Reading, Living and Reviewing

Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Review: In Your Eyes by Diana Nixon

Saturday, December 20, 2014
 "Only when I was back to my room, the pain hit me again. I took off my clothes, closed the curtains, and got under the blanket. I didn’t want to think about tomorrow, or anything at all, I just wanted to fall asleep."

Synopsis: 

     My life has never been perfect. I lost, I lied, I cried. But there was one thing that I thought would stay with me forever — my love…
      Adrian was my everything. The day he died, I died with him. It was like being caught up in a nightmare, with no reason to keep breathing, with nothing to hold on to.
      But one day, everything changed. I didn’t know I was lost until the moment Nic found me. He made me laugh, he made me feel, he made me believe that I could love again. I thought I would never feel alive, but then I looked into his eyes and I was lost. Only this time, it was not a nightmare swallowing me, but a beautiful dream coming true.

      Just when I thought there was no hope for tomorrow, my heart found a reason to beat faster…
Review:

NOTE: ‘In your Eyes’ contains explicit sex scenes, not recommended to readers under the age of 18. 

If you’ve read 'Love Undone' by Diana Nixon then you should know that 'In Your Eyes' is connected with that one. The events in the book still surround the death of Adrian, but this time we get to witness the direct consequences that marked his fiancé, Emily. 

Both books work in parallel, but 'Love Undone' focuses more on Kassie’s and Daniel’s story. It was nice to dive in Emily’s head for once, to see how she was affected by Adrian’s death since she was so close to him. Furthermore, Daniel was the reason for which Emily suffered for two years. I do understand that the reason for keeping everything a secret was to protect his friend’s reputation, but both Emily and Kassie suffered because of it.

Emily feels guilty and refuses to let herself be happy again, but things change when Nic shows up in her life. His presence and the advices of her friend, Kassie, give her courage to finally move on. Since I already knew part of Emily’s story I was more interested in Nic’s. He’s the shiny new toy of the series and I enjoyed reading about his family, his past, dreams and his thoughts, although I would have liked to see more of his past life.

Nic is the bad-boy kind of guy, but only on the surface and he is part of a wealthy family who had big plans for his future. They basically choose a job and a wife for him without giving a damn about his feelings. That is why he chooses to walk away and live on his own terms. I think that in this book he was my favorite character, which is why I would have liked to know more. Otherwise, Nic is funny and fun to be around, not to mention that he is very charming with the ladies and had great chemistry with Emily.

Overall 'In Your Eyes' was a fast paced reading with a lovely love story full of romantic and hot scenes. If you’ve read 'Love Undone' I highly recommend that you read this as well since there is one extra chapter from Adrian’s point of view and all the extra info coming from Emily’s point of view.

Diana Nixon: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Review: Pieces of my Heart (Pieces #2) by Jamie Canosa

Wednesday, December 03, 2014
 
"I felt like a yo-yo, up one minute and then down the next. Bouncing between highs and lows so fast I couldn't see straight." 


Synopsis: 
Kiernan Parks settled all the scores. He finished what he set out to do and then . . . he left.

He left Jade. Heartbroken and weary. Existing one day to the next. One breath after another. The only way she knew how to move forward, forever missing a piece of her heart. Until an unexpected surprise throws her volatile life into upheaval, once more.

He left Caulder. Guilt-ridden and grieving. Fighting to hold it all together. Not just for himself, but for the people he cares about. Staggering under the weight of his obligations.

He left them alone.

He left them together.
Review:

Honestly, when I heard that there will be a second book in the Pieces series I was a little skeptical. I was afraid that Jade’s life will become more complicated and way to unbearable. 

NOTE: If you haven’t read Falling to Pieces, you should be warned that I will inevitable have a few spoilers from the book. 

In Falling to Pieces, Jade’s life is turned upside down, she is broken and alone. Kiernan is the only one who tries to fix her and he succeeds. However, after all the struggles and after she falls in love with him, Kiernan dies. That book did not have a 100% happy ending, not in the traditional way. She lost the love of her life, yes, but she got back her mother, she was more confident and things were looking good to her. 

