Sunday, May 27, 2018

Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless (Everless #1)
by Sara Holland 

Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire - a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen. 

In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything - even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.

Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.

There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever ... and possibly the future of time itself.
 


My Thoughts:

I've been unable to read a book for a while because of work and it's one of the main reasons I was unable to blog or review books. I've still been active on my Goodreads but I haven't had time to blog. This book has been on my radar for a while because the blurb caught my fancy. While I did finish the book in a day, I find that this book didn't really WOW me. 

Positives

World Building & Premise

I loved the premise of the novel. It reminded me of the film In Time (starring: Justin Timberlake). I wasn't sure whether the author would be able to explain how the world works clearly but she did a very good job. She builds the world,its rules as well as its mythology wonderfully. At times the world building takes us away from the plot but it always links to the characters in the end. 

The Politics & Parallels to Reality

The novel is set in a world in which time is currency. I loved the way the novel showcased the way people in power hoarded time and taxed normal individuals. It didn't shy away from showcasing the reality through fantasy. The rich keep getting richer but at what cost? For once, a YA novel does not just tell you about the cost but paints a picture of it through words. Everless represents and showcases poverty and as well as class politics masterfully. 

Negatives

Predictable Storyline

The storyline is extremely predictable as I feel the author gives too many clues before delivering the 'unexpected' twists. There were certain key events that I could not predict but I was able to anticipate and correctly guess where the narrative was heading. 

Insta-Love/Puppy love

Jules has been in love with a character in this book since she was a child. This childhood love just frustrated me as her interaction with this character throughout the book was scarce. He is supposed to be the main love interest but his character needed to be developed much more. I just couldn't get invested in this relationship.

Character Development

There were many characters in the book that I could have grown to love, but as the book focused on the world building and mythology, character development took a back-seat. 

Overall, while I did enjoy the novel I am not invested enough to rush and pick up the sequel, despite the cliffhanger ending. 

My Rating:

3 stars
I enjoyed it but I'm not invested enough to pick up the sequel





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday/Dying to Read(2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting! This week I am waiting on....

I'm going to start doing my own spin on the same and call it Dying to Read so that it includes books that have already been released which I've not gotten around to reading.

I know I said I would be more active on the blog but this intensive course is KILLING ME! It's a miracle I'm able to find time to schedule this but I promised I would be more active so here goes.....

Renegades 

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.






I would read anything by Marissa Meyer but it has superheroes as well. It's like Meyer knows how to get me excited. Does she read minds maybe?

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?

Monday, October 30, 2017

7 Books to Read this Halloween

As Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I would make a list of books you can read if you don't feel like going trick-or-treating!


  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Goodreads)

While this is not classified as horror, the book gave me chills.It's a beautifully written work suitable for young adults and even middle graders. It might make you more emotional than spooked.

  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.(Goodreads)

A YA crime fiction novel that I fell in love with. While the novel itself is not creepy, the concept and the things the characters go through are. I don't read many spooky novels so most of the items on the list might not be as scary as you wish.


While I didn't enjoy this book because of the love triangle, it definitely fits the Halloween vibe. Murders, supernatural tropes and mysterious things are found in excess in the novel.

  • A series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket. (Goodreads)

While more depressing and sarcastic in nature than a typical horror novel, I think the series is definitely worth a read on Halloween. The characters and the villains Snicket comes up with encompass the true spirit of Halloween (especially Count Olaf!)

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater. (Goodreads)

If you listen to audiobooks, I suggest you grab this one on Halloween. In my opinion this is one of those books that is creepy and spooky effortlessly. It sets the perfect gothic mood and manages to take you in from the beginning.

  • The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman. (Goodreads)


A short story that unsettles you by asking some interesting questions. A very short Get Out but for feminists. 

  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. (Goodreads)

Nothing sets the spooky mood in a book like amnesia. The main character doubts everyone and everything she sees, pretty much like a horror movie in words. 

Which books do you think are perfect for Halloween? 









 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

New TV Series Review RoundUp: October 2017

I watch a lot of television especially when my academic load gets too hectic for me to read. I thought I would do mini reviews of all the new television series(or new seasons) I've been watching this month:


DO NOT MISS!

The Good Doctor
Synopsis:
Shaun Murphy, a young autistic surgeon who has savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join the surgical unit at the prestigious San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital -- a move strongly supported by his mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman. Having survived a troubled childhood, Shaun is alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, but he finds his niche using his extraordinary medical skill and intuition to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues.

