Professional Reader Snow's book hollow: 2016

Friday, 10 June 2016

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

You will be hooked like a fish on a treadmill swimming after some bait like you have not eaten in days.
Title: Security
Author: Gina Wohlsdorf
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 241
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Thrillers
Rating: 3.5
I received an ARC from Netgalley via Algonquin Books for an honest review.
“Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It’s about to open its doors, and the world--at least those with the means to afford it--will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours, they will be killed off, one by one.”

My experience:
One of the most original narrative styles I have seen in a while. It definitely made me more invested in the story to see what was going on in there.
The way the narrator is obsessed with Tessa made me obsessed with Tessa. It made me feel like a stalker and I liked it.
As much as I was fascinated by the narration the story started dragging a bit. I started getting a bit frustrated because of the lack of development. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing all the different reflections and each reflection was in a different light which was fun and funky but at the same time it was the same reflection just being showed in different ways. Nothing interesting was happening. The story starts losing speed and the details it focuses on were unimportant to me.
I was enchanted by the hotel because it was so unique. After a few chapters, I had a clear idea of my surroundings and I rather wanted more of the story then the type of carpet the story was happening on.
However, all these distractions start melting away and action starts pouring as the blood starts dripping, tumble dryers start turning and windows start steaming up.
If you start it and it feels a bit slow don’t give up. From a certain point, you will be so hooked it won't even make sense. You will be hooked like a fish on a treadmill swimming after some bait that has not eaten in days.
Then when you arrive on that last page, you will be speechless...
What I liked:
I don’t know if the Author is an architect but the writing was filled with very creative buildings and very clear descriptions so it made me think that the author has some background with buildings or interior design. I was very impressed by the descriptions.
What I did not like:
Readers be warned as fascinating as the writing style is it is also quite depressing. This is a heavy read with dark themes and thoughts that make you feel as if two hands are coming out of the pages and the hands are trying to suffocate you.
I recommend this book for adults who love horrors and like their stories serious and filled with terrified screams.
I am giving this book 3 and a half snowflakes. A solid chilly horror and an ending I will not forget soon.





 ~ Snow





Thursday, 2 June 2016

Alice in Wonderland - Special Collector's Manga

Author: Jun Abe
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors
Pages: 96
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Rating: 3

If you read my reviews you will notice an odd difference with this one. It might seem as if I was speaking ever so posh or formal during this review. It is because I just finished this lovely manga and whenever I read something that has a classy or posh written style, I acquire that style of speaking myself, for a while…

My love for wonderland and anything slightly wonderland related is quite serious and contagious. So read this review at your own risk.
When I saw this lovely manga winking at me on the shelves of NetGalley I had to take a closer look.
What is it about:
Manga publishing pioneer TOKYOPOP is back ... bringing readers Disney Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," a retelling of the film in manga style, as buzz builds for the "Alice Through the Looking Glass" May film release. Hardcover collectible with exclusive bonus features and illustrations from renowned artist Jun Abe! Alice Kingsleigh was a young girl when she visited the magical world of Underland for the first time. Now a teenager, she spots a white rabbit at a garden party and tumbles down a hole after him where she is reunited with her old friends. Alice soon learns it is her destiny to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.

My experience:
It is, as it is stated, based on the first half of Tim Burton’s movie of Alice and Wonderland.
It was a fun quick read since the illustrations are vibrant and familiar. It is based on the style of the movie but at the same time, it pays tribute to the older illustrations of the classic Alice and Wonderland novels. It was also filled with classic Manga expressions which made the characters much more comical and expressive than in the movie.
My favourite drawings were of Chessur Cat. Obviously.

