Monday, 31 March 2014

All Our Pretty Songs (All Our Pretty Songs #1) by Sarah McCarry

Description from Goodreads:

The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.


--

The first thing that captured my attention in All Our Pretty Songs was the amazing, lyrical language. At times I felt like I was reading poetry rather than fiction. McCarry used beautiful and gripping imagery that sucked you right into the world and made you see the world like the nameless narrator did - you feel like you are experiencing the same things, right there, with her.

I don't think I can emphasise enough the fact that I loved the magical realism in the book. I have loved the genre since I read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in high school, and it can be an amazing experience if you read a well written magical realism. There were various scenes in the book when you start to question if the events are really happening or are they just happening in the narrators own mind. I think the fact that the narrator is a recreational drug user just confuses the readers' perception of the events even more. Is this all real, or just her imagination? And the fact that you can never be sure made me really like this book. 

I was really surprised that even though the book did contain quite a bit of angst, it didn't really bother me. I'm usually hate books which have main characters who are overly emotional and dwell on their misery, but I wasn't really bothered by the plentiful angst this time. But I think I was able to overlook it because the readers are well aware of the narrator and her best friend's, Aurora's, situation: neglected by the parents, and having to rely on each other while being still adolescents themselves, on every issue.

All Our Pretty Songs deviates from the other young adult books in terms of how the major themes are presented and addressed in the book - most of the time, especially the painful, issues are sugar coated and treated as something that will pass with time. However, the current book took a long hard look at issues such as excessive partying, friendship, drug use, casual sex, growing up, and intra-familial neglect and what sort of consequences these had on the girls and their future. All Our Pretty Songs gives, maybe unintentionally, a wake-up call of what living without rules can do to a person.

However, there were things that I didn't really like. The love interest, Jack, left me completely cold. Apparently he was supposed to be this charismatic, artistic, and insightful guy, but we don't really learn that much about him, not to even mention that I felt like he was playing with the nameless narrator and didn't even really care that much for her in the end. But at some point I started to wonder that maybe All Our Pretty Songs wasn't really about romantic love at all? 

The book also took its time to present the supernatural element, and at some point I was even wondering if I had misunderstood it being an urban fantasy book. In a way it was rather refreshing that the supernatural wasn't thrown in the readers faces straight away, but there was a long (and also a bit anxious) wait before it was revealed in which fantasy sub genre the book belonged to. But the wait definitely was worth it as it was quite surprising to me and I think the book took an interesting, new approach to the supernatural. 

I can very honestly say that I hadn't read a book before and after reading All Our Pretty Songs that reminds me of this book. There was something quite unique about the book, most likely due to the lyrical language and magical realism, that made you to think about the book even days after finishing it. But then again there were quite a lot of angst and sometimes it was difficult to relate to the nameless narrator which definitely lowered my opinion of the book. I think you need to read the book to understand what I mean. This quote quite well sums up the book:
"This is a story about love, but not the kind of love you think. You'll see."
 


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday Post (#1)


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 
So, I have decided to start doing weekly Sunday Posts for quite many reasons:
  1. It helps me (and hopefully you) to get a sense of what I have achieved this week in the bloggersphere as well as reading-wise. 
  2. This is a great way to discover some new blogs and lovely bloggers.
  3. I think Sundays are just meant for laid-back, chill posts.
  4. I need more Memes, so I can post something everyday (I can't post a review everyday, I would ran out of them pretty quickly!)
  5. I love doing Memes.

What I read this week

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch
The Troop by Nick Cutter
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Reviews

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers 
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) by April G. Tucholke 
The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch 

Memes

Top Ten Tuesday
Teaser Tuesday
Waiting on Wednesday
Stacking the Shelves

What else I've been up to this week

1. Last lecture. I had my last lecture of the semester this Friday! Yay! But of course this also means that I have start prepping myself from the upcoming exams which are on May.. Not so yay.

2. An internship. I found out that a psychiatric ward accepted me as their summer intern! I'm so psyched about it that it makes me all giggly just to even think about it. 


What have you been up to this week?


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Stacking the Shelves (#9)


It's Saturday and so it's time for Stacking the Shelves!
Here is my haul from this week:

E-books:


The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1) by Sherry Thomas


NetGalley:



Shattered Secrets (Book of Red, #1) by Krystal Wade

What did you get this week and have you read any of these? What were you thoughts?



