Shatter Me

by Tahereh Mafi, Kate Simses
Audio EditionRead October 8, 2014

Original Release Date: October 2, 2002
Re-Released: November 15, 2011

Length: 338 pages

Official Description: (Book #1 in the Shatter Me series)

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My Take: 

I have wanted to read this book series solely for the book covers. I knew nothing about the book before I read it. Well, I listened to it. I don’t know if I would have had the same reaction to reading the book, with all the strikethroughs. The audio has a sound effect for these strikethroughs, but it’s really good. The narrator did a great job conveying the slipping of sanity that Juliette was facing. I actually think that listening to the book did a better job at conveying the story than just reading it did, because I did read some of it on my kindle as well.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on with Juliette, we know that she is in isolation and alone in some kind of asylum. We know that some catastrophic even has occurred to kill of animals and possibly people. We know that there is something wrong with Juliette, or she has some kind of power that involves touch. It takes forever for these things to be explained. So in my mind Juliette was Rogue, she is a Rogue type lady  that sucks the life out of people, except Rogue uses their energy or ‘borrows’ other mutants powers. We don’t know if this is true about Juliette, but my image of her was not too far off.  The character of Juliette, for this book, is kind of weak. She’s an emotional wreck, you would be too if you were isolated for nearly a year. She doesn’t really have a real grasp for what is around her, but by the end of the book she starts to get that back. Juliette, I think could really be an ok ‘good person’ or an awesome ‘bad guy’. She’s written to be good though. There are so many aspects to her that we just haven’t found.

Then we have the two men in Juliette’s life. Adam who is a soldier, someone Juliette knew as a child, and the love interest. He’s kind of fickle, I mean yes he obviously cares for Juliette, but he just doesn’t seem right to me. He’s too, two-dimensional, there isn’t much depth to him. I get that he’s the good guy, that he wants to be the hero, but he just doesn’t impress me. Then there is Warner. Warner is insane. Driven that way, seemingly, by his upbringing, he has no remorse to killing off random soldiers, no remorse for the torture of children, or even their death. He is the bad guy…hands down. I love him. He’s awesome, he actually is a flushed out character, we see depth to him. He cares, in a weird, psychopathic way. He ‘loves’ Juliette in his own way, he tries to care for her and she leads him on and shoots him. I am always rooting for the bad guy, because authors always give more thought to these characters. They make them just so much more interesting. Warner is interesting, I like that. I think there is just so much more to him than meets the eye.

Overall, the story is well done. It is not for everyone, and is prose heavy. Juliette is crazy  (or on the brink of insanity) for a large portion of this book, and it is written that way. People have a hard time getting into a mind that isn’t ‘normal’. That is understandable. You as a reader have to understand that whoever has locked up this girl, has driven her to a brink of insanity that most of us will never understand. It’s and interesting perspective, hard to get into at first, but an overall good story.

Quote:

“Hope is hugging me, holding me in its arms, wiping away my tears and telling me that today and tomorrow and two days from now I will be just fine and I’m so delirious I actually dare to believe it.”

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Beautiful Oblivion

by Addison Moore
Kindle EditionRead October 6, 2014

Original Release Date: October 20, 2013

Length: 320 pages

Official Description:

Some people just don’t belong together, or at least that’s what the world would have them believe.

It was supposed to be just for the summer…

Reese Westfield comes from a world of old money, country clubs, cotillions, and expensive cars. She’s tired of dating Warren McCarthy just to make her father happy. Reese has long since had her eye on someone else, and this summer she’s determined to make it happen.

Growing up in Lake Loveless there has always been a strict monetary divide—there was the rest of the Lake and then there were the Waterman’s. Ace Waterman has worked for everything he has, and he doesn’t have a lot. He breaks his back doing grunt work while putting himself through college. He’s used to life passing him by.

Reese has loved Ace from afar for as long as she can remember. The summer of her freshman year she comes home with plans to land Ace in her bed at least for a few short weeks, and, if she’s lucky, forever.

Ace has loved Reese for as long as he can remember, but their friendship has never graduated beyond platonic, so when Reese comes home from her first year away and proposes the two of them have a summer fling, Ace is quick to comply. The rules: no strings, no expectations, just something hotter than the sun to set the sheets on fire.

But when their worlds collide, and neither of them is willing to admit to having true feelings, it becomes clear to Ace he’s nothing more than a dirty little secret—that the summer fling was just something meaningless to pass the time.

Reese wonders if she can ever stop trying to please her father, and it’s only through her mother’s letters that she finds the answers she truly seeks, but will they be the ones she wants to hear?

As summer draws to a close, Ace and Reese are still very much enraptured even though the time has come to douse the flame and move on—but neither one of them is prepared to leave this BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION.

My Take:

Alright you all know that I’m a sucker for Ms Moore. Her new adult books haven’t impressed me as much as the early Celestra novels did. However, I just can’t seem to help myself. Beautiful Oblivion has a cute, typical, new adult premise. We have Reese who is home for the summer from college and Ace who never really left. They were childhood ‘friends’ who were always enamored with one another, but never had the courage to speak up. Actually Reese was best friends with Ace’s sister, until one day she just stopped being Reese’s friend. Ace and Reese enter an agreement for a summer fling, both come with baggage and secrets.

