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AlwaysCarryABook

Always Carry a Book!

I am a fantasy fan first and foremost! I will, however, read anything interesting as long as its not crime fiction. I never go anywhere without a book/ebook!

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1) - Brandon Sanderson The first half of this book was really shaky. The characters' personalities just grated on my nerves. I liked a few, such as Cody and Abraham, but the others i couldn't warm towards. They were just incredibly annoying, and i'm not sure if it was on purpose.
I won't even go near David's constant and cringe worthy mooning over Megan.
The dialogue sucked for the first half as well. The attempts at humour didn't quite work for me and i found i could predict the general progression of the story too easily.

So, that's why i couldn't give Steelheart that extra star.

However, all these problems pretty much disappeared midway onwards. It felt more polished and the characters were more comfortable in their personalities.
Loved the explosive finish, and the lead up towards it.

Excited for Firefight, scheduled for release next year!

3.5 Stars.
Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta Back in high school my friend repeatedly recommended this to me but I never got around to reading it. Definitely wish i had, this is a really good YA novel!

I liked the diverse personalities of Frankie's group of friends, it made for some lovely humour and interesting dialogue.

Unpopular opinion I'm sure, but I didn't really warm to Will at any point. I was turned off him as soon as we found out about his girlfriend. About halfway through i was secretly hoping for Thomas' character to grow and become lead love interest instead. Ah well.

I didn't give it 5 because Frankie burst into tears way too many times, it got annoying. There are other ways to express emotion than tears. Also, her family was a little too 'Brady bunch' like and i couldn't relate.

All the same, I enjoyed this and may read some of Marchetta's other books in the future. She writes well and doesn't centre her novels on romantic drama, which is refreshing in the YA genre.

4 Stars.
The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch I can't wait for this... definitely the book I've been most looking forward to reading this year.

Less than a month til release!!!!
Nine Princes in Amber - Roger Zelazny Great book! Excellent storyline and a uniquely interesting world.

Zelazny's writing was one of its few flaws, at times it felt unnatural and very amateur. I wonder if this was his first book? It certainly seemed like it at times.

I also wish he had had a better editor, and its not the first time i have wished that with a novel. It would make a world of difference for those books that have great potential.
All the same, i'm giving this one 4.5 stars because it was still a really enjoyable read despite its flaws.
A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett This is such a beautiful book!

The characters are wonderful - i love Sara, she was so sweet and lovely to read about. The story itself is charming and magical without there even being any magic. Its one of those books you can read in one go.

There are some points of ignorance that i excused given the time period it was written but they don't leave any impression.

I watched the movie for this when i was really young and remember being so taken by the story that i asked for the video (i feel really old saying that lol) as a birthday gift, and i watched that movie to death.
The book gives you so much more depth to Sara and the other characters. There are plenty of differences between the two, but i honestly think it wouldn't be any less interesting if both movie and novel were the same.

Highly recommend this book to adults and kids alike. An enchanting, fairytale-like classic.

5 stars.
The Desert Spear - Peter V. Brett The storyline with the corelings, wards, and Arlen and his gang was great, i loved how creative it was. For that alone i kept reading.
What ruined this book for me, and i mean really ruined it, was Krasia and Brett's thoroughly unlikeable characters.

I probably only liked 5 characters from this book, and some of those are just minor characters. Most of the women in this series are manipulative bitches, and most men are raping murderers.
What was Brett thinking with Leesha in this book? Way to ruin a good character!

Okay. With the Krasians, i'm not going to bother beating around the bush. Krasia is based on the culture and religion of some Middle Eastern countries. Veiled and powerless women, the Everam, brutal laws, etc. - its there for everyone to see. And its not something i like to read about. I'm sure some people found it interesting but personally, if i want to read about powerless women and religious extremists, i'll read the news (which i do for the sake of being informed, and thats quite enough for me). Brett spent a good third of the book explaining the Middle East to us but changed the names to fantasy names - lol what? And perhaps it would have been okay if he was trying to make a point with it, but no point really comes through.

I honestly disliked this book. I would stop reading this series but my sister is pushing me to continue so at some point i'll have to read book 3.

2 stars.
The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Lee, J.R.R. Tolkien The first half of this book was excellent, the second half however just made me want to whack Túrin in every scene.
If ever there was a character who didn't learn from their mistakes...

Didn't expect the story to be a tragedy when i first began reading, but Tolkien really doesn't keep that a secret for long.

Definitely worth reading and i never found it boring or hard to continue.

3.5 Stars
Yotsuba&!, Vol. 01 - Kiyohiko Azuma I no longer read any other manga but this one. Yotsuba is so cute! I love her way of talking. This is a great series to read in the original Japanese, for those who can - all kanji has furigana :)
The Black Company - Glen Cook I'm not usually one for stories about antiheroes but this was really a great read! It had a mix of incredibly witty characters, an excellent storyline, and it was (mostly) well written.

Highly recommend to all fans of epic fantasy, especially if you've enjoyed Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series. The banter between characters is similarly written. They were designed to suit each other, and during the slower paced chapters i read on easily because of their wit and unusual charm. I think that was one of the main reasons i enjoyed the book.

