Unearthly (Unearthly #1)

UnearthlyUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

It's been 2 days since I finished the book and I haven't written a review earlier because I couldn't make up my mine whether to give it 3 or 4 stars. So I settled for the half star.

Unearthly is the story of Clara, a 17 year old quarter-angel girl. That is, she is the daughter of a half-angel, a Nephilim, who then married a human and procreated an (actually two, Clara has a brother Jeffrey) offspring with one quarter angel blood. In this reality where angels exist, their scope in life is to fulfill a purpose, a task which is given to them in order to... well, we actually don't really know WHY there is a task and what happens if one does not complete it. Clara gets her purpose by means of a vision and she and her family set off to Wyoming to look for this boy, Christian, who Clara sees in her vision and that she apparently has to save from a fire.

There were quite a few things that I liked about this book. It deals with a completely unoriginal theme in YA - angels and fallen angels -  in a fairly original way. Clara is a regular teenager, quite unaware of being an angel until she reaches her teen years and this mysterious purpose was quite interesting. No guardian angels but one-time tasks which hold the meaning of your existence in one single act.
Unfortunately though, the lack of information about this whole purpose managed to mildly irritate me. What happens once you complete your task? You retire? You get to live a normal life as an undercover superhero and you get to keep your wings and fly to work? Are angels mortal or immortal? Clara's mother is more than a century old, yet Clara says more than once that, under certain circumstances, she can die.

What I really liked about this book were the writing style - which was smooth, with nice, snarky dialogues -  and characterization. In my opinion, these are the two strong points about of this book, so much so that I think I would have liked even more if Cynthia Hand had written something WITHOUT the paranormal element. A plain YA book, to be clear.
Of all the characters, I particularly liked Clara's mom and Tucker. I know, I know, Tucker is Mr. Perfect, but still. I would have given my right arm to have such a cowboy as a 17th birthday present, thank you very much. I would have loved to be in Clara's shoes for the summer, hiking around, fishing and picking huckleberries with Tucker in the woods. And thanks to Hand's writing style the scenery is stunning, I really could picture it all. Leave broody Christian in New York, who cares? I cheer for the hottie with the cowboy hat.

The relationship between Clara and her mom felt real. For once, we get a parent who's there for her kids, mysterious as she might be. Much is left undisclosed about Clara's mother but I am sure everything will come out in the sequels. Why is she so secretive about her own purpose? Why is she telling Clara NOTHING? Why is she always tired and does she really have a job with Apple in California? Even with all these questions hanging her character was well developed and likable.

So yeah, without getting into too much detail, I mainly liked the characters and the setting. As for the plot, even with no cliffhanger (thank god for small things) at the end, it still feels incomplete and with lots of loose ends. I am full of questions: what's the deal with Clara's father? Something is off there. What's the deal with Angela's trip to Italy? Why is the Italian lover (and once again I won't even start about the role of Italy in these paranormal books) mentioned and then never brought up again? Is Angela good or bad, since the whiteness of her wings is debated on more than once? What is the real deal with Christian?
I will be reading the next book for sure even though I'm really getting fed up with these series... I have to wait a YEAR now? I vote for more standalones.

View all my reviews

Eona: The Last Dragoneye

Eona: The Last Dragoneye (Eon, #2)Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you, like me, loved Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, you can't possibly miss this sequel in which the epic story of The Empire of Celestial Dragons comes to a conclusion. - and YES! only two books, isn't it one more reason to read them?
On the GR synopsis up there it says this is a standalone but don't believe that, you can't possibly enjoy this book without all the background information from Eon.

I enjoyed this much more than the first one, many of the things that stressed me out in Eon were already taken care of in Eona.
First of all, the consistent amount of information about the world-building that I had to take in for this story, had already been digested: background info, protagonists' characterization, settings and so on and so forth. I was more relaxed and didn't have to pay as much attention as in Eon, where I had to build my knowledge of this world - which is quite articulated, believe me - from scratch.

