segunda-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | September 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on September of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

September was the month that got me high on a Meg Cabot binge, so expect a lot of her in the next books.

The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot
Series: Boy #4
Published on October 18, 2016 by William Morrow
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

This was the book that got me into binging (almost) all of Cabot's blacklist, it reminded me why she was my first auto-buy author and how good her books can be.

Told in the different format that the Boy series usually does this is a book that I flew through. It was hilarious and made me laugh out loud so many times, the romance was super cute and I shipped right from the start, also this time around the main character is really smart and not all pop-culture driven, but actually really organized and loves her binders, which was definitely something that made me love her even more.

Super recommended for fans of a good, light romance.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #2
Published on October 2, 2007 by Hyperion

This one is slightly less fun than the first one, I don't know if I have this impression because of the time it took me to read it - this book is so short that reading it in 4 days seems to break its pace. But I also think it has to do with the fact that this one seemed much more like a set up kind of story, we got to know more about the "spy word" and some very interesting new characters coughZachcough, so it seems like we are going for something bigger but were not there yet.

The ship in this one is much more shippable, especially with their banter and the time it took to actually sail. Props for not turning this into a love triangle, also props for not having slut shamming, I just love how these books are about teenager spies, with a heavy focus on the teen part and yet remain unique and not falling for the usual cliches. I'm glad I added another fun read by Carter to my reading history and can't wait to get my hands on the third one.

Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot
Series: Boy #2
Published on February 17, 2009 by William Morrow

I had never actually got around to reading all of the Boy's books, so after reading boy #4 I got my hands on #2 and #3 since theses are usually so much fun.

Boy Meets Girl was super fast reading, since I was sick in bed and had nothing else to do, it was less banter-y and funny than I wanted but still a good read. The romance was very much instalove and by the end of the story they're each others eternal loves so not as shippy, but it didn't bothered me while reading. It was a great read to spend a day with, but not all that memorable.

Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot
Series: Boys #3 
Published on January 1, 2005 by William Morrow

The more I think about this book, the less I like it, sure while I was reading I was able to keep going and brush off most of the annoying things but now that I finished I don't seem to find good things to say about it.

I hated both characters that form the main couple. Jane came of quite bipolar with the whole hate-love Europe thing, she also decides to hate every woman Cal talks/know/hook ups right from the start and she never seem to see the mistake in her ways. Cal was annoying and his character ended up being inconsistent.

The romance didn't give me any feelings besides maybe annoyance. Both her and Cal have very different ways of seeing life and they're very strong minded, I guess this was to be a romance between opposites and all of that, but they both just sounded so obnoxious whenever they went on each other about why they're right and the other was wrong just because they had a different opinion. Also, Cal does a 180 degree change about 80% into the book and it kind of ruined the whole opposites thing, so in the end we didn't get even that.

This one was also the one of the series that least explored the different format, it was mostly based on diaries entries and that just made it sound like any other book.

The best parts were the cats drawings and the author's note where we get to know more about Cabot's marriage but I can't recommend this one solely based on this, I would say to read the others of this series because they are fun romances and just skip this one.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot
Published on January 1, 2006 by HarperTeen

In a way this one was fun, because I got to know more about the Arthurian legend and it was nice putting everything together along the story and seeing how Cabot would twist to make her own story, but I never really cared about any of the characters and their relationships, so it never surpassed meh for me.

Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot
Published on December 28, 2004 by HarperTeen

I don't really read historical romance so I was excited to try one by Cabot, since I already adore a lot of her other works.

Nicola is very strong minded, always with a come back and remark, not taking shit from anyone and knowing her value, with a pro feminist personality that is ahead of her time, of course in a super accurate historical novel this wouldn't fly but we're here for the cuteness and the romance, so I actually prefer the heroine to not fit the mold of her time, it definitely turns the story more fun.

The romance was super adorable, not as shipping as I expected since it's a hate-to-love thing I expected to have more feelings toward it but it still put a smile in my face in some of the scenes and their "fights" always managed to make me laugh. We have a sort of love triangle in this one, but it really doesn't bothered me at all, it was necessary for character arc and it was clear from the start how it was going to go down.

The plot is pretty straight forward too, if you haven't read the synopses yet I would recommend not reading it because it gives a lot away and just by reading it you can tell where the story is going. But even without the synopses this is a romance, so it isn't exactly worried about a unique plot full of twists and stuff, it's predictable and you know what is going to happen 100% of the time.

I would definitely recommend this one for everyone that loves Meg Cabot' works and/or want to read some historical romance, be warmed that what you see is what you get from this one - fun and predictably, a great read for a day off.

How to be Popular by Meg Cabot
Published on March 18, 2008 by HarperTeen

This one was fun, but it had a few similarities with the first Princess Diaries, at least in the romance front with the whole sorta love triangle between a girl with a popular guy when in reality she was always in love with the guy next door type (in this case literally), we didn't had any drama related to this thank god and since it's a one book novel we come full cycle, not having to way three more books to see the ship sail, as in the Princess Diaries. 

