LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira | Review

Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Book #: Standalone
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: May 2014, by Hot Key Books
Pages: 323
Author’s Website and Twitter
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Rating: 
αρχείο λήψης (4)

Goodreads 

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven’t forgiven?

It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that’s as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl’s journey through life’s challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

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THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner | Review

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Book #: 1 in “the Maze Runner” trilogy
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Publication: October 2009 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 374
Author’s Website and Twitter
Source: Bought, Paperback
Rating: αρχείο λήψης (4)

Goodreads

“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

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ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell | Review

Title: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Adult, Classic, Science Fiction

Publication: May 20013, by Plume

Pages: 112

Author’s Website

Rating: cjombine_images

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/ communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Review

After trying for several times to write this review, I have decided that I will just write what comes to my mind right now and just keep it short, simple and sweet.

I was really taken by this book. There were moments when all I could do was stare at what was standing in letters right in front me and only think “What?… What the?… How?… How is this even possible?…” I have to say: “George Orwell, I take my hat off”. He managed to describe everything that is right and wrong in our society through describing an animal society. This book left me wondering how are we really different? Man and animal seems to be one and the same. Sorry if I’m becoming a bit philosophic here, but this book really provokes these kind of thoughts and questions.

It was also relatively easy to go through, as it was very small and also used a quite “easy” writing style. I have to say that I was really glad this book wasn’t longer, because even though I did appreciate all the thoughts and meanings of this book, it still was not exactly my kind of thing. I admit, I’m used to reading a lot of young adult and action packed books, so this one was very far away from my comfort zone. But I’m happy I gave it a try! It also feels nice somehow to read something completely different every once in a while.

First Line

Mr Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes.

Mini Review

I “appreciated” this book, but didn’t exactly “like” it.
George Orwell is definitely a genius with a great imagination.
I don’t regret reading this in any way!

Recommend it for…

  • Anyone who wants to read something thought-provoking
  • Fans of 1984 by George Orwell

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CITY OF ASHES by Cassandra Clare | Review

Title: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Book #: 2 in “The Mortal Instruments” series

Publication: July 2008, by Walker Childrens Paperbacks

Pages: 411

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: cjombine_images

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.” 

Review

To begin with, I was not a huge fan of the first book of the series and only pushed myself to read it because it was so overhyped and I wanted to know what everyone was talking about. Now, I also read the second book, because I had bought it in a box set. I have to admit, though, it was better than the first one.

I was actually finding the book pretty good in the beginning and was excited to read more of it, but somewhere in the middle I kind of lost interest. It did pick up in the last hundred pages or so, but it really took me a while to get there. The reason I didn’t like it so much at some parts was strictly because of the plot. It held no interest for me at some points.

I did, though, love a lot of characters of the book! Isabell, Magnus and Jace are definitely my favorite ones. I also love the witty and funny moments of the book, most of which include either Jace or Magnus or both of them!

All in all it was an ok book for me. I will probably read the third one too, since I already own it, even though I was really pissed of with the ending of this book! The third one is supposed to be the best one in the series, so I hope I end up liking it more!

First Line

The formidable glass-and-steel fracture rose from its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky.

Recommend it for…

  • Fans of fantasy
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ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth | Review

Title: Allegiant

Author: Veronica Roth

Book #: 3 in the “Divergent” Trilogy

Publication: October 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 526

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating:cjombine_images

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us.”

Review

I’m having some difficulties writing this review. It’s hard to explain my feelings, or more accurately my lack of feelings.

Let me start by saying that I loved both divergent and insurgent and was very excited to read allegiant. But it just wasn’t what I expected it to be. Overall I felt sort of disconnected with the characters… And I don’t know exactly the reason for that, as it didn’t happen in the previous books, but while reading this one, I can’t say that I was feeling much of anything!

As far as the plot goes, it was not what I was hoping for. The action that we were used to from the previous books is pretty much non-existent in this one. There weren’t any plot twists until the very end of the book, but up to that point everything was very predictable. Nothing too major happening, just more of the factions etc drama that we’re used to. After the ending of insurgent, I was really excited that everyone found out there was a world outside the place where they were living and eager to see what it would be like! That, unfortunately, was another disappointment, since the outside world was, again, nothing really exciting.

As far as the ending – don’t worry I’m not going to spoil you – I did not hate the idea, but the way it was written made me feel no emotions at all. I just finished the book without a sense of closure. I really wish I could connect with it more! If this wasn’t part of a series I love I would have given it a lower rating, but I can’t ignore the “glow” of the previous books, so 3.5 it is!

First Line

I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget.

Recommend it for…

  • I would still recommend the trilogy for fans of Dystopia.

