January Wrap Up, Part Two (Spoiler Free)

Hey Guys!

So the past two weeks have been insanely busy, and I didn’t read as many books as I hoped I would. However, I did manage to read the two books I was required to finish for my 2017 Reading Challenge. If you guys didn’t know, I’m taking part in a really exciting reading challenge. It’s basically 52 books, one book a week… and all in different categories. I looked through so many different types of challenges, and I decided that this one (created by Hannah Braime) seemed like the most fun. I’m always looking for a reason to read a bit out of my comfort zone, because lets be honest.. I pretty much read 99% Psychological Thrillers/Crime Thrillers 🙂 This challenge will really allow me to get some interesting diverse reading in, and I can’t wait.

So during the last two weeks of January, my two challenges were

1.) A Book Published Over 100 Years Ago

2.) A Book Published In The Last Year

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1.) A Book Published Over 100 Years Ago

“The Time Machine”

by, H.G Wells

Published In: 1895!!!!

My Rating: 10/10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I first read that the weekly challenge, was to find and read a book published over 100 years ago.. I was a bit nervous. I sometimes find super old books to be a bit boring, and I don’t usually read many of them. I can’t even believe how WRONG I was. “Animal Farm” and “The Time Machine” are now 100% two of my ALL TIME favorite books. I really feel like I had no idea what I have been missing.

I don’t even know WHERE to begin with this review. This book is quite short (around 115 pages). I managed to read this in about two days, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

I’ll be honest, while reading the first chapter I was a bit put off (because of some super confusing description of time travelling, and 4th dimensions). I ended up kind of putting it down and ignoring it for a few days, and then I was stuck on the bus with nothing to read, and I figured “what the hell, lets give it a go”. I am SO happy that I did, because after about page 3 this book really takes off. The confusing parts pretty much end with chapter one, and it then becomes an incredibly fun and wild time travelling story.

The fact that this book was written in 1895 completely blows my mind. This book is so well written, and it completely holds up with modern day Science Fiction. One could say this book was actually the inspiration for COUNTLESS time-travelling movies and stories since it’s publication. This story comes across to the reader as modern, and just as thrilling and affecting as ever. It doesn’t feel like it uses stuffy language, and it’s not very focused on even being in the past.. because the majority of this book is set in the very distant future (the year 802,700).

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The story starts out with a small group of people, gathering around listening to a man, while he tries to convince them, that he has indeed invented a way to travel backwards and forwards in time. Obviously the group is incredibly skeptical, and even when he proves it with a toy-model version.. they are still a bit put off.

The story then jumps ahead slightly, to when the Time Traveler shows up late to a dinner, covered in dirt, blood.. and looking incredibly rough. Everyone is a bit shocked, and after he showers, he then sits down by the fire and tells them his story of what has happened to him, and where he’s been. The story pretty much starts here, and we as the audience are like the dinner party guests.. getting to hear the story first hand.

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I won’t spoil the story of what happens to the man, when he travels many years into the future.. but I can tell you this.. it’s an incredible story. The way he tells his story is utterly captivating, and you are so drawn in to this story.. that I couldn’t put the book down. His story is creepy, haunting, and actually at moments terrifying. He does a very interesting job of portraying what becomes of humans, and society. Especially in regard to the class system etc.

I just discovered they made a movie version of this, in 1960, and I’m going to go watch it right now. I’ll attach the plot from GoodReads as always. I really learned an important lesson with this book.. I will never again judge a book by how long ago it was written. I’m so thankful for this challenge.. I never would have picked this up without it.

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GoodReads Plot:

“I’ve had a most amazing time….”

So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

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2.) A Book Published In The Last Year

“The Woman in Cabin 10”

By, Ruth Ware

My Rating: 9/10

Wow this was an intense read. Last year I read “In A Dark Dark Wood” by the same author, and it was incredible. I knew if Ruth Ware ever wrote another book I would be first in line to buy it. She’s one of my new favorite authors for sure. I loved this book so much, I can’t even tell you how much fun I had reading this. First off the plot idea is SO terrifying, it actually gives me chills to think about it. Basically it’s about a journalist named Lo Blacklock, who gets the amazing opportunity to travel on the maiden voyage of a new (extremely fancy) cruise ship. The cruise ship is set to travel around the Norwegian fjords,which made me so excited.. because going to Norway/Sweden/Iceland is one of the top things on my “dream travel destinations”. I couldn’t wait to read all about the places they would visit etc etc.

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The story starts out with Lo getting on board, and meeting the other journalists, photographers, investors etc, who have all been invited on the maiden voyage, to cover the events for press. It’s a fairly small cruise ship, more like a luxury yacht, with only 10 cabins.

The first night there, Lo meets the girl in cabin 10, when she knocks on the door, and asks to borrow a mascara. Later that night Lo is in bed, and she awakes to the sound of a scream.. followed shortly by a loud “splash” in the water. She is terrified, and when she runs out to the veranda, she sees blood on the window of cabin 10’s veranda door.. and she swears she sees a woman in the water.

Lo starts freaking out, and gets the boat security to investigate.. and this is where the story gets weird. SUPER WEIRD. The vibe on the boat is getting stranger and stranger, and the security doesn’t seem to take her seriously. They are adamant that there was never anybody in cabin 10, and that the girl wasn’t there. Lo is obviously frustrated and angry, because she physically MET the girl the evening before, when she borrowed the mascara. Why are these people lying about the girl? Who can she trust?

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The story gets SO fucking creepy from here on out. I don’t want to spoil anything, but just be prepared to be so creeped out, and to feel like you don’t know who to trust. I think the fact that the story is set in such a remote place, with no cell service, and such a small amount of people.. really adds to the old-school horror vibe. This book has a very Agatha Christie vibe to it, and I honestly was on the edge of my seat until the final INSANE last few chapters.

One of my favorite reviews I read for this book was by the Star Tribute, and they said “The Woman in Cabin 10, might just do for cruise vacations, what Jaws did to ocean swimming. You’ll be afraid to go out on the water”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I felt physically trapped while reading this, like I was trapped on the boat. Such a weirdly intense feeling, that I’ve never felt while reading a book before. A great feeling though. It made me very nostalgic for the Stephen King books I read when I was a kid.

I had so much fun with this book, and I think you guys would love it too.

GoodReads Plot

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

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So overall I only ended up reading those two books, in the final two weeks of January. I loved them both, and I’m super happy with my choices. Stay tuned for my “February Wrap Up, Part One” coming in about two weeks.. I’ve got some great ones on the way (at least I hope they are great.. it might be hard to top these two books).

xo,

Carly.

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