Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

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Purchase this book on Amazon: Unraveling Oliver

The following is a short summary of this novel from Goodreads:

I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbours, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

This was an exceptional novel, and the summary of the book is exactly what made me want to read it. I hadn’t read any reviews of the book before I read it, so I thought why not write one and maybe persuade a fellow reader to give it a go?! Unraveling Oliver was an intriguing thriller that outlines the life of the main character, Oliver Ryan, and everything that led him to that one night when he assaulted his wife for the first time. 

This novel had decent character development, but some characters could have been more thoroughly described to allow for a better analysis of their characteristics. The novel itself was definitely suspenseful, but not necessarily a thriller though. I’d say that I was captivated from the start, as Oliver is a very intriguing character. The novel outlines his childhood bit by bit, all leading up to his future circumstances in a sort of puzzle as you try to piece together the aspects of his childhood that ultimately lead to his future. The chapters alternate between different time periods, as well as characters, from their point of view which definitely kept the book going for me. these alternating chapters was very interesting and I found myself looking forward to reading the certain point of view of specific characters.

All in all, this is a great book for individuals who enjoy reading psychological mysteries, and enjoy the alternating chapters. If you’re interested in this book, you can purchase it on Amazon and if you use this link to purchase the book, I’ll make a small commission from it. Thank you very much for reading, I truly appreciate it. 💕

 

High School Semester In Review

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It’s been a while, but I’m back! I’ve been busying myself with school. Specifically, my finals and final tasks (summatives).

I’ve officially finished my first semester of grade 11. My courses were physics, data management, French, and accounting. I live in Canada, so my school is semestered. One semester I have four courses everyday and four different courses the next semester. At first, I thought I may be overwhelmed with the heavy focus on math-oriented subjects, but it was manageable.

I’ll go through each of my courses and explain the good and bad parts of each one.

Physics was pretty rough, not going to lie. Some units were fairly easy, and some were challenging. It was mostly lab experiments and tests. We had one project where we had to fashion an instrument to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. That was the only fun part of the class. My performance in the class overall was SO much better than I expected, but still not as good as I wanted it to be before I started the semester: 91%. I definitely will not be taking physics again because I know this is not for me. It’s far too logical.

Data management wasn’t the best either. The topics covered were sometimes confusing, like permutations. I had to do a lot of problem-solving questions involving them, and boy are they weird but fun at the same time. Many of the topics were straight-forward too, like analyzing graphs and finding the relationship between two variables. Unfortunately, my bad tests outweighed the good ones. Before my exam, I had a 91%. The exam was brutal and I just barely scraped up a 79%. My mark dropped one percent as a result, so I finished with a 90%. Again, it exceeded my expectations (as they’d been drastically lowered as I made my way through the course).

I love French. This year, it was different. No more memorizing and regurgitating. “Plug and chug”, that’s what my physics teacher calls it. Now, I had to analyze books and movies but in French. It was new, but I liked it. I was actually using my brain for once. This all came at a cost of course. My mark dropped this year to a 90% from a 94%. But I will definitely take French again for Grade 12, because if I’ve taken it for seven years so far, I think I can do one last hurrah.

Accounting turned out to be barely math-related at all, mostly just understanding. Once you get the primary concepts, you can pretty much teach yourself the rest of the course. I put in minimal effort, as did many of my classmates, and they too were successful. I passed this course with flying colours, a 97% to be exact. I will be taking accounting again next year because I now know it’s something I’m good at.

This semester, I have anthro/psych/socio, law, international business, and English. A very heavy focus on humanities this semester, so we’ll see how this goes. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

★★★★☆

Here’s a short review on a great book.

I wish I could remember where I discovered this book. So I could go back and look for more hidden gold like this.

Here’s a brief summary: Jason Dessen is asked if he is happy with his life before being abducted. He finds himself strapped to a gurney and locked in a building. He finds himself in a new world where his other life is unheard of. Jason just wants to return to his original world, to his family. But he must overcome the one thing that comes in his way of achieving this mission: himself. This sci-fi thriller by Blake Crouch is a mind-boggling tale that touches on the relationships and choices we make, and the effort they will make to protect them.

Image result for dark matter blake crouchI’ve never truly meddled in the sci-fi department. Sure, I read the YA books with all the dystopia, but never a book quite as advanced as this one. Well, at least I think it’s advanced. My mind was racing while reading. The scope of it all is astounding. Having such a complex idea as the basis of the plot is risky. What if people don’t understand? Is it too scientific for readers? Nope. It’s executed in such a way that gives the reader a full understanding of the advanced science, yet it still leaves one to think. My gears were turning the entire time I read the book, trying to wrap around all the concepts and twists. It’s remarkable.

The characters aren’t developed as well as they could be. I’ve read books with a much more dynamic set of characters. In this book, I only really feel like Jason Dessen, the main character, has any proper development. Understandably so, however. This book literally centers around him, so it does make sense. Daniela Vargas, Jason’s wife, appears a lot, and her development is only mediocre. I do think, however, that it makes sense that many characters aren’t as developed as, say, a drama book. It’s focused on the sci-fi part, not necessarily all the relationships (although it’s still touched on throughout).

It’s amazing how this scientific idea or theory can be made into such a human tale of choices and what we feel is best for us. It’s about the lengths people will go to make their dreams true. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend this to everyone if you are interested in a mind-bending tale.

Stacking it up

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers discuss the books that they have borrowed from the library or bought to add to their shelves. I personally think it’s a fabulous idea as you are able to learn about books that may not even have been of interest to you!

I have just begun to read To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway which is such a classic! The following is a quick summary from Goodreads:

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To Have and Have Not is the dramatic story of Harry Morgan, an honest man who is forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West as a means of keeping his crumbling family financially afloat. His adventures lead him into the world of the wealthy and dissipated yachtsmen who throng the region, and involve him in a strange and unlikely love affair.
Harshly realistic, yet with one of the most subtle and moving relationships in the Hemingway oeuvre, To Have and Have Not is literary high adventure at its finest.

I’ve recently been feeling incredibly burnt out from school, and not really feeling like myself. I have no clue what brought this about, but I’m hoping that a little book therapy will help me feel better. Although I have two midterms coming up next week, I think reading a book is a better use of my time, right? At least I hope so.

Let me know if you’ve read this novel, and feel free to link your STS posts below.

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Hi there!

Nice to meet you. I’m SK. It’s my code name and initials. I’ve joined as an author on Exclusory and I’m excited to be here! I write book reviews mainly but if I ever think of or experience something interesting, I’ll make something about it. Here’s a brief little intro of me!

I’m one of those people who loves personality tests because I’m extremely self-centered and love talking about myself, so if you’re into that stuff too, I’m an INT-J personality type. Comment yours!

Likes: Reading, creative writing, photography in general, long hikes, accessory shopping, peace and quiet, rock (alternative, psychedelic, soft, pop) + R&B music, breakfast food, roller coasters, board games, the idea of exploring the world alone

Dislikes: Socializing for extended periods of time, the loud, the ignorant, the stupid, the boring, spiders, ice cream

Hopefully you all don’t hate me based on this. I’m pretty cool once you get to know me. I’ll see you guys around!