terça-feira, 25 de agosto de 2015

Jackaby series by William Ritter

Jackaby by William Ritter
Series: Jackaby #1
Published on September 16, 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.
My overall feeling with this book was "meh", it wasn't a bad book in any way but it also never really blew my mind as I was expecting. I tried to keep away from the hype and not compare it too much with DW and Sherlock (both of which are favorites of mine) but still it took me forever to read this one and I kept being distracted by other books to read or series to watch.

But on to the better stuff. I really enjoyed the narrative overall since I laughed a lot of times while reading and I always enjoy when a story can make me laugh. I was a little afraid of the misture of paranormal with a detective novel and at first I wasn't sure it would work for me, but things ended up falling into place and I got used to the weirdness of this world. What did surprised me was the fact that, so far, my favorite character isn't Jackaby but Abigail.

Beastly Bones by William Ritter
Series: Jackaby #2 
Published on September 22, 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed Beastly Bones a whole lot more than Jackaby! I think one of the main factors for that was the fact that I was already used to all the weirdness of this world Ritter created, we have all kinds of fantastical creatures and at first it can be a lot to digest but once you get used to it, is a very fun ride. As usual this one made me laugh out loud a lot of times and I read it overnight.

The mystery on this is much more weirder than on the first book, at least it was for me and I really liked to see that we are having an overarching plot - I don't know if this series is supposed to be a trilogy or if doesn't have a set number yet, so it was nice seeing that there is yes a connecting between all these cases and that we will probably be finding out more about it soon. Also the way this one ended was mean, it isn't a cliffhanger exactly but we already have the mystery for next volume set and oh my god I need the next book now!

Abigail remains to be my favorite character of the series, this time around even more so - she is determined to not bow to her time costumes and go after the job that she wants to practice despite what the society says, it was great to see her growth through this book and to see her finding herself. But I did enjoyed Jackaby a whole lot more on this one, he shows a more soft side this time around and we can get to see that he does care about other things than his mysteries.

I recommend this series to everyone that loves fantasy and detective novels that were dying to see something with the two genders together.

sábado, 22 de agosto de 2015

You Can't Sit With Us

Hey guys, so today's post isn't gonna be a review as per usual but rather something a little more personal, I'll talk a little bit about a feeling that I have been having for some time already - about friendships and belonging. 

I'm a person of very few close friends. For me to get to know someone and get interest on talking with them is a hard work, I honestly can't have mindless talks with acquaintances - you know, that kind of talk where you talk about nothing personal and maybe nothing at all, when you're talking just to pass the boredom. I usually only talk with people that I consider my friends, this year with only my closest friends. But lately I've a feeling like I don't belong with them. And that is a shit thing.

Lately there has been more and more times where I just feel completely unnecessary when talking or going out with these people. Lately I've been feeling like if I'm there or not the talks will be the same because I'm not an actively part of them. Lately I've been feeling like I'm excluded time and time again about the new secrets or really personal things, like I'm not a trusted confident anymore. I've been feeling like I'm being left out, and not even on purpose - but just these people don't really feel the need to talk to me, to tell me things, for me to be a part of their lives. 

The worst part of this is that I'm a big coward when it comes to confronting people and telling them what I really feel, so probably these people will never know how much they're hurting me and will never notice that we're drifting apart - at least not until we don't even speak anymore. My way of dealing with feelings is basically just suit up and pretend nothing is happening, it's already really hard and took me years to admit things for myself so speaking my mind to others isn't easy. I can do it just fine here, it's the internet, it's not personal but even them I have an irrational fear that someway someone that knows me is gonna find this out and understand to who I'm directing this. I really do wish that I could came face to face with these friends and say to them how I'm feeling and hear they side of the story and understand and have a happy ending but I know this isn't gonna happen, if I try to say anything I'll cry, feel humiliated and like I'm asking for attention, asking people to love me and care about me or even worse, feel embarrassed when they don't know what the hell I'm talking about  and starting doubting myself. So I'll just shrug off and keep going. 

Anyway, this was different from the regular reviews but I needed to put this out of me and this is my personal blog, so it's gonna be here. Peace out.

quinta-feira, 20 de agosto de 2015

Vengeance Road - Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman 
Published on September 1, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
[This book was given to me by the Publisher but this in no way affected my opinion.]

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

When I first picked up Vengeance Road I didn't knew what to expect, I'm not big into historical fiction and had never tried a Western book but I had nothing to worry about. This book turned out to be a page turner for me and I was captivate by its characters since the beginning.

