Sunday, 29 December 2013

Review || Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given his as a present--and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents' divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair--it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

So, the first time I read this book was in grade 6. Which would've made it 1997/1998 or something like that. And it was a book that stayed with me, has stayed with me this whole time. I remember telling my aunt over the phone that this was my favourite book. I lost the ability to articulate exactly why as time passed, but for a time as a middle school-er it was the book.

I found a gently used copy of Hatchet at the library discard book sale this winter and scooped it up for about $1. I read the whole thing in a little over an hour last night for the first time since the sixth grade.

It's interesting, isn't it? Going back to old classics, old favourites. Trying to puzzle out why they meant so much to you. Why you connected with them so deeply. So viscerally.

Maybe it was a little bit of the fear. I have been a terrible hypochondriac for pretty much as long as I can remember. And for some reason I remember being 11 and having phantom chest pains while reading about the pilot having a heart attack. I also hate flying, so the idea of being in a Cessna, let alone crashing in one still actually terrifies me.

Maybe it was the survival bit. The fascination with Brian being able to keep himself alive. At 11, I would have liked to think I would've been smart enough to pull it off. Objectively. But realistically, I was repulsed enough at the thought of eating turtle eggs and butchering grouse. Still am, to be honest. I am not quite as picky of an eater as I was at 11, but I am not cut out for Survivor by any means. Hell, I can barely handle the thought of camping.

At 11, I probably would've given this 5 out of 5. And truthfully, it's more like a 3.5. It's a solid middle grade read, even if the ending is a little abrupt. But it captured my imagination and attention as a child, and for that I will be forever grateful.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Review || Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls.

Shut down everything. Why did I have to read this book before the end of 2013? I feel like I need to completely upset my Top 10 list now. (Which is not going to happen because I am much too lazy, but definitely let me add this book to the list anyway!)

Holy smokes, you guys.

Okay, I feel like a tiny bit of preamble is necessary here before we continue. For the past two Christmases, I have been taking a Laini Taylor book home with me from the library at school. Two years ago it was Daughter of Smoke & Bone and last year, of course, it was Days of Blood & Starlight. So imagine my horror and dismay when I realized that Dreams of Gods & Monsters would not be coming out until April.


I've really enjoyed the series thus far (see my book 1 review here, my book 2 review is just incoherent shrieking) and was super disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to continue my mostly unintentional Christmas tradition this year.

Thankfully, our school library had Lips Touch and I thought, "Oh well, it's the same kind of idea right? At least I'll be reading a Laini Taylor book at Christmas."

And guys, I read this in one day. Three sittings, one for each story, not even an hour each (except possibly the last one, since it was considerably longer).

I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am by this book. Taylor's writing is just so magical. Wonderful. Her prose flows and you grow attached to her characters in no time. She deftly winds the supernatural and paranormal into all three of these short stories beautifully. So much so that it's not too much of a stretch to imagine her worlds being our world.

And oh my those illustrations. They are just so gorgeous. They're little wordless prequels to each story and managed to completely intrigue me each time. I found myself going back after reading each short to look at the illustrations again, now that I fully understood them. What an overall experience. It was such a pleasure.

Overall, I think the second story Spicy Little Curses was my favourite, if only because I adored the mythology and was not expecting that ending. (Seriously! Read it and tell me you saw that coming.) But I am so head over heels for Hatchling as well--and that is definitely because of the worldbuilding. Swoons. Not to say I didn't love Goblin Fruit as well, because I totally did. But it's also definitely only the appetizer into this feast of a book.

I'm must be getting carried away if I'm metaphoring... That should go to show you how delightful this book was. I cannot recommend it enough!

★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars) Highly recommended!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Book Haul #1

So, unsurprisingly, I managed to acquire a few books this holiday. I'm going to combine a few books I got for my birthday as well, considering that was only at the end of November. I'm also going to include the 5 books I bought myself yesterday from BookOutlet because I have no self control and also that was basically my Boxing Day shopping.

Anyway! Here are the spoils!

You can read my breakdown of these 9 books after the jump.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Top 10 Books of 2013

Merry Christmas everyone, or nearly everyone. Or happy Wednesday if you don't celebrate.

I thought I'd post an extended version of my Top Books of 2013 to this blog. It started as a Top 5 on my tumblr, but I think I might extend it to a Top 10, just for fun.

For the record, this will be the top books I read in 2013, not necessarily just books that came out in 2013. So keep that in mind.

Take a look after the jump! (In the order I read them...)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas BookTubeAThon Wrap Up

Yes, hush, I know I'm still not technically part of BookTube, but I really don't care. A lot of my inspiration came from those vloggers and I'm probably going to be stealing a lot of their tags for future posts.

Anyways. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, some BookTubers decided to hold a Read-A-Thon this past weekend, December 20-22. The idea was to read as much as possible to try and make way for all the books you're sure to get for Christmas.

And I decided to participate. My goal was to read 3 books... but that didn't quite happen. I probably could have read another short book on Sunday, but I just didn't feel like it.

So, check out my accomplishments after the jump!

Unboxing #1

 Conveniently, about 20 minutes after making my first post to the blog, a package was delivered to my door from Book Outlet!

Now, I had tracked this shipment the other day, and the estimated delivery date was December 30. So imagine my surprise to find it here today.

Of course, in true "BookTube" style, I had to do an unboxing. (And yes, I know that I'm not part of BookTube because this isn't a video. I'm camera-shy, indulge me anyway.)

So, without further ado--hit the jump to see my four most recently acquired purchases!

Welcome to Unlucky Primes

I've had the idea of starting a blog sitting around in the back of my mind for some time now. And since the Christmas holidays are upon us, there wasn't really any better time to mess around with setting something up.

This will be a multi-purpose blog, as you likely gathered from the header up top--this is mostly because I didn't want to limit myself to only posting about one topic. We'll see if and when this backfires on me spectacularly and this blog just devolves into chaos and haphazard posting. But for now, we'll give it a try.

So. I'd venture a guess that you're interested in knowing a few things about what will be going down around these parts. Look no further than the cut below to read all about the planned posts and a little bit about myself.