Nine months later and Jade still misses Kiernan, but at least her mother is better, she has a part-time job and things seem to move towards better, right? Wrong. Jade’s life dives deeper into darkness and things start to go south the moment her father returns. 

Pieces Of My Heart was frustrating, heart-breaking and beautiful at the same time. 

Why was it frustrating? Because of Jade, because after all that time in which Kiernan tried to make her whole, after she started to visibly be confident people around her broke her again. Every single person around her made her feel like nothing and if it weren’t for Caulder maybe she would have gave up. 

But most of all I enjoyed the dynamic between the two characters, how they lowered their walls in front of the other and how they trusted each other until the point they accepted help. 

Pieces Of My Heart was a beautiful story about two people in pain, who found comfort in the other, a tragic tale that slowly turned into a love story.

Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Saturday, November 08, 2014

“When no one can see who you are, no one really knows you. The loneliness must be like an ulcer that’s always gnawing at your gut.” 
Synopsis:

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. 

But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.


Review:
I read this after a good old fashioned The Invisible Man (the TV Show) marathon and I decided to pick it up not only because of the invisible boy stuff, but because it was written by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan.

Stephen is an invisible boy and he has been invisible for his entire life. The only human interaction he had was with his mother, who recently died and with his father, who only supports him financially. Used to live alone and ignored, Stephen is shocked when one day a recently moved neighbor sees him.

The concept of the story is pretty awesome and I enjoyed the fact that it was set in New York City and not in some sort of small town where everyone knows everyone. The characters were bearable at least in the beginning, but my favorite was Laurie, Elizabeth’s brother. Even though he wasn’t one of the main characters, he successfully shinned more than Stephen and Elizabeth. It was nice to see glimpse of his story and not only the main characters’ one.

The thing that felt weird to me, especially after The Invisible Man marathon, was the supernatural elements added to explain Stephen’s invisibility issue. I expected a more scientific explication and not a curse, but it worked pretty well this way. Going on this path, the authors explored a brand new world underneath the real one which was cool.

As much as I liked the book, there were still parts which annoyed me. The major problem of the story was the instant love. The relationship between Stephen and Elizabeth was cute, but it just wasn’t believable. Elizabeth falls in love with this boy she only saw once or twice and by the third meeting they are boyfriend and girlfriend. By the end of the book she is ready to risk her life to make him visible again.


“I know there are epic tales of romance, where love means you're supposed to die. Where it's all about sacrifice. But I don't want to die. I don't want Stephen to die. I'm looking for the scenario where we both get to live. Where we can continue this marvel that is love and discovery and trust.” 
 

Another issue that I had with Invisibility was that even though the caster’s world was amazing and complex, sometimes it seemed to move too fast while adding too much information in the process.  

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Sunday, September 07, 2014
“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

Synopsis:
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life — dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge — he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew

Review:

I am proud to announce that this is the first book by John Green I decided to read and unfortunately might be the last. Although it was entertaining and I liked the fact that it was somewhat original when compared to other YA books I’ve read, the style of the author was not for me. It may be because the dialogue seemed to swing between childish to mature then back to childish.

I was intrigued by the beginning of the story, with young Quentin and Margo discovering the victim of a crime in a park, then in present days when they reconnect after many years and going on … well doing pranks on Margo’s former friends. Then Margo disappeared and another kind of story took off. I am a big fan of mysteries, but this time just didn’t work. The entire search for Margo was boring and in the end, it seemed pointless. I do understand the reason for this search, it was a way for Quentin to discover himself, but it seemed that this was the only purpose for Margo’s existence.

The problem is that I couldn’t like any of the main characters, but I enjoyed some of the supporting ones. I mean I enjoyed Quentin’s geeky attitude in the beginning, however things changed when he started obsessing over Margo’s disappearance. It’s not the quest itself that annoyed me, but the fact that in his search there was no one else for him. He did not care about his friends or his family and had only one goal. Again, I understand that this book is all about Quentin discovering himself, but that doesn’t mean that he needed to ditch his entire life, to go after Margo. I am sorry, but he seemed obsessive and ungrateful towards his friends when they finally said no.

