Reading Diary + Book Review: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik (Blog Tour) @prhinternational #partner

I am so happy to be today’s host in The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik blog Tour.
I want to say thank you to Amanda Holman for giving me this opportunity, and to Penguin Random House, Viking Books for Young Readers for sending me a free copy of the book (ISBN (9780451480477) ).

Blurb:

This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.

Then Noah → gets hypnotized.

Now Noah → sees changes: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his old dog, who once walked with a limp, is suddenly lithe; his best friend, a lifelong DC Comics disciple, now rotates in the Marvel universe. Subtle behaviors, bits of history, plans for the future—everything in Noah’s world has been rewritten. Everything except his Strange Fascinations . . .

 

Reading Diary:

So… This time around I decided to do something different. Watching reading vlogs is something I enjoy doing in my free time, especially when I need that little push when it comes to my reading. As you probably already know, camera is not friend of mine, so I decided to track my reading in a different, but still similar way.
I decided to write a short reading diary, and take you with me (via pictures) to all the places in Zagreb that I thought would be great reading spots (yeah, I made it sound like I’ve been to soooooo many places, when in reality, I visited only few of them).

I enjoyed taking pictures and reading in public so much, that I decided to do this again some time in the future.

Without further ado, this is my reading diary…

 

May 23rd 

Wednesday morning and I am on a mission to take the most comfortable chair in McCaffe, so I could eat and read a bit before I have to go to work.
Of course, that specific chair was taken (because it always is) and I took the second best: just a regular spot.

This is my breakfast:

Some would say it’s unhealthy, but I call it breakfast of a champion. Reading champion that is!

In other news, I read 42 pages and the story is so far so good. The writting style is a bit messed up, but I like it. I like Noah’s friends, but since I read synopsis, I am affraid to get attached to them, because I am afraid I will miss them. There are so many pop culture references and I’ve learned so many facts about pop culture, like the one that Elvis Presley had a twin brother who died on birth.

 

May 24th

I started my day with a cup of coffee and a book. My kitten GiGi is my new reading buddy.

After our lazy morning, I decided to visit Botanical Garden in Zagreb, to do some reading before work.

I read cca 50 pages in Botanical Garden. It was so nice reading there, so peaceful quiet. There are so many places where you can just sit and enjoy your surrounding. Suddenly, I have an urge to watch Gilmore Girls, and I blame Noah Hypnotic.

 

May 25th

I decided to have some me time before work, so a book and a sheet face mask did their work. This is me, looking like panda:

I read around 80 pages (I’m on page 177 right now) and it’s getting really interesting. I wonder if a Fading Girl is a real thing? I should check it out on Youtube and let you know (fun fact: I checked it and no, it’s not a real thing. Too bad!).
I like Noah’s sister and yes, the story is actually going in the direction I thought it would, only it’s not as drastic as I thought it would be. At least it’s not for now, but who knows where the pages will take us!

 

May 26th

I woke up with an urge to read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Since I don’t have a copy here in Zagreb, I thought it would be nice to visit my favorite book store and while I’m there, see it the new book by my favorite author Paige Toon, Five Years from Now, is also available to purchase there.
Since it’s Sunday, I just kissed the door (in my defense, they used to work on Sundays) so I went to Zrinjevac park to read there.

 

 

 

 

 

After some time, I decided to it was a coffee time, so I was on a mission to get that chair in McCafe, but I was out of luck again, so I had to sit in  a regular spot.

This is my coffee and a cookie (because you have to eat something sweet while reading, right?):

After my big Sunday evening, I had only few pages left to finish a book, so I read it in my bed, with GiGi sleeping next to me.

 

Brief review:

 

Reading The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik was so enjoyable. I understand why someone would be turned off after reading the blurb, but you don’t have to worry.
It all makes sense in the end and is actually pretty realistic. I mean, it all has it’s why and how.

This is a wonderful coming of age story with the most interesting characters. My favorite was Noah’ sister Penny.

The story is full of pop culture references and you could actually learn a lot from those, at least I have.

