Review: The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

I’m back with another review! It feels like it’s been a while, because I have been super busy. But today I have a fantastic book you guys MUST read.

Crown Publishing sent me an ARC of The Quality of Silence.

Page count: 286

And here’s what the cover looks like:

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Doesn’t the book look so cozy with all the blankets??

The Quality of Silence takes place in the harsh winter of Alaska. When Yasmin, mother to a deaf ten-year-old named Ruby, is told that her husband, Matt, is dead, she sets off on a journey to find him, despite what the police say- in the middle of a deathly arctic storm. The conditions are nowhere safe for a woman and daughter to be driving a truck in, but they push nonetheless. The story grows more and more gripping and terrifying as they discover there is somebody following them.

Even I got frightened and shivered while reading the novel in the safety of my warm home by the fireplace with blankets and tea!

The chapters each had parts told from Yasmin’s point of view as well as Ruby’s. My favorite parts were the ones Ruby narrated. One of the most interesting things, for me, about the book were Ruby’s tweets. She grew to be quite the Twitter-famous young girl, tweeting words that she felt her own voice couldn’t speak, as she struggled to talk without sign-language.

I’ll show you an example just because you might think it’s awesome.

EXCITEMENT: Tastes like popping space dust; feels like the thud-bump as a plane lands; looks like the big furry hood of Dad’s Inupiaq parka.“- page 1 of The Quality of Silence, Rosamund Lupton

Doesn’t Rosamund Lupton have the most incredible voice? Reading her book was like sinking into a hot bath… and then jumping back out again when your favorite character is in danger! I thought she did a wonderful job of executing the task of writing from a deaf tween girl’s point of view.

I love Ruby so much! Yasmin’s cool and all too, but Ruby holds a special place in my heart.

I couldn’t really find much I didn’t like about the book! For the last thirty or so pages, I kept getting annoyed, but you’ll have to figure out why yourself. I’m not really sure why it took me so long to get to reading it! Once I got sucked in, I finished it pretty quickly. Yesterday I was on my couch for a solid couple hours absorbed in the Alaskan world.

I also found it super interesting learning more about sign-language. I’ve always wanted to be able to speak it, and Ruby taught me some cool signs along the way. She also knows lots of random but good-to-know facts.

Overall, I give The Quality of Silence

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It was pretty darn good, but I wouldn’t exactly say worthy of the full five! I recommend the book to everyone, all ages. There’s nothing bad or sexual in it, which was really nice.

I’m going to wrap this review up so I don’t take up any more of your time! Thanks for reading! As always, please like, comment, follow, and share the link to your friends! I appreciate it.

My Favorite Children and “Tween” Books

How are you guys today? I’m extremely excited to be off school, so I started a new ARC I got in the mail and decided to blog. Growing up, I was constantly reading, so that means my basement has two selves full of children’s books and tween books. They are still a part of who I am today, so I thought I would share them with you. Let me know if you read them when you were a kid as well! And if you know any younger readers, maybe you could make some recommendations.

  • Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

I believe there are 62 books in this series. I haven’t read every single one, but we have up to 55 of them downstairs and I’ve read a good amount of them. Looooove this series.

  • The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

Magical.

  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick

The book club in this series was always reading classics, so it got me interested in reading classics. The Christmas version was my favorite.

  • Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

Sweet memories.

  • The Winnie Years by Lauren Myracle

If you’re a girl, pick up these books. Doesn’t matter how old you are.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Everyone’s read it, come on. No shame.

  • Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Kind of the girl version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

  • Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis

Well, they are, aren’t they?

  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Not exactly sure if it’s a children’s book, but I read it at a super young age.

  • Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau

I wanted to be a mermaid, ok? I was a weird kid.

  • American Girl books by various authors

I started collecting American Girl dolls at some point in elementary school, and then I started subscribing to their magazines and catalogues and buying all their books.

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

I specifically remember reading this while I was bored on a trip and loving it so much. A perfect example of a book teaching me to get lost in a fictional world at such a young age. Imagination is truly a beautiful thing.

  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Need I write more?

  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Honestly such a sweet book! I think they made it into a movie.

