The Raven Boys Book Review

 

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Book: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

I know a book is great when my chest starts to feel real tight every time I read a chapter or think about a certain character involved in the book.  I know it’s fantastic when I’m twenty pages in and I’m already swooning over the protagonists.  I know a book is perfect when the main character is real and I feel a connection to her/his/their story.

The Raven Boys is an amazing read that I just fell hard for.  It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book, no joke.

I didn’t take me long to be completely enraptured by Maggie’s writing; she’s one of the best I tell you.  I knew that already because I’d read Shiver not too long ago but this book… The Raven Boys is Maggie’s beautiful narrative style on steroids.  You can tell how much Maggie put into this gang.

The story revolves around a sixteen year old girl named Blue Sargent and the Aglionby boys: the elite of the small town that is Henrietta.  Blue has had a very peculiar upbringing, what with her family consisting of psychics and everything paranormal and has been told all her life that she’s destined to cause her true love’s death.

Nice.

The book is written in third person point of view but each chapter revolves around different characters; mainly Gansey, Blue and Adam.  This gives the story a well-rounded view without spoiling any of the events for the reader.

Blue is my main chick. I want to be her friend.  Though she isn’t as fierce as other main heroines (whom I also adore), there is this softness about her that makes me adore her even more. And not in the wilted flower type of way but the ultimate caring mother figure kind of way. If that makes sense.  She fits in with these boys and it’s solely because of who she is and how she sees the world.  She’s very perceptive and lovely and goes the extra mile to understand these boys.  She respects their personalities, even makes fun of them sometimes and best of all, she’s a friend.

One of the things I related to the most in this book was Blue’s day to day life.   Her house is one filled with women who are quirky a best, maniacal at worst.  It reminds me of my childhood  since my home was and is still dominated by women.  Maura, Blue’s mom, is such a refreshing parental figure without being unbelievable. Her character just brought out so many memories of my own mother, it was surreal.  I’m so glad that Maggie took the time to elaborate on this aspect of the Blue’s life since in YA, the norm is to keep parents as vague as possible and/or only exist as plot devices.

Aside from Maura, we have characters like Persephone and Calla, Maura’s two best friends, who also contribute to the story’s richness without stealing the limelight.  Maggie is a genius when it comes to secondary characters.  Persephone gives such a Luna Lovegood feel without being a replica and Calla is just straight out bad ass.  I love that I get to love them this much.

To love everybody this much, especially the boys.

I’m a sucker for guys in books, it’s a given.  The Aglionby boys are no exception.  Maggie’s way of building up these boys is why I couldn’t pick a favorite.  Instead of writing about the strictly physical aspects of each boy, she takes the time to give us small details that are exclusive to them.  You get to know their essence as a person.  I cannot for the life of me tell you the color of Adam’s eyes, but I can feel who he is.  It’s the oddest thing.

What’s so great about this is that there is no way of confusing the boys.  There is no mix-up on who is whom, there can’t be.  The way they talk, smile, love and hate is so different from the other.  And you will love them individually, with all their faults and quirks.  Unconditionally.  Believe me.

The atmosphere in this book is nothing less than alive.  Without it, nothing could have happened in the story, the setting and tone are exceptionally executed throughout all the scenes.  You will feel joy when you’re supposed to feel joy and you will freak the fuck out when you’re supposed to freak the fuck out.  The plot twists grab you by the throat and refuse to let go until you’ve finished the book.  AND EVEN THEN.  THE FUCKING CLIFFHANGER. MY GOD.  KILL ME.

The mystery and the suspense will remain alive even after the last word.

So if you’re still having doubts about finally picking up this series. Don’t.  I’m so ready to keep going with this story and loving every single word of it.  My heart might not be ready but since when do I ever listen to my heart? Especially when it comes to book?

Camila

 

My Name is Memory book review

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Book: My Name is Memory

Author: Ann Brashares

Genre: I’m really not sure (???)

Rating: ★★★.75

Goodreads Blurb

“Love who you love while you have them. That’s all you can do. Let them go when you must. If you know how to love, you’ll never run out.”

I went into this book expecting a weepy love story about soulmates and the drama that comes with that trope.

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And I did get it.  But not in the way I expected.

We have the boy who remembers absolutely everything from his past lives and has been in love with the same girl/soul ever since he remembers and we have the girl who forgets and always escapes his grasp.  First cliche: covered.

Now this is where it gets interesting.  The story is told in dual points of view, with no established order.  We have Lucy’s (our leading lady and Daniel’s star crossed love) which is set in present time; in this case, 2006 to 2009, and we have Daniel’s.  Daniel’s part is a bit tricky because we have chapters exclusively dedicated to his past lives, where we see him as he was before and we have some of his in present time also.

I absolutely loved Daniel’s point of view.  It was so fascinating.

