Monday, September 21, 2015

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.

Rating: 1/5

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer started out with the promise of a creepily seductive paranormal read.

It all began when her friends died. Mara wakes up in the hospital and she can’t remember what happened, why she was at an abandoned building when it collapsed or how her friends died and she escaped without a scratch. After that, strange things keep happening to her; Mara starts seeing her dead friends, relatives, she gets hurt in impossible situations and worse, she starts loosing time.

Sounds awesome, right? I love paranormal stories and this one started out great! It was a shame that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer turned out to be nothing but another cliché YA romance.

My problem with this is, that it’s just the same stories we have read over and over and over and over again in countless other novels. Actually, I’m gonna teach you how to do one right now, let’s call it Cooking with Mila! Here’s what you’ll need:

-Create a plain Main character (mostly Caucasian) who is actually beautiful but doesn’t know it. Stir until hot guy tells her she’s beautiful (Don’t worry, even though she’ll become emotionally dependant on him, her self-esteem issues will still be there).

-Make sure the girl has no personality, self-esteem or sense of self. Remember, it’s important for her to be an empty shell so that people can imagine themselves into her all the more easily!

-Now that you’ve that done, create your love interest! Remember that your love interest will be a guy, leave different sexualities/skin color to token characters. It would be great if you can just cram every stereotype possible into one character and just fill your diversity quote with that one. If you can, add a bit of homophobia in there too, like the MC being offended/disgusted/ashamed to be thought of as gay/bi.

- Your LI will be perfect, and for that you’ll have to use the artificial flavour of “YA perfect brooding asshole” *Other brands could give you a decent guy instead, and we don’t want that. He’ll have a perfect body, perfect face and perfect skin (Of course he’ll be Caucasian!). British accent recommended. He’ll also be a perfect asshole, invading personal space to shy girls he just met, not accepting a “No” as an answer and having, of course, a much more sexually active life than your MC. His penis will be so powerful that just by touching it (or thinking of it) every girl’s reputation will be ruined, as well as any sense of self-respect or worth. Take into consideration that every girl who even thinks of this guy will magically be transformed into a cardboard copy of a mean girl stereotype. You’ll probably want to wash the personality out of them first, too.

-There won’t be a plot, just have them fall in love when they meet but invent dumb reason so that they have to be apart. There has to be some tension after all!!

- Cook and let it burn. Now write something better. Unless you need money, in which case you’ll have a best-seller!

You can see that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book.
Personally, I think it’s great for a fun read or whathever but I was looking for something exciting and paranormal, not the same lame love story we find all the time in YA. Change the names and you can pretty much recycle everything!

I was looking forward to witnessing the freaking unbecoming of this girl, this Mara Dyer (That’s the name she picked, really?) and watch her loose her mind with all the stuff that were going on. Instead we find Mara, who never really does anything! She hallucinates, gets hurt and almost killed, and she never tells anybody! I don’t know what it is with YA books and having teens do everything without the help of a grown up, but this was ridiculous. Mara gets annoyed at her mom because she thinks that her daughter is loosing her mind, HONEY YOU’RE LOOSING YOUR FRICKEN MIND. There is a difference between not wanting to accept what is happening ad being a moron.

Besides that, what else was it to Mara? What was it that had the hottest guy in school smitten with her since DAY ONE? Seriously, he meets her and he chases her down everywhere even though the guy has never cared about anybody before her.

It was really annoying to read from Mara’s POV because she does nothing. Noah tells her they are going on a date and even though she doesn’t want to she just kind of accepts. Then Noah says they are dating and even though she doesn’t want to he says that he does so she just sighs and says “Ok.”

I hated Noah and his stupid perfect lips and perfect out-of-bed hair and his perfect hair and his perfect- HE’S PERFECT, WE GET IT!
He was nothing but a creepy stalker and pushover who treated girls like crap.

The entire school was suddenly obssessed with Mara's love life in a very Twilight kind of way, it was over the top and ridiculous, as if people didn't have I don't know... a LIFE to get back to.

Overall, I would have enjoyed this book so much more if the romance had been eliminated (or better constructed) and the spooky elements better developed.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—believed that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.