4.5 Stars.
Persuasion - Jane Austen The second half of Persuasion was a great improvement on the first, however, this book was still not to the same standard i remember Pride and Prejudice and Emma being.
Other than Anne and Mary, the characters were boring and lacked individuality. The storyline was also nothing special and the humour wasn't as rich as it was in Austen's other books.
The cleverly written social commentary on the class system and sexism was very interesting and i appreciated the boldness of her presenting such challenging views for that time period. Austen's forward thinking ideas are something i've always enjoyed in her books.

3 Stars.
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins A fun and really cute read! The story is fluff, but the characters are witty, the writing is good and its the perfect kind of book for a clear, sunny day with no worries.
It gets very dramatic in a teenage sort of way, and don't expect anything splendid from the storyline - you can basically guess what'll happen from the beginning. It was the characters, setting and conversations that made it fun to read.

3.5 Stars
The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson {Spoilers}

I really loved a lot of things about this book. It was incredibly creative, the characters were great, the story and world were richly detailed, and above all I never found myself bored even though it was over a thousand pages long!

I loved Kaladin and Syl. Syl was lovely, she reminded me of Tinkerbelle (minus the nastiness) and I enjoyed seeing her growth in the book.
My only complaint about Kaladin is that he was almost too perfect, too good. Heroes should have flaws too.
Jasnah was another great character though we didn’t see nearly enough of her than I’d have liked. I think instead of just having Shallan’s POV, I would have loved an occasional chapter from Jasnah’s POV. Shallan irritated me sometimes with her stream of never-ending guilt and worry.

One of the major problems I found in this book was repetitiveness. I couldn’t count the number of bridgeruns that were detailed, or how many times Dalinar discussed whether or not he was nuts, and then later his thoughts about stepping down in case he became completely nuts.
The bridgeruns were never really boring, but there was just no need for that many of them. A lot of time I was thinking “Is this necessary for the central storyline?”, and I was right, they weren’t all necessary. Fun to read, but not necessary. The book really didn’t need to be as long as it was. It would’ve benefitted from another round of editing.

I was slightly disappointed with the Sadeas plot. I thought that it was made very obvious from the start that Sadeas was a bad guy (come on, he basically shoves hundreds of defenceless people in front of deadly arrows on a near daily basis!) so when he betrayed Dalinar it wasn’t the ‘omg twist!’ for me that I think Sanderson was aiming for.
What I did find to be a great twist was with King Taravangian not being the nice, thoughtful king we all dismissed as a pushover. Loved that!
I also loved the Parshmen reveal! The whole book I was thinking they were like the Ood of Roshar or something and i was feeling sorry for them, so it was a lovely little twist to discover that they are more like the Daleks! (lol)

I have high hopes for book 2! I noticed there were stories within stories forming in this book, which is something I love to see when starting a 10 book long series. A strong start and a great foundation to build upon.
Looking forward to the next book coming out at the end of the year!

3.5 Stars.
Why We Broke Up - Maira Kalman, Daniel Handler I actually really enjoyed this book. The storyline was simple, nothing unexpected ever happened, we’re even informed at the beginning of where the story is headed and what will happen. But it kept me reading all the same because the journey toward the two protagonists breakup was just so captivatingly and emotively written, i was laughing and sighing and heartbroken along with each character. Which is really what makes a great book in my opinion. I loved Handler’s writing style, I loved Snicket’s in ASOUE as well.

There were some things that could’ve been improved, which is why I haven’t given it 5 stars. I did think some scenes weren’t too interesting and dragged on too long, and some of the intentional repetition got a little irritating. Also, some of the foreshadowing was unnecessary and may have been better left unwritten.
Oh, and the mushiness, uck! I guess it’s realistic though, with it being teenage love and all lol.

Overall, it was a very atypical book about a very typical teenage breakup story. The quirky, unique way the story and characters were written is what made it a great read for me.

4 Stars
Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare The first half of this book was incredibly frustrating for me to read. It was as though I was re reading the previous two books - similar plot lines and the same personal battles with each character. It was just too repetitive. Moreover, there was a severe lack of action!

The second half of the book picked up, thankfully, and I really enjoyed the Mortmain plot and the way the emotional parts were handled.
It got beyond corny at the very end but all the same I thought that the way Clare wrapped everything up was beautifully done.
Clare is one of the better YA writers i've seen, and her love for literature shows in this series. One of the reasons I enjoy reading her novels.

So Tessa is immortal! Looking forward to her popping up in TMI at some point!

3 Stars.
The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson Couldn't resist picking this one up when i saw it on the shelves already!
I am glad i did too. Fun read.
A few parts felt a little rushed but it was mostly well written. Funny, interesting and unique. Joel and Melody were lovely characters.
I've noticed Sanderson does sometimes fail with aspects of his female characters (including those in his previous books) but i guess we can't have it all.
Also, it seemed to me that the book was more targeted towards older children than young adults. I could see myself loving this if i were still a primary kid - not that the adult me didn't love it too!

The next instalment is scheduled for 2015, so its a bit of a wait but i will be looking out for it all the same.

4 stars.
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Richard Howard An interesting read, especially for a childrens book. Full of metaphors and symbolism. Very deep and thoughtful.

There were things that didn't work for me. It felt as though i was reading the sorrows of the author himself, and the little princes' character was much less endearing than i'm sure was intended. What a judge-y little child!
Also, I understand that this book was written in an era that was not very liberating for women, however i still couldn't look past the symbolism with the rose and also with her 'ineffective' thorns. Much of what was said to and about the rose(s) made my eye twitch.

Overall, lovely book but i don't think i would ever read it to a child in my care. 3 Stars.