Archive for the ‘1 Shuriken Star’ Category

Q & A (Slumdog Millionaire) – Vikas Swarup

Q & ABefore I start reviewing this properly I would just like to say that I am calling this a “half-review” because I only read around “half” of it :O.

I know.

I am ashamed of myself.

Only kidding.

While there are some people in this world who would yell out and look down on me for leaving a book unfinished, I really don’t give a damn. Unless it’s a good book and I didn’t have time to finish it because it was from the library.

But anyway, I just don’t really see the point of forcing yourself to read a bad book, its like you are eating a plate full of, lets say peas, and then while you are eating it you discover that the taste is peculiar and then when you inspect it further you realize that the peas are moldy- you wouldn’t then just carry on eating!

Summary
It is nothing like the movie. The main/ only similarity is the “Who want to be a millionaire” aspect of it and the “slumdog”. The rest is just different- from what I have read anyway. But because I never finished this book I’m just going to take the summary from goodreads because I would feel like I was deceiving you.

Vikas Swarup’s spectacular debut novel opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all twelve questions on India’s biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never read a newspaper or gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.
Ram takes us on an amazing review of his own history – from the day he was found as a baby in the clothes donation box of a Delhi church to his employment by a faded Bollywood star to his adventure with a security-crazed Australian army colonel to his career as an overly creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal.
Vikas Swarup’s Q & A is a beguiling blend of high comedy, drama, and romance that reveals how we know what we know – not just about trivia, but about life itself. Cutting across humanity in all its squalor and glory,Vikas Swarup presents a kaleidoscopic vision of the struggle between good and evil – and what happens when one boy has no other choice in life but to survive

Cons
The main character
I just didn’t connect with him. I really didn’t like him- he just annoyed me.

The writing styleSlumdog Millionaire
It seemed childish and just poorly written. I felt as if it were just dictating what was going on rather then actually showing or telling me the story. It seemed just emotionless and flat. However having said that I did like the way that he set out the story- how Thomas’ story isn’t told in order and how they did it per question. But that just added more to the disappointment because it had so much potential.

Unrealistic
There was just too many things that happened that would be too coincidental to have actually happened. Like how his best friend loved that actor dude and just so happened to meet him in some poor district’s movie place- because really what is the chance of a famous, rich actor going to slum districts to watch his own movies. And also going along the same scene. How stupid really is his friend?! A creepy, weird, strange “old man” joins the movie in the middle and out of the basically empty theatre decides to sit next to him. If anything like that happened to me I would be out and running before the creepy guy had a freaking chance to do anything.

Too many issues were crammed into this one book
Religion. Child abuse. Murder. Theft. Homophobia. Corruption. Torture. Bullying. Violence. Prostitution. Pedophilia.

Pros
The movie was good!

Favourite Quotes (NB these are just some of the quotes that I found on the internet which I liked because to be honest I don’t really remember reading any of them)

  • “Love doesn’t happen in an instant. It creeps up on you and then it turns your life upside down. It colors your waking moments, and fills your dreams. You begin to walk on air and see life in brilliant new shades. But it also brings with it a sweet agony, a delicious torture”
  • “The one conclusion I have reached is that whiskey is a great leveler. You might be a hotshot advertising executive or a lowly foundry worker, but if you cannot hold your drink, you are just a drunkard”
  • “That dreams have power only over your own mind. But with money you can have power over the minds of others”

Overall
So now I am faced with a dilemma. I loved the movie and out of loyalty for it I really want to give this book a good rating. But then on the other hand I basically hated the book because it was nothing like the movie. I think overall though as a “professional” *inset string of laughter and coughing here* book reviewer I am going to have to judge this book on itself only and not let other factors such as how awesome the movie was to influence me. So here it is. Drum roll please. . . . . . 1 shuriken star. 😦

Like all book review though this is my opinion and there are probably some people in this world who would love it and if you can cope with my list of cons as I could not- you may as well give the book a chance 🙂

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Requiem – Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3)Welcome to the third instalment of the Delirium Trilogy.

Here are the reviews for the first two books: Delirium & Pandemonium, which you can read if you want to, and not if you don’t want to. Whatever floats your boat.

If you like this series, please leave. You won’t want to hear this. I promise you. And trust me when I say that this review is the censored version.

By the way, there’s a load of spoilers here, so if you haven’t read it and don’t want to be spoiled, shoo! Go read it if you really want to (or again don’t, if you don’t want to).

Summary:

It’s a split narrative between Hana and Lena. Hana got cured but it didn’t work, and she’s engaged to this creep who she later lets her best friend assassinate. Lena leads Julian on while being in love with Alex and is horrible to everyone and the biggest ball of angst for someone with such a mild, uninteresting situation that is never really expanded upon.Then a bunch of people die who you don’t care about.

Pros

Cover

The UK cover is gorgeous. Look at it!

I read this book mainly for the cover, and the fact that I wanted some sense of closure which I never got.

Font

The chapter titles were in a really pretty font. They were all curly and long and swishy.

Lauren Oliver probably made a load of money off this

And that’s great for her. Congratulations for making lots of money and having a job you love. (And I realise this may sound sarcastic, but it isn’t. It’s more of a sorry I-hate-your-freaking-book-so-much-but-I’m-sure-you’re-a-lovely-person reassurance.)

The Ending Paragraph was Pretty

I absolutely hated the ending, but the narration was nice, and you shall see it in the first quote. Sometimes Lauren Oliver’s writing style really bothered me, but damn she can write. She should really try poetry, I think she’d be good at that. Less characters to screw up, more pretty words to use.

And that’s where the pros end.

Cons

I have so many cons that I can’t think of any specific order to put them in, and I’m pretty sure I can’t cover anything, but I’m going to give it a go. If you want to have a real experience of these cons, you can just read the book (and maybe you won’t think they’re cons, but I sure did).

