Booktalk with Verity – Carry On

carry on

Hi there,
Now I know what you’re thinking; “we haven’t had a booktalk in ages, why the change?” Well I’ll tell you why! I just finished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and it is that amazing and I have that many thought, I have to share it with you. As per the usual setup this will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler sections.

Non-Spoiler: Carry On is a kind of spin off from Rainbow Rowell’s masterpiece, Fangirl. The protagonist in Fangirl writes fanfiction for the Simon Snow book series she is obsessed with (a Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson kind of thing). Carry On is the fanfiction that she writes and it was so good! The story is supposed to be the end of the series but it wasn’t confusing, and it wasn’t that weird. It was just really good. It was told from duel perspectives; Simon, Baz, Penny, Agatha, Lucy and the Mage. Simon and Baz are the two protagonists and there is a really amazing storyline that follows the two of them. I really do recommend this to everyone. It has something everyone will love; romance, fantasy, kick-ass characters. I do recommend reading Fangirl first though because it gives more context to the story and gives you more of the previous storyline. It was an amazing book though and you should all read it.

Spoiler: Alright so the book opens with Simon explaining his past, which kicked the book off well because, being a fanfiction, it didn’t have to. It gave context to Snow’s character, to his life at Watford and to who (and what) he valued most in the world. It was already really interesting that Agatha didn’t even place on Simon’s list of most amazing things at Watford. I hated the Mage from the start, I know he wanted equality but he didn’t achieve that. The Mage and the original families were radicals in their own way. Neither of them made positive change when they could’ve.
The story, for me, really kicked off when Baz came in. Before then it was really fun to read but the story wasn’t completely developed until then. I was really intrigued when Baz’s Mum came to visit Simon from the veil.  Baz was the most adorable character in possibly the entire world (sorry Jamie) and I really wanted to give him a hug.
I loved when the fight with the dragon occurred because the way that Simon pushed his magic into Baz without hurting him, while with Penny it did hurt, because it meant that were basically soulmates.
I loved when they were all working together because, I think, Penny and Baz were really similar and could be pretty good friends (if Penny would open up more). Penny was another really unique character. I connected pretty strongly with her and her magic ring and blatant disregard for rules was pretty cool.
The story was at its peak when Simon went to stay with Baz for Christmas. When they went to see Nicodemus (totally called that he was Ebb’s brother by the way) and when they Baz tried to die. When Simon saved him. When they kissed. When they finally admitted their feelings. It was amazing and special and great. But I was also shadowed by a feeling of sadness, sadness for Nicodemus. He was one of the most powerful magicians and he gave that up to be a vampire but ended up having his fangs removed so he was useless! He threw away everything for greatness and was given nothing in return. I loved that he went to see Ebb sometimes, see her in secret to just listen. The ending of the story was amazing. I totally knew that the Mage was evil and wasn’t that surprised when it was revealed that it was he that killed Baz’s Mum. I was surprised though that he was Simon’s “father” (if that’s the right word). Lucy (his mother) had a really interesting story and I want to learn more about her. I want another book that focuses on her story.
Simon being the hero and the greatest evil was one of the most interesting plot points I’ve ever read. I liked the ending but didn’t like the fact that Simon lost his magic and that he kept his stupid tale. It was a good ending though, with Baz and Simon being together, and Penny and Simon finally moving in, the spots closing and Agatha getting to be Normal, which is all she ever wanted. It was a really amazing story, I really did love it.

So that is it for my booktalk. Let me know your thoughts and opinions down in the comments and let me know it you plan on reading it (because you should)

Signing off, Verity

Booktalk with Charlie – Days of Blood and Starlight

Hi there,
So yesterday afternoon I finished the incredibly amazing Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. And it blew my mind! The world was developed further and I loved learning more about it and the supporting characters got to play a lot larger roles. If you want to look at the booktalk for the first book in the trilogy Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you can find that here: The first one. As per usual this booktalk will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-Spoiler: I can’t say much because this is a sequel but I will say this: pick up this trilogy! I have so much love for it and I feel so connected to the characters, more so than I have in a long time. It is an astounding world that I could get lost in for days and each character has so much depth and is so fun and interesting to read about. You really all should read this series, I highly recommend it to you all.