The story was pretty straight forward and predictable, the secondary characters aren't that fleshed out and the message wasn't that memorable, there are other books out there that have done this better but it was fun, quickly, if you like Meg Cabot you will probably enjoy this one.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Published on July 5, 2016 by Greenwillow Books

I don't know how to feel about this book. It was an unique and interesting story but for the most part of it I felt detached from its characters and was mostly bored, them in the last part I was supper into it and the characters finally gave me feelings and the friendship developed between the main characters, I mean, that ending, I almost cried... So yeah, I'm definitely excited to the second book and probably will give this one a re-read, because I feel like already knowing and caring about these characters this will be better.

I also re-read Royal Wedding, my original review can be found here.

sábado, 18 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | August 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on August of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

What a weird month, I actually reviewed most of the things that I read! I know, I can't believe it either. To read the reviews just click on the cover of the books.

Now, to the ones I didn't review

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Published on September 20, 2016 by Jimmy Patterson

I enjoyed the feminist voice of the main character, she was strong and with a curiosity towards science/medicine while being also good at broderie and loving make up and pretty things, but there was more than a few sentences that sounded anachronistic, it wasn't a girl going against the barriers of her time, but a 21 century feminist voice inserted on a historical setting, there was a few other stuff that ringed untrue to me because of historical accuracy (Audrey going out at night and only with male companion, it could have been more believable if there was the use of gender bending more, the language was more modern) and that detached me from the story each time it showed up. 

The romance wasn't instalove and there was a lot of banter, Thomas kind of reminded me of a young Sherlock Holmes YET I never found myself shipping it, I think it has to do with the writing, it was just trying too hard. There is a hint of a love triangle with an arranged marriage, but we stay clear of that, thanks. Also there is a great deal of female friendship, which I loved. 

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge
Series: Untitled #1
Published on September 27, 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Ugh, I wanted to love this one but I was so bored the entire time and I honestly don't know what went wrong, the story was interesting and the pace was even, the world is inventive as it always is with this author but still, it didn't worked for me. I do think that if the gay ships had sailed I would have get on board with it more, instead we have too friendships with a great deal of sexual tension. I still want to re-read this one and try the second one.

sexta-feira, 17 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | July 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on July of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

Oh, July, why not all of my moths aren't like you? I read 17 books and 3 novellas, the stars aligned in a rare setting, combining my vacations + reading mood = a great reading month.

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
Published on June 16, 2015 by HarperTeen

- It was a good surprise to fins out that this book had Brazilian elements, since it isn't something I come across often, but pão de queijo isn't anything like cheese bread, mostly because is much better.
 - Also liked to discover new worlds from various languages.
 - but the story didn't really stood out for me, it was a bit more on the preachy and on the cliché side than I usually like so sometimes I felt like I was being educated on feminism, maybe for a younger target it would work better.
 - the multiple pov's didn't worked much for me either, the voices all sounded the same.

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #1
Published on July 7, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children

I should have listened to the hype and read this book sooner, it was so good kind like scandal for teens and the ending had some serious VM season 2 finale feels. I can't wait for book 2, the stakes are so freaking high by the end of this. Also, I totally get that this book doesn't need a romance and all that, but pls I need more scenes from my shyp.

I also read The Fixer #2 this month and the book was fine, everything was the normal way on the Kendricks-Keyes clan, you know, as normal as they can get with these two names throw in the middle, but them some things really bad start to happen really fast and when I saw my heart was beating so fast even thought I was on my bed, without moving, because TENSION, SO MUCH TENSION, at each new twist my heart sank a little more, things get so bad and the scales are so freaking high, I couldn't even deal with it. Book three now please (yes, I'm a masochist). OH, AND ALSO WHEN I SAID I WANTED MORE OTP STUFF I DIDN'T MEAN THIS KIND OF STUFF! But I know we can get past this, right? RIGHT??????????

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5

This collection of short stories didn't really addded anything new for these characters or world, but as a fan of the series it was nice to read about some of my favorite characters again - def worth it to keep the saudade of this series at bay.

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #6

I also read the #5 and two novellas of this series and I can't believe I finally finished the VA series, and I think this is the first series that I finished this year too so yay, me! I think this one was a step up from the last two, but it was really big, if these three last books weren't so intimidating I probably would have finished this series sooner. Also, it still bothers me why these books didn't had both Rose and Lisa's POV, since we spend so many time on Lisa's head through Rose.

I'll probably hold off a little on starting Bloodlines, mostly because I wish to finish some series first, but I really enjoyed Sydney on this one and I can't wait for more Adrian, and for him to have someone that doesn't give him so much shit as Rose.

Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly
Series: Trouble #2
Published on November 22, 2016 by Kathy Dawson Books
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

At this point I love this series so much, the only way I will cope with the wait until book 3 is re-reading the first 2. Some random thoughts because my feelings are still all over the place:

- OTP is gold and I finished this book with a silly smile on my face because of that.
- the love triangle was kind of dragged but honestly it didn't bothered me, it was pretty clear what was going to happen and I think it was necessary so Zoe could have a character development, realizing what she thought she wanted versus what she really wants in terms of friendship/romance.
- seeing Zoe and Sloane bound was the best thing, in the first one it was a thing that bothered that Zoe only hanged out with the boys and when she would talk with other girls there was always judgment and even slut-shamming. - the sort of misfits group is still going strong and I love them all to pieces.
- can someone please kill Bill (omg, kill bill, ok, stop), she is so annoying.
- book 3 now please, because those discoveries were like wow and now I have to wait more than a year probably and oh my god, why god why.

