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VadaReads

One Eyed Reader

My name is Vada. I've enjoyed reading pretty much my entire life, so I made this blog to post my opinion on the things I read.

Currently reading

A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
Tommyknockers 12
Stephen King
Delirium
Lauren Oliver

Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open - Ted Dekker I read the first two serial installments of this book/series in early 2012, and I remember enjoying them quite a bit. I picked up the bind up of all of the serial novels sometime last year, I believe, and I finally got around to reading them all.
The first 2/3 or so of the book I really enjoyed, but after that, just before the introduction of Outlaw, it kind o lost its appeal for me. I can't pinpoint exactly why, I guess the overall theme that comes into play around that time just isn't my style.

Mockingjay

Mockingjay - Collins Suzanne I'm glad to say that I finally finished this series, but unfortunately, I think that it is extremely over hyped.
I wasn't too fond of the sudden turn to an overall militaristic theme. It reminded me of the book series I read when I was younger, Maximum Ride. How after the story is obviously exhausted, the books continue coming out, turning to the characters doing random and irrelevant things, such as helping penguins in Antarctica (seriously)
I didn't like the ending either, as the main character does a complete 180 and ends up doing all the things she said she would never do, that she constantly preached against throughout the other two books.
I'll probably never reread this series, but I'm glad I at least found out what everybody else is so crazy over.

Catching Fire

Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins This is immensely better than the first book, in my opinion, and definitely my favorite book in the series. In fact, it's the only one that I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading.
However, there are still many parts, mainly regarding the writing style, that bug me. The comprehension of this entire series could be vastly improved with more breaks within the chapters. There are too many instances where things just jump from one day to the next out of nowhere, and it's a bit tedious and confusing to keep up with. The writing in this one isn't quite as bad as the first, though.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins I first read The Hunger Games about two years ago, if I remember correctly, but didn't own the other two books in the trilogy, so I kind of forgot about it for a while. I enjoyed the plot, thought it was pretty good, and that's all I can remember well enough about the first time around to say.
A couple months back, I read Battle Royale, and I noticed that a lot of the reviews mentioned The Hunger Games having ripped off of it, so I decided that as soon as I acquired the last 2 books I'd give this series a reread, and, well, the time has come.
The similarities are undeniable. I won't go pointing every single one out, but I definitely recommend reading [b:Battle Royale|57891|Battle Royale|Koushun Takami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331235272s/57891.jpg|2786327] if you're curious. The vast similarities are one thing that kind of lowered my opinion of this book.
I also realized that my taste in writing style has definitely changed. For the first half of this book, I just could not get over how... adolescent the writings seemed. Even for young adult books. I think it was writing like this that drove me away from the YA genre in the first place. I'm not saying that ALL YA is inherently bad, but a lot that I've read feels more like a draft than an actual finished, published book.
It gets a bit better in the latter parts, or maybe I just got used to it. There were a lot of choppy and/or run on sentences that the editing missed, though, and those got really distracting around half-way through the book.
Then there's the love triangle, which is confusing, and not in a good way. It's hard to tell which direction the author is going for, as they seem to flip from one way to another. I'm seriously hoping this settles down later in the series.
I guess my interests have just changed a lot; I've read tons of other books since I last read this, and it just pales in comparison. I still enjoy the plot, minus the love triangle, enough to read the rest of the series. If the writing had been better edited and certain parts a bit more thought out, I probably would have given this at least 3.5 stars. But, right now, this one just didn't work for me, and I mean no disrespect to anybody; this review is just based on my own personal tastes that I've acquired over the 10+ years that I've been an avid reader. I apologize if there are any portions of this review that seem rude or whatnot, this is just a free flow of my honest thoughts, and I'm absolutely terrible when it comes to sugar coating things.

Revival: A Novel

Revival: A Novel - Stephen King I believe I've mentioned it before, but I haven't read a whole lot of King's newer work, even though that's how I was introduced to him in the first place. I had pretty mixed expectations about this book; almost all of the reviews that I read prior to reading it were raving about it, but at the same time, it didn't seem as though the plot was going to intrigue me, upon first glance.
I'm pretty happy to say that I enjoyed this one, though. Personally, it reminded me of some of Ted Dekker's work, namely Adam and The Priest's Graveyard, due to the incorporation of religion into an overall darker theme.
As far as this book goes, the overall style of it reminded me of some of the older King books that I've read, but written by a newer man. I feel like this would be a fairly good choice, out of the ones I've read so far, for those who want to read something by Stephen King but can't quite tolerate so much gore. There are only two or three scenes with it, and it's not as... indulgent as it is in a lot of his other books.
This book kept me interested the whole way through, and it's definitely kept me thinking.