Spoiler: So this opened with a chapter of Zuzana’s. Originally I was frustrated with her chapters because I just wanted to hear about Karou and Akiva but she soon became one of my favourite characters to read about and one of my favourite perspectives present. We see her with Mik a lot and I really liked him as well. Kaz was in her opening chapter and I figured this was were he became more central but no, he disappeared again. Zuze was frustrated that Karou hadn’t contacted her after a while and to be honest I was getting worried because we weren’t having any chapters from her for a while.
The second perspective was Akiva and oh boy do I love Akiva. He has become one of the fictional characters that I feel the most connected to. I loved reading more from his perspective and learning more about him as the story progressed.He said that Karou was dead because he saw a Thurible in a place that had meant a lot to her when she was Madrigal. I didn’t understand how he came to the conclusion that Karou was dead when it was just a Thurible but later we discovered that a note with her name written on it accompanied the Thurible.
It was quite a while before we heard from Karou again and that was when she sent an email to Zuzana, reassuring her that she was alive. It dawned on me then that Karou and Akiva would not be meeting for some time *sigh*. I never even considered the possibility that what Karou had written in the email was a riddle for Zuzana to solve considering her placement in the world. I figured she was still in Eretz; it never even entered my mind that she would bring the Chimaera into the World, it seemed too dangerous. Karou has taken over duties of the resurrectionist, working closely with Thiago. He was creepy and awful and I wanted him as far away from Karou as he possibly could be. I also didn’t like Ten, Thiago’s shadow.
I enjoyed the perspective we were given of Sveva and Sarazel, the Dama who were travelling with Rath (a Dashnag) after escaping from being slaves in the first attack of the Chimaera. It was interesting and gave new perspective to their lives but I was frustrated with the fact that Sveva continued to distrust Rath, even after he began to help her sister.
I loved reading about Akiva and Hazael sparing their group, pretending they saw nothing. I love Akiva and I grew to love Hazael too and this moment just strengthened those feelings.
Zuzana and Mik then decode the meaning behind Karou’s email, hoping to find her. They realize where she is hiding after seeing a picture from a traveler and go to find her. They manage to and they stay for a while, helping with the Resurrections. We get to learn a lot more about Mik at this time and I really grew to like Mik. He seemed to really love Zuzana and was protective and kind towards his friends and others. I loved the scene were they were playing violin and managed to calm the Chimaera, it really showed the powers of music.
We also meet Ziri at around this time, and to be honest I didn’t like him. Mainly I didn’t because I figured he was going to serve as the barrier between Akiva and Karou and, loving the two of them, I hated this. He’s sent on the mission to Eretz to kill some more angels but he, along with a select group, change paths and go to protect the Chimaera. Everyone else happened to die but he was the “protector” because he is the only one left in his natural form, the form that Madrigal once had.
Ziri is captured and tortured by Jael, Joram’s brother (Joram is the leader by the way). But alas Akiva produces loads of tiny birds and Ziri manages to fly free. He goes to Karou and once she heals him (through what magic I have no idea) he explains everything, even the part with Akiva. I knew we would end up getting a meeting soon after that, it just seemed as if the story was leaning that way.
Akiva, Hazael and Liraz are planning to kill Joram and take control of the Kingdom, hopefully making it a more peaceful and safe place to live. I really began to love both Hazael and Liraz in this book, they were more present and they seemed like kinder and more relatable characters. Before they kill Joram Akiva goes to see Karou, the first meeting yet, and this scene just broke my heart. She was so close to killing him but I loved him so much it really hurt me. Karou was so frustrating at this part of the book. She wanted to kill all the angels because they had killed her family but she couldn’t understand that Akiva began to kill all Chimaera because they killed his family: her.
He gave her the Thurible he had found (figuring it wasn’t actually her inside) and Karou realized that it was Issa. This made me so happy because, like I said in my last booktalk, I absolutely loved Issa. I just felt so connected to her, I don’t even know why. She’s resurrected to pretty much her exact previous body and when Thiago finds out Karou insists that Issa now help her instead of Ten. This is when we realize that Ten was helping Karou so that she could eventually take over and Karou could be killed.
We go back to Akiva and he kills Joram but Jael is still alive. He gathers his armies and kills others before attempting to take Liraz for his own purposes. When the rape of so many women was mentioned in the book it made my skin crawl. It was just so unfair and really disgusted me. Hazael tried to defend her but he was struck and killed. That was so devastating because I’d just come to really love him. Akiva did a weird magic thing that made the roof come down and I really hope I get an explanation for that in Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
Meanwhile Karou has been with Thiago and he attempts to rape her, a scene that really actually made me cry. It was so horrible and scary and I hated reading about it. He managed to die here (yay) but then Karou but Ziri’s soul into Thiago’s body (confusing I know) so that they could have full control. I didn’t mind this because then Ziri would definitely not be on the table for a romantic relationship with Karou.
Zuzana and Mik come back at this point (they left a while back) because a mass group of angels has descended over Earth! Karou and Akiva band together with her group of Chimaera and his group of Misbegotten to attempt to come up to a solution. And that was the conclusion of the book.
I really really enjoyed it, I found it really fast paced and enjoyable and I loved the larger roles the supporting characters had, particularly Zuzana, Mik and Liraz. I cannot wait to read the final book in this incredible trilogy.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Hi there,
So yesterday I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (the first in a trilogy) and oh wow, it was good! I struggled so hard to put this book down for even a second; the world just continued to suck me in minute after minute. The characters were so interesting and the world was incredibly complex and exciting to discover. This book is high fantasy and it was amazing but the it required a lot of world building so I don’t recommend reading this if you are new to the genre. I do recommend it to literally everybody else though because it is amazing. Alright lets get on to the booktalk then. As per usual it will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler sections.

Non-Spoiler:
Around the world black hand prints are appearing on doorways, courtesy of the winged strangers who have arrived unannounced. In the streets of Prague, torn between two worlds, a young girl is about to caught in a brutal otherworldly war. Karou is a 17-year-old art student who fills her art books with sketches of monsters who may or may not be real. When beautiful yet haunted Akiva lays eyes on her in the crowded streets of Marrakesh secrets are unveiled and a star-crossed love affair, rooting deep in history, is uncovered. But will Karou want to hear what these secrets are?
This book, for me, was really fast-paced. It does take 150 pages or so to get the world properly built but it was so interesting I honestly didn’t care. Karou and Akiva are characters I had an instant connection with an I feel bound to them in a way I haven’t felt bound to characters in a long while. This book really did just have absolutely everything and I really recommend to those of you who are experienced readers.

