#BookReview Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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I have been yearning to read this book for a long time. Everyone I spoke to was obsessed with this book to the n-th degree, so I figured I might feel the same way once I read it.

I was highly mistaken.

I found this book to be slow moving and boring, even though it is well written. This book was just not for me (which happens, by the way. Not every reader has to like every book ever written). That being said, I still wanted to give it a quality review. For me, the stars are low – but keep in mind this book is still excellent and the idea was intriguing.

To keep the plot short: A boy is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after his family was trying to move their zoo animals across the sea. Tragedy strikes, and now Pi (our lead) is stuck with Richard Parker (our cat).

I found that this story went in many different directions. At first, this story seemed to be all about animals and how Pi’s father ran a zoo. I thought there might be more information in regards to him opening a zoo in the future, or having some great story arc involving it. Unfortunately, this didn’t go very far. It seemed to just be an introduction into the character rather than making it an integral part of the story (except for the animals on the lifeboat, of course). Then religion is thrown into the mix!! Pi enjoys practicing three different religions and this causes strife with his family, and then the plot point is essentially gone. There could have been lots of room for improvement in this discussion further along in the book, but all we get is that Pi is “praying” a lot. To me, having all of these opportunities to follow through with these plot lines was a bit of a waste. Why just have these points as an intro to the character? Why not use them to your advantage?

I also found this book to be SO FREAKING SLOW AND BORING. It’s inspirational, but when it’s close to two hundred pages of “stuck on a boat, send help, I am praying, there’s a tiger, i need to drink water” over and over, it gets a little tiring.

When I look at other reviews and theories about this book, I understand the theme is about religion. You can pick your story to follow God – just like picking apart this book. There’s multiple stories to follow, and you can pick the one you like. I don’t know how I feel about this theme and the way it is presented, but it worked.

This book also has some gore in it, so if you don’t want to read about an animal being ripped apart in description then this book might not be for you!!

Pros:
1. The chapters are short – I like when books don’t make long chapters. Having a chapter that lasts one hundred pages tires me out. Having the opportunity to stop where I want to with a small chapter is a nice quality about this book.

2. The cover – The cover is absolutely gorgeous. It’s simple, it’s colourful and it gets to the point. I appreciate a well thought out cover.

3. Beautiful language – Yann Martel can present a scene well with his words. There are some moments in this book where I got lost in his choice of words.

Cons:

1. Slow and Steady doesn’t always win the race.

2. Religion. This seems like a bad place to put it, but I know many people who would lose their minds having religion be a theme in the book (some would have it as an AMAZING PRO). That being said, I’m putting it in cons because of the strife it may cause some readers. There’s also times I think that religion was mentioned to much, like the author was trying to hit us over the head with it. Just because you leave religion out for one page doesn’t mean we’ll forget about it!

3. The story drags with the same thoughts and concepts.

Overall, this book was not my cup of tea. It is beautifully written and was a unique take on religion I hadn’t seen before. I had high hopes and expectations for this book, but it didn’t bode well for me. I blame a lot of the really great reviews and everyone saying it was the best book ever to make me have such high expectations, but putting the blame on them really won’t get me anywhere, will it?

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh

Check out Yann Martel on twitter! @WriterYann

Give me a shoutout on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

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#BookReview The Father by Brett Williams

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The Father by Brett Williams is a unique take on a generational story.

I did not enjoy this book as much as I hoped to. The book was written in a tone that just didn’t fit with me personally, but it is a great book. The story follows a family through the generation, with each section building on each other. I found the first section of this book to be incredibly hard to read, and I felt very bored. I put this book down many times because I just couldn’t get into it. There were sentence fragments all over (it didn’t help that I was editting my English paper during the week I was reading this book), and it just didn’t connect with me. The second and third sections of this book were a lot easier to read for me, but I worried that I was just going to give up on the book in the first section when I couldn’t connect.

The second half of the book is where all of my interest picked up. If there was anything I could recommend for this book, it’s for Brett to capture our attention early in the novel so readers don’t put the book down. I understand the first bit of the novel was needed to introduce a lot of the back story, but this could have been woven in throughout the story.

The story does look at a lot of themes and issues throughout the over one hundred year span. I really loved how descriptive and interesting the topics and thoughts were throughout the novel. Those comments are often lacking in novels nowadays, so seeing some sensitive topics touched upon was a nice change.

The “unevenness” for this book is the reason why my score is lower. I easily got bored and confused as I read the novel, and when I pulled myself away from it for a couple days it was just as hard to get back into it. I hope the next novel in this series keeps the faster pace and is more exciting, because I think Brett Williams is a good writer! This series definitely deserves some love!

Overall, this book was not for me. The style and tone didn’t match with my reading style, but it was still a great book that is probably someone else’s favourite novel!!!

