#BookReview The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli

The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli is an interesting niche novel that felt like a character study.

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would choose: niche. This book isn’t some hard hitting Star Wars novel or Notebook styled novel, it is truly in it’s own little world. For some people, this book will be incredibly hard to put down and it will be your binge-worthy novel but for others it just won’t sit as well. For me, it wasn’t as binge worthy as it was for other reviewers (seriously, some reviewers seem to be devouring this book and loving every second of it!).

I did love that this was a Canadian author because I absolutely love supporting my home country, but this book just wasn’t made for me. And, that isn’t a bad thing! There are people out there who will love this book so much more than me!

So why wasn’t it for me? For one, the book felt very slow and the conversation between characters was way to formal. I didn’t feel like people actually talk the way the characters do. It was so oddly structured and oh so formal that it was hard to feel for these characters. I just couldn’t connect with these people because they didn’t feel real to me. Maybe it’s because I’m from an odd, small town that isn’t really comparable to any other city I’ve ever been in! I did really appreciate the descriptive writing of the setting and Tom’s job, but the dialogue just didn’t connect with me.

I also didn’t like the female characters in any capacity. Johnny was this really unique character, but I’ve never met anyone like her. That being said, the fact that Johnny is so out there and unique is a good thing! Unfortunately for me, I need to connect with characters to be able to be whisked into the story. Johnny and Sally are religious and do not wish to sleep with anyone until they are married. Okay, cool, that’s normal! But announcing that the first time you meet a guy? Having this strong “love at first sight” feeling and announcing a potential marriage and children? It just didn’t seem real to me. I think this made her to be a truly interesting character to follow but she felt foreign. It was like I was watching a character in the Handmaid’s Tale television show – it feels so close to being real but wasn’t.

That negative for me can be a true positive though – this book is set in a realistic story with unique characters. Seeing them interact with each other and the surroundings was a fun character study. I think that’s where readers are going to get the most out of this book. It’s so different that it can be so good!

The biggest positive for me was seeing these characters grow. Dave, Tom, Johnny and Sally all change over time as you learn about their past and their present. Heartbreaks, happiness and tragedy can all be followed which is absolutely lovely. I like seeing characters grow and develop in books, and it’s nice to see Vic write that so effortlessly. The growth didn’t feel forced – it felt natural.

Overall, I think this story it cool. Vic Cavalli has crafted a really interesting story that will take you to a whole new world (within the one we’re already in).

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Vic Cavalli in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Coles/Indigo

Amazon.com

 

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#BookReview The F.L.U.B. Club by Richard Clark

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What happens when a kid wants to become a billionaire? Well, they create a club, of course! Marty Gundy wants to be REALLY rich, so he made a club called FIUB (but it turned into FLUB) so all of the future internet ultra-billionaires could hang out! Marty is a tech whiz, which is why he will eventually be super duper rich.

I love this book because as a kid I always wanted to create a really cool school club or be apart of one. It attaches to those feelings that most kids have. Richard Clark has done this in every book I’ve read by him so far – he knows how to write in the mind of a child and really connect and identify with the reader.

Now, this story is SHORT. It’s sweet and to the point, which makes it an excellent bedtime read for your youngings! It’s also enjoyable for adults, but it really meets the children’s novel/middle grade inbetween transition age where you want to read more advanced books but don’t want to commit to a long story. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I liked Richard’s other books, but I did think it was fun and a definite must read for anyone looking for a story to read their child! I highly recommend this book!

Overall, I thought this story was fun! It’s cute, funny and really smart! I’d love for more children’s books to be full of this level of intelligence!

Three out of five stars.

 

Check out this book, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande by Richard Clark

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This crazy adventure is another epic story by Richard Clark!

