Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: Book Review

12940940_991689484258022_1883838199_n

imageedit_1_3468234889

 Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Date Published: January 28, 2014

No. of Pages: 346

Date Read: April 2016

Source: Fully Booked

imageedit_13_7735683809

Great premise, poor execution.

Oh no, I don’t know how to begin this one.

So when I heard that this one was a Beauty and The Beast retelling I knew then I had to read it. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite childhood fairytale and anything with premise like it appealed to me so much. So naturally, I did expect – a little too much I guess. Well it happens to the best of us, right? When a book sounded that it would be right up your alley, add the fact that it is a retelling of one of your favorite fairytales and all the hype surrounding it, one cannot NOT expect. I mean you’ve been teased enough already, you have no other option but put your whole trust into it. This is why I shy away from reading hyped books, I’m afraid that the hype wouldn’t live up to its promise. And that’s what happened here.

Cruel beauty had the perfect premise, what could possibly go wrong? Apparently, a lot. But let me tell you first about the good points. The mention of Mythology was a plus point for me, thanks to this book for another mythology lesson, some of it I already forgot. I liked how the book revolved into the story of greek gods or how they played an enormous part on the overall plot of the book. This added spice into it. Another good point is the uniqueness of the setting, with all the rooms that changes every time, the Hearts (fire, earth, water, air). The element of fantasy was well played out as well.

Now to the issues I had with this book. Let me tell you first that I was confused most of the time. The book really tested my attention skill. It was the only book that I put down every two paragraphs, I don’t know what’s wrong with me when I was reading it. It just wasn’t able to grip me the way a good book should. I always find myself rereading paragraphs because my mind tends to wander off  in the middle of every page, which gets me so frustrated. I found it really hard to concentrate. I don’t know if it is just a case of bad timing or the book is just not doing it for me.

Another issue, was the love triangle. It was weird, for lack of a better term. Just, no. Im not really digging it. Add the instalove (which by now we are all aware of, but for those who has been living under a rock – instalove is instant love, when characters suddenly fell in love with one another with not much basis, when there was the littlest development on their relationship. Much like instant ramen – it will kill you with all its MSG haha. So there’s that. I didn’t quite sit well with me that at one moment Nyx really hated the Gentle Lord and just like that, at another page she loved him completely. NOPE. Just don’t. She was bound to kill the Gentle Lord and save Arcadia for crying out loud, not go falling in love with that Demon – it could have been acceptable if the Gentle Lord did something so grand and profound to warrant Nyx’s love, but as far I remember there was no such thing. So where does this love come from? And can I say Nyx was the most inconsistent character I have ever come across with. She contradicts herself most of the time, at first you’ll understand that she was torn between saving Arcadia and loving the Gentle Lord but as the story went on, it annoyed the wits out of me. I hated that the first 50 pages of the book was  just Nyx whining how much she hated her father for the bargain he had with the Gentle Lord, how she hated her sister and loved her at the same time, for hating that she’d be the one to marry the demon and not her sweet sister and blah blah blah. All this can be condensed into 5 pages or so, but no it went on and on and on.

The book had loose ends, it wasn’t as polished as I hoped it to be. It was very noticeable that the author was in the process of trial and error, testing what works and what doesn’t. I cannot say that this wasn’t my cup of tea, because it is. Fantasy and retelling will always be my favorite, but this book fell a little short. Would i pick up another Rosamund Hodge book? Well yes, I heard Crimson Bound is better than Cruel Beauty so I will still definitely give it a try. Who knows, I might like it. It really had a potential, but the execution wasn’t as solid as I have expected. Based from the issues I had you may think that this is a bad book, but no it isn’t, I enjoyed it nonetheless, it just wasn’t for me I guess.

imageedit_7_4282314069

“They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense.
But now I knew that every mad word was true.”
― Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty

phonto

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: Book Review

1516396_1717154901894371_127045733_n

Synopsis: Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny

Date Published: July 7, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

No. of Pages: 470

Date Read: March 2016

Source: Fully Booked

REVIEW

Great character development and a gripping ending.

