Scaredy Squirrel! How cool is that name? I absolutely loved Scaredy’s Christmas Safety Guide, especially all the Scaredy tips. Man, I’ll never make th...moreScaredy Squirrel! How cool is that name? I absolutely loved Scaredy’s Christmas Safety Guide, especially all the Scaredy tips. Man, I’ll never make those mistakes again. Scaredy is one smart, lovely squirrel, with lots of reliable and carefully thought information to share with readers about how to deal with this jolly albeit chaotic time of the year. I honestly had a blast reading this delightful, hilarious, and wonderfully illustrated children’s book---would certainly recommend it to children, teens, and adults everywhere.
(Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Many Thanks!) (less)
Secrets, the first installment in The Hero Chronicles series by Tim Mettey tells the story of Nicholas Keller, a teenager who moves to a new city with...moreSecrets, the first installment in The Hero Chronicles series by Tim Mettey tells the story of Nicholas Keller, a teenager who moves to a new city with the only family he has left, his aunt Cora, and against all the rules starts making friends (an enemy too), playing football, a sport he doesn’t understand completely but in which he’s good at, and he even gets himself a lovely girlfriend.
This would have been normal for every other teenage boy but it certainly isn’t for Nicholas who has never been allowed to make connections with others or to call the slightest attention to himself before---why, you ask? Well, the title of this book is Secrets and Nicholas has a few of them, and as so, his aunt fears constantly for his safety and keeps coaching him on being “invisible”.
I can honestly say that the mysteries around Nicholas kept me hooked on the story, I wanted to unravel them all, to find out why he must keep a low profile at all times, what happened in his past, and of course, what was the real story behind his parent’s deaths. Another big mystery has to do with his special abilities—he can run super fast, he’s very strong, and he boils inside when someone makes him angry, to the point that I thought he was going to be some kind of Hulk.
Overall Nicholas was a good, decent, likable protagonist and I would befriend him in a minute if I could; aunt Cora reminded me of my own aunts, her sacrifice was touching; and Elle, the girlfriend, in one word: classy. Nicholas has great taste.
There was one thing that bothered me though, the amount of dialogue that starts with “So”, but that’s just a minor detail.
To sum up: an interesting, straightforward, easy to read first chapter of a teenage hero’s life.
(I received a copy of Secrets in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the Kenwood Publishing Group for the opportunity.)
A week after finishing Life of Pi I'm still a bit at a loss for words to review it as it deserves---I mean, THIS BOOK. I never thought it was going to...moreA week after finishing Life of Pi I'm still a bit at a loss for words to review it as it deserves---I mean, THIS BOOK. I never thought it was going to blow my mind as it did and when that happens it's always extremely difficult for me to put into words exactly what the book in question did to me.
The whole story is one incredible journey, not only because of Pi's castaway condition, but also because I learned so much about other cultures, religions, and mostly about animals and animal behavior---all this in a way that no class could ever dream to teach me.
Although I won't be able to fully express my admiration for what goes on in Life of Pi, I have to point out my two favorite things about it, and they were, 1. the stunning, perfect, flawless writing---seriously, even the long list of items on the survival kit and various other provisions had its appeal; and 2. the author's sharp, genius, made-me-laugh-out-loud-several-times sense of humor---I want to befriend this person and have four, five, six hours long chats with him.
I'm not going to lie though, there were a couple of moments that almost made me stop reading, I honestly did not see those horrifying scenes coming, but I'm glad that I managed to keep on reading and find out how, when, where Pi's journey was going to end. That said, the last fifty pages or so made such a mess out of my brain that I'm still trying to put it back together properly.
Without a doubt, one of the best books of the year for me, which means I RECOMMEND IT, even if I understand this is one of those books one either loves or hates with a passion.
(Copy provided by the publisher, via NetGalley. Many thanks.)
You know, if I had read this book 2-3 years ago I probably wouldn’t be so harsh on it, but at this point in my life whe...moreJesus Christ. Where do I start.
You know, if I had read this book 2-3 years ago I probably wouldn’t be so harsh on it, but at this point in my life when I’m so, so, so tired of YA clichés, especially in paranormal romance, I cannot forgive The Gathering Darkness since it is literally a compilation of all of them, happening in the story one after the other. I mean, there's insta-love, love triangle (with brothers involved!!! UGH), tragic past lives, the heroine is the new girl in town&school, the love interest is the hot mysterious guy, every time they touch they get the feeling, they have vivid dreams about each other and their past lives, and so on.
