20 November 2014

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Release Date: August 14th, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
My Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars!

Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

I was doing my usual surfing on the net when I came across a fantastical theory on a forum for people who are pretentious and intelligent and absolutely awesome. This is how the theory went:

What if the world we're living in is actually a dream and what if, the time you consume 'drugs' is the time when you actually see the reality? 
How do you know the difference between what's normal and what's not and what if we're all part of a giant master plan and yadda yadda yadda...

When I came across this particular theory, even if it may seem a little diabolical (maybe), I was floored. As I thought more about it, I had honest to god goosebumps all over my arms. How much do we ever really know? As put aptly by a character in the novel,

“Don’t you know? There’s no such thing as the truth.’‘We all walk around trapped in our own subjective consciousness, experiencing the same events through a totally different lens.”

Quiet and a series of shiver attacks up my spine and to the whole of my body.
THIS is what I felt when I finished reading the book.
I was floored and I was certifiably, without any doubt, spooked.
Twisted characters, twisted plot, twisted end. Oh mama, I knew I was signing up for the highway to mindfuck.
Abigail Haas with her amazing flair for piecing together the good, bad and worse has put together a story I know I can't ever begin to put into words, let alone talk about. I'm surprised at the complexity in her story telling.
I've been spooked by ghosts, spirits, uncertain futures and pasts, unreliable characters and just about everything. But what manages to spook me the most is the twisted side of the human mind. It actually makes me wonder...can this be possible too? And if yes, then I'm glad that it's limited to the pages that I hold between my hands.

See, I'm already on my way.
Bye world, it was nice knowing you. Also, read this book. It's awesome.

16 November 2014

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson
Release date: June 29th 2014
Publisher: Self Pub
Ratings: 5 stars out of 5.

synopsis:When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional. 

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special. 

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating. 

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out. 

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls. 

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.

It feels like I haven't acquainted myself with a good book for a long long time now, so much so that when Puddle Jumping hightailed my bum from around the corner, so lost was I in its awesomeness that when it hurtled towards me like a formula one race car, I let it run me over. 
Honestly, it was the best feeling in the whole wide world and all my bruises and bleeding innards account for the profound impact that this ridiculously beautiful book had on me. 

Put in the most simplest sense, this really is just an extraordinary story about how a girl fell in love with a boy and how the boy fell love with the girl. It is an all-consuming, passionate and intense kind of a romance where your body aches ,bleeds and beats for the story to progress into an even more impacting finale because you know that its not just the protagonists but also the characters around them who deserve it. Cocooned in the midst of a beautiful romance are the virtues of understanding, need, support and want and more than anything, sensitivity.
It's the absolute best thing when a book manages to not only entertain you, but also educate you. 
I'm already familiar with the issues that surround Asperger's and Autism, but never have I thought of integrating myself with what I know and what is me as much as I have after reading THIS fantastic piece of literature. 

Moreover, in all its entirety, I feel like I've read something novel and original and in its essence also breathtaking.
Actually, on second thought, 'breathtaking' is kind of an understatement because honestly it stole my breath. Wrenched it away from me. Savage beast this book. 
So please, read this book. Not just because it deserves to be read but also because you deserve to read it.

06 November 2014

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Tor Teen
My ratings: 2 out of 5 stars.

synopsis:Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she'll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can't have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra's hate will get them ALL killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can't, fates far worse than death await.

I'm trying to remember why I liked Antigoddess.

Troy. Athena. Dying Gods. Blood and gore. Waiting for the finale with bated breath. 
More than anything else, war. The clash of the greatest and mightiest with a pinch of reincarnations that make you want to scream. 

The problem with this one started right from the very beginning and that beginning happened when they decided to change the name from 'Aristae' to something so plain, so simple. absolutely insignificant and boring(?) like 'Mortal Gods'.
Slowly and steadily, we're re-introduced to the original plot line which is basically that the Gods are dying and are now in a race to find the cure because they're all supposed to be immortal. Two camps have formed. One led by Hera and Aphrodite and other, led by Athena and Hermes. While one has no regard for human existence, the others in their own ignorant way do. Thrust in this mix is the background of the Trojan War and the reincarnations of pivotal characters from the Trojan War to aid the destiny and fate of these dying gods. 

First off, everything here was simply a mess.
Even Kendare's writing, which might I add has always been brilliant, couldn't salvage this terrible broth of disaster. I felt that some sections were unnecessary or at least required polishing. Some pieces felt 'damp'.
You know how you always anticipate adrenaline and heart palpitations when you're reading about supposed 'badass' confrontations? Yeah, damp.

But my greatest issue were the characters and how, my favourite characters were underplayed and destroyed right in front of my eyes.

I did have issues with the predecessor. Like for example, every time Cassandra, the other protagonist (Athena is the first.)spoke, I felt like finding a duct tape or needles to sew her mouth shut. The saving grace of the previous book? She was at least bearable.

Now, I feel like skinning her alive and watch with mad glee as she screams and squirms and finally, thankfully, dies.
That's how much of a nuisance her character was.
As for Athena?
Goddess. You're a goddess. For once, forget you're restraint and just kill her already. You'd be doing a great service to this universe and yourself. 

And what of Hermes? Underplayed. Really, underplayed. 

I don't even want to talk about the romance because whatever promise the first book showed me, all of it was quickly scrounged down and scraped off by this one. 
Severely disappointed with this one. I doubt I'll be reading the next one.