Posts Tagged ‘AMAZING’

Champion- Marie Lu

Summary (from goodreads to avoid spoilers! 🙂 though there may be some spoilers to follow after the summary…

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

Champion (Legend, #3)Cons

The weird ghost things, and religion connotations
It just didn’t fit really with book since the book is all about war and politics and dystopia and stuff. It just seemed a little washy to be honest with the ghosts. I did think it was kinda cute though but I personally just didn’t really like it that much because I don’t really believe in the afterlife.

The last part- the 20 years later thing
I loved what June did for Day at the end before the 20 years after. I thought it was so smart and cute and it made me truly feel how much she loved him. But the 20 years after part, while it gave hope and stuff, it made Junes sacrifice for nothing.

Pros

The ending
It was bittersweet. I loved it. But at the same time I hated it. I felt like the characters deserved a better ending, but as a book it couldn’t have ended better (though I didn’t really like the last last part of it with the 20 yrs later).

Characters- development
Anden: When he was like his dad he was terrifying. So that put me in a strange place as a reader, as he seemed to be both the hero and a villain. But that’s what good books should kinda do 🙂
June: In legend, while I did like her, I didn’t love her. I grew to love her more in prodigy. By champion, its like “whoa, when did you get so awesome?” I loved her and how much she actually understood everything, especially at the end. Words can’t actually express how much I love her now.
Day: I loved how far he would go to save his family and how he would even go so far to give up his own life but at the same time, that was his flaw; that he only really considers his own life that he is giving up, not all the other people who would be affected if they lost him.
Eden: he is such a cool kid: “Daniel thinks you’re really hot” is what he says to June on their first meeting. Such an awesome kid 🙂

Writing Style
There’s not much to say on this point, only that it was awesome. It explored the views of loads of characters so I felt as if I was with them at almost every moment of the journey.

Plot
There’s also not much to say on this point: the title and it being in the “pros” section is kinda self explanatory.

Romantic stuff didn’t get in the way
Usually for dystopia books either the romance or the love triangle gets in the way but as you can tell from the title of my sub-paragraph in this book it didn’t! There was still a little romance to make it interesting, but not enough that it took over the book and just made it soppy.

Favourite Quotes (warning could be spoiler hints below!)

  • “Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”
  • “You drive me insane June. You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you? Billions of people will come and go in this world, but there will never be another like you” (the cutest quote of the whole series)”
  • “I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.”
  • “Day, the champion of the people, the one who can’t bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves.”
  • “I hear about you a lot too,” Eden replies in a rush, “mostly from Daniel. He thinks you’re really hot.”

Overall
Some books end their series with a sizzle or a pop, but not this. It ended like the New Year’s Eve fireworks with explosions of light and sound. 5 stars obviously.

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More than this- Patrick Ness

Well… It’s a book by Patrick Ness, what else is there to say? 🙂

More Than ThisSummary
The main character Seth, dies and somehow comes back to life, but in a totally different place- in fact the worst place for him on earth. The first part of the book is him alone somehow learning to live alone and struggle with what place it actually is- hell?, the afterworld? Etc…. Then he hears a noise, the noise of a car, in a seemless empty place, and while running towards it he kinda gets half kidnapped for his own safety. He then makes some new friends and together they begin to piece together where they are. We also get his backstory of when he was alive, and how he died in the book.

Cons

Comparison to his other books
The Knife of Never Letting Go is my favourite book of all time and all books, and even after reading this book I’m still happy to say that. The problem is that after Patrick Ness has written such an awesome series, it really does set the bar up high for his other books. While I’m happy to say that this book met “the bar” what is hard to say is that it is better than the Chaos Walking trilogy. So, this isn’t really a con, but more of a comment that I didn’t think it was as good as Chaos Walking, but to be honest I didn’t quite want it to be either because I didn’t want something to replace Manchee, Todd, Viola, Davy, and all the other deep and wonderful characters of Chaos Walking.

Pros

It was terrifying
It took me a while to read- much longer than it should have been because after reading some of it I had to stop because I was scaring myself loads. The thing is the book isn’t even that scary, it was more the way it was written and how it made me think about how I would cope if I was in a world with no one else around.

