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KrystalClarity

KrystalClarity

Joined May 2019

Reading through my collection, one book at a time!
review
KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

This collection of short stories combine to form a fascinating psychological thriller. I started to wonder how much was all in Stephen‘s head vs how much was real. I think it could‘ve benefited from being formatted as one longer story, thus giving us more time to connect to his aspects on a deeper level. As it is, it‘s still definitely an enjoyable book and I think it would make for a great graphic novel or tv series.

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KrystalClarity
The Secret Garden Complete Text | Frances Hodgson Burnett
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Pickpick

I‘ve read a lot of boring books where a perfect little girl lands in a relative‘s home for some reason and she charms everyone. This is the opposite. Mary is a spoiled rotten terror, and over several chapters she learns what it is to like something and from then on we get to see her grow into a still spirited but much more amiable child. TW: There are a few hard to read “Yikes!” moments in regard to race near the beginning of the book.

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KrystalClarity
Steelheart | Brandon Sanderson
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Pickpick

This book was so fun and fast paced I knocked the whole thing out in about 3 days, and that‘s with mom duties. The lead character is kind of a dork, has a hilariously difficult time with metaphors, and desperately wants to join an elite group called the Reckoners so he can avenge his father‘s death. Set in the near future in a Chicago filled to the brim with super powered people, Steelheart is a thrill and I look forward to picking up the sequels.

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KrystalClarity
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Panpan

This book is a major downer; the scope and magnitude of things gone wrong in Elphaba‘s life from start to finish is astonishing. Honestly, it was a slog. Also, I‘m not afraid of sex in books, but the sheer number of things described in sexual terms felt awkward. Like mountains, or a person going through great stress over a loved one‘s mortal peril and digging their nails into something. This happens a lot and the dissonance was distracting.

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KrystalClarity
How Not to Let Go | Emily Foster
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Pickpick

This is part two of a two-part book series and it is super satisfying. The things that went wrong in book one are looked at carefully and the hero actually attends therapy sessions to help him deal with his issues. Good job, sir! I wish therapy was more affordable so more of us could do that, it helped him out a lot. I liked watching both halves of the couple grow as people, and the sexiness is stronger for it.

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KrystalClarity
How Not to Fall | Emily Foster
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Pickpick

This book is both very smart and very sexy, but it‘s important to keep in mind that there‘s no happily ever after until the second book. (This isn‘t really a spoiler because romance novels are known for HEAs.) As a result, this book ends on a major downer, but it gets better! I loved how intelligent both the leads are, and how it felt less like a self-insert story and more like me talking with a very smart friend.

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KrystalClarity
Bailedbailed

I really don‘t care for it. There‘s something about the combination of the author‘s matter-of-fact tone and that she thinks religious beliefs are absurd, despite singing in a church choir, that is off-putting for me. I don‘t care that she doesn‘t have religious beliefs, but I do care that she‘s publicly disparaging to others‘ sources of comfort. Just so we‘re clear, if she was religious and being dismissive of atheists I‘d have the same problem.

KrystalClarity P.S. I have a confession to make: I got this book as part of an early review giveaway from Librarything back in 2012(?) and then I didn‘t read it. I was a teen with good intentions who got swamped in homework. I‘m sorry for taking so long!! 2y
1 like1 comment
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KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

I‘m afraid I‘ve been spoiled by Sanderson‘s newer works - it isn‘t quite as polished and it fumbled a little in representation, but ultimately the same heart is there. I sort of wish I had read Elantris first, just so I could watch Sanderson grow as an author. I feel like though it was published 16 years ago, it couldn‘t be more timely with its themes of clashing politics, classism, extremism, misogyny, and a terrifying illness. It‘s a great book.

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KrystalClarity
Anansi Boys: A Novel | Neil Gaiman
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One of my favorite things about Gaiman is that he treats religions and mythologies from around the world with respect and in many cases, for me at least, brings them to life. In this book, ancient African gods come alive in ways you can‘t get just reading history. It is spooky and funny and a blast to read. I‘d be interested to see if Fat Charlie and Shadow from American Gods ever meet, considering it looks like they share a world.

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KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

If the first book was an introduction to the characters and the second was putting them through unspeakable stress, this book was all about watching them grow. Everyone had satisfying character arcs and it was good to see how they helped each other become who they needed to be, who they thought they couldn‘t be, and who they didn‘t know they were. All this to say that it was a great book. I‘m looking forward to the next one when it is published.

