Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

My rating:

Is not his the law, Eye for eye, hand for hand, foot for foot? Oh, in all these years I have dreamed of vengeance, and prayed and provided for it, and gathered patience from the growing of my store, thinking and promising, as the Lord liveth, it will one day buy me punishment of the wrong-doers?

Who's in for a revenge tale set in the first century a.C.?

Ben-Hur is a man who's perfectly happy. He has a mother and a sister who love him, and he's friends with a Roman, and that puts him in a position of privilege. All is well until one day he killed a Roman governor. It was an accident, but no one believes him. He's desperate, yet he can do nothing.

But wait, he has a friend – Messalla - who can help him. Too bad he betrays him and sends him to the galleys in a life sentence.

Obviously, Ben-Hur is angry. His life has been completely ruined. He will never get to see his family again because the passage to the galleys is a one-way ticket.

By some turns of events – call them fate or luck - the ship in which he worked sank and he managed to get out and save a governor. Saving that governor gained him a great price: Fortune. Now, with money, his hatred turns to a desire of revenge and he's willing to make Messalla pay for what he did.

All of the above may make the book sound like some epic tale of revenge, perhaps as epic as The Count of Monte Cristo. Well, it wasn't.

Let me tell you how the book starts: Part 1 of the book is a complete recollection of Jesus' birth. It's even more detailed than in the Bible. Well, to be honest, that would not have been so bad if it weren't for the writing.

The writing have me many, many headaches. It was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. Look at this passage, for example:

A moment they looked at each other; then they embraced—that is, each threw his right arm over the other’s shoulder, and the left round the side, placing his chin first upon the left, then upon the right breast.

Do you think it's necessary that amount of detail? I mean, I understand they hugged, but I need not a description of how a hug is. That's excessive. Now imagine 500 pages of descriptions like those. A nightmare, isn't it?

Not only is the writing like that. The author also assumes the reader is stupid. I couldn't find the quote, but there's a line at the beginning in which the author basically says: “I know you don't know anything about history, so I'll tell you something: Before Jesus was born, time was not measured by how many years had passed since his birth. That's because he didn't exist yet.”

Isn't it a little obvious? If the man who's used as reference for measuring years has not been born yet, how can you use his birth as reference? It's called logic, Mr. Wallace. You don't need to be an historian to know that.

Also, the writing was bland, boring and stiff. Here's your proof:

“What has happened? What does it all mean?” she asked, in sudden alarm.

“I have killed the Roman governor. The tile fell upon him.”

Doesn't it feel a little... lacking of emotion? I mean, if you kill someone important by accident, would you be so calm? Ben-Hur is supposed to be afraid, yet that passage doesn't make him sound like that. If anything, he sounds bored, like “Hey, look, the tile fell upon the Roman governor and I killed him! Bah, YOLO. Who cares?”

There's this one too:

Malluch looked into Ben-Hur’s face for a hint of meaning, but saw, instead, two bright-red spots, one on each cheek, and in his eyes traces of what might have been repressed tears (...)

No emotions, right?

Then, Wallace kept addressing the readers. I don't have a problem with that, but in this case, I hated it. Why? Because he did it in almost every page. I'm going to show you the ones I had enough patience to look for:

The reader who recollects the history of Balthasar as given by himself at the meeting in the desert will understand the effect of Ben-Hur’s assertion of disinterestedness upon that worthy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Show me Ben-Hur is disinterested. I want to feel him disinterested. I don't want you telling me. Here's an advice for you, Mr. Wallace: Show, not tell.

He fell to thinking; and even the reader will say he was having a vision of the woman, and that it was more welcome than that of Esther, if only because it stayed longer with him (...)

No, you cannot tell what I was thinking at that moment. In fact, when I read that line I was wondering what the dinner was going to be.

If the reader will take a map of Greece and the AEgean, he will notice the island of Euboea lying along the classic coast like a rampart against Asia, leaving a channel between it and the continent quite a hundred and twenty miles in length, and scarcely an average of eight in width.

See? I was so damn tired of it after 20 pages! And this block has more than five. Hundred. Pages!

There's also the religious plot. I thought it would not bother me, but in the end, it did. I'll show you why:

Exhibit A: “Who's Jesus?”

Where was the Child then?
And what was his mission?

Yes, Wallace made a big mystery about Jesus. I said he assumes the reader is stupid. Here's one example of that: He tries to thrill the reader into the mystery as to who the Mesiah is. Please, you don't have to be Catholic to know who's the great Mesiah in that religion. Everyone knows that!

Exhibit B: “Believe in God, or else you go to Hell.”

This was not a revenge tale. This was a redemption tale. I knew that from the beginning because I've watched the movie thousands of times (and the name of the book makes it obvious) and I know the story as I know my house, so I didn't expect to get angry at that. What got me was that basically, the message Wallace gives you is the one I wrote as exhibit B: If you don't pray, then you're a bad person. We all know that's not necessarily true. But I'll stop talking about that here.

At the beginning of this review, I said this could have been EPIC. And indeed, it had all the chances of being so; I mean, it's a REVENGE tale. I love those, so I was expecting to like this, but what I got was an overdose of BOREDOM. Really, you could change the name of the book to "Ben-Dull: A Tale of Tediousness".

In the end, this book was bad. I do not understand why it has such a high average rating (and with more than 40 thousand rates). I don't get very suspicious about high ratings when we're talking about classics, but this book has made me learn the lesson: That a book is a classic doesn't mean you can trust the hype.

Oh, and may I tell you something else? The movie was better.

The movie better than the book. Can you believe it? No, of course you can't. It's always the book better than the movie, but trust me, that's not the case with this book.

Now, pay attention to the following quote. It's the ending paragraph of the book:

If any of my readers, visiting Rome, will make the short journey to the Catacomb of San Calixto, which is more ancient than that of San Sebastiano, he will see what became of the fortune of Ben-Hur, and give him thanks. Out of that vast tomb Christianity issued to supersede the Caesars.

If you go there, make sure you thank Ben-Hur, or else, Wallace can get angry.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

My rating:

There's no way to properly review this thing, so I'm just gonna tell you how I met the Harry Potter series...

There was a little girl named Vanessa who always wanted to do the contrary to what people wanted her to do. If she had a chore to do, she would do it as long as they let her alone. If mom or dad or one of her brothers or her sister or anyone in her family told her to do it, she would immediately refuse, because she takes no orders. She's her own boss.

As she was like that, then if something was popular, she would not do/read/watch/whatever it. Well, there was this particular little series that everyone had read. It had movies and everyone loved them.

