Review: The Bear by Claire Cameron

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: Feb 2014

Read: June 2016

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) A powerfully suspenseful story narrated by a young girl who must fend for herself and her little brother after a brutal bear attack. While camping with her family on a remote island, five-year-old Anna awakes in the night to the sound of her mother screaming. A rogue black bear, 300 pounds of fury, is attacking the family’s campsite, pouncing on her parents as prey.
At her dying mother’s faint urging, Anna manages to get her brother into the family’s canoe and paddle away. But when the canoe dumps the two children on the edge of the woods, and the sister and brother must battle hunger, the elements, and a dangerous wilderness, we see Anna’s heartbreaking love for her family — and her struggle to be brave when nothing in her world seems safe anymore.

Review: This was a story which had suspenseful parts as well as parts where it was confusing. It was an overall good story and I won’t lie I did actually cry at two separate parts.

quote-the-feat-of-surviving-is-directly-related-to-the-capacity-of-the-survivor-claire-cameron-122-13-73It’s about two kids who are saved by their father by being put in a cooler while a bear is attacking them. They are saved by this move by their smart dad. You  are in the cooler for quite a bit as the bear doesn’t go away but you can hear the bear attacking their parents and eating the…the bones crunching…the blood as the bear sniffs around the small opening of the cooler. It’s suspenseful and you are hoping and praying (if you do that) that the kids are going to be okay and live through this. As you must keep in mind the little boy is 2 and Anna is 5. They do of course….there would be no book if they didn’t survive.

The next part is them trying to survive after they manage to get away. The little boy has no pants on and they are hungry and wet and scared. It broke my heart. That little boy didn’t know what was going on and was so hungry and they get separated at one point. When Anna finds him again the state of him is so devastating that it made me cry. I have a two-year old son too so I guess this part really hits home. grizzly400white_4-300x300

Than they are saved.

It was well written, and I get why it is why it is as it’s from the point of view of Anna. It’s like Room  in that way. The problem I had with this is because she has such an imagination that you would figure out what is happening and where the kids are and then she is off for two full pages about how this color reminds her of a friend who had barbies that she would play with. It was at times really hard to figure out what was happening and get back to the story. This is the biggest downfall with this book.

Brad-Paras-Grizzly-chargeThe end was a tear jerker as the kids went back to build a shrine to their parents and the daughter realizes what the mother went through and saw….totally cried at this.

I would recommend this for any adult who likes a good semi-suspenseful story. If you also liked Room and like stories that have a point of view of the child this is also a story for you. Some teens could read it if they can handle the suspense…but some of their books are more gory and violent. I don’t know if I would read it again but I am super glad that I am glad I read it in the first place. Look forward to what this author also has to come out with in the future.

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Review: Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige

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Category: Teen Fiction

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 1/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) You might know her as the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. She ended up in Oz, where she became friends with the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. But the temptation of magic was too much for her. She let it change her. Her friends became twisted versions of their former selves. The magical land of Oz is now a dark and menacing place.
My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because I got swept away on one too. I also landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling: Assassin. The only way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz—and Kansas—is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it.
But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened and Kansas and Oz are both in danger. And if I don’t find a way to close it?
Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again.

Review: I am done with this series. I gave it a go and I tried to like it and over all I did but this book is just horrible! Worst one out of them all! And it doesn’t even end…that is what is hard about it…it doesn’t end…you find get a conclusions about everything and then something else comes up and bam…lead in to another story I am sure at some point. 6f9726d5-984d-40e0-b8da-4c76e1e8e598.jpg._CB294698331_

Again the book picks up from where the 2nd stops. You find Amy and the witches in Kansas and she is tasked with going home and finding Dorothy’s shoes. The only thing they think can get them back to Oz. So there is Amy, walking right in to her Mom’s apartment like she wasn’t even gone for an entire month apparently swept up by a tornado. This is the worst part of the book. Like honestly…I know it’s teen fiction but you can’t just show up after that and have NOTHING happen! Where are the police? Where are the doctor’s? Where is her mom saying… “AMY WTF”. Yah very confusing and frustrating.

