Hurting is better than forgetting. As I haven't really been a fan of paranormal books, I started Brok...more(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)
Hurting is better than forgetting. As I haven't really been a fan of paranormal books, I started Broken with little to no expectation. After the first few pages, I was hooked. The prose was very delicate and wonderful to read; it sounded poetic. I loved the way the author described things in beautiful metaphors, as it really got the message, tone, and feelings across, embedded within those words. I was deeply impressed, but it didn't take long for things to go the other way around. In this case, I think it's best to quote Markus Zusak of The Book Thief: "Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness." And I don't mean the character's, I mean mine.
Things started to get bad after Emma, forever pining after her dead boyfriend Daniel, meets the new boy Alex. Then the teen girl instinct kicks in and she gets obsessed with him, saying how he makes her feel and how she shouldn't feel that way, asking questions along the lines of why-does-he-make-me-feel-this way and what-does-he-mean-by-saying-that-or-looking-at-me-like-that, which I can't really stand. This continues for pretty much the rest of the story. What's worse, Emma is obsessed with some of the sentences Alex says, and would repeat it again and again and again. I know the function of those sentences and Emma's need to repeat it, but really, the tireless repetition is a little uncalled for. It's like the writer doesn't trust the reader to be smart enough to pick up on the foreshadows, and it's a bit trying too hard to keep the whole story unified. It's too much for me, and after a few times it really started to bother me.
The plot is predictable. So predictable that I felt like it was pointless to read this book at all. There are more parts I disliked than parts I liked. And even though I really did enjoyed it in the beginning, I lost patience with it after a while and had to force myself to finish it. I mean, of course, the romance has to be so sappy that the boy is willing to do anything to be with the girl, and say something like "[My heart] doesn't beat for me. It's for you" even if they've known each other for two weeks. And of course, the boy has to be so messed up that the girl thinks it's attractive. And of course, the boy has to remind the girl of the dead boyfriend and echo his exact words and make her heart confused. And of course, the girl has to be so confused that she keeps a distance but pines for him anyway, 'cause apparently she can't live without him. These are only some examples of the worst cliches ever. Yawn.
In some ways, Broken is so bad that it reminds me of Twilight. Although Broken has better writing (only in the beginning), they're both made of uninteresting characters I don't care about, plots I don't like, romance that makes no sense and I have to roll my eyes at; overall books I can't stand. I think they're on the same level of bad paranormal romance. So readers of Twilight might enjoy this better than I did.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)
Seven-hundred and thirty days since the only guy I've ever loved died in my arms, followed me home from the hospital, and never left my house again.
Prior to the beginning of the book, Ever and her best friend and crush Frankie has got into a car accident that ended up killing Frankie but not her. Ever came home that night with Frankie's ghost, and his ghost has been around in her house ever since. Frankie's ghost is not only visible to Ever, but also to her father, mother, and best friend Jessie--they all can interact with him. Ever is still pretty much in love with Frankie until a new family moves into Frankie's old house. When she meets Toby, things start to change.
Now, the book blurb sounds really appealing, don't you think? I read the blurb and was interested, because it sounds dark and dramatic. But the book itself doesn't quite measure up. It's not that I'm disappointed, because disappointment would suggest that I have an expectation that isn't met. I didn't have any expectation. I finished this book annoyed and irritated. I didn't like this at all and couldn't see anything good in it, to say the least.
I hated that the pages are filled with nothing going on. Dates, make-out sessions, lying, blushing, sneaking, etc. All these don't quite contribute to anything! Not even the plot! I didn't even like any of the characters. Ever seems to me a very annoying person. The fact that her father's death doesn't bother her enough to talk about it or be sad about it bothers me to no end. After his death, she cries a bit and goes right back to being obsessed with boys. Are you kidding me? The best friend Jessie is a flat character whose only function is as Ever's personal cheerleader. And Toby, oh Toby, can you be any more cheesy? Sent on a job and falls in love with that job. Jeez.
In the end, I don't even know what this book is really about. Ghosts? No, not really, since the only ghost we see in the story is Frankie, and not that much attention is paid to him. Which leads to another disturbing question: why is he there at all? I mean, what's the significance? What's the point? You know, the whole ghost thing never fits seamlessly into the story. It always made me feel like it's out-of-nowhere and awkward. The whole book reads like a contemporary book, but then the ghost shows up and goes all "What's wrong, Doll?" or "dollface" or whatever, and then it's just weird. The ghost thing is displaced and everything else is very poorly done.
