Book Review: A Stranger in the House

Time for a book review. I feel like I haven’t done a review in a while. I’ll try to keep this spoiler free.

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In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A domestic thriller packed full of secrets, and a twisty story that never stops—from the bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”
Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.
There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.
The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.
Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.
Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

I’ll start by saying that I haven’t read the previous book by Shari Lapena, so I can’t say anything about it, though I’ve heard good reviews. I have also heard a fair share of good reviews for this one and, in a way, I can see why, but I just can’t join in that positivity.

Perhaps I’ve read too many books in this genre and that tainted my enjoyment of this one. I can’t say it’s a bad book, but I can’t say that I enjoyed reading it either. The formula for this book has been done to death, which makes it feel predictable and even boring at times. Lapena does a good job of making the character mysterious enough to say they’re interesting, however the story is so typical of any crime book/movie/tv show, that even that doesn’t really matter. A perfect wife who had an accident in suspicious circumstances and now can’t remember anything about what happened, a best friend who is crazy manipulative and has secret ulterior motives for her actions, a husband who is the helpless victim of the events happening around him, an investigation that goes in all the obvious directions.

The only reason why I didn’t quit reading this book is that is not a long read and the chapters are short and pretty well paced. I think the book actually benefits from this format, otherwise it would have been a painful read, at least for me. However, there were so many points at which I was hoping to be surprised by an unexpected twist, so many opportunities to make the story go to new, more interesting places, and every time I hoped for a surprise twist, I was disappointed. The twists were underwhelming and unoriginal. I really felt like I had read this exact story many times before and I knew exactly what was coming. Lapena really missed some chances to explore new elements. Given the great reviews I’ve seen about her debut novel, I can’t help but wonder if this is her writing style and it just didn’t work for this story in particular. Like I said at the start, I can’t say this is a bad book, it’s a pretty good fit for the genre and if you haven’t read anything similar, then you will definitely enjoy it, but it’s definitely nothing new.

I’d recommend this to any hardcore fans of the genre, but beware you won’t find anything in this book that you haven’t already read or seen somewhere else. If you’re new to the genre  or the description sounds like something new and exciting for you, by all means give it a go, chances are you’ll enjoy it a lot!

 

Down The TBR Hole: Part 6

I’ve been looking through my TBR to see if I find something to get me out of my reading slump and I realised being in this reading slump makes it easier to filter out which books I really don’t feel like reading and which ones I’m still looking forward to.

Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors

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Rose Connors brings a fresh voice, a dynamic storytelling power, and a passion for the law to her compelling crime fiction debut. Martha “Marty” Nickerson is a lawyer who truly loves her job. As an assistant D.A. for Massachusetts’s Barnstable County, which includes all the small towns on Cape Cod, she speaks for the victims of crime and their families, and sees the system as a means for doing right.
The case of Manuel Rodriguez is a prime example. Rodriguez is accused of brutally murdering a college student, a kind young man who had a bright future. Marty has worked hard on this case; as the mother of a teenage son, she identifies with the murdered boy’s grieving parents. Her case against Rodriguez is so solid that even public defender Harry Madigan — the champion of the Cape’s underdogs — expects a conviction. And, on Memorial Day, exactly a year after the crime, the verdict comes in: guilty as charged. Justice prevails.
Then, with Rodriguez behind bars, another body turns up in disturbingly similar circumstances. Did Marty and her colleagues target the wrong man? Her supervisor — Geraldine Schilling, who aspires to be the county’s first female D.A. — refuses to reopen such a high-profile case. Why should she? The prosecutors played by the rules and won big. But Marty fears that the real killer will strike again.
With her career on the line and lives at stake, Marty must rely on her own moral compass, legal savvy, and gut instinct as she matches wits with a twisted killer. The system itself is on trial as Marty tries to serve Justice, not merely the Law.
Only an author with years of courtroom experience could add such riveting authenticity to a novel that asks important questions and provides surprising answers. Rose Connors’s “Absolute Certainty” introduces a new crime-writing star
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Keep it or leave it? Leave it
I’ll probably read this at some point, but I’m a bit burnout with this kind of stories at the moment, so I’ll let it go.