Kate is an amazing lead to this book, she starts the story searching for vengeance but the good thing is that she is talking seriously about revenge - you know how there is some books where the MC is gonna be like "I want to kill them all" but will actually not do anything, well Kate doesn't thinks about killing people she goes and shot them straight in the head (or hearth, she isn't picky) - I loved her determination and strength since chapter one and getting to know her more through the book made me like her more and more.

Other characters that won my heart were Will and Jesse, these stubborn brothers that ride with Kate and made the story lighter a lot of times making me laugh, but also adding a more emotional tone to the story at a lot of times. We do have a romance between Jesse and Kate but it was a slow burn, full of a funny banter between them before they released they didn't actual hate each other (yes, it is a kind of hate-to-love thing) and it was a welcome thing in the middle of all the killings and quests and desert roughness.

We also have an Apalache girl, Liluye, that rides with their group for a time and let's say the relationship of her with the others was hard. Liluye comes from a different culture, a culture that Kate, Will and Jesse do not understand and it's show on the book a lot of the prejudices there was at that time between these two races. One thing that really bothered me on this front was the fact that Kate keeps calling Liluye as Lil', even thought Liluye keeps asking her to not call her that way - this bothered me so much because it was such a lack of respect from Kate's part! I guess it was supposed to seem that way to show their differences maybe, I don't know, but each time Kate said Lil' I would cringe.

But taking that away Vengeance Road was a compulsive read for me right from the start, the vengeance quest and the later on mysteries kept me wanting to read more and more, its characters were complex and well developed and that ending, guys I think I said about 1 gazillion of "shits" and "what" on the last 30% or so of this book, it happens so much stuff and god the action scenes!

So yeah, you should definitely check this one out, it's an great read if you like adventure or historical fiction.

terça-feira, 18 de agosto de 2015

The Heartbreakers - Ali Novak

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak 
Series: The Heartbreakers Chronicles #1
Published on August 4, 2015 by Sourcebooks

"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."

Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD... for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like...

Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?
I started The Heartbreakers expecting a cute romance, full of cheese (yes, I wanted the cheese) and even tropes I wouldn't mind, I wanted a brain candy read - a book to just read on the weekend, that didn't made me think about anything and just enjoy myself. At first I thought this would fill the spot but them things started going down hill and they never came back up.

First on the good stuff, I did enjoyed the bones of this story and the banter of the characters. This book has a unreal plot, that's true and we get in expecting it but still the things that led to Stella and Oliver to met are... If not real, at least believable on a romantic comedy kind of sense. And also at the start I was whiling to play along with the story because Stella does have other interests besides the new cute and famous boy and because the banter between Stella and all The Heartbreakers and The Heartbreakers with The Heartbreakers were great, I laughed out loud so many times that I can't count.

But them small things started to bug me and start to build up, and them something happened and this book was basically over to me. One thing that bothered is that this story is like a feverish fangirl dream and I'm not talking about the celebrity falls in love with a regular girl - this is definitely the least of my peeves. At start I was rolling with the unbelievable circumstances but it came to a point where I couldn't just overlook it - each problem that Stella had were easily resolved, the story goes kind of like this Problem 1 happens, them someone magically appears with Solution 1 and them we get Problem 2 and them so on ALL. THE. BOOK. IS. LIKE. THAT. This made the pace weird and resulted on my second problem.

For the sake of focusing on let's say Problem 2 we would ignore Problem 1 or at least the aftermath feelings with Problem 1 for a good chunk of the book, this really bothered because there would be parts of the book that Stella was like really focused on her family but them she would get closer to Oliver and them we would pass times and times with very little focus on the family and them after we would get back to it being the focus - it just no, it felt weird and made the narrative irregular.

Now, let's talk about my third and probably biggest problem with it - the romance. I was super into getting along with it at first, it instalove but okay. Them started being the kind of hot and cold, full of drama romance, I wasn't shipping it like WHOA but I was okay, they had some cute moments to make me keed reading. But them the cold stuff went to far and *something* happened and I started unshipping like there was no tomorrow and yeah, this book is heavily focused on the romance so this basically ruined any chance of salvation this book could have with me.

Sigh. I'm still on the hunt for the a romance between a celebrity and a regular girl (or boy) that makes me feel head over heels, unfortunately this wasn't the one. Recommended, maybe, to readers who really, really like this trope and don't mind angst on their plots.

domingo, 16 de agosto de 2015

Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between - Jennifer E. Smith

Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between  by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Poppy on September 1, 2015
[This book was given to me from the Publisher and in no way this affected my opinion.] 

