20-something student and avid reader, reading and reviewing anything and everything under the sun (although YA definitely dominates)
Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: 5th February 2013
Summary from Goodreads:
time for war.
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.
She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life"
Usually I give myself longer to process a book before writing a review. But, 2 days after finishing this one, I need to get this review up to stay up to date with the schedule I wrote myself for the Christmas break, so here goes nothing. Unravel Me was amazing. Simply amazing.
It's been well over a year since I read Shatter Me, but Unravel Me transported me back to that world instantly. With the unique writing style that Mafi has employed in these books, how could it not? Merely pages into the book I'm asking myself Why did I wait so long to read this? Seriously, I don't understand why this wasn't at the top of my TBR, because Ignite Me definitely is. I just love how Mafi has employed this pseudo stream of conciousness for Juliet. You really get to understand Juliet better as a character because of it. You hear everything she's thinking, feel everything she's feeling through the poetic nature of the prose, understand the thoughts she's ashamed of having as they've been crossed out. It's nothing short of genius on Mafi's part. Everything is intensified, which makes this one of those books you struggle to put down.
Let's talk a bit about Warner, because he's one of my favourite characters by far. We learn a lot more about Warner in this novel. You get to see a lot more of the good, rather than the bad. He's very much a tortured soul - it's obvious that years of mistreatments have shaped him into who he is; there's a back story there just waiting to be told. I believe a lot more in Juliet and Warner's relationship than I do in Juliet and Adam's. Juliet and Adam always felt a bit instalovey for me; it seemed that the main reason Juliet was ever interested in him was because he was somehow immune to her touch. I think her relationship with Warner, on the other hand, shows a much more natural progression - he has to work a bit harder to win her over, so I'm much more inclined to want Warner with Juliet. Plus, that bedroom scene - lordy lordy bee.
Overall, Unravel Me was a very solid follow up to Shatter Me. This has a strong, action filled plot, a love triangle that I didn't hate, and a lot of new and interesting personalities were introduced. Plus Kenji; lets not forget about the awesomeness that is the witty, inappropriately acting yet serious when needed Kenji. And after that intense ending, I cannot wait to get my hands on Ignite Me early next year.
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini
Release Date: 1st February 2002
Publisher: Random House
Summary from Goodreads:
"One boy . . .
One dragon . . .
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands."
At first, this book bothered me. In fact, thinking back on it, this book still bothers me a bit. I may have loved the plot and the characters, but there were some things that hindered my reading experience.
Firstly, the writing style. It's a given that what with this being a children's book, that the writing style is going to be simplistic. And at the beginning, this was very, very obvious. I wasn't sure I'd be able to read 450 pages of short paragraphs consisting of He did this. Then he did that. Someone says somthing. Then they did something else. That's what it felt like, and it was painful. Luckily, as the story progressed and the plot became more detailed, that seemed to stop, or become less noticeable.
Secondly, I had issues with the relationship between Eragon and Seraphina. It felt like instalove. I know that there is supposed to be an amazing bond between a Rider and his dragon, what with the dragon waiting for the right person to turn up before they even hatch, but I just didn't buy it. Maybe it's because I'm still not sure over what time period the events in this book took place (was it a year or so?), so I didn't feel that there was any natural progression there. Either way, their bond annoyed me at times.
Pushing those aside, I did enjoy the plot and the characters. Although it became abundantly clear that this novel was almost entirely a set up for the rest of the series, I still enjoyed the storyline. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but I think once Brom and Eragon teamed up, thats when the plot became interesting. We learnt about the history of the Dragon Riders, we follow Eragon as he learns how to master his powers, and, interestingly, we're told the basis of the entire series storyline through a fortune teller.
And lets not forget about the characters. Eragon at times was a bit painful, but overall I thought he was a strong protagonist. I adored Brom, even if I hated how he mysterious he was sometimes. Loved Murtagh, he's pretty cool, and I didn't see the twist involving his character coming. Any other characters who I'm sure will be prominent in the following novels appeared too late for me to form any concrete opinion about them, aside from just liking or disliking them in general. Already I like Arya, just because Eragon does, and for the same reasons I don't like the Twins. I'm interested to hear more from them as the series progresses.
