Book Review: Snow City by G.A. Kathryns

Snow City

By: G.A. Kathryns

Genres: Fantasy / Magical Realism / Literary Fiction

ISBN: 9781542858076 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Pages: ~258

Rating: 3/5

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 Goodreads Synopsis: 

Sometimes one has to dream very hard to keep oneself sane. And that is what Echo Japonica did, hiding from a world disintegrating into chaos and brutality, groping despairingly through her shadowy fantasies until she came upon Snow City, where all was perfect and bright. And in that world she lived more and more, until one morning she awakened to discover that the real world had turned into a kind of faded delirium, and that she was now living, physically, in Snow City. But is Snow City as real as she thinks? And if it is, is it as perfect as she imagined? For as she attempts to pursue her quiet, musician’s life, she is suddenly beset with what appear to be strange incursions from her dysfunctional past. A girl, Charity, returned in body from beyond death, wanders alone and friendless through the nighttime streets until at last a bewildered Echo takes her in. A gangster appears, burdened with grief and secrets, and his quiet demeanor hides not only a propensity to violence but an affinity for Bach’s “Chaconne in D Minor” and a desire to assist Echo and her ghostly ward in any way he can. And his assistance proves indispensable when Charity is kidnapped by her parents, who intend to put her back in her grave…by whatever means necessary.


“But that’s the thing with people a lot of times. They look, and they only see the damage. They should just listen.”

Pros:

  • This novel has a very strong family aspect to it. Echo takes in this young girl that is technically a ghost. Her family wants nothing to do with her anymore, but Echo accepts her. I enjoy reading about family relationships, because every single one is different. This one didn’t prove me wrong. Most of the strong relationships were between strangers, and it actually made me happy.
  • I give the author props for creating a story I haven’t read yet. I think there are issues, more so with specific genres, where they all have the same story just with different characters. This book was unlike any that I have read.
  • There really isn’t a character that I absolutely hated. There were obviously a few enemies in the novel who I hated, but other than that they were all very respectable.

Cons:

  • Most of the characters and parts of the plot were just thrown at you with hardly any explanation. It’s not that it was difficult to understand I just wanted a little bit more from it.
  • The characters were very weird and random. I don’t even know how to explain it. If you read the story you will understand what I mean.
  • The writing style was not for me. It was far too extravagant for what the story was actually about in my opinion. I get the sense that the author focused more on the writing than the characters or plot.
  •  I didn’t feel connected to the characters, and this probably has to do with my last point. They all pretty much stayed the same throughout the whole story. Some of the characters changed a little bit, but if you weren’t paying attention then you would never know. I think if the characters were thought out a little more readers could relate to them a little better.

This book was sent to me for an honest review. Just because I was not a fan of the book does not mean you shouldn’t give it a try. You might actually really enjoy it. I know I didn’t go into depth with the review but there wasn’t really much to get into. It was all very up front, except for a few things which I have already explained. I would like to thank the author for signing my copy of the book and sending a little note along with it as well. It’s the little things that make me happy to be part of the book community.

If you enjoyed this then give it a like and follow me for future book reviews! Be respectful and happy reading.

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*Spoilers* Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King: Review

Sleeping Beauties

By: Stephen King & Owen King

702 pages (Hardcover)

Published: September 26, 2017 by Scribner

Rating: Image result for 3 stars out of 5

This was indeed the biggest book I have ever read, and sadly it wasn’t satisfying to finish. Yes, I was happy that it was over with but I didn’t really feel any sense of accomplishment. The novel was just…okay. In the beginning it kept my interest and I flew through the first half of the book in no time at all. The second half I wanted to DNF it. Let me tell you the synopsis and I will get into why this wasn’t that great of a book.

You are following characters from a town called Dooling, and most of the story takes place at the Dooling Correctional Facility for Women. There’s a reason why they made it an all women prison. Then you meet Eve Black who is very strange and in the beginning very deranged. As soon as she came into town and the women started falling asleep they became enveloped in this cocoon-like substance. If anyone disturbs them in that hibernating state they become rampant. Except for Eve, she seemed to be immune. While cocooned, the women go to another land but it’s similar to the one they came from except for the fact that there is no men. They start from scratch. Everyone starts to figure that Eve is the reason for this happening and some try to get rid of her and some do what she says. No one knows who or what this lady is but they are determined to find out.