Play On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek #1
Published on April 21, 2015 by Spencer Hill Press

This book saved a what would be a pretty bad day into a good day. - it started out seeming like a fluffy read but it ended up touching on a very meaningful way on depression
- specially liked the way it dealt with meds + psychotherapy; the hospitalization part really touched me, it's important to show that sometimes this is a necessary mesure and that we should not hide from it because of tabus or fear. It's never a issue book, but I did teared up at some points because there was some intense feelings, but for the most part it's a light and funny read, perfect to relax.
- the romance starts out as a kind of instalove/instacrush but since the book is basically the whole development of this relationship I'm cool with it, it was well done, Austin and Marisa banter put a silly smile on my face.
- oh also, this book managed to pull off some very cheese scenes/phrases and I didn't even rolled my eyes at it or started thinking that no one in real life would do/say that, that is a great accomplishment.
- please give me at least a novella about Jay and Brett relationship, pretty please.
- I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed the sport aspect of this novel, I'm not into baseball at all but I loved reading abou their sense of belonging in this group, and how they really are a family not only on the field and practices, but also supported each other at all times.
- I loved Austin, he just breaks so many stereotypes for like having feelings and owning it, I specially liked the fact that he actually cares about his grades, a lot of it is because of baseball of course, but he genuinely worries about it.
- also, this book totally gave me some One Tree Hill feelings.

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Published on November 17, 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

This book sits comfortably on the bridge between YA and NA, it's passes during senior year but it deals with NA problems like finding one self and it has a more mature tone I think, than YA usually has. I'm a very character driven reader so the strength of this story, for me, lies on both girls, Reagan and Victoria, they are so different from each other and from myself that it could be a con but it isn't, is easy to fall for them, this book awakened in me I feeling, I care about them so much and believe in them and I'll fiercely fight anyone that dare hurts them, fictional or not, they are such strong characters that it took me only a few chapters for me to get to this point. As I said, they are also very different and instead of these differences weakness their friendship, it strengthens it, of course there is ups and downs since they are 17 and finding themselves but they truly love each other and have such a fiercely loyalty, let's just say they gave a lot of feelings.

The romance also gave me a lot of feelings, good and bad, I was 100% aboard with the ship right from the first interaction of Rae and Dev, they have an amazing banter, and are so funny, and their chemistry like seriously, I don't care if it was basically instalove/crush, this is the way to do this and since I was so invested on them I obviously suffered because of things, let's just say there was crying involved. The families also gave me a lot of feelings, good and bad, basically this book made me a big mess of feelings, I laughed and I cried and it was amazing, you should definitely read it.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Published on May 19, 2015 by Del Rey

I really liked this book, it's a great stand alone fantasy, such a rare thing to find these days. I can see why some people think the start is slow, and I guess it's but I enjoyed it anyway, it's the part to understand this world and our main character. The romance was very shippy towards the end, but it took me a while to get there and it's probably the only thing I would change in this book, mostly because I want more.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Published on September 3, 2013 by Disney Hyperion

This was a really fast paced story, that gripped me right from the first chapter - the mystery is what made me keep engaged in this, at the start I didn't had a clue what was going on but the pieces go falling together as I went reading and it was conducted in a way that wasn't completely predictable. At first I thought the romance would be a central part of this story, and it's but it's also much more about friendship and the undying love this trio has for each other, than romantic love itself, the love triangle does play a big part through all the story and is a messy and emotional one, so if you don't like these stay away from this book, I think this part of the story was well handled, it's definitely one of the biggest emotional parts of the story.

That being said this book is short and with so many things going on with the mystery, I never really felt like I knew these characters that much, most of this is because we don't have the time with so much stuff going on, but I'm a very character driven reader and some of the emotional scenes could have been much more emotional if I was more invested on the characters. Also, notice that I shelf this as sci-fi in a very, very, very loose way, this barely mentions sci-fi elements, even thought the time travel is the central aspect of the story, it's used as a plot device really, the story this book has to tell is a emotional one, not one about how time travel works and it's effects on reality and other scientific things.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Published on July 7, 2015 by NAL

Me and this book had a funny story, at the first 50% of it I was thinking I would be the black sheep between all those rave reviews, I couldn't connect with the characters and despite the amazing new world that this story was presenting me I couldn't read more than a few chapters per time. But them, around the 50% mark some *things* started to happen and wow, did I started to like this book, I finished it in one night, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and there was a lot of feelings towards this characters.

So what I did enjoyed was the unique world building, that is a mix of fantasy, distopia and even steampunk with its automatons, believe me when I tell you there is nothing like this out there, it borrows a lot of elements from know sagas (for me it remembered me of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games/The 100 on the distopia elements) and delivers them in a completely new, and magical, way.

The characters are also great once I get to know and care about them, the narrator is honestly the most boring one (sorry Jess), he couldn't fit the box of Gary Stu but is still very clearly one of the good guys, my favorites are Khalila, Dario and Wolfe obviously (please, more Wolfe on the next book, when I finished this one I was hoping Paper and Fire would have Wolfe's POV, even thought so far this is very much Jess' story, a girl can dream). But this characters really shine when they are together, they form a ragtag group and given the circumstances devolve a friendship and sense of loyalty with one another that is amazing.

Also, I know you may be burned of the YA distopia gender, just trust me when I say this is unique and trust the synopses when it says the Library is ruthless, given what happens in this installment I don't have a clue what is coming next because this institution isn't playing around, when there is a treat it eliminates, be prepare because this book isn't going to save your emotions (or favorite characters).

Despite having taken its time to turn into a page turner, I would recommend this one to readers of YA that enjoy these genders and/or was curious by the synopses, I think it's worth reading and seeing for yourself if it'll grow on you as it grew on me.

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Published on April 25, 2006 by Hyperion Book CH

Ever since I read All Fall Down in 2014 it was clear that I would need to read her older, and more famous, series Gallagher Girls and it didn't disappointed me. It's fun, fast paced, spy mystery that I was hoping for, maybe with a bit more of romance than I expected but hey, I love having ships so it was cool. Definitely the kind of brain candy read that you want to have around to read after a tiring day.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone
Published on May 31, 2016 by HarperTeen

Reading this book was a delight, from start to finish it put a smile on my face. The European cities descriptions put on me a big wanderlust feeling, I never went to this places and I definitely need/hope to be able to one day; the seniors group grew on me in a way I was not expecting, there was some laughs and at one point at the ending, when a certain thing happened there were a few tears shed; the romance was shippy to the max, it was adorable how Sam and Abree would try to flirt but them something completely hilarious would always happen, it felt very much like me trying to flirt, they interactions were probably my favorite part of the story because there were a lot of feelings involved right from their first talk; Aubree grew a lot on me as a character, I was honestly hesitante at the start because someone that wouldn't think that a travel through Europe as the perfect summer didn't seemed like someone I would like at all, but she discovers a lot about herself during this trip and it was nice watching her grow more into herself. Overall perfect fluffy book is perfect, would highly recommend for those days when you want to curl up with a book and completely forget about real life problems.

I also GASPH! reviewed some of the books that I read in July, here they are: Ony (Lux #2), Opal (Lux #3), My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers #0.5) and Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit.

quinta-feira, 16 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | June 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on June of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

June was a pretty good month, reading wise - I read more and I read more thing that I liked/loved.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Published originally on July 7, 2008 by Walker Books

And the re-read continues! Unfortunately after this one I kind stopped :( but I plan on continuing from the third one this year, soon-ish.

Anyway, my love for this series just grows more and more each time, I love these characters fiercely and reading about their adventures and relationships all over again knowing where everything is going is amazing.

Also, these new covers are so pretty, I only have 3 right now but I need all of them on this new editions.

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Published on February 11, 2014 by Harper

This book was a surprise favorite, I had never read anything by Quick before and really wanted to try, I choose this one at random to start with and oh boy, now I HAVE to read EVERYTHING he ever publishes, because seriously this is the kind of book that makes reading one of my favorite things.

It was slow, all the way through, the pacing is even and the story isn't gripping you because of its plot, it gripes you because of the characters. They are flawed and realistic, seeing the world through Neil's eyes was a whole new experience and the way this story is narrated reflect on it, being simple and direct, but always packing a great deal of feelings, it turned this reading this book into an amazing thing.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Published on June 9, 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

I was a bit scared going into this one, because Kinsella's protagonists tend to be a bit ditsy and dumb just for the laughs, and her books are never all that serious, so I wanted to see how this author was going to deal with anxiety and changing for the YA audience.

Well, the answer is she did amazing, this is my favorite Kinsella book so far and I loved the way it dealt with anxiety. I can't praise it enough for the way included therapy and medication in it, the way it showed Audrey's progress in her treatment but that it isn't all roses and that people with anxiety will have ups and downs, just as anybody else, and that yes, you can learn to dealt with it and have a life. Love, love, love.

The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #2
Published on April 26, 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 

I read the other two short stories from this series (The Moth & the Flame and The Mirror & the Maze) and them finally finished reading this one, I don't know what happened, I started it back in March and got distracted and only finished it in June. Don't get me wrong, I still loved this one and this is one of my favorite duologies ever BUT there was a few stuff that kept me from loving this one as unconditionally than the first one. We have a larger cast this time, and I just hoped that we had been following these characters since book 1, because as of right now I wasn't all that happy about they introduction in the story, I only had a limited time with my favorite characters and it kept being cut short by all of those people that I didn't give a fuck, I know they are important for plot reasons but whatever. Also, some of the old characters are given more backstory and developed, just to manipulate my feelings because everyone suffers with that ending. There was very little of magic and I wanted more of Shazi's power. Despite this I still loved it very much and I wanted to life forever in that epilogue.

George by Alex Gino
Published on August 25, 2015 by Scholastic Press

Can I hug this book? This is such a short story that should be given of every kid out there because the message that it passes is one that ought to be delivered to the world, also it doesn't appeal only to the LGBT+ part of society, it has a message of acceptance and growing into oneself that is important to everyone.

This one was an instant favorite, it make me laugh and so, so happy but there was some sad moments too, it was realistic while still being hopeful and positive, there was a few characters that I wanted to shake and scream (mostly adults, because adults are dumb) but there was also the other ones, that made up for it and I just wanted to hug them and say thank you <3

Please read this book.

