“Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

(Author: Carol Rifka Brunt) + (Year: 2012) + (Goodreads)


Review:

“I know all about tiny things. Proportion. I know all about love that’s too big to stay in a tiny bucket.”

*** 4.5 stars ***
(but since I haven’t stumbled upon a good novel in a while – 5 stars it is)

I had mixed feelings before picking up Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Last year I read an entire bunch of books with similar summaries, which were very highly rated and turned out to be disappointments. (For example I’ll Give You the Sun) Ultimately this book was my pick for a buddy-read. I don’t regret it.

  1. The title is so cool. Face the facts.
  2. The story is actually quite good and very honest, if a bit messed up.
  3. The characters have interesting and detailed personalities.

“You can build a whole world around the tiniest of touches.”

Not sure what I expected from a story about getting over the grief of an uncle’s death, but as far as similar novels go, this one was a good one. I liked following June’s journey as she came to terms with the events and tried to understand and resolve her feelings. Greta’s story in my opinion was a very good one. It was to some degree separate from the Finn arc in a way that June only cared about what was happening to Greta as long as it was connected to Finn. Which was frustrating. And we couldn’t really get to the bottom of Greta’s feelings, simply because June did not. The way I see it, the idea of how the reader is unable to understand Greta’s full palette of emotions is the way she probably felt because of June’s behaviour.

And I think that if the reader is to look objectively at June, not as the sad and strange narrator, but the way other people around her in the story would see her, she is quite the mean and unpleasant, disinterested person. She has one passion and she only follows that, nothing and nobody else matters. I would like to think that by the end of the book, she managed to grown into a bigger, kinder and more understanding person.

Toby was my favourite in the book, though. He was so infinitely sad and at the same time so positive. His entire idea of his past and how it was all good, because it lead him to meeting Finn was heartbreaking but beautiful.

A lovely book as a whole. I’m really impressed by the fact that it’s Brunt’s debut novel and I’m looking forward to any other she may write.

“William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” by Ian Doescher

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)

(Author: Ian Doescher) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)


Review:

My last finished book for 2015, with a review coming a bit late.

I loved this. Ian Doescher is a genius. I can only imagine the dedication he has to both Shakespeare and Star Wars in order to be able to write an entire series like this. But it works!

The book was hilarious and very interesting to read. What I had a lot of fun with:

  1. R2’s dramatic monologues.
  2. All of the hidden jokes about the chemistry between Luke and Leia.
  3. The creativity of the author as a whole.

To me it seemed kind of random to see a Star Wars/Shakespeare mash-up but the note by the author at the end was also important to read, so don’t skip it, guys.

What underwhelmed me was how pathetic Darth Vader was. I fully realize that this is a parody of sorts, but I imagined him more… manly, I guess is the word.

(However Luke and the scull was just a great moment.)

This book is appropriate for all types of geeks and especially ones who fall in both the Shakespeare and Star Wars nerd groups. 

2015 IN BOOKS

“This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.” Nikos Kazantzakis

This has been quite the year. My personal life was such a hot mess that it reflected on my readings too. I’m honestly surprised that I even managed to reach my goal for the year but I think two things were essential to that:

  1. The deadlines for the ARCs kept me going,
  2. The damn Bane Chronicles(I added them story by story instead of the whole book because truth be told, I’ve been reading them all year. Finishing one, taking a 10-book-break, starting another…).

What makes me disappointed is that I didn’t read anything phenomenal this year. Aside from my re-reads, which I only re-read because most of the other books were just too meh. Not to say there weren’t nice books in 2015, but nothing which automatically went to my “favourites” shelf.

Part of this, can admittedly be attributed to the fact that I was reading so many ARCs in 2015, and they are a hit-and-miss a lot more than published books, because there you have the chance to compare opinions and actually, out of the ARCs that I reviewed, for many I was the first reviewer, which shows that… I have a very different taste? I hope? I don’t regret reading them though, and if I have the time next year, I want to continue doing so.

The Good

~ stand-alone novels or first of a series ~

   

~ series or parts of them ~

  
  

The Bad

  

Sub-category: {KILL IT BEFORE IT LAYS EGGS}

The Crazy
(in other words: you can see how much I’ve changed this year if the likes of these found their way to my bookshelf)

  

As I mentioned above, I was reading a lot of ARCs, so I think I missed many already published books. When I was looking at this year’s Goodreads awards, I didn’t know even half of the books’ titles, let alone having read them.

Therefore, I will use this post as a REQUEST POST: to anyone who read this post until the end, please share with me some of your favourite books from this year. I want to catch up with some good stuff that I missed. If you have a recommendation as a whole, it is also welcome. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time! 

“The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick

The Minority Report

(Author: Philip K. Dick) + (Year: 1956) + (Goodreads)


Review:

I’d heard so much about Philip K. Dick but this is the first book of his that I actually got to read. In one of my classes he was the main topic too often for me not to find something of his. I kind of expected that the hype would be bigger than the actual greatness of Dick’s works. But I’ll be the first one to admit my mistake.

I actually liked The Minority Report so much, that I chose the movie as my exam topic. The movie and the book are extremely different. Aside from the very basic idea of Precrime, most of what happens in the two is so different. That’s why I can’t judge them in comparison to one another. The movie was nice because Spielberg is a great director. Everything inside the frame in that movie is so carefully chosen that it’s art.

The book is much more wonderful in terms of the story. Shorter, of course, but a much bigger challenge when it comes to analyzing it. I’ve been thinking about predestination and self-fulfilling prophecies ever since I finished it and I still can’t decide if the ending was just meant to be or a choice which really could have been influenced. I think the same topic is very much black and white in Greek mythology, the “motherland” so to say, of self-fulfilling prophecies. In this book Dick puts a lot more effort if not to answer, but to make US answer for ourselves whether free will exists at all or not.

Overall I still don’t have a full picture of his writing, though. The Minority Report is interesting and very clever and Philip K. Dick’s creativity is undoubted, but I can’t say it keeps you on the edge. Therefore, I think I need to read at least one more of his works, preferably an actual book, to decide what I think of him as a writer.

Do I recommend this? Yes.
Do I recommend the movie? Also yes. Much different, more suspenseful, more thought-through, I guess, in terms of a back story, good, but in another way than the book.

“The Newsmakers” by Lis Wiehl

The Newsmakers

(Author: Lis Wiehl) + (Year: 2016) + (Goodreads)


Review:

Another interesting-looking book from NetGalley which didn’t live up to its potential. And I didn’t even know what I had in store for me, and therefore had medium expectations.

The Newsmakers did not suffer from bad writing or a poor story, it suffered from the indifference I felt toward the characters. Ultimately none of them were people I thought I could care for, even Erica, whose story is explained in great depth. It just didn’t do it for me.

I can’t say that this was the best writing I’ve seen in my life, but I’ve also seen way worse – in terms of storytelling. There was intrigue, but not nearly enough suspense and I knew what was going on from the very beginning. In the scene with the ferry I considered two possibilities:

  1. That this is a supernatural book, which, however, I didn’t remember reading in the symmary;
  2. Or that it was going to end exactly as it did.

I win, I guess.

Despite the quantity of information we get on Erica, we learn so little about all of the other characters. They just… are. Their motivations are not explained in depth and that is especially important about the main villain, who is not characterized by anything than just being a psycho. Okay, but… why?

The Newsmakers is not nerve-wreckingly slow and lacking development so I guess if you are looking for a short afternoon read, you could give it a chance. I would look for something else though.