Characters:

I don’t have a lot of issues with characters when it comes to what they say and how they speak. Unless it’s pretty bad, I can get past it. I’m not saying I had issues with anything said in this book the characters were just terribly irksome. I couldn’t connect with any of them. Honestly if you made me choose any of them it would be Eve Black. She was the least annoying and she spoke the truth for the most part.

Truman Mayweather was one of the characters that just irritated me. Every word that came out of his mouth made me want to punch him. I was thankful for what happened to him. You don’t really hear much about him through the book except for in the beginning, but the beginning is plenty let me tell you.

Lila and Clint were just a bunch of jealous babies. I understand that they were married and you have the right to be jealous. I just found the whole “Clint having another daughter but he really didn’t” was pointless to the whole story. It just made the book longer. I’m not saying that every book should be cut and dry and only focus on the main story line, but this was just too much.

Don’t even get me started with Fritz Meshaum and Don Peters. Those two were up there on my Truman Mayweather list. Their actions were very troublesome (especially Don Peters and the women at the prison). I could have done without. It’s not like I didn’t expect this from Stephen King though. Anyone who reads Stephen King knows that sometimes his novels get pretty problematic but no one really talks about it. It blows my mind. I guess if you don’t like his style of writing, don’t read it. Simple as that.

There were so many other characters in the novel but I can’t sit here and discuss every single one or I would go insane. Just know that they were all very interesting. 

Plot:

I loved the idea of this book. I was interested to know how they were going to pull it off. I liked that all the characters were connected in some way. It was a pretty small town so it wasn’t that hard to connect them all. While listening to the audiobook they had an interview with Stephen and Owen and they mentioned that they actually went to an all women prison to see what it was like. They mentioned the different types of cells that they put the women in. They talked about the warden and I just thought it was really cool, for the lack of a better word. I love when authors go out and experience what they want to write about.

I’m also happy that they didn’t venture outside of this town because that probably would have been a disaster. They did mention that it was happening all over the world but never went beyond that. Stephen and Owen King did a pretty good job at sticking to what the story was actually about. With that being said there were definitely parts in there that were unnecessary. The ending also wasn’t satisfying. So if that’s what you are looking for with this book then I wouldn’t really recommend it. I was very disappointed.

Overall:

It was worth the three stars that I gave it. It had a good story line and the characters were well-developed I just didn’t like the ending and some parts were a little problematic (I’m also not trying to be dramatic about a Stephen King novel). The biggest problem to me was that the climax of the novel was at about the 600 page mark and it was just to get rid of some characters. It felt like a little bit of a waste of time but I still enjoyed myself. It was an interesting journey in the town of Dooling but I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

If you read the novel let me know what you think in the comments. If you enjoyed reading this review then give it a big ol like (I’m such an old lady). Remember to be respectful and happy reading!

The Book of Dust (Vol 1: La Belle Sauvage) by Philip Pullman: Review!

Title: The Book of Dust, Volume One: La Belle Sauvage
Author: Philip Pullman
ISBN: 9780375815300
Page count: 464 (Hardcover)
Published: October 19, 2017
Rating: Image result for 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:
This novel follows an 11-year old male protagonist named Malcolm Polstead and his demon Asta, who lives and works with his parents at the Trout Inn aroud Oxford. Across the Thames river is a priory where the nuns there take care of baby Lyra Belacqua, Lord Asriel’s daughter. Everything is fine until he comes across a message. It takes him to Dr. Relf, a scholar studying the alethiometer, who wants Malcolm to become a sort of spy. However, it brings him into the path of the evil Gerard Bonneville, a theologian, who is in search of Lyra. When a great flood comes along Malcolm and Alice, a girl who works at the inn, take Lyra on Malcolm’s boat “La Belle Sauvage.” The story takes off from there and is basically their journey and all the obstacles they have to face while trying to get Lyra back to safety with her father.