 

The Day Before by Liana Brooks

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A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is:
Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property?
Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.
The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.
This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.
A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.

Keep it or leave it? Keep it

I may or may not be keeping this because of the word “clone”. The description does make it sound like just another crime thriller, but the sci-fi elements are enough to keep me intrigued. I feel like this book could be a pleasant surprise.

 

The Accident by C. L. Taylor

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Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.
Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.
There is a lot that Sue doesn’t know about Charlotte’s life. But then there’s a lot that Charlotte doesn’t know about Sue’s.

Keep it or leave it? Leave it

This book sounds intriguing and a part of me wants to know where the story goes, but I’ve read too many of this stories already and I wanna read something new.

BrainWeb by Douglas E. Richards

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When the Academy Awards become the target of a brutal terror attack, only one man can stave off massive bloodshed.
MIND’S EYE, the novel that introduced Nick Hall, was a runaway Kindle bestseller. Now Hall returns in a riveting stand-alone thriller, set in an Internet future that is just around the corner. From the New York Times bestselling author of WIRED.
Nick Hall, an unwilling recipient of brain implants, can surf the Web with his thoughts and read minds. And while this makes him one of the most formidable men on earth, he is determined to stay off the grid.
But when terrorists seize control of the Academy Awards and vow to butcher the world’s most beloved stars, one by one, in front of an international television audience, Hall is forced to reveal his astonishing capabilities.
Now, power players around the world will stop at nothing to capture him. And as the secretive group working with Hall begins to unravel, he is sure of only two things: he has been betrayed by someone close to him. And the stakes he is playing for could not be any higher…
Based on actual research on thought-controlled Web surfing, BrainWeb is a smart thriller that raises a number of intriguing possibilities about a future that is rapidly approaching.

Keep it or leave it? Leave it

This is the second book of this series and I am curious to see what happens to Nick after the first one and read more about this story because I really enjoyed it. However, this scenario of hunter and prey mixed with conspiracy is not what I want from this series, so I think I’ll skip this one for now.

 

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

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An airliner’s controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction.
At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events. But Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst who quit in disgust after witnessing the gross errors that led to 9/11, thinks otherwise. Jeff fears a more serious attack targeting the U.S. computer infrastructure is already under way. And as other menacing computer malfunctions pop up around the world, some with deadly results, he realizes that there isn’t much time if he hopes to prevent an international catastrophe.
Written by a global authority on cyber security, Zero Day presents a chilling “what if” scenario that, in a world completely reliant on technology, is more than possible today — it’s a cataclysmic disaster just waiting to happen.

Keep it or leave it? Keep it

This book sounds exactly like what I want to read at the moment and I don’t know why I let it get lost in my TBR list for so long. I’m ordering this right now.

This Or That Book Tag

I saw this tag on Lottiesiwriting and I really enjoyed reading her answers, so I decided to take part.

Series or Standalone.

Standalone works better for me. I don’t know why, but I usually don’t read many series. If I know the book is part of a series, chances are I won’t go for it. This goes especially for those series that extend for more than 5 books. I might give the first book of a trilogy a try, but for the most part I won’t get past that first book.

Magic Earned or Magic Born.

While I feel like earning magical powers can provide for good character and story development, the execution of those storylines tend to be quite predictable and formulaic. Therefore I’ll have to go with Magic Born for this one.

Enemies–To–Lovers or Friends–To–Lovers.

Both of these have been done so often in quick, careless ways that I can’t really say I prefer either one. Enemies-to-lovers can make the characters feel super childish and friends-to-lovers is usually unnecessarily dramatic.

Hilarious Banter or Emotional Ruin.

Hilarious banter is what I enjoy the most as long as it’s not trying too hard.

Love Triangle or Insta Love.

Again, both ideas have been done too much and often in ways that don’t really add much to the story, but I think a love triangle can be worked with to create a really good story, whereas insta love is just lazy.

Keyboard Smash Fantasy Names or All Names Start With The Same Letter.

