Inish Clare

Well, I expected a lot more than this. At least in terms of the mystery and historical fiction.

However, what I got was a rather bland story where I barely know even the main characters at all, and that the main narrator was largely forgettable. Paired with an even more forgettable mystery and even one where I barely remembered anything about it, and hence you could see why I didn’t enjoy this at all.

I did expect a lot more about the pirate, since I was sold through the premise on the promise of pirates. Unfortunately, it just never delivered it. And the curse or whatever was just uninteresting, it never felt real or even the least bit. It just felt there.

And I did find that almost any paranormal aspect or even anything about the history wasn’t really elaborated upon or fully explored. That is a rather large weakness if you were to ask me. And it didn’t really tie up what it had to do, and I just couldn’t find much of anything interesting to talk about.

So, you could say that my expectations just wasn’t met well enough. It simply wasn’t talked about well enough, and overall this was a rather disappointing read.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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Cold Summer

This book was rather touching, at least in the way I never thought it was. With a time travel story, but centering around all the problems and rift between friends and family here, was the best way it could go.

Kale being a world war II veteran, and the entire idea of him being a time traveler but not completely about the idea of his family, and the problems left by it. It is so real that his constant time travelling created all these problems and fighting in a war really took its toll on him.

Harper, I did like her. Something about her worked, and how she dealt with her issues was important. Poignant, but at the same time willing to give another chance to her own mother. But her coming back here, and getting together with Kale again is a nice idea too, which I think began to really change the whole course of the story.

As for the ending, about the way it was. Open, but I have always liked such an ending. And that Kale does eventually learn how to control, although only to a certain extent. And Harper had simply accepted his unique situation and went ways to help him, that to me is more or less a sort of love. Although I would have liked it that Kale did get some time knowing Harper’s situation, but in this context it is fine since they have known each other since childhood.

But overall, this was a really touching tale. Talking about time travel, war and eventually romance. I think it handles the balance, and it doesn’t try to be too much. It is simply Kale finding his way home, Harper opening a new chapter in her life. And at the end, a simple romance which still has a long way to go.

So, in my opinion I will whole heartedly recommend this.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Conversion

I can say that this book proved to be a guilty pleasure. There wasn’t all too much on the explanations of what actually happened to the girls at St Joan’s, only that they recovered and eventually left.

The one thing that may actually hint it is towards the end, which I do think is fitting. There aren’t really any clear answers to this, apart from that. And well, I really wanted to have a clear explanation on all this mass hysteria, and also mysterious illness. The plot was really slow, but somehow I kept with it because there will be answers. In a sense, there are. And in a sense, it doesn’t really answer any of this happenings at all.

I found Ann’s story a bore, and I couldn’t care less at all. Apart from the part where she saw them hang, that was really the best of the best in terms of writing. But other times, it was boring me. I couldn’t even relate to them on the same level, and I was really bored as I dragged myself through her narration.

Strangely, I really like Colleen. And I do feel that it is fitting, and her reliability came with the fact that both she and I are dealing with immense amounts of stress(her with her grade point average and me, with my O levels and wish to get 6As.) Hence, this is where I think she clicked with me. A tad selfish, but somehow in her senior year, I could see why she would be.

So, overall, this boils down to choice regarding what you think. It is merely a phenomenon with a very vague answer at the end, one which I so desperately hoped would be expanded upon. It makes so much sense if you ask me, yet it is only given one to two pages to explain it and leave me utterly confused. But in recommendation, I’ll leave it up the reader.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Blood Memory Society

The one thing I do really like is how it blends science and explains it in a way that I can understand. If it was solely about fertility and all the dry science, I would have slept. But most of the explanations are understandable, simple and easy to digest in a way. That is the best part of the book really.

Although William was a good character who gets dragged into this mess of the Blood Memory Society, always with reveals that is linked to the Blood Memory Society. However, I didn’t relate with him, whenever I read through his viewpoint it just didn’t grab me. A good narrator with his clarity and having a good story to tell, there just was something that lacked here. It just didn’t click with me.

Same for the other characters. I didn’t think Victoria was developed enough, or even quirky enough since she probably has the longest memory in the world. And there just wasn’t enough development on her, since she probably would have a lot more problems and some issues from remembering too much. And also, what about past feuds.

It took an interesting concept, made it possible through DNA, but I feel that there wasn’t really an exploration of the impact that it would leave on the human mind and the characters wasn’t really all that unique, how should I say it, Victoria was a little on the normal side, yet she doesn’t really complain of anything that it does. She is rather laid back, but that’s all I really remembered about her.

The rest of the characters didn’t really became memorable to me, and well I guess I forgot them roughly apart from a guy named Tiny, and really the main characters and also Dr B. Nothing else really stood out to me.

Overall, I like the concept the explanation(thankfully it didn’t make my head hurt), but the characters felt flat to me, and while I guess it’s what killed this book for me, I just couldn’t connect and since I’m a character oriented reader, I also cannot really get into the story either.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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