The white rabbit with the waistcoat was drawn more cuddly and cute. I thought he was just lovely.  I also loved this Manga’s version of Hatter. He had a more glum look that I thought suited him perfectly and almost an element of Dr. Seuss in his eyes.  The white queen was beautiful and she was drawn very petite and pretty. 
I am someone who is able to quote Alice and Wonderland so I could immediately spot when a new sentence was entered into the manga but it fitted nicely and I enjoyed the changes made.
What I liked:
There was this one scene where Hatter is just sitting on his head with his legs crossed.  I loved it. How fun would it not be to just be able to randomly go and sit on your head and look at others as if they are the ones that are upside down.
I find the thought quite amusing.

What I did not like:
I did not like that it was only the first half. I thought it was one manga based on the whole movie.

All Tim Burton fans and readers who want to move to wonderland this one is for you. An easy light read that gives you a new experience of Wonderland with all the glory of the film.
This manga is getting 3 fluttering snowflakes.


                                                                    / 5


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The bullying of Natalie Cordova by Kennon Keith.

Author: Kennon Keith
Publisher: Smith Publicity
Pages: 217
Source: NetGalley
Genre:  General Fiction (Adult), Teens & YA
Rating: 1.5
 The thing that attracted me to this book was the plot. The victim snaps and becomes the bully? Keep talking…

The plot:

"Hell hath no fury......" Natalie Cordova is a victim. Bullied and belittled by classmates and family alike, she is an outcast. Her life has been a nightmare from kindergarten through her senior year of high school. Having no friends to call her own, nor able to seek comfort in her family, she accepts her place in life; to live and die alone. Dreams mean nothing to her...until she has one; and within that one dream, she finds her strength. She will no longer merely deal with her fear, she will use it. As fear turns to anger, anger gives way to rage, and rage burns into hate; her way forward is clear. In order to end her suffering, she must end those who caused it. "This is the end. The end of my pain, the end of my torment, and the end of my past. A past I did not want, but had forced upon me. Your hatred, abuse, and treatment of me, led me to this. And while I will burn in hell for this, it was well worth it." Natalie Cordova

My experience:

I like reading books to see what makes a person snap. What makes the weight of that what they have endured thus far finally become unbearable?
 The story follows a beautiful girl called Natalie Cordova. A girl who has been treated badly all her life, by friends and family. She gets pushed to a point where she snaps. Meaning she will now be a serial killer and bring havoc in the lives of those who made her life hell. Not in a subtle, pretty little liars blackmail way. In a Scream film with blood dripping from a knife kind of way.
This is a book that was written to play on your mind and morals. Do you cheer for Natalie or do you sympathize with the victims?
 At first, the book did just that but then... it took a dreadful turn.
 I will compare my experience of this book to eating an ice cream.It is winter yet you find yourself eating a delicious ice cream. It makes you feel very cold and shiver and in reality you rather want some hot chocolate but this ice cream just tastes too good.  Then the climate changes around you and it’s become a warm summer day you can now enjoy this delicious ice cream in the right weather. However, something is not tasting right anymore the ice cream has started to melt and your hands are sticky. You would rather not finish the ice cream anymore since it no longer tastes good and it has just become a mess. Yet, you have already come this far so you finish it for the sake of finishing it. This is how the plot went, it went from a fairly well constructed depressing young adult story to a bad can't-decide-whether-it-wants-to-be-a-horror-or-thriller adult fiction novel. 
I started to get confused between the characters. Who was who and who did what.
Natalie's personality and character completely unraveled and there was no more line for her character. I could no longer see her she became a phantom that just killed with no emotion behind it.
Then the story just became unnecessarily brutal. It took a sick turn that I felt was overdone. It was as if the author was waiting to unleash the cruelty of their pen. It was like setting off a nuclear bomb to get rid of a tiny garden shed. Instead of using a hammer or a storm to destroy the shed the entire country the shed is in has to be blown-up.

What I liked:

Honestly very little. There was very little to enjoy. There was no character I thought that stood out. There was no particular scene that held any specialty except the gruesome brutality that I have already mentioned. If I must force myself to say something good I suppose the concept was a good one. Had this been implemented a bit more subtly it could have been a brilliant novel.