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
Series: Trouble #1
Published on August 4, 2015 by Kathy Dawson Books

- I alway think of Musgrave as Killgrave

 - I started this book back on january but put it down because I wasn't sure if it was gonna work for me, the characters and the story were so weird and unbelievable but a lot of greatness can come from weird so I decides to try it again I'm so happy for it. This book IS weird and unbelievable and the most hilarious book that I've read in these past months, I laughed out loud so many times, like REALLY laughed, it has a fantastic set of unique characters, who are flawled, make mistakes and infuriated me sometimes but also made me care for them. The mystery took turns that I would never have guessed and the ending wasn't a cliffhanger but made me want the second book desperately.

I also read Proposal (The Mediator #6.5) it was short and sweet, but I didn't had any strong feelings towards it.

segunda-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | May 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on May of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

In May I was back from my YA drought! I re-read some favorites, discovered some new stuff and only read one literature book.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Published on March 27, 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

This was my second time reading this one cover to cover, it honestly feel like I already read it more times because I often start a re-read and forget about it oops. Anyway, I can definitely see why some people can't get into this series, the writing and its characters have grow so much in all of the books already published and this whole world of shadowhuntes just has such a bigger scoop, but I think that for fans like me it'll always be fun to get back to where all of this started and reconnect with favorite characters.

I love this book/series and hope to finish my re-read of all of the TMI and TID books so I can get to the newest series.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1 
Published on May 17, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

Some thoughts on it:

- From what I read about The Night Circus (~150 pages) this one has a similar plot, it's a magical battle of sorts were the two main characters were raised to it but is more about making beautiful and magical things than an actual battle. Were this one loses is that it doesn't have the same mysterious and eerie atmosphere.

- I think that the way this book is being sold is doing it a disfavor, on the synopses it gives us a vibe that The Crown's Game is a deathly one and that the enchanters will be put through hard challenges, having to prove themselves with their magic but what we get is a game were there is never an actual battle/duel or real tension because they only do pretty things with their magic, and when they do remember that one of them has to win the game and they do something they end up gazing into each other eyes/feeling an unexpected and oh, so powerful connection and all is forgotten. 

- This will probably be a good bet for The Selection fans. It's supposed to be focused on magics and politics but it ends up being a whole lot about the romance.

- For the time that we spend on the romance is kind of funny how underdeveloped all of them ended up being. All of the romances are instalove without exceptions, Nikolai and Vika have a connection with each other because of their magic, Pasha falls head over heels over Vika because ??? reason yet unknown. I don't have a problem with instalove itself if the author convinces me there is an attraction between the characters, but there wasn't any tension, chemistry, nothing. 

- It also may appeal to Red Queen fans, since it does has some twists at the end. I have to say that I found the biggest twist pretty meh because it was very easy to predict it, since we have a lot of repetitive sentences through the story that makes it clear of what the book is trying to tell you.

- My favorite story was probably the one of Aizhana, it was the most original thing of this story and what honestly moved the plot for me, unfortunately it was such a small part.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Published on August 28, 2006 by Penguin Australia

This book is super hard to talk about because it isn't a book but a masterpiece that will likely crush your soul and leave you crying. Having already tried another Marchetta book and ending up not hating, but also not loving to the levels that everyone did.

JR started slow and there is a bit of mystery to it, that kept me turning the pages but is much more about its characters and their relationships, this is what turn this book in a powerful and touching story and not just another contemporary mystery YA. 

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Published on 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

This book took me ages to read, almost a year because I would pick it up, read a few pages and turn into  a ugly crying mess so I had to put it down and distract myself with other reads. 

The story of SF hits way to close to home to be comfortable reading so it was hard but a hardship that paid off at the ending, it's a story about personal growth, but also about teen and first loves, it's sad and hopeful and beautiful. I don't regret reading it but I think that a re-read would have to happen waaaaaay in the future.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Published on February 9, 2016 by HarperTeen

- the start was slow, but damn that last 200 or so pages made me fly through it. I didn't mind the slow start but it could be boring to readers that prefer a fast paced story.

- the pace was a bit uneven too, like there was a passage of time in the middle that just didn't fit the rest of the story. 

- in this book we get introduced to a lot of new characters and in all honesty I don't feel like I know them at all, they are nothing more than names and powers and I doubt I'll remember it until book 3 comes out. The secondary characters really need a better characterization. 

- what I did think got a better characterization was Mare's family, we get to know them more and specially Shade, making me almost cry two times on this story. 

- also, I feel like a lot of Mare inner monologues could have been edited out, there was so much repetition and she would go on and on and on, this is something that already bothered me on the first book and is happening now again. I know this is her story but damn, one time said is enough gurl. 

- I absolutely hated the thing that Aveyard did with Mare and Kilorn, [okay, so I was totally cheering that their relationship is of just friends, both being heterosexual and how hard it's to find that in YA fiction, but them he goes and declare his love for her, I screamed NO at that scene, it was so bad, I hated it with all my forces, I even texted a friend who has no clue about this story to rant with her about this.(hide spoiler)]

- but at least the romance took more of a back seat this time around, I think that sometimes Cal and Mare trip into some cliches and all but they are having a nice build up, taking their time all of that, I don't really see this story as one that needs a romance, since there is much more to explore but if there is gonna be, at least let's give it time to grow into something good. 

- even thought I marked this as a love triangle, I don't really see as that anymore. 

- I need more Maven on the next book because I love my villains and there isn't nearly enough of him this time around. 

- also more Cameron. 

- and more dark Mare, that scene on the prison, with her and Cameron, was wow, I really loved her at that moment, that is a Mare I can follow, not the whinny one. 

- oh, also at book 1 I wasn't really shocked by the twists but this time around there was some "HOLLY COW" moments.

- the plane/jet they piloted totally remembered me of AOS on season 1 and it was <3. Just wish the secondary characters shined more so that they could fit in that ragtag, band of brothers sort of feeling. 

- what I want from book three: Maven and Mare having a heart-to-heart and make-out scene because I love when the MC and the villain have that deep and dark connection (at this point I totally see them as Alina and Darkling from The Grisha trilogy), more dark Mare, more Cameron, lots of blood and fight because those are the best scenes, Mare as Queen so that at book 4 we can see the reconstruction of her Queendom.

I also re-read The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, you can find my original review here and Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, original review here. I read A Noite das Mulheres Cantoras by Lídia Jorge, which surprisingly I hated, it was a super slow read and I didn't connected with any of the character, everything was just blah. 

sexta-feira, 10 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | April 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on April of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

April was another month dedicated for my required readings and I actually didn't read ANY YA books! I know, the horror, I was pretty scared when I realized that too! But I did read some graphic novels, so yay for expanding tastes.

For my Literature curse, I read: Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis (this one was listening to the cd repeatedly + reading the guide to interpret the songs, I love this cd by now and already like to catch on to new things, each sound and words has a meaning, it's really overwhelming, it was a re-read), Dançar tango em Porto Alegre by Sérgio Faraco (this is a collection of short stories and probably my favorite of my required readings, I specially love the third part which is centered on the urban scenario and about the solitude of people in it, it was a re-read), Morangos Mofados by Caio Fernando Abreu (I really thought I would love this one, but most of the short stories where just so crazy and too much internal monologue for me to keep track, not my thing), A Hora da Estrela by Clarice Lispector (I liked this one, it was a re-read and I think I was more emotional the first time around, but still good), Gota D'água by Chico Buarque (this is a play and it was super quick to read, I really hope that someday in my lifetime they do this one again, it was only done one time and it was like four hours long and there was so much stuff - cast, music, etc - that is really hard to present it, but I think it would be amazing to see, still liked to read it).

Them I read some graphic novels, Ms. Marvel volume 2, 3 e 4 (I really liked this series, it had a few crazy plots that weren't really my thing but the art grew on me and I love the messages it passes about girl power), I also read Black Widow volume 1 (this one I actually got a physical copy, since I usually read digital, and I really liked, it was more kicks and booms, but I enjoyed seeing more of Natasha).

quinta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | March 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on March of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

In March I started reading my required reads for Literature, so there is a bunch of Portuguese/Brazilian historical books that I don't really want to review here and which I don't think are all that interesting to the general public of this blog. They're: Sermões by Priest Antonio Vieira (boring to read but interesting to study), Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis (really liked this one, is sort of a psychological realism sort of read, it goes deep within the characters personalities and subtleties, it was definitely interesting study and them read this one), The Slum by Aluísio Azevedo (liked this one more than I expected! It uses a lot of social Darwinism, so I was expecting gross descriptions and there was, but it also went deep into our urban society and it's origins, it was a quick read), Various poems by Fernando Pessoa (still prefer Alberto Caeiro to him, it was a re-read).

Then I kind of went into a non-fiction phase that lasted all of two books HA! Well, it's more than I ever read before from this gender, so I call it a win.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
Published on February 3, 2015 by Anchor 

I really enjoyed this little book, it was exactly what I expected from the title and it made me put Adichie other books on my TBR (I actually have Americanah staring at me from my bookshelf right now and complaining it's still unread). I do wish the talk was expanded and the topics presented here where more developed, I feel like a lot of the examples was fine for a lecture but since this in the book format it could have use more argumentation and a bit more from each story.

Definitely recommend if the synopses interests you, it's super short and quick to read.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli 
Published on March 1, 2016 by Riverhead Books

This book got my attention because of its cover and it's said to talk about physics in an easy way that even the most inept to it may understand. It's true, it's really interesting read, in each chapter Rovelli takles a different topic trying to translate it through metaphors and explanations that make things more easy to digest and understand.

I think that if you are interest in physics in a high school level this would be interesting, but if you already have a graduate level of education in this area this one will hardly bring something new to the table.

 In March I only read 1 YA book GASPH! I know, the horror, and just to vary, it was a re-read of The Wrath & The Dawn, you can check my original review here, I also read one novella from this series, The Crown & the Arrow which was extremely short and just a scene from Khalid's POV, it was interesting but didn't really added anything new to what we had already discovered on TW&TD so it was a bit pointless too.

quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | February 2016

This will be an update of all the books that I read on February of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere #1
Published on February 16, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a fast paced adventure that pleased me from the start to the end. I liked the action and adventure aspects of the story, it made this a page turner but I missed a bit on the connection to the characters, they were a bit underdeveloped to make a long lasting impression on me and honestly, Nix's dad had a character arc that was a bit unbelievable, changing right towards the end, I think that if he wasn't so obsessed with his goal it would be a bit more believable his change of heart.

The romance aspect also bothered me a bit, there is a love triangle that is completely unnecessary, it's pretty clear right from the start with who Nix is going to end up with and they have such a great chemistry and develop from friends to something more in a slow burn and realistic way, I just wish the other counter part didn't existed.

