March 27, 2017

Review: Needful Things by Stephen King

Title: Needful Things
Author: Stephen King
Published: Originally: October, 1991
Hardcover: 790 pgs

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Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little "deed," usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population's increasingly violent behavior.

Are you looking for a book that's going to scare the crap out of you? Are you looking for one that's literally going to make you bite your nails off and pull your hair out? Look no further. This book is creepy as f**k.

I recently reviewed another book by Stephen King, Dolores Claiborne (see review here) and it seemed to be pretty popular. So I felt like I should read another. Besides, my mom has been bugging me for years to read this book (it's her favorite). Originally printed 26 years ago, I feel like this book could hit the bestseller list just as easily today as it did back then.

Needful Things, at its heart, is the most simple of narratives. Essentially, imagine a new store owner comes to your town and offers to sell you something that you really need -- something you can't live without. And the price? It's always within your reach -- as long as you're willing to do the storeowner a little favor or two. Just harmless pranks that won't seem to hurt anyone too much. Would you do it? I know I would. And I bet you would too.

Except Leland Gaunt's pranks are not only going to cause harm, but they're literally going to tear the town of Castle Rock to pieces. His power over the town and his ability to make everyone do exactly what he wants is tantamount to him playing God. Or...better yet, the Devil.

This book scared me to no end and I loved every second of it. I was fascinated by the items that the townspeople would do anything for. I was in love with the way Leland Gaunt could use his words to seduce everyone. And I thought some of the ensuing chaos was just downright hysterical.

Stephen King's descriptions are so vivid in this novel that there were times I didn't even want to keep reading because I was so grossed out, LOL. It's like when you watch a really scary movie and you cover your eyes midway through (but still peek through your fingers). Except when you're reading, how can you possibly cover your eyes? The book forces you to read/watch the story play out and transports you into a world of mass hysteria, fear, desire, and magic.

5 out of 5 stars. LOVED THIS BOOK.






March 20, 2017

Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Sourcesbooks Fire
Published: September 6, 2016
Hardcover: 336 pgs

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Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Quick Note: Damaris @GCR has also reviewed this book. Here's a link to her review here. 

I am not gonna lie. It took me a near-embarrassing amount of time to realize that Alex (our main character) was potentially bisexual. Because I wasn't prepared for it, I kept thinking that either her best friend was a man, or that their friendship was just really intense. *SMH* That being said, I really loved the fact that there was a sort of bisexual love triangle going on between our characters and I really love the fact that it was matter-of-fact. It was something I've never read before in a YA book, and it made for an interesting and unique perspective.

Now that I've gotten that face-palm out of the way, I'd say that overall, the book was a good read, but I'm not exactly sprinting to the stores for the next in the series. As a Latina, it was such a breath of fresh air to have this book in my tbr pile. I loved the spanish words that were purposely un-translated. I loved reading about Alex's culture and the different ways that some Hispanics live. Yes, I know it's fiction, but I'm assuming much of the author's writing comes from her own personal experiences.

Where the book faltered for me was delving so deeply into the paranormal and fantasy world. There were just too many times that I had to suspend my disbelief entirely just to keep turning the pages. And when Alex's best friend shows up in the in-between land, I just about had enough. It was just too unbelievable for me.

The love triangle seemed predictable and the overall ending was wrapped up too nicely. It left me feeling unsatisfied.

2.5 out of 5 stars.






March 15, 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Hardcover, 544 pages
Expected publication: March 28th, 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers



A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.

Purchase


Strange the Dreamer is a difficult book to review. There’s a part of me that really enjoyed it, and part of me that really didn’t.

Taylor has a knack for world-building that isn’t easy to find, and the same can be said for her character development. She makes you want to live her in worlds, and know her characters personally. If you can sit back and take your time with the book, Strange the Dreamer will slowly come alive for you, and you may find yourself in awe.

All that said, the attention to world-building and character development makes the writing incredibly heavy. So much is devoted to those two aspects that there isn’t much of anything else until you're halfway through the book, and even then, the story takes its time. There were several times I would find myself having read several chapters in a row, and couldn’t tell you a single thing that happened in them. Not because it was forgettable, but because nothing happened in them. I truly believe this book could have been at least 100 pages shorter, and you wouldn’t have lost anything. On the contrary, it would have been absolutely fantastic. But, as it is, you have to dig deep for the story and I have a hard time imagining that the intended demographic will have the patience to get through this book.

But goodness, the story. My. What story there is, when you finally reach it, is so good. But the pacing in this book, and the time it takes to get there is just…unfortunate. I recommend everyone give Strange the Dreamer a shot. I imagine you’ll either fall asleep, or fall in.


Cover: 4 | Characters: 4 | Plot: 4 | Pace: 1 | Creativity: 5

March 14, 2017

The Great Hunt & The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins Virtual Signing!



