Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Someone Like MeSomeone Like Me by M.R. Carey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! Thank you to Orbit Books for the giveaway copy. If you don’t read and review books you win in giveaways, you should. Do the right thing. End rant.

I’m going to give this book 3.5 stars which I’ll round up to 4 stars on Goodreads because… well… no half stars allowed. Come on Goodreads… give a girl some options please!

Any who.. back to Someone Like Me. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It sucked me in instantly with a concept that was really interesting. Action packed from the start, the book begins with Liz being attacked by her ex-husband when an unexplained force comes over her that allows her to fight back with a strength and anger unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Can you say split personality? Meanwhile, Liz’s son has befriended a girl from school named Fran who has a dark and disturbed past. Liz and Fran’s stories come colliding together in a suspenseful novel by M.R. Carey.

What did I like about this book? One of my favorite things about the book was how the chapters were “numbered” with illustrations that coincided with the character whose story was being told. I thought it was a very clever way to identify the character whose story line was being told via pictures rather than words. I also really enjoyed the characters and felt like they were well developed. And the relationships between the characters were fun to see unfold.

What didn’t I like?

1. It was a tad too long and could have benefited from some editing.
2. The dialogue at times felt a tad juvenile and unrealistic. I had a hard time imagining real life people actually saying the sentences that were presented as dialogue between characters.
3. It took a little bit of a paranormal turn that I didn’t expect. And while it was an interesting turn, I felt there were a lot of questions left unanswered. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it stuck with a mental health angle rather than a paranormal angle.

Overall, a good book with some intriguing content. Definitely has some unexpected turns that are exciting but at the end of the day, not my favorite book in the world. I’ll put this in the “just okay” camp.

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Audiobook Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Children of Blood and Bone has been on my list for a while. Tomi Adeyemi won the award for Goodreads Choice Debut Author this year for her work on this book, so I’ve been very excited to get my hands on it.

Children of Blood and Bone is very much a young adult fantasy. I would place it in the same genre as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and any other young adult series with heavy fantasy elements. It is the story of a young girl named Zélie, the daughter of a magi. Magi once populated the land, harnessing various magical powers. But, the magi were murdered by a ruthless king, thirsty for power and desperate for magic to disappear. Zélie has one chance to bring magic back, but her journey will be filled with obstacles and barriers.

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From the publisher:

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

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I really loved the creativity and thought that Tomi Adeyemi poured into this novel. It was so unique and different, with some extremely creative elements. The concept of the book was superb and I loved the fact that it was kept as a young adult book with a “coming of age” theme.

From an audiobook perspective, the narrator’s accent lended an element of believability and authenticity. I really enjoyed her portrayal of the various characters. I did feel at times that the voices of each character weren’t very distinct and there were a couple of times that I had to reorient myself to which character was talking. And as the book has a lot of action and excitement, the narration is at times loud and intense. Let’s just say it’s not a book you would want to listen to if you had a headache.

I was extremely surprised to find out that this book was written in response to incidences of police brutality and the author’s feeling of helplessness. While I didn’t feel like there were overt references to that accord, looking back I can see the connection and applicability.

I will definitely be checking out the second in this series when it comes out. It’s worth the read if you haven’t checked it out already.

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Audiobook Review, Fantasy, General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The ImmortalistsThe Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, can we talk about the cover? This book kept popping up on social media everywhere, and every time, it stuck in my head because of that gorgeous cover. It is so simple, but beautiful and eye catching.

So what is The Immortalists about? In the 1960’s the Gold children hear about a woman who can tell fortunes. She’s said to be able to tell you the date you will die. So when all four of them pay the woman a visit, they get the answers they came looking for, but will they like what they hear? The story that unfolds is about each of the children’s journeys through life, leading up to their deaths. At times perhaps a bit depressing, it explores the line between our decisions and our fate. And challenges the way we live our lives. Would we live differently if we knew when we were going to die? Would we play it safe or make the most of our days?

I thought the idea behind this book was extraordinary. I enjoyed the philosophical elements and the overall message Chloe Benjamin was trying to portray. I loved the character development as well and really connected with several of the characters as the book went on.

I did struggle slightly with the format. It is really four separate stories that end up tying together. But, they are told in succession. So I would get really invested in one character or story, it would end, and I would have to get my brain back in gear to connect with the next character in line. It ended up working for me, but that is my one slightly gripe.

All in all, this was a fantastic novel and explored a lot of really interesting content. I found it thought provoking, but not at the expense of entertainment.

I would recommend it one to anybody looking for something with deeper and perhaps a little darker subject matter. It’s a quick read but you may find it somewhat emotionally draining.

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Audiobook Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (aka J.K. Rowling)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure… Almost anything that relates to the Harry Potter series is going to get five stars from me. And this book was no different.

Let me start by talking about the structure of the book. When I saw previews for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I assumed the book was the written form of the movie. I was wrong. The book is written like an actual reference textbook that would be used in Hogwarts. It is not a story.

That being said, I wasn’t mad about it. I think it’s so clever of J.K. Rowling to keep growing the wizarding world of Harry Potter by creating additional texts that are outside of the original series but still related. I enjoyed her creativity in creating the various “beasts” that were detailed throughout the text. And at times I caught myself chuckling at little at her little hints of humor.

The audiobook was unique as well in that there were sound effects throughout that gave the listener an idea of what some of the beasts would sound like.

As it’s a super short read/listen, would highly recommend for anybody looking for a short story or just needs a break from long novels.

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