Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Just Checking In!

It's no secret by now that I'm definitely not the most consistent of bloggers.  I work, I do schoolwork, I read when I can, which has happened more frequently here lately, but I just haven't had the motivation to write.  I've thought about writing reviews for each of the books I've read, but a passing thought has all it's been. 

I also know that when I write, the writing is mainly for myself.  By no means is this a complaint, I write for the fun of it, and as a way to get the thoughts out of my jumbled brain after I read a book.  I am completely grateful to those who occasionally stop by and comment, or just stop by to read a review before moving on to the next thing in their busy day.  It is highly likely that no one will even read this or has even noted my absence, and that is completely A-OKAY.  I'm horrible at keeping up with stuff at times, and blogging is obviously one of them. 

Anyways... just last week I had a GREAT idea for an original story, or so I think.  I'd like to start jotting my ideas down on paper but I find it all so overwhelming and I have no clue where to even start.  I'm also afraid that I'll start writing and eventually stop without finishing it.  But it seems like such a great story idea!  Anyone have any extra motivation lying around to help me get a jump start?  I can bake, I'll pay you back with yummy cookies.  *sigh* One day, one day I'll get it started.  To write a novel, even if its just for myself, would be an amazing accomplishment for an avid reader such as myself. 

Well, it seems I've rambled on long enough.  I've got a review on a book that needs to be written.  This one I HAVE to write because its the sequel to the last book I reviewed.  Well, I don't have to, but it would be nice to share my thoughts on this one.

Until next time, bookworms,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: The Raven Boys

Book being reviewed: The Raven Boys
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

I just want to start off by saying that I am undoubtedly impressed by this book.  It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Mrs. Stiefvater's Shiver.  I remember being bored with it and couldn't grasp that reader connection we all hope for in a book.  With The Raven Boys, however, I had an undeniable connection as a reader.

There are so many detailed aspects to this book.  The characters themselves were so well thought of and brought to life with so much detail, and each and every single one of them were completely different from one another.  This is saying a lot, since there are TON of characters you come to know within the story.

I enjoyed getting to know characters like Blue, Adam, Gansey, Noah, and even Ronan at times.  Even though Ronan scared me, he's still a character that has much more to him and we have yet to see exactly what it is.  Every character had their strengths and weaknesses pointed out in many ways, which gave way to so much detail about them.  And one aspect that I truly enjoyed was, despite all their differences, they all had so much love for one another and showed it earnestly in anyway each one of them knew how.   Even Ronan, who acted like he could care less about anything in the world, showed he cared in his own way.

This could just be my own personal observation, but one thing I noticed in Shiver that I also noticed in The Raven Boys is Maggie Stiefvater's unique style of writing.  I didn't particularly care for it in Shiver, I thought it was odd, but it fit with this novel.  Some authors like to incorporate humor in their writing, and Mrs Stiefvater does but hers is a dry type of humor.  You either get it or you don't, you either think it's funny or it isn't.  I found myself laughing periodically through the book. 

As much detail as there was in the book, there's still so much mystery that has yet to be discovered.  The Raven Boys gave you enough to keep you hooked through the book, but now I'm itching to get my hands on the The Dream Thieves to get one step closer to unlocking the mystery that is The Raven Cycle series.

Might I add, thank you to those book buddies of mine who insisted I read this book!  You were right, The Raven Boys is a great book!

Raven Boys fan signing out,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: Switched

Book being reviewed: Switched
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.
Possibly 3.5 owls.
I can't make up my mind, as usual.

 When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

Switched is truly an interesting read.  I took an entire Saturday and blew right through this book.  Some would say I wasted the day away, but did I?  I think not. This book was worth it.

The book revolves around mythical creatures known as Trolls, or the Trylle as they prefer to call themselves.  Rather than being the ugly creatures we've come to know, the Trylle in Switched are stunningly beautiful.  They have a hierarchy system with the Queen being the head honcho, and the higher you are up on that system the more powers you'll likely have.  Now, where the Trylle are similar to the ugly Trolls of legends, they take from others to gain for themselves without remorse.  They switch out their own babies with a baby born in a rich human family, which is how they make their money.  It's evil and they have no respect for their human counterparts at all.

