2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · Book Reviews

Bag of Bones by Stephen King


This was the first Stephen King book I’d ever read. My husband loves Stephen King, but I can’t stay this particular was a favorite for either of us.

The story follows Mike, a writer, after his wife passes away. He moves to their lake house and things get a little…ghosty. He begins to get mysterious messages on his fridge, hears children crying in his house, and knows he isn’t alone in the house. He meets Mattie and her daughter, who are currently fighting a custody battle with Mattie’s father-in-law. The further the book goes on, the more Mike helps Mattie and the more he looks into the mysterious disappearance of Sarah Laughs, a black singer who used to own his house. The two interests collide in unexpected ways and there are numerous twists and turns throughout the story before coming to its rather brutal ending.

So, the first thing that ticked me off was his over-description of certain events that didn’t actually have anything to do with the story. Fortunately, this was primarily at the beginning and faded after a couple chapters. The second thing that kind of annoyed me was how obsessed Mike became with wanting to sleep with Mattie. I know he was a guy and all, but even my husband said it was kind of extreme. The third thing is that there was a lot of violence. I can’t say there was a whole lot of it, the majority of it was only eluded to or implied, however there were a couple particularly violent scenes. Overall, though, the book is just…dark.

There were a lot of difficult topics the book addressed as well, but they were handled really well I think. Racism, small town loyalty, egoism, arson, demonic possession they were all present in the book, but woven into the story line brilliantly to serve a purpose. I can’t say I was a fan of these items while reading, but they painted a true picture of what dealing with the issues is like.

Also, what kept me going in this book was the writing. I mentioned before that he was over-descriptive with things that didn’t pertain to the story line. However, once he got to the story line, the amount of detail and his phrasing sucked you right in and made you feel like you were Mike, you were living this crazy, paranormally-twisted world. I mean it was brilliantly written. If I pick up another Stephen King book, it will be because of how he writes.

Overall, I would have to just say that I wasn’t a big fan of the story line, but the book was amazingly well written. If anyone likes ghost mysteries, horror, murder mysteries, or psychological thrillers, this is a definite read. It’s a little longer than a standard novel, but shorter than most of Stephen King’s other works. If you aren’t too keen on violence, particularly towards women, this is probably a pass. Also, this would be a good read for ghost story readers. Lots of ghost action going on here – LOTS. It made some of the events really interesting to have the ghosts involved, particularly some of the back story. However, if you are just getting into Stephen King, I don’t think this would be a book I’d recommend, start with The Shining instead is what my husband suggests.

My rating:

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2015 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge · Book Reviews

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) by Jasper Fforde

Let me start by saying this is a solid sci-fi novel and I am usually not a fan of sci-fi. That being said, I actually enjoyed the book. I picked it up because it kept showing up on my recommended reading list on multiple sites LOL. I found it used at a bookstore and thought, Why not?

The first half of the book is setup and it was hard for me to stay engaged. A lot of background, setting, and explanation of what the world is like, in addition to the set up for the story line. However, without it the rest of the book doesn’t make much sense. Once you got past the first part, it picked up from there and it was focused solely on the main story line.

The book is a little hard to describe, but the back cover/book description does a fairly decent job. It is set in an alternate 1980s England and follows the main character, Thursday Next. There are airships instead of planes, do-dos are pets, and everyone is OBSESSED with literature. There is a group of special operations divisions that carry out different tasks – SpecOps 5 is Search and Containment of criminals, SpecOps 12 is ChronoGuard that monitors time travel and the time line, SpecOps 17 is Werewolf and Vampire Disposal, and Thursday’s division of SpecOps 27 – Literatec that monitors stolen or forged literature and literary crime. There are a lot of others, but these ones you run into in the book. Her dad is a ChronoGuard fugitive who pops in and out of the story traveling through time. Her uncle is an inventor and her love interest is a writer.

The book opens with a Charles Dickens manuscript getting stolen by a man named Hades. There are issues during the recovery operation and Thursday transfers home to the smaller office in Swindon. Her uncle and one of his inventions is kidnapped. Shortly after, a character goes missing from the Dickens story. Before Thursday and her crew can get the manuscript back, Hades steals the Jane Eyre original manuscript and Jane gets pulled out of the book. This is about halfway into the book, and it really picks up at that point. I happen to love Jane Eyre and if you are familiar with the book, you notice some interesting changes throughout The Eyre Affair, but it all works out in the end.

