Month: May 2021

Book Review: The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne


The Stars We Steal
Author: Alexa Donne
Published: February 4, 200
393 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets

Kim’s Review:

Ok, to be fair, I had an idea of what this book was going to be when I started reading. Beccie from Bookies wanted to do a read-a-long, so I read it. All the YA tropes you can find were put in this book. A bunch of idiot teenagers with very few responsible adults on a space ship orbiting earth, all trying to find arranged marriages for mutual benefits, multiple love triangles, and admittedly, some pretty good fashion. But no aliens, it would have been so much better with aliens.

Some people like those tropes, so fine, if you do, then you’ll probably like this book. My main issue with it was the ending. Donne took the lazy way out and didn’t even resolve the story. A happy ending was hinted at, but she tried to hide it all behind an open ending that just left the story incomplete. It was just a cringey read and I can’t even say that I enjoyed it. I think I’ll stay away from YA for a while. I’ll finish off on a positive note and say that the cover is gorgeous! So don’t read it, just stare at the cover.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Later by Stephen King

Later
Author: Stephen King
Published:  March 2, 2021

Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 28- May 5, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

Later is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. With echoes of King’s classic novel IT, Later is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.

Jessica’s Review:

Jamie Conklin is our narrator who starts from 4 years old to now being 22 years old.  He has a unique ability: He can see and communicate with recently deceased people.  They appear to him how they died; wearing what they were or were not wearing, and the cause of death still apparent.  Also, if Jamie asks them a question then they must tell him the truth.”

This is an interesting premise and Later shows what happens when Jamie’s abilities are used by various people for a variety of means.  But what happens if Jamie interacts with the wrong newly deceased person who decides to not go away?  This is where King’s story happens.

Jamie lives with his single mom and her girl friend who is also a detective.  This detective is important in many ways to the story, as much as the dead who make appearances.

This is not one of King’s best works, leave that to 11/22/63, The Green Mile and The Stand (which one day I WILL read!).  The reason I picked Later up is because it was written by King and I inhaled his books as an older teenager. Later is just average for me.  I was expecting a horror novel, Jamie himself even states throughout the novel that “Remember this is a horror novel” but in actuality it is far from that as it is not scary. When I got to the tipping point about halfway through I thought the horror element was going to come in full force, but it did not.  And then there is a twist towards the end that I had figured out.

Overall, I would say to read King, but maybe one of his other novels.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Vines by Shelley Nolden

The Vines
Author:
Shelley Nolden

Published: March 23, 2021
391 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses an enigmatic beauty through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past—and his own family’s dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Will Cora meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who’ve already perished on the island?

The Vines intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss.

Kim’s Review:

Meh. The setting of this book offered so much promise: an abandoned hospital in North Brother Island in NYC. I mean come on! I was waiting for ghosts and vengeful spirits and a brilliant paranormal adventure … what I got was meh.

I don’t want to spoil the twist, even though the twist was pretty obvious, but I wish Nolden had picked either realistic or fanciful. She mixed the two together, but it just hampered the story. You don’t get to complain about the pandemics of the world, and then add a fantastical element that’s supposed to fix everything; it felt like cheating. And frankly, most of the characters were just unlikable. Didn’t like Cora’s overall attitude, didn’t like Finn’s annoying little woke statements every chapter, didn’t like Lily’s whining; the only ones I had a shred of like for were the villains! Basically, I’m glad I read it, but am I going to continue the series or even read this again? Probably not.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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