Book Review: We Were Liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You’ll either love this story, or hate it. Love the writing style, or despise it. I guarantee you this : this book will take you to your extremities. So you’ll need to buckle up.

Needless to say (you can see my rating after all)… I ADORED this book.

Guess the fact that this is the first book review I’ve written in over a year adds substance to the above statement.

We were liars is… a broken story about a broken girl narrated with broken cadence. And like a sly wink from the author, Cadence is our protagonist with the broken memories and a life torn apart.

Cadence, her two cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their Indian American friend Gat are the Liars, and theirs is a bond that began in Summer Eight (they all are the same age). Every summer, the entire Sinclair family convenes in their family island, and the Liars are reunited. But something went wrong in Summer Fifteen.

Something that Cadence is trying to recall.

But memory can be a bitch.

I’m not going to be spoilerish, and I’m not going to ‘Lie’ as the blurb asks me to. In fact, a piece of advice forget about the blurb and the lies. Delve into a brilliantly imaginative but broken mind. And you’ll find that the narration is such a pleasure.

Whimsical.
Satirical.
Cruel, even.

It dragged me in, and when I resurfaced in the end, I was crying and grinning at the same time.

We Were Liars deserves a five and a resounding applause. E. Lockhart, you brought me back into the reading world. Thank you!

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Book Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare


The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Date of finishing: 23rd Jan 2013
Recommended for: NO ONE.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

Truth: I found the title very interesting.
Truth: I thought the cover picture was adorable.
Truth: I shouldn’t have read this one. Really.

There is this thing about expectations – when something falls short, it really breaks your heart. This book came very close to breaking my heart – good thing I stop expecting things halfway!

The story started off beautifully. First when Edward Willing was mentioned, I first balked… After all, Twilight has jinxed the name for me and I began thinking why any author would take the risk of naming their protagonist so… And then came this part and I loved it:

Truth: Edward Willing died in 1916.

Na, that doesn’t make me morbid – it just made me think that this story might just get interesting. Especially with all those potentially humorous situations of a Willing Girl.
WRONG.

The hero is Alex-who-is-not-Alexander-but-Alexei. The heroine is scarred (literally and figuratively) and suffers from major complex. And they have no story. This story could have been about growth. This story could have featured the girl taking up a Dare when it actually mattered. This story could have had haunted artists and haunting artists (or that may be just wishful thinking). It unfortunately has none of those.

I have no idea what Alex has to recommend for himself. And the sad thing is that even Ella herself couldn’t answer that one. All we know about him is that he is hot, and 6 ft tall. Is that even a description? I have no idea how he looks like. At least we have some visual cues about Ella – long hair, timid and invisible personality so I figure I’d never really see her face if I ever even tried to imagine her. I just don’t feel like doing that – she’s a huge waste of time. I like the best friends, though, who never really got their own space in this half baked story. I’d like to know what actually went behind Sadie’s voluminous clothes, if Frankie really bounced back every time he failed in love. And ironically, the person I like the best is the scarcely mentioned Daniel, the Frankie’s-twin-gangster-dude.

The only thing realistic about the story was Ella’s family. It was loud, loving and bossy just like every closely knitted family and it was the only thing that kept me going in this story. Because frankly speaking the story really didn’t end up anywhere. Why wasn’t there any plot, dammit?!

What happened about Anna! Why didn’t Sienna’s fiancé/husband get a scene? Why wasn’t Alex given a life, dammit? Why was he the hero? Till the last moment I was hoping the author would change her mind and give Daniel the spotlight, unexpectedly making him the hero! And the most important question – why did Ella exist at all? Because I believe every story comes up for a reason – for the love of a character, for the passion for some plot, or for vengeance or justice. I found no story at all in this one – just dry make-belief conversations.

I suggest you do not read this. Please.

I really do hate negative reviews :/

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Book Review: Hopeless

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
My Rating: 6 Stars
TBH Verdict: SuperAwesome
Recommended for: Anyone who can read

hopeless

I’m speechless. Of all the things I had expected… Oh my God, OH MY GOD.

It was beautiful. Heartbreaking. So so beautiful. Hopeless exceeded all my hopes and expectations, after I got the message that this wasn’t going to be another Slammed/Point of Retreat.

Here’s the deal: don’t start reading Hopeless with Will and Lake in your mind. Think Jennifer Echols, think Elizabeth Scott. Think Intense.

Intense is exactly the word Sky uses for Holder, the guy who suddenly enters her life and turns everything upside down. She’s a simple girl (Sky’s as complex as one can be). Sky is a girl who barely knows the outside world. Her adopted mother Karen doesn’t care about technology, public school and many other random vices. Sky is home-schooled, and the only friend she has is her neighbour Six. That’s not where the story starts though.

There is something wrong with Sky: though even she doesn’t realises it. And then Holder enters her life and everything turns upside down. Holder himself has lots of issues, but he makes her come alive. But then there are times when it feels like he’s hiding something. And is the truth worth everything? When there are potential hurts and betrayals lying in that very past, is digging up the truth prudent?

See? Intense.

I’m not sure I put the essence of the book in those words, but I’m still gasping over this one. This isn’t a book about a girl going gaga over a boy. This isn’t a book where a white knight comes to rescue the princess. This story will stab you in the heart, bleed you, and remind you what love is about. I’ll have to give it to you, Ms Hoover, you sure do know how to throw curve-balls. I had a feeling where the plot was going but I thought I was wrong… I could never have the courage to write something like this. You are just amazing, [author:Colleen Hoover|5430144]… And I’m now a big big fan.

I still can’t stop crying though… out of pain for the loss of Hope, out of happiness for the future. This book is worth skipping a night’s sleep, and I’m so glad I stayed up for this…

Updated after an hour or so:

P.S. I just went to stalk Collen’s blog, and boy oh boy, what a gift I found there. ***ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK… MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!*** 

The “best first kiss” from Holder’s point of view.

Book Review : Born in Flames (Born in Flames #1)

I remember what happened when I posted this review on Goodreads. This particular book has a spectacular rating in the site and, let’s face it, has a beautiful cover. But here’s what happened – I hated it. And obviously didn’t mince any words in my honest review. And then one day all of a sudden there was this troller who stalked every reviewer (and there were amazingly quite a few.. I wonder why) in GR who gave this book a negative review and we all had a field day battling those trollers. And I gained a couple of new buddies in Goodreads whose taste I could trust! #Memories 🙂 So here goes:

Born in Flames by Candace Knoebel

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

born-in-flames-finalOne word. C.R.E.E.P.Y.

I covered 27% of the book, but I couldn’t go on. I tried. Honest.

I don’t know what the author was thinking about when she framed plots. First she tells us that 10 yr old Aurora is a dragon. Apparently she’s in some danger so she’s transported to some other place as is a boy. 8 yrs later the story picks up and we learn that a boy and Aurora turned up in a foster home with no memory whatsoever. Coincidence? Na na. Na na. Naaaaaa Na.
(And I don’t consider that a spoiler because it happens IMMEDIATELY when the book starts).

So what displeased me is that it smacked so much of fake-incest. Actually, even a book with incestuous plot line wouldn’t offend me as much. Why go all to all that length at all? Moreover, it’s as if Aurora’s changing her definition of her relationship with Fenn according to her wish. And let me tell you, this Fenn guy is creepy too. These two siblings/friends/whatever are already adults and are cohabiting. Apparently, they are friends. So tell me why does Fenn have roving hands. Do friends keep kissing whatever wounds a girl acquires? Seriously?

The two persons should be sharing 8 yrs of common history – which should have given them a comfort level. If the author did want to insert a romantic element, at least she should have dedicated quite a few pages showing us their compatibility and then progressed into the romantic zone. Kind of justifying them being together. But nope. Almost immediately Fenn invades personal space (Rory darling doesn’t mind/care) and head butts her (or something – I’m so weary of this book I’ve forgotten the details) and la! Rory blushes! No explanation as to why she had an 8-yr-delayed response. Dragons seem to have magnificently slow reflexes. Another proof of inconsistency in their history AND bad writing?? They decide to (highlight to view spoiler)have a NORMAL day out. Gah, what were their days before, abnormal? C’mon, whose normal day out is eating out in 5 star hotels and then go horse riding? Whatever…

And the writing style wasn’t impressive at all. Neither was the content, to-be-honest. The protagonists weren’t convincing (like I told y’all earlier) and then the story wasn’t captivating (as much as I read). There’s this place where we were (view spoiler)[promised danger to Rory as prophesized by a creepy old guy. I waited with bated breath – okay, finally SOME excitement. Well, I got nada. The only excitement I got was Rory realising she could control fire. La la! You told us that in chapter 1, remember?? (hide spoiler)]

Bad read, really. Sorry for the harsh review but I’m really disappointed! The book cover and the blurb were so exciting 😦

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Book Review : Violins of Autumn

Continuing my dig-up-the-old-Goodreads-reviews series, here’s a review of a book I loved 🙂
Violins of AutumnViolins of Autumn by Amy McAuley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Isn’t that just a beautiful name? And such a beautiful cover. I picked up the book praying – really very hard – that I’ll love the book too. Well, guess what?

Loved the book too!

