The Creeping Review

Spoiler free, as always I will warn you before if any should arise! 

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy follows Stella, a girl who is about to enter her senior year of high school. She is also the girl who came out of the woods following the disappearance of her friend Jeanie. At the age of six Stella, Jeanie and her friends live in the small town of Savage. The play games and hunt monsters in the woods behind Jeanies house, until Jeanie disappears and Stella returns with no memeory of what happened. Jumping forward to the present in the story, Stella has made new friends and is popular in school. Just like a normal teenager, until another little girl is found dead at a party. We follow as Stella and her friends try to uncover whether the deaths of Jeanie and Jane Doe are the work or human sickos or something supernatural living in the forest, preying on little red-headed girls. 

I love the concept of this story! I like the idea of the monster living in the woods and all that supernatural junk. I was racking my brain the entire time trying to make the murders the work of a human, while the author tries to convince you otherwise. The pace of the story was smooth, never slow or too quickly. This is great for mystery stories like this, it gives you time to assemble your own theories. 

My one problem with this was the characters. The characters were aweful. Stella was an ok main character, she was annoying at times because of how wishy-washy she is. I feel like she can never make up her mind. I will say that about half way through the book Stella had some fabulous character development and growth and I found her less annoying after this. Zoey I did not like at all. Her attitude was rude and her personality was frustrating. She is the high school girl who is too worried about boys and popularity and her overly large breasts. At times she was very unlike a best friend towards Stella. She had some character development towards the end and she became more loyal but other than that, nothing. I did however like Sam, Sam was a great side character! Loyal, supportive, and at times stubborn. He wasn’t over bearing and he showed up at the right times. Stella’s dad bugged me. I don’t understand this character at all. How on Earth do you pay so little attention to daughter who was involved in a previous disappearance of a six year old child when another body shows up so similar to her case? He literally isn’t there for anything! As a parent, when something like this happens and your child becomes so involved, you should be more concerned with their safety than with anything else and he was absent or didn’t care. 

I was a little disappointed by the ending nothing major just because I was holding out hope that this creature who snatches little kids was found at the end. I wanted it to exist so much for the creepy factor, but the ending was satisfying and a bit shocking because it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Surprisin none the less. 

I gave this book a 3/5 stars because I couldn’t get over the characters. If it was one particular character I could put it aside but it was several. The story was great and the concept was wonderful. But with so many character issues, I couldn’t let that go.  As always, thanks for reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany

Disaster Falls Review

As always, I will try to avoid spoilers but will alert you if they should arise. 

Disaster Falls by Stephane Gerson is heart breaking. It took me a decent amount of time to read this book (which is roughly 250 pages long) because of how hard this hits the heart. 

We follow a father who has just lost his son, Owen, on a family trip to Disaster Falls. The family goes rafting and the youngest son, who is eight, dies on the rapids. The fact that this book follows the death of a child makes it difficult to read. Then on top of that you are reading from the view point of the father who feels like he is responsible for his sons death. Every other page strikes emotion into the reader. As someone who does not have children this hit me in a different way than if someone who has children were to read this story. But regardless of that matter, you are still able to feel empathy for this family. There were moments when I had to stop and put the book down because I couldn’t stop crying. 

The story begins with the father explaining how others have reacted towards Owens death. He explains how and why the family hid from the world to grieve. He also speaks a bit about the funeral and his concerns for his wife, as it is easier for him to worry about her well being rather than his own at this time. Another point he hits is his inattention to his other son Julian. This is another point that really got my emotions spinning because it’s not something that I noticed until it was pointed out. It made me feel awful and I wondered if this occurs in families who have experienced a loss of another child. Most of the beginning is what you would expect to read on the topic but the way it is written makes it difficult and on top of that you remember at times throughout that this is this boys father telling you all this. 

As the story progresses, slowly Owens father begins to share his belief that the death is his fault and the reader can really see how hard it is for him to see otherwise. You can feel him struggling to explain at times. Dad also compares his grief to his wife’s and how they handle it. Dad is baffled at how open his wife is with dealing with the loss of her baby, where he goes out of his way to avoid mention of it. 