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.
It was a no brainer to download this book when was up on Edelweiss as it is a Jennifer E. Smith and I know she can always give a cute couple to swoon over (or at least like), also I was on a contemporary streak at the time and this sounded like the perfect cute read to continue with my streak. I was right, after reading this on a night and a half I can assure you that this brings a lot of what I like most on Smith books.

The only pet peeve that I have is the fact that Aidan and Clare didn't really stands out for me as separated characters, this is a book all about the romance but still it wouldn't have bothered me to get a little bit more of a glimpse on their lives, without the romance involved. They do have distinct personalities, and friends and family but yet all this was such a small part and all the parts that were show had also a big role on their own involvement and problems as a couple, so it kind of made everything feel like it was all about the romance.

And it truly was, since we get to spend only 12 hours with the two main characters and figure out with them what is the best decision to make: stay together or separate during college. I really liked the construction of this part, Clare made a "scavenger hunt" of all the important places for they relationship and at first I was like "why these two are even thinking on break up?? They are perfect together!" but then we get to know more and more about their relationship and see that not everything is perfect and all that. The romance was so well handled, it really is a big deal to decide whether you stay together with a boyfriend when leaving for college, even if you're not going to so far apart colleges like Aidan and Clare it is a difficult decision to make, and I liked the way Smith dealt with it showing that they both had to take that time apart to grown and change, and how they still were able to come back to each other, as different people but still loving each other. Also it wouldn't have hurt to the epilogue to be a little bigger.

Recommended to all lovers of contemporary romance and who already loves/likes/enjoy Smith other books. 

sexta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2015

Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1 
Published on December 11, 2012 by Razorbill

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....
Okay, so in a way this book managed to keep its promise, which is the promise of every book: to be entertainment and make me want to keep reading it. But fantasy books have a little bit more than this to achieve, like great world building, complicated political games, develop a magical system complex and believable enough and the characters of course - Falling Kingdoms sets out to do all of these, but unfortunately ends up falling short on its premise.

The factor that keep me reading this and made me want to continue with the series is definitely the writing, it was really easy to get sucked into the story and read over 100 pages on one sitting (keep in mind I'm not a fast reader). Other factor was the "wow" factor (is this a thing? now is gonna be), this story takes a lot of turns and twists, fair enough most of them are easily seem a mile away but still was fun seeing all of this unravel, also Rhodes is ruthless with her characters, she doesn't shy away of killing them off - even named ones. 

But taking that away I don't really have much more good to say, the rest of this book can be summed up on one word: shallow. The world building is shallow, we basically have a map, divided on three parts, each with one different name and a different geography and that's it - I'm sorry but that is easily done on paint in 5 minutes or less, if a book wants to be pitched as high fantasy it needs to try harder. Other thing that really bothered me was the political stuff on this book, specially the leaders of these kingdoms - they are suppose to lead an entire kingdom but 3 out of 3 can't take their nose out of their own buts to look outside their palaces and see what the reality of their kingdom and the other are! Like seriously, there was times when I would be like "HOW THE FUCK YOU DIDN'T KNEW THAT? EVEN I KNEW THAT AND I'M ON THIS WORLD FOR LIKE 5 SECONDS" so yeah, and what pisses me more is that this was used a LOT to make characterization and/or move the plot. 

Let's just not even get started on the magical system it just no, is the political games but worse because it doesn't even try. The characters on the other hand I do want to talk about, so they're shallow too, like don't come here expecting great character arcs because ain't gonna be there to find. Our main characters are: Cleo, the princess, starts off as just a pretty face and them passes through some hard stuff and has to grown up, that is fine but she also gets into a instalove that made want to puke; Jonas, the rebel, who could use a little bit more of character tropes, expect not, seriously imagine all the qualities necessary for the noble hero of a fantasy series, that is Jonas; Lucia, the sorceress, who is supposed to be super magical special snow flake but is actually boring as hell; and Magnus, the heir to one of the kingdoms, which is a slight more fascinating character, predictable and too much daddy issues but still out of the bunch him and Cleo are my favorites. 