What if I’m living in a dream world
Because I would never know unless I die in a particular way, and what if its like inception, where both worlds die and it ends up being a dream world within a dream world.

The connections to Chaos Walking
It’s easy to tell that they are by the same author. I loved how in More that this there were talks about being a “man” just like how Todd was always looking to his birthday because it marks the day he officially becomes a man.

Tackling modern day issues
It seemed to have a hint of almost everything; global warming, murder, rape (hinted at but never really said), abuse, sexuality. But it still held itself together, unlike other books which have thrown all sorts of issues into it to try to make it seem less empty.

All the other obvious points
Writing Style
Character Development
Characters

Favourite Quotes

  • “You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there’s always more than this. There’s always something you don’t know”
  • “Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how you look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there”
  • “Go in swinging”
  • “We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we’d go crazy”
  • “A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while”

Overall
Well, as I said before its a Patrick Ness book, and therefore without any hesitation I give it 5 stars.

Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this ARC!

So let’s get straight down to what everyone is thinking: will the sequel live up to the first?

Short answer = :(. It wasn’t as good as the first – maybe even by far.

The strange thing was, while I was reading this book, I was loving it, but I also saw many flaws and problems which I didn’t like as much. Nevertheless, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.

Warning, may contain slight spoilers/ spoiler hints!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Summary (from goodreads)

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Cons

Love Triangle

The first half of the book was good, in this sense, because Celaena had ended things with Dorian and had stuck to Chaol without wavering. Having said that, it did frustrate me when we were in Dorian’s perspective and all he could do was act like a lovebird and constantly groan when he saw Celaena and Chaol together. As if the only reason it was happening was to make him a contender in the love triangle. But really – in a book like this advertising gore and blood – how many people would be that interested in love triangles?

Then moving onto the second half of the book. Suddenly Celaena is crawling back to Dorian and forgetting Chaol even though they had spent “quality time” together.

Celaena’s Victims

At the end of the last book I clearly remember the king telling Celaena that, if she didn’t do everything as planned, he would kill Chaol, then Nehemia, and finally the rest of Nehemia’s family.
So what I don’t understand is why wasn’t she killing her victims? Yeah, I understand that she wants to have a clean conscience, but she is an assassin. If she can’t do her job then what is her purpose?

“Plot Twist” (NB this is the plot twist which has to do with who Celaena is)

When I was first introduced to some of the information in the plot twist these were my thoughts:
“That would be too predictable, and so I won’t predict it.”

So by being too predictable it became unpredictable and when it happened for sure, I was groaning inside. The plot was already complicated enough and the “twist” was unneeded and annoying.

Oh, and speaking of plot twists, I also saw the plot twist with Archer coming. I’m not sure why, but this time the plot twists were a lot more obvious, or maybe I’ve just gotten used to the style.

Future books

I saw on goodreads (so it may not be 100% true) that this is going to be a six book series. While I know I will probably read the first three, I don’t know about the rest. A long book series is always risky, and more often than not it ends up going downhill, or losing its plot. So I’m just sitting here now waiting to be proven wrong because I really don’t want to see this series, with such awesome potential, go downhill.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Celaena’s threats:

I know it’s part of her character, but I really just despise her threats of “cutting ears off,” or “eating those cut off ears,” etc. It would be okay if I knew she would actually do them, but each time she does it, it’s so obvious a bluff and everyone keeps falling for it. It’s so frustrating.

Pros

World

I loved it. I loved the magic, the mythical creatures, the royalty, the setting. It all seems to blend together and just work.

Pace

It kept me completely hooked, pretty much all my spare time was put into reading this and I don’t regret it. It started with a fast pace and since the beginning it never slowed down.

Characters

Loved the character development of basically everyone. I especially loved Celaena, Chaol and Nehemia. I also loved it after the second half when Celaena was back to hating Chaol, It was like old times again, as well as making character development interesting. I’m also eager to see though what will happen in the next book because I’m sure (ish)  that somehow Celaena will forgive and trust Chaol again.

Nehemia

I know she kinda counts as a character, but really I think she is too awesome and devious to not have a whole paragraph dedicated to her!
From the start of the first book when we first met her I loved her. Her deviousness and cleverness made her just the character that the book needed. I both liked and hated how she was smart enough to influence Celaena and I loved her “hidden life” that she kept secret from Celaena. She would be the Sherlock of this book: capable of mass destruction but decided to be “on the side of the angels”.

Second Half

I personally preferred the second half just because there is less lovey dovey stuff going on and Dorain acting like a heartbroken kid. I also loved how the sudden change, changed everyone. For Celaena it meant trying to kill everyone who stood in her way. For Dorain it meant he had another chance with Celaena. And for Chaol it meant he was dead inside.
One part in this half though that really got me was when Chaol found Celaena’s will. It was written perfectly and when I thought of myself in Chaol’s position it just made me want to melt from the inside out.

Overall
So while my review is half filled with cons, it doesn’t actually reflect properly what I felt about the book: I actually loved it! It was awesome. It’s like a cake – if I take the ingredients separately then I will have a long list of food which I don’t like – but all together it just works and becomes one of the best tasting things in the world!
So aside from my cake baking fantasies, overall I would give this book 4 shuriken stars because I loved it, but it just missed the zang of the 5 stars which the previous book had.

Throne of Glass- Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

You know the saying “Never judge a book by its cover?” I think it should be used more, When I was getting round to reading this book, I kept trying to put it off because I didn’t like the cover. It seemed like a book which would have a good concept and potential but would just fall flat because the main character was needy and annoying. While some people may agree with the latter, this character was in no way needy.

I’m rambling.

But what I’m trying to get across is that if you read the first few chapters, pages, 100 minus your age, 50 pages, or whatever rule you use; and still end up hating it, then just give up. But this book is a lot better than it looks 🙂

Summary (sorry in advance for the excessive use of brackets. Ironic how this is in brackets… :P)

There’s this girl called Celaena who, at the beginning, is in the salt mines prison because she was this awesome master assassin. Although she has been in prison for around a year (I think) she has no idea who betrayed her and got her captured.

Just to let you know – by the end of this book we still don’t know “how” she was captured, so being me and hating mysteries (which is why I can never read murder mystery stories!) I read all of the short stories straight after (review to come) and they revealed who betrayed her. (dun dun dun!)

She then strikes a deal with the Crown Prince Dorian: she must take part in a competition which, if she wins – after a few years secretly serving as the kings assassin – she will be free. This book focuses on the competition, however, then, some fellow competitors turn up dead.

Cons

Suspected love triangle
I just hope in the next book this doesn’t become a big thing because loads of books with loads of potential just get ruined by a love triangle.

Celaena
I personally loved her, but that doesn’t mean that there were faults with her that I can see other people having an issue with. She was quite – or very, in fact – arrogant. I personally found it amusing. However, she just seemed too perfect. She was a master assassin having trained for years, she loved to read, to go to the library, as well as look pretty and play games. We also know that she only started her training at around 10? (not entirely sure, but I think its around that age) and I just don’t understand how someone can have so many hobbies and be so skilled at killing.

Cover
I’ll call them cover 1 and cover 2 🙂 Cover 1 is the one nearer the top of the page and cover 2 is the one which is lower down the page.
Lets start in order with cover 1: it looks too artificial and like a chickflick and well, to be blunt – crap. “Oh look, I’m a pretty girl who has just been starving in the salt mines for months as I survive off non-nutritious food, but who cares if it’s not accurate as long as I look nice. I’ll just pretend to be strong by standing in a “strong” pose and flexing my arm which has basically nothing but skin on it and clenching my fist. I’m so strong!”
Now onto cover 2: “Move the hell outta the way or I will slash you down where you stand.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Pros

Plot
Fast paced. Interesting. Complex. Fit well together. What more could you want?

Characters
It was just so strange how at one point I would be raving for the awesomeness of the character and then a few pages after I was hating that person. I kinda both loved and hated how the writer had the capacity to change our feelings so quickly and dramatically.
Celaena: Although I had a small paragraph about her in the “Cons”, there are still are few awesome parts of her that I think it would be a shame not to mention. She is one of those “strong female lead characters” but there is something different about her, as she wasn’t just a strong role, but she had a feminine side which just makes her a more well-rounded character.

