“Castle of Lies” by Kiersi Burkhart Book Review

castle of lies

“Castle of Lies” by Kiersi Burkhart Book Review

I was given an advanced readers copy of “Castle of Lies” by NetGalley for an open an honest review of the book.

With that being said, I really wanted to like this book. The synopsis sounded fantastic, and right up my alley – unfortunately the book didn’t deliver for me.

The book is being marketed as YA (Young Adult) Fiction, and I was honestly SHOCKED by topics brought up. From the beginning of the book there is an overtone of severe alcoholism, and it continues throughout. Other topics that I personally think were quite strong, and descriptive for YA fiction include: detailed sexual encounters, incest, inter-species love, violence, talk of rape, and the list goes on and on. Those are some very heavy themes in my opinion for YA Fiction.

On top of the heavy subject matter I found the characters highly impersonal, and unlikable. By the end of it I really couldn’t care less about what happened to them. At times things happening in the book were confusing, and not clearly communicated.

The plot was slow, and it barely kept my attention. It took me quite some time to finish this book. To be honest I only finished the book, because I was given an ARC otherwise I probably wouldn’t have finished it. It was also (besides the heavy themes) a very typical YA, Fantasy, Romance, and the ending was quite predictable.

The publish date is set for May 7, 2019 as of now if you’re interested in the strong subject matter I spoke of. Or, if you just want to see if I am being harsh you could always check it out for yourself. I however wouldn’t recommend it, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for the targeted age group starting at 13 and going up.

Thanks NetGalley for the ARC

Exploring the world one book at a time,
Book Reflections

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“Caroline: Little House Revisited” by Sarah Miller Book Review

Caroline Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller book review

I didn’t discover the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder until I was an adult. Somehow I managed to be totally addicted to the television show, and never realized it was a book series first. I suppose you find the right things to read at the right times in your life.

I recently finished reading Caroline Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller. Miller takes the original Little House series, and uses it as a basis for telling the story from a mothers (Caroline’s) eyes.

I did enjoy “Caroline” however it did take me awhile to get through. The original books were the type of books that sucked me in, and I didn’t stop reading until I was finished. This book didn’t do that for me, but like I said it was still alright.

Miller definitely has a much different writing style than Wilder, but you also have to remember the story isn’t being told from a child’s prospective. I would say the main difference between the original Little House series, and Caroline is the historical accuracy of the Ingall’s journey.

While some of Laura Ingall Wilder’s fictional portions stuck in Caroline to create simplicity, Miller did change a few details to match the history book rather than tell Wilder’s story verbatim from Caroline’s perspective. As for those I’ll let you figure it out!

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Book Reflections

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo Book Review

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” By Marie Kondo book review

Hello, and happy February! (We’re one month closer to Spring!) I assume most of you have heard about Marie Kondo, her book, and her Netflix series that premiered last month.

After the premier of her show I had friends, and family members contact me and say; “This sounds so much like you!” So, of course I had to check out her show, and read her book.

I admittedly am a “type A” person, so it isn’t hard for me to get behind someone who is promoting tidiness, and organization. I feel like she made a lot of great points in her book. And, her steps to tidiness and organization (AKA Konmari method) seem like they would be great steps to take – especially if you’re not already type A.

The first steps are obviously commitment to organization and tidiness, and envisioning your ideal lifestyle. Once committed she would like you hold each item that you own to see if it “sparks joy” for you.

She insist you follow these exact steps in organization and cleaning.

1) Clothing

2) Books

3) Papers

4) Miscellany

5) Sentimental Items

Now with all that being said there are definitely a few points in her book I slightly disagree with.

If you’re on social media at all I am sure you have seen this meme. (NNP)

I personally own over 700 books, and they’re all on shelves, categorized, and catalogued in three different places. I think my soul would slowly die if I had to widdle my book collection down to thirty.

At another point during her book she said it was not cheaper to “stockpile” everyday items, because it takes up room. I regularly coupon, and I buy things while they are on sale. I have room to store these items in an organized way so it is definitely cheaper for me to “buy” twenty free toothpaste and store them. Rather than pay three to five dollars for them when they’re not on sale.

I do agree we live in a materialistic society. I tell my husband all the time I think I was born in the wrong time period, because I love older things and how they were made to last. It’s always sad to me seeing people move from one popular thing to the next – never actually valuing what they had in the first place. I think that is really the point of Kondo’s book and series. Learning the value of what you have, and feeling as if it is enough for you and your family.

Let me know your thoughts!

Exploring the world one book at a time,

Book Reflections

“The Lost for Words Bookshop” by Stephanie Butland

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland book review

Okay, this is another one of those books that just kept popping up on Litsy and Goodreads with fantastic reviews. People said; “it is the book for book lovers!” I feel like I read something TOTALLY different than everyone else.

This book had a hard time keeping my concentration, but I did finish it. I felt like giving up, but I persevered mostly because I was doing a 25 hours in 5 days reading challenge.

I really hate giving bad reviews, because I know people put their heart and soul into a book. But, I really struggled with this one.

