Freda's Voice

A Canadian Lifestyle blogger who is a bookworm and poet.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

— feeling big smile
Stardust - Neil Gaiman

Incredible.
I was there. In Wall. Watching this story unfold from the sidelines.
At least that is how I felt. Like I was in the moment. Scary, exciting moment that is was. And by moment, I mean book.
Faeries, witches, and even things you can't explain, became an essential element to the fantasy. This world. The politics. The characters. All were strong. 
Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller, in my opinion. He knows how to put you there. Even in something you could never otherwise fathom. He brings strong characters to you, with a plot that has you digging in deep. Then he ties it up at the end with a perfect cherry on top. I can't wait to read more from him!
I also plan on watching the film adaption soon. I know I have seen it before, but it might be different for me this time around having read the book.

 

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/11/stardust-by-neil-gaiman-with-giveaway.html

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

— feeling booklikes
Heartless - Marissa Meyer

I wanted more.
Sad, but true.
I'm left feeling like the end was the best part, and all the rest leading up to it kinda fell flat for me. Let me clarify though, this is still a good read. Just not what I thought it would be.
I wanted to read a story about the Queen of Hearts, and while it was, it was actually more of a love story for most of it. Not what I wanted at all. She may have been the Queen of Hearts, but she was far from lovable in the original. To have a retelling with her so sweet it made my teeth hurt.
Still, the love story drew me in and was well-written in typical Meyer fashion.
Was it the best Wonderland adaption I've read? No, but it was good. The world she drew fell between the olden days and a mystical, magical land that we know Wonderland to be. The characters were just like in the original Wonderland story, though maybe a bit more vividly.
All in all, I would read another if it came out. Just putting that out there...
Fans of Marissa Meyer best make sure not to go in expecting too much. Not every story can be a five star story, so remember that.

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/11/heartless-by-marissa-meyer-75.html

Delilah by Angela Hunt

— feeling angel
Delilah: Treacherous Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel) - Angela Elwell Hunt

What's a girl to do?!
Everyone thinks Delilah is a traitor. She turns Samson in, and apparently didn't bat an eyelash... or did she?
This story plays a nice picture for what may or may not have happened between Samson and Delilah. We see a friendship and love story unfold, and then they are separated. The journey before, during and after are so enthralling, that I took my time reading it all and getting a vivid idea of what it must have been like.
I'm intrigued by the looming too. In the story, Delilah uses a loom, and some of the clothes she makes I would love to see. They sound very ornate for the time period.
Still, this was a fantastic book and an author I will definitely read again.


4.5/5

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/11/delilah-by-angela-hunt-74.html

Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

— feeling big smile
The Isle of the Lost - Melissa  de la Cruz

What a delightful read!
A story filled with all your favorite villains and their children. There were even villains I had forgotten. The refresher sure was nice.
So much magical adventure, with such wit, you know it's a Disney hit!
I have to say, Carlos was my favorite character. He had a tiny part of the spotlight, but he was used well in the scenes. I found myself wondering if they was any villain to him at all.
A great read for kids and parents too. If you like fun stories, that stay true to what we know as Disney stories to be, then you will love this one.

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/11/the-isle-of-lost-by-melissa-de-la-cruz.html

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

— feeling amazing
Hollow City - Ransom Riggs

Peculiar, indeed.
It was also so much more too. Like excitement, adrenaline pumping scenes, and a little fear. Oh, how I liked this story. And more than the first book.
This book picks up exactly where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children left off. Which is a good thing. You are left wondering what happened to them and did they succeed in helping Miss Peregrine. Well, you stop wondering in this one. You get so many more answers than you had questions, but in a good way.
I liked this one so much I am reading Library of Souls as soon as I can. Seriously. 
Then I will watch the film.
If you haven't read this series, make sure to start on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. You will get kinda lost if you start on Hollow City. But be sure to read it soon. Probably the most original series I have ever read, and I even have the hubby reading it too.
One of a kind reading you can't miss out on!

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/11/hollow-city-by-ransom-riggs-72.html

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach

— feeling big smile
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
Better than the movie!
At times I felt it was so different too. I love how it was interpreted, but I do love the flow
of the story more when reading it.
I actually had to forget what I had seen. The characters they chose for the film seemed
quite different than the book. While some I could connect the dots, others it was hard, so I just let it go and read. I'm glad I did too. I found the book so much more rich in Indian culture. It made me want to go and stay at the Marigold Hotel myself, or even the Hotel Balmoral. I just want to be there.
The story, or rather one specific character, is more racist than I remember in the movie.
'Only a different color skin could get his mojo working. Women like these knew how to 
satisfy a man, it was their culture'. Say what?! My mouth hung open for that one. But I'm
glad it didn't put me off or stop me from reading. Those shocking moments, or character 
flaws, kind of make the story more real. It's sad, but there is some really racist people out
there.
All in all, if you haven't seen the films or read the book, I suggest starting with the story.
So good. So very good.
 
