27 February 2014

Of Triton by Anna Banks

Of Triton by Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends      
Publication date: May 28th 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.
As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?
I wasn't a fan of the first book but let me tell you this- I got hooked! I was flipping those pages like my life depended on it. 

Book #2 starts right after Of Poseidon finished. Emma's mom turned out to be Galen's supposedly dead sister-in-law, or King Grom's mate Nalia. Well, Nalia kidnaps Emma because she thinks Galen is trying to get her arrested for the murder of Grom who's actually alive. Yeah... these characters are still pretty ridiculous but a little bit less than they were in book #1. Running doesn't take long and once the long lost lovers glance at each other everything is okay. Well, except for the fact Grom's mated with another Syrena just before he ran to find Nalia. What a mess...

Now everyone's trying to annul his 'marriage' which is practically impossible because of the silly, outdated Syrena laws. Grom can annul everyone else's marriages but not his own. Only the Archives can do that and their leader actually has some different solutions on his mind. Even though Emma start complaining about Grom and Nalia being a pair before her mom met her dad, she finds it in her heart to move past it and help her mom find happiness. haha Oh Emma, you selfless girl. *sarcasm*

Now we get to the good part. The romance between Emma and Galen isn't the center of attention in Of Triton. It was a very nice change because the less nagging I got from Emma and Rayna, the better. I can't deal with high level of drama and bullshit anywhere. There were still times where I wanted to punch these two but, again, it wasn't as bad it was in #1. So, less romance, more Syrena politics. The Royal families have to obey the laws which were written when Poseidon and Triton were still alive and since then a lot has changed. Many of the Archives are apposed and aren't interested in an update. Their arguments also weren't up to date but who could blame them. They've been stuck in water for so long without any proper legal help. I don't judge this part harshly because it's a fun, YA book and it shouldn't be taken too seriously. 

All in all, Of Triton showed so much progress and I'm glad I stuck with it. I'll be reading Of Neptune as well, once it gets out. Fingers crossed for no idiotic moments with Emma and Rayna! So if you're looking for a quick paranormal read pick something else, I'm just messing with you. Of Triton was a book with a pretty cover, pretty characters which make the worst decisions. Read this mess, now!

26 February 2014

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends      
Publication date: May 22nd 2012
My rating: 2 stars

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
To quote Emma "Oh, my sweet goodness" this book was annoying. Everything about it was annoying-the characters, the 'plot' and the relationship development. 

Emma's on a vacation with her friend Chloe when a shark attacks Chloe, tears her leg of, killing her in the process. Can't say I was upset because Chloe's character was created for the sole purpose of dying right then and there. Luckily, Emma also met Galen that day. She actually bumped in him and made this whole scene about how embarrassing it was to slam into the hottest guy she ever saw. She really wouldn't stop talking about it. Get over it! 

After Chloe dies and Emma looses her phone, Galen decides it's a good idea to track her down even though she lives very far away because she's also a Syrena, like him. He buys a house and a car in the same city. He even starts going to her school where they have the same class schedule. Creepy much? Don't even get me started on the window climbing. 

Everything about this book screamed Twilight. I wonder what was the author thinking creating characters which fought all the time about the most trivial thing. Since the book was more for the younger readers, I really don't think it's a good idea. Kids read all kind of things and become inspired with the actions of these characters. I'm sure there are better ways of solving problems without yelling and punching. 

The best part of this book was the Syrena mythology. The underwater city, how mermaids change their legs into fins and all the Poseidon and Triton rivalry. 

My friend told me the second book, Of Triton is better than the first so I'm going to check it as well. Based on my not so good experience with Of Poseidon I would probably skip the sequel but I'll take her word for it. 

25 February 2014

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Publisher: Harper Teen      
Publication date: February 18th 2014
My rating: 4.5 stars

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Everybody knows how much I love to read realistic stories. I can never get tired of them. At first I didn't want to read Maybe One Day because the first cover was giving me some fantasy/paranormal vibes. I didn't read the blurb so I ignored it altogether. And then one day, the cover was changed and I had to read the blurb. Once I did, I knew I would be reading it sooner of later. It turned out to be later because I didn't read the book for months. I'm not even sure why that happened. 