There was a quote in the story that really sat with me as I read, “…while those who have lost a parent are called orphans, there is no word for those who have lost a child.” The reason this was on the forefront of my mind while I was reading is because often times, orphans are referred to as abandoned. But while reading I noticed that this father felt abandoned, not only by himself and other around him, but by his physical and mental strength during the accident. His feeling of failure is evident and that leads him to abandon himself at times. 

One thing I really liked about the setup of the book is that at the beginning of each chapter there is a message from someone regarding Owens death. For me this really put an emphasis on the weight that the outside world unknowingly places on the family as they try to adjust to this new life without their son. 

Overall I have this book a 4/5 stars. I did not give it a full five because at times I feel like there was not enough detail in some of the descriptions and I am a detail person, super picky about details. But with that being the only thing, this was a wonderfully heartbreaking story with a slap in the face at the last 50 or so pages. Stephane Gerson is a brave soul to share such a story with the world. Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany

If you would like more info about the author you can follow the link here: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/247711/stephane-gerson/ 

If you would like more info regarding the book, you can follow this link: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/536651/disaster-falls-by-stephane-gerson/

I have received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Code Talkers Review

Code Talkers by Joseph Bruchac follows the life of a Navajo Marine from his days in school to his days as a marine in World War Two. I will attempt to keep this as spoiler free as possible!

We follow Kii Yazhi a young boy from a Navajo tribe who goes to the “white mans school” where he is forced to learn English, history, math and science. The basic things you learn in school. He is also taught that the Navajo way is bad. Being an Indian is bad. Speaking his native language is forbidden. All through his schooling he maintains his knowledge of his sacred language while learning to speak English. Then, one year when he is fifteen a marine recruiter shows up at his school looking for Navajos 17-25 who are proficient in both languages. They are needed for a special job in the war. Wanting desperately to join but being too young, Ned Begay (he was forced to change his name in the school), goes to his parents to ask for their blessing. After waiting a year, Ned joins the marines and goes through extensive training to become a Navajo Code Talker. From then on we hear stories of his experiences with his unit fighting in the pacific. 

I was beyond happy to finally pick this book up! I haven’t come across many books that embrace the Native American culture or their contributions in World War Two. Being Lakota, I have decided that I really want to read more books with Native American characters, cultures and customs.  I have heard people talk about the importance of the Code Talkers in the war but most of the time the topic is just glazed over. Especially in a recent history class that I took, there was a whole section about them and I was genuinely excited to get to it, but the professor just flew over it. For those of you who aren’t away what a code Talker is, they were Native American Maribes in World War Two who were trained to transcribe their native language into codes that code be sent over radio, but these codes had to be so secure that the Enemy couldn’t figure them out. And this worked! This book was really heart warming and reached past the expectations I had for it! 

This book in particular had a unique writing style, the words themselves flowed very smoothly but the narration is what got me. It begins as if Ned is about to tell his grandchildren the story of his life and he does. The middle is a giant flash back to these days and the end picks up like a story to the children again. The author made sure all of the events were in chronological order and gave just enough detail to paint the scene in your head without going over board. 

Overall I gave this a 4/5 stars, mainly because I really wanted more of his life after he returned home. The ending was slightly abrupt. But I enjoyed this thoroughly and plan on reteading this again. Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany 📚

The Walled City Review

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin.  

Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. This set of rules stamped on the cover of this book had me sold. I had heard a few things about this book but nothing more than action packed. I went into this without knowing much and that was a great decision! 

