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Amanda (AmandaBullock) - - Reviews

1 to 11 of 11
Afraid (Afraid, Bk 1)
Afraid (Afraid, Bk 1)
Author: Jack Kilborn
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 116
Review Date: 11/14/2016


(Possible spoilers. Not really. But maybe. You've been warned. You want to go into this book with as little information as possible.)

First off, I have no idea how this book ended up on my bookshelf. I can tell you the story of every single book I own how I got it, where I got it, why I got it, etc. I could bore you to death with uneventful tales of superbly miraculous finds at goodwill, or the frightening amount of money I dug out of the bottom of my bag to purchase a brand-new bestseller. But, I can't tell you how Afraid by Jack Kilborn made it's way onto my shelves. Did we just witness my inevitable lapse in memory, or was it planted? Strategically placed by a looming mass-murderer hired by the US Government to track my brain functions and whereabouts? For the sake of my sanity, I'd go with the former. In lieu of the frightening events of this novel, I'd go with the latter.

I'd like to say I'm not the biggest fan of horror, or even thrillers. I've never been able to get through more than 5 pages of a King novel. I find the genre generally hard to relate to, and most of the time the characters are unrealistic. However, Kilborn (Konrath) blew me away with this one. The book had its faults, as every book does, but I decided to leave my scrutinizing for the college books, and just let this be a fun read. That's what it's meant to be, and boy does it deliver. One of the first descriptions of the horrors that will fill the next few hours of your life:

"...Popcorn. He was throwing popcorn at her. Maggie's voice came out in a whisper. "What... What are you going to do?" The springs creaked as he sat on the edge of the bed. "Everything.""


So short. So sweet. So terrifying.

This is a fast-paced read filled with blood and guts and gore and perhaps some characters you can't seem to find a way to like.

But don't worry. No one's safe. Not even you.


Alive (Generations, Bk 1)
Alive (Generations, Bk 1)
Author: Scott Sigler
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 2/5/2016
Helpful Score: 2


I want to start off by saying this: if you haven't yet read this book -- do NOT read any reviews. None. Notta. Zero.
You want - no, NEED - to dive into this story with as little information as humanly possible. Do not read what anyone else writes, do not read what I write, and absolutely do not take into account any opinions.
Just pick the book up, and get lost in the epic journey that awaits you.


I'm a rapidly growing Sigler fan; Alive marks the third book of his that I've read, and it certainly won't be my last. Sigler asks very specifically that no spoilers whatsoever be put any place where eyes may read them, and as I wholeheartedly agree with this request, I shall abide with my utmost ability. I truly wish I hadn't read others' reviews before beginning this book, as even the simplest of opinions can ruin it. Just trust me, here. You want to go into this one as innocently and purely as possible. Embark on this journey with the characters, learn with them, grow with them. One of the main things I'd like to commend Sigler on is his wonderful use of playing with the human psyche, pressing directly on all of those irrational and instinctual human fears...
You're scared of the dark?
This book takes you darker.
Afraid of small spaces?
The walls are closing in on you.
Alive has a life of its own.

(I cannot wait for the next two installments; I devoured this one in less than 24 hours and I'm craving so, so much more.)


Haunted
Haunted
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 259
Review Date: 3/8/2013


I couldn't get into this, no matter how hard I tried. This book is ALL over the place, I never really knew what was even going on...
*Although, "Guts" did make me want to spew mine.


Mockingjay (Hunger Games, Bk 3)
Mockingjay (Hunger Games, Bk 3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 1475
Review Date: 2/26/2013


I have slightly mixed feelings on this book. I enjoyed the first two in the trilogy so much that I couldn't put them down until finishing. With Mockingjay, I found myself falling into "lulls" where I would stop reading the book and completely forget about it because I was that unabsorbed at the time of stopping. That being said, though, there were parts in the book where I enjoyed every word and every action. The ending is absolutely fantastic -- it is full of action, there are twists I never saw coming, things I've been waiting the entire series to see come to be, and all-in-all I am left satisfied and fulfilled. It's nice knowing the true final outcome of characters whose lives you've invested so much time into. Thank you, Ms. Collins.


Of Mice and Men
Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 1278
Review Date: 11/10/2011


Just finished reading and decoding every small aspect of this book for a literature class and I'm currently torn between adoring it, and being ready to throw it across the room.
Three things are for certain: it's a novella you won't want to put down until it's over, the ending will get you every time, and you will fall absolutely in love with the characters.
Steinbeck was a genius.


