Monday, November 11, 2013

The Fiery Heart

Title: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 7/10

This is a spoiler-free review. I'd like to thank Penguin UK for providing me with an ARC for review.

So much to say, and so little ways to say it without being murdered at the pike for spoiling the book!
I will endeavour to do my best, though.
Let’s just say that, on the worst-case scenario, you will at least be happy with all the lovin’ going on in this book. Seriously, there is stuff for everyone. Sydrian fans especially, obviously, will have the time of their lives, and should listen to Loving You before reading the book, to set the mood. But there’s stuff for us starved Romitri loons, there’s so Angeline action, some Eddie action, some Jill action, and even some Dragozera action. Hell, Richelle even added a British lad to spice things up even more. Trust me, the title of the book is definitely fitting for the goings-on. I honestly think the only one who didn’t get some lovin’ was Zoe – even Mrs Terwilliger did!

Aside from that, the biggest concern here is the ending. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been able to connect to Syd so well as a narrator as well as I did with Rose, but the ending didn’t hurt as much as expected. It got to a point where frankly, it became glaringly obvious something was going to go to s***. And so when it did, it was kind of expected. As usual though, props to Mrs Mead for suspense. The woman sure knows what she’s doing.
Bottom line, little dhampirs, is: take a deep breath, relax, grab that kleenex box and dive in. You can blame me later on if you need therapy.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Covers: Ignite Me, The Selection Stories and The One

I'm doing some hasty catching up here, and putting together all the beautiful covers we've been given of late:

"The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

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.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end."

Now if that doesn't pique your interest, here, have the blurb for The Selection Stories, out February 4th, right along with Ignite Me (above):

"The two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series are now available in print for the first time. The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer's love. This collection also features exclusive bonus content, including a sneak peek at The One, the eagerly anticipated final novel in the Selection trilogy.

Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon's life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition.

Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen's life within the palace walls--and the truth about a guard's world that America will never know."

No? Still not good enough? FINE, then. Here, have the breathtaking cover for The One, out May 6th. And yes. That does look suspiciously like a wedding dress.
Sadly, no blurb for that as of yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

United We Spy

Title: United We Spy (Gallagher Girls #6)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 9/10

What is a Gallagher Girl?

As Cammie, Bex, Liz, Macey and Zach hurtle towards their biggest and last adventure, the future is looming in the distance, and Cammie will do everything in her power to run from her.
But sometimes even a chameleon has to stop changing colours and face the music... or does she?

I honestly, seriously loved this book. I blew through it so fast, I kind of want to go back and start again.
Zach, oh Zach... if only real boys like that existed. Liz was amazing, to see her grow and develop into the powerful woman I knew she would end up being. Bex just yanked my heart and twisted. She really is that best friend we all want if we don't have one like her, and if we do, the one we treasure more than anything in the world, because they know us better than anyone else. Macey hasn't changed one iota - which I loved.

The Circle is closing in again, and as the group runs against the time to try and stop Catherine Goode from killing off all the Inner Circle members, a bigger and darker truth starts to be uncovered. Who do you trust when the Circle is everywhere? And most importantly, who do you save, and who do you hunt - the Circle members, who are trying their hardest to instigate WW3, or Catherine, who is on a psychopathic mission of cold, calculated deaths - of Circle members and their progeny alike.

When the world is your backyard, there are few places to hide. And Cammie has the best team behind her. But can a group of adolescents take down a powerful group of terrorists with moles in every government and secret agency in the world?
They can, if they're Gallagher Girls.

So, what is a Gallagher Girl? She's whatever the hell she wants to be!

Friday, August 09, 2013

The Stone Rose

Title: The Stone Rose
Author: Jacqueline Rayner
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 6/10

WHY wasn't this filmed?? Ultimate Rose/Doctor episode ever. 

And it has all the stuff we love the most about Doctor Who: crazy aliens, impossible situations, lots of humour, and the best of all... it takes place in Classical Rome. Picture The Fires of Pompeii, take away Donna and put Rose in her place, and add a hell of a lot of Doctor sass, and you have The Stone Rose.

And when I say it would have been the ultimate Rose/Doctor episode, I mean it. The Stone Rose is like a mix of Tooth & Claw, The Idiot's Lantern, The Impossible Planet, Satan's Pit and Army of Ghosts, all rolled into one beautiful package of Doctor/Rose cuteness. The Doctor is worried and possessive. Rose is teasing and flirty. And yes, there is kissing.

This is what feeds those NC17 fanfictions out there. Amazing. Fantastic. Allons-y!

And if all that wasn't enough to convince you to read it, how about this: the audiobook is read by David Tennant in his Scottish accent ;)

The Mayan Prophecy

Title: The Mayan Prophecy (TimeRiders #8)
Author: Alex Scarrow
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 7/10

A little bit of a confusing start (my own fault for insisting on starting a series on book 8), but all that was quickly forgotten when the story took off. And boy, did it take off.

Hidden messages in the holy grail are only the tip of the iceberg of awesome that was this book. The whole 'Windrunners' thing created such a knot in my head, that I didn't even see the next twist coming. The switching between narrators, far from making it even more complicated, only added to the book, and allowed me to understand a bit more of what was going on, and why.

Adam's character intrigued me, and I have a feeling, considering his involvement, that this isn't the last we'll hear of him, which I'm happy about. Maybe it's just because he was the newest character to the series, but I really liked him and his personality.

And wow... that ending! Chilling (in the best way possible).

Definitely worth a read! (though I'd start with book 1, which I have already bought...)

Monday, July 22, 2013


Title: Thief (Love me with Lies #3)
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10 (seems fitting, as Caleb seems to have spent 1/3 of the book shirtless, ahem)

Jesus. F*cking. Christ.
The second I saw this book was out, I knew is was in for a long night. Five hours later, I can safely say... what. the. hell?