Second, I was already acquainted with Eona. And since I don't like her, I knew pretty much that, as she had annoyed me before, she would annoy me in this book as well. She didn't disappoint. It is actually pretty amazing that I CAN like a story where I totally despise its main character. Well, maybe not TOTALLY but, in many instances, especially in Eon, I thought Eona was bordering on Too Stupid To Live. She sure was dense. In this one, she is still being a coward and a liar and, while being caught up in a love triangle where she shamelessly makes out with both other factors in the equation, she also acquires instant wisdom and is made the new Emperor's Naiso, responsible for advising His Majesty and being his truth bringer. Are you f***ing kidding me?
But, since I already knew her, I didn't spend my time wanting to throttle her and she was almost completely consistent with the person she was in Eon. I say almost because I was a bit disturbed by the sudden outbreak of hormones which took over her sanity after she "became" a woman. First she was a boy, then she was a nympho. Ok, I am exaggerating here but you get my point. Since she gets discovered, there is no more Eon, her past five years as a man are forgotten, if not for her outspokenness. Is this possible?
Dela, while acting as a man for the whole book, is still a woman inside, is always referred to as a "she" and I liked how Goodman kept the intrinsc difference in the Contraire. Actually, maybe I should quote:

"her head turned, stubbled cheek brushing mine."

Ok, this sentence sounds SO wrong. I laughed 15 minutes. But I digress.

***Spoilers ahead!!!****

The character that really came out and that I liked the most is certainly Ido. While Kygo is a pompous, childish, spoilt kid - true, he IS the Emperor but does he have to act all the time like everything is due to him? Eona included, I mean and I am still pretty frustrated that at the end their relationship isn't made crystal clear: yes, they love each other but she is not royal. Will she have to be his concubine while he gets a wife? - Ido is the MAN in this. Consistent with his role in Eon he is a sly, snarky, handsome, cunning son of a b*itch with his own agenda. I loved the villain! and him being so intelligent, I can't believe he died that way at the end...mh...

So truly, this book was stunning. The storytelling is superb, the plot is intricate with twists and turns that will keep you glued to the pages, the pace is breathless and the battles epic.
There is also a lot of violence and gore and they're very visual, so be warned: not for the squeamish.

I have just one last complaint. While the cover of Eon was simply gorgeous, this one I didn't like much. What's with the skinsuit? Eona could't possibly have worn that.
And most importantly: what's with the blue eyed, Caucasian Eona?

I hope Alison Goodman is planning to keep on writing fantasy so detailed, well plotted and original because if so, I am going to buy each and every of her books. For lovers of Eragon, you will be blown away by this.

View all my reviews

The Piper's Son

The Piper's SonThe Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow. My heart must be made of stone to give this book three stars.

Five years have passed since the days of Saving Francesca and Tom Mackee is a total mess. He's lost it all: dropped out of school, lost Tara Finke's heart, lost his uncle in a terrorist attack in London, lost all trust in his alcoholic's father, lost him mom and sister who moved to Brisbane and lost his mind getting high on various substances. He's lost his friends too, Francesca, Justine, Siobhan, Tara, Jimmy. Actually, he dumped them. Also... well, the story is pretty complicated and it involves all of his quite dysfunctional family, especially his father and aunt whose lives have changed after losing their brother and who need saving just as much as Tom. This is a book about redemption and how, after touching the bottom and even digging a little bit, it is through love that people can find and hope and trust in themselves to resurface.

The truth is, after reading Saving Francesca only a few days ago and knowing this book features the same set of characters, I was fairly sure it would be along the lines of the other book, with the same tenor.
I was very wrong though, this book is totally different from its companion which really, if you think about it, stands to reason, considering Francesca and Tom are two different people with different lives and therefore their stories are told with different voices.

Marchetta is, truly, a perfect observer of human emotions. She nails them down and describes them with a sharpness and simplicity that unsettle me . When I read some of the sentences all I could think was: Why didn't I think of this before? Some of my favorites:

"Come and have something to eat," he says quietly to Georgie. Tom notices that he does that a lot. Speaks quietly. It's almost as if Sam believes that if he raises his voice, she'll notice he's around and then she'll remember the past and tell him to get lost. So, these days, Sam speaks quietly.

