book review

Confess by Colleen Hoover| Book Review

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Auburn Mason Reed recently moved to Texas, although we don’t know the exact reason why at the beginning of the book. We assume it has something to do with her harrowing past as the story begins itself with Auburn at fifteen years losing her first love to a terminal illness. New to Texas, and a needing some extra cash as her hair cutting career hasn’t exactly kicked itself of, Auburn lands on the doorstep of Owen Mason Gentry. Owen is a painter (yes, they both have the same middle name), and he needs help for an art opening in his studio, Confess. Owen has a unique way of working which I really enjoyed reading about. Random strangers slip real confessions through his door and he takes his inspiration from them.

They instantly have a connection and it’s written beautifully, not that cringe-worthy typical insta-romance. I must say the author did well in conveying each emotion, thought and feeling to show how genuine humans love. I was convinced during this book of both characters’ feelings towards each other. I gave this book a four star rating on goodreads only because parts of the story were a little too fleshed out causing me to lose momentum. But it ended beautifully. This was my first Colleen Hoover book and I am not disappointed. Next up is Hopeless!

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

 

Alfred: The Boy Who Would be King by Ron Smorynski

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Alfred is a typical eleven-year-old boy who spends most of his spare time playing video games on a second-hand computer he was gifted. He is an only child and lives with his mother whom he sees as beautiful and sometimes odd in the way she speaks and dresses. Alfred sees it as old fashioned. Alfred is drawn to books, as well as video games of medieval times, something which has his mother uneasy every time it’s brought up. He also sends his mother into a frenzy when he asked about his father, whom he has never seen or heard of.
One night, Alfred summons an old wizard by saying the name “Bedenwulf.” He believes this to be his father name. The old wizard appears to be out of sorts and has no memory of who he is or what he does yet he manages to transport Alfred into another world, a medieval one. There, they learn the old wizard’s name is Tirnalth, and they meet a faithless cleric, Verbogen.
In the fantasy land, Alfred encounters creatures such as werewolves and gargoyles. He is told that he might be the only surviving heir to rule the kingdom and that an evil witch has driven the entire kingdom into despair. Alfred is determined to fit into the role of King and save his people.
This book was basically advertised as something similar to Harry Potter so immediately it caught my interest. It’s a brilliant middle-grade story and reminded me of Rick Riordan at times. I laughed during this book so the author captures humor well but here’s my concerns about things that could’ve been done differently. Firstly, Alfred is eleven years old and I feel like there are times he sounds more like a preschooler with the excited clapping, and at other times, Alfred is sharing all this knowledge with people. Maybe rework the characteristics for an eleven-year-old boy and the story would work beautifully. With a little editing, this story is a gripping and exciting one for fans of J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan.

xo Kat

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier|Book Review

*4 stars on Goodreads*

The story begins with Philip, an orphan who was raised by his older cousin, Ambrose. Philip was brought up in a household with no women, so it was odd to him that his cousin Ambrose had gotten married while he was in Italy. They exchanged letters back and forth detailing their days and feelings. Philip began to harbor jealousy in his heart towards, Rachel(also his cousin, who has married Ambrose) since he never had to share Ambrose’s affection before. He loathed the day when Ambrose would bring Rachel home and had a plan set to basically treat her like trash. This absurdity was only heightened as Ambrose’s letters came less frequent.

Philip then decides to go to Italy when he receives an alarming letter from Ambrose but not detailed enough that he knew exactly what was transpiring. He knew Ambrose’s health had declined and was shocked to learn of Ambrose’s sudden death upon his arrival to Italy. His cousin Rachel had already disappeared from the villa where she and Ambrose lived, and Philip was directed to Rachel’s trusted advisor, Ranaildi, the man who handled all of her affairs.

Philip instantly dislikes Rainaldi and goes back home, plotting to do for Rachel should he ever see her. When she finally arrives at his house, he is deeply ashamed, and also surprised by her feeble demeanor. Surely she couldn’t be the villain he had painted her out to be.

As the story progresses, Philips shows himself as a spoiled brat who has become obsessed with Rachel. He enjoys her company so much that he basically demands that she stay with him for a longer time before she moves on to another place. He busies her with decorating the house, and building things around it. His godfather who handles the estate until Philip reaches of age raises concern over how indulgent and insistent he is on gifting Rachel expensive things and allowing her financial freedom to do whatever she wishes.

As per usual I have to cut my synopsis of this book as not to give spoilers. A great, engaging read about deeply flawed characters who you may have a love/hate relationship with. The author’s language was nothing less than marvelous. And I cannot wait to see the movie!

Happy reading!

xo Kat

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins|Book Review

Whooo I’m back with an awesome book review. For a while there I’ve not been choosing books to my taste and it’s been frustrating me, because if I stop enjoying reading…then I’d lose my mind.