As if the clichés weren't enough, this heroine really, really got on my nerves because she likes one brother, but it's the other one who's always all over her like a puppy you left for an hour alone at home to go to the store, and she doesn't want his attention or constant moves, BUT DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING!! She just lets him act like he owns her---WTF, DO SOMETHING!! This annoyed me so much I almost gave up right there, and that would have been the smart move because what I read next just annoyed me even more.
So, yes, this is a "did not finish" for me, because for the sake of my sanity I REALLY CAN'T.
(Copy provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.) (less)
Ashen Winter, the second book in Mike Mullin’s series Ashfall follows Alex’s story six months after the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption. Alex now li...moreAshen Winter, the second book in Mike Mullin’s series Ashfall follows Alex’s story six months after the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption. Alex now lives in a harsh scenario, where survival is something he has to work for daily.
I honestly enjoyed Mike Mullin’s writing, especially because of Alex’s narrator abilities—his point of view is always straightforward, unpretentious, and appropriate for a teenage boy. I also liked his sympathetic, easygoing manner (brooding & bad-tempered heroes are overrated) and most of all his loyal heart.
The bad news are, I couldn’t get into the story or care that much about the characters, even if I did like the hero. The whole book is about Alex and his girlfriend, Darla, traveling here and there first to find Alex’s parents (who are missing) and then some guy who might know where they are, along the way they face life threatening dangers, make enemies, friends, until Darla is kidnapped by this scary gang and there goes Alex to save her. And that’s it, that pretty much summarizes Ashen Winter.
I’ll give Mike Mullin a thumbs up for his flawless writing and interesting, credible post-apocalyptic worldbuilding, and I can certainly recommend this series to fans of the genre, it’s just that, unfortunately it wasn’t my cup of tea.
(Many thanks to Tanglewood Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Ashen Winter in exchange for a honest review.) (less)
I was very curious about this one, mostly because I had read so many contradictory reviews that I wanted to find out where I stood in the matter. That...moreI was very curious about this one, mostly because I had read so many contradictory reviews that I wanted to find out where I stood in the matter. That said, many thanks to NetGalley and to Atria Books for providing me with a copy of Beautiful Disaster.
This book tells the story of a young woman, Abby, who goes to college and there she meets Travis Maddox, the bad boy of the place – you know, shaved head, lots of tattoos, a fighter, and most of all, a playboy. Against all odds the two end up becoming best friends, but everyone –except Abby— can see that their relationship is so much more.
Travis can’t stand when Abby goes on a date, when guys talk to her, or even look her way, and he always does something about it, like punch the date/talker/observer straight in the face. Abby complains but deep down inside she loves it, she loves that Travis is so territorial and protective of her, so why not face the situation and just date the guy? Well, Abby has a quite mysterious past, which she slowly lets the reader know along the story, but the main problem is: she doesn’t want to be romantically involved with a guy who kind of reminds her of her father when it comes to vices -- all the drinking, and the easy money that comes from the fights, not to mention she knows about the tons of girls he has slept with and discarded in the morning.
That’s when the “beautiful disaster” part comes in, because despite all of Abby’s fears, they become a couple for real and all is great until it isn't anymore. Of course this wasn't a surprise for me, since they become a couple around page 200, and my copy was 400 pages long, so I figured I was still in for A LOT of drama – and I wasn’t wrong.
Abby and Travis will breakup, start over, breakup, start over, to the point of driving their friends to breakup, they’ll have to face demons from their pasts, go to Vegas, make deals with dangerous people, breakup again, go through hell while apart, try one more time, fail, fail, fail, until SUCCESS!
I'll admit I got to a point where I just wanted them to please stop, please just stay together, I just can’t anymore, PLEASE! And honestly the writing could use some grooming, BUT for some reason since the moment I started I couldn't stop reading, I needed to know how Abby and Travis's story was going to end.
