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Monday, 26 January 2015

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Page Count:  850 pages, Mass Market Paperback
Date Published: First published 1991
Find it on Goodreads: Outlander
Source: Was given as a gift

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. 

Whatever is was that I was expecting, it wasn't that. This was recommended and gifted to me by an exchange student that my family hosted from Germany a few years ago. She was a huge fan of epic fantasy, so when I picked this up, that's what I was most expecting.... Boy was I surprised.

*possible minor spoilers ahead if you haven't read this?*

Epic fantasy, this was not. I knew Outlander was a time travel novel, yet I didn't really realize that was only a simple part of the plot, that the story was more about the history of Scotland and the romance between Claire and Jamie. Then, as I was getting used to the historical overload, Jamie and Claire have their wedding night.

Now, I  know this is probably tame compared to other books people read, but having not expected any sort of explicitness, I was reading this in my French class and well, my cheeks went a little red.

Speaking of their marriage, I'm unclear on my opinion of whether or not Claire was committing adultery by marrying Jamie while being in a different time than her husband, Frank. Plus, the brutality of her punishment from Jamie made me sick to my stomach. I understand that it was part of the times, however it still made me uncomfortable, as well as the talk of him possibly forcing himself upon her.... it all just made me a bit squeamish, considering those actions are now rightly considered unacceptable.

What I did appreciate was the vivid historical detail and how much obvious research Gabaldon did for this novel. It made the story feel all the more real while in a setting so foreign to me. There were times where it felt almost as if there was too much detail, too much information, and the plot was overloaded with descriptors. The first 100 pages were honestly really dull, and I skimmed through much of it, hardly paying attention. The middle felt mostly like world building and a bit of plot, but kind of jumped around. Then the third quarter was filled with action, albeit was a bit odd, but I was hooked. Then the last quarter dragged on for a while longer, ending in a scene that I was glad I wasn't near anyone for, because my cheeks were redder than a tomato.

I don't know if I will be reading the rest of this series, but this was surely an enjoyable book, if not a bit dragged out. This is purely escape fiction, which is not what I was expecting, but once I got into it, I didn't really mind. It was a nice break for my tired brain.

 Happy reading!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Under the Cover (2)

Hey guys! One of my favourite things about hardcovers has always been taking off the dust jacket and seeing what details they put on the cover underneath and lately I've been noticing some really great ones! So I thought I'd start this little feature to highlight some of my favourite hardcovers that have hidden little gems under their covers! 

This week I'm featuring Cruel Beauty's incredibly beautiful cover!

I absolutely adore this cover, so after I borrowed this from a friend and took of the dust jacket to see this...

...I was head over heels in love. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favourite fairy tales and variations of it always excite me, so this book is one I'm way way stoked to read! And that gorgeous cover, with the jacket and without, is a definite added bonus!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Covers of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic  is: Favourite Covers of 2015.

I've definitely fallen out of the loop for Top Ten Tuesdays, but I thought I'd try to get back into it and today was a freebie! So I thought I'd feature some of my favourite covers for upcoming releases of 2015!


Look at all of those gorgeous covers! I know they're not super important to the story, but I definitely still appreciate them! (Can you tell I love graphics and typography?) 

Hope you're having a good Tuesday! Let me know if you posted a Top Ten list today :)

Happy reading!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Review: Infinite by Jodi Meadows

Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Page Count:  418 Hardcover
Date Published: January 28th 2014
Find it on Goodreads: Brazen
Source: Purchased

The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions. 

It generally takes me a while to finish these books, but once I do, the time is always worth it. I'm so impressed with where Jodi Meadows took this series... I mean, DRAGONS. I. Love. Dragons. Stories that incorporate them are almost always incredible and I loved where Infinite took them, with the lore and mystery surrounding these majestic creatures. I won't go into too much detail as this is the final book and I'd hate to spoil anything, however I will note this: Ana's character development brought tears to my eyes, giving me hope for all those other heroines of YA fantasies. What I thought was super cool was that this series melded from what was originally a utopian society, to more of a dystopian-like fantasy epic that kept firing bullets and my heart took them all.

All throughout the series, there was this huge question as to whether or not Ana would reincarnate when she inevitably died. I absolutely loved where the ending ultimately went. It was both happy and sad and it made sense as much as it could in this context. Overall, this entire finale was simply fantastic... I will always recommend this series as one of my favourites to anyone who hasn't read it.

Plus, to convince you of the awesomeness that is this series, here is a really cool GIF of a phoenix.

 Happy reading!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Under the Cover (1)

Hey guys! One of my favourite things about hardcovers has always been taking off the dust jacket and seeing what details they put on the cover underneath and lately I've been noticing some really great ones! So I thought I'd start this little feature to highlight some of my favourite hardcovers that have hidden little gems under their covers! I thought I'd start off with one that is absolutely stunning: Talon by Julie Kagawa!

Pretty great cover right? BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER...



I know we're not supposed to judge the book by its cover, but call me vain, 'cause a pretty cover sure is nice. It was definitely a pleasant surprise when I purchased this and saw all the pretty gold and amazing DRAGONS all over it! So. Gorgeous.

Happy reading!
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