Review: Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher (e-Book and audiobook).

Sunday, January 22, 2012 1 Comments A+ a-

thirteenreasonswhy

 

  Jay Asher’s brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl’s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.

From Goodreads.

Get the e-Book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

This cover says a lot. You may not notice it at first, but when you finish the book, you’ll keep looking at it like it could speak to you.

The storyline:

First, this book is the first one I read by Jay Asher, his newest works The Future of Us is already out and I have it, now I can’t wait to read it!!

This book has an amazing writing style. Each sentence, I felt like I knew Hannah, the first main protagonist, and Clay, the second main protagonist.

The story is told when Clay gets the tapes and starts listening to them. From that second, the story becomes intense and you won’t be able to put the book down.

Why I went for the audiobook:

I started reading the e-book first. I was totally engrossed in the story, but then, there’s this duel narrative -- alternating between the girl’s voice and the thoughts of the boy who is listening, so I couldn’t really keep up with both of them. I listened to a sample on Amazon’s website and that’s when I decided that I needed to have the audiobook instead. I LOVE the audiobook, the way it is narrated is amazing and simple.

What I loved:

  • The story was amazing despite the sadness in it.
  • It is realistic which is enough for me :).
  • The writing style really impressed me, this was a first for me to read a book with two people speaking in it :’).
  • The main characters, Clay and Hannah.
  • The environment, the description. It was all good :).
  • The twists, the dialogues and the mystery. It was like a puzzle needing to be solved.
  • The ending was kind of good and bad at the same time. The last cassette was too intense and hard for me to read. Hannah was at her worst and I wished the story had a fiction side to it. But, life is all about realities and we can’t change them. Hard but true.

What I hated:

Nothing!!!

The characters:

Hannah is the poor girl who’s life was ruined in the new city by those rude people in her new school. Although I didn’t think she had the right reasons for suicide and that she was a bit too sensitive, I still liked her. There were some questions she didn’t answer which left a big question mark at the end.

Clay is so nice. While reading the book, I thought of Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door. He’s sensitive and strong. That’s probably a part of why Hannah was in love with him…

The rest of people mentioned in the book, including Justin, are insensitive, rude and unbelievable people. These people represent the real world, how cruel and unforgivable it is. They were taking advantage of her, using her and then acting like nothing happened.

Favorite quotes:

These are some quotes from when I read the e-book :).

I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why. --- Cassette 1: Side A

My go-to answer for anything. Staying out late? School project. Need extra money? School project. And now, the tapes of a girl. A girl who, two weeks ago, swallowed a handful of pills. --- Cassette 1: Side A

And you, lucky number thirteen, you can take the tapes straight to hell. Depending on your religion, maybe I’ll see you there. --- Cassette 1: Side A

And at some point, the struggle becomes too much—too tiring—and you consider letting go. Allowing tragedy…or whatever…to happen. --- Cassette 3: Side B

Conclusion:

An amazing read that’ll make you think about your everyday actions and their consequences. It’s an emotional read which is hard to go thru. That’s why we like to escape by reading fantasy and fiction, but some realistic reads are needed to keep us anchored to our reality.

I recommend this book if you liked Living Dead Girl. There’s no other book that I can think of that resembles it more than this one :). Also, I don’t recommend it for younger readers, it has some ideas and a small inappropriate scene that young people shouldn’t be exposed to.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: Never to Sleep by Rachel Vincent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

tumblr_lx5er7kNLZ1qly83y

 

  Don't Close Your Eyes.
  Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin's strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she's put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream—and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep...forever.
  Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family...?

From Goodreads.

 

Get the book from: Amazon, B&N or Kobo.

The cover:

The cover is gorgeous.

The storyline:

So, this is where things kind of get ugly and weird.

The story happens sometime in If I Die, so if you haven’t read it, don’t read this one because it’ll only mess things up for you and spoil If I Die.

Because I hate Sophie, I’m not going to talk much about the story and instead you’ll have points.