Lena

Never Blamed for Anything

Let us recap on the story of Lena:

She and her best friend meet this guy, and she falls in love with him. She decides to rebel against the society which she grew up in even though it’s going to have devastating, horrible consequences for everyone else who isn’t her. Her entire family and her best friend are shamed for simply knowing her, and she never has to suffer from her rash choices. She abandons everyone who loves her just for one guy she barely knows, and expects THEM to apologise to HER.

For example, later, she has a conversation to Hana about how Hana sold her out, and she slaps her best friend across the face. Her best friend keeps apologising like Lena is this saint who never did anything wrong and Hana is the one who did the bad thing. But Lena LEFT Hana on her own to get cured, because Lena knew how terrible the cure was and how horrible and that was her excuse for leaving, she decided to get her best friend turned into a walking zombie. She PLANTED A BOMB in Hana’s house and didn’t get slapped. She is actively working against Hana’s entire life and is never blamed. Hana decides not to kill Lenaand treats her nicely, yet Lena is the one who is seen as nice in this situation, even though she is freaking horrible in this scene. Does she not feel the slightest bit bad about leaving her best friend in this horrible society which she is so adamantly against? Nope, apparently not. Because Lena is a terrible person.

There is an innocent, injured, traumatised girl who’s entire family and everyone she ever knew has just been brutally murdered. And Lena sees her have one chat to her ex-boyfriend who she broke up with and she tries to convince Raven to abandon this girl, who is homeless and completely helpless and nearly died. And still we like this character? I do not understand.

Always gets her Happy Ending

Yes, you can argue that lots of people die and have horrible stuff happen to them, and that Lena is affected by this, but is she really? The horrible stuff happens to everyone else, not to her. What’s the worst injury she gets in that last battle? her ear bleeds. That’s it. Raven dies in like two freaking sentences. Dani dies, though no one gives a crap about her. Pike dies, but again no one cares.

Lena gets her mum, her favourite cousin, her best friend AND her boyfriend without having to confront her actual boyfriend. She goes through NO hard situations that any other characters have to get through. She gets the easiest ride in this entire situation, others get slaughtered and go into battle that we conveniently get glossed over every time.

You know what happens in most books that make us care for other characters? They go through hard things to see a light at the end. They hit rock bottom and drag themselves back up, showing us they are as strong and determined and making us admire them. But Lena? She drifts on by all the horrible stuff, has one emotional cry-fest that lasts a sentence for no apparent reason other than she doesn’t want to visit Portland even though they have no other choice and she’s being selfish, and yet we’re supposed to admire her? No. Wrong.

Character Development

In my Pandemonium review, I said I wanted to see the transition between Lena in the “before” section, and in the “after” section, as they did not match up at all. Lena was still soft and pathetic in the “before” stories, but somehow cold and overly confident of herself in the “after” section, as though a few months had passed between these sections that we just hadn’t seen. Or the character development was incredibly stilted.

Lauren Oliver tried so hard to make Lena seem like a developed character to us readers. She made her shoot one gun, be present at a battle, save some girl’s life, like we’re supposed to think she’s essential to the rebellion, but Lena is nothing. Sure this character development would have made sense if the author was trying to show Lena still very vulnerable and weak, but no, Lena’s supposed to be a stone cold badass now, and she really wasn’t. For example:

Lena says, “I’ve lost things you can’t understand.”

That line is also used by the Doctor in Doctor Who, and let’s now see the difference between the usage of it (btw, I don’t know much about Doctor Who, since I’ve seen bits and pieces of it, but I know enough to know that Lena is talking crap).

The Doctor had to murder his entire race, including his family, his friends, and everyone he had ever loved. Over and over again he has watched people die for his cause, and yet he can do nothing to stop it, he just puts on a happy face and goes on helping people, even though he is constantly confronted by people who want to kill him, and spends his life saving planets that don’t know he exists. He has to watch his companions leave him over and over, and know each time that they’ll all die before he does.

Lena, on the other hand, ran away with her boyfriend, made friends with some rebels, and saw some people she barely knew, die.

The writing style is the type of soft, poetic writing riddled with too many similes and weird inner reflections. And I thought this airy, writing style worked for what the book was, which was a naive, uninteresting girl whose life is changed. But trying to make Lena cold and calculating with this writing style? They really don’t meld together at all.

No Interesting Personality Traits

You know those character forms you can get to plan an original character for your story? If you like writing, you have definitely heard of them, listing 50 different things you need to do to explore your character and really get to know them. If you tried filling one in for Lena, just for the things mentioned in this book, not the previous ones where she literally tells you what she likes and dislikes, I bet you most of it would be a blank piece of nothing. She has no character. She has nothing that defines her in any way.

Actually, no, let’s change that, she has two characteristics. She is naive and selfish as crap.

Her Relationship with Julian

You are now a guy with the best life ever, you have rich parents and you’re incredibly handsome. You get kidnapped. Sucks, right? But who cares, there’s this really hot girl stuck with you. You fall head over freaking heels in love with her, and you look at her naked, and you’re so in love with her that you give up everything you believe in, everything that defines who you are, just to run away with her.

Then her ex-boyfriend comes back, and you’re mega jealous of the guy because your girlfriend is obviously super duper in love with him. She leaves one night and confesses her undying love to her ex, and he straight up turns her down, so she runs back to you crying, the rebound, who she only is with to spite her former boyfriend, and you don’t get mad at her.

You comfort her.

And apparently this is normal, because Lauren Oliver never says what Julian does is bad for him, since it really is, still accepting your girlfriend even when she would gladly run of with her ex in an eye blink. The only reason she is still with you is to make him jealous, and get make out sessions on the side, and she still expects you to love her, even though she treats you like crap.

And you take it. You let her because you have no personality whatsoever, which means you do as much as a welcome mat.

That’s a toxic relationship right there.

Everyone likes Lena

If you don’t like Lena you are a character that will soon die. Remember that deal with everyone saying Julian was not part of the group because he used to support the cure? Well Lena did too, but no one ever makes fun of her. But Lauren Oliver never gives the reader any indication that Lena has now integrated into the society, it’s just… there.