What I did not like:

Above all the facts I have already mentioned...
I disliked how the race of the characters was only first revealed when it had something to do with the plot. It might have been mentioned that 2 characters were black in the beginning of the book and I missed it but it was only brought up again much later when Natalie would use that to her advantage. I also really despised the scene that was written in those paragraphs. I feel it was so unnecessary.
I also disliked the writing style. It was written in the third person and it would so often jump into the minds of any character that walked past it would get quite confusing.


I will recommend this book to someone who likes novels with pointless killing and over the top violence.
This book is not young-adult and because of very intensely written scenes, I would even go as far as to say 18+ only should read this book.

My rating:

I want to give it one star but I am begrudgingly giving it another half because of the beginning of the story. It was set up well and had the potential for a great thriller.



                      / 5

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Book Blogger Platform by Barb Drozdowich

Author: Barb Drozdowich
Publisher: Booktroupe
Pages: 101
Source: NetGalley
Genre:  Computers & Internet, Professional & Technical
Rating: 3
This is my first non-fiction review. Brace yourselves.
Do you read an insane amount of books? Do you want to write reviews  but you don’t know where to start? Then this is the book for you. Learn how to start and where to start and what it is you are starting.  This book handles everything from layouts, content, domains, monetizing your blog and how to get Advanced Reading Copies (ARC’s). This book is written by the popular blogger  Barb Drozdowich This is a summary of all her most frequently asked questions and with quick and short answers and any other information you might need when starting a blog.
My experience:
I wanted to read this book immediately. It sounded fascinating and I’m always one looking for new statistics I can draw out of the hat when I converse with others.
I expected a more of a business angle when I initially requested this book. A book that would be more like a study guide with the statistics of blogs and blog users but this is a full on manual.
If you are familiar with this space (My blog). Look around see any differences? You bet you do all thanks to this book right here (I sound like a salesperson).
This book gave me basic step-to-step instructions on what to do while also explaining why I should do it and how I should do it. I am a software developer so I do read books like this for homework. This is an informal book of guidelines for beginners or experienced bloggers who would like to learn more from a successful book blogger.
The author is an experienced blogger. She takes you through all the basics a beginner book blogger should know. Notice the word beginner this is not for intermediate level bloggers.
She goes through the layout of the blog. Do’s and don'ts and useful technical advice.

What I liked:
I liked how the author is an experienced blogger and that the tips that are given has been tested and it is a known recipe for a successful blog.
What I did not like:
  1. As a student I must inform those who do not know. Wikipedia is not a reliable source. When quoting statistics from Wikipedia I will be a bit skeptical of the truth your statement holds.
  1. The technical videos did not cover what I would have liked to lean. They are very basic tutorials. I was hoping for more intermediate tutorials.
This book gets 3 pretty little snowflakes.



/ 5


Friday, 13 May 2016

Last to die by Arlene Hunt

"A book that will easily keep you up reading until 2 am because to put it down is simply not an option."

Last to die
Author: Arlene Hunt
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 307
Source: NetGalley
Genre:  Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)
Rating: 4

Follow the same story told from a third-person perspective of three very separate characters all building up to one massive explosion of a story.

The plot:

 "He watches. He waits. He kills ...

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.

Caleb Switch, a sadistic serial killer has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge to him. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now…she is his ultimate prey.

As Caleb picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie... But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be Caleb’s final sacrifice …"

My experience:

What made me want to read this book was the sentence on the cover of this book.
“He watches he waits… dead or alive he wants her.”
That ladies and gentleman elves and dragons, that is how you hook me. I was very curious as to what would happen and my curiosity only grew bigger until it started to sit on my shoulder poking me to go read again.
I compare my experience with this book to a fresh day in autumn. You feel the light breeze you enjoy the last bit of warmth of that was is good around you. However, you can feel the winter approaching. You can sense the cold and danger ready to eat and incinerate all that holds warmth.  When the winter arrives, you find yourself in the middle of a blizzard. You will be climbing mountains, tracking old arrows, searching through old newspaper articles fast but at a very balanced comfortable pace.
This is a bonafide thriller. It had me nervous, breathless and at times utterly absorbed where all sound of the world disappeared.
I enjoyed the way the characters interacted with each other and you could read out of each person’s point of view. You could scratch and dig in their brains and see what made them tick. The effect was dynamite and made me so much more invested in the story.
It is a gripping thriller. A book that will easily keep you up until 2 am to finish because to put it down is simply not an option.

