Refugee | Book Review (Spoiler free)

Hello, my bookish friends! Today I be doing a spoiler free book review of Refugee by Alan Gratz. This was an inspiring and spell-binding book, and it is definitely a recommendation.

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  • Title: Refugee
  • Author: Alan Gratz
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • AR Reading Level: 5.3

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IMG_0376Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a homemade raft, hoping to find safety in America. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe.

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers – – from drownings to bombing to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

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ExpectationsI had high expectations coming in because multiple people had told me that this was a good book. The synopsis caught my attention, and cover indicated that it was an action-packed and excited book. But who am I to judge a book by its cover?*

*It’s OK because I’m a book-reviewer but don’t tell anyone (wink, wink)\

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TLikeshe pacing was spot-on.Β RefugeeΒ was truly a page-turner. I’m not even kidding! Every single chapter ended with a cliffhanger. From the very first page to the last, this book caught my attention and was engaging. I read this book in a book club, and I found it very difficult not to read ahead. VERY difficult.

Alan Gratz not only did an excellent job executing three stories at one time but also making his characters complex, relatable, and three-dimensional. A lot of books in this same format are choppy and difficult to dive into because the plot is divided between different characters. This is difficult to do, and I applaud him for it. Josef, Isabel, and Mohmoud were brave, resourceful, and intelligent. All of them were struggling, in some way or another, but they never gave up and they kept on fighting.

Refugee was genuinely inspiring. I felt more grateful about the things that I have after I read it, and it made me realize what some people have to go through just to have a place called home.

Plus, the twist at the end of the book is AMAZING.

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DislikesThe only thing that I would have changed about this book was give a little bit more back story about Josef towards the end of the book. It was left as a little bit of a cliffhanger and in my opinion ended too abruptly, and I would have liked to see a little bit more. This, however, is my only critique.

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Final ThoughtsIn conclusion, RefugeeΒ was an attention grabbing page turner with, unlike many books with such fast pacing, truly inspiring. The characters were likeable and even though I would have changed a little bit of it, the rest was perfect. The way the characters intertwined at the end was genius and made the book 10 times better. I strongly recommend this book, especially if you like Alan Gratz or action-packed novels.

I will definitely read more books by Alan Gratz in the future, given the quality of this one.

Story and plot: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Pacing: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Character development: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–Β½

Writing quality: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Enjoyment: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Overall: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–Β½

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Thank you so much for reading this blog post, and if you haven’t already, please follow my blog. Leave me a comment on what you thought of this book, I love to hear from you guys!

Keep on Booking,-Katie K

Top 5 Bookish Struggles (WISvsWIF edition)

Hello! Today I am going to be listing my top 5 bookish struggles that all bookworms can relate too, WISvsWIF edition. (What I Say v.s. What I Feel)

WARNING, SPOILER ALERT: Being a true bookworm is a lot harder that it looks

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1. When people ask you your favorite book, they expect you to pick just one

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What I say: *lists every single book I’ve ever read*

What I feel deeeep down inside: I have tons of favorite books, want to hear all of them and then read them so we can fangirl over them? Cool, great, here they are!

  • Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoinex by J.K. Rowling
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’engle
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brain Selznick
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • More in counting!

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2. When people tell you that you ‘read too much’

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What I say: *keeps reading, doesn’t make eye contact, but close to tears*

What I feel deeeep down inside: HOW DARE YOU.

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3. Or when they tell you that they don’t like to read

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What I say: *attempts to nod head to indicate that you respect their opnion but ends up making the you’re-a-weirdo-face*

What I feel deeeep down inside: *however a human being feels after eating 10 coachroaches*

(Probably not very good…)

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4. When a movie based on a book gets everything wrong and you’re just sitting in the audience like

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What I say: *chokes on popcorn and spills soda*

What I feel deeeep down inside: *slow claps* That was the best movie ever-except you left out all the important characters, plot twists, and scences. Also, the characters don’tΒ look like how they were described in the books at all. Otherwise, it was fine. Just great.

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5. When there are no good books left to read

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What I say: *Desperately searches bookshelf*

What I feel deeeep down inside: What am I going to do with my life?

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Thank you for reading this post and if you haven’t already, follow my blog! Leave me a comment on what you struggle with as a bookworm.

Keep on booking,

-Katie K

Eragon | Book Review (Spoiler free)

Hello, everybody! This is my first book review on Katie That Bookish Girl, so I am quite excited. But let’s just say that I have mixed emotions about this one…

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Oooooh, pretty cover…
  • Title: Eragon (Book #1 in the Inheritance Cycle)
  • Author: Christopher Paolini
  • Publisher: Paolini International
  • AR Reading Level: 5.6

IMG_0376Eragon is a poor farm boy who lives in Carvahall and lives with his Uncle and cousin, Roran. One day, while he is wandering around rural mountains hunting he notices a strange blue stone. Thinking he will be able to sell it and stock up on some food for the winter, he takes it home. It turns out to be a dragon egg, and soon Eragon finds himself on a magical journey across AlagaΓ«sia to reach a secret organization against the evil King Galbatorix (ruler of the cruel and unjust Empire) to restore balance inΒ AlagaΓ«sia. Along the way, he experiences loses and tirelessly fights battles. Although nothing is for sure, Eragon knows that he is on one big adventure.


Expectations

I had high expectations coming in because this book was strongly recommended to me by my Aunt. I had also heard about this book before, so I was very excited to read it.

 

 


LikesWhat I enjoyed the most about Eragon was how descriptive it was. I always knew exactly what was happening in vivid detail.

Paolini spent a lot of time world-building, which gave the reader a good back story on the plot and characters. This set Eragon apart from other fantasy novels, and I was impressed.


DislikesHowever, Eragon has flaws. First of all, the pacing was very slow. There were times when I wanted not to finish it because of how slow it was. There is literally 150 pages where Eragon is wandering aroundΒ AlagaΓ«sia for no reason. I’m sorry Eragon, but I could really care less whether or not you hunt an elk or a deer for tonight’s meal.

Secondly, there were very few inspiring female characters. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Arya, and for most of the book, she is unconscious and riding on the back of Saphira. Not very empowering.

And after over 500 pages of overstretched story arcs and camping in the middle of nowhere (kind of like the first part of the Deathly Hallows if you know what I mean) Eragon as a character still feels incomplete. For example, Eragon rarely shows any emotion whatsoever. He is hotheaded, reckless, and sometimes ignorant.

Lastly, Eragon didn’t even battle Galbatorix! Like, wait, what? Come on!


Final ThoughtsIn conclusion, Eragon was painfully slow-paced, sometimes boring, but detailed and intricately woven piece of literature.

And even though I didn’t like Eragon as much as I thought I would, I have to give props to Paolini for writing this when he was just 15 years old. And yes, as you can see on my GoodReads widget, I am reading the sequel, Eldest. Was it not what I hoped it would be? Yes. But was it bad? No. When I picked up this book and read the summary, I was excited and expecting a wonderful fantasy adventure. What I actually got was

Let’s just say I have mixed emotions on this one, but I would only recommend it to you if you are super into dragons and insanely long fantasy novels.

Story and plot: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Pacing: πŸ’–πŸ’–Β½

Character development: πŸ’–πŸ’–

Writing quality: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Enjoyment: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–Β½

Overall: πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–Β½

Thank you for reading this blog post and if you haven’t already, please click the follow button and give this a like. Send me a comment down below on what you thought of this book.

Just keep on booking,

-Katie K