So the conundrum. Reese is in a ‘relationship’ with Warren. Reese does not acknowledge this relationship but she still goes on dates with him. Has a picture of the two of them in a heart-shaped frame in her bedroom. Reese’s dad really wants this relationship to work because they are business partners. Or that’s how it seems at least. Warren is a first class, ivy league, jerk, but Reese is stringing him a long. She keeps saying she blew him off, but at the end of the day everyone sees each those two as a couple, including Warren. Ace is caring, but is known to be a womanizer. Reese is the typical virgin who is looking for her childhood crush to deflower her. Everything reads as a little saccharine, and parts of the story are really sweet and wonderful, and everything works out really well. Then we get to the drama part and it just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, in an over the top, “I can’t believe you’re going there”, kind of way.

I can’t say the book is that bad, I read it in one sitting. It is just very formulaic, typical, a story I’ve read before with different character names and slightly different situations.

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Other Books by Addison Moore:



The EMP of the Beginning

by Rowan A Scott
Kindle EditionRead October 6, 2014

Original Release Date: April 30, 2012

Length: 107 pages

Official Description:

High altitude nuclear explosions generate an Electro Magnetic Pulse over the majority of the world. Electricity transmission lines are taken out, taking with them their transformers and generators. Nothing works any more, no appliances, so no perishable food. No trucks or airplanes to transport anything, no automobiles, no water supply, no heating or cooling, no lighting. No Fire trucks or Ambulances. No battery chargers no radio or TV, no movies etc. etc. Agent Craig Mason has to get to the only country to have mostly escaped the blackout, where he knows of a newly developmed way to generate power, without requiring distrbution, so that he can plan a renewal of civilization before chaos sets in.

My Take: 

I had some hope for this book, I mean I admire someone who goes out and self publishes, because that’s a lot of work, and it takes a lot of courage. Why? Because not everyone will like your work. Unfortunately this is not one of my favorite books. It is short, but it feels really long. It just has no real character, it reads like a report, not a story. The characters have no real depth, there is no real attachment to the story, therefore the reader is apathetic and looses interest quickly. Don’t get me wrong, the story has potential, the concept is wonderful, it just wasn’t carried through well. Could I have done a better job? Probably not, I have no real interest in writing. There are a lot of typos (See above description that was a direct quote from the actual description) and editing errors. This comes with self publishing, so I tend to not let it bother me. It is really difficult to edit your own work. You read it like it’s supposed to be not necessarily as it is.  There are pictures that correlate with parts of the story….let me paste a picture of this plane that I’m talking about. Those pictures seem like filler, and don’t lend to the imagination or knowledge of the reader. Overall the concept is there, the story is just flat.

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The Truth is in a Cave in the Black Mountains

by Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell (Illustrations)
Hardcover EditionRead October 4, 2014

Original Release Date: June 2010, Re-Released June 17, 2014

Length: 74 pages

Official Description:

You ask me if I can forgive myself?
I can forgive myself…

And so begins The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains, a haunting story of family, the otherworld, and a search for hidden treasure. This gorgeous full-color illustrated book version was born of a unique collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman and renowned artist Eddie Campbell, who brought to vivid life the characters and landscape of Gaiman’s award-winning story. In this volume, the talents and vision of two great creative geniuses come together in a glorious explosion of color and shadow, memory and regret, vengeance and, ultimately, love.

…for many things. For where I left him.
For what I did.

My Take:

This story is a hauntingly, beautiful, and dark tale. This tale is set in Scotland or  on the island of Skye…or it was inspired by the island and it’s mysticism. I think Scotland in general is known for a lot of druidism or mysticism that makes tales likes this a little bit more haunting or eerie. What should you expect from the story? Well, it is written by a masterful story teller, who went on tour reading this novel with live music and projections of the paintings. It has some pretty epic art by Eddie Campbell, however not all of it was spectacular. It has some great folklore, a great little karma ending. It is short, there were parts that didn’t grab me, but over all I loved it. I am glad that I happened to stumble upon this gem of a book.

Quote:

“The truth is a cave in the black mountains. There is one way there, and one way only, and that way is treacherous and hard. And if you choose the wrong path you will die alone, on the mountainside.”

Other Books by Neil Gaiman

 

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Neverwhere

by Neil Gaiman
Hardcover EditionRead March 23, 2011

Original Release Date: January 1, 1996

Length: 370 pages

Official Description:

Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart – and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed – a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city – a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known…

My Take: (Written in 2011)

So, typically I’m a pretty quick reader, I had finished a book this size previously in about a day and a half. I must also add I’ve never read a book by Gaiman previously. I did enjoy this book, I really did, but it just took forever to really get into. People say it’s because of the TV program (which I’ve never seen) or because it’s his first solo novel, but over all it was pretty good.
I liked the character’s (eventually) and the whole London Below world it is defiantly more interesting than London Above. I enjoyed the story but did find a few grammar errors in the text (yes I am one of THOSE people when reading, not really with writing myself). I liked how Richard Mayhew was developed, and he was the one that was far more developed. I don’t know, but there was just something missing from this, I will read another of Gaimans’ books of course maybe I was just in the wrong mindset.

(On a side note, here in present day 2014, I actually plan on rereading this story, plus I REALLY want to listen to the BBC radio drama that was done not too long ago.)

Quote:

“You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.”

Other Books by Neil Gaiman

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