Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainGoodreads Synopsis

THE RUNAWAY SUNDAY TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLER AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR

‘Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect’ STEPHEN KING

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train… 


This book was all the rage a few years ago and even more so when the movie came out in 2016. I didn’t immediately jump on the band wagon but since this review exists, jump I did.

The Girl on the Train focuses on Rachel Watson and the lives of the people she observes through the train window. It sounds creepy and stalker-y and believe me, it is all that and more. There is always a danger about books that become so popular, they toe the line with being overhyped. This is one of those books. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just it didn’t do anything for me.

I feel like Rachel as a character was all over the place. Some of the things she did barely made sense. She was in need of some help and I didn’t fault the other characters for pushing her aside time after time. There was a point in the book where I wanted the story to continue but from someone else’s POV because Rachel felt a bit like an unreliable narrator…except that she wasn’t. But we were at a constant battle of whether or not to believe if she was telling the truth.

The writing was excellent and I enjoyed it very much. It was what made me want to continue the book after all. Did I hate this book? No, of course not. The story? Nope, it was rather interesting actually but I was promised a psychological thriller and it’s my opinion that I did not receive what was promised. There was not a thrill in sight.

This was my first book by Paula Hawkins and while this wasn’t the greatest first read by an author, I am in no way turned off from her other works. Into the Water is still very high on my To Read list at the moment.

I’m willing to give Hawkins another chance but maybe look only at the plot and the wiring and not focus on the genre so much. I don’t regret this read and I do recommend it to those looking for something interesting to pass the time.

 

Read: 10 February 2018
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 3 May 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Sarah J. Maas

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Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)Goodreads

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


I almost started this book over because I wasn’t feeling that initial excitement anymore but I decided to push on and push through. It has seriously taken me over a year to finish this book. I’ve been so ridiculously busy since I got back to SA that I decided to pick the book up again during exam time. Such a smart idea.

This book started off great. We picked up where we left off in ACOMAF and the excitement kept building. I was eager to see where the road was going to take us and how much more heartbreak I could take. SJM still remains a queen and I think I can forgive her for breaking my heart yet again because her comebacks are always so perfectly executed.

One thing I must say is that popular opinion got to me. I bought this book the day it was released and started it immediately. I should have waited because I was only a few pages in before I decided to ‘put it on hold’. There were moments here and there that I felt I could do with some more excitement (and this was during the battles- I admit a skim read some paragraphs) but everything else was perfection. There was slightly too much focus on Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship which I thought was a bit much. We covered that in ACOMAF so I wasn’t expecting much more of it. It was a big book though (699 pages is quite a good amount) so there was enough time to touch on the familial bonds that were made, the other High Lords as well as the battle we were all waiting for.

I was really impressed at all the character development that took place; some later than others but it happened nonetheless. I’m really liking Nesta though. I didn’t pay much attention to her before because my OTP was being awesome at everything, but she was so amazing. I love her lack of…emotion. The fact that her expression is stone cold most of the time and that she always acts as protector. She had the most development in my opinion. She’s possibly my favourite character in this series at this point. Please see my post about the characters I dislike the most here to get a feel of how I feel about Tamlin.

I had many ups and downs with reading this book. There was a it of a slump in the middle before leading to the build-up before the climax. This is the end of the trilogy for me as I do not see myself reading A Court of Frost of Starlight (I’m still considering it). The lower rating for this book is that while I liked this book, I did not love it and I felt that even giving it 3.5 instead of a solid 3 stars was being generous.

Reviews of other books in this trilogy:

 

Read: 16 October 2018
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 2 May 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Sarah J. Maas

Comic Book Review: Damage #1 by Robert Venditti

Damage (2017-) #1Goodreads Synopsis

Ethan “Elvis” Avery just wanted to serve his country. Instead, he’s been changed into a monster!

Tasked as the government’s own living, breathing, ticking time bomb, Ethan retains no control when the monster takes over. Cheaper than a nuclear warhead and twice as effective, Ethan fights to rein in the damage he unleashes when the beast inside him springs free for one hour a day. With everyone around him in danger, Ethan struggles to contain the DAMAGE he inflicts on the DC Universe.


I’m trying to get more into the DC scheme of things and I’m glad I haven’t been steered wrong as yet.

