Goodbye, Old Friends

July 18, 2011 at 7:00 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and I feel I must act on it. I’m abandoning this blog, in favour of a pretty new blog over at BlogSpot. Mainly so that I can have that Google Friends Connect thing, and show how many delicious followers I have.

If you wish to visit me, I will now be found over at http://booksfrommars.blogspot.com/

Add it to your RSS feeds, or Google Friends Connect me, or whatever it is that people do over at BlogSpot.

I’ll sure miss you guys, but I’ve added all the awesome people on my RSS feed, so I can keep up with you.

So, I say farewell. It was great while it lasted. 🙂

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Once Upon a Read-a-thon Update #2

July 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm (Uncategorized)

Bleh, it’s 4:30 PM Tuesday, I’m halfway through the read-a-thon, and haven’t been doing much reading lately. Today, I’ve been busy with sleeping (I’m sick, so sleep is important, right?), going to an important meeting and then grocery shopping. I’m hoping to get a lot more reading done this afternoon and before I go to sleep. NO DISTRACTIONS!

Currently Reading: M is for Magic – Neil Gaiman (pg 105 of 249)
Last Book Read: The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Mary E. Pearson
Next to Read: The Mean Seasons – Bill Willingham; Mortal Kiss – Alice Moss
Total Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 369
Books Read Since Last Update: 1
Pages Read Since Last Update: 220
Total Time Read: 5ish hours

 

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

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In My Mailbox #12

June 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm (In My Mailbox, Meme, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Well, it’s that time of the week again, fellow bookaholics! Yep, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.

I got quite a few books this week. A few from an Angus and Robertson that had a super amazing sale (so amazing that I bought 4 books for just $18! *swoons*) (here in Australia, A&R are owned by the same company that owns Borders, and since Borders is completely shutting down here in Aus–yep! you heard that right! *sobs*– A&R are having sales as well), and quite a few from The Book Depository, and finally, several from my library.

Bought:

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier; I got this from A&R for just $5! Justine is an Aussie author, so I’m excited to read it and showcase it here.

White Time by Margo Lanagan; I’d heard many things about Margo Lanagan’s work, both good and bad–the bad is mainly how Lanagan doesn’t shy away from hard issues, which I think is a good thing–and I’m excited to read it. I got it from A&R for $5.

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan; Got it for the same reason as mentioned above. It was also $5. *squeals*

Clarity by Kim Harrington; I was fairly excited to read this book until I had heard some less than stellar reviews from people whose opinions I trusted. But when I found it in A&R for $3.50, I quickly snatched it up. I don’t care if I end up hating it, it was cheap, and that’s all that matters. 😛

The following books were obtained from The Book Depository.

The World Above by Cameron Dokey; I have to admit, I love the Once Upon a Time series. I’m going to start slowly collecting them. I hope they bring out more, because there just aren’t enough out there! 😛

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Society by Carolyn Turgeon; The premise of this book sounds so fun! And it’s about fairy tales! I love fairytales!

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon; I hadn’t realised that I got two books from the same author, I only got this because it has mermaids! I love mermaids!

The Girl Who Was on Fire edited by Leah Wilson; I love The Hunger Games and I love essays on modern works.  So how could I resist this?

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis; I’ve been hearing such fantastic things about this book everywhere, so I knew that I would have to get it. Plus, the cover is so cute and awesome! I hope to review this soon.

Library:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson; Can you believe that I’ve never read a book by Anderson? I really should start now.

Betrayed by P.C. & Kristin Cast; Okay, I hated the first book, but I still found the urge to read the next book in the series. I’m a masochist.

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer; I’ve been in the mood for stories with Norse mythology in them and found this. Hopefully, it’s good.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller; I liked Frank Miller’s story-telling technique in Sin City, even though the views on women are sometimes fairly offensive. Plus, I like the Batman world (even though I hate Batman. He has no super powers therefore isn’t a real superhero, IMO).

Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham; This is the 4th volume in the Fables series. I loved the first 3, and really can’t wait to read this one.

Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham; I’ve been in a very graphic novel sort of mood lately. This is the 5th volume in the Fables series.

The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman; I love love love the Sandman series. This is the 7th volume. I really can’t wait to get into this.

So, that’s what I got in my mailbox this week. What did you get this week? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.

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In My Mailbox #11

June 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm (Uncategorized)

Happy Sunday, fellow bookaholics! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.

I’ve been trying to abstain from buying any books lately, and I’ve succeeded, so yay for me!