Do you know what she did? She promised herself she would never read them. She had already watched the movies (the ones that were out) and she rather liked them, but she would not touch the books, because doing so would mean she was just like everyone else, and she was special (yeah, I was that arrogant).

Some years later.

October 15th, 2011.

It was a gray day and it was her brother's birthday. Mother wanted to gift his son something that he would enjoy, but not videogames or stuff like that. She wanted something with more educational value - say, a book.

Mother knew Vanessa's brother liked the HP movies (up until the sixth one), and as there was a book fair at his school (which was mine too), and the books upon which the movies were based were there. She bought the first and gave it to his son for his birthday.

Some of her mother's friend had also given Vanessa's brother several of the other boks in the series. It seemed as if they had planned the whole thing.

Of course Vanessa thought there was a hidden purpose there. She thought her mother had bought the books so she wouldn't resist on picking them (I told you I was arrogant, didn't I?).

She was wrong. That was not her mother's purpose, but in the end, Vanessa couldn't resist the pull. She wanted and didn't want to read the books.

Wanted them for some reasons:

· She had always been intrigued by them.
· She was the reader in the house. She couldn't stand the fact that her brother (who hated - and still hates - reading) was going to read more books than her (don't even tell me).
· A "friend" of hers was bragging she had read the HP books in less than one week and she wanted to prove her she could do the same.

Didn't want them for some reasons:

· Reading them would mean she was a common girl (I was an insufferable 13-year-old girl - don't blame me).
· She would break her promise if she read them.
· If she read them, she would do what everyone else wanted her to do, and as you know, she hates being told what to do.

After a long time of deep philosophizing (aka one day), she decided she would read them. What could be the worst thing to happen?

It turns out she loved the first book. Her reaction upon starting it was something like this:

After that, she wanted the next ones. She borrowed the books from his brothers and read them all up to the 5th one (those were the ones we had) in one week. She felt sorry for not doing it any sooner.


Yeah, I was and still am like that. I'm really glad I decided to read the books. I've just re-read this, and I can only say that it was even more awesome the second time around. All HP fans can agree with me on that.

They all have amazing plots, fantastic character development, writing that improves over the books, great story and wold building, etc. What else can I need?

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: All the Rage

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

My rating:

You know all the ways you can kill a girl?
God, there are so many.

Do you know what haphephobia is? It's the fear to physical contact. I suffer from that. I don't feel comfortable when people try to hug me or touch me – not even by my family. It started when I was 11 years old.

I moved from the country I was born in November of 2007. The next year, I was the new girl at school. It didn't help that I was 2 years younger than everyone and that I was from another country – worse even, there's a lot of hatred towards my country. The kids in there loved to play jokes on me, for example, asking me out and invading my personal space and hugging me even when I didn't want to.

I never spoke up.

The next year, in 2009, I was again the new girl. And again, I was 2 years younger than the rest of the group. They thought that since I was younger, then I also was inferior. The same jokes were played. Once, I remember, I was in a break when a group came to me. I was alone. I had no friends. I thought they came with good intentions. I was 13, for god sake!

It turns out they didn't have good intentions.

I was sitting on a bank, and two guys from the group took places next to me, so I was in the center. They started with the same things I was so tired of, just this time, they talked about their dicks and how they knew I wanted to touch them.

I was scared to hell. I didn't know what to do. The girls that came with them were just there giggling. I wanted to plead to them, to make the guys stop, but they were just laughing. Thankfully, the bell sounded and it was time to go to classes. But in the way to our classrooms the guys still took me by the hands and they led the way.

For 4 years I was victim of the same things and I never spoke. I never spoke because I felt hated. I've always felt hated. Every time I asked my parents' help with something, they ignored me. They've always ignored me. In fact, just last week I was in a deep depression because literally everyone in my family told me they were happy I was gonna turn 18 this year because they would officially be rid of me.

Maybe this anecdote is not making sense and it's not such a horrible experience, but with every page I read of this book, I could not stop myself from thinking about that. I know I didn't suffer that same things Romy went through in this book, but I understood her.

She's had a difficult life. She was raped and no one believes her. And to make things worse, people not only think she's a liar – they also make fun of her and play horrible and cruel pranks on her. So obviously she feels there's no use for her to speak up. No one is going to take her seriously after all.

and how do you get a girl to stop crying?
You cover her mouth.

And the name of the book is simply perfect: All the Rage. Indeed, I was angry most of the time while reading this book. The things that happened to Romy were unfair and the people surrounding her were being awful.

At least not everyone in the book treated her like that, though. She had a wonderful mother and a great boyfriend who stops when he's told to stop – as it should be.

The themes addressed in this book are strong, but they're addressed in the correct way. Like, you get to feel how being a girl really is, that a victim of rape is not a weak person, etc. Courtney Summers is certainly a great author. She's now beaten my list of my favorite authors.

I'm not going to spoil you any more details about the book. I'm just going to say that you seriously need this book in your life. Every girl needs this book in her life.

Time passes or it doesn't, but it must – because it has to.

This was my second Courtney Summers book and it was better than the first. She's now in my list of insta-buy authors. We need more authors like her because she's great.


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: All You Need Is Kill

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

My rating:

War. Terrible war. Humans vs a race of aliens called Mimics. It's been going on for years now and it seems to go forever - with the odds for humanity growing slimmer with each day that passes. This is the world in which Keiji Kiriya, a Japanese recruit, lives.

Today is gonna be his first battle, and to make him feel even worse, he gets injured.

I'm gonna die on a fucking battlefield. On some godforsaken island with no friends, no family, no girlfriend. In pain, in fear, covered in my own shit because of the fear. And I can't even raise the only weapon I have left to fend off the bastard racing toward me. It was like all the fire in me left with my last round of ammo.

That's when he meets Rita Vrataski, the Full Metal Bitch.

I’d heard stories. A war junkie always chasing the action, no matter where it led her. Word had it she and her Special Forces squad from the U.S. Army had chalked up half of all confirmed Mimic kills ever. Maybe anyone who could see that much fighting and live to tell about it really was the Angel of Death.

She's the most famous soldier of the war. Her abilities in killing Mimics cannot be outstanded by anyone. Too bad the odds were not with Keiji that day, because in the end he died... only to wake up the day before his battle and feel as if all had been a dream.

I remembered the whole thing. I was nervous about it being my first battle, so I’d decided to duck out a bit early. I had come back to my bunk and started reading that mystery novel. I even remembered helping Yonabaru up to his bed when he came staggering in from partying with the ladies.

