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Gear Girl

I really fell in love with this book somehow. About Eleanor slowly finding out about herself, the way she chose to adjust to her life. For me, I was glad that it wasn’t some over the top debate about whether mechanical people were better.

Here was where a slow story happened, about acceptance, how lives should be saved. And also, what could someone do to save another. This story I think is representative of that very fact.

Eleanor’s character is slowly developed, from the moment she finds out what she is. To adjusting to her new life, and the way that it is done is absolutely perfect. When she started considering Agatha her mother, it was subtle yet it felt seamless.

As for the romance, it influences the ending. It influences Eleanor. Percy is ill, and I think whatever happens to him from there isn’t all too hard to figure out. And the way that ending was delivered, it was poignant and middle ground. Eleanor did something to save the person she loves, and she paid it. The ending was perfection in my mind.

Although I would expect her to instead decide to live on, or perhaps use another method. The author decided to give me one of the most painful, yet bittersweet endings. I think it is rather fitting, Eleanor did not ask to be revived. But instead, she chose to use it to save another instead of selfishly living on all because she loves him too much.

As for the inventor who saved, finally someone who isn’t a mad scientist. He may have been obsessed with having a child, as did Agatha who desperately wanted one. But he never really felt absolutely mad, a raving lunatic. I appreciate the way it went down a unique route instead of the one we always knew. And Agatha, she was like the kind of mother you would trust an orphan to. She accepted this compromise as long as it was okay, and definitely selflessly loved Eleanor.

I think that this is something rather different, it deviates from the norm. The ending is pretty much bittersweet and one that I doubt I would forget, although not completely perfect but I was immersed in it for the way it was different from everything I have ever read.

Would I recommend? Yes, I would. It had been such a long time since I have liked a book well enough to give it more than three stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Pillars Of Avalon

I think that this book has the dialogue written best to its time. It took me a great deal of time to get used to the dialogue, but it was easy with the writing filling everything in. If it had been written to the era, I would have been completely lost. Or that I would spend a lot of time guessing continuously.

The style works very well as it is a tale, set in England in the newly settled Newfoundland, and she eventually built a legacy there. Although this book shows the ordeals she goes through before she becomes an entrepreneur and helps to take over her husband’s business. I do find it strangely easy to relate to her.

The writing was brilliant, although the characters at best relatable but nothing really outstanding about them. Apart from the fact that Sara often was rather brilliant and talented, and helped her own husband. Was there with him regardless of the time nothing else really did stand out about them.

And this tale is as much of David’s as it is Sara’s. Going through their countless times of being cheated by the King to being wrongly accused by another. Well, this entire book explores that narrative living through a turbulent time(where an actual monarch lost his head because of it.)

Most importantly, this book is rather unique and quite true to its time. Written in a way that really attracted me to it, and also really let me related to it. And well at the end of it, Sara goes back and works hard to continue her husband’s legacy, and the title reveals that. And that no matter what, she doesn’t actually consider leaving him. She stays by him no matter how hopeless it seems, and does seem hopeful and at times possessing intelligence instead of waiting for something to happen.

Well, it is one of immense tragedy for most part. Especially when it comes to how her husband eventually meets his end, and had horrendous luck, he’s by no means bad. Just met all the wrong people, and stuck by the wrong one. I really feel nothing but sympathy for the man.

Overall, I really like this book for what it tells. And that it tries to stay true to the time yet is immensely easy to read, you won’t end up wondering continuously what the story is telling you. My verdict: recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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The Secret Science Of Magic

I found this a rather surprising book. Given that this is the first time I’m reading contemporary teen fiction, and I find myself quite liking it. Diversity, mental disorders they are all here for us to see and read about. And well, I guess it was a main reason why I like it more.

Elsie is likely Indian, given the name of her brother. And both Sophia and Joshua on some level can be attributed to being autistic even. And well, despite it being mostly about the romance but this issues get a very good spotlight too. Just like how Sophia isn’t said to need to be fixed, Joshua accepts her. And for once I don’t find the dual narration to be annoying in many ways.

I don’t really have a lot to say since this is my first teen romance, the first time which I tried to read this. So, generally yeah I don’t really have a lot to comment apart from the fact that I liked it. And that the romance and characters face quite a bit of circumstances. About Sophia and her real life, where basically she is quite isolated.

One more thing, this is really up to date with the new pop culture. Frozen, Game Of Thrones which are all things we can relate to, and also feel that it is really happening now, and also quite realistic and relatable for me really. Since the references aren’t too removed, and I do feel as though I have read it or even seen it before.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book for its simplicity. And also for refreshing and making me think that accidentally grabbing a book off the shelf because of the cover was a pretty good thing which sometimes resulted in horrible choices of books that I hated.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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When I Cast Your Shadow

I have really got used to her writing and style, and that this was slightly easier to read than Vassa In The Night.

Once again, this tale is like her previous. Bizarre and filled with weird events, with a hint of paranormal but no clear explanation on how the dead can be brought back to life, but I’m more or less fine with it.

As for a beginning, I really like Everett. He is the one reason why I really kept on with this story, and well he isn’t all that perfect either. And so aren’t any of the other characters. However, he always has sensibility and insecurities since he is different when compared to his brother. But I’m all the while fine with it. Truly, really fine with it.

As for Ruby, she is rather brave and at the same time naive. Since she relishes control over to her own brother, who does seem quite evil at times. But at the same time has always trusted him. As for her brother, who I have grown some sympathy for towards the end. Seeing as how he had plenty of moments where he seemed the same and yet different, towards the end, his character feels a lot more rounded with his awareness. And that it was a rather nice change to know them, and sibling relationships always do get my attention. Although it did bordered at times, but I didn’t feel as though it was really incest in any way possible. At least the end really revealed it all in a good light, convincing me that it didn’t seem that way. And all the while having the characters be a lot deeper than what they seemed.