Then there was Margo, who left a bunch of clues behind her, as if she asked to be found, but in fact she didn’t want to. Here is the thing, all her friends were worried, her little sister was worried, but…SPOILER ALLERT she was just pissed off because her friends tracked her down and eventually found her. SPOILER ENDED.

Maybe I would have cared more about her if she actually had a motivation when she decided to run away from home, not for the first time. I might be wrong, but what I understand is that she was sick and tired of her home town so she took off…repeatedly.

“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.”

The only characters I liked were Quentin’s friends. Yes, they were not properly developed, but in the rare occasions they showed up, I liked them. They were good, loyal friends, who even accepted to ditch graduation and tag along Quentin in satisfying his obsession.


The Ending
Well, it was disappointing. I heard many things about John Green’s novels and I honestly would have expected something more dramatic. That would have had more sense, that I would have loved. Instead, we get an unlikable character, being more unlikable.
 

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Monday, August 04, 2014
“Whenever he looks at me with those big brown eyes, I feel like giving him a nut,” she said. She even started calling the squirrels running around in the park Mr. Whitmans.”

Synopsis:


Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. 

Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
My Review:
 
Every time I start a book is because I have very good reasons, ok? Like this time, I choose to read Ruby Red because of the cover, the pretty…pretty cover. I am weak I know, but my second reason was because I wanted a good novel about time travel and people recommended it to me.

Ruby Red is the first book in the Ruby Red Trilogy, a series about a girl who is a time traveler and the last in a circle of twelve. However, to dive right into the review: I loved the fact that Gwendolyn, the main character is aware of her family’s situation. She kind of knows about the time traveler’s gene and what it does and that her cousin Charlotte was prepared her entire life for this part, but something goes wrong and Charlotte doesn’t actually has the gene, but Gwendolyn has it.

I simply loved this book and besides the fact that it took me a little while to get into it and that some things were a little predictable, I cannot think of anything else wrong with it. I enjoyed reading about the myth of time travel in this book, the way the world was constructed and I absolutely loved the characters, even the slightly shady ones.

Gwendolyn, the main character, is funny, surprisingly, not annoying and has this thing for not following the rules. What I enjoyed about her, was the fact that she asked questions where there was needed an answer and she was the only one in the Order asking them and for some, this kind of curiosity is considered dangerous. She is definitely underrated. All those around her seemed to think that they were somehow superior to Gwen, but she seemed to be with one step in front of them at all times.

As much as I loved Gwendolyn, I hated Gideon. I am so sorry, but I could not stand him. I do not find the cocky, d-bag kind of guy attractive. He slowly wormed up to Gwen, but I was still not convinced about his intentions. Maybe I will change my mind in the next books, since he is the love interest and we will see him more.

The Love Story

Well, here is the thing: it had that kind of hate at first sight, slowly converted in love at second sight relationship. It’s not incredibly sappy, buy it wasn’t entirely believable and I couldn’t take it seriously. Do I need to mention again that I did not like Gideon so the love story was kind of meh for me?

The Villains

I don’t even know from where to start with this one. More than half of the characters look villainy. From Charlotte, the bitchy cousin and the aunt to Count Saint-Germain, whose sole purpose is to gain more power and probably eventually rule the world. His motivation is obvious and this is the part where things go predicable. The count is the main villain of the series, and even though we were not told what his plans are, it’s kind of obvious. 

“If we were in a film, the villain would turn out to be the least-expected person. But as we aren’t in a film, I’d go for the character who tried to strangle you.” 

Overall, it was a nice reading, fast paces, lots of mystery and a likable main character, a rare thing to find in a YA novel. I would recommend it especially to those interested in reading a nice story about time travelers. 

Review: Love Undone by Diana Nixon

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"God, if only his every word didn't sound like an invitation to burn the sheets. How the hell was that even possible to be just friends with someone like Daniel Farrell? A delightful picture of everything that any woman would love to see first thing in the morning..."

Synopsis:

     What would you do if all your memories were gone?     One day Kassie wakes up and realizes that her life is nothing but an endless emptiness…   
 

    One tragic incident takes away everything that she has ever cherished and loved: family, friends and all the best moments that she ever lived through.  
 