I wouldn't recommend this book for lovers of high fantasy and/or people looking for something like Game of thrones and the likes, but I do think that people new to fantasy and younger readers could enjoy this one it could work as an initiation ritual you know, to get used to what fantasy is like without the possibility of being confused. 

quarta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2015

Lazy Town #3

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
Series: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops #2
Published by Constable and Robinson on April 18, 2013

If you don't know what this book is about the title is very self explanatory: it's a non-fiction humorous book about weird things that customers say in bookshops. It's a really short and quickly read (the epub version that I read had about 121 pages), I read it in about an hour and laughed my ass off, seriously there are some quotes that are so funny which I guess makes this a successful book since it is trying to be funny. Anyway, recommended to everyone that wants a good laugh - either you already worked on a bookshop/library or not, you will probably enjoy yourself reading this.

About a Boy by Nick Hornby
Published by Penguim on January 2, 2014

I found out about this book because of the tv show of same name and got interested on reading the book. I read some reviews before reading it and was aware that the book was really different from the show, so that part wasn't much of a surprise but if you came here looking for something similar I wouldn't recommend this book (for those who saw the movie I can't testify if they are similar).

The book is told from two POV's - Will and Marcus, always alternating between them. Will's chapters were definitely not my favorites, he could be really obnoxious and sometimes even offensive, and at first I was like "okay, this is great for a major character arc you know" and he does have a character arc but at the same time he kind of continues the same? I guess it's realistic and stuff but it was really annoying to read how little he cares about fucking everything, and how proud he was of that, when we were like 80% in on the book already. Marcus' chapters were easier to read and enjoy, he is weird and very different from... well, everyone and this really made room for a lot of laugh out loud moments but also there was some pretty touching moments, not gonna lie to you, there was times when I cried (and it was a lot). But them, THEM THAT ENDING HAPPENING AND NOT GONNA LIE I HATED IT! It just passes a completely wrong message that I definitely don't want younger readers believing on and it has some major character arcs just trow out of the window and done in about 1 page (or line)(or sentence), seriously what the hell was that last chapter.

To sum it up: this book had it's moments with funny and emotional scenes but there was some messages that it passed that I can't totally agree with, and also some character development that could have been done in more than one chapter.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews 
Published by Amulet Paperbacks on May 7, 2013 

This book and I had a kind of weird relationship. I started reading it thinking "I'll just read some pages and go to sleep" (I really needed that sleep) but ended up not sleeping and reading about 150 pages on one sitting (and to finish it I abdicated of a little bit more of sleep), so yeah this book sucked me right away into this story. 

The biggest win for me was the hilarious parts of the story, I think that the only book that made me laugh so loud and hard was the ones from the Georgia Nicholson series (Angus, Thongs And Full Frontal Snogging: Confessions Of Georgia Nicholson) and I always appreciate a book that can make me laugh. But I also feel like I didn't get to spend that much time with these characters, I just not know if I really knew them on the deep level that I like with books - this probably has to do with Greg and him always trying to not get involved with people and have friends and stuff but still, I would have liked to know more about them or feel more of a connection with these characters.

But at the same time I did cried a hell lot at the ending and there was passages that I was head nodding because it was so damn real and emotional. So yeah, I don't really know what do about it, it was definitely good and it grew on me when I was reading it. I would recommend if you like contemporary stories that are more on the realistic side, and also that are very funny.

segunda-feira, 10 de agosto de 2015

Highly Anticipated: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Hey guys, today is the day for another take on Highly Anticipated. As the name says here I'll talk a little about new tittles that are still months away to being released and were highly anticipated by me - so much that I couldn't help myself and read them way before the released date. Hope you enjoy these "sneak peeks" of some new books!

The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
To be published on November 3, 2015 by HarperTeen
[This book was given to me by the publisher but this in no way affected my opinion.]

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

I absolutely loved this book. It dealt with heavy themes, like grief and changing (physically and emotionally) in a way that was really sad at some parts but it had an overall hopeful tone for me - this isn't a story about a sad girl, but a story about a sad girl trying to change her reality and find some happiness after a traumatic accident.

Sadie has to overcome the trauma of the accident, but also deal with her physical appearance after that - this part of the story was really touching and personal to me, I never passed trough a accident like her but it was easy to connect with her insecurities and a lot of times I cried with and for Sadie.

The relationships here are very complex, the car crash changed the dynamic of their group and no one really knows what to do with themselves and with each other, it was nice to see their working their way back together; the romantic aspect was really sweet, I loved Max and he was basically perfect, but what I really liked was that the book never, ever showed this relationship as the salvation for Sadie, yes it was something that helped her but ultimately her changes were for herself; the parents are very present on the story and I loved Sadie's parents, specially her relationship with her mom, who always seemed to know the right way to comfort her, when get involved and when just be there for her.

