Dec 19, 2013

'The Fault in Our Stars' Movie Poster!

I know you've already seen it. Who hasn't. But it still deserved a place on my blog. I mean... look at it. 
SO PRETTY. They're very close to how I pictured them! 

I'm not so happy about that tagline, though. Maybe you could change it up, folks? The story already depresses me as hell, no need to add more to the pain.

QUICKY: External Forces (The Laws of Motion, #1), by Deborah Rix

Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Dime Store Books
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Dystopia
Dystopia, Romance, Series
Goodreads Deborah Rix's Website
Read in October 2013


It’s 100 years since the Genetic Integrity Act was passed and America closed its borders to prevent genetic contamination. Now only the enemy, dysgenic Deviants, remain beyond the heavily guarded border. The Department of Evolution carefully guides the creation of each generation and deviations from the divine plan are not permitted.
When 16-year-old Jess begins to show signs of deviance she enlists in the Special Forces, with her best friend Jay, in a desperate bid to evade detection by the Devotees. Jess is good with data, not so good with a knife. So when the handsome and secretive Sergeant Matt Anderson selects her for his Black Ops squad, Jess is determined to figure out why.
As her deviance continues to change her, Jess is forced to decide who to trust with her deadly secret. Jess needs to know what’s really out there, in the Deviant wasteland over the border, if she has any hope of making it to her 17th birthday. Because if the enemy doesn’t kill her first, the Department of Evolution probably will.

My Opinion:

What an awesome debut! With hints at Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, Deborah Rix has crafted a new and intriguing post-apocalyptic world. 

We're introduced to Jess a Divergent... um, DEVIANT! (LOL, jk), in a world where any signs of genetic deviance can cost you your life. Jess's only way to survive is to blend in... and become a part of an army dedicated to erradicate and keep at bay any Deviants.

I really should have written this review as soon as I finished it! I could have told you so much that I now seem to have forgotten!

But I can say that I loved this book so much more than I initially thought I would! Deborah created a world full of secrets and romance and action, a fast-paced world I want more of!

Jess's own personality was brilliant. She was her own woman, fighting to keep her secrets and her life. Her relationship with her new friends was very well developed too. 

DNF: Countdown, by Michelle Rowen

Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 1 Monkey
Interest: Dystopia
Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Romance

3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped. 
2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game. 
Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis. 
1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it. 
Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape. 
My Opinion:

To me, first chapters are everything. They're what define if I'll stick with a book or not. 
Sadly, Countdown's first chapters didn't do it for me. I got no substantial backstory (only a brief mention of some Great Plague, which, by the way, wasn't explained in the following chapters). 
Until chapter five I had no idea how Kira looked like. She did detail her and Rogan's clothes, but it was a long list I soon forgot and didn't feel like going back to check again. 
And Kira's power... it just felt forced. The narrative didn't do it for me either. 

In the second stage of the game, Kira magically finds the bell to get them to the next level. Here there's a passing mention of her life before, trying to give the story some backdrop (why would she be so comfortable going through the Dumpster?). But just as easily as it appears, it vanishes, and we're left with Kira and Rogan meeting a random man who wants to fix Rogan's shoulder. This did not seem plausible to me. Kira wanted to run at the first opportunity, so why would she act so nonchalant in front of a stranger who is clearly working for the people who've put her in this game? 

It all happens too fast and it doesn't get a chance to be properly developed. Five chapters were more than enough for me. 

Sorry, Michelle!

Nov 17, 2013

Endless, by Amanda Gray

Release Date: September 10th, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Month9Books
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 3 Monkeys
Interest: Romance
Categories: Paranormal, Romance

Read from October to November 2013

Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.

When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. 
While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.
My Opinion:
I picked up Endless from NetGalley because of its beautiful cover. Isn't it just lovely? And then I read the description and I knew I had to read it. 

Unfortunately, it's ending left more to be said than the solutions it gave, making me somewhat mad for having read a book so beautiful only to have it end like it did. 

Don't get me wrong, it is a really nice book. But, as far as I know, it's a standalone; when it should be the first in a series. 

The MC, Jenny, is a lovable 16-year-old, with a weird habit of wearing fingerless gloves. Why? Because she sees things when she touches people. So far so good. Gray has a nice, solid start. Jenny's chapters intertwine with ones where we see a teenage Russian girl, named Maria. 

And the story begins to weave itself into life. I really enjoyed most of the book, but as Gray began introducing us to the reality of the conflict, she started leaving behind things that she'd written at the beginning. 

