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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: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Author: Laini Taylor8490112

Karou is a high school student who attends art school in Prague. In her sketchbook, she’s drawing most unusual creatures with animal and human body parts. Her friends admire her artwork and her imagination. However, Karou is not drawing things that would be made-up. She never had a human family and since her birth, she was raised by creatures she’s drawing.

Brimstone, demon and monster, who took over a role of her father, collects animal and human teeth, but he doesn’t want to tell her why. Karou is curious about her past and she starts to discover more about it, when burned palm prints start to appear around the world, left there by angels. One of them is Akiva, who is particularly interested in Karou.


Years ago, I was seeing this book everywhere, but I was not interested in reading it. Last time, I saw it in my local library and said, why not? I borrowed it, read it and I was pleasantly surprised.

I liked the main character Karou because she was strong, independend and had a strong character. Nevertheless, the author didn’t exaggerate with her strong character – her loneliness and questioning about her past made her vulnerable and even more interesting.

At first, I was unimpressed by Akiva, because he seemed too cold but later, I changed my opinion about him. In the second half of the book, when his story begins to reveal and when I learned about his life and loss, I started to like him and understand better, why he acts so untouchable.

The story pulled me in from the start. Brimstone and the rest of the characters were interesting and certainly I wanted to learn more about them and their role in the world. What bothered me were small plot holes. It was strange that the events did not have (almost) no impact in the world. Yes, the author mentioned that people were started seeing angels and considered it as miracles. But still, I thought was strange, when Karou and Akiva were fighting and a crowd, watching this faith, remained completely passive. For me, this was unbelievable and quite unrealistic.

Not to mention the reaction of Karou best friend Zuzana, when she tells her about her past. Zuzana just accepted her story without questioning, like it’s something totally natural to have a best friend who hangs out with angel and strange monsters. Yeah… we all have a friend like that.

When I started with the second half of the book, I was skeptical. It was boring at the start and I was not convinced about a love story of Akiva and Madrigal. However, both stories connected really well at the end and altogether turned out completely unexpected.

I was surprised that romance was so in the foreground in this book and love at fist sight seemed to me far-fetched in both cases. I understand that it happens once, but not twice. Sorry. Nevertheless, I didn’t mind about romance scenes because of beautiful, poetic language and it was not cheesy at all. So, it was ok.

I liked this book so much, that I will continue with next book in this trilogy. I really want to find out what will happen between Karou and Akiva and how the fight between angels and demons ends.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? Does the trilogy get even better?

 

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Book Review: Delirium

Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver11614718

Delirium is a love story in a world, where love is forbidden. Scientists have discovered a medicine with wich they can cure and eradicate the love from society. Because love is dangerous and if society wants to function in a normal way, all members of the society must be immune to it. So, when people turn 18, they undergo a surgical procedure and they’re cured after it. Considering on person interests, they get a partner to marry, have children and live “happy” life without stress, worries, and problems.

Her whole life, Lena is waiting for her surgical procedure, but just before it, something unexpected happens. Just months before the procedure, she falls in love and discovers, how beautiful love and freedom are.


The story is set in (near) future where love is considered as a bad thing and where society consists of individuals who are subordinate to the system. People are living without worries, without choices, without emotions. They reconciled with total control, after all, this is the only system they know and that kind of life totally suits them. The idea about the world without love and emotions seemed strange and really unbelievable to me. I had trouble to picture that kind of world, especially because the story is told from Lena’s perspective and she’s not cured yet. This made it even more unbelievable to me.

Lena, at first, can’t wait to be “cured” – she’s pleased with a promise about peaceful life, without any concerns and that her life will be controlled by others who would also make a decisions instead of her (I agree, this sounds really pleasing – sometimes). However, things, of course, change when she meets Alex. I was surprised how quickly she fell in love with him, particularly because she didn’t know him before, didn’t know anything about him and not to mention, that falling in love is forbidden in her society. I would think that people would be more carefully with that.

None of the characters impressed me. They were ok, but that’s pretty much all that I have to say about them. I actually didn’t care much about Lena or Alex. Lena’s best friend Hana was the most interesting to me and maybe she’s the one that I wanted to know more about, but unfortunately, I didn’t. Because she was just there when Lena needed her and that’s all.