It's the joy of smoking for him. Isolation doesn't have to be explained when you're leaning against a brick wall with a cigarette in your hand. Rolling your own is better. It takes more time, and Tom has all the time to spare.

Truly, this book is heartbreaking and so real, it makes me totally jealous of Tom because, even if his life is pretty messy and with his family with complications, I wish I had friends like his. True ones, who don't ask for anything back and see right through you.

So why the three stars?

Well, my first problem with the book came right at the beginning, when most characters are introduced. The more I kept reading, more names appeared, the more I got confused as to how the MacKee-Finch family was composed. I was even tempted to draw a kind of genealogical tree to figure out the details. Plus, I don't know if it was only me, but sometimes there were scene or dialogues where Marchetta indicates "his father" and in the room there are Tom, Bill and Dom and I couldn't really figure out who the author was talking about. Plus there's TOM, DOM, TOM Finch senior who died in Vietnam... a bit confusing to me, it took me almost 80 pages to finally fix all characters in my mind.

My second problem had to do with the narrative technique. This 3rd person alternating POVs - Tom's and Georgie's - did not work well for me. I've come to the conclusion that there are a few authors whose 3rd person I don't like and I am afraid that Marchetta might be one of them. Both Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca were in the 1st person and I found them brilliant. In this book, some scenes fell flat, awkward and I'm pretty sure it was because of the 3rd person.

Talking about awkward, I come to the last problem I had with the book. Because, to me, there were some undeniably awkward parts. I'm thinking it might have to do with symbolism and I don't do well symbolism. There were at least three different occasions in which talk of a damn table came up. Now, I might be interested in knowing Dominic was making a table out of wood in order to accommodate the whole extended family but that they have to have a family dialogue three times about it and just to say it needs to be finished, felt just outright weird to me. Was it because it might be that they felt the need to reunite their broken family? Was the table meant to be the symbol of said reunited family?
And that wasn't the only case; I might understand the deep and gut-wrenching grief the characters felt for Joe, died in a Tube terrorist attack in London. I did not understand the weird parallel Joe's and Tom Finch's death had, Tom Finch being the father of Dominic and Georgie, who had fallen in Vietnam some 30 years earlier and that they barely remembered. The importance of bringing his bones back to Australia, not only for the family but for his fellow soldiers as well was just a mystery to me, not to be disrespectful. Again there might be a certain parallel here between their inability to bring back Joe and their grandfather standing as a symbol but...

So for me, there were the parts with the friends, Francesca, Justine and Ned and the story with Tara - and let's not forget Mohrin the Ignorer - which were highly enjoyable, intelligent, witty, laugh out loud parts. I mean,

"Last night", their mother explains to Anabel patiently, "Tom received a call from Tara saying she was flying into Sydney an hour before he's flying out to Hanoi. So they are going to miss seeing each other because Tara will be gone by the time Tom returns. And they really want to see each other."
He was very impressed by his mother's ability to articulate it. In his head it had been a mess of WHAT? WHY? WHAT DID I DO? SHIT. FUCK. WHAT THE HELL?

And then there were the parts which concerned the MacKee-Finch family and those were different and somehow more confusing and less enjoyable to me and definitely more depressing. The Marchetta I love is in the other parts, in the other books.

I'll see what happens with Looking for Alibrandi.

View all my reviews

Hard Bitten

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gosh, am I pissed with this book. Angry. Could I go back and choose I wouldn't even read it now. I would wait and pick it up together with Drink Deep in November.

Neill, you cannot possibly bore me for almost 200 pages and then drop the bomb 10 pages from the back cover. I feel betrayed and irritated because this screams very much like a mean marketing strategy. This isn't even a cliffhanger. This is what cliffhangers hang on. Do I make sense? Probably not.

You know, of the people who read this one, who is NOT going to buy Drink Deep? Nobody, that's who. Even me, who thought that 80 % of the book was boring. How can I leave it like that?

So, first part, as I said, was slow for me. Too much politics, too much investigation and detective story. I was not into the V intrigue and fairly pissed at the appearance of Claudius. CLAUDIUS? How original for a centuries-old, bad vampire coming from Europe. Charlaine Harris and Stephenie Meyer did not think of that before. I'm not saying that the plot wasn't interesting but it dragged on for tooo long. Where is my favorite character ever in this book? Where is Mallory??? We just see glimpses of her in this book and they're all pretty senseless, hinting at loose ends and future development.