  • The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott

Adventure.

  • Take Two by Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy

Started my fascination with twins. Also kind of contributed to gossipy behavior.

  • The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin

These books were HUGE for me in elementary school. I bet I’ve read almost all of them, if not all. I looked up to the characters so much, mostly because they were in middle school and I just wanted to be them.

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Just overall a lovely classic.

  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

A bit old-fashioned, but absolutely worth it.

  • Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadows

Okay, this is super important to explain, because as a child and even now, I had an OBSESSION with fairies. I would read any fairy book. So I’ll spare you the sorrow and let this be the only fairy series I’ll put on here, even though I could name at least five more right now.

That is a lotttttt of books, so I think I’ll stop there even though I have about a bazillion more books I could probably mention. I feel like as soon as I post this, I’ll remember some series or another I forgot.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE comment! I want to talk to you guys about these books.

Review: Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

That’s right, two reviews in one day. It’s how I roll.

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Shout out to my puppy for being a super cute model.

To start off, you should know that Cruel Crown is composed of two novellas. They are, actually, prequels to the Red Queen series I am always raving about. I’m going to review each story separately, even though they are glued together under the same cover.

Also, this will be a short review. It’s hard to talk about prequels without giving away important information about the books they are prequels too. Hopefully that’s not too confusing.

The first little novella in Cruel Crown is called Queen Song.  It’s from the point of view of Queen Coriane, King Tiberias’s first wife. If you’ve read Red Queen, it’s understood that Queen Elena did something awful to her. That’s why Cal and Maven are half brothers. Once again, I’m really sorry if this makes no sense to you! Corine keeps a secret diary given to her by Julian, her brother, of whom I love. He’s just super cool and scholarly. In the diary, she writes about meeting the prince, Tiberias, and having their little boy. She also grieves about the possibly deadly consequences that could occur from her marrying so high.

Queen Song was my favorite one, and I gave it four stars.

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I really found the story intriguing and tragic. After finishing it, I just kind of sat there, staring and thinking. I didn’t start Steel Scars, the second novella, right away.

Steel Scars is Farley’s story, and to be honest with you, I didn’t care for it. I’ll give it one star.

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Farley is a part of the Scarlet Guard, and she is given orders to plant the rebellion. She’s meant to be recruiting people, and suddenly she comes across Mare Barrow, the main character of Red Queen. It ties together.

I’m sorry for such a bad review. I sat here awhile on my laptop struggling to find the words without revealing too much.

I will say that they provide nice explanations for some things that happen in Red Queen and will help me to understand more in the sequel, Glass Sword, that is actually coming out soon. I am beyond ecstatic to see what will happen, because I hold Red Queen close to my heart and told everybody to read it!

After the two novellas, Cruel Crown included the first three chapters of Glass Sword. Does it surprise you that I did not read them? I saw no point, if I will have the novel in its entirety in my hands next month.

I wanted to show you guys my book haul from yesterday. I went to Half Price Books and got NINE books!

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As you can see, I bought a combination of classics and new bestsellers. I can’t wait to dig in.

As always, thank you for reading. Have a great day!

Review: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

page count: 582

genre: fiction, women’s literature, romance

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Well would you look at that beautiful picture! Two well-read books (you can even see the cracks in their spine), one of them reviewed by me not too long ago, one about to be reviewed. Both by the same author, on a peeling red bench.

The Shell Seekers, to start us off here, has earned itself…

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Four and a half stars! 🙂

My mom gave me The Shell Seekers for Christmas after she found out how much I loved Coming Home. I had a pretty high stack of books to read, so I hadn’t started The Shell Seekers until now. It really did not take me long to read all 582 pages, which is always a good sign. The book kept me occupied and distracted, lost in a fictional world and oblivious to the real one around me. There was a night where I was home alone for a few hours, and the house was making these awful noises, but it didn’t matter because I had my book. I let myself get fully absorbed, and time just flew. There was also a day at school where I was very bored, and I was reading instead of doing work! Don’t tell my teachers.

You know The Shell Seekers is a splendid book if I was reading it during school!