Friday, 28 March 2014

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch


Description from Goodreads:

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.


Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body—though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring — and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past...Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.



Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha — or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.


--

You did it again, Lynch. You did it again. Scott Lynch is just a genius with epic fantasy novels as he gives the reader an incredible ride of excitement, humour, romance, twists, and wonder. To be honest, I'm almost at loss of words, because Gentleman Bastard series is so unique and refreshing with one of my favourite fictional characters ever: Locke Lamora.  I think I could write a whole essay just about him and his complexities and different dimensions, but this time I will settle just for a review of The Republic of Thieves which was, by the way, simply spectacular.

I really enjoy how the author structures his novels; there is the main plot that is the present time, and then there are the flashbacks to Locke and Gentlemen Bastards' past. It is so genius to alternate between these two timelines as the chapter of the present ends, we are left off in a cliffhanger! And the same happens with the past timeline chapters! So basically, every time you start a new chapter (whether it was the present or the past timeline) you are hoping that the next chapter would already begin. This solution makes you so hooked to the novel that you just can't put the book down. I had some serious reading binges with this book - for several days I could just sit still for hours and keep reading until my eyes hurt.

Even though the overall plot was rather formidable as ever, I have to say that I did enjoy the past timeline more than the present one. There are various reasons for this. First of all, the readers finally see how Sabetha and Locke come to meet each other. It was really interesting to follow how their relationship started forming and evolved through times, with a wonderful contribution of the events of the present timeline. Secondly, even though there were twists in both timelines, and the present timeline might have had even better ones, there was something about having the whole gang of Gentlemen Bastards and Sister being together. It was like a glimpse to the golden memories. Everything seemed to be so relatively simple and easy compared to the worries of the today. (Thirdly, I love the Sansa twins)

One of the main reasons why the third book of the series stands out from the rest of the books is due to the fact we finally get to meet Sabetha Belacoros! And her character was so, so perfect - even better than the teasing hints let us know in the previous books. I loved the fact that even though Sabetha and Locke have plenty of history, Sabetha wasn't simply the love interest. The readers are very clearly let known that she is a woman for herself first, and by no means she is dependent on Locke. It's more the other way around - Locke can't seem to live to the fullest without her. Sabetha is intelligent, ambitious, self-reliant, and of course beautiful - which makes her deadly and so freaking fantastic. I loved her witty come backs and that the fact that she is equal to Locke, even though it is multiple times stressed how unbeatable he is.

Another favourite thing of mine in the book was that the readers get a chance to have the hilarious Sanza twins back for a moment, thanks to the flashbacks. I can't believe that I forgot how amazing Calo and Caldo were together. I seriously laughed out loud in several occasions as their sense of humour is so twisted and their habits rather grotesque. But I wouldn't have them any other way. Even though the twins' main function in the book is mainly to be the comic relief as Locke's minions, there also were moments when they showed their empathetic sides as well - they were more than just a few laughs.

The only thing that disappointed me slightly was that the political plot in the present timeline wasn't as intriguing as it could have been. In the previous books, we get to know rather well the so called foes, but this time there wasn't single, specific enemy (except for Sabetha) that Locke and Jean could face. In a way I do understand this, because if another archenemy was included, the novel would have been perhaps too long for the readers' own good. There were a few dull moments in the present timeline, but they were overshadowed by all the greatness that followed them.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) by April G. Tucholke


Description from Goodreads:

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…


Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 


Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?


Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 


Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.


Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

--

It has been over 24h since I finished reading Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and still can't stop thinking about it. But the thing is that I'm not sure if it's because I really liked it, or because I disliked it. There were somethings that made a huge impression on me while some others made me cringe. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is one of those books you embrace and which become one of your favourite novels, or one of those which make a scowl at the whole gothic genre. For me, both of these things happened.