This story is told through three view points: Jin, a young girl disguised as a boy who snuck into the Walled City to find her sister. For someone so small, she packs a punch. Jin is full of determination and perseverance and such a strong desire to find her sister that she really instills her strong value for family regardless of her parents mistakes. Mei Yee: a sister who was sold by her father into a brothel as a prostitute. Throughout the story we really get to see major character development for Mei Yee. She starts out as very survival based. Keep your head down, obey the master, take your clients, bite your tongue, but as the story progresses you see her come into her own. She wants to fight back and escape and is willing to risk death to do so. And Dai: a boy from the City Beyond, no one knows how or why he is in the Walled City. He has a past that haunts him and he spends the book trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the City Beyond, if he fails he spends the rest of his life behind bars and he knows it. He is a strong and clever character eager to throw himself in harms way. 

The Walled City, Hak Nam, is where all of the criminals flee to in order to avoid arrest, its dirty, diseased and dangerous. There is no government, no laws, and no one to help if things take a turn for the worst. The City Beyond has no jurisdiction over Hak Nam and won’t send anyone inside to help. I really like where the author found her inspiration for such a setting, which came from Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. The fact that she derived this whole story or survival around one very real location just shows how powerful the human imagination can be. The world building at the beginning of the story is wonderful but what really blew me away was that she continued to World build throughout the story. The author pays a close eye to details not only in describing the world but the characters, situations and scenes as well. 

He different view points make the plot a bit addicting because each character wants something different. But when Dai convinces Jin to help him with drug runs for the most dangerous man in the Hak Nam, this helps both of them. Dai is able to get into the brotherhood to look for needed info and Jin gets to search it for her sister. The whole plot is based around survival and secrets. You are kept on your toes. 

There is a strong caste system in place while reading but it’s very subtle when discussed. What I mean is, when it’s mentioned you can feel how heavily it ways on the characters but the author doesn’t spend every two pages making sure you know who is higher up on the chain of command. 

I also really loved that there was no insta-love in this story at all!! I hate instantaneous love, you don’t just fall in love at first sight. But it’s a very prominent trope in the ya community so I deal with it. I usually won’t comment on it but I have to with this one. Dai and Mei Yee meet and you can see they are interested in each other. The scene is something similar to a princess locked away in a tower but less cheesy. Mei Yee wants Dai to help her but knows that it may not happen. And there is no “my heart skipped a beat when I saw him/her” type of feelings or commentary and I believe this is due to the characters being so focused on survival. 

I also want to mention a much smaller character who I fell in love with. His name is Chma and he is a cat. Yes, a cat. This little stubborn ball of fluff is a light comic relief when the scene gets tense and he provides so much character comfort that people tend to skim over because he is just a cat. I have noticed this with animals in other books but I think this one really stuck out to me because now I have a cat that is really coming into his personality and it just warms my insides. So anytime Chma was mentioned my heart melted a little bit because I can relate now! 

Over all I gave The Walled City a 4.75 out of 5 stars. I didn’t give it the full 5 because there were scenes that I wish had a bit more to them, and the same scenes I wish had more where a bit slow for my liking, but everything else was solid for me! I love this book and look forward to reading more from the author. Thank you reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review

Jonathan Safran Foer is known for writing such meaningful and brilliant novels, his work is highly praised across the globe. I was so excited to finally read something of his and I had such high expectations for this book, unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. 

When picking up this book, all I had heard was how absolutely wonderful it was! It held so much meaning and it was whimsical! While the book did hold those qualities, they didn’t strike me as hard as I had hoped for. 

We follow a nine year old boy by the name of Oskar. Oskars father died in the attacks on 9/11. This heartbroken boy stumbles upon a key in his late fathers closet and is determined to find what it opens. He wonders maybe his father left it for him to find. He spends well over eight months scowering the city of New York to find its lock and meets wonderful people along the way. But I’d ultimately let down when the key is unrelated to his father. 

I was bewildered by the fact that we had a book that took place around such a large American Tragedy. The attacks on the World Trade Center are not something we see in literature, especially young adult literature and it astounded me that the author thought to base a story around one young boy who was so effected by this event. I loved the fact that we followed such a young character, who is experiencing a plethora of emotions and is searching for answers he may never get. That will hit anyone in the feels, regardless of where you are from! 

