for me to get over but I was okay with it.

While I would have preferred William and Gillian to be together, I do like the idea of them being friends. I think that friendship relationship could be explored more. I do like the idea of William being friend with a female and not sleeping with them. I do think that is a nice element to his character.
What I Wished was Different_
One of the first things that was driving me insane about this book was mainly in the beginning. Gilly is very against sex, which is undestandable because she was abused. I could not stand the way that Puck and even William kept saying that she would be alright with them. She would want to sleep with them. They could change her mind.

That is not how that works. Her wishes should have been respected. They should have stayed away and understood that she needed time to heal. If she was ever going to be with them they needed to give her the chance to make that choice for herself. Instead we did a 500 year time jump to skip over that healing process. There could have been serious commentary about sexual abuse and survivors in this story instead we stayed within the confines of the romance genre and didn’t try to go above and beyond.

I think this book would have been great if it had dared to try something different. There was so much potential to tell an interesting and different story. We could have had a story about Puck and Gilly using their relationship to learn how to heal. They could have healed each other. Puck could have realized he could be strong despite his demon and Gilly could have learned to trust and ended up with William.

Or we could have had a story where Gilly didn’t end up with anyone. She realized she didn’t need anyone. That a relationship and sex were not defining characteristics of her life. Instead we got neither. We got the generic usual love story, which was fine but wasn’t what I wanted from this story.

I gave this 2.5 stars on Goodreads. I didn’t despise this story but it was one I read through to just finish. I will continue the series because I have to know how it ends. I just wanted this story to be so much more than it was.

Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly – Review

30840370I am going to stray from my normal review format for this book. I don’t think this type of book can be spoken about the same way I talk about fiction books. I think this book doesn’t deserve to be broken down into what I thought worked and what didn’t. That isn’t the type of book this is, this is about real lives and real events that unfortunately history has not shown to us.

I have been interested in the story of these women since the movie came out. I have not seen the movie yet, thought I do plan on it sooner or later. I always wanted to read the book first though. I am someone who wants the depth the book can give me over the movie.

This was a fascinating story. I know there are plenty of stories in history that we aren’t provided in school. We get the same handful of stories and the same look at events over and over again. I have always wanted to read more about those who stories have not made it into text books.

I fell into this book quite easily. I was enthralled by the lives of each of these women. Dorthy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were not only women struggling in a man’s world workplace but they were also African American at the height of Jim Crow era laws. Everything was against them yet they stood up and found a way to not only make a difference but make a serious impact on the space and aeronautical history of our country.

Their story was inspiring. They took a chance and they fought for what they deserved. They also were hard workers. They didn’t comprise their work because of the position they were placed in. They showed how smart they were. They showed the world what it meant to be a strong and hard working woman. They fought against stereotypes given to both women and African Americans.

Katherine Johnson’s story was the one that resonated with me the most. Her tenacity was inspiring. She was someone who did not back down. She knew what she deserved and she fought to be given that. No one was going to put her down and make her feel less because of her gender or race. I wish her story was one I had heard in school because she would have been someone I would have seen as a role model. Her fight and her strength are things to be admired.

I finished this book much quicker than I thought I was going to. I did get a little held back with the descriptions of the aeronautical science aspect. I am not a tech or science savvy person so those pieces made me pause at times. I would be enthralled by the women’s stories but then find myself feeling like I had started reading a foreign language. It helped to know what they were researching and helped me understand how smart these women were. I just am not a science person so that did throw me out of the book a little bit.

I am eager to watch the movie now to see how things compare. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to read inspiring story that has been sitting on the edges of history for much too long.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Do you have any further recommendations for books about women or people that history books have forgotten?

Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire – Review

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Rini lands in the pond at Elenor West’s Home for Wayward Children. She is looking for her mother, Sumi. Problem is that Sumi died a few years earlier. Rini, with the help from some of the wayward children sets out to fix the past so that she can exist in the future

 

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4

This was probably my favorite book in this series so far. This one I think had the strongest  and the most interesting plot. I love a good story about a paradox. I also loved that this was a journey to put someone back together.

I wasn’t sure how exactly this story was going to play out when I read the summary. I didn’t know if it was going to just be about Rini and her journey or if we were going to involve other characters. I loved that we got to see some of our favorites from the pervious book.

This book made me want to learn more about Christopher. I was only half interested in him from the other books. This book showed me that he has more to his story. I would love to have his book. I think he has a fascinating backstory and I want to know more about the world he was in.

