A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Quickie Review: 5/5 on GoodReads.
The writing flows so well and is very captivating, as well as it being so easy to read – to say how long ago it was written! The plot is compelling, the characters are fascinating, Sherlock Holmes is fantastic and overall an entertaining, fun, engaging read! Cannot wait to read more!!

Plot:
Doctor Watson comes back from the war and ends up sharing a place with Sherlock Holmes. There has been a murder and it’s up to them to figure it out!

Characters:
Doctor Watson – I love how intrigued and fascinated he is by Sherlock Holmes and it’s almost like he and the reader are the same person, sharing the same thoughts. I don’t know enough of his quite yet, I feel, in order to have a feel for his personality.
Sherlock Holmes: As mentioned earlier, fascinating and fantastic. He is so witty and so intelligent and yet very mysterious. The way he figures things out and explains them is brilliant also!

Negatives:
Honestly, I don’t think there are any. The story did get a little slow towards the end when we are told about the culprits past (which I wasn’t expecting to be told) but it had a purpose and survived it well.

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Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish by Stephen Leather

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Quickie Review: 3/5 on GoodReads.
The one thing I loved the most in this short story, was the vast ethnicity in this book; Chinese, Singaporean, Western etc. It is rare, at least in my reading experience, for there to be such ethnicity (and not really the typical ethnicity groups either) in books and I find it rare when ethnicity is out right stated and I feel that a lot of books are still very heavily white race characters and it was good to not have the ‘norm’ in this short story. I also loved the description in the book; it was fancy or elaborate, but it was easy and straight to the point but not described in a boring way. The story was great too and the writing was easy to read. Not forgetting that the short story went into detail about various locked room mysteries and theories which was very interesting. A very enjoyable!

Plot:
There has been a murder and Inspector Zhang tries to figure out who the culprit is and how it was done.

Main Character:
Inspector Zhang – he was awesome! His detective skills were great. I love how excited he was about the case.

Negatives:
It was too short? But at least this author has a few ‘Inspector Zhang’ stories to out. I may try reading the rest of them.

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

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Quickie Review: 3/5 on Goodreads.
Took me ages to read due to the difficult/old English words but the story itself was compelling and at times frightening. Took me like three months to read but that could because I read like half as slow on a Kindle…

Plot:
Aliens come from Mars and cause chaos on Earth. Follows one man but about three chapters have us following another’s point of view.

Characters:
There is really only one character in this, the main character. We meet others along the way but are only involved in like two chapters each. The characters are as you would imagine in such a threatening and frightening story; some are crazy, some are planning way of revenge, others just want to find their family members and it’s all very realistic. I wouldn’t say I had any favourites or any that I hated but there were all interesting and realistic.

Negatives:
Just a lot of old words (or intelligent) words that I did not understand which slowed down my reading.

The Elite by Kiera Cass

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Quickie Review: 3.5/5 on Goodreads.
Didn’t enjoy this one as much and America seemed to have lost her strongness (but that’s acceptable when a teenager is conflict when it comes to feelings and love interests) and spends a lot of time mopping. There are some killer scenes though; Marlee’s big scene (I felt sick during it and so shocked!) and the Maxon and America hiding towards the end scene and also the second day rebel raid scene was awesome too. Also loved the Italian visit scene. Heart was crushed at the Maxon and Celeste scene. Very intrigued as to how it will end (it is a trilogy right?!) in the next book.

Plot:
Continuation of The Selection and America is very conflicted with her feelings this book.

Characters:
America – herself strength is gone for a lot of the book but she has a great strength part during the Marlee big scene. She’s now an alright character. But I’m glad she stood up strong in front of the King towards the end of the book, proving she’s getting her strength back and hopefully won’t fall into her ‘what do I do and feel?!’ slump again -_-
Maxon – I ended up really not liking or trusting his character just everything he says to America and everything he does is far too different. How she settled on trusting him in the end I have no idea! Cos I’m so iffy on him now.
Aspen – He’s a nuscience now. There is no way he can win and this trilogy have a decent ending! =/ as much as I like him, he’s just… I can’t see him being able to make an impact nor make any change in the next book =S
Marlee – Finally got to know her secret and I still love her and think she’s so pure and whole hearted ❤
Kris – WTF?! Why is she around?! Such a threat to America even if she is amazing and nice and Princess material!
Celeste – Still hate her, and turns out she’s even more cruel and horrid than we thought when we go to the hospital wing (Harry Potter much?) scene.
The King – He is just pure evil! That is all. I hope he dies -__-

Negatives:
Just not as good a book this time. America kept being so ‘I want him. No I want him’ and risking her life and it’s like ‘make a decision! Are you gunna risk it and die for Aspen if you get caught or are you gunna give it your all to Maxon?! Just CHOOSE!! Grrr!’. Can’t believe The Selection still isn’t done yet. And why won’t Maxon seen what a vial thing Celeste is?!?! GRRRR!!