Spoilers:
So the story opens with Karou and Kazimir, who I kind of disliked instantly but at the same time found fascinating. We learn that Karou lives in Prague and that the images she draws in her sketchbook are actually real but her friends have been led to believe they’re fake. This was interesting in my mind and I could really clearly envision Karou showing her incredible drawings and saying they’re real, with that knowing smile on her face. We meet Zuzanna, who I love instantly, which makes me really anticipate meeting more supporting characters (assuming, of course, that they are as awesome as she).
We then enter the actual art class and Kaz is a model, forcing Karou into drastic measures to embarrass him. She uses her Scuppies (I think) to make his bottom all itchy in front of the entire art class. The scale for the wishes was a little confusing but also really interesting. There were (and I hope these are in order): Scuppies, Shing, Lucknow, Gravriel and Bruxis. Wishes with a lower order can’t be added together to create a larger wish which sucks because with all the Scuppies Karou had she could’ve had a Gavriel, or at least a Lucknow.
The cafe Karou and Zuzanna go to after the class sounded really cool. The decor was really Gothic and it just seemed pretty amazing to be eating at a coffin while a statue of a Greek God looking down on you. The scene after this is the first time we meet Karou’s family and it was amazing.
Karou’s family are all Chimaera, meaning they are sliced up parts of all different animals shoved together to make one person or thing or whatever. This concept was really interesting and I liked seeing what each of the Chimaera looked like. The first member of Karou’s family we met was Kishmish, the weird bird thing, who was really just a pet of Brimstone’s, the family member we know most about. The second person we meet is Issa and I absolutely cannot explain it but I just had this instant love for Issa. I view her as the fun aunt to Karou; the one who gave her all the girly talks and would’ve gone shopping with her had she not have scared anyone after stepping outside.
We then meet Yasri, Twiga and Brimstone. Brimstone is a character a really didn’t trust in the beginning but as we began to learn more about him, I found my trust growing slightly. I still don’t like him completely but that may change as I venture into the second book in the trilogy. Brimstone is the collector of teeth, in return giving clients wishes. Founding out what the teeth were used for and how the magic happened was interesting but disturbing, but we’ll get to that later.
Skipping forward a little, Karou heads to Marrakesh to meet with Izil, an old client who has been cursed with the invisible Razgut after wishing for knowledge. It’s here that we meet Akiva for the first time, the gorgeous angel who has a weird fascination with Karou. We learn that Akiva feels familiar around her; that she reminds him of someone. To be perfectly honest my first guess was that Karou was his unintended daughter, born without his knowledge from Madrigal, the woman we know he once loved. Akiva was a interest to me from the very first moment we officially met him and he continued to be throughout the novel.
Karou is hurt and taken into the shop but then realizes the secret door is open and she sneaks in to take a look at whats in there. It’s there we semi-discover what the teeth are for. We see that all these seemingly dead Chimaera are lying on tables, all bearing the Hamsas (which were really fascinating) that Karou herself wears. Brimstone catches her and throws her out in the snow, which made me really sad and kind of strengthened my distrust of Brimstone.
After that the portals all close for good and Karou is left on her own. She finally tells Zuzanna everything about her life, which I was really glad about, and goes about trying to find another way into Elsewhere, which we later discover is called Eretz. She gathers wishes from the suppliers she has often seen in Brimstone’s shop. She manages to procure two Gavriels and she uses one on the wish of flight. My first thought was that it was going to go horribly wrong and she wouldn’t be able to land and would fly off the earth, eventually dying through lack of oxygen. But no, that isn’t what happened.
She comes face to face with Akiva again and they have a fight mid-air in the middle of Kaz’s vampire tours, so naturally it is all caught on camera. This is the third appearance we have of Kaz and too be honest he was interest as such a central supporting character in the beginning I was sure he would have more appearances. I think he will probably appear in the other books . . . oh joy.
This is where Karou and Akiva’s relationship really starts to develop. I loved the scene where they were in the cafe and Zuzanna joined them and was prepared to start yelling but instead was like “must. mate. now”. Then later Akiva sees the wishbone and his glamour disappears and he becomes so vulnerable. To be honest this was one of my favourite scenes; to see a character I was so interested in stripped down to his core was an intense and delightful experience.
It’s then that we meet Hazael and Liraz, and I cannot have been the only one that thought Hazael was the woman and Liraz was the man. I think I thought that because Hazael is very close to Hazel which is traditionally a woman’s name. Karou is this scene was so fierce and majestic and the image of her standing there with her hands outstretched and her hair blowing around her face was beautiful.
The next few scenes were the ones that were the most integral to the story. We got a lot of history to Akiva and Madrigal and they broke the wishbone, releasing the memories onto Karou. And it turns out she was Madrigal. The history was really fascinating and I was really disgusted with the idea of Thiago; he was pretty much a pervert. Chiro (is that even her name) was a really traitorous character but I understand why she did what she did. She just wanted to be recognized as beautiful for once in her life, and bearing the Hamsas her life was a long one. The beauty and simplicity of Akiva and Madrigal’s love was so peaceful and amazing to read about and experience second hand. We then learnt he full truth about the teeth: they are used to recreate Chimaera who die and wear the Hamsas. This was such a revelation but made a much more intense story seeing as Karou bore the Hamsas too. When Madrigal was being killed I could feel Akiva’s screams deep into my soul. It was the most torturous scene in the novel and it gave me great pain to hear his terror. Akiva said that Karou would be mad by the revelations the wishbone brought but they were all happy things so I thought it must be a mistake.
But no, he had to go drop the bombshell that he had actually killed Karou’s entire family. Good one Akiva. I still love him though. The book ended weirdly, because Karou is flying to Eretz with Razgut despite her families deaths. I don’t understand the point of this because if they are all dead anyway she’ll find nothing there and she won’t have Akiva with her. Who she very clearly is in love with.
Despite the ending I absolutely adored this book and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for hours after I finished it. It is definitely a five star book and I am so excited for the rest of the series to come out. I hope you enjoyed this book and feel free to comment your thoughts on the book, but please no spoilers for either of the sequels.

Signing off, Charlie.

Booktalk with Charlie – Isla and the Happily Ever After

Hi there,
I just finished Stephanie Perkins third and final book in the Anna trilogy and it was amazing! This is going to be my booktalk and just like usual it is going to be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler: 
Alright first of all you definitely have to read this series in order, despite it being three separate stories. Anna is first, then Lola and then Isla. This book is a tied first with Anna in this series. It was adorable, it was fast and best of all we actually got to see the main couple dating for a while instead of the romance happening at the conclusion of the book unlike so many other young adult contemporaries. Isla was a very relatable character, despite being frustrating and alien at times. Josh was just adorable and I think I may like him only a little less than Etienne. I really encourage everyone to pick up Stephanie Perkins books, whether you love the contemporary genre or you’re not quite sure, these books are for you.

Spoiler:

The book opens in Manhattan, a new setting than those of her other books. Isla happens upon Josh as they are sat in a cafe called Kismet, meaning fate. Isla is dizzy from pain medication after having her wisdom teeth pulled out and she acts silly and dramatic in front of Josh. He draws her picture and takes her home. Not getting to see the picture at that very point was a torturous wait, I just wanted to see what it looked like! That was one of the only chances we got to see them together in Manhattan as both of them went back to Paris for their senior year at SOAP.

Josh and Isla end up together after declarations of their affections but that part seemed very unnatural to me. The fact that Josh just happened to have like her from the very beginning. It seemed like an excuse to get them together faster. Non-the-less I very much enjoyed reading a book where the couple are actually together for the main portion of it. They’re relationship seemed real and beautiful. They’re first date was something everyone would want on a first date, discovering a place that can be theirs to share.
The treehouse is something I want for myself. It sounds beautiful and unique and if I ever go to Paris again I am going to be looking for something like that. I felt sad for Kurt, that his best friend had found someone else she loved more, someone she desired to spend all her time with.

I loved being able to finally see Josh’s picture of Isla, and he hadn’t drawn just one! He’d drawn multiple pictures of her, each more unique and beautiful than the last. I felt Isla overreacted a little at the pictures Josh had of Rashmi, they were together for a long time and she was a big part of his life, although I do understand where her insecurities were coming from.

I liked that Isla applied to Dartmouth, and not just because of Josh, but because I think she would’ve ended up floating between Manhattan and Paris her whole life and never discovering new places. Also their future there did sound adorable. The mural Josh painted in the treehouse was so beautiful and it meant so much. It was the best, most thoughtful present, he could’ve given Isla. It was just gorgeous and meant so much to her.

Going to Barcelona was a very strange time. The sights were absolutely gorgeous and I could just picture their beauty in my mind. The view from the mountain sounded just gorgoeous as did the building Josh painted. And then we came to the hotel scene.