I really enjoyed that the process of putting together Sumi involved more than just a simple spell or trick. Sumi was a complex person and putting her back together was a process. She needed all parts of her, not just her skeleton but her soul and her nonsense as well. This was a great look at how people are not just one thing, we all are complex human beings. If you lose one piece of yourself you are missing something vital. In the end Sumi needed the essential parts of herself to live again.

This book also looked at how nonsense and logic can work together. Just became something seems crazy or out of sorts doesn’t mean there isn’t some rules. Rules don’t have to be insufferable or annoying, they can be helpful. Rules don’t have to make life not fun. I think this showed how complex this world is as well. We get to see the different directions that exist int his world and are getting a even more clear picture of how this place works.

What I was just okay with

Each one of these books is short and I think sometimes that hurts the story a little bit. We get glimpses of people but don’t get to truly dive into anyone. We get introduced to Cora and Nadya, but we don’t get too much about them. We know they are both from water worlds but that is about it. We do know that Cora struggled with her body but I wanted to know more about her and her past.

We get hints at these characters but none are fully developed right away. I guess it does help build up for sequels. I hope we get more about them in future stories just so we have full pictures of them and they aren’t just side characters meant to fill out the cast.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing in this book that bothered me or made me have to pause while reading. I was able to get absorbed in the book and fly through it.

I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads. It was a fun ride that showed us more about the world and the characters in it.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“We try to make things make sense, even when they’re never going to.” (pg. 32)

“Futures, pasts, it didn’t matter. Everything fell apart.” (pg. 34)

“We don’t go where we’re not meant to be, even if we sometimes get born the wrong place.” (pg. 61)

“The fact that they had survived different somethings didn’t change the fact that they would always be, in certain ways, the same.” (pg. 106)

“It took me years of saving a world that stopped wanting me when I changed my pronouns to figure it out.” (pg. 110)

“There is kindness in the world, if we know how to look for it. If we never start denying it the door.” (pg. 174)

Running with Lions – Julian Winters – Review

37830514Sebastian is heading to soccer camp for the last time. For his whole high school career he has spent his summers with his friends perfecting his soccer skills. Now is his last summer to do that. This summer is full of coming to terms with a phase of his life ending and another beginning.

All his confusion is not helped by an old friend, Emir walking back into his life. Can they fix what broke their friendship? What if they see that they both want more than friendship? How does Sebastian deal with these new feelings on top of trying to figure out where his future is going?

 

What I Loved_-4
I kept seeing this book recommended by some of my favorite authors on Twitter. I was curious because it was a LGBTQ story that centered around male athletes. This was a new storyline that I hadn’t seen before. I was curious how that was going to be handled.

Becky Albertalli has a quote on the cover that says, ‘Funny, wise and ridiculously romantic. It hit me right int he heart.” and I think that sums up the story really well. It dealt with some important topics while also having some adorable scenes.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was that the romance was realistic. It wasn’t insta-love which was nice to see. These two boys were best friends at one time, they had a connection. That connection never died, it just faded for a while. I liked seeing them reconnect and I felt like it was real. I felt like this is how a romance can really evolve over time. They spent the summer figuring out what they were to each other.

I also really liked that the issue they had that ended their friendship wasn’t some huge drama. They didn’t have a fight. They drifted apart because of life situations. This also felt very real. It is too easy to drift from a  friend, especially when you are young and don’t have the ability to connect on your own. Later you realize that it sucks but you also see that sometimes that is how life is.

The team was an idyllic team but it was sweet to see. I wish that teams everywhere were built this way. If athletes and kids can join a team and have everyone be as accepting as this team is, the world would be a good place. The coach being the driving force of this was nice to see. I hope this is something readers will take to heart and implement in their own teams if they are on one.

I could relate to Sebastian as well. He is afraid of what life is going to be like once he leaves high school. I was able to feel connected to him because when I left high school I only had the barest hint of an idea of what life was going to be like. And my life ended up nothing like I thought it was going to be, like not even vaguely close. I think he worries were done right, subtle but also easy to understand.

The cast of characters in this book were also very diverse. We had gay, bi-sexual and questioning characters. We had black and muslim characters. It was nice to see so many different people on a team together and working as one. I love how the team idea was used to bring these people together and connect them.

There was a content warning in the beginning of the book. It wasn’t until after I read the book that I looked up what the content warnings were actually for. For me, nothing stood out as triggering but then again I am lucky enough to not have dealt with any of the trauma that was dealt with in this book. I appreciate that this warning was there. I also appreciated that this publisher has a page on their site dedicated to highlighting any troubling moments in their books. I admire that.

