Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#3)

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

The Winds of Winter
(A Song of Ice and Fire, #6)
by George R.R. Martin

Genre: High & Epic Fantasy, Adventure, Adult Fiction

Expected Publication: 2015 
Publisher: Voyager Books (UK)

I'm a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire series, and it is just simply killing me slowly from inside out that the expected publication is in 2015. There has been really long gaps between the other books as well, but I started reading the series only a little bit under 2 years ago, so I didn't have to wait for the others.

The last book ended with some serious cliffhangers and crucial development points, and it's just torture to wait 2 years! The Winds of Winter better be worth of the wait (well of course it is, it's Martin were are talking about here!)

Are there other fans of  A Song of Ice and Fire? Anyone else desperate for the book six?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Teaser Tuesday (#1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, 
hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

I'm currently reading Red Seas Under Red Skies 
(Genteleman Bastards, #2) by Scott Lynch.
"Satisfaction? Well, she might have got rid of me before I  expected, but I think I did what I set out to do." 
p. 132
What are you currently reading? Has it been a good read so far, any interesting teaser quotes?

Top Ten Tuesday (#3): Favourite Beginnings/Endings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday this week is about favourite beginnings/endings in books.

I couldn't decide which one I wanted to do: endings or beginnings. So instead I did 2 lists, but only Top5s, because otherwise the post this week would have been looong, and no one wouldn't want to read it. So here we go! 

Top 5 Beginnings:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

"Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of time of mu abundant free time to thinking about death. Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is the side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying.)"

2. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

"I wait. They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids. We sleep huddled together like rats, staring out, and dream of our bodies swaying. I know one of the girls reaches a wall. She begins pound and scream - there's a metal in the sound - but none of us help her. We've gone too long without speaking, and all we do is bury ourselves into the dark. The doors open."

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

"After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point. Most of the thousands of slaves in Endovier receives a similar treatment - though an extra half-dozed guards always walked Celaena to and from the mines. That was expected by Adarlan's most notorious assassin. What she did not usually expect, however, was a hooded man in black at her side - as there was now."

4.  A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

"We should start back, Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead." "Do the dead frighten you?" Ser Waymar Royce asked with just the hint of a smile. Gared did not rise to the bait. He was an old man, past fifty, and he had seen the lordlings come and go. "Dead is dead," he said. "We have no business with the dead." "Are they dead?" Royce asked softly. 

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eighty million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."

Top 5 Endings:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

"What else? She is so beautiful. You don't get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I'm so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she hers. I do, Augustus. I do."

"Harry kept smiling and waving, even though it was like a little bereavement, watching his son glide away from him... The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded around a corner. Harry's hand was still raised in farewell. "He'll be all right," murmured Ginny. As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absentmindedly and touched the lighting scar on his forehead. "I know he will." The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."

3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

""Katniss," Gale says softly. I recognize that voice. It's the same one he uses to approach wounded animals before he delivers a deathblow. I instinctively raise my hand to block his words but he catches it and holds on tightly. "Don't," I whisper. But Gale is not one to keep secrets from me. "Katniss, there is no District Twelve."

4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

"The subjects will eventually recall and understand the purpose of the hard things we have done and plan to do them. The mission of WICKED is to serve and preserve humanity, no matter the cost. We are, indeed, "good". Please respond with your own reactions. The subjects will be allowed one full night's sleep before  Stage 2 implementation. At this time, let's allow ourselves to feel hopeful. Group B's trial results were almost extraordinary. I need time to process the data, but we can touch on it in the morning. Until tomorrow, then."

5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

"He grabs my arm, but I shake it loose. I'm not ready for that. But... if my life on Earth must end, let it end with a promise. Let it end with hope. I wrap my pinkie around his. He squeezes my finger, and this world doesn't feel so cold anymore. "Will you stay with me?" I whisper. "Always."

What about your favourite beginnings and endings in books?

Monday, 29 July 2013

Bout of Books 8.0: Sign up

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. 

There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.


So excited! I participated in a readathon once a looong time ago, so I'm really looking forward to taking part once again. I hope it's going to be as fun as it was last time.

Count me in!

Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception (Book 1) by Steve Schmutz (2013)

Description from Goodreads:

"Three to be borne upon the mount
To a woman torn from hearth
One to Greatness
One to Strength
And One to serve the Dark
Divided at birth the Three will be
Not knowing of each other
Divided by Light
Divided by Faith
Divided but ever Brothers"

Pregnant and desperate, Jena Bain hid in a secluded cave high in the Jaar Mountains. She hoped to escape from the vile men who wanted her unborn child. What Jena didn’t know was that she was about to give birth to not just one, but three sons, and in so doing she would bring to pass the fulfillment of a long-awaited prophecy.

The years have passed and the three sons are now men. Davian Ul’s powers have grown and he is preparing his Dedicates to take over the Realm. The leaders of the Realm discover Davian’s plans and unite in their fight against his dark and evil purposes.

Will Davian have his way, and manipulate the prophecies for his gain? Will the Alliance of kingdoms succeed in bringing peace back to the Realm? What will happen to the three sons, who although divided at birth, are ever brothers?

Thank you Steve Schmutz for allowing me to have a chance to read "Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception".


I became really interested in the story right away I had read the description. Three brothers are divided at birth, and according a prophecy, all of them have a different destiny to fulfil. This kind of base for the story promises you that you are going to witness adventures, sacrifices, and betrayals, and Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception definitely gave the readers these. The book is almost 600 pages long, so there are plenty of action included. However, we also get glances of the legends and history of the world of SoP and these are the times when readers are allowed to take a breath.

There were quite a lot of characters included, and I think all of them had potential to be very distinguishable ones. However, I felt like most of them blurred together for me and I got confused who was who. Every good guy is compassionate, kind, strong and agreeable, while the bad guys are always cunning, rude and indifferent. There weren't too many distinguishable personality traits between the good guys, and that is why I was left with an impression of one-dimensionality. Bar-Dalon was my favourite character and the only one who got depth as the readers are allowed to know his tragic past. 

The mood in the book was surprisingly light, which I didn't except. Despite the tragedies the characters face during their journeys, there is a fairytale-like quality to the story: there are brave princes and beautiful princesses, thus evil warlocks and minions of the Dark Lord.  I usually like my fantasy some what dark and graphic (e.g. A Song of Ice and Fire series), but those who enjoy more brighter and traditional fantasy, this might be the book for you. 

The storyline is the absolute strength of SoP. There were twists and turns in the plot which I couldn't have guessed before hand. I think this is the foundation of good fantasy: to have the basic elements of good vs evil, power struggle, and romance, but lace these units with tragedies and joys. Schmutz did a good job mixing the basics which ended up a in a decent fantasy book.

Even though Schmutz's descriptive writing was average, I can't help the feeling that it lacked some dramatics. Even though some of the events were in itself were unexpected and surprising, the effect of them somewhat diminished as the language couldn't reach its potential at these crucial moments. Schmutz romanticised and embellished some of the more gruesome happenings when I would have preferred them to be described as they were: raw and graceless. 

I think there are people who will no doubt enjoy Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception. I just need to admit that it wasn't for me. I prefer my fantasy as dark and shocking, and even though SoP was it at points, it wasn't as much I wished it was. Nevertheless, I liked the storyline and I think some people will even love it. 

"Does the Alliance seriously think they can beat me?" Davian said in a tone of arrogance. "No one can beat you, Father." Davian looked at his son and said, "Yes. That is true. No one."

Sunday, 28 July 2013

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

Description from Goodreads

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

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

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

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


I read this book on November, 2012 after noticing what a huge amount of hype there was on Goodreads. Angelfall started off as an internet phenomenon. I remember my flatmate warning me that I shouldn't have so high expectations as those books don't always have the same standard as those being published by publishing houses. Nevertheless, I found the description so fascinating that I had to order it from Amazon US as it hadn't been published back then in the UK. 

I probably had to wait a few weeks before the happy day came when the mail man finally delivered the book. I still remember that I read the very first pages in a bus, going to my first lecture of the day. I think I hissed a little when the bus finally arrived to the Uni, because I knew the next time I was able to read the book wasn't until I was going back to home (I have to mention that my bus ride to my Uni lasts over 40 minutes so I was nicely captivated the book when I arrived to the campus).

The first thing struck me as amazing in Angelfall was the absolute post-apocalyptic setting. The world was in ruins, and nothing was exactly same as we know it to be in our world. The world was physically  devastated as the angels brought the havoc. And that leads us to the angels. I hadn't read any angel books before, but I had always been quite interested in the whole angel mythology. Even though Angelfall doesn't exactly play with angelology, I was so captured with the angels of the book - they were cruel, malicious and power-hungry. Nothing what one would expect from a stereotypical angel.