The Concept
Come on! Thieves, Assassins, Murderers… etc. competing against each other for the ultimate prize, and then we weave in some magic and people start dying unexpectedly and then some awesome characters 🙂

Love Triangle
Don’t get me wrong I am not approving of the love triangle or love triangles in general, I would just like to say that, although a love triangle was present from almost the first few pages, it didn’t take over and dominate the book like a lot of other books tend to do. Instead it was done quite subtly and well… it wasn’t really a triangle at all as it wasn’t made that clear who liked who.

Excitement for the next book
So many unanswered questions, which I’m just going to blare out now, so, sorry if you haven’t read the book! (NB: some of these questions get answered in the short stories).

  • Where did the king go on the odd journey?
  • Why were all the guards dead after the odd journey?
  • Who exactly is Perrington?
  • How did she get caught?
  • Who betrayed her?
  • Who was Sam?
  • Is Arobynn still alive?
  • What is she going to be made to do?

The good thing is though, even though there are so many unanswered questions the book is coming out soon!

Favourite Quotes

  • “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons”
  • “We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most”
  • “My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me”
  • “Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them”
  • “Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters”

Overall
I loved this book. Although there were some flaws overall I still thought this book was great, as long as you are willing to put up with the “perfectness” and “arrogance” of Celaena even if the two characteristics contradict each other to a certain extent :P. When I read this book I was in a good mood, so I decided to give it 5 shuriken stars :).

Wonder- R.J. Palacio

Wonder

Summary
Goodreads puts it quite well.

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

Cons

I’m sure there are some because well, no book is perfect no matter how perfect it is. I just realized that made no sense, but hey ho I’ll just pretend you know what I mean 😛

Pros

Audience
This book can be read for anyone- just like any book to be honest. However, there does seem to be something special to this book, such that whoever you are, you can just connect to one of the characters. For example, when I read this book, although I fell in love with all of the characters, I particularly connected and understood Vi, Auggie’s sister (side note, I have a younger brother). I then recommended this book to my mum to read after she came asking for a book to read while on holiday, and although this is considered a “children’s book” she loved it (which just goes to prove that there should be no lower age limit for books). However, anyway, when my mum read it, unlike me, she at once connected with the mother of the child. It just goes to show how awesome this book is and how there is a piece of it that everyone can grow to love.

WonderPrecepts
If I heard them in real life or when I was younger I would have probably thought they were cliché (if I knew what that word meant as a kid ;)).

PoV
I loved how it didn’t just feature Auggie’s point of view but also all his friends and family. It just makes the book seem more 3D as the “baddie” is no longer the “baddie” and is just some kid who is trying too hard to make friends. Also, when we have a main character such as “Auggie” who doesn’t look “normal” we often ignore the other characters who are there, and at once sympathize with August rather than looking at who else his disfigurement also affects.

Favorite Quotes

  • “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”
  • “Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”
  • “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness”
  • “The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.”
  • “Now that I look back, I don’t know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing”

Overall
So anyway, in my opinion this book was amazing! 5 stars easily 🙂 but I really don’t think that this review can summarize how I really love this book.

The Kill Order – James Dashner

The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #0.5)To be honest I was a little disappointed by the ending of the Death Cure partly due to the fact that Thomas’ best friend/ worst enemy, died and the evil annoying Brenda survived. So naturally, I was hoping that this book would explain the relationship between the two. It didn’t happen. But nonetheless it was a good book!

Summary
Spoilers to follow- but obvious spoilers.

Unlike what I thought it didn’t follow the story of Thomas and Teresa in their early years (ish.- it involves one of them for half the book). It  is set 13 years before the day that Thomas goes into the Glade and follows the story of Mark and Trina.

Wow. A lot of the main characters have T names!

So back to the story.

Trina and Mark are experiencing the world during/ after the sun flares. At first they are surviving just great! Then comes the evil people who shoot darts at people turning them dead or into what we call cranks now. So then Mark and Trina’s little gang run and get into all sorts of mess, and along the way pick up a kid who is immune (not telling who! :P) and then as you can expect they all die since we haven’t heard about them at all from the other books…

Cons
The Deaths
They were a little hurried. If I had just read them I may not have understood, but because my brother had read it before me, I knew what happened so yeah. I just thought it was a little hurried.

