Monday, 13 May 2013

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Book Spine Poetry

Bout of Books

Cait over at Escape Through the Pages is hosting Bout of Books 7.0's first challenge - book spine poetry!

remember me as
Study my
I'll go
This was a super fun challenge and I can't wait for the others! To check out the rules, prizes, and other information, head over to Cait's blog!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Goal List

I had a pretty hard time deciding on what books I should read during the Bout of Books read-a-thon. Should I tackle a large book that's been on my TBR shelf for ages, like War and Peace? Should I wing it the entire week and pick up whatever book I please, when I please? Should I read one of the series I need to catch up on?

In the end, I chose to read a pile of books that were sent to me for review within the past few months.

The books are:
1. Spring To Mind by Zoe Copley
2. Destined To Live, Despite Me by Yolanda Shanks
3. Counting From Zero by Alan B. Johnston
4. Other People's Money by Justin Cartwright
5. Pearl of China by Anchee Min

Ideally, not only will I finish all of these, but I will also write and post reviews! Let's see how this goes.

Bout of Books

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon!

Next week, I'll be participating in the Bout of Books Read-a-thon! Here are the details:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 
- From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books

Book Review | Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

I'm torn when it comes to Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. On one hand, I finished it in two sittings because I just had to know what would happen next. On the other, it wasn't particularly ground-breaking or memorable. Either way, it was an enjoyable read - one I imagine would be great for a long airplane ride.

The characters, however, were imperfect. Sara, the protagonist, has some communication issues,constantly has meltdowns (which is understandable given her circumstances, mind you), and is more fickle than a teenager. However, her imperfections made her a solid, realistic character - one that I wanted to slap every once in a while, but solid and realistic nonetheless. Ally, Sara's daughter, is another prominent character. She's only six but has a lot of personality. There were some very touching mother-daughter bits in this novel and Chevy Stevens did a great job of conveying Sara's sentiments towards her daughter without sounding too cheesy or forced. The other characters in the novel include Sara's adoptive parents and two sisters, her boyfriend, two cops assigned to the Campsite Killer's case, and the Campsite Killer himself. All of these characters were fleshed out and felt three-dimensional - by the end of the novel, they felt like real people to me. This is a bonus that can be hard to find in some crime-based thrillers, so I applaud Stevens for taking the time to make her readers care about her characters. In the end, that's what made Never Knowing stand apart from some other thrillers I've read: the character-building.

Unfortunately, all this character-building left something to be desired plot-wise. That's not to say that Never Knowing is boring: it isn't. It had some big twists, intense scenes, and was suspenseful. However, there were some slow parts, particularly ones involving Sara's indecisiveness. Also, this novel begins quickly and picks up its pace earlier than most - likewise, it ends with a bang and a plot twist that I feel was intended to be a complete and shocking surprise. Unfortunately, I found it easy to guess and I saw it coming a mile away - and I don't easily guess book endings.

In the end, what made Never Knowing stand apart from some other thrillers I've read are the characters and it's ability to keep me on the edge of my seat as I awaited the next bomb to be dropped. If you're looking for an action-packed thriller, this may not be the book for you based it's lack of constant intensity. If you want a quick and easy read with a few twists and turns, some tension, and a big finale, pick this up sometime.

I received this book as a part of the Goodreads First Reads program.