Monday, January 30, 2017

The Chemical Gardens Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano- 5 stars

Prior to reading this series I have never even heard of this author. It is a wonderful thing to be involved in a community that shares their book experiences and are willing to recommend great stories to one another. I was recommended this series/author by a fellow bookstagrammer (Instagram: @rusticwolvesandpaperfoxes , blog: rusticwolvesandpaperfoxes.wordpress.com) and I will be grateful for a long long time.

Lauren SeStefano's writing is beautiful. You are transported into the story!
The characters are believable and their feelings and thoughts so well portrayed you almost believe they are real. There is so much pain in those books, the emotional connection is impossible to avoid.

The story is complex, there are many sides to almost all characters and the pieces are not obvious to put together. It is, in many ways, not just an YA, but a great suspense.
Can you imagine knowing exactly when you are going to die? That is the main theme behind the characters motivations. Due to a terrible virus/genetic disorder, girls only live to the age of 20, boys to the age of 25.

Rhine, the main character, is strong willed, determined and loyal to a fault. But she is also extremely vulnerable. Those two sides of her personality are better explored on the second book, but there are sure glimpses of it on the first book as well.
Her hate and her pain are her motivators, are the things that keep her going. But when she gets to know those who have been taken captive with her, those held captive in the house, and even the man she was forced to marry, those motivators are shaken and become hard to hold on too. This however does not deter her from her ultimate goal: escaping!
These feelings shape and change her future (mostly book 3), where her love for the people she once tried to hate become her driving force. But please don't go on thinking she is a one dimensional character who simply feel in love with her captor, it is not as simple as that. She does love him by the last book, but he is not the one she is 'in love' with. There are many depths to her character and to the book as a whole.

The next character worth mentioning is Linden, the man she was forced to marry. Many reviewers describe him as someone weak. I LOVED Linden, my heart broke for him and with him through out the series. There is nothing weak about him. He is clueless, he lives in a world were the truth is hidden from him and where it remains that way until the very last book. It is not until he finds Rhine taken captive by his own father that the truth begins to sink in for him. As his uncle puts it: 'ignorance is bliss'. He is naive, but not weak. He fights for her and he fights for his other wives, but he fights with the little truth he has in his hands.
And the depth of his heart and of his love is immeasurable. By the time Rhine comes in he has already suffered more than anyone his age should have.
Towards the end of the series, Linden had become such a force of nature in my eyes that I found myself torn between rooting for Rhine's and Gabriel's freedom and wanting her to stay with Linden. She made him stronger, braver, happier. And he deserved that. His ending broke me to immeasurable levels. I said this on my bookstagram (@glimpses_of_me) and I will say it here too: I have not felt book related pain like this since Sarah J Maas and Morghan Rhodes, and those two authors are great at shredding your heart...

The sister wives are as complex as Rhine. You might not think that to start with, specially when it comes to Cecily, but you will be surprise to see how much she changes and grow through out the series. She is still child at the end, but a child that is also a mother and has suffered enough to know the world is not as simple as she would like it to be.

In my humble opinion, this is, as are the books from author's mentioned above, a book geared to an older YA crowd. I don't think a young teen with no life experience would be able to identity with the complexity of the characters, or would understand the difficulty of the choices they have to make. The emotions portrayed require a certain amount of maturity to resonate with the reader.

I could not recommend this enough.
Go Read.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Before I fall by Lauren Oliver- 3.75 stars

Before I fall is the story about a popular teenage girl, Samantha, and her very popular friends. Sam dies at the end of her school's 'cupid day' in a car crush but keeps reliving the day. For seven  days she wakes up on the 12th of February and by reliving the day again and again she comes to realize how one life, her life, can have an effect on the live of those around her. Even the ones she does not speak with.
Samantha and her girlfriends are malicious and mean. She may not instigate all the horrible things her friends do and say but she tags along and never stops them.
The book is basically a story of re-rewriting wrongs. Samantha has, after her death, six days to change things, to change a few lives.
As Samantha relives that day, and messes it all up again and again, we slowly get a better understanding of how she became that way. We also learn more about her friends and a few other secondary characters. We learn how one or two events in someone's past can forever change someone's life.
I love all that! I think the arching story in Before I fall is great. It makes you think more about life, about your everyday actions, about those around you, and finally, about death!
It teaches you to appreciate the small things in life.