It also disturbed me, that many times it was repeated, how people are controlled and that society bases on terrorizing and controlling but still Lena had no problems walking around after curfew and doing things she shouldn’t do.

Despite the fact, that this is a love story more than anything else, I still enjoyed reading it. Normally, I don’t read love stories because I don’t enjoy them, but this book was nicely written and not cheesy at all. And it has just enough action to keep me reading. I must mention that language is rich and poetic and precisely because of this, it was such a pleasant read. I didn’t expect such a beautiful language in YA novel.

Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the ending. Somehow, I assumed that something “shocking” would happen but still, I think that this ending was totally unnecessary. I was not shocked at all and to be honest, it seems to me what may happen in next book.

This book is one of those, that wasn’t actually that good, but I still want to know what will happen next and that’s why I will read the sequel. Because I really want to find out if my theory is correct.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read Delirium and other books from series? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Book Review: City of Lost Souls

Title: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare8755776

Despite the fact that the demon Lilith was defeated in a bloody battle, Clary, Jace, and others cannot enjoy happiness. Because of Lilith’s magic, are Jace and his brother Sebastian inseparable bounded and missing. The Clave is looking for both but they are aware of truth – they can’t harm one, without destroying the other. Clary is determined to find a solution and is trying to find Jace on her own, while Alec, Magnus, Isabelle and Simon ask demons for help.


I was so glad, that this book was better than the previous one. The story was still focused on Clary and Jace but they were more in the background and other characters came into the front. Reading about others was so much more interesting and despite the fact there is still too much drama in their lives for my taste, I still prefer reading about them and their love life than about Clary and Jace. I still like Simon and Magnus the most, though even their relationship became too complicated. Mostly because of Alec who become really strange and his behavior in a relationship was unacceptable for me and I wasn’t surprised at all about the disentanglement at the end. I also liked Maia and Jordan, although they were too immature at times. If I would have to choose one character from this series who has never annoyed me while reading, I would easily choose Magnus. The reason is probably his immortality and all the experience that he got during that time. All the others are childish, they are whining all the time and mindlessly getting into impossible and stupid situations.

I never liked Clary and also in this book she hasn’t left the best impression. Her immaturity, her love for Jace and her blindly worshiping of him really got on my nerves. I don’t understand why in almost each chapter, I had to read about his breathtaking beauty and his chiseled body – yes, I understood he’s hot the first time. There is no need to repeat yourself (if these descriptions would be thrown from the book, I assume that it would be at least 50 pages shorter).

I also felt uncomfortable while reading about Sebastian’s flattering to Clary. I don’t mind reading about sexual allusions, but he’s her brother! Eww!

At least the story was better than in a previous book. More action, a lot was going on and I liked how individual elements linked to one another in the end. Sebastian made this story more interesting and even though he’s a villain, I like his character. Ok, with an exception of seducing Clary (which I already mentioned but I can’t get this out of my head).

This book was not bad but I would enjoy more if there would not be all the teenage drama, which bored me. I understand that it’s probably necessary to include some romantic conflicts to make things more interesting but seriously in this series everything is complicated. Nobody can be just happy. I am glad, that I’m almost finished with the series because almost all characters get on my nerves and the story is no longer able to weight out their stupidity.

The end of a book was great because nothing shocking happened and I can wait with reading next book for a while. But probably I won’t because I still want to know how everything will end. And I really want to finish this series.

Rating: 4/5 stars

What did you think about the book City of Lost Souls? Did you like characters and story?

 

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Book Review: Matched

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie7735333

Cassia lives in a futuristic society where everything is determined. Officials are determining what people will do, how they will behave, when will they die and who are gonna love. And so, on her seventeen birthday, Cassia gets her Match – someone who is perfect for her and she’s gonna spend her life with him.

Cassia is enraptured because she wouldn’t want to have a better Match. But something unexpected happens while viewing information about him – for a few seconds, some other face appears on the screen. Cassia is in shock because that never happened before and further because she knows who the other boy is. More and more she’s falling in love with him and in the same time she’s starting to discover all the failures and irregularities of the Society. Torn apart between two boys, she’s realizing that she wants to make her own decision who’s she gonna to choose.