Characters

My favourite character was Raven, and I didn’t even like her. That shows how much I cared for anyone in this book. When Raven died, I felt nothing. Not even a smidgen of emotion when Tack holds her dead body and whispers into her ear. Because we never see their relationship. You’d think in a 400 paged book we’d see one mention of their relationship that wasn’t a few lines of Lena telling us what happened.

If you read the dialogue with no mention of who was saying what, then I dare to to find who was talking. All of them have the exact same voice. I would have preferred clichés by this point, even though I really do hate clichés, but I prefer them over blank character slates. Pick a character from random and fill in one of those character forms. I dare you. See if you can get passed the first few lines.

Another way I found I could never empathise with these characters is that we are never shown the extent of their personality. We only see what they’re like when they’re annoyed (they all just say sh*t a lot, sometimes f*ck) or when they’re planning a plan (they’re all boring). We don’t see them in pure euphoria, sadness or anger. And if they have a spat, it is glossed over by a few lines of narration, instead of actually seeing the scene play out.

Lena’s big outbreak of emotion? A page. If you don’t count her making up with her mother. If you’re going to have your character breakdown, I want a chapter of it. I want to see it fully formed, because it is an important part of a story. But we are given no details of this breakdown other than a standard description of crying, which just sounds like what any crying feels like.

And the rest of the tension is no better. Pippa’s gang getting slaughtered? Recounted on it later. The bomb going off? Just mention it later. All the interactions were calm conversations with “tension”, and by that I mean “intense” glances and melodramatic statements.

The Love Triangle

I did not give two craps about the love triangle.

1. I did not care about any of the characters with blank personalities.
2. I did not care about any of the relationships because they were both initiated and carried out so badly that neither of them seemed like love. They seemed like creepy coaxing of naive people who didn’t know anything about love, and made me feel really uncomfortable. For example, Lena at the start was this naive girl following anything anyone told her about the society, meets Alex, he lures her into the world and because of her innocence and naivety, she believes him. And the exact same thing happens between Lena and Julian.
3. There was nothing compelling about the love triangle as it is very obvious that Lena likes Alex, and is only using Julian as a rebound. However we are somehow meant to feel conflict.
4. I hate love triangles with an absolute passion.
5. I did not understand why either of the guys actually liked Lena.
6. It seemed more like a plot device for one of the dullest books I’ve ever read, than for actual character development, as, you know, none of these characters actually develop.
7. Julian’s only purpose is to be part of the love triangle. Does he do anything else of importance? No. Which makes him a pretty worthless character.

Plot & Setting

One of the reasons I gave both Delirium and Pandemonium much higher ratings than this book will ever achieve, is because they were middle books. They had potential to grow. This world had potential to explode into awesome, as we have learned in every last book of a dystopian series, there is always some sort of war or battle at the end. And who knows, this battle between good and evil could have been epic.

It did not live up to my low expectations.

The main reason it seemed so pathetic to me is probably because I was not paying very much attention as I was so damn bored. But I don’t think they defeated the society. I can’t even remember the ending; what was going on or why they were taking a wall down. And they barely finished it. They barely said anything about what was actually happening because Lena saw Hana instead.

Another problem is that Lauren Oliver never takes advantage to show us anything that’s happening in this world, or the extent of this world. The problem with first person perspective is that we miss a large chunk of world building, however when Hana’s voice was introduced, I became interested in seeing more of the world. But of course Hana’s cure did not work and so we never get to see what it’s actually like to be cured, or what’s so bad about it. I really don’t see what’s so bad about getting paired up and cured, as Lauren Oliver constantly tells us it’s bad without ever showing us. We never see how bad the Wilds is, because Lena spends a lot more time talking about her love problems instead of the hardships. We never see any happy moments between them, no comradeship or friendship between any of these characters to give the Wilds any sort of personality.

And quite honestly, there were so many potential plot points that could have been so much better, and so easy to do, for example:

From Hana’s perspective, either make her cured or show people that have been cured with bad effects. Everyone that’s been cured seems pretty happy, whereas in the wilds everyone is really angsty.

Give Hana a better match. I’ve always preferred shades of grey (around fifty of them ;)) to black and white storytelling. The Wilds was good, and the Cure was bad. If we’d seen the cure actually in action, rather than the extreme of bad which was Hana’s situation, then we could have seen that even when Hana had the perfect life, the Cure was still faulted. Giving Hana the worst pairing possible gave the idea that in a good pairing, the Cure was awesome and everything went well.

When Cassandra was mentioned, I was convinced that she was going to be Raven (btw, I have not read the Raven short story, which is probably why). It would have been a good connection to make Hana find Lena and to get to know Raven’s backstory and why Raven got chosen to lead even though she’s so young. I suppose this was all covered in the short story, but as I hadn’t read it, I never felt a conclusion to Raven’s story through just the books alone. And I don’t think we should have to read companion books to feel the series is complete.

Even in a small scene, like Hana faking her ID with a photocopy, why does everything go smoothly? Storytelling grabs tension when something goes wrong, as iterated by the Dark Knight. People don’t panic when something goes according to plan, no matter how bad the plan is; if something goes wrong, if there’s chaos, that’s when people freak out. Get someone to squint closer at the picture, and Hana to leg it out of there. Get someone to recognise her going into crypts. Get Cassandra not to conveniently give all the answers.

The Ending

In an ending, I expect the author to wrap up all the loose ends, answer all the questions, and leave the characters at a summarised ending and reaching a conclusion where all the relationships are defined and their future is obvious. I know some people prefer open endings, but I absolutely hate them. The story never feels complete without a proper conclusion.

This is the laziest ending I’ve ever read. It didn’t even answer the love triangle, which was, unfortunately, the main focal point of the entire book. We don’t know if Lena survives. The next line could easily and realistically be: “And then I am shot in the head.” And now we’ll never know. This book really needed an epilogue, just to get a final resolution.

There’s probably some sort of conclusion in some short story somewhere, but I have no inclination or desire to read it. I am done with this series. I am finished and happy about it.