I simply fell in love with the beautiful prose Tucholke wrote. She has a very soft and pleasant style with lots of imaginary and little dialogue. In some sense, her writing style reminded me a bit of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, and let me tell you, I'm a huge fan of his writing. Tulchoke seems to capture really easily the atmosphere and personalities of the characters without really saying them out loud, but instead with subtle hints and depictions of relationships, habits, and reactions we get the impressions she wants to convey. I really, really liked her writing style. I'm not sure if I can emphasise that enough. She also made a lot of references to old black-and-white movies and with these allusions she created a very sophisticated (and maybe a bit hipster) mood that fitted perfectly the sleepy, coastal small town setting.

But then, some of the author's choices plot wise were not really to my liking. For example, there is insta-love. And I don't think there are lots of things that I hate more than instant love between the characters. Even though River obviously is secretive (and not in a good way), has violent tendencies, and can be  extremely selfish, Violet goes to sleep next to him without even knowing him more than 24 hours? If I was in Violet's position, I would never go and sleep with a stranger on a same couch. I do understand that Violet is very enamoured by River and that she is curious about him, so she is very willing to lots of things to be near him. But I just wished that she would have been more hesitant about giving herself away emotionally.

That being said, I really liked Violet's character if the her instant infatuation with River isn't counted. At first, I thought that she was a huge snob, but she is a lot more than just that: she is perceptive, smart, shy yet straight-forward, very humane and kind, but also a bit of weirdo which suited me just fine. She became more and more likeable as the story progressed, just like the story line itself. Even though I just mentioned how I hated the fact that there was insta-love between Violet and River, I was so relieved when Violet learnt more about River and his abilities, and her reaction became what it should have been in  the first place: she did become very hesitant, suspicious, and untrusting of River which was the reaction I was hoping to get from her. However, it didn't last very long the attraction overwhelmed reason.

So I did like Violet a lot, but I didn't really like River that much. He was just a bit too slimy for liking with his "black linen pants - the kind I thought only stubble-jawed Spanish men wore in European movies set by the sea". Oh, no. When this description is one the very first of the love interest, you just cannot get rid of this image from your head for the rest of the book. Even though River was very phlegmatic and charming, I just kept picturing his linen pants. I know, it's only one detail, but this one detail determined the first impression that I got from him: slimy, overly confident, and not to be trusted (this impression did slowly change, but it was my own conscious effort that made it happen). 

The last thing that I want to talk about is the plot. The beginning of the story was somehow wearisome, without exactly being boring. The first half of the book felt a bit unfocused to me, so it was difficult to concentrate and understand everything that was going on. For instance, there was this one cemetery scene that felt really separate from the rest of the book, and it just was very confusing and difficult to read. However, the second half of the book was very intriguing, and the ending was just phenomenal. It was so scary and bone chilling that I could read the whole book again just to read the climax again. The ending was so hauntingly and brilliantly written that thanks to it, I see the whole book in a completely different light.

I think you can see from the long review that I had quite a lot to say about Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and I think I will gather even more opinions during the next few days while going over the events, characters, and the setting. I'm so in love with the writing and some of the characters like Violet, but then some other characters like River and the (slut)shaming of Sunshine, plus the beginning of the plot just made frustrated, and to be honest, a bit annoyed. I can't give this book any stars because I'm not still sure how I feel about this book. But what can give, is my opinion of it: I'm definitely not indifferent towards it. 



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#11)


Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

(The Remnant Chronicles, #1)
 by Mary E. Pearson


Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction

Pages: 496

Expected Publication: July 15, 2014

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Description from Goodreads:

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.


In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.


On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assasin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.


Yay, another new high fantasy YA book series! The Kiss of Deception sounds so intriguing, and I haven't read a book about fairies (I think I saw it was about fairies somewhere??)  for a really long time so I'm pretty stoked about this one! Let's hope it ends up being as great as it sounds!






Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Teaser Tuesday (#2)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, 
hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading


I'm currently reading The Geography of You and Me
by Jennifer E. Smith

"He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time. She couldn't wait to read the rest." 

Top Ten Tuesday (#8): Things on my bookish bucket list


Top Ten Tuesday this week is about 
Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

1. To Be Read. The Catcher in the Rye bye J.D Salinger, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Fahreinheit 451  by Ray Radbury, The Stand by Stephen King. And so many more!

2. Participate in a book convention(s). How awesome would that be? To hear the authors to keep talks; buy some new, gorgeous books; meet like minded people! Oh, count me in! However, sadly, I have no clue when I can actually make this come true.