Unless—unless I had dreamed that too?

Again he goes to war and dies and wakes up in the same way he did the previous time. Over and over again.

So long as the wind blows, I’m born again, and I die. I can’t take anything with me to my next life. The only things I get to keep are my solitude, a fear that no one can understand, and the feel of
the trigger against my finger.

Rita Vrataski and Keiji Kiriya may easily be one of the best cast of characters I've read about. None of them is perfect. Keiji is not fearless, for example. He's terrified of death and he's not afraid of telling you that. He also feels alone quite most of the time, and things have never gone the way he plans. He had motives of his own for enlisting in the army.

I liked being inside his head. His narration was easy to follow and it was highly enjoyable. It was funny at some points and I connected with him very fast, which is something that influences a lot in my rating for a book.

I was weak. I couldn’t even get the woman I loved—the librarian—to look me in the eye.

I also loved how he grows as a character thorough the book. At the beginning he is no other than a normal guy you could find on the streets, but once he grabs hold of his “ability”, he starts training to become the soldier he dreams to be.

Pretending to be a hero slain in battle was one thing. Dying a hero in a real war was another. As I got older, I understood the difference, and I knew I didn’t wanna die. Not even in a dream.

The other character I mentioned, Rita, was by far my favorite, though.

The Americans called Rita the Full Metal Bitch, or sometimes just Queen Bitch. When no one was listening, we called her Mad Wargarita.

Right now, I can't remember the last time I read about such a kick-ass character. She's strong, brave, she doesn't like people messing with her and she hates Mimics with all her soul. Like, she has a very personal reason to hate them.

If she had a bad headache, she’d go apeshit, killing friend and foe alike. And yet not a single enemy round had ever so much as grazed her Jacket. She could walk into any hell and come back unscathed.

Her backstory has just as amazing as herself too. And she's a well developed character as well. I feel like there should be more books with these kind of characters: Strong, badass and confident. And even when she has all those things, she's just a normal girl – no special snowflake.

Rita’s only other distinguishing feature was the red hair she’d inherited from her grandmother. Everything else about her was exactly like any other of over three hundred million Americans.

And don't even get me started on the writing... “Full Amazing Writing” would be the perfect words to describe it. You can feel everything. Full load of feels all over the way. Some times I couldn't help but laugh out loud, some others made me a little sad, others kept me at the edge of my seat because the action was very intense. In summary, I felt, which you already know is something I consider important hile reading a book.

You can’t learn from your mistakes when they kill you. These greenhorns didn’t know what it was to walk the razor’s edge between life and death. They didn’t know that the line dividing the two, the borderland piled high with corpses, was the easiest place to survive. The fear that permeated every fiber of my being as relentless, it was cruel, and it was my best hope for getting through this.

My only complaint for this book is that it didn't last longer. Really, I started it at 3 pm this day and I ended it at 10:30 pm. I finished it in 7 effing hours! Never could I stop myself from reading it. Now I just wish to go back and read it again, for entertainment's sake and because it also had some really awesome quotes I'd like to re-read.

Truly recommended.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: The Deal

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF at 30%

I should have left this book in my thank-you-but-no-thank-you shelf. First because I was not interested in it, and second because I had a bad feeling. Maybe the book gets better, but I just simply cannot read it.

I'm gonna tell you what made me leave it:

In the five years since the rape, my heart has pounded for only two guys.

The rape... Okay, I know that's a serious thing that happens a lot, but I don't like it when authors use rape as a plot device. They can use it sometimes, but this doesn't seem necessary to the plot - read the synopsis to know what I mean.

Perhaps this is not a bad book, but I'm not curious anymore. The parts I read were funny and easy to read. I could've enjoyed it, but that rape things annoyed me a little.

Another thing that happened in those pages that I found exasperating:

Despite what a lot of folks believe, I’m not a dumb jock. But hey, I don’t mind letting people think I am. Women, in particular. I guess they’re turned on by the idea of screwing the big brawny caveman who’s only good for one thing

Why is he so sure all women drool over him? I know that's just his personality, but dude, you're basically saying that whenever a woman sees a pretty face and some abs, they're gonna go crazy. Not everyone is like that.

And then, a little before he says that, he makes a joke that involves his recently-dead teacher.

For fifteen years, Timothy Lane handed out A’s like mints. The year I take the class? Lane’s ticker quits ticking, and I get stuck with Pamela Tolbert.

Ha, ha, ha. I find that disrespectful, not funny. Sorry if you don't think like me.

And now, if you're a guy and you're reading this, tell me this is not true:

I waste no time striding toward her. Because... again... I’m a guy.

So, in other words, no man can resist a lady. If she has a good body, then he has to screw her.

And not only is he an arrogant prick, but he's also a stalker. Like, she didn't give him her phone number, yet, he gets it. At least he didn't track her and he's honest with her when she asks him where he got it.

I did like Hannah, though. Even when she was raped, she handled things well.

And the most important lesson I learned is that I’m not a victim—I’m a survivor.

Both the voices in which the book is narrated - Hannah and Garrett - are different, and funny in some way. That's a pro for the book. Still, it couldn't make up for the things I didn't like.

If I wanted to really enjoy this, I should not have taken it seriously, but I cannot avoid that. I know this is what some people call "mindless fluff", but... Sigh, I guess you know what I mean. I take books too seriously, and I'm not ashamed of that.

Well, I guess this book managed to come up with both things I liked and things I hated. The negative things (as per usual) surpassed the positive aspects, and I ended up DNF-ing this.

So you see, this is the reason why I barely read NA.

Sorry for the people who liked this. And Aly, I really wanted to like this, but it wasn't for me. Forgive me. The next time it may go better.


Vanessa presents you the new book in her thank-you-but-no-thank-you shelf! Drums please... It's The Deal! And here's a part of the synopsis:

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

And here's her reaction:

EDIT (March 7th, 2015): This is still what I feel towards this book, but--damn it--too many people I follow are reading (and loving) this book. I might as well like it (although a part of me doubts it), who knows?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: The Family of Pascual Duarte

The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo José Cela

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not, sir, a bad person, though in all truth I am not lacking in reason for being one.

Pascual Duarte has done many things in his life. Some of them took him to prison not once but twice times. He's now under his second sentence and he's about to be executed. Thus, he wrote a diary in which he told his entire life and the people who influenced it.

He killed many people. He states that at the beginning, so don't you worry about spoilers. Some in cold blood, some because of revenge, others because of self-defense, etc. The thing is, the man was a murderer.