Oh, right, you’re probably wondering what it’s about. Rosamunde Pilcher has this unique style. She writes the most positively cozy books. I felt warm and safe and happy and lazy getting involved in the story.

It’s about a painting, believe it or not. The main character is the incredible elderly woman Penelope Keeling, whose father was a famous painter. For Penelope’s wedding gift, he gave her his greatest painting of all, The Shell Seekers. The majority of the story takes place long after he is dead, however. It did flip back and forth a bit between the 1940s and the 1980s, and some parts deeply involved World War II, which you know I have a thing for.

It’s always interesting to see how the war impacted those living in England. What a tragedy to lose your loved ones. I also learned a lot of what women had on their mind: possibly joining the Wrens, the Red Cross, sewing black out curtains, and making sure the family had enough food with their meager ration cards. Could you imagine having ration cards telling you how much you’re allowed to eat? It must have been awful and scary, which somehow made me more involved in the story.

Sometimes throughout reading, I felt nostalgia, because Penelope was feeling nostalgia. Isn’t that an incredible thing? Pilcher has “skillz”.

As Penelope’s health declines, her three kids start to argue over what should become of the painting. The oldest daughter is Nancy, and nobody really likes poor Nancy. It’s implied that she is fat and middle-aged and annoying, with two ugly kids. Sorry, Nancy! The middle child, also a girl, is Olivia. She is the one we are rooting for and love! She has a successful career and is caring. The youngest, a son, is Noel. I always thought that was a feminine name, but I suppose I’m wrong. We don’t like Noel either.

There was also some lovely new characters introduced into the story, Sophie and Doris (from the WWII part of the book) and Danus and Antonia (from the time the novel is actually taking place). Much of the 1940s part of The Shell Seekers is Penelope’s flashbacks to her “wartime romance,” meeting the love of her life.

The love woven into a story that’s essentially about a family and a painting was exceptional and something I’ll never forget.

I really enjoyed reading it, because it somehow also reminds me of my Grandma. Just in the way they speak and visit and are polite. They also drink lots of tea, which is something I love, so points for that.

I loved The Shell Seekers, because it was simply one of those books that makes you start to wish you could be more like its characters. Please tell me I’m not the only one who tries to be like my favorite book characters! However, some of Rosamunde Pilcher’s characters seemed really similar to the ones she created in Coming Home, which is why I felt the need to give it slightly less than five stars. Repetitiveness is one of the most boring things for me.

Not that The Shell Seekers was boring.

Her characters are extremely lovable, though. Penelope is just absolutely awesome and full of life. Her life is goals for mine. I aspire to be like her, and I wonder if she would have liked me if we were to meet. Yes, she is a fictional character I have imagined meeting.

Hopefully my review made you want to read the book, because the cover isn’t so great and it might throw you off.

Do you have any characters you would like to meet? Comment and let me know! We can have a discussion.

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Here’s one I didn’t really like as much as the others.

Two-half-stars

The summary is something I am going to keep short and sweet: there’s an alien apocalypse.

It’s mostly about a sixteen year-old, named Cassie, whose main goal is to find her little brother, Sammy, after they are torn apart by alien leaders (is that what alien’s call their leaders?). Along the way, OF COURSE she meets a super hot guy (I honestly cannot wait to see him in the movie coming out January 22nd). There’s also a narrator change for every “part,” which is more often than you expect when you’re all cozy in bed absorbed in the book. The other narrator dude is Ben Parish, Cassie’s crush back before the 1st Wave, and of course he has his own love interest. Come to think of it, I never actually learned the poor girl’s name. I’m calling her “Ringer” right now in my head. She is excellent at shooting. Not that it’s relevant.

Are you wondering what the aliens look like and why they want to kill everyone? Are you thinking there is a spectacular answer to those questions?

NOT. REALLY.

THERE IS NOT A SPECTACULAR ANSWER. THE ANSWER IS VERY UN-SPECTACULAR.

Both Cassie and Ben are seeing different sides of this apocalypse, which I found interesting. It helped to move the plot along, and I loved the way everything tied together at the end.

