Review, Reviews

Book Review|| One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn


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One for Sorrow
by Mary Downing Hahn

304 pages
Published July 18th, 2017 by Clarion Books
ARC, NetGalley
Paranormal, Ghosts, Historical Fiction, Tweens

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.
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*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
plot
The story is mostly about Annie and Elsie. Elsie comes back from the dead and starts tormenting Annie and the girls who wronged her. To say that nobody believes Annie about Elsie’s ghosts it’s an understatement. 
The novel is not scary in a gory, horror way. However, it does has a creepy feeling to it. I was involved with Annie’s situation; I couldn’t wait to see what happens to her and if she’ll be alright.
The book also has a historical subplot to it. It is set in 1918, right before the Great War ended. It touches subjects such as war politics, and how the German living in USA were ostracized and treated with malice. Moreover, the novel also describes vividly how the influenza epidemic affected people’s lives, and how it left behind it a lot of victims. As the author mentioned at the end of the book, some parts of the story are based on her mother’s experience with influenza, wakes, and funerals. Maybe that’s why it feels so realistic.
The plot itself it’s fast-paced and filled with action. There is no dull moment in this book, and it’s a very fast read! 
characters
Great and complex characterization! Each character has a unique personality,  a distinctive voice, and at least one major flaw. In other words, the characters are very realistic. They sound and act like real girls.
Having said that, the characters themselves are not very nice. Not even the heroine or the victim turned villain.  Oh, no.
Annie and her group of friends are bullies. They mock and terrorize Elsie most of the time. Even though Annie and Jane feel some remorse, the peer pressure it’s too strong.
However, Elsie is no angel either. She is mean, clingy, manipulative, and vindictive. 
If you like reading only about pleasant characters, this book it’s not for you – especially if you expect the main character to be relatable and good. Don’t get me wrong, Annie has good traits; after all, she is just a little girl. However, the way she thinks of Elsie it’s not very innocent.
Personally, I do not have a problem with the characters. I actually enjoyed the fact that the characters are not perfect or goody two shoes. A lot of children are like that – some grow out of it, some not.
final-thoughts
In short, One for Sorrow is a fast paced, entertaining novel. The characters are well developed, the setting and world building are intriguing, and the plot is unique.
I would’ve like to know a little bit more about Elsie; to know her background. Was her home life really that bad, or was she exaggerating? I’m confused because Elsie is not the most honest character.  
I wished the book was a little bit longer, mostly because I enjoyed it so much :D. 
recommand
Yes!!! Definitely! The book is a sure page turner, and it reads really fast. I think people who love reading about ghosts and creepy situations will definitely enjoy this novel! 
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lauraxo
Blog, Review, Reviews

Book Review| The New Irish Table -Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola


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The New Irish Table
Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs
by Leslie Conron Carola

ARC, NetGalley
Non-Fiction, Food, Cookbook, Cuisine, Culture
240 pages
Published February 7th, 2017 by Imagine
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ten award-winning chefs dismantle the stereotype of Irish cuisine being a boil, a fry, or soda bread. Highlighting fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients from provinces across the Emerald Isle, this beautiful, photo-illustrated collection offers inspirational Irish recipes.
An Irish meal must nourish the soul as well as the body, teasing each of the senses. Home cooks are invited into each featured chef’s restaurant and/ or home to experience recipes that utilize fresh fish, lamb, beef, pork, fruits, and vegetables, and of course, Ireland’s renowned cheeses.
Starred-studded contributors include Kevin Dundon (host of PBS’s Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Table), Darina Allen (founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School), and Neven Maguire (celebrity chef and TV personality).
Celebrating the new Irish food culture, this compilation emphasizes local resources, simple fare, and the highest standards, proving that Ireland is a modern food destination.

 

Another great cookbook, but this time about Irish cuisine.  There is also some information about Ireland, and its food traditions. Moreover, the book has plenty of great pictures.

The book contains recipes from all over Ireland, and there is something for everyone. As the blurb says, the recipes are provided by professional chefs.  It was a pleasure to read this book, and I discovered new recipes.

As with all cookbooks, I recommend this book as a hardcover or paperback, and not as an e-book. It is easier to read it in print.

I recommend this book to all food lover, as well as to people who are interested in Ireland as a country.

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Book Review| A Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid


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A Taste of Persia
by Naomi Duguid

Published October 13th, 2016 by Artisan (first published September 20th, 2016)
400 pages
Non-Fiction, Cultures, Cookbook, Food

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Following up on Burma, her stunningly well-received exploration of another fascinating cultural crossroads, Duguid introduces us to the next place we want to visit with recipes for food we can’t wait to make, and with tales that are memorable and moving. In the way that the Mediterranean has a common palate, so too do these nations: one centered on a love for the fresh and the green (beginning with the piles of fresh herbs that accompany every dish with abandon) and also the tart, as revealed in the ingenious use of sour plums, sour cherries, pomegranates, and limes. There are the delectable filled dumplings, flatbreads, and stuffed vegetables; plus gorgeous Persian rice dishes, grilled meats, and skewered kebabs. There are fresh cheeses, sparkly salads, spice blends, and spectacular sauces based on walnuts ground to a paste.