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KrystalClarity
Shadows of Self | Brandon Sanderson
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Pickpick

There‘s a lot to say about this novel but not a lot I can really talk about without spoilers for both it and the book before it, so suffice it to say that it was a fast paced gun slinger mystery with a truly horrifying baddie and tons of fantastic characters. I especially love how each character always has their own distinct perspective on both themselves and the others in Sanderson novels and this one does not disappoint!

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KrystalClarity
Mockingjay | Suzzane Collins
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Pickpick

While definitely well written, there‘s no way around it: this book is a major downer. It is an important and necessary ending and completely realistic for Panem but dang there is already a lot of pain that cannot go away and it keeps getting worse and worse right up until the bittersweet end. You definitely have to be in the right mood to pick up this book. Don‘t get me wrong, it‘s a good book with an important message, it just hurts!

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KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

This book was so much fun! There‘s action, adventures, mystery, intrigue, and it is all through the lens of the world of the first Mistborn trilogy but about 340 years later in a city in a very Wild West sort of time. Wax and Wayne have fantastic chemistry and I found myself laughing at their quips quite a bit. Overall, this book was a blast and I‘m looking forward to reading more in their world!

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KrystalClarity
Catching Fire | Suzanne Collins
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Pickpick

Yet another Hunger Games book that holds up nicely, Catching Fire definitely has good re-read value, especially after The Ballad. There were several little moments of levity to help keep the entire novel from sinking into despair, and I absolutely adore how masterfully Peeta can manipulate an audience. He‘s made out to be this paragon of goodness and that makes it pretty easy for him to garner sympathy from the Capitol crowds.

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KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

This book was fantastic! It covers women from all over the world who did amazing things throughout history. Some were champions for civil rights, some were explorers or warriors, some were infamous for their conniving ways, and all are inspirational. The book is separated by maturity level, so my little one and I had some fun reading the “PG” section together, while I read all the way to the end on my own. An excellent book, I highly recommend it.

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KrystalClarity
Hunger Games | Suzanne Collins
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Pickpick

I was super into this book when it first came out and it holds up nicely. The concept of having children fight to the death on live, mandatory TV is just as gruesome as ever and the confusion Katniss feels about being simultaneously tossed into a romance and a horror story is palpable. I especially loved the ties I found to the prequel book, like the little old goat herder from the Seam and the mention of a single Victor pre-Haymitch.

KrystalClarity Added a spoiler warning for Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, sorry guys! I try to be mindful about spoilers but that one slipped right through my fingers 😬 2y
8 likes1 comment
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KrystalClarity
How to Be an Antiracist | Ibram X. Kendi
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This important book is a combination of memoir and textbook that puts the racist vs antiracist struggle through history in clearly defined terms. For instance, a racist is “One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.” As a state of action rather than a state of being, anyone can do the opposite to take on an antiracist state of action, and that core idea runs through the book to offer hope.

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KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

The Ballad starts with a young, vulnerable Snow with an obsessive streak and the goal of a scholarship and ends with him clearly on the road to becoming the Snow of legendary ambition and reputation that we know and love to hate. It‘s incredibly well-written with beautiful foreshadowing to the trilogy and a lead whose perspective becomes more entitled, more classist, and generally more toxic as a very short time (about 6 months) goes on.

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KrystalClarity
Their Eyes Were Watching God | Zora Neale Hurston
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This book is a thing of beauty and to review, I will quote from Mary Helen Washington‘s forward to my edition: “Here, finally, was a woman on a quest for her own identity and, unlike so many other questing figures in black literature, her journey would take her, not away from, but deeper and deeper into blackness, the descent into the Everglades with its rich black soil, wild cane, and communal life representing immersion into black traditions.”

Cathythoughts Yes a beautiful book. And a beautiful cover you have on yours ❤️ 2y
KrystalClarity @Cathythoughts Thank you 💕 2y
16 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
KrystalClarity
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Bailedbailed

This book was an ok drama but it doesn‘t suit my taste for historical fiction. I like books where they not only get the names right but they also get an accurate event timeline and this book doesn‘t deliver. For example, Henry VIII didn‘t take Mary as his mistress after she was already married, and he didn‘t name a ship after her. I got as far as the ship before looking up Mary Boleyn, discovering how inaccurate it all was, and calling it quits.

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KrystalClarity
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Pickpick

It‘s difficult to remain spoiler-free when reviewing the third novel in a trilogy, but suffice it to say that all of the loose ends got tied up neatly with a spiffy little bow. Details that I hadn‘t noticed in the previous books are masterfully put into play here and the commentary on the nature of faith spoke directly to my own experiences. It is rare for me to feel like I‘m on the same page with someone on that front and it was truly nice.

