February 2016 Archive

Juliette crushes her TBR in 2016 #2!

So this one might not have been on the list I’ve been trying to read through, but it’s one I’ve been wanted to read for a while. The cover is so gorgeous and every time I found myself looking around the young adult section at Barnes and Noble this cover stuck out to me.

by: AG Howard
Pages: 371
Published: January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
ISBN: 9781419704284
From Goodreads: This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.


This book was a crazy wild ride. Probably one of the most absurd books I’ve ever read, and I was an English major. The book was very plainly written but I still found myself getting lost occasionally because I wasn’t even sure what was happening anymore. That’s not saying that I didn’t like the book though. I really did. I think the author has an amazing world in her head that must be killing her trying to get out. It’s so rich and crazy and vibrant. I loved Alyssa SO SO SO much. She was so much stronger than I was as a teenager and if I’d read this book back then she would’ve been my hero. This is something I usually don’t care about, but I loved the descriptions of her clothes as well. I was so jealous of her wardrobe. Teenage me was drooling everywhere for those clothes. I think I loved this book so much because it reminded me of who I was in a simpler time of life. The world was also so descriptive and beautiful. It’s really a ton of fun. Sometimes it’s a little confusing but that’s only because it’s so different from our own world. I also loved how the author blended that world with the everyday world. It’s a quick read that let’s you escape for a while. I read it on the beach all day in Puerto Rico. I recommend this book to any YA fan looking for something different. 🙂

Cupcakes: Paranormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban FantasyParanormal Urban Fantasy

Buy this from Amazon here: Splintered (Splintered Series #1): Splintered Book One

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , ,

Book Club Selection: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

So as I mentioned in my last post, I just got married. One of the things I do with my husband to keep having fun and share each other’s interests is a book club. We take turns picking books and it can’t be the same genre he picked last or the one I picked last. It’s a lot of fun and we’ve been doing it for a while. I just realized I should be reviewing these books too. So the first one for this year was my pick.

11275The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami
Pages: 607
Published 1997 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780965341981
From Goodreads: Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.

Three books in one volume: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet, The Birdcatcher. This translation by Jay Rubin is in collaboration with the author.

I don’t know what I expected when I picked this book up. I’d heard about this book from a few different people and after showing my husband the back cover he expressed interest and I picked it. It was definitely not a book I would usually pick. I’m more into genre fiction and not straight literary fiction. Having majored in English, I’ve read my fair share of literary fiction. Every once in a while I like to go back and explore that world again though and this was one of those times. This was an interesting journey to say the least. The writing is incredibly smooth. By that I mean that I could just devour whole chunks of the book without it feeling like any time had gone by. There was no part of it (except for maybe some war flashbacks) that made me zone out or want to read something else. This is such a bizarre story but I wanted to keep reading and I honestly did find it hard to put it down. I felt so bad Okada and wanted his journey to end well. He was a great main character to share a head with and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something new, especially if you’re like me and this isn’t your usual. I think you might be pleasantly surprised. I know my husband was a little nervous about starting it, since he hasn’t ever read anything like this and so far he’s been really enjoying it.

Cupcakes: Other FictionOther FictionOther FictionOther Fiction

Buy this from Amazon: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle[WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE][Paperback]