Monday, May 21, 2018

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | Review

22055262Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Kell is one of the last travelers--magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King--George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered--and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London--a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was a Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and teacher lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

Before I started this book, I knew that there was a lot of hype surrounding it. Everyone seems to love this book and the world that Schwab created. That's probably why I went into this book with really high expectations. Sadly, I was let down. I blame the hype.

what i liked
  • Kell's jacket. Who wouldn't want a multi-sided jacket that you could store like an infinite amount of things in??
  • The idea of multiple Londons. Schwab's world-building was literally great, and I couldn't get enough of it. 
  • Lila-she's such a badass character. I think she was actually my favorite character of the whole story. 
  • Schwab's writing style, which was so awesome. It was interesting, because I'm usually drawn to really lyrical writing, but I appreciated how Schwab didn't really fluff things up. 
what i didn't like
  • I found it... boring. I felt like nothing was really going on a lot of the time, which led me to have trouble pushing through the book. The pacing was just incredibly slow for me.
  • When events did happen, I knew they were going to happen before they did. That's right. I found the book predictable... which was sad. 
  • I didn't ship the possibility of a romance. I know that many people who have read this book ship Kell and Lila with all their hearts, but I didn't really care for the two of them together. 
So, overall, I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it. So, 3 stars it is.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Being There by Jerzy Kosinski | Review

677877Title: Being There
Author: Jerzy Kosinski
Publisher: Grove Press
Release Date: September 15, 1999 (originally published January 1, 1970)

A modern classic now available from Grove Press, Being There is one of the most popular and significant works from a writer of international stature. It is the story of Chauncey Gardiner - Chance, an enigmatic but distinguished man who emerges from nowhere to become an heir to the throne of a Wall Street tycoon, a presidential policy adviser, and a media icon. Truly "a man without qualities," Chance's straightforward responses to popular concerns are heralded as visionary. But though everyone is quoting him, no one is sure what he's really saying. And filling in the blanks in his background proves impossible. Being There is a brilliantly satiric look at the unreality of American media culture that is, if anything, more trenchant now than ever. 
This was a book that I had to read for one of my classes at school. It was for a comm class, so of course the reading wasn't that bad. The story follows Chance, who basically spent his whole life in a garden. He soon becomes a national hit, after the man who lives in the garden's home dies.

This book, though it may not seem like it on the surface, is actually pretty funny. There are so many ridiculous things that happen that you can't help but laugh while you're reading it. My roommate took the class with me, and she read it before me. While she was reading it, she'd literally start laughing and tell me that insane things were happening in the book and that I'd understand more when I read it.

Being There is also a super short book, so you really fly through it when you're reading it. If you're looking for a quick, funny read this summer, then I'd definitely suggest picking this one up.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler | Mini Review

1813867Title: Ladder of Years
Author: Anne Tyler
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: March 26, 1996

BALTIMORE WOMAN DISAPPEARS DURING FAMILY VACATION, declares the headline. Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead is last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To her husband and three almost-grown children, she has vanished without trace or reason. But for Delia, who feels like a tiny gnat buzzing around her family's edges, "walking away from it all" is not a premeditated act, but an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life... 

I picked this book up too because it was part of my English class! I found this one to be pretty enjoyable compared to the other books that I had to read. I've never read anything by Anne Taylor, but I do know that a lot of people find her fiction stories to be really easy to read.

It was interesting how the story followed a woman who just up and left her family during a vacation and tried living her own life alone. I found Delia to be annoying at times, but the storyline was just so different that oftentimes I found myself thinking about the novel when I wasn't reading it.

I did find the book to be easy-to-read because there wasn't much depth to it. The language was simple too, so it'd definitely be a nice beach reach, I think. I'd definitely recommend it!