Sunday, January 27, 2013

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

Four and a half stars/ five

I was very hesitant to read this book. The blurb was strange, and it didn’t sound like something I would like. A few months ago, Click Frenzy happened (it was a total fail, by the way). Bookworld (formerly Borders) was one of the stores participating in the online discounts and my mum said I could buy some books. One of the books I bought was Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It was reasonably cheap and I figured I’d give it a go. I eventually got around to reading it because I was going away and I could sit and read a lot of it on the plane. I’m definitely glad I read this book. I enjoyed it but I did have a few issues with it. But overall I thought it was a beautiful book.

Karou lives half in Prague and half in ‘Elsewhere’. In Prague she is a seventeen year old art student, but in Elsewhere, Karou is an errand girl for the monstrous creature that is Brimstone, the closest thing she has to a father. Karou travels all around the world (via portals) doing errands for Brimstone’s work that she does not at all understand. But, whenever Brimstone calls, Karou never says no. When mysterious hand prints are burnt on to portal doors all around the world, what could that mean for Elsewhere? And what could it mean for Karou? Without Elsewhere she is simply nothing.

“The doors to Elsewhere are closing”

I thought this book was absolutely brilliant. It was something very different, something that you wouldn’t often see in the YA genre. The descriptions were amazing; so detailed and real. Everything in this book felt so real. I was sure I was in Prague, in Brimstone’s shop, in the markets. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was really a remarkable book that will be imbedded in my brain forever.

Karou was definitely a different character. She was unusual and shrouded in mystery. She was also very likable, strong willed, brave, kind, yet harsh, loyal and trusting of her “family”. Karou was such an intriguing character, exactly like the book itself. I think the writing made the book, but Karou’s character definitely helped. In all of her twisted, mysterious ways, Karou has become one of my favourite YA character.

I really loved Akiva. I loved his chapters; occasionally being allowed inside his head. He was so strong and beautiful, honest and loyal. I thought he was absolutely perfect. I especially liked the fact that Akiva fell in love with Karou, not only because of who she was, but because he actually liked her. I loved that he was honest with Karou about… things… even though it could potentially ruin the relationship between the two of them. He did it for Karou, because she deserved to know. Akiva was mysterious and way too cool and I totally love him.

The only thing I can fault is the fact that this book occasionally confused the hell out of me. It was beautiful and well written, but sometimes I felt it was too good and it just left me behind. I found myself re-reading things because I just couldn’t understand a sentence or a paragraph. It could’ve just been me, but I don’t know. Maybe the book was just a bit above me. Either way, I totally loved it.

This book was so wonderful that I could only fault one minor thing. Other than that very minor thing, I fell head over heels in love with this book. I’m definitely glad I bought the second one for myself for Christmas. I’m looking forward to reading it and I certainly hope it is as wonderful as Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

One/ five stars

It took me almost a month to read this book. That is seriously sad. I devour books in a matter of days, not weeks, let alone a month. I was so excited to read this book. It seemed like a cute little, travelling love story. I was right, it was a cute love story, but not until the last few chapters. I did not connect well with this book; it did not grab me or interest me in any way. I am so, so disappointed in this book. What’s that quote? “Expect the worst. That way you’ll never be disappointed.”

Julia aka Book Licker is a straight laced, straight A student, until one dangerous class trip to London. She is paired with Jason. Jerk, cool kid, Jason. At first, Jason and Julia act like mortal enemies, but as the trip continues, Julia starts receiving mysterious texts (FROM A GUY!), so the least Jason can do is help her. Jason leads the both of them on a hunt across London, to possibly start Julia’s love life. But could Julia find what she thought was impossible: her MTB? Her true love?