I’m not sure if any of you are into philosophy but Daniel gives us this very open and new way of thinking about life and the machination of souls.  It’s a refreshing view of how we function as people and how small our lives really are compared to the cosmos and to the entirety that is time.  We learn about morality, about how we tend to take things for granted, about life as a whole.  I loved how he incorporated history into everything he narrated; reincarnation is a huge part of this story and Daniel claimed to have met various famous souls such as Thomas Jefferson in the bodies of other people.  Making a character seem like an old soul is something most authors fail at but Ann made Daniel very convincing and real.

Kudos to you Ann!

My main problem with this book was Lucy.  I really did not like her character.  She was bland beyond belief and her entire existence was very forgettable.  I couldn’t fathom how a soul as rich in personality as Daniel’s is could possibly love this wisp of a girl.  By the end she gets a bit better, there’s a spark of a bright person there but we don’t really get to see much of it.  I actually liked her a lot better in her past lives.  Especially when she was Constance.  That entire chunk of the book was my absolute favorite.  And if you read it, you’ll know why.

The narration itself is great, not too much detail; straight to the point even when I sometimes wanted that extra umph of adjectives but it was still pretty well written.  I did get frustrated with the pace of the story several times.  It was beyond slow and sometimes I even considered skipping through some of Lucy’s parts but I didn’t.

The conflict was… pretty bad I’m not gonna lie.  I didn’t like the villain but not in that typical way of not liking villains.  I didn’t really see much of him in the book therefore my hatred for him wasn’t big.  And that’s the thing that killed his character for me.  I love hating villains.  The more evil they are, the more I hate them. I love me a horrible villain.  THAT IS THEIR PURPOSE IN LITERATURE.  But that doesn’t happen with our antagonist.   He just appears briefly in the beginning, disappears for most of the middle and then suddenly comes back by the end and even then it’s only for a short bit of time and we don’t really get to see him being totally despicable.  Weak and disappointing is the best way to describe his character in my opinion.

AND HE IS ALSO THE REASON WHY I WAS SO ANGRY WITH THE ENDING.

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I don’t even know where to start explaining my emotions when it comes to the ending.  Scratch that, I do.  I HATED IT (not really but really).  If you’re not into open endings that make you just a bit angry and leave you wanting so much more, then don’t read this book. I finished it in the early hours of the morning (2am to be exact) and I couldn’t fall asleep later because of the frustration.  SO MUCH FRUSTRATION.

I just found out that this was supposed to be a trilogy (which explains the ending) but since it wasn’t as popular as they thought it would be, the publisher’s discontinued the series. Damn.

If even after this review you want to go on and read, I wish you the best ヽ( ˘∪˘ )ゝ

Camila

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Book Review

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Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Parallel Universes and whatnot

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.”

That quote up there? That’s the main reason I decided to pick up this baby.  I’m a sucker for angel stories and that tiny verse caught me hook, line and sinker.  But honestly, I had absolutely no idea what this book was about when I picked it up.  I’d seen a buttload of rave reviews (and some not very nice ones but lets ignore those) and the wonderful Katytastic just freaked over this trilogy so I decided to give it a go, officially.

Needless to say, I absolutely freaking LOVED it! ♡♡

324620(1)Laini (the wonderful person shown on the side with the cool hair) freaking destroyed me with her writing.  The style is so beautiful, very lyrical and fantastic and it just envelops you in way that leaves you (literally) breathless.  She breaths life into her words, I swear.  There were times when everything was just so perfect that my chest would squeeze. SQUEEZE I TELL YOU.

If that isn’t phenomenal writing then I don’t know what is.

And what world has our lovely author drawn up for us? Well, to begin with the story starts off in Prague (the capital of the Czech Republic if you didn’t already know) with a blue haired university student called Karou.  We see that our protagonist is an artist, a very talented one at that and that her sketchbooks are filled with these realistic looking monsters.  Her entire existence is very peculiar; she disappears from time to time, she know a myriad of languages and even she doesn’t know who she really is. Throughout this book we head on to unveil the mystery.

And then we meet Akiva; this otherworldly, beautiful man who will change Karou’s life, for better or for worse.  AKiva is a very stoic man but even then he made me ache.  His thoughts are very personal and through him we’ll learn about most of the mystery surrounding the black handprints hat are appearing in the doorways.

As I mentioned before, the writing is very beautiful and it has to be in order to intrigue readers into this kind of complex fantasy: a very interesting mix of myth and legend in a modern context.  Not only are there all sorts of “monsters” whose appearances may seem strange to us but not to Karou, but there is new way of understanding the world our protagonist lives in.