I was very unsatisfied with its ending. It's left quite open, but it doesn't give the closure some of the subjects needed. Jenny's ability is forgotten halfway through the book and we get no explanations as to what the Order would really do. We get hints, yes, but no satisfactory ending. 

I felt like I was reading a rushed ending.

Anyway, it IS a lovely book. And perhapd you'll see more in its ending than I did.

Nov 15, 2013

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits, #3), by Katie McGarry

Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Romance, Bad Boy/Good Girl
Categories: Contemporary, Romance, Series

Goodreads / Katie McGarry's Website

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
My Opinion:
Wow, I'm slow. I had no idea this book was part of a series when I requested it on NetGalley. Anyway, the book stands on its own, and what a great choice I made by requesting it!

The story of Rachel and Isaiah is fast and dangerous, just like what they most love: speed. They seek freedom at all costs, freedom from their families, from their school life, from everything that overwhelms them.

I seriously love a good bad boy-good girl book, and this one was just brilliant! I love how it alternated between both main characters, giving us a much wider take on their story.

Isaiah is a guy who puts up a front for everyone, he wants people to believe he's bad news. But then along comes Rachel, who can see past his walls and into the boy he really is. Both characters are from broken homes: Isaiah is a foster care system kid, while Rachel's existance is an excuse to make up for the death of an older sister she never knew.

I had no idea, none, about how bad a panic attack can be. This thing, this disease that Rachel suffers from... it's just WOW. Nice work, Katie, you really changed how I view them. I now know how serious they can get if whoever suffers from them doesn't get help. 

Where can I get myself an Isaiah? The tough bloke with the soft interior... I could just feel his love for Rachel through the pages, and I LOVED (kudos Katie!) how Rachel changed him and his need to always be in control. He learned how to fully trust her, and that just shows that he really, really loved her, and my heart just... <3 

Both of them get in real deep trouble with Eric, resident ruler of the streets, and they need to pay off their debt to him before something bad happens. The pressure of this drama, combined with Rachel's older brothers' bullying, really made her ill. 

I had to keep myself from screaming at my Kindle, they were so, so MEAN. Except for Rachel's twin, Ethan, they all pushed her so hard, I wanted to beat them until they felt the same pain I was getting from Rachel. (They eventually begin to change, but still. This just goes to show that you can be as rich as a king and still have a crappy family.)

Then there were the friends, who I now know have their own stories. Noah and Echo were lovely, all suportive, Logan was wicked cool and Abby... LOVED her. I would love to read her story.

The road to a good place will be difficult for these two, but they'll get there safe and... relatively sound. 

I'll of course be reading the previous books soon, I wish I'd read them before reading this one!


Oct 7, 2013

DNF: The Children of the Mist, by Jenny Brigalow

Release Date: September 1st, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 2 Monkeys
Interest: Vampires, Werewolves, Aussie Lit
Categories: Paranormal, Romance, Series
Goodreads / Amazon / Jenny Brigalow's Website 
Read in September-October 2013 

An original paranormal YA about an unconventional girl, an unconventional boy, their extraordinary transformations, and the secrets of the Scottish Highlands.

When skater girl Morven Smith turns sixteen, she develops boobs, acute appendicitis...and a pair of pointy teeth. While she is stunned by her metamorphosis into vampire, her best mate, the enigmatic Zest, is not. For the young werewolf, Morven’s transformation is an answer to his lonely prayers. 
But they are unable to celebrate their mutual paranormalcy for long — there are too many dangers, too much suspicion, and too many questions. It’s only in Scotland that Morven can learn the truth about her past. But she discovers more than she bargained for when she meets her birth family — an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves. They may both be Children of the Mist, but only one species can survive.
My Opinion:

I first decided to read this book because I really like aussie books, I like their cool idioms and reading about places that I'd love to visit someday, in this case, Australia and Scotland. 

So I met Morven, a skater girl, 16-year-old and with a penchant for adrenaline. The first couple of chapters introduced her and her friend Zest. I read about them skating, trespassing private property and freeing a lively Dog, but I still couldn't feel anything for them. 

I couldn't tell you why, but I couldn't bring myself to care for these characters. Sometimes I'd get excited about a situation, like when Morven starts to transform, to Become, and nurses and doctors try to pin her down and stop her from escaping. 

But then the book would go back to its previous slow pace and lost its grasp on me. I read half of the book and still, I couldn't get into it. I really tried to finish it, but it's been a long while and I need to read the other books on my Review List. 

