It's more like 3 1/2 stars. I don't have much to say about it, but I'm glad I read 'Anna and the French Kiss' before this one, because I wouldn't haveIt's more like 3 1/2 stars. I don't have much to say about it, but I'm glad I read 'Anna and the French Kiss' before this one, because I wouldn't have liked it, probably. 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' seems considerably better to me. The overall story is pretty much the same, but what I liked more is the protagonists. In this book they are so much more weirder, thus meaning they're a lot more interesting- starting from Lola's gay dads, to Lola herself with her 'particular' fashion sense, to Cricket Bell with his inclination to write notes on his hands. You can't expect any depth from it but it's worth giving it the time of the day....more
This book was everything I expected it to be, which I can say is neither good, nor bad. It was cliche-stocked light read and didn't have anything thatThis book was everything I expected it to be, which I can say is neither good, nor bad. It was cliche-stocked light read and didn't have anything that different from your average romantic novel. It didn't lack the usual teenage high school drama as well. But you know what? It was kind of a cute story and it kept me reading. For me it was one of those books that you know are nothing much but there is something unexplainable in them that actually holds your interest. I think that might be a sign of a good writer, intentionally or unintentionally mixing up simple and trivial stuff with that secret invisible ingredient that makes you go on with it. It's nothing all that amazing from a literary point of view and I sincerely doubt I'll ever go back to it. Also I'm not big on mushy romantic stories but everyone I guess needs those once in a while and this one serves well for that purpose....more
I want natural blue hair and I want to be given a new foreign language as a gift on every birthday! I'm joking, I don't really need the blue hair.
FirsI want natural blue hair and I want to be given a new foreign language as a gift on every birthday! I'm joking, I don't really need the blue hair.
First of all, thanks Rhea for the recommendation and thanks for bugging me to read it till I finally did.
I cannot explain why exactly, but the very first sentence of the book made me determined to read it. 'Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.' (the feather touch was nice as well) - simple, yet absolutely intriguing.
Honestly, up until the very end of the book I was hoping I could give it 5 stars but couldn't bring myself to do it. Laini Taylor is an extremely talented story-teller. I loved her version of the angel-devil conflict. While the angels to a certain extent were portrayed in the traditional way, save for several details about they way they lived, I really liked her version of the demons as chimaeras - composed of different parts from different creatures. Plus, she tried to convey the idea that neither the angel race was intrinsically good, nor the chimaeras were evil. It's all a point of view. There weren't that many surprising revelations, that could not be guessed in advance or at least gotten a general idea about, before them being fully explained but as I said I enjoyed immensely the overall story, which was infused with so many original ideas and triggered the imagination of the readers, immersing them in an exciting fantasy world.
And now the bad part a.k.a. why I subtracted a whole star from the rating. The love story! Ewwww, it was terrible! I know I'm being harsh, maybe it's me, my tolerance towards stupid romantic stories is gradually nearing zero. Actually, it wasn't as bad as some others that make me puke in my mouth a little when I read them, but still ruined it all to a certain extent. Madrigal and Akiva's story was a bit more tolerable than Akiva and Karou's. And I know this might make some readers want to stone me to death - but in my opinion Akiva was the most annoying character in the entire book. What a wuss! Why couldn't it be about a bad-ass girl, raised by a foster family of out-of-this-world creatures, who's running errands, collecting teeth for a chimaera magician and maybe, just maybe have a romantic subplot. OK, I realize I'm asking for too much, but while reading it I just wanted to delete some parts and construct my perfect version of the story, alas I'm not Laini Taylor and that's her novel. For now I'll just pretend that she did this in order to appeal to a larger audience since the rest of the book was pure awesomeness!...more
*May contain some spoilers* What can I say about Ms. Ee debut novel? ... Overall it's a great spin on the angels/fantasy/paranormal/post-apocalyptic to*May contain some spoilers* What can I say about Ms. Ee debut novel? ... Overall it's a great spin on the angels/fantasy/paranormal/post-apocalyptic topic, considering the amount of trash written in that area. It kept me reading which is no small fete, since it's been hard to keep me interested recently.I think I like the second part of the book more since it was more action-packed, I have to admit I got a little scared it would turn into one of 'those' PNR novels when some hints about the romance between Penryn and Raffe started to appear, because, seriously, I'm sick of that and in addition I don't think I'm in a mood to read about some mushy romantic story. Thankfully, it remained a subplot. What prevented it from getting a 5 star rating? Well, the things that almost got it a 3-star one. The story raised a great amount of questions that remained unanswered. For example, why did the angels attack the human race? OK, I know there were places where Raffe said they didn't even know the reason, but still , just a hint, please? Then that thing about scorpion angels and Nazi-like experiments on little kids, absolutely no explanation. I'm assuming Susan Ee is building up the reader's interest in the series, so that they'll be sure to pick up the next installment. And what I found a major bugger was that it took Penryn 2/3 of the book to realize Raffe is actually Raphael. COME OOON!!! That was plain as the nose on your face, I mean I never, even for a minute, thought that he could be anyone else but him from the moment he said his name was Rah-fie. But history knows worse crimes against the reader's intelligence, so that small detail could be overlooked. What remains now is to wait and see if Ms. Ee's second book will do justice to the reputation she has acquired so far....more
**spoiler alert** In her award-winning book 'House of the Scorpion' Nancy Farmer paints a picture of an unknown moment in future, where the territorie**spoiler alert** In her award-winning book 'House of the Scorpion' Nancy Farmer paints a picture of an unknown moment in future, where the territories of nowadays Mexico, named then Atztlan and that of the USA are divided by the land of Opium - a vast land, ruled by powerful druglords, supplying the world with all the illegal substances it needs. The kingpin there, Matteo Alacran, properly named El Patron has created his opium empire, keeping it years behind the current scientific achievements so it may resemble the time of his poverty-ridden childhood in Mexico. The only survivor of the eight kids in his family he struggled immensely at the dawn of his life. Eventually he managed to achieve power and wealth beyond imagination, but all that at the cost of leaving him a hardened and merciless individual. During the period of time, described in the book, it is a common practice for wealthy individuals, namely the farm owners in Opium to order the cloning of themselves so that they may prolong their life indefinitely and at the beginning of the story El Patron is somewhere towards his 14th decade, having used 8 previous clones of himself to keep him alive.
The principle character of the story is Mateo Alacran's ninth clone - Matt. As usual El Patron sets his own rules - normally all clones are to be operated upon birth, turning them into mindless creatures, dubbed 'eejits'. The same operated-on people are used to harvest the opium, in most cases these are refugees from the USA to Mexico and vice versa. They are deprived of any conscious thought, even such regardign their basic survival. But back to the matter at hand - El Patron always orders his clones to be kept untouched, so that they could have normal childhood, something he was denied. At first Matt is kept at the house of Celia, a woman from El Patron's birth village, who he employed at his house after her being captured while trying to cross the border and whom in a rare moment of nostalgia he left with her brain intact. One day, though, Matt is discovered by one of El Patron great-grandchildren and a friend of his and then brought to the house where only his family lives. After that, as being a clone equals being subhuman, Matt is subjected to a despicable treatment until this is brought up to the attention of El Patron. After his arrival at the farm, he makes sure Matt is guaranteed the best of lives possible, despite the disagreement of the rest of the family. The only ones, apart from his adoptive mother- Celia, who warm up to him are Maria, senator Mendoza's (a politician under the control of the Alacran family) youngest daughter and Tam Lin, a former Scottish terrorist, whom El Patron leaves to protect Matt in his absence. Knowing what his destiny will be, Celia conjures up a plan to save Matt's life, feeding him little doses of arsenic so when the moment comes and El Patron needs his heart, he is presented with the unpleasant fact that he cannot use it. After his death, the famiy sees no need of Matt, whom they despise anyway, so Tam Lin is ordered to get rid of him. Tam Lin fakes his death and leaves the boy beyond the borders of the farm ordering him to go to Mexico and save himself. There, he is sent to a working camp for orphan kids, which turns out to be not what it poses as. After managing to escape to San Luis with a few of his friends, he meets senator Mendoza's long-lost wife Esperanza, who uncovers the true face of the working facility. Then Matt is sent back to the opium farm to investigate the fate of its inhabitants, which is not all that happy. Fortunately for him, Celia is still there,along with a few others. It ends up with Matt's plans of the future for the farm upon his gaining control of it.
As a whole, I would say Nancy Farmer knows how to spin a tale that would keep the reader interested. I liked the fact that the story is not a common one, as nowadays authors seem to 'borrow' more often from one another. Maybe the only thing that I did not enjoy as much, was that towards the end it was all a bit rushed, there was too much happening in the matter of 2-3 chapters, but I can't say that spoiled the book for me. All in all it was an interesting take on the future and one that may very well become real one day. I would say it was a well-worth read , which happens rarer and rarer lately, as with the amount of books I read it becomes pretty hard for something to capture my attention....more
Just give us the damn half star already!!!!! Rating the book was kind of difficult, the real one would be 3.5 stars, I would've rounded it up to 4 staJust give us the damn half star already!!!!! Rating the book was kind of difficult, the real one would be 3.5 stars, I would've rounded it up to 4 stars but then decided it wouldn't be fair to other 4-star books that I liked more, then again it's not fair to this book either since it was way better than a lot of my 3-star books, but my hands are tied on this one, so 3 stars it is.
All in all it wasn't a bad story. Far from a masterpiece, more of a lightish supernatural read. It started off pretty nice and I was seriously considering giving it a higher rating, but at some point, I have no idea why, I sort of lost interest. At first I thought it might be because of the pnr-ish note to it, but my UGH moment lasted only for a tiny bit since the hint of a love story was a minute one, although I'm suspecting there would be a development in that department further on, which would be a major disappointment for me. Nothing really against that, but it seems that all fantasy/supernatural/urban fantasy/etc. books inevitably turn into a PNRs and it just gets too much at one point.
So not to continue with my rant here, good general idea, it might not have been the right moment for me, it might not have been the right book for me, but then again 3.5 stars is far from a bad rating after all and it's not like I'm throwing it to the you-are-disgrace-to-all-books pile....more