PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen | Review

Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author:  Jane Austen
Book #: Standalone
Genres: Classic, Romance
Publication: August 2009, by Penguin Classics
Pages: 339
Source: borrowed
Format: paperback
Rating: αρχείο λήψης (7)

Goodreads 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

Continue reading

BROKEN ARROWS | Review, Tour and Giveaway

Tour Page and Schedule

Broken Arrows by Chelsey Butler

Page Count: 174 pages
Released Feb. 6, 2014
Adult Romantic Fantasy

Cari Harris lives what should be a charmed life. She owns a quaint bed and breakfast in a charming southern town, is surrounded by loving friends and family, and possesses magical powers. Most of the residents in Fable, GA, are descended from mythical creatures straight out of fairy tales, and Cari is no exception. As a descendent of Cupid, she has the ability to see when two people are soul mates and the power to make sure they fall in love. However, this power is sometimes more of a curse than a blessing, because Cari is also the town screw up.

While hosting a murder mystery weekend at her inn, she tries to match a young couple and makes a huge mistake. Now she must fix her mistake before the guests leave at the end of the weekend, all while making a bigger mess of things along the way, in her typical fashion.

As if Cari didn’t have enough to worry about already, her old boyfriend just moved back to town. Years ago, she forced herself to stop thinking about Mike, but now that he’s back, there is no avoiding him. It’s a small town and she keeps running in to him, no matter how much she hopes to avoid it. When she stumbles across some unexpected secrets, and Mike helps her with her current matchmaking dilemma, all of her feelings from the past come flooding back.

Goodreads | Amazon

 

Review

So when I read the Title and the Synopsis of the book it immediately reminded me of the TV show “Once Upon a Time” (which I love by the way) and it actually turned out to be kind of similar to it. Yay!

The whole story takes place in this town where everyone has some kind of a fairy tale ancestor. Like tooth fairies and friggin’ Santa Claus! It was really super cute! Cari, our protagonist, is the daughter of Cupid. So her job is to see the aura between couples and bring them together. Unfortunately she seems to be a bit too clumsy to do the job and we follow her as she’s trying to fix one of her spells gone wrong, while managing her guests at the inn she owns, trying to find time for her family and friends and dealing with her ex boyfriend who just came back to town.

Cari’s character was my favorite part of the book. She’s so relate-able and she has the best job ever! She runs a little inn in a cute little town. Seriously this books is so so cute! I could honestly describe it in this one word. So, back to Cari. She’s also incredibly funny and I couldn’t help but laugh at her clumsiness and all the things going wrong. I liked how she tried to figure everything out and make everything right again. I also loved how much she cared about everyone and tried to bring other people together.

The story of the book is quite interesting. I couldn’t figure out who the love interest was going to be. We have the ex boyfriend who came back to town after having left Cari some years ago to go study and then we have the guest in the inn who has accidentally fallen head over heals for Cari. I wouldn’t characterize it as a love triangle, though, as Cari didn’t seem to care about any of them at first, so that’s the only reason I was a bit confused. It was an interesting sort of situation and all of that during a mystery theme weekend with the inn being full of guests and people trying to solve the “mystery”.

This book is very short (only 170 pages) and I actually think it could use a few more. Especially in the ending. The ending of the book was actually a downside for me mainly because it was so abrupt. I was actually asking myself if there were a couple of pages missing (Lol). I would definitely like to find out what happens next and I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel.

So to sum it all up, I really loved the main idea behind the book and the character of the protagonist. I would like for the book to be a bit longer so that I could get to know the characters a bit better and become more invested in the story. But I’m looking forward to the sequel and how the story will continue from there. Did I mention this is a series? It’s called “The Cupid Chronicles”. How cute is that?

αρχείο λήψης (3)

About the Author

Chelsey Butler was born and raised near Fort Worth, Texas. She still lives in north Texas with her husband and four daughters, but she rebels against the Texan stereotype. She loves God, her family, and all things involving books, and is a self-proclaimed nerd, a history buff, and vintage enthusiast. She also writes young adult fantasy under the name S.G. Tillery. Chelsey loves hearing from her fans and encourages them to find her on Facebook.


Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Giveaway:

$10 Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

cbbbutton

Continue reading

THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini | Review

Title: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction

Publication: April 2004, by Riverhead Book

Pages: 372

Author’s Website

Rating: αρχείο λήψης (7)

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land.

Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority.