Maybe the book will make up for these things I'm listing here in its second half, but I'm not tempted to read it any time soon. Sorry, Jenny! I really hate it when I can't even finish a book. 

If any of you have read the whole thing, let me know how it ends!
xo, Ella

Sep 27, 2013

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1), by Simone Elkeles

Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Romance, Simone Elkeles
Categories: Contemporary, Sports, Romance, Stand-Alone, Family Issues
Goodreads Amazon / Simone Elkeles's Website
Read in September 2013


After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?
My Thoughts:

Simone has done it again! This woman can really make you fall for her characters! There are so many things I loved about this book, I'll just list them for you:

1. A strong female MC. Ashtyn is such a good and independent (American) football player that her teammates choose her over her boyfriend to be the team's captain. When she first meets Derek, she brandishes a pitchfork at him to protect herself. She can take care of herself and she lets everyone know it.

2. The bad boy with a soft heart. Admit it. You love them. I love them. We all do. Derek has the Elkeles stamp all over him: hard exterior, but really loving heart. I just wanted to hug him all the time.

3. A really cool set of secondary characters. I mean, how great are Ashtyn's boy friends? Her relationship with them is amazing. She's one of them, but she can be a girly girl, too. And I just LOVED them whenever they stepped up to protect her. Those are real friends.

4. A greatly built story that has actual meaning, as opposed to just being there for the sake of giving the characters an environment to meet and fall in love. Derek has lost his mother, his father is overseas with the Navy and his stepmother is a 25-year-old girl with a little son and a baby on the way. Ashtyn's mum is MIA, her father barely gives her the time of day (but for ACTUAL reasons, not just to be out of her way!) and her sister's coming back home after seven years of having no contact with her. These are the conditions in which Derek and Ashtyn meet, and they shape up their story in a beautiful, beautiful way.

5. Sports in a Contemporary book! I don't understand squat about American football, I just think about it like I would rugby, but Simone really made me like the sport! I usually avoid Contemps with sports, but since this was an Elkeles book, there was just no way I was going to miss reading it.

Yes, your heart will twinge a little in pain, but trust me, it'll live. This is just a really lovely book meant to be read when you want to feel a little bit of loving.

Pre-order the book now through the links listed above.
Happy reading,

Sep 18, 2013

WoW #24: Wings, by Elizabeth Richards & Panic, by Lauren Oliver

Wings (Black City, #3), by Elizabeth Richards
Expected publication date: 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Visit Elizabeth Richards's site

There's not even a summary yet, but I loved Black City, I'll be reading Phoenix shortly, and just... that cover. So shiny and pretty. I need this book to be out now. 

Panic, by Lauren Oliver
Expected publication date: March 14th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

A new Lauren Oliver (one of my top five all-time favourite authors) dystopia? Sign me up! I've been reading reviews from the lucky few who've read ARCs and they all say, yes, that blurb screams TGH, but it is nothing like it. So I have my hopes really really up for this one. 

Sep 16, 2013

Black City (Black City, #1), by Elizabeth Richards

Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Source: Bought
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Dystopia, Paranormal, Series
Categories: Dystopia, Paranormal, Vampires, Romance
Read in August 2013

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
My Opinion:

I'm so glad I paid attention to the many reviews for Black City! If you think like I do, that there are so, so many new dystopian books coming out and you're getting a bit tired of them, and why don't authors just write something other than dystopias, thank think again about reading Black City

This is a book that can be qualified as Dystopia/Paranormal (much like the Juliette Chronicles by Tahereh Mafi), a genre on the rise. 

Black City is told from the two alternating POV's of Natalie and Ash (it's got to be at least the fourth book in a row I read with multiple POV's). Like any other dystopia, it's got its over-domineering government and the growing resistance, but what makes it so unique are the characteristics of both sides.

Natalie is the youngest daughter of the city's Emissary, something much like a mayor. She is human, and she's been brought up to believe that Darklings are bad creatures. Ash is a Darkling stuck on the human side of the town. He's what they call a twin-blood, the son of a Darkling mother and a human father. 
They meet under some very stressing circumstances, but through the book they manage to make it. Kinda.

We're told from the start that Natalie's got a scar along her chest, and it's this simple detail what will help Richards give the story a really great turn and closure. I won't say more about it, but that it was very well thought out.

