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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review: Stormdancer

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars








Reviewed on 09/15/2012

Before I start this review, I must say that if you are looking for a review that is based on actual facts and will give you an impartial view of the book, you may stop right there. Don’t need to go any further. This is 100% selfish, nonsense and some of the stuff I’ll talk about will come right out of my head with no connection to the story what so ever.
Ok, consider yourself warned.

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Lets start with the basics and built up the crazy stuff on the way.

The Plot - Yukiko is the daughter of the great hunter Masaru. After a really awesome (and crazy) dream, the Shogun (the High Roller) sent Masaru and his daughter (along with a bunch of other people) to catch an arashitora. You may think this is easy enough, but there’s a little problem, two actually. The first is that an arashitora is a flying creature called griffin.

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No, not that Griffin LoL This griffin

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Yep. A mythical creature that nobody saw for a long, long time and is supposed to be extinct, or don’t even really exist. That wouldn’t be so bad if not for the second little problem. If they don’t bring that little pet, they are as good as dead. Talk about pressure.


The Characters - I don’t know what to say about the characters. They literally stole the words out of me. Ok, *deepbreath* I’ll start with Yukiko. She is damage by a haunting past and, as we all know, life is a bitch, so of course her past will get her on the behind. Her dad, Masaru, is just the shadow of the great man he used to be and is haunted by the ghosts of choices he can never take back. I think if there’s one thing that we can connect all these wonderful characters with is one fact: secrets. They all have dark, dangerous, almost crippling secrets. Complex, yeah, that’s the perfect word to describe it.

The Writing - This guy, this guy Jay Kristoff sure has a way with the words. His writing is flowing and poetry and all that crap girls always say. He made me smile, he made me scared, he made me warm like a summer day and he made me cold like a storm in a winter day. There’s just one thing that I must warn you about, it’s a really visual descriptive writing. As I said before in my others reviews, I have a serious problem with descriptive writing. I have a 5yo attention span and when it gets really detailed, I drift off like a pipe in a windy day.

Example:

"From above, it was intricate, beautiful and terrible, a winding maze of squeeze ways and alleys twisting between the cracking sores of bleached buildings. The broad square of brick at its heart, cobbled arteries worming off in labyrinthine patterns that mimicked a maniac’s scrawl. A great cluster of broad, grand roofs on the hill, red flags crowing among its stunted gardens. A five sided fist of yellow stone amidst a growth of hunchbacked, abandoned slaughter houses, the great nest of pipes and tanks and vomiting chimneys that must be the refinery, a rusted length of intestine spilling from its bowels and leading off north toward First House. Winding serpents of filthy river water, spilling out into a bay of char and floating refuse, shoals of garbage drifting on a dirty sea breeze. The streets were choked with a black-tongued haze, a dirty stain smeared across the skies, hovering over the crust of concrete and brick on the harbor’s skin."

Beautiful, right? The only problem is that is too distracting and the fact that is a 3º person narrative don’t help me to connect to all this beauty. In some parts I felt like I was watching it all through a glass window. I saw the beauty, but I couldn’t feel it. That is not a problem to some people, but, unfortunately, it is for me. That is my only biff with this book.

I guarantee that it gets really heart felt and personal, but I advise you guys to read the Prologue before purchase this:

http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/06/st...

Considerations- Ok, now the crazy really kicks in. So, Shima is a dying land, man. Smoke are in the air and people die every day from starvation, pollution and murdered for being out of line. Does that make you think about our society? Blood Lotus, I love the name and what it represents in the story. They live for it and they die for it. It’s the poison that is killing everything, really fast. If that wasn’t bad enough, we have the crazy and psycho Shogun that is just like a mean kid holding a magnifying lenses over the ants to watch them burn, just because he can. Power can turn a good man mad, and that can be even worse if the man is already crazy to begin with. Ok, but that is not enough, we also have the Guildsman cult. It’s not actually a cult, but is just like it. They go around being all superior and, get this, they burn people alive saying that they are impure. I know, right? In a land where people turn black inside out because of the pollution, these mechanical monsters go around picking people who are different and burn them alive for something that is not even their fault. (you’ll know what it is when you read the book)
Here is a quote that made my brain burn:

"The Communications Ministry invokes past glories to inspire new ones among the working class, to wring more sweat from the karoshimen’s backs. To convince more young men to take up arms and spill their heart’s blood beneath the Shogun’s flag in a war they know nothing about."

