Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter
(The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Goodreads

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Continue reading Winter by Marissa Meyer

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] 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…

[Review] The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: April 24th, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Page count: 443
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.
Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

Review

Upon starting this book, I was hooked. Like, eyes-glued-to-the-pages and unable-to-stop kinds of hooked. The narration is undeniably the main reason why it was so easy for me to devour this book. It is descriptive without being excessive, words effortlessly flowing from one page to another so I was able to visualize each scenes well.

Allie is one hell of a protagonist. She is smart, snarky and tough with her katana-wielding and combat skills. She also isn’t quick to judge and that’s the trait I most appreciated about her. Regarding the situation, when she is cornered or shunned due to her status as a vampire, she puts herself in other people’s shoes and understands the reason behind their action. She knows better because she used to be one of them, but I loved it that she doesn’t try to blame the others for what happened to her.

“I was a vampire. Nothing could change that. But I didn’t have to be a monster.”

Also, I was glad with Allie’s decision in the end. Not because I wasn’t particularly invested in Zeke or his group (which I honestly wasn’t…) or because I liked Kanin better (I admit I did, though) but rather because Allie shows her ability to draw the line between romance and responsibility.

Unfortunately, much to my disappointment, the pace got a tad too slow for my taste in the middle of the book where is mainly about Allie’s interaction with Jeb’s group. I can see how those people affect Allie and allow her character to develop more but I can’t help but to feel that the side characters are outshined by the protagonist. However, the epic action scenes near the end makes up for it and left me curious about what would Allie do in the next installment.

Strong, consistent protagonist? Checked.

Realistically broken worldbuilding? Checked.

Impeccable writing? Checked.

I’ve made a mistake by delaying reading this book but I’m truly glad I picked it up. The Immortal Rules was one of the few remarkable books – which did live up to the hype – I have read in 2014.

[Review] The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite
(The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication: April 23rd, 2013 by HarperTeen
Page count: 323 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Romance
Goodreads

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Timesbestseller The Selection.
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

 

Review

The Elite left me feeling more infuriated than its predecessor. 

First of all, America was even more annoying than I remembered. And way dumber. Most of the time, we were being told how nice her personality was instead of it being shown through her actions and I was so tired of that. You just don’t senselessly do the things that your friend was punished for, especially since you clearly know what will happen. America knew the severe consequence herself, yet she still did it anyway.

“But how was I supposed to decide between two good possibilities? How could I make a choice that would leave some part of me devastated either way?”

As expected, she kept going back and forth between Aspen and Maxon — at one moment she wanted to be with Maxon so bad, the next she felt like Aspen was the only person who would understand her. You know, the usual stuff. What a typical love triangle and I could not be bothered to be invested on it. But to make matters worse, both guys seemed to be more selfish and unlikable in this installment. (Everyone was, honestly.) Maxon kept demanding from America and there were multiple times his behavior simply irritated me. Him juggling the other girls, while America was also too busy feeling conflicted to make a freaking decision about him or Aspen. Oh yeah, Aspen. He still pissed me off and he’d gotten more needy now but somehow he became more…bearable, I guess.

I continued this series because I thought it provided a light entertainment even if it was ridiculous at times. Oh, btw I found out Queen Amberly’s middle name. Station. *gasps* Can you believe it? If anything was more ridiculous than the names, it would be the history of Illea. Do you really expect me to believe THAT??

Now that I’ve finished book 2, I’m not sure anymore. I didn’t expect much from it, knowing the first book. I was actually hoping for a light and feel-good read, not some angst-ridden teenage soap opera. However, I surprisingly still came out of The Elite with my curiosity intact. I might give The One a chance, though I will definitely keep my expectations low.