Quotes (because, admittedly, they’re really pretty. Even though the writing style completely uprooted the tone,  they are definitely much better without the plot dragging them down)

  • “Take down the walls.
    That is, after all, the whole point.
    You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don’t know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise or destruction.
    Take down the walls.
    Otherwise you must live closely, in fear, building barricades against the unknown, saying prayers against the darkness, speaking verse of terror and tightness.
    Otherwise you may never know hell; but you will not find heaven, either. You will not know fresh air and flying.
    All of you, wherever you are: in your spiny cities, or your one bump towns. Find it, the hard stuff, the links of metal and chink, the fragments of stone filling you stomach.
    And pull, and pull, and pull.
    I will make a pact with you: I will do it if you will do it, always and forever.
    Take down the walls.”
  • “This is what amazes me: that people are new every day. That they are never the same. You must always invent them, and they must always invent themselves, too.”
  • “Of course. That’s what people do in a disordered world, a world of freedom and choice: they leave when they want. They disappear, they come back, they leave again. And you are left to pick up the pieces on your own.”
  • “This is the past: It drifts, it gathers. If you are not careful, it will bury you.”

Overall

The aspects of Delirium and Pandemonium that I liked, I now disliked in Requiem. Lauren Oliver’s writing style, while pretty in short bursts, really needs to be used sparingly. The onslaught of this narration really is not suited to the third book of a dystopian trilogy, one that was intended to have action and suspense, but fell flat on it’s face. The characters were completely unlikeable, the setting was never fully fleshed out, and the plot was downright bad.

I think Lauren Oliver should stick to contemporary novels, or poetry. I think if she wrote light, romantic fluff with some philosophical reflection I would enjoy it a whole lot more than an attempt at action and adventure that fails at being interesting. (side note: I do own “Before I Fall”, which is supposed to be a whole lot better than Delirium, so we’ll see.)

It took me two weeks to read this, when usually a book takes a day or two. And I’ve been lazing around for the last two weeks, procrastinating from any work, and with practically no commitments. I could have flew through this book, but I consistently put it off.

Rating: 1 shuriken star. Read it if you… I don’t know, read it if you think you’d still enjoy it after seeing this review in which I spoilt the entire book for you. Don’t read it if you don’t want to. I don’t know. Do whatever you want. Just don’t blame me for the cause.

hush, hush – Becca Fitzpatrick

I’m going to put a little warning here. A WHOLE LOT OF SPOILERS, for one thing.

I rant like crazy in this thing. I get so frustrated and annoyed and, basically, I’m horrible to this book. I really didn’t want to be this mean, but every time I tried to hold back, more ranting came out.

If you remotely like this book, please don’t read this review, you’ll hate it. I promise you, you will. I’m not nice to this book. So if you don’t want to hear it, go on a different review, or even click the little X button. You won’t want to hear me rant about how much I didn’t like it.

For the rest of you that’ve stayed, I apologise in advance for this. 

So you know it’s bad when you’re reading a book and you’re counting down the pages until it’s finished. You’re so relieved that the book has ended and you have survived it. It doesn’t tear your heart out (Like Kingdom of the Wicked) or leave you feeling so alone in the world now that it’s over (Monsters of Men). You feel like you’ve finally escaped it. And then you make a review and rant about it because that’s the only reason you got through it in the first place.

I’m going to put this plainly, it was like a very very horrible, very creepy (but in a bad way) version of Twilight + The Mortal Instruments. Twilight, for obvious reasons, boring girl, meet in high school, fall in love with supernatural creature thing, action only starts in the last few chapters, and so on. The Mortal Instruments because it talks about Angels and Nephilim and all that stuff. And Patch is a “bad boy” (Jace kinda was, until he got full of so much teen angst).

Summary

Patch is a fallen angel (SPOILER: Even though they tell you on the blurb). Nora and Patch fall in “love”. Oh, and there’s some random guy in a ski mask as well, who’s not very nice.

I literally can’t think of anything else that happened.

Pros

The cover is pretty. I mean, look at it! It’s all moody and cool and stuff. I do have a problem with my edition (I’ll get into that in the Cons), but this one is really nice!

And um, well done Becca Fitzpatrick for making a load of money? I had to put that in there to say that I’m not insulting her as a person, good for her being successful and living her dreams, but the book… That’s a whole other story.

Cons

A small thing before we start.

Why does everyone wear Levi’s in this book? There is so much product placement, I have a feeling that they were paying Becca Fitzpatrick to do it.

The Usual

Dialogue = UGH. No, not good. Sometimes I was like, yeah, this is ok. Other times, BLEH. IT WAS SO SO SO SO SO HORRIBLE. Everything sounded so set up and fake and just made me feel so BLEH.

Writing Style = NO. The description was so forced. At the beginning, I swear that was one of the most awkward descriptions of characters ever. No one describes themselves as a smoky eyed brunette. NO ONE. Or all legs like a barstool. Unless it was supposed to be like that so Nora could come off as a really arrogant girl. Speaking of which…

Characters = Ok, I’m going to be frank. If I don’t like characters, I will usually not like a book. There haven’t been any exceptions to that yet. (Maybe The Death Cure, but that still bothered me, and it honestly wasn’t to this scale. At all. It’s like comparing your phone vibrating to an earthquake.) I seriously hated every single character in this book. They were all so annoying and creepy and shallow and stupid. I dare you to find a single character in this book that didn’t annoy the heck out of me. More on that later.

Setting – Not very original at all, because we learn basically nothing. At least in the Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare takes the time to explain all this stuff about Nephilim and what happened and all this really really awesome background. This? Patch is a fallen angel because he fell in love with this random girl, so they got rid of his wings.

Plot – No. Predictable and annoying.

Ok. Let’s go.

Cover

I said I thought the cover was really good, right? But my problem is that with my cover, I hated the quotes and recommendations. Usually publishers will put the best recommendations they can find onto a cover. That usually tells me a lot. If you look inside the Book Thief, (one of the best books in existence), you will find a ton of quotes. From reliable and well known sources as well. Let me see…

There are two pages worth of praise for the Book Thief, in tiny print. They are completely glowing reviews as well, from The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal… and a heap more. And all these reviews are so good. Here’s one of many “Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told” – Guardian.