This was just so awkward to read. It didn’t seem romantic and lovely but uncomfortable and very unrealistic. I just hated reading about but I love Josh and Isla so i could out up with it. I just knew someone was going to find out and Josh was going to get expelled and would have to travel with his parents. And that is exactly what happened but it was terribly sad when it was happening.

When Josh was travelling with his parents I honestly thought that Isla would see girls fawning all over him in news footage but that didn’t  actually happen, he just didn’t  admit to having a girlfriend. I figured he’d  gotten over Isla but he was just protected her.

I was so happy when they were finally able to reconnect when they met together at Christmas. Everything was so romantic and beautiful but then Isla just spoiled everything. She was very cruel to Josh (although her criticisms about his work were correct) and then she broke up with him for very selfish reasons. The present he got her was so beautiful and personal and intimate and she spoiled the moment.

I really thought that Josh was going to appear at Kismet on New Years Eve but I completely understand why he didn’t. But then Isla was just sad and depressed for ages and that was not at all fun to read about. I was really glad to hear that Kurt had made some new friends though, he really needed to find people outside of Isla. I was also glad Isla decided to go to Dartmouth, she really needed to get out of the suffocating box that was Paris and New York. The walls of those two cities were just closing her off from discovering anywhere new,

I loved that Isla took Hattie to the treehouse. She just wanted to be friends with Isla and it was obvious she needed the treehouse to symbolise that they were. The most adorable part came next when Josh called and they met up in the pizza place (I have no idea what it’s called).

Josh was there but so was Anna and Etienne, Merideth and Lola and Cricket. It was just so wonderful seeing everyone again. And then Etienne proposed to Anna and it just made everything even more wonderful. They’re  my favourite couple in this trilogy and it was lovely to see their relationship progress further.

Then Josh gave Isla his new graphic novel: spaces. It was a lot better and more beautiful than the previous edition and I loved seeing it through  Isla’s eyes. It was so kind and sweet for Josh to have waited all that time outside in the freezing cold for Isla to finish reading. After that scene though some of the dialogue seemed really unnatural and forced making it difficult to read.

The ending was beautifully structered and I loved the happy conclusion, Josh and Isla were very adorable together and Josh was just such a sweetheart and I loved him. Alright well that seems to be it for now, I’ll ty to post again soon.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie – Angelfall

Hi there,
So I recently finished Angelfall by Susan Ee and, oh boy, was it marvelous! Today will be my booktalk on that. I also finished Lola and the Boy next door by Stephanie Perkins and the booktalk for that will be coming later in the week. As per usual this booktalk will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler:
Angelfall takes place in a post apocalyptic world where angels have come to Earth and are destroying cities and snatching children from the streets. Street gangs have formed and people are becoming a danger to be around. When Penryn Youngs sister is snatched by an angel she decides she will do anything she can to get her back. Even teaming up with one of the enemy. This book was so amazing. It was fast paced and the plot flowed and was really enveloping. It was quite disturbing at the end section of the book so I would recommend this for mature readers but I think everyone could love it. It has a little of everything: action, romance, amazing characters. The character development and depth was really incredible for such a short book. I highly highly recommend this book as a must read.

Spoilers:
The book opens on Penryn, her mother and her sister ready to abandon their home and head for the woods in hopes of safety from the ravening angels. Penryn’s sister Paige was in a wheelchair and her mother had serious psychological problems. I loved this aspect of the story as it showed that Penryn had responsibilities from the beginning, intense responsibilities. Penryn and her family are stopped in their tracks when they come across angels fighting and that’s the first glimpse we get of them. I love the fact that their wings where all different in colours, shapes and sizes because it showed the difference in their personalities and characters. I could not believe that the angels would hack off another angels wings. That scene for me was one of the most horrible, imagining his face contorting in pain.
When Penryn’s mother ran off without Paige I was so angered. It wasn’t fair that she just ran off to live while Paige had the chance of dying, especially since she was in a wheelchair. Penryn was so strong standing up to the angels especially since they are so much more advanced than she. Paige being taken didn’t have as big of an effect on me as I thought it would. I think it was because the blurb already revealed she was going to be gone early on the series.
The chapters with Penryn in the house awaiting the angel to awaken where quite slow and the toughest chapters to get into but as Raffe woke up they got more interesting. Penryn’s mother was a presence in these scenes and I quickly found myself bored of her character, hoping she would disappear from the story. The way Raffe looked at his wings and the way he spoke about them really showed me (and other readers) just how much he loved them and how much he cared about getting them back which made the end of the story even more excruciating to read, but we’ll get to that later.
My absolute favourite part of the book happened when they were in the small house they found. I find small acts of love and compassion so beautiful and that’s why this particular part of the book stood out to me. Penryn was having a nightmare about her sister and her mother and Raffe came to her in her fitful sleep and just held her until she was okay. He just sat and held her and made her feel safe and it was beautiful.
As soon as they reached the forest the frustrating chapters of the story began. The resistance camp was such a beautiful idea. I love it in books and in reality when people band together for a common cause, but Obi was such an annoying character to me. I didn’t trust him, something bad just surrounded him. It was just like whats-his-face in the Darkest Minds (I cannot even remember his name). Dee-Dum was awesome though and did make me laugh quite a bit. I couldn’t believe though that Obi just let people pummel each other, especially in the case of Penryn and whatever. If she hadn’t had martial arts training she would’ve been beaten close to death.
Penryn and Raffe finally escaped though and then came across the half eaten children. I ad to look away from the book for a minute when I read this part, it was just so horrific. The thought that two young girls had been strung up to be eaten and the idea that the eldest had tried desperately hard to save her (I’m assuming) sister.
Reaching San Francisco was hard to digest. The entire city had been decimated and the people where scattered and terrified. The idea of human slaves and women basically being prostitutes for angels was a hard idea to wrap your head around.They got in though and Penryn was able to enter the club. Raffe had to hide his face after reconstructing his wings. One of my other favourite parts in the book was when Raffe leaned down to Penryn to hide his face and she kissed him. Then it was just heartbreaking when he turned to her and said “you know I don’t even like you”. I didn’t believe it for a single second but the sting still hurt.
Eventually Raffe got the chance to get his wings sewn back on and Penryn went to find her sister, finding her mother along the way. When she entered the room and found the mutated beasts eating people, I felt physically ill. The idea that those beasts where feasting on people with families, with lives, was just too much. The worst was yet to come however.
Seeing the children piled high on the floor, scars running the entire length of their body was just the final thing I could cope with. I had to put the book down and step away for a few minutes. It was just so awful and unfair. Then Paige surfaced and she was a cannibal maniac that could actually walk.
Raffe came out and he had sharp and dark wings sewn onto his back. It was so upsetting to see him like that, to know his own wings where on someone who didn’t deserve them at all. The Penryn was petrified or something and had to be taken back to Obi’s camp, away from Raffe. This part made me the maddest. They will not be better separated, they need to stay together.
This book was so amazing I cannot even. The plot was so rich and enveloping and I loved Penryn’s strength and Raffe’s character development. The whole book was amazing from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie – Love Lives