Into The Water is a psychological suspense/thriller. Although it shares the same brilliant authorship as The Girl on The Train, it was an entirely different story. Paula Hawkins is awesome at taking you through many plot twists and characters’ personalities go up and down rapidly that you end up feeling sorry for the one you feel suspicious about. It’s really a psychological read.

I was surprised by the amount of negative reviews this book garnered on goodreads because I absolutely loved it and rated it five stars. I rarely rate five. In order for me to rate five, the book has to have me on the edge of my seat, losing sleep and just worked up with all sorts of theories.

Anyways, let’s get into the review….

The book starts with the death of Nel Abbott, allegedly drowned. We get the picture that Nel wasn’t liked very much by her community because she was dredging up all sorts of stories from the past, surrounding the deaths of the women who drowned at the drowning pool. It’s soon learned that a few weeks before, Katie Whittaker, a fifteen year old girl who was best friends with Nel’s daughter, Lena, had met a similar fate in the drowning pool.

Detectives Sean Townsend and Erin Morgan try to find out if there was any foul play in the deaths or if it was suicide, like the many who had died there before.

Past events are tied with current events and there’s themes of love, hate, jealously, abuse, all of the above. I finished this book very quickly and would recommend it to anyone who loves a murder mystery.

This book was also told in eleven different POVs which I thought was brilliant but a lot of people didn’t seem to care for. Some were first person, some where third but they were all relevant. I love the way the chapters are short and conveying without unnecessary clutter.

Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

xo Kat

American Gods by Neil Gaiman|Book Review

So I tried hard to like this book mainly because I think the author puts out great content but at fifty percent, I just couldn’t anymore. I like the protagonist and the concept of the story. Ex-con Shadow gets out of jail after three years, his wife is dead and he runs into Wednesday, who is supposed to be Odin. From what I understand so far, the old gods have to battle the new gods(media, tv etc). All well and good so far but what really threw me off the story is all the little stories in between that don’t seem to have a point. I kept reading about people and things with no wrap up. At fifty percent of the book, I would at least like to have an understanding of what is going on, not to be left more confused. Sorry to say but I must leave this book unfinished to get to my sky high TBR pile. Maybe one day I’ll return to it.

xo Kat

Note: As much as I don’t like leaving negative reviews, I do have my own preferences and tastes in books. I do read mostly at night when I am super tired from a busy day and I believe it impacts my will to stick with a book that hasn’t grasped my attention fully.

June TBR list

Hey y’all! What are you reading this weekend? Here’s my June TBR/haul. I’m sure I won’t be getting into all of these by even the end of July as I’m reading slowly. Investing my time in writing so bear with my slow book reviews.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

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Recently I’ve been eyeing this book at my local pharmacy. They have a bestseller section. The cover alone has a certain pull to it.  I don’t want to spoil these books for myself so I didn’t look at any thorough reviews. From what I understand this is a thriller, there’s a murder and it might be connected to a detective’s past. Yeah, that’s what you get from me…I avoid spoilers like the plague because I know I won’t read it if I know details.

Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi

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I’ll be honest, I’m not really interested in this book but there was a hype around it on Booktube so I thought why not check it out at some point? It’s about a girl named Juliette who is locked up for murder who doesn’t touch anyone because the last time she did, she landed up locked up.

Into The Water – Paula Hawkins

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This is one I’m excited about because I absolutely loved The Girl on The Train. Not that it’s the same or anything but when I like an author, I like them a lot. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

we were liars cover

Friendship between a group of four friends turns destructive.

There are tons of books in my TBR pile that I want to share with you but as I can’t share them all at once, I break them into monthly TBRs. Happy reading and have a great weekend!

xo Kat

Ruby by V.C. Andrews|Book Review

Ruby is the first installment in The Landry Series by V.C. Andrews. This is another series that I could not put down. It really interrupted my life when I picked it up.

Synopsis: Ruby Landry is a teenager who grew up with her grandmother, Catherine in the bayou. Her mother died in childbirth. Her grandfather, Jack is an alcoholic and lives in a shack outside. Ruby soon starts dating Paul Tate, a boy from a classy and wealthy family who doesn’t like Paul dating Ruby. When Ruby speaks to her grandmother about this, her grandmother tells her that Paul’s father is responsible for committing a heinous act against Ruby’s mother which resulted in Paul being born. Jack, the grandfather blackmailed Octavious Tate, Paul’s father which is why Paul grew up with his father and had no idea. Ruby’s views on dating Paul changes and after her grandmother’s death, she escapes being sold by her grandfather to a new life in the big city of New Orleans. She is told that she has a father there but what awaits Ruby is nothing even her wildest dreams could prepare her for.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews|Book Review

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Flowers in the Attic is the first installment of The Dollanganger Series, followed by three books and one prequel. I’ve read all except the prequel which I plan to read and review some time.