What I liked:

I liked the way the story was balanced between the characters. You neither loved a character nor completely hated them. You knew each one too well to be judgemental. If somebody were to come and accuse the character you would almost feel an instant need to defend them. Even though they can defend themselves perfectly well.
Not to give anything away but something was used as a weapon in this book I could never have imagined for self-defense. Well done Arlene Hunt. Very original.

What I did not like:

I suppose there were some paragraphs that were less than entertaining. Some background characters were clearly meant to be disliked which made them less real to me. They did not become real they stayed flat on the paper for me.
I would have liked to have one last chapter from Darla to know how she felt after all was said and done.

My rating:

Fresh 4 snowflakes that fell out of my dreams after I finished reading the book at 1 AM.

/ 5


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Kill the boy band by Goldy Moldavsky


Author: Goldy Moldavsky
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 1

The plot:
5 fangirls have always loved the Rupert’s. They are Strupers dedicated to promoting the band and to try and meet them. Sometimes love and obsession can start to blur. Sometimes right and wrong can fade into the background of 140 characters. Follow the journey of  how fangirls can love a boy band to death.
My Experience:
♪ Somebody save me ♪ (Smallville theme song thundering in the background).
My gut told me not to read this. It told me I would regret it but the fangirl in me screamed at me, strangling me screeching: “Snow you will read this and there will be no buts!”
So I did. Never listen to the fangirl, listen to the gut. The gut knows.
The first 3 pages had me interested and showed great potential for this novel to be a critical satire and maybe a realistic documentary of sorts.
I kind of imagined this:
And if you look closely you will now see a fangirl in her natural habitat. You might think they are busy  screaming mindlessly but in fact, they are communicating their love for their pack and their pack leaders.
Okay, I kid, I did not expect that but that would have been funny, way funnier than what I was forced to endure.
My thoughts while reading this book:
 “Uhm … okay?”
“You are kidding, right?”
“I’m starting to feel a bit nauseous…”
I am going to now explain all the faults I found with this book. To minimize the ranting and keep this review shorter than 5 pages I will list them numerically:
  1. The story felt fake. I am very active on social media. I myself have been through serious fan girl stages. I have cried about a tweet and I have screamed about a song.  I know the life of a fangirl. However, I also moved on from the fangirl world. Therefore, I am unbiased. This story seemed so staged. The characters felt like they were the result of a bag of research and quiz results. Not written by someone who has ever been a fangirl. Not that there would be something wrong with not having been a fangirl ever but if you are going to write about them, I do expect them to feel real.
  1. The characters were annoying and there was no depth. Their motives for doing what they wanted to do was weak and they earned many, many eye rolls.
  1. The history of the band. They were formed on a popular TV show, becoming the most famous band in the world with millions of adoring fans ready to kill… Sound familiar? Maybe a boy band called One Direction? I don’t know...
  1. If the history was not bad enough. The name of the show was: "So You think the British Don't have Talent?" I'll just leave that there.
  1. The main character was weak, boring and seemed to feel sorry for herself over almost everything. The conclusions she made and the sudden paradigm shifts happening in seconds made her a very wishy-washy character.
  1. The author tried to villainize certain people in this story so that you could feel that in the end, these people had it coming. But it just made you more annoyed with the main characters and their petty excuses. There was nothing to like about them. They were selfish, catty, self-conceited, vain, annoying, rude, ungrateful spoiled brats (You can see that I had a slight dislike for the characters.)
  1. The way the author feels about fangirls is seeping through the pages and it’s basically trying to subtly tell you, how fan girls are blinded by an idea a glamorized lie. They are hoping though if the main characters realize this through forced events we will come to the same conclusion. Fangirls are wasting their time.
What I liked:
*Thinks very hard*
I guess in the end it kept me curious, despite all the flaws. How would it end?
So even though it was sometimes painful to read I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen. I was also hoping that something bad would happen to all the main characters.
What I did not like:
Despite all the many flaws I have already mentioned you mean?
The story was unrealistic. Absolutely unrealistic. The surrealism was like a punch in the gut for me and it made it feel like I was reading a badly written fan fiction.
My rating:
The ending is the only thing that could have redeemed this book from a low rating.
However, that hope has melted. The ending was inconclusive and it seemed as if the author did not really know what they wanted to say. Just the fact that to be a fan girl is a phase. 
I give this book one melting snowflake.