You kill without thinking, I have well tested; sometimes unintentionally. You hate intensely, fiercely, and the blade is opened and with it wide open, barefoot, you come to the bed where the enemy sleeps.

His past is dark and terrible. I wouldn't wish anyone a life like the one he had. His father and mother abused him, his sister escaped from the house at 16 because she couldn't bear living there any more, the man who dishonors his sister ends up sleeping with his first wife and gets her pregnant.

Plus, he was violent by nature, so should you be surprised about the things he's yet capable of doing? Yes, you should.

The truth is that life in my family had little to rec­ommend it. But since we are not given a choice, but rather are destined—even from before birth—to go some of us one way, some the other, I did my best to accept my fate, which was the only way to avoid desperation.

You should not be surprised that the general tone in this book is pessimistic. I don't have a problem with that, in case you were wondering. For some reason still unknown to me, these kind of books end up being my favorite.

The realism of the novel is also overwhelming and good. The situations portrayed in the book are things that still happen, and since it's narrated in 1st person POV, you can see Pascual's opinions on them. And also, you get the opportunity of being inside a murderer's head.

I'm not made to philosophize, I don't have the heart for it. My heart is more like a machine for making blood to be spilled in a knife fight...

Many people would say this man was mad, but was he indeed? That's actually a rather difficult question for me to answer. When I read this in 2013, my Spanish teacher asked us that question. I've been thinking since that moment if the man was crazy or not, and I still cannot come up with an answer.

Also, is he a bad person? He states at the beginning that he is not, but that he has many reasons to be so. Certainly sometimes he's not acting according to the moral, and his motives may not justify his actions, yet he still claims he's neither a mad nor a bad person.

The ending of the book is also open for interpretations. Was Pascual trying to redeem himself? Was he simply telling his life because he was proud of his actions? Was he just merely trying to explain things?

I wanted to put ground between my shadow and myself, between my name and me, between the memory of my name and the rest of me, between my flesh and me myself, that me myself who, without shadow and name and memory and flesh would be almost nothing.

This is the thing with unreliable narrators: You can never trust all the things they say. Yes, there are some fact about his life that he can't modify because they're things everyone knew... but what about the feelings? What about his inner thoughts? Should they be trusted too? Not in the majority of the cases.

The letters at the beginning and the ending of the book are the only clues as to what you should think about his diary, because the person writing the letters is just as puzzled as the reader.

Anyway, I recommend this. I'm not really sure about this book being one of my all-time-favorites, but it sure was good enough to pass the 2015 re-read test.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I... I...

What can I say?

I remember when I first read this book in 2012. I totally swooned for it, and I was so sure of that love until a few weeks ago, when I decided to review some of the books in the TMI series. Why? Because thinking about those books lead me to think about these ones, so of course I decided to read them again.

The thing is... that fascination is not in my heart any more. You see, when I read this, back then in 2012 when I was still a naive and stupid girl, I was new to the world of YA fiction. I read mostly classics before 2012, and Cassandra Clare's books (as well as The Hunger Games trilogy) were the first ones I ever read in that "genre". (I'm not completely sure about the term "YA fiction". What defines it?)

Being new to this kind of things, of course I was easy to impress. Of course I was going to think it was the most original thing I had ever read. It would've never crossed my mind that the theme of this series was overused and that I would grow tired of it.

That was in 2012. Now, I can see no such originality in here.

But all those things don't mean to say that I hate this, because that's not true. I still liked it a little.

First, IMO, the plot of this series, is much more original than that of TMI. The world-building is better, the setting is better, and plus, it's steampunk. In summary, it was more enjoyable.

The cast of characters is also better than that of TMI. Tessa is so much better as a protagonist than Clary ever was. For once, she's not stupid; and then, her powers were more intriguing.

Obviously, there's a love interest. Nay, there are two love interests, but I wasn't that bothered by them because both were... tolerable.

The first one is Will Herondale. Handsome boy with blue eyes and dark hair. What's your bet? Is he a mysterious guy or not? Of course he is! He hides secrets and is a bit cold at times. At least he's neither an abusive man nor a creepy stalker. And I completely love his name: William. Ahh, that's probably my favorite name in English.

The other one is Jem Carstairs. He's the - how to say it? - one that makes everyone feel sorry. He has some kind of sickness and he's in mortal danger because of it. Handsome as well as his "parabatai". But really, how can we not expect a love interest to be handsome? Because obviously all men in the world are swoon-worthy!

I mentioned in my review about City of Bones that the "villain" felt too cartoonish and that I didn't like him. In this case, I think the villain is better crafted and has more essence than in that other series. His motives are more compelling and interesting for me than the ones that moved Valentine to do all his mischiefs in TMI.

And the writing, while not astounding, was more decent than the one of TMI. I didn't like the writing in TMI, just so you know, but in this one, I rather liked it... or at least I didn't mind about it.

One thing that bothered me was those constant change of POVs. It was annoying as hell. She writes for two pages about Tessa, and then she changes to Will, or to Henry, and ten pages later it's Tessa again, and Jem, and I'm bored to hell, and blah, blah. If you're going to do that, can you at least wait for the chapter to end?

Another thing is... the characters. Yes, I've already said I liked them more, but they felt like recycled copies of characters from TMI. Take Will for example. He felt like Jace at some points. His personality was similar. It was as if Clare just changed his physical appearance and there, there, we have a new character. Will didn't feel as flat and dull and I kind of liked him, but still.

Overall, these are good books, and they're better than TMI. I don't recommend them, though. I feel I've overgrown them and the people who might enjoy this are not people who I interact with (13 years old? Hell, my sister is 13 and I don't think she would like this), so I can't recommend this to anyone in particular.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

You know when you first read a book and you think it is heaven served in a plate? You know when you re-read a book and you think "what the hell was wrong with me when I first rated this book"? Well, that happened to me.

Two years ago, a friend of mine recommended this book to me because she said that everything was perfect on it, that there was a dystopian society, a slight romance and a paranormal touch. You know, what would make a book really enjoyable (or at least tolerable). The thing is, when I first read it, I thought it was fascinating, I thought it was one of the best books I had read, I thought it was amongst my favorite books, I thought many things I don't think any more about this book.

Shatter Me is about this girl, Juliette, who has this special power, she kills people with her touch, and is considered a monster by everyone, including her. She has been locked in some room for a year or so when she finally gets to see a human being again: A guy. A guy her age. A hot guy. A hot guy that turns out to be the only one who can touch her. Pretty cliched, isn't it?