The problem is the book is repetitive. Reliving seven days gets tiring on the reader. I skimmed read large chucks of the book.
Another thing that annoyed me tremendously is how horrible, mean and bitchy the characters are. Now, I get that they are meant to be that way. I get the girls are meant to be spoiled brats. But it was just way too much. I feel like there was more of that than actual story building. After two days I knew exactly how horrible the girls were, there was no need to read again and again the same horrible lines. The author could have concentrated on Kent a little more. Or on the other girls past, she really only expands on Lindsay. She doesn't even expand much on Sam's own background, there are a few mentions here and there, glimpses, but never enough. I am not saying that background info on the characters is/was necessary, I am simply pointing out I would rather prefer that than the continuous tiring bitchiness between the characters. As I said, I got it by the two that they weren't very nice.

The last problem with the book, and the biggest one for me, is the ending.
Sam had to learn to sacrifice herself for the sake of others. Problem is, she IS ALREADY DEAD! So what's the point? Why does she has to do that for the cycle to stop? There is no explanation for the abrupt ending. She dies again, like she did all the other 6 days and that's that. I think there are pages missing at the end of my book.... 😕😕

Conclusion: Before I fall has a great premise. The though behind most of the book is great and I would highly recommend that you read it. I also dare you not to fall in love with Kent's character!
But, sadly, be also prepared to get annoyed at the characters and to feel a tad bored from time to time because of its repetitiveness.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black- 5 Stars

It has only been a few weeks since I discovered Holly Black, and although my tbr is absolutely huge, I just had to read another book of hers, so I got The Darkest Part of the Forest on my kindle. It did not disappoint.
Holly Black is as amazing writer and can do in one book what takes many writers a whole series to succeed at. The world she created was overwhelmingly well written and it fascinated me from beginning to end. Her style of writing is almost poetic, I felt like reading it aloud to the world. It was so so beautiful. I want to live in a world of faeries and I don't care if they are dangerous provided it is the world Holly Black created! -seriously-
I feel very confident in saying that since reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Holly Black has become my favorite stand alone writer! YA fantasy are my favorite kind of books and as far as stand alones go, no one writes better.

Ben and Hazel are siblings leaving in Fairfold, a town were there is a very fragile line between the world of humans and the world of the Fairy folk. They are dangerous and kill for fun. The locals know to stay away from the forest at night, the tourists are not so wise and often some end up dead.
As children, Hazel and Ben believed they were going to one day save the town from the fairies. Off to the forest they would go to slay monsters, Ben with his magical music and Hazel with her sword and unshakable bravery. But, they are still kids, and with time that changed. They start keeping secrets from one another and stop going to the forest at night.
All the while there is a boy with horns in his head in a glass coffin in the forest. He has been there for as long as people can remember. Always sleeping. Nothing and no one can brake through the glass. Ben and Hazel loved the boy as children, and told him all their deepest secrets. Little did they know the boy was listening.
One day the boy wakes up.
That is really all I can say about the book without giving away the plot. A lot happens both before and after the horned boy wakes up. The relationship between the two siblings is beautifully written. They love each other more than anything in this world and the things they do for each other are heartwarming (even if at times they are also a tad stupid!).

Jack and Carter are secondary characters, but of equal importance to the story. Specially Jack, He is a changeling, not human. Carter was kidnapped (swapped) as a child, his mother demanded him back, but also kept Jack. His character was one of my favorites. His relationship with Ben and Hazel is sweet, their friendship is touching.

The book is also action packed! At every page there is something else happening and you really gotta make sure you don't miss anything. I am a big fan of books like that, so this was right up my street! 😉

I cannot wait to dive in
another book by Holly Black. She is truly talented. It is not often that you find a storyteller of her caliber.

GO Read!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Holding up the universe by Jennifer Niven- 4.5 stars

Holding up the universe is about two teenage kids. A girl, Libby, who was once know as "American Fattest Teen" and is now trying to go back to school and once again have a 'normal' life. And a boy, Jack, who suffers from a disease that does not let his brain recognize faces, even his family are strangers to him.