I heard for this book before but I was not interested in it. But the other day, I saw it in a library, read a description and it actually sounded interesting and I liked the idea of described dystopian world. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by it because I felt like I already read about it in other dystopian novels. Still it was not bad at all since it’s a society which is easily imaginable. A restricted system where individuals can’t make decisions on their own, about themselves or their lives, because everything is dictated by others – The Officials who are qualified to choose what is best for individuals and for society.

The main characters were nothing special and for me, they were not developed well. They were dull, just like most of the dialogues and I couldn’t really identify with any of them. Cassia is a regular teenager, whose life revolves around Match Banquet and her Match. When her Match become Xander, her best friend, she’s thrilled and relieved.

Surprise follows when she sees another familiar face on a screen. It’s Ky, also her friend but they were never hanging out together. And that was the most disturbing thing in this book for me. She was never interested in Ky before. She barely knew him. But because of a few seconds of his face on a screen, she suddenly loses her mind and she becomes totally obsessed with him. Not only that, she also starts to doubt in the Society and their rules, which was really unbelievable to me. Also later, when they start hanging out more, I haven’t felt any sparks between them or any connection at all. Which made me even sadder and feeling bad for Xander. Despite the fact, we don’t get to know him well, he sounded like a nice guy and he didn’t deserve being rejected in that way.

What has saved the whole story was the ending. I have to warn you all, that this book is terrible slowly and it could be shorter. Nothing much happens, we don’t get much action until the end. However, the ending somehow outweighed that and last few pages were interesting and shocking and stirred my interest again. I will read a sequel, but I really hope it would be better (I need more action! and drama!).

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read Matched? What did you think? Did you liked it or not? Are sequels worth of reading (but please, don’t spoil!)?

 

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Book review: Love Letters to the Dead

Title: Love Letters to the Dead

Author: Ava Dellaira181400471

Laurel is high school student and one day they get an assignment to write a letter to a dead person. However, she never wrote it for a school work, but she started writing letters in her diary. She’s writing them to famous people who died too soon, just like her sister May.

In her letters, she describes her life in new high school, new friends, first love and her sister May, which she can’t forgive for leaving her. Through letters she learns a lot about herself and in particular, she can write about secrets from her past that she never told anyone and strongly affected her. Just like her older sister May, who Laurel misses so much and don’t understand why she’s gone and left behind only pain of mourning and broken family.


Meh. I have mixed feelings about this book. The first half was completely boring and I was thinking about quitting. What disturbed me most, was writing style which is completely childish and immature. There were moments when I thought that letters were written by an eleven-year-old girl and not a high school student. The sentences are so simple and idiotic but they are good reflection of Laurel character – she’s a childish, dumb and terribly boring person who’s main goal in life is (obviously) to be a cool person.

It all begins with new school year when Laurel starts attempting high school. She picked one, where nobody knows her and a family tragedy. Because she’s a new kid, nobody notices her but she desperately wants to fit in. And she’s doing this in a very strange way if you ask me. For example, all students are buying some specific cookies for lunch and she starts throwing away her lunch so she can also buy them. For some reason, she’s accepted by two girls who are not popular kids but they’re cool. And she also falls in love in such a boy – Sky is a mysterious kid, who’s not popular but everyone thinks about him as a cool guy (and I’m not joking here – as long as you’re cool everything will be ok, obviously). And for some reason, he noticed her right away although she’s far from being cool. And then begins the story about plain Jane discovering the joys of high school life, from drinking, smoking and making out. Doing everything, just to be cool.

But her dead sister’s shadow is following her everywhere. Laurel’s older sister May had varied life, she was beautiful, popular, smart and, above all, she was cool. Recently, I read quite a few books, which, in my opinion, exposes excessive idealization of older siblings or best friends which make me very annoyed. Ok, I agree that it’s not unusual that younger siblings are idolizing older because, after all, it’s logical they’re searching for a role model, but exaggeration is bothering me. And it bothered me strongly in this book also. It felt like Laurel doesn’t have her own life or personality. She always tried to be just like May and she’s still doing this after her death. And instead of figuring out who she is, she’s trying to be someone else. All the time she’s writing about May and how beautiful/perfect she was but yet I didn’t have a feeling that she’s mourning her death. I felt like she just wants to be like May was and grieves for someone who enabled her to do cool stuff. Which is a shame because I thought this would be a book about mourning and accepting someone’s death.