Actually this is the book of loose ends, no closure whatsoever with anybody. "Unresolved" should be the title of this book. Except for one character, who I hope never to see again, the rest is all hanging in the air, waiting for next book to come out and give readers some peace of mind. This is maybe the reason Neill is coming out with two books this year. The risk of harassment and stalking would have been pretty high, had she left us with our mouths hanging open till next year.

Now about the final 10 pages. I knew a big jaw dropper was coming, impossible not to know with all the reviews out these days and Neill herself stating to trust her, that everything was planned. KNOWING a jaw-dropper was around the corner - even though, again, I did not expect it ten pages from end, you little sly, mean author - I had kind of guessed what that would be. The hints were there, Ethan was becoming too much Knight-in-a-shining-armor, he was groveling too much. Usually, when one of the characters, in a book where nothing interesting happens, says, "Rest assured, I will love you forever", that person has a good chance of dying. Plus, the whole Apex prophecy of the green eyes like Ethan but not quite like his did not leave much space to other options. Unless Merit was getting pregnant and, Bella-like, giving birth to little Ethans. Unlikely. Thank God.

Now, the question is: what's next? what will be the strategy, the loophole, that is going to solve the big mess the last pages left us in? Neill, you said everything is already planned, you better make it convincing for us, because fantasy has a limit as well and I don't want to waste my time waiting for a far-fetched lame excuse for a HEA.

So three stars and waiting for November.

View all my reviews

Where She Went

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)Where She Went by Gayle Forman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


While reading this book, I kept on thinking about Megan McCafferty. Huh? I know this doesn't make much sense, but really, this is how I wished Perfect Fifths had been written. Don't get me wrong, I loved Perfect Fifths, loved the 80 pages conversation, the haikus, the Barry Manilow karaoke that so many people despised.

I just wish this had been the style of that book too, so to close the story with a bang. Anyway.

This book takes place three years after the events of If I Stay. Mia has left for Juilliard and left Adam, almost without a word, never coming back. He's become a rock star, gone on with his life and his music but he's wounded. Mia's left a terrible void, too many things unexplained.

Until, in New York for some interviews before leaving for a long and stressful European tour, Adam meets Mia for one more night and the dam of emotions choking inside him finally breaks, yearning for closure.

What an emotional, intense read. I was a wreck yesterday after finishing it. I read the last 40 or so pages twice because I'd rushed through them the first time. Needless to say, I loved it. There are not many authors nowadays that manage, with their words, exploiting the power of my imagination, to make a mess of me. I'm tough. So, kudos to Gayle Forman for achieving that.

While If I Stay was told from the point of view of a comatose Mia, Where She Went is told from Adam's POV. Adam is such a wounded, broken, lost person it hurt just thinking to be him. True, the real victim of that terrible accident was Mia. She lost her parents, her brother, her life as she knew it. But how would it feel to see the person you loved more than anything, that you tried to help recover from a terrible trauma, that you basically annihilated yourself for, reject you and walk away without even a glance? How do you pick up the pieces of what is left? Forman did a great job in characterizing a truly broken heart, because that is what Adam is, his heart is broken and Mia left with a piece of it.

I had conflicting emotions about Mia for a good part of the book. Just like Adam, I couldn't understand her cruelty. What happened to her was certainly life-changing and awful, but it does not forgive her behavior. She complains a lot about people giving her free passes out of pity, but that's exactly what she asks of Adam, who has to let her walk away to put together the pieces of her life by herself. The impression she left on me in this book is of a person who has to have it her way: her difficulty with Adam's gigs, her refusal to go camping because "I sleep in a bed", her ultimatum to Kim not go to school near her, speak of a difficult person. While Adam's love and dedication for Mia transpired from every single page of this book, I found myself wondering if the love she felt for Adam was as strong and as genuine as his. At times, I really thought she didn't deserve this guy.

