Books read in 2015

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We are both readers (and writers), So we have a book with us at all times.

So here is another list for you.  This time the books we have read this year and what we both think of them.

Fan Girl – Rainbow Rowell 

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Her: So I read this last year and really enjoyed it, as it was about an shy aspiring writer I thought that He should read it. Its not my usual type of book but I did find I was hooked! The fan fiction element was also an interesting point. The only thing I did have a problem with, was the descriptions of things that were supposed to be attractive “High hair line” It was perculur to read something that was typically unattractive.

Him: I wasn’t sure about this at first, but a just a few pages in and I was hooked, that is what I love when you get pulled in straight away, I will often give up on a book if it doesn’t grab me (I have gone back to books and tried again with mixed results), but no problem here.

Cather’s dilemmas at being new and shy and awkward are all things i could relate with. I think Rowell described my entire college existence in those first few chapters. I also liked the writing class the exercises are great fun to try out when you’re not reading. 

Also yes I agree the descriptions were weird and clearly Rowell has a love of the grotesque, ‘His high widow’s peak hairline and thinning hair, his flat nose and crooked teeth were all Cath could think about’. I paraphrase but you get the meaning.

8/10 Rocksboulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

The Fey, Sacrifice – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Her: It is very rare that I put a book down, If I do then its either because I don’t like the protagonist, Its written badly, I don’t get on with the story or it hasnt caught me yet or I just hate it…..

He asked me to read this at the beginning of the year and I struggled to get through 100 pages. It was like wading through mud. I kept thinking that it might get better but it just didn’t. Later he asked if we should read it together and we did, Oh I was so glad when he agreed that it was slow and that we could stop! (sorry)boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140

1/10

Him: Now this book was one of my all time favourites. It was one of those bargain bookshop finds and the first book I really got into and I followed the whole series, even paying £28 for the 4th book because it was out of print and so rare. But I needed it to know what was going on.

So I tried and tried to get her to read it, but she kept putting it off, so eventually I suggested reading it together. 

So we started reading about the Fey and their invasion of the small island of Blue Isle, a previously untouched land with a simple thriving population. Ruled by a kind and just king and his son. 

So we read and read and she pointed out one problem with the story – nothing happens! – Sure they start an invasion (No spoiler it happens right away), but then nothing, the rest of the book is all one long, drawn out day. The description of a monk laying on a wet floor is about 2 pages long.

We gave up on the book, seeing it through her eyes, or having grow as a writer I found that what had been a major influence on me and had been a wondrous book had died before my eyes. The Fey in concept is great, but the actual re-reading killed this old favourite for me.

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Mercedes Night – Michael Weaver

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Her: Can’t judge yet…

Him: We are currently reading this together. It is another of the books I had read before and after the Fey, I was a little skeptical about trying it again. But so far it is holding up to her scrutiny. I always remember the in house brains that could tell the inhabitants information, play music, order food and organise the house. Then Siri came along and AI interfaces and I would say that is was like Igor. To which no one ever knows what I’m talking about.

The story and the mystery is enough to keep us reading this sic-fi book about a vid Star and the other low lives living their lives out in 2063 (CHECK DATE).

Preliminary 7/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict and Suspense – Graham Scott Bell 

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Her: I have not read this

Him: I read this as a help with my writing. I wanted to know what made a good suspense novel, how does Dan Brown make you ‘just read one more chapter’. So this was a recommendation and it was a good one. My copy is filled with tags and highlights. Every chapter is filled with suggestions, hints, exercises and examples. 

I think it is a little lopsided though, the conflict section is probably two thirds of the entire book and I was interesting more in the suspense aspects. But overall it worked, hopefully I learnt to control my writing more, to hold back and keep some things hidden for longer, exposing them later to give more oomph to the stories. 

8/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Cress- Marissa Meyer

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Her: Another new character that you start rooting for straight away (or at least I did anyway!) I also like that some of the new characters introduced were almost throw aways that go on to become more important later on. There are lots of new dynamics, sub stories and character arcs. And yay Iko!

10/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Him:  I like Cress (Almost as much as Iko) – well what’s not to like a little deranged, blonde, tech savvy, crazy person! Who’s had no real involvement with other people all her life. The men who are there as a love interest are well rounded and have some great lines, my copy of the book was well highlighted to remind me of all the great parts. I can’t wait for Winter!

9/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

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Her: The second book in The Luna Chronicles. I liked this version of Little Red Riding Hood (You’ll probably work out why if/when you read it). It combined book 1 and 2 so both main characters were equally featured without being contrived. With a good splattering of new and old characters and it’s very easy to binge read the novel or series.

10/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Him: Ok if someone wants to write action, This is how to do it!  From the very start to the very last page, Stuff happens and you actually feel like your involved. There was quite a lot and possibly even a book to go back to again to remember what happened exactly.  

9/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

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Her: The first book in The Luna Chronicles. When I first started to read this, my immediate thought was that He would love it. Its all futuristic-y and so I stopped reading and began again with him. Although its a retelling of a classic fairy tale (Cinderella) I feel as though it is but it isn’t at the same time, The moral of the story is still there but everything surrounding it is different. The characters are lovable and hatable but more than that, the writer has a way of sucking you in and holding your attention.

10/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Him: I love Iko- Maybe it’s just the way She reads her with a sexy South African accent, but she has all the best lines and is so adorable. But other than that these are so well written and intriguing. You only need to read one chapter and your hooked, I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

10/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Ash – Malinda Lo

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Her: I liked the faerie element and thought the whole book was ok, but I read this because it was one of the top LGBTQ books, but if it had been a ‘straight’ story there would have been a lot more sexual tension, more romance and even more involvement in the relationship that didn’t seem to get off the ground until the very end. It was less of a story and more a check list of life events and no real reason why anything happened.