As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.

Rating: 3/5

I have a thing for the color purple, stars and alien novels. From a Distant Star's cover and blurb made of the book the perfect combination for me (Yes, I judge books by its cover, sue me!). I was really looking forward to reading it when it came out (I had missed it on Netgalley, damn), though I wasn't really sure what to expect; a love triangle between Emma, her boyfriend and the alien invading it? An action packed escape from the authorities looking for this alien and Emma's search for a cure? A freaking alien invasion??

I don't know, but I really need to stop making up stories into my head before I start a book, just read the damn synopsis Mila! Because, in the end, this book was nothing like what I had envisioned, and I'm still trying to figure out whether that is a good or bad thing.

The story starts with Lucas, Emma's boyfriend being a terminally ill patient but, after a strange object crashes in his family's backyard Lucas miraculously recovers. Everybody is ecstatic, especially Emma who was the only one that hadn’t given up on his recovery. But soon Emma starts witnessing some strange behaviour on his part and, combined with the discovery of the strange object in his yard, it makes her think her boyfriend may not be himself anymore.

I'll be honest, I found the author's writing style a bit too juvenile for my taste. I guess it would be suited for younger readers or just people who enjoy that kind of writing.

I did like that Emma was not the usual MC who melts into a puddle when things go wrong. She was determined, stubborn even, and she was willing to fight for Lucas. Perhaps my problem with her was that she was too selfish for my taste. Yes, she loves Lucas, but her saving him was only because she couldn't live without him. She didn't care that Lucas may not want to live as a terminal patient, or the suffering she was causing to his parents. She spends every day next to him, not letting his parents grieve for the son they were losing. She was too focused on what she wanted and needed that her love for Lucas felt wrong, did she really care for him? Or only what he could do for her?

Her attitude toward other women was awful, any girl that came close to her boyfriend was immediately labelled as either a slut or shallow, and that made the reading more annoying.

The plot was alright, though I was expecting a bit more action and gore, everything works out with little problems whatsoever, and that's just not what I look for when I read an alien novel.

From a Distant Star is a good, light read about aliens. Though the writing can be juvenile and the plot predictable, it's decent for a fun time.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet

Marisa MacCallum always believed that the man of her dreams was out there somewhere. The problem is—he’s in another dimension.

After the death of her father, eighteen-year-old Marisa's life is on the verge of imploding. She seeks comfort on her daily ride through the woods of Gold Hill, but when a mysterious lightning storm strikes, she is hurled into the ancient, alternate dimension of Carnelia where she is discovered by the arrogant but attractive nobleman, Ambassador Darian Fiore.

Stranded in a world teeming with monsters, maniacs and medieval knights, Marisa is forced to join Darian on a dangerous mission to negotiate peace with his cousin and archenemy, Savino da Rocha. Along the way, she starts to see Darian's softer side and finds herself falling in love. But once she learns that he is locked into an arranged marriage, her heart shatters.

When Savino falls for her charms and demands her hand in exchange for peace, Marisa is faced with an impossible choice: marry the enemy of the man she loves or betray them both and become the catalyst for a bloody war.

I was kindly given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Promoting a book, movie or show can be tricky, especially considering how you are trying to sell a story. You want to make sure your audience knows enough so that they’ll want to buy the product, but not too much so that they don’t have to.
Sometimes, the information provided for one reason or another becomes too much and you end up giving away half the plot. It’s a messy stunt that almost never works, and I’m still trying to figure out why the heck would anybody use it.

This is something that happened with The Carnelian Legacy, just read that premise, don’t you feel like you know half the plot already? That should have been an indication for me, but what I read I liked, and so I ignored my uneasy feeling convinced that the book wuld be nothing like the summary.

Clearly, I was wrong. I know that I read an advanced copy, but the entire book felt too much like a first draft; it was filled with inconsistencies, plot holes, awkward dialogue and info-dumps. It really should have been revised a few more times.

The story is about an eighteen year old girl, Marisa who, after her father’s death she goes wandering into the forest and ends up in an alternate dimension complete with monsters, magic and a whole lot of trouble.