But ultimately, the truth is I can't really judge Mia because what do I know about losing a family in the span of a few hours? What do I know about undergoing endless surgeries and running a risk of brain damage? What do I know about post traumatic stress disorder? It's difficult to say how one would react in such a situation and so, yet again, Mia gets a free pass. From me, too.

A book about love everybody should read.

View all my reviews

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will GraysonWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm kind of ashamed to give this book such a poor rating because, clearly, everybody else liked it. I wouldn't even have given it 2 stars if not for the fact that it made laugh a couple of times.
I think this book is SO not for me.
First off, I'm not quite sure why it's called Will Grayson, Will Grayson because, clearly again, this book is not about either Wills. It's about Tiny Cooper, a humongous, self-centered, selfish, loud and super clich├ęd gay guy. This guy is so self-centered that the plot of the book is basically about him staging a musical about himself. WTF? I thought it would be more about the two Graysons, interacting with each other but they are actually connected only through Tiny.
And, truth be said, I didn't like either of them. Will #1 (Green's) is a nerdy straight guy whose two main rules in life are: 1) don't care; and 2) shut up. I couldn't empathize. He's passive, subject to Tiny's whims and still he loves him. His romance with Jane felt contrived and popped out all of a sudden.
Will #2 (Levithan's) is even worse. He's gay, emo, chronically depressed, tormented by his parent's divorce and perpetually in a bad mood. He's kind of the worst case scenario for a teenager.
Both Wills ramble a lot, there's a lot of IM in the book and weird pointless conversations. Even the whole musical scene at the end was just plain silly. I don't really know who would care about a musical about Tiny Cooper's gay love life. I wouldn't and didn't. I kept thinking: maybe there's some weird symbolism I'm not getting here? I have no clue, I felt this book to be surreal at times. AND I don't really see how Will #2 managed to make other people with the same name go to a stupid musical in a couple of hours. Why would THEY care?

So, again, it might be this book might be better appreciated by real teenagers - not teen at heart like me -but truly, if not for some rather startlingly genius  passages like this:

"you know, how people say it's good luck if a bird shits on you? and people believe it! i just want to grab them and say, 'dude, don't you realize this whole superstition was made up because no one could think of anything else good to say to a person who'd just been shit upon?"

or this:

<3. you think that looks like  heart? if you do, it's only because you've never seen a scrotum.
(rofl? what? are you really rolling on the floor laughing? well, please stay down there a sec while I KICK YOUR ASS.)

this would book would have not got even that extra star from me. But, obviously, it must be me because check out the awards it got!
Sorry, Green and Levithan, you're just not my cup of tea.

View all my reviews


Shade (Shade, #1)Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I have this huge Post-it note I made on my computer with all the things that are wrong with this book. In fact, I pretty much hated it up to 3/4 of it. Now I find myself at a total loss for words, because, incredibly, I realized I actually liked it.

Shade is set in a world where ghosts can be seen walking around. Not by everyone, though. Only by people born after the Shift, a date when unexplainably something changed in the cosmic order of things and newborns start to acquire this terrible ability.

Aura is 16, she is born on the day of the Shift and has a side-job as a translator for ghosts in court cases. One horrible day, her boyfriend Logan, a pre-shifter musician on the verge of stardom, suddenly dies and the life she knew starts to crumble to pieces, revealing a series of mysteries that are destined to change her life for good.

I chose to read Shade because the ratings were pretty high and the reviews extremely good but, as I started it, I was immediately annoyed:

- new mysterious guy in school? Check.

- heroine with paranormal abilities? Check.

- love triangle (though with a ghost)? Check.

- science project? Bloody check.

Yes, another of THOSE books.

Furthermore, I thought the ghost thing going SHADE was a bit lame. FYI, a ghost goes shade when he becomes bitter and can't solve things he left unresolved in life and, apparently, makes post-shifters pass out and go out of their mind. Shades are captured by the shady (HA!) ghost police by means of a magic medallion and trapped, ghostbuster-like, in a little black box. If you don't want a ghost to haunt you in your bathroom while you're sitting in the toilet, you have to line it with obsidian. Mh....