Than they get back to Oz and do what they have to do and celebrate, which sounded like fun, but still the grumpy Amy couldn’t be happy. Than something else happens and a set up for another book. Sorry but you need to end this series and move on.

I know that people didn’t like the first one, I didn’t mind it. Even the 2nd was okay but this one…done. It wasn’t very well written, it was drawn out, it was boring in some parts. The only good thing was the enemy turned friend Madison. She was funny and a good character and I enjoyed when she was around but it wasn’t around very often.

So overall, don’t recommend this at all. Again especially for not young teens. Gory, violence and a whiny teen…not a good combo. I know people love this series but i am sure you can find other better retelling’s. I love The Wizard of Oz, but this is just a really bad revision.

If any other ones come out I will not be reading them. Hopefully this author can wrap this up and start something better.

#TBT Review: Wicked by Gregory Maguire

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: 1995

Read: Jan 2013

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?
Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.

Review: I’ll be honest this is one of the worst books I have ever read. I found it really hard to finish but finish it I did. The reason it is my #tbt book for today is because of me reading the Dorothy Must Die series I figured this would be really appropriate.

It’s the entire story of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba (fantastic name btw) and how she became so wicked and as we all know, dead by water at the hands of Dorothy. It starts off with her family and a little bit of confusion on how she became about. Could have been magic or adultery or both…but I was always confused about this part. Strike one for this book as the beginning of her was just boring and not a great way to start the story.

Than she goes to school and meets Glenda the Good witch, which funny enough is a goody two shoes and kinda annoying but their friendship is one of the good parts of this book. They are so opposite and yet make such good friends. This was prob the best part of the book, teenage wishes and all the problems that comes with that in a world that has magic. 3170997-038448ec05d9954b0102cb2e42e65c73

Than of course you get after highschool and even when Dorothy comes. That part was interesting as everyone already knows that part of the story but now you are getting it from the Wicked point of view.

It was a longer book, but there was pictures (see right) and they were well done but it didn’t help move the book along. It was drawn out and some of the descriptions were so confusing it made me lost. I loved the concept  and think it could have been great but as far as I am concerned this book fell very very short.

I know what most of you are thinking…it’s a classic, it’s a great book and for most people I am sure it was but for me I think maybe it was over hyped. ON that note thou, I am sure the musical is AMAZING and I would love to see it. I think with music and cut out half of the story it would be great! I am waiting for a movie…which I am surprised they have not done yet.

originalI know there are more books in this series but I have yet to read them and probably won’t. I do have other books by this author and I might attempt these. If you are really in to the re-telling of classics this is a book for you. It’s not teen geared, it is for adults so that might also appeal if you don’t like to read anything from teen series.

I am just sitting here waiting for the day for a really well done Oz retelling.

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Review: The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

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Category: Teen Fiction

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die…
But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

Review: This is just like the 1st book as a love/hate relationship. I liked some parts of the book and I was not a fan of other parts. It follows along the same lines of first book as some parts were full of action and others dragged. I can’t say Amy Gumm, the main character got more likeable but I can live with that.

middle_53782cc26350af143a2c90583295b806d5_wickedwillrise_socialgraphic1The story picks up at exactly the same spot where the last one ended. There is no in between or anything that has to be explained. It starts off and doesn’t stop. There is a time line that never ends. I actually get worried about the main character…when does she actually eat…never mind sleep. I think one time the ENTIRE book she actually sleeps. But this is Oz right…magic is everywhere and I guess in this book land, food and sleep and not necessary.

You see other characters perish, which is okay they are bad anyway. You see action, and you get to meet the “wingless ones” which are the monkeys that got rid of their wings and the power they held over them. I wish I lived where they did as it was described beautifully.