And the characters! First of all, Penryn is such a kick-ass heroine. She is self-efficient, brave, loyal and righteous. At some level, she reminds me of Katniss Everdeen, the heroine in The Hunger Games trilogy (which maybe is my favourite trilogy ever). I think that reference tells quite a lot how awesome character Penryn is. To be honest, I probably wouldn't change a thing about her - I just find her so perfect, even with her imperfections as it makes her more realistic character in an unrealistic world. 

One the most entertaining things in the book is the relationship between Penryn and Raffe, the angel who has promised to save Penryn's little sister Paige with Penryn. The relationship isn't insta-love as Raffe and Penryn are sworn enemies as the first one is an angel and the other a human. Even though it isn't directly said, Penryn does become attached to Raffe. Naturally this the last thing she needs, and Penryn feels conflicted. I love how their relationship isn't straightforward, but there are obstacles and controversies that need to be solved before they can become involved. 

What else, what else (to be honest I could write an endless post about Angelfall, but I think I'm going to write one last paragraph, but I'm having difficulties which perfection I should include). I loved Ee's writing style. She can be very descriptive and even gruesome at points which I just adored. I'm not a big fan of writers who like to embellish their writings, but I enjoy reading when things are presented as they are, even if they are something utterly terrifying. Susan Ee did this in her book, and I absolutely love her for that!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Stacking the Shelves (#2)

It's Saturday and so it's time for Stacking the Shelves!
Here's what I managed to get my hands on:


Slated (Slated, #1) by Teri Terry
Fated (Soul Seekers, #1) by Alyson Noel
Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1) by Colleen Houck

I'm really happy what I've got this week. I'm especially happy about Slated! It sounds really suspenseful and thrilling. 

I have been looking for Tiger's Curse for ages, and since I haven't found it from my local bookstores, I decided to give Amazon a try. And there it was only £0.01! So naturally, I just had to get it. 

Fated on the other hand, was pretty inexpensive in The Works, so I though: why not. It sounded pretty nice!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Ink (Paper Gods, #1) by Amanda Sun (2013)

Description from Goodreads:

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.


From the first page, I felt like I was in Japan myself. I have read from somewhere that the author herself, has liven in Japan when she was younger - and this really shows. All the cultural things from language, traditions, mannerism, history to buildings are described precisely and subtly integrated in the story. As Katie struggles with the completely new culture, so do the readers. However, when she becomes more familiar with the language and interactions, also the reader feels more comfortable while reading. I was really absorbed in the world of Ink, and I have to say that the novel has one of the most original and interesting plots I've read.

Katie is a character of whom I have very mixed feelings. On the other hand, I admire her courage to put herself out there when she is in a strange country, virtually with no basis with language and customs. Nevertheless, she manages to become part of the society (but of course first encountering some obstacles) and live her life to the fullest. That being said, Katie also had this really annoying side to her - she was very co-dependent. She needed to be constantly near Tomohiro and at times was even possessive of him. A huge no-no for me. 

The strength of the novel definitely has to be the setting and the idea - an ink god in Japan. Ink stands out from the majority with its unique idea, and I was really impressed by the fact that someone had decided to write something more original. Most of the YA authors seem to rotate the same ideas, but Sun had created something completely new. The story in whole was very coherent and I was never bored while reading it. 

If you are interested in Japanese culture, but also like a twist of paranormal in your books, Ink is probably a really good choice to read. The book kept me captivated the whole time, even though Katie's personality without fail lowered my overall score for Ink. I think the book would have worked as a stand-alone, but apparently Ink is a part of trilogy/series. I think this is kind of a shame, because there seem to be less and less decent stand-alone YA books. Nevertheless, I'm really interested how the story will develop and I will most definitely read the second book, Rain. Actual rating 3.5.
“They tell you you'll forget how it used to be. You'll get used to it, that it's better to move on. They don't realize you can't. You're not the same person anymore.”

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Everneath (Everneath, #1) by Brodi Ashton (2012)

Description from Goodreads:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.


By having a Greek mythology element in a book, is a guarantee that the story will include broken hearts, betrayals, sacrifices, and heart aching longing. Everneath wasn't an exception. I had to blink my eyes furiously to stop myself from crying, and at times I yelled out in frustration (in a good way). The story is just so emotionally rich that the reader constantly has this small ache in his/her chest. And I simply loved it. The whole story was just so tragic, yet it left me for wanting more.