My main problem with this book is that I had a hard time liking Aura. When Logan dies, she seems to get over it very quickly, thinking too soon about Zachary. It made me want to strangle her. Your boyfriend dies, for god's sake, where is the grief, the mourning?? I just kept thinking what a selfish b!tch she was, feeling attracted to Zachary and drawing star charts with him mere days after Logan's death. Unreal. Now, not liking your main character is not exactly a good sign in a book.

But then, as I read on, I started to realize that I actually like the rather darker nuance that this book has: there's drugs, there's drinking, not everything is perfect in these guys lives and I felt more and more connected to the characters. It felt a bit more like my teenage years, rather than the usual loveatfirstsight, illloveyouforeverandever routine.

Thankfully there's quite a bit of character development also on Aura's side and I gradually started to rethink my opinion on her, even though I am still not completely convinced. I'm leaving her with the benefit of doubt for further developments.

There are quite a few threads left unsolved in this book, the mysteries surrounding Aura and Zachary's births are still pretty much undisclosed and so is Logan's role in the matter but I really think I'll pick up the next book in this series.

For me it wasn't bad at all, oscillating between a 1 and 2 stars for the first part but a solid 4 stars as the story developed. So I'm giving it a 3 and I hope that, from here on, the story will only get better. Second installment Shift came out this month. Give it a try.

View all my reviews

Beyond the Highland Mist

Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, #1)Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What did I think? I thought thank god I read the Fever series before this or I would have never picked it up and would have mocked anyone who recommended it to me.
There isn't much to say about this book except the fact that this is not the Karen Marie Moning I am used to. Yet, some things have actually acquired a certain clarity; she is certainly a veteran in writing hot steamy sex scenes and the Highlander series has been, for all intents and purposes, her training camp, leading to the Fever series.

I decided to read these books - yes, I was planning to read the whole thing - to fill in the gaps that Shadowfever left me with. Who is Adam Black? Where do the MacKeltars come from and what is their story?
I knew this was much more on the paranormal romance side, yet I did not expect it to be bordering on erotica.

Let me make an example taken right from page 1, the Prologue:

"They say his manhood at half-mast would make a stallion envious."

or imagine my shock when I read these words coming from the mysterious Adam Black's mouth (who is really none other than Puck/Robin Goodfellow, FYI), right on page 45:

"Is there a service I might perform for you, my fair queen? Perhaps you have something in need of a heated shaping and molding? Or perhaps I might reshape my steel lance in the heat of your forge, milady?"

From here on is an escalation of bodice ripping scenes and infuriating similies - woman/mare, woman/falcon to tame, woman/ whatever animal to mount comes to mind, and believe me, if I never hear the words silken nub or throbbing shaft ever again, it'll be too soon.

So yeah, this book was so not for me. I think I was hoping to find Jericho Barrons hidden somewhere in the pages, but alas, he appears to be unrepeatable.

View all my reviews

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye RebornEon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a distressing, distressing book.

My first reaction after reading the last page was DISSECTION. I wanted to put this book on my cutting board, nicely slice it into three neat parts, set aside the first and third parts which are keepers, chop the middle into tiny, tiny pieces and throw them to the pigeons who lurk outside in my gardern waiting for something to eat.
Ah, the frustration!

But let's start with what I found amazing. I fell in love with the world building. The Oriental setting is a total winner for me and I felt catapulted into this mix of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha kind of world. Lovely. I loved how the author used the dragon element in relation to the story. I am getting a bit weary of the whole Eragon's approach to dragons, so this new cut was really welcome. True, the world Goodman creates is pretty articulated and not really easy to digest at first but eventually I got used to it and I stopped asking myself questions on how the dragons' system worked.
Also, the whole transgender theme was appreciated, even though this brings me to the shredding of pages.

What really irked me, what frustrated me in the middle section, were the characters. No, scratch that. Just one. I could have strangled Eon on various occasions. Eon is, evidently, not the sharpest tool in the shed. The whole thing with the Sun drug and the ghost tea? I think 100% of readers realized what was wrong with it after about 100 pages. But Eon/a distressingly and quite stubbornly keeps on f*cking up for about another 350 pages. WTF??? I'm not sure she deserved what she got. If I had been her dragon, I would have incinerated her by page 200.

