Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Grey clouds over the books...

Yes! I've finally gotten down to the KA series- one of them atleast! This rain, BTW, is so romantic... *sighs in pleasure*

No AttachmentsNo Attachments by Tiffany King
My rating: 0.73 of 5 stars

The start itself is very cliche even after having gotten into it without very many expectations for the plot. The girl is your typical 'rich' girl who has run away from home and drifts from one small town to another ( or maybe she's stupid and stays into a far enough away small town and tells the first employer she comes across all about her problems and expects sympathy...) due to her problems (even if they're not really that huge or something that can't be confronted...) she experienced at home. The boy's a cynical bastard who's keeping the fact that he's tracing this girl's whereabouts for a client ( whom he assumes is her jilted lover - Jeez, really? an old man with this young of a girl? can't he assume that the client's some sort of a relative or anything?) This was a pretty typical and predictable plot. The writing wasn't doing it's job of pulling me into the characters or the plot. The interaction between the characters seemed too unrealistic due to formal dialogue/ formal use of vocabulary. Even after the sudden revelation of the girl's "secret" it didn't make me sympathize with the girl entirely. Her actions because of it if a little unnatural were slightly understandable. As for the boy, I hated the bastard. Even after the secret of investigating is out (and it can't be compared to her's of having a terminal illness) he expects her to be still with him. He's not the one having a life-threatening illness nor is he someone who has fought it before. Instead of being understanding about it, he's selfish. As if that's not enough, when they see each other after the girl's successful recovery (again, unrealistic) he doesn't even try to understand her reaction and assumes she's rejecting him... All these hang-ups and the points in characters are depicted in a detached observational way even in the first person POV of both characters. The secondary characters are simply there as catalysts for the 'love story' only to be forgotten after their 'roles' (flimsy as they are) are finished. I wasn't convinced about the strange flashbacks from the past, the plot itself or anything at all. This was a design for a contemporary romance but was way too stereotypical, and disappointing at the least. There were sudden jumps in the pace which frustrated me. This is suited for people who like commercially satisfying plots.

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My rating: 2.9 of 5 stars

After finishing this book there were no 'unique' feelings that were experienced even though I didn't exactly hate reading it. As the title says, the main theme is the survival kit received by Rose from her mom after she dies due to cancer. Rose's feelings of coping with her mom's death were simple and quite realistic ( maybe some weren't...). Rose's character is somewhat lacking- she's too emotional and her actions/reactions are simple. There are still mistakes she makes, sometimes by behaving cowardly. Even through all this she felt slightly two-dimensional as the missing 'something' is what I couldn't find. I loved the 'Indian' element of cuisine, places and Krupa's character. The high school atmosphere is really uncomplicated without catty/petty undercurrents (which you've gotta admit is unrealistic...) I liked the involvement of sports- hockey and the gardening aspect which brings Rose and Will together. Their romance was another appreciated process because of it's steady pace with sweet, slow burns under it. ( this was refreshing because almost all of the YA novels adopt a 'physical appearances/ sexual tension' theme to justify their romance..) The simplistic high school psyche was one-dimensional. I would've liked Will's character to be more developed. Although there were many similarities of circumstances between them, their main difference (others being how different their natures are, etc) is that Rose is more susceptible to healing after her mom's death than Will as he's still not over his dad's death ( I know you can never get past it but he's still in coping mode after two years.) The survival kit is the highlight of the book. I loved the sentiment behind it and that imagination is required to really understand the significance of it's objects (this helps to snap out of the depression really well!) I do think it was coincidental ( maybe unrealistic) that the kit's objects always led to Will. I lived Rose's family's bond, Jim, Rose's Grandma and (maybe not so much but enough) Rose's dad. I didn't like the reference at the beginning of the book that Rose had the perfect life, boyfriend, etc in high school as this led me to fear that this book would be stereotypical... it also felt dramatic. I understood their dad's inability to cope with the loss. In the end I still wanted more in it because oddly it felt that something was missing...

It's KRISTEN ASHLEY TIME!!!!!!!! There are too many books of her but I'm starting with THE COLORADO MOUNTAIN series just because I've written  Breathe's review already. This is my third favourite series.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
God I LOVE KRISTEN ASHLEY!!!!!!!!!! Of course as soon as I finished the first book from her I scrambled to get more and read them, devour them!!! I'm in love with her style, her writing, her characters, her setting, the situations which her characters get into and basically her books!!!! Smart, witty, funny, emotional, blunt, caring, appreciating, not taking things that matter for granted are some of the things I love about her. It'll take ages to list all the things!! I've tried to find any book like her but there's nothing even close !!!! Any way after finishing the Rock Chic series, I immediately jumped onto this one.
This book was somewhat of a departure from her normal 'action' themed book but it's KRISTEN ASHLEY guys! There's no way I didn't wanna read it!!! *grins* The summary is pretty clear about the plot and the journey of reading this is amazing just like her other books!!!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's already been established that I have a girl crush on Kristen Ashley and her books so I didn't expect any less in this next book in the COLORADO MOUNTAIN series. First of all Sweet Dreams is a long-ass book but that never fazed me because the characters were quirky and individualistic, the plot was riveting (to say the least) and there was quite a bombardment of new characters in the neighbouring town of Carnal (not to mention the town itself!) Obviously I LOVED IT!!!! Tate Jackson is the more or less same expected (but welcome and appreciated) mix of jerk, alpha with a capital A (for which Ms. Ashley is sooooo famous for!)but loyal, protective, caring-in-his-own-way, Bad-ass Biker to the bone who is pretty insulting to our heroine in the beginning ( yes that riled me up badly and I hated him at first!)  Lauren is such a sweetheart! She's loving, sensitive, generous, forgiving, tolerant, and glaringly uneducated in the "bad-ass biker ways of Tate's world" !!!!!!! There were so many moments of smiling and laughing out loud even with the obvious lingering 'serial murders' not to mention the amazing characters like Krystal, Bubba, those pair of hippies, and all the others that lift the plot on their shoulders.... With each book I have the strong urge to ask Ms Ashley - HOW IN HELL DO YOU DO IT!!?????? How can she bring to life such a dazzling array of people and not one of them is unnecessary or hateful??? Incredible! That's who she is and every one of her books!
You got that right, don't just sit there staring, go and read it!!!!!!!!11

