Monday, November 25, 2013

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Review


“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I didn’t just liked it I loved it. The thing is that when I started reading it I went with low expectations. I heard from lots of bloggers how much they liked it, and I decided to give it a try. I don’t regret it. Not one bit. I was hesitant about this one because I didn’t have a great experience reading Maggie’s last two books (The Scorpio Races and Forever), but The Raven Boys was amazing!

At the beginning,  I was a little lost. I was confused with the boys and what they were looking for. I actually didn’t feel anything for any of them for the first half of the book. But then I started liking the boys and their bond. Gansey was the papa bear of the group; he was very protective of the other boys. Ronan was complicated mysterious, and I think I have a crush on him. Noah was the sweet one and very weird. The only boy I didn’t feel anything for was Adam. To me he was very whiny and sensitive. I get it to a point. He was the only boy in the group who didn’t have a rich family. I get why he would get offended when Gansey would offer to pay for anything, but I hated when he would think that Gansey was doing it out of pity. I wanted to punch him a little bit. He’s back-story is sad but not even that made me like him.

My favorite part of the book was Blue and her psychic family. They were so fascinating and odd! I loved them. I would find myself captivated in their conversations and wishing the book had more of them in it. I also like the essence of the book. I say the essence because I didn’t get the whole plot, but I could feel what was behind it. Does that make any sense? Some of the details I didn’t get, but I knew what everything led to. I hope I’m making sense here. That didn’t bother me like it would bother me with other books. I think it all comes down to me not expecting to like The Raven Boys. I know this sounds bad, but I think that’s the key to going into a new book. Sometimes I just need to grab a book and read it without reading reviews or the summary. Of course, this doesn’t work with every book, but it worked with The Raven Boys.

I gave this book a 4 stars rating because of 2 things: Adam and some unsolved plot points. Other than that I enjoyed The Raven Boys very much. That final sentence left me with my mouth hanging open!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor Review

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

As soon as I finished Daughter of Smoke & Bone I went through a withdrawal. I had a very hard time looking for a book to top Laini’s writing and characters. I found none. I had to take comfort in re-reading favorite books and let time heal my empty heart. It was really hard to get over it. So a month before Days of Blood & Starlight came out I got the ARC and I was so very excited to read it until I wasn’t. I just couldn’t put myself through it again. I decided to wait and wait and wait some more until it got closer to the third book’s publication date to read it.

I kind of regret waiting to read DoBaS. I was a little lost at the beginning with all the names, and some of the terms went over my head. But then it all came back to me. Just like with the first book I was smitten by this world and Laini’s writing. I didn’t think that this one would top the first book, but it did. It was so magical and beautiful. I just loved every little thing about this story. I also don’t know how Laini can manage to make the reader care for small characters. I say this because Days of Blood & Starlight changes POVs often. Sometimes some characters get 2 to 5 pages, and I knew I wouldn’t read about them again, but I couldn’t help but care for them.

There's something I have to tell you guys. I have a girl crush on Karou. There, I said it. I always swoon and say how hot the main male character is-Akiva totally is- but Karou definitely has my heart. She’s fearless, she's passionate, and she has blue hair. What else could I ask for in a heroine? I also love where Laini is taking the series. Even thought the book goes from POV to POV and different places in the world(s) it wasn’t messy at all. I was surprisingly in sync with the book.

I'm sad that I finished Days of Blood & Starlight. I'm also feeling like I'm going into a Laini withdrawal. But I have Zuzana and Mik's book to look forward to. They are one of the highlights in this book. They made me laugh, swoon and hope. Books like this make me proud of being a bookworm.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Review

Here's something I made after reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone. I think I would make an awesome chimaera! What kind of chimaera would you be? Let me know in the comments!! P.S. I'm not very good at drawing ;)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Unattainable (Undeniable #3) by Madeline Sheehan


 (Undeniable #3)

Warning: This is not a virtuous and tender love story. It’s chaotic, ruthless, and tragic. This story takes love and kills its innocence, steals away the pure moments, and crushes the hearts of the broken. A story born in childhood, tying one girl to one boy, leads to a destructive path—that hurts more than it doesn’t, that shatters more than it heals—testing the love that binds the two through a lifetime.