I’d say keyboard smash, as long as it’s not actual random keyboard smash, but just something creative that goes with the character.

Mean Parents or Dead Parents.

Mean parents? Dead parents is usually a lazy way to get readers to insta-like and feel sympathy for a character. Not sure if mean parents is any better, but I guess it can work on some stories.

Supermodel Looks or Constantly Saying How Plain They Look.

I’ll say supermodel, just because I’ve read too many books lately with characters that go on and on about how not-special they are and how plain they look. It gets old really quickly, authors, please stop it.

Face On Cover or Typography Cover.

I tend to prefer something leaning towards the abstract for book covers, so neither. However I’ve seen some really good art in typography covers so I’m gonna choose that.

Villain Turning A Little Good or Hero Turning A Little Bad

Alright, I cheated on this one because I couldn’t decide. My boyfriend said he prefers heroes turning a little bad and the villains always bad. Let’s go with that.

What do you think? What would you choose? Feel free to tag yourself if you enjoyed this and let me know, I wanna read your answers!

Down the TBR Hole: Part 5

Time to look through my TBR again and decide what stays and what goes. I haven’t done one of these posts in a while and I kept adding books to my TBR list. When I wrote my previous post I had 219 books on my TBR and I currently have 224. Let’s just say this might go on for a while.

Code Breakers: Alpha by Colin F. Barnes

Humans are no longer the biggest threat to survival.
In a post-apocalyptic future, humanity survives within a single domed city ruled by a shadowy organisation known as The Family. Gerry Cardle reluctantly runs the Death Lottery. It’s a job he despises, yet one which keeps his name off the list. Until one day, despite his agreement with The Family, his name is inexplicably drawn next.
With his world crashing down around him and with just seven days left to live, Gerry realises that the system has been breached by a malicious artificial intelligence. In order to save his life and preserve the safety of those within the city, he must do the unthinkable: flee to the abandoned wastelands outside the dome.
Bitter, resolute, and with nothing left to lose, Gerry will have to do whatever it takes to survive–even if it means sacrificing his freedom, and possibly worse–his life.

Keep it or leave it? Leave it

Honestly I am a bit undecided on this one. It sounds like something I would enjoy reading, but not something I’m dying to read. Therefore I’m gonna let it go for now. I think I have a sample downloaded on my Kindle. I might give it a try at some point, but I’ll take it out of my TBR list.

 

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.When the expedition’s leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape.

Keep it or leave it? Keep it

I am also a bit undecided about this one. I’ve been wanting to read this book for so long. The loss of the Franklin Expedition ships was a mystery for over a century, the ships were found not that long ago. However the fates of the people on the ships is still a matter of great especulation, from instant tragedy to paranormal theories, there’s a lot that can be done taking the facts we know as a starting point. I was really excited when I heard this was being turned into a tv show and I both couldn’t wait to watch it and didn’t want to watch it until I’d read the book. However, I couldn’t wait to get a copy of the book and I watched the first episode of the show. Although apparently it was very well received, I just couldn’t get into it. As a result of that experience I am now not sure if I will enjoy this book, but it’s been on my TBR list for a long time so I’ll give it a chance.

 

If She Should Die by Carlene Thompson

Three years have passed since erotic, willful Dara Prince disappeared from Winston, West Virginia, leaving a note saying she’s run away. Now a body has been found in the creek. A body, Christine Ireland suspects, that could very well belong to her adopted sister Dara. Deputy Sheriff Michael Winter certainly seems to think so. But if Dara’s dead, who’s been sending Ames prince the letters he cherishes: always with a different postmark and always signed with his missing daughter’s initial?
When Dara’s diary turns up unexpectedly, Christine is plunged into her lost sister’s dark and mysterious world. Clearly, in the days before her disappearance, Dara was certain somebody was stalking her. As past melds hauntingly with present, people who knew Dara are meeting tragic fates. Now, someone is watching Christine’s every move–perhaps just the way they once watched Dara, right before she died. If, indeed, she really did die…

Keep it or leave it? Leave it

Reading the description just now made me feel like this is just another typical “thriller”. I can see why it’s on my TBR, and maybe I’m wrong and the book is exciting and full of surprises, but the premise doesn’t sound as captivating as it once did, so I’ll skip it.

