Book Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in CharlotteTitle: A Study in Charlotte
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

I had been anxious to read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro since I’d first heard about its upcoming release. When the online book club in which I take part selected this novel as a possible upcoming read, I jumped on it. I voted on Twitter and in the Goodreads group for A Study in Charlotte to be our group read. It was selected as the March/April book and I bought it right away. The hardcover was even cheaper than the Amazon Kindle edition!

For more about this online book club, visit The Story Squad on Goodreads.

Trigger Warning for Book (not review): This book does contain references to sexual assault, but not an actual depiction of the assault in question.

Premise: 4/5

Alright…it’s a little cliché. I get that. The British great-great-great-grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson just happen to attend an extremely small preparatory high school in Connecticut, USA. They meet, fall into their famous relatives’ roles, and work to solve a murder together. It sounds like it’s right out of the fanfiction community.

I was a sucker for it.

As I read about this book and then started reading it myself, I found myself wondering how the more well-known pieces of Sherlockian lore were going to be incorporated. What will Holmes’ vices be? Will the Moriartys come into play?

Plot Development: 4/5

With a cliché premise comes cliché plot development. That was okay! It was exactly what was expected, so I could not be disappointed. It was, at times, rather predictable, but it was so in a way that made me smile, thinking, “I knew that was going to happen this way!” If I was looking for a more difficultly pieced together sort of mystery, I would not be giving this a 4/5, but my expectations for this novel were satisfied.

Characterization: 4/5

Again, cliché, but expected. Holmes and Watson went through the exact character developments that were expected. Some characterization elements were even a little elevated. The only reason I am not scoring this a five is because I didn’t like some of Watson’s behavior. Some his character didn’t fit with the rest of him, like the author wanted to round him out a little, but came off as trying too hard.

Writing Style: 4/5

As with the rest of this review, I don’t have a lot to say about the writing style. It was a quick, easy read. Something that I adored was the change in writing style with the change of characters. Watson and Holmes truly had their own voices. In Watson’s point of view, Holmes’ voice shone through. In Holmes’ point of view, the writing style of the inner monologue completely changed to fit the character. This is pretty hard to do, so I’m impressed. If the writing stays the same, I’ll be sure to pick up the next book in the series.

Readability: 4/5

It was quick, easy, and cliché, and I loved it. It was quite refreshing to read from a male’s point of view. These days, male perspective YA is hard to find. If you’re looking for an easy, modern twist on a classic “whodunit,” this book is for you. If you’re looking for a more complicated mystery to keep you more on your toes, maybe look into some mysteries out of the adult literature section of your library or bookstore.

Obligatory teacher comment:  This book is intended for young adult audiences. Parents and teachers should note that it does contain drug references, mild language, and sex, including sexual assault. If your teen or student is reading this novel, be prepared to talk about these themes in a positive and educational way.

Total Score: 20/25, avg. 4/5

4 stars

Overall, I’d read this again, but definitely not for a few years. It didn’t wow me, but I enjoyed it enough to keep on my bookshelf.

I also read this book for the #sixsquaredchallenge hosted by bookstacksamber! – Books to Start a Series

Have you read A Study in Charlotte? What did you think?

kacie

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Want to purchase a copy of A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro for yourself? Check it out on The Book Depository by clicking HERE.

Library Loot #2

Hello everyone!

As I am getting back into reading, I am also stopping by my local library every now and then. I used to get several books at the library every week, but I obviously have to cut back.

I picked up two books during my library trip the other day. One for me and one for my mom (which really also means two for me).

library loot

#1 – A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

I’m going to give this one a chance because I have heard a lot of good things about it. If you can recall, I did NOT like Heir of Fire. I’m still not itching to read Queen of Shadows, but I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. It had been consistently checked out of the library when I ventured in, but it was available this time!

#2 – Finders Keepers – Stephen King

I am a huge Stephen King fan. I just finished 11/22/63, a giant tome of a novel about time travel and the assassination of JFK. Now, I’m currently reading a mystery/crime novel of King’s called Mr. Mercedes. It is about a retired detective who is hunting for a mass murderer that got away. Finders Keepers is the second book in the series. Mom has been wanting to read it forever, but it’s been checked out a lot.  I’m excited to read the first two books in the series back-to-back!

uh huh

What are you reading?

kacie

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Tuesday Talks | First or Third Person?

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

Does anyone even get this references?
Does anyone even get this reference?

Hello everyone! I’ve missed you.

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the weekend visiting friends at my alma mater. This means that I slept on my best friend’s couch, stayed up entirely too late playing Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart, and stuffed my face with every bit of food I cannot find at home.

I’m exhausted.

tennant_tired

To welcome myself back to my own blog, I’m bringing you another edition of Tuesday Talks. It’s been almost a month since I’ve done a Tuesday Talks topic, but that’s the beauty of owning a blog. I can pick and choose the content!