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In all the other books of this series, this one is my FAVOURITE!!!!!! Where or how do I begin? Of course this is another long book but this time it's even better than
  The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)
  Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2)
I know what you're thinking- How can that be? But it's true! I even like this better than Rock Chic series! ( I mean sometimes I think I can't choose even one of them as all are amazing then I get moods and for now this book is the best!) The town of Carnal is back with a vengeance (hmmm, unexpected intended pun...) with all those beloved characters coming in to steal our breaths. This time, Tyrell Walker is the hero of our story. Having endured injustice, Ty is the type of man to not just sit still with hands on his lap but get up and seek vengeance the day he's released from having suffered the consequences of that injustice. He's one-upped the bad-ass of even bikers because he's a man unto himself. Quietly caring, bad-ass to the nth degree, selective and reserved with a unique charm and most of all a man of his word. And to divert a man such as this from his "grand plan o' vengeance" in only 2 days is saying something! This brings me to that amazing woman- Lexie... God, I didn't think there would be anyone better than Lauren but there it is- Alexa Walker ( Oh sorry, when Ty says it's Walker then it sorta sits in your brain...) / Berry.
That woman is so fucking unbelievable that it's not even funny!!! Would you expect a girl born in a crackhouse to turn out like her?? NEVER in a million years! Her strength of character, her 'goofiness' (again, I'll remind you, what Ty says, sticks like glue), her honesty and complete openness even to virtual strangers, her amazing ability to never ever take a single thing for granted, her resilient nature, her 'class' (yes,it's Ty again) and just everything that is her- I've never read about a character like her!!!!!
I've gotta say Ty acts a lot like a jerk when his temper lights up and that's the only thing I hated about him... The wheels of justice rolling in this book is something special and the best highlight of it. The plot surpassed my expectations (and they were high; it being a KA book!) This is one hell of a book and from someone who reads choice books and realistic fiction, which is like, completely opposite of contemporary romance, this is saying something! I'm unabashedly and absolutely in love with these books!
GO KRISTEN ASHLEY!!!!!!!! I'm looking forward to
  Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)

My rating: 4.7 of 5 stars

I was hooked on Kristen Ashley when Rock Chick came across. Her voice is so so different and her style is something I revere and even though I'm into realistic fiction, I love, LOVE her books!
I used to think that Lady Luck was the best story out this series before I read Breathe. And here we are revisiting the town of Carnal with that adorable quirky bunch of characters again!!! This book seems to tie up many loose ends from Lady Luck. We get to know the real Chace Keaton and exactly what happened to him during the town's biggest crisis. Kristen has penned Chace in her usual amazing style- he's unbelievably sweet, humble, modest, stubborn (very but just as much like the other KA men), Alpha, caring, loving, the perfect gentleman, old-fashioned, refined, just and kind. I didn't think such a combination could be imagined but, there it is... I loved Chace so much because of his strict ideals about justice and his 'back-breaking' actions to uphold them. He was (God, aren't there any other words besides 'amazing' and 'incredible'?) FAN-fuckin'-TASTIC (I stole KA 'word'ology!!)
Faye became my favourite girl (Geez, it's uncanny how Miss Ashley keeps writing more great girls and each one tops the other!) Faye is the town's shy but pretty librarian but underneath that misleading exterior, there's a tough woman with a strong set of morals, kind, understanding, GEEKY, cute, caring, sensitive, loving, bright, smart, funny and deft to handle any situations... I laughed a lot at the geeky 'Star Wars' references & other similar geeky stuff that she liked!! I didn't think any such woman could be worded out but here she is and she's everything that I wanted...
I loved Faye and Chace, I salivated for every aspect of their relationship! I loved when Faye made Chace realize that she was capable of handling bad shit and showed it through her perspective! I'm in love with the way Chace handled the choice of how to move forward when there was darkness dragging him down every moment... I took up the advise of listening to all the songs to get into the 'mood' and I loved Ella Mae Bowen's Holding Out For Hero !!! There was nothing I didn't LOVE about this book!! :) *squeeeeee!!* The best one of the four but maybe there's still Jagged and Kaliedoscope

Monday, 22 July 2013

Thunderstorm and Books.

