Book Review: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

13624688Goodreads Synopsis

In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time.

The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world – now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began – and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.


Trigger Warnings: Underage drinking, suicide attempt.

I’d never read a book about Father Time before this so I was really looking forward to seeing how Mitch Albom executed the tale of the personification of time itself.

‘”There is a reason God limits our days.”
“Why?”
“To make each one precious.”‘

When I started the book, I thought that it’d be an easy one. I’d finish it quickly and then write out a review and all would be said and done. While the book wasn’t a difficult read or heavy on the heart, I had no idea how I was going to review it. The only thing I was absolutely certain of was that I was loving it.

Father Time, Dor as he was known before he became the inventor of the thing that weighs a lot of us down, is described to be an old man with a beard that’s so long it reaches his knees. I laughed at this description and thought that we’d found a man whose beard was longer than Dumbledore’s. Because Dor can’t resist counting; the moments, the cycles of the moon, breaths…he is ‘punished’ to live in a cave and listen to the consequences of wanting this power caused. How long? Till when Heaven meets Earth.

“Sitting high above the city, Father Time realized that knowing something and understanding it were not the same thing.”

In our current time we meet Sarah Lemon, a seventeen year old girl who doesn’t want more time, she just wants it to stop. And Victor Delemonte, an eighty-six year old man who wants nothing but time. He wants all the time he could possibly get. When Dor’s ‘sentence’ ends, he’s tasked with the job to find these two people and bring them together. He doesn’t know for what yet, but as the book goes on, the plan unfolds and it’s all pieced together.

I can’t really say what emotions I felt while reading this book. Opinions were formed sure, but those didn’t directly relate to what I was feeling at the moment. I had a lot of questions and a lot of them was me wanting to know why? One man wanted to live forever and one girl thought that one guy was the be all and end all of her entire existence.

“Ends are for yesterdays, not tomorrow.”

I really liked this book and thought it was really great. I don’t typically read books that talk about life, the universe, and everything but something about the synopsis drew me in and it was a spur of the moment buy for me. I’ve owned The First Phone Call From Heaven for a while now, but after reading this, I want to read that as soon as possible.

What I liked especially about this book was that to explain the situation, Father Time put things in perspective for Sarah and Victor and he didn’t make the choice for them. He showed them how they got here and what happened after they were gone. The rest was up to them.

I think that Mitch Albom wrote a very beautiful piece. This was inspiring, amazing, and everything in between.

‘”Time is not something you give back. The very next moment may be an answer to your prayer. To deny that is to deny the most important part of the future.”
“What’s that?”
“Hope.”‘

**Not apologising for all the quotes used. They were just too good to pass up.

Read: 22 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 1 May 2013
Publisher: Sphere
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Mitch Albom

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Book Review: Sex Criminals Vol.2: Two Worlds, One Cop by Matt Fraction

Sex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One CopGoodreads Synopsis

The second storyline from the Eisner Award winning Sex Criminals finds the honeymoon to be over for Jon and Suzie. Once the thrill of new lust fades, where do you go? Come along and laff and love with Matt and Chip as they brimp back ceaselessly against the past.

Collecting: Sex Criminals 6-10


Recap: Back in Volume 1, Suzie discovered that time stops whenever she orgasms. She thought she was alone until she met Jon. Turns out she wasn’t so alone after all. Because Suzie wanted to save the library, she and Jon concocted this scheme that wasn’t exactly legal- not legal at all actually- and that’s how they became literal sex criminals. See my review for Sex Criminals Vol. 1 here.

All caught up? Good. In Volume 2, Suzie and Jon have given up their illegal activities and work on finding ways to save the library without risking too much. Of course Kegelface won’t let them live their lives.

What’s different about this volume is that we look more into Jon’s life and see things from his perspective. He’s talked about his life a little in the first volume but seeing it from his POV…dude’s got a lot going on. We touch upon his mental illnesses and see how troubled he actually is. It’s actually kind of sad, all the things he has to go through and still seem like the one who brings the humour to the comic. It just goes to show how we don’t know what goes on in other people’s heads. We see what we choose to see.