Tuesday Talks


Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group created by Janie and Janelle. Each week, we discuss a bookish topic on our blogs or YouTube channels. Join in the discussion here.


This week, we are talking about points of view and our preferences when reading. This is going to be a pretty short post because here it is, plain and simple.

Question: First or Third Person? Which do you prefer?

Answer: I have no preference as long as it doesn’t detract from the plot or the author’s writing itself.

That was easy.

It could be like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin and stay in third person, switching to another character each chapter. It could be in first person like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It could also be in third person, such as the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Heck, it could even switch points of view like in Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. All of these books are favorites of mine and have different types of point of view.

What about you? Do you have a preference?

I’ll see you tomorrow for Top 5 Wednesday!

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!


Weekend Reads | July 31

Before you say anything, I know that today is actually the first of August and not the last day of July as the title of this post suggests. I just have two posts already on Fridays so I’m doing Weekend Reads on Saturdays.

weekend reads


Weekend Reads is a blog/YouTube vlog group in which we answer a different question every week when we let you know what we’re reading.


This weekend, I’m going back up to the mountains. I have no idea how much reading I’ll get done because this weekend will be a little different than usual. My uncle’s bandmate is coming this weekend and bringing his six year old niece and from what I’ve heard, she’s a little pistol.

I’m planning on at least finishing Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. This was on my list last weekend, but I had a migraine for most of the weekend and just didn’t feel like reading. Since then, I’ve read one of the Harry Potter books in an attempt to get out of a reading slump, so I’m ready to catch up on some Celaena Sardothien.

I’m also taking We Were Liars by E. Lockhart with me. If I finish the book or am still slumpy while reading Heir of Fire, I’ll read this YA contemporary to mix things up.

Question of the Week

What is your favorite thing about blogging/booktubing?

SO MANY THINGS. BUT MOSTLY YOU GUYS.

Letmeloveyou

I think what I love most is being able to talk about the books I’m reading. Unless there is a new Stephen King or George R.R. Martin book out, Mom and I don’t discuss books as much as we used to. She’ll make recommendations to me, but that’s about it. Also, since my sister doesn’t live here anymore, we are not constantly swapping books and talking about them.

That’s why I love the internet. You guys read the same books as I do! You guys want to talk about the same aspects as I do!

I love you guys.


What’s your favorite part of blogging/booktubing?

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon for a July wrap-up post!

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

Weekend Reads | July 24

weekend reads

I’m so glad it’s the weekend.

If you’re reading this, that means that I am up in the mountains somewhere. Maybe I’m in a kayak, maybe I’m on the porch with my book, or maybe I’m even watching a bear walk through the backyard. All of this has happened before. Just know that I am away from my keyboard and this post is scheduled.

Time traveling is fun!

I might post some pictures of my weekend getaway. Feel free to check those out on my Instagram!

Here’s what I’m reading this weekend.

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I picked this up from my local library, but haven’t really had the chance to read it. I got sucked into Black by Ted Dekker for a few days, but I’m really excited to crack this Throne of Glass novel open. I really enjoyed Crown of Midnight and I hear the third one is even better. I’ll start this one on Friday evening while I’m in the car.

When I finish this novel (if I finish this novel), I’ll be bringing a back up book along.

2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I’ve read Gone Girl and Dark Places and I loved both of them, so I’m really excited about this book. I don’t really know much about it, but if it’s anything like her other books, it’ll be a page-turner for me.

If I finish both books, I need to get out of the house more. We’ll see how the weekend goes.

Question of the Week

I recently joined another group on Goodreads called “Weekend Reads.” It’s a blog/YouTube vlog group in which we answer a different question every week when we let you know what we’re reading.

This week, the question is:

Christmas in July! What are some pre-orders/new releases you’re looking forward to for the remainder of the year?

This was a recent topic for Top 5 Wednesday, but that’s alright.

I’m getting really excited for The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I actually didn’t really know about this book until the aforementioned Top 5 Wednesday. This novel is about the best friend of the local hero of the city. He’s just a normal guy trying to live a normal life while his best friend has to save the world. I really like the premise of this novel because I like to think about what it’s like to be the side character! It is expected to be released on August 27, 2015.


See you when I get back!

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

Top 5 Wednesday #5 | Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Series

Hello, readers! Welcome back to Kacie’s Bookshelf and another edition of Top 5 Wednesday!


Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. For a complete list of Wednesday-ers and topics, please visit the Goodreads group!


Have you ever read a book or book series and wondered what the story would be like from another perspective? Maybe you want a whole new series revolving around a favorite supporting character, following their adventures rather than the hero of the original series. Well this week, we are talking about just that. Some side characters just really deserve their own books.

Here are my selections:

#5 – Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’ve only read the first book in this series, but I already want a prequel. I want an entire book about the loop…before Jacob and maybe even before his grandfather. I’d like a book filled with antics of the peculiar children. This probably stems from my desire to be a child forever. Adult-ing is hard.

