Review: Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) – Agatha Christie


Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) – Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express (A Hercule Poirot Mystery)

Title: Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10)

Author: Agatha Christie

Release Date: March 29, 1934

Publisher: Harper

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 315

Source: Book Club Pick

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again . . .

4 out of 5 stars


This was a strange read because up until about 3/4 of the way through not much had happened, but I was still wanted to keep reading. I read this fairly quickly, and it was refreshing to read something of the mystery genre.

This book followed Hercule Poirot solving a murder case set in a train stuck in the snow. He was to interview all the passengers and solve the murder of Samuel Edward Ratchett. He was stabbed twelve times in the middle of the night, and there are quite a few suspects in the case. Most are linked together by one specific incident. Was this coincidence or on purpose? Follow M. Poirot in the solving of this murder mystery.

I’ve only read one other Agatha Christie novel, and the style was very similar, so I’m assuming that most of her books follow the same path. I don’t understand why people would blatantly lie to the investigators/police because it just makes EVERYTHING so much more complicated. I don’t understand why so many people would lie about their whereabouts when there is no purpose of lying.

I liked the last 1/4 of the book the best because you actually got some information. Poirot had the whole situation understood, and left the reader and all the other characters of the story completely clueless. It was fun to hear how the whole murder played out, because the way the story was written was very secretive. I enjoyed the fact that Poirot actually paid attention and looked into everything. I get that he’s a detective and all, but it’s cool.

Reading this made me want to read more of Christie’s works. I have really enjoyed reading this spooky book during this spooky season :) Can’t wait for my next mystery book!

Series:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot #4)

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Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5)

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 642

Source: TBR Pile

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.


Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

4 out of 5 stars

This was kind of hard for me to get into right away, because I didn’t remember what had happened in the previous books! It took me about halfway through this novella to actually remember that Simon had lost his memory because of the demon encounter in City of Heavenly Fire. It’s cute to see how he first reacts to the characters he knows and loves again, though. He’s so in love with Isabelle, but he doesn’t realize it yet. She comes to the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris to see him, and it’s so good. Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve laughed/giggled while reading a book, but Cassandra Clare never fails to make it happen.

Simon is so… nerdy cool, and I forgot that because it’s been awhile since I’ve read about The Mortal Instruments characters. I can’t wait for him to become the “awesome Shadowhunter” he vowed to become, and I am so excited for him to gain his memory back. One of my favorite parts of this novella was when he was remembering what Isabelle’s eyes looked like up close. They are one of my favorite ships, so I’m all about the Sizzy feels. He loves her so much. He keeps remembering little things about her, and he tells her that he won’t be the Simon she fell in love with, and she leaves, but she won’t give up on him. She’ll wait for him, I know it. Simon is one of my favorite characters, so I can’t wait to read the rest of these novellas.

 

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

5 out of 5 stars

I knew that I was going to like this one just by reading the title. I’m a sucker for the Herondale family, so hearing more about distant relatives was very cool. So, if I’m not mistaken, Tobias Herondale was Will’s younger brother. So he must have been perfect because Will. I mean, come on. I’m starting to remember more about the series already, and am grasping some of the little connections. I really loved that Catarina told Simon about Tobias and his real story. I also really loved that Clary came to visit Simon at the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris. She misses him, and she loves him, and she just wants him to have the life that will be best for him even though it might mean she loses her best friend. It’s so heartbreakingly sad but happy at the same time. I have conflicting emotions regarding this novella series thus far. I really like George, Simon’s roommate. He seems really cool, and he also cares about Simon. He’s also Scottish, muscular, handsome, and likes reading. Can’t get better than that.

 

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

5 out of 5 stars

I love being in the Shadowhunter world again. It’s my favorite series, and it’s just making me so happy to be reading about my favorite characters again. This one has been my favorite so far because most of it was a story about Will, Tessa, Cecily, and Gabriel. I love my Shadowhunters from London, and love seeing them in their element. This story was cool because it was a short retelling of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper, in this story, was just a demon attacking women rather than a man killing them. It was a very cool take on this “classic” story. I love seeing Will oh my gosh. Favorite book boyfriend of all time. I also loved that Jace got to talk to Tessa about being a Herondale; it was so precious how happy he was at the end. And now my suspicions that Isabelle will stick around for Simon have become true. He writes her a letter and it’s so cute because it’s so Simon. I love this novella series.