Now let’s compare this to hush, hush. The publisher’s chosen quotes are from these three sources. Publisher’s Weekly (which I’m pretty sure is a good pick, but I don’t know much about them), Sugar Magazine (bad choice) and BellaandEdward.com. Seriously. While I’m not trying to insult any of these sources, I’m just saying that they’re not particularly well known to be reliable sources of book reviews.

So I was already slightly put off by that, but I ignored it. The Hunger Games had a quote from Stephenie Meyer, but she writes utterly different books.

Let’s break this next bit down.

CHARACTERS

Nora

I figured we’d need to get to one of the problems straight away. Nora. I don’t know if it’s the author acting like this or Nora acting like this since it’s first person, but holy hell Nora is dumb. And she wants to get into Harvard. I’m sorry, but I doubt she’d get into Harvard. They usually have common sense and logic and the ability to, you know, actually work out stuff.

Nora, not so much.

She’s seriously dumb. And annoying.

Good god, is she annoying. And we’re supposed to admire this character? Her relationship with Patch is the most dysfunctional thing I’ve ever read that someone’s tried to pass off as a good romance. More on that later.

And she jumps to conclusions so fast, which I’m sure is a product of bad writing, not her being that idiotic. Because no normal person acts like that.

All I wanted to happen was Valkyrie Cain to show up and roundhouse kick her in the face or something. Valkyrie, please go slap some sense into Nora, and stop her from lusting over a to-be-serial-rapist. Then go and kill Patch, because damn he’s creepier than Caelan.

There must be some fanfiction that does this, please, because I would totally read it just to show Nora how idiotic she is, even though I don’t read fanfiction. Or at least some fan art. Come on, tumblr, there must be something.

Patch

If there was any character I’d read about that I presumed was a serial rapist, it would be him. He’s creepier than actual rapists in books.  (Like that guy from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He was creepy as hell.) He has the most cheesy pick up lines in the world. To ever exist, ever. And they’re supposed to be really hot? No.

  • “Say ‘provoking’ again. Your mouth looks provocative when you do.”
  • “Do you want to possess my body?”
    “I want to do a lot of things to your body, but that’s not one of them.”
  • “Soap. Shampoo. Hot water.”
    “Naked. I know the drill.”

Also, Patch tells Nora on their first meeting that he’s stalking her. He takes pictures of her and knows everything about her and he’s god, so annoying.

He says he likes girls if they’re intelligent, attractive and vulnerable.

WHAT.

VULNERABLE?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

If I didn’t think he was going to assault someone before, now I’m sure of it.

The “Love”

Notice the little “” around the word Love. That’s because what they have is not love. It’s LUST.

It’s a very obvious distinction, as well. Tell me one aspect of Patch that Nora actually admires, or loves. That’s pretty much impossible. And looks don’t count, looks are superficial.

One of the things I love about books is that it doesn’t usually matter what a character looks like, but it’s what they do and what they say that makes you love them. You can’t see the character, therefore you usually don’t fall in love with a character if they’re hot. For example, Todd Hewitt is one of my favourite YA Male characters in the universe and we’re never told once what he looks like. Seriously, nothing. No hair colour, eye colour, height, width, if he’s ugly or beautiful or childlike or anything. His actions are what makes him an amazing character. And him and Viola are the cutest and best couple that ever existed. Ever. Seriously, that’s love. Todd doesn’t love her because she’s beautiful or whatever. He loves her entire being and existence in general.

Take Percy Jackson. We’re never told if he’s good looking or not (at least, I don’t think we are until like the seventh book), but again, one of my favourite characters in the world. Percabeth is one of the best pairings as well, because Percy actually loves Annabeth. You can tell that he thinks she’s pretty, sure, but he admires her strength, determination, intelligence, wit and so on.

Then there’s Patch and Nora. Pora? Natch? (this is why no one should ever name their child Patch. I know it’s a nickname and he’s probably actually like the Angel Gabriel or Raphael or something, but still!) If you’ve read hush, hush, think about all the times Patch is mentioned and replace him with the creepiest misogynistic face that you can think of. Now the words sound creepy. Everything he says and does seems wrong, and you find yourself wondering why Nora is attracted to a guy like this. It’s only his good looks and rock solid abs that redeem him as a character in Nora’s eyes which is completely stupid and superficial and not love. LUST.

And it’s not a healthy relationship. Nora is terrified of this guy, with reason, too.

And seriously, what’s so special about this relationship that it’s love?

Patch threatens her, they make out once or twice, then suddenly they’re in love?

I get why it’s special for Nora. It’s her first ever terrorizing stalker who will kill her while she’s sleeping  “boyfriend”, but for Patch, there’s nothing special about Nora for him than any other girl he’s hit on. He treats her like he treats anyone else, and he probably gets into the pants of a ton of girls. But for some reason it’s said that he loves Nora.

The worst thing is, there was a competition about the best YA male, and one of the rounds was between Patch and Percy Jackson. Patch won, by a considerable amount.

The only question I was left with was, how?

How?

Vee

The worst friend in the history of friends ever.

EVER.

Nora gets assaulted by Elliot, and she calls Vee afterwards, being traumatised. Vee tells her it’s her fault for being paranoid and Elliot was drunk, and she has to go on this trip where Elliot will probably rape and murder her, because Vee thinks his best friend is hot.

I actually liked her to begin with, because I thought she was kinda funny. No. Not anymore. She turned into being obnoxious and annoying and I wanted to punch her whenever she appeared. She was the stereotypical ugly best friend who no one likes, who is there for the purpose of making our protagonist look even prettier.

She is the Jessica of this book. (No, even Jessica wasn’t this annoying in twilight, that’s too harsh.) She is the Leslie (Was her name Leslie? From Wicked Lovely. Eh, who cares.) of this book.