What I loved:

  • The story began normally with Sophie being a… you know, herself. Then things totally switched to be more intense.
  • This story has so many twists and facts that I had to pause each time to absorb what was seen or happened!! Just to let you know, these twists has everything to do with my favorite hellion, Avari. Not to mention that we got a glimpse of Addison (T_T <3) and Thane just after Tod and Kaylee became together.
  • I loved how well the story was told and how Sophie found the Crimson Creeper so disgusting and she was getting scared!

What I hated:

  • I hated the Sophie world. I hated how much she hated her cousin, Kaylee and how she called crazy many times behind her back. She was rude.
  • I hated how arrogant she was. It was hell for me to finish this novella.
  • I was expecting to know how things went when Kaylee died and how she reacted when she found out that Kaylee was the heroine all this time Smile with tongue out.
  • The end wasn’t good at all. The end was just what Sophie would do.

The characters:

This time, things are going to be crazy.

Avari is awesome. Sophie’s lucky he didn’t have her head cut off. I’m even suspecting that he let her go intentionally.

Sophie is a very rude, disrespectful and arrogant cousin.

Luc is just mysterious. I’m having my own guesses about him…

My favorite quotes:

There are only 2 but I won’t spoil this review. So, I’ll have to keep them to myself…

Conclusion:

I had to read this novella for two reasons and two only:

  1. I had to know what happened to this stupid cousin during If I Die and to know other secrets that weren’t mentioned in the previous novel.
  2. I needed more Soul Screamers craziness because I can’t wait until Before I Wake is out!!! *_*

This was a great read when it comes to the writing style and the new information I got Winking smile. But, The Reaper, the previous Novella, was way better. I think this one was over describing every move of Sophie.

4/5

Randa

Review: The Ripper by L.J. Smith (Creator), Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec.

Saturday, January 14, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

the-vampire-diaries-stefans-diaries-4-the-ripper

  Haunted by the past . . .

  The year is 1888, and the scent of blood lingers heavy in the London air. Stefan Salvatore thought he could escape his violent origins by settling in the peaceful countryside of England, but when a heinous murderer named Jack the Ripper surfaces, Stefan fears darkness will always follow him. Drawn into the investigation, Stefan assumes the worst: This is the work of a vampire. And the more he learns, the more he becomes convinced that the killer is someone close to him—and that he can never outrun his past.

  Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan’s Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.

From Goodreads.

Get the book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

If you didn’t know this before, then here you go; this cover is created using the promo photo of season two of the hit TV series The Vampire Diaries Smile. Yep, this is why this cover is gorgeous and I had no idea how beautiful Stefan’s eyes are until now Winking smile.

The storyline:

I am a huge fan of L.J. Smith’s writing style although I recently knew that Stefan’s Diaries aren’t entirely written by her, but I still like it.

I have read the previous 3 books in the series and you can find my review of them on Goodreads Smile.

Anyways, the story begins in a slow pace, everything is cool and Stefan finally has a new life in England with a family who trusts and loves him.

Then, along with Mr. Abbott, the man he works for, Stefan goes to the city side of England, London. While not 5 minutes in London, he hears the news of a serial killer named Jack The Ripper who’s killing young girls in London with their throats slit. Of course, the first one he suspects is Damon.

And since we all know Stefan by now, if you read the previous one which you should before getting into this one, he decides to find his brother and stop him. Nothing is simple. He finds a nice girl whose working in a bar and saves her from her mean boss then he hunts Damon down.

When he finds him, things start getting ugly and the real action begins.

To sum things up, the ending is not happy but it is satisfying. If there’s anything I adore about these books (Stefan’s Diaries) is the way they end, it’s amazing!

What I loved:

  • Things started slow and clean and then very fast we were in action! I love this type of writings and I love how clean her writing is, there’s totally no cursing!! <333
  • The story was just awesome and surprisingly not over explaining things which was cool because it left some part for the imagination ^_^ Although there are parts completely well described and explained which is needed in bloody scenes <3
  • The characters. All of them, even Samuel.
  • The mentioning of Klaus!! I can’t wait to see him as a full character in a book although I think he was present in this one…
  • There are only 19 chapters which perfect. I don’t think the story would have been better it there were more.
  • The ending and the epilogue.