 

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

4 out of 5 stars

This novella was about James Herondale, the son of Will and Tessa, through his experience while in The Shadowhunter Academy. Almost the whole novella was told as a flashback/story from Catarina Loss to Simon. Simon just wants to have his memories back, and he wants his friends back, but he has new friends at the Academy. It’s such a hard decision, but I know he’ll make the right one. I’m kind of surprised that this novella series isn’t about Simon more. It’s mostly just been flashbacks to previous Shadowhunters. It’s nice, but is not what I was expecting. I’m still really liking George, even though I know they couldn’t be parabatai because of certain circumstances. I hope that Simon and George are still friends after this whole series is over. Oh my gosh George could come up in Lord of Shadows. So exciting. Woah, realization. Nothing but Shadows…. Lord of Shadows…. hmm connections?

 

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

4 out of 5 stars

Again, I’m surprised that this is not completely about Simon. I guess the point of novellas is to learn new information about the characters you know and love, but I just want more of Simon’s story. This was about Robert Lightwood, Isabelle and Alec’s dad, and his teenage years when he joined The Circle with Valentine. It was interesting, but it was also sad. Robert is so judgemental of anyone different than him. He got rid of his parabatai because he told him that he loved him. That’s cold considering you’re best friends. I LOVED the ending of this one; Isabelle and Simon are so perfect together. I just want them to be together forever omg. I am really enjoying this book so far, and can’t wait to finish the rest of the novellas.

Series:

Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

Review: Rebellion (The 100 #4) – Kass Morgan


Rebellion (The 100 #4) – Kass Morgan

Rebellion (The 100, #4)

Title: Rebellion (The 100 #4)

Author: Kass Morgan

Release Date: December 6, 2016

Publisher: Little Brown Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 294

Source: TBR Pile

It’s been a month since the new dropships landed and the rest of the Colonists joined the hundred on the ground. The teens, once branded juvenile delinquents, are now leaders among their people. It should be a time for celebration and togetherness, but a new threat appears before long: a fanatical cult determined to grow its ranks and “heal” the war-ravaged planet . . . by eliminating everyone else on it.

After scores of their friends are captured, CLARKE sets off to retrieve them, certain that she can come to an understanding with these strangers. BELLAMY has a different plan; he won’t let anything–or anyone–get in the way of saving the people he loves. Meanwhile, in captivity and scared for their lives, GLASS falls under the spell of the cult’s magnetic message, and WELLS has to learn how to lead again. Unless the rescue party arrives soon, the teen captives will face a fate more terrifying than anything they could imagine.

If the hundred ever want to call this dangerous planet home, they’ll need to put aside their differences and fight to protect themselves and their world.

4 out of 5 stars


Challenges Completed:

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge

  • A book set in the wilderness
  • A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
  • A bestseller from 2016

Winter Biannual Bibliothon

  • Throwback – finish a series you already started
  • 2016 release

Great ending to a unique and addictive series! I loved the first book when I read it back in June of 2015. If I remember correctly, I read that book in one day. The second and third books weren’t as great as the first, but were still enjoyable, and this book was a wonderful closer.

There were some problems with this book, but overall I really enjoyed reading it. I read most of the book yesterday, minus 30ish pages. The thing with Kass Morgan’s writing is that you really fly through it. This is one of the instances where multiple perspectives actually enhances the storyline. I am usually not a huge fan of multiple perspectives because it gets kind of confusing. I get confused with dual perspective sometimes! But, Morgan really makes the characters very distinctively their own so it’s easy to understand who’s who.

This book starts out way too good to be true. The original 100 and their families and some of the Earthborns are living in harmony down in a settlement. They’re having this huge festival to celebrate being together and celebrate their harvest for the year, when they suddenly get attacked by a cult who call themselves The Protectors. Pretty ironic. These Protectors bring some of the teenage/young adult characters into their fortress which they call Stone. There, the men have to train and be very strong, and the women are the leaders. The leader of this cult, Soren, takes a liking to Glass and takes her as her maid. Glass gets inside information, and she helps let everyone know the best ways to escape and get back home. What the prisoners on the inside don’t know, is that Bellamy, Clarke, and a few others are outside waiting to come and save them.

I really enjoyed the suspense of this book. There was almost always action or plotting going on, and it was cool to see some of the characters take to becoming leaders. Some of my problems with this book dealt with the romance between Bellamy and Clarke. I have been shipping this since the first book, so I could overlook some of the cringe for the good parts. Bellamy is VERY sensitive and doesn’t understand why Clarke doesn’t trust him. So he becomes very jealous of guys around Clarke. He is a baby about some things, and he and Clarke overreact to some situations. I mean you’re trying to save your friends right now; band together and help them. But such is life. You have to have some teen angst.