    Now everything seems unknown, including a beautiful stranger, whose mere look makes her heart beat faster.
 

    Who is that reckless and mysterious man? Is he just an old friend or an enemy? Sinking into the vortex of indescribable emotions, they will give in to the most irresistible temptation ever, just to fall in love with each other, again and again...


Review:
          I finished this book a while ago, but as soon as I finished it I couldn’t find the proper words to write a coherent review. I enjoyed Love Undone more than I would have imagined, as a matter of fact I am always pleasantly surprised when reading a book by Diana Nixon. That is mainly due to the characters. It’s so easy to like each of her characters, because they have a certain maturity that many characters from other books don’t have.

          This is the case of Kassie, who suffers from a kind of amnesia that doesn’t allow her to remember any recent events. She discovers new friends and the loss of loved ones. She starts off as an innocent, unknowing young woman and grows up quickly; becoming the strong woman she was before the accident. It’s impossible not to like her especially since Kassie is not that kind of character that is set off on drama.

          Then there’s Daniel, always there for Kassie. Some are tempted to say that he is a bad boy, but I cannot see him like that. Yes, he owns a motorcycle and a business and a bitchy girlfriend, but he had a tough life and worked hard for what he has. I love how he takes care of his sister and Kassie and the way he respects the memory of his best friend.

The Love Story
          Here is one thing about Love Undone: the love story flows naturally. The chemistry between Daniel and Kassie doesn’t feel forced because deep down inside Kassie’s heart, those feelings exist. They just emerge as soon as she gets to spend more time with Daniel. So no instant love here and I always appreciate this when speaking about Diana Nixon’s books.

Other characters

          As much as I liked the two main characters, I loved Emily. She is bright and so alive. She has her dark secrets, just like the others, but on the surface she doesn’t show them. Emily still feels the need to have fun, protect and help her best friend.

          Love Undone is the perfect read for those that enjoy a heartwarming love story, a story about remembering and reliving. Perfect as a summer read.

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Monday, May 05, 2014
“There’s nothing wrong with your daughter, Mrs. McIntosh. I said we’re not sleeping together. I didn’t say I didn’t want to.”

Synopsis:

          Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

          Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.


My Review: 
          Have you ever liked and equally disliked a book at the same time? That was the case for me with Of Poseidon. I really enjoyed reading about the Syrena mythology and basically the entire underwater world. It’s fascinating how the author described the Syrena universe, from the incredible underwater landscapes under the ocean to the Syrena laws, traditions and history.

          The beginning of the book was promising, dark, a perfect start for a female character that can become strong and a little more mature than most of the YA female characters, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Based on the tragedy that occurred in the first 3 chapters of the book I would have thought that Emma will be less of a typical teenager and more of a damaged heroine.

          Emma turned into a typical YA girl right after Glen showed up. She immediately falls in love with him and soon after she begins trusting him with everything he says. I wouldn’t have mind that too much if Glen wasn’t such a jackass. He was possessive, commanding and every time Emma was serious about some things he would mock her. I am sorry for Glen’s fans, but I cannot like a male character that has zero respect for a woman and thinks of her as his personal maid. I do get that that’s the way he was raised, but giving the fact that he was spending more time on the land than other Syrena, would make him understand the way humans work.

          One of the characters that I loved from the beginning was Rayna, Glen’s sister. I was rooting for her at every step because she was not going to follow the Syrena traditions and mate at the age of 18. She was a rebel, she had character and I loved her. Until a point of course, because after being angry on her mate for more than half a book (I think) she all of a sudden realized that she was in love with him and threw away everything she believed in.

          But the twist at the end of the book was pretty awesome although it was a little predictable. And I think I will read the rest of the volumes, in hope that it would get better and we get to see much more of the Syrena world.

“Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is.”

          I am sorry, the premise of the book was the one that drew me to this book, add the fact that it had mermaids and a beautiful cover, but it would have been much better it Emma, the main character would have been a little more independent.

Where to buy:  Bookdepository

Review: Falling to Pieces by Jamie Canosa

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"There are different kinds of wounds people can inflict on us, Jade. Just because yours aren't physical doesn't mean they aren't there. Just because they aren't visible doesn't mean I can't see them."

