Tag Archives: 2014

Pawn review

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Pawn by Aimee Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pawn is just another YA dystopian novel. If you’re really into this genre then it is worth a read. I read so many great reviews of this novel but for me it just didn’t have that wow factor. In fact, there were several aspects that got on my nerves.

Pawn is set in an American meritocracy where at seventeen, citizens are required to undertake an aptitude test. This test determines their social ranking and job. With shadows of Soylent Green but a little bit more tasteful, overpopulation is curbed by sending the infirmed, elderly and excess children to Elsewhere. The concept of Elsewhere had too many holes for me and it wasn’t really explained well. There is only so much hunting that the politicians can do!

The protagonist, Kitty, has undiagnosed dyslexia. This is why she performs poorly on the aptitude test. If this novel is supposed to be able the inequity in our schooling system and society for people with learning disorders or disabilities – it fall falls dramatically short. It also seems to waver between supporting and destroying the meritocracy. The only strong message was anti monarchy. I’m really confused about what Carter was trying to convey. Most successful dystopian novels have a clear message for society to act upon – I don’t think it was there.

The huge issue I had with Pawn was the title. There were two tacked on references to chess. They really stuck out. If the Harts had actually been a monarchy, perhaps it would have worked better. In my opinion the metaphor of the pawn failed. The other issue I had with this novel was the sheer amount of dialogue. If it is made into a film, the screen writer will have an easy job. I know the old adage of show don’t tell but sometimes paraphrasing can save ten pages!

Some people have really liked this novel. I thought it was ok. I think if you’re a fan of the genre then you should read it and form your own conclusion. I doubt that I will read the rest of the series.

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Fast Money review

Fast Money: A Shelby Nichols Adventure (Shelby Nichols #2)Fast Money: A Shelby Nichols Adventure by Colleen Helme

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This series would make a great present for my mother. I’m finding it harder and harder to find things to read that my mother would also enjoy. I hate that awkward feeling I get when she asks me what I’m reading and if she can read it when I’m done. Fast Money has everything she enjoys in a story – a relatable female protagonist, minimal explicit language, a bit of humour to keep it light, implied violence, a mystery to follow, and no graphic sex scenes – WINNER!

Fast Money has just enough humour to balance with the mystery to make this a great holiday read. The protagonist is a mother and wife. Such a different sleuth from what I usually read. I think I would enjoy this series more my children were a little older so I could empathise with Shelby more.

I hadn’t read the first book so some parts were a bit confusing. I suggest reading the synopsis of the first book, Carrots, before reading Fast Money. There were a lot of characters and at times I was confused with who was who but a strong series needs a range allies and villains. You do need to suspend belief a little bit to truly engage with this series. I found that there was quite a bit of repetition in the novel due to its stream of consciousness style. This is good if you like to read small passages over a period of time or if you often put a book down and come back to it later.

I read the audiobook edition. I really liked the narrator. She really embodied the character of Shelby. Fast Money is written from Shelby’s perspective in almost a stream of consciousness style. Through Shelby we hear what the other characters are thinking, this meant that while the narrate or differentiated character voices, she didn’t attempt any rediculous accents – YAY!

There are several plot lines that intersect in interesting ways. The novel’s conclusion sets it a promising premise for the rest of the series

Next time I’m looking for a holiday read, I will pick up the next one.

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Diet book review

The New Low-Carb Diet CookbookThe New Low-Carb Diet Cookbook by Laura Lamont
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was really excited by this diet until I got to the recipes. I have a nut allergy. This, like many other diets, uses a lot of nuts in its recipes.

The Good
The photos in the book are great. I love seeing great photos on cookbooks. I'm alway so disappointed that my attempts never live up to the photos but I like to see them anyway.
The diet makes sense.
The diet uses colour coding to establish the 'rules' to follow. I thought that this makes sense and would make it easier to create your own meal plans.
The informative pages explaining the science behind the diet are in accessible language,

The Drawbacks
Too many nuts in the recipes.
The sample recipes all required a lot of cooking. When I'm detoxing off sugar, carbs and caffeine the last thing I want to be doing to baking my own bread for half a slice at breakfast.
Most of the recipes had at least a couple of ingredients that I don't usually buy. This makes it more difficult to get the rest of the family to eat with you.
The recipes were not colour coded to illustrated how the colour coded system works. I really expected the recipes to clearly model the system.

I have bookmarked six recipes to try. However, I don't think that I will try the diet because I prefer to have greater guidance.

Have a look for yourself.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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