Book Review: The Golden Compass

“You cannot change who you are. Only what you do.” – The Golden Compass

In a world similar to ours, there lives a young girl Lyra, with her daemon Pantalaimon (Pan for short), unaware of her true destiny. Her life seems normal as she lives with the scholars at Jordan College, her Uncle Lord Asriel comes to visit sometimes, and her friends are always close by. It all changes the day she’s given the Golden Compass (aka the alethiometer). This Golden Compass shows the truth of the past, present and future. Lyra must embark on a journey to fulfill her destiny and potentially save more than just her world.

This classic is considered to be children’s literature, and as a 22-year old adult, this book was very entertaining and pretty grown up. I honestly was super surprised it was considered children’s when I finished reading. It’s such an in depth story, with concepts that are so mind blowing, it will impact you after reading this book.

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The Golden Compass was the first of the His Dark Materials trilogy and it was freaken awesome.  My love for this book has given it an 8.5 out of 10 stars. I highly recommend this book for all book lovers. This is one of those books that should be required to read for all.

There are so many characters within this novel and Phillip Pullman does an amazing job of giving purpose to every single one of them. To me, that speaks so much talent as a writer. Pullman had to carefully plan his writing in order to ensure the success of the book. That reason makes me appreciate this book so much, because I know there’s a passion and there’s a reason.

Another quality that I love about this book is the in depth problem-solution. Plus the connections and the illusions to our own world. Now this is hard to explain without spoiling the book for you, so you gotta trust me on this one.

Oh, and there is a movie for this book too. It’s not that good to be honest. But it has a good cast. Here’s the trailer:

Bahama Bucks

The drink I’ve chosen is a little different this time. It’s actually a snow cone from Bahama Bucks. The reason I chose this drink is because I read this book in the Texas Summer Heat (which is BRUTALLLL) and because Lyra has a goal to get North, where it’s very cold. This specific snow cone is like a coke float and because of Coca-Cola polar bears, I would thought it would match with the Ice bears within the novel.

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On to the next…

Up next of course is the second book in the trilogy, The Subtle Knife. Pullman left the Golden Compass with so much potential to carry on the rest of his series.

June Recap

Hey guys! So June went by so fast and I’m glad summer is finally here! So, here’s a little recap of the books I read in June. I didn’t have any additions to the book shelf, but I’m actually proud of myself for that because I need to start cutting down my list. Make sure you keep up with my reads in May. Oh and I’ll be doing some special blog post you’ll definitely want to check out!

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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Tristran Thorn has found the love of his life, the beautiful Victoria Forester. And like most people in love , Tristran does something crazy. See, Victoria isn’t sure if she loves him or not, so he must prove it to her. (Which doesn’t make any sense, but of course Tristran doesn’t realize it.) As he professes his love for her, a star falls in the distance, and his crazy act begins.

He will bring the star to Victoria, all for a wish, and potentially her hand in marriage. He begins his journey of the unknown with love in his heart, eagerness in his eyes, and adventure in his steps.

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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Lenora wakes up in a hospital, scratched, bruised and confused. She can’t recall what happened in the past 24 hours. The last thing she remembers is attending a hen party (aka bachelorette party), but why would a police officer be outside her hospital door? She has to remember what happens…even if it kills her. (Bah, Bah, BUM!)

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware was a quick 308 page read. I was ready to kick off the summer with a little bit of thrill and this book provided. I started this read on June 2, 2017 and finished on June 9, 2017. It was a decent book, not good enough in my opinion to make a lasting impression. So, overall I rated it a 6 out of 10 rating.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

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A Conjuring of Light was a true finale to The Shades of Magic trilogy. V.E. Schwab did not disappoint her readers with this one. Every moment was a plot twist and it made me go through an emotional rollercoaster (and I mean the good-crazy-fun-rollercoaster). I remember thinking to myself through out her book, “I never saw that coming”, in almost every section.

I started this book on May 17th, and finished on May 30th. Overall, I give this book a 9 out of 10 rating and highly recommend it for all fiction lovers.

 

Book Review: Stardust

“He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale they were and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them, that they could not help being amused every time another little human believed itself the center of its world as each of us does.” – Stardust

Tristran Thorn has found the love of his life, the beautiful Victoria Forester. And like most people in love , Tristran does something crazy. See, Victoria isn’t sure if she loves him or not, so he must prove it to her. (Which doesn’t make any sense, but of course Tristran doesn’t realize it.) As he professes his love for her, a star falls in the distance, and his crazy act begins.

