quinta-feira, 29 de outubro de 2015

A Song To Remember: Queen of Shadows

Hey guys, today I'm here with a brand new feature that I hope you will enjoy. Books and songs are something that sometimes match so perfectly that we have that thought "this song is exactly the fit for X book/scene/series/character", we all know this felling and a lot of other blogs already have features that match books and songs but now is my time to show you my matches! A Song To Remember is all about matching books with songs that I enjoy listening too.

This time around the book is "Queen of Shadows" by Sarah J. Maas, I didn't review it because it's basically impossible without spoiling everything (I did think on doing a discussion post about it but laziness and all that), so to try to make this book justice I complied 5 songs that I think match it's clime perfectly. Let's see them, click on the name of the songs for official video clips:

1. Run the World (Girls) - Beyoncé | This was a no brainer since this whole series is ruled by girls and this is basically a national anthem to girl power.
"My persuasion can build a nation / Endless power / With our love we can devour / You'll do anything for me / Who run the world (Girls)"
2. .  Salute - Little Mix | This one is also all about girl power but I think is more undervalued which shouldn't be because it's awesome, I specially picture this one with the Thirteen.
"You think we're just pretty things / Couldn't be more wrong (we're standing strong, caring on) / Knock us but we keep moving up (we're moving up) / Can't stop a hurricane, ladies it's time to awake (...) Ladies, the time has come, the war has begun / Let us stand together / And remember, men fight great, but women are greater fighters"

3. Fighter - Christina Aguilera | I picture Aelin singing this one to Arobynn, especially after that dinner scene, I think it fits so perfectly her relationship with him, not just this part bellow but all of this song.
"Never saw it coming, all of your backstabbing / Just so you could cash in a good thing before I'd realize your game / I heard you're going around playing the victim now / But don't even begin feeling I'm the one to blame / Cause you dig your own grave "
4. Castle - Halsey | THE ENDING. This I picture at the ending, on the scene where Aelin, Dorian and the King are on the castle and GAH SPOILERS. So yeah, I just really like this song and think it matches with that scene.
"I'm headed straight for the castle / They wanna make me their queen / And there is an old man sitting on the throne that's saying that I should probably shouldn't be so mean / I'm headed straight for the castle / They've got the kingdom locked up / And there is an old man sitting on the throne that's saying that I should probably keep my pretty mouth shut / Straight for the castle / Oh, all these minutes passing, sick of feeling used / If you wanna break these walls downs, you're gonna get bruised / Now my neck is open wide, begging for a fist around it / Already chocking on pride, there is no use crying about it"
 5. Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys (Cover by Nicole Cross) | Totally Aelin song. I mean "You can try but you'll never forget her name" it's such a true statement.
'She's just a girl and she's on fire / Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway / She's living in a world and it's on fire / Filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away (...) Looks like a girl but she is a flame / So bright she can burn your eyes / Better look the other way / You can try but you'll never forget her name"
So did you guys agree with my choices? Which are the songs that YOU think match Queen of Shadows? Tell me all about it on the comments!

quarta-feira, 28 de outubro de 2015

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2 
Published on February 5, 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Oh, boy this series is really growing on me, I still had some troubles with Scarlet but I enjoyed it more than Cinder and can say with 100% sure that I'm gonna continue with this series. The biggest development between Cinder and Scarlet was the writing and the pacing, this time around we have a clear build up to the ending despite it being pretty predictable still was much more enjoyable for me to see things clearly building the tension and getting to the final climax. The writing also improved on terms, especially, of info dump, when building the world on Cinder I often found myself thinking how conveniently everything was and how things are being underdeveloped but this time around I didn't had these kind of thoughts, the world Meyer created really started to have a more clear image on my head.

What made this book for me was its characters, I found the characters on Cinder pretty card board and one dimensional but now I don't really see them like that, Cinder and Kai have to face a more lot of challenges on this one, having to make hard decisions that not always will coincide with what they think is the best/right. The new characters Scarlet, Wolf and Thorne also have their time to shine, Scarlet is our main POV on this one (there are multiple ones) and I liked her, she is a fighter, even after everything she went through on this book she didn't back down and is more than ready to join this bigger fight that is building. Wolf isn't my fave, more on that later. Thorne <3 Oh, Thorne is just my kind of character, he is a jerk with a big heart and a even bigger repertory of snark comments.

Now, my problem on this one was with the romance, I just I couldn't guys, it was terrible and I wanted to punch the two of them on the face all the time. So yeah, Scarlet and Wolf  are the supposed couple of this one and first, it was completely instalove (as with was already on Cinder, but at least Cinder and Kai had a few talks and never declared their undying love for each other) but I could get past that, what I couldn't get past was the way Wolf treated Scarlet and how she continued to trust him even after everything, just no. He's violent, lies to her, betrays her, but even after she knows this what does she thinks? "Wolf is different, Wolf is only doing this to protect me, Wolf has something in him that makes me trust him despite everything" just ugh no, big giant no, I thought we had passed this with Twilight.

Overall I liked this one more than Cinder and now this is a series that I would recommend to more people looking for fun YA series, this is a fast paced read with characters that really grew on me and in spite of my reservations I would say for you to give this series a shot if the synopses intrigues you.

sexta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2015

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published on January 3, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I had some problems with this one but overall I enjoyed and started the sequel right away. My main problems were concerning the world build on this series, it is supposed to be a dystopia with a sci-fi touch, but things never really felt... Natural, none of what was presented here sounds like plausible near (100,200 years from now) future, on the other side it sounded a lot like Hollywood movies taking scientific concepts and putting it on a easier way for the audience and/or for the convenience of the plot; one other thing, this is supposed to be set on Asia, more specific Beijing (that was destroyed and is now the New Beijing), China and honestly, if this passed on any USA or European city it wouldn't have made a single difference because there is no use of the Asian culture which I think it is a shame; also it's said at some point that Commonwealth is a junction of all the past Asian cultures but it's never really explained any cultural aspect of this new world and this citation made me really curious because as of right now on Asia we have very different and opposite ideals on religion and politics which even lead to numerous wars over the history, so how come now they are at peace and which religion is practiced there, the political system is socialism? I honestly have no clue and it bothered me. 

Some other things that also rubbed me wrong are the pacing of the story, there wasn't a consistence for building a climax at least not on my reading experience and the ending was really abrupt. There are some times that I thought the plot was to convenient too and the characters weren't exactly the most complex ones. 

But despite all this I did enjoyed most of my reading, it was really easy to read, most of the time fast paced with things always moving the plot and I'm interested in seeing where Meyer will take this on the next books. Do not recommend to readers looking for something more complex/emotional but to those who want a candy brain read. 

domingo, 18 de outubro de 2015

Losing It - Cora Carmack

Losing It by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It #1
Published on February 23, 2013 by William Morrow


Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
New Adult is a new territory for me, I think over all my life I read about 2 new adult books (now with Cora's 4) but I did heard a LOT of criticism about this gender, so it's fair to say that I entered this one wary. Shouldn't have worried, this was what I expect from a good romantic comedy but on the book format, it was light fluffy and with a good dose of romance.

The story stars with Bliss deciding to lose her virginity with a one night stand, enters Garrick, perfect male specimen with a British accent to complete the packet. I'll not give any further details, since I think the synopses already gives away enough spoilers for the start of the book but I do want to say that I really enjoyed their relationship, Bliss was always putting herself on hilariously situations and Garrick was pretty sweet most of the time.

If I have one complain is that it was that their characters weren't developed enough, I can't honestly say who Bliss was before this story or what Garrick likes besides being with Bliss, this didn't really took away my enjoyment while reading it but it does make the story much more forgettable among all the other books and made these characters not all that realistic.

Also, there wasn't really any obstacles to their relationship, this is a romance focused book so you know the couple will met, like, fight drama, surpass said drama and have a HEA but the whole drama of this story is basically created by Bliss and Garrick, yeah there is room for a good drama like with the teacher-student relationship but it was never explored.

Overall this was a really fun, quickly and sweet read, I would recommend as a brain candy for when you don't really want to think about anything and just sit back and relax.

segunda-feira, 12 de outubro de 2015

Until We Meet Again - Renee Collins

Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Published on November 3, 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time.

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.
Until We Meet Again wasn't in my radar until some glowing early reviews started to appear, reading the synopsis I was more than intrigued by it a romance with time travel AND a mystery, hell yeah sign me up. Unfortunately, this was one of those cases of it's not you, it's me books.

The thing that most worked for me was the writing, despite I knowing very early on that this would probably not be a me book I still kept reading and never really felt an urge to DNF it. The pacing of the story also worked really well, we have a murder mystery and a romance to be developed and Collins manages to gives us enough information so to keep us interested on the story and eager to get to the ending to figure everything out.

We have two POV's, Cassandra's (which is the main one) and Lawrence's (usually really short and occasional). Cassandra is a typical angst teenager until she sees a stranger on the beach (Lawrence), them her life gains a purpose (with the mystery to solve) and I just can't, using romance as character development just isn't enough, she supposedly was so many depth to Lawrence because she is "different" and I didn't get, was she different because she was bored? And Lawrence, wow that boy was overdone on the perfect boyfriend machine, he comes from a rich family but isn't a snob and doesn't want to follow his father footsteps, oh no he wants to be a poet! And guess who his muse is? That's right, Cassandra! Maybe this sounds like a perfect romance to you, and it was quite nice but that is it, it was nice and fluffy and extremely cheese - so much that sometimes I thought I would be sick. The secondary characters were just really black or white, if someone was bad (we have some mob and really bad guys here) you could see from a mile afar.

The way everything happened in this story also made me question either this was really an YA book, because everything was so... Childish and predictable. There was things, like the last few chapters, that I think were supposed to be life or death, heart pounding scenes that ended up just reading like a dramatic telenovela (well, I think all telenovelas are dramatic).

Overall this wasn't a bad book, I think it can be perfect to some people and/or depending on your humor, for me this was a disappointment - I think the story could have worked a little bit more on bringing more flawed characters and realistic scenes so that this would have felt more like a story being told and not just a entertainment read.

sábado, 10 de outubro de 2015

Doctor Who: The Glamour Chronicles

Hey guys, today I'm here to share my two other reviews of the series Doctor Who: The Glamour Chronicles. You can find my review of Royal Blood, the third book of the series, here.
[These books where given to me by the Publisher, this in no way affected my opinion.]

Deep Time by Trevor Baxendale
Series: Doctor Who: The Glamour Chronicles
Published on September 10, 2015 by BBC Books

‘I do hope you’re all ready to be terrified!’
The Phaeron disappeared from the universe over a million years ago. They travelled among the stars using roads made from time and space, but left only relics behind. But what actually happened to the Phaeron? Some believe they were they eradicated by a superior force… Others claim they destroyed themselves.
Or were they in fact the victims of an even more hideous fate?
In the far future, humans discover the location of the last Phaeron road – and the Doctor and Clara join the mission to see where the road leads. Each member of the research team knows exactly what they’re looking for – but only the Doctor knows exactly what they’ll find. Because only the Doctor knows the true secret of the Phaeron: a monstrous secret so terrible and powerful that it must be buried in the deepest grave imaginable…
Having read all three books of The Glamour Chronicles I can affirm that Deep Time is my favorite of the bunch, this book had all great things of a sci-fi novel for me. I loved the start, on the space ship where we get to know the crew, sci-fi that actually passes on space where definitely my favorites. Them the survival part on a unknown planet, we had some great elements of emotional impact, also some pretty disgusting things (insects blegh) and I turned the pages like a maniac, I read this one in one night and it was amazing. It's the one that, for me, translated the twelfth doctor best to the pages, it didn't exaggerated on the eccentrics of his personality but on the more emotional and human side that the doctor has developed through the seasons. If you only want to read one of the books of this new series of the Doctor, stay with this one you won't regret it.

Big Bang Generation by Gary Russell
Series: Doctor Who: The Glamour Chronicles
Published on September 10, 2015 by BBC Books

“I'm an archaeologist, but probably not the one you were expecting.”
Christmas 2015, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Imagine everyone's surprise when a time portal opens up in Sydney Cove. Imagine their shock as a massive pyramid now sits beside the Harbour Bridge, inconveniently blocking Port Jackson and glowing with energy. Imagine their fear as Cyrrus "the mobster" Globb, Professor Horace Jaanson and an alien assassin called Kik arrive to claim the glowing pyramid. Finally imagine everyone's dismay when they are followed by a bunch of con artists out to spring their greatest grift yet.
This gang consists of Legs (the sexy comedian), Dog Boy (providing protection and firepower), Shortie (handling logistics), Da Trowel (in charge of excavation and history) and their leader, Doc (busy making sure the universe isn't destroyed in an explosion that makes the Big Bang look like a damp squib).
And when someone accidentally reawakens The Ancients of the Universe - which, Doc reckons, wasn't the wisest or best-judged of actions – things get a whole lot more complicated…
Oh boy, Big Bang Generation was the last one that I read of The Glamour Chronicles and unfortunately this was a disappointment. We start the story getting to know a bunch of new characters, where each one wants something different from the Glamour and we only get to see this scenario clearly about 30% or something in so for a few chapters I was just so focused on trying to attach everyone with their names/personalities that it got a little hard to enjoy the story. But them things kick in, action start to happen and I finally understood the story and it was meh, this one (as you can see for the title) relies on a thing that on the DW series kind of is a trope already and it wasn't my favorite. But probably my biggest complaint is that, despite this being a Doctor Who book we get so little of the actual Doctor, the narrative is on third person and keeps changing from one character to the other, having so many new characters we spend most of the time getting to know them than spending time with the Doctor, honestly at the ending I felt like this was a story that could have been completely independent of the Doctor, like this was a already imagined story that the Doctor was put there only as another character because it was a requirement to make into the Glamour Chronicles. Overall my least favorite of them and I can't really recommend it.

domingo, 4 de outubro de 2015

Black Widow: Forever Red - Margaret Stohl

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
Published on October 13, 2015 by Marvel Press
Enter the world of the Avengers' iconic master spy

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . .

Black Widow:Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure readers expect from Marvel, written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.
To say that I was excited about this book is an understatement, I love the Marvel universe of the movies since Iron Man was released on 2008 and, maybe a personal mistake, I came here expecting more of the same we see on the screens or at least a book that would be similar to the tone but that is not what I found. For starters this doesn't fit with the movies time line, since there is things here that we only get to know on Age of Ultron, with characters that aren't supposed to be here since The Avengers and places that don't exist since The Winter Soldier so yeah, not cannon.

That would have been totally okay, since this is a book and it never proposed (as far as I know) to be cannon with the movies universe still, things never lived up to what I was expecting. This book is divided in three POV's, I have to say that this annoyed me because the whole marketing of it focus on being a Black Widow book but honestly I think Natasha's POV is the one that shows up less on the story, we have much more focus on Ava and Alex and I'm sorry but I wasn't here to read about teenagers instaloving each other.

Oh yeah, the romance was another thing that annoyed me here. Ava and Alex have a "connection" since they first see each other, they instantly care about each other and are willing to risk their lives because why not die for this person that I just met right. This made their chapters annoying too, since they couldn't stop thinking about how an amazing connection they had and how much they cared about each other etc. after less than a day, less than a few hours, to say I wasn't a fan is the least.

What I did enjoyed of this book was its action sequences, I think they were written on a fast paced way that made me glue on the pages and want to keep reading it, good that there was so much action scenes that I was kept interested and did finish it, this is were I think this story is similar to the movies and comics - the action is very agile and cinematographic, it was easy to imagine things happening on my head while reading.

In the end I was left with an underwhelming feeling towards this book, I saw some glimpses of greatness like on the action sequences or on some ironical tirade from Tony or Coulson but it never went beyond it. I don't really know to who recommend this either, maybe newcomers to the Marvel universe that aren't really into movies, idk, this is hard.

sexta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness 
Published on October 6, 2015 by Harper Teen
[This book was given to me by the Publisher, in no way it affected my opinion.]

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
This is my second time reading Patrick Ness and it's pretty obvious won't be the last, his written is one of the most beautiful that I ever read managing to be funny and touching, this creates some great quotes (I highlighted so many passages!) and also makes a quickly read, I picked this one up on an impulse and about 3 AM I was putting it down after finishing.

But, despite I having liked this story it didn't moved me as much as I hoped it would, be clear that my expectations where sky high since "A monster calls" became one of my all time favorites so this book had a lot to fill in, in parts it achieved it but overall I ended up feeling underwhelmed. I enjoyed getting to know Mikey, his family and friends, get to see his insecurities and problems, still I never felt really connected with him. Mikey is passing through some hard stuff and it should have passages that where wrecking emotionally that I just read with a distancing curiosity.

I think one of the reasons to it is because we never truly distance the time line of the chosen ones from the regular people, they are kind of always intertwined (and I think this was exactly the point of the book: dealing with regular life while the world around you blows up) so this book that is already a short one, leaves even less pages to delve deeply into Mikey's story and journey to figuring himself out before college. Maybe the chosen ones where some kind of magical realism to life itself, I mean there is people blowing themselves up right now on the world and we still have to carry on with our lives, dealing with things that in comparison may seem little and insignificant but to us, it's our entire world.

I would recommend this book if you enjoy Patrick Ness' other works and is dying to read something new of him, also if you got curious by the synopses (the excerpts about the chosen ones where really funny, ironical and made a somewhat stress relief from Mikey's life) and if you enjoy coming of age stories and don't mind a little bit of magical stuff mixed with your contemporaries.