3. Reading challenge. Last year I read 70 books, but this year I'm a bit behind with my schedule. Originally, I was planning to read more than 70 books in 2014, but now I'll be happy if I reach 70.

4. Visit library more often. I have no valid reason not to go there. But still I don't? So this is an item on the list that needs to be done!

5. Read books in different countries. So, I'm a bit of a romantic. The idea of reading a book in a local coffee shop abroad sounds so lovely to me. Oh, I want to do it already now! I can picture myself maybe in Rome, New York, Paris, or Stockholm having a delicious latte in a  cosy caf√©. I try to go abroad at least once in a year, so maybe I could take this challenge to read a book in a coffee house in every country I visit from now on?

6. Buy more e-books. I love physical copies of books. I adore them - the smell, the feeling  of the paper on my fingertips, the way you can organise them beautifully on your shelves, how they make your bag look like you are carrying something else than just your keys. But the thing is that I'm moving out from my place in a year, and I already know now that I just can't keep all the physical books - I have to give a majority of them away. So if I do want to keep all my books with me, I should just buy more electronic books. And it's better for the environment as well, right?

7. Visit Charity Shops. So I just mentioned how I should buy more e-books, but sometimes a girl just needs to have her own physical copy. I used to explore all the charity shops in the nearby area regularly, but recently I've been boring and just headed to the biggest bookstore you can find in the city. I miss the excitement you get in a charity shop, because you never know what you might find.

8. Finish different series. I have a problem: I start reading new series before I've had the chance to finish the ones that I'm in the middle of. Sometimes this is understandable because some of the sequels haven't been published yet, but often I'm just too restless - I want to read everything right now right here. And this has lead me to have (too) many unfinished series, even though I've loved the books. So I should finish some before starting any new ones!

9. A Personal Library. One of my dreams is to live in a house which can spare a room for the sole reason of it being a private library. It would have shelves and shelves of books, a really comfy armchair or a sofa by the window with a nice view. And maybe a coffee maker in the corner with a jar of chocolate chip cookies. Yes, please.

10. Don't be too harsh on yourself as a reader/blogger. Occasionally, I get frustrated at myself, and there are various reasons for this: I'm too slow reader, I haven't written a review for a long time, I'm not as verbally flexible as the other bloggers, I need to talk more often to other bloggers, I have finished only one book this week, and these are just the tip of the iceberg! I'm a perfectionist so I have a high need to do everything perfectly and just as I've planned them, but I need to remember that just isn't how life goes. Be gentler with yourself.

Do you have any of the same items on your bucket lists?  


Monday, 24 March 2014

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers


Description from Goodreads:


Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

--


Oh boy, I don't even know where to start. The beginning of the book was phenomenal and extremely engaging, and I was so excited about it because Grave Mercy had all the potential to become one of my treasured, favourite YA fantasy books. But. Something went terribly wrong, and after reaching the halfway of the book, it was just dismal to continue. I don't usually like to make as strong arguments as "hating" a book but I'm really close to giving this book only 1 star. 

Like I already said, the book was so intriguing in the beginning. I mean assassin nuns? How could that go wrong? Well it did. Somehow. The setting was so great - we have the main character, Ismae, who has been traumatised by her horrible family, but with a hint of luck and help, she manages to escape her appalling future with her drunk fianc√©. She starts attending the convent of St. Mortain, where she becomes familiar with the mysterious art of Death. Ismae learns about poisons, combat, and deception, making her future looks bright as a promising assassin. 

But then when she is assigned to go high court of Brittany for a mission, everything starts to go downhill. And I don't know where to start! First of all, in the beginning of the book, I adored Ismae: she was sassy, intelligent, self-reliant and self-efficient, strong emotionally and physically, as well very likeable. She had the whole package of a great heroine! But then all of a sudden, she becomes this love sick puppy and the great personality the author has created seems to go down the drain. Ismae becomes almost obsessed  with Gavriel, the love interest, and even though she tries to hide, it is so painfully obvious that he is all she can think about. And this really frustrated me. I can understand that once you are in love with someone, your world can starts revolving around this person, but I just didn't want that to happen to Ismae. She was so much more than a young woman in love, and the whole romance seemed to swallow it. 