This week I got:

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch; I got this from the Book Depository during the sale they had, and it’s only just arrived. Yay! I love historical novels!

Huntress by Malinda Lo; I technically didn’t buy it, my boyfriend did. Thank you, boyfriend! I’m so excited to read this. I loved Ash so much, and am expecting great things from this.

Library:

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman; I’ve been on a graphic novel/manga kick lately. And this has zombies! ❤ I’ll be reviewing this soon.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa and Gaku Tsugano; I’d heard that the anime was good, so when I saw this in my library, I snatched it up. Can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

Fruits Basket Vol 5 by Natsuki Takaya; I ❤ Fruits Basket. It’s the cutest ever! I seriously recommend that everyone check this out.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block; So, it’s fairly obvious by now that I ADORE fairy tale retellings, so I’m just super excited to get into this.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano; So, I’ve been hearing both good and bad things about this book, and I guess I just want to see what the hype is all about. Will be reviewing this.

The Eternal Kiss edited by Trisha Telep; I like anthologies, they’re really quick to get through. Plus, it’s awesome seeing how authors condense a story into just a few thousand words. Not really sure what to expect from this.

That’s my haul for the week. What did your mailboxes look like? Feel free to leave a link in the comments section. 🙂

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Review: Firelight

June 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm (4 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Pages: 323, hardcover

ISBN: 9780061935084

Publisher: HarperTeen

Date Released: September 7th, 2010

Genre: YA / romance / fantasy / dragons

Source: library

Premise:

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: Book Depository / Amazon

I won’t lie. For a YA, this blew me away.

The writing is so vivid and descriptive, and it paints the perfect image in the readers head. It’s so engaging that it becomes fairly impossible to put down.  The writing was definitely my favourite part of this book, especially the first couple of chapters, when we see Jacinda in the wild, where she belongs. The descriptions of her surroundings are amazing, and her world is one that the reader can immerse themselves in.

Jacinda was a character that  really liked. She was strong, defiant and loyal. Her relationship with her sister is rocky, since Jacinda is a draki, but Tamra isn’t. Tamra’s jealousy got in the way of their friendship as they were growing up, because Tamra was the black sheep in the family and in the pride. But once they escape the pride and live amongst the humans, the tables turn. It’s Tamra’s turn to fit in naturally, and Jacinda is the odd one out. She doesn’t belong in the human world.

Now, regarding that, that’s where my problems lie.Their mother takes them to the desert to kill the draki inside of Jacinda, claiming it’s for her own good. She never once asked for consent in that matter, and the idea of slowly losing her draki actually bothers Jacinda a whole lot more than her mother expects. A friend of mine recently opened my eyes regarding consent in stories–particularly in the case of Tangled, when Ryder cuts her hair without consent. I didn’t think these little things mattered, but now, it really bothers me to see that.

That said, Jacinda’s relationship with her mother is strained. Jacinda tells us that whilst her father was proud of Jacinda’s draki, her mother was wary, as if Jacinda was “someone she had to love, but wouldn’t have chosen”. That’s why it’s so easy for her mother to decide to kill Jacinda’s inner draki. It’s kind of tragic, really, that their relationship is like this. It’s the cause for Jacinda’s rebellious stage, because she’s tired of her mother making all of her decisions.

All the characters here are selfish. Tamra and her mother have no qualms with killing Jacinda’s draki, just to have a normal life as humans, and Jacinda is doing all she can to keep her draki alive. I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, but I sort of love it. Their intentions parallel the others’, and it sort of works.

Regarding the romance, I’m sort of on the fence. The writing–as I said before–was fairly fantastic, and it especially shows in the uber hot makeout scenes. The chemistry between Will and Jacinda is just breathtaking, sexy and hot, and it makes me wish that it weren’t YA, so that I could read the hot sex scenes that would have arisen. But Will is an odd character. One moment, he’s sweet, the next, he’s controlling, telling Jacinda what to do. He acts like he has multiple personalities. Also, he sort of breaks into her house and makes her breakfast. It’s sweet that he makes her breakfast, I guess, but still really creepy that he let himself into her house without her permission, especially after knowing her for only a month. And by then, they ‘love’ each other, which I find unbelievable and hardly realistic.
What I liked between them was that this time, it was the girl who was different. It was a nice change, but unfortunately, didn’t stop her from constantly switching from “OMG I love him” to “But we can’t be together :(” and back in a matter of seconds. Ugh, just make your decision and stick with it, please?