Then, things get better: The "bad guy" appears. I have to confess something here: I liked the "bad guy", Warner (at least a little). He was obviously handsome, a little maniacal, an asshole, a jerk, a _______________ (place as many adjectives you want). I was surprised I would like him at all, but well, you can't really choose what to love, can you?

[Funny fact: I took that quote from The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey, the third book in my absolute favorite book series. The quote goes like this: "We cannot choose to love --or I should say, we cannot choose not to love". Heh.]

Anyway, leaving the hot guys aside, let me discuss the plot...

It was interesting the fact that there is a secret society full of people like Juliette. Or well, not exactly like Juliette. What I meant is that there are people who also have "special powers".

We are promised a dystopian book, but what we really get is a paranormal romance. I mean, there was the complicated things about the society (which name I don't remember. I just know it starts with “R”. Was it “The Reestablishment”?), but it gets on the backgroung, as in most YA books *rolls eyes*.

Right from the beginning of the book, we see Juliette (again, I have to cry for that name, because I really like it) alone and in the next page *poof* Adam appears *rolls eyes*. They instantly have a connection and after a few more pages, she discovers he can touch her.


*rolls eyes*

The insta-love is so ridiculous I wanted to break my skull. I don't really know what I hate more: The insta-love, or the love triangles. Hell, this series managed to have all the things I hate in just one book. Sigh.

Main things I didn't like:

Juliette: I like her name, which is a shame, because I hated her. She was stupid. She is supposed to be a strong character, but the thing is, she is not. She is weak, she is foolish and she is annoying. She was always like this:


Adam: I will not elaborate on this one. I'm just going to say that he was annoying and obviously an asshole. He's also cliched as hell, and I hate cliched characters and books.

Also, it had a ridiculously purple prosed writing. It was annoying. I don't call them metaphors, for they're nonsense. For example, look at this:

He leans back against the couch. Runs a free hand over his face. Seasons change. Stars explode. Someone is walking on the moon.

Whaaa...? Do you understand that? I mean, what does the guy have to do with the moon? Then, this one:

Hate looks just like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into the semblance of something too passive to punch.

See what I'm talking about? This is just nonsense. It doens't make any sense. Am I supposed to drool over that line? Is that supposed to be good, beautiful and poetic writing? Hell no.

I hated every word in this book. I wish I could go back in time and tell my 2012-2013 self what was wrong with me. I wish I could tell her how naive she was, and how stupid she was. I wish I could make her reason.

Anyway, the premise still sounded (sounded, there's the key word) interesting enough for me to continue reading the series until the end. It improved a little with the second book, but then it fell like a cascade (Heh, I used a Juliette-metaphor).

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, I read this quite a long time ago, but when I read it, I honestly had no idea about what to write for a review, besides, it's too short, and it's always really difficult for me to write reviews for short stories.

Well, anyway, this story starts telling us there's a plague spreading and a prince locks himself and some other people in a castle while everyone else is left outside to die. In there, he throws parties and whatnot. There's a particular one that is a masquerade party. Where the party took place are seven rooms painted all in different colors--one of them is black, but no one dares to enter it.

This is the point when things start to give you chills up your spine: Someone plays the brave and enters the room just to see something that was better lest unseen, and everyone is doomed for that reason.

My brother read this story last year in school, and this year, when I got Poe-maniac (Definition: A person who gets obsessed with no particular reason with either Poe as a person or his works), he told me that he had read this one and The Premature Burial (which, as all of Poe's stories, is really good, IMO) many, many times because he had liked them a lot.

Listen, my brother hates to read. In my family, I'm the only bookworm, so of course if my brother decides to read a book on his own, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing is happening. Now imagine if he re-read a book. That's something scary and never to be seen again!

You may have noted that I've rated all of Poe's stories 3+ stars. Well, that's because I simply love Poe. I love his voice in the books, the writing, the storylines, the messages he leaves with each story... everything. He's not what I call my "literary god," or my "life-changing" author, but I admire all his works all the same.

Needless to say, this is a must-read. I feel I've written more than what I should, given the fact that this is a short story, but that, I'm going to take the liberty of saying, is a good thing.

Do you like horror? Then this is just for you.

Tick, tock; tick, tock. The red death has come for you, and you can't escape her. Beware, my friends.

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Review: City of Heavenly Fire

City of Heavenly Fire
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Dear people who love this book,

You are welcome to disagree with me. Everyone is welcome to disagree with everyone, but please, show some respect. Show me humanity has still hope and that not everyone is a troll.




I needed to say that, since the last review about a book I hated and is so, so, so damn loved (See: Captive In the Dark and my review for it) attracted trolls. Trolls that insulted me saying I was "childish" and "narrow-minded" because I hated that book. Well, to hell with them. I came to review City of Heavenly Fire, not to complain.

I kept reading this series just because I hate to leave series unfinished, but after the fourth book, it didn't deserve my time any more.

First of all, I'm going to thank God this series is over. I was tired of it. I just wish Ms Clare acknowledges that three series about Shadowhunters is far too much. I know they are popular and everyone except me loves them, but... It. Is. Enough. I don't want to ever hear about Shadowhunters after TDA gets published.

And the worst part of all? She doesn't keep writing them because she loves to write about them (in other words, not for art's sake), she writes them because she knows people love them and will keep buying them. She continues writing about them because we are fattening her wallet.

Besides of all I've said before, the ending was disappointing. It was all arranged to be a happily-ever-after. If you have been a follower of my reviews, you should already know that I am not a big fan of Disney-like endings, specially if they are all made up at the ending just to fit the majority's desire.

Everything could have been better if not for the last fifty pages or so. Those freaking last pages ruined it all. But really, I hated it since I started it. You see, this series is simply not for me. I've rated all the books in the series 1 star, and I regret nothing.

Want an example of a predictable book? This one is perfect for that. You can guess what is going to happen at the end right from the beginning of the book. Predictable books are so boring. I'm surprised I had the will to finish this, being so atrocious and all. Ah, but well, I hate DNF-ing books. 

This is the sequence of the things in those pages:

1) The bad guy gets defeated.

2) Simon stops being a vampire, but forgets every memory he has about his friends.

3) They all go to the mundane world again and live happy for the rest of their lives.

4) Oh, wait, I forgot, Simon has no memory about them, so this is sad *hypocritical sadface* ... But here comes Magnus and Isabelle and save the day by bringing Simon's memories back to him! Yay!

5) Now, here is really where they can live happy for the rest of their lives.

I'm probably not going to read The Dark Artifices. I know it's going to get very popular when it gets published (damn it if it's not popular right now, even when there are many months left for its publishment) and it will get glowing reviews, but still, it's too much.. Hopefully it's the last Shadowhunters series she's ever gonna write good.