Synopsis:
Suffering the bitter tongues of her alcoholic mother and cruel boyfriend, Jade struggles just to look at herself in the mirror. She hates her life, her insecurities, her ineptitudes, but most of all . . . Jade hates herself. She wants nothing more than to disappear, and everyone seems happy to let her. Until Kiernan Parks moves back into town.

Jade’s been crushing on him ever since kindergarten, when his family moved away. But now he’s back, and looking better than ever.
Hiding is a way of life for Jade, but Kiernan insists on uncovering the real girl he’s sees trapped inside her. On drawing her out of her shell, and showing her that she is someone worthy of love.

Together, they fight back the darkness she’s living in. But when they finally step into the light, will the secret Kiernan’s been trying to keep buried destroy Jade, once and for all?

For some people, happy endings are a fairytale.
My Review:
          I just had to postpone the review with a day. I needed serious recovery after I finished reading Falling to Pieces. After Fight or Flight and Sink or Swim I was sure that I already had two favorite titles from Jamie Canosa, but Falling to Pieces successfully squeezed itself to the top places in my preferences. I have no words to express what I felt after I closed the book; it was both sad and beautiful.

          In the beginning Jade is that kind of character at which you feel the need to scream because she would do what others tell her to do. It was infuriating how she gave up living because her drunken mother insisted that she was no good and no one would want her. I tried not to get mad because in one way I understood. Her mother was the only constant person in her life and she made her feel small with every occasion. Not to mention that she had to go through that again at school where her boyfriend treated her like an accessory.

          Yes, normally this kind of character would make me want to scream at the book, but Falling to Pieces had more than a character with low self-esteem, it was a story in which an apparently weak girl grew stronger. Then the book made me want to know more and hope for the best when Kiernan showed up in Jade’s life. Because he was everything everyone in her life wasn’t and he was determined to make her see that she is more than others make her feel.

          Falling to Pieces is a beautiful story with characters that evolve in a visible way, with likable characters even in their worst moments.

          But most of all I loved the relationship between Kiernan, his brother, Caulder and their mother. They are the most supportive family I have ever read of. And not only they supported each other, but they all welcomed Jade in their family and made her feel like she belonged somewhere.

"The one thing I want more than anything, the one thing nobody can give me, is a future. And you’ve just done exactly that. You gave me the perfect future. The perfect life all right here in the pages of this book.”

          But the ending was heartbreaking. Just prepare for serious crying.

Author Bio:


Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA/NA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the cat, the bird, and the rabbit.

Find her on Facebook & Blog

Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads


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Review & Giveaway: Resisting Atlantis by Jamie Canosa

Sunday, March 30, 2014

 Synopsis:

What if everything you think you know . . . is wrong?
Cora is your average college freshman. Battling the evils of boring classes and noisy dorms, her greatest concern is how to attract the attention of the drool-worthy, party-god next door.
That is, until Kaden comes barging into her life, insisting everything she knows is false. The family and friends she grew up with don’t exist. Her entire past a carefully-crafted fabrication, created to replace the truth.
Her name isn’t Cora, it’s Cameron. And she isn’t from New York. She hails from Atlantis. Yeah, that Atlantis. Oh yeah, and she’s psychic.

Crazy, right?

Except, tall, dark, and out-of-his-ever-loving-mind doesn’t come alone. Trouble follows, thrusting Cameron back into a world she can’t remember and a life she must reclaim if they’re going to make it out alive.
My Review:
          I had the chance to read Fight or Flight and Sink or Swim by Jamie Canosa and I immediately fell in love with the author’s style. That’s why when I heard about Resisting Atlantis, a fantasy novel written by her, I was beyond excited.

          The one thing that I always liked and appreciated in her stories was the character development. The relationship between Cam and Kaden seemed to flow at a natural peace and was not always the central point of the story unless it was relevant to the action. I liked Cam’s attitude and the fact that she was a strong female character even when she was in the middle of rediscovering herself. Once in a while in the back of her head kicks common sense and when it doesn’t is because she is too preoccupied to save someone’s life.
         Also I liked Kaden, maybe more than I liked Cam. He is sweet when Cam is involved and brave when in a battle. Not to mention that he is determined when he has a cause to fight for.