The lead female in the book, Wendy Everly, was a girl I enjoyed getting to know.  In some ways she was your typical teenage girl, like the ones we've come to know in most paranormal YA novels, but the girl knew how to throw a punch.  Literally.  She wasn't afraid to fight to defend herself, and she didn't back down from a fight by expecting everyone else to save her.  Of course she had her Trylle gift of persuasion, but that wouldn't necessarily come in handy during a hand-to-hand fight when Wendy still doesn't quite understand everything about her gift. 

Wendy always knew something wasn't right with her as she grew up, she never fit in anywhere and she could never connect to the other humans around her.  Her "mother" tried to kill her when she was six simply because she knew Wendy wasn't her daughter.  The only two people in her life that accepted Wendy unconditionally was her Aunt and her brother Matt.  Then Finn came along and completely turned Wendy's world upside-down.  He introduced her to a whole knew world, and deep down, Wendy knew that's where she belonged.  She had to choose between staying with her Aunt and Brother, or go with Finn and find out who she was born to be. 

I absolutely adored Finn.  Being very mysterious, yet never being able to tell a lie to Wendy because he promised her he wouldn't, he was always so sweet and very considerate of her.  To be honest, I have having a difficult time finding a flaw in him.  Anything he did that irritated me always had to do with what he thought was best for Wendy, I couldn't very well stay irritated with him because of it.  Very swoon-worthy, for sure.

This book was all over the place, but in a good way.  The plot flowed easily enough, it just seemed to jump around a lot.  Usually I don't like reading a book like this because the jumping around can leave a lot of holes, but it worked.  Somehow.  And my reasoning behind the possible 3.5 owls is because I didn't like where the book ends.  You know we've all been there, not liking the way a book ends.  And now I'm itchin' to get my hands on the next book to see what happens next.  With that aside, truthfully, Switched was a very entertaining read, and I would easily recommend it to any of you paranormal YA lovers.

Have you read Switched?  What did you think?

From one book lover to another,
happy reading,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pity Party Time

The last month and a half or so of my life has been complete chaos. 
Complete and utter insanity.
Do you believe me? 
Well, let me 'splain.

I have cared for 5 kids that are all under the age of 10,
and two of those are toddlers.
I know, I've lost my mind.
But I love them all dearly.
Most of the time.
This would be me at least once a day.
 I have also had to cook, do laundry, and clean up after 
said kids, all while being tied down
with a pile of school work during
the summer semester. 
It is just shy of 8:30 PM right now and
I can hardly keep my eyes open,
but I still have schoolwork to get done
for the night. 

 Do you know what all of this means?
I have had no time to read my beloved books!
Perfect example being the two library books that
I just very recently renewed to keep for THE
SECOND TIME, which means this is my
last two weeks to keep them.
I am not a happy camper over this.
Nope, not at all.

On a lighter note, my wonderful boyfriend and I
adopted a kitty cat over the weekend from the humane society.
He's a little fireball and tends to walk into walls,
but he's sweet and the kids love him.
So I'm going to close out here and try to
wrangle in our little Patches to come snuggle
with me while I do some homework.

Share the love,
read a book for me,

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Override (Glitch #2)

Book being reviewed: Override
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.


Zoe is free. She has escaped the enslavement of the Community, disconnected from the hardware that had controlled her every thought and emotion, and evaded capture by the Chancellor intent on killing her. She is finally free, but she is far from safe.

Zoe and Adrien hide themselves from detection at the Foundation, an academy that trains teen glitchers to fight in the Resistance movement. Together, Zoe and her new team of superhuman fighters must risk their lives to rescue other glitchers and humans from the Chancellor's control. Challenges abound at every turn, and Adrien, who has become silent, distant, and tormented by his visions of the future, only adds to the growing certainty of defeat. But worst of all, as Zoe's team fights against impossible odds, distrust and betrayal leads to the terrible discovery that their greatest threat could already be lurking behind the safe walls of the Foundation.

Full of high-adrenaline action and shocking twists, Heather Anastasiu's Override is an exciting continuation of this popular young adult trilogy.

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  I was pleasantly surprised with this one!  After having read Glitch and not liking it as much as I had hoped,  Override made up for everything that the first book was lacking.  

The story did start off a little slow, but eventually picked up after awhile and I couldn't put the book down.  One part of the book I really liked is Zoe's character and the role that she plays.  She's such a strong female, even in the times when she think thinks of herself as weak.  She lives through half of the book thinking that she can't live up to the image of this heroine that every sees her as being, mostly because she had no control over her telekinesis powers because they terrified her.  Finally, halfway through the book, she learns to control her telek powers by reigning in her fear.  I really enjoyed reading that part of the book where Zoe is mentally challenging herself to gain control over her power and let go of the fear that has control over her. 

