Tag Archives: Victoria Aveyard

Catching up + ALL of the books!! [Review]

Despite all of the best intentions, sometimes life gets in the way. Since my last post I moved myself and my little fur-baby to a house, lost my very dear grandmother and have been going through very good but very stressful changes at work. Needless to say my little blog took a back seat, but I’ve been (mostly) faithfully carrying on with my goals for 2016- just not writing about them here. I have posted a photo a day on Instagram- check them out and maybe follow me if you like at ‘kflakes’! I’ve also been planning excursions, got adventurous with my hair and had it ‘painted’ (balayage), and I’ve been reading like crazy. The rest of this post I’ll devote to mini-reviews of all of the books I’ve read since the last one I talked about in my goal toward 100 this year. In the future I’ll write similar posts monthly, reviewing all of the books I’ve read. Hope you enjoy!

jurassic‘Jurassic Park’ by Michael Crichton- Book 17 of 100 was pretty fantastic. It varies drastically in places from the film we all know and love, but is no less entertaining or lovable. The back story behind the novel is extensive, the dinosaurs have already started to escape- and good gracious, the ending is terrible and poetic all at the same time. This is a must read- and made for a very entertaining book to listen to in the car.

 

 

 
Glass-Sword-Victoria-AveyardGlass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard- Book 18 of 100 was very interesting. In this book the elite class has silver blood and the common folk have red blood. Our heroine Mare Barrow has red blood, but also the powers of a Silver- and incredible powers at that. In the first book she discovered and struggled to cope with the repercussions of that fact. In this novel she discovers she is not the only one to have red blood and silver powers. They basically start a war in this novel, and it’s pretty great. Can’t wait for the next book!

 

richestThe Richest Man in Babylon by  George S. Clason- Book 19 of 100 is a must read for those wanting to make something of themselves financially and also in their community. The novel holds the key to personal wealth (very simple, really) and is entertaining to boot. A great book to listen to on tape.

 

 

 

accentYes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told YouYes, by Kunal Nayyar- Book 20 of 100 is highly entertaining and intelligent. We see behind the scenes of Nayyar’s life, and he is every bit as lovable as his character Raj on ‘The Big Bang Theory’. We see what it took for him to get where he is, funny stories from his childhood, an entire chapter on his week long wedding festivities and other hilarities. I loved this book, it’s witty and inspiring and a lighthearted read.

 

 

FirstlifeFirstlife (Everlife, #1) by Gena Showalter- Book 21 of 100 is an odd duck. I kept going back and forth between loving it and thinking it was terrible. It is basically a tug of war between the two locations for one’s afterlife. Each person is to choose where they want to go before they come of age or they may not get a choice. They may be killed and end up in neither. Both realms, Troika and Myriad will do anything to recruit our heroine Tenly ‘Ten’ – but she has reservations about both. It’s a trip, but at least is fairly original!

 

The-Life-Changing-Magic-of-Tidying-Up-718x1024The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo- Book 22 of 100 is a helpful if not fairly impractical look at how to clean up the clutter in your home. I imagine it works incredibly well for some, but for someone like me who has borderline horder tendencies- but who also has fantastic organizing and ‘tucking’ skills, it is impractical and unnecessary. If I wanted to live as though my life were on display I would maybe look into it more. 🙂

 

"Furiously Happy," by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson- Book 23 of 100 is outrageously funny. The novel is essentially a memoir of Lawson’s struggle with mental illness, but don’t let that deter you. It’s an honest, brilliant and clever look at how Lawson handles her illnesses, and the humor that gets her through. There are plenty of stories and side bars that had me in stitches, and others that made me cry. In other words? Perfection.

 

 

obsession-by-nora-robertsThe Obsession by Nora Roberts- Book 24 of 100 is one of Robert’s most recent novels and I very much enjoyed it. It follows Naomi, who discovers as a child her father’s darkest secret and makes him infamous. In the present day she settles in a small town only to have her past catch up with her- but she finds roots and a man to love. She finds part of herself and a loving dog as well. The only thing that annoys me is the image on the cover- it makes no sense to me in relation to the story- the view of the sea from her new home would be what I would have showed!

 

The Crown by Kiera CassThe Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass- Book 25 of 100 was a book that I really wanted to like but couldn’t. The writing was subpar, the plot was stagnant, and the relationships seemed forced. I enjoy Cass’ ideas and dedication to the storyline, but it fell short for me again. The idea is a bachelorette style process to find a king for a future queen. Eadlyn is the daughter of the couple featured in the first series Cass released which I really liked, but this one just didn’t work out. It probably would make a much better film or tv show than books.

 

originals-how-non-conformists-move-the-worldOriginals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant- Book 26 of 100 is a hugely popular book. As good as it was though, it was only minimally inspiring for me. I wanted so much more out of it that it didn’t give. The book talks about how to recognize a good idea, speak up, building alliances, choosing the correct timing and managing fear and doubt. It also touches on how to prepare kids and how leaders can get more from their employees. This all sounds great, but I felt like it only skimmed the surface. Maybe it needs a second read.

