Book Review: Netochka Nezvanova by Fyodor Dostoevsky ★★★

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“Efimov, who had more than probably married her because she had a thousand roubles, sat back and folded his arms after the money was spent, and, as if glad of an excuse, declared to all and sundry that marriage was the death of talent, that he could not work in a stuffy room face to face with a starving family, that these surroundings were not conducive to inspiration and that is was clear that he was destined for this kind of misfortune. It seems that he himself had come to believe in the truth of what he was saying and was only too pleased to find another line of defense. The unhappy, ruined genius was searching for an inner cause on which to put the blame for his misfortune and disaster.” 

Being a huge fan of Dostoevsky, and Russian literature in general, I was very excited when I came across an unassuming little copy of Netochka Nezvanova (which translates, sadly, to Nameless Nobody) in a used bookstore. I had really never heard about this book, so I did some research on it before I read it. It was a good thing too, because it turns out that the book is actually unfinished. This was Dostoevsky’s first attempt at a novel, as well, which is so important in terms of his growth and development as an author, and on his themes. There are about 180ish pages here of Netochka’s story, but Dostoevsky was arrested and exiled to Siberia before he could finish it. Then, upon his release, he abandoned the work altogether and focused on his other novels, the famous ones we have all heard of. While this may not be his strongest novel by any means, there are sparks of brilliance throughout that speak to his later books, and I found it enjoyable and fascinating as a whole.

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Book Review: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson ★★★★

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“He stood there for a moment looking around the silent room, shaking his head slowly. All these books, he thought, the residue of a planet’s intellect, the scrapings of futile minds, the leftovers, the potpourri of artifacts that had no power to save men from perishing.”

Well friends, since I have mentioned this book so many times in my book tags over the past few weeks, I decided to finally post a review for you guys. Yay motivation!

I Am Legend is not a huge book, based on length alone, but the weight and gravitas of this story goes beyond any measure. It is a haunting story that has been one of my favorites since high school. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for something creepy or just something that doesn’t seem to be that well known, but is truly amazing. I mean, everyone knows Stephen King, but do they know that he had this to say? “I think the author that influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson. Books like I Am Legend were an inspiration to me.” And really, in King’s best novels that I have read, he emulates the subtle, creeping sense of dread that Matheson writes so well. This book is not just for fans of the horror genre, but anyone wishing to delve into the mind of the last living man on earth, as his world is slowly taken over by vampires.

Spoilers ahead!

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Monday Musings

So, I find myself in a reading slump as of late. I feel like my thoughts and my motivations are all over the place and I can’t concentrate on one thing. Should I be working on my own writing? Should I be finishing the book that I put down two weeks ago? What about working on book tags or reviews? Maybe I should update my Instagram with more pictures?

I know I need to be more organized about my creative outlets, but splitting my attention between so many different areas just makes me retreat altogether and then I get nothing done. Quite frustrating, I must say.

How do you guys stay motivated or keep your different projects on track?

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The Book Gif Tag

Book Tag Tuesday (1)

Happy Tuesday! I came across this book tag as I was browsing through some lists of them and it seems so fun! I think it is a bit of an older tag and technically you are supposed to get tagged by someone to do it with a list of 10 books, but I am just gonna pick some and go for it on my own (shrug emoji). Basically, you use a gif or a couple gifs to review the given books, or indicate what you like/disliked about them. You can add some written context if you like, or just let people figure out what your gifs mean. Let’s go then!

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Book Review: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab ★★

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“People were messy. They were defined not only by what they’d done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, molded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back – time only moved forward – but people could change. 

For worse.

And for better.

It wasn’t easy. The world was complicated. Life was hard. And so often, living hurt. 

So make it worth the pain.”

Hi guys!

So, I feel like I would have enjoyed Our Dark Duet a bit more if I had read it closer to when I finished This Savage Song. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed this second and final novel of the Verity books…but it was surprisingly a little lackluster for me in places. That sense of urgency, that feeling of needing to read more and find out what happens next, that I had after This Savage Song just was not really there for me anymore. That and a few other things lead me to give this book 2.5 stars.

This will have spoilers!

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The Individual in Season of Migration to the North

Throwback

Hey, ya’ll! I have been wanting to incorporate some additional types of posts here and I was thinking that a throwback post would be fun. I am not 100% certain what the structure will be, but I think anything that strikes me as a throwback piece will do. You know something old-school or riddled with nostalgia. Or just something I wrote a while ago, that I would like to share! Creative or otherwise. Maybe I will write up some stricter rules for it at some point, but for now, I just want to have fun with it.

So, to kick it off, here is an essay I wrote a few years back about Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih.

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Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black ★★★★

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“What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.” 

I am just gonna dive right in here with a quick review of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince, the first novel in her Folk of Air series. I loved this book! 🤗 I went in not knowing anything about it, but I was a previous Holly Black fan (Seriously, why haven’t more people read Tithe? It is so good!), and I was very pleasantly surprised by how great it was. Definitely a 4.5 star book for me!

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Book Review: Soul Scent by Reyna Favis ★★★

“I did not want to imagine, but the worst part was that in my experience, the truth could easily outstrip my imagination.”

In this second installment of The Zackie Stories, author Reyna Favis brings everything I loved about the first book and more. She really ups the ante here and creates a stronger, bolder thriller. I was wavering between 3 and 4 stars for this one, and decided overall to go with 3.5 stars, because of the progress made from the first book, and the potential for this to become a great full-length series. All of the characters that we met in the previous book are back and they create a fun and endearing misfit ensemble. Fia returns as our main character, with her life teetering precariously between a normal Search and Rescue field agent and paranormal soul seeker. As much as she tries to keep her two lives separate, though, a tragic event threatens to merge them together, when her team has to search for a body in the woods.

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