The idea the author had behind it was good enough, but her writing and plotting were simply too contrived and immature to carry it through. The explanations about the world were given through a bunch of weird info dumps; two characters could be arguing about fishing and then the history of the potato revolution could be explained.

The MC behaviour did not make any sense. She was thrust into this world she knows nothing about (That is btw some kind of medieval world where everybody speaks like modern people acting to be in a medieval world.) and all she can think is about the hot guy that saved her and that she’s falling for, even though she has been with him for a few days. But then he’s going to get married! The agony!! But then, wait! His hot, super evil cousin wants her! And even though he’s evul and touches her without her consent, he only has to smile for her to follow his every command…

There were no surprises to the writing, I could predict the ending early in the book.

Overall, a story that reads like a draft, with inconsistent characterization and predictable plots. Not enjoyable.

Ghostboy, Chameleon & The Duke of Graffiti by Olivia Wildenstein

Some endings are inevitable, but so are some stories.

Cora Matthews, the principal’s gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly popular Duke Meyer’s type. Still, Duke finds himself inexplicably drawn to her dark eyes and mysterious manner. She makes it clear she doesn’t return his admiration, but when a burst appendix lands Duke in the hospital, he and Cora will be forced to come together by the most unlikely intermediary: her eight-year-old brother, Jaime. 

Duke learns Jaime has brain cancer and little chance of long-term survival. He admires the kid’s plucky positivity and wild imagination and offers to write a story about Jaime’s make-believe superheroes. So begins an epic tale—that of Ghostboy, Chameleon, and the Duke of Graffiti—and a deep friendship between Duke and Jaime. 

Despite their outward differences, Cora and Duke bond over their affection for Jaime, but unintended betrayal and Jaime’s advancing disease threaten to derail their blossoming romance before it can truly take root. 

Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti is a gorgeous debut novel that will resonate with the thoughtful fans of John Green’s blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley. 

Ghostboy, Chameleon & The Duke of Graffiti started with a heart-warming premise, a troubled guy who meets a kid with problems much bigger than his own. Life lessons, cute moments and sad ones was pretty much what I had expected from this book, instead I got an annoying story that only got to piss me off, with only one sad moment that was underwhelmed by how badly it was played out.

I don’t know what happened, this was supposed to be a good story, how could it have gone so wrong?

What I thought would become a powerful message about life, love and friendship was nothing but just another YA love story with a guy who tries to “fix” a girl, screw the cancer plot or its potential.

The super popular Duke meets Cora, dark, mysterious and with “loads of make-up” and he’s immediately attracted to her, wandering whatever could be wrong with her that she wears so much make-up that she makes herself ugly.

His family says that she cleaaaarly must be in terrible emotional pain to want to “mask herself” behind make up, because they are cleaaaaarly as idiotic as he is. So remember peeps, the next time you pick up that eye-liner, lip gloss or blush, just stare at yourself for a minute and try to figure out exactly what’s your problem that you want to wear paint on your face.

Reaction GIF: what the fuck?, what?, Rupert Grint, Ron Weasley, Harry Potter

Their entire relationship is based on Duke trying to fix Cora. The most powerful aspect of this book is killed by the way it’s delivered, we are constantly told just how sad of a story this is, how all of our problems are little compared to this big one. One time is fine, though I usually prefer being shown not told, two is pushing it, three is an over-kill. Saying it in every freaking chapter is pointless, and completely killed my enjoyment.

In the end, it was a cute title with a powerful premise that ended up as a big disappointment.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

When my friend and I picked up this book, we were in a serious HG withdrawal syndrome. We hadn’t really read a lot of books before, except those “mandatory reads” at school that we all usually hated. For Eve and I, Twilight had been the first book that we read because we wanted to, not because we were told to (sad, I know) and therefore, our knowledge and experience in the YA genre (and, in consequence, dystopian) was very limited.

I’m rambling, sorry, but the point is, we had finished The Hunger Games and, although we were happy that we knew how the series ended and yadda yadda, there was this… I don’t know, hollow inside us because the series was over. That was it, the story had ended and we were trying to come to terms with the fact that we’d never learn anything new about this world and the characters. No baddie to take down and all.

So one day, while reading a teen magazine (Eve worked at a magazine stand right out of school) we came across an article depicting Divergent as the “Next to read after The Hunger Games”, we both looked at each other like,

And started it the very next day. We finished it and loved it, but unfortunately that very same year we finished high school. With college and work, we simply lost a bit of contact and the next two books were never discussed. Still, I had read them and loved them (except the third but that’s for another review).

However, and yes it’s that dreaded “however” after a few years and a bunch more books on my back, I decided to re-read Divergent just for the sake of it and… well, I no longer think it’s that great.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a good book to read if you are starting the Dystopian genre and also, though this is just a personal belief, I always think it’s interesting to read super hyped books even if we believe they don’t deserve all the praise. Maybe it’s morbid curiosity on my part, but I want to know what’s inside those stories that so many people loved.

That being said, as a novel Divergent lacks in many departments but one of the most important one is the plot.
I’m kind of an over-thinker, so whenever there is a plot hole (no matter how small) it will bug me a little. In Dystopian it’s a bit hard to judge because, well it’s a futuristic version of the world that came from the author’s imagination, how can we know it won’t happen? Ok, yeah, some stuff are ridiculous but still… not impossible. And yet, I had a big problem with Divergent,


That’s not me being an over-thinker or picky, the freaking cover has only one word and that is DIVERGENT in big, white letters. If the main plot of the entire trilogy it’s not clear, then the grounds for it suck, and the story will suck in return.

I remember I had been very intrigued by the concept; “One choice can define you.” Because we had been in our last year of High school and that was the time when we chose which career we wanted to follow. Pretty much what I felt during that year was “One choice can define you.”, it was easy to connect with the book but, as it turns out, the concept of “divergents” destroys the very essence of the book,

If we accept Divergence as it is presented in the book, then there is no choice at all.

Doesn’t make sense? Let me explain, Divergence is explained in the book as one person’s ability to fit into more than one category (Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor and Amity). In the Divergent world, people are divided into this five “factions” where they dedicate themselves into cultivating their faction’s believes.

Before I started reading, I thought the test Beatrice was going to go through would be like an aptitude test. You know, it would tell her which categories she had better potential in and so she could choose which one she wanted to spend the rest of her life at. After all, it says over and over that they have a choice. BUT it also says that people can only fit into one category, and one category ONLY. They are either Erudite/Candor/Dantless/Abnegation/Amity or they are nothing.
But they are all born in one faction that teaches people how to behave. If they were all Abnegation naturally, then wouldn’t they all be naturally selfless? And when they leave that faction for another one, then wouldn’t they be unable to fit in, if they are only Abnegation?

We know that, all people are born into a certain faction but have different aspects of each factions (Tris is both selfish and selfless, her brother is both selfless and smart, etc.) like any regular person, right? And so, when they leave it’s because they chose what they want to be, either that be more selfless or brave or stuff.

But then the book insists that only divergents can fit into more than one faction, while people grow in one and then change and learn about their new faction. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

And then Divergents come to screw everything up. Seriously, did people have a choice or were they cardboard copies? The book never settles on anything and it’s pretty obvious why the whole concept was created; to make Tris special.

That’s it, and I could get past this in any other book (Granted, I’d still be pissed because it’s too lame) but the whole Divergent trilogy is based on Divergents and overthrowing the evul government that tries to kill them, and we don’t even know what divergent is!

That was a major plot hole that not only annoyed me, it also made the re-reading rather difficult since I couldn’t understand a thing.

The characters, well, they had their problems as well. I wasn’t very into Tris and how she treated “weakness” if I were to meet her in real life, she would be the sort of person to tell someone with depression to “suck it up because other people have it worse.” She actually thinks something similar about Al and it made me feel disgusted. She could see that Al was struggling, that he was suffering and all she could think off was “Ugh, what a coward!” HELP YOUR FRIEND!

There was this constant reference to cowardice and bravery that I felt was incredibly wrong. Tris thinks that holding a gun is being brave, same as doing dumb things like jumping off a train because everybody else does it.

