26 October 2014

With This Heart by R.S Grey

With This Heart
Author: R.S Grey
Releasing Date: April 6th, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars.

If someone had told me a year ago that I was about to fall in love, go on an epic road trip, ride a Triceratops, sing on a bar, and lose my virginity, I would have assumed they were on drugs. 

Well, that is, until I met Beckham. 

Beck was mostly to blame for my recklessness. Gorgeous, clever, undeniably charming Beck barreled into my life as if it were his mission to make sure I never took living for granted. He showed me that there were no boundaries, rules were for the spineless, and a kiss was supposed to happen when I least expected. 

Beck was the plot twist that took me by surprise. Two months before I met him, death was knocking at my door. I'd all but given up my last scrap of hope when suddenly, I was given a second chance at life. This time around, I wasn't going to let it slip through my fingers. 

We set out on a road trip with nothing to lose and no guarantees of tomorrow. 

Our road trip was about young, reckless love. 

The kind of love that burns bright. 

The kind of love that no road-map could bring me back from. 

Road Trip, unbelievable but delicious boys, believable protagonists, crazy experiences, dreamy nights and drum rolls, you have a phenomenally surprising winner.

I've always wondered. Are books a haven of reality mixed with magic or are they magic mixed with a teaspoon of reality? I wonder because most of the times I find myself trying to identify with the protagonist and his or her experiences and on some days, with some books, I find that I can't. But that doesn't mean that my venture isn't fruitful. Maybe on most days, books balance both it's fictional and non-fictional elements in mysterious methods and when that balance goes in sync with my emotions and opinions, I find myself happy and satisfied.

It happened with this one.

There are so many things that are so hard for me to believe. Yet I found myself agreeing with it and just let it be. 
I was so taken with the journey that Abby Mae and Beckham found themselves on that I found myself needing to go on a roadtrip myself. But of course, a guy like Beck is never going to turn up out of thin air and ask me randomly, if he could go on a roadtrip with me. Reality and its woes. 

Or could it? Could it happen? 
Uncertainty and the unknown are such happy fuckers and I love them.

For me, With This Heart, is a very light-ish read in comparison to some heavy topics it's dealing with. It was fun,very romantic and happy. Although there were sad elements, they didn't affect me the way they should have, but yet again, I was okay with that too. I would have loved to eliminate the last chapter but then again, I guess I'm just nitpicking. Great protagonists, fun story which read like a journey and the reminder that really, you live only once.

22 October 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Release date: April 8th, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
My Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

synopsis:By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

It started out with a tale of an art student with naturally grown and coloured blue hair ,a mysterious connection with a fiery eyed angel, handprints on a door and an inevitable, irreprehensible destiny. 

Who would've thought that would have escalated into this?

Laini,dear, what do you eat? 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters brought to you classic Laini Taylor and her fantastical works. 
War, blood, creation, destruction, resurrection, death, magic, fate, choice..oh glory! The list goes on.
Page after page, your emotions were played with, your dreams were shattered and remade and your frustration built. Word after word, you wondered. Would things ever be okay?
Every character was burdened by his or her personal dilemma. Dilemma there, dilemma here, dilemma everywhere and what did you do as you stood by, involved and enchanted by their misery, trials and tribulations?

YOU SCREAMED. Your hurt bled. You wanted the fucking dilemma to be over already. 

There are two things that you must derive from this.
One, this book was painfully good. Two, this book was painfully long.
Look, I get it. You can't just have a war and sunshine and few kisses and blah to seal the deal. I get your need to add another sub-plot associated with another sub-plot to make this book awesome and better than its predecessors.
But you forget, less is more. 

This book should've finished 100 pages before it actually did. 

The starting few chapters were slow but likable. Holding onto a ginormous hardcover, you as a reader, already know that this will be a long journey to cover. But as you go by and delve more, you start to realise how ridiculously unnecessary many aspects of the novel were and that's when you're painfully pissed off. You keep asking yourself again and again: 'how much more?'

I would've never expected this to happen with this book but that's maybe because my expectations were so high with this one and that end? 
God. No. Just no.
After a tedious yet enjoyable journey, you do not expect things to be so, how do I say, slimy?
I like how the book ends on a note of uncertainty. I love how you don't know what the future holds for these few characters that you have come to love other than the fact that right now, in this moment, they're exactly where they need to be. Buuut, no.

