[Review] Unspoken – Sarah Rees Brennan

“Listen to me. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what any of this means. But I know this much. It doesn’t matter. You’re not one of them. You never were. You’re not theirs. You’re mine.”

39074_original
Forest deep, silent bells
There’s a secret no one tells
Valley quiet, water still
Lynburns watching on the hill
Apples red, corn gold
Almost everyone grows old.

A gripping mystery for those looking for a magic filled, rural tale of a town with too many secrets and an unpredictable match who can read into each other’s minds and the world was very wrong to let them come together.

3.75/5 Stars 
Recommendation: For those looking for a page turner and a compelling read, but don’t expect so much so as real logic to the actions but still get a lot of relatability with the characters. Good thrills in exchange for a mystery that’s way too convenient and a book that’s a bit too on the nose with its humor.

Imagine what it’s like never being alone.
A voice that knows you and speaks through your thoughts, a familiar presence that has accompanied you ever since you were born. A someone who speaks loud and clearly and brings you comfort, a voice that only you can hear. Now imagine it’s a boy.

Jared has been there ever since Kami was born, while the people in their lives have tirelessly worked to convince them neither is real. But things very much change the day the Lyburns move back into town and Jared practically knocks at Kami’s door.

Kami is an avid and intrepid reporter in the small town of Sorry-in-the-Vale who suffers from teenager who wants to change the world YA syndrome. Despite living in a small town where everyone knows each other, she can’t help but to live with the haunting dread of the secrets that plague every corner of her city and she knows the Lyburns that lived by the woods are at the heart of all of this.  Now they are back into town, people are getting murdered and her relationship with Jared is getting all too complicated.

Some fairy tales sound better when they remained concealed in our imaginations.

This book is too much, it’s just too much and its nothing at the same time- It tries to rebel and go against many classic YA tropes while tightly sticking to them at the same time, to the point where I can’t tell what’s going to happen anymore. I’m not too sure if that’s good or bad, but I suppose its the later because of how fickle these characters feel in nature. Kami is truly an unreliable narrator, and because of her rapid thoughts and switches it’s hard to keep track of motivations, allegiences and who is what and why, to the point it sometimes may just become confusing.

I have very mixed feelings on how this play with tropes was approached, but I’m still glad some was attempted to be addressed and didn’t fall too hard on its face… Where the author was going with said play though, is what I really don’t know. The book also comes with inclusions of what began as a love triangle, spun around and then again I’m left not being sure if that was for better or for worse. One thing was certain and that is that it was practically infuriating in the begging.

The book is also way too convenient, to the point I feel like I’m throwing the world “mystery” lightly. It’s like one of those frustrating mysteries that get conveniently solved because of that one huge incriminating piece of evidence left at the crime scene by the killer. Leads are left out open in the air and go by days without pursuing them —because Brennan was much too busy giving spotlight to annoying love triangles, since that’s the stuff that matters in YA, right?— and it would have no sort of impact in the story. In fact nothing, and I mean nothing made any sort of impact in the long run. Not character decisions because they (mostly Kami) would change their mind at least multiple times per chapter, no tantrum thrown by any character (mostly Jared) or horrible deeds said and done would be forgiven in the matter of one chapter and sometimes maybe even two to act as if nothing ever happened, no terrible secrets uncovered would ever change anyone’s mind or make them act any more wary around this obviously dangerous town. The characters stayed flat and unswaying throughout what was basically the entirety of the novel (with the exception of the final few chapters) and that made it hard trying to ground this novel in reality.

Don’t get me wrong though, if you liked anything like The Caster Chronicles, you will certainly enjoy this book.  The truth is this book isn’t very pretentious in the long run and doesn’t pretend to be (many) things it’s not. While not being the most intricate or fascinating read, this new series is a real page turner that will grip you from beginning to end. It’s not that long either, so it’s a very fast and exciting ride from its beginning to the end. A fair warning however, the book practically feels unfinished. There was a terrible cliffhanger slapped into the ending that is completely INFURIATING and may end up angering you for days on end if you were already fully immersed in the story.

“The Lynburns built this town on their blood and bones.”

“That was their first mistake,” Jared said. “They should’ve built a city on rock and roll.”

The humor is great though. Which is something I often find my YA reads to be lacking (and why I might be such a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the first place) and this book was very close to making up for it… The issue is its downfall is the humor as well, just it’s too much and it often enough ruins the tone of the book. The characters find themselves using humor through many of the more serious scenes, and while that helps alleviate some of the well pent up tension it also killed the entire eeriee and gothic mood that it was going for and detatched the reader from any sense of urgency or emergency. If you’re any like me, I actually appreciated it a lot because it almost made the novel self aware and it keeps me from taking it too seriously… In which case this review would be much harsher than it actually is. Perhaps if I graded this as the angsty, Gothic romance the book’s presentation and synopsis made it out to be we’d be in a whole other level…

“Jared told her he used to be an exotic dancer in San Francisco.’

“My body is a gift from God,’ Jared said gravely. ‘Except for my hips, which are clearly a gift from the devil.”

 

Continue reading

[Book Talk] Ways to get cheap books for international bloggers

Let’s take a moment to get real.

