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Book Review: Shatter Me

Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

 

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It’s been 264 days since Juliette touched anybody.

The last time she did, it led to something terrifying. But nobody believed her that it was an accident. The Reestablishment charged her with murder and locked her up. They don’t care to find out, why Juliette’s touch is fatal. Nobody cares for her because they’re all too busy with the outside world, which is completely different now.

Until someone else joins Juliette in her cell. Someone, who’s really familiar to Juliette.


This book was really hyped a few years ago but, I’m slow sometimes, so I only had a chance to pick it up this year. Maybe I made mistake and should read it a while ago when I was younger and not so tired of all YA dystopian novels. Right now, I really feel like I’m not a target audience for this genre anymore. I’m just too old.

The beginning itself was extremely boring and I struggled through the first pages (a lot of them). I was compelled to read on, not because the story simply would draw me in, but I was wondering how did Juliette become like this and what’s with her fatal touch. This is probably the only reason I read the book to the end. And let me tell you, the mystery around everything really got on my nerves.

Juliette is one of those characters I didn’t like from beginning and it was that way until the end. She is indecisive, distrustful when there’s no need for that and she’s complicating all the time and can’t make her mind. It’s good that she’s immense beauty that every guy in the book falls for her and that saves her life many times (that is, according to the book). In general, I did not like the characters very much.

Sadly, we don’t get to know much about the dystopian world. For those few information that comes to the reader, we can be sure that they are there to mislead us. This predictability slowly destroys all the stories, and here it was not different (still, there are chances that I’m wrong). There are two types of people in this “new” world, first are “bad” and the others are “good” and they want to resist the bad guys. We get to know some things about both, but we know that we can not trust anyone because everything can mislead us. I would love to get some more concrete information which would surely make the story more interesting.

As already mentioned, the idea is not bad, in fact, it seemed quite interesting to me but it was just not written in the way that would entertain me. Especially after some exceptions began to appear (don’t worry, no spoilers). I understand why this happened, but, at least to me, it completely destroyed the pleasure of reading, and also the idea the author wanted to present.

Yes, there are some chapters that keep a reader in tension, but they don’t outweigh the rest. Too much romance, too much mysteries, too much focus on relationships. And still, it was not enough for me.

Rating: 1/5 stars

Did you read Shatter Me? What did you think about it? Did you read the rest of the books in series?

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Book Review: Slade House

Title: Slade House

Author: David Mitchell24500887

 

In London, in the Slade Valley, is where you can find a Slade House. However, the usual passers-by can’t see it. Slade House opens its doors every nine years, for a chosen person. This person is invited to enter the Slade House by its two strange residents, brother and sister, who carefully choose, who will visit them.

Though, the chosen one does not enjoy in a visit for a long time and also can’t leave the Slade House just like that.


This is the first book that I read from the author Mitchell and certainly not the last. And this review will probably be short but I really don’t want to talk about the book too much or spoil anything.

The book is quite short and in each new chapter, there is a new character. It all begins in 1979 when the boy enters the house, and the story ends in 2015. So, every nine years a new person enters the house with his own life story and discover the secrets behind the Slade House.

Each story reveals more about the Slade House and mystery behind it and each story creates more tension which towards the end of the book only intensify. It’s amazing how all characters are well developed, despite their diversity and shortness of the chapters. The book really isn’t long, neither are chapters but it’s still really well written. I was hooked right from the first page, from the first story. But with each new character, I wanted to know more.

The ending was unexpected for me but rather average for a book like that. Considering the plot before, I expected something else, something more unique. But despite everything, it was a solid conclusion.

For me, it was not spooky at all, even though this is a horror book. Yes, there were moments that were creepy but otherwise, this book is more of a fun and intense read that you can’t put down.

Slade House was a pleasant introduction to Mitchell’s writing and I can’t wait to read something else by him.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Did you read Slade House or any other book by David Mitchell? What are your thoughts about it?

 

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Mini Book Haul

I had a birthday last month and this year my friends really surprised me because they only gave me books.

Usually, I also get some gifts that I don’t know what to do with them but this year, gifts were just perfect.

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Slade House by David Mitchell

I have this book on my TBR pile for so long and I started to read it immediately. I really enjoy reading it so far. Too bad I don’t have much time otherwise I would finish it a while ago.

The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Again, one of those books I wanted to read since it came out.

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

I haven’t heard much about this book but it’s one of those books that I have on my Goodreads to-read shelves for ages. And the cover is so pretty and colorful.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

This book was a total surprise. I never heard about it so I can’t wait to read it and see what’s about. I just heard it’s a fantasy book and it has good reviews on Goodreads.

I also received a gift card for a bookstore. So this week, when I had time to visit it, I bought two books. I already owned The Final Empire but when I saw that they had the second two, I immediately knew which books will I buy.

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The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages, both by Brandon Sanderson.

This is my mini book haul but I’m very pleased with all the books I got.

Did you read any of this books? 