But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”

Review

So, I knew that this book has received a gazillion positive reviews, everyone loves it and it has 4.20 stars on goodreads. Still, I had it on my shelves since my birthday on 2009 when my mother had given it to me as a present saying that it was the best book she’d ever read. And I left it on my shelf for 4 years. 4 whole years it was sitting on my shelf and I didn’t even care about it. Why am I telling you this? Just to show you that I was almost positive I wasn’t going to like this book. Why? I don’t f-ing know! I thought it was going to be a melodramatic (which it was), heavy (which it also was) and boring (which it wasn’t AT ALL) story.

The story of two boys, two friends whom life brings apart. I never thought this could make for such a book. Touching. Sad. But also motivational and hopeful. This book was everything I didn’t expect it to be. It blew me away and it’s a book I will remember for a long time.

The highlight of this book is definitely the author. His writing style. His talent. Above all I admire his ability to write all these things, that must include a lot of personal experiences and trigger many feelings, with such political neutrality. There wasn’t any point in the book where I could feel the author taking a stand. Choosing who the good and who the bad guys are. It must take a great deal of strength to be able to do that. To be able to write about something that has affected your own life so much and still watch it as if you’re on the outside, looking in. I can’t do anything, but admire such strength and self-control.

It’s one of few books that made me feel all these kinds of different emotions and all of them very intensely. So here’s how I feel after having read the book:

I am angry.
Because of all the injustice. Because of everything that shouldn’t be happening, but still happens. Because of everything that people among us have to go through. Because it’s not fair.

I am horrified.
By everything that humans are capable of doing. Being capable of hurting so many people just to achieve a certain goal – usually money. Being willing to destroy thousands of lives, children, families, just to earn more money. And, what’s even more scary, being capable of transforming all those things under the mask of “the greater good” or even “self-protection”. It’s unbelievable how far humans can go.

I am sad.
Of all the things that can tear two people apart. Nationality differences. Skin-color differences. Religion differences. Why do all of these even exist?

I am in awe.
Of the author. Of his writing style. Of how he managed to make everything seem so real. To describe everything in such detail without making the story boring. To be able to use such long narrations and monologues, but keep the story direct and alive. He has an incredible talent.

I am moved.
By everything that is happening in this book. It’s happening all around us in the real world and we just choose to close our eyes to it. Even though the story is so sad and could even be described as depressing, I feel motivated.

I am hopeful.

I am different.
I feel like this book has changed me. I feel like it’s my responsibility to do something. To change something. To help someone.

I don’t what else there is left to say. I hope I convinced at least one of you to read this book. It’s something I truly believe everyone should read and everyone would be able to admire and respect.

If there is one phrase that will stick with me for a long, long time it’s this:

“Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul.”

First Line

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.

Mini Review

One of the best books I’ve ever read.
A powerful story and a beautifully written book.
The power to forgive, forget and move on could not have been depicted any better. 

Recommend it for…

  • Everyone over the age of maybe 15, due to violent content.

αρχείο λήψης (7)

CARRIE by Stephen King | Review

Title: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Adult, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller

Publication: November 2002, by Pocket Books

Pages: 253

Author’s Website

Rating: αρχείο λήψης (1)

Stephen King’s legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates.

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act–of ferocious cruelty–turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“People don’t get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.”

Review

Well… How can I say this? I just didn’t like this book. And I’m quite upset about it because I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time and it really disappointed me.

Honestly. When you think about Stephen King and especially Carrie what are some of the first things that come to your mind? Because for me it’s: really scary, creepy, weird unexplained things happening, more scary, great writing, extremely scary, un-put-downable. Well from all these things the only one that was accomplished for me was the “weird unexplained things happening”.

For the first half of the book everything was going okay. Not really good, but acceptable. And then, when I thought “now the real thing will start”, it started becoming worse and worse! First of all, the whole book was revolving around one single event. When I realized that I thought “Okay, at least it better be good!”. And it so wasn’t. The event in itself was quite big, to be fair. But the way it was described and the feelings of Carrie during that event where very unemotional and just lukewarm. When you’re writing a whole book around one thing and building anticipation and excitement and curiosity about how it will all go down, you can’t describe it almost with no emotions at all. And you can definitely not describe it from a secondary character’s point of view.