Final Note and Questions (SPOILERS?!):
I liked Polandbananabook’s (YouTuber) theory on that her father is behind the rebels and I wonder how it’ll all turn out and why did that girl at the end of the second rebel raid, just curtsey to America and leave?! I WANNA KNOW!!! How is Kiera Cass gunna bring that to an end AND reform the country and the rebels in one last book?! She better not rush it =/

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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Quickie Review: 4/5 Stars on GoodReads.
Loved the plot, side plot, the characters and the love interests. Reminded me quite a lot of The Hunger Games (which I’m not a big fan of – sorry!). Only took me two days to read which is impressive for me and proves it’s a quick read. I love the book cover SO much! >.< I like the name of ‘Illea’, how do y’all pronounce it? I say it like ‘E-lay’.

Plot:
A girl named America is a Five and lives in a time after the 4th World War and it is where the One’s are the top, royalty, and the Eights are the poor, homeless people pretty much, so she’s below average in her and her family rank. One day she receives a letter where the Prince of Illea is ready to find a wife and every girl between the ages of 16 and (I think) 24 are eligible to be one of the 35 selected to be in the running to be his wife.

Characters:
America – Love! So strong, not girly, doesn’t realise her good points herself, puts herself down, when she called him ‘Maxon’ on TV xD I died laughing!!
Maxon – Caring, sweet, persuaded me to like him (as I didn’t in the beginning). Loved when he said he’d hurt the guy who hurt America! He turned out to be the guy I didn’t think he was going to be. I was expecting a proper bastard but he turned out to be a right sweetheart ❤
Aspen – hard working, cares, a little naïve ‘she fell’ sure she fell Aspen (you guys who’ve read it should know what I mean there haha) and finally I completely understand why he went slightly mental at her.
The Girls: Marlee – sweetheart but what is her secret?! Celeste – whatta beech tree! I hate her so much! -_- and I can’t believe she ruined the dresses (two people’s!).

Similarities to The Hunger Games:
I guess the coming notes are what makes a book classified as a dystopian then. War, famine, ‘districts’, widdling down to one winner, gets a better life after winning (though some that are just selected get a better life if they were previously a low caste), I fell the main training woman is similar to Effie Trinket (I think that’s he name in HG, if not, where the hell did I get that name from?! xD), the send-off as they go to The Selection; very HG-like, two lovers/two love interests, getting makeovers before competing, Maxon is honest like Peta when it comes to feelings and America’s songbird necklace immediately reminded me of Katniss’ MockingJay brooch.

(Similarities to) Other:
The fact that America is covered in Vanilla lotion and stuff reminded me of the WarPrize series and the MakeOver part reminded me of that Anne Hathaway Princess (Diaries?) film. Also it’s very ‘The Barchelor’ (tv show).

Negatives:
I really hate the fact that the word ‘sex’ in explicitly said. People reading these books are (or should) be 14 years and older and are therefore old enough to have to word said in a book to them. Seems childish to go round and about on the word. Also I wish Aspen hadn’t turned up cos it’s made me all confused as to who’s team I’m on! =S I’m annoy Maxon couldn’t see through Celeste’s fake act and see how much of a bitch she is and get rid of her, regardless of the fact that her family is a good link. Final negative, the first night where America has like a panic attack and is gasping for air and her balcony isn’t good enough, WAY over-dramatic and silly and unnecessary (but necessary in plot of course).

Final Note and Questions:
My theory is that the history of Illea is taught verbally for a reason and the rebels are raiding the castle in order to find the item that unlocks the secrets of the history of Illea. Whose side are you on? Team Maxon or Team Aspen? I’m currently Team Aspen I think! xD