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Review: The Marriage Pact

Review: The Marriage PactTitle: The Marriage Pact
Author(s): Michelle Richmond
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 433 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

My Thoughts

I decided to read The Marriage Pact because I had heard such good things about it from other readers and my hold from the library came in fairly quickly.

I really enjoyed reading The Marriage Pact even though it was very over-the-top. Each time I put it down, I wanted to pick it up again so I could find out what happened. It made me glad The Pact doesn’t exist in real life. Or, does it? 🎶dun dun dun🎶

I really enjoyed the setting of the bay area, especially since I just traveled there last month. It was fun visualizing all the places they talked about in the novel. And, I really liked Jake and Alice. I rooted for them from the get go.

The only reason I’m giving The Marriage Pact three stars is because I felt the book was a little too long and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be. All in all, though, it was an entertaining thriller.

Review: The Joy Luck Club

Review: The Joy Luck ClubTitle: The Joy Luck Club
Author(s): Amy Tan
Genre(s): Contemporary
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Play Book Tag
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. With wit and wisdom, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined...

My Thoughts

I read The Joy Luck Club because the topic for this month for my Goodreads PBT group is Asia.

The Joy Luck Club was a very interesting read. I especially enjoyed reading the mothers’ stories and their hardships in China and how they came to the US. I actually wish the book would’ve focused more on them and their time in China.

I also enjoyed the nods to Chinese and Chinese-American culture. I learned quite a bit while reading The Joy Luck Club. It was interesting that even though the mothers joined a Christian church upon their arrival in the US, they retained some of their Buddhist beliefs throughout their lives.

I also found it interesting to see the differences between the mothers and the daughters. Because of the American culture around the daughters, the daughters couldn’t help but grow up American. Yet, I thought the mothers would’ve taught their children more about their culture. The daughters could understand Chinese, but they couldn’t speak it very well nor could they read or write the characters.

While I found the book interesting, I found the characters to be a little flat. Their voices were similar and the only reason I could tell each of them a part was because each of their stories were different. And, as I said, I would’ve rather the book focused more on the mothers and their hardships in China than on their life in the US with their daughters. For these reasons, I’m only giving The Joy Luck Club three stars.

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Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Review: A Wrinkle in TimeTitle: A Wrinkle in Time
Author(s): Madeleine L'Engle
Series: A Wrinkle in Time #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Pages: 256 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

When Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O'Keefe learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil--a journey that threatens their lives and our universe.

My Thoughts

I decided to read A Wrinkle in Time before the movie release since I had never read it. I knew it was fantasy and I knew it had to do with darkness and light, but I don’t know what I was expecting because this wasn’t it.

I enjoyed the fantasy and science aspect of the story. In fact, that is probably what I liked most about the story. Well, that and Charles Wallace, the 5-year-old brother of the main character Meg. I enjoyed reading about wrinkling/tessering. And, I loved the mix of fantasy/science with religion. I thought that was rather unique.

What I didn’t like is Meg. She was so annoying and unless I can connect with the main character, I don’t usually fare all that well with the book. I’m not one of those readers that like books with unlikable characters just for the sake of the plot and character development.

I also didn’t like how short the book is. Without the introduction, afterword, acknowledgements, etc., the story is only 203 pages. I know this is meant for children, but I feel like this book could’ve been fleshed out so much more. I felt like the characters, other than the main three, were very one-dimensional. View Spoiler » I also have so many unanswered questions that I feel could’ve been answered with a longer book. View Spoiler »

Overall, I liked the story and I’ll continue the series at some point, but I don’t feel like the book lived up to the hype.

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Review: Reaper

Review: ReaperTitle: Reaper
Author(s): Kyra Leigh
Genre(s): Paranormal, YA
Pages: 256 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Listopia Challenge
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Rosie Wolf is sure when you die, you go straight to Paradise, until she wakes to discover she has died in an accident and that Paradise isn’t what she thought it would be.

My Thoughts

This year, I’m participating in a Listopia Challenge on Goodreads. I chose a Listopia list at the beginning of the year to read at least six books from. I chose Books by Utah Authors and Reaper is my first read from the list I chose.

Reaper wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought there would be more paranormal-ness to the story, but it was a very straight forward story about death and dying. To be quite honest, it was really depressing. I’m glad it was such a fast read and I got done with it in two sittings so I didn’t have to stay in the story for very long.

Having lost someone close to me and still not being completely over their death, Reaper was really hard to read. I felt like parts of it were very real looks at death and grief. I’m not sure if that was the author’s purpose, but that’s kind of what I got out of it.

Even though I had a hard time reading it, I’m glad I read Reaper. I liked Kyra Leigh’s writing style. I only gave Reaper three stars because of its depressing nature. It’s not one I’ll read over and over. I do look forward to reading more of Leigh’s work in the future, though.

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Review: Ready Player One

Review: Ready Player OneTitle: Ready Player One
Author(s): Ernest Cline
Series: Ready Player One #1
Genre(s): Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 374 (Kindle)
Source: Own
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win--and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

My Thoughts

My book club read Ready Player One for January. I was really excited to read it because I knew it was all things nerdy. And, boy was it nerdy!

The concept of Ready Player One was so fascinating. I loved the dystopian society that Cline built and the need for the OASIS. At times, I wished the OASIS were real, but to be honest, I’m glad it’s not. I kept thinking about my self-proclaimed from JK Rowling, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” In the society that Wade lived in, the OASIS was needed. In my society, it’s not and I hope we never need something so immersive.

The contest was fun. I adored reading about all the 80s nostalgia. I felt like I was reliving my childhood. I’d agree with the characters when they talked about “our” favorites and then I’d get mad at them when they dissed one of my favorites. I’m looking at you, Aech. Ladyhawke is awesome!

My biggest pet peeve with Ready Player One was the info dumps. Whenever Wade got hold of a new technology, I felt like Cline couldn’t help himself. He just went on and on about the technology he created and it was a little much. I understand that he needed to describe what was happening, but that whole chapter in Wade’s apartment was just painful to read.

Besides the info dumps, I really enjoyed the story. I was immersed and glued to my seat, so to speak. I’m excited to see how this book translates into a movie.