Hi there,
I just finished Love Lives by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees and I had very mixed feelings about it so this booktalk with be very much all over the place. The book follows four different people so my spoiler section will be split into their different stories. As usual it will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler:
Love Lives focuses on the life of four different people all brought together by one house. A house in which, for decades, people from various places around the country flock to to commit suicide by throwing themselves of the cliff that it is set on. Ned is an architect working on rebuilding the structure to it’s original state. Ellen is a working on a documentary about the legend surrounding the old manor and the suicides that have occurred since. Jimmy is a teenager, unwillingly drawn into one of the suicides. Verity is a 17-year-old girl intend on falling in love. The story flowed very well between the many stories but became very predictable very early on which made it a little less exciting. I would recommend it as a good summer read for anybody wanted a romance story with a little bit more too it.

Spoiler:
Jimmy – Jimmy’s story begins with the explanation of his infatuation for Verity and his plan to give her the mixed CD he made. It gave the audience their first glance of where Jimmy’s feelings lied but it also made anyone see that his story would revolve around her. We got to see that his Dad was a dead-beat and he lived with his step mother, Rachel, and her son, Keiran. I would have liked to see more of them mentioned in the story but they were absent for a large chunk of it which disappointed me.
It was revealed early on that Jimmy was having an affair with his boss at the video store he worked in and personally this storyline made me cringe so much. It seemed very unnecessary and was only mentioned a couple of times. The fact that a 17 year old (I’m assuming) was having an affair with a 37 year old was just icky. The first time we saw that was when Scott came into the store and gained an interest in Jimmy. He was recruited by them to assist in making the documentary.
He was allowed to view the auditions for the leading roles in the reconstruction of the legend and, surprise, Verity got it and the leading man got sick on filming day. This seemed very cliché and too good to be true but I let it slide because that’s what romance novels are all about. They shot a couple of scenes and it was really good to see Jimmy’s confidence in himself grow. I think he was the character we saw most development from.
He broke off the affair (thank goodness) and went to make a grand gesture to Verity. What he did was so amazing and really sweet and she just kind of rejected him. Although of course everything worked out in the end and Verity realised she liked him, although not after he nearly killed himself. He was driving the motorbike drunk and it was really scary, I thought he was going to die! But he didn’t and we got to hear the truth about Ryan. That part of the book was really frightening; to know that Jimmy had almost died too and that Ryan didn’t want to. To see the fear that was in his eyes and hear his screams as he went over the edge. It was a very emotional part of the book but I’m glad it was resolved. The ending with him and Verity seemed very quick and quite anticlimactic but at least it was all resolved.

Verity – Verity was a character I was consistently frustrated with. Her lack of empathy for other people astounded me. When Jimmy was so sweet and gave her the mixed CD she was really cold to him and just stared at Denny whatever-his-name-is. The first approach with them was uncomfortable to read and felt very strange because she was only 17 and he was 26 or whatever and had his own shop. The only person I disliked more than Verity was Verity’s mother, Cheryl. She was so inconsiderate of what her daughter wanted, sometimes I don’t think she even realised it. She wanted so much for her she didn’t think about what Verity wanted for herself. However, Verity was quite rude to both her mother and father. The revelation that her mother was having an affair seemed very reclusive as a storyline and was never properly resolved I didn’t think.
Being forced to reschedule a date, while horrible if you’re forced into something you don’t want to do, is not actually the end of the world. Verity made out like it was, however Denny didn’t even care that much. Her first date with Denny went well but I just hated reading it! She thought he was the most incredible person in the world and would die without seeing him every single day of her life. She was just being ridiculous!
Then she got cast in the reconstruction and did the scenes with Jimmy.  They kissed and she kissed him back which apparently counts as an infidelity even though they were just acting. Denny punched Jimmy and she still thought he was wonderful despite his immense over-reaction at what had happened. She basically begged him to take her back over the weeks and I hated reading that. Her going over to his house was the most cringe-worthy chapter in the book and was really disturbing. He made her do things she clearly did not want to do and it was uncomfortable and disgusting to read. The fact that he did that and she still thought she loved him made me want to scream. Her excuses after Jimmy was so sweet to her were hollow and made it very hard to read.
Finally she stood up to both her mother and Denny after the concert, shouting at him while her mike was on. She then went and found Jimmy and la-di-da they fell in love.

Ellen: Ellen’s story had the most gaps in the story for me. She was staying at wherever-it-was with Scott, her co-worker and complained a lot in the first two chapters maybe about how she wasn’t with her partner, Jason, for a while. After that he seemed to drift out of the story for the rest of it. The hate relationship at the beginning between Ellen and Ned was very tedious and did not make them getting together any more romantic as I’m assuming the authors were hoping it would.
Her love for romance and for Appleforth House was very enjoyable to read about and made Ellen seem more realistic to me as a reader. The conversations with Jason, and even the paragraphs about Jason, were dry and whiny. The only time I didn’t mind was when she wanted to confront him about the future they were supposedly to have together. I think it’s important to talk about that in a relationship. Her growing love for Ned was quite sweet and I liked that she was head strong in ending things with Jason once she knew how she felt for him. What I didn’t like is that she didn’t bother to take him too a private place before telling him like any normal human being would do.                       The chapters with Ellen were the ones that featured Scott the most, which I was happy about as I found him a very fun character. The most annoying thing in the entire book though was the fact that they constantly referred to Scott as “the Australian”. We get that he’s Australian, move on please. The last chapter with Ellen was really sweet. Ned was so kind to her after all he had done (in the heart breaking chapter previously), but I don’t think she should’ve been taken away like that. What he did to her was not nice and she just forgot it immediately. Oh well it was a happy ending.

