Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

firefly-laneThis is the story of two best friends and follows their 30 year friendship. This was an alright read..it’s not the best I’ve read but certainly it isn’t the worst either….it’s just that it seemed like it went on and on for 30 years as I was trying to read it! Yammer Yammer Yammer…that’s all I heard in my head…the longer it went on the more I was annoyed. Honestly, no matter how good a book is (or isn’t) you don’t want it to feel as if you are actually experiencing every single one of the 30 years…

Have you guessed yet? I didn’t much like this book. It was a miss for me…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Review: The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

30037263-1This was like some patchwork quilt that you’ve imagined in your mind. You can see just how beautiful and perfect it will turn out. In your mind’s eyes, all the colours and patterns mesh perfectly and you can follow it through with your eye, each sweep of you vision leads you to a more perfect piece…and it’s not only beautiful but you know it’s warm and comfortable as well.

However, once you actually sit down to join all the colours and bits together, you completely lose the vision and once you finally finish it, you can see all the stitches, and not in a good way. The colours don’t flow, they clash. It’s not warm and comfortable at all. It’s a bit thin and scratchy.

Do you think I am happy to write a review like this? Errrrr…no! I wanted to love this book. My first Beatriz Williams book. I started this book and NEEDED to love it. I so enjoyed it so much at the start. But as it went on it just went way off track for me. I became completely lost along the way. Bits that were meant to tie it all together were just thrown in to complete a picture…but you CAN’T just throw bits in…you have to explain how you go there…and it has to make sense! You can’t teach a Maths class by giving a final number and expecting the students to know how you reached that number! You can’t present a problem in a novel, then some farfetched solution and expect the reader to be able to sort it out either.

The ending wasn’t an ending at all…it was a rushed (felt like it) positioning of several characters that you really don’t know how they ended up there. I am guessing there’s another novel in the works and the ending was a set up for that novel…BUT STILL…you can’t just leap forward and put characters in sudden situations. Situations, that you’ve hoped the entire novel was working towards, but suddenly happen…it’s like they jumped from point A to B to C and then are now all on F skipping over D and E…

So gutted….

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

Review: The Terror by Dan Simmons

terrorHave you ever had friends rave about a book? Tell you how terrifying it was? How amazing it was? Have you rushed out to buy that book? Been so excited to start that book that you actually put it off for a few months (OKAY OKAY OKAY, maybe the size of my TBR list had a bit to do with that as well) just so you can savour it?

Yea, me too! The Terror by Dan Simmons was one of those books! Once I finally dived in I was beyond excited to finally get started! Do you know what I found once I did? Here it is…are you ready? My review in just a few short words…

All I can say is that I was about ready for the Tuunbaq to come and put me out of my cold misery long before this novel ended…..

That’s it…

The End…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now (or not) The Terror by Dan Simmons

Review: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

wildI really enjoyed this book, but it was a bit depressing. It really gives me pause and makes me think about how many people are out there like Chris McCandless. If he had chosen any other place he might still be alive today….but what would he be like? How many people do you know that march to a beat of a different drum? So many of those people who do so are geniuses in disguise. If we don’t find an outlet for the thoughts that go though our minds, what happens? Obviously, Chris wasn’t stupid. He obviously had a lot going on inside his head. It also appears that he kept a lot of that to himself. What if he had found someone to share those thoughts with? What if he had some type of outlet to deal with those thoughts? What is “wanderlust”? Was Chris rebelling? Was he protesting? Was he trying to find himself? Was he trying to reconcile his past relationships in his head? Or was it nothing so complex as that? Was he simply just “being” and going where that led him?

I’ve known people who I’ve thought could seriously live anywhere and with nothing and they would be happy…..material items mean nothing to them. They don’t worry about tomorrow….they know it will come regardless of how you prepare for it…and they know that it usually takes care of itself. I’ve often admired their courage to set forth and not know where they shall end at the end of the day. Staying in hostels or sleeping under the stars…..I’ve also though that there was a bit of madness there as well šŸ™‚ I’ve wondered if they are running from something. Or just simply living life as they *want* to live it….