Right of WayRight of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was so excited to get my hands on this book after having read One Night That Changes Everything  Two-Way Street especially the former one...and Before I Fall. I didn't really pay attention to other characters in Two way street so I wasn't really sure who Peyton was but the prequel was interesting and likeable so Right of Way seemed to find it's way in my to-read list. So you wanna know if I recommend this to you? The answer is a resounding and huge NO. Period. No matter if you are such a Barnholdt fan, skip this one. I have absolutely no idea exactly what she has done to this one! After some 10 pages I started screaming inside but I didn't wanna leave this book so fisting my palms I continued the torture . *defeated sigh* I'm really truly sorry that I couldn't like this book but that's not on me this time... I hated the disconnected feeling between the past memories (which seem absolutely pointless!) and the present 'trip' (JEEZ it was hardly even a trip!!!) I was frustrated from hoping for some redeeming qualities, exasperated I couldn't find any and disappointed. Eye- rolling so many times made my eyes ache! Phew... I didn't even wanna peel the layers of the story (there weren't very many anyway...) and even after they had been pulled off the core was a vacuum! There was no earthly reason for anything to happen the way it did! There was no reason for Jace to stop talking with Peyton at all... Tell me if you were getting to know a person and they didn't tell you that (view spoiler)[ their parents were getting divorced because they were in a state of denial or hurting due to their parents decision  (hide spoiler)] would you stop calling them suddenly? Wouldn't you wanna confront them or atleast try to talk about it? this was obviously not done because Jace is a selfish and stupid bastard. Plain and simple. Why is it always all right to keep any characters together just because of their physical appearances? I'm just so tired of that and I tried to like the book but there was nothing that made me even consider it. Ah, I hope she writs better next time.

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
INTENSE!!!! That's what I felt after reading this one. I read it back to back after Divergent and feel it's better to have done that. It's already been established Roth's a rockstar in writing action. Insurgent is a whole new world though! We go deeper to understand Roth's world as Beatrice continues her journey. I thought it was curious as to why she chose only five 'virtues' to expand on from thousands of others but hmmm, I shouldn't really complain. Insurgent starts with Beatrice, Tobias and his father, Peter, heading towards Amity and Dauntless in a divided state - Erudite traitors and non traitors with the war still on. Beatrice has experienced enormous loss and is an a state of crippling crushing guilt. She's on the brink of emotional instability and I gotta say even though she has her reasons, Beatrice made me sad, angry, troubled and agitated as she spiralled down to the pits of guilt and grief. Both of them are such a lethal combination on anyone. I did expect her to be a leeetle bit tougher but she had PTSD so that's fine. I completely understand her descent but that didn't mean I liked it... The action seems racketed upto a 100 times more than in Divergent . Roth handles the old characters and develops with the same ease as with new ones like Johanna.
This book is so very different from the prequel that it's not even funny! Grief and guilt all embellished and embossed almost forcefully in relief but this goes hand-in-hand with the action and unfolding of the plot as too much of those negative emotions could have put off the readers. Because of the constant fast motion Beatrice doesn't get enough time to let them grow, tear at her enough and then begin to fade away so she can settle. They fester and cripple her to the point of impairing her judgements. This made the book heavier than Divergent. I think, unlike Divergent, Roth appeared to be a little more commercially satisfying in this one. In no way does she let the heaviness weigh down the pace and evolution of the plot. There are so many revelations going on at break-neck pace that you don't have time to even breathe! Even though it's dystopia Roth doesn't lean on the technological aspects of her world which disgruntled me a bit... The moral facet of this story is a main highlight for me... Roth (or nay Dystopian writer for that matter) points out that no matter how hard you try to create the seemingly perfect (morally, in this case) society there will always be a war. There're so many hidden agendas in it for the sake of the plot. Roth gives hints aplenty to understand it (yes, they're a bit obvious !!) Surprises peek through every chapter. It amazes me that every Dystopian is so scarily yet reassuringly similar to real times.
Generally authors mess up the middle book and end up with a boring final one but Insurgent was quite different even though there's the heaviness. I did expect the bomb at the end of the climax but maybe in the third book but we'll see where she takes it from here. The relationship between Tobias and Beatrice was played out with so many ups and downs and each time they seemed to grow apart (I dunno but a war-time romance should be even stronger than this, shouldn't it?) Both of them are so similar in some ways and their difference either threaten to keep them apart or tie them together. Their relationship weighs more in this book and defines Beatrice and her decisions in some way. The end was interesting and I look forward to the final book and hope that it isn't predictable.

My rating: 4.7 of 5 stars

WOW! I've never ever read a book like this! My thoughts are scrambled and I'm speechless and confused over how to put my thoughts out. When I read the synopsis of this book it seemed centred around identity crisis in a school. Then I started reading it & I knew I would be hooked right from the first sentence!! see, on that first page itself, you get that Arnold Spirit 'junior' is fucking HILARIOUS! - witty, smart with some cynicism thrown in. On top of this great character, there's his drawing! I LOVED them and they made an already great story even better! Arnold/Junior starts in a self-deprecating (or maybe/and yet realistic) funny and whip smart style. He describes (more like converses about) his reservation, the whole atmosphere of it, and the people so so very realistically yet in a cynical teenage voice that leaps out of the pages right at you. The main theme, atleast what I kept on feeling while reading it, was despair (in the 1st quarter) and sadness and pain (in the rest of the book) but Junior coloured them with his dry sharp sense of humour. I was smiling and laughing even through the heavy feelings. Sometimes there's just plain hilarity and other times, there's an underlying painful sadness. It hurt a lot while reading.Then there's the time after he transfers to the 'white' school to forge his own path. That was some of the best character development I've ever seen in YA which is mainly because of his voice & actions. That was the moment when those seeds of doubt regarding his identity took root. Then there's the huge event of deaths in his family (including the other people of the rez) ; these changed his perspective so much- in the end he was more comfortable in his own skin.This is one hell of a coming of age story. I wanted to word out by point because there's so much in such a tiny book.