I can’t say Beautiful Disaster is a great book, that the plot is original, that the writing is flawless, or that the hero and heroine are the best main characters around, but I can say that this was one of those addictive, impossible to stop, just-leave-me-alone-I-need-to-finish-this readings, and in my book that's always a positive thing.(less)
Sadly, this is another Twilight copycat -- with aliens instead of vampires. I say "sadly" because I actually liked the heroine, who is a book blogger,...moreSadly, this is another Twilight copycat -- with aliens instead of vampires. I say "sadly" because I actually liked the heroine, who is a book blogger, and it pains me to give her story such a low rating, but I must. Oh and the male lead is beyond obnoxious, please somebody kick him in the mouth.
Days after finishing it I’m still pissed with Insurgent, and quite frankly the 2 stars rating is mostly because I still care about the characters and...moreDays after finishing it I’m still pissed with Insurgent, and quite frankly the 2 stars rating is mostly because I still care about the characters and I want to know what happens next.
This second book is mostly about Tris having to deal with the final events of Divergent (what happened with her parents and with Will), meaning she’s a wreck during, let’s say, 99% of the book – of course I understand she had to go through hell after that, but seriously, why couldn’t SHE SPEAK WITH SOMEONE ABOUT IT and let those angsty feelings out instead of allowing them to make her act crazy? I mean, she lies constantly TO TOBIAS, goes on a mission FOR MARCUS, puts herself in danger ALL THE TIME… WTF??
The last 100 pages or so were slightly better, but they weren’t enough to wow me and make me forget that the 400 pages before were a pain in my backside. Come on Roth! I know you can do better than this! Just cut the cr*p already, and bring back the awesome to the Divergent series!!
Há tanto tempo que já não lia em português *hides in shame*, e ainda por cima algo de um autor, neste caso, autora portuguesa, e woohoo! que bem que c...moreHá tanto tempo que já não lia em português *hides in shame*, e ainda por cima algo de um autor, neste caso, autora portuguesa, e woohoo! que bem que correu. É mesmo caso para inserir ali um woohoo, já que os preços dos livros na língua de Camões estão pela hora da morte e é tal e qual como levar um estalo na cara quando se investe num, ele nos desilude, e depois ainda temos de o ler com muito ódio, rancor, e o desejo de querer o dinheiro de volta. Contudo esse não foi de todo o caso com o Alma Rebelde, fiquei muito feliz por me ter apropriado de uma cópia quando fui à Feira do Livro há umas semanas atrás e ainda bem que não o deixei muito tempo na estante à espera.
A história passa-se em meados do século dezanove e gira à volta de uma jovem mulher, Joana, que é obrigada a casar-se com um moço de boas famílias e que ela não conhece de lado algum ou viu antes na vida, por isso ela imagina que lhe vai sair na rifa um marido velho, mau, que a há-de maltratar e fazer-lhe a vida num inferno, ainda por cima foi exactamente isso que aconteceu à prima Ester com quem ela se corresponde regularmente e que a põe a par de todos os horrores dos casamentos por conveniência.
Isto não vai soar muito bem mas gostei imenso de acompanhar todo o terror psicológico pelo qual a Joaninha passa ao longo do livro, deve ser desesperante não ter opções na vida e aqueles primeiros capítulos deixaram-me de coração apertadinho; mais para adiante quando ela finalmente põe os olhos no jeitoso e divertido do noivo, Santiago, e até passa uns dias com ele, é que comecei a querer abaná-la a ver se lhe sacudia as dúvidas infundadas, Pára com isso, saiu-te a lotaria dos noivos! Ele é bom, em todos os sentidos, e devias estar toda feliz e contente! *abana-abana-abana* Mas pronto, por mais charmoso que o Santiago fosse eu tentava analisar a situação do ponto de vista dela e percebia que provavelmente reagiria da mesma maneira.
Gostei bastante da escrita, e francamente isso surpreendeu-me, não me leve a mal autora, mas por vezes esqueço-me que é totalmente diferente ler um livro que foi escrito em português, em relação a um que foi traduzido — estes últimos por vezes têm ali uns momentos em que o texto parece que não faz muito sentido porque a tradução não é das melhores, e é triste mas estranhei a ausência de estranheza. A parte histórica também é bem interessante e assustadora, Lisboa está afogada na Febre Amarela e dava-me a miúfa pensar que de repente um dos protagonistas podia apanhá-la. D: !!