Zoe and Olivia were inseparable. They've been friends since they were little. They were thinking about being professional dancers one day and living in Manhattan together and then Olivia got sick. What seemed to be a simple case of flu, turned out to be leukemia. Now both girls need to find a way to stay strong despite everything that's going on. 

Maybe One Day was a hard book to read. I'm still not sure what to say about it. I did cry towards the end a lot. I was expecting it because Kantor did prepare us for the worst. I was waiting for it to happen a lot sooner but I'm glad it didn't. 

Zoe was impulsive and in the moment type of person while Olivia was usually the kinder person who was well liked in every circle. They complimented each other in every possible way. Their friendship was the center of this novel. Nothing else came even close. Not even the romance which was believable and hot despite the fact Zoe and Calvin not having a lot of scenes. He was suck a good guy I found myself wishing he was a bigger part of the novel even tough it was obvious he would be there for Zoe, no matter what. 

i'm glad I read this book even though it made me feel mad sad and mad at the same time because not everyone can win against leukemia. I'll be on the lookout for other Melissa Kantor books because she proved herself as a writer with this wonderful story about friendship. 

24 February 2014

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux      
Publication date: April 8th 2014
My rating: 3 stars

Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. There were interesting aspects but none of them were strong enough for me to finish Plus One within two days. I was reading it for whole 6 days which is usually a sign I should give up. But I couldn't give up because I desperately wanted to see the awesomeness in it like the other early reviewers did. 

There was something missing. I'm not entirely sure what exactly. Maybe it was Sol's behavior in the first half. She was cold, brief and distant from D'Arcy who was nothing but helpful after he saw the mess Sol is in. I can't think of any other reason why it didn't work out. 

The world building was strange. Smudges- night dwellers and Ray- day dwellers don't mix. They live in what seems like totally different worlds. Ray's live with ease while Smudges live in poverty from the start of their lives till the day they die. While Rays have great education and carriers, a Smudge can only hope being a poor factory workers with little or no health care. 

Even though the origin of the divide was explained it still didn't make sense to me the authorities would keep it up after they resolved the problem. Maybe if was explained in another way. I don't really know... 

I don't want to end on bad note, with not saying anything positive about Plus One. It was one of those strange books you pick up to see what all the fuss was about. I did like the sort of open ending it had. The outcome was still visible so I hope the characters got what they wanted to. 

This is my first Elizabeth Fama book even though I bought a hardcover of Monstrous Beauty a while back. Still need to read it and even though I had mixed feelings about Plus One, it doesn't put me off of Monstrous Beauty. I just want to read it even more. 

21 February 2014

Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson

Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson
Publisher: Signet Eclipse      
Publication date: December 31st 2012
My rating: 2 stars

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They're the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…
The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.
Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters. 
This Wird girl has never had it so tough.

There are 3 reasons why I wanted to read this book. 

#1- Urban Fantasy! I love me some UF investigation scenes in the dark with a hottie by the MC's side. 

#2- Vamps! I love vampires ever since I was a small kid wishing I could be one. 

#3- The pretty cover of the second book. Yes! You've read it right. I wanted to read Sealed with a Curse so I could enjoy some quiet time with A Cursed Embrace. I want to live in that cover. It's not anything special but I just adore it. 

Buuuut... I guess I won't be reading the second book after all because the first one made me say I can't even... so many times. It had so many elements I usually love to read about but they just didn't work well in this case. The author would introduce paranormal being as one thing but she would change things around really quickly. For instance, The Wird Sisters are bad-asses with brains or so I thought. There were so many things they knew nothing about(basic paranormal things about their world) but they knew some things which weren't as obvious. It didn't make sense. It's like they knew abstract algebra but didn't know anything about algebra 1.0.1. 