I feel for Oskar, he is depressed and this key gives him something to put his mind to for awhile and helps him cope with his lose. I was really hopting to see more symbolism in this story, as I am sure there is. I just missed it. I don’t think I read this book at an appropriate time in my life to see all of it. It took me nearly a month to complete. But the symbolism I did see, I loved enough to want to reread this later in my life. I loved that Oskar was scared to show his mother the recordings he hid of his dads calls. I loved that his mother knew that he was walking around New York City searching for this key and never told her son she would call all these people he would meet ahead of time to keep him safe. I love the deep and profound love his grandmother has for him. I think I enjoyed reading the tidbits we get from Oskars grandma the most. We get an onsite into why his grandfather left and what an odd relationship they had, we get to see a man trying to redeem himself to be in his grandsons life. There are so many touching moments in this story and it saddens me that I didn’t get the impact I was expecting. 

Overall, at this point in time, I gave the book a 2.75/5 stars. I will round that up, 3/5 stars. The writing was beautiful, but slow at times. I love the symbolism I did see and hope to see more when I reread this at a later date. I feel like we lost sight of the plot at times, some of the events in the book just didn’t fit. This book was way over hyped though and I believe that is part of the reason I am still holding out hope. But I will continue to hold that hope. Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany

Redeeming Love Review

I have never read a Christian Historical Fiction. I have never read a Christian anything aside from the Bible. It’s just not something that has been for me, but when a dear friend of mine handed a copy to me and told me I had to read her favorite book…you bet I read it. 

 We follow two main characters the first bring a prostitute named Angel and the second a god loving farmer named Micheal. This novel is set during the California Gold Rush, no it’s not what you’re thinking. Micheal receives a message from God, who has a strong presence in the book (keep in mind the genre) that he is to marry Angel. Angel is a woman who has had a hard life starting from childhood. She was the product of an affair, grew up knowing her father didn’t want her, her mother was a prostitue who died when she was eight, then at that same age she was sold into prostitution to a child molester. All her life, prostitution is all she has known. Please the man, get the money. And she is stuck in her ways. So when micheal shows up determined to marry her, she protests. Micheal is an honest, good man, seeking a good life with a wife he can love forever. After servicing a brutal beating micheal marries her and takes her back to his farm where he is determined to help her lead a better life. 

I opened this book and told myself I was going to keep an open mind. I am extremely judgmental when it comes to any sort of religious aspect in any book no matter how hard I try not to be.  It’s just something I feel is extremely dramatized or is never done without being overbearing, even if its only a paragraph in the entire book. But. I am a person who will support you in whatever faith you have whether it’s a singular god, an unknown force or an inanimate object. It’s your right to worship whatever you want and I think that is wonderful! But it bothers me that people tell you that you are wrong for believing something different. You’re not. So I am a little ashamed that I didn’t keep my mind wide open when I started this. For the first 100-150 pages, the characters would say or do something and I would judge them, hard core. So I had to stop and give myself a talking to, upon picking it up again I found it so much easier to read! Because it’s ok that the authors views differ from my own, I’m here to enjoy this story. And I did very much. 

Micheal. Micheal. Micheal. For a good three fourths of this book I was very annoyed with his character. Micheals character is self explanatory, he is honest and good and wants a woman to spend his life with. But some of his behaviors and mannerisms worked themselves to the point of overbearing to me. Some of the actions he took I respected him for, like not having sex with Angel until she was ready even though he wanted to. Others I wanted to slap him for. I felt there were several times in the story that he was pushing Angel too hard and that only added to her reluctance, which I know the author did on purpose but, it’s still irritating. The last portion of the book he grew on me a bit because he was at his breaking point, we got to see just how much of a toll this woman had taken on him. 

Angel. Loved this character. She’s knows she’s been through hell but still manages to keep her head up. She’s strong willed, stubborn and smart. When she does finally admit to wanting a life with Micheal, witnessing her character growth is stupendous! Her growth throughout the book is stupendous! There isn’t much to say on her because she is such a wonderful and well written character that you relate to her without experiencing her hardships. 