As for Four and Tris I- I… idon’tlikethemtogether! Phewwww, there I said it. Though it’s not that I have anything particularly against them together, I just don’t see why they are together. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, Tris and Four are somehow, magically attracted to one another. The brooding hunk of a dude who never cared about anybody else, is for some reason obsessed with this skinny and shy girl. I don’t get it, and they certainly have no chemistry when they are together, my guess is the two of them are together because she’s the MC and he’s the love interest, besides that there is nothing going on.

To sum up, my mind has changed a lot since I first read Divergent. I would recommend it for people who love the genre, or simply to read a super popular book but when it comes to plot, characters, world-building or message… yeah, don’t go there.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

A girl with it all planned out discovers a romance she never expected in this funny debut about a class trip to London that says you’ll love “if you’re into swoony romances with a little bit of history thrown in.” 

This spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Rating: 1/5

How can I say what I think about this book?

Ok that pretty much suffices, though It’s a bit short on curse words… but if I write them all down this will turn into a ten pages review and I want to get “Meant to be” out of my system as soon as possible.

You guys know, I usually try to find a redeeming quality in all books. If somebody put the effort to write down their ideas; and let’s face it, writing a book, revising it, re-writing it again, editing and all that jazz is no easy task, I want to see the whatever little piece of goodness there is in the written word.

I have no fucks to give with this one, guys. It was terrible.

I wasn’t really expecting much besides a fun and fluffy romance between two “enemies” in the wonderful London!... And I got stuck with this.

I’m going to make it short and say, right now, why I hate it so much.
-     -The MC sucked balls. She was an awful person, not only was everybody inferior to her in one way or another, she was also dumb, shallow and a hypocrite. She judged people who read from a Kindle rather than a paperback because that “Wasn’t really reading” are you fucking serious?
-      -The Love Interest was a childish asshole. Not only does he spends the entire trip humiliating our MC to the point of almost crying (Hell, I would have cried too, after I had strangled him.) He also tries to take her clothes without her consent and laughs it off as her being “too much of a prude”, tricks her into going to a party and leaves her all alone in a club after she’s completely drunk and strange dudes start swarming around her. Fuck him.
              -Every girl is portrayed as dumb as fuck, all to make our MC all the more smart! Wohooooo!
-     -No plot, nothing happens.

-          -Zero research into London, and it’s freaking London!

-         - It was freaking horrible.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Rating: 4/5

Are you free to love when you are not free?

Reading slumps suck. What I hate the most about it is that I can’t really do much about it, sometimes it starts with a bad/boring book that I have no interest in continue and so I pick another story, and then another, and then another… never quite getting into any. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good a book is, I’m simply not in the mood for that particular book. I have no idea what I want to read, I just know it’s none of the books I have.

I was in a reading slump before starting The Winner’s Curse, and when I had picked it up it had been more to try and force myself to find joy in reading again rather than anything else. I was sure, as it had been for the last two weeks, that the story would not catch my attention and I would continue bored and bitter.

But imagine my surprise when I start reading, and in a few pages I’m pulled in. there was something about the world created there and the characters that intrigued me. Often, one of my biggest problems with books are characters, I feel like authors don’t care about them as much as they should. I like to read stories with people, and sometimes I find empty shells instead. I find this things with names, lines but no personalities, no characterization. They aren’t people, they are plot devices created to move the story along. Sometimes that’s fine with me, I won’t love the book but I won’t hate it either. But there are other moments when we need to connect with these characters, we need to invest ourselves in them,, feel their pain, love, anger. Worry about whether they’ll survive or won’t. I can’t do that for a thing without personality, I don’t that person and therefore I can’t truly care for them.

But here the characters they were flawed, wrong, dumb even, from time to time but they were people. I could feel them, I got to know them and they were alive. They had dreams and passions and fears, and I could invest myself in them.

Perhaps the world wasn’t as developed as I like dystopian worlds to be, but what we got was… organic. As I read I had to keep reminding myself that there were things that didn’t happen or exist and that they never did. It felt natural and real, and that’s not something that can be achieved easily.

After I was finished, my reading slump was cured! I was ecstatic, I could finally enjoy reading again, it didn’t feel like an obligation but rather for pleasure. I loved The Winner’s Curse for that, gave it five stars and recommended it to everybody as one of my favourite books!