Coisas que me chatearam: que vários momentos importantes sejam omitidos e narrados por alguém depois de terem acontecido — porque eu queria “assisti-los em directo”, que momentos? Por exemplo, o confronto com a b*tch (!), o casamento (please…), e a noite de núpcias (porque esta dirty mind precisa de ser alimentada com frequência, or it gets cranky); e depois o mistério que se proloooonga na parte final — oh meu Deus, alguém me diga o que é que aconteceu à Joana e ao Santiago, JÁ! Quando pensava que era desta, era desta que ia saber, BAM, mais uma carta da Ester, Argh, não quero saber da tua vida mulher! O que tem alguma graça porque no início estava super preocupada com esta personagem e até queria saber o que é que o futuro lhe reservava, mas depois no fim já não queria, porque ao lado do mistério “O que é que aconteceu à Joana e ao Santiago??” não era importante.
E pronto, acho que é tudo, parabéns à Carla pelo excelente debut, e claro que recomendo. :D
**I received this book from The David Gemmell Legend Awards, and this review was originally posted there (link)**
Silvermay tells the story of a young...more**I received this book from The David Gemmell Legend Awards, and this review was originally posted there (link)**
Silvermay tells the story of a young woman, by the same name, who has always lived peacefully among family and friends, until the day a couple of strangers show up in her village in need of shelter and with a newborn baby in their arms. Turns out these strangers, Nerigold and Tamlyn, are on the run because a very powerful evil lord wants the child, little Lucien, for a wicked purpose.
This was my first book by James Maloney, and I was pleasantly surprised by the writing, it’s clear, understandable, the whole story has great rhythm, and I seriously never felt the need to put the book down for a moment and get my thoughts together as it usually happens when I’m reading fantasy of this kind. The plot helped too, Silvermay goes on a quest to save Lucien from what seems to be his destiny, a very dark one, and I couldn’t just stop to take a rest, could I?
On the other hand, I think the book fails a bit on the character development area, because they all seemed a bit flat for me, especially Tamlyn who has everything to be a great hero with the incredible powers he has, and the tormented past from which he can’t run away, but sadly we get little of him in this first installment of the series.
Also, the romance didn’t convince me, first because it’s instantaneous for Silvermay, she takes one good look at Tamlyn and falls in love, and second because from his part it seems forced. I would have loved to see a lot more chemistry and sparks between these two.
But don’t get me wrong, great romance or not, I’m very fond of young adult fantasy involving a group of people on a dangerous journey through unknown forests and towns, with little resources of survival and with the enemy constantly at their heels. And for most of it, that was Silvermay, an engaging adventure with a likable heroine on the lead, plus the cute baby, and that is always a good read for me.(less)
I’m disappointed at Defiance, not that it’s an awful reading or anything but I just couldn’t relate to the characters – Rachel is kind of annoying and...moreI’m disappointed at Defiance, not that it’s an awful reading or anything but I just couldn’t relate to the characters – Rachel is kind of annoying and Logan did nothing for my lady parts.
What happens is that Rachel needs to go after her missing father, and bring back an important package if she wants to save her boyfriend’s (Logan) life. Honestly her journey was quite boring and the Cursed One didn’t help, come on, a terrifying creature you can control with a remote that looks like a flute? … Seriously?
The worst character of them all is the guy who runs the city Rachel lives in, in two words: cardboard villain.
The setting is medieval (I think), but Logan, who is an inventor, comes up with the most amazing, kind-of-futuristic gadgets – I’m not sure where the knowledge/technology/power comes from.
The romance started off okay, I love me some unrequited love, but as the story progressed I just lost interest in the couple.
I probably won’t go back to this series, because I really couldn’t care less about what happens next.
Poison Princess, my God, I waited ANXIOUSLY for this one. I love YA and Kresley Cole, so naturally I was beyond excited to check out her debut in the...morePoison Princess, my God, I waited ANXIOUSLY for this one. I love YA and Kresley Cole, so naturally I was beyond excited to check out her debut in the genre, and after reading it I’m happy to say I’m not disappointed.
The beginning freaked me out (that is one awesome yet creepy prologue), and the initial chapters confused me a bit---I mean, I knew this was YA but I was not prepared for such a generic opening: girl goes to her first day in school and there she meets the new mysterious hot guy, who rides a bike, drinks a lot, and behaves like an ass, especially towards her.
My first reaction to this was a loud hiss, followed by a: Not this again! But I kept on reading, and it paid off, because suddenly the story transformed itself into a tale of survival and self-discovery in a post-Apocalyptic world.