One aspect I could never quite understand is how with all the amazing technology that's been developed, how could Chancellor Bright never exactly pinpoint the location of the Foundation?  I understand that anyone who has visited the place could never remember anything about it due to Simin's unintentional power of making people forget everything when they're around him, but it seemed like there could have been a way outside of the Foundation.  With all the immense technology and endless amenities that the Chancellor had control over, it seemed like she could have found a way to locate the Foundation and ultimately Zoe.  Maybe it's just me, but I felt that because there was so much intrigue detail to all the technology, there could possibly have been a lot room for gaps within the story.  And Zoe being Linked when she went to sleep every night, wouldn't that have been a way to track her down?  That question might have been addressed in Glitch and I just don't remember, but it's something I asked myself often while reading Override.  This is probably just me being critical and looking too deep into it.  I've always been the person who constantly looks for holes in the story and questions the what-if's and whatnot, but that didn't make me enjoy the book any less!

The part when Max switches himself with Adrien after the task force's first mission, I wouldn't exactly call it predictable, but I knew immediately Max was using his power to pretend to be Adrien the night of their date.  I could tell by Max-pretending-to-be-Adrien's reaction (wow, isn't that a mouthful?) that his conscience was weighing on him.  He couldn't bring himself to do anything sexually with Zoe because he knew it was wrong.  This is the point where I actually do believe Max when he told Zoe he was truly sorry for what he had done.  As Zoe always wanted to believe in the good in Max during the first part of the book, I will continue to believe in that good now.  Zoe has every right to be angry with Max's betrayal, but I believe that if Max were truly evil he wouldn't have stopped Zoe and would have continued doing "the deed".  I really do think that Max loves Zoe, and I also believe he's going to play a bigger and better part in the next book.  I hope, anyways.

I think I've covered all the points I wanted to bring up in my review.  I will say that I am now excited for Shutdown, the third book in the series.  And I would recommend this series to any dystopian fan who enjoys a little sci-fi kick thrown in the mix.

Until next time,
happy reading, fellow book nerds,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted
by The Broke and the Bookish is
about the top ten favorite book covers
of books you've read.

I love this topic.
I'm a sucker for an eye-catching
cover, even if I didn't necessarily
enjoy the book.

1. Switched
I just recently read this one.
I picked it up while grocery shopping one day.
The cover really caught my eye on the shelves
as I walked by.  Great book!

2.  The Storyteller
Another book I just recently read.
I picked this one up at the library simply
because I liked the cover art.  The rose
and the frost seemed like a beautiful
image to me. 

3. Incarnate
Impressive, no?
I thought this cover was absolutely stunning.

4. Everneath
The combination of red and black really POP
on this one.  I think this particular shade of
red is a beautiful color. 

5. Entwined
The dress, I want that dress!
Even though I'd never wear it,
but still....

6. Die for Me
I think it's obvious that I love the
color red.  Or maybe red dresses.
Maybe both.  
I can never make up my mind.

7. Hourglass
I thought the way the girl was depicted
on this cover was quite interesting.
She seems to be standing upright, but
her dress and hair make you want to 
turn the book to the side and
view it that way.  Then you
realize she's walking on the wall.
Makes you want to read the
book to find out more, doesn't it?

8. Wither
This cover is really pretty,
even if the book wasn't that great.

9. The Body Finder
Simple, yet stunning.

10. Hush, Hush
This one is obviously eye-catching.
So are the other covers to the books that
follow in the series.

Until next week,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

When I love a book....

The other day I got to thinking, after having read book
 #1298047555478927895 at this point in my 
life, what criteria must a book have in order for me to personally
give a rating of 5 owls for a review here or 5 stars on Goodreads? 
 I know most literary hot-shots wouldn't agree with me, but
here's a list of clues that tell me if I LOVE a book or not:

1. 24 hours or less!
Basically.  And I also have a minor obsession with e-cards.
If I pick up a flippin' book at the beginning and I'm so consumed by the story that I'm done reading within 24 hours or less, I know I loved the book.  I'll miss sleep, miss meals, forget about whatever chores need to be done in the house, all because I cannot stop thinking about this book and the need to finish it.  I know all of you bookworms have been there, and I also know that at least one of those books that have had a similar impact on you has just popped into your head.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but that book is probably considered one of your favorites.  