He will bring the star to Victoria, all for a wish, and potentially her hand in marriage. He begins his journey of the unknown with love in his heart, eagerness in his eyes, and adventure in his steps.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman was such a fun read. It left me smiling with happiness in my heart. I started this fantasy novel on June 9, 2017, and finished it on June 14th, 2017. This book is full of adventure, romance, and magic (basically, my type of book).

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I picked up this book to give the famous Gaiman a try. I wanted something familiar and I loved the movie Stardust. I had no idea that the movie had originated from a book so this was actually  good surprise for me. But, before we talk about the movie, lets talk about the book!

I kinda knew the backbone of the story due to the movie, but it was still filled with little surprises. It starts with the origin story of Tristran and the love between his parents. Then, we’re introduced to Tristran’s current life and his dilemma in the love department.

As I mentioned before, he decides to embark on this crazy adventure to retrieve a fallen star. He crosses into an unknown land of magic, not knowing what to expect. His journey takes him to some exciting, and dangerous places, but he must get back to his true love.

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Overall I rated this book a strong 7 out of 10. I fully enjoyed the tales within this book and I loved how there was reason to every little detail.

One of the qualities I didn’t like was the writing style. It was so undescriptive. I mean, Gaiman was supposed to create this whole world full of magic and sometimes the big descriptions/ events were two sentences. I would have to go back and make sure I got every detail from that short description. It was kind of annoying.

But unlike the novel, the movie was so descriptive. And yes, some of the movie plot points differed from the novel but I think this is the only book to movie combo that I liked the movie a lot better. Honestly, this movie is a perfect mix of everything and kind of like Ella Enchanted. Here’s the trailer:

Gourmet Milkshake

My awesome drink pairing for this book is a Gourmet Milkshake by the Bubble Waffle Bar. It’s like a Unicorn Milkshake but ten times better and awesomer. Which isn’t a word but it describes it perfectly. I recommend this fun drink for anyone that stops in San Antonio.

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On to the next…

Up next is The Golden Compass. This is such a big classic and there was a lot of controversy around the movie so it will be an interesting read!

Book Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood

“The night was drawing in, and the house felt more and more like a glass cage, blasting light blindly out into the dusk, like a lantern in the dark.”- In A Dark, Dark Wood

Lenora wakes up in a hospital, scratched, bruised and confused. She can’t recall what happened in the past 24 hours. The last thing she remembers is attending a hen party (aka bachelorette party), but why would a police officer be outside her hospital door? She has to remember what happens…even if it kills her. (Bah, Bah, BUM!)

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware was a quick 308 page read. I was ready to kick off the summer with a little bit of thrill and this book provided. I started this read on June 2, 2017 and finished on June 9, 2017. It was a decent book, not good enough in my opinion to make a lasting impression. So, overall I rated it a 6 out of 10 rating.

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Lenora gets invited to this hen party for a friend she hasn’t spoken to in years, like 10 years, and the bride to be is named Clare. So why Lenora? Why would Clare invite her to a party after not communicating for 10 years? This book starts with plenty of questions for the reader and it grabbed my attention immediately. I wanted to see how this novel played out.

Ruth Ware does a fantastic job of building a story. I think she did well with flash back and returning to the main story plot. It kept me entertained and wanting to read more. Her characters were all well written as well. I felt like I was playing in the game of clue. (The Butler did it with the Candle Stick in the Master Bedroom!!) Each character has different qualities but they were all so relatable.

The thing that prevented me from liking this book was the predictability. Soooo predictable. I don’t want to give too much away but, I felt every plot twist coming. Personally I want a thriller to have thrill, and there wasn’t enough In A Dark, Dark Wood.

But I would recommend this book for those who are looking for a good, quick, summer read.

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Tea

For this book combo, I paired it with tea. Lenora is a big fan of coffee but Clare is a big fan of tea. At her hen party all they had was tea, and it was kinda big deal.

On to the next…

The next book for me is one of my favorite movies, Stardust. This book is full of magic and it’s by Neil Gaiman. I haven’t explored his writing style, but everyone gives him good reviews. So this book will be the start to see if I should read the rest of his books.