/ 5


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Do not fear for Snow is near.

I have been attacked by the elemental forces of my realm. 

So I will only be able to post a review a bit later this week.

Do not worry for I will not be overcome by the wind and the rain. I will prevail and if necessary bring a stained crumbled up review for my people but it will come and here it shall be presented.

Here are the books on my shelf that you can look forward to for a review.

Alas, a bear appears(A test I'm writing tomorrow) I have to retreat to my cave.

Books I am currently reading:

Farewell, I will be back soon. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Hidden Monster by Amanda Strong

Author: Amanda Strong
Pages: 264
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Thriller , Mystery, Supernatural, Young Adult
Rating: 2
We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a great story. Some say it was murder others say it was an accident. What we can all agree on, brothers and sisters, this is a loss that the community did not deserve.
"For seventeen-year-old Samantha Campbell, running back woods trails usually means freedom from her less-than-perfect life. That is, until the day a morning run turns into a living nightmare. When Samantha wakes up to find herself bound to a dirty, pinstriped mattress, she realizes she’s anything but free. With a masked abductor repeatedly injecting her arm with an unknown substance while holding her captive, Samantha tries in vain to find out what he wants, but he refuses to speak. Until the day he breaks his silence and his twisted words are worse than what she’d imagined. He promises her one day she will fall in love with him but the best part will be that she won't know who he is... until it's too late. 
Finding herself freed from captivity, with her captor still at large, Samantha is on guard against everything and everyone around her. Unfortunately, walling up her heart proves difficult when eighteen-year-old Blake Knightley moves in next door. When Samantha starts experiencing strange changes within her, she realizes her captor may have left her more damaged than she originally thought. Now she must turn to Blake for help in order to unearth the truth behind the monster who started this all... or risk experiencing worse things than just falling in love."
My Experience:
By the middle of this book, I was just begging it to please stop. Please let it just end.

I’m sorry to say my experience was not one I would like to go through again. I had very high hopes for this book. Abduction by a mysterious man and then she would eventually fall in love with her captor without realizing it!? Sold!

It started off so well.

I could immediately identify with the character. I could sense a good flow of the story. I could hear her breathing I was caught up in her fear. I was captured in the story tied down to each word.  The first hint of danger came with the introduction of Blake.  There was an awkwardness in the way Sam and Blake spoke  to each other and a forced friendliness. Out of nowhere I was surrounded by so many characters and their physical descriptions that I had to search for the story. However, I thought it was a false alarm especially with an element of supernatural emerging out of the story. I told myself just keep going Snow you are being paranoid.

I kept waiting for the story to get back on track to go back to that soft spot of thriller and mystery but it was like I had accidentally picked up a new book. This new book a young adult novel emerged in high school drama. I could barely see the characters anymore their dialogue had transformed into that of a badly dubbed Latin soap.  Any indication of the previous chapters had disappeared. Yes, it was still there but more like a pimple than anything else. Making the character self-aware and concerned about what others thought.

