I was in the mood for anthology, so Lore, An Anthology: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold was a great read for me. I like some stories more than the oth...moreI was in the mood for anthology, so Lore, An Anthology: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold was a great read for me. I like some stories more than the others, but overall it was a nice read and I came out knowing much more about myths and legends.
The first story, Shimmer, is a mermaid story with a twist in the end. It has romantic atmosphere, but the pacing is a bit too slow for my taste. I found the second story, Between, very interesting. It’s a classic high school elite clique story, but the appearance of djinn (genie) make this story memorable. I think the LGBT stuff can be taken more carefully, but I like the story in general. In my opinion, Sunset Moon has the strongest characterization in this anthology. It’s a bad girl meet good guy story, and their relationship is definitely swoon-worthy! I love Native American folklore, so it’s not hard for me to fall for this one. :)
The Maker… what can I say? It’s a take on golem mythology and the story reminds me a bit of Frankenstein. The guy makes a golem in order to take revenge on his girlfriend. The story lays heavily on description of action and it can bug you at times, but the plots are simply intriguing. I can definitely see the author’s potential in the story. A Beautiful Mourning has very beautiful, flowing written style. The story has poetic atmosphere in it which I’m sure many will appreciate. I love the ending in The Barricades. It ends with a hopeful note, and I think it suits well as the last story in this anthology.
All in all, Lore, An Anthology: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold is a fascinating read for me. If I have to play favorite, I think it would be A Beautiful Mourning. I’m a sucker for beautiful writing style and melancholic plots. ;) Sunset Moon is good as well. This anthology is a recommendation for anyone who wishes to visit many myths and legends in one go. From mermaid story to golem myth: just pick your favorite lore! :)
The heat from his skin dulled as his sharp eyes softened. “I will love as the mortals.” He leaned in and brushed his lips against mine. My eyes fluttered shut. “Fearlessly and without limitations.”
Cinderella is one of my favorite fairytales, so I was over the moon when I found out this book! I love Rosamund Hodge’s debut, Cruel Beauty, and I’m s...moreCinderella is one of my favorite fairytales, so I was over the moon when I found out this book! I love Rosamund Hodge’s debut, Cruel Beauty, and I’m so excited to tell you guys that Gilded Ashes is just as amazing! It has all the things I love from Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty: strong heroine, slow-building romance, twisted humor, and intricate plots. ♥
My mother loved me more than life itself. That’s how everything went wrong.
In Gilded Ashes, we meet Maia, daughter of a noble family who spends her days acting as the maid of her family. Maia’s family consist of a stepmother who demands nothing less but perfection, an uptight and desperate to be loved stepsister named Koré, and a kind yet foolish stepsister named Thea. They have no money and live in a rundown mansion. When Stepmother learns about the upcoming ball in a Duke’s house, she knows that it’s their chance to restore the family’s wealth and honor by marrying her daughter to the Duke’s son.
Koré asks Maia to deliver her letters to the Duke’s son, Lord Anax. This leads to Maia’s encounters with the ignorant noble, their unlikely friendship, and later, their slow-budding romance. But this is not a usual Cinderella tale and Maia can’t risk loving or hating anyone – not if she wants those people to stay alive. The only person she can love in this world is her mother, or specifically, the ghost of her mother.
Gilded Ashes is set in the same world with Cruel Beauty, and I love the similar references. Shadow that can make you go mad and a demon lord who will grant wishes if you’re willing to pay. While the novella is only 105 pages, it’s rich with characterization. Every character is not one-hundred percent good or bad, and even Stepmother has her own reason of being cruel to everyone including herself. The stepsisters are not usual ornaments in the story, but they serve great roles.
I love Rosamund Hodge’s heroines: they are delicate balance of intelligence, snark, and kindness. They are not easily won over and I like that about them. I very appreciate the fact that those heroines are the ones who decide their own fates in the end. They create their own stories and do not serve as only vessels for other people.
In short, I really enjoyed Gilded Ashes and look forward to read future books from the author. It’s a satisfying book for a novella and one I would recommend to those searching for short work or great fairytale retelling. It’s not usual Cinderella retelling. If you enjoyed Cruel Beauty, feel free to dive in! You wouldn’t disappointed. :)
If Koré can convince Lord Anax to marry her, then she will leave this house. Probably she will take Thea with her. Maybe they’ll even convince Stepmother to live at the palace with them, and then I won’t have to protect anyone.
Nobody to protect. I can hardly imagine such freedom.
“I’ll do it,” I say, my heart beating a swift, dizzy song of maybe, maybe, maybe. “I’ll do it.” (less)
She has slept with two guys in one night in someone else’s bedroom during someone else party. He...more3.5 stars
Everyone knows that Alice Franklin is a slut.
She has slept with two guys in one night in someone else’s bedroom during someone else party. Her sexting caused the super famous and gorgeous Brandon Fitzsimmons aka the king of Healy High died in car accident. She had abortion not long after, and who knows whose baby belongs to! Alice Franklin gets a stall dedicates just for her – slut stall – where girls can write all the things they believe Alice has done. Because Alice Franklin is a slut, and everybody knows it.
But is she really?
The Truth About Alice is a powerful book about what rumors can actually do. Events in this book remind me of snowball effect. Things roll and they get worse and worse. Told in multiple perspectives from the famous cheerleader to finally Alice herself, this book was a short and enjoyable ride for me.
I love the multiple POVs the most in this book. It was awesome to get to know Alice from different characters first and slowly unveil why each of them keep their own Alice-related secrets. Some of those secrets actually took me aback, like Kelsie’s secret. Kelsie, the ex-best friend of Alice and a social climber, is one of the most intriguing character I’ve ever met. She’s horrible and made me so mad, but she was an interesting character to read.
I think the only underdeveloped character in this book might be Brandon, the dead guy. Every character describes Brandon as gorgeous, super funny, a bit of jerk but still so awesome, and it ticks me off a little because he’s not the person I see from the pages. If the author wants readers to have some sympathy to him, I think it would be better to show more humane side of Brandon.
While reading this book, I was also driven to think of the double standard in our society. While Alice is treated like a slut for allegedly sleeping with two guys in one night, Brandon with his never ending conquest of girls is treated like God instead. I think hypocrisy is one of the greatest themes in this book – people keep saying one thing while they act different.
All in all, The Truth About Alice was a thought-provoking book with great narrations. I also love the glimpses of hope in this book despite of how bad the situation is. While this book is not entirely flawless, it’s certainly worth reading.
The hard truth is I think I knew we weren’t going to be friends anymore the day after Elaine’s party when I read that text about her and Brandon and Tommy Cray. It sounds terrible and shallow and not at all like something the Kelsie Sanders I knew in Flint would have said, but I’ve spent too many years sitting alone in the cafeteria, and I just can’t handle doing it again.
The Art of Lainey opens up in quite dramatic way: Lainey breaking up with her boyfriend Jason in public, precisely in her own father’s coffee shop wit...moreThe Art of Lainey opens up in quite dramatic way: Lainey breaking up with her boyfriend Jason in public, precisely in her own father’s coffee shop with everyone else watching. After spending days tearing up about the break-up, Lainey decides that Jason must have made mistake and resolves to do whatever it takes to get him back. With the help of ancient Chinese war strategy book, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Lainey and her friends/comrades create strategy to get their exes back. Who says that love is not war?
I am in the mood for something short and sweet, and The Art of Lainey comes in handy! It’s fun and cute. The plotline might be predictable, but we’ll still want to know the road to happy ending! Lainey may come off as very typical of teenager at first – ‘oh nooo my life ends after he breaks up with me’ case – but she has some great qualities that make me admire her. She’s very loyal to the people she loves, which is simply awesome. ♥
Lainey goes on a series of fake-dates with her childhood friend/colleague in work/comrade in getting back the exes thing, Micah, and their fake dates are just entertaining! Nothing beats chemistry between the two people who know each other from a long time. They banter back-and-forth, but you can feel that they actually suit each other. Micah has bad boy look with Mohawk and tattoos, but he’s actually a normal guy who is kind and thinks of his family above else.
If you’re looking for cute summer read, The Art of Lainey can be your perfect choice. I love the references to The Art of War. I may have taken some notes from it. *wink wink* This book reminds me of Disney movies sometimes, specifically She’s the Man – Lainey being a soccer goddess and having a bad boy hero with kind heart around – and I’d love to watch the movie version of this book. Give The Art of Lainey a go, and get ready to have your heart fluttered!
I stare at my tan fingers curled inside Micah’s pale ones as we head back into the stadium tunnels. I’m a little sweaty, and so is he, but it doesn’t feel nearly as weird as I thought it would to hold hands with another guy. Jason used to squeeze too hard sometimes and practically crush my fingers, but Micah’s grip is firm and relaxed. Kind of nice. It feels almost normal, really. Like, in another world, the two of us could actually be on a date.
Since I am in the mood for guy protagonist lately, I decided to venture out of my usual sub-genres in Young Adult and read this book. The Boy in the S...moreSince I am in the mood for guy protagonist lately, I decided to venture out of my usual sub-genres in Young Adult and read this book. The Boy in the Smoke is a novella and prequel for a series I haven’t even read, but I managed to enjoy this book a lot nonetheless.
We are introduced to Stephen, a quiet boy trained to obey authorities, and his dysfunctional family. In the cold house where his parents never have time for him, Stephen’s only friend is his sister, Gina. But Gina, cheerful yet self-destructive Gina, will not stay around for long. In the end, Stephen himself has to choose whether to follow his ignorant parents’ orders or to follow his own dream.
The first half of the book feels very much like a typical contemporary YA, so I was quite taken aback when the paranormal stuffs kick in. One of the ghosts still gives me creeps (“He was little,” she explained. “And he made a lot of noise. So I put him in the fire. Everyone was angry.” *shivers*). I like Stephen, he is a nice guy – polite and sincere – and no one deserves better happy ending than him. Mentally kicking his parents for treating him so badly. I’m glad with how things turn out in the end. The ghost-buster things feels kinda rushed, but I guess it’s understandable since we are expected to find out more about it in the first novel.
Maureen Johnson is an author whose book I’d wanted to read for a long time, and I’m glad to say that this novella made me want to read more of her works. The story has a nice flow and it didn’t take long for me to finish it. For a companion novel, I think this book also works well as a standalone. Fans of Shades of London would love this companion since it adds up a lot to the background of one of the main characters, Stephen. Those who are simply curious and in search of a well-written guy POV like me, well, feel free to dive in!
You can tell when your parents dislike you—when they are horrified by the way you eat, at your bodily fluids, at the noises you make and the way you play. You know when you perpetually give them a headache or make them vanish into another room and leave you with the housekeeper or each other or the dog, whatever is handy.
Another way you can tell is when it is the last day of prep school, and they forget to come and get you and go on holiday to Barbados instead.
This is how Stephen Dene finally figured it out.(less)
Nathan lives in a witch society where every witch is divided between two: black witch and white witch. White witches are the good ones who run the gov...moreNathan lives in a witch society where every witch is divided between two: black witch and white witch. White witches are the good ones who run the government while black witches are those hunted and feared by the white witches. Everyone is either White or Black, but Nathan is the only exception. Having a dead White witch mother and feared Black witch father, Nathan lives his life bullied and hated by other White witches.
The first time I heard about Half Bad, I liked the premise right away. Black and White witches might be a classic idea, but we all love classic, right? ;) Half Bad was interesting and the idea was executed nicely. Nathan is also a very fascinating character with his neither good nor bad personality. I found myself warming up to him very fast.
Half Bad opens with second-person POV. The POV might not be for everyone, but I loved it. It’s strange, intriguing, and keep me reading. The opening of the book is very important since I’m the kind of person who would drop a book in a heartbeat when the opening doesn’t interest me. I have quite an expectation for Half Bad, and I’m pleased to say this book doesn’t disappoint me the slightest.
The bond between brothers is another aspect I really appreciate. It felt real, the compassion between Nathan and his brother Arran. Here’s hoping to see more of Arran in the future book! I found the romance in this book as the only thing that disappointed me. The romance between Nathan and Annalise is sweet and lovely, but it’s not enough to get myself invested emotionally. Maybe we will see more of Annalise in the second book and she will finally grow on me.
All in all, Half Bad was a very enjoyable read on witches and friendship. It is very easy to immerse yourself in the world of white and black witches. I can hardly wait for the second book, and fingers crossed it will be even better with more actions, friendship, and appearances of side characters I really adore!
I have to be given three gifts and drink the blood of my ancestors, the blood of my parents or grandparents. But apart from Gran there is only one person who can give me three gifts, only one person who can defy the Council, only one person whose blood will turn me from whet to witch.
I must go and find my father.
I’m eleven. Eleven is a long way off seventeen. And I have no idea how to find Marcus. I don’t have a clue how to begin to find him. But at least now I know what I have to do.
Oh sweetness! Fluffy in a good way, Anna and the French Kiss is the ultimate book for anyone looking for light reading. It’s just the right a...more4.5 stars
Oh sweetness! Fluffy in a good way, Anna and the French Kiss is the ultimate book for anyone looking for light reading. It’s just the right amount of sweet, funny, and hot French-British guy in one book! Sprinkle it with the Parisian setting, and mmm! Simply delectable!
Set in the lovely setting of Paris, Anna and the French Kiss told the story of Anna, an American girl who is transferred to France in her senior year. Paris is a great city, but short visit and living for one year are obviously different matters. However, Anna’s homesickness quickly disappears as she meets some new friends in School of America, especially the French guy with British Accent and US nationality, Étienne St. Clair. Anna totally swoons over Étienne, but Étienne already has a gorgeous, older girlfriend. Surely Anna won’t be stupid as to fall for Étienne despite of knowing it’s impossible… right?
I’m not good at summarizing the story so let’s forget the kinda-summary above. I think Anna and the French Kiss lives up to its hype. It’s not just a simple story about a girl and a guy going in circle before they finally confess their undying love to each other. It’s MORE than that. It’s also about adapting in a new environment with new set of culture and language, a guy’s struggle with his oppressed father and his dying mother, and friendship above love. And those issues, tackled gently without any cliché at all.
You will love Anna when you meet her – she’s quirky, smart, and fun in the most possible way. Étienne, of course, is the guy you’re supposed to fall in love with (like it’s the hardest thing to do, duh!). Étienne. *le sigh* The gorgeous French guy with brilliant mind and polite British accent. Very good hair and kind personality as well. Oh Étienne please just be human already.
Reading this book made me wish I could get into the story and join Anna and her friends in School of America. I only worry that when I go to Paris, it wouldn’t be as lovely as it’s portrayed in the book. For one thing, Perkins seems to gloss everything in Paris – everything seems much lovelier. The cafeteria, the shops, the way people dresses, even the strangers’ attitude. I’m sure that Paris is a wonderful city, but it just seems unrealistic that everything is much better in that city. Another thing, I won’t have a gorgeous, kind, funny French-British-American guy like Étienne showing me Kilometer Zero Paris or Shakespearean bookshop. Obviously my experience later won’t match with Anna’s.
All in all, Anna and the French Kiss was a very entertaining book and I would recommend to it to anyone ready to get their heart strings tugged by this romantic story. I like how clever Perkins tackled issues like family and friendship, and even tough ones like cancer. I don’t want the book to end. We need more Anna, Étienne, and Paris! (Of course, there are cameo appearances of Anna and Étienne in the next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door, but no Paris! Boohoo.) I want so, so bad to book the next plane to Paris after I read this book. Anna and the French Kiss, with its great storyline, fun characters, and gorgeous setting, will definitely capture your heart.
Words are engraved around it: POINT ZÉRO DES ROUTES DE FRANCE.
“Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to ‘Point zero of the roads of France.’ In other words, it’s the point from which all other distances in Frances are measured.” St. Clair clears his throat. “It’s the beginning of everything.”
“I made you and I could undo you in three minutes. Two online.”
Reading Afterparty is like watching a train wreck in front of my eyes. We know that thi...more“I made you and I could undo you in three minutes. Two online.”
Reading Afterparty is like watching a train wreck in front of my eyes. We know that things will go bad, like very bad, yet we can only watch it without doing anything.
Emma, the ultimate good girl, is the new girl in Latimer, school for the riches in California. She has trouble fitting in with the rest of the school, except with the other new girl, Siobhan. Siobhan is wild and borderline crazy, but she is the perfect best friend for the new Californian Emma. However, their friendship becomes more dangerous as Siobhan spins out of the control, and Emma can’t help but getting carried in. When lie becomes the second nature, sneaking out of night is a given, and her best friend becomes a stranger… Emma must confronts herself on the choices that she makes.
In the beginning of the book, we get a passage of fastforward Emma on the rooftop confessing to the readers that she just killed her best friend. I must give brownie point for Miss Stampler – what a brilliant way to open the book with a bang! Then we are introduced to Emma and Siobhan’s first meeting and the beginning of their toxic friendship. Peer pressure at its best.
Siobhan. You will wish that you’d never get into her bad list. Self-destructive and insane at times, it’s clear that Siobhan needs professional help. This girl is losing her grip and I can’t help but feel sorry for her sometimes. She tries to protect herself so bad by clinging onto promises with her friends, the ‘pacts’, and pretends that everything is a game. The queen of denial and self-destruct.
The characters are very well-thought, with their flaws, values, and imperfections. While I didn’t really connect with any of them, I did feel sympathy towards some of them. The main plot nicely progresses although the sub-plots didn’t really work for me. The whole drama with Emma’s extended family in Canada felt a bit pointless because there is no real resolution in the end. Personally, I feel that the story could do better with resolved subplots of the side characters, but I understand that the whole book intends to put spotlight on Emma and Siobhan’s friendship.
Fans of Go Ask Alice would love this book. Overall, what I enjoyed the most are the fun, strong voice of the main character and the original plots. If you go for Afterparty looking for excitement and crazy ride, I think you will have more luck with this book.
If things aren’t looking a whole lot better for both of us by the end of the year, we should jump off a tall building.”
What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver
Valedictorian Parker Frost stumbles across a journey of the most famous de...moreWhat is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver
Valedictorian Parker Frost stumbles across a journey of the most famous dead girl in her town, Julianna Farnetti. Parker know she shouldn’t read what she is not supposed to, but she can’t resist herself and soon she is wrapped in the story of Julianna, Shane, and Orion. The story that is different from what she has always heard of the golden couple Julianna and Shane. When there is possibility that Julianna might be still alive, along with her best friend Kat and her longtime crush Trevor, Parker goes on a road trip to find the supposedly-dead girl and make things right.
I love Frost’s poems, and with snippets of his poems in the beginning of each chapter, it is hard not to like this book. And road trip! We all have soft spot for road trip books, don’t we?
Golden has all of the important ingredients. Neat plot, likable set of characters, and just the right mix of drama and Frost’s poems. Add a spice of mystery, and voila! A wonderful friend to accompany you in the afternoon is ready. The only problem I have with this book is it feels anticlimactic. There are conflicts, yes, but it is resolved in such a peaceful manner that I didn’t feel the thrill at all. It has all the buildups, but no crackling fire. I guess the lack of climax is mainly caused of my distance to the main character. Parker is likeable, but sometimes I feel like she keeps readers at the arm’s length.
While I have some problems with Golden, it’s still a wonderful book that I’m sure many others can relate with. Parker’s journey of self-discovery is something that is worth reading since it is something that we have gone through in one phase of our lives. Then maybe, like Parker, we can be brave enough to take the road less traveled.
My journal. Today I’ll seal it up and bring it to Mr. Kinney, and tomorrow, after graduation, I’ll get on a plane, and cross endless miles of land and sky, to begin the next chapter of my one wild and precious life. I don’t know where I’ll be ten years from now when my story comes back to me, but I hope that when I read it I can see that the road I chose really did make all the difference.
What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am taking a creative writing class this...moreWhat are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am taking a creative writing class this semester, and the class is using Gotham Writers Workshop: Writing Fiction as the handbook. The handbook is pretty good; it talks about creating desire for your characters and giving them good and bad traits and showing readers that the characters have the ability to change. I was reading Gone Girlat that time, and I was like, “OH.” No wonder there are so many praises for this book.
Because Nick and Amy, the main characters for this book, possess all the quality for good characters in a book. They have desire, they have their own amazing and condemning traits, and we can see how they change throughout the story. They are two of the most intricate characters I’ve ever met, carefully woven and crafted with the most absolute care. There are so many twists in this story that I actually laughed out loud when I reached the second part of the book. I didn’t see it coming and I loved it.
This is the psychological thriller I don’t even know I’m yearning for. It’s too cynical for my taste, yes, but I have to admit that it’s so cleverly written it blew me away. I had hard time putting down this book. I even bring this book everywhere in my bag – thankfully I bought the pocket book edition – and read it between classes. I need to know what actually happen in the mystery. This slow-pacing mystery that almost drove me crazy in the first part of the book.
This book brought me on an emotional turmoil in which I want to hug/smack a character every few pages. Often wishing the actions at the same time. I sympathize Nick then I hate him then I love Amy then I found out everything is not what we were told to believe in. So, yeah. Nick and Amy play a very clever game with a bizarre result. I do think that in a way, they deserve each other. (view spoiler)[Let’s cross fingers and hope that they won’t slit each other’s throats anytime soon. (hide spoiler)]
Gone Girl may start out seeming like your average story, but I assure you there’s nothing average about this story. It will mess up with your mind in a way, and just like the praise on the back cover of the book: you will feel the urge to beg others to read it, only so you can discuss this book with them. Brilliant and delightfully written, Gone Girl is a must read for anyone looking for great psychological thriller novel.
I was told love should be unconditional. That’s the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was trapped, held still by his stare. He could have killed me or kissed me then; I would’ve stayed.
The Killing Woods, like it promises, is a book fu...moreI was trapped, held still by his stare. He could have killed me or kissed me then; I would’ve stayed.
The Killing Woods, like it promises, is a book full of thrill, mystery, and secrets in every page. Fleshed out characters and intricately woven storyline, I found myself blown away simply by reading the first chapter.
The story is told from two alternating POVs, Emily and Damon. Emily is the daughter of an ex-army member who is accused of murdering a young girl, while Damon is the boyfriend of the same particular girl. They are the stark opposite; Emily believes that her dad is innocent despite of what everyone tells her while Damon will do anything it takes to prove that his girlfriend, Ashlee, was killed by Emily’s father. However, nobody actually knows what happened that night. Not Emily’s father who is too unstable to tell the truth. Not even Damon who was too drunk and too high to remember anything about the night he last saw Ashlee alive.
In the woods, there is dangerous game played. The woods keep secret. The secrets might not be so pretty when they come out…
Lucy Christopher knows how to write a crooked character, and I give her applause for that. The Killing Woods, while might fall short to me compared to its predecessor Stolen, is still a very entertaining read. As Emily and Damon put the pieces of puzzle and slowly unravel the truth, I felt my heartbeat quickened as well. I warn you not to read this book at night (like I did!) because it would surely make you jumpy at every little sound. The woods in the story feel tangible and the scenes in the book unfolding very smoothly, almost like scenes from a movie.
This book feels more like a mystery-thriller to me and some of the romantic scenes felt out-of-place. Readers who prefer quick pacing in their books may find this book excruciatingly slow. I don’t mind slow pacing in my books, but sometimes I just hoped that things would quicken up a bit. That doesn’t mean I don’t love reading the author’s long passages – she surely knows how to create strange and thrilling atmosphere in her stories.
For those looking for mystery books with a spice of romance, I recommend this book highly. Although I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would (I blame you skyhigh expectation), The Killing Woods is still a book worth to have in your bookshelf. Intriguing and uncommon, The Killing Woods is a perfect book for fans of contemporary with dark elements tucked inside.
It’s because, whatever I do, I’ll always be Jon Shepherd’s daughter: I’ll always look like Dad. I’m branded for life, can’t wash it away. But what else from Dad am I branded with? What other feelings or parts of his personality have I got?
Nyx Triskelion lives in a world under the dome. Her country, Arcadia, is torn apart from the rest of the world, and th...moreI was raised to marry a monster.
Nyx Triskelion lives in a world under the dome. Her country, Arcadia, is torn apart from the rest of the world, and the people can no longer see the real sky. It has been nine hundred years, and the people are still captivated in the dome. They are ruled by the Gentle Lord, the demon prince whose demons infest every shadow. The Gentle Lord is a cruel being who loves striking bargain to those foolish enough to bargain with him, and today, Nyx will be married to him.
