miercuri, 29 ianuarie 2014

Top 5 Wednesday - Oh, this looks nice!

Once again, here I am... 

Blah blah blah behind these hazel eyes I don't have!


...and we make tops, because we're cool like that.

Okay, so Top 5 Wednesday was initially a booktube thing, created by Lainey, over to Gingerreadslainey, and was converted into this blog format we are all enjoying by Pzikke over to Pete de Violet. Basically, every Wednesday, we post a top five composed by books that fit into a certain category. This week's theme is Accidental Books.

Now, I don't know about you, but the best books I've read were, at the time, poor accidental picks. That being said, prepare yourself for this:

The Mystery of the Blue Train: A Hercule Poirot Mystery5. The Mysterey of the Blue Train

At 12 I had no idea who this woman Agatha Christie was. 
Now, almost 7 years and 37 books later, I am all like: "Did someone say Agatha Christie? Oh, have you read...?"
 Seriously speaking, her mysteries are the best. It's not even the way she writes, but what she writes. Yeah, if you can guess who the murderer is you're officially smarter than me and I'm not even ashamed to admit it. Or maybe you just pay more attention.

Jamrach's Menagerie4. Jamrach's Menagerie

Poor impulse buy, but man, this book practically smashed me to pieces. I want more people to love this, I feel like it's way underdog. 

So, pretty please, mister or miss, let it break your heart and crush your soul.

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1)
3. The Eyre Affair

So we have a world where literature is a mondial obsession, where you can work as a literary detective, where your name can be Thursday and where you get to change the ending of Jane Eyre?

What the hell, I'm moving there as soon as the Crimean War ends. Bye bye.

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1)
2. Oryx and Crake

I have never read anything that is even close to this in the twisted factor.

Freaky animals? Checked. 
Strange, fascinating characters? Checked.
Genius deciding to play God? Checked.
I will never look at a piece of chicken the same way again? Checked.

Seriously, why haven't you read this already?

The Blind Assassin
1.The Blind Assassin

I avoid doing this kind of statements. I honestly feel like avoiding them is a lot like dodging a bullet. 

But this might just be the best book I have ever read. And I don't even like this genre usually. Even so, this book is amazing and heart-wrenching, and I love it. And I can't find my words to describe it.

The Blind Assassin is just on another level and everything in it it's perfection.

That was it. So, what were your best accidental picks?

miercuri, 22 ianuarie 2014

Top 5 wednesday! - Oldies, not sure if goldies

And it's here!

oh || 

Okay, so Top 5 Wednesday was initially a booktube thing, created by Lainey, over to Gingerreadslainey, and was converted into this blog format we are all enjoying by Pzikke over to Pete de Violet. Basically, every Wednesday, we post a top five composed by books that fit into a certain category. This week's theme is Old on Shelf. 

So, with the hope that someday I will think of them as "oldies, but goldies", here are mine

 The Godfather The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3) The House At Riverton 

I'm stacking these together because, in all honesty, I have nothing to say about them. I've heard only the best, but I had them for 4 to 2 years and I still haven't read them. But they are all in this year's big list, so I hope to get to them soon...ish.

And now, while I bow my head in shame, the first two positions go to

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) 

Yeah. I have a perfectly logical explanation for that. I think. In my head, at least. But, long story short, this is how I roll.

Hope you guys enjoyed and bye!

vineri, 3 ianuarie 2014

Review "Knowing Jack"

Knowing JackTitle: Knowing Jack
Author: Rachel Curtis
First Published: January 7th 2014
Pages: 165 (the Arc)

I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.

I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired. 

This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.

And I’m stuck with Jack. He calls me “Princess,” but I’m not a princess either.

I have a feeling that, after this, I won't ever get another review book. That being said, enjoy.