Action scenes
          I always had a soft spot for action scenes in both books and movies. And besides the brilliant characters I got to read, Resisting Atlantis also had some awesomely written action scenes. I found myself breathless more than once in the middle of a fighting scene, unsure of where the characters will end up next…of if they survive.
          So yes, the way the author combined the not so rushed love story with the mystery and action scenes are a plus… at least for me. It was fun to discover along the characters how Cam disappeared and why or why was Kaden the main target of Zanark.

The Villains
          I always appreciate a villain with true motivation. Artemis for example was not evil just because it was cool, but because he felt betrayed. I actually liked him from the beginning. I honestly don’t know why, but I think that the fact that he was left to die, abandoned by his colleagues and finally by his best friend made me feel sorry for him. Yes, they did it to save their own lives, but he was still left alone to die.

The End
          I usually try to play small scenarios with possible endings while reading a book and see if I get anywhere close. But no, this ending I did not expect, it was not at all predictable and made me want more.
Thank you, Jamie for yet another wonderful story. I cannot wait for the second one in the series.

Author Bio:

Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA/NA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the cat, the bird, and the rabbit.

Find her on Facebook & Blog

Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads


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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Saturday, March 22, 2014
“How do you not like the Internet? That's like saying, 'I don't like things that are convenient. And easy. I don't like having access to all of mankind's recorded discoveries at my fingertips. I don't like light. And knowledge.”

Synopsis:
 
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
Where to buy:  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

My Review:
          I just need to start with this: I simply loved this book and it’s been a while since I was so enthusiastic about a story.
          Fangirl felt real, mostly because of the main character, the #1 fan of a series that reminded me of Harry Potter. It’s easy to relate with Cath as a hardcore fan of a franchise because at some point all of us felt that way for a series at least once. Furthermore the decisions and feelings, the stupid silly questions she had in her head while trying to socialize were similar with mine during college. I felt as lost as she felt, at least in my first days.  She is a likable character, smart and much more cautious than most of the female leads I’ve read before.
          At one point it felt like it was too much. Too much of a fan, too much of a shy person, but then again some fans might be as passionate as Cath.

The Family
          The family is very important in Fangirl. Cath spent her entire life taking care of her father and in company of her twin sister. Although different, Cath and Wren are different, they always shared the same passion for the Simon Snow books and movies. That is until they go to college and Wren feels like they need to lead separate lives.
          I liked Wren at first, because she was funny and sociable and she seemed to care about her family, but slowly changed into a typical student. She started to party hard, drink too much and act like her sister was a stranger. Then turned her back to her family and started hanging out with the only person that abandoned them. I wish I would have cared when she redeemed herself, but that was only because she drank too much and ended up in hospital.

Friends
          Cath doesn’t have that many friends; she only has a roommate, Regan with whom she apparently ends up best friends, even if I don’t see it. Regan is as antisocial as Cath is, but only with Cath because outside the room she has friends and a social life. Besides, half of the time they don’t even talk to each other. Not once.

Romance
          I try to understand if there was a love triangle in this book. Cath was writing with Nick, but hang out with Levi. Levi was interested in her and Nick was not, while Cath was very interested in Nick and not at all in Levi. I might have been blind, but I couldn’t see the couple from the beginning. In the end they were sweet, especially Levi.

The End (SPOILER-ish)
          I loved the ending. Everything was ok for everyone. I felt slightly irritated about the launch of the last book in the Simon Snow series when Cath and Wren started crying while crying. Again it felt a little too much, too exaggerated. 

Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
“We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it.” 


          Before I Go to Sleep is a psychological thriller about a woman with a rare form of combined amnesia. She doesn’t have any recent memories and every time she goes to sleep she forgets everything she experienced during the day.  Every time she wakes up she is sure that she is in her mid twenties and she has her full life ahead of her. Christine wakes up every morning and needs to hear the story of her life from her husband, Ben. But soon discovers that not everything told from his point of view is true.

