This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth OppelThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 23rd 2011
Source: Own
four-stars
In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love—and how much he is willing to sacrifice.

I have owned this book and its sequel for probably over a year and I never picked it up. One of my favorite classics is Frankenstein so I’m not sure why I waited so long. I really liked this take on a prequel for it! It definitely added a unique perspective to the story and I’m really excited to read the sequel and re-read the original. I want to see just how much actually ties in!

Our lead, Victor Frankenstein, is seriously cocky! He is so sure of himself and his relationship with those around him, that it ends up kicking his butt in the end. He definitely is a victim (?) of hubris. I’m not sure if I’m using that term in the correct way, but I’m pretty sure you know what I mean!

Anyways…. back to Victor. He has a twin, Konrad, who is 2 minutes older than him and seems to be at least a few years more mature. When Konrad falls ill, Victor does pretty much anything he can to get him healthy. I liked how this story stayed pretty true to the time frame (in regards to medicine and such).

I really liked Elizabeth. She was feisty and not afraid to stick up for herself. She’s smart and cunning and really able to hold her own. I was pretty indifferent about Henry. He was really only there when it was convenient and I never really clicked with him. They do make an interesting group of kids and I definitely appreciate how loyal they are to each other.

This is also one of the few times where I can say that I did not mind the love triangle. It was definitely a different take on that cliche, and I do like how it was handled.

As far as the plot goes, I could see the betrayal a mile away. It really didn’t surprise me. I did keep hoping I would be wrong, but alas, I wasn’t. I’m curious to know how this will play into the sequel (or if it does at all). This is a series I definitely recommend and I can’t wait to read the sequel!

Currently… [02]

I feel like I’m slowly getting back into a groove here! I’m reading a bit more and trying to write a few more posts. I hope I can keep it up because with the holidays coming (I work retail) it’ll be harder to stay on top of things!

C U R R E N T L Y

I’m reading… The Fall by James Preller (I kind of like this one! It started out completely different than I thought, but I am getting more into and I am liking it more and more.) | A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (I really need to dedicate more time to this one… I only have until the end of the month for it!)

I’m watching… the Olympics (duh! I’ve never been one for the Winter Olympics, but apparently really enjoy the Summer Olympics.) | Buffy (I seriously enjoy this show. I’m about half way through the second season and I know things are ) | Criminal Minds (I’m almost done with this season and so much heartbreak! I’m going to miss Derek!) | Stranger Things (This is such a weird show! I don’t completely love it, but it’s enjoyable.) | The Last Kingdom (The hubby and I just started this, but it’s really enjoyable so far! I can’t wait to watch more!)

I’m listening to… not really anything right now. I’ve been watching more TV than anything and even in the car just a random radio station.

I’m feeling… tired (Work has been a bit chaotic and I’m definitely feeling it right now. The sad part is, it’s just going to get busier with the holidays coming!) | like I’m getting back into the swing of things (I’ve been reading more again and I feel like I’m getting back into bookstagram and blogging in general. There’s still a lot to go though.)

 

The Walking Dead, Book One Review

The Walking Dead, Book One ReviewThe Walking Dead, Book One by Robert Kirkman
Published by Image Comics on October 5th, 2010
Source: Own
three-stars
This hardcover features the first 12 issues of the hit series along with the covers for the issues in one oversized hardcover volume. Perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a slightly heavy object with which to fend off the walking dead.

I tried so hard to watch the show and just was not a fan. I got through a couple seasons with my husband (who really enjoyed it) before I gave up. It was just so slow and boring.

By then, I already had purchased the first compilation (?) of the graphic novel. I decided not to really read it at that point because I was just so unimpressed with the show. That was probably over 2 years ago now!

Well, thanks to a yearly challenge I’m in, I finally picked up this graphic novel! I’m glad I read it. Most of the issues I had with the show-it being boring and slow pace, were not an issue in this. There were a few different characters than I remember from the show, but I appreciated the quicker pace. I’m sad there was no Darryl though! He was definitely a highlight of the show for me.

I really enjoyed the art as well. There were a few times I struggled remembering who was who, just based off of looks, but that’s more so me not being the most observant, not a dig at the artist. The font (comic sans) definitely drove me crazy by the end. It never used to bother me, but for some reason by the end of this book it was a struggle to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I may look into getting the rest from the library to continue the series!

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

Guy in Real Life by Steve BrezenoffGuy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Published by Harper Collins on May 27th 2014
Source: Edelweiss
two-stars
It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don't.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all.

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I thought this book was going to be so cute! I thought it was going to be all quirky and nerdy and fun, but it didn’t really reach that level for me.

