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Given To The Sea

I can’t even be bothered to remember who was in this book. None of the narrators are even the least bit interesting and so many are obsessed with getting Khosa pregnant so you know she can drown as a sacrifice. And even that doesn’t sound as depressing as it should, I don’t even know what is wrong with that world.

And that Khosa although I do think that being raised to think of this would have resulted in her being like this. But I never thought that it was too off, but what made it so incredibly off in my eyes. Was that she is bland as hell and doesn’t even bother trying to find anything out or even try to fulfill her destiny; you would think that being raised in such an environment would make her more willing to do what it takes. Not end up waiting for the one whose touch she can stand. Yeah, and all the other characters were almost just as bland but not as lacking in activeness as compared to Khosa.

There were four narrators; as for the complicated romance why do I even bother. As for the world, where the heck is it, and why the heck is it so twisted? And also, it is confusing, utterly pointless and too many things introduced in one time. To the point it overlaods me and I have nothing but a burning hatred for this book.

Vincent is the prince, or whatever. I didn’t find him interesting. Khosa is as lifeless and emotionless as she is in the book, and having zero ounce of personality. As for the three other narrators, why the hell are they there in the first place. None of them seemed to even make me wonder what this story was about and I found myself skimming most of the pages.

In other words, if you want a mermaid book or one about the sea, don’t look at this one.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Our Lady Of The Dunes

I really like the writing. How it is complete and full, all the while the tale is rather literary. And the ending was something that rather surprised me.

I really like this slow development of the story as it slowly escalates, and also talks about the war which was happening. What Jessica hopes to become reality, is of course peace. All the while the entire place strangely never attracted me much.

Although Jessica is a realistic character, she is about as arrogant and as intelligent as any teenager. But the truth is, is that I could not really relate with her. Although there are some moments where she did manage to get to me, most of the time I spent it as a distant reader.

What was surprising to me was the ending. Really, although there were so many moments where it was hinting that it might not go down well. Such as the time where they manage to find a boy, who may be wanted by the camp. And really, it’s 1942, what can you expect at the time can be guessed through the time and what is happening.

But it really didn’t hit me at all, since I didn’t really like Jessica or Sophie or really any of the characters. Just that Jessica seems to know quite a lot about the world and various things. So, yeah, I did on some level like this book but I really couldn’t connect with the characters at all.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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A Queen’s Spy

This is a case of mismatched expectations. What I expected form this was plenty of interesting conversations and finding out and also spying.

Here, I don’t even know where is the spying. All the characters are boring, and it was set in a time where Elizabeth did need a spy most. But I wanted more than this, it wasn’t to my expectations. It was not to my thoughts, and not to what I really wanted from this book.

And even more so, was that I really couldn’t click with any of the characters at all. Not even one of them made me interested in them. And really, I didn’t find where the plot was focusing about.

It was just all around the death of Edward VI, Mary. I did expect a lot more interaction than that, and a lot more of the Tudor Court than that. To my surprise, this didn’t really give me any of that. Some intrigue here and that, but it just wasn’t what I really wanted.

It just wasn’t what I wanted from this book, and that I couldn’t really click nor enjoy the story. This just wasn’t what I thought it would be. So, to me, it’s really just not to my taste and expectations.

Rating: 2 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