5/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140

Him: I forgot about this – does that say something? It was ok while reading it, but I think it lacked anything to make it a great story. It seemed to take ages to get through it. It certainly isn’t one of those ‘can’t put down’ or ‘I’ve got nothing to do I’ll just read a chapter’ kind of books. The up side is that it’s a fantasy tale about a girl falling in love with a woman.

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To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

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Her: Oh my god, I know this was suppose to be an amazing book and I did read it at school (because I had to not because I wanted to) But it was SOOOOOOOO BORING!

1/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140

Him: I’m sorry but what is the fuss about? In the same way as The Fey was slow this just drags and drags, It was on an eBook and was about 500 pages and I read, over 200 and it was s slow. I think I remember the film but the book was too tedious to finish. I always struggle with ‘classics’ they are so slow and boring.

1/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140

Sabriel – Garth Nix

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Her: I like Mogget! I thought it was a bit predictable, a typical love story, it’s not ‘bad predictable’ it’s just predictable. There are zombies, mages, spells, talking animals, death and bells, what’s not to like. Oh and lets not forget the random names of places – Ancelstierre, which I can’t pronounce without a New York accent for some reason!

7/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Him: I read this a few years back and again thought she would like it – I realise I’m usually wrong about that now, but this time I think she liked it. Did you? Well I liked it, for its weird location, a land beyond a wall that is filled with magic with good and bad, bound and free, Sabriel is a girl educated south of the wall at a school where magic is known but not really encouraged, but soon she finds her past and her legacy is calling her north and home. 

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Lirael – Garth Nix

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Her: I like The Dog! Again with the silly names/words, but otherwise it seemed like a filler book between book 1 and 3, it’s not like stuff didn’t happen but the major events that you would expect were missing.

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Him: We are just about finished with the sequel to Lirael and it’s good, interesting and intriguing, but it does feel like a filler between Sabriel and Abhorson (the 3rd book). There is a bit of a twist which will take off in the next book.

6/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle) – Maggie Stiefvater

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Her: I really liked the 1st book and couldn’t wait to read the 2nd installment. I like that we got more details and storyline about Ronan and Adam and some mysteries uncovered, but these led to even more questions.

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Him: I didn’t read the first book, She told me all about it though so I wanted to read this, so we read it together. It’s interesting and clever, full of puzzling details and good characters. 

7/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

The Darkest Mind – Alexandra Bracken

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Her: I quite liked it as a Young Adult book, it was quite gruesome and dark. I like that everyone was a different color and each power was identified with those colors. But it did get confusing and a simple chart at the beginning would have helped as a reminder as you read. There are a lot of characters (with a lot of different powers) and not all were easy to read as you first thought.

6.5/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Him: I once again forgot this, when it came to this review, I mistook it for another book (The Razorland Series) so again not the most memorable. That said, I preferred this book over the second. It moved along and was involved and detailed. But that is all I can say about it.

6/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds) – Alexandra Bracken

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Her: It was such a long book and really didn’t need to be. To be honest I don’t remember much of it, it was quite brutal and that all I remember.

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Him: This dragged along and characters that were interesting and colourful in the first book seemed to fade! I just wanted it to end.

4/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices) – Cassandra Clare

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Her: I started with Mortal Instruments as a series and continued on to this series, so I already had of who some people were and who lived. The problem is that is is too much like TMI and it ends up with the same outcome and character dilemma. I liked it, I just wish she had some variation on her storylines.

7/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81325-140

Him: By the time we got to this I had got a bit complacent about the whole thing, the characters were predictible and needed to die or do something. [Spoiler alert] The ending but it was too cheesy and too much of a cope out for such a big series.

5/10boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140

Four: The Initiate (Divergent #0.2) – Veronica Roth

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Her: I didn’t want The Divergent Series to end and I even dragged out reading the end of the last book to make it last longer. So these alternative POV stories were great. This one is told from Four’s POV on the new initiates. As an actual story, it was a bit tame, there are only so many ways to tell the same story and Four seemed to have more stories in him that I would have liked to have heard, rather than the love side of what we already knew of him. It was a quick and easy read though.

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Him: I haven’t read this.

Timestorm (Tempest #3) – Julie Cross

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Her: OH MY GOD THIS AWFUL BOOK!

Ok so sometimes I read a book to him, its a thing we do… but my god this was a hard book to read. At first I thought that I had a weird version of the second book (Vortex) as it made no sense, main characters were out of place, names kept changing, the science made no sense. However the third and final book was just as bad. The time jumps were skippy and weren’t clear. A main character was male and female and not in the Trans kind of way. It seemed like an unedited, first draft at best. Sorry to the author and to the publisher but SERIOUSLY HOW WAS THIS PUBLISHED?!

Him: Oh did we save the best till last! Err No! This book and the others in the series make no sense. Milo is also Mildred, or is he the Man and the colonel. Jackson (the main) is also called Jerold, Johnson and Jameson. The medical details are complete gibberish and nothing, I mean nothing makes the blind bit of Turkeys (sorry I mean sense).

Seriously how did these books get published, there are more errors in these books than in a copyrighter’s bin. We read all the books hoping that somehow the crap and non-sensical rubbish might actually be part of the storyline, but no, it was just a load of crap!

 For the idea of a storyline and that’s all – 1/10 boulder-clipart-toonvectors-81322-140


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