We have another amazing virtual signing for you all!!

Starting today through April 17th, you can order signed personalized copies of YA author Wendy Higgins EURONA series! 

Plus, her UNKNOWN series, SEE ME, and her Sweet series! 


Please read all terms & conditions before placing an order.

  • All books will be signed and personalized on May 5th -6th. 
  • All books will be shipped via Priority Mail. For all US orders priority mail takes 2-3 business days. For international orders it can take anywhere from 6-10 days (sometimes more depending on your country).
  • All packages will be insured up to $50 (depending on the size of your order) and come with a FREE tracking number. 
  • This event closes on April 17th at midnight. 
  • After April 17th there are no refunds, as all the books would have been ordered and ready for signing.
  • Good Choice Reading/Wendy Higgins will not be held responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged mail. You will have to file a claim with the post office. All packages are insured up to $50.
  • International: We have had a couple of incidents where a package has been returned to us due to it not being claimed. In the event that this should take place an additional shipping cost is required in order to re-ship the package. No refunds will be granted as the book was ordered, signed, shipped and reached its destination. It is your responsibility to keep track of your package and claim it. Once the package leaves the United States we no longer have any control over it.
  • All tracking information will be sent to the PayPal email address used to place your order. If you do not have PayPal and used a credit/debit card to check out, the email address put down will be the one all the information will be sent to.
  • All packages will be shipped to the mailing address used on your PayPal account or at check out. Please make sure to update your shipping information. If your address differs from the one on your PayPal account/Invoice, please email Events@goodchoicereading.com immediately so that we can update our records.
  • Taxes and shipping will be added at checkout.
  • Before placing your order there is an option to enter an email address and who you would like the book personalized to. Please double check spelling. If you do not wish to have the book personalized simply leave blank. We will have the author just sign the book with no name.
  • By placing an order below, you are agreeing to all terms and conditions. Any questions or concerns can be sent to Events@goodchoicereading.com






HARDCOVER



PAPERBACK



PAPERBACK






Wendy Higgins Books
Personalized? If so, to who?
E-mail address? Check Spelling


Any questions or concerns please email Events@goodchoicereading.com



Other virtual signings:

A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine



The Shadow Queen & The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine Virtual Signing!



Hi GCReaders!

We are so excited to bring you this virtual signing for YA author C.J. Redwine. I LOVE C.J.'s DEFIANCE series, and now her RAVENSPIRE series. C.J. truly knows how to entertain her readers!

Starting today through April 17th, you will be able to order a signed personalized copy of THE SHADOW QUEEN & THE WISH GRANTER. You can also order copies of her DEFIANCE series. Full details below. :)

Please read all terms and conditions before placing your order. 


  • All books will be signed and personalized on May 5th -6th. 
  • All books will be shipped via Priority Mail. For all US orders priority mail takes 2-3 business days. For international orders it can take anywhere from 6-10 days (sometimes more depending on your country).
  • All packages will be insured up to $50 (depending on the size of your order) and come with a FREE tracking number. 
  • This event closes on April 17th at midnight. 
  • After April 17th there are no refunds, as all the books would have been ordered and ready for signing.
  • Good Choice Reading/C.J. Redwine will not be held responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged mail. You will have to file a claim with the post office. All packages are insured up to $50.
  • International: We have had a couple of incidents where a package has been returned to us due to it not being claimed. In the event that this should take place an additional shipping cost is required in order to re-ship the package. No refunds will be granted as the book was ordered, signed, shipped and reached its destination. It is your responsibility to keep track of your package and claim it. Once the package leaves the United States we no longer have any control over it.
  • All tracking information will be sent to the PayPal email address used to place your order. If you do not have PayPal and used a credit/debit card to check out, the email address put down will be the one all the information will be sent to.
  • All packages will be shipped to the mailing address used on your PayPal account or at check out. Please make sure to update your shipping information. If your address differs from the one on your PayPal account/Invoice, please email Events@goodchoicereading.com immediately so that we can update our records.
  • Taxes and shipping will be added at checkout.
  • Before placing your order there is an option to enter an email address and who you would like the book personalized to. Please double check spelling. If you do not wish to have the book personalized simply leave blank. We will have the author just sign the book with no name.
  • By placing an order below, you are agreeing to all terms and conditions. Any questions or concerns can be sent to Events@goodchoicereading.com






HARDCOVERS
Click HERE to learn about C.J. Redwine RAVENSPIRE series.



PAPERBACKS
 Click HERE to learn more about C.J. Redwine's DEFIANCE series. 







C.J. Redwine Books
Personalized? If yes, to who?
Email you check daily?


Any questions or concerns please email Events@goodchoicereading.com




Other virtual signings:

A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins