quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | February 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on February of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere #1
Published on February 16, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a fast paced adventure that pleased me from the start to the end. I liked the action and adventure aspects of the story, it made this a page turner but I missed a bit on the connection to the characters, they were a bit underdeveloped to make a long lasting impression on me and honestly, Nix's dad had a character arc that was a bit unbelievable, changing right towards the end, I think that if he wasn't so obsessed with his goal it would be a bit more believable his change of heart.

The romance aspect also bothered me a bit, there is a love triangle that is completely unnecessary, it's pretty clear right from the start with who Nix is going to end up with and they have such a great chemistry and develop from friends to something more in a slow burn and realistic way, I just wish the other counter part didn't existed.

All in all I recommend this one to all lovers of YA, expecially the ones that love a good adventure story. I really hope to re-read this one soon, since the second book is coming out now in February.

Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling)
Series: Hogwarts Library
Published on June 1, 2001 by Arthur A. Levine Books

I don't have much to say about this one since it's more of an "encyclopedia" about fantastic beasts from the Harry Potter Universe than an actual book that I can review. I had read this way back when, but never owned it, since it was on a sale I finally got a chance to have my own copy! It was fun revisiting the world of Wizardry and such, it was a very quickly read and I definitely recommend to all fans of Harry Potter.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published on March 8, 2016 by Viking
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

Oh man, I really wish I was better at writing and posting reviews because I'm 100% sure I would have a lot more to talk about this one, but as of right now, almost a year latter I probably already forgot so many things and ugh.

What I do remember about this is thinking that the start of it reminded me so much of westerns movies/books, which isn't the best thing, since it's supposed to be set on the Arabian Desert and I think that it should have more of Arabic culture to give the feel of the story - also, it can be a shame to use a culture but not actually use it. Later on I think that the atmosphere of the book changed and I didn't thought it was misrepresented.

I really loved the two main characters, Amani and Jin, they were both so fierce and their romance had such a great development, I shipped it hard. I called the twist of who Jin was miles away, so that had a bit of predictability to where this story was going but it was great anyway, it's really a set up for the whole trilogy and I'm excited to the second one, that is coming out next month, hope to have time to re-read this one too!

This Is Where The Worl Ends by Amy Zhang 
Published on March 22, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

I actually wrote some stuff about this one when I read it, so this will be longer.

Trigger warming: rape and suicide 

Official rating: I really, really liked but I also had a lot of problems with it. Also, reading anything about this book counts as a spoiler in my opinion so bellow there will be a shit ton of spoilers.

1. I really liked the writing on this one, as with Falling Into Place it's full of metaphors and it's very lyrical but for me it worked again, it gave me all the feels and turned this reading into a more intense one. Some of my favorites quotes bellow:

 "I'm doing - something. Anything. I’m tired of watching, and waiting, and expecting things to work out. It never works out. It never works unless you demand. So here I am, demanding."

"(...)when our eyes meet, my smile lights up the entire world."

"He says my problem is that I was born with a thousand beginnings and no endings at all."

"They knew each other in their atoms(...)"

"We sat there in silence for a solid minute.
“I don’t get it,” I finally said. “And what happened to all your furniture?”
“I have no idea,” Mr. Markus says. “But happiness is a choice. That’s the key. A choice.”
Is it, though? Is it really? Maybe.
Maybe, for the lucky ones.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I can fill my pockets with stones and mark myself everywhere and set the entire universe on fire, but it’s not going to change anything. I am not one of the lucky ones.
So here is what the unlucky ones choose between: prude or slut. Angel or devil. Maybe choice isn’t the right word—you’re always one or the other.
Damsel or villainess. That’s what it comes down to.
I guess the question that really matters is: which one gets the real happy ending?"

"That’s what high school’s for. You make plans and you don’t follow through. You dream and you can be brave when you’re dreaming, brave enough to imagine that there’s actually a yourself to find, brave enough to finish projects even though you were never born with endings(...)"

2. I didn't liked the way rape and suicide are dealt with in this book. The suicide part is only completely revealed on the ending and it was basically brushed off completely but I think that the bits related to the rape could have been dealt with better. This is a story about everything that can go wrong with a rape victim, she doesn't have a support net, no family or friends that are really there for her, she doesn't get any professional help, either from therapists or law enforcement, is a case where no one believes her even thought she didn't even shouted rape. It's a sad story and one that unfortunately happens but it's also one that I don't think needed to be out there (again), when you're writing for a younger public you have certain responsibilities and showing how to dealt with traumatic situations is one of them.

3. As I said above this story is already out there, this book plot and the plot of Thirteen Reasons Why are basically the same on its bones.

4. I was incredible disappointed with the characters on this one. One of the things that made me love Falling Into Place so much was how Zhang managed to pick unlikable characters and turn them into humans, complex with flaws but also with some redeeming qualities. This time around I didn't connected with anyone, I honestly only started feeling something towards Janie when she was raped, and she was already pretty fucked up, mentally speaking, before that but it just never made any sense to me her reasons and her overall personality probably because of number 5.

5. Janie is the definition of manic pixie dream girl, seriously she seems to have came out of a John Green book. She is full of artistic dreams and metaphors (she actually named a rock Metaphor), she is also super pretty and rich, she hates her parents just because, she is also a mean girl and gets everything she wants. I'm sorry but her character had no sense at all, her actions from before are made without any logical meaning and I couldn't get to sympathize with her.

6. The way toxic friendships are portrait on this one are on point, this is probably my favorite thing on this story. Janie and Micah relationship is intense and all consuming, and they are the best friends in the entire world and also maybe in love with each other, I mean how could they not be when, as Janie says, they are one atom. I loved every scene with them together and it was great to see where this would take them.

7. I hated how therapy is treated on this story, like hated with all my forces. Micah never takes therapy seriously, he never follow through on the recommendations of not drinking since he is 100% of the time drunk, he says what he thinks his therapist wants to hear just to get done with the sessions. I hated it. Is this kind of portrait of therapy that it makes it still be a tabu on our society and people with mental illness to be insecure about searching for professional help.

8. This book has a lot of swear words and underage drinking so if you're not cool with that you should probably stay clear of this one.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published on February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen

It's been almost a year and I'm still confused and torn in Red Queen. This book takes a LOT of influence on other famous pop culture stuff like X-Men and The Hunger Games, and smashes it all together into a somewhat Frankenstein of all these references and creating something new.

I guess that what most let me down in this one was the characters, they were pretty one dimensional and I didn't managed to connect with anyone, I can't fall in love with a story if I don't fall in love with its characters. Also, there is a love triangle where both sides were pretty boring up until the ending, which turned things around and I guess now it's not a love triangle anymore and I'm sad, because the other counter part is just plain boring and I don't want him to be end game.

What made me keep turning the pages was the adventure bits and figuring out what the hell was happening in this story, there is quite a few twists that took me by surprise and changed things like a gazillion times and I honestly don't know where anyone stands. This was what made me pick up the next books of the series right away, and it's another one that I hope to re-read before the release of the next in the series (I love re-reads okay, let me be).

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #0.1 - #0.2
Published on January 5, 2016 by HarperTeen

Queen Song was pretty boring and not at all relevant to the overall story, it didn't presented anything new from Red Queen. I did read it on one sitting so there is that.

Steel Scars was better but I kept wandering and it took me a while to finish it, I think that for those who enjoyed Farley on Red Queen will love it since she is the POV of this story and we find more about her past. It also has more about the revolution, information that aren't present on Red Queen and that I found really interesting.

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