Ned – I saved Ned for last because I feel he had more background to him than any other character. We open on him lying in bed after a night of drinking, his adorable daughter at the end of the bed waiting for him to wake up. Clara was so adorable and I really wish she was present more in the book. His immediate attraction towards Ellen was sweet but quite surprising. After the struggles of other characters it didn’t seem like it would be that simply. And turns out it wasn’t! The back and forth between love and hate with the two characters was full and repetitive but I figured I’d let it play out.                                                          Deb was a side character in Ned’s story who got very little time in the book and was useless except to be Scott’s love interest. I didn’t think she was his girlfriend/partner at all during the novel as it just didn’t fit with the storyline. When he told Clara and Ellen about his wife having a brain illness that killed her, I fully believed he meant cancer. Then it was revealed that she had actually committed suicide after having post-natal depression. This storyline was very sad as it is a very real mental illness that people suffer from every day.                                         That story gave so much depth to Ned and the fact that he didn’t believe he could have a second chance and that romance didn’t exist. It just felt so raw and real. The night he had with Ellen felt very intimate and the fact that he was afraid of his feelings made his lack of belief in romance even more solid. I couldn’t believe he was doing drugs, being a dad and everything. He eventually realized how much he felt for Ellen and the what she had given up for him. The end was beautiful and everything that he set up for her, admitting to his feelings.               The most exciting part of Ned’s story, however, was when he discovered that the father of the girl who threw herself off the rocks first, actually murdered her lover Leon, making her kill herself to be with him. This murder resulted in the father burning down the house with him inside. This revelation made a very exciting turn to the story.

I had very fixed feelings for this book but overall it was an enjoyable read. The end felt quite anticlimactic and the Jason story seemed very unresolved and fast. I’d rate it 3 stars out of 5.

Signing off, Charlie.

Booktalk with Charlie – Blood of Olympus

Hi there,
So on Tuesday the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan was released. I got it on Wednesday and finished it on Friday. I loved it so much and I am so upset that the story is now over. This is my booktalk on BoO and like my other booktalks this will split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler:
Blood of Olympus is the last book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and is the sequel series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. You have to have read the PJO series before you start HoO. I don’t have booktalks for any other the others in these series but I highly recommend them to anyone and everyone. They are suitable for people of all ages really and are one of the best things I have ever read. So if you haven’t read it already, go right now and pick up the series. You will not be sorry.

Spoiler: 
Alright so BoO starts with a Jason chapter which I thought was perfect because the series started with a Jason chapter. The perspectives were done really well and I loved getting to read about Reyna and Nico because we didn’t know that much about Reyna and to be honest not a lot about Nico either. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to read from Percy, Annabeth, Hazel or Frank because that meant we didn’t see anything about their relationships. I thought it was clever though that apart from Reyna and Nico the perspectives are all from those who were in the first book.
Jason’s chapter just jumped right into the action and I loved meeting all the dead guys and learning more about Greek and Roman history. When Jason’s Mum showed up I was so confused and then just felt really bad for him. When he got stabbed I actually thought he was going to die. I thought “this is it. This is the first of many deaths to come”.
Reyna’s first chapter was really interesting as it was the only incite we had had into her life in the whole series. Her chapters got more and more intriguing as the story went on especially when she met up with Hylla and we learned about her father and her destructive past. It made me further understand her story and the reason she and Hylla were as close as they were. I was really upset when the giant came and killed Phoebe and Kenzie. I actually liked them and Phoebe had been in it for so long, she was even in PJO.
I loved when Annabeth and Piper had a section together and they went to steal the heart. Seeing them work together as a team was awesome as we haven’t actually seen that much Annabeth/Piper in the series. Having seen what Annabeth experienced in Tartarus I cannot imagine how much pain she must have been in to feel that fear again in that chapter.
The chapters were Leo and co. went to get the physicians curse were so much fun to read! I loved the idiot mode that he set, it was so funny to read. But then I knew he was up to something with the cure especially when he put it into Festus’s head or something. I actually thought he was doing that to revive Festus and thats why he gave Piper a fake cure and kept the real one for himself.
The ending was, of course, the most magnificent part of the book. I loved seeing the God’s and demigods work together to defeat them. It was so funny when Percy was complaining that he woke Gaia just because of a tiny nose bleed.
I hated having to see Octavian again and his death was so horrific I hate just thinking about it for too long. I loved Nico and Will together and I so believe they become a thing. He was so sweet with Nico and it was adorable to see.
At the end when Leo “died” and Hazel and Nico even confirmed it I cried but I still didn’t believe it. I just kept thinking “no. Leo is not dead. He is going to Calypso. He is.”.
I loved all the happy endings and Nico telling Percy about the crush he had on him was the funniest thing. And then Annabeth just high fived Nico. It was such a good part of the book. Percy and Annabeth got their happy ending, so did Piper and Jason, Hazel and Frank and Nico and Will. So that just left Leo.
When he woke up on Festus I was so happy I thought I would cry again. And then he found Calypso and it was the most beautiful ending a book has ever had. I like to think that Leo and Calypso made it back to see his friends and they all lived together, but for now it’s enough that they’re together.
I seriously loved BoO. I think it might be my favourite book in the series. I was just so good and so adorable and Argh! I hope you all loved it as much as I did.

Signing off, Charlie.

Booktalk with Charlie – The Darkest Minds

Hi there,
I just finished the Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken and I fell in love with it. This is going to be my booktalk on it and hopefully I will also have a Blood of Olympus booktalk for you soon because that comes out tomorrow, ah! I am really excited. Anyway onto today’s post.Like all my other booktalks this will be split into spoiler section and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler:
The Darkest Minds is set in the present day when a deadly disease has swept across America, affecting adolescents. A lot of youths die from this but others get special abilities that can be deadly. All the remaining youths are put into “rehabilitation” units that are actually like the concentration camps that Hitler sent those he deemed “not pure” into. This book was so fun and fast-paced and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Alexandra Bracken’s writing is amazing and is easy to understand yet strangely philosophical at the same time. I highly recommend this book to anyone of basically any age. It is perfect for people who don’t read much or don’t like reading because it is so easy to get pulled into the incredible world. I. Highly. Recommend. It.

