Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha was just as stunning as I expected it would be.

Chiyo was an interesting character and I love the way she fought for what she wanted the most even if that meant just silently obeying or working herself to the point of passing out. Despite the many hardships that occurred in Chiyo's life she never gave up hope that things would turn around for her one day and I think that is why she came off as different then other Geisha.

Hatsumomo was written stunningly. Every move Hatsumomo made was the move I could see a jealous woman making and easily pulling off. In a lot of ways Hatsumomo made the whole story ten times more interesting.

Pumpkin was a hard person to get a feel for since she was so quiet and fearful all the time. However Pumpkin did surprise me a few times and I ended up seeing a good deal of Hatsumomo's personality at her in times.

Various men were in Memoris of a Geisha but Nobu was one of the most prominent and while I would have liked one of the flashier men to be front and center it did give the reader a good view that not all men Geisha entertained were pleasant to be around. 

My overall knowledge of Japanese history for the WWII ear is weak but from what I read of the culture and customs nothing seemed unbelievable or far fetched. Eveything did seem to be well researched and written as how a Geisha from the time period would spend her time.

I love the writing, it was not only fun and well done but lovely. The words flowed along the page and I always had to force myself to put the book down. The end did start to slow down a bit but overall the writing stayed strong for the entire book.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Dream: A Memoir

The Dream is unlike previous memoir's I have read, it reads a lot like a novel, a very well done novel.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Other Boleyn Girl - The Tudor Court #2

The Other Boleyn Girl was everything I expected it to be and then some.

Mary and Anne Boleyn are some of the best known women of history but little is really known about them. Philippa Gregory does an amazing job researching, investigating, and bringing known history with unknown history into an enchanting tale of possibility.

While The Other Boleyn Girl is fiction several parts are so well done and backed up with fact that I felt many parts of it were totally believable and could have occurred in the Tudor Court. 

When it comes to real people it is hard to say how they come off since they are real. No matter what Anne and Mary were both written beautifully and acted like I imagine jealous sisters would act. The while story is told from Mary's point of view but never once did I feel like I was not getting to know Anne.

I would have given The Other Boylen Girl five stars but I saw grammar errors, enough that it bothered me so it earns a four star rating.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dark Triumph - His Fair Assassin #2

I have been putting off reading Dark Triumph simply because I read the preview at the end of Grave Mercy and it did not draw me in. While I liked the overall storyline I did not like Sybella at all.

Sybella is the main character in Dark Triumph and she is just as secretive as she was in the rare glimpses of her the reader gets in Grave Mercy. I think Sybella was to come off as mysterious and attract the reader to her that way so when her secrets were revealed the reader felt sorry for Sybella. Instead it came off as Sybella not being smart enough to deal with what was happening thus making Sybella come off as foolish and weak. This clashed with the image that was trying to be presented for Sybella and just overall made me not enjoy her as a character at all.

Beast on the other hand was just as awesome as he was in Grave Mercy. Having sworn to protect the Duchess at all costs Beast is always ready to die but instead of being bitter about it Beast welcomes it with a smile and a defiant will to take as many enemy soldiers with him.

The writing was very smooth and well done. I did see a few typos but nothing that pulled away from the enjoyment of the story. I do intend to read the Mortal Heart mainly to see what happens to the Duchess in the end and all the other characters except Sybella.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fairest - The Lunar Chornicles #3.5

Going into Fairest I expected to see things from Levana's point of view and grow to understand her a bit more. After finishing it all I can see is how much I underestimated the monster Levana truly is.

From the brief interactions with Levana in the previous books in the Lunar Chronicles I was a bit surprised that Fairest started with Levana as a young teen. So even though it related to the Lunar Chronicles it is told earlier then the series.

Like any teenage girl Levana secretly wanted to be the center of attention but she was given no attention except from her cruel sister Channary, who seemed to live to torment everyone in her life. Oddly enough Levana knows her sister Channary is cruel, mean to the people of Lunar, and a selfish spoiled brat. Overshadowed by her sister Channary, who becomes Queen, Levana goes about her life with a crush on a palace guard and taking upon herself more and more of the affairs of the kingdom while Channary runs around having fun. I would really like to point at a single spot and say that is where Levana becomes cruel but it is not really clear, little things like her attitude towards shells, common people, and her hopes for people dying slowly add up to make her a cruel person that she desperately tries to hide at first. However despite her small kindness to servants, guards, and her sister Channary it is not enough to save Levana from becoming a monster.

By the time I finished reading Fairest I felt sick to my stomach. The things Levana did were more horrific then I could ever have imagined and her justifications for them were just sick.

All in all the book is a quick easy read that has me wishing I had Winter in my hands. I do hope Levana gets what is coming to her.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Graduation Day - The Testing #3

Honestly I was not overly impressed with Graduation Day and I believe it was due to having read it so long after the first two books.

Cia grew into herself a lot, instead of letting others decide her fate she stepped up and decided for herself which was nice but since it seemed like everyone else had an ulterior motive she was never able to decide something without hurting someone in the process. This really tore at her and despite that she seemed to handle it well never breaking down. Maybe this was due to the rush of what was happening but it just seemed a bit unbelievable. Same for her bag, it must have been a lot bigger then I envisioned since it managed to hold tons of things no problems at all. However with it being bigger I would imagine that it would cause problems with running and things like that. How Cia carried her belongings just did not seem well thought out at all.

Since the series was told from first person point of view it was impossible to get into the minds of the other characters. This did leave me wondering about a few things that were occurring and I only figured out some of them right before they were revealed.

The writing was pretty much the same as previous books. Smooth transitions and I did not have to re-read to understand parts.

Overall for the end of a trilogy it was average, not something new and exciting but not too cliche either.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cruel Beauty

Oh the things Cruel Beauty did to my heart. I was not quite expecting the story to be the way it was but I am not complaining. It was lovely and cruel at the same time, the title is one of the most suiting I have ever seen.

Nyx was not the Beauty I was expecting at all. Instead of a lovely, caring, open-hearted person full of love Nyx was bitter and full of vengeance. Sent to the Gentle Lord to be a wife due to a bargain Nyx's father made before she was born Nyx knew from the time she was young she was to die fighting the Gentle Lord. I really wanted to like Nyx but even though she grew on me I was not overly fond of her she was too cruel at times for my liking.

The Gentle Lord was written wonderfully. He was everything I imagined a Demon Lord to be and then some. Despite being the master of deals he did not lie to Nyx nor did he go out of his way to attempt to make deals with her.

The Shade, I had all sorts of thoughts going through my mind about the Shade. I liked and did not like the Shade. I kept figuring the Shade had ulterior motives since Nyx trusted him right off the start which seemed like a bad idea.

The writing was stunning and I definitely want to read more work by Mrs. Hodge just to enjoy her writing style. I did have a couple problems with parts, a few areas were too much like another story and I am not talking just general ideas it was specific in parts thankfully that did not occur too often but it did cause me to give Cruel Beauty a four star rating instead of a five star rating.