 

harry-potter-1Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling- Book 27 of 100 is the first in the Harry Potter series. It is my favorite book series and I decided the time was ripe to read them all again before the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is released July 31st. I love the first novel, showing Harry’s discovery of his magic powers and his introduction into a new world of friends and situations he can control and start to become his own person in. All eleven year olds need to learn how to fight the darkest wizard in history, right?

 

hp-chamber-of-secretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling- Book 28 of 100 is the second in the Harry Potter series. This book makes me laugh because all of the antics and his involvement in the Chamber of Secrets aren’t really required of him- he just has a solving problems thing. These first novels always make me think of how even from a young age he is destined to do what he does and even become an Auror (dark wizard fighter) as an adult.

 

 

no fears no excusesNo Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith- Book 29 of 100 was a fantastic read. This book is basically a kick in the pants to strive for the future you design for yourself. A huge part of the novel is spent on explaining how a person can stop preventing themselves from holding themselves back- and also find not only a good job, but a career that they love. Something they would do if they weren’t getting paid for it. Inspirational.

 

 

hp prisonerHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling- Book 30 of 100 is the third novel in the series. Many people count this book as their favorite in the series. It introduces Harry to his godfather, a connection to the past he desperately desires. The plot of this novel steps it up entertainment-wise as they continue to do for the rest of the series. It is incredible to me how J.K. Rowling even from the start of the first novel takes things that happen and tie them into the last novel. Goosebumps.

 

caperThe Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle- Book 31 of 100 was a easy read. Mayle’s books on his personal life are incredible so I decided to pick up one of his fiction stories. This one focuses on a man trying to take another man’s home that falls in love with- through any means he must. It is entertaining listening to how they attempt to stop this from happening, although as a short novel it was hard for the characters to be fully developed, and at times it was confusing as I was listening to it. Overall I enjoyed it, but I prefer his memoirs.

That’s books 17 through 31 of 100! Stay tuned at the end of July for a wrap up of all of the novels I read in the meantime! Read all the reviews here.

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Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard [ REVIEW ]

Red Queen

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!

Mare Barrow lives in a world similar to our own, but that has one major difference. It is segregated by the color of one’s blood. There’s the “Silver,” the ruling class of citizens that have super human powers, and the “Red,” the powerless inferiors (and literally the servants) of the Silver. Mare has red blood. Born into poverty because of the color of her blood, she, like her family, like all reds, struggle to survive. There’s hardly enough food or electricity and even less job prospects. Without a talent or apprenticeship, reds are forcibly drafted into the army, forced to fight in a war for the Silvers that has gone on for years. Being recruited means an eventual and agonizing death for most Reds.

With three older brothers already drafted, Mare (who has no job) and her family rely on Mare’s little sister, Gisa who can sew and has the only stable job. Mare is skilled when it comes to picking pockets, but she doesn’t possess any type of lawfully marketable gifts. It is only a matter of time before she’s drafted. In a desperate attempt to save herself and her best friend Kilorn, who is also going to be drafted, Mare dreams up a plan to steal a large sum of money. Their only hope is to pay an outrageous amount to smuggle them both to safety. The plan, though brave, is riddled with problems Mare can’t control, and in a shocking turn of events they fail and her sister Gisa ends up paying a vast price which causes her to loose her job.

Devastated and sick with worry for herself and her family Mare attempts to pick one last pocket before she’s taken from her home. She targets patron after patron leaving a local bar, and she stays later than normal out of desperation. Her last victim, a handsome and mysterious stranger named Cal is the first ever to catch her. He listens to her woes and gives her more money than she could hope for. This initial meeting changes Mare’s life irrevocably. Cal gets her a job at court (did I mention he’s a prince? Mare didn’t see that coming either.) Mare attempts to fit in, disgusted but amazed at the life that the Silvers live. It’s so different and extravagant from her life in the ‘slums’. Mare turns out to be more than she originally seemed. Not only is she a Red, but everyone discovers she has powers like a Silver. But not only powers- powers no Silver should even have, to be able to control lightning and electricity. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to his youngest son, prince Maven. She becomes a strong revolutionary symbol caught in a power struggle she doesn’t truly understand.

You  can’t trust anyone in this book because a lot of people want the throne, and they will do whatever it takes to get it. This book is all about deceit, lies, and using others for your own means. Mare is told by numerous others not to trust them because everyone lies. She spends the book learning the history and ways to grow her power, and survive in her new circumstances. She is caught in a love triangle between Cal and his brother her betrothed, Maven. Also, because she isn’t busy enough, she volunteers to help out the Red uprising.

I devoured Red Queen. It’s a dystopian through and through but a lot darker than most already on the market. Aveyard does add an interesting touch with aspects reminiscent of an X-Men comic — namely mutations, powers and sociological subtext. The Silvers Mare meets range from telekinetics and powerful “strongarms” to various folks who can bend fire, light and water to their will. Having them around – especially the Queen who can force her way into Mare’s mind and read her memories- ups the action and the stakes.

If you’re a fan of X-Men, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and dystopians like The Selection, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s got elements of each, which combine into a captivating read. The Red Queen came out in February 2015, which means it’s sequel will be released too far away for my liking!

four_half-stars_0

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Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!