For a first issue, this was very good. There wasn’t too much dialogue but just enough forScreen Shot 2018-01-25 at 6.12.44 PMit to explain a bit of what we could expect from this series. The artwork is exceptional. I could stare at it all day. The illustrators really did a wonderful job.

Ethan as a human is certain of who and what he is, but when Damage comes out, it’s then that he has difficulty with keeping the monster in check. The thing is that Ethan remains the choice of reason even when Damage away from area where people could get hurt.

 

I think that it’s interesting that Damage comes out once every 24 hours and for one hour only so honestly, depending on what he does and where he goes, this series as whole too, could go almost anywhere. The concept is really great andScreen Shot 2018-01-26 at 12.27.29 PM I think the writing, artwork and plot made up for a brilliant read. I can’t wait for the next issue.

At the end of this issue we’re given a sneak peak of a new comic called Sideways and from the looks of it, I think it’s going to be amazing. I won’t lie, he does remind me a little bit of Spider-Man with some Deadpool vibes thrown in but the excitement is still out there. I’m hoping to read that issue when it comes out and possibly review it as well, so keep a look out for this.

This is where I pray to the DC gods and hope that my continuation in this universe remains well and good because I don’t think I can take any more disappointment where comics are concerned.

Read: 25 January 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 17 January 2018
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Robert Venditti
Illustrators: Danny Miki | Tony S. Daniel

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Comic Book Review: Lumberjanes Vol.1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten HolyGoodreads Synopsis

FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

Collects Lumberjanes No. 1-4.


I was procrastinating studying for my finals so I decided to read the first issue of this comic and I actually had to force myself not to read the next. This comic drew me in from the first page and there’s enough adventure and mystery in the first issue that makes youIMG_1979.PNG eager to come back for more.

I was quite intrigued by the all-female comic characters as I’ve never read something like it before. The second and third issues of Lumberjanes were amazing. Although we aren’t told directly what each character’s personality is, we’re given insight by the way they react to different things and situations. I personally adore Mal and Ripley.

I’m all for the adventures of this weird summer and I think I’m already in love with this comic series.

The artwork is unique and amazing and I find myself takingIMG_1980.PNG in the details as well instead of just reading the dialogue and moving on. The writing style is fresh as well as entertaining and it’s the combination of all these things: amazing  artwork, awesome writing style and fun characters that make for an addicting read.

After finishing this volume I’m convinced that this is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s easily high up in my Top 5. I can’t wait to start and finish volume 2.

 

 

Read: 10 December 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 7 April 2015
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Writer: Noelle Stevenson | Grace Ellis | Faith Hicks
Illustrator: Brooke A. Allen | Shannon Watters | Kat Leyh | Brooke Allen | Carolyn Nowak | Various | Carey Pietsch

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Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Greek HeroesGoodreads Synopsis\

Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.


I felt like I was entering a reading slump so I turn to one of my favourite authors because he’s helped me before. I’d started having flashbacks of The Sword of Summer from the beginning of the book already and of that I wasn’t a fan. At all.

I love Percy Jackson’s narrating style. It will always be one of my favourites. I definitely got that familiar feel, like this is a legit Rick Riordan book that I can get behind. Percy has a way of making the story a lot more interesting and that’s always a plus.

I really enjoyed the second story, especially because I read a Destiel fanfic a while ago that I was based on it. The third story was shorter and thank goodness for that because it wasn’t all that. Otrera’s story was great because yes to women empowerment and taking a stand. I did wonder why she was included since she isn’t a goddess or anything like that but her feats alone were worthy.

Daedalus’ story did contradict Percy’s adventures with the inventor but as he said, he was going with the original myth. Theseus’ story was definitely my favourite out of them all. I laughed the most during this one and it was as if each word was soaked in humour. This was where I felt Percy’s presence the most.

I absolutely loved this book. I took a mere 3 days to finish it and that makes me so happy. I’m glad I read this book now because it certainly helped where the reading slump was concerned. Percy’s POV of it all really added a lot more to the book. It made what could’ve been boring stories a lot more interesting.

I now feel like I can conquer 10 more books.