Lesh (the Guy In Real Life – G.I.R.L.) is a metal head teenager who drunkenly runs into Svetlana one night. This could be the start of the cutest story ever, but it just drags on and I never really felt the connection. Lesh basically becomes obsessed with Svetlana and even names a character in an online roleplaying game after her. There are large portions of the book that are his version of Svetlana in this game. I thought those portions were ridiculous and not necessary. They kind of were my least favorite part of this book.

Svetlana was quirky and I did kind of like her. She was just so… mean to her family. She had this activity wheel to show what she was doing and was always so affronted when her family ignored it. She’s not really an adult, so if they want to go talk to her or anything-I kind of think they’re allowed and it’s not that big of a deal. She always complained about having to go watch soccer with them or spending any amount of time with them.

I won’t lie, the last third of this I skimmed. It was so drawn out and then all these random dramatic things kept happening that really didn’t add to the story. How things came out about Lesh being a G.I.R.L. in this online game was so random. I feel like it didn’t really need to happen that way. There could have been more of the plot dedicated to this, or really it could have been taken out completely.

Overall, this was just not the book for me. Looking at other reviews, it’s pretty polarized so it’s one that you may enjoy so it’s worth a shot. It just wasn’t for me and I’m not sure if I’ll read more by this author.

Lesson Learned

So I went camping and fishing this week. It was so much fun! I actually caught some fish! I’ve never caught a fish before so I was super excited for this. In all the excitement, I made a mistake.

I never wear shorts. It’s so rare that I don’t really think of them being at risk. That said, I wore shorts on this trip. Thus, I really didn’t give it much thought on putting sunblock on my legs. How stupid of me! So what happened? Well, after being in the sun for 10+ hours my legs now look like this:

These are my legs right now 🔥😧😭🔥🔥 #sunburnfromhell #evenwithsunblock

A photo posted by Brianna Burt (@bebeburt) on

They hurt so freaking bad!!!

Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Granted, my arms and shoulders got burned even with applying sunblock at least ever couple hours (if not more). They aren’t as bad, but they’re pretty toasty also. lol

Listful: August TBR

I was able to read 3 of the 5 books on my July TBR! I’d say that’s pretty good! I’m also currently reading another one, but just haven’t made much progress on it. Here is my updated TBR for August! One of my goals this year is to read equal number books written by male authors and female authors (60 each). Currently, I’m at 54 female authors and only 21 male authors. Thus, I’m focusing my reading in August on male authors!

august tbr

1. The Walking Dead, Book One by Robert Kirkman
I started reading this like 2 years ago with my hubby, but we never finished it for some reason. I’m not really a fan of the show so it’ll be interesting to see if I like this one better!

2. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
This was a series I absolutely loved when I was younger. It’s been a couple years since I’ve re-read it so I figure it’s time for another re-read!

3. This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
I thought this book and series always looked super interesting, but never read it! I’m planning on fixing that this month.

4. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
I’ve owned this book ever since I saw the movie. I know it’s not the first in the series so I never picked it up. Looking into it a bit more, it looks like you don’t really need to read in order so I’m going to give it a try!

5. The Fall by James Preller
Books involving mental health are always super interesting for me. I can’t wait to see how this one is!

 

I’m also hoping to finish the books from my July TBR that I didn’t get to. We’ll see what happens!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Published by Random House Publishing Group on January 28th 2014
Source: Own
two-stars
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

People love this series. This first book has a 4.24 average rating on Goodreads with over 80,000 reviews. This first book won the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards Debut Goodreads Author.

Time for my #unpopularopinion. I did not love this book. I really did not love this book.

I have owned this book for quite awhile. For some reason, I never picked it up. A book group I’m in made it one of the books of the month for July so I decided to finally dive in and read it!

I struggled with this one. I struggled getting into this. I struggled understanding the world this book takes place in. I struggled keeping track of the test between the different houses. I just struggled so hard!

I feel like there was a lot of potential for this. I just did not click with it. I think if I had gotten a better grasp on things from the get go I would have enjoyed this a lot more. I just never really cared for Darrow. I didn’t really understand the test that was happening between all the houses. I couldn’t picture what was happening in my head. If I can’t picture what is going on, then I don’t think I’m as invested.

I did enjoy a couple things which is why I didn’t just put it down and leave it. I kind of liked seeing Darrow make progress on inserting himself into the world of the Golds. I was surprised about Titus-I definitely did not see that happen. Other than that-I’m very indifferent.

