Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is not the type of book that I generally read, but it was recommended by someone very special to me, so I read it.

We follow Charlie Gordon in his quest to becomeone more intelligent, remember the past his mind has locked away in an effort to protect him from himself, and cope with his new awareness of everything around him.

It's a sad story. It made me angry in many places and completely heartbroken in others. I "watched" as people he thought were friends made fun of him and treated him the way someone with compassion wouldn't even treat a dog. And I "watched" as he remembered horrible things from his past that his mental condition had allowed him to hide away in the dark recesses of his brain.

He struggles the entire book to break away from the old Charlie, the child like adult who wanted so much for everyone to like him. He struggles to remind everyone that he IS human. That he's NOT just a science experiment. He's not just another mouse running through a maze like his companion, Algernon. He's a living breathing person with thoughts and feelings and was so long before science got ahold of him.

Charlie is desperate for love and friendship but when faced with those things is unsure how to respond. Despite the "help" from those around him. He feels as if he's fighting with his old self to gain control over his own body. And he fears that he's losing.

It's an interesting book to read because you can literally SEE the transformation going on in his brain by reading his progress reports. It makes the book feel more personal, makes you feel closer to Charlie and more invested in his development. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in realistic science fiction. Is that even a thing? I'd really recommend it to anyone over the age of 18. No matter what genres you prefer. You won't be the same when you're finished with it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review - Tears of the Broken by A.M. Hudson

Blood and death is all that should matter. Tragedy brought her to a new place. Fate put her in the arms of a vampire. The truth will tear her apart. Hailed as the most inspiring read since Twilight. Take a journey of tears and heartache as Ara finds that love is a reason to live. Will the vampire be her knight, or will the truth about him finish what Fate started?

This review has been a long time coming. And I apologize for that. This is actually the second time I've read Tears of the Broken by A.M. Hudson. This time, though, I had the pleasure of reading the hard copy novel. It's changed a lot since the first pass through and the changes have just made it that much better.

Ara has moved to the US from Australia following the death of her mother and her little brother. Broken inside and devestated by the loss, she starts life over with her father, stepmother, and step brother in a new house, going to a new school, and trying to blend in with new people. Leaving behind everything she's ever known.

She's immediately befriended by Emily, who is spunky and cheerful and takes Ara under her wing. Not to mention she's caught the eye of the school hunk, David Knight. A mysterious, tall-dark-and-handsome boy who, at first glace, seems way out of her league.

Ara's been through a terrible ordeal. She's trying to piece her life back together and move on and that's a hard thing for anyone to do after such a tragic loss. David makes her feel whole again. And she doesn't want to let it go. But David has a secret that can't be told and Ara has to make a decision she doesn't really want to make.

I love the characters in this series. I've said before that Emily kind of strikes me as Patty Simcox from the movie Grease. All peppy and bright eyed. She's warm and welcoming and a genuine friend that would be great to have. Ara is a typical teenage girl with a broken past struggling to make her way in life. It's fun to "listen" to her inner monologues and "watch" her as she zones out while she's debating things with herself. David is very... Edward Cullen-esque but without the possessive "You have to do what I say or I'm going to take apart your vehicle to make you listen" kind of deal. He's sweet and he's sensitive and he truly cares for Ara. I used to DREAM I'd find my own David. He's just... ::sigh::

I almost want to scream at her the ENTIRE book because if it were me? No brainer. But her? Not such a no brainer. She and I have been in similar places in our lives. I found my light and I wouldn't give him up for anything. But she risks losing him because she's holding on to something that just can't be anymore. And it makes me mad.

This was a great read. Both times. I loved book two as well and book three is definitely going to follow in their footsteps. I recommend this to anyone who's read and loved Twilight definitely. Because this is, as I said in my first review long ago, kind of like Twilight but in reverse. And you'll have to read the story to understand what I mean. :-) Go check it out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review - Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
I've been out of town for the last few days so I had some reading time. I knocked Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore out in just a few days and I must say I was very impressed. I wasn't sure if I would be because I'd read some negative reviews and some that said it was rather slow paced but I didn't get that at all. It had just enough action to hold me over during the "slower" parts.

I loved the book. It was ALMOST the perfect tie together for the series. I say almost because there were a couple of things I wish would have happened, but I can't tell you what because if you haven't read it already that would just spoil the entire thing.

Bitterblue was an amazing character. Unsure of herself TO herself, but strong and and courageous and the perfect person to focus book three around. She was determined and focused and wouldn't take no for an answer. I was glad to see Katsa and Po back, even if just in "supporting" roles. And I actually liked Giddon's part in the story as well. He completely grew on me.

Saf and Teddy have to have been my favorite additions though. Saf more than anything. Cocky and arrogant on the outside but soft and caring under his hard outer shell. It was great to watch him develop from the common thief I thought him to be to what he ended up as. And Teddy was just a sweetheart the whole way through.

I wasn't sure how Cashore was going to finish out the series, with Leck's demise in Graceling and Katsa and Po going off their own ways to do who knows what. But I was happy with how she completed their stories. Very happy. I REALLY wish there would be a book number four (and heck, a five, six, and seven for that matter) because ending a series is ALWAYS a sad thing for me, but I'm glad it finished the way that it did.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read both Graceling AND Fire, epic fantasies, strong female leads, etc. Go read it. You won't be sorry you did!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I want to apologize to all you guys for being more or less absent the last month or so. I haven't gotten much reading done (although I did finish a couple of books). It's been really busy here for me and I've had to put my reading and blogging on the back burner unfortunately. Hopefully here in July I'll be back up and running like normal. I appreciate you all for hanging in with me. I love you guys!

Monday, June 4, 2012


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