This was an amazing read, I think that every lover of contemporary about personal growth and overcoming stories will love this book as much as I did.

sábado, 8 de agosto de 2015

Highly Anticipated: Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

Hey guys, today is the day for another take on Highly Anticipated. As the name says here I'll talk a little about new tittles that are still months away to being released and were highly anticipated by me - so much that I couldn't help myself and read them way before the released date. Hope you enjoy these "sneak peeks" of some new books!

Velver Undercover by Teri Brown
To be published on October 20, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
[This book was given to me by the publisher but this in no way affected my opinion.]

Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

Full disclosure: I know shit about WWI. So I had 0 clue of what was supposed to be historical accurate or not, these being plot and costumes or clothes or whatever, so I definetely wasn't in this book for the historical aspect but for the spy stuff and I have to say that it didn't disappoint me.

The strongest quality of Velvet Undercover was its pace, we start with a lot of just information about the spy stuff and them things go building, the mystery starts to form and about 70% in is basically a torture to put the book down. I really enjoyed the way the mystery was handled too, at first I was holding my disbelief with Sam being chosen by a highly secretive spy organization during a war time to do such a important mission, but we have a good explanation and everything did made sense by the end.

I liked Sam as a character, she was strong and smart, making the situations a lot more easy to believe in; but none of the secondary characters really had a strong personality and the book lacked a more emotional side for me. There is a romance (kind of) on this, I don't know if I would call it a romance because it never really happens but it's pretty obvious that they like each other, so despite this not being in any way a instalove at the same time it kind of seemed like it was? Ugh, is just the way Sam thinks about him since the first time they met makes it clear he is a love interest. But they were never really romantically involved on the book. So yeah, I don't know what to make of it. What I did do was roll my eyes at some of their interactions.

 If you like detective/spy stories I would say to give this one a shot, for me it was worth it may be to you too.

quinta-feira, 6 de agosto de 2015

Map To The Stars - Jen Malone

Map To The Stars by Jen Malone
Published on July 14, 2015 by Harper Collins/Harper Impulse
[This book was given to me by the publisher but that in no way affected my opinion.]

Author Jen Malone draws on her real-life experiences as a movie studio publicist to bring you an insider peek at love, Hollywood-style.

The California dream was supposed to give seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton a fresh start far removed from her dad’s unusual betrayal. But when things don’t go according to plan in La La Land, Annie’s mom snags a last-minute gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for her daughter on his European promotional tour.

Down-to-earth Annie would rather fangirl architectural sights than an arrogant A-lister. That is, until behind-the-scenes Graham Cabot turns out to be more sweetly vulnerable than she could have imagined.

Too bad falling for a poster boy isn’t all red carpets and star treatment, especially when you factor in obnoxious fans, an overprotective assistant, a stage mom/manager, and a beefy bodyguard.

But it isn’t until the paparazzi make an appearance that things get really sticky…

Map To The Stars and me had a rough start, I didn't had very great expectations to it (I'm still to find a celebrity falls in love with a regular girl romance that makes me fall head over heels) but it seemed like a cute romance and light read. But right from the start we have shit ton of tropes trow at our faces and with very little to care it was hard to not DNFed it, still I continued and am glad for that decision since about 30% I started enjoying parts of this story.

Ok, so my problems with this one were mostly the romance and since this is a contemporary novel heavily focused on the romance that was an issue for me. My problem was that its 100% instalove and it doesn't even try to hide it, since their very first interaction Annie is already obsessing over Graham (and of course, he is obsessing over her too) and this just isn't my kind of thing. But to be fair, that was my only problem with this romance, with the time I did enjoyed their interactions and it was cute to see their plans to spend time together without the paparazzi and fangirls all over them.

But the real reason why this book never really crossed the barrier of mildly entertainment for me was its characters, they just felt too much cardboard cutouts. Annie was an extra super regular girl on the meaning that she never was boy-crazy (until Graham), her favorite clothes were jeans and shirt and she really doesn't care about all this Hollywood things. Graham is the perfect boy with the perfect looks and perfect ways, that screw up a few times but all justified with something that we can all forgive him. It just... We all have seem this before, on basically all celebrity falls in love with regular girl story, and while it didn't annoyed me it also made this book not stand out on the other million of similar stories.

We do have some other things other than Annie and Graham romance; Annie and her mom have some problems that they are running away from and oh god this annoyed, because we only see what this is all about in like 70/80% in on the book and it was a quite quickly resolution in my opinion. None of the secondary characters are all that memorable for me, Annie's best friend was cool, with her apparition at the ending (her speech to Graham was just djvidojviosdji).