ARC provided through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review

 Plot: Ever since everyone found out about her affair with Carter, Chloe’s world seriously shifted off its axes. After all, while people might particulary not care that you’re sleeping with their favorite professor, there may be a little problem when the same professor is getting fired because of this. Even before the entire ordeal, Chloe wasn’t the most popular girl in college, but now she can safely say that she isn’t in anyone’s graces. Moreover, someone is sending her death threats and her fellow students put up a horrible tumblr page, whose entire purpose seems to be ridiculing her. Her parents want their daughter to finish college elsewhere, while Chloe doesn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of chasing her away. But nothing she says can convince her mom and dad that the threats she receives are just bad jokes, so now she’s stuck with Jack. Annoying, enigmatic, sinfully good-looking, her bodyguard turns out to have his own personal issues, that might just complicate the hot and cold relationship they built on the uncertain ground of professionalism.
Personal Opinion:
  • ·         Writing style: It was fairly simple, typical for New Adult literature. There tend to be repetitions and, at times, the scenes drag on, without influencing much the main course of the story. Overall, while there’s definitely place for improving, it is not disturbing, and, for the most part, suits the pace of the story.
  • ·         Characters: Ok, I’m just going to say it (write it, whatever): Chloe and Jack perfectly embody the New Adult cliché. I’m sorry, since I was hoping this would be one of the NA stories that pleasantly surprise me, like Wait for You or Easy, but while this characters started as OK people ( maybe not my favorites, but I could roll with them), my opinion went downhill pretty fast. Let’s start with Chloe. Oh God, Chloe. Somewhere around page fifty, I was feeling the constant need to slap some sense into her. She basically is a little girl haunted by the destroying of the perfect image she always felt compelled to have. The thing is, while she has this compulsion of appearing perfect, there’s nothing in Chloe’s past that justifies it. Her parents are nice, her friends are mentioned during the story, she has never been bullied, there’s no explanation altogether. I feel like she doesn’t have a strong and convincing background. Even her relationship with Carter isn’t detailed enough. There are hints at it, some memories, but I wanted to know what happened, how they were discovered. And mostly, I wanted to know if there was more to their thing than sex. She sounds like she had some feelings, but she pretty much is over it by the time the book starts, so it’s uncertain. Also, her thoughts often contradict her actions. She constantly changes her mind. At the beginning of the book, she’s on a man-fast for the year and doesn’t really care about Jack. Forty pages or so later, she’s half-crazy with desire for him. I also found really annoying the strong-girl act she has going on in her head. If she had acted half like that all the time, not just with Jack, things might have been different. Now, Jack? Jack’s no better. He’s the tortured male character who thinks he’s no good, but can’t stay away. He hurts her by trying to protect her of himself, he can’t let go of his past before she assures him it wasn’t his fault, he is a drama queen in the making, honestly. They both constantly drove me up the wall and not in the good way. Needless to say, there’s not much going on in regard to character development.
  • ·         Plot development: Kind of shabby. Unless you count the sex. Now there was a lot of that going on. I had some hope because of the premise, but it worked out differently than I had expected.
Favorite quote: “First tell me this.” “What?” “Why do you have naked babies on your underwear?”

Recommend: I’m sorry, but not really. If you are into New Adult, you should give it a chance. The high rating on Goodreads is proof that people enjoyed it. But it wasn’t the book for me and it certainly didn’t live up to the expectations.

joi, 2 ianuarie 2014

Best Series of 2013

This time I kind of made a top (hooray me for finally deciding), so, without much further ado...

5. Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer

This made the top mostly because of Spirit, which is kind of ironic if you take into consideration I thought I would hate that one. I also liked Spark, but that's just me and my Gabriel crush. Anyway, the series gets better as it grows and I'm kind of counting the days until Nick's book. Just thought I would throw that out there.

4. The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

I really liked this series, despite some people saying that it's just the Egyptian Percy Jackson. But there's this part in the third book I still don't know how I feel about. If you guessed what I'm talking about (ahem *Sadie* ahem), please let me know what you think. I might do a spoilerish discussion about that. I kind of feel the need to rave.

3. Revenants by Amy Plum
Die for Me (Revenants, #1) Until I Die (Revenants, #2) If I Should Die (Revenants, #3) 

A slow, but sweet series. People tend to ignore it from what I've seen, but I enjoyed myself while reading this. The cliffhanger of "Until I die" is maddening and it drove me a little crazy until I finally got around reading the last book. Also, I need a fourth book or at least a novella about what happened with Louis. That disappointed me, she built this whole story around him and then just left it hanging. But for the most part, well done, Amy Plum.

2.Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan


Yeah. I like this. I'm obsessed with this. I love it as much as I love the first place. But I had to choose and it was hard and let's just say that the first two places are interchangeable, ok? Also, I need to start Heroes of Olympus. Now.

1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead  
coming soon 

You all know how the covers look anyway. The thing is, I avoided this series for so long because of the hype, but it was really, truly, undeniably amazing and I love it. Yes, I love it.