Gerald's Game

Gerald's Game - Stephen King After reading some of the negative reviews on this book, I went into it with pretty low expectations. I expected it to drag along, kind of like Insomnia or Under the Dome did in certain parts. Nothing I've read by King thus far has exactly bored me, but those two I did have to sit down several times along the way and dig into something more fast pace.
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed this one, and I actually think it's now among my favorites. Although it nears 450 pages, it read like something that was closer to 300. I've been in a bit of a reading slump these past couple of weeks, but I still got through this in about 3 days.
I know a lot of endings in King's books end up being flops (Under the Dome and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon come to mind, for me) but this one, I feel like everything was wrapped up pretty nicely, although it was an oddly happy ending that I really wasn't expecting.
If you're sensitive to things such as rape or gore, this definitely isn't the book for you, though. A scene or two actually made me cringe, and I must say, that's quite the accomplishment.
Overall, I think this is probably my third or fourth favorite book by Stephen King so far, out of the dozen or so that I've read.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris I first tried reading this book back in 2013, when it was gifted to me, but I stopped about half way. To put it simply, I didn't understand it the first time around. I didn't realize that it was nonfiction, nor did I specifically realize that it was a collection of essays, as the edition that I own (from World Book Night 2013) doesn't have a synopsis, and I didn't use goodreads back then.
However, now that I'm a bit more educated on this author's works, I actually managed to get through this book. This is the second book by David Sedaris that I've read, and all in all, it was alright. Not bad, but not particularly memorable either. I enjoyed [b:When You Are Engulfed in Flames|1044355|When You Are Engulfed in Flames|David Sedaris|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1425201208s/1044355.jpg|3255908] much more.
If you're a fan of his work, you'll probably like this book. If not, you probably won't.

Cujo

Cujo - Stephen King I'm just now starting to get into some of King's older work. Aside from Misery (which I really enjoyed) everything of his that I've read has been in the past 20 years or so, I believe.
His older work is definitely much more crude than his newer stuff, which isn't necessarily a bad thing to me. I grew up reading horror and having an interest in all things morbid, so I'm very desensitized to it all, and I even got a laugh out of some of it. Still, I just thought I'd mention it for anyone who would be bothered by it.
The story starts off slow; it took me a few days to find the motivation to get through the rambling at the beginning of the book, which is the main reason I deducted a star from my rating. I enjoyed the plot overall, I just feel as though the telling could have been a bit more precise in some places.
If you're a fan of King's work, you might like this one, though I feel as though it's on a different level than the other things I've read from him thus far.
If you're sensitive to gore or morbid things in general, though, you might want to stay clear of this one.

The Last Olympian

The Last Olympian  - Rick Riordan Before I started reading this book, I couldn't remember if I'd made it to this one in my previous reread of this series. Turns out I had, but even knowing what happens, these books still manage to keep my interest. Everything still feels fresh because of the way it's presented, and I'm really glad that this is a series that I can probably reread again in the future, and still draw entertainment from.
I like how the action starts off immediately, and there's a whole lot less of the repetitive explanations as to what happened in the previous books. Sure, they're useful when you've actually had to wait for the next installment in the series, but when you binge read the entire thing in 9 days, it starts to get a bit tedious to read over and over, but I'm not drawing any marks from my rating due to that, because I know why it's all really there.
There were some editing errors throughout the books, I think it was most prominent in books 2 and 4. For example, one or two instances of switched around words, "was she" instead of "she was," for example, or missing commas. This didn't bother me too much, it's just something I noticed, and these errors may have been fixed in the more recent prints of this series.
All in all, I recommend this series to anybody who likes fantasy, especially things involving magic or Greek mythology (obviously)

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan I feel like this is the book in the series where the characters really start growing up and changing, becoming less static than they were in the first three.
There's also some darker humor involved, which I enjoyed.
Having completed my reread of the series, I think that this was my favorite book, though I don't have a whole lot else to say about it.

The Titan's Curse

The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan Back when I reread this series for the first time, I think I only got to the end of the second book, so I'm happy to say that this time around, I finished this one! I don't reread things very often, to be honest, because it takes me a while for me to forget enough of the plot so that the reread won't bore me. I guess that's similar to the reason why I hop from genre to genre so much lately: I just don't like things being repeated.
Yeah, some elements are repeated in these books quite a bit (x has y days to finish task z, for example) but the instances aren't too alike, so it doesn't bother me, really.
I'm really enjoying seeing the characters slowly mature and learn from their experiences.

