A Thousand Pieces of You (Claudia Gray)

Let us all first admit that despite all our efforts to not judge a book by its cover, we all do, all the time… and this book is gorgeous! That cover is pretty enough to be an art piece. Front covers are not enough, though, we also judge a book by its back cover, aka the blurb, and A Thousand Pieces of You sounds perfect. This is why, considering that it might be some time until the printed book becomes readily available here, I decided to get an e-copy and started reading.

I must say it was a great decision. This book is sci-fi, thriller, and romance all twisted together. It was fast paced and so very intense, I found myself having to take a short break from reading after each chapter because it was just too much. I read all of it in about seven or so hours, short breaks included.

I went through some of the GoodReads review, and I can totally understand some people’s frustration. Here we have this complicated, mysterious, dangerous plot, and what the main character (also, the narrator) finds to be most pressing is how she feels about Paul. Or Theo. Or is it the other Paul?Umm. Yeah. More important matters ahead, Marguerite! I didn’t find it as irritating while reading though. In fact, her moments with Paul were probably my favorite scenes. And I was going through a period of utter disgust over romance so that is really saying something.

I admire Claudia Gray for her ridiculously brilliant imagination. The characters in this book go through five different worlds, all brilliantly described and connected. I was genuinely surprised with where Marguerite turns up in (especially the second one) and found myself looking forward to each world. And the plot twist(s)! THE PLOT TWIST(S)!! Brilliant! The whole science stuff were pretty sound as well. There is only one question I have though (this might be slightly spoiler-ish): if the Firebirds were set to follow Paul, then how did Marguerite and her father manage to go home? Hmm… okay, there’s probably a home mechanism on the device. But wasn’t the other Firebird programmed to Theo? Oh well, anyway, that’s the only reservation I have about the whole science part. Otherwise I thought it flowed quite well.

I’m a bit bummed that this book is a series though, because I have a feeling it might turn Divergent-ey with the second and third book being more action less brilliance as far as I know… (Still haven’t gotten round reading Allegiant. Meh.) The worse part though, is having to wait for the next book to come out. WHY? Why couldn’t this book just be a stand-alone? Oh right, because the evil guy is still out there and there’s a war coming up (see what I meant when I said more action?)

Review: We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)

This book was June’s hottest item. I remember seeing it being praised on every other blog I visited. I wanted to read it so bad that I went looking for a copy at three different bookstores. I finally got a copy a week or so later. I devoured it in a few hours. The way this book is written, with its short, poetic sentences, definitely lends to quick reading. I know some people hated it but I actually quite enjoyed the writing style.

Having seen this book reviewed pretty much everywhere, I knew there was a twist coming, and I have to say I pretty much figured it out halfway through the book. I thought it was pretty obvious, but it’s most likely because I knew to look out for it — and I know enough psychology to know what sorts of terrible things could happen to you following a terrible thing that happened. That being said, the actual terrible thing that happened wasn’t quite what I thought happened. There was no way I could’ve imagined that was what happened, so that was still a surprise. Sort of.

Other than that I really don’t have much to say about this book. It’s a quick, enjoyable, fulfilling read — unless you get annoyed by (a) the writing style or (b) the narrator’s personality, because she is kind of annoying… except I felt terribly sad for her and so I tolerated her annoying-ness. Which is probably what everyone else in her family thought of, which is probably why she ended up being so annoying in the first place. Hmm. Anyway.

[green_box] This post is part of the Write On review-a-thoncreated and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. [/green_box]

Review: If I Stay (Gayle Forman)

I had seen some reviews for this book around but wasn’t really interested to read it, until I got a copy from my subscription to Literary Box, a local startup where you get a surprise book package every three months (or so). It was there and it looked interesting enough so I read it.

The problem I had with this book was that the premise of the book was all laid out beforehand. Reading it, I knew there was going to be an accident, I knew Mia’s whole family were going to die. I knew Mia will have to decide whether or not she lives, and in a way I sort of knew what she was going to choose because… well, there’s a second book!

That being said, I did enjoy the book — after the accident, that is. The first few pages leading towards it was just filler in my opinion. It was so boring I almost didn’t go on reading. Anyway, once I went past that part, a lot of emotions were in play, and it was weaved together expertly that you actually feel everything Mia felt. Except that now as I finish this review, which is almost six months after reading it, I realize I don’t remember all that much about it. I even considered lowering down my rating, but I guess I must’ve liked it more back then. It just didn’t stay (haha).

One last thing: I still don’t get why she ends up leaving Adam (I know this because… second book, despite not having read it yet). I mean… is it her love for music that makes her stay and decide to go to Juilliard? Because I was convinced it was Adam’s love that made her stay. I guess I’m a hopeless romantic or something… but I really, really don’t get it. I personally would’ve left this book as a stand-alone, but I haven’t read the second book. Maybe it’s good? Maybe I should read it. Maybe.

[green_box] This post is part of the Write On review-a-thoncreated and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. [/green_box]

 

 

Review: The Girl with All the Gifts (M. R. Carey)

This book. THIS BOOK! It’s my favorite book of the year.

I grabbed a copy after reading a very vague short review on Book Riot. The back cover intrigued me. I delved in without knowing much about the book, and it was a great decision. The thing is, a lot of people would shy away from this book once they know what it’s supposed to be about. If I had known, I wouldn’t have read it at all. This is why whenever I recommend this book, I tell people NOT to look for information about it. Don’t look at the categorization because it will spoil the book. And even if you have found out what it’s about… please read it anyway, because this book is about so much more.

I mean, the whole possibly spoiling thing set aside, this book is about love. Not the romantic kind of love, but love between human beings and how it manifests in different aspects of our lives. There’s the love between a student and her favorite teacher, love between a teacher and her most brilliant student, love between a scientist and her work, and the love of a sergeant to his men, his country, and his task to protect people.

This book is written from multiple first-person point of view which can be horrible if not done well, usually resulting in confusion of who’s narrating, but M. R. Carey does it splendidly. The voice of each narrator was pretty distinct.

The book is action packed but also full of feeling. Scenes from it stayed with me whenever I had to put the book down, and the ending… well, the ending was unexpected but pretty much perfect because any other ending would’ve been too cliched. This was just right. Devastating but hopeful at the same time. It was perfect.

[green_box]This post is part of the Write On review-a-thoncreated and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen[/green_box]

Review: The Giver (Lois Lowry)

 

Whoa! The third book in my 30 Before 30 Reading List! This was a quick and easy read, in part because it’s a middle-grade book, but mostly because it was well-written and the story so captivating that I simply refused to put it down until I finished. Luckily it didn’t take as many hours as Room did.

The Giver is all the rage, of course, because there’s a movie coming up based on it, and of course you should always read the book before you see the movie (well, I’m not that strict with that rule, but still… I found myself looking all over for the book just so I could read it as soon as possible). From what I gathered by seeing the trailer, though, the movie won’t be anything like the book, because they’ve aged Jonas to appeal to the teen market, quite like what they did with Ella Enchanted, and made several plot changes, it seems. Oh well.The trailer looks promising though, and it will probably be a good movie if you try and forget that it’s based on the book, I suppose.

What The Giver is, then, is a dystopian story that I believe predates the trend of dystopian stories in today’s literature. It’s told from the point of view of Jonas, who is a twelve-year-old boy living in the midst of the society. This results in a story that doesn’t give you an elaborate description about what the society is like. Instead, the knowledge builds up as Jonas experiences something, and as the truth is revealed to him. Which makes for a surprising read, if not a bit annoying at times. I was SO annoyed with the “change” that Jonas can’t seem to describe that keeps happening. For a moment I thought his world was like The Matrix, but of course I was wrong.

There are so many things in the story that isn’t articulated right away, so you get taken aback by realization of what is actually happening every so often. And then, of course, there is the ending. The ending left me staring at the book for a long time. Then I looked up the other books. Except that the books aren’t continuation but rather other sorts of dystopian communities around. The realization that whatever happened to Jonas and the baby is entirely up to me was devastating, mainly because I find it very hard to think about it positively. Which tells you a lot about how grown-up minds work because I’m sure children who read this story will look at it the happy way.

I had written the lesson I learned from this book in the 30 Before 30 Check-in I did a few weeks back, but now that I look back at it, it seems like an oversimplification and a little bit obvious. There are actually a lot of “lessons” in this book. It’s definitely one I would re-read one day.

Review: Room (Emma Donoghue)

 

I remember the first time I read the synopsis for Room, a few years back. It was the month’s chosen read for one of my Goodreads groups. I remember thinking how intriguing the synopsis sounds and adding it on my wishlist, but that was it. I never actually picked up a copy. Until I found someone in yet another Goodreads group that had books to sell/swap, and Room was on her list. I decided it’s time to go for it, and bought Room along with some other books that have been on my wishlist for a while. Read more

Review: The Survival Kit (Donna Freitas)

 

One of my friends on Goodreads was my best friend back in high school. We haven’t spoken to each other for a long while but she’s quite an avid reader with tastes similar to mine, so every now and then I would stalk her Goodreads shelves to see if something catches my interest. This time around, I saw that she had created a shelf called “Death and Dying” which contained books that were somehow related to death and dying. Notable examples? The Fault in Our Stars, A Walk to Remember, If I Stay. And then there’s The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas. Read more

Review: Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine)

 

Once I finished reading 1984, I felt like I needed something that would be easier to read, preferably with a lot of happy moments, and definitely a happy ending. So I looked at my shelves, and my recently purchased, brand new copy of Ella Enchanted (with extras!) was staring back at me. This was possibly the easiest what-to-read-next decision I’ve ever made. Read more

Review: 1984 (George Orwell)

 

To read George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 has been on my bucket list since forever, and I’m not even sure why. I suppose it’s because these two books are iconic and they are referenced quite often. This is especially true for 1984. Who hasn’t heard/used the phrase “be careful, Big Brother is watching you” or something similar? I read Animal Farm last year, and I’m glad to finally have read 1984 as well. I also have a vain reason why I really wanted to read 1984: it’s the year I was born. Read more

Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

 

I don’t know how this happened. I was supposed to be reading 1984 and The Pilgrim’s Progress. I have a list of 30 books that I have to read before November 13. This book is not on that list! Okay, so I’ve seen some reviews of this series and I saw Cress in the bookstore the other day. I’ve been thinking about fairy tale retellings, and this was certainly an interesting one, so I got the e-books. Then, one night I was trying to read 1984 but I’m currently reading the part where Winston was reading a non-fiction book and it’s really hard to get through (mostly because I keep thinking how much the things written there make sense, but that would be in my review for 1984), and I decided I need to read something else, and I decided to give Cinder a go. I was going to read only a chapter or two each night, but it was… so good! Read more