lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog: book review
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Monday, September 26, 2016

book review: the butterfly garden by dot hutchison

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

From Goodreads: "Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding..."


First off, whoa. This book was amazingly written. It's told in two perspectives - Maya's first person perspective in the Garden, and from a narrator's point of view. I will say there are triggers in this book, there's speak of suicide, rape, sexual assault, murder, and violence.

The characters are likeable and their stories come together in an intricate but tragic way. It's hard to talk about the plot without spoilers, so I'll keep it neat. The Butterfly Garden builds are you read, the stories told becoming more horrific as time goes on. It's written in such a way that you almost feel like you're in the garden with the victims.

I consumed this book in a little over three days, reading when I could. It's a thriller that sucks you in. At parts, admittedly, I wished the story would move just a tiny bit faster, but the details prove beneficial once you get to the plot twist and ending.

If you're even remotely a fan of thrillers, definitely snag this one. And from what I hear, the rights to the movie version are being discussed!

Get your own copy: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads


Friday, July 15, 2016

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton book review

 After Jurassic World came out, I'd been wanting to read the novel that started it all. I was overjoyed when I recently picked up Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton at my local library.

jurassic park book review lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

From Goodreads:

"A billionaire has created a technique to clone dinosaurs. From the DNA that his crack team of scientists extract, he is able to grow the dinosaurs in his laboratories and lock them away on an island behind electric fences, creating a sort of theme park. He asks a group of scientists from several different fields to come and view the park, but something goes terribly wrong when a worker on the island turns traitor and shuts down the power."

First, let me say: ooooooh, man. This was a great read. It was well written and held my interest. It was pretty different from the movies, I have to say, but it was still really good. I felt the book was well researched for the time and information available (1990) and while I'm obviously not knowledgeable about genetic work, I didn't feel like it left things open that didn't make sense.

I've never been a dinosaur junkie, but I'm suddenly way more interested in them - I've been Googling dinosaurs like a ten year old. :) If you had any interest at all in the movies, which were pretty good and are on Netflix, definitely pick this up!

Find it here: Amazon - B&N - iBooks


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mindspeak by Heather Sunseri book review

mindspeak by heather sunseri book review lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Every so often I scroll through the free ebooks and download whatever catches my eye. So in my ebook search, I discovered Mindspeak by Heather Sunseri.

From Goodreads: "She was created for a purpose so revolutionary, someone was willing to kill for it.
Seventeen-year-old Lexi Matthews keeps two secrets from her elite boarding school classmates—she’s the daughter of a famous and controversial geneticist, and she can influence people’s thoughts.
But after new student Jack DeWeese heals her broken arm with an anything-but-simple touch, he forces Lexi to face a new reality—her abilities reach much further than speaking to the minds of others.
After Lexi’s father goes missing and she receives threatening emails, she can’t decide whether to fall into Jack’s arms or run and hide.
As Lexi seeks answers to what she and Jack are, she discovers a truth more unsettling than anything her science books can teach. And letting Jack into her life of secrets is not only a threat to her very existence, but it just might break her heart wide open."

Mindspeak was suspenseful and highly interesting. If you enjoy genetic thrillers, definitely download this one. It kept me guessing - I couldn't put it down! Without giving too much away, there's twists and betrayals and mind-boggling situations. It's really a book that you need to experience for yourself and it had me really thinking about genetics throughout. I'll definitely be continuing the series!

Find it here:
Amazon // B&N // Goodreads


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

room by emma donoghue book review

room emma donoghue book review

I'm not one for ads on social media, but the trailer for Room caught my eye on Instagram. I looked it up on IMDb and saw that it was based on a book. Since I had a little wiggle room in my book budget, I snagged an iBook copy and started reading.

The story is written in the eyes of five year old Jack, who lives with Ma, his mother, in Room. He finds nothing peculiar about their lives or their living arrangements, as he's lived in Room his entire life. They go about their daily routine; sunning on Rug, eating cereal with Meltedy Spoon, and at night he sleeps in Wardrobe. It's chilling to hear their noon time ritual: Scream, where they yell as loudly as possible toward the skylight, their only way to view the outside world. Turns out, they live in an 11 foot square shed. What's worse? There's a man, who they've nicknamed Old Nick, who comes in almost every night, brings supplies, and makes Bed creak.

Emma Donoghue does an amazing job writing as a five year old. I didn't get tired of reading in a five year old's voice. And even though it's written through Jack's eyes, the entire story unfolds and though much goes without saying, all the details are there for your imagination. Parts of the book are sickening and you find yourself rooting for these phenomenal characters to win from the very beginning. It sucks you in and you can't put it down. That said, the ending leaves you wanting more. To me it seems unfinished. But if that's my only complaint, that isn't much, is there?

If you'd like to get your own copy of Room, you can get it on iBooks, Amazon, and Nook!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

book review: IA: Initiate by John Darryl WInston

I was provided a copy of IA: Initiate by John Darryl Winston in exchange for this honest review.

ia: initiate john darryl winston book review

When I was first contacted by John Darryl Winston about reviewing IA: Initiate, I wasn't sure if it was something I'd like, but I quickly got into the book. The story follows "Naz" Andersen, a young boy who finds out he can do extraordinary things. Naz cares for his younger sister, Meri, after an accident leaves their mother dead. Meri is such a likable secondary character - I'd love to see where Meri goes, as well! The two children live with a woman who houses them purely for the money she receives - they're very independent and resourceful, and you can see that Naz's world is in Meri. A gang suddenly takes an interest in Naz, and he uses some of his ability to get Meri, his friend Artie, and himself out of a bind, while trying to find out more about himself and the world around him.

The characters are well developed and likeable, and I'm interested to know about their pasts and futures. The great part about this book is that it isn't completely ridiculous - the supernatural abilities that Naz has are believable in a way that makes the book enjoyable, and not campy. The writing is great - I tend to pick apart books on grammar alone, and I had no problems reading Initiate right on along. I am truly excited for the next part of the series and I can't wait until it's released!

I'd like to thank John Darry Winston for the opportunity, and I'm impatiently waiting for the next piece to the puzzle!

To find out more about John Darryl Winston and the IA series, definitely check out website and give him a follow on Twitter and Facebook!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman #BookReview

I was provided this ebook in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest.
Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman #bookreview book review katelyn carter

Today I'm introducing Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman. This book shows the journey of the author through chemotherapy for cancer and how her experience as a cancer patient kept bringing her back to her days as someone who experimented on rats in the name of science, and how she grew from vivisecting for twenty years to animal rights activist.

First of all, wow. This book was written so well - thought provoking and detailed. The words spoke to me as an animal activist, and as a reader I could tell that the level of feeling Gvirtzman has developed for these creatures is amazing. I will say that if animal activism isn't something that appeals to you, this book may change your mind. It goes to show that being disconnected from something initially can be changed - for the better.

Mousestruck truly is a book that everyone should read. It sheds light on things that humans tend to hide - out of sight, out of mind.