EVENTUALLY, she painstakingly realizes what had been clear to the whole wide world for a while but yeah, she's not the most likable of characters in my opinion - slow on the uptake, a coward and quite the liar. And with her behavior, she gets killed a few people and puts EVERYBODY in deep sh*t.

Still, great book, great story and hopefully Eon/a will redeem him/herself in the sequel that I already ordered.

View all my reviews

Just One of the Guys

Just One Of The GuysJust One Of The Guys by Kristan Higgins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chastity is a tall, big, healthy girl - a journalist, who comes back to her native town of Eaton Falls after a decade of studying and working in New York. She is also part of a big family of firefighters, the youngest sisters of four equally tall, big and healthy brothers. Chastity is ready to settle down, find a husband and start popping out some kids, but her rather domineering looks do not help in her quest. When she starts dating Ryan - a doctor, perfect husband material - she thinks she's found her perfect candidate, if not for the constant nagging thought in her mind of Trevor Meade, her childood friend and sweetheart, whom she's loved forever but doesn't seem to be interested in her romantically.
FOREWARNING: Unfortunately I am not going to do this book any justice. Fate has wanted me to pick this up mere days after having finished Bachelor Boys and they're too bloody similar in so many ways to be objective about it. I'll be honest and say I preferred Bachelor Boys because, aside from being simply chick lit, goes also a bit deeper into the dynamics of family, love and friendship.

Don't get me wrong, this is great chick lit. Of the laugh out loud kind. I really had a good time reading this book and never once I put it down groaning because of some dumb scene - well, except at the very end for the sappiness, but I do that with all books that feature said scenes. It was completely hilarious at times, I even kind of started picturing Katherine Heigl as Chastity, in one of those exhilarating chick flicks she does, like 27 dresses. The characters are really well developed and the dialogues are witty and fun.
The only thing that bothered me - as in Bachelor Boys, by the way - were the premises. The whole plot rotates around the fact that Chastity is desperately looking for a husband in order to reproduce because she is 31 and she feels it's about time.
This is a load of old, backward bullshit, sorry to say. I can't believe an emancipated woman with a master's degree in Journalism who's lived in the big city would actually think like that. And this coming from a stay at home mom with a degree in translation English/Russian. That would be me.

For this reason I had a few issues empathizing with Chastity at the beginning but, eventually, she came through, because she is extremely funny.

If you need to relax and have a good laugh, this is the book for you. I'll be certainly reading more of Kristan Higgins's books for therapeutic purposes.

View all my reviews

Saving Francesca

Saving FrancescaSaving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's not as if I didn't know that this book was good - it was made pretty clear to me not only by the awards it won but also by endless book recommendations and raving reviews from fellow Goodreaders. AND I actually should have expected it from first hand experience - I loved, loved, loved On the Jellicoe Road.

Still, I'm in awe. How does she do it? How does she take an utterly banal plot - it's the story of a teenage girl during her Junior year in high school and her struggles through social difficulties but, most importantly, through her mother's depression - and makes it a jewel of unforgettable friendships, familial love, pearls of wisdom, deep truths in life that just makes me want to highlight passages, read them countless times to memorize them and make them mine?

Well, it's easy to answer. Through vivid characterization, stunningly beautiful writing and witty amazing dialogues. I mean, the characters ARE truly amazing, every single one of them, down to Mr. Brolin. The story is touching, sad, intelligent, REAL.

As far as writing style is concerned I am going to put Marchetta up there, with Megan McCafferty and her Jessica Darling - which, by the way, kind of reminded me of Francesca at times - among my favorite writers.

The only little mole in this great texture of a book was the choice of surnames for some of the character. I´m Italian, you know. Why would you want to call your protagonist Francesca Spinelli? It means spliff, for god's sake. And Trombal has a suspicious assonance to the slang term for f*ck. Was it intentional?

I hope Australia will give us more of these fabulous writers it's nurturing lately because I am really impressed, not only by Marchetta who beats them all but also by Alison Goodman and Lucy Christopher. Fair dinkum!

View all my reviews

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...