Does anyone read V.C. Andrews? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one hehe. I enjoy VC’s books quite a lot. Like I’ve said before, I don’t stick to one particular genre and I hardly read YA so my blog might sound a bit foreign.

If you’ve heard of the movie that came out on Lifetime a couple of years ago, then you’ll know about the taboo subjects explored in Flowers in the Attic as well as throughout the entire series.

Book one follows Corinne and her four children, who has just lost their father in an accident, leaving them in debt. Corinne shows up to her mother’s house with her two teenagers and younger twins, Cathy and Chris and Cory and Carrie respectively. Corinne hasn’t seen her mother in years due to a fallout in which it’s hinted at this time that it was something bad that Corinne did.

Soon after arriving at their grandmother, Olivia’s house, the book centers on the lives of the children who are treated with disdain and scorn. The children don’t quite understand the dynamics of their history yet and are in for a rude awakening when their grandmother locks them in the attic, blocking them off from society, and life.

Corinne rarely visits her children who are abused by their grandmother. They begin to mistrust their neglectful mother as she appears to care more about her wealthy inheritance than her own flesh and blood. Cathy and Chris transforms the attic into a place where their younger siblings can experience life between four walls. They read books and try to teach Cory and Carrie as well as make pretty paper flowers. I’m guessing that’s where the title plays in.

Olivia puts the notion of a romantic relationship in Cathy and Chris’ heads until both siblings’ romantic realizations are for each other. This was the first book I’ve ever read with any sort of incestual relations, but I quite liked the story.

What you’ll want to know before reading this book is, will they ever get out? How will the twins survive the ordeal being so young? And what’s next for Cathy and Chris in terms of their taboo feelings for one another?

Happy Reading!

To find out more what happens to the children and their mother, check out the rest in the series: Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, Garden of Shadows(Prequel-Corinne’s Story)

Leave me a comment if you’ve read this one. Did you like it or not?

xo Kat

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens|Book Review

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To begin with Oliver Twist is a very sad, heartbreaking and eye-opening story. I personally love the way Charles Dickens wrote. I connect with his language in a very deep way as a lot of the books I read as a child were written by English authors. I simply just love and enjoy the language of that era.

This is a very tough tale to stomach with a lot of twists and turns in the plot. It was hard for me to keep up with all the characters in the book so bear with me if my account seems jumbled.

Oliver is an orphan whose mother has died in childbirth. He lives in dreadful poverty under the care of Mrs. Mann at a baby farm, meaning Mrs. Mann received some sort of payment for housing Oliver. One day, he was plucked from the baby farm by Mr. Bumble, the parish beedle and taken to a workhouse where he was poorly treated, as he had been all of his life. Oliver is nine years old by the way. While at the workhouse, he was tricked into asking for more gruel…that’s where the famous line, “Please sir, I want some more,” came from. Well this ignited rage among the board of well-fed gentlemen, who then offers five pounds to anyone willing to take Oliver under their care.

Oliver is then sent to the Sowerberry’s. There Mr. Sowerberry treats him somewhat better than his care givers before, but Mr. Sowerberry’s wife looks down upon Oliver with passionate hate. Another incident occurs which leads to Oliver running away from the Sowerberry’s for a chance at a better life in London.

I don’t want to spoil the entire book so I’ll summarize from here that Oliver meets great misfortune as well as people who has come to genuinely care for him. And something optimistic to look forward to, he might just find out about his family.

Hope that was a good enough account of this well loved story. Do you like reading classics? Leave me a comment on which ones you’ve enjoyed and why.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera|Book Review

At the end of this book, all I said was, “wow”. Again I am not a huge fan of YA fiction but this book was an emotional roller coaster ride coupled with enough wittiness to keep one engaged throughout.

To briefly summarize, seventeen year old Griffin’s ex-boyfriend and best friend, Theo has just died and it’s difficult for him to work through his grief, and loss. He turns to the unexpected Jackson, someone he thinks he hates, and also Theo’s current boyfriend atthe time of his death. They help each other work through it to a point but what I really love and appreciate about this book is how the author captured a completely messed up teenager, which is basically a normal teenager. Griffin has OCD, he suffers from anxiety. Told from first person POV it really took me back a decade ago, when I trusted too hard, loved too hard, felt too deeply. As the book progresses, we see that Griffin whines about a lot and you feel sorry for him but he is sort of the one making his own bed so to speak. He has a lot to account for and a lot to feel bad for. It’s a great read that encompasses family, friendship, love and coming of age.

xo Coffee Doll