In Lieu of a Review

Some of you guys have been reading for a while now, and some of you are brand new to my blog. Please just know, if you are reading this, I appreciate you.

Someone asked me awhile back why I was doing this? What did I get for it?

This person knew I was under a great deal of stress, and they assumed automatically that something that takes up so much of my time should be lucrative. Believe me, if I could get paid to read novels and write reviews of them, I’d be doing that! But I don’t get paid to do this. I do get copies of books, an item I value over many many others, but that doesn’t pay the bills!

So why do I do this? Why spend so much of my limited time engrossed in novels and anguishing over their reviews? Why? Because I LOVE books, literature, reading, the written word, authors, writers, characters, fictional worlds that I wish so hard were real.

I APPRECIATE the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, coffee (or tea), and mania that goes into creating these precious works of art.

I think authors, especially indie authors, deserve to have that time and effort recognized.

So what do I get out of it? The joy of finding a new favorite author — one I never would have discovered in a Barnes & Noble. (No offense meant to B&N — love that place!)

What do I get out of it? A myriad of world views that I never would have encountered otherwise.

What do I get out of it? Hope. Yes, you read that right. Hope.

Often times our world can seem so dreary, our options limited, our efforts ineffectual, and we may find ourselves screaming, “What is the point!?” These works, these bound bits of inspiration, represent a tenacity of spirit from people with unfettered creativity and a commendable work ethic. And I find that damn inspiring!

So, I will continue to read their works. And I will read them critically because that is just how I am wired. I will present the world with my opinions on these works and hopefully introduce, at least one person, to a brand new author who will open up a whole new world for them.

Do I sometimes get overwhelmed by this project I’ve taken on? Yes, and I’m going to try to be more honest with myself moving forward about what I can and cannot accomplish in a 24-hour day. I will falter. And I will fail. But I will keep doing this because I love it!

I guess what I’m trying to say is:

I’m back! Check for a brand new review next week!

im back baby castiel

 

And now for a word from our sponsors…

I'm_just_kidding emma stoneJK! I don’t have sponsors. Errrm, carry on!

 

Sunday Quotables

I’m still on a review break. I may have one for you guys next week on the 11th, but don’t quote me on that.


I’ve been contemplating friendship a great deal this past week, so I wanted to put out a Sunday Quotable to reflect that.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and that you have beautiful friends you can count on. Ciao!

friends lift you up

Happy Sunday!

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed — A Review

writtenWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

“My mother always says when you fight destiny, destiny fights back. Some things, they’re just written in the stars. You can try but you can never escape what’s meant to be.”

If you saw my initial Goodreads post, you know I had an immediate, slightly negative reaction to this book. Since then I’ve had a very difficult time forcing myself to sit down and write about this thing.

Written in the Stars is about a Pakistani girl named Naila. She grew up in Florida with her mother, father, and younger brother. She was all set to graduate high school, go on to college with her friends, and become a doctor. But, as so often happens, a boy got in the way of all that. Saif was also Pakistani, but his family was not respected by the other Pakistani families in their Florida community, so it was NOT okay for Naila to be dating him. Whoops! Now, when her parents found out, they didn’t ground her or forbid her to date him. Nope. They shamed her like you wouldn’t believe then packed the whole family up for a vacation to Pakistan. What happened after that you’ll have to read for yourself. I’ll just say, I yelled at the book for the last 75%. Literally. Yelled. I think I may have woken up my neighbors. I live in a house — not an apartment (just to give you an idea of the volume).

I found the content of this book appalling. The culture described is completely foreign to me, and I have to say, I didn’t find anything redeemable in it. Pretty clothes and jewelry aside, there was not much beauty to be found in this way of life. I thought I was going to be able to find some redemption in the bonds of family, but this poor girl’s family was so fake. (Spoiler ahead!) What kind of people say they love you and laugh and dote on you one minute then turn around and confine you, drug you, and force you to marry someone against your will the next? (End spoiler.) It’s disgusting, frankly.

Now, I know I’m approaching this book from a Western, American perspective. On top of that I am a feminist. Every atom in my body was repelled by this text. It is my very negative reaction to the content that lowered the coffee cup rating on this novel. Perhaps that’s not fair. It is well written, if bland. The characters are well-developed, if abhorrent. There are certainly lessons to be gleaned here from whomever reads it, but I just really hated it.

Gah, you should probably read it anyway. If only to experience a small part of another culture.

 

I Flubbed Up – Book Reviews

Hey guys! Sorry; there should have been a review up yesterday😦

Obvs I didn’t have a chance to get to it. SO, in the mean time, I’ll let you know what I’m reading.

Foul is Fair by Jeffrey Cook & Katherine Perkins. It’s a pretty good YA fantasy read so far (I’m only at 25%). It reminds me of The Nine Lives of Chloe King (Why oh why did they cancel that show!?) or Kami Garcia’s Unbreakable or The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. The main character is a young girl who discovers there is more to her genetic makeup than she first realized. Anyhoo, a fantastical coming-of-age story. I’m looking forward to finishing it when I have a chance to read!

Also, hopefully by Monday 7/3, I will have my review of Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed finished. I read this one as part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016. I finished it on 6/27 and I must say, it perturbed me a great deal. I’m still thinking about it!

Welp, that’s me finished. “See” you all next week; and happy 4th if you’re American!

So that's me finished.

 

Out of Exile by Derek Alan Siddoway — A Review

out of exileOut of Exile by Derek Alan Siddoway

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

Have you ever watched a child silently play with toy soldiers and horses — trotting them along his imaginary map, all of the action and dialogue occurring in his head — so you’re left just watching these various characters meander around? That’s what reading this is like.

There is a ton of explanation as if I were reading an historical text rather than a novel. Now, I know the genre allows for a fair bit of setting-up-the-world, but my gods, that’s almost all this book was. There was a teensy bit of action and a teensy bit of dialogue, but I’m left at the end still not knowing any of the characters and still not caring about what happens to any of them.

Perhaps I’ve just been reading too much epic fantasy of late, but this did nothing for me. It was supposed to be Wild West meets Medieval fantasy, or so I had been led to believe. I didn’t get that — at all.

The writing was fair but overly wordy and convoluted in many areas. It took me forever to slog through. Read at your own peril. You may love it. Certainly some other reviewers have. Or, you may be bored out of your skull, like I was.

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.