Review

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Title: Stalking Jack The Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Published by: Jimmy Patterson

Publishing date: September 20th 2016

Genre:  Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Pages: 326

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

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A little story about me and this book

I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review a long time ago, I was supposted to be part of the blog tour that took place like 9 months  ago. A lot of things happened in my personal life at that time and they made it impossible to read and review this book. I actually read the first two pages and I didn’t enjoy them, but I didn’t know if it was me because I had so much going on or if it was the book.

This January I finally decided to give this another try and I ended up really enjoying this book. It actually has one of my new favorite ships, which is one of the main reason that I enjoyed this book so much. I didn’t post my review back in January because I was gonna wait until the release date of the second book was closer, but since the arc copies of book 2 are starting to make it to readers, I feel like this is a good time to help increase the excitement for this series.

Without further ado, here’s the review!

The review

Stalking Jack the Ripper is set in 1888 and it’s based on the murders commited by Jack the Ripper, who terrorized London with his brutality during this time. The author takes full advantage of this premise and she makes this a very atmospheric book, with fog, a mystery vibe and a eerie feel to it. At the same time, there’s a lot of grusome scenes and imaginery, there’s blood and organs and this is very descriptive when it comes to how the victims were murdered.

In the midst of this background, there’s Audrey Rose, the main character, an extremely intelligent girl that spends the book struggleling and defying the gender restrictions of her time. She is definitely not, what in her time would have been considered, a proper lady,  she spends her days opening dead bodies and she is fascinated by anatomical dissection.  It’s amazing to have a main female character in a YA book that it’s into science or a science related field, because it doesn’t happen that often. Going back to Audrey, for someone so intelligent, she is incredibly reckeless and impulsive, and in her desire to not conforme to society’s gender ideas she puts herself at risk repeatedly throughout this book.

On the other hand, there’s Thomas, the other main character in this book, he’s also incredibly intelligent and has really good deduction skills. Another very important thing about Thomas is that he’s a complete flirt and his responses are always witty and sarcastic.  Also,  he is really arrogant and he doesn’t try to hide it. Both  Thomas and Audrey are very strong-willed, and that makes the dynamic between them incredible, they work well together but there’s also a lot of chemestry that goes beyond crime-solving partners. There’s banter and bickering but also smart conversations. Honestly, this is a swoon worthy romance.

The problem with this book is that the mystey aspect is a bit a predictable, really early on is easy to tell who Jack the Ripper is.  Nonetheless, the book keeps you wondering when the main characters are gonna realise who the culprit is and that manages to keep the suspense alive.  Another minor issue with the book, is that  Audrey and Thomas do a lot of ‘stalking’’ throughout the story and that ends up helping little to solve the crimes. The ‘stalking’ is a bit pointless and it reveals to be more reckless than courageous.

Rating: 4,2 stars

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?

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discussion

Choosing a Reviewing Style | Discussion

Choosing a Reviewing Style

I want to start by saying that this is not a post about the ‘right’ or ‘best’ reviewing style, it’s about how everyone has a different style when it comes to writing reviews. I have been meaning to talk about this for a while because I have tried multiple reviewing styles in the time I have been blogging, but I still haven’t found MY reviewing style, the one that’s right for me. That’s why I wanted to discuss it with you guys, to see what you thought about it.

When I talk about reviewing style I’m talking about several things:

1) The type of review

There’s so many different types of reviews, you can review books by making a list of reasons to read a book, a list of likes and dislikes or pros and cons, a long text or a short text, a review with different sections, a bullet point list, you can make reviews so many differents ways. None is better than other, it’s a matter of personal preference.

This first item on the list is the one that’s more independent, because the next few items are closely interconnected with each other. Still, it’s a very important part of the review! Here are some examples of the types of reviews that I have written since I became a blogger:

List of Likes and Dislikes: The Deal by Elle Kennedy 

Reason to Read: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 

Review with Different Section: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Long Text: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

2) The review focuses on your experience with a book in a implicit or explicit way. 

When you are sharing your opinions about a book, it’s clear that those opinions are related to your experience reading the books, but you can choose how much of your experience makes it to your review. By experience I mean everything from how you felt ot what you thought while reading, stories about why you decided to read a book or about why a book is relatable to you and other things like that.

When you talk about a book, your experience reading that book can be implicit, for example, ‘the characters were well developed’ or ‘the pace was off’, even when you don’t say it your opinion is based on your experience while reading the book.  Other times, when you talk about a book, your experience can be explicit, for example, ‘I waited to read this book until the series was completed because I’m always scared that the last book in a series will suck’.

This point is the one I have the most trouble with when I’m writing my reviews. Sometimes I feel like the experience can overtake the review and it can push the book to a second place.  I feel when this happens the review ends up not being that helpful to someone deciding whether to read a book or not. At the same time, I love reading reviews when people manage to drop little bits of their experience in the review. 