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KrystalClarity

Why did they believe? Because they saw miracles. Things one man took as chance, a man of faith took as a sign. A loved one recovering from disease, a fortunate business deal, a chance meeting with a long lost friend. It wasn‘t the grand doctrines or sweeping ideals that seemed to make believers out of men. It was the simple magic in the world around them.

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KrystalClarity
Pickpick

This “NOT a history book” is about the history of racism starting with the very first racist 600 years ago and moving forward to the current situation in America and how it was shaped by centuries of racism. I‘m not really the intended audience (Teens/YA), but I still feel like I got a lot out of it considering the propagandistic nature of my HS history lessons. I‘m glad I read this book and I look forward to learning more from Kendi and Reynolds.

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KrystalClarity
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“I do not believe,” [Wendell Phillips] wrote, “in an English freedom, that trusts the welfare of the dependent class to the good will and moral sense of the upper class.”

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KrystalClarity
Pickpick

Good stuff! I thoroughly enjoyed this second entry into the Mistborn series. It offers a fascinating glimpse at humanity as the end of the first book leads into messes for the characters to deal with throughout this one. There is a true rock and a hard place situation in the way of the characters building something great and the suspense of these crushing forces lasts throughout the entire book. I am very excited to pick up the next volume soon!

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KrystalClarity
The Three Musketeers | Alexandre Dumas
Bailedbailed

This book is riddled with so much misogyny I had to put it down. Everyone, including the women, has bad things to say about women. I know internalized misogyny is real and I know the “it‘s a book of its time” argument, but I can only tolerate so much. When a musketeer, a “hero,” says upon hearing that his friend‘s crush was kidnapped: “I do not know a woman that is worth the trouble of being sought for when she is once lost,” I‘m just done.

Mishu94 And finally you bailed! Onto better ones! 😂 3y
KrystalClarity @Mishu94 Yep! Onward! 3y
2 likes2 comments
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KrystalClarity
Mistborn: The Final Empire | Brandon Sanderson
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What do you get when you mix a heist novel with a fantasy and a coming of age story, throw in more secrets than you can shake a stick at, add a dash of politics, religion, and intrigue, and have the main character be an incredibly well done heroine? Mistborn. Brandon Sanderson, I salute you.

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KrystalClarity
The Innocent Man | John Grisham
Bailedbailed

This book was stressful to me. I get that it‘s a true story, but I think what I found particularly bothersome was the sheer number of people stripped of their agency and victimized, by both the murderer and law enforcement. The book was well-written but too much for me during this anxious time.

SarahKing I enjoyed this book but I did read it years ago when it was not as fresh and visualized on every platform so that makes sense 3y
KrystalClarity @SarahKing It‘s all about context! Reading it in a time where police brutality isn‘t in the public consciousness very much would probably be good as a means to realize that the American justice system is intensely flawed and needs an overhaul. As it is, I know the system is horrifyingly messed up and the book is not offering any hope for a resolution. (edited) 3y
SarahKing @KrystalClarity yeah that makes complete sense! Hopefully by the time police brutality is out of the news cycles it will be a book that reflects the past issues of the justice system and not the current ones 3y
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KrystalClarity @SarahKing I‘m really looking forward to the day when we can honestly say “Can you believe how awful things used to be?” 3y
SarahKing @KrystalClarity Right!!! One day and hopefully sooner rather than later! 3y
KrystalClarity @SarahKing This. 👆🏼🤞🏼 3y
4 likes6 comments
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KrystalClarity
Pickpick

The world is an intensely strange place, filled with fascinating sites both natural and man-made and if you‘re interested in learning about the beautiful weirdness in our global backyard, you must check out this book.

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KrystalClarity
Pickpick

This book was phenomenal. I learned so much about American history (particularly between the start of America‘s involvement in WWII and the end of the Space Race) through the perspectives of the African American women who worked so hard and broke so many barriers to help make history. Though Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughn are no longer with us, I hope that girls of all backgrounds will look to their stories and be inspired.

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KrystalClarity
Oathbringer | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

This book was simply fantastic from beginning to end. I love how the relationships and characters from the first two books are fleshed out further and though it didn‘t take up much space, Teft‘s arc in particular gave me a serious case of the feels. Among other things, Oathbringer explores divinity, mental health, politics, and the nature of hypocrisy, all with an apocalyptic backdrop infusing tension into the entire story.

