Sty of Books

All kinds of books that I've read. I'm also located at

Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives Of Katherine Of Aragon And Juana, Queen Of Castile

Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives Of Katherine Of Aragon And Juana, Queen Of Castile - Julia Fox I didn't like this book because it seemed to lack a focus. It was mostly written in a chronological order. However, I'm not sure what the focus was in the lives of Katherine and Juana. In the beginning, there seems to be no focus, but the book gains more of a focus as it progresses. I think it's an interesting read because it expands on two women who we've heard mentioned in school, but the way that the book explores the lives of those women is confusing.

As another Goodreads reviewer mentioned, there are sections where Fox says, "Maybe she felt this way. maybe she felt that way. We're not sure." In some paragraphs, the author completely takes back what she says previously. I know we can't be completely sure of something if it's not documented, but the way that the author writes "maybe--maybe not" frustrates me while reading. I think if the author is not sure, then he or she should mention it in passing and move on or perhaps leave it out in the first place. In the case of Katherine's virginity, which is important to the story, the "maybe--maybe not" trick is ok and even useful, but everywhere else, I think it was unnecessary.

Cross My Heart

Cross My Heart - Sasha Gould It's a standard love story and also kinda cheesy.


Divergent - Veronica Roth I really did like this book. I loved reading the first part, but in the second part, my brain had trouble suspending its disbelief.

This book felt like a roller coaster that had a really really high uphill ride. It's very much like, "We're going. And going. And going. And going. And going. And...are we at the top...?...Wait a minute. HOLY CRAP. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"

That being said, I usually don't like YA dystopia, but I enjoyed reading this book, and I can't wait to read the second one. Too bad I don't have it with me right now.

Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama

Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama - Sam Leith I think this was more of a 2.5 book. There is a lot of good information about rhetoric in this book. Leith makes tons of jokes, too, so he can keep you entertained. I just had a hard time following some of his writing though because sometimes when he inserts jokes, it interrupts the flow of the text.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon - Alyson Noël I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. Sometimes Ever can be cool and collected but at other times she's a complete mess and sporadic. Spaz describes her accurately but only because she makes very rash decisions.

Ever seems to obsess over a lot of details. Being in her head, the reader must deal with the repetition of her thoughts, and her thoughts repeat pretty often.

In some places, I feel like the book skips scenes and completely jumps onto a different topic. I was confused and didn't think the action flowed very smoothly. However, maybe I didn't read closely enough.

I kind of like Ever's feelings and emotions over Damen's transformation. Sure, they're not rational, but I think it's a reflection of what some girls really feel about boys who lose interest in them.

I think people who like emotional, erratic, and spastic main characters may like this book.

The Art of Loving

The Art of Loving - Erich Fromm I like the idea of the book. Fromm's theories about love make me think. It's a good start to thinking about relationships and how people relate to the world, but it's outdated since it was written in 1950-something.

I found it hard to follow sometimes. The words became jumbled and my mind zoned out. Otherwise, it's worth a read or at least a skimming.

Girl With a Pearl Earring

Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier It's not a bad book. It kept me entertained enough that I read it all the way through without stopping much unless I had to or got too tired. The main character, Griet, is neat and tidy most of the time, trying to keep things in order. She's quiet and well-composed, not adventure-going like most contemporary YA main characters. She seems to control and limit her feelings.

I didn't understand the characters' actions. I don't want to say the story was flat, but it was just the bare bones of Griet's life. Something was missing. That missing piece prevented me from understanding the motives of the characters.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman - Robert K. Massie Robert K. Massie makes Catherine the Great come to life as he traces her beginnings as the German Princess Sophia to her ending as Russian Empress Catherine II. He demonstrates their personalities through their actions as he describes their reactions to the circumstances around them.

The story itself is really long. Massie follows Catherine and her immediate family at first, mostly focusing on Catherine and her mother. Then as he expands on Catherine's life, he focuses on Empress Elizabeth and Peter, Catherine's husband. Next, he describes the personalities of Catherine's lovers and her relationships with foreign powers and her own people. He also describes how Catherine felt about herself and her policies. For the most part, Massie stays on topic and when he does stray, the tangents are mostly relevant. As the book progresses, however, the tangents seem less helpful. There are long passages of text from letters and journals, that while interesting to some people, the passages don't always add to the story of the book. The book would've been shorter if he only wrote about Catherine's life.