If you’ve read The 100 series and are hesitant to pick up this last book, please read it! It’s definitely worth it!

Series:

The 100 (The 100 #1)

Day 21 (The 100 #2)

Homecoming (The 100 #3)

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Review: Take Back the Skies (Tellus #1) – Lucy Saxon


Take Back the Skies (Tellus #1) – Lucy Saxon

Take Back the Skies (Tellus, #1)

Title: Take Back the Skies (Tellus #1)

Author: Lucy Saxon

Release Date: May 28, 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 384

Source: Friend Recommendation

Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

5 out of 5 stars


Holy goodness. Wow I have read some hecka good books lately. Maybe I just need to read some sci-fi more often! I LOVED this book. I flew through it, and I have no idea how it’s only a 3.47 stars on Goodreads.

Catherine, or Cat, escapes from her “perfect” government lifestyle in order to get away from an arranged marriage. Cat stows away on a skyship called Stormdancer and meets a crew that quickly becomes her new family. She hides in the wardrobe of a boy named Fox. They slowly become friends, and help out on the ship together. Cat and Fox help with some of the ship’s machinery, and help take from the rich and give to the poor. A little Robin Hood action going on. Cat learns something while she’s on the ship; the government of her society of Tellus have been lying. They’ve been lying for the past eight years. They’ve been taking children in order to create an army to help with the war effort. The war that hasn’t existed for eight whole years. Hmm. Cat, Fox, and the rest of the crew have to find out who is behind this mess, and avoid getting caught in the process.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Seriously, I loved it. This is a dystopian/sci-fi novel set in space. First off, it’s cool as it is, then you throw in an epic world, some awesome characters, a cute romance, and some action. It’s great.

Cat is such a strong main character, and I really loved reading her story. She runs away from home; she escapes from her abusive father and sick mother. She doesn’t want to leave her mom, but her mom tells her to run fast and far. So she does. She finds a new life and pretends to be a boy for a while so she’s not underestimated. Gosh she’s so cool. Then there’s Fox.

Oh my gosh he’s perfect. He has red hair and freckles, he’s strong, he’s a little older than Cat. His name is Fox. How cool. I thought it was ironic how they were both animal names, but that’s just me. Fox was just so cute, and you could tell he was reserved and didn’t want to talk about his past, but he trusted the crew and eventually Cat and it’s just so hecking cute.

THE ENDING. Oh my gosh. I’m pretty heartless when it comes to books, honestly. I don’t cry very often, so it didn’t surprise me when I didn’t cry, but I wanted to cry. My heart was so sad, but happy at the very end. Just… my heart is confused and I don’t know what to do with myself. So. I will read the second book almost immediately, then read the last book when it comes out in March.

Series:

The Almost King (Tellus #2)

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Review: Oleah Chronicles: Truth – Michelle Johnson


Oleah Chronicles: Truth – Michelle Johnson

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Title: Oleah Chronicles: Truth

Author: Michelle Johnson

Release Date: 2015

Publisher: Lulu.com

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 182

Source: Author

What would you do if everything you thought to be true in your life was a lie?

Sixteen-year-old Angel Seriki must face overwhelming truths about her family when she meets Zander Black, a new student to her high school who is smart, charming and devastatingly beautiful. The revelations he uncovers to her about her family’s past changes everything, and as her relationship and feelings for Zander deepen, so do the risks involved. She must now accept her fate and face the true reality of who and what she is. Even if that means giving up everything, including being human.


4 out of 5 stars

I got this copy in exchange for an honest review!

I really enjoyed this book; it’s been a while since I’ve read something like this. I loved the aspect of there being different planets that different monster species came from. There’s a specific place each group originated in. Angel was the main character, and she is just finding out her true origins. She’s a gorgeous high school girl, who has a crush on a handsome boy from school who turns out to be an enemy of her people, the Oleah. She doesn’t know what to do, because she’s never heard about “her people” at all. Her parents took their whole family to Earth in order to be safe from everything happening on their planet. The family decided to live on Earth and continue on in their human forms for as long as they could be kept a secret. Angel started getting weird visions and dreams, but had no idea why. The only one to explain it to her was Zander, the handsome boy who just so happens to be an enemy. Of course there is a relationship between the two of them, and her parents do not (under any circumstance) approve of him.

