The Nerd Journals

Filling up journals as proof of my meager existence.

Category: Book Reviews

Hope Never Dies

4/5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Quirk Books for giving me a copy of Hope Never Dies to read and review honestly.

This book is a campy fanfiction turned full novel and I enjoyed it immensely. After their second term in office is over, Joe Biden and Barrack Obama go their own separate ways. While Barrack is windsurfing and skydiving around the world with famous celebrities, poor Uncle Joe is home feeling left out by his old buddy Barrack.

Fortunately, they reunite to solve the mysterious death of Joe’s old friend. The antics the boys got into kept me laughing and turning page after page. The best thing about this story is that it is actually well written and decent. My only complaint is that a lot of things said and done by the main characters don’t seem accurate to their real-life counterparts, but I was able to turn off the nagging voice in my head to keep reading.

I hope to read more in a Biden/Obama mystery series!!

The Carhullen Army

3/5 stars

While I did like this book I need to begin this review with why it could have been so much more, which will be difficult to explain without spoilers so please, I do my best to not spoil but tread lightly if you are thinking of reading The Carhullan Army.

The most exciting part of the story was skipped over and while I get that the part I am referring to wasn’t necessarily a part of the story was author was telling, it would have added a nice bit of action and closure to what is truly a lovely story about a woman escaping what her life has become to a life that was her choice and not chosen for her.

The woman we know only as Sister decides to leave her husband in her home in war-ravaged Britain, deciding to no longer live under the eye of The Authority and their oppressive regime and mandatory contraceptive devices. She makes her plan and prepares as meticulously as possible for her escape to the all-women commune in Carhullen. This is the story of Sister’s escape, her earning her place with the “unofficial women” to finally doing what needs to be done.

I just wish that “what needs to be done” was a bit more of the story than the author wrote.

The Gratitude Diaries

3/5 stars

I was skeptical about reading a book about gratitude from a woman who seems like she has it all, but after reading it I felt judgemental for going in thinking that Janice Kaplan had nothing to offer me. As it turns out, we all have our moments and we can all improve by practicing gratitude. Since reading the book I have brought daily gratitude into my life and I can feel a small positive impact already. Yeah, it’s all in my head, but where else would I want it to be?

Spark Joy

4/5 stars

I like this book much more than The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It was about the same length (from what I remember), but it was packed with more directive information, adorable illustrations and it was a little less oddball. I would say Skip The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up and just enjoy Spark Joy instead. You won’t miss out on anything important, I promise.

Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual

3/5 stars

I kinda feel like a red-headed stepchild after reading this book, but I know my drill-sergeant stepdad only wants what’s best for me. I think it’s fair to note that this book is roughly 1/3 exercise plans which I had no interest in since I already have my fitness plans under control. Not an overly deep book but several little nuggets of “get up and go”.

School for Psychics

2/5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for providing me with a free advanced copy of The School for Psychics in exchange for an honest review.

This is a paranormal book about Teddy Cannon, a Sanford drop out gambling addicted young woman who never knew her birth parents. A lot of this story walks side by side with Harry Potter and I found it difficult not to think of Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone several times throughout this book.

Both are raised by parents who are not theirs under the impression that their birth parents died in car accidents, both Harry and Teddy were collected to go to boarding school by someone in the field, whisked away to learn about their true powers. Neither Teddy nor Harry are particularly gifted an have to rely on friends to for backup.

Teddy is a lot less likable than Harry though and for several reasons. Firstly she’s a grown adult that acts like a child. At least Harry had the fact that he was eleven keeping him from harsher judgments on his choice of actions.  She’s careless and she squanders opportunities.  She’s a shit to her friends.  The only thing redeeming about Teddy Cannon is that she makes the right decision in the end.  And Teddy is just the main characters, let alone mentioning all the other characters that were either one dimensional or unlikeable or both.