Overall this book was a rather quick read despite the size. It was fun two watch these two characters grow on each other and into a life together. The writing was elegant and flowed very well. 4/5 stars! Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany

A Monster Calls Review

A Monster Calls is beautiful and heartbreaking. We follow Connor who is tormented by a reoccurring nightmare that he is forced to face when a Monster appears at his window one night. The monster wants the truth which is something Connor doesn’t want to admit. As we follow this young boy and how he tries to stay strong even though his mother is dying, you can’t stop your heart strings from being tugged. 

Along with this story are wonderful illustrations that I couldn’t get enough of! The story was well paced and the illustrations came just when you wanted them too! The whole thing flowed so smoothly it was over before I was ready for it to end. 

It’s hard to review this book without spoilers, so I will keep this short. A Monster Calls is a beautiful journey of a young boy facing his greatest fear and an unlikely “monster” helping him along the way. 5/5 stars and a mist read for everyone! 

Thanks for listening to my babbles and until next time,

Tiffany 💕

Dark Matter Review

***spoilers*** I will try to leave out the more mind boggling things so I don’t spoil as much of the story. If you haven’t read this book please do so before reading this! 

I would like to start by say holy shit. 

I love a good story about time travel, inter dimensions and multiverses. This book deals with multiverses and it was so indescribable and perfect. 

The main character Jason doesn’t have the most spectacular life, but a life he is happy with. A loving wife, a son, a job he is content with. Things that we can relate to. Until one night after meeting an old friend he gets kidnapped and wakes up in a world that isn’t his. All through the process of his kid napping the author keeps you thinking about who is the kidnapped and why they want to take Jason. I went into this book knowing nothing so I kept assuming it was a coworker or a friend who had a grudge, but when he wakes up in a different version of his world I was completely mind blown! After finding out who did kidnapped him and why Things got crazier! 

Let’s talk about the box. What I love about the box in this book is that the author took the time to think about how this device should work and then took more time to explain it. The box is the device that is essentially the door to the other multiverse and when paired with a certain drug it allows the user to travel between versions of his or her life. It works/chooses worlds based on who ever consumes the drugs emotions, it was created by Jason2. While inside this box we see several different versions of Jason’s original world all based on what he is thinking and feeling but it doesn’t actually occur to you until they try to figure out how to work the box, which isn’t just explained in a couple of paragraphs when the box is first introduced, but as the characters are inside. You learn about the box along with them. All the tests done in Jason2 world have sent someone in and they haven’t returned so no one outside has any real understanding of it. 

The Jasons. Jason2, let’s get him out of the way because frankly just the fact that he caused this makes me angry. He built this crazy, ground breaking machine, is rich and brilliant but he is unhappy because he is starting to regret decisions that he has made in his life. Somewhere along the lines he decides it’s a great idea to steal another version of his life from another version of himself (original Jason) using this box. No one will know right? Wrong, Jason knows. The original Jason, I adore. He has this profound love for his family and no matter what happens or all of the stupid crazy things he thinks about doing to get his life back, that love and desire to return to his wife and son keeps him grounded. Seeing things that could break anyone in a situation even remotely similar (like watching your wife die not only once but twice or a world were your child never existed) he knows that’s not his world and that they are home safe and unaware of the stranger in their home. 

The feels. Once his family finds out what is going on, it pulled on my heart strings until they wanted to snap! Even though he sounds deranged, they believe him and after going through certain events and seeing what he is talking about, they go in the box with him!!! Into the box!! To find a new world and start a new life together!! That is love and strong family ties and the highest level. 

The book was intense, entertaining, took a crazy concept and made it somewhat normal, promoted a strong family and love. I loved the concept, the world building, how the writing flowed and the fact that we do get to see glimpses of how his wife sees changes in her husband once the switch happens. Solid 5/5 stars hand down. I was extremely satisfied with all the surprises this book held. I really don’t want to spoil it too much so I will say no more. Thank you for stopping by, reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany. 

