sexta-feira, 27 de novembro de 2015

Alanna: The First Adventure - Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness #1 
Published on December 7, 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Alanna of Trebond is no ordinary girl: her dream is to become a knight. So she disguises herself as a boy and begins training at the palace of King Roald. Alanna quickly finds out that the road to knighthood is not an easy one, but her skills and stubbornness help her become friends with Prince Jonathan and his followers. At the same time, Alanna makes an enemy of the prince's uncle, the overly charming Duke Roger.

Here begins Alanna's first adventure, one that will lead not only to fulfillment of her dreams but to a magical destiny that will make her a legend.
 I feel like I'm the last one coming to this party, everyone seems to have read Tamora Pierce's books when they were young and absolutely loved each one of them. Now, I finally can join the party - at least partially, since omg there is so much books by Pierce - and some things worked for me, others not so much. I will make a list because it's more practical and I'm lazy.

What I disliked:

  1. The writing was too much show and not tell at times, I think this happened because this book passes through a long period of time, years actually, so it's understandable that some mundane tasks would be brushed over. But still, nothing really moved me on this writing, it was somewhat distancing from the characters and even on the action sequences I felt my attention span wavering.
  2. This is a middle grade book and it shows. Not just on the simplistic writing but also on the little character development, the characters here are pretty simple and what you see is what you get, I'm a very character driven reader so for me this is kind of a big bummer, I hope that on the next books of the series we get to have more complex and emotional situations that show us some character development. 
What I liked:

  1. Alanna is a great main character, she is not flawless (far from it actually) and I think she sets a great example for younger children. She is strong headed, determined and don't let her time period rules dictate who she will become.
  2. The friendships that Alanna construct on the palace were pretty great too, I loved how they showed time and time again that they would stick to Alanna nevertheless of her actions because that is what friends are for (and it was adorable how surprised she was by it).
  3. The action and the magical elements were pretty cool, I definitely want to read more about it on the next books, despite Alanna wanting to be a Knight and not a  deal with her gift I really think it will come in handy on her next adventures and I can't wait to discover more about it.
  4. Despite the writing being simplistic once I picked up I only put it down when I finished, so it was really addictive and I just love books that give this urge to binge read them.
I will definitely be continuing with this series, even with my peeves it was pure enjoyment and such a great take on classical fantasy, I felt like watching/reading a book from my childhood. I would recommend it to young readers looking to a fantasy novel that isn't that heavy on the fantasy aspects, or anyone that wants to read something more on the classic feel of old fantasy novels. 

quarta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2015

The Falconer - Elizabeth May

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
Published on May 6, 2014 by Chronicle Books

One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale.

She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.
When I first read The Falconer, on 2014 I absolutely loved but re-reads are always something that leave me wary because what if I don't love the book as much the second time around? I don't want to tarnish the perfect memories I have of the original read! Oh well I shouldn't have worried, The Falconer was as much entertaining the second time as the first one probably even more. Since I tried to write a review on the regular way and failed I'm gonna do a list of the important factors:

  • The World Building: Reading this one for the first time I remembered being highly confused by this world, at the start we are said this is Edinburgh at 1844 but that isn't exactly what we find on this story. The setting is Edinburgh but it's a steampunk version of it, full of new inventions and even different geography aspects; since I already knew what I was going to find this time around I wasn't as bothered by these elements, but be warmed this is a fantasy/steampunk novel that has kind of a alternative historical setting too.
  • Aileana: guys, this girl has to be one of my favorite characters ever, she passed through a terrible trauma but instead of cowering and hiding she goes out of her way, defying her society to avenge her mothers death. Despite her strong physical attributes, she shows a lot of weakness on the emotional side, I really hope that with the passing of the series we get to see her coming around on her grief. 

  • The Romance: So, when I first read I thought the romance on this book was a love triangle but now I didn't see it that way at all, but more on this next. Right now I want to talk about Kiaran, our dickhead fae that trains Aileana to hunt his own species, it's pretty obvious he has super secret things on his past that made him start hunting his own and it's pretty obvious that despite his facade he has a heart and cares deeply for Aileana. I love the banter between those two, Aileana doesn't take shit from him and is always ready to call him on his bullshit or put him on his place. I really hope that on the next books we get to see more of his good side and less of his emo persona.
  • The friendships: Now, as I said above I thought the romance was a love triangle at my first read, but now I don't think Aileana and Gavin's relationship has any romantic elements to it at all. Aileana never has passionate feelings towards Gavin, but they do share a emotional connection that is deep because both of them remind of their lives two years ago with longing, of their lives before the fairies, and also they are the only ones in this society who can understand what each other is passing and be honest with each other, so it's a great dynamic between these two, it sounded true and very deep for me. Also loved the portrait of female friendship, Aileana and Catherine, they are best friends since childhood and despite Aileana not being able to share her new life with Catherine their friendship doesn't falter, Catherine chooses to keep believing on her friend and understands that there has to be a good reason for her lies while still keeping her trust on her. Honorable mention to the adorable pixie, Derrick, that made me laugh like a mad person on so many scenes.