What I hated:

  • Nothing!!!

What I missed from the previous books:

  • I missed Lexi. I’m a huge fan of hers, she’s just a good friend.

The characters:

Stefan: He’s been thru a lot and still found a way to be strong and caring. I keep hoping he’ll think being a vampire is not a curse because you identify who you are or what you are in this case.

Damon: Oh count DeSangue! I was completely blank in the first few chapters until Damon showed up! He adds this amazing scent and taste to the story. And when reading about him or him saying things, I totally picture Ian Somerhalder and think of how perfectly he suits the role ^_^.

Violet: The poor girl who ended up…. well, you’ll have to read to find out what happened to her but let me tell you that she loves Stefan as a friend and she really trusted him. I’m hoping to see her in The Asylum.

Samuel: I’m having mixing thoughts about him, but, could he be Klaus?! He seemed too vengeful for a misunderstanding with Damon.

Favorite quotes:

No matter what came, be it murderer, demon, or Damon, I was ready. – Chapter 2.

I followed her gaze, the sliver of the moon providing just enough light that I could see red letters written on the side of the building, each oxidized character standing out against the muted brick as if it were illuminated from behind by candlelight:            

SALVATORE—I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE. --- Chapter 4.

I heard a rustle coming from the far end of the forest. I whirled around, half-expecting to see Klaus, ready for a fight. Nothing. --- Chapter 6.

“See you in hell,” I murmured. To anyone else, it would be a curse. But for me, it was a promise. --- Chapter 14.

But what I also felt was regret, anger, sorrow, and relief. It truly was as if a lifetime were passing before my eyes.     

Or rather, both my lifetimes. --- Chapter 18.

We didn’t trust each other. We didn’t like each other. But we were each other, reflecting our shadow, secret selves in the other’s identity. --- Epilogue.

And here is a wonderful quote from The Asylum excerpt:

“They could have run a better picture of me, at the very least. That illustration doesn’t do me justice at all,” he said sulkily as he settled on the bench next to me and crumpled the paper up into a ball. Excerpt from The Asylum, coming January 17, 2012.

Conclusion:

It was a wonderful read and a great peek at the old Stefan who’s now back in the TV series Smile.

5/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: If I Die by Rachel Vincent (Audiobook.).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

If I die

 

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

  But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

  Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

  But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.

Anything.

From Goodreads.

Get the book from: Amazon, B&N or The Book Depository.

The cover:

This cover is beautiful and simple. Yet, I have no idea what’s its relation with the story.

The storyline:

So, I’ll try as much as I can not to spoil this review, because If I wrote it yesterday at 11:30 pm, when I finished this book, I would’ve had a record in spoiling reviews. Now that I calmed down from the impact of the new way the story took and I’ve organized my thoughts, you’re going to get a coherent review Nerd smile.

  What I liked:

  • The beginning was perfect and smooth, as usual. I liked how things were normal despite the obvious tension since Sabine is now present (And it looks like she’s not going anywhere, any soon).
  • The suspense was great, there were a lot twists, heartbreaks, pain that made the story almost realistic.
  • The writing is great, too. I could almost feel what was going on and understand it.
  • I loved that this sequel had a small relation to the previous novella Reaper which I read. Because it kind of helped understanding what was Tod talking about with Kaylee.
  • Emma was more present in this book, which is cool!
  • The incubus story was totally fun to go thru and I was glad that it continued till the end.
  • I loved seeing Levi again, and since I read an audiobook, hearing him talk like a small child was priceless. I wish there was more of him :s. Maybe in the next sequels?!