Being a blogger is an expensive little thing, isn’t it?
And apart from the fact I live in Mexico, where despite no one reading books are still more expensive than anywhere else, I also happen to live in the middle of nowhere where I can only have books shipped in. Or perhaps like me, you’re only interested in reading in English and live in a non-English speaking language… The dilemma is hard.

So here’s some sources where I’ve learned to get my books as time goes by, and I hope it can help y’all some.


Waterstones Marketplace:

Waterstones

http://www.waterstonesmarketplace.com/

In short, Waterstone’s is one of the biggest book shop franchises in the UK. I found it while getting dropped over on Trafalgar Square for over two hours and simply fell in love ! I made friends with one of the shop clerks who saw me approaching with 11 books in my arms… She laughed, helped me out and let me know of this amazing website while she charged me my total.

The UK is fantastic as it is when it comes to books because I can find the majority of YA for simply 8  pounds ($10 dollars), no matter the book length which to be was a miracle as it is. However, it gets better.

Waterstone’s owns a website known as Waterstones marketplace to find used books or hard-to-find prints. I can find from new YA releases to used copies for .90 cents of a pound ($1 dollar) each ! All online ! Don’t believe me…?
Books.png
I recently purchased this entire book list for only $23 dollars ! It’s 18 books in total ! I will be posting my entire bookhaul when they arrive. Truly a great deal !

After that, comes shipping of course… Shipping to the UK is less than a dollar for each book, I believe. Personally? I ship them over to my family in France for around 4 pounds each, but a 5 pound book is still a huge joke ! This webpage is perfect for those who live in Europe and want some cheap and quality English books !

PRO TIP: Always order from the same shipping house because then the shipping (to Europe) will decrease to only 3 pounds per book. You’ll be saving a lot of money !


Book Depository:

1200px-the_book_depository-svg

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.bookdepository.com/

Book Depository has going for itself what Waterstone’s most fails at. Every single book your order from this website comes with free shipping all over the world. See but the magic doesn’t really only end there, because here is my favorite part: Most of these books come heavily discounted from what they’d ever be in my country. For example, take A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas.

Books1.png

Anywhere in Mexico this hardback would be found at 760 pesos ($42 dollars) and this is the types of prices I have come to accept throughout my life. Can’t ever have them shipped from the USA because its just gonna result more expensive when it comes to the shipping. Here’s where book depository works magic:
book 3.png

A Book Depository version of ACOWAR’s hardback can be found for 439 pesos ($24 dollars). That is almost half the original price I’d find in my country. Not to mention again, the shipping is already included !

The best part is that Book Depository’s books are constantly moving and getting on sale, at the moment, there’s a couple of discounts in more of Maas’ books that are constantly going up.

Instead of taking months like some other sites, my Book Depository Books have arrived in less than two weeks almost every single time ! A big recommendation, and certainly a huge must have for international bloggers looking to read in English


Audible Premium:

audible-e1431799053822-620x160

Allow me to break some common misconceptions about Audiobooks because these Godsends are just simply so convenient ! It is certainly not coming with that adoring smell of new book or going to take any place in your bookshelf you can admire, but hear me out because these are life savers !

Audiobooks are amazing to fill in for those gaps in our lives where we can’t physically hold a book. I put on my audiobooks when I am walking to class, taking the bus to work, back home, on errands and even listen to them at work on slow days ! They’re a great distraction and its really easy doing other everyday activities while listening to them.

Alright, now back to Audible. Audible is an amazon shop where you can browse through thousands of audiobooks for admittedly a higher price than regular books. However, an audible membership costs you 14 dollars a month and comes with one free credit per month. I read the entire Throne of Glass series that costs around 40$ dollars per audiobook and comes with over 24+ hours of audio all for free by getting an audible membership and waiting for my free book per month, apart from the HUGE discounts you can find on other audible titles when having a membership. The first month is entirely free, so I would recommend getting your free book and checking out if Audiobooks are your way (which I assure you will be the case). Trust me, for $14 dollars a month, the experience of a good and long audiobook is more than worth it.

PRO TIP: If you cancel your audible membership and state that the price was too high in the reasons, it will cut the price in half for three months ! Meaning you can get three months of audible membership for only $7 dollars a month !


For the Spanish-speaking YA readers:

logo.png

A couple of years ago I was part of a Readers∞ group on Facebook for Spanish readers. During my stay there, I was gifted a huge PDF library of translated books sitting on my drive.

Books list.png

This is like half of it, because otherwise the file would be too huge to upload- I’ll gladly hand them over to those interested ! I bought physical/ e-copies of all books I enjoyed and I recommend doing the same thing to support the authors.

Some of these are actually in English too so you can always drop a comment to find out what I have and all ! If you speak spanish or are interested in getting my full collection, reblog this post on your blog and drop me a comment with your email and I’ll forward these over ! It’s pretty much only YA/NA back from 2012 and forwards because that’s what the peeps read back then. I totally forgot I had these ! But I hope someone else will be able to enjoy them.

And you? Do you have any other tips on how to get cheap books for those not fortunate enough to live in the USA? Make sure to share !

Atte. A blogger in need 🙏

[Review] Beautiful Bastard – Christina Lauren

“You know, it’s a good thing you got that big dick to make up for that mouth of yours.”

16102004 Sorry fellas, couldn’t very much help myself with the quote. It’s just this happens to be the book quality we’re dealing with here.