The thing about Thief, though, is that throughout the entire book, you just know that Caleb is going to fight for Olivia. So, no repeats of that god-awfully painful ending to The Opportunist, which ripped my heart to shreds; no goddamn bomb like the end of Dirty Red. So you'd think the pain factor would be smaller, right?
God, no.
Olivia... there's this one scene, towards the end of the book, when she bitchslaps Leah (which I absolutely loved, and have to say - long time coming, that was), when I remembered why I loved her so much in The Opportunist. The girl is feisty, she doesn't take shit from no one, and she doesn't hold back at all. But oh my god, I wanted to strangle her so much. I can't blame her for marrying Noah (though I'm seriously done with him. I really liked him, too...), and I appreciate that for the longest time, her relationship with Caleb wasn't actually cheating. Still, it was cheating emotionally, even though it kind of just felt like Noah got what he deserved (he even admitted it, ffs!), it still wasn't cool.
Caleb... ugh. Stupid, stupid, gullible man. No wonder Leah and Olivia jerk him around so much. The poor bastard knows shit-all about women. His one redeeming quality (which kind of got lost along the way when he married Leah and dated Jessica, but we don't talk about that) is that he loves Olivia so much, I actually think it's unhealthy. I'm still trying to reconcile gentle, sweet, caring and patient Caleb to the dude who is apparently into bondage and read Fifty Shades of Grey (I actually thought that was a reference to Jane Eyre, by the way, until he mentioned Fifty. That's how clueless I was about his kinky preferences).
Leah, to quote Olivia, is the "same stupid slut" as before. Nuff said. (strangling desires amped up to maximum here. I seriously could NOT believe this woman. The bitch is crazy.)
It's easy to understand why it's called Thief, though I'm not sure that's quite the right word, considering...

In short: read it. You know you want to. Because once you've heard Olivia's side of the story, these books become what Olivia and Caleb's love for each other is: codependent and totally unhealthy. And we - just like them - fucking love it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Thief Blurb

It's been a while coming, but the blurb for Tarryn Fisher's third and final book in The Opportunist trilogy, Thief, is finally here:

Now that we've been assure Caleb will fight for Olivia, let's get down to the good stuff: word on the street is that Thief will be released some time next week, so keep your eyes peeled for it. Ms Fisher has been dropping hints left, right and centre, telling everyone to get their re-reads done now. So, if you need to refresh your memory, now's the time to do it.

For any of you new to The Opportunist, you can read my review of the first book of the same name here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

J.K. Rowling's Pseudonym

Yes, you read that right.
Remember, this is not the 1st of April, so I have no reason to be pulling one over you. And trust me, this is very much real news. J. K. Rowling, acclaimed author the Harry Potter series, published a crime novel by the name of The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith in April this year.
Rowling, who published her allegedly first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy last year, has confirmed the claims. The Cuckoo's Calling has, quite differently from The Casual Vacancy, done incredibly well - apparently a little too well, as quite a few reviews seemed sure it would turn out to be written by an incredibly famous author; if only they'd known! The Casual Vacancy sold well, but mostly received mixed reviews - in large part thanks to constant comparisons to the Potter books, as I commented here.

Here is the blurb of The Cuckoo's Calling for any of you interested:

"A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this."

Friday, July 05, 2013

Cover Love: The Bride Wore Size 12

It's been a while since this particular lady writer has made an appearance on this blog, but it's that time again - Heather Wells and Cooper are back in September, and wedding bells are ringing...

Here's the blurb and cover for Meg Cabot's latest Heather Wells mystery, out 24th September.

"Heather Wells is used to having her cake and eating it too, but this time her cake just might be cooked.Her wedding cake, that is.

With her upcoming nuptials to PI Cooper Cartwright only weeks away, Heather's already stressed. And when a pretty junior turns up dead, Heather's sure things can't get worse—until every student in the dorm where she works is a possible suspect, and Heather's long-lost mother shows up.

Heather has no time for a tearful mother and bride reunion. She has a wedding to pull off and a murder to solve. Instead of wedding bells, she might be hearing wedding bullets, but she's determined to bring the bad guys to justice if it's the last thing she does . . . and this time, it just might be."

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Great Gatsby

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rating: 4/5
Cover: (way too many. I do like the Penguin Classics edition one, though. Hate the original blue one)

With all the hype surrounding Gatsby because of the movie (and, let's face it, DiCaprio), reading Gatsby took me completely by surprise. 
I'm not sure what it was, exactly, that I was expecting, but whatever it was... it definitely wasn't what I got
Fitzgerald creates believable, flawed characters that, despite our misgivings, we can't help but fall in love with. In a clear light, Gatsby is an obsessed, dangerous man who uses his illegally earned money to throw huge parties. But the view presented to us of Gatsby by Nick is that of a lovesick man, who wants nothing more than to be loved by the woman of his dreams. And we can all relate, on different levels, with that kind of unrequited love.
Even more interesting are the other characters, as well as Fitzgerald's narrator choice. When you read the title, you instantly think that the book will be narrated by Gatsby, or at least have him introduced immediately. But the book does neither, and that is the first hint that nothing about this book is what it seems. 
Fitzgerald played smartly with the conventions of a society used to debauchery, and showed us, without ever actually saying he was doing so, the dark side of love. Reading Gatsby, it's easy to understand why Fitzgerald described the 20s as the 'biggest orgy in the world'. 
Gatsby is delicious, enticing, sad and frustrating. A definite must-read.

Out of Breath

Title: Out of Breath (Breathe #3)
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 6/10

One would think these books would get easier as they went on, right?
And, I guess, in a way they did. Because the abuse in the first book nearly killed me, and the way book two ended ripped my heart to shreds. So I thought, surely, nothing could hurt more than those two already had, right?
In a way, yes.
In another, not so much.
Emma's struggle to come to terms with her past is truly breathtaking, raw, and very very real. I see quite alot of myself in her, so while none of her actions in this book surprised me, I also knew perfectly well when she needed to stop; I also knew how hard it actually is to stop. Rebecca Donovan captures that struggle between wanting to survive and having had enough of life perfectly, and Emma embodies that struggle right up until the end.
I did miss Evan during the first 30% (yes, I kept tabs) of the book. And then to suddenly not only have him be there, but be in his head was... weird. And sudden. But not in a bad way. I know that adding a second first person narrator to a book can sometimes backfire if the plot can't support it, or it's not presented in the right way. And while I felt that sometimes the quick shifts were a bit too sudden, I also appreciate the added dimension it provided the book with, without eve actually taking away from the suspenseful moments.
I really liked the way her big reveal was only shown through memories - it kept me on my toes right at the end of the book, where the agony of the will-the-won't-they was about to drive me crazy.
I will definitely miss those two hard-headed fools.