  What I missed:

  • I missed Avari’s presence and constant annoyance. Yep, I’m a fan girl of hellions in this book because they add different twits to the story more than incubus do.
  • I also missed the old Nash and the poor naïve Kaylee who was totally in love with him and couldn’t breath without him. Of course, that changed too…

  What I hated:

  • This one tiny thing, which most of you will think it’s ridiculous, almost stopped me from finishing the book. When you’re about 60% done with the book, you’ll be slapped in the face with a new turn the story takes. I hated how Kaylee was suddenly done with Nash, how in minute she was totally in love with him and adores him and in the next one she was done with and in love with someone else. I hated the cruelty, irresponsibility and immaturity in these few chapters. I didn’t like seeing this part of Kaylee.

The characters:

I don’t actually want to talk about any of them, to be honest, but I’ll do it fast.

Kaylee was impossible. She was strong, scared, caring for her best friend and even starting to like Sabine. But then, I hated her for acting like a selfish banshee.

Tod is Tod. I still think of him as cool and funny and mysterious but I hated how he contributed even as little in Kaylee’s new behavior and in his brother’s pain.

Nash is my hero in this sequel. Although he didn’t do anything heroic, just by enduring all of this by himself, and going thru hell, he’s been really courageous and hurt.

Sabine is one hell of a mara. I really like her. She’s direct, she knows what she wants and she doesn’t go around and make lies.

Emma is wonderful and trustworthy best friend.

Levi is sweet. Despite his young age, he has a mind and logic of a grownup man. I like him ^_^.

Mr. Beck is pathetic.

Conclusion:

If you’ve been this far reading the series, reading If I Die is inevitable. Whether you’ll like it or not, you have to read it to know what changed and what didn’t so you can later read Before I Wake when it’s released!

This is not my favorite book in the series but I did enjoy it, especially the ending.

I’ll be fair and honest and give it the rate it deserves from my point of view.

4/5

Randa

Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead.

Monday, January 02, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

last

 

 

It All Comes Down To Now.

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice.

The Queen is Dead and the Moroi world will never be the same. Now, with Rose awaiting wrongful execution and Lissa in a deadly struggle for the royal throne, the girls find themselves forced to rely upon enemies and to question those they thought they could trust...

But what if true freedom means sacrificing the most important thing of all?

                                            Each other

From Goodreads.

 

Get the book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository.

 

Just as a note, this review was supposed to be published on December 31st, 2011 but due to Internet issues, it has been delayed.

The cover:

I LOVE this cover. It says a lot about Rose and what she goes thru in this book.

The storyline (Small spoilers):

This sequel is completely amazingly beautifully unique. No book in the series competes with Last Sacrifice, it was filled with so many emotions and mysteries it hurt to read because all the time while reading it, I was trying to be a smart girl and anticipate what was going to happen. I failed miserably.

The story continues where Spirit Bound ended up, with Rose still in jail for the murder of Queen Tatiana. However, her friends get her out of it with the help of Dimitri, of course Red heart.

Anyways, things got crazy like they always do with Rose, and she was caught in the middle of a huge mess, in the mean time, Lisa was nominated as Queen but they wouldn’t be able to vote for her because there’s no other member of her family left, says the Quorum.

So, as always, despite being on the run for her life from Court, Rose tries to find the missing sibling Lissa has. Obviously, she got in a lot of trouble and Victor and his brother joined her.

I’m going to jump to the end of this book before I spoil this review more than this.

The end was the special treat. I was holding my breath and tears while reading it and I couldn’t put the book down until I was done with it. It is full of shock, mystery, dreams come true and surprising twists.

Also, Dimitri and Rose’s relationship had a weird turn and I was having a lot of fun seeing them argue, and her calling him comrade like old times :’).

The characters:

Rose, the main protagonist, got on my nerves for the first time. She was acting like a stupid girl who was dumped, she couldn’t see the truth when it was right in front of her!!! But also, to be fair, she’s the best friend anyone would dream about, and the ending of the book is proof of that.