Disclaimer: Gerard Bonneville seems like a bit of a pedophile in this book. After the way Alice talked about him at one point it was kind of weird and made me a little uncomfortable. It’s not a large part of the novel but it’s there and I figured I would mention it just in case.

Characters:
There are many characters in this story and there is no way I can go through and explain them all. Compared to His Dark Materials trilogy, The Book of Dust wasn’t much different when it came to the characters. They were written the same way, the protagonist being the strong-willed and in charge. That being said, I didn’t feel like Malcolm was as unreserved as Lyra was in The Golden Compass. I do understand that all characters are going to be different and I can’t expect them all to act the same way in certain situations. He seemed very quiet but genuine and loyal. Which is a good personality trait to have when you are stranded in a boat with another person and a little baby. There is no time to be selfish.
Lyra seemed like a very easy baby to take care of. I rarely read at all that she cried. She acted as if nothing was really happening.
Gerard Bonneville and his hyena demon were just strange characters overall. It was interesting to come in contact with a hyena as a demon because I haven’t read that in all of the previous books. It was funny to see how Pullman developed this character. Whenever it came around it had these three distinct short-lived laughs. It actually made me laugh every time because it was just so odd. Bonneville on the other hand was very creepy and unsettling. He was always sneaking around and very rarely ever spoke. I did not like him AT ALL and that was probably what Pullman wanted.
Alice was a very frustrating character, but she did take good care of Lyra. She tried everything she good to make sure she was fed and changed. There was a part in the book where she mentioned that all Malcolm wanted her on the boat for was to take care of the baby. It kind of hinted that it was the only thing a girl was capable of. It bothered me a little bit but it wasn’t something that I was vocalizing about everywhere on social media. Anyway, Alice was a very passive aggressive character that I just couldn’t connect with at all. One moment she was just fine and the next she was angry with Malcolm and I could never keep up.
She did struggle with her self-image a lot and it broke my heart a little bit. She wanted boys to like her and so when Diania dolled her up she felt like she could conquer the world. I could definitely connect with her in that sense. There’s a line in the novel that hit home because it was about Alice only feeling as pretty as the woman wanted her to be. She didn’t feel like she was pretty unless someone told her she was. It was frustrating to read.
All of the other characters that we came in contact with in His Dark Materials Trilogy still seemed true to form. I actually liked Lord Asriel a little bit more in this book.
I will give it to Pullman, he stays very consistent with his characters. They definitely don’t change character from one book to another.

Description:
I think that Philip Pullman’s books have just the right balance between description and dialogue. The description is written beautifully but also to the point. It doesn’t take him a whole page to get out what a building looks like. He uses different words throughout so it doesn’t seem repetitive.

My opinion:
The book was average. It was a fun adventure but most of the characters are in and out so fast that I don’t know where they came from or who they are. He will explain them most of the time but it doesn’t always mean it is going to be right when they make an appearance. I like that the dialogue pushes the story further instead of just being dialogue. That is definitely something I’m picky about. It blows my mind that children can read this book but I guess that’s not for me to decide.

I requested this book for an honest review and Random House Kids Publicity was nice enough to send it to me. So, thank you so much!

If you enjoyed this review let me know in the comments or give it a like! Remember to be respectful and happy reading!

 

**SPOILERS** Wonder Woman: Warbringer Review!

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Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Page count: 369 (Paperback)

ISBN: 9780141387376

Published date: August 31, 2017

Rating: Image result for 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads | My Goodreads Review

Buddy read with my friend on goodreads BooksAreLife

“You take a bite. You take another. How are you supposed to know when you’ll be full?”

Synopsis:

This is a novel that follows Diana or Wonder Woman in case you were curious who that was. She wants to prove herself to her mother and warrior sisters. The island that she lives on, Themyscira, does not allow mortals but Diana decided to break that law by saving Alia, a Warbringer. Due to the heroic act she “dooms” the world and needs to fix it before it is too late.

