Friday, August 5, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes
(An Ember in the Ashes #1)
Sabaa Tahir
YA Fantasy
Hardback, 446 pages
28th April 2015 by Razorbill

Goodreads Ratings: 4.32/5
My Rating: 1.5/5

Laia is a slave. 

Elias is a soldier. 

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

lmao i looked back at my reading thread and man, i'm savage 
i had high hopes but through it all, i was devastatingly disappointed. 
do i read the same book as everyone else bcs i wonder why ppl don't have the same response as i have??????? 

i hate elias. 
1. his mind is in the gutter 85% of the time
2. he only spends 3% of his brain on Trials which is way more important
3. i keep being informed elias is the best fighter or sth in his batch BUT HELLO WHERES THE PROOF????? THERES ONLY TALK
4. he only ever thought of girls lol for real elias ur funny
5. I don't understand why he insist on using the word 'my mother' when we all know that relationship is useless on both sides
6. theres no such thing as crush or love on elias part theres only lust. HE SENSUALLY TALKS ABOUT THE GIRLS PHYSICALS ALMOST EVERYTIME HE DESCRIBES THEM 
7. elias sacrificing himself for laia is NOT love dont fight me on this even if its love sabaa tahir didnt express that part well. Ive seen enough love and that is totally not it. 
8. i love helene, so when elias goes one minute thinking 'i want to wrap my hands around her hair' to 'i shouldnt and cant love her shes my bestfriend' and the next 5 minutes when helene gives her opinions elias goes all, 'i liked her better when shes not talking.' SERIOUSLY MAN? GO KILL URSELF AT THE DEEPEST PIT OF HELL

and i dislike laia. at least i don't hate her, yet. 
1. the moment laia is all about saving her brother and nothing else, i know i dont like her
2. tbh her mission on rescuing her brother is annoying useless and troublesome
3. her action on the whole trusting Resistance without any doubts or questions, not until the end at least, is plain idiotic
4. she only used her ability to read ONCE throughout the spying lmao use ur brain and work harder girl
5. she's overall stupid. again, dont fight me on this. 

complaints i have over the book in general
1. the Augur. or at least Cain. For someone as powerful as he is, he sure doesn't seem like it. I get zero vibes from him. 
2. the Trials. it isnt extravagant as it should be. or at least thats what i think. i mean, the Trials takes up as one of the major plots but idk man it doesn't reach me
3. The Third and Fourth Trial LMAO is that a joke. someone pls write me a 1000-words essay on its relevance to the Emperor blablabla bcs IT COULDVE BEEN BETTER BUT WHY THE NEED TO KILL INNOCENT PPL URGH 
4. This book promotes rapes as if it's nothing. 
5. why exactly is laia and elias put together as love interest???? laia is perfect with keenan and elias with helene. why is there need for elias and laia???

there are a few things worth mentioning though
1. I understand sabaa tahir's approach on laia, making her the weakling which I think is a refreshing take from the typical YA Fantasy.
2. i also appreciate sabaa tahir for not making laia and helene fight against themselves for the useless elias bcs it would turn ugly and lmao for what really
3. helena and cook kick ass i love them. that additional 0.5 star is for them. 
4. laia had some character development which is cool

im so sorry if my ruthless review accidentally offended anyone who love this book 

My reading thread can be found here

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.” 

Vicious (Vicious #1) by V.E. Schwab

(Vicious #1)
V.E. Schwab
Science Fiction
Hardback, 364 pages
24th September 2013 by Tor

Goodreads Ratings: 4.24/5
My Rating: 4/5

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 

Vicious is different from anything i've read. There is no hero characters at all. Only those who are villains and less villains. There is no emotional attachment to any of the characters. Only deep thoughts, suspense (wait is suspense an emotion???) and actions. Its a different form of reading experience, this one. 

So this book focuses on Eli and Victor, pre-med students who are on their way to write their thesis circulating around adrenaline and ExtraOrdinary human, and finally being EOs themselves from some insane science experiments. (You'd probably like this part if youre into extraordinary abilities, X-Men, that kinda stuffs. OH OH LIKE THE TV SHOW HEROES. goodness i miss that show.) Fall-outs happened and 10 years later, revenge takes place. 

But seriously, someone needs to do a real life research, incase if there really are EOs around and its relation to NDEs. You never know. 

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different
Sandy Hall
Paperback, 272 pages
26th August 2014 by Swoon Reads

Goodreads Ratings: 3.67/5
My Rating: 4/5

The distinctive new crowdsourced publishing imprint Swoon Reads proudly presents its first published novel—an irresistibly sweet romance between two college students told from 14 different viewpoints.

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.

But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together.... 

Told from 14 different POVs (that includes a squirrel, a bench, a barista, a waitress, a Chinese food delivery guy etc. basically ppl around Lea and Gabe) but NOT Lea and Gabe themselves, this book is gold. How the author managed to pull it off is something I can't even comprehend. 