It was absolutely enraging. I have read my fair share of abduction and abusive novels. This was almost offensive to the genre.  How can a character that was just abducted and tortured for 3 weeks develop an instant crush on the boy next door?! How can a family who’s daughter just came back after being missing for 3 weeks continue as if nothing happened?

If the family was in the media calculated about their actions, not a loving family or perhaps a family of assassins, I would understand the lack of reaction. This is a normal family I expect change, drama, at least a bit of shouting.

Multiple times I wanted to throw the virtual copy against the wall and rage. I groaned out so many times at the horrible inner monologues and reactions of the characters, it became impossible to read in public.

What I liked:
I liked the beginning. I liked the idea behind the story.
What I disliked:
I disliked the way it was written. I disliked Samantha and the way she would become a teenager from "I'm a Barbie girl" that acted in a completely unrealistic manner towards the situation that she was in.

The book redeemed itself a bit by the end. There was a twist I did not expect which is why I am prepared to give it 2 snowflakes.

/ 5

- Snow

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

Author: Anne Frasier
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 302
Source: NetGalley
Genre: General Fiction(Adult), Psychological Thriller and  Mystery
Rating: 4

When I read what this book was about, I requested it faster then you could say:
“Give it to me now or else…”
And thank goodness I received the notification from NetGalley that Thomas & Mercer had approved.
I immediately started to devour this book. If I did not attend college or needed sleep, I probably would have finished it in one go.
Detective Jude Fontaine was held prisoner by a sadistic captor for 3 years. She was kept in an underground cell by a man who had taken everything from her until all she had left was him. Jude knew every line on his face, every scar on his skin, every meaning behind every movement and what would follow. She learned how to read her captor and it kept her alive.
With Jude’s experience of hell, she learned something: Words lie but body language does not. Everything Jude experiences around her are now heightened. Her ears pick up the slightest shifts and her nose competes with that of a dog. Everybody's body is saying something, even when they are quiet even when they are dead.
Jude resumes her position at Homicide with a new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, who is uncertain of her sanity. But the town has a serial killer and the police need manpower. And no one knows evil quite like Jude does.

My experience:
Where are my words?
Where are my words indeed…
I seem to be unable to write coherently after finishing the last chapter.
Wow! What a journey. What a radical road trip.
It was such an adrenaline rush. From the first page, my heart was in my throat and I had no idea how I was going to get through the book. It felt like I was on a motorcycle that was speeding down a highway while also being on the wrong side of the road. And instead of being terrified at the danger and the shocking speed the book was going, I was on an adrenaline rush and  I was craving more, shouting at the bike to move even faster. There were so many moments where I had to put the book down and just give my mind a bit of time to comprehend what I had just read. It was as thrilling as I expect thrillers to be. It disturbed me on just the right scale. The plot was complicated  enough that you couldn’t immediately guess what was going to happen but not so complicated that you became lost  which tends to happen with me and thrillers.
What I liked:
The characters were so likable . Magnificent! Excellent! By the end of the book, I knew the detectives personally, their struggles their quirks and I didn’t even know when that happened. I just realized I knew everything about them.
What I did not like:
My disappointment came from the lack of history from Jude’s captor. Without spoiling anything I will just say… I wish I had received more details about the villains in this story.
Amazing quotes I loved:

“Her mind kept her company because she'd long ago decided nobody was coming for her. She no longer remembered what her parents looked like, and she no longer remembered what the sun felt like or what snow felt like. All she knew was one man. He was her world.”

“It’s kind of unnerving to think about how we’re shaped by the darkness in our lives,” he said in an echo of her own thoughts.”

Gather around those who love to solve puzzles and those who are looking for their next mystery thriller/ psychological novel. This one is for you.
This is an Adult fiction novel it deals with abduction, violence, and other intense themes. This book is not for sensitive readers.
And the rating is 
4 snowflakes out of 5.

/ 5