The honeymoon phase is over and it’s time for Jon and Suzie to pull up their socks and face reality. With the Sex Police alway at the back of their minds, it seems that they can’t get a moment’s peace. Drastic measures have to be taken so that they don’t end up drawing the short straw.

As the story winds on, the POVs in the issues mold together and become one. Although I did like Jon’s POV more than I did Suzie’s. I liked this volume a lot more than the first one and I have no doubt in Matt Fraction’s writing so I definitely enjoyed the story as a whole.

Series were revealed and a new can of worms has been opened. We were left on a major cliffhanger at the end of this book and I need to know what happens next. Too much happened in this volume and I was at the edge of my seat the entire time. I’m itching to start Volume 3 as soon as possible.

Read: 27 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 25 February 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Matt Fraction
Illustrator: Chip Zdarsky

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eARC Book Review: Extracted by R.R. Haywood

30837317Goodreads Synopsis

In 2061, a young scientist invents a time machine to fix a tragedy in his past. But his good intentions turn catastrophic when an early test reveals something unexpected: the end of the world.

A desperate plan is formed. Recruit three heroes, ordinary humans capable of extraordinary things, and change the future.

Safa Patel is an elite police officer, on duty when Downing Street comes under terrorist attack. As armed men storm through the breach, she dispatches them all.

‘Mad’ Harry Madden is a legend of the Second World War. Not only did he complete an impossible mission—to plant charges on a heavily defended submarine base—but he also escaped with his life.

Ben Ryder is just an insurance investigator. But as a young man he witnessed a gang assaulting a woman and her child. He went to their rescue, and killed all five.

Can these three heroes, extracted from their timelines at the point of death, save the world?


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Extracted tells the story of three people who were taken from their respective timelines at the point of their deaths-extracted- and are now looked to be the last hope at the world being saved. Very ‘Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope’-esque.

The synopsis for this book alone was well thought out. It doesn’t say much, but it gets you interested, which is precisely the point. As this is the first book in the trilogy, we don’t see how the mission turns out as a lot of world and character building takes place.

We don’t really get too deep into the time traveling because even though this is a time travel novel, it’s really not. The fact that people could travel through time was not what the main point of this story was. Sure, it was because of the invention of a time machine that started the unfortunate end of the world, but it was the saving of the world and how that’s going to be done that was more important in this book. I’m actually hoping that in books two and three we’ll get to travel a bit more…you know, when we’re sort of out of the immediate sight of danger.

When I first started this book I was so confused. I understood that each of the characters, Ben, Harry and Safa’s- extractions were being described in detail so that we as the readers could get a better understanding of how exactly that worked and I liked that part…it was the after that bothered me. Instead of the POV’s being separated by chapters, they were separated by paragraphs, it was more lines actually, and with no warning that the POV was changing. It was my only peeve about the book really. It would’ve probably have been more annoying though if we had to go through the same scenario three times with each character since all three of them were the main character.

Ben was a bit slow on the uptake and the one who I think got the worst end of the bargain. He was plucked out of his life and thrown into this new world where all of a sudden all these impossible things were now possible. He had no training for this and obviously didn’t know how to cope with all this unfamiliarity.

Harry was a hoot. This guy, the one who goes back the furthest seemed to almost blend in seemingly. Sure, he had his set way of doing things but he was a soldier. He was taught to obey. There’s no room for ‘no’.

I did not like Safa. I felt like even though it wasn’t intentional on her part, she was very…bossy. I don’t know how else to explain it. To me it was like that because she was the only female of this group she had to overcompensate and prove that she had the guts to do what they could, that she could be strong too. I’m glad that she was a powerful character in that sense but it got to the point where whatever she said went. By the time the words ‘Let him be a man. Give him his dignity.’ rolled around I was like thank the Heavens! Someone finally said it.

Overall, I thought this book was amazing! The writing was perfect and I didn’t want to stop reading. This story is still working it’s way through all the sections of my mind. I’m really interested in getting my hands on Executed-the second book- because I need to know what happens next we were kind of left with a cliffhanger. I’m glad I decided to request this book. No regrets at all.