Read: 31 January 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 7 August 2015
Publisher: Puffin Books
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Rick Riordan

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Book Review: Give Me Five by Meg Cabot

Give Me Five (The Princess Diaries, #5)Goodreads Synopsis

Princess Mia is dreaming about the prom – and contending with a hotel workers’ strike – in the fifth, supremely hilarious episode of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. This time, Mia’s in the pink about the upcoming Albert Einstein H.S. prom, and she’s crossing her fingers that Michael will ask her to go. (They’re in love, so why wouldn’t he ask her, right?) But during Seven Minutes in Heaven at her b-day party, Mia learns that Michael is not the prom-going type. Good grief, what’s a princess to do? 

To make matters worse, Grandmere has gotten a busboy fired due to a mishap with her pooch, Rommel, at a swanky restaurant, so when all of the city’s busboys go on strike, it causes a chain of events that result in Grandmere crashing at Mia’s mom’s place, her pal Lilly Moscovitz picking up a picket sign, and the prom being brought to a screeching halt. 

Thankfully, staunch yet boy-wise Grandmere has a plan to change Michael’s mind and put everything back on track, making Mia the happiest “prom princess” on this side of the Atlantic – and readers more starry-eyed than Molly Ringwald in her prettiest pink frock. 


It’s been ages since I’ve read the fourth book and I was so excited to continue this series. From the beginning already I was enjoying this book. There were times when the book lagged but then it picked up and I don’t know where the time went.

Once again it seems that Mia is overthinking a situation that could be easily sorted out if she ignored everyone (except Lily’s) advice. Really, hasn’t she heard that being direct is the best route to take?

It took me six days to finish this book and that was a bit of a disappointment since I usually speed through these. I really enjoyed this book and while we can’t say much about character development, this was quite funny. It felt like more of a humorous filler novel which was a bit of a difference from Mia’s constant fretting about the most mundane thing. She still fretted but only every two pages or so.

I am a lot more eager to read Sixsational now though. I’ll try not to take nearly a year long break again.

The Writing as always was amazing and I’m seriously thinking of looking into other works by Meg Cabot.

As I said, no character development took place but that’s asking for a lot since this book took place over a two-week period. One thing is for certain, there’s never a dull moment with Mia Thermopolis.

Read: 28 January 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 2004 (First published 1 September 2003)
Publisher: Macmillan
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Meg Cabot

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Comic Book Review: The Punisher: Born by Garth Ennis

The Punisher MAX: BornGoodreads Synopsis

The year is 1971. With mounting casualties and a rising anti-war sentiment, America’s time in Vietnam is coming to a close. Yet in the isolated Valley Forge Firebase on the Cambodian border, Captain Frank Castle is one of the few soldiers still committed to the fight against the enemy. With dwindling reserves, Castle must stand against an impending Viet Cong attack that threatens to wipe out the entire American platoon. To survive the battle, what grim decision must he make that will forever alter the course of his life? In this acclaimed tale, superstar Garth Ennis reveals the never-before-told story of the horrors Castle was forced to face to come home from Vietnam alive, ending in a shocking twist that will forever change how readers see Marvel Comics’ most famous urban vigilante. Collecting BORN #1-4.


I have never gone so far back into The Punisher’s origin story and I guess I got a bit curious. This was before everything. Before Frank Castle lost his family, before he started doling out punishments to the undesirables, This was when The Punisher was nothing more than a voice in a man’s head…offering him a way out.

The story is told from another officer’s point of view. We are thrown right into the thick of it near the Cambodian border and these soldiers have to face the harsh truth…nobody out there gives a d*mn about them, yet they keep on fighting.

This soldier tells us Frank’s story so we’re looking at the man we know as The Punisher from a different angle. What I got from it all is that he’s a cruel and cold bastard and he’ll bring justice to the innocent even if it means that those who are innocent have to die as well.

I did like this comic quite a bit and I loved that a huge portion of it was told from someone else’s POV. The art I thought, gave the story as a whole a bit of a dated feel and that further added to the story because it foes take place in the early 70s.

I am a lot more interest in The Punisher these days especially since he’s been featured in the Daredevil TV series and of course has his own series now, though I’m no stranger to the 2004 movie starring Thomas Jane.

I look forward to my journey on Frank Castle/The Punisher’s path I already know that it’ll be a bloody and action-packed one.

 

Read: 2 October 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 21 February 2007
Publisher: MAX (Marvel Comics)
Writer: Garth Ennis
Illustrator: Darick Robertson

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