#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

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Strungballs by Mike Russell

This book by Mike Russell is another short story. It’s a great read for those who want a short, exciting read (and for those like me who didn’t want to commit to another Games of Thrones book right away…).

This book is weird, if I put it lightly. The thought of a strungball was not something I have ever dreamed up in my life, but Mike Russell somehow thought this up and created a story about it! It’s unique and enticing to me when someone can create such interesting thoughts, which is why I enjoyed this book.

Getting to see this unique and different world through out main character’s eyes was great! It’s kind of sci-fi/dystopian-esque, which would be great for readers who are interested in those topics! It’s such a utopia that it’s a dystopia…those books are always interesting!

The book is so precise, and so fantastical, it’s hard to explain it in my own wording without ruining it. This utopia, perfect world that is so perfect that it’s not is probably the best way I can word it. I love how Mike made this world so perfect, because it makes you feel uneasy and thrilled by each turn this short story takes.

Our main character seems to be the only person questioning or going against the true perfection in this novel. While this has been done a hundred times over, it’s very fitting in this novel. Normally I would be annoyed and disgusted by seeing this trend over and over, but I liked it here. Mike makes it fit just well enough that I’m not questioning it.

Like Mike’s other books, you will begin questioning reality and life itself. It raises so many thought provoking questions in such little space, but that’s why I found it to intriguing. I have to say this is definitely my favourite book by him and I want to come back to it at a later date to see if my feelings change on this novel or not.

Overall, this maddening book will drive you over the edge with peculiarity! It’s a great read!

Five out of five!

#BookReview – Strange Medicine by Mike Russell

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Strange Medicine by Mike Russell

This book is an excellent selection of short stories. I love books like this because there are great for those who want a short term read, but also want a lot of spice in their life and Strange Medicine brought it!

These stories are quirky and exciting, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of short stories series. Some of them seem a little dark or strange for short stories, but they are so well written it’s unbelievable. This book definitely kept me interested!!

Some of the stories are more thoughtful, while others will just make you laugh. Without spoiling, I would say this is a good collection that gives you a little bit of everything – it’s just enough! These out of the box, bizarre, yet thoughtful stories are a great way to spice up your library or reading experience. You’ll have many thought provoking questions, which is just how I like my reads!!!

My critiques are that I would have liked to read more into each story. I felt like some of them could have been expanded much further than they were, but they were short stories and that it is. This book wasn’t meant to be a full length novel.

This is a refreshing novel and I definitely want to read more! It didn’t wow my socks off beyond belief, but it was so great that is deserves four stars! Mike Russell is a very talent author who should definitely be in the top contenders at book stores (if he isn’t, they are crazy! What a talent that guy is!).

Four out of five stars.

Young Adult July Reads Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer (Zac Brewer)

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Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review

Book Title: Eighth Grade Bites (Vladimir Todd #1)
Book Author: Heather Brewer (now Zac Brewer)

This is a throwback review, since I read this book way back when I was in grade eight (which feels like a lifetime ago). At the time this was one of my favourite books, and it goes me into many more YA novels and into my current reading obsession. I even called one of my cats Meredith (many years later). This book was a great way to get me into reading, and I applaud Zac Brewer for all of his wonderful writing and work, because I wouldn’t be here in my reading and writing career without him.

Now onto my review:

Eighth Grade Bites is a great spin on the typical fish out of water story. Vladimir Todd is a vampire, and his life is quite the mystery. Not only does he have to try to survive being a teenager as a vampire, but he has to try to find out where his past comes from. Where are his parents? What happened to them? Why is he a vampire? Why must he hide this secret?

The book is incredibly light hearted and written for the correct audience. It doesn’t exactly translate into the adult scene unless you are interested in these types of books (in my opinion). Rereading it, I loved it but my friends who have moved on from the vampire scene did not enjoy it as much. The book is super fun and delightful and I hope more people get into this series.

Every minute of Vlad’s story is enjoyable to read. It will keep you on your toes and make you want to continue the story. The plot is well thought out over the series, and the characters are absolutely lovable. Alongside the steady pace, the random twists that occur make this book stand out among the many other vampire books I have read throughout the years. The fact that I can still pick this book up and get a good chuckle out of it proves to me that Zac is a truly incredible author.

Overall, I give this book four out of five stars. Wonderful story!!

Young Adult July Reads Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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Photos via Goodreads.

Book Review:
Book Title: The Fault in our Stars

Book Author: John Green

Rave and Rant: I read this book after my father lost his battle to cancer, and it gave me a beautiful insight into a land where cancer is not viewed as the villain and rather as a fact of life. This book is not your typical love story! It followed sarcastic teenagers who live with cancer, and does not mainly focus on the cancer, it follows their life. It is a beautifully written book and John Green brings his excellent wits in this novel. I’d suggest it to anyone, but remember to have a tissue box nearby once you’ve finished the first half of the book! This book deals with strong emotional themes. Five stars!

Potential Issues: This book does make cancer seem a little romanticized. When I look back on reading it, at the time it was the type of book I definitely needed. I was hurting and I needed a book that didn’t make cancer seem like this horrible villain in my story. This book might not be for everyone, but it helped me at the time. Is cancer scary? Yes. It is life ending, horrible, and ruins lives? Yes. But can this book help heal? Yes.

This book will make you cry – it’s definitely sad, but at the same time it gives you  a different insight into cancer. Yes, there is a romance story in it, but these characters will give you some form of hope. There are beautiful quotes throughout the novel that show you cancer from a very different perspective. Readers must keep in mind this book was written after John Green lost a friend to cancer as well, so this book could have helped him heal.

Final Thoughts: This book is a YA novel – that means it is not going to be 100% realistic. This novel has it’s ups and down in many ways. The characters don’t seem to talk like teenagers would (but the novel was written by an adult). I found Hazel (the main character) to be quite average (other than her amazing quotes), but sometimes you don’t want the perfect Mary Jane as your main character. Gus is kind and a jerk, all wrapped up in one package. He’s not your perfect male lead, which is why I like him. Yes he has his issues, but at the same time he is romanticized for the audience this book is aimed towards. There’s a villain who has his reasons for being evil, but they don’t entirely make up for his behaviour. Overall, I enjoyed this book because it was there when I needed it to be – it’s a good book to read to heal after losing someone to cancer because it gives you a very soft and sweet look compared to the horrors a cancer story typically is.

Five out of five stars. I enjoyed this novel.

Quick Book Review: Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead by Michael Winter

In honour of Canada Day, here is my review of a book about Canada (well, Newfoundland)!!

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Photo via Goodreads.

Since I am a Canadian, I decided this book would be an interesting read that would enhance my knowledge of Canada. And surprisingly, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected!

I wanted to read the book to gain more knowledge, but I ended up really enjoying the book and getting into it.

The book follows the journey of the author through Newfoundland and past battlefields and grave sites of soldiers. The chapters in this book were short and sweet, but the nicest little gem was how much information and facts that were within the small chapters. Each chapter involved a small journey or task completed by the author, but little facts either about the author’s childhood or the wars were included. These facts, despite being anywhere from one sentence to only a few paragraphs in length, gave an amazing and gigantic insight to how the War was fought and dealt with by soldiers.

The only downfall I saw to this book was how simple some of the language was. The read was smooth and quick, and I didn’t find myself getting bored with the facts and plot laid out in the story. Overall, this book was incredibly well written and a gem I would definitely read again or suggest to anyone who is interested in history, wars, or specifically Canadian history.

I believe this book would help many high school students studying history understand it a bit more (considering the fact that this book would have helped me a lot when I sat bored in history class).

Amazing book! Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.