wtorek, 31 stycznia 2012

REVIEW #3 - Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
GENRE: paranormal romance, fantasy
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept 27th 2011

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


I found it quite intriguing. It didn't take my breath away or anything, but the blue on the cover is exactly what I have in mind when imagining Karou's hair.

Whoa. That was something different. While at some point it became rather clear and straighforward tragic romance, it sure kept surprising me. I wasn't really convinced at first - the weirdness of it all, the created world reminded me a bit of magic realism, which is one of my least favorite genrs out there. But, thankfully, it's not the case at all.
Besides, half of the book happens in Prague. I've been to Prague two times, each time really sick and with high fever, so it's all like behind thick fog for me, but I remembered the details through Karou's eyes.

Karou is one of the best female lead characters I've read in a while. She can manage on her own and her badassery is showing (the scene at the bearded guy's shack was one of my absolute favorites!), even if she can be quite helpless at times.
Akiva is described as "so beautiful to the point of overdoing it" and I had to smile at that. He's troubled, he's got some problems with trying to be funny, which in turn IS funny - I'm not the one to fall for perfect angelic main characters, but this time, I couldn't help it. ;)
Other characters - Zuzana (you know, the bickering bff type, but I appreciated her awesome sense of humor), Brimstone (LOVED the guy, another Gandalf type but not quite) and even Thiago (our bad guy) were really well executed.

Nonlinear narrative was refreshing, but a bit confusing at times. While I appreciated that it's not first person POV, I was kind of lost sometimes. Especially when it became clear to me that the narrator is omnipresent. It hopped from Karou to Akiva to other characters almost from sentence to sentence and it took me a while to get used to it.
But it's not a disadvantage of course. The writing flowed nicely, and, what I appreciated a lot, there was humor present. It made me laugh out loud a few times, which happens rarely when I read paranormal romances these days. Yay!

A must-read! I added this book to my favorites and I can't wait for DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, which is a confirmed title of the sequel.

4.5 stars out of 5.

poniedziałek, 30 stycznia 2012

Cover Crazy #1 - Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Cover Crazy is the weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms, which I decided to join. I simply adore good covers!

What I like:
Absolutely everything? I know that I probably sound silly, but this cover is  g o r g e o u s. I've been admiring it for a while now. I'm not a huge fan of Divergent (although the cover is nice as well), but this cover would make me buy the book regardless of the content. ;) And I will surely read Insurgent once it's published.
The colors are amazing, the text & font fits, and the tree, which is a symbol of the Abnegation, is so pretty! Overall: stunning cover.

About Insurgent:
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

sobota, 28 stycznia 2012

REVIEW #2 - Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

TITLE: Shattered Souls
Mary Lindsey
paranormal romance


Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.
Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.


Just look how gorgeous it is! It drew me in immediately. I just knew I had to read it, and luckily, I wasn't disappointed. It doesn't really matter that the cover has no connection whatsoever to the story. Who cares, pretty!

The concept seemed really well thought and I could sense that the author put some real brainstorming into the idea of soul-sharing. Add reincarnations, evil spirits, a bit of history and a Gandalf figure (I call all of those old, wise, Dumbledoresque guys Gandalfs) and you get Shattered Souls.
I absolutely loved the idea of Speakers and Protectors! It gives a lot of possibilities and I feel the author used the idea quite skillfully.
The pacing was just right, I wasn't bored. And during the climax I couldn't put the book down!


I was surprised to discover that Lenzi is a likeable character. I'm not used to liking female main characters, especially when the story is told from the first person perspective! Lenzi is resourceful, she thinks about the pros and cons, she can properly evaluate a situation based on observation. Whoa! And she's even got some sense of humor. I loved it.
On the other hand we have Alden, our main male character. He's just lovely, funny, and completely in love. He's neither a weakling nor macho type, and that's why I loved him so much. I'd describe him as a boy next door. And who doesn't like boys next door? I was totally bought during that scene between Alden and his little sister, too.
Other characters were fun too (mentioned Gandalf figure, or other Protectors). I had a major issue with Zak, though. Even if the story he was involved with became quite relevant to the plot, I wasn't entirely convinced it had to be described the way it was. I'm not spoiling the story to you, dear readers, but tell me what you thought about it, too!