So this was it. I wanted to include the Lux Series, too, but I've only read Origin in 2013, so I didn't think it would be fair. It kind of  goes without saying that I love that series, anyway. Also, Bloodlines almost made an appearance, but I still have two more books to go, so hopefully it will be on my 2014 list. So, what were your 2013 favorite series? What would you recommend me? What series do you plan to read in the future?

miercuri, 1 ianuarie 2014

Best Books of 2013..

..because making a top is overated!

(also, because I can't make up my damn mind)

6936382 9874342 Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) Wait for You (Wait for You, #1) 
 Cranford Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2) The Blind Assassin Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1) 
The Graveyard Book The Book of Broken Hearts Going Vintage Origin (Lux, #4) 
Matilda Wonder The Messenger The Catastrophic History of You and Me

So here they are! My favorite books of 2013. There would've been more of them, but they are part of series I'd read entirely last year and I couldn't decide which volume I liked best. Alas, expect a Best series post, too. Tell me what you think of them, if you read them or if you want to read them, what were your favorites. Just tell me, I'm always looking for new reads. 

Also, if you click on the book cover, you'll be taken to the book's Goodreads page. In case you want more information.

And happy 2014, people!

marți, 24 decembrie 2013

Review: Let It Snow

18272314Title: Let It Snow
Authors: Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle
First Published: October 2nd 2008
Pages: 354
     An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives.

 Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

I don't know what exactely is my problem with Christmas books, but I always want to read them just for my excitement to fly out the window in the end.

Plot: There's not a lot that can be said, really. Basically, this is the story about how the biggest blizzard in half-a-century changed these characters lives for the better, right on time for The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. What's interesting about this book, though, is that, instead of being an anthology containing three separate short stories, it's a single novel with three narrators and interwoven characters. So what can you read about in Let It Snow, you ask? Well, firstly, you find out about Jubilee, the girl who, apart from having a name better fitted for a stripper, also has a set of parents whose obssesion for a certain type of ceramic Christmas village gets them in jail. So, right on Christmas Eve, our I'm-not-a-stripper-and-I'll-keep-reminding-you-that character has to go by train to Florida. Only that the snow decides to hit and she gets stuck in Gracetown, where certain events will make her question her entire relationship with Noah, the apparently perfect boyfriend. Then, there's Tobin, who, along with his two best friend, will go out in the middle of the blizzard, trying to reach the far-away Waffle House, all in the name of flirting and cheerleaders. But, you guessed it!, things don't go according to the plan and he might just realize that, sometimes, there's a chance the happy middle will lead to the happily ever after. And, of course, there's the third story, tying them all together, about Addie, and over-dramatic, self-absorbed, broken-hearted barista and how a little tea-cup pig will make her be a better person.

Characters: Usually, I like to talk a lot here, because for me, the people in it represent the biggest part of the story. But what can you really say about some characters when you only read a few chapters about them? Well, let's start with Addie, because here I have things to say, actually. She is just so damn annoying! That self-absorbed thing? That's not a joke, not even by far. She's the over-dramatic, I'm-gonna-sit-here-and-feel-sorry-for-myself kind of person. She becomes more likeable towards the end, but unfortunately, the change happens overnight and is pretty hard to swallow, so I ended up not liking her anyway. And Jeb (the boyfriend with an optional ex) he's kind of plain. Cute, but you don't really see a lot of him. Tobin and Angie (the Duke)...well, you can feel that John Green is behind them. They're smart in that typical teenage way, they're funny, along with PJ, who I haven't mentioned until now, but he's kind of the salt and papper of the story. Yeah, they're just nice while being douchebags in the same time. Not a lot of character development, but what can you expect from an 100 pages long shot? And finally Jubilee and Stuart? Again, they're nice. Just.. nice. Honestly, the only character that left an impression is Addie, and that only because she annoyed me so damn much.

Personal opinion: I don't even know what to say. I expected more than I received, to put it all out there. I can't even put my finger on what I didn't like. Overall, the book is good, but nothing challenging, nothing touching. If you are into Christmasy reads, or if you are just looking for something fluffy, then you will probably enjoy it. I honestly think this book is way overhyped, and a big part of that hype is fueled by John Green's name. Not gonna lie, he's story was the best. Well paced, funny, even cute, good characters, I will probably reread it. Maureen Johnson's was also nice, but a little too fast for my liking. I realise she only had a few chapters for herself, but it made some previous feelings of the character seem cheap and I would have probably enjoyed it more had it been wraped-up differently. As for Lauren Myracle's, I only have one thing to say: Addie.