This is a dark book, and I mean dark. The human government uses its power (and here I couldn't help but compare its Purian Rose to TGH's President Snow, they're so similar) to slowly wipe out the Darkling population. There are some pretty gruesome scenes, but it just makes the book that much better.

I just have one complaint: Somewhere to the third quarter of the book we're introduced to a new character, Evangeline. And she's a pretty important character. So much so, that it's her intervention what manages to twist the future of our characters in a significant way. I just wish we could have known about her sooner, or in a different way. Her appearance just felt too out of the blue to me.

There's a big secret surrounding Natalie's family; I loved learning it and can't wait to see how it influences the next books! Ash's secret is pretty big too, and it definitely helps make his story really interesting.

Black City's secondary characters enjoy the spotlight a lot too, so kudos to Richards for making intriguing secondary characters that readers will remember.

The book's political plot is very nicely built. Natalie will learn a lot, being the Emissary's daughter, and she'll have her own opinion made out by the end of the book. Beetle, Ash's best friend, has an important role in the Humans for Unity resistance. Even Beetle's aunt, Roach, is a character with a little of backstory.

All in all, a great read. For its 374 pages, I read it in two sittings. It was that great.
Happy reading,

Sep 13, 2013

If you were looking for the Draco Trilogy by Cassandra Claire...

...I've updated my review post, here, and added new links for easy download.

I think I'll be re-reading these soon.

Sep 10, 2013

I have high hopes for the TFIOS film

This video was just uploaded to the vlogbrothers YT channel, and being a TFIOS fan, I watched it immediately. I was not a very big fan of Shailene Woodley playing Hazel, mainly because I had this image in my mind of how Hazel should look and she didn't fit into it. 

But looking at this now, at her and Ansel (who's playing Gus) being together and looking like their respective characters, I can say that I think this will be a good film. Not like many of the films coming out now, based on YA books. Like Beautiful Creatures, which I haven't watched but I've been told that it's a very free adaptation of the book. Or TMI: City of Bones. And many other YA books that are already optioned for film. 

I think many people are with me on this: we become so overprotective of our favourite books, that we just want to burn cities when their films aren't as good. It happened to me with Eragon and The Lightning Thief (thankfully it looks like Sea of Monsters will be better). Good books turned into bad films.

Also, being a film student, I'm learning that there are many kinds of adaptations. But still, being a bookworm comes first, and we all want to see the film look just like what we pictured in our minds. 

So, I've started to change my mind about the TFIOS film. It's got a nice cast, and I'm hoping, a great adapted script.  

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman [AB]

Release Date: June 18th, 2013
Age Group: Adult (All Ages, really)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Source: Bought
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Fantasy, Neil Gaiman
Categories: Fantasy, Child's POV
Goodreads Amazon  - Neil Gaiman's Website
Read in July 2013


It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

My Opinion:

I had never read a Gaiman book. I had no idea what all the fuzz was about. I have friends who love him, and they were all really excited to see Ocean hit the stores. So, when it came out, I had to have a copy for myself (thank God for online shopping, because it hasn't made it to Argentina yet). 

I started listening to it one day while cleaning, early in the morning. Neil's voice instantly caught me. It is such a deep and soothing voice, I would have listened to it even if the book was about advanced chemistry. I had finished listening to the entire thing by that same night. 

Neil's voice brings his narrator to life, a middle aged man coming back home for a funeral. His home town brings back memories he thought he'd lost, and suddenly he finds himself walking towards a familiar place, from when he used to live there. 

From then on, he remembers his childhood and we see it all through a kid's perspective. Everything that surrounds this little kid, his family and the friendships he makes, it's all told beautifully. 

I remember smiling a lot while listening to the ab. This seven(?)-year-old who sees everything clearly, who loves his new friends and who has no trouble believing in magic. I want to know more kids like him.

You really don't need me to tell you more about its plot (only that it involves a lot of magic, dark forces trying to rule over a piece of land that is not theirs, and a pair of kids trying to fight it off). You just need to know that this is a book that will rock you to the core, make you grin like a fool a lot, and just leave you feeling good about life. 

It is a masterpiece, and I'm so glad it was my first Gaiman novel. I'm currently reading American Gods and it is great, too. Diferent, but great. Ocean is already in my All-Time Favourites list. 

Sep 9, 2013

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2), by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: July 13th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Overall: 3 Monkeys
Interest: Series, Werewolves
Categories: Werewolves, Paranormal, Romance
Goodreads - Amazon - Maggie Stiefvater's Website
Read in August 2013

the longing.
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces -- wolf and human -- with love bearing its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?
My Opinion:

I read Shiver a few years ago, I don't know what took me so long to continue reading this series. 