Okay, that was all that I had to highlight about this one, there is much more too it but I can't do justice because well, you have to read it yourself. Trust me on this one, if you're looking for an amazing cast of characters, with incredible relationships and well develop personalities, while also having a fast paced read, full of new twists and action sequences you need to pick this one up. And even if you don't think this is what you want you should pick this one up anyway because I'm pretty sure it can surprise you. 

segunda-feira, 23 de novembro de 2015

Dressing Up The Part: Cress of the Lunar Chronicles

Hey guys, today I'm here with a new feature. Just recently I discovered Polyvore, which is a site to create collages, there some different stiles and one of them is on fashion; now I always liked to play dress up but never really had done it focusing on characters from books but now I started and am addicted so here I'm. Hope you enjoy it, this time around I played dress up on Cress, the Lunar character from the Lunar Chronicles, as I said on my review I quite liked Cress personality and I hope to have translated it well to this clothes. There may be mildly spoilers to Winter.


This one was based on the favoritism of Cress for wearing dresses on her satellite, so I was thinking that when she was aboard the Rampion, using her mad hacker skills she would prefer to use a dress as well. She will also let her hair grow because she misses having something to hold on to when she is solving a computer problem or is nervous. The heels is for her height difference with Thorne, I mean from time to time she will try to make it not so big.


This second one I was thinking on a more formal way, but still approachable. It's for the times the crew will go visit they *very important* friends, like you know the Emperor of the Commonwealth or the Queen of Luna, basic stuff. Of course, it isn't for a formal appearance, just that little dinner between old friends. 
The last but not least was probably my favorite of the three, I just loved the mix of yellow and kind of pink, idk what color the skirt and the flats are but yeah. This is for a date night, just between Cress and Thorne, without their friends, it's simple but very delicate and romantic as I like to think Cress would like.

So that was it for this edition, I hope to get back with this feature soon (despite my horrible ways on keeping anything frequent around here). Tell me on the comments what did you think of these combinations and if you have done something similar with your favorite characters too.  

sábado, 21 de novembro de 2015

Life and Death - Stephenie Meyer

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #5 
Published on October 6, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.

Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.

Twilight has enraptured millions of readers since its first publication in 2005 and has become a modern classic, redefining genres within young adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a #1 USA Today bestseller, a Time magazine Best Young Adult Book of All Time, an NPR Best-Ever Teen Novel, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The Twilight Saga, which also includes New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, has sold nearly 155 million copies worldwide.
I was extremely surprised when I heard about this book, I thought Twilight was over and buried we already got the series completed, a short story from a secondary character and all those movies but them, on the tenth anniversary Meyer completely surprised me with this announcement and it was a non brainier that I was going to read this. Back on 2008 I was a hard core Twilight fan, defending it from all the bad critics it got when the movies came out and reading these books over and over, they were my comfort when I was between 14-16, Edward was my dream boyfriend and this was series responsible to open the amazing world of YA for me.

So yeah, I had to read this book but it didn't really lived up to my expectations. Before I started reading it I already had see and read some bad reviews but I was expecting to love it anyway, mostly due to nostalgic feelings than by the story itself, I mean I knew I wasn't gonna be blow away by it since it was mostly the same story but still, I was hoping to relieve the attachment that I had created to this world so many years before, unfortunately this didn't happened.

My first problem with it was the fact that this is basically 99.9% of the same book, so yeah I knew it was the same story but OH MY GOD COULD YOU JUST AT LEAST TRY TO NOT CONTROL+C CONTROL+V SO MUCH???????? It was REALLY, REALLY hard to picture Beau and Edythe on my head when I could hear was the same lines from Bella and Edward, you can totally take the same bases to create a new story but you CAN'T just change the pronouns in a story and say these are new characters, because they weren't! They're the same fucking thing, on the same fucking story, passing through the same fucking situations and saying the same fucking sentences, this isn't reimagining anything. Maybe I went into this expecting to much, because I mean it's said that it was the same story but only switched genders, I read that on the letter/thing Meyer wrote at the start of the story but still in my head I was expecting a little bit more of changes, not in the story and facts itself but on the personality of those involved on it.