What I was just okay with

I wasn’t thrilled with Mason’s character. I was okay with him but he did bother me a little bit. He came off as a jerk more often than not. I could tell he was one of those characters that was a jerk to the outside world but loved his friends. But as reader I wanted to see that softer side of him more.

I think a few more scenes with him being vulnerable would have softened his character a little bit. I never felt like I got close enough to him to not see him as a hard character. I saw the potential he had but I never saw it completely realized.

There was moments where Sebastian was bothered by his appearance and I thought that could have been explored a bit more. Boys or men with body issues is not something you see often and I think the book would have benefitted from exploring all of that a bit more. I felt like it started as a main theme and faded. I know that Emir helped a little but that isn’t something that disappears with one person complimenting you.
What I Wished was Different_

There was one moment that threw me out of the story a little bit. Sebastian gets angry at a teammate for being insulting to Emir. He gets into the other player’s face and argues with him. He wanted to punch him but doesn’t. I thought the scene was really well done. You felt his anger and his self-control at the same time.

The issue I had was with the way that it was stated that Sebastian started getting counseling after the incident. I couldn’t figure out why though. Yes, he was angry but in that situation, when someone is insulting someone you care deeply about that is a normal reaction. He didn’t hit him. He had enough self-control not too.

I could understand him going to counseling for other issues he was dealing with but not that one moment. I might have understood it more if it had been explained more as well. It was kind of just thrown in. I think it would have made more sense to me if the idea had been explored a bit more.

 

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I enjoyed it a lot. The romance was sweet and fun to read. I think it would have just benefited from a bit deeper look at some of the tougher issues.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“The burden to make your parents proud while still feeling clueless about what you’re doing with your own life is a struggle.”  (pg. 70)

“How does he silence all the huge, monstrous fears biting at his mind?” (pg. 95)

“Love is supposed to be a happy, comforting emotion, but it always comes with conflict. And being anything but straight means making these huge declarations to the people closest to you.” (pg. 105)

“Confidence is earned by how many flaws you can find in someone else.” (pg. 135)

“Guys are beautiful. And girls are handsome. Words aren’t gender-specific.” (pg. 196)

“Acceptance has an amazing effect on people who pretend they don’t need it.” (pg. 224)

Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire

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We know how Jack and Jill’s story ends but how did it begin? Who were these girls before they found their doorway? What did coming to The Moors do for them and to them? How does life change when you are  given the opportunity to explore a life that you were always denied?

 

 

What I Loved_-4
This was a look at how Jack and Jill became the characters we meet in Every Heart a Doorway. I always love seeing the evolution of characters and how they get to the point they are at when we meet them. I was only half interested in both of these characters in the first book. By the end of this story I was much more attached to them.

Jack and Jill were raised as two very specific people. Jack was the princess her mother always wanted while Jill was raised as the boy her father never had. Both of them were never given the chance to explore who they were on their own. They were shoved into specific roles and punished for stepping outside of them. They had parents who only cared about the image they provided and not who they were as people.

I love that the whole concept of this series is that doors appear to people who need them. Jack and Jill needed somewhere to live out their lives and be who they truly wanted to be. They were provided with a chance to walk through a door and see the vast possibilities spread out before them. I love this exploration.

I love watching a character learn who they truly are as a person. I love watching them fight back the damage done by others around them. This had one of my favorite storylines, characters owning who they truly are.

I liked seeing the way both of the girls changed over time. Jill became darker.  She became the more girly one but she also had a darker soul. We saw the lengths she is willing to go to keep what she holds dear.

While Jack became more of a tomboy but she also was softer. She had a more caring side to her. You saw it with her relationships with the people around her. I liked how the character types and personalities played against the usual assumptions. Each of these characters was very dynamic which was great to read.

I also really liked the tone of storytelling in this book. There was a sense of fairytale aspect to it. I liked this type of tone in the story and  it helped push the message of the book home.

What I was just okay with
I felt like we concentrated on Jack a bit more than Jill. I felt like I was more connected to her character throughout the story. I would have liked a bit more from Jill. Jill is the one who becomes dark and I would have liked to understand that journey a bit more.

I think this book would have also benefitted from being longer. There was big jumps in time and I think we lost some development of the characters throughout those portions. We could have had a longer look at the change in the beginning. That was the time when things changed the most and I think we only hit the surface of the true story.

