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 blogge...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 the whole thing is just like Stephenie Meyer's child, and the male lead is beyond obnoxious, please somebody kick him in the mouth.
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’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)
This third installment in the Hathaway series is slightly different from the other two books, because for the heroine, Poppy, it’s not love at first,...moreThis third installment in the Hathaway series is slightly different from the other two books, because for the heroine, Poppy, it’s not love at first, second, or third sight. In the beginning of the story she’s quite smitten with a man that is not the hero, but the bastard can’t commit with her because his father does not approve the match, and soon she finds herself in the arms of the mysterious Harry Rutledge, who wants her as he never wanted anything else in life.
At first Harry can seem the villain in the story, but I certainly never saw him that way, because he wanted Poppy, end of story. While Michael wanted Poppy BUT what to do about her embarrassing family…his father…his precious title and money, and oh God, what will others think and say if he elopes with the love of his life?! Ugh, seriously, dude.
So, hell yes, I wanted Poppy with Harry.
Nevertheless, those first weeks as newlyweds were not easy for both of them, or for me to read, with them being so awkward around each other.
The second half of the book is a lot better because we get to know Harry, his past, and how his mommy issues make him think he’s completely unlovable -- which broke my heart. Poppy was just the right woman to prove him wrong, and I love the way she patiently handled him and forgave his initial *kind of* villainous conduct.
In Tempt Me At Twilight we also get to know more about Miss Marks, and I must say, I love that this series is mostly about romance and tortured heroes, but also about long lost brothers, sisters, and other family members, getting reacquainted. Love it. :)
On a side note, here goes a shout out to the secondary characters who gained a place in my heart: • The hotel staff, who tried so hard to make Harry and Poppy sleep in the same room <3 • Dodger, the ferret!! <3 (although he was in my heart before this book) • Medusa, the hedgehog!! <3
*Update* My cast: Jaimie Alexander as Poppy, and David de Lautour as Harry
The story was cute, funny and yet so mysterious and spooky. Coraline is a bit annoying in the beginning, but it’s totally understandable, I m...moreLoved it!
The story was cute, funny and yet so mysterious and spooky. Coraline is a bit annoying in the beginning, but it’s totally understandable, I mean, I remember being a pain in the a$$ when I was a kid and didn’t have anything to do during my summer vacations, and especially if I didn’t have at least a couple of cousins to play with – so yes, it’s kind of Coraline’s right to harass her parents for something to do.
The alternative reality in this story is quite creepy, the buttons in the eyes freaked me out so much that I don’t know how Coraline managed to keep it cool, and I really liked how she beats the villain – clever, clever girl. ;)
The illustrations are really beautiful, and my only wish is that I knew how to draw like that. *dreamy eyes*