Thursday, 3 January 2013

December Book Ratings + Reflections

Happy new year! Now that December is over, I'm going to go ahead and talk about all the books I've read this month. These are only quick reflections or short reviews, not real reviews. Some months I will probably make more review videos in which I will record actual reviews, but for this month, I've decided just to do a collection of reflections. However, if you would like to see a written review of any of these books, please just ask! Also, check out my Goodreads to see full reviews of some of these books. :)

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
I loved this third book in the Heroes of Olympus series! Filled with action, mythology, suspense, and cool character backstory, this book was really exactly what I needed to read. I still find it amazing that the author can combine the unique plot lines of 7 different, amazing characters without making things too confusing... but it does get confusing sometimes. The greek and roman mythology mixed together made my brain hurt a little bit, but it was a good hurt, and I loved it. The characters were awesome, as mentioned before, but Annabeth will always be my favourite. She is amazing and brilliant and is definitely an inspirational female lead. But why??? WHY THAT ENDING MR. RIORDAN???????Now I reallllllyyy want the House of Hades! D:
**** */*
4.5/5 stars

The Book of (Even More) Awesome by Neil Pasricha
This was a super fun book that I enjoyed even more than the Book of Awesome. The book seemed more interactive than the previous book, for example, "doing a headstand for the first time" was upside down, the paragraph on "experiencing deja vu" was repeated twice, and "waking up and realizing it's Christmas" had the phrase It's Christmas!!! repeated about one hundred times to prove it's point. I loved having this book to read slowly throughout the first week or two of December. 
**** */*
4.5/5 stars

The Book of Holiday Awesome by Neil Pasricha
This book was still awesome, but not as good as the other two. This was largely because there was a lot of repeats already mentioned in the other two books. It was a bit of a disappointment when a large amount of the book I had already read, so I'm actually glad I don't own all three (I don't own any but whatever). I also found some of the awesome things less easy to relate to, though I loved the Christmas ones, and the ones about holidays I didn't know much about. I would recommend this very quick read during the holidays. :)
4/5 stars

Crossed by Allie Condie 
(reflection summarized from my Goodreads review). I admit there was celebrating involved when I finished this novel. However, this is not a bad book, it just not for me. I think Allie Condie is an extremely talented author. Her beautiful descriptions and metaphors throughout the book were truly amazing, and the love story to some would be breathtaking. But I read the book for the dystopia society, so the book didn't appeal to me. As I said before, I loved the quality of writing itself, and the development and backstory of old characters, as well as introduction of new ones. But the book was incredibly slow, and the book just dragged on and on, plus it was predictable. The romance between Ky and Cassia was extremely repetitive, and sometimes it made me want to put down the book and get sick. ;P Nothing really happened, and it felt like the whole novel was 367 pages of Cassia and Ky wanting to be together forever. Well that's nice. I'm sorry  to give this book such a low rating, but I couldn't get into it. I literally cheered after making it halfway through the book, I looked at the page number after every chapter, and I was relieved upon reaching the end of the novel. Maybe I'll check out Reached in hopes of it redeeming this sequel. 
* */*
1.5/5 stars 
Note: This is just my opinion! I am really glad that some people enjoyed it. I definitely understand others point-of-view, but I'm not going to lie when sharing mine. Thanks! :)

The Spirit of Christmas by Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson (as well as various authors)
This was a really sweet book, and short too. It was a great in-between read for during the holidays. The stories were both funny, sad, and inspirational, and were excellent to help yourself to stop during Christmas time and just think about what Christmas and the holidays are really about. 
4/5 stars 

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
(reflection summarized from my Goodreads review)
An extremely thought-provoking and drawing read about the meaning of true beauty. This was a beautiful book. Just beautiful in the way that it’s written. Headley is definitely a very talented author. She did a very good job of presenting her idea of the true meaning of beauty in the end, and I loved the journey Terra took throughout the novel. I really liked the character Jacob. Jacob just was so different than so many people I know, and I loved his depth and smart words about life and beauty. I must say there were some very frustrating moments in this book. Terra sometimes made me angry with the decisions she made. There were also times where Terra did what I wanted her to do.I felt for Terra and her family, and hated her Dad with a passion (no sympathy there). However, sometimes Terra's mom frustrated me too.The trip to China, mapping references and the geocaching parts of the novel were very interesting and added a unique touch to the book. The rating for this is tough, because there were times where I didn't feel particularly "pulled" into the novel until further into the novel. It took a little to get into it.
4/5 stars.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
(reflection summarized from my Goodreads review)
I had a lot to say about this one, so I will miss out on a lot of points for this reflection/short review. This time around, the language was easy to get into and I picked up on it right away. I was sort of waiting for something to pick it up for some more action rather than one thing the whole book, but I didn't find it boring. I loved Emmi and The Free Hawks, as well as new characters like Slim, who made me very amused, Auriel, and Molly. And Jack's POV! That all being said, let's get into the negative aspects. I hated DeMalo and his role in the story, and he was completely different than he was in Blood Red Road. I could hardly believe they were the same character! He ruined the last 1/4 of the book for me and I wish he just was never included. I also hated the expansion from Saba having one interest to three love interests. Love square, much. I was sad that Saba lost her fight in this book, and also hated that some awesome characters died. I also despised Lugh with a passion and I was very surprised because I thought he was supposed to be likeable. I missed Jack, because he was only in the book for a short amount of time. I imagine you now understand my disappointment. 
3/5 stars. 

Gosh, some of those "reflections" were longer than intended. Sorry, this was a long post!
I have now finished Sisters Red and am reading Let it Snow, which I am enjoying. Next Tuesday I will be posting my reading resolutions for 2013 for Top Ten Tuesday. :) Happy 2013!

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