I don't even want to discuss the vampires, werewolves and witches... 

12 February 2014

Book Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Book: Into the Still Blue (#3 Under the Never Sky)
Author: Veronica Rossi
File Type: Hardcover
Release Date:
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

synopsis:The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Timesbestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

And the end is here.

Every time I bid farewell to a book series that I indefinitely and obsessively love, I find myself drowning in emotions. 
This is one of those times. 

Under the Never Sky was a delicious surprise. Even with some flaws here and there, I found myself gravitating towards the story and its characters and savouring ever moment. When that was over, I couldn’t wait to get to the next installment because the cliffhanger had me panting with desperation to know as to what in the world happened next. 
Then came, Through the Ever Night which pretty much attacked me like a wreaking ball.
And here I am, with Into the Still Blue. The finale. The End.

Judging from the three stars above, it takes no rocket science to see that I didn’t like this one as much as I liked its predecessors. 
Even though the execution and punches were so much more polished than the ones we came across in the previous two books, there was this sort of disconnect I felt that I had with the story and its characters. It’s weird because I remember losing my mind while reading Through the Ever Night and bawling like a baby when certain events took place and put my favourite characters in a fix. I remember how I felt so empathetic towards Perry and his evergreen dilemmas. I felt for Aria. I felt for Roar. I FELT.
Here? I don’t think that these characters and I are in sync anymore. 

The swoon was dead and so was the passion. What happened?

I’ve noticed how in almost all the three books, the initial pages don’t really pull you into the story almost immediately. You have to read more and more to finally get to that point where you are totally engrossed.
Weirdly, this again, wasn’t the case with ITSB. The initial pages were okay and as I started reading more and more, I kept looking for that point of intersection where I would finally stop thinking and get it on with the book and the characters, but unfortunately, I never really did reach that point. Those moments did come in flashes here and there in times of conflict, but that’s all that happened. It didn’t build into more and that was disappointing. 

And then the end came, and like every epilogue, this one gave me an insight into what happens next to our dear characters. A case of silver lining here is that ,even after all the hullabaloo of disconnect, I was pretty satisfied. 
Into the Still Blue certainly wasn’t the best in the series but if you look at it on an individual platform, it was pretty okay. 

Veronica Rossi’s writing was impressive as always. Perry’s and Aria’s world is one where I wouldn’t like to live. Those funnels of Aether, charred landscape and unforgiving conditions were enough to give me the chills and the fact that Rossi’s imagination and creation can achieve what every book with a post-apocalyptic theme aims for speaks volumes regarding its success.
Secondary characters seem to be the trump card of every book. 
It was Roar in Through the Ever Night and now, Soren inInto the Still Blue
Soren really surprised me and this was even after, I knew that I was going to like him. I had already read some reviews before reading ITSB and almost all of them had something to say about Soren. If Roar propelled TTEN for you then Soren will saveITSB for you. 
There were other characters like Brooke, Reef and Hess who wowed me with their presence and I’m glad that Ms. Rossi gave each one of them a place for themselves. 

Now as I conclude, remember how I mentioned that it was one of those times?
After this there would be no more of Aria and Perry. No more of Roar. No more of Soren. No more of those funnels of Aether. No more of the Still Blue. (OR Ms. Rossi could always WRITE MORE about them.)
But as a reader, I’ve lived a thousand lives and loved thousand time more, and just like all great things finally come to an end, so has this and I eagerly wait for more.

11 February 2014

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins      
Publication date: February 4th 2014
My rating: 5 stars

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew - about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam - was wrong.

Warning! There will be spoilers. I won't hold my tongue for anyone. I want to be free to express my thoughts since I can't explain why I'm my life is ruined by fictional character to my family or friends. So if you don't want to know about which guy Juliette chose in the end, shoo! 

Another warning. This review won't make any sense. My thoughts are scattered all over my brain and I'm still pretty much not sure how I'm going to continue my life without a new book every winter. 

