Friday, 28 August 2015

Sequels will ruin me forever.

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
General Thoughts: Nope, waste of time.
Rating: 1.5/5 stars.


First Lines
"It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident."
Fire is the awaited sequel, or rather, companion novel, that follows a different heroin from the same land. Set a few years back before Graceling, we meet Fire, the last Human Monster, and how she tries to live being a part of a falling kingdom, caused by her father, Cansrel, who was an even more powerful and crueler Human Monster.
Yeah, I did not like this, really.

I admit it, nothing was missing. There was a plot, there was a drive, there were the two lovers with a slight love triangle so common, and a heroin with hidden powers she's afraid to use. But already that is super cliche, it's the same formula for every standard Young Adult Fantasy book.

But even that sounded great with the setting this book provided. But it wasn't enough. Not nearly.

Once I finished reading, I realized it reminded me of Graceling. This book had the same weird under the radar plot and the two fighter/lovers, and all those special powers. But in Graceling, it worked. It did not in this book.

Really, the first half was completely boring and tedious, and the second half was better but too random. And once again, like Graceling, I felt the author was trying to achive something bigger than what she could handle, and ended up coming short. And it's really disappointing, because if you see what happened through the whole book, it should have worked, but it didn't.

And I didn't buy the MC character at all. She was too weak and suddenly so strong and so whinny and at the same time silent. She was a contradiction of things. One minute she was crying for this and the next she said it was better like that, and then back to hating. It was a disaster.

And it had that Twilight thing, that every action had a face to join it, and of course, it was over analyzed.

There was also that thing about king Leck and his past. That small story was actually nice, but his place in the plot-line was confusing and totally unnecessary. And I also needed some explanation about this kingdom thing, like, why are there two worlds and they don't know nothing of each other, and how does that even work? But once again, it was too big for the author and she couldn't handle it.

So yeah, I'm really disappointed with this book, specially because there's thing I kind of liked in Graceling that I now want to cringe my eyes at.

I don't recommend you to read this book, unless you're like really obsessed with it and need more of it. But I'll call it a waste of time.

Friday, 21 August 2015

It all starts.

Author: George R.R. Martin
Status: A Song of Ice and Fire #1
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Epic Fantasy
General Thoughts: Great book, much dead
Rating: 5/5 stars


First Lines
The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer. They set forth at daybreak to see a man beheaded, twenty in all, and Bran rode among them, nervous with excitement. This was the first time he had been deemed old enough to go with his lord father and his brothers to see the king's justice done. It was the ninth year of summer, and the seventh of Bran's life.
A Game of Thrones is the acclaimed novel of George R.R. Martin, focusing on the land of Ice and Fire, and the interesting characters found in it. Power, love, gold and family will move this characters to do everything they can, and this games of thrones are only beginning.

What else could be said about such a book that hasn't been said before?

I really loved this book. It was such a great realistic piece of fantasy. And not one to put pretty things around and sugar coat life. This is the stuff I like. This is what I love to read.

The book is very well written, and you can tell from the beginning that everything is set up perfectly and that it all adds up for a better and bigger thing, and that this first book was just the introduction to it all. I'm really excited to go on with this series and follow along the game of thrones.

What I specially like about this book is that all of the characters (at least the ones that do matter) are presented in a way that you get to know them, even thought it's not immediately. Like, I know eventually I'll know everything about them. Right now I can tell you so many things about them just guessing around, because I feel like I've known them forever. This means really good character development.

At first I kind of panicked for all the characters that I sometimes forgot who they were and who's side they were on, but later I learned that really, that's kind of the idea. Don't try to learn them all, they probably won't last anyway.

Even now I already have defined which characters I like and which not. Like, I have such deep emotions for some of them that wow, I might kill someone out of frustration.

Anyway, it does strike hard in the heart this book, sometimes it hurts to see what a mess everything is and how much changes have been made to it all. It's hard, I won't lie.

And there's so much things I can quote out of this book, and sometimes they're such beautiful passages. Let me show you. (Tyrion is one quotable motherfucker)

"My mind is my own weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind... and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge."
Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends", Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace."
Ser Jorah Mormont

"Oh, but it was, my lord," Cersei insisted. "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
Cersei Lannister

And many more, unquotable right now because no spoliers. But really, some of them were hilarious.

I definitely recommend you to read this book if you haven't and if you're hesitant or scared , don't be because it is most definitely worth it and so good. Don't fear it, be it.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Trust no one, not even yourself.

Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
General Thoughts: Great book, fucked up all over.
Rating: 4.25/5 stars.


First Lines
There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks. Light-blue cloth - a shirt, perhaps - jumbled up with something dirty white. It's probably rubbish, part of a load fly-tipped into the scrubby little wood up the bank. It could have been left behind by the engineers who work this part of the track, they're here often enough. Or it could be something else.
The Girl on the Train is the thrilling mystery of a woman who saw something she wasn't supposed to and was at the wrong place wrong time, or was she? Deceptions, confusion, death and more are sure to follow along, told in the voices of not one but three unreliable characters, all women.

This book was difficult to put down, from the beginning to the end. It grips you close using the unknown. You just have to know what happened, is everyone ok, who is really bad and who is not what they seem.

From the beginning, the book plays with the image you construct yourself of the characters, playing with your mind and trust and making you question everyone and everything. Much like a great mystery must do.

The main character is Rachel, and she is just the most unreliable character you'll ever read. You can't trust her, at all, but you feel bad for her, and then think her a crazy bitch, and then not quite. In the end, you're left with a feeling that you might as well don't get close to her, even thought she's not that bad.

For everyone who said that this was a creepier Gone Girl, I don't agree. I mean, there are some similarities, but really, this book is different. And at times is a little bit more unsettling than Gone Girl, but I think Gone Girl is a whole different type of fucked up.

For the most part, this book was excellent, great writing, good plot line and nice twist. But the one thing I didn't like, and it's actually pretty big, is that I guessed what was happening way before the twist started to unravel. I never felt what was happening normal, so I questioned everything that the author let us know, and so I managed to figure out what was happening almost halfway through. Shame.

Hence the why I put a 4.25 rating. I never go hard with books I figure out way before the big reveal, because it happens all the time. But at the same time it didn't stay with me for a long time, so I considered that as well.

But do not let this discourage you, this book is a great thriller, really fucked up and nice for the mind exercise. Maybe you'll be taken aback by the ending. Who knows?

I recommend this to everyone, and yes, for the ones who are looking for a Gone Girl type of book, but don't expect it to be like it. And if you're soft hearted, be careful with it.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Be aware of your soul's looks.

Author: Oscar Wilde
Genre: Classic, Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Gothic
General Thoughts: Great classic to gain some knowledge.
Rating: 5/5 stars.


First Lines
The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

The Picture of Dorian Grey is the story of the man's own soul, portrayed by his portrait, and that soul's own destruction. It's a story about passions, about madness, about knowledge and, most noticeably, a classic worth reading.
When I was around eleven, our English teacher (literal English class, as in a language), made us read this book for reading. Of course, it was a shorter version and with a much simpler talk at times, but the essence of the novel was there. We read and, at the same time, heard a narrator, who is clearly the best narrator in history. He would do every single voice in this book and voice it completely different each time, and the makers even had some background music running at the best and most intense scenes. And as a kid, I completely loved it.

Now, older me finds herself in front of the book once again, the real version this time, and was not disappointed.

The book moves through this wonderful conversations about morality and life, and different unimportant but jet very when looked upon issues life, with a complete different voice as to what one is used to, and temps you to drive with it. More than once I questioned if the characters were really right about their opinions.

All the same, the story itself was very unique and dark, very rogue and wonderful to read. The characters were all complex people, and an unreliable MC is always a catch when done right. Specially for such a darling as Dorian was.

We were made to read this book for our Language & Literature class, teaching the life and work of Mr. Oscar Wilde himself, along side it. Learning about the life of Wilde and everything he went through while writing and delivering this book made me like the intention of the book even better. Every blunt opinion and harsh remark about a strong topic made complete sense once you know that it had a purpose. I personally think that it most definitely improved my experience while reading, but fear not, the book is just as great on itself.

The only things I did not like was chapter eleven. It was full of historically incorrect and completely jambled up information, and of the most random things. I know I was to understand how Dorian grew in knowledge and tried so many different things. But really, it was extremely long, and incorrect and just felt like he had dumped everything he knew at once. The book would have been ok without. (and just so you know, I only read half that chapter until I realized that it wasn't going to be important and just skimmed the rest.)

Excellent book, great story, dark thoughts, what else is there to be? Go read this wonderful classic if you haven't, it's completely worth it.

(And if you want to know, the version I read was the McMillan one, with a pretty blue-eyed pal on the cover and red for the title.)