I had a huge problem with Brooklyn and Tamra, though. Brooklyn was the stereotypical blonde bitch, who’s angry at the new girl because the hot guy likes newbie more than herself. Brooklyn attacks Jacinda in the bathroom, and when Jacinda fights back–with her fire power, though, so a bit dumb on her part–Tamra throws a massive hissy fit because according to her, Jacinda started that fight just to ruin Tamra’s chances of making friends. Just… no. Tamra didn’t even want to hear Jacinda’s side of the story. Tamra is the most selfish, bratty, conceited sister ever, and I feel really sorry for Jacinda.

Despite that, I’m still really excited to read Vanish, which is expected to come out this September. After the ridiculous cliff-hanger and the plethora of unanswered questions at the end, I’m itching to get my hands on Vanish.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 4/5 stars

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Review: Leviathan

June 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Pages: 440, hardcover

ISBN: 9781416971733

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: October 6th, 2009 (First published September 22nd, 2009)

Genre: YA / steampunk / alternate history / adventure

Source: bought

Premise:

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it From: Book Depository / Amazon

The first thing I have to mention here is the cover and the drawings. The cover just draws you in, making you feel like a part of the story. I won’t lie, this cover is a million times than their revised cover: ICK.
And the drawings add this whole new aspect to the story. They’re beautifully done, and I could just stare at them for hours. They definitely added a lot to the story.

I should mention that the only issue I had with this book was the language. Bum-rag? Seriously? Now, I understand that this is a YA book aimed at the younger side of the spectrum, but it kind of ruins the flow of the story. It makes me roll my eyes and groan in pain.
Other than that, the writing was lovely and descriptive.

Now onto characterisation. I love Deryn. In summation, she’s a steampunk Mulan and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She has her dreams, and she follows them, despite her gender. She’s smart, independent, and just a little bit stubborn.
Alek was also strong. For a boy who’d just lost his parents and has a whole empire thirsting for his blood, he handles the situation snd himself quite well.

The two different views, the Darwinists and the Clankers, they added so much depth. The way they were described–from both perspectives–it was just amazing. Deryn and Alek’s views on the life of the other gave us so much insight. Alek thought that the Darwinist creatures were Godless beasts, and Deryn saw the Clanker machines as soulless pieces of metal. They each think that their own views are the correct ones, and it reminds me of certain religious groups, how they think they’re so correct, and that anyone who disagrees is wrong and soulless.

This is an amazing book, one that I would recommend to everyone. Though written for the younger side of YA, I think even adults can get a lot out of this. I’ll be reviewing the sequel, Behemoth, sometime soon.

Art: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 5/5 stars

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Review: A Taste of True Blood

May 24, 2011 at 10:46 am (Uncategorized)

A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger’s Guide by Leah Wilson

Pages: 262, paperback

ISBN: 9781935251965

Publisher: SmartPop

Release Date: June 29th, 2010

Genre: non-fiction / essays/ anthology / paranormal / vampires

Source: library

Premise:

True Blood, Alan Ball’s critically acclaimed television adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ bestselling Southern Vampire mysteries, is HBO’s most-watched show since The Sopranos, averaging over 12 million viewers an episode in its second season. Thanks to its large, dedicated fanbase, it won the People’s Choice “Favorite TV Obsession” award in early 2010.

A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger’s Guide gives those fans something to savor between episodes—and whets their appetite for more. Covering the show’s first two seasons and released just in time for the third…

…A Taste of True Blood also includes a quick reference guide to the show’s first two seasons.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: Book Depository / Amazon

I wish I could write an essay-length review on each of the essays in this book, but that would just be going overboard, and would probably bore you all to death. Instead, I’ll just keep this review short and sweet (which would seem to be a first for me…) and post a small summary on some of the essays that I found to be worth mentioning.

Now, before I start, I just have to add that I’m a massive fan of the show, True Blood. And I’m a fan of the book series (I’ve only read the first two, though. Whoops…). I love everything about it, how it’s a good trashy show that I can watch when I’m in a bad mood; and how you can watch it with an analytical eye and see the social commentary in terms of treatment of minorities (in particular, gays) in today’s society.

Some essays I loved most:

Vampire Porn [Daniel M. Kimmel] discusses the grotesque opening title that we’ve all grown to know and love (or loathe), analysing different themes depicted in the 90 seconds, like racism, bigotry, sex, and the setting of the south. It’s given me a whole new insight to the opening title, and I no longer shy away from the graphic parts, instead, looking at them with awe and a critical eye.

SOOKEH! Bee-iil! [Maria Lima] is the second essay, and addresses how Bill Compton went from hot to not. Totally hilarious, will keep you wanting more. I mean, even that title is hilarious.

And while I can’t remember the name of the essay, the last one is written by Ginjer Buchanan, the editor of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series, and talks about the differences between the show and the books, where each season spans for 12 hours, yet manages to perfectly reveal everything that happens in the books, all the while slowly taking on a new direction (for example, the inclusion of Tara as a main character in the show, whereas she was just a very minor character in book 2).

If you’re a fan of the series, or just really like seeing social commentaries and analyses of TV shows, then this book is for you. Topics range from Freudian theories to Marxist theories to the Southern setting. And while I don’t always agree with the essays, I find that it does give me a new perspective on the show.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Review: The Gates

May 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm (5 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

The Gates by John Connolly

Pages: 272, paperback

ISBN: 9780340995808

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Date Released: October 1st, 2009

Genre: Middle Grade / fantasy / horror / humor

Source: library

Premise:

A strange novel for strange young people.

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe’en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue. The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a gap in the universe. A gap in which there is a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out …

Can Samuel persuade anyone to take this seriously? Can he harness the power of science to save the world as we know it? (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book DepositoryAmazon

After reading The Book of Lost Things  by John Connolly, I knew that I needed to get my hands on something else by him, and honestly, this didn’t disappoint. (By the way I totally recommend that you read it).

This book is written in the same vein of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe or Monty Python. Meaning, despite it’s genre, it’s full of that excellent British humour that I so adore. That wit, that sarcasm, oh, it just makes me excited just thinking about it. I just have to show you an example of the wit and hilarity:

“Schwell, the Demon of Uncomfortable Shoes; Ick, the Demon of Unpleasant Things Discovered in Plug Holes During Cleaning; Graham, the Demon of Stale Biscuits and Crackers; Mavis, the Demon of Inappropriate Names for Men; and last, and quite possibly least, Erics’, the Demon of Bad Punctuation. – pg 37

One bother I had with the writing was that there were footnotes, and while they were sometimes funny and often informative, they also distracted me from the text. I often found myself having to reread the previous paragraph, because the footnote sometimes deviated from the text that I forgot what was happening in the story.

What made this story even more awesome was the use of the Large Hadron Collider. I’m not sure if any of you guys remember all that buzz about two years, that it would be the end of the world if they operated it and tried to recreate the Big Bang. I’ve always been fascinated by physics, so the use of this as a main plot hole just rocked my socks.

A major part of this book revolves around the idea that Samuel is trying to get y while his mum is surviving a nasty break-up with his dad. His dad has moved out, and is living with another woman, and his mum is having a hard time dealing with it. It has a fresh and real perceptive on separation and divorce, and the way that it’s described–in the slightly childish voice of the prose–it makes the reader feel just how painful divorce is for the child, not just the parents.

The unlikely friendship between Nord–a demon who isn’t quite so demonic–and Samuel was just lovely. When they first met by an accidental mishap of physics, they really get to know each other, and their friendship grew into something big and believable.

My main concern was at the end of the book, when Samuel is confronted by a demonic personification of his worst fear: spiders. It would only have made sense in his growth as a character if he had killed the demon himself and conquered his inner fear. Instead, his friends kill it, while he’s just standing there, frightened. Apart from that, his character grew well.

The story was filled with action, and the kind of things that children and adults alike would enjoy reading. Each chapter is more interesting than the one preceding it, and you’ll find yourself unable to put this book down.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 5/5 stars

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Review: Delirium

May 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm (2 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Pages: 393, hardcover

ISBN: 9780340980910

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Date Released: February 3rd, 2011

Genre: YA / dystopian / romance

Source: library

Premise:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book DepositoryAmazon

Dystopia is a hard genre to write in. Usually because it takes a topic and magnifies it, and in this case, the topic is love. So my question is: why the hell is love outlawed? Usually, dystopian only really works if the issue is a current issue that we’re facing, and dystopians explore what would happen in the future if the problem hasn’t been handled (for example: global warming [though I haven’t come across many dystopians that handle that]). Already, before picking the book up, I have problems with it. How had it gotten to the point where love could be considered a disease? For a dystopian, it sounds rather unbelievable.

On page 3, Oliver already managed to piss me off, though, I’m sure it was unintentional on her part. There is a passage that goes:

“Instead, people back then named other diseases–stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, bipolar disorder–never realising that these were, in fact, only symptoms that in the majority of cases could be traced back to the effects of amour deliria nervosa [love].”

Now, as someone who suffers from 4 of the 7 things named above, I take offense to the idea that these are merely symptoms to something like love–something they tried to eradicate. And once these people are ‘cured’ of love, they are also cured of these ‘symptoms’. I find it really frustrating when people act that way towards mental problems like the ones mentioned. Their lack of understanding is the reason why there is this stigma towards mentally ill people.

I will have to admit that I loved how much like sheep the society acted like, and how determined Lena in to do well by her governments standards. I think that an important part of dystopians is the realisation–the epiphany that the main character has–that everything is a lie. In this book, it’s done fairly fantastical. In the beginning, Lena is just like the rest of society, but after things start turning awry, she starts questioning the rules. And that’s when shit hits the fan, and the moment that I cheered.

There are some innaccuracies in the story that could have easily been fixed with some simple research. For example, I don’t get how six months can make any difference in a procedure, especially when everyone is different. Technically speaking, some people might be physically matured enough to handle such a procedure from a younger age, and others when they’re in their 20’s. It seems as if Oliver just didn’t bother picking up any books on neurology and psychology. And unfortunately for her, one of my hobbies is reading those kind of text books for fun, so I’ve picked out all these mistakes.
Also, this baffles me: Lena’s father apparently died of cancer. So, they can cure a non-existent disease INSIDE YOUR BRAIN, but not cure cancer. It makes little sense.

I disliked Lena. She was so passive. She was worse than Bella Swan, and we all know what that girl is like. Lena just let people push her around, and she hardly did anything active, except for the last 100 or so pages, but even then, she’s only so active because of some guy.
I’m not sure how I feel about Lena and Hana’s friendship. On the one hand, they contrast each other in a way that it works; they’re dependent on each other’s strengths. Lena is so passive, and Hana is rebellious and strong and has a mind of her own. There were often times that I found myself wishing that Hana was the main character, because she wasn’t some weak pansy.

Lena also seems to be only capable of making stupid decisions, like trying to go to a secret house party to warn people that there’s a raid going on. She puts herself at great risk trying to do something that has a very unlikely chance of working, since the raiders were literally right behind her. If I were her, I’d have stayed at home, where it was safe. After all, everyone at the party knew the risks. They knew that there was a fairly good chance of getting caught, and they all knew that the punishments would be severe.
Then, at the party, she gets mauled by a dog. While she is profusely bleeding from her leg, all she can think about is how sexy Alex is without a shirt on, while she’s in a shed that smells of animal piss. In fact the entire time she’s with Alex after the raid, she doesn’t think about Hana, even though she was the main reason Lena went to the party. Instead of worrying for her best friend, she’s making out with some random guy.

I really liked the writing. It felt like one of the few good things about this story. Oliver really has a way with words. It made it hard to put the book down at times. Also, I liked the world-building, even though the reasons behind the world were unbelievable.The setting, the history and the people made the world feel realistic, and I wanted to know more.

For a while, the only thing that kept me fairly happy was that Romeo and Juliet wasn’t used in a positive “twu wuv” light like most other books that done. The society believed it to be a cautionary tale, which I could believe in that instance. But then Alex went and ruined that notion by claiming it to be a “great love story”, and I wanted to hit him with a heavy, blunt object several times over his thick noggin. It seems that anyone in publishing that refers to Romeo & Juliet seem to kind of totally miss the whole point of it. I mean, have they read the ending? They die.

For about 200 pages, nothing seems to happen. All we get from the narrator is 200 pages explaining why she loves Alex so much. She’s known him for a month of two. How can she love him? She barely knows him. I was hoping that Delirium wouldn’t follow that trope, but alas. As I expected, there’s the unhealthy viewpoint of love, that without love, you don’t have anything else and life isn’t worth living.

“I’d rather die loving Alex than live without him.” – pg 379

I don’t understand why this sort of stuff is allowed when books like The Bermudez Triangle (Maureen Johnson) are being banned for having a gay character. Gay people are harmless. Telling impressionable young teens that their lives are worthless if they don’t have their true love is dangerous.

Sorry for this rant-like review, but I didn’t like this book too much. I would recommend reading it, though, in case you do end up liking it. I’m just fairly critical.