2. The Book Hangover
The beloved and equally dreaded Book Hangover.  This one goes right along with the first.  It's that empty yet full feeling you get once you finish a book. You feel full because you've taken in everything that was written from cover to cover and you feel like your life was forever changed by the book.  Then there's the empty feeling of wishing you could take it all back and read the book over again just to experience all those emotions that you felt.
I know I've clutched a book while having that same look on my face.

3. I become demanding
I immediately demand that my book buddies read the same book I loved so we can swap thoughts.
This is me while waiting for a friend to read a book I loved.  Creepy?  Yes.  But they still love me.

I'm always ready to gush about whatever book I fell in love with, and I can be such a whiner when no one else has read it.  Plus, I can also be a fairly impatient person when waiting for a friend to finish a book I loved.  Are these negative qualities to have?  Negatron, my friend.

 4. Must. Read. The. Sequel.
I need to read the sequel.  NOW.
 If there is a sequel to the book, I'll forget about whatever book I had next on my reading list and place the sequel on hold at the library to read next.  For example: the Twilight books, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Bronze Horseman, The Moral Instruments, these are all books I greedily devoured once I started reading the first book in the series.  I know there's more, those were just the ones that popped into my mah head first.  

5. Was the connection there?
One of the most important aspects of any book that every reader looks for is that connection you feel with the characters and the story.  You know the one, the connection that makes you feel as if you've literally jumped into the pages of the book and you're living out the story yourself.  Call me crazy, but when I feel that super connection I almost believe the characters are real because you want them to BE real.   
Exactly my point.

There are probably more that could be added to my list, these are
just the first examples that came to me when I decided
 to write this post.  I'm sure I'll be kicking meself in the
arse later because I forgot to add one.

So, what do you do when you read a book you love?
How do you feel?
How does a book make the cut for your favorites list?
Comment below and share them with me!

Stop lurky lurkin' and comment!
From one book lover to another,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: Everbound (Everneath #2)

Book being reviewed: Everbound (Everneath #2)
Author: Brodi Ashton

I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

After I read the first book, Everneath, I wasn't all that impressed.  I decided to give Everbound a shot anyway.  I'm glad I did because I liked the 2nd book so much more.  The plot flowed easier and it was more fun to follow.  The story seemed like a roller coaster of high points and low points stacked with plenty of drama.

Like Nikki, I'm still completely entranced by Cole.  Maybe it's the bad-boy persona he lets off, or maybe it's the fact that we're still left with so many unknown facts about Cole.  Although, in Everbound, we do learn more about Cole and how he became an Everling, but it is still quite obvious that he is withholding many more dark secrets.  Cole truly seemed like he wanted to help Nikki find Jack simply because he loved her and doesn't wish to see her waste away in her own pain and guilt.  As the book ends, however, we find out that once again Cole has tricked Nikki for his own selfish reasons.  This is where I'm on the same level as Nikki, because throughout the book I also felt like Cole could be trusted and there was a good side to him that would win over the bad side.  I still have a small glimmer of hope that he'll change and for once actually put Nikki's needs above his own.  Will this happen?  My more rational side is telling me no.

As for Jack, the other lover boy, the entire book was based around saving him.  Poor, sweet Jack.  This kid is hopelessly in love with a girl who seems will only unintentionally break his heart.  He sacrificed himself in order to save Nikki, and I don't know many teenage boys who would act so selflessly.  Jack is the good boy while Cole is the bad boy, both of which you find yourself caring about at different times.

Maybe it's because I'm a my parent myself, but I became irritated with Nikki when she would continue to act so carelessly where her father was concerned.  Doesn't she realize she's going to give that poor man a heart attack?  I understand that teenagers are going to do what teenagers want to do, and we really only understood just how Nikki felt, but I couldn't help but think about how her dad must feel after all he's been through.  First losing his wife and then thinking he had also lost his daughter.  In my opinion, Nikki's dad deserves an extended vacation.

Overall the book was good.  As for the paranormal romance factor, this series is up there with the all the good ones.  And the simple fact that I was introduced to a new and refreshing world that's filled with fictional characters like the immortal Everlings, and a different take on Greek mythology, both of which were different from most paranormal romance novels that are out there today.  I can always appreciate new reading material that introduces me to an entirely different magical world.

