Τετάρτη, 29 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Courtney Crumin and the Night Things (Vol.1) by Ted Naifeh

Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 28 May 2003
Series or Standalone: Series (Graphic Novel)
ISBN-13: 9781929998609
Format: eBook
Pages: 128
Websites:
Ted Maifeh - Oficial Site
Ted Maifeh - Blog
Ted Maifeh - Twitter
Ted Maifeh - Goodreads


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Courtney Crumin Series Order:
Book 1: Courtney Crumin and the Night Things
Book 2: Courtney Crumin and the Coven of Mystics (6 Oct 2003)
Book 3: Courtney Crumin in the Twilight Kingdom (22 Sept 2004)
Book 4: Courtney Crumin's Monstrous Holiday (31 March 2009)

Blurb:

Courtney's parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She's not only the new kid in school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed.

___________________

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things was a fast, interesting and entertaining read. This edition in particular contains the four individual issues of the comic and is the first of four volumes.

The narration is a combination of Courtneys inner thinking processes and a goblin called Butterworth who lives in the woods and feeds on human flesh.

If you’re into dark, eerie graphic novels you might enjoy this one. The artwork works well with the story giving it a dark and gothic feel.

I enjoyed it, although I wasn’t blown away by it. I will be definitely reading the rest of the series since I found Courtney’s little adventures entertaining.

Challenge(s): 2012 Ebook Challenge

Source: ARC Review Copy by NetGalley.

Τρίτη, 28 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Dystopian February Coming to An End

I was introduced to “Dystopian February” by Lenore at Presenting Lenore. I decided to participate in my own little way by reading mostly dystopian YA books this month. This gave me the opportunity to read some very awesome books, some of which I fell in love with. I think it’s safe to say that after a month of reading mostly dystopian novels, I have grown fonder of this genre; perhaps I can even say that it’s become one of my favorite genres.

The end of February is coming and so I plan to read some of the books I wanted so bad to read in February but didn’t because I wanted to dedicate that month to Dystopian YA novels. 

In all, it was a very fun month with some very great books.

Here are all the dystopian books I read this month:
 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi   [Goodreads]   [my review]
Cinder by Marissa Meyer   [Goodreads]   [my review]
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi   [Goodreads]   [my review]
Angelfall by Susan Ee   [Goodreads]   [my review]
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting   [Goodreads]   [my review]

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Publication Date: 15 Nov 2011
Series or Standalon: Series
ISBN-13: 9781442422018
Format: eBook
Pages: 323
Websites:
Kimberly Derting - Official Site
Kimberly Derting - Blog
Kimberly Derting - Twitter
Kimberly Derting - Goodreads


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The Pledge Series Order:
Book 1: The Pledge
Book 2: Untitled (~ 29 Jan 2013)
Book 3: Untitled

Blurb:

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

_______________________

 
The Pledge, though being a dystopian, felt more like a fantasy novel to me, what with all the magic and ancient queens. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since I also like fantasy. But, unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed by the end to find that the story and its characters felt completely flat for me.

For one thing, the dialogues and plot seemed a little forced and unnatural. Things were happening too abrupt, and there wasn’t always very much reasoning behind the characters actions. Also, there were some quick changes from one scene to the other, especially towards the end where everything seemed to be happening too fast. There was too much, too soon, without enough time to really grasp what was going on.

Furthermore, I never really grew a liking towards the characters because they didn’t have much depth. They seemed flat and superficial. I couldn’t bring myself to really care for any of them. The love interest between Charlie and Max was yet another thing I just didn’t get. I couldn’t feel the chemistry between them and their feelings were underdeveloped and, again, forced. 

A plus, are the unpredictable twists in the plot. There were a few things that I really did not see coming and they did take me by surprise. And Kimberly Derting leaves some hints which you are only able to pick up on when you read it again, after knowing all there is to know. I always find this aspect cool in books and movies.

The concept was an interesting one and the The Pledge ends without a cliffhanger (which is good), but I don’t think I will be continuing with the rest of the books in the series because I lost my interest somewhere on the way.

Challenge(s): 2012 eBook Challenge

Source: Purchased from Barnes&Noble

Δευτέρα, 27 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Teaser Tuesday (1)



Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. This is what you have to do:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



The Pledge (The Pledge, Book 1) by Kimberly Derting


I still remember that night, when I was only Angelina's age. The night the man had banged on our door, demanding to speak to my father and refusing to go away without answers. 

Page: 60

In My Mailbox (1)


In My Mailbox is a meme started by Kristi over at The Story Siren. I'll be doing it weekly, posting every Monday about the books i purchased, won or received in any other way.




Purchased:



Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) by Susan Ee

[add on Goodreads]

[my review]

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars





The Pledge (The Pledge, Book 1) by Kimberly Derting

[add on Goodreads]









Won:


The Truth About Us by Dalene Flannigan

[add on Goodreads]

I won this from a giveaway held by Sarah @ Workday Reads
Thank you Sarah :)






Received for Review:


Erebos by Ursula Pozanski

[add to Goodreads]









Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things (Vol. 1) by Ted Naifeh

[add on Goodreads]









Halflings (Halflings, Book 1) by Heather Burch

[add on Goodreads]









Replication: The Jason Experiment by Jill Williamson

[add on Goodreads]

Παρασκευή, 24 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Friday Fill-Ins (1)

Friday Fill-Ins is a meme by Janet at Friday Fill-Ins. Basically, she creates a different template every week and you fill in the blanks. I find it very inspirational. Here are my Fill-Ins for this Friday:




1. Finally, I will be going back to college and back to my house (i was on vacation at my parents).

2. Working out sure takes some getting used to!

3. Dad says: eat your food.

4. Bina is my favorite nick name for my friend Labrina.

5. It took a long time, but I finally persuaded myself to start going to the gym.

6. My cat is always making a mess though I wouldn't have it any other way.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to bathing my cat and chilling at home, tomorrow my plans include cleaning the house and seeing my friends and Sunday, I want to read all day long!

Πέμπτη, 23 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Publisher: Feral Dream
Publication Date: 21 May 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN-13: 2940012975348
Format: eBook
Pages: 255
Websites:
 Susan Ee - Official Site
Susan Ee - Twitter
Susan Ee - Goodreads


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Penryn & the End of Days Series Order:
Book 1: Angelfall
Book 2: Untitled (~Summer 2012)
Book 3: Untitled
Book 4: Untitled
Book 5: Untitled

Overview:

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

______________________
 
Angelfall… wow… I feel like I literally don’t have the words to express how awesome, how amazing, how much I loved this book. To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect it to affect me this much but those are always the most pleasant surprises, when you find a gem where you least expect it. I don’t usually read self-published books, I usually don’t even have time to read most of the books I want and intend to read but I saw a review by Irish at Ticket ToAnywhere and she persuaded me to give it a try, the ebook was only $0.99 at Barnes & Noble anyway. Best $0.99 ever spent.

I loved the characters, especially Penryn. She had such a strong female leading role. She was street-smart, ready to fight and survive in a lawless and destroyed world. She cared for her family and she was loyal to them right to the very end and she always followed her instincts when she found herself in a dangerous and difficult situation.

The plot was full of twists and never once were they predictable. I was sucked into the story, literally forgetting anything going on around me from the very beginning, from the very first page. And I loooooved that opening line “Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious”. There something about it that just caught my attention right away and enchanted me.

Another thing that caught my attention was how action-packed it was. My heart was beating fast and adrenaline was pumping through me for the most part. I finished it last night at 3 am because I couldn’t stop until I found out what happened and when I woke up this morning and I was surprised to see there were still remains of my feelings from last night. I am desperate to see what happens next.

There were a few questions that I would like answers to, for example, why did her father leave them? I can’t express any of my other questions without spoilers so I’ll just keep them to myself. Perhaps they will be answered in book 2 (I’m pretty sure the questions I can’t express because of spoilers will be answered in book 2).

I feel like I want to find Susan Ee and just rave about how awesome Angelfall was. I might do that through her blog. I love love loved this book, I had no difficulty putting it on my “favorites” shelf and I can’t wait to read the next one. I still feel like I haven’t justified this book enough but I also feel like I never could no matter what I say because I’m at a loss of words because of how awesome it is.

Challenge(s): 2012 eBook Challenge

Δευτέρα, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 15 Nov 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN-13: 9780062085481
Format: eBook
Pages: 338
Websites:
Tahereh Mafi - Official Site
Tahereh Mafi - Blog
Tahereh Mafi - Twitter
Tahereh Mafi - Goodreads


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Shatter Me Series Order:
Book 1: Shatter Me
Book 2: Unravel me (~5 Feb 2013)
Book 3: Untitled (~ Nov 2013)

 Overview:

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

__________________

So much hype surrounded this book and the description was so promising but there was something that just didn't work for me.

Tahereh Mafi has a rare talent with words and there were many beautiful expressions and images in Shatter Me. As well as some very sexy scenes in the shower *wink wink*.

The characters felt a little distant to me, I couldn't really relate to any of them. Juliette was portrayed as a tough girl in the beginning, but she did not live up to that characterization. There came a point in the book where she would cry in every single chapter. Not only that, but she was always trembling, shivering and wobbling. It became so frustrating. She definitely did not seem like a tough girl to me.

Adam...well, i don't know. He was nice but again I couldn't really "feel" him. I couldn't see him as a real person. I had the same problems with Warner. And there is this other person who enters the picture later on in the book (I don't want to spoil anything so I won't reveal a name) who presents such a poor and underdeveloped story that screams out that it's false. However, he manages to get everyone to do exactly what he wants. Everything just seemed so convenient in this book.

I wanted to like Shatter Me becasue the story was very interesting and promising, because the writing was so beautiful and so unexpectedly out-worldly and because I was so excited to finally start reading it. I kind of lost my excitement somewhere on the way.

I gave it 3 stars because of the writing. Tahereh Mafi really has a natural talent when it comes to words. I would love to see more of her work, perhaps something other than Shatter Me becasue her writing really impressed me. But who knows, she might pleasantly surprise me in Unravel Me.

Challenge(s): 2012 eBook Challenge

Πέμπτη, 16 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Publication Date: 3 Jan 2012
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN-13: 9780312641894
Format: eBook
Pages: 387
Websites:
Marissa Meyer - Blog
Marissa Meyer - Twitter
Marissa Meyer - Goodreads

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Lunar Chronicles Series Order:
Book 1: Cinder
Book 2: Scarlet (~2013)
Book 3: Cress (~2014)
Book 4: Winter (~2015)

Overview:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
_____________________

 This book was not what I expected. It surprised me in a good way. At first, when I read that it was a retelling of Cinderella, I was troubled because I feared that the storyline would be predictable (which it kind of was) but in the end it all worked out and not only did it not bother me, I ended up falling in love with it.

I really enjoyed Cinder's character as well and I admired her patience since patience is something I lack, especially when I'm angry or feel like someone is being unjust which was often the case with Cinder. Although, at times I felt that she put up with more than she had to, perhaps she could have been a bit more rebellious.

I also liked Prince Kai very much even though he sometimes seemed too nice, too good to be true but isn't that sometimes one of the reasons why we read books? So what if people like Kai are so rare today in real life? It doesn't hurt to swoon over a handsome prince Charming every now and then.

I absolutely hated Adri (Cinder's stepmother), Pearl (Cinder's stepsister) and Queen Levana. Especially Adri and Pearl becasue they were more present from the beginning of the book, whereas the Lunar Queen comes into the picture much later.

Furthermore, this nook also affected me emotionally, mostly when Adri and Pearl were involved. Injustice is a topic that has always greatly affected me personally, in fact it can sometimes even make me see red from anger. So when these two witches were accusing Cinder of certain things or calling her certain things I could feel Cinder's anger channeling through me. It literally made me want to groan in frustration.

Finally, i can't go without saying how much i LOVED how the book ended and by saying that I don't mean the ending itself, but the words used, those last paragraphs. I thing they were very effective.

From what I've found, this is a book you either love or hate and i loved it.

Κυριακή, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Publication Date: 1 July 2009 (first published in 1945)
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN-13: 9780141190266
Format: Paperback
Pages: 92
Websites:
Tennessee Williams - Official Site
Tennessee Williams - Goodreads


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Abandoned by her husband, Amanda Wingfield comforts herself with recollections of her earlier, more gracious life in Blue Mountain when she was pursued by 'gentlemen callers'. Her son Tom, a poet with a job in a warehouse, longs for adventure and escape from his mother's suffocating embrace, while Laura, her shy crippled daughter, has her glass menagerie and her memories. Amanda is desperate to find her daughter a husband, but when the long-awaited gentleman caller does arrive, Laura's romantic illusions are crushed. The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee William's evocation of loneliness and lost love, is one of his most powerful and moving plays.

________________________

The Glass Menagerie was a very gentle, beautiful story. Beautiful is exactly the word I would use to describe it because it was so so sweet. Laura was especially sweet. Although I did find her shyness a bit too extreme at times, I still appreciated the gentleness and tenderness with which she cared for her glass animals and the love with which she looks at her family and the world around her. Despite her being 24 years old, in my mind I would picture her as a very young, innocent, shy and beautiful little girl, not older than 20.


Something else I have to comment on is the plot twist at the end. I did not see it coming and I was shocked with what was revealed. While reading the scene I felt so happy and hopeful for Laura that I was smiling and suddenly i was like "what? what? WHAT?". To quote Amanda (Laura's mother) "Things have a way of turning out so badly" and may I add so unexpectedly.

Πέμπτη, 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 3 Jan 2012
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN-13: 9780062072030
Format: eBook
Pages: 374
Websites:
Veronica Rossi - Official Site
Veronica Rossi - Blog
Veronica Rossi - Twitter
Veronica Rossi - Goodreads


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Under the Never Sky Series Order:
Book 1: Under the Never Sky
Book 2: Through the Ever Night (~2013)

Overview:

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

_____________________________
Very interesting! Just as promised. The plot was capturing and fast-paced, the characters were likable and realistic and the writing was beautiful. I enjoyed the plot twists, i must say i did not see them coming and i just fell in love with the characters. Although Perry's and Aria's love did seem to abruptly start out of the blue but it didn't really bother me because everything else made up for it.

The ending did leave me wanting more. It was a bit abrupt for me, i think i would like to hear a little more of the final scene.. if you've read the book then i think you know what i mean *wink wink*.

I can't wait for the sequel. I want to find out more about some of the characters and also what's going to happen next. Through the Ever Night doesn't come out soon enough.

Κυριακή, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Monthly Monday (1): January

Monthly Monday is a meme I decided to start because most memes I found were about "what I will be doing this week or month" and I needed "what I did this month". Also, I didn't want to limit myself to books; I wanted the freedom to write about everything I read and saw that month (be it film or book). So that is how Monthly Monday started forming in my mind. I will be posting on the first Monday of every month and talking about everything i read or saw the month that passed.
I hope you enjoy and feel free to join :)

Books:



Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series, Book 1)
by Laini Taylor

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

[Goodreads]

[my review]






To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars






Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

[Goodreads]

[my review]





Films/Movies:



Friends With Benefits (2011)
It was a fun comedy. Very light, nothing serious. Of course, the story was not very original and it was pretty predictable... just saying

[IMDb]








To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
There were many parts of the book that were left out, but then again, not everything can fit into a movie. I did enjoy it and certainly do recommend it.









Human Trafficking (2005)
This was a movie i remember my parents watching on TV a few years ago. I finally saw the whole movie and wow.. i mean it's so scary that such a thing really exists and that it isn't really as rare as we'd expect it to be.








Taken (2008)
I saw this right after watching Human Trafficking becasue it also deals with human trafficking. Both movies i recommend, they are very good and handle the subject with the seriousness it deserves.








Osama (2003)
This was part of our English assignment at college. This is NOT a light movie, it is VERY heavy and if you watch it i am almost CERTAIN that it will affect you some way.








Pan's Labyrinth (2005)
My friend made me watch this because she said it was her favorite movie. At first i didn't really know what to expect because she hadn't prepared me, i thought it would be a child's tale, something light but touching. It WASN'T light and it was VERY touching. Now it's also one of my favorites.

Τετάρτη, 1 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

Cracked by K. M. Walton


Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 3 Jan 2012
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN-13: 9781442434424
Format: eBook
Pages: 311
Websites:
K. M. Walton - Official Site
K. M. Walton - Blog
K. M. Walton - Twitter
K. M. Walton - Goodreads

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Sometimes there's no easy way out.

Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.

Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.

When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better….

____________________
I LOVED this book. Absolutely loved it! It dealt with suicide and troubled teens, messed up families and pain. It did touch me on a personal level, it did make me cry but it also made me smile and feel hopeful for these two boys.

I liked how in the end Walton shows us what has happened and what has changed for Victor and William 4 months after their incidents. It is clear that the psych ward in which they had to spend 5 days proved to be a life-changing experience for them.

Also, this book just seemed so real. It was simple an a good way. The characters and situations presented were all realistic and believable. The main characters were extremely likeable and I desperately wanted to hug them and be their friend the whole time. Yes, I even wanted to hug the bully becasue it wasn't his fault he never knew love and violence was all he was ever taught.