Cover Art: 2
Plot: 2
Characters: 1
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 3

Total Rating: 2/5 stars


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Review: Impossible

April 11, 2011 at 4:37 am (2 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Pages: 288, paperback

ISBN: 9780141330303

Publisher: Puffin Books

Date Released: March 4th, 2010 (first published September 18th, 2008)

Genre: YA / romance / fantasy / mythology

Source: library

Premise:

When seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she realizes to break the curse she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to save them both. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from The Book Depository

First things first: LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Now, onto the meat of the book:

As I read the first few sentences, I notices that there are a lot of pointless sentences. Things that don’t even contribute to the story, in desperate need of editing. The writing style sounds contrived, sloppy and unimpressive. From the start, it left me stumbling through the book, struggling to finish. It felt even more awkward with the various “uh”s and “oh”s and whatnot. In third person, this just sounds completely amateurish, unless in dialogue. Even in first person, if done right. And you all know from my review of Fallen how much I hate that sort of stuff in third person narratives. THEY DO NOT BELONG. *angry face*

Lucy seems so boring in the way she talked, acted and described. She just ended up being this two-dimensional character that I barely cared for. Her character changes every few pages, from athletic to girly to tomboyish. The inconsistency in character was confusing and hard to keep track of. Honestly, there were times where I wondered if there would be a massive twist near the end where she turns out to have multiple personality disorder.

The chapters were short, about 3 pages each, which was really annoying, I thought. They were so short that I just couldn’t get into the story quickly enough until the next break. They just weren’t long enough for me to keep an interest in.

The point of view, whilst in third person, focuses on various people and the constant change gets distracting and frustrating. At the time I was reading this, I was editing my first story, and it was suffering from the same POV inconsistencies as Impossible. Now that this problem has come to my attention, I find multiple POVs to be the most annoying thing ever, and amateurish.

I loved the basic idea of the story, being a retelling of a poem called The Scarborough Fair. The fantasy elements were subtle, yet strong, which made for a nice, original fairy story. It shows the elf in a negative way, which I found delightful, as I’m sick of everyone and their grandmother romanticising every paranormal and fantasy creature they come across. It features a human/human romance, which I was relieved about.

This book deals with rape, and the outcomes of it. I thought it was poorly demonstrated. That Lucy’s rapist was unaware of his actions seemed to be this really weird message that it’s not the rapist’s fault, that they can’t control themselves. Now, I’m sure that wasn’t Werlin’s intentions at all, but it still felt like that.
Also, after Lucy was raped, it sort of seemed like it was no big deal to her, that she was passive about the whole incident and not really shaken up about it. I would have loved to see a rape survivor actually surviving instead of forgetting it ever actually happened.

There was something odd that bothered me, a really massive contradiction that I picked up. On page 104 of my copy, it says:

“If her friend Sarah Herbert were pregnant and came to Lucy for advice, Lucy would certainly think of abortion. Perhaps, she’d even urge it.”

Then some 40 pages later, Lucy is telling her friend, Zach, that she could never ever abort her child:

“We can’t just ‘deal’ with this. I can’t have an abortion. Miranda [her mother] didn’t abort me, did she? I have to have the baby. I just–I can’t explain; it’s just how I feel. I have to go ahead. And it’s my decision. That’s what you’ve always said–it’s a woman’s decision and her right to choose.”

And yet, Lucy would have urged her best friend to abort it if she were ever pregnant. So much for the right of choosing and deciding. I don’t know, it’s that sort of stuff that makes me uneasy, because this is a very delicate topic in books, and the way I see it, it wasn’t done properly here.

I was glad that Lucy’s parents were heavily involved for the most part, unlike most YAs these days. And that they were so supportive of their daughter and her decisions was sweet. It’s unusual for a parent to be so close to the main character in a YA, so this was a sort of breath of fresh air, and made for an interesting story.

This book focused on a romance that I thought was tacky and bland and had no real depth to it. Chapter 32 was one and a half pages on how Zach had confessed his undying love for Lucy, how he would kill for her, die for her, yadda yadda yadda. That’s great and all, but he never mentions what it is about her that he loves. And when he tries, he contradicts himself horribly, making his love seem forced. I was left very unimpressed with that. And then when Lucy confesses her love for him, I was thinking ‘where did that come from?’ Just a few chapters ago, she was thinking about how hot he is, but not how she actually liked him in any way other than his OMG supah hawt body!!~. Ugh, so shallow. It annoyed me.

And one last thing: after they get married, they stop trying to break the curse and instead have hot wild sex?  Wow, what a way to end the book.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 1
Writing: 1
Level of Interest: 1

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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