Spreading the bookish love,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday list hosted by
is all about the books to read
when you're in the need for something
light and fun.  

I usually read books with darker settings,
but I've got a few light and fun reads that
I can definitely add to my list. 

  1. There You'll Find Me - My very first book that I reviewed after my return back to blogging was this little gem.  It is a super cute read.  
  2. Anna and the French Kiss - You can't have a list compiled of fun reads without including this book.  It is so sweet, and it's one of my faves!
  3. Lock and Key - This is the first of a few Sarah Dessen novels that I'll be adding to the list.  Lock and Key is one of my favorite books written by Sarah Dessen.
  4. The Truth About Forever - Book #2 by Sarah Dessen.  If you haven't read this one, go read it.  Dessen is a very talented writer who's books leave you feeling happy and giddy once you're finished.
  5. Along for the Ride - Book #3!  One tough call, but this one might be my favorite Sarah Dessen novel.  I fell in love with the beach setting in the book.
  6. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour - Shame on you if you haven't read this book by now!  I immediately reread this book after finishing it the first time.  One of my all time faves!
  7. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart - Not one of my favorites, but it was definitely a light and fun read. 
After looking at my list, I've decided that
I need to dedicate more time to reading
lighter and happier novels.
I'm ashamed to say I could only
add 7 to this week's list.

Any good light and fun book
recommendations?  It is obvious
that I could definitely use them.

Until next time,
read on, Bookworms,

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday list hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
is all about the Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly 
Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book
  1. Young Adult - Of course I couldn't make this list without first including YA!  Whether it be a bookstore or the library, that's usually the section in which you'll find me browsing through the books. 
  2. Dystopia - Obsessed doesn't quite cover it.  I'm a dystopian genre nut!  What does that say about me?  The fact that I can never turn down a dark and gloomy, end-of-the-world kind of book?  I enjoy dark stuff, it keeps me thinking. 
  3. Paranormal Romance - Ever since I was a little girl, the signs have always been there.  While most girls favored Disney movies like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, mine were Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.  I've always taken a liking to romance stories with a twist, or better yet, romance stories where one of the characters isn't completely human.  Now as an adult, I almost always choose a paranormal romance novel over a regular romance novel.  Again, what does that say about me?  Not sure, but I'm happy with it.
  4. New - You know when you're happily walking through the library in search of your next read and you pass the shelves holding the books that have those colorful, eye-catching labels slapped across the spine labeling those books as "New"?  That's exactly what I'm talking about.  I return home from the library toting AT LEAST one of those new novels 85%-90% of the time.  There's something about the possibility of me being the first person to read that particular copy that makes me want to read it even more.  And besides, who doesn't love a NEW book?
  5. The name of any author of any book I've read before and loved - This one mostly pertains to me actually buying a book, especially right now with me living in Brokeville.  I'm more inclined to buy a book of an author I really like, just because I know I'm taking less of a chance with my money  Don't get me wrong, I love reading books by debuting authors!  *points to #4* That one says it all.  When you get right down to it, once you find an author that you feel you have a connection with, it's always easier to buy one of their books over and over again.
  6. Cover Art - Y'all know you've read a book based on the cover.  Of course you're taking a major chance, but I'm a sucker for a book with an amazing cover.  For example:
    I bought these two books about three years ago, I think the reason why is.... *coughcough* obvious.  Funny thing is, I still have yet to read them.  They have been taking up the same space on my bookshelf ever since I bought them, only because I fear that the story inside won't do the cover justice.  I need to quit being preoccupied by other books and finally read them!
  7. Ireland - I enjoy reading novels based in Ireland.  Ireland is beautiful and I hope to visit someday!  Plus, I love daydreaming about those cute Irish boys in the books. *wink*
  8. Beach/ocean - Especially in YA novels, my curiosity is piqued if the beach is portrayed in the cover art. 
  9. Mystery - I love when I'm kept on the edge of my seat while reading a good mystery!
  10. Dark - While I'm a sucker for some sappy romance, I also like to occasionally take a walk on the wild side and read a dark novel that lacks a happy ending.
Do you have any words or topics of your own?
Please do share if you do!

 Lots of bookish love,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: The Storyteller

Book being reviewed: The Storyteller
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls. 

