Book Review: The Silence of the Lambs

Read from May 22nd to May 29th, 2018.

I’m a little sad I read The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris out of order (it’s the sequel to Red Dragon, which I haven’t read yet), but I really needed a book to take with me to Colombia and it was just sitting there, mocking me.

So to start, I’d like to admit that I’m a big fan of the Hannibal movies, so this book was highly anticipated by me. My expectations were high, and they definitely were met. I was looking for good writing, shocking imagery, deeper thinking, and high levels of thrill.

All the characters were dynamically rich – full of detail and mannerisms – both the good guys and the murderous psychopaths alike. I loved following the inner thoughts of Clarice Starling through her detective work and lessons at the academy. I learned some on how the police force works, how it differs from location to location, and a little on psychology, but it didn’t feel like I was “in class” if that makes sense.

On top of all the thrilling imagery, there were so many plots to explore: the Buffalo Bill murder, Hannibal’s murders, Clarice’s standing at the academy, Clarice’s standing on her current case, the captive’s survival, etc.. The story is so rich in detail, I though I was a detective myself. And at moments, I might have gotten chills. It was great.

If you love true crimes and solving mysteries, you’ll love this story. It’s fun, exciting, sexy, emotional, and has well-rounded, complete plots. I’m giving The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris a 5/5 stars. My rating system is listed below:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

 

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Book Review: Dante’s Town of Terror

Read from May 12th through 21st, 2018.

I was sent Dante’s Town of Terror from the author, Patrick R. Delaney, to review. I was very happy to read it since I like thrillers and independent authors, so here we go.

First off, independent authors don’t always get the best editing they deserve. This book had a couple of plot holes that I kept wondering about, like where “did that lock come from,” or “what about the hammers, boards, and nails to board up the windows?” Or there once was a time when a character said they’d tell another character what they saw once they got back to hear their side of the story and then they never did. Little things like that threw me for a loop.

However, the setting was amazing. There was so much detail describing the fantasy town. I could picture all of it in my head. This is a setting I would happily return to (hopefully the author sends me the second book in the series).

My least favorite part wouldn’t be the plot holes, however, but actually the way the female characters were portrayed. I was hoping the whole time the girl, Cathy, was going to be involved in the story somehow, but really the author could’ve cut her character out completely and nothing would have changed. There’d be two less monster attacks caused by her. She kind of was the “stupid” one in the group. The men would tell her not to do something, and then she would do it a few chapters later, causing a small scene of conflict that doesn’t move the plot at all. The things she was doing made her a very unrealistic character. There was also a random shower scene of the girl that I didn’t see how it added to the plot. The second woman in the story disappeared really early on. The females seemed useless, so for me as a not-useless female it was hard to understand their perspective. That would be my biggest problem with the book.

I’m giving Dante’s Town of Terror by Patrick R. Delaney, his first novel in the series a 3.5/5 stars. I’d love to see what happens in the second book! My rating system is as followed: 

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

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Read from May 8th to April 5th, 2018.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson was a marvelous book. Being an artist myself, reading a whole novel about multiple characters who are artists was just delightful. They were especially engaging, believable, and unique. My favorite part of the book were probably the characters. The second is the dynamic relationships between them.

This was a big book, and I would read big chunks at a time because it was hard to find satisfying stopping points. Sometimes a lot was revealed, other times I was watching a relationship form.

The book had a tendency to draw things out that could’ve been shortened, I’d say, and a few shorter scenes could’ve been drawn out, but that would be my only negative.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is a great beach-trip book that reads moderately quickly. I’m giving it a 4/5 stars. My rating system is as listed:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down

Read from March 12, 2018 to March 31, 2018.

It’s been a long wait since John Green’s last publication, and I have to say that Turtles All The Way Down is one of his better ones. My favorite book of all time is Looking for Alaska, and The Fault in Our Stars is one of my least favorites. Paper Towns was a decent read. I’d say this one was also a decent read.

One could either hate or love this book. I think the beginning and end of the novel is fast and enjoyable. Those parts I could read happily on a beach for enjoyment. It’s a medium-sized chunk in the middle that I can see most people having trouble with. I didn’t see it as a problem because I think Mr. Green portrayed a mental illness pretty accurately, and I refuse to shame a book due to its accuracy. Yes, the person with the mental illness might not be pleasant to read about sometimes, but that’s not the author’s fault.

I kind of liked reading inside the mind of someone with this illness. It wasn’t the same as reading inside the head of someone who has totally fallen off their rocker. I don’t enjoy those because they tend to be scatterbrained. This story, including the parts which tell a truth that can be hard to read about, is totally chronological and organized. It’s not confusing to follow in the least bit.

Read it to understand a mental illness, if not to read for enjoyment. I’m giving Turtles All The Way Down by John Green a 4/5 stars. My rating system is the following:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: The Alchemist

Read from January 4th, 2018 until February 28th, 2018.

So, I bought The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho with high hopes since its 25th anniversary edition made the top 100 best sellers list, which is where I first heard about it.

Without spoiling too much, the beginning of the book seemed like the start of an adventure story, but the further I went on, the more I realized it was a book about life lessons. Every paragraph was some kind of message I had to wrap my head around and less of a plot. I was never swept away by the storyline because that was clearly not the focus of the book, therefore it was a very slow read for me. I only read a few pages at a time before setting the book aside for another time.

It is a short read, and inspirational at most times if you’re in the mood to listen, but it’s not a story for entertainment or I’d have finished reading it a lot quicker than I did. If you’re wanting something that is captivating,  something that will help you escape the real world for an hour each night before you go to bed, I wouldn’t recommend this. But if you want a book that’s filled with interesting proverbs and life lessons, this might be the way to go. I was overall saddened that I didn’t like this book.