The most frustrating part of this book is when, near the end, something else ENTIRELY is introduced into the story that changed the book's direction. There has been no foreshadowing or anything, so this thing coming into play is just very forced and contrived. Like the idea just occurred to the author and she thought it would be fun to put it in the book, and then she did, and never went back to edit the whole book to make room or drop hints for this thing. You know what I mean? It's just bad. So throughout the course of book, the story kept changing genre directions, and it's more than annoying. Contemporary? Paranormal? Fantasy? WHAT? And then before I could answer, it abruptly ended, which totally caught me off guard. Excuse me? Is this supposed to make me feel like I'm hanging off a cliff and dying to read the next book or something? If so, I'm sorry to say that it unfortunately backfires.
Although this book sounded like something I might enjoy, it was the opposite. There's nothing about it that I enjoyed. The writing is mediocre; the plot is... wait, what is the plot?; the characters are weak and flat. I'm not glad I read it. If anything, I'm glad I got it over with and wish to have nothing to do with it ever ever ever again. Take that, Ever.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. (less)
A wednesday's job is never done as long as Wednesdays are. We heed the clock when it tolls twelve and come from near and far. We're never late -- we cannot be for then we'd miss the door. Neither do we dare to leave till Wednesday is no more.
So start one of the wednesdays' song.
This review will be short and simple because it's been 10 days since I finished this book and I already forgot some of plots of the story. I'll just say that I enjoyed this book. Normally I don't really enjoy middle-grade books because I find them too light for my liking. However, The Wednesdays has enough dark stuff in it. It's kind of paranormal, though I'm not sure if we can really call it that.
As the title suggests, this book goes around the wednesdays. We're talking about both Wednesdays as in the day after Tuesday, and wednesdays as in little paranormal creatures that come out on Wednesday to wreak havoc in Max's village. According to Max, they look like this:
Besides the silver eyes, the wednesday appeared more or less boy-like, in a crooked, simultaneously squished-down, stretched-out sort of way. It looked like a proper boy whose arms had been pulled like taffy, while the rest of his body had been scrunched down into a tubby egg shape with springy, squat legs. [...] The creature's head was mostly head-shaped and -sized, except for the fact that it seemed vaguely square and didn't seem to have the benefit of much of a neck to sit upon. Overall, the thing gave the impression of being rather putty-like.
That's the wednesdays for you.
I really like the idea of them coming out to cause trouble for everyone. It's fun to read, honestly. The elements and plot come together nicely to form an impressive ending. I wouldn't have thought the Wednesday songs could be that important, but Max figures it out, which is awesome. It's a little sad near the end, and I found it very moving.
All in all, great plots, nice illustrations (which really helped me picture the wednesdays more clearly), beautiful writing. A very enjoyable read.
Wednesdays come and wednesdays go but we know something you don't know.
I received the ARC from NetGalley and the publisher for review. (less)
Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through angel eyes.
First off, I have to say that I lack experience in the angels/demons book department, as Angel Eyes is my first. Because of this, I have no other book to judge Angel Eyes against, as well as none to compare to. At first I wasn't so sure about it, seeing as I didn't know of angels/demons books could be for me, but I'm so glad that I put my doubt aside and read this book anyway. It's so good!
Angel Eyes started out pretty weird and confusing for me, not gonna lie here. Before the first chapter begins, there's this little story about someone named Elisha who was the prophet of Dothan and his servant, who was given "eyes that see". Later in the book Elisha is also mentioned, though I really didn't understand. It wasn't until I googled that name because I was hoping there would be some kind of explanation that I realized it's in the Bible. Of course I wouldn't know that. As I'm not a Christian, I'm not familiar with the Bible other than the things about it that I studied in Religion class.
Chapter one starts out with Brielle on the train. Devastated by the murder of her best friend, Ali, she returns home from the city where she's been chasing her dreams. She settles back into the small town she used to live in, only to find that things have kind of changed around here. The friends she used to hang out with are now distant. All except one, Kaylee. Then Brielle meets Jake, the new guy who just moved into town, and they're immediately drawn to each other despite the bickering. Something more than fate has brought them together.
This book is told in mainly three points of view: Brielle's (in first person), Canaan's and Damien's (in third person). I really liked it as it allows the storytelling to exceed the limits of what Brielle perceives. Readers' eyes are not then limited to that rather small perception but can see the big picture of what's going on.
I really liked the story. I feel like I can't just summarize what happens because there's a lot going on, and everything is almost connected, and talking about one thing can't make much sense unless I talk about another thing it's linked to, too, but then that would be revealing too much and ruining all the fun. This is something I love about a book. The mystery keeps you questioning but you don't get the answer right away. It's all these crazy arrows and links pointing to one another. I love how one person leads to another and then leads to someone else. But of course, you don't see everything at first. But when everything comes together, it gives you this overwhelming feeling. I totally love that. And that's what Angel Eyes gave me!
This story is exciting and a little mysterious--not so mysterious it makes you die inside because you need to know so bad, but mysterious enough to make you want to read on and find out what happens and why and how and what's next. As this is my first encounter with an angels/demons book, I have to say I'm already impressed and want to explore more books in this department. However, I feel I need to mention that this book might not be for everyone. It's heavily focused on Christianity. That includes God, angels, demons, heaven and hell. You can almost say Jake is a blind believer. He believes wholeheartedly, but his faith is not something Brielle understands. Brielle cannot bring herself to believe there's actually a God who lets her mother and best friend die, who chooses to save some people but not others, that there are angels protecting humans. It's laughable, she says. Ditto. I was there once (I'm still there). It's hard to believe and the whole idea really sounds laughable when you lose someone you love to death, and there's no one to hear your prayers. I think the use of the belief in this book enriches it. And while reading, I didn't feel like the author tried to shove her belief in my face or anything, which would've been a total turn-off and I'm so glad it didn't happen. I think she did it quite subtly and nicely. I really enjoyed the the theological aspect of this book personally.
The characters in this book feel so natural. I have no problem liking all of those I'm supposed to like, and hating all those I'm supposed to hate. I really liked Brielle and Jake already. I'm pretty sure I almost loved Canaan, and Marco who's labeled potential murderer turns out to be a pretty decent guy. I don't remember picturing the characters a certain way or as someone, but when I accidentally found out about Shannon Dittemore's dream cast, I have to say I agree with her completely. I had to be a creeper and snag some pictures to show you, so you know what I mean.
This is the author's Brielle. Elle Fanning. Good choice! I CANNOT AGREE MORE. But Thomas Dekker as Jake? I'm not sure but it's not impossible.
Alex O'Loughlin as Canaan. Of course. Definitely. Perfect. *swoons*
As I said, I really liked this book, but there are exactly three things that bugged me. But no big deal.
1) If I were in Brielle's position being informed that angels and demons do exist and that (view spoiler)[Jake's guardian is an angel assigned to Earth to protect humans (hide spoiler)], my first reaction would be LOLOLOLOLOL. But Brielle believes it. She accepts it without questioning; she's all oh, okay. It's laughable, but alright. This bugs me, okay? Okay. 2) Jake and Canaan and their big mouths. They're both always ready to spill the beans. They tell Brielle everything without holding back. (view spoiler)[Aren't angels supposed to keep their existence from humans? Yes? No? (hide spoiler)] 3) Brielle changes her mind oh so easily (view spoiler)[about God. Way too easily for someone who's been skeptical all along. (hide spoiler)] This bugs me the most.
Again, I really really liked this book. I can't say that enough. It's well written and engaging and mysterious and addictive and fun and interesting. THE END, though, has got to be the meanest cliffhanger I have come across this year! You can't just end a book like that and expect me to simply go on with my life! I need to know what happens next so bad! I'm glad Angel Eyes is a part of a trilogy and that there'll be two more books coming out 'cause I really just can't get enough! It was such a great read!
I received this title from NetGalley and Harlequin UK for review.