I know this is a fantasy book, but this is something that sounds really true. Have you read 1984? Control, control, control. We know only what they want us to know and, in all the stories I know, knowledge is power. Keep them dumb, keep them in control. Why do we fight? Because they say we must. If that is the answer, you are fighting for the wrong reason. To win a battle is to believe what you are fighting for is worth the fight.

Here is another quote that I keep in my heart:

"HAVE MERCY ON ME, FATHER. TAKE MY WINGS. CHAIN ME TO STINKING EARTH. BUT THIS TORTURE I CANNOT ENDURE.
Oh, shut it."


I crack up every time I read this. LoL

Here is another pearl of wisdom:

“One day you will see that we must sometimes sacrifice for the sake of something greater.”

This is the perfect sentence and it sums up everything I’ve read in this book. Greatness comes for those who make the hardest choices and the biggest sacrifices.

By the end of the book I was crap. I’m not embarrassed to confess I wanted to punch Jay right in the baby maker for make me watch those horrible things and see my friends suffer so.

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But after the 3º (8º) drink, I was thinking clearly and now I can see why those things had to happen. Heroes are forged in fire and blood. Pain is what makes them better and the overcome of the adversities is what makes us love them so. I still want them to be safe, but I know I can only hope that my heart won’t be shredded in the Jay’s hands.

Here is a quote that says exactly the state I was in by the end of it:

"The tears rolled unheeded down her cheeks, pattering on the floor with the sound of rain."

So sad and so beautiful. *tears*

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Ok, now, I only have to wait for the next book. I know that Jay will say something helpful like: “Hold your breath, it makes the time goes by faster.” But I got a better Idea. I’ll just freeze myself and ask Butters to unfreeze me when the next book is out. That will totally work. I’m a genius.

Now, I have a little surprise for those who like a little more “visual” stuff on the review.

Here is something the guys can expect from this book:

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Here is something for the ladies:

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And underneath all of this you’ll find this:

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If you are romantic, expect some of this:

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And there’s also this:

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Ok, that’s not in the book. LoL But this pic is so funny. I just had to put it in this review.


See? This book has it all. *wink*

*An ARC was kindly provided by the publisher. But this in no way influenced my views on this book. This is my honest review.*


Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: I'll miss you Forever

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars





Before reading the book

My eyes are tearing up just to look at this book. I can't believe the end is here. Is too soon! I keep repeating to myself but that doesn't change that this is the final book and I'm actually scared to read. Linger left me, well, lingering at the top of a cliff and I'm terrifying of falling.
But in the same time I really, really want, no, I need to know what will happen to Sam and Grace.
I guess I'll have to be brave and start to read it already came what may. For better or for worse.


After reading the book.

Reviewed on 09/13/2012


Once upon a time there was a boy that used to be a Wolf. And once upon a time there was a wolf that used to be a girl.
Everything that has a beginning must, sooner or later, meet its end. I know that, but I still feel sad seeing this one ends. From the first page of Shiver I found myself lost in the poetry of this story and I must confess, by the end of that same first page, I was in tears.
Now that I’m finish with the last book, I feel like I’m saying goodbye to a really good friend. A friend that thought me the wonders of poetry in a language I’ll never understand, but still has the power to move me with its rhythmic words. A friend that showed me the wonders of the woods, the senses of a wolf and the sweetness of a candy shop.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Sam in his wolf form, and I’ll also, remember fondly the first time I saw his wolfish yellow eyes in his human form. The first time I touched his scars feeling the sadness built up in me like a river spilling up through my eyes. The first time he sang, the first time we kissed and the first time I lost him.
I also met Cole, who I instantly wanted to punch in the face, but that with time showed me a side of him, that I never knew existed. An unpretending and most of all, unfamous side. My lips still tingle from our last kiss and I can’t think of him without showing a furtively smile on my face.
I saw the world trough Grace’s eyes, and saw myself in a new light. A light that showed me how a family can be misfit, but still love each other. That freedom can be lonely and that parents don’t always know what’s best for their children. With her I’ve learned about finding yourself in the most unthinkable of places. I’ve learned that happiness is something you make. Even in the darkest time, you only have to find the stars in the night and everything else changes with it. With her, I learned to have hope.
I was with Isabel when she lost her brother and watched her family fall apart. I’ve listen to her talk about her numbness in the most painful times. I felt her sadness when she cried and cursed her for the cruel words she spoke without thinking. I cried for her and I hated her, but most of all, I understood her when she felt lonely and unlovable.
Even as I write this, my heart breaks for I’ll have to say goodbye to them. I’ll miss them all and I’ll always remember the time we spent together.