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Comment below with your favourite fiction novel!

Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheFather to chat about this review on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

Check out this trilogy now! http://www.thefathertrilogy.com/

#BookReview Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

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Now is time for a #ThrowbackThursday review – AKA I’ve gone back to reading a book on my shelf from years ago and reviewing it. Enjoy!!

 

 

Poison Princess is one of those books that takes you by surprise, pulls you in and won’t let you go until you finish it.

I actually found this book (originally) via Gena Showalter. She was always talking about her author friend Kresley Cole on Twitter, so I decided to pick this book up. They seemed to get along so well, so why not pick up her book? I doubt author friends who hated each other’s works would talk so great about each other. And to no one’s surprise, Gena’s suggestion was on point. (Keep in mind I love Gena Showalter. I’m quite sad I haven’t been able to read any of her books recently, due to my busy schedule).

This is a dystopian, apocalypse novel is for sure a YA novel – but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. It’s not R rated, if anything it’s more of a PG/PG-13-esque novel. It’s an easy read, and it’s totally addicting. There are some cringy YA moments (silly romances, ironic comments, and all the joys that come with being a teenager) but it’s still an enjoyable book. If you keep in mind it’s a YA novel made for a YA audience, it’s not to heart breaking when silly teenage plot lines go on. It’s like a soap opera – if you understand that some extraordinary things happen that are out of the line of reality, then you can thoroughly enjoy it.

Keeping in mind that I have read the next novel – the character development in this book works. You begin to fall in love with these sassy characters and they do grow! Their story is continually built on into the next book, and to me it’s a worthy read worth a recommendation. It’s probably one of the better YA novels I’ve read – and one that I’ve been able to come back to and enjoy.

Overall, Kresley Cole is an amazing story teller. She’s great at her adult series and her YA series, and it’s a worthy read for those looking for some YA or dystopian drama in their lives.

Five out of five stars.

#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Bride by Gary Corbin

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The Mountain Man’s Bride was an excellent sequel that is a definite must read!

I really like this series – it feels so simple and smooth, despite having epic plot lines. I’m able to easily get lost in Gary’s words and feel like it’s some epic crime television show playing in my head.

Gary is gradually making this couple (Lehigh and Stacy) more complex and more interesting as each book goes by. He doesn’t stick to the same old plot, and he makes one hell of a story! One of the major bonuses with this book was that Stacy got more action! I love both Lehigh and Stacy (and their dogs of course) so much as characters. They feel real and as if they could be my neighbors.

In my opinion, you could easily skip book one and jump into this novel. I wouldn’t suggest it, because this series is a real gem, but if you randomly picked this book up you’d be fine. Gary weaves in enough information to be able to read this without background.

The murder mystery in this book was intriguing, and I loved the twists and turns that came along with it. After this novel, I’m more than pumped to read the third book in this series. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good drama, mixed with some crime and a splash of romance.

I don’t have many cons about this book, to be brutally honest. I felt like the book was just long enough – there wasn’t anything that was left out and nothing felt like it didn’t belong. There were times that I wanted some of the background history of certain relationships between characters, but the book got along without them. That’s just me being picky and way to curious about how this story line came to be.

Overall, this book is A grade! It’s a must read and a recommendation from this reader and I’ll be definitely picking up the next book!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from Gary Corbin (the author) in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Gary Corbin:

Gary Corbin Author site: http://garycorbinwriting.com/

Blog: http://garycorbinwriting.com/category/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garycorbin1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/garycorbin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GaryCorbin/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2046490-gary

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/GaryCorbin

 

Check out this book:

https://smile.amazon.com/Mountain-Mans-Bride-Book-Mysteries/dp/0997496738/

Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Bride

Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Bride

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – what are you reading today?

#BookReview Vi by Kim Thúy

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Kim Thúy’s beautiful short story, Vi, is a must read for fiction lovers!

I won’t lie, the fact that this book is so short was what drew me to it. I needed a quick read to keep me occupied while I was in a waiting room and this book was short enough to devour in one sitting. While this book might lack in quantity, it hits a real punch on the quality. I’m honestly surprised Kim is not a bigger author, because this book was mind-blowingly awesome. And yes, I am making mind-blowingly a word.

The cultural impact is probably the best part of this novel. Often, you can see silly cultural stereotypes in novels but this one did it right. You could tell Kim knew what she was talking about with the depth and nature of her words. It didn’t feel cheap or obnoxious, it felt oddly satisfying to read about another culture that was not my own. Watching Vi’s story take place over these pages was a fantastic adventure, since Kim wove her words so beautifully and made this story dance in my mind. I absolutely loved it!

