Seeds of Discovery

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Quinn was just your average teenage girl, that is, until the fateful night that she almost hit her fellow classmate William Rose with her car and he vanished into thin air shortly after. Caught up in the mystery of William Rose (and how he keeps disappearing), Quinn begins to follow him to see what she can find out. Never in her wildest dreams was she prepared for the mystery that was revealed. A gateway between two worlds, ours and the land of Eirentheos where William Rose is a Prince of the kingdom. In William’s absence, a sickness had been spreading with no positive advances in how to cure it, until Quinn came along. Will she be the one to help save them?

I was very easily sucked into the magic of Seeds of Discovery. From the very beginning, I was furiously turning pages to find out what could possibly be going on with William Rose, I started feeling like Quinn myself! William had been the shy kid at school and always kept to himself, so when Quinn noticed that he was disappearing, she decided to follow him to a broken bridge over a lake. Worst case scenario she figured she would fall in, but she got much more than she bargained for.

I loved the author’s detail of Eirentheos and it was very easy to imagine the type of kingdom that it would be. Everything was very easily explained, and I loved the way that time moves a lot faster in Eirentheos than it does in our world. In the book, Quinn was there for ten days, but in our world that would have only been one! I really wanted the book to be longer, and I felt like there very easily could have been more of a story to it. Also, there are 13 Princes and Princesses of Eirentheos, so keeping track of the names could be a little bit difficult at times if you’re not paying close attention.

I loved the pace that the story moved at, and I found myself torn between who I want Quinn to end up with romantically. Does she date Zander- the boy she’s known for her entire life, classic gorgeous football player with a great personality? Or William Rose himself- the shy boy from her school that she’s known for years that has a secret that’s literally out of this world? Or what about William’s irresistibly charming brother Thomas? I can’t wait to finish reading the second book in the Dusk Gate series to find out who gets the girl, who is poisoning the children of the kingdom, and just how Quinn manages the pressures of being a teenage in two worlds at once! I would definitely give this one an 8/10

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Lone Wolf

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My collection of Picoult books

Title: Lone Wolf

Author: Jodi Picoult

Anyone that knows anything about me will know that my favorite author, hands down, is Jodi Picoult. That being said, I was very excited to read Lone Wolf when it came out.

Lone Wolf is about a man that has spent his life dedicated to researching wolves. Luke Warren spent two years in the Canadian wilderness furthering his education on wolves and living with them as one of their own. When he returns home, his family slowly falls apart over the course of several years until a fatal accident occurs. With society’s beloved Luke Warren in a coma in the hospital, who is to decide his fate? His estranged son of six years? Or his daughter that is underage? Lone Wolf asks the reader: Who has the right to decide your fate when  you’re not capable of doing it yourself?

Lone Wolf was a gripping read. I enjoyed reading the perspective of the different characters, specifically the memories from Luke Warren himself. It was a little bit confusing why there were flashbacks from Luke Warren since he was in a coma, it lead me to believe that he was either going to wake up or they were left behind in a journal somewhere, but this wasn’t revealed to the reader.

There were a couple things that the book kept secret for quite a while: Why did Edward really leave his family? What happened during the accident that Cara is keeping a secret? I felt as if it took longer than it should have to let the reader in on the secret’s of the family. It made the reading go by a little bit slower because it didn’t flow as naturally. Also, when they were revealed, it made all the difference and brought tears to my eyes; specifically Cara’s secret of why she was holding on to her dad’s life so dearly.

Overall, I would rate this book an 8/10. It wasn’t my favorite Picoult book, but it was interesting to read and kept me intrigued throughout. Also, the knowledge of wolves was very impressive and gave this book an edge that I haven’t read in a while.

Painted Blind

 

What happens when the God of Love falls for a mortal? In this modern day twist of the myth of Cupid and Psyche (most often referred to as Eros in this story), Eros truly does fall in love with a mortal and unintentionally sends her on the journey of a lifetime.

I’ve always been in love with this myth, because it’s very interesting, and it has a very happy ending which definitely held true for the book as well. In this modern day story of Eros and Psyche, Psyche is a beautiful but shy high school girl that hides her body by wearing men’s clothes. Psyche’s mother took her to Europe for the Summer where she modeled and starred in an advertisement where she portrayed the goddess Aphrodite (or Venus), Aphrodite became jealous of Psyche and sent her son Eros to kill her, not intending him to fall in love with her instead.

If you’ve read the myth of Cupid and Psyche, Psyche is tricked by her jealous sisters to see what her true love looks like because he will not show himself to her and they make her believe that he might be a monster. When Cupid is awakened by hot wax from a candle dripping on him, he sends Psyche away and she must prove herself to him by completing tasks determined by Aphrodite: Sorting out a huge pile of seeds, retrieving golden fleece, filling a flask with water from the River Styx, returning from the Underworld with a box containing Persephone’s beauty.

Back to the book, the first task that was given to Psyche was to collect 1,400,000 copies of the advertisement that was printed of her portraying Aphrodite, and 10 billboards which was no easy task, followed then by collecting silver fur from wolves, then traveling through the underworld to visit Persephone and give her a box (which was provided by Aphrodite) and return to the mortal world with the box unlocked. Psyche completed these tasks with help from Aeas and Titus who were both immortal servants, and also the help of Eros who came to her aide after she was harmed by Aphrodite’s guard and lover, Theron.

Overall, I would give this book an 8/10: The story held true to the original myth while giving it a modern twist and adding a lot of details to help explain things and make it easier to understand overall (for example: how do the immortals “age”?) It was a very well-written and exciting tale that left me wanting to read more and it truly shows the dedication and love that people can show each other. However, there were a lot of grammatical errors, and parts of it seemed to go really fast, or seemed out of character.

My favorite quotes from the book:

“I will tell you this: Love like you cannot imagine awaits you if you have the courage to find it.”

“It’s okay to believe in things you can’t see. Isn’t that what people say? The best things in life are unseen.”

” ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind…’ The rest of the stanza from A Midsummer Night’s Dream now came into my mind, ‘…And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.’ “

Fifty Shades of Grey

I was  very reluctant to delve into the dark life of Christian Grey, but I had heard many good things about Fifty Shades of Grey and was curious as to whether or not I myself would enjoy it. And quite honestly, I have some mixed feelings.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a novel about a young miss Anastasia Steele that falls in love with the dark and mysterious multi-billionaire Christian Grey. Christian Grey is the epitome of the average female fantasy: tall, handsome, mysterious and even rich! However, he had a very unfortunate past that lead him to have a very dark and dangerous side that few people ever see.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with the author’s writing skills, and Anastasia herself seemed a little bit underdeveloped in the language and grammar aspect; surprising for the English major that she was.

As far as characters go, there are four main characters that the novel revolves around: Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele (or Ana), Ana’s “inner goddess” and Ana’s conscience. This was a very confusing and frustrating concept that the novel had. Although it was sometimes nice to know what was going on in Ana’s mind, there was too much focus on her inner projections of herself and I feel as if it took away from the story. Ana in general was a difficult character to follow and seemed to regress as a character as the story progressed. My favorite character was Katherine Cavanaugh because she kept a constant look out for her best friend even though sometimes she acted as a mother. Kate was a voice of reason for Ana, which is something that she desperately needed.

There were parts of this novel that were downright disturbing to me (the contract, for example), and the ending was very abrupt and didn’t flow with the rest of the story. However, I’ll admit that there were also scenes that I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed the delightful dates  that Christian and Ana found themselves on: when he took her for a ride in his helicopter over the Seattle skyline, or when he took her gliding in Georgia. These were very touching moments in the relationship, and I felt like they brought an actual plot to the story.

Overall, I would rate this book a 4/10. I’m unsure as to whether I’ll be reading the other books in this series, but I can certainly see why it has a lot of women that are swooning over the brooding Christian Grey.