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Book Review: The Letter for the King

Title: The Letter for the King

Author: Tonke Dragt18113445

Young Tiuri is getting ready for a grand ceremony where he will become a knight. He just has to pass the last test with three other boys and spend the night in silence and isolation. However, they are disrupted by knocking on the door and Tiuri breaks a rule and opens the door. He accepts the request of a stranger, to deliver a mysterious letter for the Black Knight with the White Shield. He leaves his friends and goes searching for Black Knight but when he finally finds him, he’s dying. Tiuri promises him he would deliver a letter to King Unauwen in a neighboring realm.

But soon, the Red Riders who also want a letter, start chasing him. Tiuri finds himself in an incredible adventure, full of intrigues, danger, and betrayals.


What a wonderful books this was!

This book is written for younger readers, which was rather obvious from the writing style but I really didn’t mind. Dialogues are simple, also situations are presented clearly and characters are very black and white. This is particularly obvious in situations where there could (should) be a violence. The author avoids the violent situations, despite the fact that reader is expecting some bloody situations. After all, this is a book about knights who want to destroy a kingdom and Tiuri.

While reading I often smiled at the naivete of the situations and their outcome – unravellings of the events are simple and always in a favor of the main protagonist. I’m really not used to it (yes, I’m looking at you, George R.R. Martin!) because in adult fantasy books there’s a lot of deaths and the hero can’t only rely on his/her good instinct and belief that all people are good and will help him/her.

Like I already said, the characters are presented black and white. Where the author wants that reader would not trust the first impression, it’s clearly displayed that way. Characters are good or they’re evil. There really is nothing in between. There are the ones who help Tiuri and those who hinder his way.

Tiuri is clever and truly nice main character. At times a little naive but charming. His kindness and faith in people are incredible. This book as well shows an incredible friendship between him and Piak. It was truly amazing reading about such a bond.

I would say that this book is perfect for younger readers who want to get into fantasy books. For slightly older readers it may be a little too simple and easy. But if you have in mind for whom this book is intended, it still can be an amazing read. The writing style is beautiful despite being simple. It’s a book about good and evil, where it’s obvious that good will win at the end. But that really doesn’t spoil the pleasure of reading.

I just can’t wait for next book!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Book Review: Fly on the Wall

Title: Fly on the Wall: How one girl saw everything

Author: E. Lockhartmuha

Gretchen Yee is attending Manhattan School of Art and Music but she feels like she can’t fit in. Everyone else is standing out, they are different and special and she’s just a completely normal teenage girl. Even in a classroom, she’s not standing out, her teacher thinks she shouldn’t drawing just comics.

She’s in love with Titus but is too shy to do anything. And even her best friend Katya is preoccupied with other things and doesn’t have time for her anymore recently.

So one day, Gretchen wishes she could be a fly on the wall in boy’s locker room. She could learn more about boys, what they really like and how do they think.


I read this book for one of my reading challenges. It really surprised me, in a good way. I thought it would be just another typical YA book, cheesy and full of cliches. But it was nicely written and full of humor.

As a synopsis tells, it’s about a girl named Gretchen who turns into a fly in boy’s locker room. She’s stuck there and has to spend a few days trapped there. Observing through the eyes of a fly was fantastic. It was funny and felt real. Above all, I truly identified with the fly because I would felt exactly the same in her skin.

The story remains realistic all the way and reader actually believes what’s written. Even when she has transformed into a fly, I believed it and never wondered why did it happen.

If I thought this book would be just another one of many similar teenager books, and that it will not stand out, I was wrong. The author perfectly demonstrates how it is to be a teenager and how young people (and older maybe) feel in their skin. Even more, she shows us, that boys are not different at all! Describing all the details of boy’s bodies, their hairiness (or lack of hair), pimples on their asses – it was fun to read about it. I really think it’s great for young girls who doesn’t have experiences with boys, that they can learn, boys are not just some “confident gods” as many thinks but they also have flaws and their own insecurities.

The process from shy and unnoticeable Gretchen to Gretchen the Fly, who is observing the most intimate parts of guys without shame and with a lot of pleasure and who becomes a real naughty girl, is amazing and unique. And why not? Why should only guys look at girls in a sexual way? Why shouldn’t girls also objectify guys and wondering what’s hiding in their pants? After all, it’s normal we all have the same thoughts. But it’s pity that only boys can act that way but it’s inappropriate if girls are talking about it. But it’s different in this book which I support completely.

All the characters are typical high school teenagers, with whom the reader can identify easily. But Gretchen really stands out because she’s just an average, sweet and nicely confused girl.

I’m happy I get a chance to read this book. It was short but entertaining read.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Did you read this book? What did you think about it? Please, comment below.

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Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire

Title: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

Author: Cassandra Clare8755785

Sebastian Morgenstern is still a threat to Shadowhunters, now even more because he’s spreading his dark army and attacking Institutes and others. He’s turning Shadowhunters against Shadowhunters and turning them into creatures, with a power of Infernal Cup.

Survivors flee to Indris but now there is no one to protect the world against the demons. They’re attacking and killing innocent.

Soon, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec discover, how Sebastian betrayed them and they go searching for him. They need to go to the dark world where they’re trying to prevent Sebastian’s evil plan.


