Monthly Archives: August 2017
14 by Peter Clines
Read Aug 10 – Aug 19, 2017
This book is really weird.
I’m talking… really weird. But it’s weird in the ‘what in the world is going on’ kind of way, not the ‘I can’t follow this’ kind of way. It was easy to follow along with what was happening, but everything was happening was just so bizarre.
I really enjoyed it!
14 opens on the main character Nate, who’s looking for somewhere new to live. After receiving a recommendation about the Kavach House, a historical apartment building, he moves in. Shortly after doing so, he starts noticing little oddities about his apartment. You know, the usual: padlocked doors on random apartments, bright green cockroaches, a landlord that is weirdly protective of the building… Then he notices other oddities in neighboring apartments. And things just keep getting weirder and weirder from there.
Having read another book by Peter Clines that I knew was somewhat related to this book (The Fold) I kind of knew what I was getting into writing-style wise, character-development-wise and so on, so nothing in either of those categories really appalled me or blew me away. Clines isn’t a purple-prose writer, but he’s a pretty good one I think. He’s able to construct chapters in a way so that the last sentence makes you go ‘Damn it’ and flip the page to the next chapter. His books are really hard to put down.
That, combined with just the morbidly fascinating development of the plot had me reading this book at every available moment – I was on honeymoon when I picked this thing up, so that’s telling you something. Honey, want to get dinner now? Hold on, lemme finish this chapter! Sweetie, wanna hop off the cruise boat and tour the town? Hold on, two more sentences on this page! My husband was very understanding though, thankfully. (And now as I’m writing this, he’s picked up the book and read nearly a third of it last night – unheard of for him, haha).
To be fair, the reviews for this book are mixed. Most of the negative ones mention the pacing. The pacing is indeed a bit slow at the beginning. The weird stuff isn’t super in your face, it’s more little things that you read and go ‘huh’… they eventually delve into ‘wtf’ level weird things, but yes, the pacing is a bit slow. It’s well worth the wait though, in my opinion.
In addition, I always find it strange and somewhat forced when a romantic subplot is forced into a book that is definitely nowhere even close to romance. There’s one in here and at times it’s a bit ‘ehh’ to read. It’s minor though, so it shouldn’t ruin your entire read of the book.
Aside from the pacing and the awkward romance, I really have nothing negative to say about this book – it’s exciting, unnerving, wtf-y, and the ending I think is pretty solid. Considering all the weird, seemingly unrelated stuff that happens in the apartment, I think the author did a rather good job of relating and wrapping it all up nicely. It was refreshing.
Overall, a good choice if you’re looking for something to keep you flipping pages. I really enjoyed it and if you pick it up, let me know if you do, too. :”D
Rating: 4/5 stars
Gueeeeeess who’s doing a readathon starting Monday! It’s-a me! 😀 This also means that my posts for this coming week will (hopefully) pick up a bit over the normal three-per-week.
I’ve participated in the Bout of Books readathon every time it has happened since BoB 11, so… a few years, at least. This time around, I’m working full-time, so most of my reading will actually be listening – audiobooks are your friend when you commute 15 hrs/week.
The readathon starts on Aug 21st and runs through Aug 27th. There will be challenges and all sorts of fun stuffs.
- Listen to my audiobook(s) during every drive to/from work (10 drives)
- Finish at least 3 books, one of them a physical copy
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (audio)
- The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (physical)
- Various manga/graphic novels
I might also pick up another audiobook if I finish the first one. Not sure what, though.
If you’re participating, let me know! 😀 If you’d like to participate, click the BoB Banner at the top! Happy reading!
Happy booky hauly day! This is the last of my pre-written posts. At the time of this publishing, I’m likely at home again, drinking coffee and mentally preparing myself to go back to work. I’m gonna schedule this for 6am or so, so I’ll probably literally be debating on exactly how much longer I can stay in PJs until putting on pants is a time-constraint requirement. Hawh.
But! On July 29th, I went to the Half Price Books Clearance Sale.. they rented out a nearby convention center and filled it with books – everything $2. Needless to say, I went bananas.
I got the following:
I’m particularly excited for The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I’ve heard it’s one of those ground-breaking modern-classics. Super duper pumped for it. :”D Also for Sybil, which as a psychology grad, it’s kind of an embarrassment that I don’t have this one already. SO NOW I DO. YEAH.
That’s it for now. :”D This Saturday (should be) my next post and then it’ll be a live one, not pre-written. Maybe a Hawaii post if I get decent-looking pictures? I have no idea.
Hello, a tag today! 😀 This continues my pre-written posts, so pardon any slowness is reply. I was tagged by The Orangutan Librarian! So thanks, friend! 😀
- Thank the person who tagged you.
- Mention the creator of this tag (Tiana @ The Book Raven)
- Use the original tag image in your post.
- At least tag one fellow blogger for doing this tag!
- List the rules.
No ideas but in things: A cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Dark and lovely: a cover so creepilicious that you want to eat it up
Priest volume 1: Prelude for the Deceased by Min-Woo Hyung
Sugary sweet: A cute cover so fluffy you want to give it a hug
I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano
The Simple Aesthetic: A cover that stuns with the most minimal of designs
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Cover Envy: A book you wish you had on your shelves but don’t yet
Orange: The Complete Collection volume 2 by Ichigo Takano
Traveling abroad: A book cover featuring a country outside your own
Rook by Sharon Cameron
The color wheel: A cover that showcases your favorite colors
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Changing gears: A cover change that you absolutely adore
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Oldie but goodie: A favorite cover of your favorite classic
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
And that’s it! Happy reading! :”D
Hello! Continuing my pre-written posts here, this month’s Monthly Recs theme is oldies! By Oldies, it means books published before 2010 (before 2010 is old?!?!) but hey, who am I to judge.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Published in 1990
If you’ve seen the movie and liked it, I guarantee you’ll like the book. There’s so much more to the book than to the movie – there’s more archaeology, more backstory, more science – it’s all so cool! I listened to this on audio book last summer and adored it. I’ve seen gone on a Michel Crichton buying spree and own the majority of his books now. 😛 I haven’t purchased his latest book yet but I’ll get there soon enough!
