“Flotsam” by David Wiesner

This will be a week filled with reviews of illustrated books and comic books. Putting it that way makes it sound like I’ll dump loads of reviews on here this week, but it’ll be just 3 of them. For me, that’s a lot since I usually manage to churn out only a few reviews every couple weeks. I like to pair up my reviews of illustrated books and comics, but I only read one illustrated book. So here is its lonesome review.


Flotsam by David Wiesner (illus.)

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

January 2006

Goodreads summary:

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam — anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share … and to keep. 

Flotsam

My Thoughts:

Flotsam is a wonderful children’s picture book with quite an imaginative story that’s told without words. I think I’m leaning toward such books. The absence of words draws my attention to other details and makes me focus on other ways we communicate.

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“The Wedding Date” by Jasmine Guillory

This one has been receiving a lot of buzz lately. I listened to an interview featuring the author on First Draft Podcast and got curious enough to give the book a try.

Genre:

Romance; contemporary

Pubbed:

January 2018

Goodreads summary:

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

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“The Water Witch” by Juliet Dark

I completed the first book in the Fairwick Chronicles — The Demon Lover — in February and couldn’t wait long to jump into the second — The Water Witch.

These books are fluff reads with a slight dark side, and I love reading them! I enjoy the story and love the writing and am charmed by the setting. I get so swept up in the stories that I run through the books quickly.

Genre:

Paranormal/supernatural; romance

Pubbed:

September 2012

Goodreads summary:

After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of Gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the Honeysuckle Forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine River, more trouble is stirring…

The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college.

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“Kintu” by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Here’s the reason why I haven’t posted a review in a while: I’ve been procrastinating on Kintu. Not because I hated the book or because it’s bad. It’s because I enjoyed the book so much and got so much out of it that I needed time to process it all.

When I decided to sit and jot down some thoughts on it, I felt overwhelmed and indecisive. I didn’t know what to say, how much to say, or where to start. But I want to stop procrastinating on it and I want to urge everyone to read it, so as best as I can, I’ll just share what comes to mind as I think back on my reading experience with this book (and hope it all makes sense).

Genre:

Historical; literary; magical realism

Pubbed:

2014 in Uganda; 2017 in the U.S.

Goodreads summary:

Uganda’s history reimagined through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan in an award-winning debut.

In 1750, Kintu Kidda unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. In this ambitious tale of a clan and of a nation, Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break from the burden of their shared past and reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future. 

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Weekend Reads #84: Recent Books I DNF

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I’m currently reading.

(Yeah, I know the weekend has passed, but I was busy.)

This week’s topic:

Books I DNF

(FYI: DNF means did not finish.)

This post isn’t about my struggle to DNF books or whether or not it’s right to do so or whether or not we should rate books we DNF. I think all such choices are entirely up to the reader and though we are book bloggers, we should remember that we are readers first; so if you don’t like a book, it’s okay to stop reading it. And if you have a strong opinion on it, though you haven’t yet completed the book, it’s a free world (for the most part) so share your opinion and rate the book on Goodreads and/or your blog, if you feel like doing so.

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Two Audiobooks: “The Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey & “The Two Towers” by J.R.R. Tolkien

My reading experience with these audiobooks were vastly different. As I mentioned in my recent Weekend Reads post, I loved one but hated the other; however, both were a struggle to read since it’s hard to keep a rein on my mind to prevent it from wandering while listening to the story.

I guess my ratings of these books are questionable. I rate books based on how much I enjoyed them and what they made me feel, not necessarily if they are composed well, though I do consider that but not as highly as the enjoyment factor. With audiobooks, I also consider the narrator’s contribution to the work, and my rating reflects that, which is seen in my rating of The Two Towers. If I’d read the physical/e- book, I’d have given it a half star more.


The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, narr. by Finty Williams

Genre:

Horror; sci-fi: dystopian

Goodreads summary:

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

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“School for Psychics” by K.C. Archer

Not what I expected.

Genre:

Paranormal

Pubbed:

April 3, 2018

Goodreads summary:

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

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