School for Psychics is a fast-paced government conspiracy theory book wasn’t the worst fictional story I’ve ever read but it certainly wasn’t the best, either. This is an okay introduction to what I believe will be a series of books in the Whitfield Institute universe but I will not be reading the next.

To read my old book reviews please visit here until they have been migrated to TheNerdJournals.com

The Time Traveler’s Wife

4/5 stars

This is my second time reading The Time Traveler’s Wife; my first time reading it was when I was a young woman in the early aughts. A couple of days ago I decided that it was time for a reread, which I don’t normally do these days. (Why read old books when there are so many books I’ve never read before?)

So I picked up this book, a little skeptically- was it just a young woman newly in love who enjoyed this magical realism love story or was it truly a good book? I enjoyed the book again, of course, as told by the 4-star rating, but I can say that I didn’t like it AS MUCH as I did when I was young.

Sometimes I got a little confused on when things happened chronologically and I had to flip back a couple of pages and check (and recheck) the date. Sometimes I was appalled by the language and graphic sex scenes and I, by no means, consider myself a prude. But I still really enjoyed this story, even more than a decade after my first read.

The foreshadowing in this book was very well done, which of course I appreciated more on my second read than I did on my first; it was enough to cause me emotional goosebumps up and down my arms. I loved the art, the punk, the architecture, the clearing, everything. I loved it all. The high highs and the low lows of this love story that transcends time and death is still a beautiful love story.

All Rights Reserved

4/5 stars

I enjoy dystopian books that take a small nugget of current society like copyright durations being extended indefinitely (thanks, Walt Disney) and frivolous lawsuits and turn them to a chilling story about what could happen if taken to the extreme.

Speth, a fifteen-year-old girl makes a snap decision that rather than pay for her words she speaks, she will remain silent. Her only power in the system set up for failure is to not participate. This causes problems for not only herself but her family as well.

I was hooked on this book from start to finish, the only problem I had is that Spleth seemed to lack any strong emotion one way or another, which seems a little counter-intuitive for a girl so disillusioned by the world that she refuses to speak.

Origin

5/5 stars

You know what? Nuts to you guys, I love Dan Brown books and I am unashamed to announce that. They’re not thought-provoking but they’re not supposed to be prose that changes your view on life, the universe, and everything. They’re fun and exciting stories that keep me turning the pages until I have devoured them all; which I’ve now done after completing Origin.

This book was an exciting art history inspired romp around Spain with none other than Robert Langdon and the beautiful chick he got to hang out with this time, Princess Consort Ambra Vidal. As they race against time to release a presentation by futurist Edmond Kirsch who was murdered in cold blood, Langdon and Vidal (with the help of Winston!) have to unravel clues that will help them discover Kirch’s password.

Releasing this presentation will answer two questions that humans have pined over: Where do we come from? Where are we going? Read this book to find out who exactly would want to stop this pertinent information from being released and enjoy a lot of excitement along the way.

The Easy Way To Mindfulness

2/5 stars

This is one of the few, maybe even the first, book I’ve read on mindfulness. I’ve been intrigued by the topic for quite a while but I’ve only done some light research on the Internet. When The Easy Way to Mindfulness became available on NetGalley I was very excited to give it a try, however, after finishing it I think I am more disappointed in this book despite it’s few nuggets of wisdom and exercises it offers. I feel this way because the book was mostly aimed at heavy addictions. Despite this, there was some information that I can still use and implement in my life.

More than anything this book felt like an advertisement for Allen Carr and The Easyway to Stop Smoking. While how to quit smoking mindfully sounds like it may help some people with the mental part of their addiction, there is still a physical aspect to their addiction (nicotine, sugar, booze) that needs to be overcome. I think that needs to be acknowledged more in the book.

Also, even though I don’t have an addiction I do consider Carr referring to addictions as “little crutches”. I found it offensive and I don’t even have a “little crutch”. Methinks Carr should rethink how he speaks to people.

@TheNerdJournals on Instagram