We meet Zuzana, Karou’s eccentric best friend who also understands that there is just something very strange about Karou as a whole.  Zuze is probably the character I relate to the most in this entire trilogy and in any other book to be honest.  Her personality is very spontaneous (like mine) and she’s also fiercely loyal to the people she loves  And while this book is very fantastical and full of magic, Zuze adds a pinch of normalcy with her friendship and all around craziness.

There are two halves to this book, I call them the before and the after.  Both are perfect, both connect very well when read completely and both leave you gasping and wanting more, which we do get in the sequel Days of Blood & Starlight.

How exactly is the romance in this trilogy? PAINFUL. EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL.

tumblr_inline_n752g9egUz1qdp2ir THE AMOUNT OF PAIN I WENT THROUGH BECAUSE OF THESE TWO IS NOT OKAY.

Everything is really subtle but very very intense at first.  We see glimpses of what could be and the thoughts each of them have about each other and you just get sucked into their potential love.  THE THINGS AKIVA SAYS LORD HAVE MERCY.

AND THEN.

THEY DESTROY YOU.

The entire trilogy is very plot heavy with extensive character development and lovely dialogue and descriptions.  There is so much to learn in this trilogy about life and sacrifice and the true meaning of hope.  There is pain, suffering, hope, then more pain and despair.  I just-

I don’t even know how I finished this book.  But I did, and I loved it. And for that same reason I’m hoping that you, dear reader, love it too.  I need someone to suffer with. Please (iДi)

Camila

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han Review

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Book: P.S. I Still Love You

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★ (and a half)

Goodreads Blurb

“There’s a Korean word my grandma taught me. It’s called jung. It’s the connection between two people that can’t be severed, even when love turns to hate. You still have those old feelings for them; you can’t ever completely shake them loose of you; you will always have tenderness in your heart for them.”

If you’re reading this review I’m assuming you’ve already read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, so there’ll be quite a few spoilers in this review. Now, if you haven’t read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and plan on reading this review anyways, you’ve been warned.

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There are SO many things I want to talk about in this review but I’m gonna try and be more civilized and start by where we left off in the first book.

We left off during that awkward off period between Lara Jean and Peter, specifically with her beginning to write a love letter to Peter, so the book started with Lara Jean finishing the letter and taking it to Peter’s house. As soon as Lara Jean and Peter K got back together my immediate reaction was, “wait, what?! They’re getting back together that quickly?!” and I came to the early conclusion that this book was going to be filled with unnecessary problems because a contemporary novel can never just be peaches and cream. Entertaining, but still rather unnecessary. I mean, I was obviously happy that they got back together, but it was too soon, in my opinion.

Then, just as I predicted, BOOM! The whole video scandal crap. Coming up constantly. Throughout the whole book. I was getting frustrated, okay? I think what annoyed me the most about this is that Genevieve WAS in fact the one who did it and still Peter kept defending her, to the point where it actually damaged their relationship. I guess it was actually necessary for the book to have rocky paths and stuff, but it still annoyed me to infinity and beyond.

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THE OTHER THING that I didn’t enjoy at all was… GENEVIEVE! Okay no, as much as I hated Genevieve, it was actually the fact that Lara Jean was being rather childish, at least when it came to Peter, or Genevieve, or the video thing. With Peter, she kept getting mad at him or second guessing him for the stupidest things. For example, if Peter didn’t give a certain answer when she said this or that, she just immediately assumed that he wasn’t content with her. It was so, so stupid. And with the video thing, she just kept bringing it back up, again and again. Like yeah, I understand it’s quite horrifying, but it happened. You can’t really erase the past, can you? I don’t know. I love Lara Jean, but she got annoying from time to time.

Now, those are pretty much all the things I didn’t enjoy about this book. Enough of the things I didn’t like and onto the things I loved.

Speaking of things I loved, let’s just take a moment to indulge in everything that is John Ambrose McLaren. John Ambrose McClaren. *sighs* He’s the sweetest little shit to ever walk the faze of the earth. Peter Kavinsky is the guy girls would fantasize about, but John Ambrose McClaren is exactly the type of guy they’d dream of actually dating. He’s such a dorky sweetheart, and he pays attention to the little details (AHEM, the snow globe) and my heart just swells up at the thought of him. You know how I said I’m trash for Peter K in my review of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? Well scratch that, I’m actually trash for John Ambrose McClaren. I grew so attached, and fell in love with this character so much that I’m not sure I actually wanted Lara Jean to end up with Peter anymore. My OTP may or may not have morphed from Lara Jean and Peter K to Lara Jean and John Ambrose McClaren. Oops, sorry not sorry.

Thinking about John Ambrose McClaren like...

