Review: A Blindfellows Chronicle | There Goes Another Amazing Read

Title: A Blindfellows Chronicle

Author: Auriel Roe

Publisher: Unbound

Publication Date: July 20, 2017

Genre: General Adult Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

I was recently sent A Blindfellows Chronicle by the author, Auriel Roe in exchange for an honest review.

Dear fellow Babblers,

This is a novel, collection of short stories, sensual expression of intimate thoughts. I was left feeling satisfied and ready for more from the author. It’s not a book I would ever generally pick up, but upon meeting the author and chatting with her I became intrigued. What could such a quirky and kind person write? Despite the somewhat dense and scattered events and writing style of A Blindfellows Chronicle this book is the kind that takes you into the author’s imagination and confuses your perception between fiction and reality. In a narrative period of thirty years Roe visits many characters, personalities, and worlds, all which seem incongruent but naturally seem to fuse together with a twist of heartfelt emotion by the last page. Continue reading “Review: A Blindfellows Chronicle | There Goes Another Amazing Read”

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean | I Hate Goodbyes

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Trilogy

Rating: 4 Stars


Dear fellow Babblers,

The trilogy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a very unnecessary, extremely typically romance about boy meets girl – long story short: boy and girl fall in love – happily ever after So whats up with Delphine’s high rating? Umm… no one who has not read any of the books of the series will understand.

This trilogy is everything a girl, guy, teenager, fangirl/boy, bibliophile could ever ask for in a coming-of-age romance! Humor, drama, romance carry the reader through Lara Jean’s most transformative years of high school. Jenny Hann brings a delicately light end to the series, leaving smiles, heartaches, and ooos and ahhs just as she did in the two that preceded this one.  Continue reading “Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean | I Hate Goodbyes”

Review: P.S. I Still Love You | P.S. I Still Love You Lara Jean!

Title: P.S. I Still Love You

Author: Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Series

Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

Dear fellow Babblers,

I love this series. Okay. There. I’ve said it, happy? Any reader out there who has a heart, soul, and ability to cry agrees with me, it has to be a given. I’ve never been a fan of reading series because I always feel compelled to continue through them even if I don’t like the way it’s going. But this? To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a magnificent series and I wasn’t expecting the second to be so charming. It wasn’t as humorous and downright adorable as the first, but it was nonetheless a delight to read and therefore, despite it being released over two years ago, I will still review it. I just really have to commend all the characters, humorous happenings, and fun dialogue that goes on in this book. Everyone needs to know that it is worth the hype and the corny compliments.  Continue reading “Review: P.S. I Still Love You | P.S. I Still Love You Lara Jean!”

Review: To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before | *Heart Still Swooning*

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (#1)

Author: Jenny Han

Publisher: Penerbit Spring

Publication Date: March 20, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

“I wonder what it’s like to have that much power over a boy. I don’t think I’d want it; it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

More than half way through the year and I have finally started a series. Or, well, trilogy. Talk about a late bloomer, huh? I’m usually intimidated and anxious about going into series because what happens if I read the first and then not like it? I can’t just stop there. Even if I don’t like a series, I feel obliged to stick it out through each and every book. Spoiler alert: that did not happen with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I’m writing a review on the first, though let me warn you that I read all three this week alone! I simply could not put this book down. It was not thrilling in any stretch of the imagination but had me smiling, laughing, reminiscing on my own high school relationships the whole way through. I’m officially a Jenny Han fangirl and after reading my review I hope my readers will be too.  Continue reading “Review: To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before | *Heart Still Swooning*”

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters | Eliza’s Monsters or Our’s?

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Mental Illness

Rating: 5 Stars

 

“There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt. The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and it lets it run wild. Even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

I wasn’t planning on writing a review of Eliza and Her Monsters, given that it’s been done already like over and over and over again. However, I hope my opinion and thoughts are at least a little interesting. Like everyone whom I talked to about this book, I love loved LOVED it. I read this a little over a week ago and my heart is still filled with all the feelings and thoughts I got when reading. That’s really how much it affected me. It’s changed my perceptions of love, mental illness, and even family relationships. I’m blown away by how a books, especially Young Adult, seem to have this invisible pixie dust sprinkled on them, giving them capability of entering our hearts and cause it to burst with emotion – not even real life has that affect on me so the fact that this book did just stands as proof to how enchanting books really are. This book is a planetarium of themes, plot twists, relatable characters and evocative words. Everything about this book is crisp, original and touching. Read on if you wish but be aware that this review, based on what you consider a spoiler, just may contain them.  Continue reading “Review: Eliza and Her Monsters | Eliza’s Monsters or Our’s?”