So yeah, honestly this book wasn't bad but it also wasn't the exactly kind of fluff that I enjoy. I would recommend it to people that love the trope of celebrity falling in love with a regular person (also for those who still dream of finding their own celebrity!) and the younger public of YA, maybe even some middle grade readers.

terça-feira, 4 de agosto de 2015

Better Off Friends - Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Published on February 25, 2015 by Point

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Better Off Friends tells the story of Macallan and Levi, how they got to know each other and become friends to the point until the point where they start to question if they are really just friends or if there was something more. I really enjoyed this one, it was a fluff contemporary read with a cute as hell romance and that had some deep moments.

The story is told both from Macallan and Levi POV's so it was easy to get to know them and understand their motives and feelings through all the story. I specially liked Macallan's POV because it was really easy to see my teenself on some of her actions, her way of being more closed out and only really counting on Levi too is something that I could relate to; Levi's POV was interesting, it was very different from Macallan's (which is always something hard for an author to pull off) and I felt like it was nice too see how Levi struggled, specially during the teen years, with having a girl as a best friend and understanding his feelings on all this.

The romance is kind of a sensitive topic on this one for two reasons. One, is that before reading this book I felt kind of betrayed by its title but them I started reading it and didn't mind at all because I was already on board of this ship since day 1. Two, is that the teen years bought a lot of unnecessary drama - in my opinion - and I just don't really like this much melodrama on my romances, it just felt like they were always on the wrong page with each other just to stretch the book. But overall I really liked them together and it was just so cute and like I said before I was on board with this ship since day 1, I specially liked them because first of they are (and always will be) friends.

The story isn't ALL about the romance either, since we follow Macallan and Levi since childhood until their adulthood (kind of) we got to know a great deal of their lives, their family issues and personal insecurities, friendships and past romances, it all had a room on the story. Of course, most of it was just showed the parts that mattered to build Macallan and Levi relationship but still, it was nice.

I really enjoyed reading this story, it was quickly and easy to get involved on their lives and their relationship. I think that everyone that likes a good contemporary romance will enjoy this one, as well as fans of romantic comedies looking for the trope of friends-turned-to-lovers.

domingo, 2 de agosto de 2015

The Wrath & The Dawn - Renèe Ahdieh

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renèe Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & The Dawn #1
Published on May 13, 2015 by Putnam Juvenile 
[This book was given to me by the Publisher and this in no way affected my opinion.]

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

It has been a month since I finished reading this book and I still don't know how to put my feelings on words - honestly I don't think it's even possible but I'll try to say what I liked about it.

The best thing, by far, is Ahdieh's writing, she has a way of telling the story as it was a old magic tale I felt like a kid again watching one of my favorite Disney movies for the first time - that feeling of awe and that magic is not only possible but real. Also I had an urge to pick this one back up right when I finished it (and a lot of other times this past month).

I can see the story told in this book not being to everyone but for me it worked since the first page. The first thing that you need to know about this is that the feelings here are <i>intense</i> and they're intense right from the start, so this can be a down side to some readers if they don't get suck into the story right away. There is also some things that you have to hold your disbelief, like the reason why Khalid doesn't kill Shahrzad right away as his other wives, for me this didn't took my enjoyment away at all but just saying.

But I think that even if you don't exactly love these things above, this book has a lot more to offer. Like for instance this is probably one of the best culture diverse books that I have read in a lot of time, this is one rare YA book where we have a different setting than USA and it also doesn't have the other culture making use of american things to make the reader more ~comfortable on the different setting - I felt really immersed on the Arabian culture since there is a lot of words and cultural elements (don't worry, there is a glossary by the end of the book if you don't know the meaning of something).

The other thing that I loved where the characters and their relationships. Shahrzad is an amazing character, she can be totally wrong for the historical accuracy of this story but I say fuck accuracy, I want a strong, kick-ass female lead and that she definitely is. Khalid was an amazing character too, you know he will be a complex one since from the start and it was oh, so good to get to know him. Their relationship doesn't disappoint either, it was intense and gave me feelings since their first interaction and this only grew to epic proportions, I honestly can't even say how I got to this level of shipping, is like I need to create a whole new scale (seriously, I'm not exaggeration, there was one scene that was even before the 30% mark and I was already deep on feelings).

So yeah, I really think you should read this book because it's awesome and there is an epic romance, a intrinsic story that will remind you of classical tales and one of the best writings.