Spoiler:
The Darkest Minds starts with Ruby hearing the white noise and her crumbling to the ground. It then flashes through parts of her life in the camp and when the first girl died. We see the boy get off the bus and tell the woman to shoot herself. I thought he would appear more in the story but he never did and that kind of disappointed me because I thought his being in the story would be more than  just to introduce the idea of oranges into Ruby’s mind. When Sam stood up for Ruby and she was talking about the form of punishment sentenced to a repeat offender, we never actually learned what that was. I was really interested in that and I hated not getting to know (although knowing might have made me feel ill). When she erased herself from Sam’s memory tears came to my eyes and I don’t think the first book in a series has ever done that before in the first few chapters. I could physically feel the intense pain that Ruby was feeling.
I cried again when the girls were in their cabin and where telling stories to each other. The idea that they had one thing, just one, to help them keep going, and that that thing was stories, was too much. There are certain moments in books I just cannot handle and this was one of them.
Then we met Cate. I actually liked Cate at first which I feel really guilty about know. She seemed sweet and like she actually cared about Ruby. I never, however, trusted Rob. On first glance he just seemed shady and really unkind. Ruby’s dive into his melon only enforced this idea. When she ran away though I did think it was a really stupid thing to do. I thought the Children’s League would help them despite the distrust I had in Rob. She met Suzume though who I absolutely fell in love with almost immediately. I also fell in love with Liam immediately. Chubs took a little warming up to come around to properly.
Liam is one of the sweetest male characters I have ever read and I feel like the YA genre really lacks that at the moment. Male characters are always the “bad boy” type and start off being horrible to the protagonist before they fall in love through something. It was refreshing to read a character who didn’t fit into that box. Chub’s I started to love after a while when I realised that he really did care about his friends and that’s why he wanted Ruby gone. The second attack they had was the most intense and I felt so proud of Ruby for managing to fight back after the white noise had been set off. It was then that I realised the strength that Zu had and what she was actually capable of. Her powers actually seemed awesome to me and I think I’d have hers or the power of the blues over oranges. I don’t even want to know what Red’s can do.
Zu’s dream frightened me so much. The shots, the riot, only 20 kids getting out. The Darkest Mind’s is really special, in that it made me feel such intense emotions, enough to cry, even when character deaths weren’t there.
When we met Greg and whoever else I actually thought they would be new characters added to the story. But no. We were finding the Slip Kid. I hated him the moment I met him. I new that stupid Clancy Grey was going to cause some problems between Lee and Ruby. And oh boy did he. I hated East River I really did. In new Grey was up to something. Zu found new friends, which I hated, and Chubs didn’t fit in, which I hated more. When Chub’s told Ruby that East River was basically Thurmond I really started to see it, I did. Lee and Ruby barely saw each other cause she spent every minute of every day with Clancy Grey. I hate him so much I actually forgot his name. I had to google it just a minute ago.
Then Zu left. It hurt me so much especially when she told Ruby to come find her because I knew that would be tough to accomplish. And then I had to find out Clancy Grey pushed them out so Ruby would only spend time with HIM! When he froze Ruby in place and hurt her I felt so much anger I thought I might crush the book. But Liam found out and it was my heart that got crushed instead. When he was being hit again and again and again it was all I could do not to scream along with Ruby. I hated him so much in that moment, I didn’t think I could hate him more. But I was wrong.
He led the PSF’s right to them, right to the camp where all the kids could be slaughtered. He trapped Ruby and left everyone else just to die. Chub’s tragged her under the pier and I honestly thought Lee would be there waiting. But her wasn’t. I thought that we wouldn’t seem him again. But we did.
When Lee appeared again the wave of joy I felt seemed to completely knock me over. I was so happy he was safe. They went to find Jack’s dad and I thought it would go well, I really did. I was wrong again.
When Chub’s got shot my heart dropped right to my stomach. I just began to cry again. Then Ruby had to press the stupid panic button and I knew that that was it. That was the end of the trio.
They came and then the worst thing possible happened. Ruby made a deal to release Lee but keep her with the Children’s League. But that wasn’t enough. She erased herself from his memory and when he looked at her and had no idea who she was I never thought I’d stop crying. The ending broke my heart into a million pieces, I think it was possibly even worse than if it was a death because the shattering implications of that one action will take forever to reverse or at least attempt to fix. I hang on to the thread of hope that I still weave tirelessly that Lee will find Zu and she’ll set him straight and he’ll remember. He has too.
I absolutely loved TDM and cannot wait to continue with the series. I’ve become so invested in the characters lives and I have to know what happens next. I can’t wait to read Never Fade. Alexandra Bracken you are a god.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie (kind of)

Hi there,

So as you know I promised you all a movie review on Noah. Well I’m really sorry to disappoint but I am no longer going through with that. The movie is far too long and complex to write about so I will have to film a review but I can’t upload videos yet! Frustrating I know. When I figure out how to do it I will upload it. Yesterday though I finished This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl and it truly was incredible. I can’t really do a booktalk on it because it’s about someones life and so it’s too confusing, but I thought i would share some of my thoughts about the book with you.

Esther Grace Earl was a truly incredible person who battled cancer through for 3 (?) years before her death at age 16. She had only just turned 16 when she passed away in the early hours of the morning in her sleep. The details of her death are not important though as they don’t tell you anything about her amazing life. She was so mature for her  age whilst still being a young girl. She delighted in Harry Potter and was part of an online community called Catitude. She was a big part of the Nerdfighteria community and was loved by everyone. She was outgoing and funny and lived life everyday the best that she could. Esther was loved by everyone that knew her in person and everyone that knew her in spirit. In just the few short 400 odd pages of her book I myself have fallen in love with Esther. Her story is one that should be shared with the world.

Her’s was an extraordinary story that was told in a funny and witty way. It wasn’t a book about cancer it was merely a book that had cancer as a sideline character.

Rest in awesome Esther Grace Earl ❤ We love you xx

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie

Hi there,
The booktalk that I filmed is still being resistant in uploading so I thought I would write a booktalk on the book The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult. I’ll split the booktalk into a non-spoiler section and a spoiler section. Okay non-spoiler section first.
Non-spoiler
This book was so amazing it’s hard to put my feelings for it into words. The Storyteller was set in modern times but was about World War II in the 1940’s. It followed to story of Sage, a twenty something girl who befriended a man named Josef. But Josef has a dark secret that he’s trying to hide and he asks Sage to commit the most deadly of all the sins. He wants her to kill him. Sage will go on a journey to uncover the truth about the War and her morality will be severely tested. She looks to her family to seek the answers she desperately craves and finds herself faced with cruel taunting’s of the past. What Sage finds will not only test herself, but everyone around her.
I urge everyone to read this book. It will give you such a better understanding of WWII and what went down in the concentration camps especially the one in Auschwitz. It will make you think of things in a much more critical way and make you see the world isn’t black and white but a variety of different greys. The Storyteller was a truly incredible book and was engaging right to the end.