All in all, a fitting end to a stunning series that tugs at all heartstrings. Bravo, Ms Donovan. Bravo.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweet Peril

Title: Sweet Peril (Sweet #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10

I literally pounced on Sweet Peril when it showed up on my doorstep today (yes today. And yes, it's 370 pages long. Don't judge me, please) because the end of Sweet Evil was just plain mean. I wasn't even sure what I wanted to do with Kai: throttle him, or kiss the living daylights out of him.
For those of you who haven't read Sweet Evil, here's what you need to know: young, sweet, innocent maid (in the old sense of the word, please) Anna, meets dark, dangerous boy, Kai. She finds out she's the daughter of a demon, and so is he. Kai is the son of the demon of lust. Need I say anymore? Stuff happens, it's a bit Romeo & Juliet-like, but without the deaths at the end. You should read it.

The good (or bad, because I missed him so much) thing was that he didn't show up till about halfway through the book, so by then, I was just so happy to see him again, I forgot all about wanting to kill him.
In all seriousness, though. What I really liked about Sweet Peril is that Anna and Zania are clearly shown as strong female leads. And yes, in Zania's case - and sometimes in Anna's, too - that means that they kick ass. But mostly, they are shown to be perfectly able to save themselves. They are damsels. They are frequently in distress. They can handle it.
Yes, the boys do get to swoop in every now and then and play the knights in shining armour to them, but Anna doesn't spend half the book wishing Kai was there to help her get out of the problems she gets herself into. Yes, she wants him there, but because she loves him, not because she wants him to save her. I also particularly enjoyed Blake calling Kai 'her man' instead of her always being 'his girl'. It was a refreshing change.
And even though the book starts out quite tame, boy oh boy, by the time we hit the halfway mark, the action has escalated so much, it's amazing. It skips a few months, which I thought would bother me, but really didn't, and didn't disrupt the narrative in any way, so don't get too freaked out about that. And a few chapters after the halfway mark, the heat gets turned on to a sizzle. After so long between books, and without Kaidan in this book for so long, I'd forgotten how those two got when they were around each other. All I can say is, hot damn baby.

Fans of Sweet Evil, definitely read. Kai doesn't disappoint (well... maybe a bit. At first. But he makes up for it later on, promise!). And if you're looking for an easy summer read, definitely pick this up. As mentioned previously, I finished it in one sitting, which I hand't been able to do in quite a while. It was wonderful to start doing it again with Anna and Kai and the rest of the gang.

Also, can I just say that I think it's fabulous that the winner of the cover contest was called Anna? That was so funny to read! :D

Confessions of a Book Worm #3

Yesterday, I heard someone on a podcast (I'm not going to name names here, 'cause I don't think that's cool) talk about how they thought Hunger Games was a 'soft' dystopia, for those who didn't have the guts to read the 'real stuff', i.e. Battle Royale, etc. They went on to say how ridiculous it was that 40-year-olds were taking Hunger Games seriously.

Listening to that, I wanted to punch something. It reminded me of why I don't usually listen to podcasts, because stuff like this gets spewed out without real thought of what is being said. First of all, Hunger Games is dystopia, yes. Whether you think children being forced to kill each other brutally due to the government's power is 'soft' or not is, I suppose, up to you, so I'm going to hold judgment on that one. However, saying that it's ridiculous that people (even adults) take the story seriously is a whole new level of ridiculous in and of itself.
The world we live in is in chaos right now. Sure, the news channels are trying to downplay it to stop worldwide fear from coming through, but we have protests in Brazil, Greece, Texas, UK, Russia, Australia... We have people fighting for better education and welfare, and living in fear that their protests will result in a military dictatorship. We have women fighting for the right to own their bodies. It's a continuation of the fight for feminism, yes, but just as serious as the fight for the vote, or for equal rights, because guess what - we're still not equal. No one tells a rapist he needs to become an eunuch because he raped a girl and got her pregnant. And yet men want to tell women what to do with the result of the rape. We have have communities fighting for the right to love who they want to, without being called sinners, or being imprisoned for it.
This is a turning point in so many ways. And Hunger Games tells us all about a turning point that went south. We don't see too much of anti-feminism or anti-LGBT in Hunger Games, but the message about conforming to those in power comes through loud and clear. We see mothers being told what to with their children, wit no options. We see couples being broken up because of the government. We see unfair imprisonment. We see a young girl fighting with all she has for her life, her freedom, and her ability to marry who she wants, when she wants, and not be told she has to by the president.
Sound familiar?
So don't come and tell me that Hunger Games shouldn't be taken seriously. It should be taken very, very seriously. Not only because of the message the books sends about standing up for your individual rights as a human being, but also because what happens if this turning point we're at right now turns south too?
Don't even try telling me that no one would ever think of killing kids as coercion. It's been done before, thousands of times, throughout history, so what's to stop it from happening again? Because if this shit goes bad, it's going to be a free-for-all. Then, my friends, 'may the odds be ever in your favour'.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Title: Dusk 
Author: Eve Edwards
Genre: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 9/10

I was a bit weary going into Dusk, because I assumed that, being a war novel, it could be a little too heavy for light reading. I'm happy to say that, while it captured the despair and sadness of war, as well as the danger and fear, Dusk still managed to be a fun, entertaining read that just flowed extremely well.

Helen is interesting in that she is very matter-of-fact in stating what she sees as her 'shortcomings' that would make her not be the perfect woman to her father. The mystery of why her sister isn't with her, or why she doesn't mention her sister more in the start intrigues us, as does the fact that, at first, it doesn't seem like the book focuses on a romance; it isn't until a few pages in that she finally mentions Sebastian. 