I did not at all, even a little bit, like Julia. She was uptight, cocky, arrogant, annoying, irritating, bitchy and too good for everyone else. She was smart, yes, but she was only book smart. She needed to be street smart, socially smart, for me to like her. I think one quote from Jason perfectly sumed Julia up:

“If you would pull your head out of your guidebooks for point two seconds, maybe you’d see that you’re not the lonely victim you’re always pretending to be. There are people who actually care about you… You know what your problem is? Nobody’s good enough for you. You live in a fantasy world. And if you don’t wake up, you’ll end up alone, with your books and four million number-two pencils.”

I didn’t particularly like Jason either, but he was a lot better than Julia. Everyone was better than Julia. At least Jason actually cared about Julia and other things, just a little bit. It was, after all, a little bit more than Julia cared for things.

I am unbelievably let down by this book. I thought, maybe just maybe, it would give My Life Next Door a run for its money, but no way. I didn’t like anything about this book, except for the ending. The ending was kind of cute, and well… it signaled the end of this God awful book. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Five/five stars

I started this book at around 7:30pm. I decided to read an e-book because it is definitely easier to read than a paper book when painting my nails! I am now writing this review at 1am and I'm emotionally drained. Hopeless was a punch RIGHT in the feels. My eyes are tired but my brain is in overdrive. I'm completely speechless. Colleen Hoover has done it again.

After being home-schooled all her life, Sky begs her adoptive mother for a change at a public school. When she finds out her best friend Six is leaving as an exchange student right in time for the beginning of their senior year, Sky realises she's going to be all alone. At the grocery shop after her first day at school, Sky meets Dean Holder. When Holder shows a sudden interest in Sky she realises that she might not be so alone after all. But what life ruining secrets is he keeping?

This book really was exceptional. The plot was unbelievably well executed. It was well thought out, clever and rather shocking. For me, the plot climax came out of nowhere. It surprised and shocked me. I especially loved that. Sometimes plot points can be too easy to spot and way too predictable. The entire book was made a whole lot better because of the fact the writing was incredible. Hoover definitely has a wonderful way with words. The thing I really liked was the characters. The two main characters, Sky and Holder, each had a very interesting, mysterious back story that gave so much substance to the story and the characters themselves. There was only one thing I didn’t particularly like about Hopeless: I sometimes found Holder to be a bit of a dick. He could be commanding and controlling and he had a huge ego. Apart from those sore points, he was actually a very good character. (Holder was definitely not as amazing and perfect and Will from Slammed and Point of Retreat).

I found Sky to be one of the best characters I have read in YA for a while. She was tough, very emotional but in a good way and strong willed. When things started getting hard for Sky and the truth started to come out she didn’t bottle it up. She screamed and she carried on and she cried. Her character was so real. I felt everything she felt and it ripped through me. Even though Sky was very strong she still had her weak moments and that’s what made her so real. I absolutely loved Sky and I seriously wish she was my friend, because she was awesome.

Now, from all the reviews I’ve been reading, Holder is the new love interest. He’s hot, sexy and everything a girl wants. Unfortunately, I fall into the minority that didn’t exactly love Holder. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Holder, I really, really did, it’s just that I didn’t think he was that lovely. He was kind of controlling and I didn’t particularly like that. There were lots of good things about Holder though, like the fact that he was patient (to an extent), deep, emotional and he had lots of real feelings. That’s the thing about this book. It was very real. I found Holder to be a good character. I liked him, but he wasn’t my favourite male character in YA.

I absolutely bloody loved Slammed and Point Of Retreat, therefore making me totally ecstatic to read Hopeless. I am so happy to say that Hopeless did not at all disappoint me. It kept me glued to the pages and made me stay up til the earlier hours of the morning. Hopeless was beautifully executed with real characters and a breathtaking yet heartbreaking romance. My FEELS still hurt, several weeks after reading this book. Oh my God, everybody should read this book. Right. Now!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved #1)

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan


I'm not sure...
I just didn't like this book. I only managed a couple of chapters, got to page 100 or so, and I gave up. I didn't like the writing or the characters or the story. I'm so disappointed because I was really excited to read this book and the reviews were excellent. Maybe I'll try again one day.