I liked how Noah and his friends liked all the things my generation used to like (like Gilmore Girls and David Bowie) even though the story is set in this time.
I can’t help but think that it was the author’s nostalgia that lead the characters to listen certain music and watch certain shows, and also awoke my own nostalgia for those same things.
But in all honesty, I wish today’s popular people or shows were also mentioned (okay, Kardasians were mentioned, but I wished for more).

The writing style is somewhat unusual but I liked it. It reads pretty fast.

This story made me laugh so many times, but was also really touching and I would highly recommend it to everyone who like coming of age stories.

 

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Book Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Title: Reign of the Fallen
Series: Reign of the Fallen #1
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Publisher: Razorbill
Date: January 23rd, 2018
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Review:

If I’d have to choose only one word to describe Reign of the Fallen, I’d choose the word unique.
In my life, I’ve read many books (almost 500), but I’ve never read anything similar to this story.

Reign of the Fallen is a novel set in a world where people after their death can come alive, with the help of people who’s job is to take them out of the Deadland into their real world.
As you can imagine, most people that rule this world have already died many times.
However cool that might sound, there is one catch: if a dead person stays “alive” for too long, there’s a chance for her to become a Shadow, which is basically some sort of evil zombie that eats and kills everything and everyone.
So therefore, after some time, a person who is Undead (that’s the word for a person who was brought back to life) should be killed and then brought back to life again.
As you can imagine, the circle goes on and on and on…

As I already stated, reading Reign of the Fallen was a pleasant surprise since I have never read anything like that.
It took me some time to figure out how this world really works, but I thing that the world building was done great and I really enjoyed all the elements of it (also, I couldn’t help but think how this world must smell really bad!).

The story follows Sparrow who is the best in bringing Dead people back to life. She works for the king and she lives and breathes her job. She wouldn’t know who she’d be without it.

Sparrow was an interesting character, to say the least. She made some decisions that really left me confused, but I have to stress out that after everything that has happened to her, she was very lost and confused herself.
She was pretty selfish and self centered, and even though that is a turn off in a way, it is also a very realistic thing, because it is in human nature to centre the world around your own self.

There was one situation in the book that I just have to mention.
We got to see how a character got herself addicted to drugs, and how painful it was to take herself off it, and I have never saw anything similar in ya fantasy.
It was kind of silly, to be honest, but in the same time, I welcome it.

I also have to emphasize that this novel has a great diversity representation.

When I look at Reign of the Fallen as a whole, I honestly think it would have been a better book if it was an adult fantasy novel.

Overall, I am glad I gave this book a chance because it was like a breathe of fresh air, but when I look at the whole picture, it was a solid read.
I would still recommend it, though!

Book Review: Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

Title: Annabel Lee
Series: Coffey & Hill (#1)
Author: Mike Nappa
Publisher: Revell
Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 363
Format: Paperback
Source: from Publisher for review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): On a farm fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden–a secret named Annabel Lee. Her uncle’s last words before he hid her away: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

Review:

Annabel Lee was somewhat interesting read.
It’s a suspense thriller, and I naively fooled myself into thinking I’d read horror (don’t even ask me how I managed to do it, I’ll just blame the cover) so my whole reading experience was similar to the one one would have if he turned on TV thinking he would watch House at the End of the Street, but ended up watching an episode of CSI Miami instead.

However, I enjoyed reading this book.

The story follows three perspectives: Trudy’s, Mute’s and Annabel Lee’s.
Two of them are told in third person (Trudi’s and Mute’s), while Annabel’s was written in first person (later in the story we find out that her perspective are actually pages from her diary).

The story talks about 11 years old girl, Annabel Lee, who’s uncle locked her in the basement (with his dog whom Annabel is afraid of) and gave her an order not to open the door to anyone, not even to him, without a secret code.

We don’t know why Annabel’s uncle Truck did what he did, nor was it done with an aim to protect Annabel, or protect someone else from Annabel.
We get an impression that Annabel is important, even special in a way, but we don’t know why.

Right after her put her in the basement, Annabel’s uncle was killed and Mute witnessed the murder.
Now, Mute’s mission is to keep the girl safe, before bad guys take her. In order to save her, Mute has to get her out of the basement, but he has no secret code.