Well, the truth is I've been sitting here staring at this white blank page for like two to three hours. I'm trying to think about my true feeling, but I can't quite put my fingers on what it is. It's definitely not ZOMG-what-is-this-omg-omg-omg that undoubtedly comes with five shiny stars, but it's somewhere between I-liked-it-but-I'll-soon-forget-about-it 3 stars, and this-has-made-a-huge-impression-on-me-and-I-was-thoroughly-entertained 4 stars. Hmmmm... I'd wanted to read New Girl since last year, and was pretty sure I'd love it, too. And now that I've read it... I'm not sure. While I did enjoy it tremendously, I couldn't say I was very impressed, and I'm pretty sure I'll soon forget about it and won't look back once it slips my working memory. It's like while you're reading it, you just enjoy everything in the moment, and it's great, because the story keeps you hooked. However, once it ends, you begin to look at the big picture, and you feel like it's good, but just not that great.
New Girl by Paige Harbison is a story about two new girls at two different periods of time. Last year, the new girl was Rebecca Normandy, aka Becca, who went missing at the end of the school year, and hasn't been seen ever since. With Becca gone, her spot at Manderly boarding school opened up, and is then taken by this year's new girl, who is known as just New Girl until her real name is revealed at the end of the book. The two girls can't be any more different. While they all loved Becca, the people at Manderly are always giving New Girl a hard time, saying things to hurt her, whispering behind her back. They even accuse her of trying to be Becca, and of trying to hook up with Becca's two love interests Max and Johnny, who used to be best friends until Becca happened. They don't bother to really get to know her, but if they did, they would know that she and Becca are kind of from different species and New Girl isn't trying to be like her.
I think the story is great! It's told in two points of view: New Girl's (in first person) and Becca's (in third person), and that really allows us to look beyond the surface and perceive the thoughts that are running through their heads. New Girl is a very addictive book, and the fact that I had to read it on my computer screen surprisingly didn't scare me away. I couldn't avert my gaze. The book kept me glued to my seat and unable to go to bed. That counted for something, surely. It's this mystery of not knowing whether Becca is just gone or dead or whether she's coming back or not, which runs in the background in the book, that kept me wanting to know more.
I really liked how the book shows a clash of two new girls' personalities. Becca is all about appearance. She's always seeking attention and wants to outshine everyone else to feel good about herself. She makes a lot of effort to make chasing boys look effortless and look as if she is being pursued and not the other way around. But of course, the people at Manderly don't know this, and they don't care. They adore her because she's pretty and fun and wild, and they're affected even by her mere presence. They believe everything she says, even though most of that is lies she spreads to make herself look good. Can you even believe that she buys a present for herself and tells everyone that Max gives it to her? Anything for appearance, yes. New Girl, on the other hand, doesn't want anything more than everyone to stop comparing her to Becca, to be left alone for once and get Max' attention.
Did you notice how I wrote the previous paragraph? Yep, I didn't feel like I knew New Girl as well as I knew Becca. That's one thing I didn't really like about the book. I had a feeling the author focused too much on making New Girl a victim that her character becomes really outshone by Becca's (which I think Becca would really like). And after a while, the victimization kind of gets old. I mean, I felt for New Girl at first, I know it must hurt. But then it gets repetitive, what with the insults and the whispering and Dana the nutcase breaking down and all. I recalled her often complaining about being compared to Becca, and saying "I'm not trying to be her!" or "I don't want to be her!" or "I don't even know her!" far too many times. I only started seeing that after I finished the book. I looked at the picture and saw what I failed to see when I was caught up in what was going on.
I really enjoyed Paige Harbison's writing and the characters she built. But as I said, I felt like I didn't know New Girl as the main character as well as I'm supposed to. Aside from the facts that she grew up in St. Augustine in Florida and has wanted to attend a boarding school since childhood because of Harry Potter's Hogwarts, and that she has wavy hair, tanned skin, and freckles, I don't know anything else about her or her personalities. Becca, on the other hand, is very well portrayed. She's evil, and we get to know all her evil, jealous thoughts in her head. She's an attention seeker, a compulsive liar, and a manipulative b*tch person. She uses all kinds of manipulations to get what she wants: blackmailing, sex, lies, you name it. It's kind of disgusting, really, but Becca is such a strong character that it's hard not to be drawn to her. Becca's two love interests at Manderly are Max and Johnny. Now, I don't understand why the girls are crazy for Max. Well, he's hot, okay I get that, but he's a bit of a jerk. He's almost always swearing and ignores them, and he's also aggressive and violent. Johnny is the endearing one. He's so sweet that I felt bad for him for being attracted to Becca. Then there's Dana whom I sort of hate. Dana was Becca's roommate and is now New Girl's roommate. She hates New Girl and is always giving her a hard time, always yelling and breaking down, and shoving her care for Becca in people's faces. Dana needs to calm down and back off. She's friggin' annoying, okay. I have to say I'm quite impressed by how each character gives me all these different feelings.