What mind fuckery is this? I felt like I was going crazy while reading this book. I would clutch my hair, flail all over the room, cry, yell This is my ship!, shimmy and pretend I'm taking a part in those gifs where people are REALLY excited about something. 

Ignite Me was better than seeing your favorite band perform live for the first time. I don't get excited easily but I was acting like a mad woman today. I never felt this way about any book/series before. Tahereh delivered again, so surprise there. I had some doubts about whether she would kill off characters. I was worried about my King getting hurt. I'm not gonna lie, if I had to choose between saving everyone else or just King Warner... well, do I even need to answer that? 

Readers didn't like Juliette in Shatter Me and Unravel Me but I was one of those who loved her manic ass right from the start. She grew up and learned who she really is. She's someone who fights no matter what, tried to do the right thing every time, has a kind heart and thinks positive. She's a true fighter, is determined and I love her. 

Adam was an useless POS, most of the time. Who'm I kidding?! He was awful towards Juliette after he found out they wouldn't be getting together. He was being an ex from hell. Juliette was being nice but he wouldn't let go of his anger. The only person he treated nicely was James. Not even Kenji could get on his good side. 

Kenji! The sweet sidekick. He's always helpful. He's still a mystery. Hmmm... I wonder if he'll get his own novella because I don't think he got to shine properly in this trilogy. I'm actually pissed Fracture Me ended up being Adam's novella and not Kenji's. No one asked for Adam's POV, ok?! People were demanding another Warner novella while I was the only one in there asking for more Kenji. No one wanted to read what is not inside Adam's head! 

Here's the part I was saving for the end. King Warner. His Stylish Majesty, Aaron Warner Anderson. AAAHHHHHH!!! Sorry! How to describe this man? He's perfect. I have nothing bad to say about him. I am ready to be ravished on the table. haha And I'm not even done there. I want him in the bathtub while we try out his soaps. I want him on the bed, bench press in the training room and in the elevator. Sorry! I got carried away again. I swear, I didn't mean to go there but my thoughts just drift. I'm gonna be serious for a second now. Warner turned out even better than I initially thought and all the haters will probably change their mind. If not, then you can just re-read Shatter Me for the rest of your life and pretend the other two master pieces never happened. 

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with one of my friends. We were discussing our exes and she said she would never like her ex now because she grew up and changed a lot. She doesn't want to cuddle a guy who's too insecure about himself and them in general. She was right. So many relationships fell apart not because people stop loving each other but because they changed. And that's the main reason I knew Adam and Juliette would never work. He would never get used to Juliette's powers, her desire to be free and to want more from life just like she doesn't want to be 'all' he wants. 

Chapter 55 made me cry. I was seriously freaking out while reading it and then it was over. I had to set the book down and cry for a couple of minutes. Why did I cry? Well, because my ship is canon!!! King Warner found happiness and it made me happy. Just when I thought nothing can top Chapter 55, Chapter 58 comes along and I start levitating. 

I can say thing with certainty- Aaron Warner is the best male character in whole bookdom. Move over Mr.Darcy, Jace, Dimitri, Will, Adrian, Eric, Barrons and all others. You can't fight me on this because there's just no way anyone has all the qualities for the sexiest man ever. He's Juliette's bird for God's sake! If you still want to comment about some other dude, please do, I'll just laugh his peasant ass off. 

I could write for hours about this book but I'll just stop here. Tahereh Mafi is finally replacing Richelle Mead as my favorite author. After so many year, Richelle has lost the throne. Never saw this coming. Thank you, Tahereh. For your incredibly unique prose, for your impeccable  style and for giving antagonists a completely different side. 

04 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #28

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

I didn't know where to start with this list. I already made a 'cry fest' shelf on Goodreads and I had to think about which books actually made me cry the most. 

Most of them were sad tears. I think I cried the most while reading The Storyteller and you can read my gif review HERE . This book shook me pretty hard. Forbidden was hard to read but The Storyteller was just another totally different thing. 

I would recommend all of them to anyone. You can't miss these books. Please read them, please.