Taste of Persia is an adventure of discovery—not only of a fascinating region, rich with history and variety, but of a wealth of culinary traditions and innovations as well.

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Book Review| Monet – The Early Years by George T. M. Shackelford


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Monet – The Early Years
by George T. M. Shackelford

Art, Non-Fiction, History, Biography
320 pages
ARC, NetGalley

Published January 6th, 2017 by Yale University Press (first published November 2016)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first comprehensive examination of the painter’s formative years, tracing the evolution of Monet’s early style and personal ambitions that drove the rest of his career.

This elegant volume is the first to be devoted to the young genius of Claude Monet (1840–1926). Bringing together the greatest paintings from his early career—including his first Salon-exhibited work, the Kimbell Art Museum’s La Pointe de la Hève at Low Tide; Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) and The Magpie from the Musée d’Orsay; and The Green Wave and La Grenouillère from the Metropolitan Museum of Art—it features essays by distinguished scholars, focusing on the evolution of Monet’s own distinctive mode of painting. Through the 1860s, the young painter absorbed and transformed a variety of influences, from the lessons of the Barbizon school and his mentor Boudin to the challenges posed by his friends Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley. Artistic innovation and personal ambition shaped the work of the celebrated impressionist painter from the very start of his long and illustrious career.

George T. M. Shackelford is deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum. Richard Shiff is Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at the University of Texas at Austin. Richard Thomson is Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art, University of Edinburgh. Anthea Callen is professor emeritus of the Australian National University and professor emeritus of visual culture, University of Nottingham. Mary Dailey Desmarais is associate curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal.

 

This book is a great source of information for everyone who wants to know more about Monet and his life. Plus, you also get to see a lot of Monet’s paintings, since the book is filled with great pictures of Monet’s works.

It was a different experience for me to read this book. I mostly read fiction, and it’s different when you read a novel than when you read a history book about a real person – it took me longer than usual to finish this book. Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to read it, and I enjoyed it tremendously.

To be honest, I did not know much about Monet before I read this book. I’ve heard of him, of course, but did not know much about his life. This book, Monet- The Early Years by George T. M. Shackelford, sparked my interest in art history; therefore, this semester I took an Art History course as a gen. ed. in college. Moreover, for my big essay, I chose to write about Monet and Impressionism, because I became fascinated by this great artist that gave the name to a new art movement, thanks to his painting named Impressions: Sunrise.

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I am very grateful for the opportunity to read this book. It opened the door for a new interest.

I recommend Monet – Early Years by George T. M. Shackelford to everyone who loves art and Monet. Even if you don’t know much about art, I still think you should give this book a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll develop a new passion. 🙂

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

bibliofagista

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Book Review & Tour||Blade and Soul by C. M. Estopare


Blade and Soul
C.M. Estopare
Publication date: June 30th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

★★★☆☆ (3.5)

To defy gods, she will sacrifice all.After the death of its duchess, Safrana is in turmoil. Two equally powerful families vie for power, quickly turning the beautiful citadels of Safrana into a hellish warscape. While, on the outside, there is a desperate search for the one true heir to the throne. The one man who could stop an encroaching civil war and force the citadels into peace.

But he is nowhere to be found. Presumed dead. While a threatening war looms over Safrana, promising to tear it apart.

Thrust into a political world which only buys and sells in blood money, with an impending civil war at hand, Marceline Brandy is called to take charge of a peace effort in a foreign city. But nothing is certain in this world rife with political strife. Everything must be questioned, even a push for peace.

Desperate to complete her mission, Marceline soon finds herself tangled up in the strange political affairs of an arrogant woman with dangerous ties to the long lost heir of the Safranian throne. But there is another, more powerful presence that lurks on the borders of Safrana’s imploding government. A presence that would stop at nothing to see Marceline and her allies fail.

Seized by a foreign city she is sworn to save, she has few to turn to for help. The list of allies she could count on is cut short by corrupt patriotists hungry for war and livid at the mere notion of foreign driven peace. Months pass as Marceline heads this peace effort, but the fiercer she works the more dire the situation becomes and time is running out.

A war looms, one that promises to destroy Safrana, as mythological creatures rise from ancient graves. The fiends intent on absolute destruction.

Is this an all-out test of Marceline’s strength and will?

Or, are the gods themselves against her?

Goodreads / Amazon

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Blog Tour & Review||Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke


Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 19th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Book Review|| Becoming Human by Eliza Green


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Becoming Human
Exilon 5 Series #1
Eliza Green

★★★★/★★★★★

Science Fiction, Dystopia, Adult Fiction
358 pages
Published December 30th, 2012 by CreateSpace


A VENDETTA. A DESIRE FOR FREEDOM. A SECRET THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied.

Having already begun a massive relocation programme, the World Government on Earth sends Bill Taggart to monitor the threat level of the Indigenes, the alien race that lives on Exilon 5. Bill is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. Until now.

Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human.

Laura O’Halloran is losing her daily battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Her only chance at recovery is leaving the dark Earth for the sunnier climate of Exilon 5. She hopes her credentials as a World Government employee will secure her a one-way trip, but with the ever increasing relocation demand that is not a guarantee.

Her discovery of a deadly secret threatens her life and that of Bill and Stephen. A secret so great it could rip apart both worlds.

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