The interesting thing is that Sebastian mentions her almost instantly. This idea that his love for her is more on the forefront of his mind is echoed in the end of the book, when Helen runs and Sebastian goes after her.

Of course, like any good period romance, the requisite interfering family makes an appearance, trying to split up the couple. However, my favourite part of Dusk was the ending. Although it's open-ended, it doesn't have too big of a cliffhanger, and therefore isn't torture; but it's still enough of one to make sure I'll read Dawn when it comes out. I'd definitely recommend Dusk to anyone looking for a short, sweet book that ends with the promise of happiness.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Gameboard of the Gods

Title: Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: adult
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10 (not sure what/how it links to the story, but the swirls are pretty)

I know I shouldn't; I mean, you'd think that after ten adult books and nine young adult books, I'd be used to it. An yet, this woman's ability to captivate me with her stories never ceases to amaze me. And honestly? I'm hoping it never, ever does. Because, boy do I love the crazy rides her increasingly crazy main girls take me on.

To those of you familiar with Richelle's other works, the only way I can describe Mae (and I won't even try to spell her surname. I'm still trying to tackle Danila's. One crazy name at a time, please) is like, quite literally, a grown up version of Rose if Dimitri had stayed Strigoi, and Rose hadn't broken up with Adrian. Now, that was never a future that appealed to me, because in Rose's case, Dimitri was in the picture, and really, there's just no question when it comes to those two. But with Mae, I was happily surprised.  The similarities between Jason and Adrian can be quite astonishing for those who know what to look for, but at the same time, they're intrinsically different. Still, it was quite a shock to find myself yelling in my mind for them to just get it on already. Of all the books to make me reconsider my feelings on indulging, vice-imbibing, asshole-inclined, superior-minded, arrogant pricks, this was not the one I expected. But it did. And god help me, I fell head over heels in love with Jason. The jury's still out for Adrian, though.
Even more interestingly, is Tessa. The best way I can describe her, if we're still going with the Richelle Mead book examples, is as a bizarre cross between Sydney and a pinch of Rose. And yet something else too, because she's endearing - and while I love both leading ladies mentioned above, neither can be called endearing.
So what's the book about, and what makes it so amazing, you may ask? Join those three characters above, add in some crazy magic/god action, sexual tension thick enough to give even Georgina and Seth a run for their money, politics that are actually, bizarrely, quite intriguing, a dystopian-like country, and top it off with the trademark Mead snark and fabulous dialogue, and you have your answer. And if that doesn't sell you on reading this, then you should just read it because it's a Richelle Mead book, and I've come to learn that that basically means it'll blow your mind.
One thing that was, at first, a bit of the shock, is the third person narration that I wasn't used to with Mead's stories. However, once the book gets going (around page 2, as usual), it only ever stood out again whenever I had to stop reading, and then got back to it. Otherwise, in the flow of the narrative, the story lends itself quite well to third person, and it actually helps to keep the tension up, and kept me curious about the backgrounds of Mae and Jason, making me want to read on even more.
Also, to any budding YA readers out there who want to read more RM stuff, but are weary of the adult content, this is a pretty safe place to start. Leave Dark Swan and especially leave the Georgina Kincaid books alone until you can deal with explicit scenes; Gameboard of the Gods is really quite tame considering the usual amount of debauchery I've come to associate with adult books, although I suspect that might change in the next book. No swearing either, so safe enough.
Otherwise, definitely worth a read to any lovers of Richelle Mead, and/or good supernatural books. With a hint of dystopia to boot ;)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The 5th Wave Giveaway!

That's right, my first giveaway!
If you live in this world and like dystopia, then you've most likely heard of Rick Yancey's new book, 'The 5th Wave'. In case you haven't, though, here's my review of it.

Now down to the fun stuff. I'm giving away a bran-spanking-new copy of The 5th Wave. You might well ask yourself why the hell I would do that? It just so happens that the copy I reviewed was an ARC, and so I got this extra one lying around. So I figured a great book like this should be read - and now you get the chance to do so, for free! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 03, 2013

