TBR Challenge 2019: Kicking it Old School Part 2

The Big FourThe Big Four by Agatha Christie

Rating: 3.5/5

Why? I’ve been reading a lot of Agatha Christie so it’s understandable that I pick it for Kicking it Old School. We all know its been published more than 10 years ago. Yes, this is my second review for the TBR Challenge for September because after I wrote and posted the review for Murder on the Orient Express, I realized that I read that last month. So I didn’t want to cheat and wrote another review for a book I actually read for September.

Review: If you’ve read my previous review on another Christie novel, you will see just how much I enjoy her books. The Big Four was actually release earlier than Murder on the Orient Express, but I read it after the latter. Unfortunately, after putting down such an amazing Christie novel, I was a bit disappointed with this one, only because there really wasn’t a crime that was committed by an actual villain, but rather Poirot is investigating crimes being committed by four powerful people, who has teamed up, to run the ‘underground’ crimes of London. To be honest, this book confused me a bit. I really didn’t understand why Christie wrote this book considering it’s very different from her other novels. I could only deduce that she was trying something different and for me it just didn’t hit the mark.

Although, this wasn’t one of my favorite Christie novels, I did enjoy the fact that Hastings is in it. This is one of Poirot’s companions that I enjoy seeing in Christie’s novels. I love how well the two compliment each other and how Hastings could be very naive at times. I guess considering that this book was published in the 20’s, Hasting’s views on things are a lot different from what we (in the future) are used to. What he finds very shocking, wouldn’t even make us blink twice. No matter, I still highly enjoy him.

Anyways, that being said, I don’t really care if I didn’t enjoy this as much as I should have. I still love Christie’s novels and I’ll keep reading them.

 

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TBR Challenge 2019: Kicking it Old School

Murder on the Orient Express

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Theme: Kicking it old School (Original Publication 10+ years ago)

Why? I’m a Christie fan through and through. It’s because of her books that made me a mystery lover, therefore, its just fitting that I pick up a Christie novel for a book published more than 10 years ago. I guess it’s safe to say that this book counts.

I know that Christie has tons of books out there, but my ultimate favorite is her Poirot series and since they just did an adaptation of this novel starring Johnny Depp. I wanted to pick this up for this month. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.

Review: It’s been awhile since I picked up an Agatha Christie and I thought since this book is fitting for this month, I figured I might as well. I’m so glad that I did because, not only did I enjoy my read, but it got me hooked on Christie all over again. As I said, I decided to start with Murder on the Orient Express because it was recently adapted into a movie and I’ve been meaning to watch it.

I started reading Christie’s books at a young age, maybe around 14/16? Anyways, I’ve been wanting to re-read them because I’ve discovered that I’ve forgotten what has happened to most of the books that I’ve read. However, I’ve never actually gotten around to reading one of her popular books and that’s Murder on the Orient Express. I’ve read her other popular ones such as And Then there were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, but never gotten a chance to pick this up. I’m so glad that I did because I think this book deserves to be in the same level as the two books I’ve previously mentioned.

The one thing I enjoy about Christie’s novels is the way she tells her story. It definitely captivates you from the beginning and holds you there until the end. I especially love her reveals, when all the characters are gathered in one place and Poroit does his thing. That is definitely an old school way of unraveling crimes, and I’ve seen more than one author write their endings in a similar way. She definitely paved the way for future mystery writers. This book was no different from her other reveals, and yet I enjoyed the theatrics of it all especially when Poirot gets all worked up at the end of it all. To be honest, I get stumped on Christie’s whodunit almost all the time, which is so fantastic for readers who loves mysteries. Nothing is better than being surprised on who the perpetrator is.

Just like her climactic scene, I think Christie does a very good job on writing her characters. Most novels being released are usually from the point of the view of the protagonist, but with Christie it’s always from the perspective of Poirot’s companion or a third person. Which I think is a great way of creating a mysterious shroud on the thinking of our protagonist, Hercule Poirot. That in turn also gives the other characters a sense of mystery because we don’t really get the point of the detective, but rather a normal person, like the readers. In Murder on the Orient Express, we get this and more. I love all the small details that Christie includes in her novels, which seem so insignificant to the readers, and yet it was very pertinent in the end. Therefore, establishing a sound foundation of each characters is very important and our author is pretty great at it.

That being said, I’m in my Christie mood again, therefore, you most likely will see more of her books on my TBR for the next few months.

Summer 2019 Wrap-up

In the beginning of Summer, I posted a Summer TBR, books I wanted to read during our Canadian Summer, which is from June 21 to September 21. Since summer is about to close, I decided to see how well I did on my TBR. Amazingly enough, I did a pretty good job on it. I admit I just put in four books in the TBR, but its actually books that I needed to get to.

Anyways, as a recap, here are the books I had on the TBR:

As I said previously, I did pretty well with this TBR, I was able to read three out of the four books. Honestly I tried reading Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I didn’t want to continue on with the story because it wasn’t fair for the book. I’m going to try to pick it up again when I’m more into a fantasy genre mood.