Thinking about John Ambrose McClaren like…

*swoon*

*swoon*

I was gonna write about something else but I just cant let go the subject of John Ambrose McClaren. He was literally my favorite thing in the whole entire book. OH, AND HIS GRANDMA! STORMY! STORMY WAS THE BOMB DIGGITY! I loved her character so much, she made me laugh so, so hard. I wanted to keep her as my pet. Except that you can’t actually own a person as a pet, so maybe I just wanted her to be my grandma too.

I really liked the whole thing with Lara Jean’s dad and Ms. Rothchild. I thought it was very cute that Kitty kept trying to set them up, and how awkward they were with each other, regardless of the fact that they’re adults.

I also really loved Peter K’s relationship with Kitty. I think it was the cutest thing ever the way he shared this bond with his girlfriend’s little sister, so strong that even when they “weren’t together” he still looked out for her and all that.

The way the book ended was kind of satisfying for me, but at the same time I was really hoping that Lara Jean would end up with John Ambrose McClaren. Soooooo, yeah. *shrugs* It was not bad, by any means, it was great. I loved reading more about these characters once again. The thing is I had incredibly high expectations for this book and it didn’t quite meet them. Again, I enjoyed the book (I certainly enjoyed John Ambrose McClaren) but I prefer the first one.

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I’d love to know what your opinion on this book is, to see if you agree or disagree with me, or see what your general thoughts on this book are, as I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions about it.

Anywaaaaaaays, I’m going to close off this review by saying one thing and one thing only… JOHN AMBROSE MCCLAREN!

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Adriana (4)

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han Review

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Book: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“There are certain outfits you have that make you feel good every time you wear them, and then there are outfits where you wore them too many times in a row because you liked them so much, and now they just feel like garbage.”

This book follows the life of Lara Jean Covey, who writes letters to all the boys that she’s ever loved before as a way of getting over them. She her puts everything into those letters, writing as if they’ll never read them, because they never will, as she never sends those letters. That is, until one day she comes home to find that her letters have been mysteriously mailed to each and every single one of those guys, and then has to deal with the aftermath.

Look, if you’re a guy and you’re judging this book by it’s cover and the whole premise of it and thinking it must be the most girly shit to ever exist on this planet, then you’re right. This book is SO GIRLY! Well, I’m probably exaggerating a bit, it’s not the most girly book out there, I’m sure, but it sure comes pretty close. Now, having said that, this book is so worth it. You don’t have to be a girl or be girly to enjoy this book. All I’m saying is that if you have no appreciation whatsoever for girly things in life you might find yourself getting a little annoyed.

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Even though I’m not a girly girl, I do appreciate SOME girly things in life, and I’m most definitely a hopeless romantic (as long as the romance is done in the right way, that is), so I was naturally drawn to the whole premise of this book, not to mention the incredibly gorgeous cover. Well… Let’s face it, I bought this book because of the cover. Period. As soon as I saw it I knew this book and I would get along and it was heart emojis all over.

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I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but I do really want to talk about the two love interests in this book. So, we have Peter and we have Josh. I was never much of a fan of Josh, at least as a love interest. I mean, the situation is complicated and I just didn’t see it fit for Lara Jean and Josh to date. Apart from that, there’s Peter. Peter Kavinsky. Peter Kavinsky is so nice. SO NICE! As soon as he was introduced in the book I knew he would be THE one. I’m trash for some Peter K. He’s the perfect combination of gorgeous, popular boy and sweet, down to earth guy. He’s perfect and he complements Lara Jean so well. Although he would complement me even better, JUST SAYING!

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I reeeeeally, really liked that Lara Jean’s family is a big part of the story. I always talk about this, but I’ll keep doing so as many times as I wish. I BELIEVE SECONDARY CHARACTERS HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE A STORY, so I loved reading about Lara Jean’s family. The bond Lara Jean shares with her sister is so lovely. Kitty is the cutest little munchkin to ever exist. I just really liked Lara Jean’s family.

Let’s talk a little bit about Lara Jean. LARA JEAN IS A BALL OF RAINBOWS AND GLITTER AND ALL THINGS SWEET IN LIFE. Remember when I said at the beginning of this book that if you had no appreciation for girly things you could get rather annoyed with this book? Well I was referring to Lara Jean and Lara Jean alone. She’s incredibly girly. Reading from her point of view was like eating a spoonful of sugar. With being so girly though, she sometimes seemed a little bit immature. She sometimes behaved or thought like a little girl, and I’m not saying that girly girls are immature. I’m saying that in this case, I believe it goes hand in hand with her excessive girlishness. I personally loved her, she’s really a sweetheart, but I’ll admit that sometimes it was too much for me.

Being inside Lara Jean's mind.

Being inside Lara Jean’s mind.

Overall, this story is just a romance. There are a couple things going on in the story, but it’s mainly romance. So if you’re looking for a deeper message or something else, then I’d recommend checking out another book. Now, if you love a good, cute romance, then this is the book for you.

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Adriana (4)