Confessions of a Book Worm #2

The problem with "that's misogynistic" in relation to books. Oh yeah. I'm going there.
See, I read somewhere quite some time ago that it was funny how, in the Victorian Era, when Jane Austen was writing, the girls in the books were portrayed as strong, independent women who knew what they wanted, and didn't let any man tell them what to do. Yes, they fell in love and married, but they didn't marry simply because it was what society expected them to do. And while it might be argued that really, Austen, the Bronte sisters and other women writers of the time were simply trying to out across the message that marriage wasn't all bad, we do have to recognise that very few women actually behaved like that at the time.
Even more ridiculous, this person thought, was the fact that, today, when women have, supposedly, gained equality to men (don't get me started on that supposedly. I could go on for days), the heroines in the books are Bella Swans, and Anna Steeles, who are only happy to let the man dictate their every move - the latter in a more... ahem, extreme way. This person believed that such books were a step back in the feminism fight, and were a disgrace to the world.
And this is where the problem lies. I'll be honest: I read Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Even more honestly: I liked them. The epitome of honesty: I would never, ever consent to a relationship like that. It's not for me. However, my main problem with Fifty critics is that they seem to be making a stink of the fact that the book is a Twilight fanfic, and must, therefore, be crap by default (since we're sharing, I'll admit to having been a Twilight fan. When I was 12. We grow up. When you're twelve, a perfect boy sounds... well, perfect. Today, if I met Edward, I'd likely kill him within the hour). Then they go on to call it "porn". I'm not very clear on what counts as porn in book terms. I only ever thought of porn in terms of movies before, so who the hell knows. Maybe it is. And guys buy those movies by the droves, don't deny it. So what's the problem about Fifty being porn, if that's what you want to call it? It might be because it became famous, and porn is usually considered something that should be kept hush-hush. But the main reason, as far as I can see, is that women are reading porn. God forbid! Women might be masturbating while reading Fifty Shades of Grey! The horror!
Yeah. Because, as a person who read all 3 books, I can safely say there are hot moments, even for a non-BDSM inclined person like myself. The thing is, there is also a solid character development, and interesting, if predictable, plot line. It's not just sex sex and more sex. So the comments about how Fifty is anti-feminist? Well. What exactly do people see in the book that is misogynistic? The fact that the man is the dom, and the woman is the sub? Just because a book about a dom woman and a sub man hasn't been written (or maybe it has - it's just not famous), doesn't mean it doesn't happen just as much as the situation presented in Fifty. In fact, if people had taken the time to read Fifty, they would know that in fact, there is such a relationship mentioned in the books. It's not in the forefront, but it is mentioned and acknowledged.
But if you hate Fifty on principle, let's look at other literary pieces. Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series have a really strong, independent and kick-ass heroine, Eugenie Markham. She kills the shit that gives you nightmares. She is badass. Feminist, right? Well. What if I told you she was in to bondage with her boyfriend? Does that instantly make her anti-feminist? NO. It makes her a well-rounded character, who likes things kinky in the boudoir. Nothing wrong with that. And there is no way in hell Mead can be called a misogynist.
Another example, and one which makes me even more incensed than the Fifty debacle: Harry Potter. I have seen and heard countless people say "it's misogynist, because the women are always secondary characters". Let me just point out that the series might be called 'Harry Potter', and Potter might be the Chosen One, but he would have died at the age of eleven without ever even knowing that it was Quirrell if not for Hermione. Ginny Weasley is the most powerful wizard in the entire Weasley family. Minerva McGonagall almost single-handedly decides to stand up against Voldemort in Deathly Hallows, and gives instructions to all other teachers about what to do. Molly Weasley kills Bellatrix. And Bellatrix herself probably kills more people than even Voldemort does. Personally, I'd be more scared if I met Bellatrix in a dark alley than I would be if I met Voldemort. Luna Lovegood is eccentric, but uncannily clever. Umbridge nearly destroys Hogwarts. I could go on. On the flip side, Ron is clumsy, Harry is dependent on Hermione, Fudge was too scared to face Dumbledore, so he sent Umbridge, who wasn't scared. The one thing the Weasleys wanted more than anything was a girl daughter.
So why, exactly, is it so easy for us to just turn and say "it's misogynist"? If you want a real example of misogyny, you should read Euripirdes' Medea. Misogyny is telling women they can't read a book because they might get aroused reading it. Misogyny isn't writing a book whose main character is a guy; it's treating the female characters as if they were not important simply because they're female. Misogyny is making women believe that wanting what they want and liking what they like - be it bondage, BDSM, vanilla, or becoming a nun - is wrong because they have to conform to men's expectations because they are the "fragile sex". Misogyny is demeaning women because they don't have a penis.
Misogyny does still happen, yes, but not half as much, at least in literature, as most people would have us believe.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Moon and More

Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10

I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into The Moon and More. Quite a few friends of mine have been Sarah Dessen (hi, Kim and Amy) fans for quite some time now, but I just never got around to reading any of her books.
I had quite the cheer team behind me while reading this book though, I can say that much. And since I love my friends and trust their taste in all things, including literature, I knew the book wouldn't be horrible.
But there's something about chick-flicks. Once you've read the first, it's quite safe to say you have more likely than not, read them all. The formula hardly ever changes, so it can be quite hard to be fully interested and invested in the story when you know how the story is going to end.
But I was happily surprised with The Moon and More. Throughout the book, I wasn't quite sure where it was going, and with who Emaline was going to end up with - and since that's usually the focus of chick-lit, this was a nice change. Usually, I can spot the HEA coming from miles away. Not this time. Which made reading actually interesting because I wanted to know, and not only out of morbid curiosity about how it would happen.
Also nice was the MC, Emaline, who is a spunky, takes-no-crap-from-anyone kind of girl which reminded me quite a lot of myself (except I don't have one boyfriend, never mind two guys running after me. Also, I don't live in a cute seaside town).
It was a wonderfully light and easy read for the half-term, and kept me highly entertained with Emaline's humour and snarky remarks to Ivy. Definitely worth a read.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Confessions of a Book Worm #1

Well now, I know I've been slacking in the review department lately, but it's common for me to have a rant about one book or another, or even about a TV series, or... just anything, really, about monthly. So, I've decided to start up a new thing on Book Worm. It's the Confessions of a Book Worm rant, in which I talk fictional characters and all other cool stuff.

        I once saw this beautiful picture of all the most famous and loved contemporary books, and it said “I laughed with you, I believed in you, I followed you, I cried with you, I fought for you, I grew up with you, I was you, and all along you were never really there”. And while I started out reading this with a smile, the last sentence nearly made me cry. 
It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. To quote Tessa Gray in Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince, “If no one knows you, do you even truly exist?”. And I wonder. Because I have friends. So, so many friends. But 90% of them live in my head. 30% of those 90%, I invented myself. The other 60%, other authors have given me. And they know me. They know me better than I know myself. And I did laugh, believe, follow, cry, fight and grow up with them. I was them, each and every one of them, for a short period of time. 
But saying that they were never really there? Well, that’s akin to saying most of my life has been a lie.
What brought on the thinking I mentioned earlier was yet another quote. This one stated “Legitimately being unable to identify if a memory if yours or from a book character”. Now, at first glance, that sounds stupid. I mean, who could possibly confuse their own life with that of a fictional character, right? 
The thing about books is just that: the really good ones are the ones that mess with your emotions, your thoughts and beliefs.  And if they mess with those things, well, eventually, after countless of good books doing that to you, the emotions start to blur together. You remember what brought them on, and you remember the feeling - but that’s the thing. You never truly experienced what the character did, so those emotions can’t be yours, because you’ve never been through that. But you felt it. 
So as the feelings blur, when something triggers a memory of that emotion, you feel it as strongly as if whatever happened to the character happened to you. So, yes, to an extent, you are the character. You experienced a little of life with them, and now, that part of them will always be within you. But how do you tell the difference, after thirteen years of “false” emotions piling up, how can you possibly tell the difference between an emotion or experience lived by you in the physical world from an emotion or experience lived by you as a character in a fictional world? 
You can’t.
It is not possible.
Does that mean I’m going mad? Maybe.
Maybe not. But, as Lewis Carroll has said, “You know what? The best people are”.
So to those people who try to tell me that my friends aren’t real; that they aren’t there just because they’re fictional, well then, Dumbledore has something to say to you: “Of course it’s happening in your head... But why would that mean that it’s not real?”. And you’ll never convince me differently.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Title: Delirium (Parallon #2)
Author: Dee Shulman
Genre: scy-fy
Rating: 2.5/5
Cover: 4/10