And I'm really pissed thinking about it you know, because if Meyer wanted to wrote something "new" on the Twilight world showing that Bella wasn't a damsel in distress as she said but a human in distress them why not write a short story them about Beau and Edythe? Or take a secondary female vampire of the series and create a romantic story for her? Or even take that female werewolf from the pack of Jacob and create a boy for her? Like seriously, 100 pages of a new work and this could have gone much better in showing what she wanted, without having copied 400+ pages of Twilight and just switching pronouns, it would have been so much more satisfying, she showed that on The Short Second Live of Bree Tanner, it was short and it still was a good read that made me care for Bree while reading it.

Also, she totally failed on her task to show that her books weren't sexist when she took the scene of attempted rape on Bella/Beau and when she totally changed the rape scene from Rosalie/Royal, breaking news guys are raped and sexual assaulted too, so there wasn't a good enough reason to make these changes. The writing continues the same, since it's basically the same narrative, still full of unnecessary information about Beau and Charlie diet and full of chopped sentences. The only big change is the ending, which it was changed to make this only one book and not a series, but I really didn't get what she tried to accomplish with the info dumping about the vampire and werewolf mythology, I mean I'm pretty sure that if you're gonna read this one you already read the rest of the series or at least saw the movies, it was completely unnecessary to have that part since it only showed how rushed this was done and it didn't really added to anything in the story.

Overall this was a disappointment, can't say I wasn't warned before but as a Twilight fan I just had to read this one and see for myself. I'm sad to say it didn't added anything to the world of vampires and werewolves that we already knew, it something it only took some of my enjoyment when thinking about this beloved series and made me agree with some hatters about the problems these books portrait. Honestly, if you're a fan of the series you will probably want to read this anyway but my recommendation is: just re-read your favorite book of the original series or watch your favorite movie of it and be happy with the nostalgic feels.

quinta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2015

Winter - Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4 
Published on November 10, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
We are here friends, at the end of the road, we finished this series and now we probably just want more or it is just me? Of course not, no one wanted this to end. I don't really know how to make reviews of last books on a series, I found it hard to make reviews of seconds books already I mean, it's hard to talk about a series because spoilers everywhere and you want to talk about those spoilers but also review isn't the place to it and AGH. But anyway, I'll try to do my best and talk about this book on a more general way, but I make no promises that this will be coherent (who I'm kidding, my reviews are never coherent lol).

First and mostly, I feel like I should praise Meyer for the growth on her writing. I remember that when I read Cinder I thought the writing was more on the young-ish side of YA, it wasn't bad or anything but also it was very simplistic, and the plot twists too were so easy to see a mile away which took some of the story but oh my, this really didn't happened this time around. The writing is much improved, and Meyer overcome all my expectations with the plot on this book, this book is enormous and so many things happen on it, I never felt like it was predicable she really surpassed anything that I could have expect and upped it up turning this story so much more than already was.

Also, I was so so SO scared of the size of this book, I'm not a fan of big books and by big I mean that I become wary of anything over 400 pages, if is part of a series I usually will read it despite it's size but I was fully expecting to take me a month to read this one, instead I read it in about 6 days which for me is equal super speed. The big reason for this is the fact that there was ALWAYS SOMETHING HAPPENING on this book, I'm not kidding, so much happens and I feel so satisfied with it, because I was afraid that things would be solved to quickly or easily since the whole revolution had to happen on this book but no, on the contrary.

These characters had to face so many challenges (as if they didn't already but yeah), now shit is real, Levana is crazy as fuck, like even more than usual, seriously this gurl took crazy to a whole new level and I loved it, I think I never said on my other reviews but she grew to be one of my favorite villains, probably because it's so interesting to read about her. Her mind is so fucked up and twisted on believing this reality she created to herself to deal with her childhood traumas, I think it's a very unique way of picture a villain, they usually have strong beliefs and ideologies but Levana is straight out crazy because of her past, and her only belief is on the lies she created, such a interesting character.

Anyway, I wasn't going to talk about her, I was going to talk about how much I loved the plot of this book. As of this being a fairy tale retelling I didn't know what to expect when they were facing challenges to bring on the revolution, maybe my fear was that it would become too much of a Once Upon A Time kind of thing where the good always wins the bad just because but no. All of our loved cast, plus Winter and Jacin, have challenges to face on this one and absolutely nothing goes smoothly, seriously I would be like HELL YES LET'S GO REVOLUTION TIME BOO LEVANA and them BOOM shit happened, them resolutions for that shit comes and I would go all like YEAH NOW WE GO FULL ON REVOLUTION MODE and them BOOM more shit even worse comes flying and hits me on the face. Seriously there was one chapter at the end that was just plain bad to my heart, for those who already read this is the last scene on the throne room, SUCH AGONY, SUCH A HIGH.