The Kiss of Deception sure was included on my Top 14 of 2014, so it is just right to continue on with the series. I loved how Mary Pearson was able to toy with the readers’ emotions, how not all cards were immediately laid out – there was always the element of surprise. That’s what made me fall in love with The Kiss of Deception. 

The Kiss of Deception left us with a cliffhanger, the kind of torment readers crave. To be upfront, before I started reading The Heart of Betrayal, I searched the ever reliable internet for the summary of the first book, checked my review and others’ as well, just to refresh my memory who is who, what is what, and what events transpired that are very crucial to the story. After being confident enough to know the necessary details, I proceeded with The Heart of Betrayal. You see, second books in a series can be tricky, they can either surpass the greatness of the first book or fell short. The Heart of Betrayal fell a little short for me. But don’t take this in a whole negative way. I still loved and enjoyed the book just  maybe not as much as I did The Kiss Of Deception. I found it a little slow-paced for my own liking, majority of the book was written to explain the back story of the Vendans, which I really appreciated. I appreciated that the back story wasn’t compromised, but then again I’ve been craving for some action, but this craving wasn’t really satisfied not until the end part of the book, which made a lot of difference, I think I held my breath more than humanly possible because of that ending. It was intense and gripping, it sure made up for all the dragging parts of the book.

The character development is definitely not one to miss. This is what I liked most about the book, the characters really evolved into something greater. Now that they need not pretend as to their real identities anymore, it helped a lot to show their real characteristics, their true potential and what they are capable to do. But there are also some more deception that was happening in the entirety of the book, with Rafe’s men, as to the true identity of Rafe as he wants Komizar and the rest of the Vendans to perceive him. It was this cobweb of deceptions and lies one after another, and it worked just fine in the book. It didn’t look as though it was forced, and it did give me that uneasy feeling that their deception will be revealed any moment. It was another plus point for me, again toying with my emotions. The Komizar reminded me of Johny Depp in some weird way, his character perfectly fits that of Johnny Depp. Calantha on the other hand, I was picturing Theresa Palmer all along. I wish to read more about Calantha, I wish there would be some novella about her. Her character is very interesting. Lia on the other hand became more badass than what I gave her credit for, she truly came out of her shell, her chapters are always pleasant to read. She has become a strong female protagonist, a true development from her character as a tavern girl in the first book. Rafe on the other hand, hmm, I was expecting more from him, I just think that he was not able to show his true capabilities, which was perfectly understandable since his hand are tied quite literally and figuratively, with him being a captive in the land of Vendans, one can only do so much. Now Kaden, don’t get me wrong I have been Team Rafe since the beginning, but after learning more about Kaden, I now understand why many are rooting for him. I loved that he respected Lia, and truly loved her. Also his backstory is really a shocker, I love to know more of it.

There are parts that were predictable, a stark contrast from the first book which deceived me for the better part of it, but still, I repeat there is some element of surprise to it. I cannot also discount the fact that there are a lot to consider and to look forward to, that’s the beauty of this book, it will leave you wanting more, demanding answers, but sadly we all have to wait until August 2016 for that last book in this trilogy, I’m not ready for it to end. I can’t let go of them yet!

So until then, let’s all hold hands just to get through this whole ordeal of waiting for the third book. May we all survive this.

 

Rating: rating_4stars

“Confluence-a coming together by chance.. Together they become something greater, but it isn’t delicate or sweet. Like a raging river, a confluence can lead to something impossible to predict or control… Yet sometimes the coming together, the confluence of destinies, seemed not to be by chance at all.”
― Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal

 

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzama: Book Review

12724825_439252152950863_1032291774_n

Synopsis: A shocking, heartbreaking story of taboo romance that’s as compelling as it is controversial.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: A love this devastating has no happy ending.

Date Published: June 26, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

No. of Pages: 454

Date Read: February 2016

Source: Bought it at Fully Booked

 

REVIEW

THIS BOOK RUINED ME.

I am a complete mess after reading it, I wouldn’t lie, I have never cried like this, not since Me Before You. It was the ugly, uncontrollable bordering hysteria kind of wailing. I kid you not, it was highly proportionate to the feeling of a break up. That was how this book ruined me and took the last modicum of resolve I have left for myself. I couldn’t function well, to be honest. It was so good it hurts oh so bad.

