The Waste Lands by Stephen King

The Waste Lands by Stephen King

I absolutely loved this installment in the Dark Tower series. Each book pulls me in even more than the previous one and I fall even more in love with the series.

I was really happy to get more details about what happened to Roland’s world to cause it to be a world that has moved on, though even more questions are raised within these answers. The concepts of time and space are extremely interesting in this world/universe, and I’m okay with not getting all the complete details since there’s so much to process already. I read this book while on vacation, and I was thinking about it even when I was away from the book and doing something else (which is always the sign of an amazing book, in my opinion).

The development of Susannah and Eddie’s relationship made me really happy as well, and, even though it has a doomed feeling in the big picture, it brings more hope to the storylines of the ka-tet. In addition to that, I love Oy and the small cuteness he brings to tense situations. There’s so much more possibility with this group, especially when I think back on The Gunslinger when it was only Roland, or even just Roland and Jake. I’m so excited to see this story expand even more, and there’s so much left to go (in my own reading journey of it).

Rating: ★★★★★

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Mind Games by TJ Moore (DNF)

Mind Games by TJ Moore (DNF)

Note: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a did-not-finish. I can’t finish this book. And this review is going to be painfully honest as I explain why.

This book was a bit hyped when it came out, as the author sent it to a good number of book-Instagrammers (bookstagrammers) about a year ago. I waited for the hype to die down to read it, and it did give me a clear mind for my own opinions on it. Unfortunately, I can’t find a reason to finish this. I lent it to my mom a few months ago, and she read it then. After describing the trouble I was having getting through it, she justified my opinions. She didn’t want to sway my own reading/review of it at the time, but she didn’t care for it either. I got about halfway through this book, and I don’t want to read any more of it.

I wanted to like this book. The main character, Amy, is interesting, except that the story turns and she doesn’t seem to be the main character anymore. The focus turns to Cameron, a coworker of Amy’s. I didn’t originally have an issue with him, but as the story progressed, his character/personality changed and it seemed like the author decided to change him later on with no development suggesting such a change. Cameron acted strange at times and it didn’t make sense; any person (especially one working in crime-solving) would not have acted how he did when the focus turns.

Along the same lines of character personality, these characters were so trope-y. Vince especially bugged the hell out of me, as he was the stereotypical dimwitted dude who always tried to be funny, and amped up to the nth degree. I couldn’t stand him, and by putting down this book, I am getting him out of my mind forever.

This book plot-wise got more and more unrealistic, and for a book that started out (and was marketed as) more realistic crime fiction, it just got weird. I kept getting the feeling that the author was changing his mind while writing, or thinking of a new plot device and putting it in.

In addition to all of this, there were grammar and spelling mistakes. I’ve mentioned how being an editor really makes these stand out to me and how distracting they can be. If a book is really good, I can get over it (especially if they’re far and few between). But this book wasn’t good at all, and the mistakes were the thing that were the last spark.

Overall, as I felt bad about how I felt about this book, I read some other reviews and realized I’m not the only one. After talking with my mom (who did finish the book), I knew I had to just put it down for good. The author has not been active online since early 2016, so I wonder if he’s moved on (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook). And now that this review is written, I can move on as well.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Sorry for such a downer review, but my next review will be for The Waste Lands (Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King, and I loved it, so it’ll be much more positive!

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March 2017 Wrap-up!

Hi all. I haven’t a ton of books this past month (though I have started quite a few). I’ve been learning more about knitting and growing my skill set there, so my attention has been more divided between the two. It’s definitely not a bad thing, as knitting helps my anxiety and anxious hands, but I am hoping to get more reading done this next month.

All five-star reads!

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The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

What a ride. A wild, mind-boggling ride.

This second installment in the Dark Tower series picks up where The Gunslinger left off, and though it took me awhile to get through, it wasn’t because of any fault in the book. Throughout this novel, we are introduced to two new characters, and I will try not to give too much away in this review. These new characters are so unique and contrast Roland in the best way, and King has written them so convincingly. Their interesting speech and thought patterns make them incredibly believable and also helps the reader really understand them.

