Friday, February 7, 2014

Review: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

While in the middle of reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire I found myself with a bit of a situation: I was in a dreaded reading slump about 3/4 of the way through. I attribute this slump to the fact that I was working crazy hours and kept having to put the book down to sleep or eat or y'know, work. So I decided to pick up a book on my "10 Books that I Absolutely Positively Will Read in 2014" list to try and pick up my reading pace.

I started Strange Angels with a good outlook on the series as a whole. I hadn't really heard anything about it at all, and I'd always wondered what it was about. I figured that I'd bought it (a few years ago) for some (hopefully) good reason. Before I started this book, I did something that I almost never do - I didn't read the back of the book first. I know that some people just don't read the synopsis of a book before reading it, and I hadn't done that before, so I thought that I'd give it a try and (maybe) start this book in a state of confusion. Little did I know that I actually knew a good bit about the premise of Strange Angels before reading it because I've been (semi) obsessed with this little TV show: Supernatural. 

Because I'd known about the "hunting lifestyle" that was a huge part of the introduction to the series from watching Supernatural the beginning of the story bored me, and throughout the middle of the book, none of the questions that I'd had from reading the beginning were answered, which made me a bit frustrated with Dru's character. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the way Lili St. Crow shows Dru and Graves maturing into their roles (Graves is my favorite), but I was also annoyed with the writing style at the same time. I just found it extremely repetitive and redundant at times. I know that some of the repetition was to show Dru's trauma, but it just became too much and unnecessary most times.

The plot of Strange Angels was a bit odd. At times Strange Angels was fast paced and action filled, and I read on for those parts, but at other times, the plot was slow and I just couldn't enjoy every bit of it. I felt myself going into a slump while reading this book, and (oh the irony!) I found myself reading HP to get out of it.

I already own the second book in this series, (Betrayals), so I will be continuing this series; I just hope that the second book is better than this one. I'd give Strange Angels 3/5 stars.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Extra, extra! Read all about it!

 I know that this blog wasn't initially intended to be a "story of my life" type of blog, and I think that's the problem with it. Its too impersonal, and I think that's why I sometimes don't really know how to write reviews, and they start to all sound the same or merge together - to me at least. I want to be interested in this blog, it is something that I like to do, and I want to be good at it. Besides, I believe that a person's opinion on a book mainly derives from where said person is in their life - what is meaningful to you now may not be meaningful to you in 5 years, and letting y'all in on my thought process when I read and review a book is something that I have to work on. With that in mind, I've decided to renovate my blog, with the help of a friend (because let's face it, I am really bad with the whole technology thing) and I hope to have this new blog up and running soon. To go along with this new change, I also wanted to redo the vlogs, and with that there will also be changes. I'm hoping for these changes to be completed by maybe the middle of January, so stay tuned for that folks! 

I hope that everyone has had a happy holiday, and a fantastic 2013, and I will most definitely see you all next year. :) Happy reading. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

This book strays from my typical teen fiction/fantasy/paranormal romance novel, and I have to say that I was a bit worried about it at first. I was assigned to read this book in my English 101 class and while most other students in English 101 were reading The Working Poor by David K. Shipler, my professor assigned my class Unbroken. Boy am I glad she did!

I didn't want to read this particular book for class, because I thought that, because it was assigned, I'd hate it. I'm incredibly relieved that I was wrong. I have to say that this book made me want to read more nonfiction. It also made me want to take a WWII history class again. 

I love history, and Louie's story is so meticulously and artfully documented that I felt as though I was on the raft and at the camps with Louie and the other PoWs. I connected with Louie's mother and the rest of his family while they waited, patiently for news from, or about Louie. By the end of this book, I felt like I knew Louie, and that he became (as many fictional characters do) an essential part of me.

Hillenbrand did a miraculous job researching and documenting Louie's story and, once I'd finished reading it, I wanted to read it again and again! If you haven't read Unbroken and are looking for a good nonfiction story, I'd definitely check it out. Although it might help to know a little about WWII beforehand. 

5/5 stars 
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