Pros
The last page
It included an awesome part at the back by James Dashner saying what his “Top ten things he’d want during the apocalypse”. It has The Kill Order. James Dashnerinspired me to make my own- to come probably!

Background of the background
In the book there is the background story of Mark and Trina and how they survived the apocalypse while it happened, and in the present they were coping with death and destruction. I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence. Death and Destruction.

Action packed
As my brother put it. It was full of action as the title suggests and fast paced.

Madness
Losing your mind is scary, terrifying maybe and definitely hard to write, since people who go crazy, tend not to get better. But James Dashner did it perfectly. Each time something snapped within Mark’s head it was described so well and awesome and amazing and sad and depressing.

Character relationships
Dee Dee and Trina especially. It was adorable. Another character relationship which was adorable; Trina and Mark. They were so cute together! But I did want to know properly how they got together, because to me (I may have misread part or skipped out some by accident) at one point it was like they were just friends and then they were making out. But they were so cute!! And it tore me apart half way when Trina didn’t remember him ;(

Favorite Quotes

  • “Let’s get this started, people. It won’t be long before we all lose our minds”
  • “What would I do without you? I’d die of stress and depression before nature killed me”
  • “Mark thought that was all barking up the wrong tree. “Or they ran away from the fire. Not every person on earth is as wacky-brained as you, good sir. Most people see a huge roaring inferno coming at them? They decide to cut and run. Just saying”
  • “Though he’d never know for sure what had happened to them, his mind was super talented at imagining the absolute worst.”

Overall
Although this book wasn’t what I was really hoping for in terms of the plot, it still was amazing but depressing at the same time. 5 shuriken stars just like the other books in the series.

Unfed- Kirsty McKay

Unfed (Undead, #2)

Zombies!!!

Summary
Goodreads:
The good news: Bobby survived her Undead school trip. Bad news: her best mate, Smitty, is missing. Bobby knows she’s got to find him even if it means risking it all and going out into the starving-zombie-infested wastelands again. Even if it means taking fellow survivors including a couple of old frenemies along for the ride. And even if the zombies are not the only ones who are chasing them this time.

It also involves a car crash, and evil people who shoot bullets at them, oh and a 22 year old who hits on 15 year olds.

Sidenote: WTH frenemies is underlined in red! Apparently it isn’t a word! Ridiculous.

Cons
The Loss of Smitty
Smitty was missing for about half the book. It depressed me a little.

There isn’t a third book on Goodreads yet…
That means it could take years to come out?! Or maybe it still hasn’t been issued or whatever it is. But but. It means it might not even be out this year, because Unfed was on Goodreads soon after Undead. It’s a disaster.

Pros
Zombies
I love zombies books. I love zombies. But what I love even more is a zombie plague that is caused by carrot juice.

The TitleUndead (Undead, #1)
Undead. Unfed. They’re not only alike, the also rhyme! How awesome is that?! But it does make me wonder a little what the next book is going to be called. Unbed? Unred? Unbread? Unled? Unmed(icine)? Unsaid? Unsled? (and I didn’t totally look up that on a rhyming dictionary…)

Fast Pace
It was like a car. Vroom Vroom. If you have read the book you would get the crap reference.

Hilarious
Funny isn’t usually associated with zombies, but it was hilarious. Bobby was an amazing narrator and she made me crack up each page.

Favourite Quotes

  • “I’m a zom? You’re going to harvest me? You want to make me do stuff  with Smitty?”
  • “I am, essentially, a plant.”
    “Eh, Alice says, Like a tree?”
  • “‘I’m guessing they died. But who knows.’ He shivers. ‘I just hope I don’t bump into any of them out there.’
    ‘Yeah. That does suck’ says Alice. ‘Especially when they try to bite you and you have to cut their head off. Or run over them. Or burn them to crisp.'”
  • “You. Are. Sh*tting. Me.”

Overall
Well.. It’s a zombie book, so if you know me at all, 5 shuriken stars. But if you hate zombies then you are probably heartless yourself and thus probably a zombie. 😛 Oh, the irony.