The main character has the name Loveday… Yes, that’s right Loveday. It is one of those “too bookish” character names I can’t jump on board with.

She suffered tragedy in her childhood. The affects carried over into her adulthood. (For the love of everything that is holy – LET IT GO!) The book is very slow, and goes back and forth between the present and the past (her parents and their relationship?) I didn’t like the way the story was told at all.

Also, I believe the author was trying to be humorous in portions of the book. However, in my opinion in doing so made Loveday come off as rude and stuck up.

Then don’t even get me started on the constant descriptions of her tattoos. I felt like banging my head into the book repeatedly when this happened. Who needs a page full of a description of a tattoo of all things. Nobody. That’s who.

The saga continues, she hooks up with people just to be with them? But, she also has this super loving, wonderful, always by her side man. Despite the fact that she was pretty much a terrible person. Didn’t believe their relationship for a second.

Was there honestly even a plot to this book? Most of the book was about her job or how terrible of a person she was. “Must unpack boxes of books, and place in shelf.” “Must be rude and inconsiderate of everyone around me.”

I don’t want to sound hateful, but this is probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read. No plot, terrible main character name, and character development. Double thumbs down from me. 👎🏻 👎🏻

Let me know if you’ve read The Lost for Words Bookshop and what your thoughts were on it. Also, am I missing something about this book?

Exploring the world one book at a time,

Book Reflections

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan book review

I bought this book right after Christmas last year, because it was one of those books that kept popping up on Goodreads and Litsy with amazing reviews. While I did enjoy the book, it really left me wanting more from it.

I thought the premise of the book sounded wonderful. A mystery in a bookshop! However, that’s wasn’t the case…

The first 50 or so pages were incredibly slow, and kept jumping from the present to the past of Lydia the main character. Lydia had experienced trauma in her childhood, and her relationship with her father is estranged.

A “Book Frog” and a friend of Lydia’s, Joey commits suicide, but leaves Lydia cryptic messages. The messages could’ve honestly been “decrypted” in about 10 minutes. And, the mysterious/suspenseful portion of the book wasn’t even in the bookshop.

The book was a little over 300 pages, and the pertinent information could’ve probably been fit into about a 120. I just wish there was more to the bookstore portion of the mystery.

3/5 stars

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Book Reflections

“The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson Review –

Happy New Year to you! I hope the Holiday season has treated you well!

I finally got around to reading (audiobook) The Snow Queen. Most people are familiar with Disney’s loosely based film adaption of this book Frozen.

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen is much darker than Disney’s film adaption. The main characters are Gerda and Kai – they’re the best of friends. And, of course there is a Looking Glass. (Seriously, what was going on in the 1800’s that a bunch “fairy tales” – modern day fantasy novels had a Looking Glass?)

His words paint a marvelous picture in your imagination. As you’re reading you can physically picture the Northern Lights, the roses – you could almost smell and touch through the pages, and the shards of glass may cause you a frozen heart.

In the 1800’s it is quite often we find Christian undertones in tales, and I definitely felt like that was the case. Gerda’s perseverance, and goodness stood true. But, they could be lead astray – Kai and the shard of glass, Gerda and the witches curse.

The supporting characters are fun and interesting! But, who could forget the robber girl! Goodness she was something else.

I can’t believe I had never read this before. I highly recommend it m, and I can’t wait to read it to my children!

Let me know your thoughts on The Snow Queen, and other fairy tales in the comments.

Exploring the world one book at a time,

Book Reflections

“The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” written by Audrey Niffenegger

This book was extremely popular at its release, and has now sold over one and a half million copies. I am always hesitant to read extraordinarily popular books at the time of their release, because sometimes the popular opinion isn’t always the best opinion.

So, I finally got around to reading this via audio book through Hoopla (a free service offered by my local library.) The audiobook is close to eighteen hours long (17 hours and 45 minutes to be exact (546p.)) So, make sure you’ve got some time when you start this one.

Audrey takes time traveling into a totally different realm in which science-fiction fans haven’t seen before. At first I thought she was absurd for doing such a thing, but then I realized what this novel was.

It isn’t a tale of time traveling to change things/events of the past/future. It is a beautifully crafted story of love and the time we have to share it.

The book is full of MUCH detail (probably why it’s almost 18 hours long) but I did find myself enjoying it thoroughly. There were tears involved in the reading of this one!

I don’t want to say too much to spoil it, but it is a tale of love, the sorrows of life, and time- with the twist of time traveling.

Also the relationship between Henry and Clare is scarily co-dependent, much like my husband and I. We are middle school/high school sweethearts, so the story was somehow, oddly relatable.

PSA – Watched the movie directing after finishing the book – DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME. Like most book to screen adaptions they jacked up the story quite a bit, and chose terrible actors for the parts in my humble opinion.

Also, it seems as if Audrey has been working on a sequel to this one since 2013, so we’ll see what happens!

Favorite Quote – “I never wanted to have anything in my life I couldn’t stand loosing. But it’s too late for that”

Exploring the world one book at a times dinner wishing you all a Happy New Year full of wonderful books,

Book Reflections