 

The Charter by Gillian Hamer

The legend of the Royal Charter is almost as famous as the story of the dead girl who wanders the cliffs at Point Lynas – a victim of the 1859 shipwreck.
After more than a decade away, Sarah Morton must return to her childhood home in Anglesey to bury her father. It’s a chance to say goodbye, and good riddance, to her past. Yet her father leaves her a legacy. A letter. And a safe full of documents about the ancient shipwreck.
The Royal Charter had been carrying gold. Huge amounts of it. And her father’s death suddenly looks like murder. Determined to discover the truth, Sarah is dragged into a dangerous journey, discovering she and the girl on the cliffs have more in common than she could ever believe.

Keep it or leave it? Keep it

This book sounds so interesting to me. I am not sure how strong the paranormal element is in this story, I hope it’s not too much, because that isn’t my type of thing. It does sound like a book I wanna read and I can’t believe I still haven’t, this has been on my TBR for over three years. I know at some point I was gonna buy it but had a hard time getting a copy, but I should be able to get it now and I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Lie Still by David Farris

A prominent physician debuts as a gifted storyteller in Lie Still, a dazzlingly suspenseful and compulsively readable trip through the dark underbelly of the OR — where reputations, careers, and lives are on the line.
In a sleepy, small-town Arizona hospital, a thirteen-year-old boy lies in a coma after inexplicably suffering a cardiac arrest. His doctors are perplexed. Although emotionally disturbed Henry Rojelio was a frequent visitor to the emergency room — often for bouts of asthma, but usually just for attention — no one ever anticipated a battle with death.
Surgical resident Malcolm Ishmail began his medical career months before at a busy Phoenix hospital — a far cry from the small ER deep in the silent heart of the desert, where Henry Rojelio lies. There, Malcolm fell into a secret, exhausting affair with one of his professors, Dr. Mimi Lyle, a beautiful, charismatic brain surgeon who had subtle difficulties in the operating room. In a moment of weakness “Dreamy Mimi” confessed to him her failings as a neurosurgeon; Malcolm reported her to his superiors . . . and promptly lost his job.
Now, miles away from Phoenix, Dr. Ishmail struggles to save his young asthmatic patient’s life and his future as a surgeon. And with little time and few clues to the cause of Henry Rojelio’s sudden collapse, the impressionable doctor wonders whether his former lover may have exacted a disturbing revenge. Rich in medical detail and written with stylish, razor-sharp action and dialogue, Lie Still is a gripping, emotional drama of human failings and devastating consequences that marks the debut of a remarkable new voice.

Keep it or leave it? Leave it

I can barely see why this book is on my TBR, but I really don’t feel like this is my type of story at all. I don’t think this is the type of book I would enjoy, so I’ll let it go.

 

That’s all for today. What do you think? Are you interested in reading any of this books?

Most Recent TBR Additions

In previous posts I’ve gone through my TBR list in order to clear it up since it had grown pretty quick and far beyond the number of books I would have time to read in my life. More Down The TBR posts are coming later this year, since there’s still a long way to go.

Today I wanted to do something different and take a look at my TBR list to go over my most recent additions. I’ve been careful to add books that I’m genuinely interested in and plan on reading at some point in the near future and these are the five latest additions.

The Year After You by Nina de Pass

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New Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.
Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.
Up in the Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But classmates Ren and Hector have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight-talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to.
The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara is quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.

This is an upcoming release that I’m quite excited about. I’ve read some great reviews about it. I wouldn’t usually go for a book like this to be honest, but something about it caught my eye. It might be therapeutic for me and I expect to hate it for it, but love it at the same time. I can’t explain it. Expect to hear my thoughts on it here when I read it.

 

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe.

