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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200+ pageviews in 3 days!!!

Guess why The Book Hog is so happy……. I got 200+ page-views in 3 days and especially because yesterday, the 3-day-old blog got a hundred page views! And I think getting your page hit a 100 times on the 3rd day itself equals PARTY TIME!! 😀

So let’s have a tiny celebration:

That was a very pleasant gift for me to come home to after an exhausting end-sem paper (it was a war out there, folks 😛 :D) So I thank you all who came here 🙂 Cheers!

Jisha 🙂

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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Previously written reviews coming up!

There are many heretofore unpublished-in-blog reviews lying around in Goodreads. And my exam month’s started (yeah I have to appear six papers in a month-long time-frame… exhausting, innit?) So this is the PERFECT time to import those reviews and update this blog!

Goodreads Library

I’ve been having a lovely time – This blog has been welcomed with so many visitors and likes on it’s first day, it’s really inspiring and heart-warming! Thank you all! 🙂

Jisha ^_^

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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The New Year’s Day Post

It’s New Year’s Day!

And this is not a review 😀 (well, obviously). Previously my random reviews ended up all over the place: some in my Goodreads Account, some in my other blog Klutz Diaries. And chaos reigned. So here’s the remedy: a full-fledged book blog (yay!!)

Honestly speaking I’ve always envied book bloggers – they get freebies, they get to talk with the authors they love,  they hold such awesome contests and they critique so well. I’m just a straggler, and a 20-year old at that. Unforgivable sin indeed, given that most books in my read list belong to teen and YA shelves and I start a book blog after I stopped being one (teenager, I mean. I’m definitely a young adult and a happy one in that 😛 )

So here’s The Book Hog 🙂 I have imported the few reviews in Klutz Diaries (aka KD) here… Hope TBH thrives!

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Book Review: North and South

North and SouthNorth and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dear North and South

Ah, sweet sweet book – why did I postpone reading you for so long! For 10 days you remained unread on my shelf, stuck at a mere 12% progress. I admit your length daunted me, but it was more apprehension than anything else. I had loved the TV adaptation, and I feared you would fall short.

And you did not.

I’m so happy, so giddy, that I persevered and finished you today. You’re everything I adore in period books. I love your version of Thornton, Margaret, Mrs Thornton, Mrs Hale so so much better – and that’s really saying something because I adored the TV characters. Though maybe the Higgins character was better shown on-screen – in my opinion at least. Every single character in the book was so lovingly portrayed, so lifelike, I’m still basking in the afterglow.

North and South is a book to be savoured. Being originally a serialised novel, it is slow-paced, but poignant in it’s every sentence. The slow pace itself gives us the opportunity to get familiar with the characters, and cheer on as they grow and mature. We fall in love with them, and enjoy their triumphs, grieve at their loss. We root for them to find happiness, to fall in love, to acknowledge that love.

BBC TV Series: North and South (2004)

BBC TV Series: North and South (2004)

John Thornton and Margaret Hale – behold one of the most passionate couples in the Literary world. It’s a shame they aren’t household names like Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy; I’m grateful to the North and South TV series that introduced this story to me. The ending was rushed a bit – from what I gather, I have the great Mr Charles Dickens (Author Elizabeth Gaskell’s mentor) is to be blamed for it. But this book is worth every page, and I can guarantee Jane Austen fans that they can find an author to obsess over after this book. I have, to be sure.

Verdict: Definitely a 5 star book 🙂

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Book Review: Parallel Visions

Parallel Visions (A Teen Psychic Novel, #1)Parallel Visions by Cheryl Rainfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one felt too short to be called a novel – honestly speaking it would be a novella. But its sweetness makes up for the length.

What would you risk to save your loved one’s life? If the way you could prevent disasters was to send yourself to the face of danger, would you do it? And if you could see visions… does that mean there’s something wrong with you?

The story is meant for a younger audience – early teens probably – and the writing shows. It might have irritated me had not the writing really worked for the story line.

Verdict: 3.5 stars, short and sweet

*Book provided for honest review by NetGalley*

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Book Review: Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of TranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you think about it, The Sea of Tranquility isn’t actually a sea; just a long stretch of barren land named so with great hopes of hospitality. Just like the Cape of Good Hope is. What you are called isn’t what that matters… It’s what you really are that’s important. The Shakespeare quote about names, and roses, is inevitable but yet so clichéd, I’d rather not use it. So you, my friend, just say it in your mind, and pretend I really typed it here:

“…………………………………” 😀 Tada!

So, back to the point. Nastya’s story is so like the misleadingly named Lunar landform, that the book’s title was perfect.

Her name was Nastya. Does that mean she’s Russian? Does her nationality make any difference? Nastya was a girl broken; she left behind everyone to escape her past. Josh was a boy always left behind; and left broken. When they did meet, of course it wasn’t love at first sight. But they let the other be. And in the process, were for them in return.

Reading about them was like watching someone bake a cake (and I say WATCH because I do not bake…that are tasty. They just turn out to be edible but that’s not the point). It was slow, sometimes arduous, but interesting. A dash thrilling too. You know, a really nice cake on the way – given the whole lot of issues they have, a bittersweet one. It was a ride topsy and turvy, a bundle of emotional turmoil. And I loved every moment of all. What started as a girl’s silent scream and a boy’s deadzone led to an ascent and at the cresceno, the pain was acknowledged… and released.

Emotionally charged and beautifully written, it gets a wholly deserved 5 star rating 🙂

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