The Road
The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 2026
Review Date: 5/18/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Wonderful book! No doubt the best book I've read to date. McCarthy is a unique, but amazing writer, so good you almost feel as if you're standing there with the man and the boy the entire book.

I'm now off to order a couple more of McCarthy's books, and I hope they'll live up to this one!


Amanda


Shatter Me (Shatter Me, Bk 1)
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, Bk 1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 2/8/2016
Helpful Score: 1


I can't currently think of a way to word this without sounding too harsh, but with every page this book just gets worse. The concept is pretty good, and the reason I picked up the book in the first place, but the execution is rather sub-par. It's getting increasingly harder and harder to pick it back up. The beginning was intriguing, you learn about the "heroine" Juliette and you learn of her "scary" situation, which forces you to keep reading to find out what happens. However, a boy comes into the picture and now I feel like I'm ready a 12 year-old's diary. The past few chapters have been nothing but her weird borderline-stalker infatuation with this guy she's known for a week. It's not good romance, it's not even good YA romance, it's diary crush-y gaga romance. They have pinned each other against the wall and have just breathed in each other's ear about 15 times in the past 20 pages. They have not had a conversation without having each other pinned to the wall.
In the beginning, Juliette showed him who was boss, she led him around, started to take control; once he [betrayed] her she fell hopelessly madly in love with him and now the entire book is about him. I could definitely do with quite a bit less of such cheesy romance. I want to know more about what's happening in the world, with the protagonist and her powers, the antagonist and his powers, etc. I need a strong plot and some decent character development going on, but to be honest I'm not sure what I'm reading anymore.
"He leans in until his forehead rests against mine and our lips still aren't close enough. He whispers, "How are you?""
....I'm pretty sure no one asks "how are you?" like that. It would creep me out even if my actual boyfriend did it. So, no.

Another issue I can't get past is the fact that you can't connect to the characters. You WANT to LlKE the main character of a novel, but Juliette had nothing to connect with. She has no depth, no strengths, nothing that makes you want to root for her. If I had to guess her age by her actions, I'd say she's maybe 8. A hard market, YA sci-fi/dystopian is. In order to have one worth reading, you must make readers fall in love with the characters. Hunger games, for example: every teenage girl loves Katniss. You've never lived in a dirty district and had to hunt for your family or be thrown into an arena to kill people, but you still connect and root for her to come out on top. Juliette has nothing that makes you like her, or want to like her. And because of that, it's hard to connect with the book at all. You want to kill Juliette for being a lousy hero, and you want to kill Adam for being a lousy soldier/informant/whatever the heck he is, and you want to kill Warner for being such a lousy villain.

It's also really really really really hard to get over how so so so repetitive Mafi's writing is. It's repetitive. It's hard to get over it.
(See what I did there? That's basically how the whole book reads.)
"Adam doesn't answer doesn't answer doesn't answer doesn't answer. "Yes, sir," he says."
Well, does he answer or doesn't he? One "doesn't answer" would be more than enough.
"I'm calm I'm calm I'm calm I'm petrified"
Okay, are you calm or petrified? Hard to be both, sorry. Would be more beneficial to be more precise in internal conflict presentation.
"I dodge/hop/narrowly avoid them..."
This is something we're taught not to do (in writing) in about 5th-6th grade. No need to be redundant, it reads much better if you just say 'I jumped, narrowly avoiding them...'
These three awful quotes just came from the last three pages I read. There's at least one on every page.
Here's another for your pleasure:
"You killed him... You just killed him... Why did you kill him why would kill him how could you do something like that..." (Really a run-on like that)
Seriously, something like ""You killed him," I stammered. "How could you do something like that?"" is MUCH more powerful.