The premise was so good. So, so good. There was real potential here. So what happened along the way that bumped Delirium down from a potentially 4-star review to a low 2.5-star? Well...
Okay, here's the thing. I love time-travel. It's confusing and complicated and it messes with my head just when I think I have a handle of how it works. I've loved it since it first showed up in Harry Potter, and I love it still. So, I was excited about reading a story all about time-travel. Except... it's not really about time-travel. It's more about life after death, and soul mates, and purgatory than it is about time-travel. Disappointing, but not the end of the world. But then physics was added to the equation. And not just any physics (and let's be honest, physics of any kind, shape or form is already mind-boggling enough), but quantum physics. I really liked Zack's character, but half the time he was around, I spaced out and skim-read, because the first time I tried following what he was saying, I got so lost, I had to go back one page and try again. Twice. And don't get me wrong, I love a book that is factually correct, and based on solid research. But sometimes, in fiction, it's ok to just say 'this is possible... because of reasons', no more added. It's fiction. It's acceptable.
Also, Matthias was a highly hateable character, and I found myself thoroughly bored during his chapters. In other words, only about half the book managed to have my full, undivided attention and comprehension. Which, out of a 400-page book is really quite sad.
I don't know. I'm not a scientist. I'm sure that, to those more scientifically inclined, Zack's ramblings about quantum physics would make absolute sense. Overall, an enjoyable book. Stick through the confusing and boring, cause the ending is actually pretty darn good ;)

Friday, April 26, 2013

The 5th Wave

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Dystopia
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10

Oh, my. Not so long ago, I was asking myself where were all the fabulous books this year. Well, here's one of them.
This book is described like a good read for people who liked Hunger Games. And, yeah, sure, it's dystopia, and it's dangerous, and kids fighting, but wow. Don'y scoff at it because you think 'been there done that'. No. Trust me. You haven't. There is nothing like this book out there. Nothing. It has the best characteristics of Hunger Games, and then a heap of its' own wonderful traits. Joined together to make a simply fabulous book. It literally had me on the edge of my seat throughout the book, always trying to guess what was going to happen next, or what was happening then to the other characters.
Because that's part of the book's charm: it has multiple narrators. And while the first switch might come as a bit of a shock, by the end of the book, you can guess in the first paragraph which character is narrating. The switching narrators gave the book an entirely different feeling; more embodied, more full; something that wouldn't have been possible if the story had been told only from one person's POV, so the changing really does add that extra edge to the plot.
I really liked Cassie's fresh voice. Reading her thoughts, it many times made me laugh, because what she says and what she thinks are so in tune with what we adolescents think and say now, that the contrast it creates is just... it's mind-boggling. Cassie's world is destroyed and in ashes. And yet she comes out with some snarky comments that you could hear if you went out for a stroll in the street, and that's just great, because it reminds us that even though her situation is very different from ours, she's still just a teenage girl trying to make sense of a mad world.

Definitely read it. Though, word of warning for fans of future-based dystopia: this isn't in the future. It's very much based in the present world, only their world has alines. There is no special tech, no floaty cars or anything like that. Just your average BMWs, guns and good old-fashioned punches.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Indigo Spell

Title: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 6/10

It gets old when I keep on yammering about how I'm surprised with Adrian in the Bloodlines books. But, well, I am. The Ivashkov we get to meet in these books is miles away from the womanising, drunk bum that we met in Vampire Academy; a bum who had no qualms on hitting on a taken girl. No, this Ivashkov is pretty much perfect. He's sincere, romantic, sweet, thoughtful and just all around a great guy. But you know, the best traits of the old Adrian are also still there: his sass and sarcasm.
I do like Sydney. I do. Really. But... she's not Rose. Again, I feel like I'm hitting on the same spots in any and every review of this spin-off. However, I do want to say that Angeline surprised me. I never expected that from her. Then again, I didn't expect it from Trey either. But I just feel very sad, because Eddie and Angeline were like Romitri 2.0, so I had pretty big expectations for them. Still, I guess it sort of makes sense, though it bothers me that Eddie just bounced right back from Angeline to Jill. Eager much?
As for Romitri themselves (come on, it's a VA-world book, we gotta talk about them!), my only happiness is that Richelle has promised that Rose will be showing up much more in the next 3 books, because their scene here was waaay to short. I was all hyped up for the wedding, ready for loads of Romitri goodness, and have to make-do with that? Very sad indeed. Also, why no Christian? He's the one Ozera I like, and I miss his snark.
As for the whole witch thing... I like it. I still don't trust Trey's reasons for dating Angeline, but I get it that Richelle wanted to steer the plot a little further from vampires because of Sydney being human. The big bad witch didn't really scare me, though, despite her killing all those girls. Not sure why, but the Strigoi put the fear of god in me. Witches? Not so much (except maybe Voldemort. But that's beside the point). I did like Syd's choice at the end, though. I love seeing her break free and start making her own decisions. The ending, though? Honestly, book #1 had a more riveting ending (I'm a Dimitri girl, as I'm sure you all know by now) than that, which is bad, cause I was mentally prepared for a classic Richelle Mead book 3 ending. Now I'm told it's going to happen in book 4. So, here I go preparing myself again...

Billy and Me

Title: Billy and Me
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 6/10

I got this book as an ARC, and would like to thank Penguin for the chance to read it.

I’ve read quite a few books about the girl who falls in love with the rich, super-hot guy, and then their struggle to make their relationship work. My favourite famous-guy will always be Kellan Kyle, but Billy was great (despite his rather unfortunate name… which grew on me as the book went on), as far as egotistically inclined super-famous and ridiculously rich men go.