"Dear friend, 
You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only one there is. Don't be afraid to leave the castle. It's a great big world out there. 
Love, a fellow reader"- Jennifer Niver

I had another reader (whose opinions I trust) give me some very harsh reviews on this book. She/he believes the book is offensive and criticized the author for not understanding 'fatness'. For body shamming and a lack of sensitivity. The author has also been criticized for mishandling a character with cognitive disorder.The list of horrible things this reader and many others (just have a 5 min look through GoodReads) is huge.
I decided not to buy the book.
Two weeks later a good friend read the book and told me she loved it! We don't always agree on books, but she rarely tells me a book is good if she doesn't know I will like it too.
So I bought the book! 😃
I am so very glad I did.

In no way is the author being offensive towards obese people. That is just ridiculous! And don't even dare saying I don't know what I am talking about, sorry to brake this to you, but I've been just that for many many years now.
The way she portrays Libby is just the way that particular character feels, Are there overweight people that don't feel like that?! Sure thing, I don't!
But there are those who do. More importantly, it is a FICTIONAL character, and it seems to me, many who read the book forgot that tiny detail.
I for one appreciate her take on Libby. Bullying like that does happen. Teen and even adults do feel that insecure. And teen girls do often feel the need to be wanted (specially by a boy). I very much like that Jennifer Niven did not shy away from those things.
And I love the underlying message: be yourself! Be tolerable and don't follow the crowd.

We readers ask for complex characters and that is exactly what Jennifer Niven gave us. Have you read another book with characters quite like it? I have not.
At the same time, the book is simply another feel good high school romance story. The 'feels' will be many. The 'mooshy gooshy' moments more than you can count!
Had the characters been ordinary-everyday-nothing special about you- teens this would have been just another cheesy romantic story. The characters backgrounds and complexity help make it special.

Libby is happy, loves dancing, is full of life and is darn strong. She refuses to let the outside world define her. Its empowering and I wish more of us were like her. She is an easy to love character.
Jack, oh Jack... he is such an easy character to love too. I felt bad for him through out the book. Him and his big afro hair are just adorable! I love his personality. He is funny, charming and cool. But its his willingness to do whats right (and messing up most of the time) and the way he admits when he is being an ass that captivates.
Ok, I will give it to you critics of the book that his illness is not treated in a very realistic way. How on earth would you hide from your parents you don't always recognize them all your life? But its a fiction book guys, it never would be perfect!

All in all, I thought it was a near perfect book. It took me a while to get 'into' the book to start. The pace and the jumping back and from Libby-Jack took me a while to get use to. Had it not been for that I would easily and happily have given a 5.

Go Read!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill- 3 stars

This was not a bad book, but it wasn't a great book either (Synopsis at the end of this post).

The First half of the book is very slow! Britta, the main character, spends at least 80% of the book somewhere in a forest with Cohen at her side running from the King's guards. 
The romance between the two is very frustrating. She loves him and thinks he doesn't love her (only an idiot wouldn't know that was untrue) and that goes on and on until almost the end of the book. I felt like I read the exact same thing again an again a million times. This was the single most annoying romance story I've read in a very long time. I hated it! 
I don't really like Britta's character at all. She is rather daft and slow to process things that should be obvious. We, the reader, guess everything way ahead of her, and that in turn makes the character and the book rather predictable. Sadly, that is not always a good thing and certainly it wasn't here.
Cohen's character is a little better, but not by much. Specially not when it is from Britta's perspective- he has muscles and smells amazing. The end. 

There is no world building. I finished the book knowing as little about the two kingdoms at war (or almost at war) as I knew at the beginning. If the romance had been really good that wouldn't have bothered me, but since it wasn't...

Towards the end of the book (I would say 2/3 in) the story picks up a little. You learn more about Cohen, about her family, about the powers she has. But to be honest, that was a little to late for me. At that point I was already tired of reading the book and ready to have it done.

And the ending is...well... not the best. I could guess everything that happened in this book while I read it and I can guess the direction the author will take on the next book too. It is rather annoying. 
I read a review somewhere that starts by asking "what does this ending mean?" and I had to laugh. Really? It is obvious! read it and you will see!

Anyway, I am sounding very harsh. So you must be wondering why 3 stars?
Well, it wasn't that bad. Slow? sure. Predictable? certainly! Terrible romance? yes and yes! 
But at the same time, I wasn't upset or annoyed at the end. The book had a very good promising premise. The actual hunting it is in all fairness well written. The first few pages were pleasurable to read. Had it been shorter and not so slow to pick up, some of he bad aspects about it would have been easier to forgive. 
It was one of those books that are just OK. Not good, not bad, just ok...


