This might just be my new favourite book in the ya contemporary genre. It is not so superficially written as the synopsis above would have you believe....moreThis might just be my new favourite book in the ya contemporary genre. It is not so superficially written as the synopsis above would have you believe. It is a sweet, fluffy love story about a girl who falls in love with a modern prince. It has the best from the clean romance section and the best of contemporary fiction.
Bothe Reece and Dante are characters that grow on the reader. They are perfectly likeable, realistic teens to begin with, but they also change a lot during the course of the story. They mature, they become stronger, they grow up. They take control of their lives, each in a different way, and they make their choices, through sometimes painful and dangerous circumstances. I liked them both as characters immensely, they are both strong-willed people, but not in an irritating way. They just know their own mind, but let me tell you, that makes for a very interesting relationship.
Sometimes, these contemporary romance ya books suffer from an almost complete lack of plot (i.e. the ridiculously famous Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door). That is not the case with this book. There is a plot and a mystery, of sorts, and although it is nothing heart-stopping, it does wonders for moving the story along and making this book, on top of everything else, a page-turner also.
I adored this book. It has summer, it has travel, it has adventure. And, of course, growing up. Even if you are done growing up, if you are like me, you will love reading about these two people coming of age in style.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark a...moreAround the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I just finished this book and am in deep mourning. First of all, it's finished. No matted how many times I read it again, I will never again get the experience of discovering this world again. This world, these characters, this plot. Second of all, it has ruined (ruined, I tell you) every other book I have read and loved in the past, and seriously every book I could possibly read next. This is just sad. On the other hand, how can I be sad when such a story is in existance in the world?
This was not a book. It was an experience. It was steps into another world. It was magic.
Karou is a lovely, strong, mysterious heroine. Mysterious to everyone, including herself, which makes for a really amazing character. She is in search of answers, and the reader searches with her. I saw pieces of myself in every charcater, but mostly in her. She has a feeling of emptiness which she is constantly trying to fill -or pretend it doesn't exist- but she doesn't learn how to begin to face it, because she doesn't know who she is. By the end of the book, she has done some impressive progress and has grown a great deal.
The fantasy world in this book is the most exceptional I have ever encountered. Can I even compare it with Narnia? If I could, Narnia would fall short, so I won't do it. This world is original, and brilliant, and really really intricately drawn. I actually forgot myself and was expecting to see one of the strange but lovely creatures of the story as I was walkint in the street. Yes, it is that good. I would so love to visit it, although I would probably have to just contend myself with Prague, which is even more magical emerging from the author's pen, seeping with romance, mystery and theatre.
There is a unique romance in the book, and even talking about it doesn't do justice to its depth and fierceness, so I won't say anything more about it.
The best part about this book, hoever, is this: questions. It raises questions. A lot of questions. About the meaning of life, the point of life, about love, about human relationships, about origins. About differences and the everyday war we all engage in. I loved the way it just put these themes out there and then let you, the reader, think them through without pushing the answers down your throat.
I loved the lyrical way this book it was written, I loved the fact that I didn't breathe normally while I was reading it, I loved the fact that I want to meet this book in person and shake its hand in awe. I loved everything about this book. Wow.
Rating: 5/5, or, to be more precise, a sky full of stars (and two moons).
In this new spin on the Robin Hood legend, Scarlet is the protagonist and the one through whom we 'see' everything. She is also a girl, contrary to ev...moreIn this new spin on the Robin Hood legend, Scarlet is the protagonist and the one through whom we 'see' everything. She is also a girl, contrary to every other story you have probably read about Robin Hood and his band of marry men. I simply adored this book.
It is packed with action, adventure and success. Justice-serving missiongs, saving people from burning houses and from tightly watched prisons, running through the forest and providing the poor with gold for taxes and meat. Everything one loves about the Robin Hood legend is here. Plus romance. A lot of romance, clean and sweet and sometimes heart-wrenching.
Robin Hood and his small band of other three people are very young in this story, younger than most legends portray them, but for some reason they sound more real and realistic than any other version of them. The historical setting also is detailed and gives a good feel of the time and place. I have no idea if it is completely accurate, but truth be told, I don't much care. It sounds realistic, and that is the hardest part of any story.
There is no drawback for me in this book. It went instatly to my top favourites self. The cover is very precise of Scarlet, and I found myself looking at it while I was reading, trying to picture her and Robin and John and Much hanging from the branches of the Sherwood trees.
It ended in a somewhat cruel cliffhanger and I beyond hope that there is a sequel. It is not often that a book can wow me, especially if that book has to do with my favourite historical and literary hero of all time. I am not easy to please, as you can see from my reviews. And yet, wow.
I hope you are one of these persons who judges a book by its cover -only actual books of course and not people- then let me tell you something about V...moreI hope you are one of these persons who judges a book by its cover -only actual books of course and not people- then let me tell you something about Vaclav and Lena. If at first sight you thought this is a light-hearted, one-layered children's book -or book about children-, then you are wrong. If, on the other hand, you thought this looks like a tender, sweet, vintage read with tendencies to suck you in a story so warm and emotional that you won't be satisfied with another book for sometime after finishing, then you are completely right.
That's what this book was for me, anyway.
The characters were very well fleshed-out, even though the writing style is this type of poetic, sparce use of words that so few books manage to get right these days. You know, the kind of book that is written as though every single word has been chosen personally for the task of conveying a particual message in the story. The kind of book that is full of word-painted pictures. Anyway, the characters as I was saying are extremely realistic, from the fragile Lena to sweet, growing-up Vaclav, to the host of surrounding characters.
Their love story begins as a childhood friendship and then it becomes the medium via which we are diven the painful realiry of the cold war. Now, don't mistake me this book deals with some very tough issues, regardless of the historical frame they are placed in, so sometimes, although the writing is elegant, the story becomes sad, even painful. Also, there is a very tactful dealing with a very mature issue.
I loved everything about this book. I loved how it made me almost cry and then surprised me with the warmest feeling. I loved the humanity of the characters and the realistic quality of the situations they found themselves in. I loved the literary and refined writing. (less)
Finley embarks on a journey to Ireland, armed with bitterness and grief over her brother's death. And questions. A lot of questions. She wants to find...moreFinley embarks on a journey to Ireland, armed with bitterness and grief over her brother's death. And questions. A lot of questions. She wants to find God again, but she feels completely lost. She has the journal her brother wrote during his visit to Ireland as a guide, but nothing seems to go as she hoped it would.
I absolutely loved this book. I saw Debra from Debra's Book Cafe raving about it on YouTube, and was curious to read it. I am so glad I did. Wow.
This book is about anyone who has even questioned the bad things that have happened in their lives. It is about anyone who has ever been angry at God and ready to give up on everything, Him, themselves, life. And it is about finding hope again, and the will to live and answers in the most unexpected places.
The characters are so vivid, it's like they are leaping off the page. If only they would... There is a vampire actor who is a heartthrob, but who also has a tender heart and a mind to find the truth. There is a bitter old lady, who is of more help to Finley than all the pastors combined. There is a whole cast of characters to relish while to read.
The descriptions of Ireland I found just mouth-watering and the romance... It was real and sweet and deep. No instant love at first sight here. Instead there is humour and friendship and sharing. I loved it.
But most of all I loved the messages of this book, about grief and anger and decisions, and even about eating disorders. I cried after I had finished it, not because it was sad -it isn't- but because it spoke to my heart.
I think it will speak even to those who are not Christians. It is not preachy at all. Instead, it is just plain real. And just plain good.
I read it via the NetGalley, but I have already bought it and can't wait to delve into it again.