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KrystalClarity
Edgedancer | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

This was so much fun! It focused on one of the minor characters from Words of Radiance and her tone is a nice temporary shift from the somewhat heavier previous books. (Don‘t get me wrong, I like the weight they have, but a breather is nice.) I particularly like the interaction between her and her spren, both with how dissimilar they are and how they both grow over the course of the couple of days this novella covers.

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KrystalClarity
Wolf Queen | Tanith Lee
Panpan

This book picks up where the last one left off and the action is back but this is the last of the series I‘ll read. My problem is this: The main locations are matriarchal and the women in charge are all brilliant but intensely catty. They‘re cruel and force others to play convoluted games and submit to their authoritarian rule and they feel less like real women and more like caricatures based on what modern western patriarchy thinks of women.

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KrystalClarity
Mehso-so

I wouldn‘t recommend this book on its own. It is fine as a sort of in between novella but where Wolf Tower was too short, this one felt too long. In over 200 pages, it feels like very little happened. It was alright as far as interludes go, but I‘m hoping the story picks up again in the third book, Wolf Queen.

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KrystalClarity
Wolf Tower | Tanith Lee
Pickpick

This book was fun, but far too short! I‘ll read the sequel next. Claidi has to learn not just who she should trust but also who she herself even is by the end of the story. Her growth is great to see as her status in society grows from almost nothing to certainly something and she decides what sort of person she will be. Claidi is full of spunk and kindness alike and she‘s awkward in social situations, but that just adds to her relatability.

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KrystalClarity
Stuart Little | E. B. White
Mehso-so

Stuart is an interesting character, though I felt his family could use more development. They felt a bit generic, but I suppose the book is a little too little to explore the Littles! It feels like a story to read chapters from nightly considering how Stuart‘s adventures seem to always tie themselves up neatly within a chapter. There‘s not much of an overarching story until the second half, but it‘s a fanciful modern-ish fairytale from the start.

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KrystalClarity
The Host: A Novel | Stephenie Meyer
Bailedbailed

Okay... so. Having your first impression of a love interest be an intense choke hold and right after that an unwanted kiss is not attractive. It is not shameful to need therapy. It is not shameful to feel anger or hatred. It is not shameful to quit and try something else if something is way beyond your ability. This was all in the first 50 pages and frankly I‘m not interested in reading more.

Mishu94 It took me 2 years to finish this book, no joke 😂😂 3y
KrystalClarity @Mishu94 Lol I can see why! I read it through when I was a teenager and not gonna lie, I found the entire book pretty awful with a super creepy ending 😬 3y
Mishu94 @KrystalClarity haha so did I! Loooool I read it after the whole twilight craze thinking it would be good but I got into such a bad bad slump! I didn‘t read anything for six months 😂🤦‍♂️ I finally then one day thought I‘d just finish this book up 😂 3y
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KrystalClarity @Mishu94 I‘ve been reading through my whole bookcase and I‘ve been finding the best way to keep from getting super burnt out from reading awful books is to have a fun one lined up next! Makes the whole experience soooooooo much more enjoyable. I remember after slogging through Les Miserables for literally a year, I read Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett in 3 hours and laughed myself silly 😂 3y
Mishu94 @KrystalClarity I really want to read good omens! Is it goood? It‘s got mixed reviews so I didn‘t know whether to go ahead with it or not! 🤦‍♂️ I do the same, after some intense reading I choose something light or some cheesy romance 😂 3y
KrystalClarity @Mishu94 Personally I really enjoyed it, but it is essentially a comedy based on the biblical book of Revelations so... I can see why it would get mixed reviews 😅 if you‘re the kind of person who would get upset at someone poking fun at Christianity, I wouldn‘t recommend it, but if not, it‘s super fun 😄 I grew up in the church and I have a lot of friends who wouldn‘t like the book at all but I have others who I‘d recommend it to in a heartbeat! 3y
Mishu94 @KrystalClarity ohh that makes sense, that‘s a sensitive topic for sure! 😅 but I‘ll give it a go! I like Neil Gaimans writing! I read American Gods by him and I really liked it! 3y
4 likes1 stack add7 comments
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KrystalClarity
American Gods | Neil Gaiman
Pickpick

I had a hard time putting this book down. I like the interplay of how the gods and people function in relation to each other. The story is fascinating and a bit scary and occasionally very, very funny, so it‘s basically exactly what I expect when I pick up a Gaiman novel. Gods from around the world are represented respectfully and you can really tell Gaiman greatly enjoys mythology. I‘d be delighted to read it again, maybe the annotated version!