I’ve often wondered about really successful artists. Authors. Musicians. Painters. Really anyone that is successful doing things in a different way. I’ve often wondered what would happen if they hadn’t found their chosen fields. Or if they hadn’t been successful in those outlets. IOW if Stephen King couldn’t make a living from writing, what would he do? If Prince couldn’t do the same with music, where would he be? If Steve Jobs has never found tech…..The list goes on and on. Of course there are plenty out there that couldn’t…and they died penniless…only to be discovered long after their deaths…

But take it a step further….what if those people had never found that outlet in the first place? Would their search for it be termed “wanderlust”?

Face it, you see someone a bit unkept standing on a street corner and *if* you see them, you might make an automatic assumption…..if you see a young guy standing on the beach going, “Whoa, Dude”, again an assumption is made….

I’m pretty f**king sure the co-workers of Chris McCandless’ at McDonalds who jokingly offered him a bar of soap to get rid of the smell were making assumptions as well. However, they were wrong. Turns out that he was probably the most educated person there. He wasn’t stupid and unable to get work somewhere else. He wasn’t unmotivated. His family was probably more “well-to-do” than any one else’s. Chris didn’t have to be alone. Chris didn’t have to be flipping burgers at McDonalds. He *chose* to…..

I’m not saying that Chris was a closet genius and he would have changed the world. I’m only saying that these are the thoughts that ran though my head as I read this book.

It just all reinforced what I already know….We ALL have these *things* going on inside our head. Some of us just mask them better…..or find a way to deal with them…..no one ever knows everything that goes on with someone….even our loved ones…..we all have our secret thoughts and feelings….and sometimes motivations aren’t clear….even to ourselves…..

a little bit of kindness can go a very long way…..but so can a little bit of judgement…so be generous with your kindness and stingy with your judgement….

and finally…..

“we are all stories in the end”……

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Review: Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

three-wishesHave you ever read a book by a new (to you) author and love it so much that you had to go out and buy something else by her? When I read What Alice Forgot (see my review here) I knew I had to read more from Moriarty. So I figured I would start with her first book.

Did I love the book? No, maybe not. But I didn’t hate it either…

The book really read (to me) like a first attempt at a book. Easy to tell it was a debut novel. It wasn’t a bad story…it just felt very disjointed to me and wasn’t always easy to follow. I loved the ending. However, it was complete chaos at times, but I reckon being a part of triplets can be that way in real life šŸ˜› On to bigger and better reads, but really glad I made myself finish this one…and I really appreciate how far Moriarty has came as a writer….

Sometimes it’s scary when a debut novel is amazing and wonderful. I am a cynic at heart…It’s not that I wish the worst, I just prepare myself for the worst. It’s so much easier (so I lie to myself) to not be gutted when you’re disappointed. So when I read a fantastic debut, I also fear it’s a one hit wonder…I actually am more leery of reading a second book after a fantastic debut…so yea…I am glad this wasn’t a perfect novel…I am glad Moriarty is growing as a writer. As her books continue to come out, I still see her evolving…and that, my fellow book nerds, is a wonderful thing!

If anything, reading Moriarty’s first novel has sealed me as a true fan…

Until next time…
Urania

Buy it now Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley

bottom-pieI just love little Flavia…so wish I could go back in time and read these as a 10 year old! I would have been mad for her then! Such a cheeky little bugger! But whom I kidding? I love her now as a 46 year old!

If you think this is a short review, well you’re wrong…You don’t need me to tell you what the book is about, you just need me to tell you to go out and read it…so I am telling you now…it doesn’t matter how young or old you are…go out and buy this book…we all need a little Flavia in our lives!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Urania Talks Book Lists…

So here is where I ramble on about a book list I ran across last week. It all started with an email I received from Off The Shelf containing this list (13 Books to Make You Ugly Cry)

Here are the books they listed. Watch the Vlog to hear my (RAMBLING) thoughts…

Buy Them Now
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
When Breath Become Air by Paul Kalanithi
Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lucky by Alice Sebold
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Make sure to keep updated so you can see what I think of my two picks from this list…

Until next time…

Urania xx