A billionaire has created a technique to clone dinosaurs. From the DNA that his crack team of scientists extract, he is able to grow the dinosaurs in his laboratories and lock them away on an island behind electric fences, creating a sort of theme park. He asks a group of scientists from several different fields to come and view the park, but something goes terribly wrong when a worker on the island turns traitor and shuts down the power.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Published in 1997
This is one of those books that’s nostalgic for me. It was one of the ones that when I was little, I would rent out from the library and read over and over again. It’s a more fantastical take on the Cinderella story, but the female main character actually has a personality and can think for herself. It’s a lovely, fresh breath of air. Every time I mention it on here, I want to go back to read it. (Don’t watch the movie, it’s doo doo)
At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ll ever read.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Published in 1997
This book was one of my first bouts into adult fiction back when I was a teenager. The story has stuck with me (and the movie is fantastic, btw). It follows the (fictionalized) memoir of a young girl who is taken into a Geisha house and trained in the arts of being a Geisha. It’s somewhat historically accurate for the time, but mostly it’s just a fascinating and engaging read. I really, really enjoyed this book.
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.
Rave Master by Hiro Mashima
Published in 1999
Yet another nostalgic one on my part. This series is a pretty long one, but it’s very easy to get into – it has action, humor, and all sorts of goofiness. It’s along the lines of One Piece and Fairy Tale in the out-there-ness sometimes, so if you like either of those, you’ll likely like this too 😀
The Continent of Song is in chaos. The sinister secret society known as Demon Card is using the power of Dark Bring to destroy everything in their path. The only things capable of stopping Dark Bring are the Rave stones. Unfortunately, the Rave Stones were scattered around the globe in an explosion 50 years ago, so now they must be collected by the Rave Master in order to stop Dark Bring once and for all.
And that’s it! Happy reading! :”D
The Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb
Read Oct 16, 2016 – July 30, 2017
This review has been a long time coming. I feel like this series has twisted my emotions into knots and then twists those knots into bigger knots. It’s been a while since I’ve read a series the whole way through and had it be so consistently good throughout – at no point was there bad writing or bouts of characters being out-of-character. It was all so consistent and persistent.
This series I buddy read with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks, and we’ve been both going back and forth now for months – we’ve been through a tornado of plot, character development, tragedy, action and emotional trauma. It’s been intense. So many messages back and forth full of nothing but capital letters and incoherent shouts (well… the in-coherency has been mostly me, hawhaw). But it’s been a lot of fun. :”D I totally recommend buddy reads.
The series starts off with the Vestrit family as they all gather around Ephron Vestrit, an elderly man whose life is about to fade away. This is an important event, as he will be the last of the three generations needed to pass away to cause the family’s Liveship – a ship made out of a mystical wood called wizardwood – to ‘quicken’, or come alive. With three generations of lives absorbed by a liveship, the figurehead on the front of it will awaken, retaining all the memories of those who have died on its decks. The Vestrit’s liveship, Vivacia, only needs Ephron’s passing before it can quicken.
So this is where the story opens – the family is rather large with various personalities contained within. Each character at the beginning is honestly a bit grating on the nerves, but each one (with… the exception of one) goes through major character development over the three books. Basically everyone that I loathed I ended up really liking by the end.
The world this series takes place in is the same one that Hobb’s Farseer trilogy does, but you don’t need to read that one to read this one if you don’t want to. The country that Farseer occurs in is mentioned a couple times but no background knowledge on it is really needed to understand what’s happening in this current series.
Otherwise, the world in this series starts out somewhat small-feeling but it quickly grows to encompass multiple cities, a satrapy, and a slew of islands. Each area has its own politics, sometimes ‘politics’, motivations and ways of life. I think the world is one of the strong points of the book – random POVs that seem just that come to light as to why they were even included later in the series. Everything pulls together so, so nicely without anything seeming forced. It’s really cool – really well thought out. I enjoyed it immensely.
The characters, as I mentioned above, feel like real humans. Each one has positive and negative traits – even the characters I loathed I could see their points of view and see their reasoning behind their actions. Most of the time, at least for the characters I hated, I totally couldn’t understand them… but I could at least understand them, if that makes sense. Sympathize vs Empathize, ya know?
Aside from the world and the characters, the most poignant part of this book is just the series of events that happens to these poor characters. This is not a light, fluffy book. Hardship after hardship happens to the Vestrit family and after a while, I found myself seriously rooting for them. Total mental anguish, man. It was so, so worth it though. I’ve said a billion times now that endings make or break a series for me, and this one totally made it.
I think the only thing I have to complain about in this series, the reason why it’s not five stars, is pacing. It’s all good writing but occasionally I found myself wondering why this scene or that scene was included at all. It dragged sometimes, particularly in books one and two. But like I said, it was all good, just… fast, then slow, then fast… then slooooow. A small thing, but once I noticed it I couldn’t not notice it. It was there, gah.
But overall, I generally love Robin Hobb’s writing and I hope it continues to be as wonderful as I continue through her Realms of the Elderlings saga. I plan to continue in September after I’ve had a decent amount of time to emotionally recover from the stress this trilogy put me through. Yikes yikes.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars