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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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

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THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher | Review

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Book #: Standalone
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Publication: October 2007, by Penguin
Pages: 288
Author’s Website and Twitter
Source: purchased
Format: paperback
Rating: αρχείο λήψης (5)

Goodreads 

Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Bakera–his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

This is a desperate, heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful novel.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

 

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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

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DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan | Review

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publication: October 2010, by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 260

Author’s Website and WebsiteTwitter

Rating: qcombine_images

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait on line for Santa, or some such inconvenience.”

Review

To be honest, the first thing that pulled me into this book was because its cover. It is honestly what I would call the perfect Christmas-y/Winter-y cover. Then I read the synopsis of the book, which also seemed really interesting. Plus I’d heard a couple of people saying they liked the book. So for all these reasons I decided to read the book.

Unfortunately I have to say that I was disappointed. This book was really not what I expected it to be. I was expecting to read a cute little Christmas story about two people exchanging dares through a notebook. Kind of like the movie Love me if you Dare! And even though that was theoretically the story, there were so many things missing.

First, the love story was just awful. It had no swoon moments and I didn’t feel any connection between the characters. This was as far away from an “epic love” as possible. And I felt like the two characters were just mildly interested in each other. We have two characters that are completely opposite to one another, like we often do in contemporary books (opposites attract and so on…). The problem was, that they didn’t even realise they were different and there were practically no witty dialogs, snarky comments and all these things you expect when you have two characters who are different. Their interaction was just blah.

Secondly, the so-called “dares” that each one of them had to do were just meh. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting about them and for dares I would expect them to be more daring! For example Dash had to get a note from Santa Claus and for that he had to wait in line for two whole hours! How exciting and daring (NOT!)

Lily was one of the most annoying characters I’ve read about. I thought she was acting like a spoiled 12-year-old! She was nagging all the time about her Christmas being ruined and was completely immature throughout the whole book. On the other side she really loved animals and Christmas and freaking rainbows! I just didn’t feel like her character was real and I just wanted to scream at her!

Dash was somewhat better. Although he was also really whiny, but that was not really a problem for me. What did annoy me, though, was that he was constantly trying to show how supposedly smart he was, citing books all the time and basically being a pretentious arrogant.

What I liked about this book was that each of the two authors wrote from one of the two perspectives (David Levithan wrote Dash’s perspective and Rachel Cohn wrote Lily’s). I have to say that I enjoyed Dash’s perspective more, but that might have to do with the fact that I generally liked his character more.

In general, I was really disappointed by this book because it had so much potential! Two characters getting to know each other through a notebook and sending each other dares? It could have been an amazing book! *sigh*

First Line

Imagine this: You’re in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves.

Mini Review

Recommend it for…

  • Anyone wanting to read a Christmas-y story. Although you might want to try something else…

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THE DUFF: DESIGNATED UGLY FAT FRIEND by Kody Keplinger | Review

Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Author: Kody Keplinger

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary

Publication: September 2010 by LittleBrown/Poppy

Pages: 280

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: combinhe_images

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“Your sense of humor needs some work, then,” Wesley suggested. “Most girls find my jokes charming.”
“Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over.”

Review

This was everything I’m looking for in a young adult romance book!

I was kind of disappointed by the chick lit young adult genre, because I haven’t liked any of the books I’ve read so far. But this one totally changed my mind! The main character, the story, the love interest, everything was exactly how I wanted it!

What I liked about the main character, Bianca, was that she was not only stubborn (which is something that we often see with female protagonists), but she was also pessimistic, sarcastic and cynical. Generally a very refreshing point of view to read from! The love interest was the typical “bad boy” / man whore that we read about again and again. I kind of wish there was something more special about him, but I cannot say that I didn’t find him enjoyable and fun. There were definitely a good dynamic and a lot of witty dialogs between those two. What I also very much enjoyed were the secondary characters, like Bianca’s friends and her father, that were far from stereotypical and made the story that much more interesting.

The storyline wasn’t anything very special on its own. I actually think I’ve seen a movie where a girl is being told that she’s the ugliest of her friends, so it was not the most original plot. The thing that made it special was Bianca’s character and if it wasn’t for her, this would be a typical love story and would have nothing interesting about it.

I could definitely see this being turned into a movie, as it’s one of the best romance/chick-lit books I’ve read!