Carve The Mark Review!

***Spoilers***

I recently picked up Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth. I absolutely love her Divergent trilogy, it’s one of my favorite dystopian reads. I went into Carve The Mark knowing two things: 1. Its takes place in space. 2. There is a controversy over whether or not this book promotes racism and slavery. I will talk about that towards the end but for now here are my thoughts! 

Veronica Roth has this ‘thing’ with killing characters, I fully support this because it gives the story that much more depth and suspense to keep you on alert. So lots of people die in this book and that’s just fine. Her characters were well developed and strong and didn’t instantaneously fall in love. We follow Cyra and Akos along a journey with feuding colonies. It’s told in dual perspective which is one of my favorite styles to read in. Akos is from Thuvhe, a frozen area of this planet full of gentle and duffle people. While Cyra is from a more brutal and forceful colony across The Divide, Shotet. Their paths cross when Akos is kidnapped and forced to serve Cyra’s family. They develope a friendship and later in the book a romance. 

The setting is in space and on the planet that both Thuvhe and Shotet are trying to dominate. This is where I was slightly disappointed because I had very high expectations for the setting. I love space and stories that take place up in the great unknown and I love to see how the authors interpret this setting differently. The author didn’t give as much detail when it came to the setting, the descriptions of The Current (their power source) were wonderful but other than that I felt like it was very basic. The author did put a lot of work into the political aspect of this book and how the societies function so that help soften some of the disappointments from the setting. 

Now on to the big kicker, does this book promote racism? In my opinion, no. I can see how some people may get that idea but you have to understand, these are two completely different civilizations fighting to control a planet. They are at war. Did we all sleep through history when we talked about World War One? They are not going to be polite with one another, there is going to be name calling and property being destroyed because again they are essentially at war with each other, they are fighting for their home with societies that have never come to an agreement about anything. One of these colonies Shotet isn’t even recognized by the Assembly as a legal society because they just showed up one day! They are accommodating to Shotet religious and cultural customs until that can be established but that doesn’t mean they are being racist. I’m not saying racism is a good thing because it’s not but it doesn’t happen in the book. People are over interpreting things. The next thing: does it promote slavery? Yes, there is slavery in the book. I don’t believe it promotes slavery as the book takes place in a futuristic setting but the customs and ways of the societies are very old worldly. The people have traditions as if they live in the early 1800’s. And the only reason about Akos being kidnapped and forced to work for the Noavak family (Cyra’s family) is because his fate (predetermined by the Oracle and as far as we know unchangable) said that he was going to die in service to the Noavak family. If his fate was different I don’t believe he would be in the situation he was in. So yes there is slavery in the book but the author follows the plot of the story, they didn’t just desire to enslave the main character. 

Overall, I gave this book a 4/5 stars because the story was well deveoped and for going into it knowing very little I was surprised and will definitely be picking up the next one. Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time! 

-Tiffany

Melody’s Key Review!

***This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review***When it comes to romance, it is definitely a genre that I have to be in the mood for. I enjoyed reading this debut novel and following the characters blossoming romance. I loved the characters as they were easy to relate to and I loved that music played a big role throughout the story because it is something I hold very dearly in my heart as my husband is a musician. But my absolute favorite part of this book was that there was no love triangles and no instant love. None!! It made the story refreshing! I enjoyed the authors writing as it was smooth and easy to follow and I loved the quirky names of the chapters. The main male character is a famous singer which at first didn’t sit well with me, I had a hard time believing that he would fall for an everyday person because we don’t see that happen.  The one thing I wish was different was the box of love letters between Violet and Jonathan. I understood that it held an importance in the way our main character Tegen saw love but I don’t feel as if it was stressed enough. It was more of just popped in there and that deflated the value of these letters between them, it just didn’t fit for me and I wanted it to fit so bad! Over all I did enjoy this book and am looking forward to seeing more from Dallas Coryell in the future. Thanks for stopping by and until next time! 

Tiffany