I would have liked a better ending, I found it kind of “blah” compared to the rest of the novel. This book had me hooked and obsessed with Vi’s journey and then the end just fell…well, flat. I would have liked something more. That was my only real issue with this novel. It is a translation (and my copy was an ARC) so there were some weird sentences with the translation but that wasn’t a con for me. I moved passed those issues really easily when reading it.

Overall, this charming read is a great option if you want a story that will move you and impact your understanding of culture. I 100% recommend this book!

Four out of five stars.

I received an ARC of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

 

If you read this review, use the hashtags #BriarsReviews & #Vi on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

Check out Kim Thúy on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3152466.Kim_Th_y

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt

Comment below with your most recent read!

#BookReview Cutter by Thomas Laird

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To say I’m now obsessed with Thomas Laird and this series is an understatement. This book is just WOW.

I’ve always had a fondness for a good crime novel/television show/film. My love of Bones, Kathy Reich’s novels, 19-2, Chicago Fire/PD/etc, NCIS, Hawaii Five-O, and so many others are all stapled on my book shelf and DVD collection. What’s always hard though, is finding a REALLY good book – and Thomas Laird made one.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am desperate to get more of these novels. I don’t know how Thomas Laird did it, but for me he made a hit. Yes, there were some slower parts of this book that dragged on, but when the book gets moving, it moves FAST. I love our lead and his romantic interest Natalie, and their little family side plots. I love the relationship between the department, and I love the side chapters of the killer. It’s all fantastic!!

The chapters involving the killer show how sadistic this killer is, and it was a very interesting twist. Most of the novels or shows I’ve seen don’t give much insight into the killer until the end! Yet this book does it just perfectly – a little hint of what the person is doing, but nothing to give away who it is.

This book is definitely close to R rated. There are some gruesome descriptions and some explicit sex/rape scenes – so this book isn’t for the light-hearted. But it is an excellent crime story!! These brutal scenes fit in with the narrative and help tell the story – they aren’t just in there for shock factor or to make the book seem “sexy” like some crime novels have done. These aren’t passionate sex scenes, they are brutal and show how horrible the killer is.

Our lead character is a bit…interesting. He’s a tough guy and uses some rough language, but it doesn’t take away from the story. It seems to be more of a character development issue if anything. Reading other reviews people didn’t like that part of the story, but for me it just highlighted what type of character he is. Not everyone is sunshine and roses in police departments, unfortunately. Just like everything other job in this world – no one is perfect and uses G-rated language all the time.

One thing I’m furious about – the ending. It was on a cliff hanger and MY GOODNESS DO I HATE CLIFFHANGERS. Knowing that I probably won’t be able to find the second book in this series anytime soon makes it worse… Even with that cliffhanger though, the book was a definite recommended read from me. It’s a spectacular crime drama that hits all the notes it needs to.

Overall – this dark, twisted crime novel is everything I wanted it to be and more. What a great fast paced thriller!

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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#BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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One Word: Wow!

Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay was an epic, suspenseful thriller that kept me hooked at every turn!

This thriller novel follows an international story revolving around stolen uranium – trailing across Russia, Vienna, Georgia, and other beautiful landscapes. While I don’t know much about those areas or the atomic bombs, I found Geza’s retellings to be enough to get me really hooked to the story. Mix in Geza’s skill of weaving a beautiful story, epic character arcs and the suspenseful twists and turns and you’ve got one awesome novel!

DISCLAIMER: There were some R rated scenes in this novel (both sexual and horrific in nature), so if you are not comfortable with brutal topics, this book might not be for you.

My pros: The chapters are short (which makes it great for little caffeine breaks for this reviewer!), relatable characters who grow over the novel, epic twists and turns (some I saw coming, but I’ve watched too many soap operas), incredible descriptions (landscapes, history, etc), and the story comes to a “close”. There is a sequel, but I like when a book can be it’s own entity and have an ending.

My cons: The cover is boring. I am the type of person who will pick up a book because the cover looks cool (yeah, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover but some covers are just SO awesome), so I might have skipped over this book. Luckily, I didn’t, because this book is a real gem and a must read for those who love suspense and thrills!

Overall, this book was intense and awesome. I really enjoyed it and I want to read more! I liked it more than most famous/popular thriller novels are out there. It felt more real and not “typical”. While it does have a “typical” story line – thriller, suspense, mystery, politics, war – it felt unique by the way Geza wrote it. He knows his material, he is clearly a very talented writer, and he makes characters we get invested in. Most stories follow the same old, same old path with the same story arc – Geza made this feel different, and I really enjoyed it. That being said, I will definitely be picking up the sequel!

Five out of five stars!!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Geza Tatrallyay in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out more books by Geza on his website: www.gezatatrallyay.com

Check out this book (Twisted Reasons) the first in the series on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Check out the sequel (Twisted Traffick) on Amazon:

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Stay tuned for the third book in the series, coming June 2018!!!

Give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic