Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Genre: Mystery
Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Publication: 4/30/2013 by Little Brown and Company
Pages: 455 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Summary
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.


You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

My Thoughts
Mystery generally isn't a genre that I read a lot in; however, when J.K Rowling writes one then I have to give it a try. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found the mystery compelling and it kept me guessing until the end. I didn't know who the suspect was until it was properly revealed which was awesome. This might have something to do with me not reading a lot of mystery books, but I am a forensic sciences student so I have looked into my fair share of real life crime.

This book gets a thumbs up from me. It was fun to read but it wasn't anything super groundbreaking or magnificent. I liked it but it just didn't blow me away. It's definitely a good series when I need a break from fantasy. I will be checking out the next book in the foreseeable future. All-in-all, it was a well written and a good mystery but just didn't wow.


What's On My Library Holds List #3

This library holds list is a little different this time because everything is from Overdrive this time. I just recently moved and can only access the online catalogue now. However, my new community has a library which I will be getting a library card for very soon! So here is what is currently sitting in my Overdrive holds.

  
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold
These books have been on my holds list for MONTHS. I am still patiently waiting though.

  
The Crown by Kiera Cass
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

 
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

What are you waiting for from the library? Let's hope I get to read these soon.





Review: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Genre: Memoir
Publication: 9/18/2016 by Blue Rider Press
Pages: 257 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.


With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

My Thoughts
This book made me absolutely fall in love with Carrie Fisher, however due to obvious circumstances was a very bittersweet experience. I listened to the audiobook, that she narrated herself, which brought you so much closer to the story. I always try to read memoirs through audiobook because they are pretty much always narrated by the author themselves which is the best experience.

Anyone who might know me will agree, I am a Star Wars nerd. I shamelessly cried during the opening crawl of The Force Awakens. Han Solo was always my favourite character, but I am strongly considering changing it to Leia. This book gave me all the awesome Star Wars behind the scenes which was funny and interesting. You also get a glimpse of Carrie's affair with Harrison Ford. Just the way that she wrote those sections was hilariously relatable.

Obviously, this book is a bittersweet experience due to Carrie's passing. The world lost an incredibly badass lady. She is so relatable in this book, which I loved. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is missing Carrie Fisher right now. I will definitely pick up some of her other books soon.

Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: 6/14/2016 from Random House
Pages: 355 Pages
Format: Audiobook/eARC
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Goodreads Summary
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

My Thoughts
Time to play so review catch up. I listened to The Girls on audiobook to finally get this review out in the world, only a year late! (We've all been there). The Girls has a fantastic premise, cults are one of my reading buzzwords so I had to check this one out. However, I found I was just mediocre about this story. It was neither bad nor was it fantastic. I often just felt distant from the story and had a hard time focusing on what was going on. I also found that I got confused when the story just back to the present, in the audiobook there wasn't really a break to show the change of time so I definitely got a bit lost.

I found myself siding with Evie's parents, which I definitely don't think you're suppose to do. I kept thinking you're 14-15 years old, go home! I often didn't know what her motivations were and I honestly didn't find her overly likable enough to care about. In the end, this is just an easily forgettable book.


Review: Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Series: Worldwalker #3
Publication: 8/20/2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: Hardback
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Summary
Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.


Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian's side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

My Thoughts
This is the final novel in the Worldwalker series, but to me it almost felt like it came from a completely different series. The plot of this series book a weird turn that felt very different from the first 2 books and it was not my cup of tea. I found this book sat in an awkward place between fantasy, science fiction and dystopian. I didn't know what the story wanted to be anymore. I felt like it was trying too be too many things at once. I would have DNF'd this book if it wasn't the last book in a series. I cared enough to know how it ended but I found myself putting off reading because of this book.

This was just a 2 star series for me. I do think I would recommend it, because there are many other series out there that are fantastic and this one just fell flat for me. I am happy I get to add it to my read series shelf but that's about it. I also noticed in the last book there might be some weird representation of native american's, I haven't seen anyone else talk about it but I would look out for that.

April in Review | 2017


   
  

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher {5 out of 5 Stars}
Lumberjanes, Vol 4: Out of Time {5 out of 5 Stars}
The Girls by Emma Cline {2 out of 5 Stars}
Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini {2 out of 5 Stars}
Descender Vol 2: Machine Moon {4 out of 5 Stars}
Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry {3.5 out of 5 Stars}
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali {4 out of 5 Stars}

Favourite of the Month: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Disappointment of the Month: Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini
General Thoughts: This month definitely started off slow with exams and finishing up of school. I feel like I have been neglecting my blog recently but sometimes life just gets in the way. I am currently typing this from vacation where I am getting TONS of reading done. I would have to say that I had a fantastic month.

 

Beat The Backlist
4) The Girls by Emma Cline
5) Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge
3) Worldwalker Series

2017 Library Love Challenge
18) The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
19) Lumberjanes Vol 4: Out of Time 
20) Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini
21) Descender Vol 2: Machine Moon

  
















Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: 8/2/16 by Doubleday
Pages: 306 Pages
Format: Hardback
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Goodreads Summary
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.


In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

My Thoughts
I had to power through this book to get it back to the library on time, even then it was a day late. However, that late fee was well worth it. It's always important to remember the atrocities of the past and this book does it extremely well. I loved how it was an alternative history where the underground railroad was a real thing. Even though it was fictionalized for this story, it felt like it was so real. I was worried that it would feel too fantastical but it was executed perfectly.

This is a story that is quite far from my regular wheelhouse and I am very happy that I picked it up. I do feel like I have heard similar stories to this, but they are all still important to read. I liked how you got to see different parts of the country and what was going on in those areas. But at the same time, it was harder to connect with other characters from that area because you only got a short amount of time with them. I highly recommend this book.