Catherine is depicted as a powerful woman calling the shots, and at the same time she's depicted as human. We watch her mistakes as she tries to keep what she thinks she's entitled to. It's interesting to notice that Catherine has her own ideas about how a country should be ruled but eventually falls back to the status quo. Her journey is worth a read for those who are interested in Russian history or in Court Life of royals.

There are maps and portraits of some of the countries and people that Massie mentions. All of the images are at the front of the book. It would've been nice if they were dispersed throughout the book, but that would've been more expensive for the publisher.

Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs, Volume 9

Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs, Volume 9 - Yukiya Sakuragi I really like this series for all the different dogs. I feel like I learn something new about canines in each volume.

Art-wise; I like all the dogs and each character is well-defined and different. I don't like the panty shots though. I think they're pretty unnecessary fan service.

Plot-wise: There's a few jokes here and there and Suguri is always a bit over dramatic. The reserved closed-off Minoru has been introduced, but I think his story line is a bit under-developed. I hope he comes back and we're allowed to explain his story some more. I'm tired of Suguri's innocence being sexuaized and sometimes her cutesy innocence can be annoying. I love the dogs though,so I'm going to continue the series.

Hannah's Dream

Hannah's Dream - Diane Hammond I really liked this book. The main characters are pretty well-developed, but the romance between unmarried characters didn't make much sense. Although the perspective changes a lot, I feel like the changing perspectives allows you to get to know the characters better. I don't understand the point of the characters' association or relationships based on God, but it didn't really interfere with the story either. It was just there.

The Oracle Glass

The Oracle Glass - Judith Merkle Riley I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it was easy and quick to read for me, but it does develop slowly. Most of the story is based on relationships and growing up. A young girl must find her place in a society that's filled with conspiracies. The book definitely has a postmodern feel in the sense that the society is depicted as fallen and immoral. The main character, Genevieve relies a lot on philosophy and reason.

While reading this, I seriously began to doubt society...Even though the story is set in the past, I feel like a lot of it is still true in modern times. I needed some happy feelings after reading this because the book sucked them all out of me.

There's not a definite ending to this story, and I don't think this book is suited to everyone. I think I'd only recommend it to heavy readers who like to think and who don't mind not having happy feelings everywhere. The ability to handle sadness and backstabbing is highly recommended.

Also, a side note: sometimes it's very hard to follow pronouns and what's going on the in the story, so I advise you to read carefully.

A Single Shard

A Single Shard - Linda Sue Park The beginning was pretty slow, and it didn't really keep my attention. However, I'm glad I kept reading it. The ending was worth it.

Catching Fire

Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins My friend told me not to read this book because it would make my IQ drop, and after finishing it, I kind of agree with her.

I think Collins threw in a greater variety of sentence structures compared to The Hunger Games, which was nice, but the book just seemed too short. There were many scenes that made me I scratch my head and think This makes no logical sense. It felt like everything was underdeveloped and in a rush. I couldn't enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. I read through it very quickly, but when I finished I couldn't believe that was the end. It lacked a lot, I think. I think the ideas are good, but how the ideas were written didn't work for me. There wasn't enough substance to make me believe in the story.

Maybe things were underdeveloped on purpose because we were stuck in Katniss's head, and lots of secrets were kept from her.

Good news: I didn't want Katniss murdered this time, so I guess that's an improvement from The Hunger Games.

The Tomb of Zeus

The Tomb of Zeus - Barbara Cleverly It was hard for me to read through the style of the book

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid - Shani Boianjiu The People of Forever Are Not Afraid follows three girls in their required army enlistment. They enter as young children and emerge as women, forever changing the way they think and act.The three girls do have very different personalities, which makes the story interesting. However, it switches between their point-of-views, which makes the story harder to follow, especially considering that sometimes the narrator isn't named at all. The plot jumps timelines frequently, going back and forth as the girls relive memories and try to move forward. It mostly progresses forward, but ends with a story of someone's childhood. There's not a lot of action, just a lot of story telling. This isn't a bad book, but it's definitely not conventional and doesn't have a strong steady plot.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi - Yann Martel It took me a while to get into this book. Even at the 50% mark, it still bored me a little. It starts off with a religious introduction but then later develops into an action filled story. It reminded me of Les Miserables, starting with religion before getting into the actual story. Pi Patel is definitely an intelligent character and one that's memorable. He phrases things in funny (as in haha-funny) ways and occasionally mentions a universal truth for life. I liked Pi and this book was well written. It's just that there wasn't much action until the later half of the book. The plot moves very slowly.