There was also some nice details in there, especially in the part where Cassie falls in love with the hunky soft-handed Evan Walker. He is my fictional boyfriend, not yours, so nobody gets him but me. You do not get Evan Walker. You can have Ben if you want.

Page count: 457

the 5th wave

I took a lot of notes when I was reading this, mostly at the beginning. I had decided that Rick Yancey has absolutely no clue how a teenage girl thinks. Cassie did have a unique voice, though, I’ll give him that one. Not much else was written down in my notes about the author, though.

The first page hooked me. It’s better than the writing in the rest of the book. I guarantee if you pick up a copy of The 5th Wave, you will be mesmerized by the first page.

Sometimes I was confused throughout my reading of the novel. I don’t even have more words to explain my confusion; I was just confused. Does that explain how confusing I found it? Or are you confused now, too? Confusion.

Yes, I do realize how scattered this is. Please bear with me.

I liked how Cassie compared humans to stupid dogs at the beginning (you’ll realize what I’m talking about once you get to that part). Sometimes I feel the same exact way, Cassie.

I wonder what aliens are actually like. This book kinda make you think about weird stuff like that. You might start believing in aliens if you do not already. I told everyone the Mothership is coming for us, and they looked at me like I’m CRAAAZY until they saw what book I was carrying.

However, I found The 5th Wave to be VERY predictable. The book was mediocre for something the media is all hyped up about. I expected something mind-blowing after seeing how much of a big deal it was all over the Internet, but instead, the “plot twist” did not twist me at all! I knew it was going to happen; it was obvious to me and a surprise that others were not seeing that coming.

Something I did find wedged between those 457 pages was a metaphor for World War II, and maybe I am crazy for thinking that. The 5th Wave had death camps. Sound familiar? And I think it will be obvious that the aliens are a metaphor for the Germans during that time period.

I liked the metaphor, and I liked the tension between all the steamy love interests. The ending? Well, I was expecting something big. So maybe I am missing a piece here, but the ending was not at all how you should end a book.

Borrrrrring.

As you can probably see, I’m a bit torn about this! Half of the thing’s I’ve said are things I liked, and half are things that sucked. Two and a half stars seemed like a nice middle point for me. Argue if you wish! I love arguing over books. 🙂

I have some sort of a special interpretation of all five waves, so in case you’re interested…

1st: An electromagnetic pulse that left the world with no power (lights, cars, nada)

2nd: A huge tsunami that took out everyone living near a coast

3rd: A plague that will kill you if you aren’t immune

4th: Aliens going around shooting those few who are left

5th: This is where it gets complicated. Read the book if you want to find out!

That guide’s pretty helpful while reading.

Be sure to follow the Instagram and Twitter accounts for this blog to find out what I’m reading!

Instagram: letslovebooksblog

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Happy reading, fellas!

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Holy moly! I have a million thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Let me give you some facts on it first.

page count:416

genre: fantasy

publishing company: bloomsbury

A Court of Thorns and Roses entails Feyre (pronounced “Fay-ruh”), a teenage huntress, and a mortal, who is whisked away to faerie realms when she accidentally kills a faerie disguised as a wolf. At the Spring Court of Prythian, this fictional world, Feyre discovers her captor is actually ruler of the Spring Court, Tamlin. Feyre also learns that the faerie world is struggling with the wrath of a blight. Soon enough, her rage at Tamlin for taking her away from the family she must provide food for is changed into another sort of passion- love.

a court of thorns and roses

Here’s what the cover looks like. Want to know a secret? I hate the art on this novel! I picked it up because I recognized the author’s name from her other popular series, Throne of Glass (it’s on my TBR, I swear!). It’s a prime example of “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

I have only one more rude thing to say about the book. For the first 100 or so pages, I didn’t particularly like it. I was kind of on and off about it. At points I described it as “like an awfully written fanfiction on Wattpad.” Those are the exact words I put in my notes, and now I would take them back in a heartbeat! Don’t worry, I’m not criticizing all fanfics (I love to read them), but I just felt that the author wasn’t doing too well. Lots of cliches were present. I thought she was copying The Hunger Games towards the beginning with the very first scene being Feyre hunting in the woods. The curse in A Court of Thorns and Roses is exactly like the one in Beauty and the Beast, although I have not been able to find out if it’s intentional. Please correct me if I’m wrong on any of these facts about Sarah J. Maas and her intentions.