All in all I recommend this one to all lovers of YA, expecially the ones that love a good adventure story. I really hope to re-read this one soon, since the second book is coming out now in February.

Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling)
Series: Hogwarts Library
Published on June 1, 2001 by Arthur A. Levine Books

I don't have much to say about this one since it's more of an "encyclopedia" about fantastic beasts from the Harry Potter Universe than an actual book that I can review. I had read this way back when, but never owned it, since it was on a sale I finally got a chance to have my own copy! It was fun revisiting the world of Wizardry and such, it was a very quickly read and I definitely recommend to all fans of Harry Potter.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published on March 8, 2016 by Viking
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

Oh man, I really wish I was better at writing and posting reviews because I'm 100% sure I would have a lot more to talk about this one, but as of right now, almost a year latter I probably already forgot so many things and ugh.

What I do remember about this is thinking that the start of it reminded me so much of westerns movies/books, which isn't the best thing, since it's supposed to be set on the Arabian Desert and I think that it should have more of Arabic culture to give the feel of the story - also, it can be a shame to use a culture but not actually use it. Later on I think that the atmosphere of the book changed and I didn't thought it was misrepresented.

I really loved the two main characters, Amani and Jin, they were both so fierce and their romance had such a great development, I shipped it hard. I called the twist of who Jin was miles away, so that had a bit of predictability to where this story was going but it was great anyway, it's really a set up for the whole trilogy and I'm excited to the second one, that is coming out next month, hope to have time to re-read this one too!

This Is Where The Worl Ends by Amy Zhang 
Published on March 22, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

I actually wrote some stuff about this one when I read it, so this will be longer.

Trigger warming: rape and suicide 

Official rating: I really, really liked but I also had a lot of problems with it. Also, reading anything about this book counts as a spoiler in my opinion so bellow there will be a shit ton of spoilers.

1. I really liked the writing on this one, as with Falling Into Place it's full of metaphors and it's very lyrical but for me it worked again, it gave me all the feels and turned this reading into a more intense one. Some of my favorites quotes bellow:

 "I'm doing - something. Anything. I’m tired of watching, and waiting, and expecting things to work out. It never works out. It never works unless you demand. So here I am, demanding."

"(...)when our eyes meet, my smile lights up the entire world."

"He says my problem is that I was born with a thousand beginnings and no endings at all."

"They knew each other in their atoms(...)"

"We sat there in silence for a solid minute.
“I don’t get it,” I finally said. “And what happened to all your furniture?”
“I have no idea,” Mr. Markus says. “But happiness is a choice. That’s the key. A choice.”
Is it, though? Is it really? Maybe.
Maybe, for the lucky ones.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I can fill my pockets with stones and mark myself everywhere and set the entire universe on fire, but it’s not going to change anything. I am not one of the lucky ones.
So here is what the unlucky ones choose between: prude or slut. Angel or devil. Maybe choice isn’t the right word—you’re always one or the other.
Damsel or villainess. That’s what it comes down to.
I guess the question that really matters is: which one gets the real happy ending?"

"That’s what high school’s for. You make plans and you don’t follow through. You dream and you can be brave when you’re dreaming, brave enough to imagine that there’s actually a yourself to find, brave enough to finish projects even though you were never born with endings(...)"

2. I didn't liked the way rape and suicide are dealt with in this book. The suicide part is only completely revealed on the ending and it was basically brushed off completely but I think that the bits related to the rape could have been dealt with better. This is a story about everything that can go wrong with a rape victim, she doesn't have a support net, no family or friends that are really there for her, she doesn't get any professional help, either from therapists or law enforcement, is a case where no one believes her even thought she didn't even shouted rape. It's a sad story and one that unfortunately happens but it's also one that I don't think needed to be out there (again), when you're writing for a younger public you have certain responsibilities and showing how to dealt with traumatic situations is one of them.

3. As I said above this story is already out there, this book plot and the plot of Thirteen Reasons Why are basically the same on its bones.

4. I was incredible disappointed with the characters on this one. One of the things that made me love Falling Into Place so much was how Zhang managed to pick unlikable characters and turn them into humans, complex with flaws but also with some redeeming qualities. This time around I didn't connected with anyone, I honestly only started feeling something towards Janie when she was raped, and she was already pretty fucked up, mentally speaking, before that but it just never made any sense to me her reasons and her overall personality probably because of number 5.

5. Janie is the definition of manic pixie dream girl, seriously she seems to have came out of a John Green book. She is full of artistic dreams and metaphors (she actually named a rock Metaphor), she is also super pretty and rich, she hates her parents just because, she is also a mean girl and gets everything she wants. I'm sorry but her character had no sense at all, her actions from before are made without any logical meaning and I couldn't get to sympathize with her.

6. The way toxic friendships are portrait on this one are on point, this is probably my favorite thing on this story. Janie and Micah relationship is intense and all consuming, and they are the best friends in the entire world and also maybe in love with each other, I mean how could they not be when, as Janie says, they are one atom. I loved every scene with them together and it was great to see where this would take them.

7. I hated how therapy is treated on this story, like hated with all my forces. Micah never takes therapy seriously, he never follow through on the recommendations of not drinking since he is 100% of the time drunk, he says what he thinks his therapist wants to hear just to get done with the sessions. I hated it. Is this kind of portrait of therapy that it makes it still be a tabu on our society and people with mental illness to be insecure about searching for professional help.