I really enjoyed the book, and it was an easy read throughout. Sophie was like a breath of fresh air after so many weak-willed, simpering heroines, who, after a little sweet-talking and puppy-dog eyes, always end up doing what the love interest wants. But not Sophie. She stood her ground, and battled her way through a situation no one is ever prepared for. She never lost herself and her feisty, independent nature, and I really liked reading about a girl who isn’t badass, can’t kick everyone’s ass with her eyes closed, but is still incredibly strong and powerful in her own, natural way. Most of the strong females in books are girls who are good at fighting, and while I appreciate how they show that girls can be just as physically adept as boys, it was lovely to see a girl show strength simply by standing by her own values, and refusing to take crap from life.

The only thing I felt was missing, was this big “secret” of Sophie’s. With all the buildup, I expected something a little more explosive, not grieving. Still, a nice, easy read that is both heartwarming and refreshing.

Warning to younger readers: although the book is tame, there are a few slightly racy scenes that might make you uncomfortable if you’re not used to reading more adult books.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Elite

Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: YA, dystopia
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

I want to cry because of Maxon, but at the same time, I just want to dance and celebrate because of Aspen. I'm not sure how forthcoming I've been about who I ship with who in the series, so hopefully that statement confuses you. 
I can't even start explaining all the emotions this book put me through, at least not without spoiling something major which you need to not know until the very end so that you can enjoy the book. I can, however, say that I read this in one day - and I had a 3-hour meeting, too. I read walking to the station, on the train, on the tube, walking to my meeting, and all that again on the trip back. It's dangerous and I nearly missed my stop on the way back, I was so engrossed in the book. It might also have something to do with the fact that I was having my heart ripped to shreds on a bloody train, and had to fight back tears.

America... I can safely say I'd forgotten how incredibly girly she is. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but usually authors seem to have a need to sow their heroines as incredibly strong physically, and less girly - they don't giggle or gossip much. But America is very much like a real girl in the sense that she does all that, she worries about what she's wearing, and how she looks; but she also has an inner strength that can be surprising, if one only focuses on those traits, and dismisses her as an airhead. She's so far from that, but appearances can be deceiving. So when she delivers her punch, let me tell you, it hits hard. I did have a very hard time with her constant switching from Aspen to Maxon every time something went wrong with Maxon, but I've seen this happen so many times now, it hardly even bothers me for the right reasons (because she's stringing them both along to a certain extent... though, you know, so is Maxon, kind of. And Aspen... well. Spoilers.), but because I've already figured out who she's going to pick, and just get mad at her for not sticking with him and saving them both heartache. If book characters heard my yelled instructions, their lives would be SO much easier. Their loss ;)

Maxon... I have my reservations towards his character, just like Mer did at times. Which is a first in a situation like the one I found myself in after finishing the book. Still, I believe that, deep down, he's a good guy, and I mean, really... a worse king than his dad, he cannot be, so there's that. My reservations come mostly from the fact that, though he professes his love for Mer, he is still essentially seeing people on the side. I know it's not really his fault, but it does add a certain feeling of, shall we say... cheating. And that's just the tip of it, but I'm keeping quiet. Spoilers and all...

Aspen. Oh god. I can't stand him. Which is weird, cause I do have very strong feelings about who he should end up with (but then, the same goes to Maxon, so don't read too much into that statement... or maybe do! haha) I'm pretty sure he explained to Mer why he broke up with her before the Selection, but it must have been a piss-poor reason, cause I've already forgotten it. So I really dislike him. But I love the idea of him being with the person I have in mind. UGH. CONTRADICTIONS!

Anyway. Read, read, read. It's wonderful, and I need someone to discuss it with ;)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Title: Reckless (Thoughtless #3)
Author: S. C. Stephens
Genre: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

To those of you just starting: deep breaths, grab your tissues, a box of chocolates, and never despair... or maybe do. I'm not telling :P

Oh, wow... where do I even start? I'm aware I need to keep the spoilers away from here, lest I be murdered by an enraged Heather (hi, hun! *waves*), so bear with me ;)

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Reckless. I was so happy for Stephens for having gotten herself a contract with a major publishing house, but I was a bit miffed that the release date was pushed back because of it. Gotta say, though. Totally worth the wait.
Kellan and Kiera's story grabbed me from the first, and Effortless was just... I read that book twice, one in the tail of the other. I literally finished it the first time, turned to the beginning and started again, that's how bloody great it was. And Reckless... hell, if I didn't have a teetering pile of unread books balancing precariously on my nightstand, I'd be very tempted to do the same. What. A. Ride.
There are good books, there are great books, and then there are those books that make you say 'to hell with life, I need to read this shit!'. I stayed up way too late (Kellan does that to me, what can a girl say?), almost forgot to eat, and thoroughly neglected all homework sent my way. I even read while walking home from the bus. Not even kidding. First time I've actually done that, and I don't even want to know how nuts I seemed these last two days, smiling like a moron throughout the day, giggling out of the blue and then almost sobbing the next moment. I'd forgotten what an emotional mess these books always left me. Thoughtless broke me into a thousand tiny pieces, only to glue me back together at the end; still, it was so painful, I've yet to go back an re-read it - unlike Effortless which, like I mentioned before, got a twofer. But even Effortless, with all it's awesome, romantic mush, still exhausted me emotionally. And Reckless was no different. The ups and downs with Kellan and Kiera are from cloud nine to hell and back again in the span of one chapter.
I loved seeing more of Denny. I really didn't like him in Thoughtless, but he's grown on me, and I love the fact that, unrealistic as that is, he was able to look over what my babies had done to him, and still be good friends with both of them. I am glad he read Kiera's book and finally apologised, though. He had more than his fair share of blame in what happened, and my main problem with him was how self-righteous he acted.
I really liked Kiera in this book. In fact, the only person I disliked was Sienna (I even loved - yes, LOVED - Griffin in this book. I guess miracles do happen), and that's self explanatory, really. I never trusted that backstabbing bitch, and I was just itching for someone - Kiera, preferably, though I'd be fine if it were Kellan - to bitchslap the bejeesus out of her.