Right, I'll need to leave the house in like 5 minutes so I'm going to wrap it up real quick. New Girl is a fun novel. Its mystery and suspense will keep you hooked until the very end. I really enjoyed it! An exciting and mysterious read worth reading!(less)
New Moon is a sequel to the famous first novel of the Twilight saga, that is Twilight. Having read Twilight for the first time in 2008, I am ashamed to admit that I was crazy about it for months. But when I read it again, I couldn't see why I'd even liked it in the first place. Now, three years later, freshly freed from final exams, I wandered around aimlessly in the library. Then New Moon caught my eye. Not because it's pretty or anything, but because there are 3 or 4 thick copies of it lined up on a library shelf. I decided, what the hell, and picked it up.
I was struggling so much trying to get it over with this book. Not gonna lie, it was real torture. The story drags on for too long, if you can't tell by the thickness that is over 500 pages, and most of the time the story is just boring. And it also bugged me so much. Here are some things that annoyed me:
1) Bella keeps talking about the hole in her chest throughout the book! What's with that? That phrase really doesn't have to show up every few pages, you know?
Now, with the help of my e-book version of this book, I'm going to show you just what I mean.
Not only the hole in her chest that she so often mentions, but it looks like Bella is specially attracted to holes. There are other no less than 10 mentions of the entrance hole, too, to where the Volturi live. So much for Bella's holes...
2) Bella's not-until-this-that-I-realized-that. All. The. Friggin'. Time. Seriously, Bella, you're incapable of realizing your physical state or what? Or even the environmental changes? The word realize is well too overused in this novel that it bugged me.
3) The idea that a teenage girl finds it hard to keep on living with the depart of her boyfriend. Isn't that disturbing?
I got annoyed so many times by acknowledging Bella's thoughts. The writing style is lacking on so many levels. I think the Twilight saga would've been great had it been written by someone else.. you know? I think my problem is Stephenie Meyer. I just don't like the way she writes. And although there are so many annoying parts, there are parts that are entertaining enough. So I would say that it's not that bad, but bad enough to be considered one of the books I regret having spent time with, and definitely one of those I have no intention whatsoever to lay my hands on again.
I decided I couldn't keep on going anymore. I don't have enough tolerance and patience. I've read 5 stories so far and none impressed me enough to enc...moreI decided I couldn't keep on going anymore. I don't have enough tolerance and patience. I've read 5 stories so far and none impressed me enough to encourage me to go on.
Read: As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old by Nina Berry: Didn't like. It's a little confusing and not that well written.
Sing a Song of Six-Pence by Sarwat Chadda: I liked this! It's deliciously dark and the writing is graceful. I felt shaken a bit by the maid and her story. This one is good.
Clockwork by Leah Cypess: A very good spin! I liked this one too. The beginning is inviting, and the ending reinforces the story well. Favorite quote: I am a clock with frozen hands. A whisper out of time.
Blue by Sayantani DasGupta: I didn't really understand this. The story inking thing is lost on me, but I do like the idea and its creepiness. Favorite quote: It is a tale that lives beyond the telling. [...] As if awakened from an infinite slumber, I finally am. I can finally be.
Pieces of Eight by Shannon Delaney with Max Scialdone: Seriously? Not good at all. It tries so hard to be funny when the mood doesn't support it. No. Just no. And the story is confusing and not compelling to me at all.
Still not read Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon Boys and Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier I Come Baring Souls by Jessie Harrell The Lion and the Unicorn Part the First by Nancy Holder Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling Candlelight by Suzanne Lazear One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney Those Who Whisper by Lisa Mantchev Little Miss Muffet by Georgina McBride Sea of Dew by C. Lee McKenzie Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil A Pocket Full of Posy by Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg The Well by K.M. Walton The Wish by Suzanne Young A Ribbon of Blue by Michelle Zink(less)