I was really surprised by the maturity of Nikki. She didn't well in self-pity, but she took responsibility and did everything in her power to make things alright again, even if it wasn't exactly an easy job to do. I found her character very realistic while she struggled with the aftereffects of  a memory loss due being in Everneath and being ostracised by her former friends. Nikki received all my sympathy while reading the book - she has gone through so much, yet she manages to move on.

On the other hand, we have Jack, the ex-boyfriend of Nikki's. At first I was a bit sceptical about him as he is the quarterback of the school's football team. I was sure that he would turn out to be the most stereotypical depiction of a love interest and who would annoy me until the end of the world. But how wrong I was! Jack is the perfect combination of masculinity and sweetness; while is very protective and even a bit of a tough guy, he had also very caring and gentle side to him. I was so swooned by his silent suffering and impressed by his commitment. 

Half of the story was told in flashbacks, so at the beginning the readers aren't completely sure what has happened before. I have to admit it was slightly confusing as some of the terminology needed to be memorised and it was up to the reader to connect the dots. However, after the initial confusion, I really liked how the structure was. There always was this slightly mysterious atmosphere as the readers weren't allowed to know the whole truth right from the beginning. Gradually Nikki's past is revealed and it is then when the crying starts. 

I reeeally recommend Everneath to people who like to read about Greek mythologies. The story is a retelling of the legend of Persephone and it is super dramatic and interesting. Even though I knew what was going to happen in the end, it didn't prevent me from gaping when it actually happened. I will looking forward to reading the next book, Everbound!
“Despite all the other factors that had contributed to my fate, in the end it was my decision that destroyed my life. And all the hurt I was enduring now was my doing. The blame rested solely with me.” 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#2)

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Thriller
Pages: 384

Expected Publication: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Description from Goodreads:

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.


Oh. My. God. Is this for real? The book sounds amazing! The first time I came across with Elusion, I added it right away to by TBR list. And then I saw the expected publication date: March, 2014. ... Wait, what? There's going to be 7 months of waiting? Elusion better be mind-blowing if I have to wait for that long!

What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#2): Absolute turn-offs

Top Ten Tuesday this week is about words/topics that will make you NOT to pick up a book. 

1. High school drama. I used to love everything revolving around high school relationships. Recently, I have noticed that I pick those books up less and less. Am I growing up or is this just a phase? No idea. Nevertheless, I do read books in which the main characters go to high school, but I don't want the mean-girl drama. 

2. The main character aiming to be a professional musician/dancer. I can't come up with anything more cliche. We all already know how the book is going to end and I rarely want to read something when I know the result before hand. 

3. The main character is an older adult. I already feel bad, but the thing is that I don't know how to identify with a person who is over 40 years older than I am. The life experience and as well as the values probably are so different from mine that I'm not sure if I could enjoy such a book to the fullest. Please, prove me wrong. 

4. The events take place in a sullen, gloomy private school that happens to be a castle. I think I can blame this for the novel Fallen. I was absolutely bored while reading it, and the book just killed my interest for ominous castles. What a shame. I think Harry Potter and Hogwarts is the only exception to the rule. 

5. Emo kid as the protagonist. Brooding can be sexy, but only within certain limits. I have encountered some books in which the angst goes to such heights that it just feels pretentious and attention-seeking. I can understand that e.g losing someone is hard, but I don't think any reader can handle constant self pitying. 

6. Including every possible genre in the book. I like my books having clear definitions to which genre they belong. For example, The Hunger Games is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic while Eragon is high fantasy. And I love them that way. If some genius comes up with an idea to write about a boy training with his dragon while trying to save his friends in a world with hi-tech equipment I'm going to hurl. 

7. Werewolves. I don't know why I'm so reluctant to read books which include werewolves because I love for example the TV show Teen Wolf. I've gotten this idea from somewhere that books with half-wolf half-human characters aren't cool. Anyone up for a challenge to prove me wrong?

8. Teen moms. I don't want to judge, but not my piece of cake. 

9. The main character is stupid. I want to emphasis that by "stupid" I don't mean mentally disabled, but just simply people who have every prerequisite to make logical deductions and inductions but somehow seem incapable of such thing. Stupidity isn't cute for me, it's just irritating. 