GoodReads Synopsis: 
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab- 5 stars

If you have previously read my reviews (here and on instagram) you know I place great importance on the author's ability to make the reader feel completely and utterly emerged into the world he/she created regardless of how real it is or it is not. Victoria Schwab manages just that! I went to bed dreaming of a world of monsters, of brave and kind monsters that are more lovable than most humans.

The main characters have an amazing dynamic! And considering there is little to no romance in this book I would say that shows the talent of the author. That is not something easily done. Think of your favorite YA fantasy books and tell me one that is both popular and has no romance in it. Done? Bet you didn't came out with much!

The story was unique and intriguing. I don't really have any other book with even a similar story line. The book is set in a world were two forces are against each other and monsters are a real threat in between the two. What makes it unique is that it portrays humans as sometimes worse than the worse monsters, a comparison that I am sure does not goes lost in any reader today.
The book is gory, it doesn't shy away from what monsters do/eat 😉 It is not off putting in way, its well written. I have read this last year and the only other book I could use as an example here is The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Not the story, they are very different books, but the way both authors manage to maintain beauty amidst blood shed!

August character is beautifully written, complex, dynamic, dimensional and relatable. He may be a monster but his struggles are very much struggles many of us face. I adore her representation of his issues with sensory overload. It is not an issue touched often (if ever) and it was very well portrayed. He is a monster and wishes he wasn't, but as the book progresses it is that side of him that marvels the reader. If he wasn't a monster ... (well, I will let you read and find out 😊)
Kate is rather interesting! She is bitter and cruel. She very much wants to be evil. And she succeeds for the most part too. The things she did to impress her evil dad are nasty. But, wanting to be cruel and actually being cruel are different things. She is just a lonely kid wanting her family to love her. How many kids out there can relate to that? To wanting to be loved? To having parents too busy working and not having enough time for them? The amount of kids who end up in trouble simply to get their parents attention is grand, and in the end of the day, that is who Kate is (with the exception that her dad IS evil and getting his attention requires a lot more than a few tantrums!)

Go read!

GoodReads:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. 

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black- 5 stars

This book had me worried. I thought: "Another book about vampires, here goes the 'cheese'!..."
I could not have been more wrong! There is nothing cliche about Holly's Black take on vampires.It is so cleverly written and so different than everything else out there. I was happily and gladly surprised!
If you are looking for a romance book (twilight style), look away. There is a little romance here, but not much, just little snippets here and there. Enough to keep you wondering.
The book is described as a "wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing" (goodreads). The description could not be more accurate!

The main character, Tana, lives in a world very much like ours. Except of-course, there are vampires. Unlike other books with vampires on it however, vampires are neither hidden or taking over the world. The vampires are contained in Coldtowns, modern cities that got infected by vampires and were therefore guarded and blocked from the rest of the world. You can go in, but you are not allowed to get out. The world in which the book is set is very well written and very well described. And because it uses modern towns and locations it is somewhat very vivid in your mind while you read it. You feel a part of the book. Any author that manages to that deserves great praise.
Tana herself has a terrible past of vampire infection in her family and knows the threat of being sent to a coldtown well.
When we first encounter Tana she is like any other teen going to parties, struggling with an ex, etc. But she wakes up after a party very hangover to find everyone at the party dead. Well, almost everyone. And here is where the story gets interesting!
This is a rather dark yet mesmerizing story! Holly Black doesn't shy away from gory scenes but somehow manages to make them sound beautiful at the same time as it is terrifying, She has got an amazing talent for story telling! I honest can't believe I've never read anything of hers before. As soon as I am done with this review I will be adding some of her work to my TBR list.
Tana is through out the book a determined, strong and brave character. But not unafraid. And there is great beauty to that, she becomes a very relatable character fast.
Her rather odd connection to vampire Graviel is very well portrayed. It is not romantic until almost the end of the book, it is thrilling and frightening and exciting all at once. He is one scary powerful vamp!
I really love the way Holly Black portrays Gavriel. He is not a monster and he is not a goody vampire either. He is a badass vamp that has and is still causing bloodshed.  Here is"I would kill everyone in the world....or not, obviously..."
a little snipped (with spoilers cut out):
The twists and turns in the story are not many but enough to keep you on your toes. Enough to have you not wanting to put the book down. I read this whole book (it is not a small book) in 3 sittings. Why sleep when you can read right? haha



Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee- 5 stars

I read this book October last year and fell in love with it! The story, the writing, the futuristic world in
which it is set, the book cover... Seriously, it is the prettiest glittery book there is!
I started posting reviews on a blog (instead of only on my bookstagram) about a week after I finished reading The Thousandth Floor, so it never got here. But I love the book and I think it is worth more than just a few little lines on Instagram.
How much I love it? Well... here is a little background story for you guys: I found out there would be a book fair about 3 1/2 hours away from me in the Twin Cities, MN and decided to check out the authors that would be there (not worth going for books you would never read right?!). I wasn't really familiar with many of the authors so I looked up the books and their synopsis instead to see if anything sounded interesting. The Thousandth Floor, although not my usual 'go to' style of book (I am rather a fan of fantasy) sounded really good. Next day, on a trip to Target, there was the book! I couldn't resist! I finished reading the book in 2-3 days and made the immediate decision that I had to meet the author. The book was awesome!
I met the author Katharine McGee (far right) at the St Paul's book fair about 2 weeks after reading the book. And I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say I only drove those 3 1/2 hours because I wanted The Thousandth Floor signed! (I know...I sound like a teen fan right now... what can I say, 30 year olds also have idols! haha).
Not just the book was an amazing read, as it turns out, the author is really lovely herself! I am very glad to have met her. Books that you love become all that more precious to you if the author happens to be someone super nice too!


 Book review time!
Although this is Katharine McGee's debut novel, you wouldn't know that was the case while reading it. She is very talented and her style of writing captivates you immediately. You are going to be intrigued by the story from the very first page:
"The higher you are, the higher you will fall"

"He didn't know whether she'd fallen, or been pushed, or whether- crushed by the weight of unspoken secrets- she'd decide to jump"

That is more or less how the book starts, and trust me, you are unlikely to guess how the events will unfold. A lot happens!
The book is set in 2118 on a high tower- hence the name! Each floor is fully operational, like whole neighborhoods. And the higher you are, the richer! There is little reason to ever leave the tower since you can find all you need there. The book is very futuristic, there aren't phones/mobiles, rather there are eye contacts that let you see your messages. Why keys when you can use retina scanners?
The world building is done really well. I myself would love to live in that world!
The Thousandth Floor is written from the perspective of 5 different teens:
Avery, who leaves in the thousandth floor and is therefore the richest and most popular of the characters. She is also genetically design to be perfect. But she wants the only thing she can't have...
Leda is best friends with Avery. She has two secret addictions though, one that will forever damage her friendship with Avery.
Eris is another girl from the higher floors and also friends with Avery. I believe her character is one of the most interesting ones in the book. It is the one that changes/learns the most. She is a carefree girl that has her life turned upside down when some of her family secrets surface.
Rylin lives on the 32nd floor (if memory does not fail me). She is poor and struggles with her sister. But a job in the higher floor and a boyfriend that deals drugs changes her life.
And than we have Watt (where my soft spot is at). He is the sweetest of the characters and I really hope to read a lot more of him on the next book. I was rather sad with the way things ended for him.
He is a tech genius who lives on the 240th floor and does some illegal work in order to help his family financially. All is well until he is hired by one of the higher up girls to spy on someone else.

There are some awesome minor characters as well. One of my favorite of those is Cord. He lives in the higher floors and as expected is friends with Avery, Leda and Eris. He also develops a friendship with Rylin. Their story is intriguing and I am looking forward to see what comes next. I don't really see him as a minor character though, he has potential to be a lot more!

The book is reviewed often as a futuristic version of Gossip Girl. I am not myself a fan of Gossip Girl, so I will argue that this is a lot better. Yes, there is drama, but is not drama that makes you cringe because of how cheesy and obvious it is. The thousandth floor has a much more sophisticated and intellectual writing style than Gossip Girl ever did.

The ending begs for a sequel! And even though you kind of know how it will end due to how the book started, it still manages to be unexpected and exciting.

Go Read!





Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- 2.5 stars

I am very glad I still had The Sun is Also a Star in my mind when the year started. It would have been rather sad to start the year with a disappointing book. Sadly, that is the category The Night Circus occupies in my mind.
Now, before I rant about all the things that were wrong with it (it will be a rather long rant) I shall make it plain that it wasn't all bad. Had that been the case I would never have manged to finish the book (please bare in mind I skimmed a lot of it).
The twins are rather interesting, half of the time at least. Bailey has one scene I rather enjoyed reading (it involves the fortune teller for those who have read or are yet to read), the romance although short and very unrealistic had some sweet spots...
Issue One:  I like a books with good and interesting plots that captivate from beginning to end. The world in which such plot is set and the imagery of that world and of the things around it should complement the story but never take over. The opposite is true in The Night Circus. The imagery of the circus is more important to the writer than the plot. You spend at least 80% of the book (in my humble opinion) reading about the circus, its construction, its tents and shows and magical places and only a mere 20% of it actually reading a story worthy of keeping to memory. Imagery substitutes rather than complements the plot!
I suppose that if you don't mind a very slow story, made out of way too many descriptions, you will like the book more than I did.
Issue Two: If you read the book description this is what you will get: "The circus arrives without warning... But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Amidst the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon stumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance."
Sounds exciting right? I though so! Problem is, none of those statements are accurate. The book is better described like so:
"The circus arrives without warning (unless you are friends with the clock maker)...But behind the scenes a long monotonous race that gets rather tiring as the years go by takes place. Two young magicians who have no idea what game they are playing, what this slow race is about or who the other is learn to use some magic and when the circus is finally up (hundreds of pages in)...nothing changes! They are trained from childhood by 'father like' figures that are rather psychotic and unpleasant to play a game that makes no sence whatsoever. The magicians themselves will tell you that through out the book more times than you can count. Unbeknownst to them, the ones who set the game in motion believe only only competitor can be left standing, that being said, that are many ways to change that. Amidst the high stakes Celia and Marco wake up one day and decide that even though they have never met they will fall in love. It really doesn't matter that he is seeing someone else almost the whole time. Their love story is short, unrealistic and might make you doubt your sanity."
Issue Three: The intertwining timeline in the book is very disturbing. It at times through time as well as through the characters, some that have no special place in the book. Consequently the main characters are not well developed at all. At the end of the book you know as little about them as you knew in the beginning. The book was 512 pages long and I feel like I've read a badly written short story.
There are other minor issues here and there. Like the magic! Its sooo obvious and on your face! it bored me to death...

In the end, I cannot give it more than 2.5 stars. The good spots and the rather beautiful imagery do not save the book. The few good plot lines are far too few in between and the imagery monopolizes almost every page of the book. I both feel like I've read a very short book due to its lack of character building and story line, and a long boring book due to its excessive attention to 'world building'.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - 5 stars!

I'm back!

Sorry guys, I know it has been a while but Christmas Holidays tend to make time disappear! And fast.
My last read of 2016 was The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. It was one of my best decisions to end the year with this book. It is an easy, adorable, sweet read. If you are a fan of Nicola's previous work, Everything Everything, you are certainly going to love this too. A very different story but the same style of writing. It gives you the same warm feelings, pain and joy! Within the very first pages I already knew I was going to love this book as much if not more than Everything Everything!

Seventeen year old Natasha wants to stay in the US with her family and friends, but she is about to be deported. Most of the book takes place on that one day, the day she is to be deported with her family back to Jamaica.
You can feel her pain and distress through out the book. Hers and Daniel's, the other main character in the book. He is the son of immigrants that are in the country legally. 
The book approaches many different themes and subjects, it is not all about love. It deals with suicide, loneliness, race, traditions, loyalty, failure...
That being said, their love story is adorable! But it not super cheesy and overpowering. The best way to describe it is by sharing a little quote from Daniel:

"There is a Japanese phrase that I like: koi noi yokan. It doesn't mean love at first sight. It's closer to love at second sight. It is the feeling when you meet someone that you're going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don't love them right away, but it's inevitable that you will"

There is perspective! 
Their story is not simple. it is complicated, sad, happy, funny, flawed...You will be heartbroken for them and root for them till the very last page.
Okay, it is not necessarily realistic, there are too many coincidences... but I believe those coincidences make it a great story, one of love and faith in love. I believe we all lost a bit of that, it is nice to get a little injection of it through a wonderfully written book.

It was also interesting because of how different and complex the characters are. Natasha believes in science, in logic, and in facts. Not destiny. While Daniel is the exact opposite. He dreams, he writes poetry, and he strongly believes in fate. Their understanding of the universe is well thought out, is well explained and elaborated. They are both complex characters. Intriguing, interesting and lovable on their own way.

I personally cannot find a fault in this book! 5 starts no doubt.

GO READ