Monday, July 28, 2014

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

As the release date of Opposition is almost here, I decided to do a review of Obsidian. So many people raved about how good this book is and I decided to finally pick it up. It was my first Jennifer L. Armentrout book.

Book summary: 
Starting over sucks. That is definitely the feeling inside Katy when she is forced to move into the deep countryside of West Virginia from Florida. The last thing she expected was to meet Daemon Black. He is more different than any boy Katy has ever met. He's arrogant, stab-worthy and very handsome. Despit this fact Katy is determined to stay away from him... Until the night everything changes, that is.

Katy is your typical teenager when we first see her, She's kind of angry for moving to this remote town in the middle of nowhere. At the beginning of the book you find out that she is a book blogger. That's what made me fond of her. When she meets Daemon, she doesn't know what she feels - he's sexy but at the same time arrogant. As the story goes on you get to see a lot of character development in both of them. Katy is very stubborn, a cliche, even with the whole I-don't-believe-in-supernatural stuff. She made some decisions which I thought were extremely stupid and and very teenage and then it hit me. Of course she is going to act like this, she IS a teenager. This is where the author shines. The characters are so believable and realistic and make you relate to them. 

Daemon on the other side was the more mature one... most of the time. He was acting weird at times but he almost always knew what was right.

The plot is just very interesting as well. The aliens are not presented as these super-violent creatures who want to kill every human. No, in fact they are peaceful and lay low. As time passes you get to see the back-story of Daemon and what he is. The revelations are presented very well and everything was very-well developed. The side supporting characters are also developed.

The writing as I mentioned was extremely good. The author did what I enjoy most - make me feel what the characters feel and relate to them. The descriptions were so easy to imagine. The novel was very well-paced and was way better than I expected. 

In short, Obsidian was a riveting read, which will make you read without stopping and make you forget about work and problems. It's a gripping novel that grabs you from the beginning and does not let you go until the very last word... and then you're left craving for the next book.

I want to point out that I also read both - the Bulgarian and the English version of this book. Egmont Bulgaria was kind enough to translate this awesome series in Bulgarian. The translation is almost perfect with a few mistakes here and there but that is because I got the first print of the book. I am so thankful to the publisher.

Updade 1: Bulgarian review coming out on August 15th.

                                                                  My rating: 
                                                            5 out of 5 stars

Bout of Books READ-A-THON

Hey guys, I want to apologize for not posting anything regularly due to my trip. I promise to make it up to you with these exciting news.

Bout of Books is organizing a Read-A-Thon in the days between August 18th and August 24th. Here is a brief description of it.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I am participating in order to lower the number of books on my TBR pile. I am yet to decide which books I will be reading so stay tuned for that.

And last but not least, expect reviews of books on Mondays and of films Fridays/Saturdays.

I am grateful to each and every one of you for your reads of my reviews. I appreciate it!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins Review - No spoilers

As the movie is only a few months away I decided now it's the best time to write a review of the book. "Mockingjay" is the third novel in "The Hunger Games" series and it's the conclusion of it.

The book is the definitely the darkest one in the series. In it you get to study even deeper the effects of the games over Katniss a.k.a. PTSD and paranoia. She is still the tough girl we met a while back but only more careful and mature. She tries to take after her friends and family like never before and yet she is not capable to fully protect them from The Capitol. She suffers and tortures herself from the fact she hadn't been able to keep Peeta safe.

She becomes a symbol for the rebels and tries her best not to fall apart in front of everyone that counts on her. Due to the 1st person point of view we're able to find out what she really feels and get to relate to her. This POV though, feels kind of limited. It would have been better if it were written in 3rd person's view or in a dual one. I just felt like I needed to see what really happens in the Capitol and see what's going on with Peeta. Fortunately, in the movie we will see what's been going on in the Capitol.

Honestly, I don't think I loved the book. I am not saying it was bad, by all means. It was a really good novel just love is not the right word. This book was the most severe one of the three. It had much more emotional depth and it was harder to read. It was a really fast-paced book and a few times I needed to stop reading and reconcile what had happened.

The author puts a few questions to wonder upon like if you should show mercy to those who haven't shown one to you or where would you draw the line and how far are you willing to go to save the ones you love.

This is not an anti-war book as some might think. At least I wouldn't say it is. Actually it tries to make us ask ourselves what justifies war and where we should draw the line. Not for us not to fight but to know exactly what's worth fighting for.

                                 “Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”

Several main characters die. It hurt me while I was reading the scenes but I felt they were necessary. The last, several pages were the thing that made up for the entire intensity and heaviness worth it. I am not sure which is the right word for that but maybe bittersweet. It has this sort of message that lives still goes on even though we can't really imagine how it would.

Despite the fact many people think the ending was disappointing it wasn't to me. Actually, it is the thought that it's the end that does. I felt as if I had lost something after I read the last word. I am glad it ended the way it did because, honestly I can't think of a better way it could have been written.