I’m giving The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho a 2.5/5 stars. My rating system is as followed:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: Far Far Away

Read from January 4th, 2018 to January 12th, 2018
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For my first book of the year, can I first say that, wow, this book is underrated. I didn’t know much about Far Far Away by Tom McNeal when I first picked it up, and it had been sitting on my shelf for years after I bought it for a discounted price somewhere. I finally started it up this year and I can’t believe how long it took me to get to it!
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The writing is absolutely beautiful! The detail is spectacular. I couldn’t wait to get back to reading this story every chance I got. It just kept surprising me how much I liked it more and more.
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There were a few issues: there were a lot of artistic spots that got drawn out, which was usually great, but when the action hit I felt those scenes could’ve used less detail. I still had a few questions that were left unanswered at the end and the last few chapters felt a bit rushed. Also, and this is a small also, I was picturing a different setting than the one presented in the book the entire time, due to the narrators diction, accent and the way things worked in that setting in general.
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Besides that, without spoiling anything, I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes a good fairytale with a dark twist, or just a beautifully written story. You won’t be disappointed.
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I’m giving Far Far Away by Tom McNeal a 4/5 stars. My rating system is as followed:
  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

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Read from December 16th, 2017 to December 31st, 2017

I believe The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene was the best Nancy Drew book in the series yet (I’ve read #1-5)!

Since this is a children’s book, so I’ll grade the book as such. No spoilers included.

I thought that the setting was so dramatically different than the other locations that I’m used to that it added a new appeal to me. This book was full of hidden clues and tasks Nancy wouldn’t typically find or participate in back in River Heights. There were lots more characters in this book, too, which I feel were fleshed out more than usual. I actually couldn’t figure out who was the bad guy for the longest time. It was cleaver.

I also loved all the animals included. I can’t remember: were there animals in any of the other ones? Good, quick read to finish off the year.

I’m giving The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene a 4/5 stars. My rating system is below:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

 

Book Review: Lexicon

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Read from October 14, 2017 to December 12, 2017

Lexicon by Max Barry was both confusing and awesome all at once. Just putting this out there right now that this is an adult book, not a young adult. There are quiet a few sexual scenes and curse words within it.

I actually didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up this book. This was a blind recommendation from Reagan from Peruse Projects on YouTube. So I knew nothing about it before starting.

I won’t spoil anything, but I will give a general opinion about the book. The publisher might have skipped a few edits here and there because throughout the book there would be one or two sentence, movements, or images that I didn’t quiet understand, especially at the beginning. The sentence structure could have been polished in those few instances. This bothered me sometimes because I thought these moments in the text might have been important to know, but eventually I got used to not knowing possibly important details and going with the flow of what I did know about the story.

Secondly, this book starts as a mystery and didn’t really say much about the main plot until the very end. It’s a slow, brewing plot that sometimes bugged me because I just wanted to know what was going on there and then. However, I never got bored because there was always action that later became part of the plot. More and more was explained over time. You won’t need much patience because of all the action, but the lack of plot does take some getting used to.

Lastly, I want to say that this book stuck with me for a while after I finished. I was sad when it was over. It’s a very long book, so the story hung around in my mind. You do get to know the characters really well. There is a satisfying ending, but I still felt like I was leaving my whole life behind when I closed the book for the last time.

I hope I didn’t leave a negative perception of this book. I honestly thought it was a great read and would recommend for someone who just wants to binge read a good action book for a while. I totally felt like an adult while reading this, if that makes sense.

I’m giving Lexicon by Max Barry a 4/5 stars. My rating system is as followed:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: The Mystery at Lilac Inn

Read September 9, 2017 through October 23,2017

I always base my ratings off what I think the age group meant for the book would agree with. With that said, the Nancy Drew series is for children and I have taken that into consideration while reviewing this book.

The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene had some new things to bring to the series and revived some old features that are prevalent in all the Nancy Drew books, for example her love for her father and friends, which is always nice.

I won’t say any spoilers, but the ending seemed quickly put together, which I’m unsure why: the book’s only 180 pages long. Some things could’ve been explained more within another eight pages or so. That was my biggest problem I had with it. I couldn’t remember some of the characters since there were so many, but as long as the mystery got solved in a somewhat understandable way, which it did, then I’m happy.

I’m giving The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene a 4/5 stars. See my rating system below:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: Under the Dome

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Read from October 24th, 2016 to August 19th, 2017.

I’m so excited to say that I have completed a life goal of mine by reading my first 1000-paged book! It’s also my first Stephen King novel, which did not disappointed.

Under the Dome was very Stephen King-esque in the way that it was a psychological thriller. You never knew what people were going to do next. The dome was definitely an interesting plot device, too. Everyone was going crazy!

I’d actually give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars because there were a few moments when I thought it got slow (Very few and close together in the second half. It’s probably because it’s hard not writing a couple of slow scenes in a 1000-paged book). Near the end I saw one tiny, tiny plot hole that had to do with the giant government fans. And I also wanted a horrible death or judgment day for a certain someone. I didn’t think they got exactly what they deserved. Finally, I wanted more, if that’s too hard too believe! There were a few things I wanted to know at the very end.

In general, I thought the story was very satisfying. From page 1 to 1072, I knew I’d finish the book. I loved watching people grow together or suddenly die. I felt things that were expected. And I learned some neat survival tricks. Mostly though, I took from the story an unexpected message about violence, how it worsens in groups, and how to forgive one’s self after committing an act of violence.

I had fun, to say the least.

I’m giving Stephen King’s Under the Dome a 4.5/5 stars. See my rating system below:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime