Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Book: Unravel Me(Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 469 pages
Format: International Paperback 

This book was one of my most anticipated of the year, and HOLY CRAP GUYS. It was so good and just, ugh. So many feels. Also, Tahereh Mafi is now number one on my author hit list. I'm coming for you, Tahereh.

Goodreads Summary

Juliette's world is beginning to unravel.
Everything is falling apart changing.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point-the headquarters of the rebel resistance. There she discovers other people with abilities. Abilities they have learned to control. And for the first time in her life, Juliette has hope. Hope that she can have a life with Adam. Hope that her touch can be used to save instead of destroy.

But Juliette is only just beginning to understand the depth of her power, and she's struggling to fight the desire to use it. She's still haunted by her past, terrified by her future, and too tempted by Warner, who still wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart-and Adam's life.

The one thing I missed the most about this series was the writing. Tahereh mafi throws conventional out the window and the way that the books are written is just stunning. The repetition, the cross outs, and the beautiful prose makes the whole story more poignant and that much more addictive.

Her characters were fantastic as well. Juliette, while a fantastic narrator, really pissed me off at times and  Kenji (who is kind of like my fave ever okay? okay) just puts her in her place. Her characters are realistic, and how these flaws that make them very real  and make you want to side with them. I really have no sympathy for characters who are perfect and have no flaws, so it was a great turn of events.

Also, since the Shatter Me series is a romance series that the love triangle in this book was nothing like I could have ever imagined. It was crazy and hectic and filled with plot twists and moments that made me go Oh My Warner whist I was out in public. Just, don't read chapter 62 in public guys. Take it from me. And now I don't know who I want Juliette to be with. Part of me ships Juliette and Warner, and another part wants Juliette and Adam (and another part wants Warner and Kenji.... I mean what?) But I can honestly say that I don't know. This might be because I am emotionally attached to Warner and he is my baby, and another part is that it kills me to see Adam without Juliette.

And this plot fit in perfectly. It's hard to talk about without spoiling things, but it just flowed so well and there was never a dull moment in Omega Point.

Just, if you haven't read this series, you have to. Make it top priority because the writing and the characters and the plot will make you fall in love and give you a yearning to kill Tahereh Mafi because she makes you cry.

<-- See this face? See it? EVIL. (lol jokes, Tahereh I love you 5ever)

A definite 6/5 stars. How could it not be?


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway
Pages: 374 Pages
Format: Paperback

I saw Priscilla over at the Readables review this a long time ago and ever since I was really interested in the whole idea of a virtual reality doubling over into the real world. And when my aunt bought it for me for Christmas, I knew that I had to read it. So, I put it on my immediate TBR list and may I just say, my geek-self was squealing the entire was through.

Goodreads Summary

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Whoo, long summary!

The whole novel was pulled off very well. The fact that I would lose myself in it and think that Wade was actually Parzival (his avatar) and he was in the game was incredible because in reality he's just sitting on the floor in his room or in his hideout with a visor and a pair of gloves on. The entire virtual world that Cline has created made me want to log onto the OASIS myself and start the hunt.

After the first fifty or so pages which were really just background knowledge and was kind of slow and boring, the plot started to pick up and I was hooked. I was drown into the world, rooting for the main characters to find the next key and the next gate and getting as sucked into the drama as much as the characters were.

Another thing that I loved about this book was the writing style. The way that the references to everything flowed into the story so seamlessly like they were meant to be there was fantastic. And nothing was forced. The clues were smart and made perfect sense in the grand scheme of things. But I was not expecting the romance part of it and the whole thing made me squeal up until one part and I was just like:
Seriously, guys. Just... so many feels. SO. MANY. FEELS.

And that's all I really have to say about Ready Player One. The writing was great, except for a bit of slowness at the beginning and some parts during the middle. But other than that I really enjoyed it! And I think, even if you're not into geek culture, you should give this one a go.

4/5 stars


Friday, 8 February 2013

Review: Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

Book: Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2)
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Random House/ Delacorte
Pages: 320 pages
Format: E-book from Net Galley
Release Date: March 12th, 2013

When I got the email saying that I now had access to read Deep Betrayal, I think  that I may have done a happy dance. And it wasn't a let down. If anything I actually enjoyed this one more that the first, because I now have a  feel for the characters and I care about them a lot. So, the book comes out in two weeks, and here are my two cents about it! And don't worry; spoiler free!

Goodreads Summary

It's been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she's counting. And when Calder does return, it's not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily's dad monopolizes Calder's time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind.

Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman's natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn't know what to believe—only that whoever's responsible is sure to strike again. . . .
The book was fantastic, and one of things I loved was getting to read from Lily's point of view. It was really interesting getting to read about Calder and the whole mermaid deal from a human. After the first one, I was able to understand how Calder felt about loving a human, but in Deep Betrayal, I loved reading about the relationship with a mermaid. The whole aspect is so odd and weird, but I love it so much; seeing Calder and Lily together despite everything just asdfghjkl done.

Also, the plot was just addicting. I read it in just over 24 hours. I read it on a plane home from Orlando, and I swear that the woman next to me was scared of my enthusiasm. Whoops. But the whole novel just has this kind of flow to it, and you sit down to read a chapter, but 100 pages later you realize that that was waaaaay more than a chapter and you still don't want to put it down.

And it was the perfect sequel. The characters grew, the plot was fantastic, and the writing was even better. I think that everyone should read this series, because it's just. so. good.

5/5 stars. Well done, Anne and I can't wait for the book to be released!


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Book: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 250 Pages
Format: Paperback

I have heard so much about Neil Gaiman and I knew that I had to read all of his books soon, because apparently, his writing is beautiful. So when my friend lent me Stardust, I started reading it immediately. And I wasn't totally thrilled by it.  

Goodreads Summary

Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.

I really don't know what to say about this one. It was just a 'meh' kind of book. The writing, on one hand, was beautiful. The imagery of the land of Faerie was breath taking and made me see the beautiful hills, and the shimmering glass flowers. But on the other hand, I didn't like the characters. Besides not getting to know them well enough to create a bond with them or care about them in any way.

When the characters don't matter in my mind, the entire plot falls through. I end up not caring if the character succeeds or fails or whatever. And that really made me not enjoy the book. If I was at a part that would be considered climactic, I would be able to put down the book because I wasn't into it.

2.5/5 stars. Not my kind of book.