While I loved Shiver, I only liked Linger. I was expecting something different, something with a little more action thrown into the story. 

Linger is purely a character driven book. It's all about what's happening to Grace, with a bit of a side story starring Isabelle and a new wolf, Cole. To be honest, I enjoyed Cole's and Isabelle's interactions more than Grace's and Sam's. They were more spicy, more dramatic. Grace and Sam's story fell a little flat to me in this book. 

Throughout it, Grace becomes seriously ill, and it's not until the last few chapters that we're told what's happening. And it's in those same chapters that a solution to her problem comes along. I just wish Maggie would've developed her illness differently, and also how it affected everyone around her. 

I also think that Isabelle's dad, Tom, could be turned into a nice villain, which is what this story is lacking. (Not a villain in a purely evil sense, just an antagonist strong enough to carry some drama into the mix.)

Linger is a very sweet book, full of romantic moments, but it just didn't cut it for me, action wise. I have Forever waiting on my shelf; I'll see if I like it soon. 

Sep 8, 2013

I'm coming back!

I miss the book blogging world terribly. I miss finding new reads, and WoW's, and chatting with bookworms like I used to, and Armchair BEA, you name it!

So I'm coming back into this wonderful world.

See ya soon!

Feb 17, 2013

Live Chat with Lauren DeStefano on GR, Tue 19th

Join us on Tuesday, February 19th for a special discussion with author Lauren DeStefano! Lauren will be discussing her work, including her most recent book  Sever (The Chemical Garden #3)! 
[via Goodreads]
If you're a Fever fan and you'd like to chat with Lauren about her books, join the Chat Group on GR and prepare some questions for her! 

Feb 5, 2013

DNF: What We Saw At Night, by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Soho Teen
Source: NetGalley
Overall: Did Not Finish
Categories: Contemporary, Thriller, Suspense
Read in February 2013

Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.” On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.

My Opinion:

I've been dancing on this book for way too long, and have finally decided to put it to rest. 

After reading the blurb and one very promising review, I requested it from NG, but sadly, I found out that this book isn't right up my alley. 

The pacing was way too slow for my taste, I didn't get emotionally attached to any of its characters, and I felt like Jacquelyn took too much time setting the suspense in the story. Half way into it is not the right moment to start introducing the wow-ing factors. 

The romance fell flat to me too, I didn't feel that "Oh, they want to be together, awww" sense I like to get when I read romances. Juliet was annoying, and I didn't like that Allie didn't do anything to change that. I mean, here's a girl you call your best friend, acting like an idiot to you... I might not be as forgiving Allie was. 

The bad man, Blondie, appeared a couple of times in the first half of the book, and I was not even spooked by him.

All I got from this book is a little bit more knowledge about the illness XP, the allergy to the sun. 

It's too bad too, because the premise sounded so appealling, but the writing didn't do it for me. But hey, it might do it for you. Read some more reviews first. 

Feb 4, 2013

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1), by Rick Riordan

Release Date: April 1st, 2006
Age Group: Middle Grade
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Bought
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Series, Greek Mythology
Categories: Fantasy, 
Greek Mythology
Read in February 2013

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

My Opinion:

Ever since watching the film, I've wanted to read this book. Now I have more bookish friends who love anything Riordan, so I thought it was time for me to read this. I started it yesterday morning and finished it just a little while ago. I haven't read a book that fast in a long while! 

A lot of people compare this book to Harry Potter and I guess now I see why. Percy is a 12-year-old boy who keeps experiencing weird things in his life, and is forced to go to a summer camp for demigods to learn  (among other things) how to stay alive. Another comparison I made was the fact that this book also featured a trio of MC's: Percy, Annabeth and Grover (much like Harry, Hermione and Ron). 

But apart from those little things, TLT is a book that stands on its own, and is packed with excitement, magic and Greek mythology, something a geek like me loves! (I'm placing this book under the MG category, but a YA fan can be just as enthralled by it.)

The first chapter alone is a mind-boggling one, that traps you right into the story. I think that is just what books today are lacking, the ability to grab your attention in just the first chapter; instead, they make you wait until the third, fourth chapter to let you know what's really going on. 