Overall, whilst this was mostly filled with backstory and setup for the rest of the series, I really enjoyed it, and I'll definitely be checking out the sequel.
The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon
Release Date: 20th August 2013
Summary from Goodreads:
"It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army."
For the past couple of days, I've struggled to write this review, because I'm not entirely sure what my feelings for The Bone Season are. On the one hand, the storyline is brilliant, the detail of this new world is amazing, and I loved our main characters. But on the other hand, there's just something that feels a bit off, and I think it comes down to the fact that I didn't feel immersed in this world - I felt like an outsider looking it.
But isn't that what we do with every book? Well, yes, but this is different. With most stories, I feel like I'm there with the protagonists. I'm invested in the storyline, I care about our protagonists futures. A book may be set in a completely new and foreign world to me, but I believe it and I'm there with the characters - I'm completely immersed in the story. But with this, I didn't get that. It wasn't until well into the second half of the novel or so that I finally began to feel invested in these people and this new world. Up until that point though, I felt like an outsider looking in, and overall, it made me struggle to get into the book.
That being said, this is an amazing read. The storyline is so new and interesting, the new world established is so messed up, and the Rephaim are a real treat to read about. There's just enough mystery to keep you intrigued, enough action to keep you on edge, and plenty of romance. I don't know what it was that wasn't allowing me to get invested in the beginning, because I was well invested in the end, and will undoubtedly be continuing on with this series. I would definitely check this one out for a new twist on the supernatural and dystopian genres.
The Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things #3) by Anna Godbersen
Release Date: 27th November 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Summary from Goodreads:
"In 1929, the Bright Young Things escape Manhattan's heat for the lush lawns and sparkling bays of White Cove, looking for leisure, love, and luck.
New York City's latest It Girl, Cordelia Grey, is flying high with celebrity pilot Max Darby. But Max is a private person with a reputation to uphold—and a secret to hide. A public romance with a bootlegger's daughter could cost him more than just his good name. . . .
Aspiring triple threat Letty Larkspur has finally gotten her big break, but will her talent—and special bond with the married silver-screen star Valentine O'Dell—make her a target in the cutthroat world of Hollywood? Perhaps the ingenue knows how to play the leading lady after all.
Newly married to her longtime sweetheart, socialite Astrid Donal finds herself spending more time with one of her husband's henchmen than with him. With so many secrets between man and wife, is the honeymoon already coming to an end?As summer reaches its hottest peak, these sun-kissed girls will find out if their luck can last . . . or if dark surprises are on the horizon."
I began this book remembering very few details of each girls storyline, and as a result, I at times found this book interesting, and at other times, I just didn't know what was going on. Partly that's my fault for not skimming the previous book or looking up the main plot points in the preceding novels before I began reading, but I also think its a reflection on how I found this series overall - not really that enthralling.
For example, this series has featured three narrators who we change between quite frequently - Cordelia, Astrid and Letty. I could remember Cordelia's story, because it was by far the most interesting, so I always knew what was going on with her. With Astrid, I couldn't remember everything at the beginning, but it did come back to me as I read. And with Letty, I honestly couldn't remember anything about her storyline...not one thing. As a result I didn't enjoy Letty's story so much because I just couldn't remember its beginning.
Whilst I didn't necessarily find the plot and characters all that interesting, I can't help but love the setting. Set in the 1920's, with the prohibition and the illegal speakeasy's, the glamorous lifestyle and the gansters - I can't help but enjoy the frivolous lifestyle, with that hint of danger ever so present. Overall, a fair ending to a series that I wasn't really that enthralled with. Should you read it? I probably wouldn't - if you'd like to read something by this author, I'd go with The Luxe series instead, it's much, much better.
I just posted by review for Allegiant over on my main blog, check it out if you're interested. Proceed with caution though, it's got SPOILERs
Overall: Fitting conclusion to the story, but some major problems, especially involving the plot. It's less than what I expected
Let's Talk is a weekly discussion meme hosted by http://www.iswimforoceans.com/. This week we're talking about author's whose books you can't help but read, even if you're not sold on the book. Head on over to my blog to check it out!