 

Book Review: A Conjuring of Light

“Life isn’t made of choice, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.” -Holland

A Conjuring of Light was a true finale to The Shades of Magic trilogy. V.E. Schwab did not disappoint her readers with this one. Every moment was a plot twist and it made me go through an emotional rollercoaster (and I mean the good-crazy-fun-rollercoaster). I remember thinking to myself through out her book, “I never saw that coming”, in almost every section.

I started this book on May 17th, and finished on May 30th. Overall, I give this book a 9 out of 10 rating and highly recommend it for all fiction lovers.

Now before we really get into detail, I do want to let you know that there will be spoilers if you haven’t read, A Darker Shade of Magic or A Gathering of Shadows. So, if you haven’t read those, you can click on these links for the reviews: ADSOM & AGOS and come back when you’ve caught up.

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This novel automatically started with a major issue. Black Magic was starting to show how powerful it was. A Gathering of Shadows left us with a major cliff hanger that pulled at my heart strings. I was very happy that V.E. Schwab wasted no time in returning back to the story plot for A Conjuring of Light.

In the novel, every known character rallies against the black magic. It was so awesome to see a “team” pull together and work towards the same goal. It was like Marvel all over again, but a magical version.

I fully enjoyed that Schwab also went into detail about a lot more characters. I felt that this strengthened the book so much because it allowed the reader to follow immerse into the universe. One character story that I would love a prequel to focus on is King Maxim. He has such an amazing tale and a whole book dedicated to a younger version of him would be awesome!

The only disappointment that I experienced was the final fight. I felt that Schwab set such high expectations for a dramatic fight scene and I was let down. It was still good though, just expected a little more.

In general this book was amazing and worth all the hype!

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Cherry Coke

The drink combo I’ve chosen is a Cheery Coke. The reason I chose this drink is because it signifies the constant fight within the novel. I think of the cherry flavor as a symbol for Red London. The drink might be dark, but lying underneath is the strong taste of cherry fighting back. Plus, I love a good Cherry Coke.

On to the next…

My next read is, In the Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. I’m putting a little thrill to my summer!

May Book Recap

May has been great! Personally. But for books….eh. I wasn’t able to read a lot of books, but we’ll read work on that this summer. So goodbye may! Welcome June! Here’s the book recap for June.

BOOKS FINISHED

I, Lucifer by Glenn Duncan

Lucifer is doing his business in Hell; torturing people, looking for souls, and tempting mortals until God send a message. Lucifer can come home on one condition, he has to live life as a human in the body of Declan Gunn (an anagram for Glen Duncan, very clever). Seems pretty easy for the Prince of Darkness right? Turns out, its not.

Lucifer realizes that he has to play by the rules. He can’t be evil while he lives on earth. It’s an adjustment, but you know, gotta do what you gotta do. All this time though, is it worth it? Will God really accept Lucifer after all this time?

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Yeah, only one book… not too good but June is looking hopeful. I’ve started audiobooks again, so that will help me tremendously. As far as book additions, I tried to keep it to a minimum this month.

NEW TBR

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I’ve been craving to read this book because of the new series. I know this book is a classic but I never understood what it was about. I’m very interested about this book and show.

The Handmaids tale

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

American Gods has made Neil Gaiman super famous recently. So I checked him out and realized he wrote Stardust which is also a movie that I love. You know, the book is always better than the movie, so we’ll see how it compares.

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As of right now, I’m currently reading A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab and listening to 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

Book Review: I, Lucifer

“There’s no such thing as evil for its own sake. All evil is motivated- even mine”- Lucifer

Lucifer is given the chance of redemption, and all he has to do is live a life of a human. The King of Hell, the Father of Chaos, the Stealer of Souls is walking among us, what could go wrong?

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I, Lucifer

I started I, Lucifer on May 3rd and finished the 262 pages on May 16th. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book so I ended up rating this book a 5 out of 10. I picked up this book because I recognized the author Glen Duncan. He also wrote, The Last Werewolf, and I absolutely loved that book. I, Lucifer was written in 2003, before The Last Werewolf which was written in 2011. Duncan’s writing majorly improved in 2011 as this novel was a struggle to get through.

Lucifer is doing his business in Hell; torturing people, looking for souls, and tempting mortals until God send a message. Lucifer can come home on one condition, he has to live life as a human in the body of Declan Gunn (an anagram for Glen Duncan, very clever). Seems pretty easy for the Prince of Darkness right? Turns out, its not.