The Storyteller

Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different.  They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town.  Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own.  Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces.  It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality.  Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer.  Has she?

Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.

There is so much that can be said about this book and I just don't even know where to begin.   I guess I can start by saying that this book is completely out there in a multitude of ways, ways that one might say shouldn't be considered young adult content.  It's possible that the adult content within the book is due to the author being German. I know different countries have different viewpoints on what is adult and what isn't.  Usually young adult novels written by American authors stick to story content that most Americans would deem appropriate for a young person to read, and, in my opinion, The Storyteller definitely crosses that thin line.

Don't get me wrong, in no way am I bashing the book, I'm just stating my opinion after having read a countless number of young adult novels.  This book consists of a somewhat detailed rape between the two main characters, Anna and Abel, and also another somewhat detailed account of a sexual interaction between the two.  This book is very dark, and the light and happy moments are few and far between.

The relationship between Abel and Anna is a strange one.  As much as I liked the book, I didn't really like either of the main characters (I know, this makes absolutely no sense).  There were so many times I wanted to knock some sense into Anna.   I know they say love is blind, but in Anna's case, I think she lost every single one of her senses when it came to Abel.  The first red flag for me was when I knew Anna had fallen deliriously in love with this boy, but she didn't know ANYTHING about him. Seriously, NOTHING about him.  He continually lied to her and never revealed any of his dark secrets when she would question him.  I just didn't understand how she could let it all go so easily and love him unconditionally.

Then there's the major problem of him actually raping her.  Because of the way the book was written, you didn't find out who the REAL Abel was until the last few pages of the book.  Truthfully, I actually liked that the reader is left in suspense and confused until the very end, but I kept thinking that because of the fairytale that Abel told all throughout the book, there might be a paranormal factor that played into his raping Anna, as if he was possessed by some sort of evil.  Not that that would excuse him from taking Anna's virginity by rape, I just hoped that there was more to it than what met the eye... and there wasn't a paranormal factor, he had the choice and he didn't stop himself.

Then in the aspect of most YA novels having a hero who comes to the aid of the lead female character, Abel wasn't the hero.  Now, of course, he could be considered Micha's hero after sacrificing himself for her on top of murdering anyone who he thought could be directly involved with his little sister being taken away from him.  But as for him ever saving Anna? I think it was Anna who continually came to Abel's rescue throughout the book.

And Abel being a murderer is another factor I don't quite understand.  Anna had her suspicions that Abel was the murderer and still chose to love him despite those suspicions.  I think Anna was living in her own fantasy world that was fueled by the fairytale.  Gitta's "little lamb" nickname for Anna was perfect because she was naive like a young child would be and ignored all those warning signs about Abel that were practically slapping her in the face over and over again.

In all honesty, I think Anna and Abel connected and their relationship bloomed more through the fairytale Abel told, while living solely on hope in the real world.  I, too, read through hoping that something more would come, that these two would actually run away with Micha and live happily ever after, and maybe, just maybe, Abel didn't actually rape her, maybe Abel isn't the murderer. Yeeeaaaah.... that didn't happen.  As I recall, as soon as I finished reading the last page, I shut the book, then proceeded to stare off at nothing while trying to wrap my brain around what just happened.  Two days later and I still can't comprehend the dark ending of the book, or all the dark content within the book.

That all aside, I still loved the book.  It didn't end in the usual happily ever after way that makes you want to dance around while singing and smiling to yourself like an idiot.  Not that I've ever done that, but you know, there are those books out there that have that effect on you.  This book left me speechless and sad, confused and angry.  Such a strange combination for a book that I actually enjoyed reading.  I guess what I'm getting to is, if you choose to pick up this book, just remember that it isn't an easy read.  You may cry, feel like screaming, and become angry all while hanging onto that hope that it will turn out better in the end. Trust me, it won't.

Confused and in need of some lighter reading material,
until next time, Bookworms,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More/Less Than I Did

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme that's hosted by 
The Broke and the Bookish that consists of different
Top 10 book-related lists each week.
This week's Top 10 Tuesday list is all about
books you've read in which you actually like more 
than you thought you would, or the books you liked less 
than you thought you would. 

I'm trying to put this one together last minute today while it's still
Tuesday since I was introduced to this lovely little gem of a meme 
this morning.  I've had many books that either
surprised me, or books that have disappointed me.
I figured I'd share.
 So here it goes!