That is where spouses from Coffey & Hill come in (Trudi and her ex husband Samuel). Samuel got the secret code from Truck years ago, and now all three of them work together to save Annabel.

Nappa’s writing style is solid and although this book reads quickly, the pacing is very slow, with lots of descriptions.

I enjoyed reading all of the perspectives, but Annabel’s POV was my favorite.
She is really smart, educated and patient little girl who gets under reader’s skin so easily.
Regardless, I have to state that I didn’t like how she often sounded like a 30 years old women, instead of like 11 years old girl that she is.

Mute was my best-loved character in this story.

What I liked the most was the relationship between the girl and her uncle’s dog.
It’s development was described so well, and I welcomed how at the very beginning anytime Annabel talks about the dog she calls him “it”, and along as the story progesses, “it” becomes “he”.

When it comes to the bad guy who wanted to take Annabel, his idea was mean, but yet genius at the same time.
I don’t want to sound weird here, but I kind of admired his purpose.

One thing that needs to be stressed is that Annabel Lee is piece of Christian fiction.
To be honest, I am not sure why is that, because I didn’t feel like anything religious was forced in this story (or maybe I am just blind to those kind of things).
One thing that I noticed was that in the basement, among so many books, there was also a Bible.
And once, closer to the end of the novel, Annabel said something about Jesus and his purpose.
It was only one sentence and it felt more like a general thought.

This is the first book in the series, but the story it covered is completed.
In the next book, The Raven, we follow Trudi and Samuel solving another case.
I already have the book in my possession, and I plan to read it pretty soon, while the characters are still fresh in my mind.

Book Review: The Single Girl’s To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk

the single girl

Title: The Single Girl’s To-Do List
Author: Lindsey Kelk
Publisher: Harper
Date: January 1st, 2011
Pages: 335
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): A hilarious and romantic standalone novel from the bestselling author of the I Heart series

Rachel Summers loves a to-do list:
• Boyfriend
• Flat
• Great job

NOT on the list:
• Being dumped

Best friends Emelie and Matthew ride to her rescue with an entirely new kind of list – The Single Girl’s To-Do List. Rachel doesn’t know it, but it will take her on all kinds of wild adventures – and get her in some romantic pickles too. And then it won’t be a case of what but who she decides to tick off…

• Mr. bendy yoga instructor
• Mr. teenage sweetheart
• Mr. persistent ex
• Mr. deeply unsuitable

The Single Girl’s To-Do List gives Rachel the perfect heartbreak cure – and proves love is out there if you’re willing to take a chance.

vrpca

Review:

When you read a standalone from the author who wrote an amazing book series, you can’t help but compare those two together.
At least, that’s what I do.
And this book, although it was fun and enjoyable, entertaining, girly and everything that a girl would want in a book, it was still not better the I Heart series.

However, it was really, really close to it (plus I admit I am extremly subjective here because I am just so attached to Angela Clark and Jenny Lopez and, in this case, that makes me a shitty reviewer, because a good reviewer should know how to separate the two).

Now, when I said how I feel, I think it’s time for me to actually review a book.

The Single Girl’s To-Do List is a chick lit in all it’s glory. It will make you smile and I highly recommend to pick this one up if you need something to boost your mood and make you forget the world around you.

It follows a woman named Rachel who got dumped by her boyfriend of 5 years. Instead of crying herself to sleep for the rest of her life, with the help of her two best friends, she makes a list of things she should do while she’s single.

I liked Rachel as a narrator. I think her sense of humor and approach to the story was great and she always kept the pace interesting.

Her best friends Emelie and Matthew are such a good friends, I liked them the best and if I could pull them out of those pages and make them my friends, I would do that in no brain!

I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of Dan at the beginning, but, as the story progressed, I started to like him more and more.

The end of the novel wrapped up differently then I tought it would, but I ended up liking it that way along with the message it carried.

All in all, if you’re looking for a quick read that will make you laugh and remind you how fun reading actually can be, this is the book to go for!

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