The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters  - Rick Riordan This was about my third time reading this book. I first picked up this series sometime around 2008, and reread the first two books shortly after, but then I kind of dropped out of reading altogether for a while, and now here I am again.
I started rereading this series because I needed something less... depressing, for the lack of a better word. I feel like nearly everyone who is a fan of the genres this series falls into has read these books, so I doubt I'll say anything about them that somebody hasn't said before, but oh well.
This one started off at a good pace, enough action to draw me in yet enough details were kept hidden to make me want to keep going, find out more. Even though I've read them before, it's been several years, so I had forgotten almost all of the smaller details of the plots.
One thing I enjoy about these books so far, though, is all of the foreshadowing, the little hints dropped along the way, that I don't recall picking up the first time around. Because of that, rereading these books is almost... endearing.
I'm also happy that, even though these are considered children's/middle grade books, they don't feel dumbed down in comparison even to a lot of young adult books I've picked up. Yeah, the writing style isn't very complex, but in this case, I think that makes the story even more enjoyable and easy to move along with.
I feel like people of any age could enjoy this series.

The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan I read these books for the first time a while back. I'm guessing around 2008. I enjoyed them back then.
Most of the time, when I try to visit the books that I enjoyed when I was younger, I find that they lack the "magic touch" that used to draw me in, and made me love them so much. I think that it's mainly because I no longer have the ability to emphasize or emotionally connect with characters - it's a skill that I've lost over the years.
However, that being said, I still really enjoyed this book. Sure, the writing style is simple, but I think that makes it all the better. I mainly picked this series up because I haven't been feeling too well lately, and needed something that wasn't too dark or depressing. Yeah, these books still have dark themes, but they have relatively happy endings, and aren't overwhelming to me.
I own this whole series, so I'll be reading the rest of it in the following weeks. I also own the first book to The Heroes of Olympus, and I'm looking forward to acquiring the rest of and reading that series as well.

Grave Secret

Grave Secret  - Charlaine Harris The blurbs all over this book make it sound like the series will be continued, but the book itself reads as though it is the conclusion to this quartet, and I believe I've heard that the author themselves mentioned that they had no plans to continue this series, so I'm going to safely assume that this is the last book.
It's a good ending, all the loose ends that I can think of are tied up neatly, and there were a few plot twists that I really wasn't expecting. Throughout the whole book, I thought I knew what was going to happen, but this author surprised me yet again.
Certain aspects of the last few pages seemed a bit rushed, as there were some short winded explanations of what happened after the climax, but I guess it doesn't matter too much; it gets the point across.
All in all I thought this series was pretty good, I probably would have enjoyed the first two books a lot more if I had read them closer together instead of about 14 months apart, but hey, what can you do?
If you're intrigued by the synopsis of these books, I recommend taking a look at them.

An Ice Cold Grave

An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris So, I think this book is where the series started really picking up for me. It was more graphic than the previous two, which is much more my style. The first two felt kind of.. soft, I guess, and frankly just weren't real winners to me. They weren't bad, they just really blended into the crowd.
I understand that the "romance" aspect of this series (which is mainly only presented in the last two novels) may put some people off of reading them due to its nature, but the weirdness of it wore off pretty quickly for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the book.

Grave Surprise

Grave Surprise  - Charlaine Harris Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this series yet, I'll withhold my final judgment until I finish the other 2 books.
I was gifted this series, along with a few other series by the same author, for Christmas, back in 2013. I read the first book right away, and I don't remember particularly liking or disliking it, it was just pretty "meh."
I'm always hesitant about reading books, particularly series, by extremely prolific authors, as a lot of times, I realize that they sacrifice quality for quantity. Plus, a lot of them drag series out far beyond the point where they should have ended, and being stuck in the same fictional world for too long just gets, well, boring.
One thing that makes me feel a bit conflicted are the semi-incesty vibes that this series has. I mean, sure, they're not blood related, but it's still a bit... odd. Not enough to make me put the series down, though. I'm way too desensitized for that.
In this book, the ending left me feeling like something was missing. Like all of the issues introduced were not fully resolved. However, this being a series, that's understandable.
In the end, I'm curious enough about where all of this is going to read the last 2 books. The first two haven't blown my mind, but I've certainly read worse.