Contemporary has been failing me recently: Mini Reviews

In the very limited amount of free time I had, I tried to read a bit and in the span of two weeks, I managed to get four books down. A few more to go!

It’s no question why I picked contemporary. I’m usually already worn out from school so I would definitely want to read something which is easy to get into or relate to. And what’s better genre than contemporary?

Unfortunately, most of my recent reads were a miss.

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

the revenge playbook>> Goodreads

I was expecting a group girls trying to get revenge through sports competition but what did I get? Do not be fooled guys. The synopsis may say “beat at their own game” but the whole book is actually about a scavenger hunt and no, this isn’t a spoiler. Throughout the book, I didn’t feel any sort of connection with the characters but if I had to choose, I like Liv’s character’s best because honestly, hers stuck to my mind and still do until now. I read this book weeks ago and I have already forgotten most of the plot… So yeah, a huge disappointment since everyone has been recommending this. But overall, I appreciate that this book is about justice and equality. I could feel the whole “girl power” vibe.

Rating: 3 stars Continue reading Contemporary has been failing me recently: Mini Reviews

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

let the sky fallLet the Sky Fall
(Let the Sky Fall #1)
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publication: December 3rd, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Genre: YA Paranormal
Goodreads

Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past – except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she’s real.

Audra is real, but she isn’t human. She’s a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She’s also a guardian – Vane’s guardian – and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

First time reading it, Let the Sky Fall was pretty entertaining, but not long after that the sparks were gone and I unintentionally neglected this book. This holiday, I decided to pick it up again and see if my reading slump was the one which caused me to DNF it.

Unfortunately, I’m still not impressed.

Continue reading Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Mini Reviews: The One & Finnikin of the Rock

The One
(The Selection #3)
by Kiera Cass
YA – Romance, Dystopia

No improvement at all from the previous books, as I had already expected. This series is clearly not for me, though I admit that it was indeed sort of a guilty pleasure. The plot if there is even one in this series is non-existent and the character development is totally lacking. Moreover, I’m so tired of reading about how kind America is or how beautiful she is because if I came across just one more praise for her I swear I would go crazy and throw this book against the wall.

Needless to say, The One is completely focused on romance and the book ends in the most predictable way. 300+ pages are spent on literally nothing. NOTHING I SAY. Nothing other than America being confused and indecisive as usual (it’s an old story, I know). Nothing other than America and Maxon getting along then suddenly having a ridiculous fight over unnecessary things and then one of them realizing they are wrong and then the making-up happens. Repeat the cycle. Really, just as things became slightly more bearable this book just HAD to pull off something that got on my nerves. Frustratingly shallow. Yes, that’s how I would describe this book in two words.

I really don’t understand the need for a fourth book in the series. A. Freaking. Fourth. Book. (Titled The Heir in case you don’t know.) Maybe there will be a fifth book about their son as an adult being in The Selection again. The cycle can be endless.

***
 

Finnikin of the Rock
(Lumatere Chronicles #1)
by Melina Marchetta
YA – Fantasy

Yeah, the book seemed like a let down at first. Well, not a huge disappointment because the characters were okay and the world building was admittedly solid, though I was having troubles getting into it. But luckily I made the right decision of continuing and GAHHHH IT GOT MUCH MUCH BETTERRRR.

I really like how Melina Marchetta portrayed the exiles in this book. I could sympathize wih their pain and struggles. Needless to say, the social justice issues are very believable and handled expertly. I particularly like seeing depiction of family relationship a lot of times throughout the book. Whether it’s a brother protecting his sister or fathers willing to sacrifice anything for their family’s safety especially the daughters…in those moments I felt something tugging at the strings of my heart and that’s when I knew that the author had successfully delivered the message to her readers as she had intended.

One particular scene that had me in tears:

“If we challenged or resisted,” Jorge of the Flatlands told him, “the bastard king’s men would return the next day and say, ‘Pick one.’ ” The man fought back a sob. ” ‘Pick one you love to die. If not, you sacrifice your whole family. Your whole village.’ ”
“Men were on their knees begging, ‘Take me. Take me instead,’ ” Roison of the River explained.
“We would sit and discuss our plan, Finnikin,” Egbert of the Rock whispered. “We would work out, as a family, who we would choose to die alongside us if we were forced to decide. Better to make the choice as a family, rather than in moments where there would be no time for good-byes.”
“So men would choose their sons?” Finnikin asked, sickened by the idea of Trevanion having to make such a decision.
The man looked at him with tears running down his face. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “No fathers would leave his daughter behind to be raped and abused. We chose our daughters. Always our daughters.”