          The story is written as a personal journal and the reader must discover along with the character details of her past and present life. It’s not a unique technique, but the style of the author brings out very well the confusion and contradictory feelings Christine experiences every time she reads or writes in her journal. This is what makes her look and sound real.

          If Christine wouldn’t be sick, she would most definitely be a strong and independent woman. Her curiosity still drives her towards her independent self, but she still needs to rely on her husband on a daily basis. She evolves as a character every time she reads her journal, but once she losses it, she starts over. The only time the book confused me, was when she managed in just one day to read so many pages from her journal, meet with the doctor, then with Claire, be home in time and still have time to write more in the journal.

          Christine is one of those likable characters whose flaws are perfectly acceptable because she can’t help it, but that doesn’t mean that other characters cannot be judged. Besides Christine, Claire is another character that can easily pass as likable. She is her best friend and, honestly, the most loyal person towards Christine. Fun, jaunty and always there for her friends, Claire is presented as an anchor for Christine. She is the only one she remembers and trusts and she doesn’t seem to have changed much since college.

The ending
          Maybe for others the ending was a surprise, but I found it predictable. In the middle of the story it was already obvious that that was the only way it could end. Yet, despite the fact that I already suspected the ending, the story captured my attention until the last pages. Before I Go to Sleep is not a mystery whose ending you expect to find out, but a story that you cannot wait to unfold and find all the details.

Spoilers
          There was this one thing that got on my nerves when I got to the last pages. I suppose that the book had a happy ending, but I could not see it. Christine ended back to her family, to her husband and son that knew nothing about her for the past few months. Her husband moved to Italy and asked Claire to visit her, while the son moved in another city with the girlfriend. Because it was so difficult to visit his own mother at least once a month.

          So no, this was not a happy ending. She lived with a psychopath for the past few months because her family thought that she would be happier in a mental institute without even a call to see if she is ok.

Where to buy: Bookdepository

Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

Friday, January 24, 2014
“Really, Sophronia, it makes me most uncomfortable how you manage to sort everything out every time I faint.” 

Synopsis:
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
Where to buy:  Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

My Review:


          Ok, this was my first steampunk novel and I didn’t even know that until I started reading it. That’s because I decided not to read the synopsis and choose the book based on recommendations and the pretty cover. I know I said I will not do that anymore, but I also decided not to read that many reviews since some of them are EVIL… So this year will be like this: I love the book, I get the book and I decide if I like it or not.

          Etiquette & Espionage is, as I’ve heard a prequel to another series of the author, called Parasol Protectorate and introduces us to that world of both series. The action of the book is settled somewhere in the Victorian era and tells the story of Sophronia, a 14 year old girl that doesn’t act like the society of that time asks, like a proper lady. She likes to explore and learn and her mother doesn’t find it acceptable so she decides to send her away to a finishing school, hoping for her to return changed. Acting like a lady and going to a finishing school is the equivalent of hell for Sophronia, but Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not like other schools.

Here is what I absolutely adored about this book:
          The spy school. I am a complete sucker for books with spies and this one is the perfect example. In a way it reminded me of The Gallagher Girls, but this one did not teach the girls just how to fight, lie and kill, it also teaches them how to act in society, how to dress and how to seduce.

“She had to give her teachers credit: they were right to insist all pupils carry scissors, handkerchiefs, perfume and hair ribbons at all times. At some point she'd learn why they also required a red lace doily and a lemon.” 

          The smart main character. Sophronia is a likable character and that is usually one of the main reasons I keep reading a book. She is smart and resourceful and even when she doesn’t know something she finds a ways to know more. She was caught only once when wondered in her adventures, but that was highly appreciated. She managed to find a prototype that an entire school was searching for and is very good at organizing missions.

          No instant love. There was a time when this was a thing and I may not be as romantic as everyone, but I hate it when the main character falls in love with the first boy she sees. In Etiquette & Espionage the energy is directed towards the missions, friends and adventures. I have no doubt that there will be a love story in the future, but I like the baby-steps in this case.

          I liked most of the book, especially the details of the school, mechanicals, classes and even dresses, but the book seemed a little slow. It took me a couple of days to finish it and this is never a good thing. I loved following Sophronia explore, but for most of the book this is all that happened. Also I was really disappointed to see no evolution in Sidheag and Agatha. It’s like the author added them to show how compassionate is Sophronia. I would have loved to see them as part of the last mission. Instead, after Dimity and Sophronia helped them, they just gave up.