#4 – The Capitol from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I want the trilogy retold from the perspective a typical Capitol citizen. These citizens were basically brainwashed by the government. I am reminded of a quote from the movie, The Truman Show: “We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented.” What was it like to be a regular citizen living in The Capitol during the events of this trilogy?

#3 – Pennywise the Clown from It by Stephen King

Oh my gosh, can you even imagine? I can’t even think of what to say about this. It would be terrifying and amazing.

#2 – Hannibal Lecter from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Red Dragon is the first book in the Hannibal Lecter series, but it’s mostly about Will Graham, an FBI profiler who is hunting for serial killers.  Dr. Lecter, a psychologist, is consulted by Graham to help catch the killers.  Eventually, Graham cottons on to Lecter’s cannibalism and catches him. That story is mostly told through flashbacks. Even in the following books (except the prequel about Lecter’s childhood), Dr. Lecter is more a side character that everyone is hunting. It’s like calling the Harry Potter series “The Voldemort Series.” I want more Hannibal Lecter during the Red DragonSilence of the Lambs, and Hannibal eras.

#1 – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Okay, okay. I have to include this series and I want to see the same story from another perspective. However, I do not want to see this story from Ron or Hermione’s point of view. Not even Neville’s.

I want to read this story from the perspective of a non-Muggle-born Hufflepuff, preferably one that is so far into the background that we don’t ever see them. Maybe we heard their name in the Sorting in the first book, but that’s it. A typical wizarding student from a typical wizarding family. Something tells me that it would be a great re-telling.


This list was actually quite difficult to come up with. I found myself wanting to know more about the villains or the nasty side of the books. I like to know why evil people do the things that they do.

I also realized that I haven’t read many book series or that I don’t want to read about the other characters.

What side character do you want to read more about?

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

ARC Review | Another Day by David Levithan

Book Review

anotherdayTitle: Another Day
Author: David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

(Note: This is a spoiler-free review. The facts from the novel I use can be clearly read from the back cover summary of the book(s).)

 (Note: I was able to read this novel due to winning a third party giveaway of select titles from BookCon. I did not receive this book from the publisher and am in no way working with the publisher of this book. This review is my honest opinion.)

Another Day by David Levithan is the companion book to the Every Day. In this companion, we learn about Rhiannon, a girl in a peculiar situation.  One day, her sad and selfish boyfriend suddenly turns into the perfect boyfriend, only to forget about it the next day. Saddened, Rhiannon realizes she must return to having such low expectations for Justin, even though he greatly surpassed them for one day. Soon she finds out that Justin was wonderful for one day, because for only one day, he wasn’t Justin.

I haven’t read Every Day but as I understand it, it is the story of a character named A, who travels to a new body every day. When A meets a girl named Rhiannon, while in the body of her boyfriend, A realizes they want to spend the rest of their life with her. Each day and each new body, A finds a way to return to Rhiannon.

In this companion, we learn what it was like on Rhiannon’s side of things.

Premise: 5/5

I love the premise of this novel. Can you even imagine? You’re with your significant other. The two of you are in a routine and used to each other. Essentially, the honeymoon phase has been over for a while. Then one day, that romance suddenly returns and you’re reminded why you fell in love with them in the first place.

Then you find out they were a different person entirely that day. What do you do?

Plot Development: 5/5

The plot of the novel was paced wonderfully.  I didn’t notice any slow scenes or scenes that were much too fast. The reader is given enough background knowledge to make the story enjoyable, but not too much background.  This book can be ready by anyone, even if they have not read Every Day.

Characterization: 4/5

There are times that I wanted to strangle for Rhiannon for talking about her doubts but not displaying matching actions.  I also would have liked to see more characterization among the supporting cast, Rhiannon’s friend group. It seemed like some of them were there for the sake of dialogue for the reader to ascertain Rhiannon’s true feelings without the character explicitly expressing them. The supporting characters were quite flat.

Writing Style: 5/5

I really liked the writing style of this novel. It was told only through Rhiannon’s point of view, which allowed the premise and plot of the novel to shine. The reader is right there alongside Rhiannon, wondering and worrying about the same things.

Readability: 5/5

Another Day is easy to read and I do not predict it to be a difficult read for its intended audience, Young Adult.  The text contains e-mails and text messages between Rhiannon and other characters.  It was easy to differentiate these formats from the traditional narrative.  The novel contains themes about sex, so I would certainly recommend that a mature teenager reads this book or that is pre-read by a parent. The sex elements are not graphic, but is talked about casually. The book is overall easy to understand and comprehend.

Total Score: 24/25, avg. 4.8/5

I obviously give Another Day a five star rating.  It was a highly enjoyable reading experience, from cover to cover. I highly recommend this book.

5 stars

Has anyone else been lucky enough to read Another Day? Let me know what you think down in the comment section below!

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!