Adrian, well, he’s Adrian!! lol I adore how cool he is and how he doesn’t care about anyone at all. I felt sorry for him at the end and how he got mad, I’ve never seen him shout like that! He was really hurt. Let’s hope things get better for him in Bloodlines Winking smile.

Dimitri is the old Dimitri, finally. It was so cool and nice to see him act like his old self (in Vampire Academy and Frostbite mainly). I love this mysterious teacher <3.

Lissa is the protective nice friend who loves Rose a lot!

Sydney is hilarious. I’m definitely sure that she’s Rose’s friend now. I can’t wait to find her in Bloodlines, it’s going to be fun to read the spinoff of my favorite Vampire series from her point of view.

Other characters you’ll encounter while reading and are worth mentioning: Victor (who later get’s killed XD << I’m evil), Sonia Karp, Jill Mostrano, Daniella Ivashkov and Tasha.

My favorite quotes:

I have so freaking many favorite quotes!! And to be honest, I would like to put the whole book in here, but of course to not spoil this anymore than I already did, I’ll share just a few to push you into reading the series if you haven’t already!!

I don’t like cages.   

I don't even like going to zoos. The first time I went to one, I almost had a claustrophobic attack looking at those poor animals. I couldn't imagine any creature living that way. Sometimes I even felt a little bad for criminals, condemned to life in a cell. I'd certainly never expected to spend my life in one.   

But lately, life seemed to be throwing me a lot of things I'd never expected, because here I was, locked away. – Chapter 1

I ignored the barb and crossed my arms. "So what are you doing here? I know it's not just a fatherly visit. You never do anything without a reason."    "Of course not. Why do anything without a reason?"    "Don't start up with your circular logic."    He winked. "No need to be jealous. If you work hard and put your mind to it, you might just inherit my brilliant logic skills someday." – Chapter 1

My friends were staging a prison break. Unbelievable. Crazy was usually my specialty. – Chapter 4

And I'd fulfilled my purpose, right? To protect? I'd done it. I'd saved Lissa, just like I'd sworn I'd always do. I was dying in battle. No appointment books for me.   

Lissa's face shone with tears, and I hoped that mine conveyed how much I loved her. With the last spark of life I had left, I tried to speak, tried to let Dimitri know I loved him too and that he had to protect her now. I don't think he understood, but the words of the guardian mantra were my last conscious thought.   

They come first. – Chapter 33

"Sorry," she said, her face shining with joy when she saw me. "Should have put a sock on the door. Didn't realize things were getting hot and heavy."   

"No avoiding it," I said lightly, clasping Dimitri's hand.

"Things are always hot with him around."   

Dimitri looked scandalized. He'd never held back when we were in bed together, but his private nature wouldn't let him even hint about such matters to others. It was mean, but I laughed and kissed his cheek.   

"Oh, this is going to be fun," I said. "Now that everything's out in the open."   

"Yeah," he said. "I got a pretty ‘fun' look from your father the other day." – Chapter 34

"This," he said, moving toward the door, "was the last thing I expected. You destroy my life and then feed me inspirational philosophy."    I felt horrible, and it was one of those moments where I wished my mouth wouldn't just blurt out the first thing on my mind. I'd learned a lot of control—but not quite enough. – Chapter 35

"What's so funny?" asked Dimitri, looking down at me with amusement.  

"I'm just thinking about what Lissa would say if we still had the bond."   

In a very bad breach of guardian protocol, he caught a hold of my hand and pulled me toward him. "And?" he asked, wrapping me in an embrace.   

"I think she'd ask, ‘What have we gotten ourselves into?'" – Chapter 36

The conclusion:

This is the sweetest end ever, I wish the series continued but I guess it’s a good idea to keep it like this and leave the rest to our imagination. Besides, I heard there’s a bit of Rose and Dimitri in Bloodlines Open-mouthed smile.

I wanted to thank Richelle Mead for writing such a wonderful series. This is my favorite Vampire series ever!!

I definitely recommend it to everyone who’s into fun, mysterious twisted books Smile.

5/5

mevideo

Randa