Review: Painting Sage | Story of a Story of a Non Story

Title: Painting Sage

Author: Rachael K. Hannah

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: May 22, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Mental Illness

Rating: 2 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

I was recently sent Painting Sage by the author, Rachel K. Hannah in exchange for an honest review. What happens when a writer expects too much from their story? What happens when literary techniques prevail the construction of a narrative? What is the consequence of style over structure? What’s to become of a story embedded in an enumeration of supporting conflicts? A story of a story of a non story. This is the primary problem I had with Painting Sage. I was expecting a nuanced narrative reminiscent of The Bell Jar and Thirteen Reasons Why. What I read instead was a perplexing, and altogether inaccurate, potentially offensive illustration of a child’s mental illness alongside her family, already on the brink of falling apart.  Continue reading “Review: Painting Sage | Story of a Story of a Non Story”

Review: Appearances | When Words Discover

Title: Appearances

Author: Michael Collins

Publisher: Saddle Road Press

Expected Publication Date: November 1, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Poetry

Rating: 4 Stars

Esse in Anima

We are each ourselves at the harbor:
Runners run, readers read, children play,

I wander within myself within
the world, nothing is even wrong

with the distant cars in their straight lines,
driving from lot to lot as people

walk between ducks who simply sit
in the sun – I have given my eyes

to deeply to the breeze this morning;
I nearly stepped on one of them

From how it looked, he would have let me.

Dear fellow Babblers,

I was recently sent Appearances by the author, Michael Collins in exchange for an honest review. This is a spiritually uplifting collection of poetry – not a genre I typically will review for, but I am so pleased with this small, yet harmonic book that I feel compelled to share it with my readers. The only sort of contemporary poetry I read is Lang Leav, so I was thrilled to discover Collins’ work. Where Leav’s appeal to nostalgia is directed to love and heartbreak, Collins’ brings nostalgia a step further in coalescing the heart with nature. Typically a Young Adult and Contemporary Fiction reviewer I was initially a bit skeptical going into contemporary poetry. *One day later*…. I’ve read and reread each poem over and over. These poems have touched my heart and have shown me the beauty and sadness that underlies time and it’s passing.

This collection is separated into five parts, compromising a total of 49 exquisite verses. I will not attempt an analysis into the nitty gritty of his work, but lets ust call his writing style a Romantic mixture of Wordsworth and Keats. Each poem brings together the human body to its surroundings, be it fog, the sea shore, or the forests as a means to appeal to man’s dependence on nature, its static position, as well as its changing with time and seasons.

It would seem that the narrator is on a path to self discovery and with each verse, seems to come closer to his purpose as he becomes increasingly aware of the world in which he exists. The poems grow increasingly intimate and sensual as Collins traverses a variety of human emotions by means of his contact with nature. The speaker goes below the artificial surface of appearances in what seems like and intervention, or shall we say, interaction with his mind, heart, spirit, memory – all elements of his very persona – as a means of seeking solace and bliss through the promising, ephemeral moments granted by the world which envelops him.

I was very impressed by the style and use of language in each of the poems. They were powerful, evocative and had an altogether cacophonous tone which made them at once thought provoking and mind blowing. Collins uses vivid imagery such as “fleshy snowflakes,” “orange framed in a tangerine haze,” and “sun dancing snow,” reflective of his observations and musings on the past. All distinct, what renders these descriptions similar is their non permanence. Snow does not last, horizons do not remain orange, snowflakes get carried away come spring. Time changes the world and what unites humanity to this world is the mere fact that time affects all, nothing beautiful is permanent, and nothing young remains young; all must decay, change, and undergo transformation, therefore uniting nature and man into a singular, solid world.

Collins tests and plays a lot with form. Some appear to follow similar to an Alexandrian or Shakespearean sonnet while others are more inventive and seem to be free verse. I believe I read each poem just about a dozen times, all in different tones, including different pauses as a means to differentiate its sound and how the reading process would affect my connection and emotional reaction to the poem. There were subtle changes with each reread and I’m planning to read it again soon; this collection really is, that beautiful, not good, but beautiful. The intricacies and fleeting moments which we give little to no regard to in our everyday life is delicately placed on the forefront of Collins’ vision. He scrutinizes and beautifully recreates the world which we know, but in more translucent color. These poems are heartfelt and give one a sense of awe and delicate bliss, something that seems to fade, change, and intensify with time.

I would encourage all readers, no matter one’s genre preference to read Appearances. I’m more of a Young Adult and Contemporary reader so believe me when I say that this collection has that sparking enchantment that every reader looks for. It’s crisp, fresh, and evokes the sensibilities in a way that could transform one’s perceptions of themselves, who they were, and who they will be. With several references alluding to the soul and multiple reminiscent standalone verses which turn the eye away from the self and towards the horizon Appearances is a stunning read. I’m extremely pleased and honored to have been given this copy from the author and will be looking for more of his writing in the nearby future – more to come!

Yours Truly,

(Book image credits go to Saddle Road Press)

Review: Strange the Dreamer #1 | Readers, the Dreamers

Title: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for
Young Readers

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

 

“I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite. And I hope you’ll let me be in your story.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

I don’t recall a time before that I have felt so deeply a part of a fictional universe than I did as I read Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. This book is for anyone who dreams, hides away in their imagination, and feels distaste for reality because of it’s translucence. It’s rare that I could feel at the same time a part of the story as well as a reader. With vivid descriptions and sensual passages that arouse the senses, Strange the Dreamer causes one to reflect on reading itself. As readers we are constantly reminded of the reasons why we are readers, why we daydream, and why we prefer the story world to the ‘real’ world. This book is a masterpiece of fantastical realism with a twist of romance which I feel will one day become a classic, earning it’s spot alongside the Harry Potter and Twilight series.  Continue reading “Review: Strange the Dreamer #1 | Readers, the Dreamers”