Bah! Who am I kidding? She's gonna write more and more books about the same characters over and over again. She's never going to stop. It's like a circle: One ends, she starts another, that one leads to the plot in another one, and so on.

Ah, well, this is the goodbye.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Cover Reveal: Crossed

Cover Reveal: Crossed (Soul Eaters #3) by Eliza Crewe

And the India cover is here too!


War is here.

Full-scale war has erupted between the Crusaders and demons and even Chi has to admit isn’t going well. Like any sensible rat, Meda’s eager to abandon the sinking ship but, unfortunately, her friends aren't nearly as pragmatic. Instead, Meda’s forced to try to keep them all alive until the dust settles.

As the Crusaders take more and more drastic measures, the tables turn and Meda suddenly finds herself in the role of voice of sanity. No one is more horrified than she is. When old enemies reappear as new allies and old friends become new enemies Meda has to decide—again—whose side she’s really on.

And then the Crusaders decide that Meda should go to Hell. Literally.

Can’t a monster ever catch a break?

Previous installments in the series:

Cracked (Soul Eaters #1):

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.

Crushed (Soul Eaters #2):

Meda's back. This time she has a friend.

The battle is over; the choice has been made. Meda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.

The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”

After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.

My opinion:

I really like that cover. I wonder what it represents in the context of the book. You see, the previous ones have something clue as to what is happening to Meda during the course of the book. And the blurb looks also really intriguing. I'm not into fantasy, but these books are the exception to everything.

I'm really excited to see how this book turn out. If you have read my reviews (Cracked & Crushed), you would know that I loved this series, so I have all reasons to be eager for this book to come out.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Review: Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who doesn't like a good revenge tale?

First of all, this play was disgusting. I'm serious, it was disgusting. I'm usually craving (don't blame me) for books with graphic violence. I cannot tell you why, (because I don't really know why) but I like them. I enjoy reading scenes with blood in them... but in this play, they reached a level that was almost sickening.

Titus Andronicus is man that has everything in his life. He has just won a war, and luckily for him, everyone wants him as the new emperor, since the old one has died. Titus does not accept the throne, and Saturninus gets it. With Titus, there also came some war prisoners—Tamora (the Queen of the Goths), her three sons (Chiron, Demetrius and Alarbus), and Aaron (a black man and Tamora's lover)—and Titus is not going to let them alone until they get the suffer they deserve. Thus, he kills Alarbus, without foreseeing that by doing this, he's already signing his death warrant.

I said this is a revenge play, and well, it is. And this is where the “fun” starts...

The prisoners are obviously angered with Titus for killing Alarbus, so one day, in the woods, Chiron and Demetrius rape Lavinia. She begs to be killed instead of being raped, but they do not listen and they rape her anyway. But wait, that's not everything. They also cut out her tongue and her hands so she can't tell anyone who did that to her... and then they make fun at her! Oh, and I almost forgot: They also kill Bassianus and throw his corpse in a pit.

Because Titus' sons are brilliant, they get themselves (metaphorically and literally) trapped in the pit that may be (and indeed, is) their death sentence. Saturninus blames Titus' sons of killing Bassianus, and he claims to have Titus' hand... which he gladly gives away. After that, Titus is sent his own sons' heads and (literally) his hand.

There goes another revenge plot.

They finally discover a way for Lavinia to tell them who ravished her, and she does. Titus, again, is angered and in want of revenge... which he gets. In the meanwhile, Tamora's new son is born, and it turns out it is a black baby. Since the only black guy in the play is Aaron... well, you can guess the rest for yourselves.

After this, it appears that Titus has gone mad. Tamora thinks that this is a good moment to start with her mischiefs again, and so, she goes to Titus claiming that she and her sons are Revenge, Rape and Murder and they will satisfy Titus' hunger for revenge.

Titus may have been mad, but he was no fool. He convices Tamora to leave Rape and Murder with him, and when they are alone, he slashes their throats and drains their blood in a bowl so he can “play the cook.”

Now, DID YOU READ THAT WELL, PEOPLE? Titus was going to play the cook. Do you know what he does next? He bakes Tamora's sons in a pie that they are going to eat in a feast the next day. And they eat it. THEY EAT IT!!

I guess you can see what is going to happen now.

There is a disaster in which everyone kills everyone... Well, no, not everyone. Everyone except Aaron, who will tell the story of his deeds if his son gets to live. (the only actual sweet scene in this play) Lucius gets crowned as the new emperor and the end.

And this was written by the same man who wrote the sweet story of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet who killed themselves because of love.

Ladies and gentlemen, there's nothing sweet in this story. I bet Shakespeare had a lot of fun writing this. I bet the old man was laughing his ass off while writing this.

He better had.

When Shakespeare wrote this, revenge plays were the thing. You wrote one and you were immediately succesful. This play was also his first one, so I'm not surprised to see he wrote about what was popular at the time. A lot of authors do the same nowadays, don't they? I don't blame him for it.

Still, that does not mean that this didn't surprise me. By now, I've read most of his plays, and they all have some elements that shout "Shakespeare" all over the way. This one, on the other hand, is completely different. None of those elements was present in here--except the writing, that is.

However, I enjoyed immensely this play. I don't really know if this is a coincidence, but the books that disturb me the most tend to be the ones I like the better. Having said that, I wonder how much that fact tells from me.

I'm dubious about recommending this book to everyone. Yes, it's great. Yes, it's a must-read. Yes, I'm glad I read it. Yet, I don't think all people are going to enjoy this. I do recommend reading this after you're familiar with Shakespeare's works. This is not a good start for reading them. I'm glad I decided to read first all the popular ones, otherwise, I might not have been able to do this comparison.

Read at your own risk.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Review: Unteachable

Unteachable by Leah Raeder

My rating:

This is not the kind of book I normally read, but I'm glad I decided to give it a try.

When I first read what this book was about, I was intrigued. However, my intrigue was not so big as for me to read this book; I mean, I don't like romance, I get bored with it, and furthermore, I thought: “Teacher and student. Hmm, sounds like it's going to be a lot of drama.” So yeah, you can guess it was almost like a thank-you-but-no-thank-you for me. But then, reviews about Black Iris (Leah Raeder's new book) started to pop out, and they said that Leah's writing was magnificent and mind-blowing...and my curiosity got better of me. To make a long story short, I decided to give Unteachable a try.