I can see why so many people probably liked it, but it just was not the book for me. I struggled way to much and I didn’t click with the characters. I will more than likely not finish this series.

Currently… [01]

I seriously fell off the face of the world there for a little bit. I lost my inspiration and was seriously stressing out. Life happens! lol This is a new thing I may do. I’m not sure. We’ll see!

C U R R E N T L Y

I’m reading… Stormdancer by Jay Krisoff (this has been slow getting into so far-I’m having a hard time keeping track of who is who) | A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (this has to be my least favorite book in the series so definitely slow going for me) | Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff (not quite what I expected, but enjoying it nonetheless!)

I’m watching… Limitless (I love this TV show and I’m so sad it’s only one season) | Buffy (re-watching this yet again lol) | Criminal Minds (finally getting caught up on last season) | Vikings (also finally getting caught up on last season)

I’m listening to… Twenty One Pilots (love love love them right now!) | Panic! at the Disco (I’ve forgotten how much I love them and am discovering all the music of theirs I’ve missed out on)

I’m feeling… uninspired (I feel like I’ve lost my desire to blog, but at the same time I still want to. Maybe I’ve just lost my ideas/creative brain and just need time to get it back?) | stressed out (things are a bit rough at home just trying to balance everything with hubby not working currently and I only work part time…)

 

I’m hoping this type of feature (that I would do maybe once or twice a month) will help me process through some things. I’m hoping it’s an easy enough feature to do that it won’t burn me out like other features I’ve tried. We’ll see!

Frayed by Kara Terzis

Frayed by Kara TerzisFrayed by Kara Terzis
Published by Sourcebooks, Incorporated on June 1st 2016
Source: NetGalley
five-stars
Dear Kesley,

My therapist tells me I should write you a letter. Like flushing all my thoughts and feelings out of my system and onto paper. I tell her it's a stupid idea.

But here I am, writing a letter to a dead girl. Where do I start? Where did our story begin? From the moment you were born...or died?

I'll start with the moment I found out the truth about you. Your lies and my pain. Because it always begins and ends with you.
And that end began when Rafe Lawrence came back to town...

Ava Hale will do anything to find her sister's killer...although she'll wish she hadn't. Because the harder Ava looks, the more secrets she uncovers about Kesley, and the more she begins to think that the girl she called sister was a liar. A sneak. A stranger.

And Kesley's murderer could be much closer than she thought...

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book was so much better than I expected it to be. It has a somewhat lower rating on Goodreads and I hadn’t really seen people gush about it. However, I’m glad I read it because I really liked it! I couldn’t put this book down and I was seriously invested in what was going on.

The format of this book was pretty interesting. It definitely focuses on the present, but spread throughout is a letter Ava is writing to Kelly. I loved the letter. I thought it was perfectly written. I could feel the grief Ava was feeling about what happened to her sister.

One of the parts I wasn’t a huge fan of was Jackson. The things that happened with him and her sister and then him and her friend were a bit unnecessary. It just felt so out of the blue and not vital to the story at all. I did enjoy Rafe though. He was really there for Ava no matter what.

Now. About that ending….

dean

It was such a surprise! I do have to say KARMA was actually a pretty good group of friends. They really cared about Kelsey and finding out what happened. I kept guessing on who did it, but I was wrong on so many different levels. It’s so rare that I don’t figure out the whodunit portion of mystery stories. I love it when it actually does surprise me!

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 4th 2010
Source: Own
five-stars
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Technically I’ve read this before, but I’ve never written a review about it. I reread and decided to finally share my thoughts!

This book was seriously adorable. There was a good balance of fluff and growth. Amy was dealing with some stuff. She had gone through a trauma and it was understandable that she basically shut down. Through this journey and Roger’s journey, she was able to start opening up a little bit and really start the healing process.

I liked Amy. There were times when she did bug, but that’s part of watching someone grow and process and go through something. I did like Roger. He was so stuck on his ex-girlfriend and it was kind of adorable how much he wanted to get answers for why she did what she did. I really appreciate that it wasn’t insta-love, but boy did they rush into bed!

One of the only things I didn’t like or wish was more explained was what happened with Julie (Amy’s best friend). I get that the ending was definitely open to interpretation, but Julie was never really addressed throughout the entire story. I would like to hope she mended bridges, but we’ll never know!

My favorite thing about this book is how it’s set up. Interspersed throughout are doodles, pictures, and playlists. I think that really added to the experience of reading this book. I loved it! This is definitely an author I’m going to read more of and you should definitely give her a try as well!

baker. avid reader. list maker. obsessive compulsive. wishful thinker.