The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

30312855★★★★

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I’m not a big fan of time travel (I find the rules confusing and the setting too fluid), so I picked this up with little expectation apart from a light and entertaining read. And it was just that, but I also really liked it.

Most of the book takes place in the early 1900s, Manhattan. Esta, our heroine, transports herself here with a mission: steal the Magician’s book, which can break the barrier entrapping the supernatural on the island. Problem is, the book is in possession of the Order, a powerful organization intent on keeping people like Esta subdued. So Esta joins Dolph’s crew, in the hopes of impressing him enough to add her to their upcoming heist for the book, and steal it for herself. But as she delves deeper into the city’s heart, Esta finds herself starting to care for its inhabitants, and the line between truth and lie keeps on blurring.Read More »

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13 Little Blue Envelopes By Maureen Johnson

5108fmavs-l-_sy344_bo1204203200_The book follows a girl named Ginny who has recently lost her beloved aunt on her “quest” around Europe. Ginny is guided only by some little blue envelopes that she was sent in the mail along with $1,000 on a debit card. Each envelope has a different task to do in each city she visits, to help Ginny become less shy and more confident.

I was excited to read this book, it was pretty highly recommended and the plot seemed interesting. Unfortunately I was severely disappointed, I couldn’t connect to the main character at all and the book felt rushed. Anyone who has travelled at all can see how fake or superficial this book really is. The girl flies to Europe without any prep, plan or proper clothing and goes to incredible cities only to spend most of her time there moping around in her hotel room. I know that this is a work of fiction but these things really bothered me and I couldn’t get passed them in order to enjoy the story. I would have liked more detailed descriptions of what she did each day and for her to actually do things in the cities, even if they are touristy. I also didn’t like the fact that it was third person, the book would have been much improved if it were in first person so ginny wasn’t so detached from the story. (Almost done here, I promise :)) Another thing that bugged me was the complete lack of parents, this is a 17 year old kid traveling around Europe completely alone, with very little money, no cell phone (she’s also told not to contact anyone from the US) and sleeping at random strangers’ houses. And you’re going to tell me that her parents just waved goodbye and never checked in, even though they have no idea where their only child is, when she’s coming back and don’t have any way of contacting her, yeah I didn’t think so. If you can get passed these things, then you may enjoy the book but if you’re like me and can’t, then I do not recommend this book at all.

 

Norse Mythology By Neil Gaiman

51c7igsoyhl-_sx329_bo1204203200_I am a huge fan of Greek, Roman and Egyptian Myths and have a lot of books of myths at home. But for some reason I have never been able to get into Norse Myths until I got this book. I found this book fascinating to read because I could see the similarities between all the different kinds of myths. But even without the background this book is great and definitely worth buying if you ever want to go back and read some parts again.

I’m not really sure how to summarize the book, it’s mostly just a collection of different Norse Myths

Neil Gaiman did an amazing job of compiling many different versions of the myths into one concise version. The book works in two ways, one is just reading it cover to cover and the other is picking and choosing what myths you want to read.

Neverwhere By Neil Gaiman

51iw0v6zb8l-_sy445_ql70_I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was the first real Neil Gaiman book I’ve read and because of this book I’m now on a NG kick. The book, although a bit dry at first, is unlike any others I’ve read. It’s weird all the way through as well as dark and pretty twisted.

The book starts out describing a mans’ (Richard) life, how he moved from Dublin to London, met his fiancé and how he is now regretting his engagement. This is where things start getting weird, while the couple is walking to a fancy dinner they see a girl drenched in blood laying on the sidewalk. Richard decides to take the girl home, ending his engagement but saving the girls’ life. When the girl wakes up some interesting people (I’m not sure that I can call them that) show up, I have to stop the summary here because otherwise I might spoil the book. My summary probably doesn’t make this book sound super great but I promise that if you like Neil Gaiman or Fantasy/ Dystopian Fiction/ Realistic Fiction books you will like this one.

I really liked the ending of Neverwhere, it catches you off guard in a way that I like. The book pulls the rug out from under your feet for a second or two, making you rethink everything and just when you’re sighing, wishing there was a better ending, the book goes haha I can’t believe you fell for that, you were actually right the first time.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

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What a shame. I thought I would like this book, but I guess this is a classic case of it’s not you, it’s me. An interesting enough storyline, but the silliness of the characters trumped and affection I had towards the book in general.

The characters weren’t real enough for me. The wizard(I forgot his name, it was way too long), Mary Grue, and Prince Lír felt like something out of a kid’s cartoon: adorable with their inane and fatuous actions, but at the end of the day, still flat. Everything we know about them, like the wizard’s immortality, Mary’s childhood, Lír’s dreams and fears, were all bluntly told to us. There’s no suspense, no delight in figuring out a character from the story, just a bland recollection of who they are. Read More »

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

4667024★★★

Poignant and touching, The Help unveils the stark reality of working as a black maid to a white mistress in the 1960s, and the ambivalent feelings between them.

This is a very character-driven novel, and we are introduced to the three protagonists early on. There’re the two maids: Missy, mouthy, ill-tempered, but soft at heart, and Aibileen, solid and steady as an anchor. There’s also Skeeter, the white socialite who bites off more than she can initially chew when she decides to write a book on the lives of black maids. From then on, the women are bound to each other, and they experience many of the same hopes and fears that are tied into the creation of the book. Watching their relationship evolve from distrust to respect and finally to fondness is what made this book shine for me. Read More »