Opinion:

Was this book worth the hype? No. I know this is an unpopular opinion. A 3.5 rating is actually me being incredibly generous. A 2.5-3 stars is what I actually think it deserves. I’m disappointed because I have been wanting to read novels by Leigh Bardugo and I figured this would be a good start because it’s a stand alone. I either made the mistake of starting with this or she just isn’t the author for me. I’m sure she’s fantastic for other people though.

Characters:

Lets start with the characters in the book. There is Diana: Princess of the Amazons (Wonder Woman) whom I do enjoy most in this novel. She was the least frustrating character. She was a very strong female protagonist, physically and mentally. She thought about everything thoroughly before following through. In the real world that would get exhausting and annoying but in the book it worked. All she wanted to do was prove to all the other amazons that she was just as strong as them. Yes, she made mistakes in the book which was another reason I liked her. I’ve always thought of Wonder Woman as this strong woman who is flawless, but we all have flaws and so did she.

Side note: I especially loved when she kicked Jason’s butt! (even though Jason could have fought back)

Alia, the Warbringer and descendant of Helen of Troy, is a character I had issues with. She really aggravated me because she never listened to Diana. She did help Diana keep her identity secret by coming up with a last name for her, but that’s about it for her. When Diana told her to err on the side of caution when it came to Jason she never thought twice about him because that was her brother. The only pro I could think of for her not listening is that the story would be extra boring.

Jason, Alia’s brother, is the last character I am going to talk about. Lets just say that he is super cheesy and part of that “brother betrays sibling” trope (BooksAreLife and I discussed this about the book). You know he is just a liar and a sneak from the moment you meet him in the novel. THEN there is the monster he created! Don’t even get me started. Pinon the Drinker was nothing very special at all. The name says everything basically.

There is also Nim and Theo which are a few characters that didn’t bother me as much, but that may be because I didn’t pay MUCH attention to them. A few interesting things did happen to them that I don’t really want to spoil much else.

Description:

I will say that the description in this book is probably one of the better aspects. I could understand everything that was happening without being confused. It is geared toward YA so there really isn’t much to it. The part at the end with Pinon wasn’t really graphic enough for me but I guess I should read adult fiction for that. There wasn’t anything particularly astounding but I did tab a few quotes. That has to mean something, right?

Dialogue:

I did not like the dialogue in this book at all. I found it cringe worthy and boring. At one point I asked myself why dialogue was even in this book because it took the story nowhere. I want dialogue that makes me think a little bit, and I guess that’s why I like mysteries a lot. I enjoy when someone tries to solve a crime or when a courtroom is involved. I get why maybe an action packed book wouldn’t have good/much dialogue but this book didn’t even curb my action craving.

Overall:

I guess I wasted my time on a book I didn’t enjoy but honestly I wanted to see why everyone hyped up the book and Bardugo’s writing. I know I shouldn’t judge an author from one book and I may read one of her other ones in the future. Right now that is not my number one priority.

I do understand why everyone loved it. It was very entertaining, easy to read and fast paced. It just was not my cup of tea.

If you enjoyed this review please make sure you leave a comment down below and let me know what you thought of the book. You can also follow me if this is the first post of mine you are reading. Remember, be respectful and happy reading!

Book Review of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

 

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Book Title: Into the Water
Book Author: Paula Hawkins
ISBN: 9780735211209
Publishing Date: May 2, 2017
Page Count: 386 Pages
Rating: Image result for 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Disclaimer: This novel touches on the subject of suicide as well as rape. If those are triggering this book probably won’t be for you. I would recommend it to you to just skip but it is a bit of a bigger part.

Synopsis:
Nel Abbott is found in the river, dead. The spot where she is found is referred to as the drowning pool. Before she died she had called her sister Jules. Nel had a daughter that Jules is now responsible for. The Mill House has a lot of secrets and memories. This book is all about whether the girls that were found in the drowning pool had jumped or were murdered. The story is told in the multiple perspectives of all the characters that were involved in the deaths of these women.