But here's what so magical about this one. Even after its torpid pace and unwanted hundred chapters, the very last page, the finale, left me happy and satisfied. It left me nestling the hardcover near my chest and I felt my heart breaking once more, like it always does, when great things, like they always do, come to an end.
So what if I and the novel don't agree with each other?

As romances go, we're indisputably and inexplicably in love and it feels pretty damn awesome.

15 October 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Book: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: 7th october,2014
Publisher: Penguin
My ratings: 4 out of 5.


"I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside."

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

Unconventional, original and awesome. 
Marie Lu, I present to you lots of chocolate chip cookies and Cadbury dairy milk chocolates. 
Now, manufacture the next one, as soon as possible. Please.
My ensnared brain will not stop the parrot talk unless you do so. 

I will not go into the details of the plot. I will simply present to you reasons why I loved reading this book and I think after that my work's done.
I always look for novels that excite me on levels that could dominate a particular dimension, like that of tragedy and make it good (painful, just so we're clear.) or it could quite possibly be a diplomat and give me everything in small packages. I don't really care how they do it. I desire only for that excitement.
Now sometimes, it just so happens, that one out of ten books make me wonder, and think a lot about getting down to the intricacies of the structure and depth of the novel as a whole. I start wondering about my relationship with the protagonist, if any, I start looking closely at the point of view of the protagonist and other characters, I start to become extra vigilant, slower and more perceptive to a point where I start making up associations which usually are wrong because I'm intellectually deficient. 

But that's okay.

The point is that The Young Elites did that to me.
I'm not sure how I feel about the protagonist, Adelina but this much is true, she proves to be one of the most unforgettable, original, complex and realistic protagonist in a long time. I want to wipe one particular event in the course of the book out of my mind and quite possibly out of the book too. Heroes become villains. Villains become heroes. Nothing is black and white and while I don't usually like multiple POVs, I absolutely ate it up in this one. Complexities. Complexities. Complexities. 
I'm kind of dying right now.

Marie Lu, remember. Cookies and chocolates are at stake here, okay?

06 October 2014

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick  
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster      
Publication date: October 7th 2014
My rating: 3.5 stars

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late. 
Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. 
In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. 
But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? 
BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Well, color me surprised! I did not see that coming! I did see the twist coming from a mile away but I didn't think I'd enjoy this book so much. Good job, Becca Fitzpatrick! 

Britt and her friend, errr, I forgot her name decided to backpack the Teton Range during their spring brake. What the didn't count on is the storm which leaves them half frozen and stranded. They find a cabin with two guys already there. They're criminals but Britt and her annoying, bratty friend don't know about this until it's too late. They end up kidnapped and Britt is forced to take them off the mountain while they leave the annoying, bratty friend to die in the cabin. Hah! I don't even feel bad about the possibility of this girl starving and freezing to death because she was such a little princess.  She was 'poking the bear' and I was waiting for the moment one of the criminals would snap. While they were with these criminals, the brother of the annoying bratty friend who's also Britt's ex, was trying to find them. He happens to be an expert at backpacking and other outdoorsy stuff. 

Britt's nothing like Fitzpatick's previous main character, Nora. Britt is resourceful, smart and brave. Sure, she has some problems with confidence because she grew up surrounded by men her whole life and they did most of the heavy lifting. But she's not afraid to help her friends even if it meant putting her life in danger. 

 I wasn't the biggest fan of the annoying, bratty friend and her brother. Britt's ex was a horrible boyfriend. Sure, his father only cared about the annoying, bratty princess and punished his son but that didn't give him the excuse to treat Britt badly. 

Romance was a bit cheesy but all in all, it wasn't so bad. The love interest was the dark , silent type with a lot of secrets and such an improvement from Patch. 

After the first couple of rocky chapters I couldn't put the book down. It was a constant roller-coaster ride. A true thriller. There aren't a lot of YA thrillers and most prefer romance, paranormal or dystopian stories. 

I'm glad I decided to give this book a try. I was pleasantly surprised, mostly about the main character and her growth throughout the novel. Hope Becca continues to write thrillers because this one checked all the boxes, at least in my case.