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GONE by Michael Grant | Review

Title: Gone

Author: Michel Grant

Book #: 1 in the “Gone” series

Publication: June 2008 by Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 576

Author’s Facebook and Twitter

Rating: cjombine_images

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else…

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“That’s your solution? Have a cookie?’ Astrid asked. ‘No, my solution is to run down to the beach and hide out until this is all over,’ Sam said. ‘But a cookie never hurts.” 

Review

This book got straight into action! From the very first sentence things were starting to happen and I was immediately intrigued! The idea was really great and had a lot of potential from the beginning. I mean, suddenly everyone who is over 15 years old disappears and no one has any idea what’s going on, how this happened and what should be done next!

Obviously all the characters of the book are going to be children under 15 years old, but I can’t say that this bothered me, even though I’m 22 years old! They were actually behaving more like 17-year-olds in my opinion, but I can also imagine that in a situation like that some people would act a bit more maturely. The main character is a boy named Sam. I can’t say I’m a big fan of Sam’s character. I very much prefered Astrid who was the love interest. She was a really smart girl, also called Astrid the genius, had a really strong character, but also a soft side, that we could see through the way she was taking care of her little brother.

The downside of this book was that it was so very long! With almost 600 pages it took me a while to get through the whole thing, even though it was very interesting from cover to cover. I feel like there could be some things left out, so that the book would be a bit smaller and a bit less intimidating.

All in all, I would recommend this book to a number of people and I want to continue with the series, but after I take a small break and read a few other stories first!

First Line

One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War.

Recommend it for…

  • Fans of supernatural fiction
  • Adults, teens and middleschoolers (it could just apply to anyone)

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UNKNOWN by Melissa Pearl | Review

Title: Unknown

Author: Melissa Pearl

Book #: 1 in the “Elements” trilogy

Publication: June 2013 by Createspace

Pages: 276

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: cjombine_images

Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.

Then a star begins to fall.

Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.

Then a star begins to fall.

Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.

Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“Then a star begins to fall”

Review

It was strange reading this book. Whenever I picked it up I felt like I really liked the story, but somehow I was getting tired of it and putting it down. And every time I put it down I felt the need to pick it up again and find out what happens next. Talk about frustarting!

In the beginning I sort of had trouble keeping up with the many different characters with weird names and the relationships between them. I soon discovered though, that there was an index at the end of the book with the name and a few basic facts about every important character. This was really helpful and I often turned the pages to remind myself who is who.

While reading I was thinking it was probably going to be a 2,5 star book. After the middle, though, it started getting much better, so it earned an extra star. All 3,5 stars given to this are solely based on it’s storyline, which really is fantastic and very original and also on princess Kyla!

I did feel that there were many things missing from this book though. The storyline was very interesting, as I said, but the way it was narrated was lacking. A book should show and not say, and I feel this book was doing the exact opposite. We were always “being told” of what happened or what someone’s character is like instead of “being shown”. There is one character for example (Safeer), who is always described as being cruel and merciless and completely dislikable. This is always described by other people though! We don’t get to see him “in action” until very late in the book, so we don’t exactly get the chance to form a first-hand opinion on him, but only get to see him through a looking glass.

Furthermore, the pace was very slow, at times focusing on not-so-important details instead of the main plot. Whenever there is some action coming up, where you feel the anticipation growing, it either finishes really fast, or it finally doesn’t happen at all. The perspective switches between many of the characters of the books, giving us the opportunity to experience the story from different angles, but also giving us information on many random things. I would prefer it if the POV was only switching between the two-three main characters, so that I could learn more about them and less about everyone else.

As far as the characters are concerned, I really loved princess Kyla, the protagonist of the book! She is a strong female character, always feisty and witty. She doesn’t really care much about being a princess and she much prefers running outside or practicing with a sword, than wearing a dress and studying. She really loves adventure and would definitely prefer risking her life doing something fun and dangerous, than playing the boring role of a princess. Her character was really refreshing and one of the best parts of this book! As for Jethro (the guy who is in love with Kyla, but doesn’t want her to find out because she is to be married to his cousin), I was a bit annoyed dy him. I get why he can’t tell her about his feelings and how hard it must be for him and all, but the way she is always pushing her away, often not even talking to her, is kind of getting on my nerves. I’d like to see some clever dialogs between those two and I hope we get some in book number two!

I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series and I have a strong feeling that the next two books are going to be even better than this one!

First Line

“It was once said that a light could shine in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it, but then the light died and a darkness born of doubt and fear began to fester throughout the land, breeding an evil that no one invited.”

Recommend it for…

Indie readers
Fantasy fans

Add it on Goodreads

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