This was definitely a good solid mystery read, but for me it was very drawn out. One thing that kept me reading was the fact that I listened to the audio book as I followed along with the e-book.

Setting:
This novel is really good at describing the setting. There’s not a lot of description about the surroundings of the characters but when there is, it’s well written. It gives you the vibe of a mystery that deals with water. Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Maybe it’s just me that thinks that. If you like to read books that has more description rather than dialogue then this book really wouldn’t be for you.

Characters:
Lena Abbott is probably my favorite character from the book. There weren’t a lot of characters I enjoyed reading about considering it was a mystery. She was mostly aware of what was going on. She had some faulty moments, as did everyone, where I questioned if she was a favorite anymore. If you read the novel you will understand.

Josh is probably my least favorite character. I understand that he is a kid but he just annoyed me so much. He was always whining and crying about everything. There was really no character building for him and not much emotion besides whiny. Did I mention he was annoying? Haha.

P.S- Louise Whittaker is another one of my least favorite characters. She was just so mean. I understand that her daughter died but she blamed it on everyone. I guess that was her grieving, but it just irked me.

Overall:
It was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it if you’re just getting into mystery. It was a bit confusing for me in the beginning but that was because of the way it was told. You had all these characters introduced and you just had to wait to see who they were. I guess that’s why they call it a mystery right? I checked this book out from my library’s overdrive. I probably wouldn’t read it again so I don’t know if I would buy the book.
Let me know if you’ve ever read this book and what you thought about it. Be respectful and happy reading!

Book Review of Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

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Book title: Walk on Earth a Stranger (Gold Seer Trilogy #1)
Book author: Rae Carson
Publishing date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 0062242911 ISBN13: 9780062242914
Page count: 436 (Hardcover)
RatingImage result for 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis | Amazon

Rescued thus from sin and danger,
purchased by the saviors blood,
may i walk on earth a stranger,
as a son and heir of god

Fun fact:
I thought Rae Carson was a man for probably half of this book. Sorry Rae!

Synopsis:
This novel takes place during the gold rush and follows a female protagonist, Lee “Leah” Westfall. She has this ability to sense when gold is present. When her world falls apart at home she makes her way to California. To get there she runs into some issues and creates relationships that end up being like family to her. It’s a journey that deals with a lot of death and even some life!

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book a lot which I didn’t really expect. I was waiting for it to be so boring I’d have to DNF it. Boy was I so wrong. I loved it so much that I pretty much finished half the book in one day, which to some book lovers is easy peesy. I’m a pretty slow reader so reading over 200 pages is a lot for me. What blew my mind was how well this book flows. It’s super easy to follow along and picture what happens. The reason I didn’t really give it four stars was because there were parts that I didn’t feel were really that necessary. It is mostly just Lee traveling to California so some things were necessary to keep the book interesting. That’s understandable but I feel like it was a bit much at times. That said, all the scenes in the book are something you would expect on a journey like this. They have to ride in wagons from Georgia, or anywhere near, all the way to California so hardships and death is definitely expected. You really experience hardships like the heat of the desert. The way it is described it almost feels like you are in the story with them, dying of heat stroke.

Characters:

The characters were actually very easy to relate to, like or dislike. There is a guy named Frank Dillery that I absolutely hated and if you read this book you will know why. There were also characters like Lucy and Therese that you just enjoy reading about. They are passionate about being a family and sticking together. They weren’t all caught up in getting to California and finding gold. Leah was determined and persevering! She’s definitely a character I look up to. I never really found her annoying at all. She helped so many people along the way without expecting anything in return.

Overall:

I was happy with then ending but since this is a trilogy I feel like I need to read the other two. I’m not sure how exciting it will be considering Leah did what she set out to do. I know that it didn’t explain anything after they stopped their journey, but that was honestly fine with me. It was a fantastic journey to go on and I recommend this book to anyone interested in the gold rush or anyone that likes to read books set in the past.