It actually took me over a month to read this book, just simply because I kept postponing the reading. I think I could have forgiven the romance-that-was-straight-from-a-harlequin-cover, but the world lacked quite a bit of depth. There was very little if any description of the physical and cultural world Ismae inhabited, and it bugged me so much. The story could have bloomed with all the details and uniqueness that is often associated with historical fiction, but the only depictions we get are about Gavriel. No, thank you. I could have forgiven this as well, but then when the readers were thrust into "the deadly political game", which to be honest was just an attempt in such, was a sore disappointment as well. There were some scheming and mental (and physical) maiming, but it didn't feel very authentic or original to me (maybe I can thank A Song of Ice and Fire series for this?). 

I know that some people are just absolutely smitten with this book, and that's completely fine with me. Maybe I was the one to miss that something that made everyone else fall in love with the novel? I expected a story filled with political scheming and assassination attempts, but I feel like the only thing that the book could offer me was a mediocre romance between Ismae and Gavriel. I don't want to give Grave Mercy only 1 star, because I did enjoy the beginning as it was very entertaining and original. Nevertheless, the book one of His Fair Assassin series didn't reach its whole potential. 


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Stacking the Shelves (#8)

It's Saturday and so it's time for Stacking the Shelves!
Here's what I managed to get my hands on:

E-books:





Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1) by Sally Green

Boundless (Unearthly, #3) by Cynthia Hand

NetGalley:



Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 
(Between, #1) by April G. Tucholke

I already got the chance to read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, but Boundless and Half Bad are still  waiting their turn. Nevertheless, I was pretty excited about all of these when I got hold of them. Have you read any of these and if you have, how did you like them?



Friday, 21 March 2014

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth


Description from Goodreads:


I HAVE DONE BAD THINGS.
I CAN'T TAKE THEM BACK,
AND THEY ARE PART OF WHO I AM.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever... because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.


--

Another gripping book from Roth! However, even though as much as I liked Insurgent, I have to admit it wasn't as good as Divergent. But that usually happens to me, liking the first book more than the second one, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. The second instalment did offer once again lots of action, some great twists, realistic handling of the emotions concerning the aftermath, and some drama between Tris and Four.

My favourite thing in this book was the depiction of Tris coping with the loss of her parents, killing her friend, and the overall trauma caused by the betrayal and attack by Erudite. Even though post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder that might be sometimes difficult to depict as it can have various forms, I think Roth did a pretty good job depicting one variation that affected Tris: she became depressed; saw nightmares; had trust difficulties that had subsequent effects on her relationships, especially with Four; had painful flashbacks; and at times she felt empty and lethargic. And the fact that her PTSD didn't last for only for the first chapter, but was one of the major themes lasting the whole book, made me rather happy (if you could say so). Her emotional distress became very realistic as her symptoms persisted and persevered, protruding into all aspects of her life. 

And of course like I already mentioned, it would be only natural that her PTSD would influence also her relationship with Four. He is trying to be as supportive and understanding as possible when it comes to Tris's emotional turmoil, but Tris keeps pushing him away which understandably creates tension between these two. I liked that now that they are officially together, their relationship wasn't depicted through rose-tinted glasses, but it was made as relationships really are: there are ups and downs. Even though I did like Four before, I only started loving him in this second book. He was so attentive to her needs, caring, and understanding with Tris, but yet staying true to his own character. In Divergent we see him as this independent and headstrong man, but in Insurgent we get to see a softer side of him which I really enjoyed. His character development is proceeding pretty well and I'm hoping to see more of it in Allegiant.  

The plot in overall was definitely better than an average one, but the end felt a little bit of anti-climatic for me. There was a situation going on maybe after I've had read 75% of the book which would have ended the book perfectly, but no. The book continued. I had read somewhere before staring the book, that there would be a big reveal in the end of Insurgent, but for me it was more of a confirmation to my suspicions more than anything else. I was rather happy nevertheless that we got a little bit of information why Tris lives in a society where people are divided into factions, because I was already hoping to know it in the first book. Nevertheless, I was slightly disappointed with the ending, but otherwise the book kept me fully entertained the whole time.

