Category Archives: Annual Wrap-Up

Detour From Normal by Ken Dickson

In 2011, Ken Dickson had emergency surgery that totally changed his life. He ended up with a rare complication (possibly from the surgery itself affecting his brain chemistry, possibly from one of the many medications he took). He ended up going manic. This led to him being put into three different psychiatric wards. Once he was deemed mentally ill, he was just looked at as “crazy” and no one cared to figure out what was really going on. Detour from Normal is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of someone completely manic and also into the world of mental institutions. Dickson told the story mostly from his point of view as he was thinking at the time (occasionally he clarified things with his wife’s journal entries). It was mildly humorous and quite engaging. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in mental health.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 110
Pages Read in 2017: 30,219
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (D in PERIDOT)

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Conceal by Andrea Pearson

Coolidge’s talisman is stolen by a croent on Keitus’s orders so Nicole, Lizzie, and Austin team up with Jacob Clark to get it back and try to find the other talismans spread around the world. They know one is in Japan in the possession of one of Coolidge’s friends so they head there to see if they can get to it before Keitus does.

Conceal is the sixth book in the Mosaic Chronicles series and the first to add characters from the Kilenya series, joining both of the author’s worlds. Being both a Kilenya and a Mosaic Chronicles fan, I found this book to be completely and totally awesome. The writing was excellent, the action was nearly constant and sometimes intense, and the imagination level was perfect. I very highly recommend reading this book. You technically don’t have to read any of the Mosaic or Kilenya books first, but I do think your enjoyment will be much greater if you have read at least one series, if not both.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 75
Pages Read in 2017: 21,721
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I really like the series

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Filed under Annual Wrap-Up, Fantasy

Reclaim by Andrea Pearson

The time has finally come for Nicole to take the elixir to Idaho and figure out which machine to use it in. If she chooses wrong, all Aretes will die, but if she chooses correctly, families will be able to have children more easily. Leading up that moment on the mountain, there is lots to plan for the war that’ll come after, mistakes to be made, and a whole lot of crazy stuff in between.

Reclaim is the fifth Mosaic Chronicles book. Everything from the previous four books leads into the battle of the Aretes against the Tarians, monsters, and the Great Ones. There were fewer surprises in this one, but the action never seemed to end. The epilogue goes back to the Keys of Kilenya and Ayunli that were mentioned in the first book since it’s time for Nicole to meet Jacob. I very highly recommend reading this book and the whole Mosaic Chronicles series. It’s so good!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 74
Pages Read in 2017: 21,558
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I really like the series

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Observe by Andrea Pearson

It’s time for Nicole to infiltrate the Tarians and make them think she is on their side. Suddenly she can no longer stand to touch Austin or even think about him without getting sick and Rebecca says that is likely a permanent side effect. Nicole’s still not quite sure if Rebecca is even trustworthy, but feels she must go along with Rebecca’s plan until she has reason not to. Meanwhile, Anna Morse needs Nicole to come to her.

Observe is the fourth in the Mosaic Chronicles series and it’s the best yet. There were so many things I suspected that were confirmed and so many things I didn’t expect. I found it hard to stop reading when I needed to do other things because I just had to know what would happen next. I highly recommend this book and the whole Mosaic Chronicles series!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 73
Pages Read in 2017: 21,293
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I really like the series

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Praxis by Andrea Pearson

Praxis, the second book in the Mosaic Chronicles, contains three novellas. The Focus (Nicole’s POV), The Manor (Austin’s POV), and The Angel (Lizzie’s POV). They don’t exactly carry on the story from the first book, but they are necessary in the progression of the series and some events are mentioned again later. These stories kept me up way too late one night (which contributed to some weird Kilenya/Mosaic mashed up dreams) mainly because The Manor and The Angel are so creepy. They are well-written and while it doesn’t take much to scare me, the creepiness was just the right level. Some of the stuff in The Angel is a bit… familiar… for Doctor Who fans. I highly recommend all Mosaic Chronicles fan read this set of novellas (but you must read Discern first or you’ll just be confused).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 71
Pages Read in 2017: 20,777
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I enjoyed the first book in the series

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Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle

Let It Snow is a collection of three short stories that all intertwine with each other. All three stories stand on their own just fine, but the way they are interconnected makes them more fun to read. The main characters in each story are side characters in the other two. They all happen over the same few days (Christmas Eve to the day after Christmas). The stories are very enjoyable, of the happily ever after type. I recommend them to all YA fans!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 63
Pages Read in 2017: 18,506
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (L in EMERALD)

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Filed under Annual Wrap-Up, Realistic Fiction

Rupee Millionaires by Frank Kusy

In the 90s Frank Kusy became a successful importer/wholesaler of goods from India. Rupee Millionaires is his story. In his rather humorous (British) way, he tells of his insane partner, Spud, costly mistakes, and all about dealing with Indians. It’s a fun book to read. I recommend it.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 39
Pages Read in 2017: 11,426
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (R in AQUAMARINE)

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