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KrystalClarity
Rogue Lawyer | John Grisham
Panpan

I kept putting this down to read other books. I had a hard time with Rudd in particular. At first I thought he was sexist and racist and anti-police and then when it became clear that he‘s disgusted with everyone I decided he was simply an awful person. I get that his job ruined his faith in humanity but does that mean he has to be mean? I found Partner to be a more compelling character and would‘ve likely enjoyed this book more in his POV.

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KrystalClarity
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

Somehow, this novel manages to be astonishing even as I get accustomed to Sanderson‘s high quality work. I loved it, it is a fantastic second chapter to the Stormlight Archive and I couldn‘t help but read it late into the night when I really ought to have been sleeping. But who could sleep when there is honor and hope, treachery and foreboding, and characters who feel so real they could be human? I was on the edge of my seat, loving every word.

cherinium I love everything I've read by Sanderson. 3y
KrystalClarity Me too! One of my siblings recommended his books early this year and it‘s like, “Where have you been all my life?” 😄 3y
2 likes2 comments
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KrystalClarity
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
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“...We all see the world by some kind of light personal to us, and that light changes our perception. I don‘t see clearly. I want to, but I don‘t know if I ever truly can.”

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KrystalClarity
Mehso-so

I had a lot of fun with the first half of this book, I loved all the little bits of lore about the Gardens and about Pan himself, but when the second half of the book came in and introduced Mamie it quickly took a turn for the creepy, followed by charming, and then creepy again. It left me with a very sad feeling and I feel like I need to read something cheerier now.

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KrystalClarity
Pickpick

Read this to my daughter, it‘s a fun little story about a girl who‘s trying desperately to save the planet but manages to make life difficult for everyone around her until she and her class get some good direction from their teacher. It‘s a non-condescending, fun kids read, though for younger children you may want to talk about why some of Judy‘s earlier ideas in the story don‘t go over very well.

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KrystalClarity
Sisterhood Everlasting | Ann Brashares
Panpan

I‘m younger than the main characters but I feel too old to read this book. They‘re all 29 but they don‘t seem to have matured a day since Forever in Blue when they were 19. It‘s frustrating to read a coming-of-age style series and see so little growth in the leads. That‘s my main gripe but there are others, particularly due to inconsistencies in finances or technology. As a teen I liked the other books, but like the leads, I‘m not a teen anymore.

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KrystalClarity
Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you what to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Too often, we forget that.”

-Hoid, pp. 1005-1006

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KrystalClarity
The Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

How do I write a concise review of an incredible book that I could talk about for days? This book is massive but it doesn‘t feel that way. It tackles difficult questions of philosophy, ethics, religion, politics, class, war, honor, and more with grace and more importantly, it allows you to draw your own conclusions because while it makes you think it doesn‘t tell you what to think. I look forward to visiting Roshar again when I tackle the sequel!

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KrystalClarity
Warbreaker | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

This book was an excellent, exciting, fun ride. I truly enjoyed it from start to finish. The characters felt like real people and the world building felt totally original. The plot was unpredictable enough to surprise but not so much so that it didn‘t make sense. I‘m looking forward to reading more Sanderson novels!

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KrystalClarity
Sycamore Row: A Novel | John Grisham
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this novel. I‘m not much into courtroom novels but I felt pulled along at a nice pace with it. I‘m no law expert but I feel like it offered a fairly accurate representation of what it would be like to bring a case like this (a particularly dramatic will contest) to court. It is the sequel to another Grisham novel which I haven‘t read but while it does reference the other novel from time to time it stands alone just fine.

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KrystalClarity
Mehso-so

The book was well-written, it pulled me along and taught me a few things even as I disagreed with the core premise of it. Personally, I like the concept of hope and it has pulled me out of more than one rut. I can‘t equate it with both everything good and bad in humanity. I feel like hope paired with kindness would be a better solution than what the author expects regarding AI. I might suggest this book to a nihilist, but that‘s not me.

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KrystalClarity
Pickpick

This book goes so far beyond self-help I‘m glad it‘s in the health category instead. I read it cover to cover in a day and a half. I laughed, I cried, and at the end of it all I felt so much better about who I am and the life I‘ve led. I recommend it wholeheartedly to every woman on the planet and if you can ignore the fact that it‘s geared toward a female audience, guys can definitely get some value out of it too.