FYI: This is My 2nd Blog

Hi there! You're here at my second blog where I do interviews and book reviews.

In case you're looking for my 1st blog, where I share my IWSG posts and other musings, just go to "The Musings of a Hopeful & Pecunious Wordsmith, SittieCates".

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Reviews: 8 Books, Various Genres (Part 2)

As I've mentioned in the first part of my self-imposed reading challenge for this year, my reviews may or may not readily coincide with your own perspective and literary taste in books. I have done this to thoroughly study each book I receive from the book sites I've joined last year, and, of course, to also enjoy the book's special literary flavor as I digest its words and peruse its tale.

I love to schedule things in advance. This is why most of the books that I plan to read for this year have already been scheduled for January up to March. I have set free days so I could easily add the other books that I hope to get from the book sites and also those that I plan to buy at a nearby bookstore. I've also scheduled a few months of rest. However, as a bookworm, I'm not sure if I could steer away from books (whether online or store-bought) for a whole month. So, that schedule for the book-free months for this year is still tentative -- as of now. That's the only schedule that I'm planning to tweak. :-)

Although I often cherish the books I've read, and appreciate the efforts the authors put in, just like most readers, I have my own (unbiased) views for each.

Here are my reviews for this post:

Heidi C. Vlach’s Render (A Story of Aligare) is OK. However, it started off in a slow, dragging pace. The words somehow depicted a heavy, somber tone. It made me feel a little lost as I try to decipher the images and relevance of the characters, its motives, its meaning. There were some dialogues that the story can do away with to make the plot tighter, more effective. (I received a free copy of this book from the author as a LibraryThing giveaway that I won. I have written my honest opinion about the book.)

As I read Daniel Kelley's World's Apart, written from the third person POV, it seemed as if I could hear the thoughts of an invisible narrator and none of the story characters. “Show” rather than “tell” would’ve been a nice touch to help readers step into the tale without much effort, and allow the author to keep them there. (I received a free copy of this book from the author as a LibraryThing giveaway that I won. I have written my honest opinion about the book.)

C.S. Ulyate's Seasons is all right. However, the thread of events in the story kept me totally detached. Although written simply, it was a bit hard to grasp the tale through the character’s eyes. Nevertheless, the promised adventure is good. (I received a free copy of this book from the author and have written my honest opinion about it.)

Feng Shui 2014 by Pierre Mak is a very simple collection of what to do and what not to do for the Chinese New Year. There were a few errors; the author was straightforward in admitting these things. This book reads like a blog post and is filled with helpful tips to take note of. (I received this book from StoryCartel and have written my honest opinion about it.)

Sleep Soundly: Natural Cures for a Goodnight Sleep by James A. Voketaitis and Dr. Mitchell G. Proffman is filled with interesting information and helpful advice. It's an easy read. Anyone who suffers from insomnia would find this book valuable. (I received this book from StoryCartel and have written my honest opinion about it.)

When I saw The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, I was immediately drawn to its cover and its description. As I took a peek inside, the Prologue provided a good hook for me to continue reading. However, beyond that, my interest waned a bit. While some parts were strong, I was hoping to read tight and gripping scenes from the beginning to the story's end, be introduced to situations and words that can be felt and mentally seen in a reader's mind. It can be a good choice for those who are looking for dystopian novels that are easy reads. (I read this for free on Pulseit, Simon & Schuster's site for teen books.)

You Are Special by Max Lucado is a charming book that kids (and their parents) will like. Its length is perfect for its age group that it is intended for; not too long, not too short. I bought a paperback version of this from a bookstore. My daughter, my niece and I loved this. The lesson it carries is not overtly explained. Rather, it is implied and inserted into the tale well.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a poignant, riveting read. While I wasn't bent on the idea of what one of the main characters was planning to do, I'm glad I read it because the ending held a valuable lesson that sticks in your mind even after you close the book. A must read for teens and YA book lovers. (I read a store-bought version that was lent to me and I've written my take on the story.)

That's it for this post. Hope everyone's having a wonderful book-filled month. See you next post!

---- NOTE:
Some book reviews would be posted individually as per the condition/s of the sites where I get them from. Others would be done in groups (such as this).


  1. I originally started reviewing books in the genres I write, but now I get so many requests for reviews, that I read quite a lot outside of my genres. Good luck with getting through your list of books to read!

    1. Thanks, Sherry! I totally can relate with you about getting so many requests. Good luck to you, too! :-)

      I'm not yet halfway through my list, but I hope to finish them all soon before adding more.

      Nice of you to visit. Thanks!