Danielle is a good writer. I don’t mind her style, it’s an easy flow to it and not too many details you get confused. Some of the sayings that she has her characters come out with don’t make sense, I see she is trying to be funny…but it just doesn’t make sense to me. download (2)

Again this book is better for the older, and not the younger teens. There are lots of violence…but no sex so there is something but lots of gore and violence so I would never recommend this to the younger teens.

As I am now about to embark on my 3rd book in this series, The Yellow Brick War, I am hoping for some conclusions as at this point I am not getting much and it’s just becoming more complex and I want some thing finalised. We shall see and of course I’ll write a review about it!

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It Happened…A Book Catastrophe!

So a quick little story for you all about what happened to me. I had left my book at work the other day. download

To give you a little perspective, I have been an avid reader my entire life. There has never been a time when I wasn’t reading a book. Most of these times they have gone with me everywhere. Not so much during high school but every job I have had since I have taken my book to read on break or during my lunch. So taking it to work this fateful day was not out of the norm.

It was on my desk and then when I get home I realize that I didn’t have it. I was busy at work and was rushed out after my shift so maybe that is how I forgot?

imagesI was in shock. This has NEVER happened in my life before and I didn’t know what to do. I am a creature of habit and I read every night before bed and what do I do when I don’t have a book to read? I am not one of those people to have a lot of books on the go, so I couldn’t start another one. I just hoped that the book was actually at work and didn’t fall out somewhere, then what could I do? I’d have to finish it somehow !

I did what any normal book-worm would do, I went through the stages of grief at the loss of my book. I know what your thinking it’s only one night, but one night is a night too long for me. shocked-face

I ended up grabbing some of the many magazines that I have to read. It was not the same, it felt weird reading them before bed but I had to have something.

The next day I went back to work and behold, my book ❤ I was so happy that I had it back in my hands and every day now I am making sure it’s in my bag before I leave. I can’t believe this happened to me, but I guess even the most avid book lover can have these mishaps. There is always hope that it will never happen again and all I can do is be more vigilant.

This is my story and I am happy I can share it with you all. Do you know where your book is?

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Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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Category: Teen Fiction

Published: 2014

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe. My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I’ve been trained to fight.
And I have a mission.

Review: This is a love/hate book but I have read the whole thing and can say there were parts I really enjoyed and other parts I had a hard time getting through.

It’s a great concept, take the Oz story we all grew up with and give it a twist. A second girl goes to Oz, Amy Gumm, and it’s not the one you remember. It’s turned upside down. Dorothy is ruling everything and killing and taking magic as she pleases, her three companions are scary and warped and evil and the witches that were suppose to be bad are the good guys trying to stop it all. download (1)

The things I really loved about the story are the twists and the different take on everything. The violence and blood doesn’t even bother me. It’s a darker Oz than you remember and I loved it. It’s scary and the characters that you knew are all warped. The Lion is the worst, all big and scary and feeds off the fear of people.

The things I didn’t like about this story is there is some really dragging parts. If you can get through these than you can read the whole book but there are quite a few. The story does progress but it just felt like sometimes it was taking for ever. You’d sit there and go “okay I know this already, yes we have talked about this, please move on…move on already” and still you had to wait. Also Amy, the main character. I know why she is the way she is, hard upbringing and I can’t imagine having a parent who is an abuser of drugs ect. It’s just that she never stops talking about it. I get it, but quite honestly girl you’re not going home so please deal with training and stop worrying about what your mother used to do.

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I also have to shout out to the rat Star. I feel like the rat was one of the best parts of the book. Funny and there when you needed here.

I would not recommend this to the younger teens for the violence as it is descriptive. There isn’t any sex but still I would not let a younger teen read this. If you love these twists you will like this book, or hate it. I’ve heard both but funny not any in between until my review. I would not read it again but I am glad I read it in the first place. I am already on to the 2nd one as I want to find out what happens.

So look out for that review soon.