1/5 Stars
Recommendation: For those easily pleased readers looking for a hot, possessive, rich bad boy fucking a blank slate’s brains out in a novel that’s more porn than two pages of plot. Interesting enough, but not for those who are looking for something pertinent our of their reads or a relationship with any sort of substance to at least root for. Normally I’d precede by saying this novel was simply not for me or it won’t be for everyone but…. It’s bad, it’s just bad #UnpopularBookOpinionTime

This is where NA is headed down, kiddos.

The Future.png

If anyone has been keeping up with any of my past reviews, it’ll turn out rather obvious that this is very unlike what I’d normally seem the type to read. (I think this is turning into a pattern at this point, christ) And that’s because I’d like to say it is ! For once I will be skipping the how I got this and will just explain this was an e-book gift who’s cover guiltily drew me in (Should’ve known better at this point, I know) and I ended up guilty-pleasure reading to pass the time. Ended up not being a pleasure in the least bit, so now allow me to explain why.

Normally this is the point I’d go on to explain the plot, and I wish I could just leave it at “There’s none” and we’d leave it at that, but since I do appreciate as readers, here is how it goes. Edward Cullen  Bennett is rich and a very successful business owner who might as well be laundering money if he’s staying that rich AND doing absolutely nothing around the office than sexually harassing his employees and then engaging in said sex with them. Bella Swan Chloe Mills the personality lacking yet very sexually appealing assistant who happens to work for Bennett. He’s attracted to her, he can’t explain why. She’s can’t stand his guts, she still thinks he’s sexy as fuck. They banter, they argue, they call each other names and then they make love. That’s the story.

I suppose the rest of the plot sort of simply revolves around us admiring how much they can fuck around the office without being caught or ever talking to each other. I’d like to think they never really interact outside of fighting because the authors realized just how little chemistry both characters in fact possessed and instead came to the cheap and lazy conclusion that fighting = sexual tension. Ps Dear Authors: This is not the case, please bother writting good chemistry between characters. Many, many do it right.

See the worse part of this book is that the only thing it has going for it are its sex scenes— or the characters thinking about the next time they’ll be having sex, and it’s just bad. I’m really saddened to say that. They drag on, and on, and on and they’re just so repetitive to the point yo’d get a better reading experience if you were to read the first 100 pages and then skip all the way to the final chapter. This book might as well also serve as an antology of Bennett’s recorded obssesion with panty ripping; every time they’d have sex he’d make sure to ruin her clothes to the point it was boring and frustrating.

Oh, also, I felt her up her in an elevator and was hoarding her shredded panties in my desk drawer. Creeper.

As if Chloe being okay with all of her clothes constantly ripped and expensive lingerie constantly damaged wasn’t ridiculous enough, let’s not fucking forget Bennett also then proceeded to keep those used, ripped panties in his desk drawer. At the office. Because that’s not going to leave a weird stench all around the room. But don’t let the quote fool you, this book isn’t in the least bit self aware of how ridiculous it is. It really takes itself as a serious, empowering and sexy love story of what happens when an alpha male meets an alpha women.

After panty shredding, we were also introduced to button popping just to increase the sexy level. Don’t drop your panties ladies, Bennett might end up keeping them. Ruining clothes is only hot the first time it happens. Then it’s just like some cheesy frat guy crushing a beer can on his head because he can. OH AND! Let’s just not forget the incredibly obnoxious dialogues during the sex scenes, the only time they ever talked and it was absolutely baffling. 

And listen, for such little plot, you would at least enjoy it if the characters that move the story were at least developed but that doesn’t seem to be the case either. Bennett is a much more charismatic version of Christian Grey (that in his defense, seems to have come before the entire hype of 50SOG took the world like a storm) that every character in the novel seems to agree only has the redeemable quality of being hot. And trust me, I love me some emotionally abusive characters, possessive jackasses, who want to bend over and break you. I don’t consider myself that special, yeah, I do get totally mixed up in that. It’s just that me as a reader, I demand remotely redeemable or at least complex characters. I want to know who they are, and what they are and why they are and they are so I can root and feel for them. If I have a villain type character I’m supposed to fall in love with, I need reason, not the typical tropes we are awarded. We’re really only supposed to like Bennett because he’s hot and the sex scenes. It’s infuriating.

The worse part has to be some of Bennett’s unreedemable attitude. He blames Chloe for not being able to keep it in his pants and takes responsibility for his actions, as rapey as they can end up being. Could be good, I could like it, but its just terribly handled. He goes to the point of calling Chloe a tease because she happened to be wearing a dress he deemed “virginal” and thus was found himself forced to fuck her. Quality writing people.

Oh but, let’s actually get to the quality, which is normally one of the first things I tend to talk about but… I needed to get more important things off my chest first. My first impression upon finishing this novel is just the way it was written like fanfiction:

I.e.
The bland cookie cutter characters that star this novel and the baffling forgettable side characters that only exist to bring the main characters together. Or apart.

➜ There is no thought or care put into the writing. Words are only used to describe what each character is doing or thinking, but its all poorly written and straightforward. There’s no beauty in the artform, no sort of clever humor or relatability to the characters. It might as well simply be a script or the transcript of a movie written in a book.