Why You Should Read This Book:

1. I LOVED the title of the book even though it's a mouthful. It's lucid and real and 'absolutely true'! *grins*
2. I agree with Junior that no matter what your language a picture can communicate with practically anyone and everyone. I think Junior had such a mindset because of the racism (nasty, deep and too much) they suffer. I had no idea that Indians are impacted so much by racism- they're hit almost everywhere. Culture is how you live & if it's dead then you're just as dead inside...
3. This huge point in the identity crisis of Junior is how he feels 'white' on his own rez and amongst his own people (even though he simply decided to go to a 'white' school) though at Reardan High, he feels 'Indian'. Even through all that he faces, by being himself, he gains popularity in the High school hierarchy. He gets to be a normal kid which is why he doesn't let anyone on that he's poor. (but they still know about it...)
4. Junior's disparate views of his home are normal and real.I liked that scene when Rowdy and Junior climb that huge pine tree and discover a beautiful moment while watching their home. It's a small town- not important or happy at all with people having problems left, right and centre especially with alcohol ( I didn't know that so many people could be alcoholics and in various degrees even!) but there are so many good things like his love for his land, family the people on his rez...
5. Junior describes things as they are and doesn't sugar-coat or romanticize.
6. There's insight on different types of addictions like alcohol and Bulimia & how ethnicity or class don't really come into consideration when people are actually living their lives -that they have problems no matter who they are.
7. I don't know very many Indian stereotypes but they seem to be wrong. Indians have history and culture and tradition. There's beauty in it and I feel really sad that it's been near-to destroyed just for some handful people who're inebriated with power and greed. I loved the sense of community in their culture. It's ironic that the ideas that were trying to be squashed yesterday are the same ones that are respected and valued the most today. I loved the comparison between the white town society and the Indian rez community.

Blunt, factual, ironic, loving, sensitive, all of Junior's qualities help him find himself even through despair, pain, rage (they all make him intense). These in themselves are what drew me to love the book so much!
I'm gonna read more of him now! Keep on writing Mr. Alexie!!!

My rating: 3.65 of 5 stars

I think it would be obvious when I say that Eleanor & Park brought me here. The synopsis seemed promising  although there's something weirdly stalkerish about reading someone's e-mail (though it's cute and heartfelt in the book!) I've to warn you that you've gotta like office romances or atleast know about them to read this book. The pace is slow and you've to concentrate and hold on somwhat atleast in the beginning. There's a lot to focus on in this. I didn't expect the male lead- Lincoln to dominate the POV- this seemed like a breath of fresh air. The atmosphere is '99 and 2000; you've gotta acquaint yourself or be familiar with the culture at that time to understand cetain references. For me, e-mails, even personal ones to BFs, don't really fulfill the requirement to portray a character so I was expecting atleast some of Beth's POV. Characters put together through e-mail compilation are superficial and one-dimensional. Their actions/words throughout days, weeks and months that form them. So Lincoln (that amazing man!!) feels so tangible and I just wanna rave about him!!
His mother, sister and friends get more character than Beth!!But I've gotta say Lincoln made me forget about everyone else. In the middle of it, I didn't even realize I fell for him in a BBF way until after the end! He was a slow burn... this felt like a real romance!
Rowell has approached an office romance from a guy's perspective and this in itself is enough of a reason to get started on reading it. the book moves like real life- all situations and characters felt alive and breathing. Special ones caught at my heart like Doris and Christine. I wish Rowell would have tweaked the character of Lincoln's mother a little and developed it. As for Lincoln himself, you can't label him with just one quality- he's several good ones loaded into one lethal character.I mean do they make 'em like that anymore? Cuz I ain't seen any! Even with all these qualities, you realize at some points/ the end of the book that he's human and makes mistakes, is hurt and still tries to move forward. You don't (or more like 'can't'!) place him on a pedestal or anything and come to love him with his imperfections (might be corny but it's true!) I loved the fact that Lincoln fell in love way before even glimpsing at Beth. It would have been so much better if Rowell would've cut down the e-mail banter and thrown in more encounters between Beth and Lincoln. The romance did not convince me but I got so lost in Lincoln that by the end I found myslef rooting for him! Lincoln is such a geek and still lives with his mother at the beginning of the book. He has multiple educational degrees and is 'old-world charm'. I'm quite old-fashioned myself in some ways and this is why I loved this book as much as I did.if Lincoln wouldn't have been in the book then I would leave the read in the first few pages...Lincoln develops desirably but way too fast in my opinion because in these change/ developmental scenes the pace seems faster than normal. The ending appeared rushed to me and inevitable, extremely strange and coincidental. But i would love to read more from Rowell because she immerses herself in her characters and books completely, their voices are real and she gets 'em right everytime without unnecessary melodrama.
Coming-of age and a light romance read- contemporary romance fans might like it better. 

My rating: 3.45 of 5 stars

When I picked this up, I was excited to read it cuz a) it has a male author  b) the synopsis was interesting with this huge age gap, the woman being older (it reminded me of Tramps Like Us, Volume 1) Then I opened the first page and it felt like someone had smacked me on the face! That first sentence was not how novels usually start! I mean what're you supposed to feel when the first thing you know about the book is death? I went into this without expectations but then I began to have mixed feelings as the pages jumped one after the other. When things progressed with Jane after her daughter's funeral I assumed this loss would come into acount with her relationships in the immediate future but it didn't really affect as much. Winfeild could've written an amazing story forgoing on the contemporary romance shit like the taken-for-granted 'attractiveness' of Jane or Caleb, Janes insecurity about her looks (and yet everyone says she's gorgeous...) and many other points. Even through that usual play, Winfield managed to inject a sense o f reality into the situations and his character. I loved his portrayal of the atmosphere int he island town, those endearing characters of Grace and Mrs. Hawthorne, the ferry rides, geographical beauty, even Jane's house.Winfield's prose confirms he's a poet and Caleb's songs are simply uniquely beautiful. Jane is more two dimensional than real because, maybe I expected more adult behaviour or even bitterness ( due to her age) from her but I liked her better in the second part of her book. Caleb (hmmm...) is, I'm not sure how to say it, he's... too good to be true...I liked how Winfield made him appear to be real by making him lie to Jane in the 1st part but after that he becomes this 'perfect' guy, like a cardboard-cutout!!!! I like individual quirks in a character as a) everyone has them  b) they make any character come alive. The pace felt like a normal con-rom: just when things settle after the guy n girl get together things keep happening to shake them up and at last one of them gives up and breaks it. It's, like, expected or something!!For all it's similarities to other books of it's genre, the prose, characters and some of the story (in the 3rd part) is extremely catching, and some parts; heart-rending. The other con-rom parts made me feel detached & sometimes the words blurred into each other. With all it's shortcomings, there are still reasons enough to read this book. I feel Winfield can do better and would love to read more from him...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rain onslaught and the Books....

Okay everyone, here are some more reviews. I really want to read a good one these days... *depressed sigh*

BeastlyBeastly by Alex Flinn
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

' Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairytale of all so I was compelled to pick this book up. Some points I loved about it were that it was written from Beast's POV- I came to understand so many of his reactions and emotions like loneliness, anger, frustration, despair which made all the difference. But because of this weight over Beast's character maybe Beauty became underweight. Then there's the whole character of Beauty- she hasn't been portrayed as a beauty at all and this is what I loved the most: this helped me connect with her and him but that's where the connection with 'Linda' stops because you don't come to get to know her very well just rather the superficial points about her. Flinn turned the whole fairytale upside down and that I loved but then she reverted to the original too. The chat room where the Mermaid, the Frog and the Bear were present didn't really penetrate my mind- it felt like that chat room was there just to stall the story. I hated Kyle/Adrian at first because of how shallow he was- I kept thinking can people in the real world behave like this? but then I became enraptured in the story and it was nice.
For Fairytale retelling- lovers and Beauty & the Beast fans, this is one of the books out there to read and a bonus- the author has mentioned some others with good outlines in her acknowledgements and even those are worth checking out! Cheers!

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Ink (Paper Gods, #1)Ink by Amanda Sun
My rating: 1.33 of 5 stars

I am soooo TORN! I really TRULY wanted to like this book. *sad sigh*
Oh well, see there are reasons that my expectations were high.
1. It's a book about JAPAN 'Nough. said.
2. JAPAN !!!! And, yes, this point is so important it needs another mention...
3. The cover is of course, gorgeous...
4. I liked the concept of the plot- it was so different than normal! The whole myth about Kami, I was so excited to get into it and see how the author spun it off because I'm an OTAKU! I've read so many mangas but not many about supernatural stuff...

So taking these thoughts I jumped and right from the first page I was disappointed in Katie. She had no redeeming qualities as a protagonist. See, she only had things said about her that made us take in her character. Then there was Tomohiro. Oh god. I didn't see any nice banter going on between Katie and him and their attraction seemed only due to  some flimsy magical connection and/or physical appearances. I hated this.
Quite a lotta eye-rolling was going on from my side! Then there's the whole writing. You know, it felt like someone had gobbled up sentences and paragraphs in the middle of the pages! I was so confused while reading it... but I gritted my teeth and finished the book. I sorta understood why the author tried to incorporate Japanese words in the prose but she should have taken care of how to integrate them.
Then there's the plot. *hesitating pause before a true but dramatic sentence* There is no plot. It's true! I was trying to find it and find it but I couldn't get it! Although it did seem like a lotta manga plots sloppily put together... I hoped the plot would mature and thicken but it was half-formed and never moved.
A very few times I liked how the Japanese atmosphere was created but most of the time, the scenery and people were described in a detached way with an effort to diffuse some emotion n it.... Damn I have known mangas better than this! *depressed sigh*
Also, The author failed to create her paranormal/ supernatural world. All the characters seemed wasted. I feel so sad.
If you wanna check it out first read the negative or 2 star reviews if possible with spoilers and then decide whether you wanna read it or not.
Peace out.

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My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

I had thought this to be a 'Dystopian' book but it's set in the modern day! For me the main focus of this one was the romance because that was what I liked at the end. As for the rest of the plot- it was engaging, to say the least. The genetic engineering part seemed very well done no matter how sickening it was. I liked the dual POV and the feel of reality to it. Solo was sort of a favourite. I did snicker at the obvious geekiness in the name and plot of the book but it was all good. Something about this one is that you just blur through it taking things in vaguely- it does catch your attention but you find it only half engaging. It's a light sci-fi romance with stationery characters and not bad at all though I do have a question- if Eve's mom wasn't in the bad guys then why did she let Eve use that program? because whatever it was, it couldn't be a plaything/ game for her daughter to play while she's bored getting recovered....
but eh, semantics I guess...
*the single finger salute*