First Line

This was getting old.

Recommend it for…

  • a quick and easy read
  • fans of sassy, cynical characters

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THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen | Review

Title: The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen

Book #: Standalone

Publication: May 2004 by Penguin Group Inc.

Pages: 374

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: combine_images

A long, hot summer…

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” 

Review

I wasn’t intending to read a Sarah Dessen book right now, but Heather from Bookables created a Sarah Dessen book club and the book for this month was the truth about forever, so I decided to join.

After reading “This Lullaby” (my review is here) the previous month and not liking it, I was a bit hesitant going into this book. As I started reading, though, I thought that it was much better and started getting my hopes up! Which only led me to a bigger disappointment in the end…

It was going okay, really, until I realized how irritating Macy, the protagonist, was! She wasn’t so annoying from the beginning of the book, but after the middle she was starting to really get on my nerves! She couldn’t make up her mind to do anything! She hated her job, but didn’t quit it, she liked this guy, but didn’t do anything about it, she wanted to talk to her mom, but never decided to do it… the list can go on and on!

Apart from Macy, I really enjoyed every other character of the book. Wes, the love interest, was a really great guy, funny, cute, artistic, anything a girl can ask for! Delia, who was the woman running the catering job, where Wes was working, was also a very interesting and refreshing character. She was exactly the opposite of what we would call a control freak; she actually wanted chaos and was feeling uneasy when everything was going well!

The story of the book was very predictable and quite boring I would say… It was also a lot similar to “this Lullaby”, which makes me think that most Sarah Dessen books must have a similar storyline… I could be wrong here of course!

Generally, I do still believe that this book is better than “This Lullaby”, but in the end I was so irritated and frustrated by the main character, that I ended up giving it a lower rating! I don’t think I’m going to be reading any more Sarah Dessen books any time soon!

First Line

“Jason was going to Brain Camp.”

Recommend it for…

  • Romance Lovers
  • Chick-lit readers
Add it on Goodreads

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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

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LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green | Review

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Book #: Standalone

Publication: December 2006 by Speak

Pages: 231

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: comjbine_images

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.” 

Review

There have been hundreds of reviews written about this book, so I’m just going to keep this one short. There are also hundreads of quotes in this book. The one above is just one of the many good ones I had to choose from.

The first thing I loved about this book was Pudge’s sense of humor and his character in general. I was practically laughing out loud with how sarcastic and cynical he was being towards pretty much everything. Then, when “The Colonel” (Pudge’s roommate) and Alaska make their appearence, the humor in the book becomes even better.

John Green’s writting style is, in my opinion, extraordinary. He manages to write stories with a deep meaning to them, but giving them in a way that is easy and fun to read. I also think his books apply to a very wide audience, from young adult to adult readers. In this case, I also liked the “before-after” style in which the book was written. It was leading to an important part of the book, that you knew was coming, but didn’t know exactly what it was going to be.

Generally, I liked the “before” part of the book more than the “after”. The ending though was also very good, so it just had a low curve in the middle. Other than that, there isn’t anything negative I can say about this book. An extraordinary young adult, contemporary standalone!

First Line

The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a give-away party.

Recommend it for…

  • an easy, but at the same time deep and meaningfull read
Add it on Goodreads

My Video Review (no Spoilers)

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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.

 
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THIS LULLABY by Sarah Dessen | Review

Title: This Lullaby

Author: Sarah Dessen

Book #: Standalone

Publication: March 2004 by Speak

Pages: 345

Rating: jcombine_images

When it comes to summer relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those lovesongs are all about?

Synopsis from Goodreads


“Wherever you will go, I will let you down, But this lullaby goes on.” 

First time I picked up a Sarah Dessen book and I can’t say I’ve been blown away by it.

It wasn’t a bad book I guess.. Not particularly good either. Remy’s character was the most interesting part of the book. I really liked her and felt liked her I knew. Her character evolves throughout the book and I think she’s a very realistic character. As for the other characters of the book, I don’t like I’ve learned a lot about any of them. I can’t even say much about and he has quite an important role in the book.

I can’t say I was bored reading the book. The thing that kept me going was the easy-going writing style and the lightness of the book, as I found that the plot wasn’t of great interesting. I will pick up another Sarah Dessen book in the future, propably not right away though!

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