Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Slippery Slope - Lemony Snicket - 5 stars

This is book 10 of A series of Unfortunate Events and I feel like they just get better with each book. I do not find it quite as annoying with all the unfortunate events because I feel like now they are handling these situations better. There are still some pretty silly situations, but also some pretty serious ones as well. I still think that this series is more YA than middle grade. This is probably a favorite for me now. It was a very engaging read for me as always, which makes them go much to quickly.

The characters develop more as we go through the series, you learn each of the Baudelaire's personalities and their differences from one to the other. I really enjoy all of them and can't really choose a favorite between them. I think they are all written very well. The band of evil doers is growing and the orphans are quite outnumbered, but there is a surprising addition to their team in this one that I really enjoyed.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire - 5 stars

This is book #4 in the Harry Potter series and Wow it is hard to believe that the first time I only rated this book a 3? What was wrong with me? So far I think this was my favorite of the series. I can't believe how much I have ventured out in the world of books making myself better understand different genres. This book is brilliant really. I love Rowling's writing style a lot. This book was so engaging for me that it was super hard to have to put it down when I had to go adulting with work. I felt as though I crawled inside of the book and lived there. Loved the adventure and excitement.

If people don't like the characters of this series then they are nuts! The characters have such great personality, so great that you feel like they really do exist, outside of the book. Like they could be your friends, family and in some cases your real enemies as well. I think the characters are probably my favorite part of the series because Rowling makes them feel so real, even though we journey into a make believe realm of magic. I can think of no other place I would rather exist among such a wide array of characters, protagonist and antagonists alike.

I can't help but recommend this book and the whole series to other readers. Especially if maybe you read it already and did not really care for it. Pick them back up and start the adventure again, you may discover that you quite enjoy joining in on all the magic again. I know I did!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Carnivorous Carnival - Lemony Snicket - 4 stars

This is book 9 in A series of Unfortunate Events. I think that these books get a bit more adventurous the further you go through the series. This one seems a lot darker than the other books and I really do not see it being appropriate for middle grade readers. I found it to be somewhat violent as well. Reading through Adult eyes is much different. I feel like for a middle grader it could be somewhat disturbing and a little scary as well. I must say though that I did enjoy the carnival setting in this one, although there is really not much about the carnival in it. Regardless it did give the story some flair.

The unfortunate events seem to have escalated a bit more in this book. Yes it is still annoying too, but now readers come to expect it so it is not quite as overwhelming I don't think. I have been seeing some good things happen in previous books, but in this one it all seems to be doom and gloom which could maybe turn readers off. I don't actually mind the dark and disturbing aspects of the story because I am holding on to the hope that maybe something good will come about in the last book simply titled 'The End'. Because of that, I just keep plowing through these so I can reach this possible happy ending.

Not much more to say about our characters that I have not already mentioned. We of course have some great protagonists which of course are the Baudelaire children. There are of course some pretty villainous bad guys as well, like Olaf and Esme. I find that Sunny is beginning to speak better so that is a nice addition too.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dead City - Joe McKinney - 4 stars

I have had this series for quite awhile and finally got to this one. I read this book as part of a buddy read with a friend and I am so glad I finally read it.

This book was non stop action, from one page top the next. I also found it to be very engaging. It is probably one of the best Zombie books I have ever read. The flow of the book was awesome and I love the author's writing style as well. There really was never a dull moment in this one. The author had me from page one. I like how the zombie problem is a viral one, and not some ridiculous, unbelievable one. I did actually one small problem with it really and that was that the ending was rather abrupt, almost rushed, like there was not really a wrap up from one point to the end, it just kinda happened if that makes any sense. I do look forward to moving on to the next book in the series.

I think the characters were pretty well developed, and I am sure they will develop even more over the course of the series. There was not an over abundance of characters either, which was really nice. I really enjoy Eddie's character a lot. He is pretty flawed, and I like that, He has some issues but he overcomes them.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves Zombie stories, because this one is certainly a treat. Be advised though, this is not one of those cutesy zombie stories. There is quite a bit of gore going on in this one. If you can handle that, then you are gonna love this one.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Hostile Hospital - Lemony Snicket - 4 stars

This is book #8 in The Series of Unfortunate Events. It was a great read to keep me from getting into a reading slump after a very trying book.