Favorite quote: "If by that you mean that I dislike celebrity magazines, prefer food to anorexia, refuse to watch TV shows about models, and hate the color pink, then yes. I am proud to be not really a girl."

Recommend: It was likeable enough, so if you think it might be your kind of book, go ahead. Also, it has a tone of good reviews, so maybe I'm just the odd one out. Again.

duminică, 22 decembrie 2013

Review: The Red Pyramid

7090447 Title: The Red Pyramid
Author: Rick Riordan
First Published: May 4th 2010
Pages: 514

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

I just want to say sorry in advance, because I'm quite sure this review will either be pretty confusing, or will eventually turn into a rumble. And now that I got that out of the way, enjoy the fangirling. (God, I hope it won't come to it)

Plot: For those of you (us) who are fans of Percy Jackson, but not only for those, of course, Rick Riordan brought another magic-is-real, what-the-hell-did-my-life-just-become, will-I-survive-to-see-tomorrow adventure type of book. Set in the same parallel reality as the aforementioned series, The Red Pyramid deals with a new mythology, new rules and new gods. Introducing a brother and sister duo, with an unfortunate relantionship and ready-to-be-messed-up lives, this first installment in The Kane Chronicles will take you from London to Brooklyn to Cairo in a seemingly impossible quest to save the world, stay alive and reinforce a type of magic banished thousands of years ago. To keep the story simple, Sadie and Carter were separated six years ago, after their mother's death and after a long custody battle. Now Sadie has a normal life in London, with her boring, father-hating grandparents, while Carter travels the world with their only remaining parent, famous egyptologist Julius Kanes. She only gets to see her father twice a year, which makes their family relationships quite strained. But this all ends on Christmas Eve, one of the visitation days, when Dr. Kane decides it's time to set mysterious things right. Unfortunately, this ends with his disappearance, a blown-to-pieces Rosetta Stone, five gods of Egypt unleashed, and the fate of the world on the shoulder of his two kids. Now Sadie and Carter have to save the world from being taken over by the God of Chaos, Set. All while being hosts for two other temperamental gods, going to live with an unknown uncle, finding out they're Blood of the Pharaohs and learning about their family appartanence to an Ancient Egyptian magic society named the House of Life.

Characters: Like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Red Pyramid is also told from a first person perspective. This time, however, Sadie and Carter are both narrating, which adds to the hilarity of the story. Personally, I like Sadie's point of view better, not because she's a girl, but because she's sarcastic, and witty and she just reminds me of myself quite a lot. Also, Sadie's point of view has Anubis (God of Funerals, pretty hot God of Funerals), so you can't really blame a girl for her preferences. But, letting my biased reasons apart, she is a strong character, has some really cool powers seeing how she hosts Isis, and I just became attached to her pretty quickly. As for Carter, he is more on the geeky side, knows a lot about Ancient Egypt and he developes some impresive combat abilities, being the Eye of Horus and all that jazz. Their relantionship is rocky at best, they haven't seen each other more than a few times in the last years, honestly, they are near strangers. But I enjoyed seeing how the realisation that they are all that is left of their family brings them closer, makes them want to protect each other. You can see that behind the facade, they are just children, unsure of their powers, not knowing who to trust, missing their mother, in Sadie's case, missing her father also. Wanting to impress him, attract his attention. There's a nice assortment of secondary characters, too, like Zia Rashid, a young magician of the House of Life, Iskandar, the Chief Lector, whose appearance is brief, but whom I really liked as a character and also, why not, Michel Desjardins, the second most powerful magician in the world, who's quite interesting, too.

Personal opinion: There are a lot of people who say this series is the egyptian Percy Jackson, and while I can agree in a small measure, I feel the need to point out that The Kane Chronicles has its own qualities. It's action-packed, has an interesting premise and an even more interesting development. And there is this really nice twist near the end that is perfectly relevant for how the series is going to continue and, you know, just increases the tension. Personally, I was glued to the book and that is saying something. 

Favorite quote: "Fairness means everyone gets what they need. And the only way to get what you need is to make it happen yourself." 

Recommandation: I guess you already got this one: read The Red Pyramid. There's a great chance you will end up enjoying it. And if not, I'm really sorry, but at least you tried.