 
Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel-by.html

Carniepunk: The Three Lives of Lydia by Delilah S. Dawson

— feeling clown
Carniepunk: The Three Lives of Lydia: A BLUD Short Story - Delilah S. Dawson

OMG.
My mouth is agape and I'm like wow. Didn't see that coming.
So good. So sinfully good. It's like that thing you have to have but know you shouldn't.... oh, but do it anyway....
What a twisted little tale.
I loved it.
I don't know whether I like the imaginative part or reality part better, but boy-oh-boy, I liked it.
see, and now I need more. I need, Wicked As They Come. NEED.
Listen, read the synopsis. If you think you might like it, you probably will and should read it. I think you have to be into the unusual, but that's a good thing.

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/carniepunk-three-lives-of-lydia-by.html

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

— feeling big smile
The Kept Woman - Karin Slaughter

So vivid and gripping!
I'd not read any of the other Will Trent books, and frankly, I don't feel lost. I will go back and read them all at some point, because the author is that good, but I don't feel like I lacked in anything for having not read them.
I read someone had commented that this book was gory. I suppose in their mind it would be, but in a thriller is that not an element that is sorta par for the course? I didn't find it gory at all. Vivid, yes. Gritty, yes, but not gory. You have to remember, the things that I read in the book were things that probably happen in real life. There are some real sickos out there that paint nasty pictures, so this wasn't far-fetched at all.
That's what makes Karin a great author. She can put you in a situation in the book, and it feels so real, it's like reading a news clipping. I can't wait to read more from her!

4.5/5

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/the-kept-woman-by-karin-slaughter-69.html

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

— feeling big smile
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

So good.
At the end of A Court Of Thorns and Roses, I was crushing on Rhysand. This book here, reiterates why crushing on him is a wise choice.
Although this story was up and down, in the end it was quite a ride.
Love, intrigue, excitement, adventure, they all play a part. The love scenes are something else though. If you are into hot, graphic sex scenes, then you better buckle up for this book! It has all that and more! I had a couple of moments where my mouth was like wide open... yeah, I would rather gore than sex, but that's me.
Fighting scenes were okay, but I could have used a lot more detail or grit. I don't know. The main focus of the story was war and mating. The latter was done quite well. 
I'm thinking the next book will have what I need. With the main character in a position to add all the exciting elements I look for, I will be disappointed if it goes otherwise.
Still a decent series. It's faeries, so what's not to like?!

3.5/5

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/a-court-of-mist-and-fury-by-sarah-j.html

Wake Up To The Word by Joyce Meyer

— feeling angel
Wake Up to the Word: 365 Devotions to Inspire You Each Day - Joyce Meyer
An empowering word each day.
Every day you get a new word. You learn it's meaning, even if you think you may know it already. Then you are given a vignette  of sorts, connecting that word to the Bible. Making you think and evaluate your own thoughts, values and opinions. Finishing it off with a piece of God's word. 
Sounds like the perfect way to start every morning that I am blessed to have.
Joyce Meyer's books, even devotionals, always have me questioning myself. You can never be too sure that you know everything, and must always be open to learning. Especially about yourself. Evaluating your moral compass from time to time helps you keep on the right path. I find her devotionals help me do that. I am sure most of you will too.
 
 
Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/wake-up-to-word-by-joyce-meyer.html

Christmas In Venice by Meadow Taylor

— feeling happy
Christmas in Venice - Meadow Taylor

So sweet!
I'm glad Alessandro gave Olivia his number at the end, geez, I was thinking they would walk away from each other with no look back. After the moment they had filled with all that chemistry, there was no denying they needed to get together. Well, that did not happen, but a number is a start.
I did get a laugh from this short story though. In was funny in ways I least expected. Which was good!
Can't wait to read, Midnight In Venice. This sounds like a perfect romance series for me and my tastes!! Not only do I get the sweetness of watching people fall in love, but what a better setting than in Italy!