But that’s exactly what happened. Even worse actually, because the point of view was not from only one secondary character, but from so many! Some of them were actually not even mentioned in the book before that. They just randomly appear towards the end of the book and we’re stuck reading from their perspective. Quite frankly, I don’t freaking care what a random person / character has to say about what happened! I want to experience what’s happening first hand from the perspective of Carrie or some other important character and not some stranger who doesn’t even know what has been going on! Not to mention that they weren’t even there when everything went down, so we learn everything from these secondary characters talking to some of the main characters and asking them what had happened. I mean, WHAT? WHY? This really frustrated me to no end.

The only positive thing I could find about this book was the dynamic between Carrie and her mother. Her mother is an obsessively and extremely religious person who makes Carrie go through a lot of different punishments in order to pay for her sins. Of course this plays a major role to how Carrie evolves as a person and pretty much shapes her personality. So I really thought that Carrie’s reactions and her relationship between her and her mother was a very well described part of the book. Also the scenes with the punishments ended up being the most emotionally hard, but also exciting scenes in the whole story.

In general I was very disappointed by this book. I had really high hopes for it and expected to read something truly scary and twisted, and it ended up being anything but that. I’ve heard quite a few things about this book, so obviously others have seen something in it, but I really cannot see it. I might try watching the movie, though. I have a feeling I might like it better.

First Line

It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th.

Mini Review

Completely disappointed in this book.
The story wasn’t what  I expected it to be.
I had some serious issues with the writing style.
Generally, not my cup of tea.

Recommend it for…

  • fans of classic thrillers

αρχείο λήψης (1)

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

cjombine_images

THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss | Review

Title: The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Book #: 1 in “the Kingkiller Chronicle”

Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Publication: April 2009, by DAW Trade

Pages: 722

Author’s Website

Rating: combinej_images

This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

Reasons for not Finishing

To be honest, I found nothing appealing in this book. For the first 50 pages the story was incredibly uninteresting. Then there was a change in plot, as the protagonist started narrating his story, which is actually the story of the book. So why exactly did I have to read all those 50 pages of unimportant details? Anyway, I thought the story was going to pick up after that, but it didn’t. At least not in the next 50 pages at which point I decided to give up and start reading something else.

So I obviously had major issues with the plot, but it was also the characters I had problems with. The main character and narrator, Kvothe, is really arrogant and full of himself, in my opinion, which pretty much annoyed me. Up to the point where I stopped reading there weren’t really any other important or interesting characters. At least no one stood out to me.

So considering that this book is 722 pages long, the second one more than 1000 and there’s also a third one to come, I decided to stop wasting my time. In defense of the book let me add that this is not something I would just see on a shelf and think that I might like it. I had just heard a lot of good things about it and thought I’d give it a try, but from the beginning I was not sure if it was going to be something I would like. And it wasn’t.

First Line

It was felling night, and the usual crowd had gathered at the Waystone Inn.

Recommend it for…

  • People who enjoy adult fantasy
  • People who are patient enough to read around 3000 pages to finish this series

combinej_images

1984 by George Orwell | Review

Title: 1984

Author: George Orwell

Book #: Standalone

Publication: July 1950 by Signet Classics

Pages: 328

Author’s Website

Rating: f4c0488b-ab03-452b-94f1-cd12ff49ff75

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while the year 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions. A legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”

Review

This is a scary scary world! And the scariest thing about it is that this is the world we live in! Okay, I’m exaggerating a little.

1984 describes a world where everything is controlled by the government: living, working, talking, sleeping, procreating etc. If the government says that 2+2=5 then it is true. It doesn’t even occur to anyone to question it. You are not even allowed to think otherwise because Big Brother is watching you. Privacy is, of course, non-existent and if you do anything that goes against the government, you get arrested, killed, and deleted from every file. You “evaporate“. It’s like you never existed. Even the slightest change in your face expression can betray you, which will lead to your evaporation.

All of the above is, of course, not really a problem, because almost no one ever thinks about questioning what the government says. Ignorance is strength, and after all, Big Brother would never do anything that isn’t in the best interests of everyone. This sort of world is frighteningly familiar, because it is so similar to the way our world is turning into.

I could probably analyze this book by talking about it for pages and pages, but I don’t think there is a point in doing that here and now, so just know this:

1984 is a book that has changed me forever. And if there was one thing I loved about it, that would have to be the ending. Which was refreshingly, realistically, wonderfully unpredictable.

READ IT.