I understand that this book is not for everyone, much like every book there is. Some hated it, some loved it to a fault. I guess there is no one book that everyone loved. The taboo surrounding the book was enough to turn off a lot of readers. I do understand that this was not the conventional one, it may be seen as appalling, or disgusting, or sick, that probably loving the book may brand you as sick too. So consider me sick then, because I loved the book, a little too much, to be completely honest. I also do understand that this book was too controversial, too out of the box, just too much. But hey, I loved how the author was brave enough to write a story such as this, under the scrutiny of people who loved the norm all too much, in a society where you can easily be dismissed as someone who is unstable or too effed-up. I commend that the author did not aim for her books to be loved, but just to write books that will make you feel things and ponder on topics that are best talked behind closed doors through hushed tones. I wouldn’t want to live in a society where you are judged by what you enjoy reading, or what you thought was ‘appropriate’ in the normal course of things. I love books that are not mediocre, that are too preposterous it will make you question your own beliefs. To cut it short, I want books that challenge me as a reader. And this book did just that.

So on to this oh so controversial read, the book had this melancholic tone all through out. Like there was this heavy cloud hovering above threatening a devastating downpour. A feeling of unease that you just can’t simply shake off. But you would continue reading, why would you even stop, it hurts yes, but it was so well and beautifully written naturally pulling you into that vortex of unwelcome emotions and before you know it the book is attached to you like your own limb. I wouldn’t say I was totally fine with Lochan and Maya’s relationship, but it was what the book is about, it is what I have signed up for, I should not expect a different one right, this my friends is the key to enjoying a book. Keep your expectations to a minimum, and let the book surprise you.

There was this sense of sincerity, it doesn’t feel forced at all. I truly loved how everything was explained clearly, how every scene was necessary, how everything made more sense in the end. The foreshadowing was impeccable too. And the way you feel the characters as if they were all too real. How distinct they are from each other. And yes I really like the alternating point of views. I loved how mature Lochan and Maya’s characters are, how they are not those whiny protagonists we often read in YA books. They were different and unforgettable.

The only issue I had was why it was placed under the YA genre, it was too sensitive of a topic for young readers. Other than this, there was nothing that could make me hate the book. It was just brilliant as it was jarring. It was the kind of book that will stay with you for a very long time, more like forever.

And that ending, the book itself wrecked me, but with that ending, damn I was shattered into pieces. There was no moving on from this. I thought I had it all figured out, but Tabitha Suzama didn’t stop with the torture, she wanted the readers to die inside with that finale. I died, this is just my soul writing this review. Truly remarkable! One of a kind! I can go on and on about it for days and that wouldn’t be enough. Ahhhh. Now give me a happy book please, release me from this agony.

Rating: rating_5stars

Out of the millions and millions of people that inhabit this planet, he is one of the tiny few I can never have.

Tabitha Suzama; Forbidden

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner: Book Review

12354093_1527359167581860_192972408_n

IMG_5496

Synopsis: Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Date Published: December 10, 2013

Publisher: Hyperion

No. of Pages: 378 pages

Date Read: December 2015

Source: Bought it.

IMG_5495

One word: Weird. The good kind of weird. But I tell you the story is as beautiful as the cover!

Sci-fi being an uncharted genre for me, it really took me a whole while to start reading this book, I’ve had it with me for more than a year now and never get the urge to finally crack its spine. Plus the hype when I bought it was so intense then, and as most of you know I tend to veer away from hyped books so I waited a whole year to finally read this one. And this moment has never been sweeter. 🙂 It’s true what they say, the perfect book will come to you at the perfect time.

At first I thought this ain’t my kind-of-book, definitely not right up my alley. But because I wanted to widen my reading experience, I bought it. I could not also discount the fact that the beautiful cover really drew me in. Tell me who could resist that?