The reality of this being the end hasn't quite sunk in yet, and I'm still wandering the house, smiling maniacally because that ending was as perfect as could be, considering *shrugs*.

Religion for Atheists

Title: Religion for Atheists
Author: Alain de Botton
Genre: religious? idk, to be honest. Philosophical, maybe
Rating: 4/5

This is very different from the stuff I usually read, but it was nice to branch off a bit, though it did take me some time to get into it. I think I'll stick with fiction for now ;)

So much discussion goes on daily about the world, and the sad state it's in. Of course, we all know this, but reading Alain Botton's Religion for Atheists was quite an eye-opener.

Religion for Atheists is a thought-provoking book that uses the three most famous religions (which includes the two most infamous ones - Judaism and Christianity) to try and explain why we sometimes feel alone in a crowded room, why we might love next to a family for years on end, and sometimes never even know their names - and most importantly, how to fix that.

As an atheist myself, de Botton's ideas were certainly intriguing, and there sure seems to a lot to be said about his suggestion of a restaurant that would join only the best traits of all the religions, like the feeling of caring and interest towards those around us created in Mass, or the idea of total liberation of rules and impositions for a certain period of time (in old times, it used to be 3 days). There is a certain alluring quality to his suggestions, and there is much to be said about meshing different aspects of different religions, taking only the best from each. I'll probably get stoned by any religious person for saying this, but I've been to countless Masses, quite a few Mormon services and even a  few protestant services, and while I didn't agree with all the dogmas from any of them, what de Botton says about every religion having its merit wasn't lost on me. Their ideas aren't altogether bad, it's just the way they go about it that can be scary, and reading Religion for Atheists was a great way to see that maybe one day even those of us without any religious inclining can find the comfort of singing together with a room.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Widow of Larkspur Inn

Title: The Widow of Larkspur Inn 
Author: Lawana Blackwell
Genre: historical
Rating: 3.5/5
Cover: 10/10

While I appreciate that a truly Victorian-time novel would have quite a few links to the church, and God, I did feel that it was a little too heavily laid-on here. Maybe it's just because of my views on religion (I'm an atheist), but it just didn't sit very well with me. It felt a bit like the book itself was preaching, trying to convert me the entire time. Now, despite my religious views, I have nothing against religion, and/or religious people. I don't even mind people trying to convert me. I enjoy getting to know the dogmas of different religions - perhaps there is still a small part of me that wants to find one creed that I can believe in heart & soul, rather than agree with bits and pieces of different religions. I've been to Mormon services (quite a few, too. Long story, and I digress), Baptist services, Catholic services and even some Church of England and Spiritist ... "service" (I forget the name of what the Spiritist do, but I'm pretty sure it's not a service), and I highly enjoyed them all. I talked to priests, pastors, and all that, and am starting to build my own Bible collection, one from each different religion. So, no, it wasn't the fact that it felt like the book was trying to convert me that bothered me. It was just a little too excessive. I can see why a recent widow would turn to God for help, and like I said before, in the Victorian Era, religion was a BIG part of society, but still.

Not only that, but the ending was rushed. After all those chapters creating a rapport for the various characters (and what characters! Oh, so wonderfully three dimensional, all of them! This is character heaven), the last quarter of the book skipped various months and weeks at a time, and frankly, I felt cheated of time with my friends. I know that, for the sake of healing, more time needed to have gone by before wounds healed to the point where a happy ending was possible, but it still bugged me a bit, the jumping.

HOWEVER, as previously mentioned, the characters! Oh, they are so delicious to read! Not one person in the quite extensive cast of characters in 'The Widow of Larkspur Inn' is the dreaded one-dimensional character. They all have rich, wonderful, intriguing back stories. Even the smallest, most insignificant characters has more behind him/her than what first meets the eye, and that is what gives this book a 3.5. If religion puts you off, you HAVE to read this, even if it's just for the characters. Please do. Everyone deserves to read such wonderfully real characters.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


Title: Hopeless
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 7/10

I just finished it, so forgive me if this comes out more rambling and sobbing than reviewing decently.

Hopeless... wow. Colleen Hoover has once again blown me away completely. I didn't even know what my heart was doing half the time I was reading this book, it was just such a huge roller-coaster of emotions.

Holder, what can I say about Dean Holder that doesn't sound cheesy and infatuated? Because, to be honest, that's exactly how I feel about him. Though, I remember when I first started reading the book, I just thought he'd be the bad boy she fell for - and we all know I have a weakness for bad boys, so it's a moot point, I guess - but OH MY GOD he was so much more than that. Holder is everything that makes girls read romance books and sigh, silently wishing boys in real life were like that. He's not perfect, not by any stretch of imagination, but he loves Sky so much, so purely and so entirely, that pretty soon you stop seeing him as a bad boy we all love to kind of fear, and he becomes The Guy. You know. The one you'd marry if he ever crossed your path. The one you'd jump on and would never, ever let go. He's broken, but he still loves her passionately, and that made me love him more than his bad boy side ever could have.
As for Sky herself... well. I cried so much when I realised, about 100 pages before she did what had happened, that I had to put the book down, or run the risk of showing up with red, puffy eyes in all of the New Years pictures. There's something so horrible, so absolutely inhuman about what happened to her, and yet she somehow still found the strength to keep going. That made me love her. It's rare that in a book I love both sides of the couple; usually I fall madly in love with the guy, and accept the girl as either worthy of his love, or as a lucky bitch who doesn't deserve him, but end up having to deal with it because they're fictional. With Sky, though, I fell utterly in love with her, just as much as I fell for Holder (though in a different way, thanks). Both of them are so broken, so alone and so lost in the world, and yet, they refuse to give up. I honestly don't know. Lesslie might have taken the selfish way out, but it's also the easiest one; and the fact that doing that never even occurred to Sky just made me love her even more. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

Only down point in the book, is that I wish we'd gotten to see more of Six; she sounds like a right character, and I would have loved to know her more.