My rating: 3.61 of 5 stars

I had been in a very good mood and had been willing to give cliche- sounding plotlines a chance to bring something new to the table so I picked up this one. The cover was also really cute in a stereotypical way but that was all right... I'm always open to books that explore girls trying to get over their crushes because I, myself, had been this this girl and maybe still am...
Avery seems a socially awkward girl with geeky tendencies in the beginning. The words make you laugh right from the start. Some things went over smoothly and others did not... The shower scene between Avery and Grayson seemed unreal- no other word for it! It left me disgruntled and rolling my eyes... Then there was the pacy transformation of Avery and Grayson's feelings about her. On the other hand there's the scientific observation theme of it that I liked (although I hated when she didn't blame Aiden or get angry at him- their relationship is really unhealthy!!) I also eagerly lapped up Gray and Avery's romance even ploughing through some eye-rolling. I would have liked a character without any disorders or illnesses but eh... I have to admit Gray's POV was entertaining! Summing it up, this is a light rom-com read albeit YA (though not so much comic in the end!) but when you read it there's gonna be some cliches with it!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book needs a review and I'm warning you I'm not those dopey fans of 'fifty shades of grey' and other books. I try to read realistic fiction most of the time. In the 'Sea Breeze' series the first one was just half a star but Because of Low made me sit up and take notice so I hoped for a good third one and it is, somewhat... The thing I loved that Glines put in this book was Eva's feelings and the 'Southern' thing, also the dual POV... But as always there's too much reference to sex and physical appearances and I guess... *defeated sigh* that's ok... Glines has always tried to be 'commercially right' as I have said before but this one I liked- there was something here that wasn't in the others.
A light contemporary romance. Cheers!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

And the books again!

Hey everyone! I'm here bringing more reviews of amazing books! Eh, I know I keep postponing the Rock Chick series et all but believe me I'm getting there!

Lost and Found (Lost and Found, #1)Lost and Found by Nicole  Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have been familiar with Williams' work -
  Crash (Crash, #1)
and   Clash (Crash, #2)
both of which I was not very impressed with so I was apprehensive about starting this one... The book blurb sounded extremely cliche and I was even more apprehensive. But I started it and all that Rowan wind knocked me down!! This book is about a bad girl and a good boy which narrow opening is not explored much in the YA novels right now. Rowan Sterling has become a 'freak' in people's eyes because of her edgy clothes and cold demeanour and she has constantly been in trouble according to her emotionally abusive and neglecting mother. So she has been forced to this remote ranch otherwise Rowan can kiss Art school fees funding from her mother 'goodbye' because her mother knows life in this ranch will set her teeth on edge and maybe change the kick-ass personality of her 'troubled' daughter. Rowan has been treated with so much emotional cruelty that she herself has started to believe that she's a failure and there can be no sadder thing. Williams has been able to show how this self-deprecating attitude formed in Rowan's mind and that sets her apart from others who have tried to write about neglected children/young adults... Rowan has spiralled so far down the depression road that she has forgotten how to believe in herself again. So naturally she is loathe to spend time at a ranch working herself the tough labours there. But her meeting with Jesse Walker (whose name is stereotypically cow-boyish) brings out her own self and this continues when she lives at Willow Springs with the Walkers who accept her and like her as they get to see more of herself. I have never seen any people like the Walkers! They're completely laid back yet hard-working, sincere, respectful and absolutely non-judgemental people. The most important quality that shines through is their acceptance without judgements. I can't explain how important it is for a child to grow in a non-judgemental environment and that shows in how Jesse has become after growing up with the Walkers. I didn't expect this book to be as real as it was and that delighted me. I loved Rowan's coming-of-age ad kept expecting some cliche or the other but not many predictable things happened. Garth black was another secondary character that was half unpredictable though I expected more development about him. I loved that Rowan did commit mistakes but came back swinging and ready to hit more. Many a time, I thought, 'Oh shit, she's going to do something boring and predictable" and then she did do that but in some different way than my imagined one... Jesse was really a bit of a rainbow... Some thing that he was I found unbelievable but he came across as a sweet, gentle yet only too human (in his feelings) boy but Rowan was the star. If I get started on her mother I will never end because she one mean daughter of a b*tch! (Ah, I know !!!) I cut off one star for the slightly boring things in it but this one is better than the Crash series for me.

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Who I KissedWho I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My rating: 2.5
This book talks about a rare subject for me- deadly allergies caused due to nuts. I've never personally come into contact with people having such allergies but have heard it through my friends so I've not thought deeply on how careful these guys have to be ALL THE TIME. That was sorta a shock. Gurtler has handled this topic half to my like and half to my dislike. If the story revolved around a person having these deadly allergies then she would have handled it better due to her experience but this had the opposite point of view. One thing that perplexed me is why Gurtler decided that the perpetrator's name isn't infamous through the media at all (they don't even name her!) The outline was so promising and my expectations were high especially from Sam's coming of age but Gurtler couldn't accomplish that (dunno why). The 'before' and 'during' part of it was wonderful ! It's when the 'after' part began that started disappointing me...because that's when this unique story became run-of-the-mill. I thought Sam was different. Her internal dialogue was very refreshing!- shy, clumsy, endearing yet a quiet strength. In the 'after', yes I expected her crippling guilt whether it be survivor or perpetrator guilt. What I hated was the way Sam handled it. I understand the need to feel numb because feeling too much guilt destroys you but is sexual activity with someone you don't even like the only thing that does this? Why do authors always pick this reason for young adults? (God, maybe I'm being prudish but still !!!!) I don't think it would work in real life. On the other hand, I appreciated the beginning of the disentanglement between the father-daughter bond. Sam's aunt was funny, wise yet a bit like a godmother and made the book fun. And that's all there is to like! The romance segment was complete bullshit for me because Zee's behaviour didn't jive at all right from the beginning!! It's the crappiest thing to do- start to give those 'kiss' vibes to a girl you like ( keep in mind, people!) but when your on-again-off-again-hook-up-girl comes interrupting, going off with her and immediately making out with her ???? WHAT THE FUCK? I mean what kind of an asshole is he??? But then, fine this happened, it hurt, time to move on but nnyooooooo there's gotta be romantic development between them anyway The 'numbing-with-sex' part and the unrealistic pathetic romantic thing that no self-respecting girl would do plus the ANGST (OH the ANGST!!)   ruined the whole book... There's also the part where Gurtler completely does a 180 in the climax that again made me regret reading it! Why do authors always feel the need to 'redeem' the lead with some bullshit banner of 'having learnt a lesson and behaving completely out of character?
*depressed sigh* mildly interesting read. The last 70% was a disaster for me.