Elliot

He’s so weird. It’s again, probably the writing, but Nora asks him whether he does any sports, and he suddenly stops the conversation, pretends to box the air for a few seconds, then nearly hits her, and resumes the conversation.

What.

The.

Actual.

Heck.

And he suddenly goes from really nice and pleasant (which we’re told is the extent of his entire personality, even though he’s only said three sentences), to CREEPY AS HELL. And no one notices (apart from Nora, but that’s because he basically told her he was crazy)

Also, as soon as I read about him I knew he was going to be the Jacob of this book. So damn predictable.

AND, I don’t see why when Nora found out Elliot was interviewed about this girl getting murdered but wasn’t a suspect anymore, she got really suspicious and wary of him, but when PATCH THREATENS HER WITH A BLOODY KNIFE (it wasn’t actually bloody, I was just substituting that word for something a lot more crude) AND SAYS HE COULD RAPE HER AND ALMOST SEXUALLY ASSAULTS HER TWICE SHE STARTS  MAKING OUT WITH HIM.

I swear there is no sense in this relationship. And this is promoted as a healthy relationship, which is completely sickening. If I ever met a Patch, I would kick him where it hurts and run for my bloody life, while calling the police and MI5 and the FBI and Dr Who to sort this out.

Jules

Jules was my favourite character. He hated Nora and Vee as much as I did, and wasn’t there long enough to become obnoxious and annoying like every single character in this book. I’m not even kidding, find any random character (Minor or Major. Ha, that sounded like I was talking about Music Theory.) and tell me that they’re not annoying. Even the waitress is a… (can’t swear in this review, no matter how much I want to)… brat.

And then Jules had to turn into the stupid, stereotypical villain. He sounded like he was from a kids show, like Kim Possible (I had an awesome childhood)

OH GOD THERE’S A SPIDER IN HERE IN THE ROOM OH GOD OH GOD IT’S SO MASSIVE GO AWAY NO GO AWAY GET OFF ME

Goddamnit that was terrifying.

Sorry, back to the review.

Coach

What are you teaching kids? This is not how biology lessons work.

Marnie

Is that her name? I can’t even remember, that’s how forgettable she was. She was the usual stereotypical blonde, slutty, stupid cheerleading brat with too much make up and modelling jobs. Why are all the mean girls always cheerleaders? Why? Are cheerleaders that bad in america?

This seems cheerleaderist.

The Psychologist

Because I genuinely can’t remember her name. Was it Greene?

I saw that twist coming from a mile away. The author didn’t even make it subtle.

PLOT

Where was it? The Summary on my book was all about a massive, epic war between angels and choosing sides and so on. I saw none of that. I saw a girl getting terrorised and falling in lust with some hot guy, some hallucinations from ski mask dude, and… That’s about it.

There is a “fight” at the end. By fight I mean she stabs this guy with a knife in the leg, and runs off, then jumps off a ladder and it ends.

DIALOGUE

No. Not good.

When you read the flashbacks, they are the most stilted and awkward things you will ever read. People don’t talk like that. It was like a pantomime act, the way it was told. “Oh, because we’re FALLEN ANGELS, remember? *wink wink* And we have to do this stuff, and say it out loud even though that makes no sense *forced laughter*.”

The dialogue was passable between Patch and Nora at the beginning, but mostly because I was so creeped out by Patch, and it was so cliché. Cheesy is better than terrible.

WRITING

Good god, here we go.

First off, the writing is so cheesy and cliché, but even that’s not the worst of it’s problems.

Nora comes off as arrogant, assuming, paranoid, self-centred and downright stupid because of this writing.

She describes herself as beautiful, and her friend as fat. She skirts around the word, using voluptuous and curvy, but we know she means fat. It is so heavily implied.

She assumes that people must be jealous of her because Patch is “in love” with her, even though no signs suggest that.

The only reason she doesn’t want to go to a prestigious university is that she thinks they’re too snotty or something like that, it doesn’t even dawn on her that it might be because she’s so dumb.

She presumes that Patch must not exist because he doesn’t have a facebook account. Seriously. And because he hasn’t had a immunisation thingy.

AND THE BIT ABOUT THE SKI MASK.

No normal person, in Nora’s shoes, would presume that you’re annoying biology partner who hits on you is ski mask guy for two reasons.

1. You presumed you dreamed it
2. You barely know this guy
3. HE RIPPED THE DOORS OFF YOUR (replacing a very bad word with sandwich, because we have to try to be a little child-friendly. Hopefully if I’ve used too many bad words in this Yanni will edit them out)  SANDWICHING CAR. SANDWICHING BITS OF METAL OFF YOUR SANDWICHING VEHICLE. NO ONE DOES THAT. THE SANDWICH.
4. And since your biology partner is, you presume, just a sandwiching normal guy who doesn’t take mega steroids and isn’t Mr Incredible, there is no way you would jump to that conclusion. Unless you were Nora. Because Nora is an idiot.

Vee calls a bomb threat to the school, and the school does nothing but let the kids out to do whatever they want. That’s not how it works. All the description jumps to massive conclusions which I don’t know if they’re part of Nora’s character or just bad pacing.

Like how she presumes that it must be Patch talking into her head. And how Elliot must have killed that girl, even though the police said he didn’t. And how Patch must be an angel just because he has scars resembling some internet page. Small things like how she knows Patch has a deep and dark, mysterious past even though there’s barely any indication that he has one. Or that Elliot is so nice from nothing. It feels like cheating, because instead of showing us by development and scenarios, she just tells us straight up.

This would have worked in 3rd person, I guess, but in 1st it’s terrible.

But the main reason I despise this book with a passion…

Is that it basically promotes disgusting relationships like this. It tells girls to find guys that treat them like (trying to find another nice word substitute so I don’t get angry and swear) nothing, if they want the perfect romance. It tells girls to judge guys by how they look, and to be flattered by guys trying to rape them, because that’s just because they love them. It tells guys to treat girls like trash if they want to be liked, and to look like an Abercrombie and Fitch model, using terrible pick up lines, and be complete jerks because girls will find that attractive. The bestselling series promotes that.