But at the same time, Laurel was angry when they compared her with May. When she finds out that Sky liked May, she’s angry with him, because she thinks she’s in love with her just because she’s so similar to May. Seriously?!? She’s constantly trying to be just like her, she wears her clothes, listening to same music as May, but suddenly she doesn’t like being compared to her? She was also furious when she found out, her new friends knew from beginning, she’s a sister of a dead girl. She didn’t want to tell them because she was afraid they would treat her differently but at the end, she got mad because they knew and treated her normally. It’s difficult if you don’t know what you want. And Laurel definitely doesn’t know what she wants, which indicates her immature character and writing style. At times, however, she begins to philosophize in letters which made me confused because it was really not her style – like she would suddenly become a mature, grown up women.

The second half of the book was better since things started to complicate and reading becomes more interesting. Besides notes about everyday life, Laurel starts to uncovering dark secrets from her past and starts writing about them.

Nevertheless, this book was not so good that I would recommend it on. Perhaps younger girls could relate more with Laurel and her “writing” but I really couldn’t enjoy in this book.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Did you read this book? What did you think about it? Do you agree with me or you think this book was good/amazing? I would love to hear your thoughts about it!

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Book review: City of Fallen Angels

Title: City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare6752378

Two months after the bloody battle, life is back on the track. Clary is in New York, where she’s training to become Shadowhunter and helping her mother with planning a wedding. She’s happy that she can finally enjoy with Jace, with whom they’re finally a couple now.

However, soon the first body of killed Shadowhunter appears and then another. It’s obvious that somebody is intentionally killing Shadowhunters, just to spoil a peace between them and Downworlders, which could lead to another war. Of course, vampires are the first suspect, which doesn’t surprise Simon. But he has already enough of his own problems. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and kicked him out, he has no place to stay and besides that he has love problems. He doesn’t have time for Clary and her problems with Jace, who is drifting away from her.


If I enjoyed reading first three books from the series, I couldn’t say the same for this book. This book is completely average and nothing special. On the contrary, I thought it was dull. There was just a lot of whining from all characters.

The only thing I liked was Simon being in the foreground (in previous books it was Clary). I liked Simon a lot from previous books because he’s such a likable character, so when I started reading this book I thought it would be awesome because it is written from his perspective. It’s true, that reader can find out more about him, his life and life of vampires, but Simon is not funny or likable anymore. He’s a coward who is dating two girls at a time, just because he can’t decide which one he likes more. Ok, he even doesn’t know if he’s in a relationship with any of them. Because he’s too afraid to talk about that.

Instead of enjoying in their fresh love and chance of being a couple, Clary and Jace are distancing from each other. Jace is being stubborn and depressed most of the time and Clary doesn’t know what’s going on. Of course, none of them would sit down and talk about their problems. It’s better to ignore things.

Alec and Magnus are more in the background in this book – I think they actually appear in second half of the book because they were in vacations. When they finally return, they also fight all the time and blaming each other for things from the past and the ones from future that actually didn’t even happened yet. Again, they won’t discuss their problems, it’s so much more fun to not talk with each other.

You can probably see already what was mostly going on in this book. And what lacked in this book – an honest talk or just honesty in general. It’s amazing how things could be easier if these people would just talk to each other (but probably it would not be good for a book).

The plot would be so much more interesting if people would act mature. But because of the drama, I couldn’t focus on anything else. And even that little action and tension that was part of the plot was completely lost amongst constant whining. All those relationship problems, depression and darkness, instead of happiness and joy, which I expected after the third book.

I will continue with the series, I already borrowed next book from a library and I hope it will be better. Because I was really disappointed after finishing this one.

Rating: 2/5 stars

What did you think about this book? Do we have similar thoughts or you don’t agree with me? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!