➜ The drama. Oh my God, the drama.
He stalked her, (Hello Edward Cullen) she got angry and then they had makeup sex. He treats her like shit, she gets reasonably angry and they have angry sex that then leads to makeup sex. It’s the entire novel. Jesus fucking Christ we could’ve cut the run time of this book by at least half. This book is literally only sex scenes tied together by some bland, cookie cutter relationship drama. Oh and at the end of the book they fall in love. Great, one less sociopath roaming the streets because one more stupid book protagonist fell in love with them.

➜ 
The poorly handled worldbuilding. There’s no world, there’s just some office that who knows how stays afloat and the one place they go to have a business trip in. It’s not bad if it doesn’t really matter where your novel takes place for it to make sense, but make sure it takes place somewhere as if grounds your novel on reality. You should always make sure your character inhabit a place, not for the place to conveniently work around your characters.

There is just so little care put into this book as a novel with a plot more so than just nice porn to entertain the fans. It’s just like a fanfiction you read online… And here’s the best part ! Upon reading and doing some research, I actually found out Beautiful Bastard used to be a Twilight Fanfiction once entitled The Office that eventually became p2p (As if that one scene of Bennett fantasizing about watching Chloe sleep wasn’t telling enough, HAH !) and honestly… It’s just so sad about the current quality demanded when there are so many great Wattpad published stories out there. Ahhh… The unfair life.

Well anyway, kiddos ! No story to even spoil here so no spoiler section either. Managed to rant without spoiling, look at that. I certainly do not care about reading any of the four other books in the series, so I won’t be continuing this series. Though if you really wish to know, here’s more or less how it goes:

785558

So what are your thoughts on this entire P2P and PWP phenomenon ?

Are you a fan of these type of guilty pleasure novels? Leave your thoughts before !

[Book Talk] How Multiple POVs are ruining your story (And how lazy of an author it makes you)

YA novels are composed by many different aspects and formulas that make them the genre that they are, young protagonists, complex (and often pointless) love subplots or triangles, dystopian type societies… And one component that I very often see and very much throughoutfully despise: First person switching Point of Views.

If you didn’t skip your middle school literature classes, you surely are aware of what a narrator is: The voice who tells the story and the determinant of the point of view. If the narrator is a full participant in the story’s action, the narrative is said to be in the first person. A story told by a narrator who is not a character in the story is a third-person narrative.

But narrators do so much more than just telling your story, as the type of narrator you use can do so much more for you. YA novels tend to focus on the likability of their main characters (often turning their protagonists into Mary Sues, sigh) while doing the least amount of work possible and thus it has become a very common occurrence for these types of authors to choose first person narratives because of several advantages they always wish to exploit:
The spoon feeding of your main/secondary character’s ambitions, thoughts and motivations through letting them explore their thoughts.

The cheap shot at immersion with your readers by allowing them a generic character. Because of how hard it is for main characters to describe themselves without sounding like they’re roleplaying on Omegle (F, 20, brown hair and green eyes) most authors avoid giving characters a clear description of themselves and more of a blank slate personality that’s described through other characters (“But MC! You love going to the movies with us ! Are you really going to pass on hanging out to help rescue animals instead?”)

An overplayed phenomenon in romance oriented YA is this precise blank slate main character who attracts the handsome, new bad boy in school and he finds himself unnaturally drawn to her. This is nothing but lazy play for uncaring readers— Your reader projects onto the main character and swoons as her love interest is here to sweep her off her feet and thus become too busy fangirling over how sexy the love interest is and how much you root for him. (Bonus points if you thought of any novel that wasn’t Twilight, because I could easy list a few many, many more)

It’s cheap, its lazy and its such an over used YA trope.


The bias of first person narrators, as the stories are filtered through their brains and emotions. Thus, making it easier to be able to quickly flag characters as “Good guys” and “Bad guys” without having to spend any time developing them as to us to figure it out by ourselves.

The unbelievable ease by which first person narrators are able to dump exposition on you without having to resort to the intelligent pacing and logical cohesion of explaining the world as events unfold and make it properly that third person forces you to do.

If the novel is thoughtful or intelligent enough to include some good mysteries or complicated plot twists, a character’s musings are a simply way to spell out what’s going on and move on without allowing the reader to discover it for themselves.

Now at this point, I have only spent some time describing why I think a first person narrator is lazy— Not even mentioning the more obvious disadvantages like self-indulgent novels can become within the narrator’s emotions by overreaction and making everything about themselves, the limiting POV by not being able to create action where the character isn’t present, making perspective and perception on the bigger picture almost impossible, the lack of focus and inability to work on secondary subplots as you’re only focused on one story thread, the unreliability of the narrator because of the bias of its brain (which in cases this can be worked wonderfully into a novel, but this is what I call a literary device for non-lazy authors) and the extra time needed to be spent figuring out the narrators voice without being out of character: Alas, a “creative” mind like Tahereh Mafi’s Juliette using heavily complex and scientific terms in her descriptions. Then again, just like Mafi, many YA authors don’t care for this later point and tend to ignore it all together.

But notice how I mention the “limits” of what a first person narration can do to your novel, and backtrack on the immediate thought that’s plaguing your head: “But Hime ! That has a very easy solution !” And it does ! It’s precisely the object of this essay this fine morning: Multiple Person POVs.