Oh... Any metaphors, you ask? THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. They make no sense! I feel like I'm in kindergarten trying to learn how to read, but really it all just makes no sense in the first place.
"There are 400 cotton balls caught in my windpipe"
400? Cotton balls? Windpipe? What? See a medic?
"I blush through my bones"
Are you human? Not possible. Doesn't even sound pleasant. Or poetic. Don't know what the author was going for here.
"The world is bleeding"
This is so out of place and makes no sense at all.
"The sky is weeping for us"
It's raining. That's all. You have done nothing to deserve such dramaticism.
"I stare hard into his crystal-cold eyes."
Did you mean "crystal-clear"? Or "crystal, cold"? I have many crystals and they are all room temperature. I can't imagine or picture the eyes in question, and that is a big mistake for an author to make. Perhaps it should read like "I stare deeply into his ice-cold eyes." It portrays that even though the coldness is acting as a barrier, there is still depth to be seen.
All these metaphors sound like they were written by middle schoolers. Y'know, that 6th grade assignment where you have to write 10 metaphors and turn it in for a participation grade, so you really don't even try? Yeah.

I feel bad for Juliette, I really do. The fact that Mafi had to turn her into such an unpleasant character is unfortunate. She had so much potential. Instead, she's a weird mix of x-men and twilight. Books always seem to go downhill when characters find people who can't be phased by their powers. It sparks an obsession.
I would've liked to see this book go a completely different route. I want to see Juliette go through her inner and outer struggles with strength and dignity. I want to see her intellect, her cunning. I want her to get close to the bad guys and then hurt them. I want to see SOMETHING that isn't her cowering on the floor, crying, or gushing over Adam (who's awkward himself, by the way. His sentences usually go something like "Uh.... Well.... Okay..... Yeah.... Juliette...." *That is not a real quote*)
"No, God, Juliette... I'm not..."
That is a real quote.

All in all, I just don't think I can finish this. I've only abandoned 3 books in my lifetime, so that shows this one is truly bad. If you like books with poor plots, poor characters, and poor writing, then read this. Otherwise, save your money.


Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Bk 1)
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Bk 1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 148
Review Date: 3/8/2013
Helpful Score: 5


This book has been quite a disappointment to me. I cannot find a reason for the hype it has caused, and I had an extremely difficult time keeping through with it 'til the end -- it was a page-turner, but only in the sense of wanting to hurry up and get to the end, not to the next page.
For one, the plot was awfully sub-par; it was like an offshoot of Twilight (that being said, I'd recommend this to any of those Twilight 'junkies'). The female, Grace, was very strange and one-dimensional, crying at everything, and fostering an intense love for an animal she didn't even know was a man. A pathetic make-up of a man, at that. You think a werewolf would be masculine, hard and tough, but this guy is extremely feminine and seemingly has no common sense whatsoever - I do not understand his point for being there, nor why he depends on Grace so much (they've known each other for, what, two days?), nor why he repeats himself so often and tends to act like a frilly, emotional wreck of a 12-year-old.
And for two, the writing style is very childish and youthful (as was the almost nausea-inducing "romance", if you can even call it that). It did not capture me in any way, and in some parts I just wanted to throw the book down and give up. The authour takes way to long to get into things, and when she gets into them they aren't even worth all the pages it took to get to them.
I suppose this story could've been decent if executed better, but it still feels way too Twilight-y to me (and not in a good way).
Yet... there was something in it that made me keep reading. Even though there were countless times I just had to shake my head and set the book down, I always picked it back up again. My guess is that I looked through the cheesy written romance and the hopeless romantic deep inside of me connected with the "love conquers all things" theme.
*Also, the blue type is killer on the eyes; hope the next book's not in green...


Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 695
Review Date: 5/29/2009


Absolutely outstanding book! Finished in one sitting - only took me a couple of hours. That's how good it was; So good I didn't even want to put it down! Patterson is an extraordinary writer.


Velocity
Velocity
Author: Dean Koontz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 499
Review Date: 3/4/2013
Helpful Score: 3


This was my first book by Koontz, and I must say I have placed orders for three more of his books. I didn't think I'd enjoy this at first, as my genre taste usually differs very greatly from the thriller/crime/horror type. Even though I had the whole thing figured out in the beginning (thanks to years of criminal investigation shows...), I enjoyed every chapter and even stayed up well into the night reading it (absolutely a page-turner). I feel Koontz has a very decent style of writing, with just the perfect amount of "shockers" and cliff-hangers. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes Koontz, is looking for a good thriller, or likes this genre (even those who don't!).


Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 4769
Review Date: 4/25/2009
Helpful Score: 4


I actually didn't enjoy this book....And am probably one of few. I just don't see the hype in this book. There was nothing that made me want to keep reading it. It was a struggle for me to get through.
I do believe my favorite part was the end.
That stated, I wouldn't reccomend this to anyone.


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