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Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD ‘a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language’ which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. It now has 600,000 to a million page hits daily. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. ‘My friend and I were arguing about what would happen if a bullet got struck by lightning, and we agreed that you should resolve it . . . ‘ He liked these questions so much that he started up What If.
If your cells suddenly lost the power to divide, how long would you survive?
How dangerous is it, really, to be in a swimming pool in a thunderstorm?
If we hooked turbines to people exercising in gyms, how much power could we produce?
What if everyone only had one soulmate?
When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British empire?
How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?
What would happen if the moon went away?
In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, studded with memorable cartoons and infographics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion. Far more than a book for geeks, WHAT IF: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions explains the laws of science in operation in a way that every intelligent reader will enjoy and feel much the smarter for having read.

I love the idea of this book. The title alone is enough to catch anyone’s attention and I have great expectations for it. Apparently Will Wheaton narrates de audiobook version? That could be fun, maybe I’ll go for that version.

 

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.
The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

I can’t express in word how excited I am about reading this book. It sounds exactly like my kind of book, some mystery, suspense and music. As soon as I finish my current reads, this is the one I’m going for.

 

Snapshot by Craigh Robertson

A series of high-profile shootings by a lone sniper leaves Glasgow terrorised and police photographer Tony Winter – a man with a tragic hidden past – mystified. Who is behind the executions of some of the most notorious drug lords in the city? As more shootings occur – including those of police officers – the authorities realise they have a vigilante on their hands. Meanwhile, Tony investigates a link between the victims and a schoolboy who has been badly beaten. Seemingly unconnected, they share a strange link. As Tony delves deeper, his quest for the truth and his search for the killer lead him down dark and dangerous paths.

I have to be honest, I actually borrowed this book and the one above from the local library in December before going home with the intention to read them on the flight or during any breaks. However I was so tired from all that happened before and during my trip that I pretty much slept throughout the whole flight (that’s 13 hours!). I had to return them before I had the chance to read them, but I’ll be borrowing them back soon-ish because they are unfinished business.

 

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…
Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

I have heard so much about this book! So much. I’m probably getting this for my birthday. This book has been recommended to me by lots of people and I’m really looking forward to reading it soon. Plus, I love that cover, it’s really beautiful.

Ultimate Book Tag

I found this tag on YA on my mind and I really enjoyed reading her answers to these questions so I thought I’d join in.

 

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

I didn’t use to, but lately I do. Not sure why and I’m not a fan of this new development.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why? 

Thomas H. Cook. That’s probably why he’s my favourite author. So far, I’ve enjoyed reading every one of his books. He has this great way of building up tension and revealing layers of the story without giving anything away. You never know where the story will take you next, the only thing you know is that if everything is pointing in one direction, that’s probably the one direction where it won’t go. The revelations are always unexpected and surprising, yet quite simple at times. He describes his characters in a way that is really engaging and careful so you always feel like you know them.

3. Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter

  • There’s better character development and every character has something to contribute to the story.
  • The story is more complex and has more layers to it.
  • The world building is much more elaborate and immersive.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it (beside books…)?

No, though I do occasionally carry a book or my Kindle in my purse if I know I’ll have time to read for a bit.

5. Do you smell your books?

I’m gonna quote my source for this post because her answer and mine are the same:

I don’t. I am not really a sniff-the-book person; instead I am a caress-the-cover-lovingly person.”

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

Some books can benefit a lot of illustrations, some others don’t need it at all. In general, I prefer to use my imagination to illustrate the characters and world of the books I read.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

I’d say Twilight. Not the entire series because I didn’t read all of it, but I remember enjoying the first and third book as I read them. I didn’t love those books, vampires and werewolves are both not my thing and the romance (if we can call it that) isn’t either so it was a step out of my comfort zone, but at the time I thought it was an okay read. However, the fact that I never finished the series and left one of the books unfinished forever speaks for itself.

8. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

I have to check, but at the moment I guess it’s either The Time Machine or The Island of Dr. Moreau.

9. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Probably The Labyrinth of the Spirits.

10. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself being an author in the future?

I used to write a lot when I was a kid. I don’t have quite as much time to dedicate to it as I used to, but I do have a book idea in mind that I have been working on from time to time. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it and publish it anywhere, but maybe someday.