Disclaimer: There are little bits of animal cruelty dealing with buffalo. I’m only adding this because it actually made me sad. If it doesn’t bother you then move along! I’m just a big baby when it comes to that.
There is also quite a bit of death involved. I don’t know if that should be a disclaimer but I’m just covering all the bases.

What did you think of the book? Is this book on your TBR? Comment down below but be respectful and happy reading!

Book Review of An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

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Book title: An Object of Beauty: a novel
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: November 23, 2011
ISBN: 0446573647 ISBN13: 9780446573641
Page count: 304 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4.25/5
Goodreads | Amazon

“I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacy Yeager, yet I worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to ever write about anything else.”

Browsing through my local library I came across this specific book. I will admit that the only thing that made me stop was the fact that it was written by Steve Martin. He’s one of my favorite actors and he can play the strings off a banjo. When I took it off the shelf I noticed that the cover was beautiful! Then I read the synopsis and I thought it may be a book that is up my alley.

About the author:
In the back of the novel there are references for the photos he uses throughout the story which definitely takes the book up a notch. I was very hesitant because I wasn’t sure if Steve Martin even knew anything about art. I only knew him as an actor that sometimes played the banjo. I did a little research and he is an art collector as well. He collects modern art along with art from the 20th century. If you do any research on him you will see all the posts about him collecting art as well as his exhibition in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel. It made it a lot easier to get through the book knowing he had knowledge of different artists and what it is like to buy, sell and trade the beauty that is art.

Synopsis:
This novel is told by a narrator that goes by the name Daniel Franks. He shows us this wild journey of a woman he knew named, Lacey Yeager, who made her way through the art world in New York City. She travels her way through Manhattan and St. Petersburg. It took place in the early 1990’s to probably the end of 2009. This woman started working at Sotheby’s, one of the top brokers for art and other precious artifacts. She then tried to climb up the social ladder by creating these relationships with different people who were rich and full of life in the art world. It shows how dark and twisted the art world can be when a person climbs the social ladder.

My thoughts:
I listened to the audio book on overdrive, narrated by Campbell Scott, while I read the physical copy. I have been trying to make my way to different genres and so just normal fiction was where I wanted to start. I struggled in the beginning because I am not used to the writing style of fiction writers. I am used to young adult fiction and the simplicity of it so to speak. Hearing someone read it to me while I also read it made it a little bit easier to understand. With that said this book is written beautifully! It floats you down the river that is the art world in the 1990’s. You better take a cold beverage and some sunblock with you because it’s going to be a long, hot journey.
This novel takes you through the struggle the art world had come across in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s. There is dialogue in the novel where a man named Hinton is comparing modern art to an ugly big-headed puppy. He wasn’t necessarily calling modern art ugly but there was a big difference in the generations of art.

Disclaimer: This novel does have a few scenes dealing with sex along with drugs. It is not as vulgar as some books can be but it’s in there. If that does bother you I recommend either skipping those parts or just not reading the book.

Narrator:
This story is told by Daniel and he even mentions that the story is told from his own recollections, conversations with her and people around her and gossip. It also has a little bit of imagination threaded through it because he wasn’t with her every second of every day. It works though believe it or not. I would love it if there was a companion novel that Lacey wrote from her point of view. Then I would get both sides, but with that said I enjoyed her story nonetheless. It doesn’t feel biased but sometimes you feel bad for the way she is portrayed. Since we only see Daniel’s perspective it makes you think a little bit about what actually went on at some points in her life.

Characters:
Lacey Yeager was definitely a force to be reckoned with. No, she didn’t have the best reputation throughout the novel but throughout the span of her art career she never gave up. She does anything and everything she can do make money from selling art. She is a bit of a scammer but who isn’t when it comes to climbing that dreaded social ladder of New York.

Daniel, the narrator, didn’t put himself in the novel much until the end of the book when he decided he wanted to write the novel about Lacey. At the end of the novel he never mentioned that his novel of her was ever published. He also had some issues with a scam he was involved in with Lacey, but nothing really came from it. He helped Lacey question her actions at certain points in the novel, even though most of the time she did what she wanted.