Finally, I finished the last book in the series! If I really enjoyed reading the first three, I must admit that I read the next three just to finish it. I won’t say they were not interesting but I still think that there are many better books out there to read.

First, something about the plot. Of course, because this is the last book, I expected that things would reveal and that story would have a logical conclusion. Therefore, I might have expected something more, something that would blow my mind, something that would end this story in a truly special way. At least, maybe some epic battle between Shadowhunters and Sebastian’s army. The battle has been but it was far from epic.

Still, the story pulled me in more than in previous books. It was interesting and there was not so much describing of unimportant things – yes, I’m thinking about all the problems couples had. I still think the book could be shorter but this time actually wasn’t so bad. There was more action and more was going on.

But still, there was no progress on a plot. Things were really predictable and we have seen it all. The parents and other older people still didn’t trust the younger ones. Their communication still didn’t improve like they haven’t learned anything from previous events.

Characters haven’t developed at all. If people say that we learn from our mistakes, it isn’t true here.

What bothered me the most, was the extreme happy ending. We all like books with happy endings and it was also expected here, that things would work out well for everyone. However, the ending here was forced, all events turned out in a way that at the end, nobody was affected and everyone got their happy ending. Which for me, was very disappointing.

***SPOILERS***

Usually, I don’t include spoilers, but here, some things just got on my nerves so bad, that I have to write them down and maybe discuss it with some of you, who have already read the book. Here we go:

Jordan Kyle and Maia were so in love and happy together and even when they had problems, they were trying to solve them (although I don’t know why because their relationship was pretty strange). But when he dies, Maia figured, that it wasn’t love she was feeling and she wanted to break up with him ages ago. Really? How convenient.

It was same with Sebastian. When he was dying he realized how wicked he was and how he hurt people around him. In his last minutes, he becomes almost a good guy, he apologized for his actions and repented. Again… seriously? I just don’t believe that people who are evil their whole life can just change in last minutes, let alone people forgive them. Which Clary and her mother did. Whatever.

And the last thing… which was the most shocking for me and really pissed me off, was Simon’s transformation. It really seemed awesome when Simon became normal again and lost his entire memory about a particular period of his life as a vampire. And what happens? Others find a way to return (almost) all the memories. Bullshit (sorry not sorry).

***END OF SPOILERS***

The book was nothing special but still, it was a decent read. Again, I can easily say that I’m happy I finished with series and that I won’t have to read about Clary and Jace again, haha.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read and finished The Mortal Instruments series? What did you think about this book and others? 

 

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Book Review: The Magicians

Title: The Magicians

Autor: Lev Grossman6101718

Quentin lives completely normal teenage life until the day of his interview for the University of Princeton, where he founds his examiner dead. He also finds a strange envelope with his name on it, which leads him into completely new and strange world.

He’s accepted to the secret magical university where he begins to realize that magic truly exists and he learns how to use it.


It took me a while to get into this book. But I never truly enjoyed while reading. For me, it was a slow read, without a clear point and mostly, I didn’t know what’s going on. Not that I wouldn’t understand but I didn’t get it, how things are connected. And if you read a book and don’t know why are you reading some things, I would say, it’s pretty bad. Everything just seemed like it doesn’t have any connection with the story.

The book is divided into several “books”, each of them addresses a specific period of Quentin’s life. Things become more interesting when Quentin starts to attempt Brakebills University. But if things could be super excited and interesting, they’re not. Because rarely anything happens. It’s just description how Quentin and his classmates hang out and drink. And there is a lot of alcohol.

I usually enjoy if authors incorporate alcohol, cursing, drugs and sex into the story because I think this is a part of every teenager and later mature person life. I think we shouldn’t avoid these topics because if they are part of our lives, they also should be part of book plots. But it bothered me in this book because these things were used without a sense. They didn’t improve a story and they were not related to a story. I had feeling that author just used them, to make his characters more grown up.

After the graduation, Quentin, and his friends find themselves in completely new, adult life. But don’t worry, no spoilers here!

If I though that story will get better or at least will be more reasonable, I was wrong. True, more is going on but again, it’s all confusing. Everything is just one big mess and then the book ends.

I was not impressed with Quentin or his friends. I liked that they were older and more mature. Considering my age, lately, I have trouble reading about shy first kisses and first sex and so on. And I liked this book because here people behave differently as in other YA books. Too bad, that author didn’t take advantage of this because he could create a good magical world for older readers also.

The problem was, that all characters are rather dull, self-important and depressed. Quentin is a completely bored boy who longs for adventures and action, but when things start to happen, he loses interest. Somewhere in the book, it’s mentioned, that he feels pity for all people living boring and dull life. But the reader soon discovers, that he’s the one, who is bored and living aimlessly.

All the other characters are just like Quentin. Annoying and weird in their own way.

The entire book for me was a huge disappointment. I was actually thinking about giving it one star but I finally decided, however, it was not such a disaster. But I really expected more from this book, especially being more interesting.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Did you read The Magicians? What do you think about this book? I know that this book is part of the series, did you read next books? Are they better and more interesting?