I can’t say why, exactly, I fell in love with this book. I have read many accounts of the Nazi invasion – both fictional and non fictional. I can’t even say this book really stood out from among them – that honour remains with ‘The Diary of Anne Frank‘. But the glimpse this book offered into young people drafted and expected to serve as spies… was laudable and very convincing. Some joining the war despite a protesting, caring family, some to escape their past. None of them, however, escaping the fact that they WERE, indeed, young. I said I can’t decide why I fell in love with the book, but I can say where:
(highlight to view quote/spoiler)
[But nothing happens. Minutes pass, and still nothing. My relief, pacing in confinement like some caged animal, breaks free. Barely able to think straight, I leave the roadside. My suitcase falls from my hands into the shade of a gnarled apple tree. I crouch with my back against the tree and burst into tears.
I stay several minutes longer than I should. I have to get up. I have to keep going.
I dry my face with a handkerchief, knocking tiny blossom petals free from my hair. Then I continue my journey to Paris, on foot and alone.]

There are no cocky spies running around dodging bullets. There are no feisty protagonists forgetting everything in heat of passion. Adele (She can never be Betty to me) is a beautiful character… So yes, now I have the reason I loved the book – the brilliant characterization and depiction of life then. It must have taken a lot of research…

Fabulous job , Amy McAuley 🙂

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Book Review: Rapture (Fallen #4)

Rapture (Fallen, #4)Rapture by Lauren Kate

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have followed the Fallen Series right from the beginning. I really must be out of my mind 😦

I’ve no idea why I suffered through that book, except for closure. I hate leaving a story hanging, and, besides, the cover was deceptive enough >_< ….. It promised a lot of mysterious stuff, but all I ended up with was crap. Damn.

Did I get any answers? Hell, no. Why did Lucinda like Daniel (he sounds like an absolute idiot in this instalment at least), what was that incomplete part where Cam asked Luce if she trusted him, all that random event stuff where it turns out that – (highlight to view spoiler): (Luce apparently is a uber angel and the whole hell/heaven stuff began because of her. Figures, she has to be the everything that matters else there won’t be any story. The author has no sense of moderation it seems… )

And what’s all that “I choose love” about? I was freaking ready to bash them with my laptop. Total waste of time trying to make sense of this book. I braved it for closure; did I get it? Naaa…… nothing more than a raging head ache.

I’d recommend to NOBODY, not even to (especially not to) the most die-hard angel/mythology loving fans…

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Book Review: Ever After (Hollows #11)

*ARC provided by HarperCollins and Edelweiss for review.*


EVER-AFTER-by-Kim-HarrisonEver After by Kim Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
T
BH Verdict: SuperAwesome
Recommended for: Hollows, Paranormal, Sooki Stackhouse fans

I’m in heaven. I must be… because

A) The first ARC I ever got my hands on is Ever After. Can you believe it? I still can’t! Best Christmas/ New Year gift EVER, right? 😀 Love you, Edelweiss!

and

B)I pulled an all-nighter without caffeine yet I’m buzzed and totally high… Because my first ARC turned out to be that addictive! 😀

*Back to serious business*

In the 11th instalment of Kim Harrison’s best-selling Hollows series, itchy witch/day walking demon Rachel Morgan faces a deadlock situation. The Ever After is shrinking ; her god-daughter and her friend have been kidnapped by an evil demon. But before she can decide whether to save the world first or her loved ones, the rest of the demons have decided to have her dead (as usual 😀 ). And the clock is ticking.

But this time, she has help on her side. And she can trust Trent Kalamack… can’t she?

Very few series maintain the standard and beauty of their first few instalments; happily, the Hollows series just gets better over time. Ever After is hands down the best book in the series and it’s such an honour that I got to read its ARC. It’s rich in action, in emotions. The characters have evolved beautifully; Rachel has come to rely and trust; Trent’s edges have softened. We gain an empathic glimpse into the ancient demons’ lives; we see how Ever After once actually looked like, long before it was a toxic land. Ever After is a concise yet perfect title for the book, indeed.

I’ve been a RachelxTrent fan right from Dead Witch Walking (Hollows #1). Even though there was no romantic indication then, I had a feeling this pair could evolve, and boy I’m so happy I was right. And as those who never liked the guy, will definitely understand – and in some parts empathise – with him. Meanwhile Algaliarept fans are in for a treat too! I absolutely loved him in this book. *sly wink*

Ivy doesn’t feature much in the book. The series is heading towards its ending and we can see the characters gradually moving on. It’s a bittersweet moment, all right. Seeing them less broken and more independent is a happy sight; but the trio moving on to have lives of their own means spending less time with each other. It’s as if the series is on a threshold right now – we can see the past Rachel, Ivy and Jenks share, we can anticipate a life ahead. Kim, how can you manage to evoke all these emotions in us!

This is a MUST MUST MUST read for Hollows fans – I know you’ll love it. And readers new to the Hollow’s World, even though this story is beautiful, I suggest you begin with Dead Witch Walking… Knowing the background and the different contexts will make this book even more beautiful and understandable 🙂

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