Examples on my reviews:

The experience is explicit:  The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski 

The experience is implicit:  When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

3) You use first person or you don’t.

This is related to what I was talking about in point 2, if your review is focused on your experience with the book, then you tend to use first person and if it isn’t focused so much on your experience, you tend to not use first person.

What I have noticed is that most people, when they are writing a review,  tend to write in first person; they say things like I think, I feel, I thought, I felt (This different use of verb tenses is adressed in the next point).

Examples on my reviews:

Example of using first person: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Example of not using first person: Review of God Smites by Ishara Deen

4) The verb tenses you use to write your review

Mainly, people use past or present tense when they are writing their reviews. The decision of which tense to use is related to the second point in this list, because when people focus their review on the experience they had while reding the book they tend to say ‘the book was great’. Instead, when the review is more focused on the book as a things that exists and not a things that one has already experienced they tend to use present tense, for example, ‘the books is great’. Nonetheless, this is not always the case!

Examples on my reviews:

Present tense: If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman 

Past tense: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

My reviewing Style

How I used to write reviews: almost always there were lists of some type, especially lists of likes and dislikes; my experience while reading the book was always explicitly present in my reviews; I wrote in first person and past tense.

How I’m writing my reviews now: I have been writing just text and not other types of reviews;  my experience while reading the book is always implicit;  I don’t write in first person and I write in present tense. I made this change because I wasn’t happy with the way I was writing reviews, but even when I feel like my reviews are better written lately, I feel like I have less fun writing them. I think my experience while reading the book needs to be explicit more often.

What I want to try next: I want to mix up the way I write reviews again and try to find the reviewing style that suits me. But I want to know your opinions first. Tell me about your reviewing style!  Do you write in first person or don’t? What types of reviews do you write? Do you write in present tense or past tense? Do you make your experiences while reading the book explicit or not? I would love to know all your opinions and comments about this! 

This got really long.  If you read it all, thank you! If you read a part of it, thank you too!

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9 Books with Muslim Main Characters

9 books with muslim main characters

9 Books Monday is a feature here on Bookish Wanderess where I talk about books that are focused on marginalized group (Here are the 9 Books Monday posts I have written so far). The idea is that on Mondays, I will talk about 9 books that have positive representation for a minority/marginalized group.  Today, I will talk about 9 books with Muslim main characters.

The truth is that I have not read that many books with Muslim characters and I definitely want to change that. This series is not only to recommend books that I have read to you and to talk about books I want to read, this series is also a reminder to me that I need to expand my reading and search for books that allow me to know other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. Today, I will talk about books with Muslim Main Character: 2 books I read and loved, 4 books on my tbr and 3 books releasing soon.

2 Books I Read and Loved

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik:

This book is really funny; it deals with a lot of the stereotypes that people have about Muslims and their love lives, while being respectful, honest and entertaining (this is my Opinion, but I also looked at #ownvoices reviewers to check their opinions). Another thing that I loved about the book was that female relationships have such a central place throughout it. Also, it’s #ownvoices. 

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen

This book is a funny, charming and interesting book that talks about the problems Muslims have to deal with in everyday life, particulary, Muslim teenage girls. The heart of this book is the main character Asiya, she is funny, smart and she has a unique voice that shines throughout the book. The humour in this book is absolutely brilliant and that comes from being honest and outspoken about things that are not often talked about in YA like sex and religion. Also, it’s #ownvoices. Here’s my full review.

4 Books on my TBR 

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

This is described as a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair and I’m so excited. I loved Jumanj (the movie) when I was young and I haven’t read that much steampunk, so those two things definitely have me intrigued about this book. Also, it has a Muslim main character and it’s #ownvoices.

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

I only found this book recently and I wanted to included in this list becuase is set in England and I would love to read about the lives of Muslims in different parts of the world. I’m also really excited to read this because it focuses on the lives of 4 different Muslim women that have made different life choices and that want different things, I think it’s gonna be fascinating to read about them. Also, #ownvoices

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This book talks about arranged marriage, which is a topic I have not read anything about, and I’m quite interested in seeing how it plays out in a contemporary setting. I know it’s gonna revolve around a Muslim family, which is also somethings I’m curious about.  I have heard great things about this book and I can’t wait to read it.  Also, #ownvoices

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

This is another one I chose because I want to read about the lives of Muslims in different parts of the world; this is set in Australia. For what I know about this book, When Met Mina is full of political discussions, it adresses racism and imigration and I think those are very important subjets right now, so I’m really excited about reading it. Also, #ownvoices

3 Books Releasing Soon 

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

The main character of this book is an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager and at the same time she is a book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist. I think the main reason I want to read this is that description of the main character. I’m also interested in the fact that it seems like a tightknit Muslim community plays a big role in this book. This is #ownvoices. Release date: June 13th 2017

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

This book has a Pakistani-American main character and I have never read a book told from a Pakistani-American perspective, so it’s exciting to be changing that. It seems like this has references to historical events like the Partition of India, which I don’t know much about, so I’m looking forward to learnd about it a little bit. Also, it seems like there’s gonna be discussion about some religion related subjets and I think it’s gonna be fascinating coming from a #ownvoices perspective.  The release date for this one is May 9th 2017.