It’s disgusting and ridiculous, but people fall for it. You don’t know how many reviews I’ve seen where people praise Nora for being smart and romantic and making perfect choices, where Patch is seen has sexy and admirable and sweet. They always seem to mention his good looks and “charm”.

This book does not only bore me, but it offends me. I feel like it’s directly insulting me. I feel like I’m reading a book promoting completely terrible relationships, bordering on abusive, and telling girls to find their own jerk because they won’t be whole without one. Just make sure he’s good looking and tries to get you in bed in every single chapter, but also tries to kill you.

In a society where we’re constantly trying to show people that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, this book is completely pushing back all these messages and showing us that only pretty people are let off the hook, then make fun of pretty people for being pretty at the same time. It’s offensive.

Quotes

I can’t think of any that I actually like, so here’s a random few thrown in that I found on goodreads.

  • “Keep in mind that people change, but the past doesn’t.”
  • “Guard your body.” His smile tipped higher. “I take my job seriously, which means I’m going to need to get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level.”
  • “All this time I’ve hated myself for it. I thought I’d given it up for nothing. But if I hadn’t fallen, I wouldn’t have met you.”
  • “If you can’t feel, why did you kiss me?”
    Patch traced a finger along my collarbone, then headed south stopping at my heart. I felt it pounding through my skin. “Because I feel it here, in my heart,” he said quietly.”
  • “Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me.”
  • “He was the worst kind of wrong. He was so wrong it felt right, and that made me feel completely out of control.”

Overall

I can’t even give this 1 shuriken star. I don’t know if I can even give it half. I can’t think of a redeeming quality for this book, because I’m even starting to go off this cover.

1/4 of a shuriken star. I don’t even have a star category this low for it to go in. Sorry Becca Fitzpatrick, but your book just didn’t do it for me. Read this if you are a massive fan of Twilight, Wicked Lovely, Fifty Shades of Grey (No, I’m not talking from personal experience, before you ask. And no, I will not read it, I don’t want to get mentally scarred) or books are completely to do with how pretty the people are, not who the people are. You might like this.

For the rest of you, don’t even dare. You’ll probably scream in frustration at every other page like I did, and no one else will understand your pain. You’ll force yourself not to throw the book at the wall just because your library would kill you for getting it damaged.

Eragon/ Eldest- Chirstopher Paolini

Eragon (Inheritance, #1)I strongly dislike this book, however I must say that it was quite good, considering it was written when the author was around 15. I’m writing this review as two books, because I read Eragon, then I decided to give Eldest a chance (because I’m just that nice :D), but I gave up on it, and skim read the last 100 pages… ;). I just found the plot boring and the pace too slow, it could be worse than Twilight (I’m really sorry; fans of Twilight and Eragon)

Summary
This weird guy finds a dragon egg and idiotically decides to raise it. Then he decides to run off with an old man, because he is a creep. By the way, this is about half way into Eragon, and pretty much nothing has happened. There isn’t much that happens in this book, so I’m just going to ruin some major plot spoilers; they aren’t very good… He meets this physco fairy, who I think he falls in love with, then he walks into the capital city where everybody hates him. (Great plot so far… all I learnt when I was reading it was that he is AN IDIOT). He then runs off into a dwarf city, leaving the old guy to die. In Eldest pretty much the smae type of plot happens; he runs, he escapes, he lets someone die (wait, I actually may have made that up…)Eldest (Inheritance, #2)

Cons
The Plot
IT WAS SO BORING… AND SLOW… The only reason why I read it was because I forced myself to… and because someone mistakenly recommended it to me… The plot is very repetitive and I think I actually might have fallen asleep while reading it… (I have only ever done that with one other time; when I was revising for a test!)

The Characters
Eragon was so annoying, he just left his home without a second thought and left his uncle to die without saying goodbye. He was also really stupid; who walks into a capital city where everyone hates him…
Brom was the crazy old man who taught him. He also dies. It was funny and I was glad that he died, because he annoyed me.
Saphire was the dragon, she was actually quite cool, but she is in the cons section because she decided that Eragon and Brom were worth staying with; which was a mistake, because they are idiots…

The deaths
I’m not sure whether the deaths were supposed to make me sad; because they didn’t. In some cases they actually made me happy; one less annoying character to deal with.

The Length
It was too long. I got bored. Even the first sentences were boring. You can tell because the sentences that I am writing are really slow.

Pros
It was good considering it was written by a 15 year old, I could never write a book that long, lol, I couldn’t even write a book that is a few pages long…

Favourite Quotes
There are none… actually maybe…

  • Brom blindly turned his eyes to the ceiling. “And now,”me murmured, “For the greatest adventure of all….” (btw, this is the sentence that Brom dies!)

Overall
Overall I think this book sucks. Being generous, I would say that it is a 1 shuriken star (My apologies to any fans). The plot was just too slow and it wasn’t gripping at all… So my recommendation to you, is to not read the book…

Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr

SPOILER ALERT!
(Just ruining some major “plot twists”. Don’t worry, they aren’t very good twists.)

So, I’d been told that Wicked Lovely was good. Not by any of my friends, but by the internet. It got 3.74 stars on goodreads, which is around the same amount that Everlost by Neal Shusterman got, So I thought “Hey, this might be interesting.”

And to be honest…

Well. You’re about to find out.

Summary
Aislinn (which is apparently pronounced Ashling, but I just kept saying Eileen in my head, because the spelling was really annoying me) can see faeries (yes, that is how it is spelled in the book.). Except faeries are really annoying in this book. She gets stalked by this really handsome faery called Keenan – who thinks she is the summer queen – and has a crush on her best friend, Seth. And basically, she has to save summer.