I loved these characters and I would love to know what happened when they returned to The Moors after Every Heart is a Doorway. I was hoping for a glimpse at that time in this book but we didn’t get any. I want to know how they change again. There has to be a big shift in their lives now and I would love to know more about that story.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing in this book that threw me out of the story. It was a great look at the development of the characters. While it would have benefited from being longer that didn’t necessarily hurt the story.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. It was a great tale that could have just been a bit longer.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“It can be easy, when standing on the lofty shores of adulthood, not to remember that every adult was once a child, with ideas and ambitions of their own.” (pg. 13)

“She had tried to make sure they knew that there was a hundred, a thousand, a million different ways to be a girl, and that all of them were valid, and that neither of them was doing anything wrong.” (pg. 34)

“Each of them wanted people to see them, not an idea of them that someone else had come up with.” (pg. 38)

“Every choice feed every choice that comes after, whether we want those choices or no.” (pg. 63)

“Children have preferences. The danger comes when they, as with any human, are denied those preferences for too long.” (pg. 107)

Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire – Review

25526296.jpgChildren disappear and go to wondrous lands. Lands where they can belong and find their true potential. Then those children have to come back to our world. Adapting to life in the mundane world can be difficult which is where Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children comes in. It is a place to learn how to thrive in their new situation.

Nancy is back in the land of the living and she isn’t sure what she thinks about her new situation. She feels lost but quickly finds out she isn’t the only one. Just as she begins to find her place in her new school, people start turning up dead. Who is killing people? And will they lose their only safe place in this harsh and difficult world?

 

What I Loved_-4

I have heard great things about this series for a long time. I have not seen one negative review concerning this book or the series as a whole. I have had it on my shelf for a while and finally decided to take it down. I am so glad I did. I ripped through this book with a fervor. It was entrancing and full of magic and wonder.

This is very much a character driven story. The characters are what make this book. I will say that the plot isn’t all that exciting, it is the characters that made me want to keep flipping pages.

Each child at this home has found a door to a new and strange world. I loved that the doors appeared to kids who felt as if they did not belong. They were presented with a new world where they could find their place and their purpose. I loved this interpretation of this whole magical world idea.

Often characters are just thrown into magical worlds without much thought. They are there to disrupt things most of the time. In this story the doors are there as a guide. I thought it was interesting how they were given this opportunity to find a new place for themselves. I also thought it was interesting that they were then responsible for enabling themselves to fit into their new world.

Every character in this story was unique. They all held attributes of the world’s where they grew up. I loved how you could feel where they came from by the way they talked and acted. None of them felt like they fell into any character archetype. They were all uniquely themselves.

I thought this was a great way of showing who each character was and where they came from without going into their backstories fully. You got a great sense of all the worlds right away by just the way each of them spoke and acted. It was a great use of showing and not telling.

I also really liked the way the different type of worlds were described. McGuire used directions to give you an idea of how this universe worked. The four main directions being Virtue, Wicked, Nonsense and Logic. You then filled in sub directions from there. I instantly could visualize and understand how this world was laid out. I thought that was clever way of describing the world.

This also had a great diverse cast of characters. We had a transgender character. We have characters of different nationalities. We had characters that did not follow gender roles or stereotypes. We had a asexual character. I loved how different they all were yet were all connected by their desire to return to their magical lives.

What I was just okay with
The plot, as I mentioned above, is not very strong. The plot itself its pretty basic. There are people being killed, they investigate and figure it all out. There is no real surprise to anything and really not too much happens until the end.

It was the characters that made this story. I wasn’t too upset about the lack of complex plot because I was just captured by the characters and their personalities. I think making it a little longer might have fleshed out pieces of the plot.

The end did feel rushed but again it wasn’t something I found myself upset over. I do think adding another 50 pages or so might have made the process of finding the killer a bit more detailed but it didn’t really hurt the story over all.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing that threw me out of the story. I did find myself wanting to know more about everyone in the home. Thankfully the sequels all tell different stories about different characters. That being a fact made me not feel like I was missing out on anything.

I have this a 5 star rating on Goodreads. I adored the characters and am eager to learn more about some of them throughout the rest of the books.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“Narrate the impossible things, turn them into a story, and they can be controlled.” (pg. 1)

“Hope hurts.” (pg. 30)

“You shouldn’t close a door just because you don’t like what’s on the other side.” (pg. 56)

“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.” (pg. 59) (Talk about a powerful quote!)

“Their love wanted to fix her, and refused to see that she wasn’t broken.” (pg. 83)

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