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Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 432
Date read: May, 2017

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?


After hearing my niece rave about this book, I knew I had to read it myself :-) And she didn't steer me wrong - it only took me a few chapters to get totally hooked. I loved reading about the training and the tests (although I do wish we'd gotten to see more of the tests "on page" rather than just being told about them afterwards), and though I do understand some readers' complaints that it is rather superficial, that wasn't something I noticed myself until afterwards, so obviously it didn't bother me.

I thought it nicely self-contained, but still liked it enough, that I'll probably continue with the sequels as well.
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Title: Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy
Author: Manjusha Pawagi
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 288
Date read: May, 2017

Manjusha Pawagi, a successful family court judge, has written a not-so-typical memoir about her experience with cancer. Wryly funny and stubbornly hopeful, this is her quirky take on what it's like to face your own mortality when, to be honest, you thought you'd live forever. She describes how even the darkest moments of life can be made worse with roommates; details how much determination it takes to ignore the statistics; and answers the age-old question: what does it take to get a banana popsicle around here?


An excellent book! I'd recommend this to anybody, no matter whether or not they've had their lives touched by cancer.

It's a very poignant and real book. Manjusha allows the reader an insight into an experience they will hopefully never have to go through themselves, and while Manjusha is undoubtedly one of the lucky ones (she survived!) it still served as a chilling reminder of how cancer effects not just the patient, but everybody around.

I find it wrong to say that I "liked" the book, but I had a very hard time putting it down, and it is one of those powerful books that stay with you for a long time after finishing it.
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Title: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Genre: Sci-fi, epistolary
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 336 pages
Date read: May, 2017

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she's dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers - and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth... and maybe even the stars.


Thank you Netgalley for this ARC! This book picks up 9 years after the first one left off which disappointed me a bit at first (I wanted to know what happened RIGHT after), but worked quite nicely once I got further into it.

Though obviously not as 'unique' as the first book, "Waking Gods" was every bit as good and every bit as difficult to put down. Even the (relatively) open ending didn't bother me too much, as it fit in with the rest of the plot. Still, I'll be keeping an eager eye out for the third book in the series.

I'm really fond of the writing style. It's a bit of a stretch to call it "epistolary" as a lot of it is transcripts of interviews/conversations, but there's no "narration" - everything is told through dialogue or journal entries. It adds a certain twist to the atmosphere which I really like.

Rather dark at times (Sylvain Neuvel is not afraid to "kill his darlings" - so don't expect anybody to be safe "just because") but still written with a good dose of humour. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more.
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Title: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Genre: Sci-fi, epistolary
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 322 pages
Date read: May, 2017

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.


One of those amazing reads where even though I own it as an e-book, I immediately went out and purchased it as a physical book - I want it in my library! But no wonder - it hits all of my insta-loves. An epistolary sci-fi novel with a semi-unreliable narrator (mostly because you KNOW he's not telling you everything) and a totally fascinating concept.

I spent most of the book in a constant state of "What on earth is going on? And what on earth is going to happen next?" Those questions were only half-way answered, which for once didn't frustrate me, as it fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the book. I couldn't put it down and can't wait to read the sequel.
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Title: The One-in-a-Million Boy
Author: Monica Wood
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 336
Date read: May, 2017

For years, guitarist Quinn Porter has been on the road, chasing gig after gig, largely absent to his twice-ex-wife Belle and their odd, Guinness records-obsessed son. When the boy dies suddenly, Quinn seeks forgiveness for his paternal shortcomings by completing the requirements for his son's unfinished Boy Scout badge.

For seven Saturdays, Quinn does yard work for Ona Vitkus, the wily 104-year-old Lithuanian immigrant the boy had visited weekly. Quinn soon discovers that the boy had talked Ona into gunning for the world record for Oldest Licensed Driver... and that's the least of her secrets. Despite himself, Quinn picks up where the boy left off, forging a friendship with Ona that allows him to know the son he never understood, a boy who was always listening, always learning.


Very much a character-driven book and while engaging enough, I honestly couldn't tell you what I thought of it. The plot putters along slowly and is of no real consequence, but you do end up caring for the characters (Quinn and Ona especially) regardless, and while very slow-moving, I never considered giving up on it.

But still - it's not a book I'm likely to reread, and actually probably not even a book I'm likely to recommend. It most definitely had its moments, but at the end of it, I was left wondering what the fuss was all about.
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Title: Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse
Author: Helen Dore Boylston
Genre: Classics, YA
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 110
Date read: February 2005, January 2008, May 2017


Sue and her best friend, Kit, move to New York city; and join the Visiting Nurse service. Sue's duties take her from the Lower East Side to Harlem. There are many vignettes, humorous and touching. Not all Sue's duties are medical. She helps a lonely Polish new mother find neighborhood friends; and she helps a kind old woman realize her dreams of travel, (Sue secretly donates the money she had saved for her own trousseau for the trip). This leads into a surprising reward for Sue herself.


This used to be my favourite of the series, but I've had to downgrade the rating somewhat. I still absolutely I love reading about Sue's work in the streets of New York and how she has to be imaginative and think up solutions to problems she'd never have met at the hospital, but the older I get, the more the disagreement between her and Bill annoys me. I am completely on Sue's side and found Bill totally unreasonable, which made the end somewhat less than satisfying... especially as it's rather clear that the author is on Bill's side. A sign of the times, I guess, but annoyed me regardless.
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Title: Winter of Fire
Author: Sherryl Jordan
Genre: dystopian, YA
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 259
Date read: February 2007, May, 2017

In a grim future world where the sun has vanished from the sky, people glean what warmth and light they can from the firestones mined by an untouchable caste known as the Quelled. Countless taboos are shattered when Elsha, an idealistic and rebellious Quelled girl, is chosen to be handmaid to the Firelord--the man revered by those calling themselves the Chosen. Traveling in the privileged class, Elsha encounters ugly, unthinking prejudice; she also meets a few relatively enlightened Chosen men, who cannot help falling in love with the feisty maid. Spurred on by a hatred of injustice, Elsha battles against sexism, improves life for the Quelled, and even (it seems) hastens the return of the sun to her world.

I've read this book several times before, and it's more of a comfort book than anything else. Very predictable at times, but it really doesn't matter, because it's well written and enjoyable just the same.

Reread in 2017 The timing is a lot more unbalanced than I remembered. 90% is setting the scene and then everything is tied up, lickity-split, in just a chapter or two. I still enjoyed it, but it's definitely not as well-written as I originally used to think.

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