Books that I thought I'd like more than I actually did

1. Mockingjay
I actually gave this one 5 stars on Goodreads simply
because I absolutely adore the Hunger Games series
as a whole.  But I was sadly disappointed with Mockingjay.
I might get some backlash for this one.
2. Shiver
So many of my lovely friends absolutely adored this
book.  Myself?  Not so much.  I was bored throughout
the whole book.

3. Beautiful Creatures
Another one I might receive some backlash for.
*blows kisses to my book-lover besties*
Don't get me wrong, there were some parts of the book
I did enjoy, but to be honest?  I don't remember
much of the book AT ALL. 
Although, I do plan on seeing the movie!

4. The Woods
 I'm a HUGE Harlan Coben fan.  The man
has a knack for writing mysteries that keep
you on the edge of your seat.  I've read many of his
books, so I immediately bought The Woods when it came out.  
Yeah, well, I kinda wish I could get my money back for this one. 
I guess every great writer has their mediocre novels.
5. Evermore
 I had friends that loved this book and others
that didn't so much.  I figured I'd give it a chance.
I had hope that I'd be on the side of liking it.
Again, I was disappointed.  I never
even read the other books in the series.

6. I Am Legend
Because I liked the movie, and because
the movie scared the bajeesus outta me to
the point where I actually had nightmares,
I had hopes for the book. 
Let me tell ya, the book is nothing like the movie.
I wish I could actually take this one back, as
in, never having read it.  EVER.

7. Extras
I actually feel like weeping for this one!
I dove right into the Uglies books.  I was
obsessed with them for a week or two. 
The first three were just that darn good.
Then Extras came along and ruined it all for me.
Such a sad, horrible shame.
Read the first three books, however, they are amazing!

8. The Enemy
I love zombies as much as the next zombie freak,
but steer clear of this one.  Trust me.

9. Blue Bloods
Highly disappointed, but these books are still like crack.
I didn't like them much, but I still wanted more.  I've 
read most of them.  I know, it's weird.  I'm weird.  Whatevs.

10. We'll Always Have Summer
And to think I was so excited to read this one when 
I picked a copy up at Barnes & Noble.
Can I get my money back?  Maybe?

 Books I thought I'd like less than I did
1. The Lightning Thief
Here I was thinking I had picked up some silly
kid's book.  Boy was I wrong.  I blew right
through all these books and they're still some of my faves!
The movie, however, not so much.

2. Talyn
 So there I was one day, scanning through
the clearance bin at Barnes & Noble, when
I came across this wonderful book.
I really didn't think I'd like it for only being
$2 at B&N, but oh was I very much mistaken!
I read this book in a day, then turned right around and
read it again.  That's how much I loved this book.

3. The Hobbit
I love, love, LOVE The Lord of the Rings movies.
The books I didn't love so much, only because
there was so much to them and they're hard
to keep up with.  So I was scared to read The Hobbit.
I am so, so unbelievably glad I did.  It's a top favorite of mine.

4. Storm Front
The Dresden Files!!!
I was a bit iffy about this one when a friend
insisted that I read series.
But now I'm insisting that YOU read them.
Go.  Now.  READ.

5. Graceling
This one was a surprise to me.
I came across it at the library and figured, eh, why not?
Big puffy heart these books.

6. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
 Holy sweetness, Batman, this is such a great read!
I figured I might like it, but I didn't think
I'd love it as much as I do.  This book is perfection.
In fact, I might reread it soon just to relive Amy
and Roger's journey again.

7. Dead Until Dark
 These books really aren't the greatest, by no means.
I love True Blood so of course I wanted to read them.
Yeah, well, I blew through these like a drug addict
trying to find her next fix.  No joke. 
Literary crack.

8. The Bronze Horseman
 I was so pleasantly surprised by this one.
Again, one of my all-time faves.
Such an amazing and emotional read.

9. There'll You'll Find Me
 I just reviewed this one.
It's a super sweet little story that I really
liked much more than I thought I would.

10. Book of the Dead
I picked this one up at a used book store for a 
really cheap price.  I figured because of the price,
I wouldn't have wasted much money if it wasn't good.
Surprise, surprise!
It was actually an all around good read.

So that's my list that I've come up with so far.
Have you read any of these?
What are your thoughts?
Or do you have any books that would would make
your Top Ten?  Do share!

Lots and lots of bookish love,