The City of Brass by S. Chakraborty

I wanted to add this book because is fantasy and recently I have looking for diverse fantasy books to read. There’s a magical Middle Eastern kingdom in this book, it’s set in 18th century Cairo, the main character is a con woman and there’s also a djinn warrior. I don’t know what else to say,  I simply  can’t wait to read this!  The release date is November 14th 2017.  Also, #ownvoices. 

Have you read any of these books? did you enjoy them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Do you have recommendations for books with Muslim main characters? 

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5 Books 1 Week: My Very Ambitious TBR

five book one week

Hey guys! I’m really excited because I’m going to be a free person next week! I don’t know how it works in the States, but in Colombia we have a Holy Week during Easter and that means is a free week for almost everyone. I have a lot of uni work to do (Homework, papers, mid-terms to get ready for) during that week, but I will still have a lot of time to read, that’s why I decided to set a very ambitious tbr and try to read as much as I can next week.

Here are the books I will try to read or at least start next week:

1.When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

when-the-moon-was-ours

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up. 

Goodreads

I have been meaning to read this one for a long time, but lately I want to read it even more because I want to read more magical realism and learn a bit more about the history of this genre and the connection between it and latinamerican authors. Anyway I’m buddy reading this with Sinead @Huntress of Diverse Books.

2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Shwab  

a darker shade of magicKell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Goodreads

I have been meaning to read this for the longest time, but my history with Victoria Shwab kind of got in the way of my reading it. I have read 2 books by her: I really liked one and DNF’ed another, so I even when I was really interested in the premise of this book I wasn’t sure if I was gonna like it or not. Now that the last book came out, I decided that I definitely want to give this series a chance because I have heard great things about it.

3. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) 

A Storm of SwordsOf the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords

Goodreads

This book is over a thousand pages, of course I’m not planning on reading it in one week and not when I’m trying to read another 4 books in that week. But I really want to continue with this series, so my goal is to read at least 300 pages of this next week.

4. Better at Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra

Better at Weddings than you Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster? 

Goodreads

I have an ARC of this books and the official release date is April 15th, so I want to try and read and review it before it comes out.  I’m not ure it’s gonna be possible, but I do want to try. I have never read anything by Mina V. Esguerra, but I have heard great things about her books, so I want to read something by her.

5. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The long way to a small angry planetSomewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own. 

Goodreads

I didn’t particulary want to read this until recently, I had heard about it but I didn’t really know what this was about.  Last week, I saw someone talk about it on Booktube and I finally payed atention to what this was about and sicne  I have been wanting to read more Sci-Fi, I’m really excited to read it now.

That’s it! I’m pretty sure I’m not reading all of them in one week, but I’m excited to try!

Have you read any of this books? What did you think about them? Which one should I read first?  Let me know in the commets! 

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reading challenge

Reading Challenges Update- March 2017

reading-challenges-2

Every month, I post an update of how I’m doing in the challenges that I’m participatin in. If you want to know my brief thoughts about any of the books in this post, you can check out my March 2017 Wrap Up.

DIVERSITY BINGO 2017

This month I read 2 book that fit into squares  of  the diversity bingo 2017 that are still empty and I read 3 books that fit into squares that I already filled. I’m only putting the 2 books that fit into empty squares. I have read 16 book for this challenge and the goal is to fill the 36 squares. (14/36)

DB2017 update1

BEAT THE BACKLIST

108f7-btbchallengesliderMy goal for this challenge is to read 30 backlist books this year and to count towards the challenge the book has to have been realese before 2017. I read 4 books in March that count towards this challenge, which means that in 2017 I ahve read a total of 19 books that count towards this challenge. (19/30) 

btb march.png

FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

flghts-of-fantasy

My goal for this challenge is to read 20 fantasy books in 2017 and I’m falling. I didn’t read any fantasy book in March. (4/20) 

GOODREADS

I want to read a total of 80 books in 2017. I read 6 books  in March and that means I have read 23 so far in 2017 and I’m 4  books ahead of schedule.

grc march

Are you participating in any challenge? How are you doing? Have you read any of the books on this post? Did you like them? If you posted an update for your challenges, leave me a link! 

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