Review: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

What an interesting novel. I’m not even sure how to explain it. I’m not even sure what happened really. However, what I am sure of is that I loved it. I was captivated by it. I want to read more about Ruth and Nao. I was sad when the novel finished. I won’t lie. Parts of the novel really sickened me and made me extremely sad for humanity. There are some really horrible instances of bullying and at times Nao and her father continued to break my heart over and over and over again. I wanted to grab them both and hug them and never let go. Of course, I am sure this would have freaked them both out equally, but I would have just held on until hopefully, their discomfort eased.

If you’re looking for a book that fits nicely into a box where everything ties together and it all comes together at the end then this isn’t the book for you. But…if you’re looking for a book that’s imaginative in a way that isn’t able to be placed in a box, one that will make you sad, happy, having you laughing out loud at times, and cringing at other times, then this might very well be the book for you!

After finishing the last page, I read the blurp for the book, and really it does sum it up rather nicely…

“Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.”

I’ll definitely be looking for more of Ozeki in the future!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now a tale for the time being ruth ozeki

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Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

Okay…this should have been enlightening…and it was…I should feel better about my new understanding of food in the USA…..I should take the knowledge and do good with it. There are so many “shoulds” with this book…instead I find my blood boiling…I find myself so pissed off yet again by how my government has decided to control yet another aspect of my life. I am pissed that I have little or no choice in the matter. I am pissed that our choices are hidden within layers of lies and false advertisement, that no sane person would be able to wade through with a true understanding. I am pissed enough that I could go on and on…

but what I am most pissed about is that I sound like just one more conspiracy theorist…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

Review: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

east-of-edenI realise I’m going to take a lot of smack from many friends for my low rating of this novel….but it really just isn’t the book for me. I just didn’t much care about any of it….I couldn’t get into it….and by the time I gave up hope of getting involved with the characters, I just wanted it to end….it took FOREVER for that to actually happen….but I did stick it though until the end…..now all I can think of is all those books I could have been reading…

I often avoided “classic novels” in the past, just because I was afraid I would hate them. However, I no longer worry about hating them. So if I think they might interest me, I read them. If a new thriller comes out I think I might like, I will read it too. Or a *fluff* book. I read for me. Me alone.

There are many classics I love, despite them being hundreds of years old and labeled as classic. I no longer feel inferior if I hate them. I’ve never been the type to feel superior if I love them either. Reading has never been about impressing others. It’s always been about trying to impress myself with the wonderment of words set to a page…to have those words move me…to entertain me…to show me the world in a different light…to take me to a different world…or maybe even to inspire me to change something in my life…be it my views or my actions…but it’s never been about lying to impress someone else…so there you have it…

I hated this book…

Until next time…
Urania

Buy it now East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Blog Tour & Review: Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

I finished this book in less than 24 hours. 5 years ago this might not have seemed like a big deal…these days it’s a huge deal! I didn’t want to put it down. It hooked me from the first chapter and continued to do so right up to the very end.

Hannah Monroe comes home from an all day business meeting to find her that her house she shared with her boyfriend, Matt Stone is empty. Not only has he moved out, but he has seemingly disappeared into thin air, leaving no trace of the life they shared behind. It’s as if the past 4 years never took place.

For three months Hannah becomes more and more obsessed on trying to find Matt and to figure out what went wrong. Where is he? Is he safe? Why did he leave?

At first I was saddened for Hannah. I couldn’t imagine what she must have been feeling. That sadness soon turned to shock and dismay as I watched her continue to spiral out of control with her obsession on trying to sort out what had happened. Watching her try to come to terms with this all, without any answers was painful. Then, I admit it, I started to become annoyed with her. However it didn’t change the fact that I had started to become obsessed with finding Matt as well! I needed to know what was happening. I had a dozen different scenarios. I suspected a half a dozen people.

When the big reveal happened, I honestly didn’t have a clue. Even as it happened, I was still trying to figure out what was behind all of this, because I didn’t comprehend the truth.

I soon realized it was staring me in the face the entire time! All of the unbelievable suddenly became very clear and very much believable. The farfetched wasn’t so farfetched after all…

Read this book as soon as it comes out. Not only is it full of suspense and a sense of you NEEDING to know what happens, it’s also a very important book. About a subject matter that isn’t discussed nearly enough…I sincerely hope this book is roaring success…not only because Ms Torjussen has written such a thriller of a book, but also because she has written about a subject matter that seems almost taboo.

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review

BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW http://amzn.to/2gZekso

 

How far would you go to find the one that got away?

 

From the imprint that published Fiona Barton’s instant New York Times bestseller The Widow and Clare Mackintosh’s global phenomenon I Let You Go, comes Mary Torjussen’s GONE WITHOUT A TRACE (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; 978-0-399-58501-2; April 11, 2017; $16.00)—an electric, compulsive thriller about a boyfriend’s unexplained disappearance, and its corrosive effects on the woman he left behind.