11. When did you get into reading?

I don’t remember the exact age, but I’ve been reading since I was a kid. My mom had a huge book shelf and while I didn’t read most of her books because we have very different tastes, it inspired me to get some books for my own book shelf. I still have the one book that really got me into reading because it made me discover just how rich and powerful a good story can be. Sadly it’s still at home, I couldn’t bring it with me yet.

12. What is your favourite classic book?

Hard to name one. Harder to think of what constitutes a classic. Is Fahrenheit 451 considered a classic? If not, then probably The Time Machine.

13. If your were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated… what would you do?

I’m imagining the situation where someone gives me The Girl on the Train as a present. I’d give the person a blank stare and after a moment yell “how dare you? did I do something to you? Do you hate me that much?”

Just kidding. As much as I’d hate it, I’d smile and take it. Then probably donate it to a library, maybe do a giveaway here or give it to someone who I know will enjoy it.

14. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

This is tough because I don’t read many fantasy books and when I do, I don’t usually go for series, so I don’t think I have read anything similar to any of those.

15. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

Fairies. Mainly because I find vampires to be super boring, there’s really not much you can do with a vampire in terms of story anymore, whereas fairies are more versatile and offer many more options.

16. Zombies or Vampires?

Both are equally boring to me so I’ll have to say neither.

17. Love triangle or forbidden love?

I plead the fifth. I guess love triangle can give more room to work with, but they’re both easy traps in my opinion.

18. And Finally: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Full on romance is not my thing at all and, at the risk of sounding like the Grinch, I prefer action-packed stories with no love scenes. They rarely add anything to the plot, usually interrupt story progress and are just unnecessary.

 

I have adapted the original post quite a bit, there were a few more questions that didn’t quite fit me, so I didn’t include them. Check out YA on my mind’s post here for the original 25 questions and feel free to answer them yourself.

Current Reads + Update

Happy New Year!

Okay, so I might have taken another break, a lot of things happening at the moment. I travelled home for the holidays. I had a lot of things to do, but I was only able to stay for 12 days, most of which were either a weekend or a holiday so it was pretty hectic. Coming back to Germany was not any less chaotic since I’m going through a lot of changes in terms of work and looking for a place to live. All things considered I haven’t had as much time to read as I expected. I have decided to take it easy this year and aim to read as much as possible without setting any specific goals in terms of quantity. So heres what I am reading at the moment:

Return to Dyatlov Pass

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I know, I know. The last thing you heard from me was that I was reading this in December. Even though it isn’t a long book, I couldn’t finish it on time and I had to put it on hold. Fortunately this book was chosen to be February’s read-along by my book club, so I get to not only finally finish this book and review it as promised, but also have people to discuss it with.

 

The Land That Lost Its Heroes

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This book might be considered controversial if you keep in mind I am Argentinian. However, I am the kind of person who loves to hear the two sides to every story. Especially when it comes to wars, I think the main lesson learned should be to listen to all sides and try to understand where they come from. I am therefore reading this with an open mind and trying to remain as unbiased as possible, though I do agree with what’s stated on the book that given all I heard as a kid about how those Islands are Argentinian and the British are evil invaders, I might have a tendency to favour the Argentinian side at times.
What I love about this book is that in many ways it encourages the unbiased way of thinking about the conflict, it explains how it originated and it goes beyond the war to explain the social, cultural and political context on both sides and how it lead to the war. I am learning a lot of new details that I didn’t know about the events leading up to it and I’m learning to understand why both countries feel so strongly about the islands.
The book was written by an English journalist who worked in Argentina for a couple of years before the war, which makes it full of interesting insights on the situation in both countries. It is a pretty long read and I’m a very active reader with this one, pausing every couple of pages to do some research, so it will probably take me quite some time to finish it.

 

So there you have it, a quick update on what I’m currently reading and why I took a break. I’ll be posting again weekly on Fridays and maybe even do a surprise extra post some other day during the week from now on.

What are your current reads? Did you set any goals for this year?