As for the weirdness of this, I like it. It’s as simple as that, and that I have really gotten used to and even enjoyed how it was done. And that it was a lot easier to read when compared to her previous work.

So, this book may not be for everyone which is what I admit. But if it sounds interesting, do give it a shot. Also, check it out if you really like magical realism, for it gives no real explanation just plenty of possibilities as to why Dashniell could come back.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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House Of Shadows

A book with two intertwining stories and also for once managing to connect all the dots together nicely.

This story has three periods where it is set in. Firstly, the 17th century for Elizabeth’s story. The the early 19th century for Lavinia’s and present time for Holly’s. One important thing to note, this story connects everything and also everything about a curse very nicely and managing to tell a full story, one that comes full circle and goes through so much torment and tragedy. Centered around a pearl and a mirror, everything is set into motion from the moment Elizabeth was born and the jewel bequeathed to her.

I find Holly rather okay, her character easy to read through. Although I was much more intrigued by the mystery than the love romances, and I greatly enjoyed the ones that ended in tragedy. But not between Holly and Mark, just didn’t feel like it. I guess I’m a little weird for liking romances that didn’t end well, but it was just so much more exciting. Elizabeth choosing to marry someone when she wanted to, and Lavinia falling in love with the one decent guy there was.

They to me, were the strong women of this. Holly just lacked something to make me really like her.

Especially when Elizabeth towards the end, found out about what her husband did. And also, what Lavinia did and eventually do when she left Ashdown Park. I like them for their strength and the fact that they are sensible enough to keep things secret yet at the same time when things change, aren’t afraid to pursue their hearts desire.

But the author did a fantastic job intertwining these three stories to tell a tale, about a curse and love. And well, managing to make me become incredibly invested in it too was difficult. Especially when Holly was reading about the past and Lavinia, I never liked another character more in this book.

Overall, I really like this book for what its tale and stories which all comes full circle and delivering a satisfying mystery if you ask me. Check it out if you want a good mystery, with quite a bit of poignant endings for the historical figures.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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A Madness So Discreet

Initially, I thought that this would be purely about being in an asylum. But it went so much more than that, to bring about criminal psychology and mystery. Which to me, was a fine deal as it was.

I really liked Grace, since the beginning opens up by her having a child. A child which her own father puts into her, that is even more terrifying. Since it wasn’t her fault that she ended up carrying his child, and going into labour in a mental asylum. Thankfully, she manages to survive. And above all, she is a survivor. She never gives up, and neither does she ever forget what her father did to her. She seeks revenge, and that at times didn’t end up well for her. However, what she did in the ending, those words to her own father was perfect.

Thornhollow, was interesting. He and Grace have a working relationship, which isn’t romantic. But he cares for her and even does things for her, he protects her. And one time, he serves as her moral compass. I fully agree, since certain actions Grace undertakes isn’t the kindest, however Thornhollow disagreed and I think this is where they balance each other out.

He knows why she became like that, especially towards her own father. He raped her and when she got pregnant put her in an asylum. Even worse, was her own mother didn’t even protect her from this. And I could see why some had pity, but Grace is a lot more than that. She would survive no matter what she is put into.

Despite the lack of any romance, there is a very good set of friendships whcih Grace has. With Lizzy, with Nell and of course with Thornhollow. There isn’t a need for her to have someone save her soul, nor heal her heart. It is she who finds that kind of strength in the first place, and she who moves on. Even at times where Grace loses herself, her friends do help, her friends do understand and sometimes even covers for her.

Although this went from madness to being about.Murders and criminal psychology. I was always interested, always fascinated. And this was one which a lot about the mind, and one where a person’s background likely affected their actions and even forced them to do certain things.

Although this wasn’t so much about the madness, but a lot more on murders instead. And also, Grace getting justice done for herself, for all the other women who suffered under him. And this is a story about Grace, and eventually surviving her ordeal and moving on with her life.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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The Appearance Of Anne Van Sinderen

Well, with it being a ghost story, and some phenomenons about why Annie can time travel. All the while I found this to be easy, and quite a ride. Both in the present and in the past. As for the ending, that was the perfection I wanted. Middle ground, an open ending for Wes, and the one that Annie would have regardless of whatever happened.

All the while revealing America in its early days for being one of using slave labour, and many had been African Americans. Also dealing with the death of a family that dealt in slave trading, one which Annie only became aware of after a while. When her father revealed to her, I really died a little inside.

History can be cruel, and it can be disheartening to know that such things existed. Slavery existed just for a man who had a different skin colour so that white men could earn good wages, and to me the way Anne reacted was just right. She was reacting in a way that someone who was raised with kindness would do, and I admit her family had it coming for them. Just a bit sad that Annie couldn’t escape her fate.

Despite the entire story dealing around a cameo, and how Annie is searching for it. I prefer it as it is a mystery of why Annie wanted it, her family’s death and eventual survival.

Maddie did reveal herself to be someone different, as was Tyler. In the beginning it was mysterious, and Wes was merely doing a school project and finding that Annie often interfered. Slowly it became more, and I enjoyed their interactions.

Clearly Annie left an impression on Wes, and Annie would never forget him. Even if the way they meet still remains unexplained, and possible have some weird form of magic is involved. But their meeting had changed them, I saw it after.

So, this book as a case of me stepping out from my usual zone. And finding myself having some enjoyment, even though the book is far from perfect. Do I think you should check it out? You could, since this proved to be a nice surprise. Once more about social issues and history. All the while about slavery, and revenge to a family who was involved in it.

Rating: 4 out of 5