If you haven’t clued in into what they are just yet, allow me to explain. Multiple Person first person POVs is a phenomenon that occurs when you narrate a tale in first person, and then switch up the character narrating most commonly when entering a different chapter i.e. Maria narrating chapter one, and Pancho chapter two and Pedrito chapter three and switch back, back and forth. Surely, this phenomenon solves many of my aforementioned problems like: The limiting view of only one person’s bias now extended to multiple, the new found ability to throw some focus and spotlight into other character arcs and subplots and the convenience to narrate situations that are going on outside the main character’s perspective.

If you are doing this, let me tell you one hard truth: Your novel most likely reads like fanfiction.

Those who have spent their years in Wattpad surely understand what I’m saying. There isn’t anything more distracting than beginning a novel and first thing reading the character’s name on top of your page. It is very, very off putting.

It’s lazy, and when not developed properly, really brings out the amateur in a writer. You might think that many readers of YA don’t mind this, and that is the cold hard truth, but there are many other writers and readers out here that still value writing as an art form and not as a self indulgent check-list of how to get a best seller. Put effort into what you do. 

Dual POVs are the most common occurrence of this phenomenon, and usually indicate a clear romance between both parties. This is by far the easiest and the laziest because it avoids having to go through the trouble of really giving each of your main characters a voice: One is a boy, and one is a girl. They do boy girl things until they encounter each other and then think about each other when they are apart. Fun.

Problem arises when the same lazy author I’m describing attempts to add a third or more POVs into the story and everything goes down into a shit show. If you’re not taking the time to give your character voices, then you will most likely turn your lazy cop out into an unpleasant read. Characters will become nothing but names blending into each other you will force your readers to have to constantly remember to tell them apart (A big problem I encountered with The Thousandth Floor but still gets half a pass because the story sort of premised revolving around these five characters- It was just done very, very incorrectly).

Narratives who do this tend to become very convoluted between every minor character and major character that they book switches to. Authors tend to forget the main point they were trying to make and get derailed between the myriads of new character thoughts, and motivations, and glances into their brains that are simply not needed in the story. You’re spending less and less time with the main characters that the reader came in for in the first place. In fact, the biggest pitfall that authors using this system fall with is very simple:

The simple possibility of ending up with readers liking one POV dramatically more than they like the other. Imbalance occurs between POV characters who are given equal amounts of time on the page and the experience becomes tedious and unpleasant.

Most authors who do this switch and jump between characters only to make sure they cover every piece of action away from the main character and I am tired to say this, but it is simply a cheap cop out that doesn’t push the writer to find a creative way to present all the information it wishes to convey through their book.

So enough complaining, what would you do?

Third person is my go to answer.
It doesn’t mean my personal stories are all written in third person, but allow me to explain why I would always recommend going for this style.

It forces you to be creative.

Not only that, but you can very well achieve the same advantages from a first person perspective with a third person perspective, along with several other advantages.

Most writers choose to include elements of first-person points of view by mentioning character thoughts and feelings without using ‘he thought’ or ‘she felt’ next to italicized text. This allows for more intimacy whilst maintaining different perspectives and helps break down the distance between the narrator and the characters. In fact, through the third person can still think, feel and experience, but so can other characters.

I believe writing is all about the subtleties, about showing and not telling and third person can work wonders for multiple POVs without even feeling like a multiple POV. Here’s some examples on novels who did it right and novels who did it wrong and why

Novels who did it right:

The Raven King Cover review

The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle series tells the story of 5 boys looking for sleeping King in the magical, rural Henrietta. Each chapter opens on a third person limited view focused on a different character. Each book discretely changes main character focus by giving one of the 5 characters more screentime than the others. This is barely noticeable, making it a very subtle and pleasant change. Nevertheless of a great plot, the story is also very character heavy and fully immersive. I perfectly know each and every one of these complex and intricate characters, I’m familiar with their voices and characters and switching their focus to each other was pleasant and almost unnoticeable ! … All achieved through the third person.

Carry-On-Cover

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On is a multiple first person POV novel that just did it right. The novel doesn’t take itself too seriously in its plot and its mostly character driven. This story in fact depends on it constantly switching out narrators for us to really understand what was going on in characters heads as that was the important part of the novel, not what was going on outside of them and in the plot. As the plot was their feelings, their emotions, their thoughts… A really amazing read that almost didn’t bother me with the constant narrator switch (as I really couldn’t bring myself to care for the bits with the Mage, Nico or Ebb, all minor characters that resulted distracting to me).

Novels who did it wrong:

9680114

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Is also an ever jumping first person multiple POV novel that constantly distracts itself by distancing itself from the main two characters and showing distracting, minor characters POV.

It also suffers from another of the aforementioned problems where for a good 100 pages of the book, one of the main characters is completely insufferable and his chapters result bland and heavier to get through.

 

 

24921954

The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee

Because this book is all about a web of character driven drama, the first person multiple pov approach to it should be making sense. But it is the lazy and effortless way its written that makes this bad, for the characters lack voices of their own or any sort of distinguishing features other than their names. It makes the reading tedious and just hard and complicated to keep up with who is who. It’s like having homework on a Friday.

 

 

Carve The Mark Cover Header Review

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

The book is completely incoherent— It is a duality that begins as a third person POV when following Akos, but turns into a into a first person POV when following Cyra, the second main character. It is distracting, frustrating and beats any sort of advantage from using third person or first person as a narrator.

Akos is a blank slate and to make it even worse, his story is told through third person as if we weren’t emotionally disconnected enough as it is because the author refused to convey his feelings and character through action.

So ! What do you think?

Are there any other books you’d consider did the third-multiple person POV right? Or more rants about who did it wrong and resulted distracting? I’d love to get more thoughts and examples !

[Review] The Foxhole Court + Fanart

“Remember this feeling. This is the moment you stop being the rabbit.”

17259690

A marvelous character exploration on a team composed of broken, angry people. Misfits in their society coming together to become one great, holy mess— with nothing in common with great passion for a sport and terrible pasts of crime coming to haunt them.

3.5/5 Stars
Recommendation: This book is great but it is once more, not for everyone.

—First and foremost, I apologize for doing two reviews of this type of “good but for a niche crowd” books back to back, but I find out and binge read this book yesterday—

A book recommended for those who loved the Raven Cycle! Strongly character driven books with an assortment of original and complex characters taking the narrative along each character arc. This first book does not include a romantic subplot so those who are expecting that, at least in the first book, will find themselves disappointed. This is also for those who don’t mind a book that’s average in its writting style at best, and instead is fully worth it because of its plot. Unlike Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle, the prose is poor and non-existing, but it is what the book has to say that matter.

Let’s get something super straight: I only read this book because of the name. To the point that fact is, I only found out about this book when googling J. Maas’es A Court of Thorns and Roses and getting in return: Frequently asked questions “What is the Foxhole Court?”. My immediate thoughts went over to our lovable fox Lucien from the aforementioned series and the fact it had “Court” written on it. I did not look up the cover, I did not look up reviews or the summary, and I instead I got myself a digital version and began reading.

Boy was I wrong.

In fact, the Foxhole Court is one of those books that I simply have no idea why I kept reading or why it had me so enthralled and glued to it page after page, but the matter of fact is it did. Being honest, it might’ve had something to do with the fact that when I was halfway through the introductions, I realized two things: 1) This book was going to be about a sport 2) All of the main characters were men. Which may or may have not lead me to the conclusion this was going to be gay, and that pleased me very much (Again, I was wrong, though the book does include LGBT+ characters AND I keep my hopes up for the next two books). But the truth is, the book did keep me reading, and the book did keep me hooked from beginning to end. So let’s get to it now, shall we?

The Foxhole Court is the story of 18 year old Neil Josten who for years has now lived as a runaway. Changing his appearance, name, aliases, cities, schools, there is nothing left from the person Neil was before he began a life on the run from the criminal mastermind known as “The Butcher” that his father is. Nothing left but one thing, his passion for the fictional sport known as Exy. An Exy star in the rise as a child, Neil left behind an friend old friend and is haunted when he comes back eight years later, ready to recruit him into Palmetto State Universtiy’s Exy foxes. Despite having no idea who he is, Kevin insists Neil come play with them and for the first time in his life takes a decision for him and decided he won’t leave him behind a second time.

The entire situation is bad, the team is high profile and the sports broadcasts are slamming his face all over the news as a new rising star in the world of Exy. Things are turning bad for him in every angle… But Neil isn’t the only fox with secrets. The magic of the Foxhole Court is in its members, a team filled with misfits, broken people who come from pasts or homes equally as broken as them who are given a second, third, fourth or even fifth opportunity through the sport. A place right where Neil belongs… If only his past and Kevin’s wasn’t beginning to come running after them.

The Foxhole Court to some extent is an easy read, in the sense that it is only 260 pages long and reads like fanfiction. And no, it doesn’t mean the main character is a self insert, a Gary Stu or loved by everyone (in fact, almost all the opposite), fought for or wanted by all men/women all around the glove. I haven’t done too much research as to confirm, but the writting certainly felt amateurish. Most of the book reads like this:

 

He said. He asked. She said. She asked. Without much character interaction or emotion portrayed in the dialogue, for example. It isn’t exactly something terrible, but my point is there isn’t anything creative about the writing, or anything innovative and lyrical. However, Sakavic perfectly manages to write fully immersive characters and a great story that trails right behind them. If anything, the book only receives such a low rating from my part because of its quality as a book. It’s a great story, just not a greatly written one. Not to mention the book included more than a few incongruences that were nowhere near making sense, but that is a spoiler heavy rant I will go in detail below.

So without futher ado, spoilers below and my fanart sweet kids! (Click read more) and see you on the other side 😉

Continue reading

[Review] Pure – Julianna Baggott

“We each have a story. They did this to us. There was no outside aggressor. They wanted an Apocalypse. They wanted the end. And they made it happen.”

9680114
A book sucked out the darkest corners of fiction. A grotesque and nightmare worthy apocalypse with a soul sucking world building that will draw you in for more and more. It is new and dauntless, twisted and deliciously dark.

3.5/5 Stars
Recommendation: This book is not for everyone. Fact is, despite being shelves as YA —probably because of the young age of the main characters—, this book really strays from the typical YA formula and it is refreshing for those who can appreciate an intelligent book that thrives in its world building, but that lacks an important romantic subplot. Despite regular YA dystopias, this book is rather slow paced as well, leaving plenty of space for nit gritty details and a well established environnent.