Also, the personal characters stories I was fully satisfied with the ending of everyone, like I said before nothing comes easy and also doesn't end perfectly as in a fairy tale but this was a war so things were to be expected. The couples have time together but nothing over shines the plot, but it's enough to give everyone that ships different things to have their ship feels and feel happy with their otp, mine had such a great kissing scene and finally a declaration and I was giggling the whole time I'm totally normal, I swear.Let's talk a little about our new character, Winter, she is suffering from Lunar sickness which means she is loosing her mind, it was very unique read things through her POV but I really enjoyed how Meyer didn't infantilized her and showed how clever her mind still was despite her sickness. One thing that I do complain is that I needed more Cress POV, actually I need more from like everyone on this series, I didn't wanted it to end when I finally got to the ending and I hope the collection, Stars Above, has short stories from these characters on the future because I need to know about their future, pretty please.

Overall this series ended on a more than satisfying note, I will definitely revisit these characters and their stories on the future, it's kind of funny to see how disappointed I was on the first book and how much I ended up liking this series in the end. Super recommend this series to everyone looking for a YA science fiction series and/or a dystopia that doesn't fit the mold expect after The Hunger Games, if you already read the first book but was let down by it I would say give it a chance to the other books on this series, I think they may win you over.

terça-feira, 17 de novembro de 2015

Cress - Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published on February 4, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
 Guys, I'm in love with Cress, I really don't think any of the other Lunar protagonists conquered my heart so quickly and easily and it's really clear why. Cress reminded me of Felicity, from the tv show Arrow which is one of my favorite shows and she is definitively my favorite character of it, Cress with her awkward ways around people (because you know is hard to develop social skills when stuck on a satellite most of her life), her insanely good hacker abilities and huge crush on Thorne, won me over in just a few pages, safe to say that the more I read about her and the troubles she passes through this book I liked her more and more, also I feel like she would totally understand my crush on Thorne too and we would spend all the night gushing over him.

Despite starting as a sheltered girl, not having much of a life outside her computers, Cress still manages to go through a lot during this story and grow a back bone while being herself still. I have to say I specially love the way she created to deal with hard situations by imagining stories on her head based on the drama shows she watched all her life, it was fun and showed her naive ways to see the world. She also challenged a lot of common places for heroines, since she is naive while also being a super genius, she is awkward and say the wrong things at times but is completely unique on her hacker skills, she isn't physically strong and does at times need or even want to be rescued by her knit on shine armor (Thorne in case you didn't noticed yet) but is the one that saves the day a lot of times. Yay, for strong kick ass heroines that don't fit the mold YA created years ago with Katniss like heroines.

Since I already mentioned Thorne so many times and how Cress has a crush on him let's talk about their relationship. They end up being together for the most part of the story because of spoilery things and it's a hard situation, physically and emotionally, so this definitely created a bound between them. There isn't much romance properly saying since it's mostly Cress crushing on Thorne and Thorne, well being Thorne all charming and stuff, but I feel like this made them the best couple of the series so far, my biggest complaint whit the others romances where their instalove but this time around there isn't any of that on play. Cress does eventually grows and realizes the distinctions between the Thorne she created on her head and the real one, so even from her side there wasn't any instalove for me. Also their scenes where so cute and I giggled a lot of times, so win win.

I guess there was other characters on this story too, so I should probably talk about them too, hmm, these characters continue to grow on me. I'm actually really surprised by how much I'm caring about Cinder since her voice really didn't stood out for me on the first book but now she grew so much, I'm liking to see how much she grew and how hard she is trying to make everything work while still caring insecurities that make her a character easy to relate. Wolf is still my least favorite character, sorry for all his fans, but I just don't click with the guy I think he's a weakness on their group with his mind control stuff and just no. Scarlet shows up very little on this one, but when she did it was pretty scary stuff, also Winter makes an appearance on this book and I was like !!!!!!!!!! so excited to read more from her point of view that is bound to be very unique.

Overall this was, so far, my favorite of the series, Cress won me over as my favorite heroine of this story and at each book I grew more attached to the rest of the cast, even the ones that weren't my favorites at first. I totally recommend to readers of the series, I mean what are you guys awaiting to finally pick this up but also to everyone looking for a very fun and fast paced YA science fiction series.