Half of this story is the actual adventure, while the other half is a journal. Having this dual point of view is a change from Richard’s typical story telling, but I found it worked perfectly within the story. Following Rudy and the wild shenanigans he goes on fit really well bouncing back and forth. All three of the boys in this story are hilarious and fun to follow along this epic journey. It almost felt like a cartoon I’d watch on the weekends when I was off from school as a kid! This is super high quality writing!

The action in this story continues at an excellent pace that keeps the audience engaged. I feel that this book is perfect for the middle grade audience! Although, I might not use this as a bedtime story. It’s so action packed that it seems like the perfect, middle of the day read to get everybody wanting to run and jump around! There’s also some truly incredible suspense (for a middle grade novel!) that really enhanced the story overall. I didn’t expect that from Richard Clark!

Some of the chapters are very short, yet they felt just long enough. The book is a light, soft read despite the exciting action among the pages. I would definitely recommend picking up this book if you’re looking for an Indiana Jones type read for your children! The comedy, action and adventure will really catch your young readers!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book, The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, on:

Goodreads – Loma Grande

Amazon.com – Loma Grande

Amazon.ca – Loma Grande

 

 

Find out about Richard Clark’s book HughTube, on:

Goodreads – Hugh Tube

Amazon.com – HughTube

Amazon.ca – HughTube

 

Check out another book by Richard Clark, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

Check out the cover artist of The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, Cliff Behum, on http://www.cliff.biz

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Leaving Home by Duane A. Eide

It’s time for another quick book review!!

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Leaving Home was an interesting fictional read.

This novel follows Shane Stenlund after an unfortunate injury that led him to not continuing his secondary school career. He goes off to the big city and learns that life is much different in the city than on the farm.

The story was definitely interesting, although I did not see the big picture or what the theme was. It seemed like it was just meant to be a good, fictional read to escape from reality with. If there was a theme, maybe it just wasn’t very obvious.

The character development and plot pace was A-grade. I felt like the story built well over time and nothing seemed to come to early or to late in the story. If anything, I would have liked there to be more interaction with Shane’s family but that was not a big issue.

Overall, it was a good read. I was impressed with the book and would suggest it to anyone who wants a good book to escape reality with.

Four out of five stars, due to the lack of evident theme.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite book that is less than 100 pages? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this book review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview – Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #LeavingHome to start a conversation on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye

Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye is a fun, cozy mystery that is perfect for binging!

I’ve gotta say, I have been yearning for some teacher centered reads lately (ironically, since school is getting out around now for the elementary school kids in my area). And what is my luck that Kelley Kaye has an awesome mystery series that’s full of teachers, silly antics and loads of thrills!

Our lead Emma working at a new school and meets Leslie, the current head of the English department. While being introduced to her new life as the high school English teacher, she discovers a murder! Leslie, Emma and a band of jolly characters must work together to find out who killed a beloved janitor and all of the secrets he held behind the scenes in his life.

The book is FULL of quotes – Star Wars and Shakespeare just to name a couple! I loved all of the silly references that I understood, and the ones I didn’t I got to look up and find MORE books to add to my never ending to-be-read pile! Add in the comedy that Kelley Kaye is clearly an expert at providing, and you’ve got yourself a fun time! Work your way through this book and try to solve the mystery, or just enjoy the giggles you’ll get from the wacky one liners!

For me as a reader, I couldn’t find much wrong with this book. It was short enough to binge it but long enough to feel fulfilling. It was also packed with everything I love – silly comments, epic quotes and fun characters. There’s drama, a splash of flirtiness and romance, gossip, thrills and chills. It hits all the notes I want in a sweet novel!

I would say this book is for 16+, due to some of the adult comments used in the book. That being said, if you’ve got a mature teen they will have no problem reading this book! It’s not R rated, it just has adult comments that you might not want to read to your children.

Five out of five stars! It was a fun ride that I definitely want more of! I’ll be searching for Kelley Kaye’s books on every bookshelf I can!

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

 

Check out this book on:

 

Check out the first bo on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

And comment below! What books do you find “cozy”?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#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

 

#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/