So this is probably one of the best movies you are ever going to watch and it deserves love because of that. In fact, the book itself will happily let you know that the “Film rights sold to Fox 2000 Pictures with Karen Rosenfelt, lead producer of the Twilight saga” and I will very much agree I’d gladly sell myself to go see that movie. It has so much potential for beautiful post apocalyptic settings, expensive CGI creatures and diseased, fused up people as well as great production value for the Pures in a similar style to Netflix series: Stephen King’s Under the Dome.

… But it might be just that, because as a novel, there really isn’t so much more. Boy is this bleak. And as I’ve said previously, I can’t only review potential and neither can authors live solely off of it.

Now just as a general disclaimer the stars I hand in my reviews are based on my opinion on the actual writing and the book as a piece of literature. So the book’s quality. Not whether or not this was an enjoyable read.

Because boy does this book hook you.

Pure is a post apocalyptic dystopia that centers around two young characters— Pressia, a wretch who was fused with the head of a doll during The Detonations, the world bombing event that lead to the world’s demise. And Patridge — A Pure from an influential family who inhabits the Dome, the world’s only remaining safe haven were the richest and most important families reside, safe from the Detonations and outside destruction.

However, fact is that Pressia isn’t the only one carrying scars from the End of Days— The blasts of the Detonations were so strong that the entire population fused to the objects, animals people nearest to them. People’s vital organs connecting them to the asphalt of streets, babies protruding from necks, tormented souls living with animals eating and their inside. There is such brutal attraction in Baggott’s vivid descriptions of Earth’s utter destruction and the devastating deformities of the survivors. Pure constructs an immensity sinister world that is both smart and simply gut clenching. This apocalypse isn’t dreamy, nor filled with your next book boyfriend, it is frightening, bone biting with grottesque and unfiltered descriptions that are nightmare worthy. Think how you felt during that one explicit documentary we’ve all watched for our history lessons about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The World that had ended and was painted black, nothing but ashes. That is Pure as a book.

The book is told in multiple POVs, the main ones being Pressia’s and Patridge’s before multiple other characters began narrating chapters… that is where the book began going downhill for me. Because Patridge lives within the dome, it makes sense why his character was rather close minded in the beginning and had to play the part of the dumbed down rich white boy who doesn’t understand what’s really going on outside. However, there are many ways to make this type of character interesting in my opinion, but Patridge fell short for about the first 100 pages or so and I was never able to look forwards to his chapters or able to root for him despite feeling devishly curious on what went on within the Dome.
As a main character, Pressia is fierce and imposing. She is a well deserved break between YAs damsels in distress who suddenly develop/are born with the world’s most dangerous power/ability and the strong, moody “I don’t need men or anyone to ever help me” who makes you roll your eyes deep into the back of your head. Her strength as a character and her development of said physical and mental strength was greatly written and highly praisable, the issue is that I was never able to connect with her. I was never sure on how to feel about her and even after two books I’d have trouble telling you who Pressia really is. Sad I’m praising her as much simply because she’s not a cliche, but to a lot of people this seems to be enough for them and have throughoutfully enjoyed this character. She’s a matter of perspectives.

Oh yeah, perspectives, my issue at hand. While I could understand the duality of the character POVs due to taking place at opposite sides of the Dome (but still doesn’t excuse the need of first person narrators to me, as a book that strayed so far from YA feels unnecessarily juvenile again just because of the inclusion of these), the switch between minor characters was rather distracting and unneeded. While I grew close to most of the characters like Lyda or Il Capitano because of they’re overall originality and refreshing arcs, I didn’t need to be able to listen to their every thought to continue with the story. I found it very distracting, they were like that one friend you click with so much better when you don’t know about their every quirk and eccentricity. And you specially don’t need them expressing them when you’re in the middle of an important project, or well, you know, saving the world.

There were a few more odd moments and issues with the book. Despite its amazing set up and the detailed explanations of the world the survivors inhabited, the domestic politic side inside the Dome was completely flawed and lacking. As a dystopia, the most important part of your book isn’t going to be some cheap romance, good writing, or pacing, the most important part is going to be the social structure. If your social structure is lacking, you long failed as a dystopia. The Dome itself felt slightly underdeveloped and the entire political structed in there was lacking as well. There were a lot of conversations about war and the Dome’s own plans with the outside world that begged to be called intelligent, but turned out more snore worthy and dragged out.

But anyway, as I typed this, I realize how hard it is to make this book sound good on paper. Even my description of the events isn’t very moving, and funny enough, Goodreads doesn’t even have a summary of the events for what I’d like to think are similar reasons. Between the summary and all my talks about this book being grottesque and nightmare inducing, and maybe not the general YA’s crowd cup of tea, I ask you to trust me when I say this book is good. It might not be the book for everyone, but it is the type of book you must give a chance to once in a life time. It’s clever and well imagined and its world deserves a shot at you reading it.

It’s a quality dystopia for those who are looking something more out of their typical YA reads.

[Misc] I’d like to thank the Academy for these two nominations…

_mom_and_dad__by_princesselaina-daekhk0.png
Hey hey ! It’s Hime o/
I was a bit reluctant to do this at first considering at the moment I try to make my posts about straight forward content, (maybe hopefully I’ll get into a few other themed-type-tag posts I’ve been planning soon, fingers crossed) and I’m still rather new around the block as to feel confident about writing about myself but considering its Monday again and I’ll be posting a full review later, I said why not right (?

