Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

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Book: Hollow City
By: Ransom Riggs
Edition Published: 2014
By: Quirk Books
Goodreads description: Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters.
And only one person can help them – but she’s trapped in the body of a bird.
The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom.
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I really am enjoying this series, but I am sorry to say I didn’t like Hollow City quite as much as Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children.

It took me a couple of chapters to get into the first book, but it took me almost half of the book to get into Hollow City.

Now, this could be due to me being too busy to really enjoy the first half, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. For a start, even when I’m busy, I manage to make time for books I enjoy.

Really, I’d been dreaming of such adventures since I was small. Back then I believed in destiny, and believed in it absolutely, with every inch and strand of my little kid heart. I’d felt it like an itch in my chest while listening to my grandfather’s extraordinary stories. One day that will be me. What felt like an obligation now had been a promise back then – that one day I would escape my little town and live an extraordinary life, as he had done; and that one day, like Grandpa Portman, I would do something that mattered. He used to say to me: “You’re going to be a great man, Yakob. A very great man.”

But I really do love a lot of things about this book. I’ve never read a book like it, and I’m not sure I ever will. It’s a completely unique series, and extremely imaginative.

The pictures really bring this book to life. They portray perfectly the story, and I was shocked to find out that the pictures are chosen to fit the novel, rather than the other way round as it was for Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children.

I love the characters, too. And (I’ve heard a few people say this) I love Emma. In the first book, I didn’t really take a fancy to her. I think it was the simple fact that she loved Jacob’s Grandpa, and now loves Jacob. It a) creeped me out and b) I felt like she was manipulating Jacob, like she loved him because of his Grandpa, not because of who Jacob is.

I’m not sure if it’s meant to come across like that, but it did (and still slightly does) to me. Other than that, I do like Emma as a character. I also love Olive, she’s just so sweet, like a little kid who isn’t so young (which is what she is, really).

But I don’t like any of the characters more than Jacob. He is right to be the main character, and I love seeing everything from his point of view. He’s sweet, but also has some interesting inner battles. I find his character amazingly caring, but his love for Emma is the cutest thing. Because he loves Emma for who she is. And above everything, he really cares about her. And I can tell he would do anything for her.


4 out of 5 moons

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books!

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Book: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

By: Ransom Riggs

Edition published: 2011

By: Quirk Books

Goodreads description: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Purchase on Amazon UK: Link

Purchase on Amazon US: Link

My rating:☽/5

Jacob’s grandad has always told him stories. But he never thought those stories were real – just figments of his grandad’s imagination to amuse his young grandson. Now, only now, when a tragedy means Jacob is left alone, does he begin to unravel the mysteries behind the stories and photographs he hasn’t seen since he was little.

I didn’t go far, just around the perimeter of the neat yard in a slow shuffle, watching the sky, clear now, a billion stars spread across it. Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries – but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is now proudly on my list of 5 star books.

I was lucky enough to pick up this book at a bargain £2, which made me read it a lot sooner than I had expected, as it was pretty far down my TBR list! I have to say, I’m extremely glad I got my hands on this book now, instead of next year or later. it was truly beautiful.

Not only is this book intriguing, spectacularly interesting and amazingly spooky, what I loved about it most is its peculiarity.

It is different in so many ways, different from the normal teen-fiction and YA novels. And it is possibly the first dark fantasy and horror book I’ve ever loved.

I don’t know how else to describe this book. It is mind-blowing, original and all round peculiar. And actually, it was a lot better than I expected it to be. I wasn’t really sure what to think of this one, but it was astonishing. Honestly, the perfect book for me. I can’t wait for the movie!

The paragraph italicised in this review is an expert from the book, hand-picked by me. I do this for every review, but this one is special. It is possibly one of the most poetic and beautiful paragraphs I have ever come across, and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to forget it very quickly.

As you can see, I’m a little shell-shocked at just how good this book was. Stars all around, guys.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books!

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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Book/Play: A Streetcar Named Desire

Author/Playwright: Tennessee Williams

Edition Published: 1974

By: Signet Books

Goodreads Description: The story of Blanche DuBois and her last grasp at happiness, and of Stanley Kowalski, the one who destroyed her chance.

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Purchase on Amazon UK: Link

My Rating: /5

When Blanche goes to stay with her pregnant sister and brother-in-law, it is her last chance at being happy. With no money or relations, Blanche is lonely and relies on drink. But will living with her family save her, or destroy her?

I am sad to say I didn’t enjoy Streetcar very much. I did find the description and depth of setting and character outstanding, it has to be very well written in order to be performed on stage.

Stella: He’s on the road a good deal.
Blanche: Oh. Travels?
Stella: Yes.
Blanche: Good. I mean – isn’t it?
Stella [half to herself]: I can hardly stand it when he is away for a night…
Blanche: Why, Stella!Stella: When he’s away for a week I nearly go wild!
Blanche: Gracious!

To my understanding, Stanley is supposedly the bad guy in Streetcar. But I just felt that honestly, the characters are all just as bad as each other. Yes, Blanche had some bad stuff coming to her, but she did bring them on herself, to a point. I mean, what could she expect after very nearly undressing in front of Stanley, asking him to fasten up her dress, playfully squirting him with perfume and softly touching his thigh?

I honestly didn’t sympathize much with the characters. Although, yes, I would love to know what happened to them after the play, I don’t really care that much for them.

The plot was simple, nothing much really happened. I found the way the characters interacted with each other and how their personalities clashed very interesting, and I did find the book easy to read. But that’s due to the plot just not being very complex.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this book. It was like a song that I expected to get better, but never actually did.

-Beth

Review: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

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Book: Night Owls

By: Jenn Bennett

Edition published: 2015

By: Simon & Schuster

Goodreads description: Feeling alive is always worth the risk.
Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.
But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

Purchase on Amazon US: Link

Purchase on Amazon UK: Link

My rating: /5

When Bex meets Jack on a rare nighttime ride on the Owl, San Fransisco’s night bus, her world turns upside down.

Jack is amazing, beautiful and lights fires in Bex’s heart, but there’s something behind his gorgeous eyes.

As Bex and Jack get to know each other, they learn more about each other – and themselves – than either of them ever expected.

He laughed, stretching out his long legs beneath the squat table. When he did, his thigh bumped against my knee and then stayed there, sending a chain of warm chills through my nervous system that short-circuited my frontal lobe.
“Zen would tell me to embrace the middle pencil,” he said.
“Ah, the HB pencil,” I agreed, nodding.

“So boring, that HB.”
“You’re no HB. You’re like ten Prismacolors all at once.”

This one was a slow starter for me. It was mostly due to the fact that I was still in the world of Simon and Baz, but it definitely improved after the 1/4 mark.

I must have read about 3/4 of this book just today, once I got involved with the characters I couldn’t stop reading. But before I tell you what I loved about this book, I want to tell you about my only annoyance.

There was one, tiny, tiny part of this book when Jenn mentioned the possibility of the couple being in a long distance relationship – and slightly mocking the fact that it could ever work out. Maybe it’s just be (probably) but I just felt like she meant it as a joke – that it would be impossible. I’m no longer in an LDR, but not because of the distance. But to this day, I have this tiny niggle.

Aside from that, and on an entirely different note, this book is so touching and lovely, and actually quickly became one of my favorite books. Yep, it’s up there guys! It’s seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read, the plot is original, and even though it is heavily set around romance, it isn’t…bland, flat and predictable like some books are. Well, saying that, some of this book was predictable, but the little details are so beautiful. The originality is shockingly outstanding, and as you know, I love originality.

And no matter what annoyances I have about one line in this book, it is beautiful. Inside and out.

-Beth