10. The love interest is a jerk. When I want to read a romance novel, the guy needs to be a dreamy. That's why I read romance - to find the perfect guy. Of course the man can first appear to be inconsiderate or mean, but he is forgiven if he can make up for his previous behaviour or his behaviours can be justified. However if the guy just treats the girl bad, it is a huge turn-off. 

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)

Description from Goodreads:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


There has probably been  a million reviews of The Fault in Our Stars so I feel like everything I want to say about this book, has already been said. Nevertheless, I want  to write a review of it, because it had such an impact on me and it kept me awake for many nights after finishing it. The Fault in Our Stars was my first book read from John Green, so I had no idea what to expect. I had heard that he is a brilliant YA author, but nevertheless I was a bit suspicious would he really be that good writer.

Well, it turned out that he is. In fact, he is one of my favourite authors at the moment. One of the many things I loved about TFIOS was the witty and smart dialogue. Many people have criticised the savvy train of thought of Hazel and Augustus as they are only teeangers, but I find this criticism a bit weird. Why can't 16-year-olds be so intelligent? There have been plenty of wise kids since the beginning of time, and I think it is pretty clear from straight from the beginning that the duo isn't exactly normal kids - they have gone through more than some people experience in a lifetime. This added to their natural gifts of intelligence makes them as they are in the novel. 

This leads us to the wonderful characters of Hazel and Augustus. Like I already said, I really enjoyed their quick-witted conversations and their life philosophies. Every page was as interesting as the previous one, and once I started reading I couldn't stop. I wanted to know more about them and how their relationship would develop and what's going to happen to them in the end. Even though in the beginning I though Augustus was a little bit too cocky for my taste, I ended up falling in love with him as he was very committed, persistent and loyal. On the other hand, I liked Hazel from the first page. She had very good sense of humour and (like already mentioned) very smart.

I have never witnessed anyone going through cancer treatments, or talked to someone what's it like to have a cancer, so I don't exactly know what would be a realistic depiction of it. Nevertheless, I felt like it could be something like in TFIOS. Even though not everything was written as gruesomely as possible, there were times when things definitely weren't embellished. Some of the scenes were painful to read and I probably used all of the week's  sympathy capacity into the book.  Another thing I liked was that Hazel didn't bathe in self-pity, but in fact she took a very humorous attitude when it came to her cancer. I like to think that would be my stand as well, if I had a cancer.

I found myself laughing and crying, and then some more laughing and crying while reading the book. I don't know if I can emphasise enough what an impact it made on me. While it was the book that made me fall in love with John Green's writing, it made me believe once again in contemporary/realistic fiction YA books. I have read the book only once, and to be honest I'm afraid to read it again because I want the illusion of a perfect book to last. I just freaking worship this book. 

"Oh I wouldn't mind Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you."

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) by Laini Taylor (2011)

Description from Goodreads:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There had been so much hype about it, and even though the description is just oozing mystery, I had my guard on when I started reading it. And I'm glad I did. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book but it wasn't what I expected it to be. 

There is this fairytale-like quality to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The feeling gets even stronger when we finally get a peek to Karou's unrevealed past. This is due to the fact that most of the characters are chimaeras. For me it took a little bit of time to get used to the fact that most of the characters were chimaeras (as the books I usually read have mostly humans), but once I got used to it, it didn't bother me that much. I didn't expect the supernatural to be so prominent in these books, but I think that is why the book is so liked - it differs quite a lot from the mainstream vampire books.  

Another thing contributing to the fairytale ambianca is the love story. It was pretty obvious that Karou and Akiva had known each other previously, but somehow neither of them recognises each other. Yet, there is this magical pull between them which makes them unable to forget another. In some way, their relationship reminded me of Romeo & Juliett, and even though I love epic love stories, I wish their relationship would have gotten more time to develop. 

Karou was a great heroine. She is pretty different from the usual woman protagonist with her dark blue hair, lethal combat skills, and her unusual foster family. Even though Karou leaned slightly to the emo side from time to time, I grew to like her. She is very capable when she wants to be, and I respect her for her guts. She doesn't take anyone's crap, but she also has the soft side to her which she is afraid to show to anyone. 

The book was basically split in two: "now" and "then". Personally I liked more "then" section as it was so epic in every way. I don't want to say anything else about it as the quite a lot of surprises come along with the part. With the "then" part, everything clicked together and it made me even sob. 

Those who love fairy-tales, supernatural and epic love stories, this is the book for you! I can't wait to read the other books as I have no idea in what direction Taylor is going to take the story. I'm very excited!

“Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.”