 

In GONE WITHOUT A TRACE, young professional Hannah returns from work to find her live-in boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It’s as though their last four years together never happened. As she struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows she’ll do anything to get answers. Where has he gone? Why has he left?

 

Then the messages start—cryptic and creepy texts and videos—and Hannah realizes that someone is watching her every move. And there are signs that someone has been in her house.

As her search for Matt progresses, Hannah treads further into madness and obsession—and the only way out is to come to terms with the one shocking truth she just can’t accept. . .

 

For anyone who has ever asked “Was it something I did?” GONE WITHOUT A TRACE brings to chilling light the doubt, fear, and obsession that can lie dormant in our most intimate relationships.

 

Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, says: “Gone Without a Trace has one of the most interesting narrators I’ve ever come across.”

Review: The Yard by Alex Grecian

13056152I’m not sure I enjoyed the mystery part of this novel. Parts of it were just too far-fetched. However, I loved the characters. I loved the going back in time to see an earlier time in the policeman’s lives. To see how they came to be members of the “Murder Squad”. The policemen themselves were interesting enough, but when you added the background stories they became larger than life. I really loved to see the bits of their past that motivates them in the pursuit of justice. I am a bit sad **SPOILER – KIND OF – NOT REALLY** that they won’t all be involved in the second book. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of all of them.

As always, these Victorian era novels fascinate me and I always find myself running to google to look up different things…this novel was no different! I’m really looking forward to reading more of this series and from the look of things, they only get better as the series continues!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Yard by Alex Grecian

Review: A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2) by Deanna Raybourn

30008834I didn’t just fall in love with this novel like I did the first in the series. However, after finishing it, I think I do appreciate this one much more.

In Veronica we now see someone that has grown a bit since we last saw her. She isn’t nearly as annoying as she was in the first book. She seems to no longer feel the need to let everyone else she knows everything…yes, she still believes she’s more clever than most, but she isn’t determined to prove it in this novel.

Stoker…damn, he was so attractive to me in the first novel…he was no less in this one.

This mystery wasn’t as engaging as the last one was (for me). There also is much less *tension* between Veronica and Stoker. However, what Raybourn has managed to do is simply amazing.

What do I mean by this? Veronica and Stoker are both very independent people. Often authors present us with what they believe independent people, but at the same time, they are actually very dependent. They go out of their way to prove to their independence when all they really want to do is be dependent. It’s what I find most annoying about romantic novels. Women or men that are suppose to be so strong and then overnight become weak and hopeless waiting on someone to rescue them. I’m not trying to be mean here…I’m just giving my viewpoint…

But this? Veronica and Stoker are fast friends and best mates, but they are still independent thinkers. I don’t see that changing. Somehow Raybourn has managed to keep the characters true to themselves. Veronica and Stoker are a united front against the world. We all know that eventually they will be together (YES YES YES) however, I don’t believe they will ever fit in with society’s norm to do so. I don’t believe they will ever find it necessary to become dependent on each other…yes, of course they will depend on each other…they do that now…but you’ll never find one sniveling and hiding in the corner and acting the fool to win the other’s love…they won’t need to…they truly are secure in their own identity…

I know this is probably my worst review EVER!!! But I place all the blame on just how much I love what Raybourn has created in these two characters. Two people that have very checkered pasts, two people that aren’t holding themselves pure and chaste for the perfect love, two people that are self confident enough to not try to manipulate (although they both have no problem doing so to get to the truth of the matter in their investigations) each other…and yet they trust each other 100% and don’t feel a need to give one iota of a care to what anyone else thinks about their relationship. This novel might not be the best…this mystery might not be the best…but this relationship is so refreshing to me that I am just at a loss of words…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Review: Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9) by John Sandford

28815364Okay, so maybe chasing tigers doesn’t make this a great read…maybe some of it was a bit far-fetched as well…however, I don’t give a rat’s arse…this is the Sandford I love…characters going back and forth with sarcasm and wit that makes you feel like you’re right there in the same room with them.

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to Flowers now that Davenport has moved on and isn’t his boss any longer…reading this novel made me realise that it doesn’t even matter any longer…

Flowers is no longer a spin-off from The Prey Series…Virgil isn’t simply a protégé of Lucas Davenport’s. He’s all grown up now and is his own self.

I’ve often marveled at how Sandford has taken Davenport and shaped him into someone who is still relevant despite his aging years and his greying temples…

But now I am seeing the exact same with Flowers. I used to be amused by Flowers, but didn’t really have any real respect for him. I found him a bit too free-spirited to take seriously….but he’s really grown on me…I like the serious Flowers I see now…yes, he still maintains that free spirit bobble headed boy, but there’s no doubt that his spirit is laced with steel. His experiences have hardened him and we see more and more of that…but that hardening hasn’t changed who he is…only how he handles the situations he’s found himself in….

I think there is a lot more to Flowers that we’ll see in the future and that’s why this is still a series that I am still excited about!

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9) by John Sandford