Zander vows to protect Angel, and all of the sudden bad things start to happen on Earth. The family has to decide what to do, and they end up figuring everything out as they go. I really liked this book because it was so different. It was refreshing to jump into an entirely new world with new characters.

I would choose to be Angel because she was part of the group of Oleah people/lions. They were really cool, and the way they were described was very nice. I think she was a strong character, and it would be nice to be explained as she was. She was beautiful and had gorgeous hair and skin. Yes please.

Huge thank you to Michelle Johnson for the copy of this book! I can’t wait to read other works written by you!

Series:

Oleah Chronicles: Justice

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Review: The Lighthouse Thief – Bo Burnette


The Lighthouse Thief – Bo Burnette

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Title: The Lighthouse Thief

Author: Bo Burnette

Release Date: June 19, 2015

Publisher: Tabbystone Press

Format: eBook

Page Number: 140

Source: Author

A historic lighthouse. A mysterious thief. An intolerable cousin.

The Fourth of July on Saint Simons Island always brings plenty of excitement. But when 14-year-old Ethan invites his contrary cousin Connor to spend the holiday week, he stumbles upon a little more excitement than he bargained for. As he drags Connor around “his little Island,” Ethan overhears a seemingly malicious plot to vandalize the historic lighthouse. When a mysterious stranger starts stalking him and Connor all over the Island, Ethan is caught up in an unexpected quest to save his beloved lighthouse.

The Lighthouse Thief blends mystery, history, humor, and heart into an exciting story of discovery and friendship.


 

4 out of 5 stars

I got this book sent to me by Bo Burnette himself, so huge thank you for that! Again, I love when I get contacted by authors to read their books; it’s always such a fun process. Anyway, Ethan’s parents leave for a cruise to Alaska, and he stays with his aunt in his house on the Island. His least favorite cousin, Connor, comes to stay the week with them as well, and he’s dreading the “vacation.” When Connor gets there it’s very awkward for the both of them, but they learn to set their differences aside and become close friends. They become so close in a matter of a week because they solve a mystery together; the boys overhear a conversation from two men about stealing something from the lighthouse on the 4th of July. They decide to figure out how to stop them, and end up getting followed by the men. Ethan feels attached to the lighthouse because he’s always grown up around it; he doesn’t want to see something bad happen to it, so the cousins find a way to help out.

I really enjoyed this book! It read like a Nancy Drew book, and it was a fun read. I love middle-grade mystery novels because they’re just so easy to read, and they’re very lighthearted. I think that the main plot of this book was to show the power of friendship. The two boys really didn’t like each other before they actually spent time together, but ended up having a lot of fun together. Being a middle-grade novel, I think that that should be the main focus of the story. I really enjoyed the writing style, and the characters were fun to read about. It was really nice to read a lighthearted book after something that tore at my heartstrings.

Huge thank you to Bo Burnette! I really enjoyed reading your story, and keep writing! You’re young; you have a whole life of books, reading, and writing ahead of you. Good luck!!

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Review: Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) – Kazu Kibuishi


Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) – Kazu Kibuishi

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Title: Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Release Date: January 1, 2008

Publisher: GRAPHIX

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 192

Source: Library

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.


4 out of 5 stars

The first thing I want to say is that this book was super fun. I love reading graphic novels because they’re easy to read, they have color, and have beautiful artwork. My younger brother read these books a couple years ago, and I just never got around to reading them. I went to the library before going to work this morning, and picked up the first four volumes in this graphic novel series. I started and finished this first one within the span of half an hour total. The story was cool, and the artwork was gorgeous. I love this art style; the colors are really nice to look at.

The whole idea behind the books is that Emily and her brother Navin have to live in an old house that they just move into. Their mom decides to take them to this new/old house because their dad died, but anyway… Emily and Navin find out that it is their great grandfather’s house, and find a lot of his old things. Emily starts reading a book on a pedestal, and when she closes the book there is a spot perfect for her hand. Of course she presses her hand into this imprint, and then a magical necklace flips out at her; the amulet is what the series is about. They start hearing noises in the basement, so naturally they go and look to see what it is, and then they get taken into this other world that her grandfather took part in creating. They make friends with some of the creatures of this new world, and go on trips to help their mother, who had an unfortunate event happen to her.

The concept is really awesome, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I plan on finishing the next three tonight and tomorrow :)

Series:

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2)

The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3)

The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Escape from Lucien (Amulet #6)

Firelight (Amulet #7)

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