Tegen Matthews is the daughter of Dorothy Kelley, a club whore in the Hell’s Horsemen. A plain little girl, Tegen falls into the gritty world of the motorcycle club. When she meets a sweet, caring boy, she embraces the warmth and affection he shows her. Cage West is the son of the president of the Hell’s Horsemen. Tall and blond with deep brown eyes, as he grows up Cage realizes the power of his dimpled smile and smooth drawl. With one chance encounter, Tegen becomes forever tied to Cage. Following is a wayward journey that is filled with regrets, mistakes, and heartache, pulling at the threads that hold them together. Cage and Tegen fight hard but love harder, and in the end, what matters is where the journey takes one girl and one boy, who have been twined with one another since the beginning.

This is Tegen and Cage’s story.

Love doesn’t erase a broken heart, and it sure doesn’t change people. But no matter how old, how flimsy, how frayed the rope of love is, it keeps you tethered to the people you love.
Madeline has done it again. She has written a book that is not easily forgettable and makes you love imperfect characters. You would think that because this book is about bikers, and sometimes bikers can be a little bit unsophisticated that the writing would match the characters. It doesn’t. Madeline is a great writer, and she writes about raw and dark characters with a sophisticated touch. Her books are like a black hole, once you start reading them you’ll get sucked in until you finish them.

In Unbeautifully (book 2),  we get a glimpse of Tegen, and what I read I didn’t like at all. I thought she was so ungrateful and spoiled! Then I got to know her in Unattainable, and my perspective of her changed completely. She had reasons to behave the way she did and very good ones. She’s a fighter, very protective of her family and loyal. She’s fierce. I think she’s my favorite character in the series so far. Then there’s Cage. I loved Cage from page one until the end. Hell, I’ve loved him since I read Undeniable (book 1)! He’s so much like his dad but a little bit softer. He was so underestimated by everybody and that made me love him even more because I knew he was better than what everybody thought he was. Sigh. I just love him.

This book wasn’t only about Tegen and Cage. It was also about Dirty and Ellie. I didn't mind that Madeline decided to share Cagen’s (see what I did there) book with Dirty and Ellie. I actually love that she did that with Unattainable. The thing with Madeline’s characters is that they all have a story to tell. If she only wrote only about Cage and Tegen, the story wouldn’t have been as entertaining as it was. I’m seeing a lot of authors giving books to characters that have nothing to tell just for the heck of it. At the end,  their characters are just an empty shell, an imitation of what a main character is supposed to be. Thankfully the characters in Unattainable are fleshed out and have unique voices. I was as interested in Ellie and Dirty as I was in Cage and Tegen’s story.

There’s a lot of everything in Unattainable and get ready to read about things you haven’t read in Madeline’s other books. This book will make you cry, cringe, swoon and make you want to slap somebody’s mama in the span of 5 pages. This book will rock your world.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Omens by Kelley Armstrong Review


Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancĂ©, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

First of all thank you to Joy from Joyous Reads for sending me a signed copy of Omens!

I enjoyed Omens more than I thought I would. Maybe it's because I read reviews and most of them said the same thing. They warned readers not to expect a lot of romance. They also said not to expect Omens to be a typical Armstrong book. The paranormal aspect of the book takes a back seat for pretty much the whole time. There are hints here and there, but nothing ever gets explored in depth. But because I knew about this it didn’t upset me that much. Of course,  I wish that some things were explained better but hopefully in the next book we’ll get some answers.

I loved all the characters in Omens. They all have unique voices. Even the secondary characters were strong. I liked Olivia a lot. Once the truth was out about her birth parents she didn’t freak out or went running to her fiance or mom for help. She was very strong and fearless. I liked Gabriel also. I wanted something to happen between Olivia and Gabriel though. I know that’s the way the book was supposed to be written, but my romance loving heart was yearning for something, anything to happen. I knew nothing was going to happen, but God, they are so perfect for each other.

To me what made this book were the omens. I love the omens creepy meanings and the songs that would come to Olivia’s head out of the blue. I don’t know why this fascinated me so much. But I think my grandma has something to do with it. She's a very superstitious lady. That makes me and my whole family superstitious people. We believe in all that crap. All add some of her superstitions at the end of the post.

Omens was a very different read for me, and I loved it! I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Bad Omens According to my Abuelita (Grandma)

-There’s this giant centipede in Puerto Rico that’s venomous and aggressive. My grandma believes that if you say its name (alacran) one of them will appear in your house the next day.

-My grandma believes that if you sweep an unmarried young lady’s feet she won’t ever get married. She used to do that to me a lot. She loved me too much to share me with anybody else.

-Abuelita believes that if someone sees a black bee something bad is going to happen to that person.

I can go on forever with this list! LOL! Do you believe in bad omens? If you do let me know in the comments!

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