However, as time went by and I had time to think I realized that there were some things about the book that bothered me and that I couldn’t get past, the main one being are you really free to love when you are not free?

Reading is, for most of us, something fun to do. We read because we want to experience new worlds, new people and emotions but also, because it’s entertaining. Still, and I know that the “It’s just a book!” Is something many people agree with when it comes about discussing dangerous tropes in literature, I however, do not agree. I believe that we can be entertained without offending and or hurting and, let’s face it, slavery is and will always be a very cruel subject.

While The Winner’s Curse refrained itself from the most vicious parts of such a concept, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t there. Kestrel forms part of a society that conquers people for their own advantage, and I hated the way the book brushed this fact aside to give way for romance.

Kestrel is presented as someone to admire and root for because she is supposed to be against her society’s ways, and yet she keeps on buying slaves, not to set free or to help, she simply buys people like one would buy clothes. She has no interest in the Herrani people besides her nanny, a woman she claims to love but whom she knows nothing off. Her beloved nanny is nothing but a pretty little accessory for Kestrel to hang from her wrist and show us just how compassionate and different she is.

She has no respect for the Herranis or their culture, disrespecting them in every possible way by imposing her own judgement and customs on them. She’s appalled that the Herrani people don’t want to be slaves! Who would have guessed people didn’t want to be sold as things to beat, rape and kill? Certainly not Kestrel.

At the end, and this is not really a spoiler, Kestrel changes her mind about it and realizes that she was wrong… but not exactly. I wished it had been dealt with it better though, because Kestrel realization is too sudden to make an impact, it’s like “They would all clean my feet and be my slaves!... Nah, maybe he’s right and they should be free. Ok I’ll go with that.” Kestrel never really seems to accept the fact that she was wrong, not just her society, she was the one buying those slaves too and helping her father and Kingdom to conquer new places.

I don’t believe this is right, the story was entertaining, yes but it brushes off very important issues that could have made an important statement.

Read carefully.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…and the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss, Ridley Dresden, is overseeing her mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level—one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it will change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.

Rating: 2.5

The second installment to the Kanin Chronicles trilogy was, for me, quite the let down. We left the first book feeling that nothing had really happened, a Queen was missing, a traitor was clearly not what he looked like, a Heroine was oblivious to all and too focused on her attraction toward her boss to see the clues laid before her, said boss was too busy with his creepy crush on his young apprentice to make smart choices (Ok, I know that the age difference was not that much, six years or so, but he was thinking about settling down and having a family while she was still barely a young woman with a kid's mind, like almost all nineteen year olds. They were worlds apart.) and I was begin for a love triangle, because the love interest was getting on my nerves.
Ice Kissed not only doubled the romance element, it also somehow managed to get the characters to be more annoying, the plot more predictable and NO KONSTANTIN. Unacceptable.

Ok, I know I'm sounding like I hated it but I didn't, it just... annoyed me. I've been able to read predictable books before and still enjoy myself (Like Cinder) but with this one... ugh, enough with the drama! I didn't care about the romance or how they wanted to be together but couldn't... but then they didn't want to be together... but then they did. there was no reason for the motherfraking drama and it was too annoying to want to continue.

The ending was, again, predictable and I can't for the life of me understand how they didn't see it coming!

I'll read the third book just because it's the last and I hate leaving a series unfinished when there is only one book left... but I have low expectations.

Switched by Amanda Hocking

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed—and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

Rating: 3/5

I recently realized I had read this book a few years back after I won an e-copy on a blog, clearly it didn't leave a huge impression on me.

Not that Switched was a horrible book, no. If it were I would certainly have remembered it, it was simply forgettable; we have the MC with no personality who discovers she is especial and the book is one big love story without a plot. The fantasy elements were what i was looking forward to the most, what was Wendy? Why did her mom tried to kill her? Unfortunately, it was all pushed aside and we got almost no development of the world wathsoever.

As I said, this is not terrible but it is generical, a tad boring and unoriginal. If you have been with the YA genre for a while now you might not enjoy this one.