I’ve already wrote a review for Obsidio and The Diviners, but I’m holding off for This Cruel Design because it is the second book in a series and I really don’t want to reveal anything from the first book.

So that’s it for my Summer TBR. I actually really enjoyed doing this. I’ve done it before but never really completed it until now. I’m most likely will do a Fall TBR just to see if I’ll be successful with that too.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

divinersThe Diviners by Libba Bray

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis: Evangeline O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far.

When the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfurl in the city that never sleeps. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened….

Review: I’ve been meaning to pick this book up for awhile now because three of the four books has already been released and I wanted a recap before the last one comes out next year. Unfortunately, I just never got a chance to re-read it until now, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to the other two by 2020 since they are quite hefty books. I’m so glad that I did because there are things in the story that I’ve actually forgotten, now when I pick up the second book at least I’ll know what’s going on.

I remember when I picked up this book for the first time, I really did enjoy Evie. I thought she was different and very independent for her time, but this time around, Evie actually got on my nerves. I found her to be reckless and selfish, those type of teens who only cares for themselves. However, as the novel progress you can see her development. She became less irritating and became a characters that more would be able to relate to. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me talking as an oldie.

I think that’s the only difference that I can remember having while reading The Diviners. The rest of the characters are all very well written as well. I love that the author gave us glimpses of all the characters that will play a part in the series and I can’t wait to read more about them in the next book. The one thing that I did forget is the potential love triangle. I’m not 100% sure if there will be one, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t be a major part in the series.

Another point that I remember is how much I enjoyed the era that Bray set her world in. Just like in my first read, I highly enjoyed it the second time around. I think she did a ‘swell’ job in incorporating the tone of that century and how all manners of life existed during the 1920’s. I would suggest everyone to try out the audiobook for this because the narrator did an excellent job in portraying the different characters.

I’m really excited to continue on with the series. I think Bray has a way of writing her novels that sucks you right into the pages. I love her world building and how her stories just flows properly from one story to the other. Although, our protagonist is Evie, she does a great job in creating the other Diviners so that the readers can become accustomed to them.

 

August Wrap-up + N.E.W.T.s Readathon

August flew by so fast and I really do miss it. Even though I was on vacation for the last week of the month, I decided to still participate on the N.E.W.T.s Readathon, click here to find out more about the readathon and its challenges. I think this is the one readathon that I won’t ever miss because its so much fun and the fact that its tied in the my favorite series is a bonus.

Anyways, as a recap here are the grades I have to attain to pass my career as an Auror.

O: Outstanding in Defense Against the Dark Arts
E: Exceeded Expectations in Charms and Potions
A: Acceptable in Herbology and Transfiguration

I’m glad to announce that I was able to pass my exams with flying colors. I finished reading all nine books in my TBR, plus I was able to read two more books and a couple of graphic novels that’s not in my original TBR.

Here are the books I read for the readathon:

I actually enjoyed all the books I read for the readathon and gave most of them a 3.5-4. I’m really glad I decided to read mostly YA novels because I feel that I’ve been lacking on this genre for the past couple of months and I really need to get my YA read this year. I’m going to try to write a review for most of them in the next few posts.

As for the other books I’ve read, I decided to pick up Vol. 7-10 of the Giant Days, plus these two books.

Since picking up an Agatha Christie for my readathon I got hooked in again. I really do love her books and I just can’t get enough of them. You’ll probably see more of her books in my future TBR for this year.

So that’s it for my August wrap-up. I’m really glad that I was able to read these many books and get to read really great ones. I think I’m going to slow down for September, therefore, I’m not going to participate in any readathon.

September TBR

2019 is flying by so fast and I really can’t keep up with it. I just came back from my vacation and I’ve been busy unpacking, cleaning up and work has been extra busy. Anyways, I’m going to try to post my wrap-up either on the weekend or at least the beginning of next week. Since my wrap-up will be extensive, I decided to post my TBR separately.

Here are the books I’m planning on reading for September:

While I was on vacation I read an Agatha Christie, and now I’m super hooked again. Also, that Gaslight Murder Mystery series, oh man, I’m so hooked with it. I love everything about it, the characters, the mysteries and the setting of the book. It’s really different from other cozies that I’ve read and it’s got me wrapped.

So those are the books I’m going to try to get to this month. Like I said, I’ve been super busy and I’m not 100% sure how many books I can get to this month. I want to participate on another readathon, but I never got a chance to find one for September. If I do, I’ll post a separate TBR.

Anyways, that’s it for me. Keep a look out for my wrap-up. I’m very excited cause of course I passed my N.E.W.T.s!

Back from Vacation

Sorry I’ve been away for a few days. My family and I went on vacation and it was amazing! It was a lot of fun and I’m totally rejuvenated. I didn’t do much reading while I was away since we didn’t do anything but stay at the beach and do side trips. Anyways, here are some pics from the beautiful land of Mexico!

It was definitely an amazing trip and we saw so many beautiful landmarks. The food was amazing, the people were friendly and the resort we stayed at was really nice.

I’m a bit delayed in my posting but I’m still super tired, therefore, I’ll be posting my TBR and wrap up on Wednesday and Friday. Hopefully by then I would have recuperated.