Hey guys! I am actually surprised at what I was able to get done this month (in regards to reading) with everything that went on. School finals, big recitals, and just generally never really being home! But I still, somehow, ended up getting more reading done this month than I did in June, which is nice! Part of June’s problem was that I hit a reading slump after reading books I didn’t like. This month there were a couple I didn’t like, but a lot more that I did! And, although I did get a lot of reading done, I just ended up reading a few longer books which took up more time, so…I didn’t really read that much more books. But, oh well! Anyways, take a look!
Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince by Sidney Baldwin
Synopsis: Young Prince Hubert is incorrigible, unmanageable, and tiresomely demanding. What is the good King to do? How will his selfish Prince ever learn to rule the kingdom well? His most trusted friend, Sir Malcolm, has a plan. Prince Hubert is swept away to a land where he is simply known as Hugh, a peasant boy. His silks are replaced with rough work clothes, his castle dwelling with a humble cottage. It is here that Hugh learns valuable life lessons from the widow of the forest.
I used to be really into Lamplighter books as a kid, and I decided to go back and read some for a change. This one I actually had started a couple years back, but never ended up finishing. Looking back, I notice that I didn’t like a lot of the Lamplighter books. There’s only a few that I really did like, and this one is being added to the list. It was almost a comfort read. Honestly, I can’t really tell you why I liked it other than the fact that it was just, I don’t know, calm? Yeah, stuff happened, but it was never like, on the edge of your seat action. But it wasn’t boring either. I could see how it could be boring to some people, but it, for whatever reason, wasn’t to me.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
Synopsis: Gifted Hands by and about Ben Carson, M.D., is the inspiring story of an inner-city kid with poor grades and little motivation, who, at age thirty-three, became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Gifted Hands will transport you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world, and into the private mind of a compassionate, God-fearing physician who lives to help others. In 1987, Dr. Carson gained worldwide recognition for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head — an extremely complex and delicate operation that was five months of planning and twenty-two hours of actual surgery, involving a surgical plan that Carson helped initiate. Gifted Hands reveals a man with humility, decency, compassion, courage, and sensitivity who serves as a role model for young people (and everyone else) in need of encouragement to attempt the seemingly impossible and to excel in whatever they attempt. Dr. Carson also describes the key role that his highly intelligent though relatively uneducated mother played in his metamorphosis from an unmotivated ghetto youngster into one of the most respected neurosurgeons in the world.
I still don’t know how to feel about this book. If someone asked me whether I liked it or not, I would have to say “sometimes”. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I was incredibly bored. I don’t usually read non-fiction, but I was really excited to read this, as I had loved the movie and the story in general. I think my expectations were a little too high going into it. I was surprised that the writing was no all that good, but, really, you can’t expect a guy to be able to do everything as well as he is able to do surgery. But…that was kind of the problem. The way he wrote about himself made it sound like he could do everything perfectly. It’s difficult to write a book about yourself and not sound haughty.
I did very much enjoy his faith in God. Most of the time is was inspiring to trust in Him more. But while I was looking through Goodreads reviews, I had to agree with one of the reviewers; what happens when God says no? God clearly wanted Carson to be a surgeon, but it never seemed as if Carson ever had to encounter a “no” from God. Maybe it’s because of his incredible faith? I’m not sure? But reading it like this made it sound like he was trying to say that no matter what you want, even if it’s not good for you, God will give it to you.
All in all, I have to say that it was a good book, just not as good or memorable as I expected it to be. Rarely do I say that I like the movie better, but…well, I do. Still, I have to recommend it, since I do think it’s an inspiring read.
Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
One Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell
Synopsis: It should be simple—a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess’, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.
With a desperate fairy’s last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent’s agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?
*Heavy breathing* Remember how I said that I really didn’t like As Old as Time…that I didn’t like Liz Braswell’s style, yet I was going to go ahead and read this book? Well…
This may have been the WORST BOOK I’VE EVER READ.
Let me say it like this. Rarely do I write reviews on Goodreads. I save that for books that I have, you know, really special feelings about. Well, I had some REAL special feelings about it, and I may or may not have gone on a mini rant. I don’t usually roast books like this, but this book seriously deserved it. Instead of writing something new, I’m just going to paste the link to my Goodreads review here:
Rating: 0 Stars (It’s one star on Goodreads because Goodreads doesn’t allow for zero…)
Fable by Adrienne Young
Genre: Nautical Fantasy
Synopsis: For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
Again, I can’t really tell you how I feel about this book. I had been hearing about it and seeing it around for awhile, and eventually I felt compelled to get it. I had also heard that it was a bit of a slow read, which, I admit, it kind of was. Mainly because, well, nothing really happened. At least, it felt that way.