8. This book has a lot of swear words and underage drinking so if you're not cool with that you should probably stay clear of this one.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published on February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen

It's been almost a year and I'm still confused and torn in Red Queen. This book takes a LOT of influence on other famous pop culture stuff like X-Men and The Hunger Games, and smashes it all together into a somewhat Frankenstein of all these references and creating something new.

I guess that what most let me down in this one was the characters, they were pretty one dimensional and I didn't managed to connect with anyone, I can't fall in love with a story if I don't fall in love with its characters. Also, there is a love triangle where both sides were pretty boring up until the ending, which turned things around and I guess now it's not a love triangle anymore and I'm sad, because the other counter part is just plain boring and I don't want him to be end game.

What made me keep turning the pages was the adventure bits and figuring out what the hell was happening in this story, there is quite a few twists that took me by surprise and changed things like a gazillion times and I honestly don't know where anyone stands. This was what made me pick up the next books of the series right away, and it's another one that I hope to re-read before the release of the next in the series (I love re-reads okay, let me be).

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #0.1 - #0.2
Published on January 5, 2016 by HarperTeen

Queen Song was pretty boring and not at all relevant to the overall story, it didn't presented anything new from Red Queen. I did read it on one sitting so there is that.

Steel Scars was better but I kept wandering and it took me a while to finish it, I think that for those who enjoyed Farley on Red Queen will love it since she is the POV of this story and we find more about her past. It also has more about the revolution, information that aren't present on Red Queen and that I found really interesting.

terça-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2017

Reading Diary | January 2016

These will be an update of all the books that I read on January of 2016, with links to reviews already posted on the blog or a small impression on the story.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Published on July 1, 2012 by Random House Books for Young Children 

If you can read in Portuguese I suggest you read my full review here. If you don't, which is more possible, then I will try to convey the same feelings, in less words.

I bought Seraphina around 2013 but only got around to reading it this year, mostly because I was intimidated by it - its a fantasy novel and everyone seems to love it, what if I didn't loved it. Well, I didn't loved it but I enjoyed it quite a lot. I was surprised by the plot, which relies much more revile on the mystery. than the fantasy aspects, coming closer to a detective novel and I liked that, it was fun to keep reading and trying to figure out where every piece of the puzzle came together. The fantasy aspects where pretty low key, since the dragons in here are contained in their human forms.

We do have a lot of politics, but it wasn't confusing as I was expecting to be, it was closer to European  feudalism than nowadays politics. And of course the characters completed the story really well, Seraphina was a strong and intelligent main character and I loved being in her head, her relationship with her uncle was amazing and touched my heart so many times <3 One thing that I didn't enjoyed was the romance, it was completely devoid of chemistry for me and the circumstances turn it kind of cheating, like emotional cheating and I don't see it ending well.

Overall it was a good read and I definitely recommend to fans of fantasy and mystery too.

Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #3
Published on April 5, 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
[This book was given to me by the Publisher. This in no way affected my opinion.]

Oh boy, we reached the ending of this series and unfortunately I have to say I'm quite disappointed with it, the first book was so funny and bantery but the other two never lived up to it. This one was better than the second one but it just felt so anti-climatic and unnecessary, this series should probably just have been a one book kind of thing, maybe a longer one book.

This time around we have much less of the ship together, so less ship feels, it's understandable with the end of book 2 but also disappointing. The adventure was okay and the road trip gave room to a great female squad, we surpassed the girl hate and got a pretty weird friendship which is always a win. With that we also got less romance drama in general, not only from the ship, which is also an improvement to book 2.

Overall I don't know to who recommend this series, maybe just read the first book and stop there, because that one is pretty good.

First & Then by Emma Mills
Published on October 13, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

If you like contemporary fluffy books you need this one in your life. I really liked this one, it has a super cute romance, that I wish got together before the very last page because I wanted more of the swoons and I think that the change from friendship to romance was a bit quickly and in the veins of "I always wanted you but couldn't see before", so it wasn't 100% perfect but it was like 99% perfect.

The set of characters and the relationship between then is amazing, seriously if you like books that bring on the family feelings this one will be your heaven. So yeah, basically if you like good books, that are more on the light side this one should be your next read. And if you think it isn't, then I urge you to give it a shot anyway.

Scan by Sarah Fine, Walter Jury
Series: Scan #1
Published on May 1, 2014 by Putnam Children's

I was trying to recall what Scan's plot was and I couldn't for the life on me remember it, so that is a bad point, this wasn't a very memorable story.

What I do recall is that there was a mystery surrounding our main character and its father, that in some way relates to the sci-fi aspects of the story, this made the book really fast paced and it goes along the lines of an adventure movie. There was a romance, which wasn't really my favorite part since it was pretty devoid of chemistry and the character were really one dimensional, so there wasn't any feelings or connection.

I would recommend this one to readers looking for a fast paced adventure, but that is basically it.

I also read two short stories of The Raven Cycle series, A Minor Raven Boys Holiday Drabble and 300 Fox Way Holiday Piece, both were posted by Stiefvater on tumblr and were very short and sweet, great to keep the saudade of these characters at bay. The two other books that I read I actually wrote reviews too (yes, I'm shocked too): Symptoms of Being Human and Unhooked.