Ok, now that I babbled a lot, I’ll get to the facts about this wonderful book.

The Plot - Grace is now a wolf and something terrible is about to happen with the wolfs. Sam, Cole and Isabel need to find Grace and come up with a plan to save them, or they all going to die.

The Characters - Sam is more mature as all the other characters in this story, he changed. He is not that little boy anymore and his love for Grace is even stronger. Cole is more than just a famous singer in this story and, unlike the previous book, I actually get to know him better. Isabel is more than a Barbie now. In this story she turned into a real girl, complex and with issues. Grace also developed from this shy girl to someone that takes charge and makes decisions. Beck, he is the one that surprised the most. In this book he is shown in a totally new light. I can say that I get to really know more about all of them, and I was surprised with what I discovered.

The writing - This is important, so I’m going to ask you to pay attention to what I’m going to say. Her writing is like a warm spring day, when you are sitting on the porch watching the cars drive by and drinking lemonade. The breeze caresses your face and you have that sad and happy feeling inside you that makes you want to cry and laugh at the same time. Her writing is wonderful and I loved every second of it. Every detail has a point and is put there purposely. This book, this whole series, must be read with laziness and time. You must not rush or jump on your reading. You need to taste, think about what you’ve read and then go back to it. If you read it too fast, is not going to be as magical or as meaningful. If you don’t like a slow read, this book is not for you. However, I’ll let you know that you’ll be missing a lot.

The Audio Recording - One of the best I’ve heard so far, and I’ve heard a lot of audiobooks. The song in the beginning is so lovely I even went back to listen some more of it. Shelby’s voice is actually the author Maggie Stiefvater narrating it. That’s really cool. Sam’s voice is sweet just like him, and the parts that he sings melted my heart. He is narrated by Pierce Cravens. Pierce Cravens Grace’s voice was so, so, so sweet. Is the same narrator for Skitter in the book The Help and I must say, I LOVE her southern accent. Her name is Jenna Lamia. Jenna Lamia She is so sweet and gave Grace just the soft touch that I needed to visualize her with her blond hair and brown eyes. Cole has the sexiest voice ever. Just like a rock star should have. He is narrated by Dan Bittner. Dan Bittner Isabel’s voice is narrated by the same girl that narrates Divergent, and I must say, she knows how to give voice to a strong character. Her name is Emma Galvin. Emma Galvin Over all, I love them and I must say that the recording played big part of the fact that made me love this one so much.

Considerations - For those who read the two previous books and are on the fence to read this one, I must warn you that this may not be the perfect ending you were hoping for. If you want to read this to know what happens and see the wolf’s destiny, this will tell you. If you want to read this to know more about what turns them into wolfs, this will tell you. If you want to read this hoping for a perfect ending where everyone ends up happy, this will not make you happy. You’ll have some answers reading this and some will still be left behind. But that’s life. You’ll not always find the answers to all your questions. All I can say is that is a sweet end to a sweet and wonderful series, and no matter what would happen in this book, I would still end up crying my eyes out because is the end and no end will never leave me completely dry eyed. Not if I really love the book.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: The Ghosts are In The House

One Grave at a Time: Night Huntress Series, Book 6One Grave at a Time: Night Huntress Series, Book 6 by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 3 of 5 stars










Reviewed on 08/26/2012

The Plot - So, in this book there’s a really creepy ghost that burns women and Cat and Bones have to help to catch it. He was a really bad guy when he was alive and now that he is a ghost he has some superpowers and can be corporeal on all hollows eve. I know that is a plot and a very decent one, but it felt like an in between story instead of a actually book in the series.

The Characters - Cat’s another thing I missed in this one. It was Cat telling the story and Bones was there, but it was like everyone else was on vacation. We see very little of the real cast on the series. The story was too focus on the ghosts.

The Writing - Still good and I still enjoyed the hell out of it.

The Audio Recording - Kick ass!! That’s all I’m saying. One of my fave narrators.

Considerations - As I said before, this book felt strange and not at all like a book in the series. It felt like one of those books released between the series that you read expecting the next book to be out. The plot was decent, but that’s all. I guess after the 5º book, that was kick ass BTW, this one just fell a little flat. I mean, the tension, the danger and all that “the world may end” stuff was really intense, and in this book was about one ghost killing people. Not that this isn’t bad and scary, but is not that grand when you think of what passed on the previous books. War is just around the corner, people. Vamps and Ghouls are not buddy buddies all of the sudden. Something is cooking and I want to know what’s gonna happen.
I liked this book, but I hope the next is better.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Eat Healthier

Healthy in a HurryHealthy in a Hurry by Karen Ansel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars











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I’m terrible when it comes to follow rules and I almost never make the right decision when it comes to pick my lunch or dinner and snacks. I follow my stomach and that’s not very wise. I work from 6am to 6pm and I have school till 10pm, so when I come home I’m totally spent and have no energy to make a decent meal. That was my main reason to pick up this book. It delivers what it promises; the recipes are fast and healthy. This book has many good recipes and the pics really make my mouth waters. The good thing in this book is the tips to make your diet healthier and how to pick the food you’ll eat. But I really think this book would be better if it was a hardback copy.
The recipes were fairly easy to follow, however, many of the ingredients I can’t find in Brazil. It’s a bummer, I know. But I’ll try to switch with something else and see what that taste like.
After reading this book, I feel like I can change my life and eat healthier, and be happier and slender and all that crap we say we will do after reading books like this. The reality is: I learned some really useful tips and I intent to use it on my day to day diet, but I’m not promising anything. LoL


*An ARC was kindly provided by the publisher. But this in no way influenced my views on this book. This is my honest review.*


This Reading is Part of The Following Reading Challenges:



2012 Reading Challenge

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Bats and Fruits

BatulaBatula by Marco Cinello
My rating: 3 of 5 stars











The Plot – Livington is a normal and ordinary fruit bat that lives with others fruit bats and it’s not happy with who he is.

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He wants to be different and cool and to get the girl he wants for once. So he goes far from his safe little home and get what he wanted, but what he wanted turns out is not exactly what he expected to be. He is now different from the others and the girl of his dreams noticed him for the first time. What’s the problem? Being different turns out not such a great thing after all. So now he has to learn to live with this new person he turned out to be.

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The Characters – This is a children’s book, so there’s not much details, but we see the important stuff.

The Writing – This is a comic, so we don’t get to see all that much of the writing, but I liked what I did see.

Considerations – I get that this book is supposed to be all “be happy with who you are” and “Acceptance can make you look cool.” But, even though this book is sweet and the drawings are really cute, I think the whole hero stuff is a little too much.

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No, I’m not the Grinch, thanx for asking, BTW. I’m just saying, just because the guy did something good and accept who he is, this is real world and we must know that people will not become all nice to you forever. Sooner or later, the horns will show and you’ll have to deal with it. Don’t lay your worth in the hands of others, that’s all I’m saying.
Over all, this book is cool and at least tries to give a positive message to the kids.

*An ARC was kindly provided by the publisher. But this in no way influenced my views on this book. This is my honest review.*


This Reading is Part of The Following Reading Challenges:



2012 Reading Challenge