Once I got past the background phase of the book, I really like it. I can see why people say you should read it at least once. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi or interesting literature stories. I thought it was a lot of fun and a neat take on the world. Not sure if I will read more of the series because I mainly picked this one up because of my love for Jane Eyre but I’m glad I read it. You should check it out!

My rating:

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Random Thoughts

So my dad wrote this book…

I wanted to let everyone know that my dad wrote a book 🙂 I am extremely proud of him. This is actually his fourth book, but the first one he published under his real name. His other books were westerns and published under the pseudonym James Lorey. The book is available on Amazon and I also added it to the Goodreads library. His westerns are all available on Amazon as paperback and Kindle. Here are the links: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25304783-earth-2-0?from_search=true & http://www.amazon.com/EARTH-2-0-Beginning-James-Heinlein/dp/0985214384/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428280725&sr=1-2&keywords=james+heinlein


Earth 2.0: A New Beginning

Sometime in the future of the world, its inhabitants will have pushed the limits of their Creator over the edge. While effectively destroying the Ten Commandments and anything resembling their meaning, the children of the Lord allowed same sex marriage, a failing justice system, and the wishes of a single person running roughshod over the majority to become the norm. Soon, ordinary people were stripped of their rights. Banning prayer virtually anywhere and omitting the word ‘Christ’ from everything visible to the public did not add to the Lord’s mood. Honest hard working citizens who wanted to go to church, to own a gun, and to voice their opinion, had now been labeled as bigots. Legalizing all illegal drugs was the popular desire, obscuring more of the Lord’s desire for His flock. This push was started in the White House under the guidance of a radical woman president who divorced her husband and married another woman just to prove a point. She then led the country down a slippery slope. Once the Lord unleashed His wrath, twelve highly diverse people became the messengers of the Lord after the planet Earth was wiped clean. Together, they were led on a mission that is infinite in time and lessons, when the Lord struggled with the decision to ever allow the Earth and mankind to be given another chance to prove their worthiness to be Apostles of the Lord. How can their journey ever convince the Lord of mortal mankind’s worthiness?

Head over to Amazon to pick it up!

2015 Pop Sugar Book Challenge · Book Reviews

When the Wind Blows by James Patterson

As you’ve probably noticed, I am expanding my reading (somewhat successfully so far), but this probably wouldn’t have been on the list of things you’d think I’d pick up…because it wasn’t. I wanted to complete one of my book challenge tasks of reading a book a friend recommended to me. A friend of mine that I roomed with for a few months over the summer with my husband recommended this book to me. She absolutely loves James Patterson. I’m not entirely sure I liked this book. Actually, pretty sure I didn’t. I did give it a decent rating thought because the story line was strong and original, the story developed well, and the writing (vocabulary, grammar, dialogue, etc.) was good quality.

I’ll give a brief overview because mentioning more than a sentence or two will start to give away too much. An FBI agent on mandated vacation arrives in Colorado (not where he is supposed to go, but actually avoid) to follow up and investigate, quietly, a case he has been pulled off of. Additional murders arise in relation to the case. He meets a local veterinarian who discovered a surprising girl in the woods. A girl with wings for arms and horrifying story. Together, they work to save the girl and bring an end to his case.

This book is not for the overly empathetic or easily frightened. The story line is extremely well developed and thought out and it does build in a good way. However, the events are hard to take if you have never read a book like this before. I am not into human experimentation, but as you may have guessed, that is a topic in the book. Also, the fact that there were children killed I had a hard time with. You do become very attached to the characters. That is good writing on the authors part. I also liked how he bounced between the three characters, even though the veterinarian was chosen as the first person perspective. I liked being able to see what the characters were seeing and feeling and was able to connect with them on an emotional level. You wanted to see everyone succeed and get well and happy, but that was simply not possible and you (the reader) absorbed the horror and grief the characters felt. That is probably why I wasn’t a big fan. There was not a lot of happiness through the book, and therefore it was somewhat depressing to read.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes thriller stories or is a James Patterson fan. Also, any one interested in psychology or crime novels might be interested in this as well.

There is a sequel to the book called The Lake House. I do not plan on reading it, but I did look up a summary to see what happens to the characters in this book. I was happy how it turns out at the end of the second book, but I am not drawn enough to read it.

My rating:

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