Back in March I read a book called Songs From the Deep by Kelly Powell, which I love very dearly, and Fable very much reminded me of that book. They are both similar in a sense that nothing really happens, yet I can’t help but love them. I think what really gets to me in both of the books was the atmosphere of it. Songs From the Deep is set on a little island that is foggy and mysterious. Fable is set in a similar way, except mainly on a ship instead of an island. I don’t know why, but I love these settings and they will sometimes redeem a book for me even if nothing happens in them.
The characters were kind of flat, now that I think back on it, and I never felt like there were much high stakes. It seemed like everything that did happen, happened really fast and easy. The romance was sweet, which was nice. Still, I feel like I don’t know much about the characters to really root for the romance, and I never really “shipped” (pun intended) anyone. I think I was mainly there for, again, the atmosphere of it. It was a book that could truly take you to a new world, and I really love that about it.
It’s safe to say I will definitely be picking up the final book in the duology, Namesake, very soon!
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Orbital Resonance by John Barnes
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: Melpomene Murray’s concerns are those of any teenager: homework, friends, dates. But Melpomene lives on the Flying Dutchman, an asteroid colony located thousands of miles from an Earth almost destroyed by disease, war, and pollution. She and her spaceborn classmates are humanity’s last hope, and Mel’s just starting to realize how heavy a responsibility that is. Her parents and teachers have trained her from birth to lead mankind into the future.
Sometimes I think I just enjoy making myself suffer, you know? My eyes need to like, be washed out with soap, or hand sanitizer or something. I don’t know why everyone raves about this book in the Goodreads review, because this book just felt dumb to me. Like, really dumb. I think I might have missed something, like, the entire point of the book. That’s either because it didn’t catch my attention very well for me to see the point, or it was such a chaotic point it just didn’t get across to me. However, I do believe there was a point, because surely there’s a reason why it is loved.
I read this book pretty quickly, and it was short, but that’s literally the only reason I didn’t DNF (Did Not Finish) it. I need some quick reads since I’m way behind on my reading goal. But if I wasn’t trying to read 100 books this year, I would have DNF’d it (along with Once Upon a Dream for that matter). The story was incredibly boring, and the characters were just too vulgar for my tastes. I mean, they were like, little kids. I get that in the story the kids are kind of seen as adults once they reach their early teen years, since they live longer, but come on, this was ridiculous!
I also think my dislike of this book was thanks to having just read Fable and really liking it, and I didn’t feel like a Sci-Fi (nor do I particularly enjoy Sci-Fi all that much). A I going to give this book a second chance someday? Absolutely not, most likely. I didn’t hate the book, per say, but just…I feel like I could have been reading something so much better.
All in all, I think it all comes down to personal taste. This one just happened to leave a bad one in my mouth.
Rating: 2/5 Stars
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
Genre: Adventure Fiction
Synopsis: After hijacking a balloon from a Confederate camp, a band of five northern prisoners escapes the American Civil War. Seven thousand miles later, they drop from the clouds onto an uncharted volcanic island in the Pacific. Through teamwork, scientific knowledge, engineering, and perseverance, they endeavor to build a colony from scratch. But this island of abundant resources has its secrets. The castaways discover they are not alone. A shadowy, yet familiar, agent of their unfathomable fate is watching.
I have many feelings about this book. I had actually started listening to the audio book for this back in my early High School days, but eventually forgot about it somewhere around the beginning. It didn’t capture my attention all that well, and I didn’t really think I’d like it. However, there was one sole thing that made me want to read it, and that reason was something that made me quite emotional while listening to this story this time around.
I believe I was about eleven or twelve when I first read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was my all-time favorite book. Captain Nemo was my favorite character. I was devastated at the end of this book, both because it was over, and because it insinuated that perhaps Captain Nemo had died. However, I later found out that he didn’t die, and he, in fact, made a cameo in The Mysterious Island. Later, when I was in High School, I got the audio book of it. I never finished it.
I mostly listened to it while traveling to Colorado this week, and I was not expecting to like this book as much as I do. I wasn’t expecting to get so emotional over it. The childhood nostalgia overcame me when Captain Nemo arrived, and all these flashbacks of first reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea all those years ago came rushing in. The Mysterious Island made references to moments in my childhood favorite that happened to be the only few scenes in the book that I remembered vividly. Oh, the nostalgia!
But that’s no the only reason I liked this book! I loved the characters so much! The banter between then was so well done, and their courage was admirable. Hearing the story of them creating a life on the island was fun and I really enjoyed it!
I literally finished listening to this a little before writing this, and I’m still a little emotional from it. If you’ve read this book, then I’m sure you know why…
Rating: 5/5 Stars
So that’s my list of what I read this month! Some of these were quite long to get through, and some of them I really, really didn’t like, so it took me awhile. However, there were a few that I liked, and there was even a 5 star read this month!!!! I’m hoping that August will be a great reading month, so wish me luck with that!
What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, and have a wonderful weekend!
Synopsises taken from Goodreads