I'm rather scared to start reading the third book, Allegiant, because it has the average rating of 3.63 while the the other two books have over 4.2. Of course I might end up loving Allegiant even though people in general have been a tad disappointed with it. I'm not going to read it straight away after finishing with Insurgent, but I will definitely find a copy of it in the near future. I want to know more what happened in the past and what will become of the society! 

☆ or 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Description from Goodreads:

The final instalment in the internationally bestselling Delirium trilogy.

It is the rule of the Wilds:
You must be bigger, and stronger, and tougher.
A coldness radiates through me, a solid wall that is growing, piece by piece, in my chest. He doesn't love me?
He never loved me.
It was all a lie.

'The old Lena is dead', I say, and then push past him. Each step is more difficult than the last; the heaviness fills me and turns my limbs to stone.

You must hurt, or be hurt.

Lena can build the walls, but what if there's no one left to take them down? The powerful, heartbreaking conclusion to one of the most eagerly awaited, talked-about series is here.


--


Finally finished with the series! What a ride it was. I'm really glad I found this trilogy, even though it took me a little bit of time to finish it from cover to cover. Delirium and Pandemonium definitely are my favourites, but Requiem is my least favourite. I did like the third book, but there were somethings that didn't really please me too much and the book as a whole was some what anti-climatic. However, I did find myself enjoying the book and it I think Requiem was reasonably okay ending to the trilogy, even though I was hoping that it would end up with a bang.

Requiem is told from two different perspective: from Lena and Hana's point of view. Surprisingly, I enjoyed more Hana's story than Lena's. Every chapter that was told from Hana's p.o.v kept me intrigued and wanting to know more, and I think at one point I actually counted the pages of Lena's chapters so that I would know when can I read again about Hana's life. The main reason probably for this was that Lena's chapters seemed to repeat themselves, as they were all about the revolution, survival, or the love triangle which started to feel a bit dull after a while, whereas with Hana the readers got inside information about the cured society and their plans. Also the internal struggle Hana experienced was interesting to observe and I grew to like her a lot more than previously. She experienced a really wonderful character development which completely overshadowed Lena and her story. However, one of my favourite chapters of the book was from Lena's point of view so I have to give credit for that.


I was rather bummed how the love triangle turned out to be. I can totally understand Lena being torn between two guys, but at times I became rather annoyed with the whole situation. It is rather obvious which of the guys Lena really loves and I hated seeing her playing with the other guy. I really liked both the guys as their characters are sort of silent, strong, suffering types, and even though I didn't really care for the love triangle in this particular book, I did like how I myself became really attached to both guys. I just wish there were more scenes of them in the book.


I think everyone who has read some of the reviews of Requiemmust have come across how some people were disappointed with the ending. I have to admit that at first I though "Is this really it?" as I would have liked the trilogy to end with a big (maybe a surprising?) bang, but all of it was rather predictable even though there was left a little bit of room for the reader's own interpretation. Now that I have gotten a bit of time to think about the ending, I like it more now, even though I'm still not fully satisfied with it. I understand why Oliver would have wanted to write an ending like that and I think it was rather safe way to end the trilogy.


Even though the structure was very clear and focused, Requiem lacked a bit of depth. Quite many things felt rushed to me - like she ran out of ideas. I think some of things like the love triangle and the relationship between Lena and her mother would have deserved more time and exploration. Oliver did address all the major themes presented in the trilogy, but she just scratched the surface in the third book. There was so much material to make some really touching and deep comments, for example about greed and lost. I would have liked to know more about how much Julian was affected by being thrown into the Wilds and being separated from his family. The readers never learn what he was really feeling if the indirect grunts and dark looks he had from time to time aren't counted.


I did enjoy reading this book, but I have to admit that the last 25% of the book was way better than the rest 75%. At points it felt like the book was jamming in one place but luckily Hana's p.o.v did give some relief. I do want to reread the trilogy at some point again just to get the overall picture as there were pretty long pauses between the books. Nevertheless, I really recommend the trilogy and Requiem for those who are interested to read it!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#10)


Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

by Jenny Han


Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Chick-Lit, Contemporary
Pages: 288

Expected Publication: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Description from Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

I don't know about you, but to me this sounds like a perfect summer read! I rarely end up reading chick-lit, but sometimes you come across with amazing sounding gems like To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and you just know that you have to get a copy of it! 

What do you think about To All the Boys I've Loved Before