I lied; there is one more negativity I spotted while reading, especially at the beginning: FEYRE IS ILLITERATE, YET MAAS PUTS SUCH FANCY WORDS IN HER MOUTH!!!!! I kept having to consult my dictionary or the Internet.

There, the mean part of my review is over with. Now for the good stuff. I felt obligated to include how I felt during the first chapters, but after finishing the story, I bumped my review up two whole stars.

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The fact that Maas could change my views in under 300 pages is astounding. I absolutely fell in love with Feyre and Tamlin’s story!  There is going to be a movie based on ACOTAR, and I am ecstatic.

One thing I really loved was the pronunciation guide in the back of the book. To all the book characters whose names I’ve pronounced wrong: I’m so sorry.

More reasons I liked ACOTAR (there’s tons of them):

There was a sort of plot twist I did not see coming AT ALL, which is always a bonus worth at least half a star. It was also a pretty spectacular plot twist, and Maas is extremely clever for coming up with the idea!

The romantic tension between Feyre and Tamlin made you go into the next chapter (and the one after that!) craving for more.

I feel like the bad things in this review overrode the good things, but that’s because I can’t give too much away without a spoiler.

Much more of ACOTAR was lovable. 🙂

As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate any comments.

 

Thoughts 

¡Hola! I have a bit of a spontaneous post, but it is about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been wanting to write on this topic for a while, and I think it’s a nice break from the reviews (although one should be up pretty soon). 

Books changed my life. Trying to imagine a world where I do not read is like trying to imagine a world where I do not eat. Probably the best piece of inspiration I’ve received is from a book by Michelle Phan. She spends a great deal of time making sure her fans are following their true passions. Finally, after listening to Michelle, I realized that everyone does have a passion and sometimes it takes a while to find. But out of everything in your lifetime, the most important thing is to make sure that you are pursuing your passion. And that is exactly what I am doing, thanks to Michelle Phan. 

{she is a beauty vlogger on YouTube, check her out}

Patience, love, education, adventure, bravery, magic, mystery, self-confidence, knowledge, personality, sacrifice. 

This doesn’t even take up a fraction of the list of lessons you can take from any story. A tale woven with those elements is one you’ll never forget. If you think books are boring, consider rethinking. Every author has created something precious, regardless of what the cover looks like. What’s on those pages could really surprise you. A bad author could make an amazing story. An amazing author could make a bad story. 

Book covers can attract us, sure, or they can make us crinkle our noses. And believe me, I strongly think it’s up to the author to make sure she/he has an attractive cover if they want readers, but I also think it’s the responsibility of the reader to pick up a book they have an interest in regardless of appearance. You never know what you may find. The best book out there could be disguised by an ugly cover. 

Stories jam packed with action and romance and friendship can “kill” you in the metaphorical sense (if you’re a huge fangirl and you “can’t even” take your OTP), but they can also bring you back to life. Getting lost in another world is the perfect distraction. I found that out at a young age, and I haven’t gotten any less attached to that feeling. 

That said, I wanted to tell you guys why I’m so excited! Victoria Aveyard, author of Red Queen, is coming out with two novellas tomorrow related to the story! Glass Sword is also coming out mid-February. 

It must be the prime time for new books, because I’m also anticipating Sarah J. Maas’s release of A Court of Mist and Fury. 

I know I’ve mentioned in my Christmas list the book Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. Well, if you’ve read it, there’s some good news for you. They’re making a movie!

Some other movies-based-on-books in the making:

Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Chidren

Before I Fall

The 5th Wave

And…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Okay, this one isn’t based on a book, but it kind of is! This film trilogy is going to take place in the world J.K Rowling created in her Harry Potter series. As a huge HP fan, you gotta know how excited I am for that!

Anyways, thank you for reading my crazy thoughts and fangirling! Check back soon for a review.