Seventeen years ago, Nyx’s father struck a bargain with the demon prince, and in return, he has to marry his daughter to the Gentle Lord when she reaches the age of seventeen. Now his daughter Nyx, prepared with her knowledge about Hermetic magic and a blade from her twin sister Astraia, is ready to do anything it takes to kill the gentle lord and save Arcadia. But the task turns out to be more complicated than she thinks as she spends more days with the Gentle Lord and learns the truth that the demon prince might be prisoned too with them inside the dome…
Cruel Beauty captivates me right from the beginning. It is a wonderful debut that will resonate well to fans of dark fairytales. Though I went into the book expecting a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I got glimpses of Blue Beard and Rumpelstiltskin tale as well. Thankfully the Blue Beard elements were not as horrifying as I thought or I would have run away in fear. Nyx is a character I will remember dearly. She is not your usual impossibly kind and ready-to-sacrifice-anything-just-ask type of heroine. On the opposite, she is feisty, impatient, and at times too wrapped up in her own problem to care for others. But aren’t we all sometimes? She has poison in her heart and she’s aware of it. Nyx is a dark and flawed character that is just right for the story. The Gentle Lord or simply called Ignifex is a character I warmed up almost instantly. It is just so cute that he falls asleep on the floor besides Nyx while he is waiting for her to wake up. What can I say, really. I’m weak against those playful and dangerous fictional guys. *cough* Adrian Ivashkov *cough*
I think the ending suits the nature of the story, but I think it can be tweaked a bit. I felt like I was furiously trying to grasp the characters I’ve fallen in love with when I reached the ending. Since I don’t see many people complained about the ending, I might be the odd one on this.
All in all, Cruel Beauty is a wonderful read and I was very happy when I picked up this gem. The book reminds me of Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwater’s works with the striking characters, lush setting, and easy-to-follow writing. The banter between Nyx and Ignifex also adds a nice touch to the story. I can hardly wait to read more books from this author. Rosamund Hodge is certainly an author I will put into my to-watch list!
I smashed my fist into his face.
The blow was hard enough that he fell over backward. … As he sat back up, I dropped to my knees. There was only one thing to do. I started to undo the top button of my dress, then simply ripped it open.
“I’m sorry,” I said, staring at the floor. “I just, my father made me promise to bring a knife, and—and—” I stuttered, acutely aware that I was half-naked in front of him. “I’m your wife! I burn for your touch! I thirst for your love!” I didn’t know where the terrible words were coming from, but I couldn’t stop them. “I’ll do anything, I’ll—”
Miles “Pudge” Halter is obsessed with people’s last words. In search of “A Great Perhaps”, Miles transferred t...more3.5 stars
"I go to seek a Great Perhaps."
Miles “Pudge” Halter is obsessed with people’s last words. In search of “A Great Perhaps”, Miles transferred to Culver Creek, a boarding school in Alabama. In Culver Creek, he soon becomes friends with a number of people from different backgrounds. There are the Colonel, Miles’s roommate who is very smart and loves to play prank; Takumi, a Japanese guy whom Miles is not really friends with until after; Lara, a beautiful Romanian girl whom Miles has his first sexual experience with; and finally Alaska, a free soul whom no one in Culver Creek really understands.
Soon enough, Miles’ life is filled with piled assignments, prank planning, and new habits like smoking and drinking. It doesn’t take long for Miles to fall for Alaska. The smart, beautiful, sharp-tongued, self-destructive Alaska. But Alaska plays games, and there are so many layers covering her true feeling. And after, nothing will ever be the same.
Reading Looking for Alaska, I was quite baffled by how different it is with my first John Green’s book The Fault in Our Stars. Both books are amazingly written and filled with brilliant conversations, yet the two books have their own charms that will appeal to very different kind of readers. I might have enjoyed TFiOS more, but Looking for Alaska with its fabulous characters, the thought-provoking questions, and the witty humor it brings also holds a special place in my heart.
Looking for Alaska brings up tastefully some heavy issues that made me stop and think for a moment. The complexity of the characters blew me away. As much as my divergence with some characters’ behavior, I couldn’t bring myself to dislike any of them. This book is an either love/hate book, and I’m glad (and so relieved) to say that I liked this book. Thought-provoking and brilliantly written, Looking for Alaska may end up as your next favorite book.
"Sometimes I don't get you," I said.
She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, "You never get me. That's the whole point."