Read: 7 February 2017
Rating:★★★★

Publication Date: 1 March 2017
Publisher: 47North
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: R.R. Haywood

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Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of what is known as Peculiars. They’re people who have special gifts- Fire, Invisibility, Prophetic Dreams etc. They’re viewed as strange and alienated because they’re different but everywhere there are places where they can be safe, like havens where they can be who and what they really are with no prejudice.

I was a bit afraid to read this book mainly because of the pictures. They’re of the eerily creepy kind that makes you want to look away but at the same time you can’t. The idea for this book was a great one and I love the way Ransom Riggs executed it. I couldn’t read it at night but I did manage to finish this book in a day.

The character of Jacob was a slightly strange one in that it was obvious that he was somehow different. You can’t put your finger on it but he was a bit of a loner and didn’t seem to be the kind of person you’d want to go up to and instantly become friends. I loved how curious he was and that he didn’t back down even though he was slightly terrified of what was going on. He wanted answers and he was willing to go to the ends of the world to get them. He’d been hearing stories from his grandfather since he was a young boy and his father keeps telling him they’re not true, and that the grandfather has an overactive imagine. Things start changing when those seemingly scary ‘fairy tales’ turn out to be true.

Along the way Jacob meets these children who he later finds out are peculiars with Miss Peregrine guarding and guiding them. She seemed to have sinister feel to her but I think that was just a defence mechanism for outsiders. She soon becomes more welcoming when she finds out who Jacob is and tries to help him as best she can.

I loved the concept of the changeover- of how everything is reset when the day is over. It probably does get boring living the same day over and over again but seeing Miss Peregrine reset the clock was a magical experience for me. I also liked that they spoke of other places like Miss Peregrine’s, of how these children weren’t the only ones around and there were many more.

What made me read the book was the trailer for the movie. I have yet to watch it and I know there are some changes but it looked really good so I wanted to see what the book was like since I’d heard so many good things about it. Even though this book is categorised as a middle grade, it reads a bit like a YA novel. Although there are moments when it’s obvious that this was a book meant for younger readers. I’m very excited and can’t wait to read Hollow City.

Read: 10 July 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 7 June 2011
Publisher: Quirk
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Ransom Riggs

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Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre

Goodreads Synopsis

Alternate cover editions of this ISBN can be found here & here.

Jane Eyre is a wildly emotional romance with a lonely heroine and a tormented Byronic hero, pathetic orphans, dark secrets, and a madwoman in the attic. When it was
published in 1847, it was a great popular success. The power of the writing, the masterly
handling of the narrative, and the boldly realistic style were much admired. But many found it difficult to believe that Currer Bell, the pseudonymous author, was Charlotte Brontë , a young woman from a bleak Yorkshire parsonage.


This novel tells the tale of Jane Eyre, sent to live with her Aunt Reed when she was orphaned. Her life wasn’t a good one as she was constantly treated as if she were the scum of the earth. From her Aunt’s household, to the Lowood School, misfortune greeted her on every turn.

This was one of the books that I saw as a challenge since I didn’t know whether I was going to like it or not. I had first started listening to the audiobook but that was taking too long so I moved over to the physical copy.

The way this story unfolds is slightly strange as in I was confused a bit at the time jumps but after I caught my bearings, I was back with the program. We start out with Aunt Reed who I thought could dial it down a bit. She was a horrible woman who refused to accept anyone that she didn’t think was up to her standards. Right up to the end she was the same; there was absolutely no remorse on her part for how she treated Jane. I was glad when she sent Jane away even though she was technically kicking her out.

The people Jane met after leaving the Lowood School was a bit of a mix of everything. I like to think that her simple-ness is what drew people towards her. Sure she was plain and simple but that made her an anomaly to people, especially those who thrived on being noticed. Mrs. Fairfax for example was a lovely woman. The housekeeper at Thornfield Manor, she was inclined to know all the going ons at the house and not once did she treat Jane in an undignified manner. I felt that she was a nice change to see especially wtih the bad luck that seemed to befall Jane in her younger years.

I found Mr. Rochester to be a every strange man. He seemed very presumptuous over how he thought Jane should speak and act but I had to laugh when she set him straight. I think that was one of the things that made him love her. She was different yes, she had fire and wasn’t afraid to speak out when she thought something wasn’t right. Another thing that made her un-liked amongst others. ‘Woman (and children) should be seen and not heard.’