Get in the mood for Halloween with scary reads. If you love spooky atmosphere, you'll surely enjoy horror books that we found on your blogs (to read all review, click the link). Which book will you be reading tomorrow?
Shirley Jackson's prose is out of this world. But not only is her prose fabulous, the way she tells this story puts her miles above most horror authors working today. - Char's Horror Corner about We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
There aren't a lot of books that I would call both macabre and good-hearted; as a matter of fact, I can think of only one: This one. - A Reciprocal Love Affair With Books about A Night in the Lonesome October.
Immediately after I finished reading the first book in this series, Infected, I had to continue with Contagious (...) I knew that it was more action-packed, intense and gory apocalyptic horror just waiting for me. - The Aussie Zombie about Contagious.
They’re all quietly creeptastic and it’s easy to see where a few of them are going if you read too much horror as a kid. I’d have to say the Wendigo might be my favorite but I also loved the slow build of the asylum tale where the inmates far outnumber the staff and a young newbie is told, most ominously, "They are in charge. We just do what we can." Yikes, you just know some bad shit is going to go down but it doesn’t happen in a predicable way. - BarkLessWagMore about That Which Should Not Be.
You know when you're experiencing something traumatic? It's difficult for your mind to process the horror of it. And everything slows down, or seems to? That's how I felt listening to Tana, the protagonist. Everything is in slow motion as we hear her internal dialog. She wakes up to a house full of her dead friends, blood and death and horror everywhere. - Tullia (the sleepy reader) about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
Now the first two books are not "scare your pants off" scary, only slightly spooky in their creepy, gothic-y goodness. Sometimes the most terrifying thing isn't necessarily the boogeyman who jumps out and grabs you, but the chilling terror that lurks unknown in the shadows. - Ricki's Book Nook recommends Dracula, The Little Stranger and The Shining.
I love Ronald Malfi writing. This man can go creepy, creepy, creepy! When he ties things up with a nice red ribbon...that ribbon is blood red. Cradle Lake was no different. - A Book and A Review #2 recommends Cradle Lake.
Personally, I wouldn't have been able to read this book a year ago. It would have been rubbing alcohol to paper cuts. So it felt a lot like this book has been waiting for me (kinda like a stalker, yeah). The monster once told Conor that stories are wild creatures that may wreak havoc when you let them loose, and this broke a bit of mine in order for it to be fixed in places I didn't even know were broken. I came in blind and you should too. The universe wants to be noticed, I read somewhere, but this book… this book deserves it. - ashwednesday gives 5 starts to A Monster Calls.
I listened the audiobook and I really think some of the story benefited from having it read to me. The horror aspects probably wouldn’t have been as vivid to me if I had read it on my own, but having a guy read it to me in a creepy voice really made the difference. - In Libris Veritas recommends listening to Anna Dressed in Blood.
I enjoyed the way the story unravelled at a surprisingly good pace for Mr King and I enjoyed the way the tension built peppered with mangled legs, vile head injuries and some rather creative cussing. - There's more to life than books, but it's a good place to start about Misery.
Each taking place in a mortuary, these four short stories read like well-written episodes of Tales from the Crypt. When you think you know where it’s going, prepare for a clever twist. - Book Wilde loved Mortuary Horror stories.
This book was fabulous. I was like an Unconsecrated myself, pressed up to my iPad and moaning when it ended, hungering for more. I loved this because it isn't the typical dystopian novel you'd find today. - t and a book about The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
It was a good read and I was happy I did read the entire book as one of the final stories became my favorite (...) I would recommend this as a read this season and anytime you want something thrilling to read. - Marsha Gomes-Mckie's Blog recommends Thirty Scary Tales.
The book was full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. Some shocked me and some made me quite disappointed. No character was safe, even the ones I favoured, but it just added to the excitement. - Kitty's Book Blog about Sow And You Shall Reap.
I was shaking from page 50 till the end. I jumped from the bed after discovering it was only my cat making that weird noise and ran to my sister's room to finish this book. I love it when an author could arouse my emotions: make feel afraid, angry, happy, sad, etc. It proves they're an amazing writer. Ten is a story full of mystery and twists and turns. - Lady Danielle loved Ten.
What books would you recommend for Halloween evening?