“My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.”
Overall, I felt this book was good but not as good as "Catching Fire" but still managed to be the epic conclusion I was expecting. It was an emotional ride that just ripped my heart out and was so fast-paced I barely got a chance to catch my breath.

The third movie hits theaters in November worldwide.

                                      My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Secrets - Outcast by John R. Little&Mark Allan Gunnells (Spoiler free)

I want to thank Librarything for sending me a review copy of this book.

This is my first experience with JournalStone's DoubleDown Series. Basically, it's a book with too alternative storylines. The only common thing about the two story-lines
is the two main characters. Everything else is completely different.

Here's a summary of the two books:

The Double Down series continues with two stories
that explore the very different realities of Karen
Richard’s life. The common prologue springboards
two talented authors into alternate realities.
In John R. Little’s Secrets, Karen Richardson can
occasionally stop time.  She is free to move around
while others are frozen in time.  She finds the hidden
truths of those around her, including her new friend,
Bobby Jersey, who may not be all that he seems.  At
first it seemed fun, powerful, exhilarating, but in the
end Karen’s power may cost her everything she’s ever
cared about.

In Mark Allan Gunnells’ Outcast, Karen Richardson is
a college freshman dealing with a non‐existent social
life, a difficult roommate...and the power of
telekinesis.  As her powers grow, Karen begins to lose
control.    Her new friend Bobby Jersey offers his
assistance.  But is he somebody that Karen can trust,
or will her abilities destroy everything and everyone
she knows and loves.

The first story is called "Secrets" and it was the shorter one. I am sad to be saying this but this book was the less enjoyable. It was kind of depressing, dark and way too explicit. Ithad some interesting moments but I am just not into this type of stuff. There was a lack of character development but it's understandable considering the length.

The storyline follows a girl named Karen, which has the ability to stop time but she doesn't know why and cannot control it. She meets another guy named Bobby, who can do the same and the story gets tangled. Throughout I was expecting to find out more about the abilities but unfortunately I didn't. The last few chapter were the thing I mostly enjoyed because it had a goal and it was achieved. I would rate this book 3/5 stars.

Little about the author:

John R. Little is the Bram Stoker Award winning author of Miranda, The Memory Tree, Ursa Major, and many other books.  He has been publishing his unique brand of fiction formore than 30 years and has been nominated for major awards multiple times.  Little loves to hear from his fans and his web site is

The second story I found more interesting and yet not compelling enough. It had a different, better plot about telekinesis and I can't tell anything more without spoiling. There was more character development and more details. This time around I was able to relate to the characters but there was something that didn't fit there... I don't know what it was. Overall I enjoyed this book and my rating is 3.5/5 stars. I will definitely keep an eye on Mark Allan Gunnels's other works.

Little about the author:

Mark Allan Gunnells is the author of such books as Tales
from the Midnight Shift, The Summer of Winters, Asylum, and
the forthcoming Welcome to the Graveyard. He has been
writing since the age of ten, and publishing since 2005. He
lives in Greer, SC, with his partner, and he loves to set his
stories in the surrounding areas.

Once again, I want to thank the publishers for sending me the book and I am sorry I didn't enjoy it enough. I am just not into this kind of stories. If you are, you will enjoy it more than I did.


                                        Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton review(SPOILER-FREE)

First off, I want to thank edelweiss and HarperCollins for sending me this book. It is my first ARC ever.

I really cannot say anything different than what the other reviewers already have. The book is very well-written and quite catchy after the first 60 pages. It had a slow start - at least for me but once I got into the story, I couldn't stop reading until the very last page. It is told from 3rd person's view in present tense.

The story follows a young woman - Nella, whose father died and he has left leaving the family with debts so her marriage to a wealthy Amsterdam merchant is arranged. She arrives at his home and meets his sister Marin, who is not happy to see her, and no husband. As she waits for Johannes to appear she has to content with Marin, and the strange and unfriendly servants Cornelia and Otto.  Soon Johannes appears and with him he brings his wife a spectacular gift - a miniature of the house she now lives in. But as she engages the services of a miniaturist to furnish the house Nella discovers that the inhabitants of the house are not all they seem. 

The book is, in fact, beautiful. It is reasonably paced and the world-building was so well-done that even a person like me, who's never been to Amsterdam, nor is into historical fiction could get pulled into this 17th century Amsterdam. As I am accustomed to electricity it was little weird for me to read this book.  

The book has everything I like - fiction, suspense and drama. I liked that there were many twist and turns, which were unexpected but also some were foreshadowed. The main characters are interesting,realistic and very-well developed. The novel circles around the true meaning of liberty, the place of women in society and their potential, the corrosive effects of secrets and of suppressing your true identity. One of the best things about this book is that it had some questions left for us to resolve.  The ending is really good and I do recommend everyone into (historical)fiction go and buy this book when it hits the stores on August 25th. This is Jessie Burton's debut novel.


                                     4.5 out of 5 stars