The Orphans Get themselves mixed up in some more pretty shady business with Count Olaf and his thugs in eager pursuit in this installment. One of things I like the most about these stories is how engaging they are, despite the fact that they are somewhat annoying because of all these unfortunate events. I also enjoy the resourcefulness of the Orphans even though that resourcefulness is pretty improbable and unrealistic. The stories have a great flow about them, so they move along at a very fast pace. This one has a lot of action and adventure going on and I love it! It is true that there is a lot of annoying misfortune in this series, but there is something good that usually happens in the mix. It just depends on how you look at things.

The Orphans are so likeable that readers can't help but root for them. I know that there has been a lot of times I wished that I could be there to help them out myself. It does get annoying when they have to deal with so many unfortunate events, one right after the other, but really that is what the story is about. I think my favorite character is probably Violet, who is the inventor of the three. Even though the inventions are a little out there I still like the thought that is behind them. As far as antagonists go, there is plenty of them to hate. Of course Count Olaf would be the top of the list for me.

I recommend this series to those who don't mind dark, sad and unfortunate stories with children involved. If that sort of thing bothers you then you would probably be better off avoiding this series. (I am starting to sound like Lemony Snicket.) If that sort of story does not bother you, then give this series a shot, you might just enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blaze - Stephen King - 3 stars

I read this book as a buddy read with a friend. This was the only Bachman book I had not read by King, so I thought I would give it a shot. Was this a masterpiece? No. not even close, but I did find it somewhat entertaining and it does seem to fit in with the Bachman books. If you read King or you are a fan, you learn his writing style pretty quickly and you can tell that this is one of his earlier novels. Even though, I still thought that the book moved along with a decent pace and with the mix of dark, dry humor, it kept me engaged in the story.

Our characters are rather eccentric, and I think they were wrote this way on purpose, kind of like the good cop, bad cop routine. George, the evil go getter who thinks he is entitled to everything, and then there is Blaze, who is not very bright to start, due to beatings he received as a child, becomes a small time delinquent throughout his life, meets George and now worships the ground he walks on and would do anything he says. Blaze is wrote in a way that readers will feel bad for him at one point, and then angry at him the next, so they end up on a fence, do I like him or do I not? You get a decent amount of backstory on Blaze, but next to nothing on George, which is ok since Blaze is our main character.

I still would recommend this book to others who like King just because it is was the 'lost' Bachman book. I also think this really allows us to see the growth in King's writing. This is probably not for everyone, but king fans will definitely appreciate it.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling - 5 stars

I am reading this book for our read along in my 'Bookworm Buddies' group here on Good Reads. I have actually read this whole series before, but it was really a very long time ago. And when I read it the first time, I don't believe I appreciated it as much as I do now. Reading it now feels like a whole new experience for me and it makes me really glad to have joined in on this read along.

I think while revisiting HP, I have discovered that this one is a favorite so far. I found it much more exciting, enjoyed the pacing of it and all that adventure. It is a funny thing, all those things you had forgotten from the first time, come rushing back to you a sweeping you off of your feet. I found this to just be an amazing read this time. So very engaging that it feels as though you transported to another world, this world full of magic, witches and wizards. The author is so good with imagery that you can almost begin to believe that this is a place that really does exists. I just loved every second of it and hated for it to end.

One thing that I cling to is that Hagrid really is my favorite character in this series, and I do not doubt that he will continue to be. He has so many likable qualities about him. One of the main ones is the fact that he is no where near perfect, but if anything was to threaten Harry, Hermione. or Ron, he would be there in an instant to protect them. I also love his love for animals, no matter what type of make believe or real animal it is. Of course I like a lot of the characters in the book, I like the fact that you know about them, who they are, where they have been, they all have many sides and you learn them all.

I really do like to recommend this series to
EVERYONE, because I really think there is something for everyone in this series, both young and old. So don't be put off in the fact that this is a middle grade read, it does advance, the characters advance as well. I am super glad that I decided to join in this read along and revisit one of the most magical places ever found in a book. It can certainly carry you away and keep you engaged through out.