Maise O'Malley is a 18-year-old girl and our protagonist. A gif that would describe her perfectly would be this one:

She's been using men since she has memory, she dresses like she pleases without giving a damn about what people think, she's sarcastic, brutally honest, and I liked her as a narrator. She felt realistic, opposite to some other girl narrators in other books. She had struggles of her own inside. On the outside, she can be as I said before, but she's also wondering what to do with her life. I sympathized with her in this because just a year ago, I didn't know what to to with my life. I had just graduated from high school, and I had no idea about what to study at college. That feeling of uncertainty has not died yet, so I could perfectly understand her in this.

Evan—er, Mr. Wilke, is the love interest in this case. He's sweet, incredibly hot, his passion is movies...and he's Maise's teacher. As awkward as it sounds, it's true. He's Maise's teacher, and they are in a relationship. They met at a carnival, he was interested in her (without knowing he was to become her teacher) and they had instant chemistry. She didn't know, either, that she was going to be Evan's student until she walked into her class and saw him in there.

Their relationship felt quite realistic. It is not a perfect one. They have their ups and downs. I'll tell you something now (and it's not going to be that I have a crush on a teacher, because that's not true): I know about two cases of what happened in the book. One was successful and the couple is now married with two children; the other was not quite as successful and it ended awfully. And the book fitted the “reality” (based on what I know), so I have no complaints about that. Besides, I liked them together (Maise and Evan, I mean).

If there's something I truly loved in this book, that's the writing. It's just so...

One word that would describe it: Explosive. Not that I think it's the best writing I've seen in a book, no. It's just that it's really beautiful, and maybe I liked it more because at some points I felt identified with Maise. As I said, her struggles are (in some part) my struggles, and I like it when I can feel what the characters feel, and it's even better when you are living what the characters are living (and I'm not talking about the teacher-crush, in case that's what you were thinking). But anyway, the writing was brilliant.

If I could quote the whole book, I would. There were many quotes that said perfectly what I felt, and there were quotes of the life-changing kind, too. Here's one for you:

"You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you’ll lose it someday. We lose everything. If you’re trying to avoid loss, there’s no point in taking another breath, or letting your heart beat one more time. It all ends. That’s all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths."

Beautiful. It seems Mr. Wilke was not only Maise's teacher but mine too. You want more of that? Read it.

However, not everything was perfect. There were moments in which I was really bored I almost started to skim through he pages, but I decided to not do it because I could miss something important. And also, I felt that there was a bit much too time spent in just sex. I was not bothered by it, don't get me wrong. What happened is that it felt cheesy and a little melodramatic at points...I could just roll my eyes. But again, don't get me wrong: I really liked the book.

To sum up, this was better than what I expected to the point that I want to read everything Leah Raeder writes.

Very highly recommended.

P.S.: Gah! I love that cover!

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Review: Panic

Panic by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So, I went to this book thinking it was a dystopia, but that's not what I got. This book was a contemporary novel with a touch of thriller. Bad thing is, the thriller part didn't work for me.

First, the plot bored the hell out of me. I don't think there was a single moment in which I felt anything besides sheer boredom. There was never anything going on. It was too slow to the point I almost dnf-ed it. But I managed to get through it.

The last half picked up a little, but it was already too late for me to care about this book. And besides, I had lost all interest in it by the 30% mark.

Another thing that didn't work for me was the characters. Let's say, I neither liked them nor connected with them. Both of the main ones (Heather and Dodge) could have been intriguing characters, but they got dull and I couldn't stand neither of them after some time reading.

Also, as I said, I didn't connect with them. When reading a book, feeling something for the characters may be the reason why I can fall in love with a book, or even the reason why I hate one. For example, see The Monstrumologist. I love that series with all my effing soul. I loved it not necessarily because of the gore but because of the characters and the writing.

See? So what do you do if you feel nothing for the characters? You don't care about the book. And not caring about it leads to boredom and boredom leads to low star ratings.

I've heard that Lauren Oliver's books have gone downhill in quality, but I don't really know if that's true. It was true for the Delirium trilogy. However, I've just read that series and this book by her, so I can't really tell you if that's just a coincidence.

Anyway, maybe this book worked well for you, but it didn't for me. It was not because of thinking it was dystopia when it really was contemporary that left me so let down. It was all the previous reasons that I mentioned in this review what disappointed me.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I've had this book in my TBR since 2013 and I seemed to avoid it every time I hit upon it. I don't really know if I'm glad I finally read it, but in any case, I hated it. Oh, and if you're a troll and you're only going to tell me that I “didn't get it,” that I “should read the next books to understand it,” that I'm “wrong,” or things like that, stay away, or else, I shall delete your comments.

Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital bed with no clue as to how she got there. Her parents and the nurses tell her she was in an accident—a building collapsed on her and her friends and she was the sole survivor—and that she's the only one who know what happens... but she doesn't remember, so how did it happen?

During the first 30 pages or so, I was intrigued by this book. The idea sounded interesting, and I was already hooked. Things got bad when Mara moved to Florida and started her classes at her new school. She was there depressed doing unimportant things when love interest, which I'm gonna call “British boy”, appeared.

He was beautiful. And he was smiling at me.

And that is how I lost all the interest I had in this book. The only parts I enjoyed after this point were the flashbacks, which were almost nonexistent.

After the point in which Mara met Noah aka British boy (BB for short), everything was so cliched. Ms. Hodkin could have lead the plot to a more mysterious and intriguing one, but instead, she chose the romance... and a bad one, for that matter.

After a few days of this first encounter, Mara is obviously attracted to BB, but she can't help it, because 1) he's oh-so-handsome, and 2) he has a British accent.

It’s not your fault, Mara. Girls can’t help falling for Shaw, especially in your case.

Yeah, yeah, no one can resist BB's charms... but the truth is, I hated him. I hated him with all my soul. And I hated Mara even more because of her stupid behaviour when it came to him. For example, let's look at this:

Noah placed his forefinger above my upper lip and his thumb below my bottom lip, and applied the slightest pressure, cutting me off. (…)

“Shut up,” he said quietly. “It doesn’t matter. Let’s just get her checked out, all right?”

I nodded feebly, my pulse galloping in my veins.

Ah, so if you were Mara, would you “nod feebly”? Where is your self-respect, woman? Don't you ever let anyone shut you up like that! He has no right. Besides, not only BB is an arrogant a-hole, he's also a stalker:

I rushed ahead until another girls’ bathroom appeared. I pushed the door open, planning to leave Noah outside while I collected myself. But he followed me in.

Yes, she went to the girl's bathroom to get rid of him and yet he followed her. Not only that, but he also “does some research” for getting her phone number:

“How did you get my phone number?” I blurted, before I could stop myself.