          Also the school for boys that was in fact for evil geniuses was a little too weird. I would have been ok with the equivalent of the girl’s finishing school, but instead, the boys were just training to be evil, while the girls were trained to be spies/assassins. 

 “It's no good choosing your first husband from a school for evil geniuses. Much too difficult to kill.”


The Villains
          For most of the story Sophronia just explored and there was Monique, the equivalent of the bitchy blonde cheerleader, but that was all. Some bad guys entered the scene in the last chapter, but Dimity, Pillover and Sophronia disarmed them pretty fast and it was all over in a matter of minutes. It would  have been nice a prior development of the other villains and not just Monique.

          Overall I liked the book, but I was not crazy about it. I loved how it ended and that it did not have a cliffhanger and it can be read as a standalone.

Review: The Souls of Rain (Heavens Trilogy, # 1) by Diana Nixon

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Even the heavens make mistakes.
 
Synopsis:

The secrets of the heavens had always been carefully guarded. Until one day when the angels realized that what they used to believe in was nothing but a cruel game between heaven and hell.
And Claire’s life is a part of that game too….
She is a guardian angel. She always thought that her existence was perfect. But perfection is a very relative term, and no one is protected from making mistakes.
Everything changes the moment Claire gets a new assignment. Guarding humans has never been easy, and this time won’t be an exception.
Alan Rosenford is a spoilt party-boy, whose life is a hurricane of risk and adrenaline rush. His soul is damaged, his heart is bleeding, and there are so many things he prefers to keep private….
The words they have never said before ….
The sins they have never committed….
How much does forgiveness of the heavens cost?
Or maybe even the heavens make mistakes?


Where to buy: The Souls of Rain (Heavens Trilogy, # 1) by Diana Nixon


My Review:

          I am beyond happy that I had the chance to read this book. First because the cover is gorgeous and that alone made me fell in love with the book and second because it features angels. 

          The Souls of Rain is the first book from the Heavens Trilogy by Diana Nixon, and it’s the story of Claire, a guardian angel. It rarely happens to me to actually like the main character of a book, but I just cannot hate any of the characters from Diana’s books. I enjoyed Claire’s attitude as an angel and later as an outcast. I loved her determination and her seriousness when it came to her duty. It kind of reminded me of a badass business woman who does her job and does it well, because Claire is the best guardian angel there is in Heavens and a bunch of broken weapons are enough proof. She fights for her assignments and she fights for what she believes in…like I said…determined. 

         And then there is Alan, which I actually hoped for him not to be the bad boy he was presented from the beginning of the story. I was pleasantly surprised to take a look in his past and discover that he had his dark reasons for which he was the way he was. We get to see his present life, full of parties and dangers and friends that underneath are not actually his friends, but that’s only the shield under he hides. I liked how he was fragile and how he needed to be protected and not only physically, because he was human, but his soul needed to be protected as well. I may be weird, but I enjoyed a male character that was not the prince charming doing all the fighting. But what I really liked in this book and the Love Lines series as well was the love story. Not the love story itself, but the fact that it wasn’t instant love and their connection started a long time ago, but they failed to recognize it from the beginning.  

         But as much as I loved Claire and Alan, I adored Nolan and he might be my favorite character. For a former angel he is really daring and he knows how to keep his secrets. He is the mysterious, yet helpful guy in this story. It’s obvious that he knows more than he lets out, but I had no clue that his reasons were directly connected with his past. In fact, the big cliffhanger had Nolan as a center character and I cannot wait to know more about his past.

The Villain
        I don’t want to say that the villain was obvious, because it really wasn’t. It was there, you could feel that it was something wrong with the character, but while I was reading the book I couldn’t tag it as the big bad of the story. The author did a great job camouflage it in a slightly evil person.

The Universe
        The created universe was fascinating, with great details of the Heavens and Hell and angels actually had personalities. Heavens inhabitants were not described only as angels, but they were divided in various types and hierarchies.

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