I grew to like them as the book went on, which I wasn’t sure of at first. They really grow on you, and I’m so glad for it. They’re nowhere near perfect characters, but King has portrayed them perfectly. The throwing-together of these characters, who are all so unique and somewhat strange, is what makes their boring action of trekking across endless sands actually entertaining.

There were bursts of action in this book, thanks to the doors, but a huge amount of it is realizing what’s going on and yet also having no idea at all. I’m really interested to find out more about Roland’s world and its connection to the others’ previous realities, and this journey of finding the Tower is definitely a journey for the reader, as I’m sure it was also for King as an author. It’s a huge series and definitely intimidating, but I’m sucked in and there’s no crawling back out now.

Rating: ★★★★★

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Harley Quinn, Vol 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti

Harley Quinn, Vol 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti

To sum it up: another great Harley Quinn volume.

Through this compilation, Harley adventures through the winter holidays, goes on a date with a Mr. Bruce Wayne, and begins a Harley gang (that being kick-butt ladies, unrelated to biker gangs). This volume begins with another issue of guest artists and a strange hallucination sequence, but I thought it was more well done than previous guest-artist storylines. It seemed strange, but it wasn’t a one-off, since the new character introduced through it remains throughout this whole volume.

I also enjoyed the storyline with Bruce Wayne and Batman, and it was also good at showing how Harley’s new adventures are after her time in Gotham.

My favorite storyline of this was, of course, the startup of the gang of Harleys. I can’t wait to get the next volume and dive into how this group plays out, and there is really good diversity with the women she hires as Harley assistants. It’s not just diversity as a marketing ploy, either, as their backgrounds play into who they are as characters and how they came to find Harley. This comic issue was funny, powerful, and I’m all for kick-butt lady squads.

I know I’m late at reading these volumes (as this is only volume three of six currently out), but I’m taking my time with it, and comics are expensive. I can’t be the only one, though, so if you haven’t read this series yet, get to it! Harley is a great character who is unique in her own ways, and I relate so much with her love of caring for animals and eating junk food.

Rating: ★★★★★

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February 2017 Wrap-up!

I read a total of nine books this month, which I’m pretty proud about. I’ve completed 20 books into my 50-book reading goal for 2017, so I may be raising that number later on.

  • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie ★★★★☆
  • Vamps by Elaine Lee & William Simpson ★★★★☆
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, & Carolyn Nowak ★★★★★
  • The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert Chambers ★★★★★
  • I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 2: Fluff My Life by Skottie Young ★★★★★
  • Username: Evie by Joe Sugg ★☆☆☆☆
  • Amulet, Vol. 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi ★★★★★
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook) ★★★★★
  • From a Buick 8 by Stephen King (audiobook) ★★★☆☆

I also started a some books this month that I hope to finish next month.

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From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

From a Buick 8 is not a favorite for many King fans, and I can understand and respect that, but I did enjoy this book. I listened to it on audiobook, which I’m glad I did. It’s one with a very conversational feel, especially since the whole story is first-person narration and mainly a group of people sat down telling a story to someone.

I had no idea what to expect when going into this book, and I’m glad it was that way. Because of this, I’m going to try not to give too many details about the book, in case you haven’t read it yet.

Though the plot and its smaller details may seem somewhat thrown together for some readers, I felt that it worked for what the book was overall about—a mysterious car that isn’t a car. I enjoyed the small details about what came out of the Buick 8, and if you read it, you’ll see what I mean by that. It isn’t called From a Buick 8  for no reason.

Some parts of this book felt repetitive, but I suppose that’s to be expected from a recalling of events by a group of people. I know there were a lot of issues people had with this book, especially seen in Goodreads reviews, but as I’m sat writing this thinking about the book and the listening experience, I can’t think of any huge issues I had with it. I suppose my big takeaway is that I’m glad I listened to it rather than read it. The narrators added more to it, and furthered the book’s point on it being about the characters and their responses rather than the events themselves.

Possible/very slight spoiler: If you enjoy books about other dimensions and/or worlds, this would be a good read for you. I love the Cthulhu mythos and other multi-dimension theories, so I loved that aspect most about this book. A lot of this book is about how our world gets affected by the existence and doorway of that other place, and I thought it was an interesting take on the concept.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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