Spoilers
The beginning of this book was quite confusing. It starts with a story that Minka (Sage’s grandmother) wrote but then goes into Sage’s story. I was stumped as to how the two tied together and it wasn’t until about a third of the way through the book that we find out that it was Minka’s story. Sage interested me from the very beginning and I love that through the book we got to slowly piece together her life and how she acquired the scar she views as a setback from life. The way Sage talked about baking and why she baked and how she baked drew me into the story even more. A lot of people thought it was just useless droning that took away from the main plot, but I thought it was an essential edition to the novel to give the audience a better understanding of who Sage is. I didn’t like that she was having an affair with a married man simply because she thought she didn’t deserve anyone else and no one would ever want her. She had insecurities that a lot of people have but having an affair because of them was a little strange. I didn’t trust Adam and I thought he was just taking advantage of Sage. He made her feel like she was beautiful and that was good but he also made her feel like he was the only one that could ever love her. I didn’t like or trust him. I was really happy when she met Leo.
Leo was a really nice person who honestly did love Sage. He was kind to her and was really passionate about the job that he was doing. I do think he saw everything a little too black and white but his view on the world was so beautiful. When he took her to the Jewish Synagogue he looked on with such love and wonder in his eyes and I just fell in love with him even more.
When we first met Josef I honestly thought he was good. When it was revealed that he was an SS soldier for the Nazi party I was really surprised. He seemed so sweet and loving but he wasn’t and that made me really like about how many seemingly sweet people there are out there that have deep secrets. I felt like I was right there with Sage at that moment. Feeling the hurt and disgust she was feeling. I was in such a rage for what he’d done especially since his actions had affected Minka.
Minka was one of my favourite characters in this novel. She was an incredibly strong women who deserved a lot better than she got. Her chapter was so emotional that I just could not even. I was right there with her through her journey in the Ghetto and then the concentration camp, being hauled around to do slave labour and being abused just for simply being a Jew.
Part 1 of the story was probably the slowest part. It was still really amazing though. It started with the obligatory introduction to the story and the characters and then went into Sage learning about Josef. When she learnt about him I honestly thought she was going to do nothing because the man she had met and was good friends with can’t possibly still be that monster who committed so many disgusting crimes during the war. She did though, which was good, and I loved the introduction of Leo. Getting to see the Nazi party from a lot of different perspectives was really refreshing and I enjoyed being able to float to other peoples perspective. Josef’s chapters were really intense and learning about how he had grown up I started to see that a lot of Nazi officers actually grew up being fed these lies and being forced to have the same view as the Adolf Hitler. What he did still shocked and disgusted me and I don’t think I could ever forgive a man who did what he did.
The story eventually circled around to part 2: Minka’s perspective. Her story was the most heart wrenching piece I have ever read. It moved me and made me feel the loss that Minka was feeling. In the beginning of her part she explained about her life before the war and it was from there that I fell in love with the characters; particularly Darija and Minka’s father. When she was moved into the Ghetto I still had some hope for her seeing as she was with her family and Darija was there and the conditions were as terrible as the concentration camps. When her mother was taken to a camp I cried with her and I felt her pain seep into me. Her brother in law was taken to jail soon after (or was it before) and that didn’t effect me too much. He was still gone forever but we didn’t really learn much about his character so it wasn’t that devastating.
When Darija was taken I cried. I cried for Minka’s loss, for the loss of one of the few people she actually cares about. When the head of the camp announced the deportation of all children under ten years of age to be gas I was outraged. How dare he send children to be murdered! How dare he rip children away from their parents and force them to die! How dare he sacrifice someone else’s life to save his own skin. I felt confidant though that Minka’s sister would come up with a plan. And she did. I truly thought it had worked but then she looked down at her baby and noticed his face was blue. She had accidentally smothered her child and I knew from that moment that she was fated to die as well. And she did. She spread her arms like the wings of an eagle and welcomed the warm embrace of death that would take her to the land where her baby was. Where she would be happy and feel no more pain.
I was sure after that heart-wrenching death that there could be no more. But there was. Minka and her father were summoned to be taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. I felt like her making love to that boy was a little odd but was a necessary addition to the plot to make you see that she was fitting in every experience she could before her impending death. She knew where she was going and she knew her fate.
When they arrived at the concentration camp I was really upset that her father was sent to the left. To the gas chambers. To the place where people don’t come back. Minka was sent to the right though and that made me feel a little better, especially considering Darija was in the camp with her! That made me feel really happy. The scenes in the camp were described in such detail that I felt like I was there. I could smell the burning flesh from the crematoria, feel the hunger from days without food, see the terror in the eyes of those around me and feel the pain of losing everything. Every one.
When Minka moved jobs to attending to Franz I was worried. I didn’t trust him and was still a little wary even when he proved he was good. Then he made her read him the story and I was even more cautious of him. He was strange and seemed a little too calm  had happened. I was so mad that her life was taken. I could see her, lying crumpled on the floor with her lifeless eyes staring up at me. I felt so much anger at what Reiner Hartmann had done.  I was mad and sad at the same time which made me sob and scream and feel like my heart was being ripped out of my chest.
Minka was moved at that time to another concentration camp. She was forced to walk for two weeks. When she found shelter in the women’s shed I was happy. I thought she would finally get away from all the pain. But she was dragged back there. By that the time, however, the war was ending and she was saved. I couldn’t help feeling completely lost though. After everything that happened, how could everything have been saved so quickly? How could Darija have been murdered mere weeks before the end of the war? I was happy though that Minka had survived. I was still furious about the events previous but I was glad she was okay.
That took us to part 3; the conviction of Josef Webber. Sage was with Leo and I really liked that I felt that she really deserved him and he really loved her. Minka died in this part though and that made me sob like she was my own grandmother. After everything she had been through and everything she had seen, she had died. I felt like she was ready though. That after finally releasing the last part of her into someone else’s hands and revealing what had kept her trapped for years, she was finally free. Free to be reunited with everyone she loved. Her mother, her father, her sister, her niece and Darija the girl who truly was her best friend.
The final ending was extremely disappointing though. Sage did kill Josef which was something I didn’t think she would ever do so that seriously annoyed me. But the biggest twist of all was that Josef Webber wasn’t Reiner Hartmann. He was his brother, Franz. It did kind of make sense and my Mummy actually guessed that he was Franz but it completely shook me and took me by surprise. Sage learned he was Franz in the end but didn’t share the information with Leo and that confused me as to why. I understand why she didn’t say she killed him but she could’ve said he was Franz.

This book truly was amazing though. Jodi Piccoult perfectly described the effects of the war, keeping me on the edge of my seat willing for more to be read. It was moving, emotional and testing all at once. It made me look at the second world war in a completely different way and tested me to not vomit at the thought of the terrible events that occurred. This book is truly amazing and it opened my eyes to a lot of things. The Storyteller has been granted a 5 star rating.

Signing off, Charlie.