Percy's voice is so rich, and his way of talking to the reader flows beautifully off the pages. I know this is a book I'll be giving to my little brothers in their future birthdays. Every character is as tridimensional as Percy, they all have their quirks, and there are so many of them! I was fascinated by the way Riordan crafted so many people and never once lost me along the way. I knew just who everyone was, and I started feeling different emotions toward each of them.

I especially enjoyed the descriptions in this book, going from the Half-Blood Hill and its Camp for Half-Bloods, to the layout of NYC and Las Vegas, and finally, the Underworld and the Olympus. Everything was beautifully detailed; the film didn't do this book any justice. 

The Lightning Thief is going to my favourites shelf right away! 

Feb 2, 2013

What do you do when you have to hop between books because none grabs your attention?

Because that's where I'm at these days, people. I've got like 6 books laying open, and I just can't concentrate enough to actually sit down and finish them. 

One of my problems is that I want to read everything, and I want to read it NOW. I'm impatient like that. So  right now I'm reading -or trying to finish- Vanish by Sophie Jordan, What We Saw at Night by Jaquelyn Mitchard, Fate by Amanda Hocking, The Dead of Night by John Marsden, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. (And I seriously want to start reading Beautiful Chaos by Margie Stohl and Kami Garcia.) 
Fate's Spanish cover
  1. Vanish is the second novel in the Firelight series, and I liked Firelight enough to want to read this. But, reading it in Spanish is not helping me move on with it. I can't get emotionally attached to the characters, for some reason unknown to me. Like I said, I think the Spanish translation kills a lot of those emotions, but what can you do? An eighth -and no more- of the books I read come to my country in English, so I read what I can. (I have my Kindle now, so I can read more in English, but still, I'll take a printed book any day.)
  2. What We Saw at Night had good reviews, so I requested it on NetGalley, but honestly, I'm not feeling it. I think it's taking too long to get into the thick of the action (I'm ten chapters in and I read just one wowing event.) The MC, Allie, falls too flat for me. I'll try and finish this, perhaps I'll change my mind.
  3. Fate is the second book in the My Blood Approves series. I OK'd the first one, and this one seemed better, but it's going slow too. It's all about Alice and Jack; and Peter seems better than him even though he's not present in the book (yet). I'm having a hard time accepting all that goes on as fast as Alice. She's a lot like Twilight's Bella, always whining about not being a vampire yet. I mean, I thought she'd be different, this is supposed to be a great best-selling story!
  4. The Dead of Night is one of the books I'm liking best, but I forgot it back in La Plata. So I have to wait a few more days to finish it. It's the second book in the Tomorrow series, and the first book is now a film, and a great one too! Highly recommendable books. 
  5. The Lightning Thief I started today, and it's going great. I'm reading it faster than normal, and I have high hopes for this one. I've been told that the Percy Jackson series is like Harry Potter, so we'll see. 
OK, enough of my ranting, I'm off to try and read one of these. 

Jan 8, 2013

INSOMNIA is a finished draft! (Now on to the Revisions...)

(Mock cover by me; photo by Kristijan Antolovic)
Perhaps you remember me talking about my WIP on several ocassions. If you don't, then let me tell you:

I started writing Insomnia during NaNo '09. It went from being called Darkest Nights to having its current title. AND from being a completely different thing to what it is today after reading Beautiful Creatures and having a meltdown because I was writing something very, very similar to BC

It fills me with pride to announce that I can now stop calling it a WIP and call it a caterpillar of a novel! (Because it's not yet spread its wings, see? ;)

Insomnia now stands at 100+K words (which will have to be trimmed down to at least 80K) and I love it. Which writer doesn't love what they write?

The revised draft is in the hands of my beautiful Beta, Tanya, who I'm sure will point me to all the ugly bits that need to be worked on. 

Next comes the query

When I first started writing Insomnia, I told myself that I was doing it for fun, that I didn't care about whether it got published or not. But then I got more and more into the book blogging world, and my reading habits changed, and I learnt that if you set your mind into something, you can make it happen. Like me finishing my first ever book. 

So, then I thought, "Why not? Why don't I try and see if it would appeal to an audience larger than, well, me?" And that was the moment when I decided I'd make it the best it can possibly be, to then try and sell it. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but it won't be because I didn't try it.

Right now, I'm an active member in the Absolute Write forums, one of the highest populated forums on writing. I'm looking for more Betas who'll work with me; and in the meantime, I'll post some of it on the Share Your Work forums, so I can get immediate feedback.

I'm reading some pretty cool first chapters there too! (Best of luck to those authors!)

So, if you're on the AW forums and you see me, say hi!
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