As I mentioned earlier, the pacing was flowing quite nicely. I'm not a native English speaker but I didn't find the language Shattered souls is written challenging. I appreciate the humor though. A lot of YA novels lacks humor these days, focusing on angsty turmoils of romance or the horrors of awful dystopian reality.


Nice surprise! I recommend it to every fan of paranormal romance and to anyone who wants to read something light and entertaining, with fun characters, cute romance and a bit of humor.



REVIEW #1 - Everneath by Brodi Ashton

TITLE: Everneath
Brodi Ashton
  Jan 24th 2012


Just look at this beautiful cover! I absolutely love it. Besides good reviews, the cover totally made me pick up this book. it's stunning, the title fits perfectly, and the graphic, whoa!


Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

I seem to be one of the few people who didn't like the book. It's said to be a retelling of a Hades and Persephone myth, but...
The idea seemed cool at first. The execution of it, not so much. It's nothing like the description.
The explanation of the supernatural stuff is sloppy. The myth analogy seems forced down our throats, with Nikki conveniently having to write a paper on it.
The reasoning behind Nikki's agreement to go to Everneath was... well, I have no other word for it other than stupid.


Our main character. Nikki, Nikki, Nikki. Where to start?
She's a brooding machine. As much as I don't really want to sound harsh, it's the truth. She is. On top of that, she makes decisions that make me cringe every few pages. I thought people already have a brain at her age, but I guess I was wrong. There's no character development whatsoever. For example?
We randomly discover that she's a klutz:
“Whoops.” I unhooked the snag and
pulled my shirt back into place. “Once a klutz . . .”
Whereas for the past 250 pages it hasn't been mentioned (or rather, showed) that she's one. And I don't mean that she should trip on air every time she walks, but showing us just a bit of it?
Her unreasonable behavior when she tries not to act suspiciously... I won't even start.
Oh, and her being rather oblivious about various clues left here and there, what, with Cole being so obvious and Mary's random comments...? I seriously rolled my eyes.

It's hard to really evaluate other characters, since every single character has the same voice, speaks in the same manner and makes the same stupid decisions.
Oh, I'm sorry. The adults have this moralistic aura about them, spewing ~words of wisdom~ every now and then and trying to sound really wise about it, but it comes out like a middle school student writing a paper for his social studies class.

I am not a fan of first person POV but I tolerate it, mostly because it's widely used by YA authors. But first person POV doesn't mean you can treat a book you're writing like your own diary!
And that's what happens in this book. The wordy descriptions of the main character's feelings, often repetitive, are infuriating. Nikki seems to think it's important to inform us about every~~pain of the Surface~~ she feels or about every redundant action she takes (like, in the middle of thinking about Everneath - "I raised my head" - and then she continues thinking about it some more, the raising of her head having nothing to do with anything).
The suffering that she's so desperate to get rid of - she only *talks* about it, we never really see it. I couldn't really "get into" the mood, because I don't like when things are told rather than shown. Like - "Suddenly, I felt pain/My whole body hurt" yadda yadda yadda. I swear there was one page written like that somewhere in the book!
It needs editing. Lots of it. Some scenes were totally pointless, some phrases overused, dialogues that made me want to plant my face straight into my desk.
Oh, dialogues. Right. In addition to the characters not having their own voices, the dialogues were devoid of any wit, which made me a bit sad - I love when dialogues are just a tiny bit sassy.

This book is all talk, no essence. Yes, the characters do talk. But they don't do anything beside that. There's no action whatsoever, the romance is rather sloppily executed, the characters are flat, and the lead heroine is just plain annoying.
I was hoping for at least decent paranormal romance, and what I got was huge disappointment.


Nook of Books - welcome!

Hello there!
Since I read TONS of books (mostly YA) recently, I decided to open this blog to share my thoughts with you and, if possible organize fun contests and giveaways!

A few words about me:
I'm Nashi, 23, from Poland. I'm majoring in Korean language and I already hold a degree in Croatian language. I'm absolutely obsessed with Korean language tho.
Other than that - I write, I fool around in Photoshop, I read YA novels (especially dystopian ones). My reviews tend to be emotional and a bit snarky, but I promise I won't be too harsh.

As for the format of reviews, I will grade the book on the scale from 1 to 5, 5 being the highest. The review will be divided into a few parts, such as characters, plot, writing, overview, etc.

Stay tuned for more info in the future - I need a few days to get it started. ;)