Cons (this may take a while)

Aislinn
So, when I started reading the book, I thought “Man, she sounds like a Mary-Sue”. I had two reasons for this:
1. Her name.
2. Her appearance (The whole black hair, blue eyes, stunningly pretty combination which everybody seems to love. If it’s not that, it’s the bright red hair, green eyes combo that is also insanely popular with Mary-Sues.)
But I thought I was being too mean on her. Maybe the author would make Aislinn 3-dimensional and I would like her. I thought the exact same thing about Ariana in Unwind when they mentioned her purple eyes. Turns out I was wrong by a long shot there.
But I was wrong about Aislinn. I mean, she wasn’t a Mary Sue, that would be too harsh, but she was just, meh.
She really doesn’t have any personality above the stereotypical YA female (which basically means nothing). There is nothing that defines her at all to be different. I know nothing about her to make her original or a strong character. She didn’t make me hate her, but that’s because she had no personality. Whatsoever. Actually, you know what, she’s worse than the stereotypical YA female. Because you don’t know any of her likes/dislikes. At least with some of them you get the really annoying “Oh, I’m the best artist/runner/singer in my class and everyone has to stop and watch me and look at how amazing I am”. Aislinn only has her crazy faeries. Without them, she’s like a cardboard cut out of a person. Then again, maybe that was the point? If it was, then it wasn’t shown at all.

Keenan
So Keenan has a personality. But that’s not a good thing, not for his case, anyway.
All I could keep thinking was how much of a creep this guy is. HE IS SO CREEPY. Now, because of him, if something or someone is so creepy that I can’t find enough ways to express it, I call it Keenan. Yup, his name is now the new definition of creepy to me.
And I would understand if I was supposed to feel this way, but apparently I was the only one who felt like this. Apparently I’m supposed to LIKE Keenan. When I was on the internet, everyone said how much they wanted him as their boyfriend or how hot he was. But he is such a creeper. Like when he drugged Aislinn with fairy poison stuff to make her turn into a faery, where she could either:

1. Become Summer Queen and have to marry Keenan and be forced to fall in love with him and sleep with him.
2. Become the faery equivalent of a prostitute and be forced to sleep with Keenan when he got bored.
3. Become like Donia and basically be painfully tortured for all eternity.

And I’m supposed to like this guy?!?!?!
(And, that he dated Aislinn’s mum! How messed up is that? And his thing with Donia at the end. And his way of trying to distract Seth so he could go and drug Aislinn and force her to turn into a faery.)

Seth
Seth has no personality. He is not realistic at all. He is just THERE for Aislinn to gawk over, and fall in love with. He’s the third, unneeded point of the love triangle. And apparently he’s really rich even though he never works.

The Conclusion
Worst. Ending. Ever.
That’s probably an exaggeration, but it really felt like that. It was the most easy ending there could ever be, and it felt like a cop-out. Everything just happened to end PERFECTLY for everyone. How convenient. How perfect. It was so annoying. And the truth is, I saw it coming. Because the entire book was so predictable. (apart from the whole bit about Keenan dating her mum)

Keenan and Aislinn’s Mum
What. The. Hell.
I mean, at first it seems like a good twist. But then it has no use at all. At all. Melissa Marr never brings it up again. Why would you bring up this massive twist which does nothing for the story. Why? It had so much potential… That’s the thing that bugs me… It could have pulled this story an entire star higher. But no. No relevance at all.

Pros

The Idea
I liked the idea. It was a good idea. If only Melissa Marr had expanded on her idea so that it was more about the faeries than it was about this stupid love triangle with a very annoying ending. The whole thing about faeries being evil and no one being able to see them was really cool, and I think it could have made a really good book if there had been better characters, a better plot, the writing style hadn’t been so hard to understand (I never understood any of her descriptions. So, are the wolves wolves or faeries? Are they both? Do they have, like, wolf heads or something?) then it could have been a 3 star. But nope. It just wasn’t meant to be. I would have been a lot more interested if the whole book was juts about the faeries, maybe about their politics or about them teasing humans. Anything.

The Love Triangle
This is the smallest Pro ever. The love triangle was slightly different. The girl didn’t fall in love with the creepy faery dude. She fell in love with the normal dude who had loads of money instead. I guess that makes it kinda different from all the twilight copycats and so on. I don’t know if that counts as a pro, but it’s not a con. So I guess it is.

Aislinn Noticed that Keenan was strange
She notices that he’s being creepy. Well done, Aislinn, well done. Way better than a lot of YA girl characters (I’m looking at you, twilight). That’s not saying much, but I guess it’s a small victory.

The Cover

The cover was really pretty. Not really one that would make me want to instantly pick it up and read it, but it’s still pretty. The whole frozen flower thing makes nice artwork.

Quotes (not a very quotable book, so let’s just put the times where Aislinn notices Keenan being creepy)

  • “Keenan was staring at her, too intently for comfort. “I don’t know why certain people shine for others. I don’t know why you and not someone else.” He gently pulled her forward and whispered, “But it’s you I think of when I wake each morning. It’s your face in my dreams.”
    Aislinn swallowed. That would seem odd even if he were normal. And he wasn’t. What he was-unfotunately-was completely serious.”
  • “After a steadying breath, Aislinn turned to Keenan. “I’m sure you can figure out lunch without help. So, umm, go make friends or whatever.”
    And she walked away.
    He sped up to stay beside her as they entered the cafeteria. “May I join you?”
    “No.”
    He stepped in front of her. “Please?”
    “No.” She dropped her bag into a chair next to Rianne’s things. Ignoring him-and the stares they were attracting-she opened her bag.
    He hadn’t moved.
    With a shaky gesture, she pointed. “The line’s over there.”
    He looked at the throng slowly progressing to the vats of food. “Can I get you something?”
    “A little space?”

Overall

So, how many stars? I’m kinda torn. I think 1 1/2 shuriken stars. Melissa Marr had a good idea, she just never used it to it’s potential. I wish she’d developed it more. I would only recommend it to you guys who hail supernatural twilight rip-offs as the most amazing books on existence. You’ll love this, then. For the rest of you, who are more for the character development and amazing plot, steer clear of this one. You won’t like it, I guarantee that. I don’t. I tried reading the next book, “Ink Exchange”, and failed. Miserably. It was exactly the same as the last one, I don’t know what I was expecting…