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/christmas-in-venice-by-meadow-taylor-66.html

The Candidate by Lis Wiehl

— feeling big smile
The Candidate (A Newsmakers Novel) - Lis Wiehl, Sebastian Stuart Intense! This book would be the perfect candidate for a film adaption. It was so intense, gripping and full of political intrigue that I was keen to read to the end. I'm not American, but there is a lot of hoopla surrounding this particular US election. This book couldn't have been read at a more perfect time! I can't wait to read more from this series, and the enigmatic Erika to stomp more stories in the stories. She really does have a way of getting the most dangerous stories to come to an end. If you haven't read the first one, that is ok, you won't miss much. Each book can be read as a stand alone, but I encourage you to go back and read The Newsmakers.
Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/10/win-candidate-by-lis-wiehl-us.html

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens (Early Review)

— feeling amazing
Never Let You Go - Chevy Stevens
Wicked.
I expected nothing less to be honest. Chevy's stories have a habit of keeping me up at night, part from I have to keep reading it and part from sheer terror. I live for that in a thriller though. It's a key element to getting me sucked right into the story to where I am a fright. 
Chevy Stevens is the Canadian, Female, Stephen King. Seriously. Her books give me the kind of chills his books do. It is so hard not to find the talent in this lady's writing. She captures the reader, and keeps them glued to the end.
This story hit close to home for me. I am a domestic abuse survivor. When I started reading the book and realized that this story was about just that, I prayed to God she got it right. Having lived through it, it's not something authors put forth with such rawness, at least like this one. At times, it hit so close I was thinking back to my own experiences. The likeness was uncanny and scary all over again.

That is what makes her an incredible writer.
She gets so gritty, raw and real, you almost think you're reading a real life event or story.
Plus the twists and turns in the mystery part, man, I thought I had it once. Then twice, then back again. It was cool though. You think you know, but do you really?! I love that!
Another book, that not only is going to be a favorite, but one I won't get out of my head. Ever.
If you haven't read this author, what are you waiting for? Do it. Do it now.

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/09/never-let-you-go-by-chevy-stevens.html

Based On A True Story by Norm Macdonald

— feeling booklikes
Based on a True Story: A Memoir - Norm Macdonald

The world's longest joke?
I think I just read it with this book. Seriously.
Did he have a ghost writer, or did he not? I don't know. It was weird, expectantly, but was it too weird?
I did laugh. A lot, in fact. I was also baffled at times too. Still, I enjoyed what I read.
This guy comes from a place in Ontario that I haven't even heard of, and I live in Ontario too. I found that funny, but it also prompts me to want to see more of my beautiful province.
Do I feel like I read a memoir? Not in the least. Even when he discussed actually events in his career, they all drifted to something else all together and somehow it all became about Adam.
So did I love it? Not really. I didn't dislike it either. It just was.... well, I don't know what it was, but it was.

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/09/based-on-true-story-by-norm-macdonald-63.html

The Midnight Games by David Neil Lee

— feeling alien
The Midnight Games - David Neil Lee

A unique story!
I love that it's based in my hometown, and oddly enough, in my neighborhood. Taking a trip through the neighborhood in this book is different though. We don't have any crazy happenings at the former Ivor Wynne Stadium, that I know of anyway, and I live right across the street from it so I should know.
I'd be scared out of my mind if the things in the book happened in my neighborhood. Geez.
Which brings me to the only downside I felt about this book. I felt it was geared for an older crowd, like 16+. Being a mom of two grown kids, I can say I wouldn't want my 12 year old reading a couple of the parts in here. 16 year old, yeah, ok. Realistically they experience more, but a 12 year old may still get nightmares.
Other than that, it was a unique tale that borders on sci-fi and horror. A little graphic here and there but nothing too bad. 
I hope you all will read it. It's a fresh story from an author who lives locally. Gotta love that!

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/09/the-midnight-games-by-david-neil-lee-62.html

Cold, Cold Heart by Karin Slaughter

— feeling amazing
Cold, Cold Heart - Karin Slaughter, Shannon Cochran, Inc. Blackstone Audio

Brilliant!!
Twisted too, but in a good way. Oh my goodness, this is an intense 69 pages lemme tell ya!
I did not think it would play out the way it did either, which is also a good thing. I'm pleasantly surprised!
I love this author's writing. She puts you there, in that intense moment, and sometimes has you scared. She sure does paint a vivid picture, but in thrillers, it's what I look for. If you haven't read anything by Karin Slaughter, this little ditty might be the perfect place to start. You will really see how well she cam craft a story and hit you with the ending. Like, BAM!
I think I have a girl-crush....

 

 

Source: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/09/cold-cold-heart-by-karin-slaughter-61.html