book review: under the dome

Under the DomeUnder the Dome by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet sassy molassy this was a long read. (That phrase is one I stole from Secret Pizza Party)

Anyways, the most surprising thing about this book, for me, is that I actually teared up at the end. I was really not expecting that. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was that I’d be rooting for a religious crackpot meth addict. Live and learn.

I started reading this book after having already watched several episodes of the TV series. What I found when I started, which anyone both reading and watching will already know, was that: the TV show they made is NOT like this book very much at all.

Within the first hundred pages or so, a bunch of characters I was still seeing in the show had already died. So that was a bit different. Once I accepted that the book was not going to neatly parallel what I was seeing on TV, I set out to enjoying this story on its own merit.

The basic plotline, a small town in Maine getting unexpectedly sealed in by a mysterious Dome, wasn’t that crazy to me – I’m already a huge fan of the GONE series, which also features a Dome. The best part of this book was trying to figure out why this had happened, and how the people of Chester’s Mill could possibly survive it.

There was a lot of small-towny descriptions, and people just generally towning around. I found the pacing to be fairly steady throughout, with spurts of dramatic shoot-outs and other gruesome deaths showing up every once in a while. Gory descriptions abounded, as did some quite frankly disgusting details about dead bodies and the pieces thereof. Thanks Stephen, haha. I suppose I knew what I was getting myself into, so I can’t complain. But I can say: gross.

I actually liked the way the narrative was laid out. Omniscient, so we could have everyone’s varied perspectives (including Horace, the corgi), and sometimes the removed perspective of an observer outside the story. I enjoyed the bits of narration where the author addressed the reader, asking us to observe with him a particular scene. I liked the random bits of humour interjected- like when one character asked another if they’d seen the movie The Mist. The dialogue was also fairly realistic.

Overall, though it was a long, slow read (and it put me 8 books behind in my reading challenge – gah!) I did like the book. Thankfully there’s resolution in the end, so you don’t end up having read 1000+ pages and not finding out what actually caused the Dome. It wasn’t what I was expecting at the beginning of the book, but I do feel that things were explained well, and made sense in the end. And yes, by the end of it all, damned if I wasn’t crying for Ollie Dinsmore and Sloppy Sam.

If you’re enjoying the TV series, or just think the idea of a small town trapped under a Dome might be interesting, I’d recommend giving this book a try. 3.5 stars overall!

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book review: tidal (watersong book 3)

Tidal (Watersong, #3)Tidal by Amanda Hocking

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This series! I keep thinking I’m going to stop reading it, but then I pick up the next book and somehow it draws me in again.

This book, the third in the series, was actually one of the best so far. I enjoyed reading some background on the sirens; the chapters set in their past were enjoyable as they brought to light the reasons some of the girls are the way they are now, and also they went deeper into the mystery of what happened to some of the previous sirens.

I feel like some parts of the ‘mystery’ are a bit obvious, and I did see a few of the clues coming. I’m interested to see the role that Thalia plays in the next book- I think she might have been supernatural.

Parts of this book were a bit cheesy, and I did cringe at a few of the scenes between Gemma and the men that can’t resist her.

Daniel lost a bit of my esteem when he decided to make a deal with Penn, but we’ll see how that plays out in the next book.

And yes, I will be reading the final book- in fact, it’s already being held at the library for me, so I’m hoping to pick it up soon.

Fans of supernatural, mythological creatures – stay with this series at least until this book. No guarantees about what the last one will be like.

**See my review of book one (Wake) and book two (Lullaby) **

book review: through her eyes

Through Her EyesThrough Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this ghost story. It takes place in a small town in Texas, where Tansy, her horror-book-writing mother, and her grandfather have just moved.

Tansy’s grandfather grew up in this small town, and her mother has brought the three of them there in order to get the atmosphere right for her latest novel. Tansy’s moved around so often that she’s used to being the new girl, the outsider, but this is such a small, close-knit community that she feels even more awkward than usual.

The one thing that keeps her motivated is taking photos. However, after discovering an old pocketwatch and notebook full of poems belonging to a boy around her age who supposedly killed himself in the 1930s, Tansy discovers that she can somehow enter the past through her photos and begins to experience life through another girl’s eyes.

As Isabel, she meets her grandfather as a young man, as well as the mysterious Henry- writer of the poems she found. Tansy begins to try to unravel the mystery surrounding Henry’s death, and wonders if she wouldn’t be better off staying in Henry’s world, rather than returning to the present-day and her imperfect life.

The atmosphere in this book was great. The way that Tansy could move between past and present through the photos, and see things in black and white through the camera lens, was really cool. I enjoyed the unique way that her two worlds began to impact each other, and how it was unclear whether Tansy was in fact crazy, or whether she actually experienced Henry’s ghostly presence, and his world.

It was a quick, but enjoyable read. I’d recommend it to those looking for a good ghostly tale.

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book review: prophecy of the sisters

Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters, #1)Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

2.5 stars. This book was alright, but somehow throughout the entire thing I was really aware that I was reading, and I didn’t get entirely immersed in the story or the world, which I like to do when reading.

The story follows Lia through her discovery that she and her twin sister Alice are meant to fulfill the Prophecy of the Sisters. Each of them is a Guardian or a Gate, who will choose to either let the evil Souls back into our world forever, or to fight against the Souls and rescue our world.

Reading over the blurb again, it’s like: two sisters, one good, one evil– who will prevail?? Which sounds pretty exciting, only the evil sister barely gets a few lines in the entire book, and most of it was internal dialogue of the ‘good’ sister (Lia) wondering what she should do. Hmf.

It’s interesting in places, but wasn’t really enough to keep me enthralled. There was the opportunity for a similar vibe to Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series, but this book didn’t contain the same mix of magic and storytelling that the other series had.

When I read this, I was thinking it was a standalone book, but – of course- I’ve discovered it’s actually a trilogy. I bought this one on clearance, and today at the library I noticed the other two books were there, so if I do decide to continue reading about the Prophecy at least I know I can borrow them.

Overall I don’t really feel motivated to continue the series. I just wasn’t able to connect with it.

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book review: quicksilver

Quicksilver (Ultraviolet, #2)Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the companion book to Ultraviolet. While I found Ultraviolet to be a book that kept me turning pages until I finished it in one sitting, there wasn’t a huge amount of mystery or tension in this book, which may be why it took me longer to read.

Told from the perspective of Tori, the alien girl who was zapped to a spaceship and presumed killed in the first book, Quicksilver alternates between the story of what happened while Alison, Tori, and Sebastian were escaping from Mathis, and the present-day when Tori and her family leave their lives and take on new identities hoping to escape those who want to harm her.

Sebastian wasn’t in the book nearly enough for my taste, but I was glad to read more about him even in the few scenes he was in. Tori/Niki as a character was interesting: she had a strong scientific background, which is unusual in a female young adult character. I loved it – coming from a physics background it’s really pleasing to read about a super-smart gal who loves science, and can out-solder the men at the Makerspace. Tori is also interesting because she’s not human, yet she is experiencing extremely human situations (i.e. having a boy who starts to turn into something different than just a friend). The ‘romance’ in this book was quite unique, and it was nice not to have the main characters falling head over heels in an instant.

The overall plot in this book was good- there was a sense of adventure and a task that had to be accomplished. The ending was absolutely wonderful. The decision Tori makes was unexpected, but I loved that the book had the confidence to have characters make sacrifices, and not everything was shiny and perfect at the end.

If you like your YA fiction with a twist of aliens and two dashes of science and electronics, you’ll love this book.

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