I really liked Evie as a protagonist, she’s that mix of fragile yet tough and determined female, and I cared for her since the beginning. She’s quite the troubled soul, and even when she’s surrounded by friends and family, she’s alone in the world---she is constantly having horrible visions and hearing voices in her head, which sets her apart from others.
After the Apocalypse she gets stuck with Jackson, the bad boy I talked about before, they team up to travel in search for Evie’s grandmother, and it’s maddening!! Good God, it had been a while since I read Kresley Cole, and I kind of forgot her couples are always on the verge of kissing-slapping each other. ALWAYS. I won’t lie, I like this type of couples but they can drive me nuts after hundreds of pages. And the misunderstandings---Christ!! Let’s just say ALL of Evie’s and Jackson’s troubles could be prevented if they just talked. You know, like normal, civilized, sane people do.
I honestly didn’t like Jackson at the beginning but as the story unfolds I got to understand him---deep down he doesn’t feel like he deserves a girl such as Evie and IT KILLS HIM, because he likes her like a madman. He also has no idea whatsoever how to act around her, and since Evie has no idea of what really goes on in his head they always end up reaching the wrong conclusions about each other and fight nonstop.
Evie’s supernatural powers were strange to me at first, but I loved that last scene when we finally get a glimpse of what she can do, so I can hardly wait for more.
Love in the Afternoon, the last installment in the Hathaway series (oh, the pain in my heart!), is Bea’s book, and tells the story of how she falls in...moreLove in the Afternoon, the last installment in the Hathaway series (oh, the pain in my heart!), is Bea’s book, and tells the story of how she falls in love -by letters- with a soldier at the Crimean War. The soldier, Christopher, falls madly in love with her too, but there’s a small problem, Bea has been writing under the name of her friend Prudence, because that’s who Christopher intended to woo in the first place, but Prudence wasn’t interested in replying his letters so Beatrix started doing it… and now Christopher is coming back to England and all he wants is to find and marry his "Prudence" -- oh boy!
I loved how these two characters found each other and fell in love, even if Bea could remember Chris before he became a soldier, and how back then he said something rude about her. In a way, the war changed him for the better, and only dear Beatrix could come to love and understand this kind, yet tormented man.
I really adored this heroine, and how she does what makes her happy and not what society thinks is right. I also admire the way she fights for what she wants, because, you know, it’s silly not to do it, or at least try it. What a remarkable heroine. :)
Another thing I loved about this book was Rye (Cam and Amelia’s first born)! He’s four and a half, doesn’t throw potatoes or speaks with his mouth full at the table, and he’s the cutest thing on earth. I want him!
I’m hoping Lisa one day gets to write Mark and Audrey’s story because I loved that small paragraph about then in the epilogue. Please, please, please, Lisa!
Now, my Christopher and Beatrix: Jamie Dornan (blondish version)--Leo says he resembles a Greek God, so Jamie came to my mind ;D -- and Jessica Brown Findlay (yes, "Lady Sybil")
Leo’s book! Finally! I’ve been waiting so long for this moment. :D I’ve been rooting for Leo and Marks since Seduce Me At Sunrise, even if they clearl...moreLeo’s book! Finally! I’ve been waiting so long for this moment. :D I’ve been rooting for Leo and Marks since Seduce Me At Sunrise, even if they clearly couldn't stand the sight of each of other then, but really, Leo needed to eat crow because of those nasty comments about dried-up matchstick legs, how a man had to be insane to want her, or how, for Heaven’s sake, she looked like the Grim Reaper. So yes, I couldn’t wait for Leo to fall for this woman, and love her, in his own words, like a madman.
I absolutely loved the first half of the book, it was everything I hoped for and more, with Leo going after Cat constantly and not quite realizing what he was doing or why, while she allows it when her brain tells her to flee. I love these types of inner struggles. :D
About the second half, Cat was getting on my nerves by refusing Leo all those times, mostly because she didn't have valid reasons to do so. Also, the kidnapping was a bit silly *methinks*, but the rescue was fun. Another small thing that bothered me was the fact that there isn’t an actual wedding in the story, I mean, come on, the book is called Married by Morning! :0
But I loved it regardless silly kidnappings and lack of weddings… after all it’s a Lisa Kleypas book. *cue tiny flying hearts*
My Leo and Cat: Garrett Hedlund & Rachael Taylor :D(less)