“He made me love him without looking at me.”

The romance aspect of this book was a lovely thing to see and I honestly appreciated it even as I’m not a big fan of romance novels. The only reason I picked up this book while knowing about the romance was for the deeper meaning behind it all. I got to see Jane grow up from being a seemingly rebellious adolescent to a strong and courageous woman with will power and a sharp mind. A woman with the determination to lead her own life and who wouldn’t be talked into anything when she’d already made up her mind that something wasn’t for her.

My only regret about this book is that I took so long to finish it because this is now my favourite book. I could read this book over and over again and would probably still be amazed. It’s been a while since I felt such joy and elation because of a book and I would gladly want to relive the experience.

Read: 29 November 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 5 May 1999 (first published 16 October 1847)
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Charlotte Brontë

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eARC Book Review: The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt

25363432Goodreads Synopsis

Jonathan York has led a boring life – a pointless degree from the community college, a lackluster job at the General Store, and never any desire for something more exciting. But when fate leaves him stranded in a sinister land,
he finds himself seeking an adventure of his own. Along the way he encounters ghoulish thieves, ravenous swamp monsters, a dastardly ice cream conspiracy, and a necromancer bent on human sacrifice.

In this beautifully illustrated, four-color novel, Jonathan York’s life takes a decidedly spooky turn!


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This graphic novel is about a man named Jonathan York (I thought he was a bit of a wuss-is that a bad word?- but I saw that this is kind of weaned out throughout the book) who finds himself lost in a swamp in the middle of the night. He goes in search of shelter and ends up meeting 3 strange people instead. They end up at the Cankerbury Inn with the owner demanding a story be told before he allows them to spend the night. Mr. York leaves as he has no story to tell and so start the real adventures of the night.

I started this the night before but quickly finished it the next morning. I loved so many things about this book. It’s categorised as a Horror but I didn’t get any chills. I was more amazed by the artwork though. It was fantastic. I showed my sister one of the more gruesome characters and she said ‘Oh, that’s gorgeous’. The detail put in was extraordinary .

This book teaches you many things. Don’t walk into a swamp when nightfall is near, taking risks is not so bad but don’t over do it and I’m forgetting something, oh yes…DON’T SELL YOURSELF TO A NECROMANCER!

A quote if I may:

“Time will take many things from you. It may take your health, your loved ones, your worldly possessions…but no matter what happens, you’ll always have your story, and as long as you tell it, it will live on and on.”

Read: 1 March 2016
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 6 October 2015
Publisher:
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kory Merritt

 

 

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

18460392Goodreads Synopsis

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
 
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.


This was a spur of the moment read for me. I randomly joined a buddy read for this even though this book wasn’t on my immediate TBR. It’s books like this, the ones that I never planned to read that takes me by surprise.

All the Bright Places is Jennifer Niven’s first novel in the YA genre and I’ll say that she took it by the horns and showed it what she’s made of. I loved, loved, LOVED this book. Violet Markey blames herself for her sister’s death because she told her to take the bridge instead of going the other way. It’s been months but she still can’t shake the feelings of guilt. Theodore Finch is in my opinion an anomaly. The second I thought I understood him, he changed. He had these different personas and would really get into it. Many thought it was an act, but it became clearer as I read on that he seemed to be bipolar.

Reading this book really made me want to reflect on life and everything. In here it’s shown over and over again how we have a choice. A choice to go on living or give up the fight. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is not an easy topic to talk about but we need to.

A quote from the Author’s Note:

“You are not alone.
It is not your fault.
Help is out there.”

This is true and people need to hear it more often. I myself was surprised when the question “What goes through your mind when you feel that way?” was asked. Sometimes we don’t realise it until it’s too late. Not everyone wants help and not everyone gets it when they do go searching. This book really went through me and hit me way deep down.

This book gave me goosebumps because it’s real. This is happening all over and I think that’s what makes the gripping more effective. I’m glad I decided to pick this up after all.

“I am forever changed.”

Trigger Warnings: Mentions of Suicide, Suicide Attempts, Mental Disorders, Physical Abuse

Read: 17 February 2016
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Publication Date: 6 January 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Jennifer Niven