“It’s called research.” I could hear him smirking over the phone.

“Or stalking.”

She calls him a stalker, and yet, she claims to be utterly and entirely his. Oh, and not only is Noah all the things I've said, but he also says this kind of things:

Because I’m European, and therefore more cultured than you

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Is that supposed to be funny? Because I don't think so. You know, if I were British, I would feel offended by having a character like him bragging that he's from there. There's absolutely nothing charming or sexy about him.

If you haven't read this and you still don't hate neither Mara nor BB, then wait for till I tell you something. The quote I'm going to post is Mara's reaction to finding out that BB slept with one girl just to make fun of her brother (which, btw, is Mara's only friend):

I should haul back and smack him, strike a blow for feminism or something or at the very least, get out of the car.

But then his thumb traced my skin and without quite realizing it, I leaned toward him and rested my forehead against his.

Oh, so you throw feminism out because he touched you? She should have thrown a feminist rant at him, but instead, what does she do? She rests her forehead against BB's... because she can't help but succumb to his charms?!?!

And the worst part is that Mara's only friend warns her that the man is playing with her, yet what does she do? She tells him he's jealous.

Now that I'm done with the love interest, I'll move on...

There's also slut-shaming in this book:

Much to my dismay, I spotted Anna among them. She had shed her usually wholesome ensemble for a staggeringly sparse angel getup with the requisite halo and wings. She overdid it on the makeup, the push-up bra, and the heels, and looked well on her way to ending up as some accountant’s midlife crisis.

Every time that girl appears, we're reminded about how many boyfriends she had, and who she screwed, that she dresses like a “slut”, etc. Oh, and do you know why they hate each other so much? Because BB paid attention to Mara. That is, they're fighting over a trashy boy. You know, that reminds me to another book...

Humans don’t hiss. Well, except trashy girls fighting over equally trashy men.

(I needed to introduce at least some of Meda's awesomeness. Sorry, I've just finished Crushed and I still can't get over how good it was.)

And then, I guessed the “big mystery when I wasn't even 30% done with the book. Yep, that's right. This book not only has all the things I've mentioned, but it also was predictable.

Boring, predictable, cliched, insulting, annoying... All perfect reasons to recycle it immediately and do something good for the planet. I'm not sure whether I'll finish the trilogy (because I have the other books), but it's certain that if they are as atrocious as this one, I'm not gonna be as merciful as I was with this one.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Review: Crushed

Crushed by Eliza Crewe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn't think I would say this, but this book is better than three important things:

1) Cracked, the first book in the series. Very few sequels are an improvement over the first book. Nay, very few middle books are better than the first book in a series. And this freaking book managed to do so.

2) This:

3) This:

Yes, people. I'm telling you this book is better than the first installment in the series and better than ice cream, unicorns and Batman together. How is that even possible? You should be asking Eliza Crewe, not me.

Cracked was more of a 4 stars book for me, but because of Meda, I made my rating be 5. This book, nonetheless was 5 stars all over the way. If I could rate it more stars, I would, trust me.

Saying that might make you think that this is a perfect book, but the fact is, it is not. It's just that its flaws are overshadowed by all its awesomeness.

First, there's the amazing set of characters. Meda being my favorite by far. Her story follows where it was left in Cracked. She's now under the care of the Crusaders and is living by their rules.

"Stupid Crusaders with their stupid rules. For a homicidal group, they’re appallingly restrictive.

No, Meda, you can’t leave campus.

No, Meda, you know we have a curfew.

No, Meda, you can’t eat that guy."

So of course, when a half-demon guy offers Meda some fun and freedom, what can she do besides feel tempted? Besides, she's a trying really hard to be good, so this obviously makes her feel like this:

I tell you, Meda is the best possible MC you can have in YA fiction.

"I am Meda Melange, demon-saint monster girl. I make full-grown men scream in terror. I break bones and drain blood. I turn nightmares into reality.

I am the most powerful creature on earth. I do not wear a leash.

The darkness seethes under my skin. I blink and the world is a new place."

She's no Mary Sue, she's kick-ass, a bad girl, funny, sarcastic, she doesn't let herself be overpowered by hormones... and she's like me! I'm not joking. I'm so happy I finally found the literary me in a book. And in a book I loved! Actually, I'm more of a combination of Jo and Meda and many unlikable characters... but who cares? Meda is still so me!

Continuing with why I love the characters so much, we have Jo. The same from the previous book. I like her because she's also kick-ass and really intelligent, and she has many layers. Neither of the characters are one-sided. They all have their faults and their pros. Jo cares about Meda, but “taking care” of her may seem treacherous to her, so they have their fights... which are realistic.

And last but not least, we have a new character introduced! Armand Delacroix. We got to know him at the end of Cracked. He's another amazing and well-crafted character. He's the half-demon guy the synopsis talks about. In a typical YA book, he would be the abusive guy causing the MC's brain to stop functioning, but this is no typical YA book! He's literally evil, so how could I not love him?

This book also made me feel a lot of things. There's that feeling of not knowing who to trust, of not distiguishing between who's “good” and who's “bad”; there are also parts that warmed my heart... there were others that made me burn with rage, or with joy... but the thing is, I felt, which I adore when it comes to books.

But I cannot finish this review without ranting about one little thing. Before I start, read this. Do you have an idea why I am angry? You see, this is not the first series I love that has suffered a similar fate. Some years ago, something like this happened to a series I love with all my soul before the last book in it was published. I'm not joking when I say that the series was almost not finished. Thanks to the fans and the author's efforts, it was saved.

Years later, the same thing happens to this series. Why are there a lot of crappy books that get all the popularity when the real masterpieces are left to be forgotten in the shadows? Why does the world work this way? It's such a shame to see books like these left unknown.

Finally, you should know that the effect this books leaves in me is extremely euphoric—orgasmic, for lack of a better word. (Haha! You guess where I took that quote from!) Seriously, they're so much fun! I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much. Points for that, Eliza. Now you've made it to the list of my favorite authors.

Anyway, if you haven't read this, what are you waiting for? You have no excuse for not doing so. And do you know what else? I added this book to my all-time-favorites shelf. In that shelf, there are only books that I love with all my soul, that have influenced my life, that destroyed my soul, etc., so that should tell you something... And it should tell you something else that I don't like books about angels and demons, so...


P.S.: Damn. Another Bible-lenght review. Do you know how many of those I have written? There's only one series for which I've done this, besides this one. Only one, people. I'll leave it here.

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