Lucifer realizes that he has to play by the rules. He can’t be evil while he lives on earth. It’s an adjustment, but you know, gotta do what you gotta do. All this time though, is it worth it? Will God really accept Lucifer after all this time?

So this book brought very mixed emotions for me. I started this book and I couldn’t stop laughing. I mean, think about it, Lucifer’s gotta be a sarcastic smart ass. Which is hilarious, but Lucifer is technically still an Angel. So, he has angelic thinking and this thinking is explained in the novel as so fast that humans can’t keep up.

Duncan tried to express this thinking by the writing style, but honestly, it was so confusing to the reader. He used so many parenthesis, I would say there was at least one pair per page. It was way too much and the story was lost, I became totally uninterested.

Overall it was a decent book and I wouldn’t recommend this book.

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Lucifer Rising

For this drink combo, Lucifer actually made this specific drink in the novel called Lucifer Rising. It’s a mix of vodka, tequila, orange juice, tomato juice, tabasco, tio pepe, marnier, cinnamon and pepperoncino chili. It was a very interesting drink.

On to the next…

The next book is the finale, The Conjuring of Light. I’m actually sad and excited to start this book. Sad because I don’t want the story to end, and excited because I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Mother’s Day Book Quotes

Happy Mother’s Day! To all the great moms out there, thank you for loving, caring, and supporting us crazy kids. We wouldn’t be the successful, book addicts that we are today without you. To show some love, here are some book quotes just for mom.

“I have a sister, so I know-that relationship, it’s all about fairness: you want your sibling to have exactly what you have-the same amount of toys, the same number of meatballs on your spaghetti, the same share of love. But being a mother is completely different. You want your child to have more than you ever did. You want to build a fire underneath her and watch her soar. It’s bigger than words.”   – Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin.”   – Mitch Albom, For One More Day

“Because I feel that in the heavens above
The angels, whispering one to another,
Can find among their burning tears of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore, by that dear name I have long called you,
You who are more than mother unto me.”
Edgar Allen Poe, To My Mother

A quote in honor of Mother's Day.:

“Mothers are all slightly insane.”- J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

“Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues — faith and hope.” – Charles Dickens

Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”- Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm

“You were my home, Mother. I had no home but you”- Janet Finch, White Oleander

A New Season of Motherhood : Why I decided to

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”- Agatha Christie, The Last Séance

“Mom had the kind of love for her that you could feel, like it was part of the atmosphere.”- Peter Abrahams, Down the Rabbit Hole

I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.”- Maya Angelou, Mom & Me & Mom

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Hello Lovelies! June was such a crazy month for me but luckily May is here. Let’s do a quick catch up with a Rapid Fire Book Tag. I originally found this tag on the Between the Lines Book Blog and it was so much fun just to write down random thoughts. I tag, ZeeZee with Books to do this book tag 🙂  

eBooks or physical books?

Physical. I tried eBooks and it didn’t feel right.  

Paperback or hardback?

Paperback for travel, but hardback for classics.

Online or in-store shopping?

Online, cause it’s always cheaper.

Trilogies or series?

Trilogies. Sometimes a series drags on.

Heroes or villains?

Definitely Villains.  

A Book You Want Everyone to Read?

Well, the whole Inheritance Cycle.

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Recommend an underrated book.

The Angel Maker. Such a good book.

The last book you finished?

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Weirdest thing you used as a book mark?

                                                               Hmmm. Probably a used napkin.

Used books, yes or no?

No, unless they’re in really good condition.

Top three favorite genres?

Don’t really have favorites. I love a little bit of everything in every genre.

Characters or plot?

Hmm, I feel like you could have strong characters with a weak plot and the story would still be good. So I’m gonna go with characters.

Short or long book?

Depends on my mood really.

Long or short chapters?

Short, it makes me feel accomplished.

Name the first three books you think of?

Red Rising.

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A Gathering of Shadows

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Ready Player One.
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Books that make you laugh or cry?

Laugh, I hate to cry.

Our world or fictional worlds?

                                    Oooo, depends on the fictional world, cause I would live in Harry Potter.  

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Yeah, I think everyone does. Ultimately if it’s a good story, I’ll read it.

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

Book to TV because TV can take time to develop the story.

Series or standalone?

Series cause I always want more.