First Line

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Recommend it for…

  • anyone who is curious to read the first dystopian book ever written
  • anyone wanting to read a thought-provoking novel
  • anyone who has thoughts about the way our society has become

f4c0488b-ab03-452b-94f1-cd12ff49ff75

MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides | Review

Title: Middlesex

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

Book #: Standalone

Publication: September 2003, by Picador

Pages: 544

Author’s Facebook

Rating: combinhe_images

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls’ school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond clasmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them–along with Callie’s failure to develop–leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia- back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City and Prohibition, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite.

Spanning eight decades–and one unusually awkward adolescence- Jeffrey Eugenides’s long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America’s best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.”

Review

At first I was hesitant to read this book, mainly because I don’t usually read adult non-fiction and this one was also a quite massive book. As it turned out, though, I really enjoyed it and it was much, much easier to read than I thought it would be. Not that it was anything like the fast-paced young adult books I usually read, but the language used was quite easier to read as I had imagined and the content of the book was very interesting.

The narrator of the book is Cal Stephanides in his adult age. In spite of that we experience very little about his life now, as he mostly narrates the lives of his grandparents, parents and of himself when he was still a little girl. And yes I meant to say girl. Cal Stephanides was born and raised as a girl and only later in his life does he realize that he was actually born a hermaphrodite and decides to continue his life as a man. Don’t worry there were no spoilers in this and just now, as I’m writing, I realize that there’s almost nothing I can tell that will spoil anything of this book. Just because the ending is obvious from the very beginning of the book. It’s the story that matters. The events that led Calliope Stephanides to change her identity into that of a man.

The story begins in the early 20th century in Asia Minor and Cal narrates the story of his grandparents as if he was there and knew everything that was happening. So in the beginning of the book we meet Cal’s grandmother (Desdemona) who actually evolved to my favorite character of the book. To me (coming from Greece) Desdemona felt like a real person. She reminded me of my own grandmother and the stories she used to tell of when she was little. So I guess the praise here goes to the writer, who managed to understand and describe accurately the every-day life and the traditions of Greek people of that time.

Later in the book Desdemona and her husbant migrate to America and slowly the focus of the story starts shifting from them to their children (Cal’s parents). When I realized this was happening I was sad, because I didn’t want to stop reading about Desdemona! But even though my favorite character no longer had a lead role, I continued enjoying the book and the plot was getting more and more interesting!

I don’t really have anything negative to say about this book. The reason I gave it 4 stars, instead of 5, was that I was at times wishing I had something more fast-paced to read and for that reason skipped the narration at some points to get to the dialog. But this only had to do with my own reading habits and the books I’m used to reading.

First Line

“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. . .”

Recommend it for…

  • Readers of adult/non-fiction
  • Anyone interested in learning more things about the greek cultutre of the 20th century
Add it on Goodreads

combinhe_images

DRACULA by Bram Stoker | Review

Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Book #: Standalone

Publication: April 2012 by Penguin

Pages: 440

Rating: acombine_images

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master” —culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

Synopsis from Goodreads

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

There are so many vampire books out there, so I felt the need to read this book in order to find out what it was that started it all! The first vampire book with the original count Dracula myth! This is also the first classic I have ever managed to finish!

The whole book is written in the form of journals and diaries of several people involved in the story. The beginning of the book, was narrated by Jonathan Harker’s point of view as he visited Dracula’s castle in Romania. This was in my opinion the most interesting part of the book and I was immediately hooked. As I continued reading though, the point of view shifted from Mr Harker to his fiancé, Mina, in England and the story started growing slower and less interesting. This pace continued almost until the end of the book, sometimes becoming a bit faster, but in general pretty slow.

I did enjoy Mina’s character though. Keeping in mind that this book was written in the late 19th century, when a woman’s role was mainly to be a wife, Mina was much more independent and powerful. Even though women were considered and sometimes even expected to be weak, Mina was quite strong, making her own decisions and speaking up even in a room full of men! She was always freely saying her opinion which was taken into consideration and respected by everyone in this book.

What I felt missing from this book was the perspective of Count Dracula. He was supposedly the main character of the book and we only get to see him through the eyes of others. I would definitely like to learn his side of the story and also his thoughts, plans, motives and actions.

The movie is also nicely done and quite accurate to the book. Check it out at imdb.

All in all I did appreciate the book even though it wasn’t exactly my taste. If you want to find out what a real vampire is like and enjoy classics, definitely give this book a chance! On the other hand if you enjoy fast paced action/thriller books, this is not the book for you.

 
acombine_images