So today I am very honored and thoughtfully touched to announce that I was not only nominated by the lovely Love, Geeky Girl for the Blogger Recognition Award, but by the admirable  James from This Is My Truth Now for the Sunshine Blogger Award ! I’ve spent a lot of time fawning over their blogs so, just big recommendation on both okay? Really passionate people who hold big love for their blogs.

Since I’m trash and I won’t be doing this super formally, I’m first supposed to write about How my blog started, give two pieces of advice to bloggers and then I’ll be answering James’ questions for the sunshine award. Then of course tagging ahaha…. So, here’s the about me I suppose.  Enjoy ✌


How I started this blog★:

Just two weeks and a few days ago, I was in vacations seeing my family in my Homeland of France. We went to England for the first time for about a week, and I was just absolutely thrilled about the cheap book prices unlike my home country, but that’s a book talk for another day. I bought a total of 11 books before the cashier recommended me checking out the Waterstones used bookstore online to buy more, so I bought another 18 books and am currently waiting for shipment.

Back in France, a cousin came over to visit and started talking books to me. She said she got the majority of her book recommendations from a friend who had started a #Bookstagram and every month got lists from publishers of books they could send her. The idea fascinated me, but I still decided against because of time matters.

Then I read the 11 books in the span of a month.

I entered Goodreads to check in my books, and I was met with the unpleasant surprise I couldn’t remember the plot of half the books in my read shelf. Thus, I entered each of their pages and started reading the synopsis and spoiler reviews to read people’s summaries and thoughts. In fact, one of my favorite things to do after reading a book is entering its bookreads page to compare what people had to say about it, their theories and their rants… So a day in into being back in Mexico, I decided to create my own blog. If not ultimately for the books, simply for a place to keepsake my thoughts, rants and theories in my own words and to never again forget a book I read. I’ve also been getting a bunch of comments as of lately of people saying they share my views or beggining to rant in the comments about said book…. I had never felt happier ! I had never had anyone to ever share and fangirl about books, so every comment makes me infinitely happy ! I love sharing my books and thoughts with others, and thus would like to encourage discussion further in the comments someday !

Two pieces of advice ★:

I feel rather humbled doing this considering I’m still a newbie myself, and by no means super succesful or in a place to preach. But here’s what I consider most important when blogging: Be always honest, because with unfiltered honesty comes yourself and your own style. I’ve been writting for years, so I’m very acquainted with what I call the “vulgar eloquence” my style is. I try to write intelligently while still being an edgy, sarcastic looser. Just always write whats on your mind and you’ll see your find your own voice, people dig particular styles.

Reach out to the community. Blogging is about the people after all ! Make sure to be active with other people and, hopefully make new friends…. (I’m still on that? Anyone want to be a friend? I don’t bite too hard…. any bidders interested leave a comment//hit)

James’ Questions:

What is your eye color?
➜ A ye ol’ dark brown !

What city have you spent the most time in other than your current one?
➜ Acapulco, Guerrero, Mx. Once upon a time I was that very hated first class citizen back when daddy owned an hotel over there. But narcos happened, yknow, #Mexico. Enjoying the middle class better in any case.

Favorite TV show?
➜ Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ! It’s silly as all hells… Otherwise just any criminal show, but specially Criminal Minds. If we’re talking anime, 100% definitely Pandora Hearts.

What time do you usually eat dinner?
➜ 
I don’t eat dinner- But I do have lunch at around 7 or 8 pm? Which is when regular people dine I suppose ahaha

What languages do you speak?
➜ 
English, Spanish & French !

Have you ever considered running for political office?
➜ 
Not really, but I am looking to perhaps study political sciences !

Do you have any foods you are afraid to eat?
➜ 
Nah man, I’ve been taught to eat the weirdest things since I was small. To this day, I still eat sheep eyes, tongue and cheek tacos every Sunday for the past 7 years. Good stuff.

What three jobs would you want other than your current one?
➜ 
Ambassador, graphic designer & anything in exports really

If you were a character on Sesame Street, who would you be?
➜ //COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES//
cookie-monster-internet-gif

Clears throat.

What is 10 plus 10? Answer if 3 different languages.
Veinte, vingt, twenty.

My Questions:
➜ Do you fancy cats?
➜ Choose one book boyfriend let’s go
➜ Three books you wouldn’t mind dying with as long as you have them
➜ Where are you from? (State or Country)
➜ Where do you currently reside? (State or Country)
➜ Favorite Hobby that ain’t blogging?
➜ Preferred book series to see fanart of (I’m totally not debating on who to draw next, coughs)
➜ Tumblr or WordPress?
➜ Your childhood nickname !
➜ How did you choose your blog’s name

And well ! To finish I’m going to tag personally my favorite blogs and those which I think need some love if anyone wants to do this blog award hybrid ahaha ❤

The baes:
➜ Remarkably Lisa
➜ Written Word Worlds
➜ Reading with Rendz
➜ In Love and Words
➜ The Ostrich Pen

➜ Maxxesbooktopia
& Lastly, my tagger, whom I still nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award (aka answer the 10 questions 🗡
➜  The Lovely Love, Geeky Girl

See you in a while for my Pure review !