If the book is told in its traditional way, I don't think it would be that cute. Might even be a little bit dull. And when i say cute, I actually mean SUPER CUTESY ADORABLE I PRACTICALLY SWOON. 
I love Maxime the waitress, Charlotte the barista, Sam the brother, Bob the bus driver and Casey the friend the most!!!!  

“Sometimes it’s better to say something stupid than nothing at all.”

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys
(The Raven Cycle #1)
Maggie Stiefvater
YA Paranormal
Paperback, 454 pages
19th September 2012 by Scholastic

Goodreads Ratings: 4.04/5
My Rating: 4/5

Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.
But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.
This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.
This is the year she will fall in love.


But then again, its not THAT creepy now that I think deeply of it. Still. 

The main reason i was desperate to read this book was because I know theres this whole gangsey group with gansey, blue, ronan, adam and noah in it since i see their names ALL OVER TWITTER. and I thought they would be this gang who throws funny and sarcastic banters 24/7 just like the dregs gang. Apparently, i was a bit wrong on that part. Gangsey is a cool gang although their bonding is...... different. Gansey's a great guy. He held everyone together and it's nice to see his interactions with the gang. Not sure what I exactly feel about Blue Sargent, though. 

Reading this book reminds me of Beautiful Creatures. It has that creepy mysterious vibes in it, whats with the family members as witches thing. But TRB is better, imo. 

TRB to me is like ATPOY, but better. I mean, in the sense of okayish writing style but super interesting concept. Maggie's writing style is okay, not a single problem with it. Just that, ive read words by authors who really have a magical touch in their writing so i tend to compare authors' writing style to each other, yknow?

The concept however, WOW. The whole ley line thing and glendower, are those real? im scared to google it myself lol. 

AND NOAH! oh my god noah you poor thing :( 

p.s. i dont think I like adam that much? i never really like this love-triangle thingy. 

My reading thread can be found here

"That's all?"
"That is all there is left."

Am I Normal Yet (The Spinster Club #1) by Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet
(The Spinster Club #1)
Holly Bourne
YA Contemporary
Paperback, 434 pages
1st August 2015 by Usborne

Goodreads Ratings : 4.35/5
My Rating: 4/5

All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…
But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love? 

Oh, its very realistic alright. 

Am I Normal Yet? is every bit as thoughtful, feminist and full of friendship as I thought it would be. At some points, I feel like Evie (the MC) is childish and immature, even at 16 but at another points, I desperately want to hug her and tell, "Its okay, Evie. You're okay." 
Evie suffers from OCD and not your usual "ooh i like my pens in a line. I'm so OCD." Its the real deal, and it's heartbreaking. Shes constantly aware of germs in her surrounding, she washes her hands 70 times in an hour, thinking it's still not clean enough. And this is her story, coping with it while trying to be normal and have friends&boyfriends. I'll leave it to u guys to find out yourself. 

Funny thing is, i went and did my house chores right after finishing this book. I did the laundry and the dishes, all the while thinking, "Shit just how many germs have i touched today ew." Hah, thanks Evie for that. 

How Holly Bourne touches the issue of feminism is amazing. Rather than talking about feminism literally, she goes and relate young adults' daily lives problem with feminism. Theres this whole talk about having menstrual cycle and how the world turns it into something shameful WHICH ITS NOT???

"I always buy my sanitary pads the compact ones, so I can hide them in my hand on the way to the loo so no one can see what I'm carrying." 

Oh I so can relate. 

There are these whole other issues and funfacts (boys, mental health, sisterhood, friendship) that are so worth the read to us, girls because everything is so real and eye-opening. 

I read this right after The Rose and the Dagger so it felt a bit flat, action-wise. But thats just me and my wrong choice of timing. It's still good though. 

Read this, and you'll understand what i mean.
“Everyone's on the cliff edge of normal. Everyone finds life an utter nightmare sometimes, and there's no 'normal' way of dealing with it... There is no normal, Evelyn.” 

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) BY Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury
Sarah J. Maas
NA Fantasy
Paperback, 624 pages
3rd May 2016 by Bloomsbury

Goodreads Ratings: 4.76/5
My Rating: 4.75/5

Feyre is immortal.
After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people - nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.
As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand's dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.
She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two. 

Wow. WOW. 
That was intense. 

I have 2 issues with ACOMAF. 

1. How SJM dismissed Tamlin to make way for Rhysand and everything that comes along with it. I understand that Tamlin needs to be put aside, but the way SJM went all out on creating a Tamlin-- the kind of Tamlin that EVERYONE would hate, it feels a little bit unfair. 

2. Purely personal thoughts: Azriel, Mor, Cassian, Rhys and Amren is a squad. But I couldn't love this gang as much as i love the six crowsers. The bond didnt feel strong enough, i think??? Leigh Bardugo definitely writes the bonding thing a whole lot better. 


It makes ACOTAR looks like a child play. 


 “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”