The only extent of SciFi genre I have encountered is Cinder and it is not even super scifi. See my palpable lack of knowledge about SciFi books. So I have always put this at the bottom of my to-be-read pile. I was avoiding it, so to speak. I was easily lost in the terminologies and space stuff, and was having a hard time picturing a scene. But boy, I really tried hard. I wanted to understand the hype surrounding this book, I want to love it too. I was past 50 pages when I stopped reading for almost two weeks. I just lost interest, I could not exactly point my finger as to why, I blame the holiday season though, but still not enough reason to abandon a book right? Maybe I just couldn’t wrap my head around the terminologies and my evident lack of interest contributed to it too. I was distracted with other books, the ones I could see myself really enjoying (*insert* Game of Thrones). But then one evening, I was staring at my bookshelf, forcing myself to go back and read Game of Thrones, but perpetually failing. I looked at the cover of These Broken Stars and thought to myself, I ought to finish it before the year ends, so I picked it up, hoping to all odds the story will be more interesting than I have expected. And yes, before I know it, it is past 2 am and just couldn’t put the book down! What a turn of events! And the next days were spent huddled in a corner with this book in hand over-eager to know what’s about to go down.

 The book leaves every chapter with somehow a cliffhanger, that you just couldn’t stop reading until you know what the hell was going on. And even then you are still left baffled with too many questions you are so dying to know the answers to. And yes up until the end I was predicting what was about to happen, and none of my predictions came close to what was really happening. The authors made it so engaging that you could not miss the tension, the build-up of the story, the whole being at the edge of your seat situation. Boy! I loved every bit of it.

Lilac and Tarver’s story of survival is really unique and weird if I may add. The whole novel was a good kind of weird, and to be honest I got creeped out at some parts. (Especially that one in the forest, okay I’ll stop there I don’t want to spoil anyone).

Lilac’s and Tarver’s character were consistent. I loved how the romance did not happen in an instant, there was the development as the whole story progresses. I also cannot discount the cuteness of their banter and how they seem to hate each other so much at the beginning. I loved how badass Lilac can be and how caring Tarver is. Although everything was not answered and explained thoroughly in its ending, I am satisfied with how the story ended. I could not wait to read This Shattered World.

I also commend the authors for giving such a great story, it was not mediocre at all. It was a different taste to what I normally read, and for that I am thankful. This book made me want to read and explore SciFi genre. And oh yes, I’ve found favorite new authors! 🙂

So for those having a hard time getting into SciFi genre, this book is definitely a good start.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation and Happy New Year!

IMG_5489

“I know a thousand different smiles, each with its own nuanced shade of meaning, but I don’t know how to reach the few feet away to touch this person next to me. I don’t know how to talk to him. Not when it’s real.” 
― Amie KaufmanThese Broken Stars

phonto

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: Book Review

12317619_729510720517305_102748655_n

Synopsis: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end

 

Date Published: May 12, 2015

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books

No. of Pages: 388

Date Read: December 2015

Source: I bought it

 

REVIEW

Warning: Will cause you a book hangover. You’ve been warned.

Sucks when you have to wait for the sequel. The agony is so real. So I just finished the book, and honestly this is my third attempt to write a coherent review. (read: subject to revision) So I decided to write whatever comes to mind, because I might lose it all if I stall any longer.

So first off. I have high expectations. I know it is wrong to expect so much, because more often than not you’ll end up disappointed. But because of the hype surrounding this book, one could not resist but expect. I have literally heard nothing but good things. So when I picked this one amongst the pile of my unread books (insert a hundred of them) I whispered to it “don’t disappoint me”, haha I really did! This is my first read since 6 months of hiatus, and I wanted  to start with a book that would wow me. I wanted something that would take me to the edge of my seat, and let me stay awake in the wee hours of the night, over eager to know what will happen next. Did this book meet my expectation? Yes and no. But mostly yes.

Let’s talk about the setting, I loved the setting. It was something I have not read a lot of. And I am starting to fall in love with settings alike. The plot as we all know is based off of A Thousand and One Nights, which to be honest I have not read before, but I know what it is about. So I’m not lost to where the book was taking me. I love retellings, so much so that I would read any retelling and not be bored by it even when I know what will be the ending of it. This book was no exception. I was eager to know what will unfold and how it will bring out the wow factor I was so craving for. The characters were not as unique as I hoped them to be, I have read these kind of characters from another fantasy books. Like Shazi who is all sassy and determined. Khalid who hides his true self when in truth and in fact is beyond broken inside. I mean these are not unfamiliar characters, we could all agree that we have read their kind from other books. I am not saying this is a bad thing, it what was the book called for, but I wanted more depth, I wanted more complexity I guess, I want them to stand out amongst all the characters I have learned to love. Don’t get me wrong, I love Shazi and Khalid, and their undeniable chemistry which by the way is my favorite part of all. I love how their emotions toward each other is too palpable they can hardly ignore it. I soooo loved the romance in this book, it was well played out, except the existence of love triangle, but it is something I have to deal with (you see I am not really a fan of love triangles, but what else could a meager reader do?). I had a hard time memorizing the characters, especially their names! At the beginning I was so lost who is who add the fact that there are unfamiliar words that are sometimes hard to pronounce. I cross reference it to the glossary and it really helped a lot. I loved how the author really went the extra mile to do the proper research. Making the book all the more beautiful and enthralling. It is like you are really in their world. So speaking of world building, I found it short of what I expected, but still all good. Also I had an issue with foreshadowing and the lack of backstory of Shazi and Shiva or the backstory of it all, I mean it is like I was thrown in a middle of conversation of two people catching up all the lost times and you have to decipher who is who, which is which, why this happened, what led to this and that, all on your own. I wished the author took the time to lay out the foundation of the story.

There are a lot of loose ends, I was left with so much questions in need of quick answers. I was left with too much speculations, I remember ranting to my friend after I finished the book, I remember pulling my hair because of frustration on how it had to end in such a manner. Well I guess every good book had to end like it, so the reader would be left craving for more, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking forward to the next book. I say great job  guys. So despite the fact that I am only giving this one a four-star rating, it still became an instant favorite read of 2015. And I wish May would come already so I could get a hold of The Rose and The Dagger.  All in all, I still highly recommend this book, if you are a sucker for good romance, this right here is for you. So now excuse me, while I try to get over this book. Which I think will be impossible.

RATING: 

rating_4stars.png 4/5

“I know love is fragile. And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm…And make certain that storm isn’t you.”

12120253_536964739787232_1594232519_n

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Book Review

11022938_415743028604537_1681695133_n

imageedit_1_3468234889

Synopsis: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

No. Of Pages: 378

Publisher: Knopf

Date Read: March 15, 2015

Source: Got my copy from National Book Store

imageedit_13_7735683809

It was heart-wrenching and beautiful in all the right places.

I had to let this one out: Why are YA novels these days have to have the tag line The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park? As a reader what captures my attention is a beautiful blurb, not a tagline such as this, I swear this is the nth book with a tagline like it. What I’m saying is, after reading All the Bright Places, I think the tagline has become irrelevant, I loved it on its own, it doesn’t need an advertisement, because it was beautiful by itself. I wish publishers would just stop doing it, seriously, let the book do the talking, let the book surprise you on how good it was. For someone who have read both The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, to be honest I hardly saw the similarity. The three books tackled different stories and different predicaments. Yes, it was about young adults and their ever changing quest for what was real and the importance of being in the moment, but the books had different takes on adolescent life. So yes, for me, I just wanted to stop all these taglines.

Okayyy… now on to this beautiful, tear-inducing, perspective-changing, life-altering book. This book, oh my goodness this book, it hurt me more than I can allow it to. It was just right there subtly stabbing my fragile heart until it was too late and all the pain just swooped me in this abyss of immense sadness. I was so good at avoiding spoilers, so going to this book blindly was the best decision I’ve made. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to the blurb, all I know was it was a sad book and a beautiful book, so I took the plunge and let it take me away, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was already in the middle of it all when I had this gnawing feeling in my chest, like something quite not right, something was off, and I couldn’t for the life of me shake off the terrible feeling. It’s like you know shit is going to get real but you don’t know when and how so you are left with this inexplicable uneasiness. I was too afraid to continue reading, really, maybe the fact that I am personally undergoing some huge stuff contributed to the anxiety I have for the book, but I continued on like a brave soldier.

And this book didn’t disappoint. It was a gem. It will truly stay with me forever, there’s not an iota of doubt about it. I loved how the book threw in some trivia in the mix and oh my goodness of course reference to Virginia Woolf! It was well written. The characters were distinct from one another. This book made me want to fly to Indiana and go to all those places. This book will suck you in and spit out a different you, it will change your point of view in life and will teach you how to fully live in the moment, how to take risks and how to step out of the box you made for yourself. I can see myself rereading this one, and possibly passing it on to my kids someday, so they know that life will not treat them well, but there is always beauty in the ugly places.

Here’s another thing about this book, I can count in one hand the times I read through the acknowledgments part a book, but I wanted to know what brought life into this amazing book, so I read the acknowledgment and everything made more sense. I have found a whole new level of respect and admiration to the author for writing something that is very close to her heart, something so sensitive and scary, that’s why I gave this book five stars and listed it as a favorite. It was not just a fiction, it was a fragment of someone else’s life, it was a part of a person who went through the same excruciating thing and for a moment it was reality.

I could say I knew it was coming, that ending was inevitable, but this doesn’t change the fact that it was still able to draw out raw emotions from me. I sobbed, I can’t fully say I know the feeling or I could fully relate to it, but at some point I did, at some point it was also relevant to what I went through and that’s the beauty of this book, it was specific yet all encompassing. Well, after all, pain and love is and will always will be universal.

imageedit_11_3991205606

“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

phonto

Unwind by Neal Shusterman : Book Review

10894908_1521470354790534_1619369027_n

Synopsis: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives. The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

“Characters live and breathe; they are fully realized and complex, sometimes making wrenching difficult decisions. This is a thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely.” School Library Journal, starred review

“[A] gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller…could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[A] nail-biting, character-driven thriller.” Horn Book magazine

No. of Pages:335  ]

Publisher:\Simon & Schuster

Date Published: June 2, 2009

Date Read:December 2014

Source:I bought it

REVIEW

Holy Smokes! This book is really good! Caps-lock GOOD!

When I first saw this on booktube I got really intrigued by the plot, as you may know, I am not really accustomed to reading sci-fi and dystopian novels, it is the genre I felt was not my cup of tea or to put it mildly it is a genre I only was able to scratch the surface, to cut the long story short, I was hesitant starting this one. I wanted to end my year with something out of my comfort zone, and so I picked this one up and let it take me to yet another reading experience.

Shusterman built a world so utterly terrifying, a world a reader needs some getting used to. It is a plot so different yet so captivating, it is the kind of plot that will constantly send you at the edge of your seat. It was twisted at it was dark, it was fucked-up as it was engaging, it was gripping as it was suspenseful. And i wouldn’t have it any other way. It is the kind of book that will leave you uncomfortable most of the time and will leave you saying “what the hell” “oh no” “that’s nuts” among other things. It was action packed since page one up to the end! I love how everything progresses and how everything is necessary, not one bit of the book wasted. Each chapter is connected making a unison of different point of views. I love the writing style too. The whole story was well thought out. I also would like to point out the difference of the characters and how they gradually develop, everything they do adds up to the beauty of the whole book. The fact that the characters can toy the readers emotions, is a huge deal for me. For an instance Lev, I was so sure the first few chapters that I am going to hate the boy, but towards the end I found myself cheering for him. I love the fact that the characters were not who you think they are, solid example is the Admiral. The fact that each chapter posits yet another twist and yet another surprise was the icing on top of this wicked cake. I also love that there was tiny romance going on, which made the book even more exciting than it already is.

There was this one chapter that made me squirm, it was so unsettling, I cannot for the life of me take it off of my head. It is as if I was the one experiencing it, pretty sure I will be having nightmares about it, It was sad and terrifying all at the same time. I had to stop reading right after that chapter. Just, ugh, it was insane!

And yes, Humphrey Dunfee’s story seriously creeped the hell out of me!

Oh Neal Shusterman, you are one hell of a wicked man, I loved how fearless the whole book was, totally out of the box, refusing to be caged into one definite thing, and it was nothing short of amazing!

Now I understand all the rave about it ,the hype was so real. It is definitely not one to miss. To say it was disturbing would then be an understatement. I hope every dystopian novel I come across with will be at least be paralleled to this or even greater, because I could not think of a better plot than this.I don’t want to say much because I wanted to leave you with enough curiosity to make you want to buy it and read it. I highly recommend it to anyone, even the adult ones.

Rating:5 stars

“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.”