Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Gracekeepers

I received Kirsty Logan's novel, The Gracekeepers, as an ARC.I thought for a good little bit about how I was ever going to write the review for this book. I'm finding it very difficult. LOL

I really loved the cover and the title of this book. The book itself was not really anything like I expected....in a good way.  I thought it would be more YA Fantasy...but it was so not. It had more of serious adult tone.

The overall feel of this story is otherworldly, almost dreamlike. Kind of magical, mystical. It would expect you to know what it was talking about but maybe you wouldn't always understand. Not that that's a turn off. It built its world beautifully. I mean, the novel is a a gorgeous read. I never knew where the story was heading...couldn't even guess. It stayed with me after reading it. I thought about it while laying in bed to fall asleep and while getting ready for work in the morning. There was just something about it that made me want to continue reading it.

The main characters are Callanish and North. Callanish is a Gracekeeper and North is the Bear Girl in a Circus. However, we get the perspective of pretty much everyone in the book throughout, which includes all the Circus people. The book is set in a world that is not our own, but likely a possible future. I really don't want to tell anything about it because part of what I liked about it was not really knowing where it was headed...what the end game was...what the point of the book really was until it was over. It's not fast paced and it's not too slow. It has momentum, just enough.

I really liked this book. It's kind of melancholy...so I think you likely have to be in that sort of mood to read it. I'm happy to have received it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Finding Audrey

It's been a few years since I've done a review...hoping to get back on track starting with this little gem....

I was never interested in reading the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. I have, however, read (and fully enjoyed) three of her stand alones: Can You Keep a Secret, Remember Me?, and I've Got Your Number. So, I'm not going to lie, I was completely psyched to get my hands on an ARC of her first foray into YA fiction: Finding Audrey!

So, the book is kind of hard for me to put my finger on. It's obviously her book and her voice. It's got her humor and flow. I truly laughed out loud in several parts. I love how she uses texts, notes, and e-mails throughout the book. I love how there is a huge portion of the book that really does give a good hard look at how horrible technology (gaming) is and the addiction to said technology but at the same time showing the ridiculousness behind over reacting about it. I mean, it is what it is, right? And what's the big deal with gaming anyway? This hit close to home for me as I am a gamer. Also as a mother and a wife and never wanting to cross that line that will screw up my children's or even my mind for that matter. I could completely see the mother's side of things as well as Frank's, the older brother and gaming addict. Seriously though, how much gaming is too much? The mother was a hysterical hoot. Actually the whole family in the book is well done. I enjoyed them all. And the little one didn't annoy me at all. People tend to write children annoying. But this kids was just fine, and not in it enough to be annoying anyway. 

All that aside, the main focus of this book is about Audrey and the things that she has to deal with through her recovery. This is where it gets difficult to explain because at the end of it all, it is basically a book educating folks. I have been fully educated on what it might be like in the brain of someone dealing with psychological issues. I believe that's what this book was really meant to be about. To shed light on a subject that needs more light shed on it. I think it would be great for actual young adults to read it and enjoy the story while also learning a lot and maybe having a bit more understanding of their fellow peers without even realizing they've been exposed to some education.

The issues that Audrey is dealing with and her perspective are fleshed out so well that you can only assume the person writing them has dealt with each single issue. It can be kind of distracting actually, or at least it was for me, because I was constantly stopping and going, oh that's interesting! I couldn't help but stop and think about the author and what her relationship to some of these psychological problems Audrey deals with must be. So yeah, it was so well done it distracted me.

And the romance...well Linus seems sweet...but I don't get his motivation. Like what does he dig about this particular girl? I guess there are lots of books where the romantic lead does not really show their redeeming qualities to the characters within the book but we let it slide because our perspective is completely different. I mean we see them because we are in their head, but the characters within the book don't get to see from the perspective we do. So, that kind of bothers me sometimes, and it did in this book as well.  Are we thoroughly confused yet?

Overall, it was a quick read (I read it in a few hours). It's mostly written from the perspective of Audrey. And she is a funny girl. There were a few times where I got confused on if it was written in past or present tense or whatnot. I'm assuming those are all just kinks that need to be worked out before it's officially available.

I am grateful to have been given a copy and I will be looking forward to Sophie Kinsella's future books whether they be Chick Lit or YA.