Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March 2016 Book Review

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it. Would recommend
3- Decent/solid read.
2- Would not recommend.
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy, Book 3)

Rating: 5

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. 

I've been looking forward to this book since I completed Golden Son last year. Morning Star did not disappoint, with a roller coaster of emotions and plot twists. Run, don't walk to your nearest book store and pick up this series! Brown's writing is phenomenal. I can't say enough about how well written this series is. The whirlwind that is Sevro in this book may just be my favorite part. I went into Morning Star loving Sevro and then hating him and then loving him again and wondering how you ever doubted his loyalty. Word is is that Red Rising is currently being made into a movie and Brown is back writing another trilogy. Also, I'm just going to leave this here.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman   

Rating: 2.5
Classic 1/5

Based on the author's own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the 'rest cure' prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America's leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century. 

One of my goals for 2016 was to read 5 classics. This is my first one of the year. I had heard positive things about The Yellow Wallpaper going into this book but didn't have much knowledge of the author. My edition had a 20 page history of Perkins Gilman which I enjoyed. I liked learning more about her life and experiences and how they shaped her writing. I had no idea that Gilman was one of the leading feminists of her time. I thought Wallpaper's short story collection was good and I'm not much for short stories. I was disappointed that The Yellow Wallpaper story itself was not longer. I think it was like 10 pages or so. I liked The Cottagette and The Honest Woman. All of Gilman's stories had a general theme of woman breaking the societal norms to become their true selves. Am I glad I read this book? Yes but it's most likely something I wouldn't revisit.

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Rating: 4

Welcome to Little Wing.
It's a place like hundreds of others, but for four boyhood friends―all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town―it is home. One of them never left, still working the family farm, but the others felt the need to move on. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit. One of them hit it big as a rock star. And then there's Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.
When all of them are brought together for a wedding, Little Wing seems even smaller than before. Lifelong bonds remain strong, but there are stresses―among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of friendship and love.

Thank you to every blogger out there who recommended this book on the link up because I loved it! I have Beneath the Bonfire waiting for me in the mail tonight. I really loved Butler's style of writing and the characters in Shotgun Lovesongs. Some of descriptions and stuff just stab you right in the heart. I've found myself thinking about this book a few times after I finished it. There's a reason everyone's loved this book.

The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro (Strain Trilogy, Book 2)

Rating: 3

The Fall picks up where The Strain left off—with a vampiric infection spreading like wildfire across America as a small band of heroes struggles to save the dwindling human race from the vampire plague. Horror fiction and dark fantasy fans will be swept up in this epic story that bestselling author Nelson DeMille describes as “Bram Stoker meets Stephen King meets Michael Crichton.

I was a little thrown off when I first started this audio because of the heavily accented narrator. I loved Ron Perlman in the first book and thought he read it really well. The first two thirds of the book was more or less at the same point the tv series is at currently. The ending of The Fall left me looking forward to the last book since it will pick up after the world has fallen.

How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

Rating: 4

Like a jewel shimmering in a Midwest skyline, the Toledo Institute of Astronomy is the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. Here, dreamy cosmologist George Dermont mines the stars to prove the existence of God. Here, Irene Sparks, an unsentimental scientist, creates black holes in captivity. George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they're together. But George and Irene's attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other's soulmates. 

I read Netzer's Shine, Shine, Shine last year and thought it was pretty decent but Toledo definitely was in a different class. I really loved the theme of destiny, fate and kismet that was interwoven through out this book. I loved the astral projection and lucid dreaming theory. It made me really curious about how much is made up and how much could happen in real life. Could you really meet someone in your dreams? This was a cute love story with not your typical characters.
Love It: Morning Star & Shotgun Lovesongs
Leave It: None. I think they all could be recommended to the right person.

Life According to Steph


  1. With Shotgun Lovesongs, I think one of the beauties of the book is that a reader can relate and feel different emotions for each character based on our own unique personalities and experiences.

    I have told you before, and I'll say it again: I enjoy your book selections.

  2. I instantly feel euphoric when someone reads Shotgun Lovesongs and loves it.

    So I've had Red Rising on my Goodreads for a while - I think from when you first read it? Sounds like I should get a move on that series.

  3. so glad to hear you love that series, it's on my kindle waiting for me! i might have to bump it up the list with that review. i quite liked shotgun lovesongs, though there was something missing in it for me - though his writing was amazing.

  4. Butler is probably one of my favorite authors of late. He's incredible.

    I read Toledo last year or two years ago. I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I really liked the story and how it unfolded. On the other hand, it annoyed the crap out of me.

  5. I really need to push Shotgun Lovesongs up on my "To Read" list. Almost everyone seems to give it rave reviews, and it sounds like the kind of book I usually love.

    I've wanted to read The Yellow Wallpaper for a long time, but I thought it was just a single short story ... I didn't realize it was actually a collection of short stories. I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but I like to read them once in a while.

    Oh, and since I'm confessing things I didn't know, here's another one: I totally thought the Red Rising trilogy was about Jack the Ripper. I don't know why I thought that or if there's a trilogy with a similar name that IS about Jack the Ripper ... But there you have it. I was reading your summary of that book and thinking, "Ummm ... What?" I looked it up on Goodreads and was like, "Oh ... Nope. Clearly not about Jack the Ripper!" Haha.

  6. Shotgun Lovesongs sounds so good! I want to read it soon. :)

  7. Toledo sounds interesting. Cool concept to explore! I have Shotgun Lovesongs on my TBR list, can't wait to read it.