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Paper ValentinePaper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My rating: 4.3
That beautiful cover of this book caught me hook, line and sinker! I had never heard of Brenna Yovanoff (Which makes me feel like a hermit!) but that cover and the outline (maybe not like the cover) was enough for me. Normally I'm not a 'horror kinda girl... But serial killers and murder mysteries are sorta my cup of tea. Even after I started reading it, the pace seemed a bit slower than I had anticipated. Once the ball started rolling though, I could not put it down! I fell in love with Yovanoff's writing! The gory descriptions, the subtle psychological and cute (I have no idea how she managed it but this book is proof that she did!) romance, the mystery of murders and even the ghosts made it phenomenal!!! (which I had in no way expected!) Yovanoff owned this book!!!! The climax was pulled off amazingly without predictability! (Umm, Okay, I relent, maybe a little predictable .. But damn, I loved it!!! so I'm gonna overlook that!) It didn't insult my intelligence much and I was grateful for that. It was clever and she managed to balance out all genres really well- supernatural, romance, coming-of-age, mystery and horror!! Yovanoff has a way with voices. Though there was not the rounding-off of secondary characters (except Lillian) her style of writing is platinum and gave me goosebumps! (Yes, I myself was surprised at that one!!!) The cliff-hangers at most of the end of chapters captured my interest enough to keep reading. I felt Lillian's character was carved rather beautifully- in the beginning, I felt weirded out by her but gradually she grew on me. Our heroine was kick-ass; which was so, so very unexpected! But maybe I should have guessed from the way it started.. Hannah and Lillian made the book what it is, for me. The fashion element was the icing on the cupcake- unexpected but when come into introduction, well-received and taken in the stride of things. What can I say about Finnigan Boone??! I did expect more from him (I mean in character) but whatever time he spent with Hannah felt eternal! (Ah, here I go witht he dramatic!) Yovanoff described things in such a way that you were forced to form thoughts about all the aspects- the town, it's mentality, the high school psyche, etc. This whole world created and moved because of her words and I guarantee not many authors today can do it. The high school atmosphere felt a little jarring but she pulled it off well inserting the right elements to do it.
I expect to read a lot more from her!!

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My rating: 2 of 5 stars
My rating: 2.7

Uh. Wow. (No, you guessed, it is NOT a good feeling!) Well I have to warn you I'm quite a bit biased about incest so yes, I'm probably gonna disappoint fans but I dunno about new readers... When I read about the topic being incest, *sighing with clenched teeth* I put it off as long as I could in the to-read shelf... But my pile-ups were mocking me and I couldn't just run away from them, it would be a personal insult... So I steeled myself prepping up that I had to have seen something in the reviews or the outline to put up with the bitter part! And there I went off. In the beginning, I had to admit, I loved Suzuma's incredible writing- she has a poetic way about it which I loved, her descriptions were vivid and sent in some emotional moments. But then most of the middle part was extremely annoying and frustrating because it seemed typical teenage angst. I did expect some of it but not this much! That put me off of it and I switched to something else. I never try to leave any book half-assed, though so I went back to it cementing a 'Romeo-Juliet' sort of ending in there. I have no idea why but that constant assertion that they were not hurting anyone by being together, had me admitting that, yes it was true enough *depressing sigh*. I was still not convinced that this could be a possibility because really? I couldn't imagine anything like it- for the first time I could not imagine how the characters felt, absolutely, could not!! Fuck, I wanted to and maybe, in the end maybe I somewhat understood it sloppily... I was not happy reading this book. I had been warned by those considerable reviews but still I hadn't braced for the impact so coming out of it at the end had me scrambling to open a new one for relief. I have no idea why Suzuma would pick up such an issue for her story- maybe because it was so rare? I thought that she had tried to understand their feelings through this but maybe she couldn't do it completely? I have to admit though that the ending was extremely tremendously real and that, I liked. The 0.5 came because of it. This book didn't change those prejudices and beliefs regarding incest because what I read, reinforced that the people who entered such a relationship were quite possibly mentally/emotionally ill/unstable due to familial circumstances or other reasons. Nevertheless it did convince me that maybe, if both of the people entered into it willingly (however insane for us) they should be given a chance to prove themselves... I'm not really sure to read more of her though... Maybe her writing will be enough.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmm. The outline was a bit misleading because Woods doesn't really avoid fragile women but eh, moot point now that I'm finished. For me, Abbi Glines is one of those contemporary romance writers that never get it right but never get it 'commercially' wrong. But I admit I do enjoy reading her a bit. Sometimes, light reads are the need of the hour to take my mind off of heavy topics fucking with my mind. Sometimes, I like being caught up in the emotional drama precisely because I know it'll be a happy ending.. I like her dual (sometimes multiple) P-O-Vs I sort of like her style but there's too much sex... though that's all right... when I wanna lap it up I do, when I am definitely not in the mood, I skim through those pages and get on with the story and it annoys me that sex makes up half of her book but, oh well... I am a girl! This story is about abuse, love, and all the other normal contemporary romance novel shit. It's fine not really great, not especially bad. If you're a Glines fan or maybe you're halfway in, halfway out then you would like to read it. If you wanna read some of her nice stories- Because of Low  and  While It Lasts are some good ones.Start with them.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My rating: 4.7
After reading The Hunger Games series I went off on a 'Dystopia' spree because I never knew that reading about these imagined 'future' worlds could be so much fun!! Sadly, I couldn't find any more to fulfill this thirst- the other books just seemed too pale in comparison...When I read the outline, I wasn't expecting very much but then I started reading and right from that 1st page, got addicted! There has been tons of praise and analysis for this one and no wonder! From the beginning itself, Roth starts spinning out a world along with information on how to picture it and understand it's structure and movements and navigate it's path through. The division of society with 5 factions with no clear leader of them all was refreshing to me as in ever other Dystopian book, there's autocracy and that gets boring. The factions indicate at an effort for moral as well as technological evolution for humans.In this book, Roth points toward the line of thought she intends to take up and establish throughout the trilogy. Abnegation and Dauntless have been explained thoroughly in this one. The world Roth creates is easily palpable, understandable, breakable. The allowance of 16 year-olds  to transfer to another or stay in their own faction- this premise is a building block..
Coming to the factions, How Beatrice undergoes the struggle between choosing another faction over hers, tugged at my heart. This book can get heavy if you let it and chapter analyses with notes is a good way to keep track, even rereading it to imagine the world clearly could be required but you won't mind the ride as it's entertaining.
Roth hasn't hesitated to get gritty even though the protagonist is a female. I guess she understands that a tough woman draws people in... Her voice is real, clear, strong, emotional without being dramatic, practical, young. As it's a trilogy, the secondary characters have a scope of evolution and yet these too, seamlessly bind (Christina, Albert, Will, Peter- yes, even him !!) Except Al, everyone seemed predictable though. Four is a character completely unto himself and a short dive into his POV certainly was required to mutate this story. Their romance is subtle but essential in their character development as well as the story. There are many facets to it as well- sometimes she acts like a common teenager-in-love, but sometimes there's a mature edge at those thoughts.
Again, there is the due faction-stress on Dauntless. It seems like an army for the whole society. Roth shows piercing insights into faction- psyche, group-behaviour with the retention of individuality. As the 'soldier' faction, There is a much needed violence to be included and Roth has described all too readily. Then there's the 'mystery' regarding the Erudite with war plots (Dystopia has to have war!) and it's relation to the 'Divergence' in characters.. This mystery- it's pace, elements and characters fit together perfectly. There's A LOT OF ACTION but it doesn't shear the edge off the mystery..
The puzzle with a clear leadership over the factions bugged me because Roth had every other element refreshingly unoriginal but that line of thought opened up something- a familiar pattern and yes, it disappointed me a bit.
Romance, pace, action, dystopia, politics, psychology, family, sacrifice, death- what does it not have, you will ask... Well sometimes there's so much it seems that too much has been stuffed into 1 book but still Go Read IT!!!