***

First reviews posted in 2015! I read these books last week though. I was too lazy to take notes so these reviews were based on my thoughts immediately after finishing the books.

To be honest I haven’t read a single book until today but I will try to change it this week. I was busy marathoning Ansatsu Kyoushitsu >__<

[Review] Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Phew, it’s been ages since I posted a book review here!! Sorry guys that I’m not active as I used to be and that I ranted on a totally non-bookish thing a few days ago… I’m also sad that the large amount of school work and exams happening at the moment is preventing me from doing thing that interests me such as watching anime or reading… But the more school work I receive, the more I realize that I want to come back to this beautiful community… 

Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publication: September 17th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Page count: 320
Genre: YA – Mystery, Romance
Goodreads

From Possess author Gretchen McNeil comes this teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Perfect for fans of Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter and Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ten will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page!
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.
With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

I had big hopes prior starting this book… On top of mystery being one of my favorite genres, some of my bloggy friends have read and loved this book. How weren’t I excited?!

Sad to say that Ten turned out to be less than what I had expected. Despite being a mystery novel, I wasn’t able to take things in this book seriously. Probably due to the fact that there were teenage dramas that I never thought would actually exist in a dangerous life-and-death situation like this. There is a killer and you’re busy thinking of boys and getting jealous of each other because of that?? *shakes head*

Other than that, I also had a love/hate relationship with the protagonist, Meg. Sometimes, I felt like she was a character I could relate to — being the shy girl crushing on a more popular boy. (LOL!! Not that I have a crush on those kinds of boys! I mean that we are both alike when it comes to our personalities, we both tend to stay invisible xD) Other times, though, I felt like giving her a wake-up-slap because gosh girl, why don’t you give yourself a break and stand up for yourself?? I know as a human being we are supposed to love each other and forgive but you can’t just keep defending someone who’s clearly NOT there for you when you need her the most — someone who selfishly thinks that you are never there for her while in reality, it has always been the opposite.

Needless to say, I didn’t like Minnie’s character. Saying that I want to rip the pages out of frustration is an understatement… And you know how much I care about my books physical condition.

The side characters were no better than that… They all seemed cookie-cutter, being so hard to distinguished from one another. To many characters were introduced in the beginning of the book without sufficient details or unique personalities that could help us to tell them apart. I swear that I was 150+ pages into the book and I was still like, “Who the hell is Nathan??? Which one is Kenny?? Or Gunner??

On the bright side, the mystery aspect of the book was something that I could enjoy. It was fun reading about the clues and guessing which one was the real killer. Actually, it was the only thing that kept me reading, otherwise I would have definitely stopped long ago. I must admit that the killer identity was so shocking for me. Though the ending of the book fell kinda flat and a bit anticlimatic.

Overall, it was an okay read. Ten wasn’t a wholly terrible book, but it didn’t impress me much either. The mystery was definitely this book’s saving grace.

[Review] Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication: November 15th, 2011 by Harper Teen
Page count: 340
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Paranormal, Romance

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Review

Seriously, what is this? X-Men?

^That was me by the end of the book.

I can’t. I don’t even know what to say anymore. This book left me speechless but in a bad way.

Prior starting this book, I have heard mixed reviews, mainly negative feedback but I decided to give it a chance. I thought my biggest problem would be with the writing. Apparently, although some sentences resulted in awkward laugh or terrible frown on my face, eventually I got used to it and even found the writing to be mildly tolerable. Some were beautiful even.

“My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

What I couldn’t just tolerate were the poorly-developed, unrealistic characters and the nearly non-existent plot.

Right from the start,we know that Juliette is locked in a prison due to her superpower for 200+ days. I completely understand how such thing would affect her emotional state — no friends, never experiencing any parental affection. I would believe if she had difficulties trusting people but BAM…once Juliette knows that Adam is her childhood friend she just melts…

Which leads to the second issue, the romance. I had difficulty buying their relationship because it seems to be based on past experience. I mean, just because you went to the same school and both of you suffered from terrible condition back then doesn’t mean that it’s love. I want build-up tension. Sparks and chemistry.

And that revelation in the end? I did not expect that it would end that way because the whole book was dedicated to romance with political talks inserted here and there. I thought the sudden plot development was rather far-fetched and now I don’t know whether I should continue the series or not…