Overall:
This novel was very enjoyable to read. It may not be as enjoyable or interesting to someone who might not care about art all that much. I participated in art class all four years and every semester in high school. I have created my own art that I have loved and tried to sell. I was familiar with some of the artists names throughout the book that I learned about in school. It was interesting to know about all the scams that went on with certain pieces of art. If you do read this novel you need to put yourself in it. You can’t just skim it and think you caught everything because it won’t work (unless you have some sort of photographic memory). I do recommend this novel 100%.

We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

This is my first book review so be nice please!

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Image result for 4.5 out of 5 stars

Genre:

Young Adult Fiction

Summary:

This is a novel about the male protagonist, Henry Denton. He was supposedly abducted by aliens and told that he had 144 days to decide whether he wanted the world to end or not. It all came down to this button that he was either going to push or leave alone. Through the course of those 144 days he deals with love, loss, and figuring out who he is. He meets Diego Vega, an aspiring artist from Colorado that he doesn’t know much about, who could possibly change his mind about the world. It’s an emotional journey that deals with relationships between family, friends and possible love interests. Trigger: Towards the end of the novel there is a mention of possible rape. If that bothers you just know that going into the novel. It’s not a huge part but it is mentioned. There is also suicide mentioned quite a bit in the novel. 

Narration:

This novel is written in first person narrative which is not so reliable in the end. Henry is in high school and because he’s dealing with a mother that smokes and is trying to keep the family from falling apart, a brother who dropped out of college and is planning on being a father, a grandmother who is losing her mind, and a boyfriend that has committed suicide. All of these different aspects of his life has made him go a little crazy and for awhile he wonders why it would matter if the world ended. We are never for sure if he is actually abducted by aliens or if it is just him trying to give an excuse to end his life as well. Therefore, we only see what he is thinking and how he supposes others are feeling but his mind is too jumbled. 

Setting:

The book takes place in Florida where Henry lives. He is mainly at school or at home but there is a plethora of other significant places he takes us here and there. The setting is not much of a driver for the story but there are certain places such as, his boyfriends old bedroom, that starts becoming important later in the story. It basically just shows that he is in high school and that gives the reader a hint of the struggles that happen in high school especially for a boy that has so much going on in his life. Other than that there is not much description about where he lives and goes to school. 

Theme:

We are the Ants shows the reader just how large the universe is and how our actions ultimately don’t matter in the end. If are worried about grades in school, what has happened in the past, or what happening now we shouldn’t be because it doesn’t matter all that much. 

Evaluation:

This book was fantastic. It deals with possible problems that any person on the Earth could deal with in their lifetime. The writing definitely proves that the narrator is a high school student. Henry is easy to relate to but also impossible to understand. I enjoyed the relationships between him and his friends, family and Diego Vega. You learn about each person slowly throughout the book which was nice. I didn’t have to learn about this person with all these experiences in one page. I gradually got to know them like it was a real life interaction. 

Henry Denton was not my favorite character in the novel. I found him to be quite annoying at moments. He could never decide what he wanted from a person at any given moment. He compared Diego to his former boyfriend that had committed suicide. I don’t fancy comparing two people because human beings are all different. I do realize he is in high school trying to find himself but his personality wasn’t my cup of tea. 

Throughout the story there were facts that were made up by Henry and it was interesting to see what he had come up with. They were some of my favorite parts of the novel. They often dealt with serious issues that were going on in the world but it had a twist that probably would never happen.

The writing style was very simple which made it a bit of a faster read, which I did enjoy. 

One of the issues I had that brought my rating down was the romance in the novel. I’m not big on cheesy romance and it happens quite a bit. There are some raunchy parts as well mixed in. I do understand that he was trying to find himself but it wasn’t for me.

Overall:

I would encourage anyone to read this novel. I will definitely try to read other novels by Shaun David Hutchinson. I borrowed this book from the library so I would buy it for my shelves. I believe this book has made good points about what life really is about. We really just are the ants in the grand scheme of things. It is a great message and I think if you read this book more than once you will probably learn something new every time. Give this novel a chance. 

Thank you. 

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