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Too Good to Be TrueToo Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My rating: 4.15

The first novel ever from Higgins that caught my interest was not this one!! It was The Best Man and surprisingly (because I'm not really so much into classic Chick Lit or contemporary novels...) That story was nice ! I have to say, this one (Too Good To Be True) was even better than that recent one! Chic-lit/contemporary roms are really hard to get when you try to curve it in an original way. Even if there are many 'unoriginal' things in this one I still liked it as they could be overlooked. Grace is an entertaining, if somewhat strange (hmmm, maybe the 'good' kind...) character and I can not tell you how many times I laughed out loud while reading it!!! Gathering from these two plots I reckon Higgins likes love, family and hot guys put together for her story to succeed (and who could argue? because the classic formula for a contemp-rom seems to be it...). This might not be something new but it is what to be expected from this cloud of genre, this came into consideration while reviewing the book. But the characters are far from the normal rigmarole in the other books. I loved Grace- truly! She is really hilarious with her 'imaginary boyfriends' and even if somewhat unhealthy, I was sympathetic with her for that trait. I absolutely loved her family!! (even her sour and criticizing Meme!! which is saying something!!) Too many things caught my liking- the love and sacrifices for your family, the plain love between each other in that family, the prejudices about ex-cons, etc. I have to say I would be really glad when an author writes about a normal guy someone who maybe, isn't all that 'movie-star gorgeous' / with built muscles et all- it gets boring real fast! But eh... if these things aren't overlooked then how will I enjoy any book?? especially from these genres? Any way, back to Grace, for the first time since a lot of books, the main character was actually someone I liked to hear! Her voice wasn't grating at my nerves and her statements were funny! The romance is light and this book centres mostly around family - at least it felt like that to me... Callahan was inappropriately characterised for me and Grace was the center of this book's universe. Her character was endearing, sympathizing, frustrating,loving, exasperating! I loved how the relationship between her parents was portrayed because it felt true to what most often is life. Ah, what can I say about the 'sister' bond! I think even that was weaved beautifully- Margaret was my favourite and Nat was hmmm..., described with a Teflon coating that bumped off most of Life... Even though Grace was the middle child she felt like the eldest sister to me. Margaret was interesting because she was the most insightful person in the book and yet she was the most melodramatic (which makes me burst into laughter!!) Natalie - I understood the bond between them because it's a li'l bit like how me and my sis are, I was in full sync with Grace's thoughts regarding her. I understood so many things about Grace... And this point was the winning one for me. This book is more about familial love rather than romance. It's thoughtful and a great laugh and Grace's words say more than they're meant to. Because of my personal emotions, this book got an extra star! I think Kristan Higgins may take her place with Kristen Ashley (Coming from a hardcore KA fan this is saying something!!!!!)

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OHHH! WHEW! I've actually been sending it into draft because of the stupid internet.... More come next!!!