My Review:
I am obsessed with this series. I remember when it is airing and I wait to see what will happen next. The actor who plays the protagonist is great at getting across the innocence and the arrogance of the character. While I'm not extremely impressed with the supporting cast, I love their dynamic with Shawn. Basically the story is like warm hot chocolate that warms you from the inside.

Strong Girl Bong-Soon



Synopsis: 
A woman born with superhuman strength is hired by the CEO of a gaming company, to be his bodyguard.

Streaming on: Netflix

Original Language: Korean

My Review:
This is the first K-drama I finished and it is such fun! Story wise it is weak but I love the characters and the actors. Especially the CEO and how he fangirls over Bong-Soon.


SERIES I CANNOT DROP

Grey's Anatomy

Synopsis
The medical drama series focuses on a group of doctors at a hospital in Seattle, including several who began their careers at the facility as interns. One of the doctors and the show's namesake, Meredith Grey, is the daughter of a famous surgeon. She struggles to maintain relationships with her colleagues, particularly the hospital's one-time chief of surgery, Richard Webber, due to a pre-existing relationship between them -- Webber and Meredith's mother had a personal relationship when Meredith was young.

My Review
I'm a huge Grey's Anatomy fan and I loved the season 14 premier, I like the direction the show seems to be going in and the new love interest introduced for Arizona. 




My favourite TUMBLR PIC

Bong Soon
The Good Doctor

Bong Soon






Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday/Dying to Read

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting! This week I am waiting on....

I'm going to start doing my own spin on the same and call it Dying to Read so that it includes books that have already been released which I've not gotten around to reading.


US Cover
UK Cover


Blurb:
In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

Expected publication: January 2nd 2018
Why I'm Looking Forward to This Book?

 Because the premise reminds of the film In Time. While I enjoyed the film, I thought the premise had so much more potential. I hope the book uses the premise well and makes something substantial out of it.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TTT: Top Ten Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Today's topic is Unique Book Titles. Here are my picks (in no particular order):


  • #PrettyBoy Must Die: I like how it uses hashtags. Goodreads


  • When Dimple Met Rishi: This is more of a personal preference but I love how the book doesn't shy away from using Indian names in the title.  Goodreads
  • Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda: I love how quirky and on point the title seems to be. Goodreads
  • Neanderthal seeks Human: I know I seem to be having a thing for sciency titles but I love how a romance has such a title which is why I think it's unique. Goodreads
  • The Wrath & The Dawn: I would never have guessed that this was a fairy tale retelling from the name but I think it's a pretty unique title. Goodreads
  • Dumplin' : Just look at the title! I don't think I even need to explain my choice. Goodreads

  • Crooked Kingdom: My love of the series might be clouding my judgement but I love the name and think it's a pretty unique title for a YA book. Goodreads
  • The Duff: Nothing makes a title more unique than a brand new term (which had to be explained on the cover). Goodreads
  • Cress: The reason why this title is unique is because Cress is the name of a character based on Rapunzel. While the other books in the series allude to the fairy tale character that has been retold Cress is more subtle. Goodreads.

  • Six of Crows: I may be biased but this is a very unique title. It's very hard for anyone to guess what the book is about from the title and whatever they do guess will be very far off the mark.I mean this book is not about crows 😀
Link up or Tell me your Top Ten in the Comments!




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: Warcross


Warcross (Warcross #1)

by 

Positives

The World Building
The world building in the novel is absolutely fantastic. I loved how Lu builds up the world and transports us to a futuristic Japan. I also loved how she focuses on the details in certain areas that really helps build up the plot and the life of the characters. 

The First Half
The first half of the novel really pulls you in as it is follows a natural progression built on just the right amount of suspense, action and world building. I was invested in the characters and the story before I even knew it!

Emika
Emika is a character that is really well defined and it's so easy to relate to her. If you've ever played a game in your life and felt that you weren't good enough, I think you will find a little bit of yourself in Emika. I also liked how she stood up for herself and did things without seeking validation for all her actions. 

Warcross and The Gaming World
This is one of the biggest positives of the book. I loved how well Lu built up the fictional game of Warcross and the challenges were some of my favourite parts of the novel. I wanted there to be more tournaments because they were so much fun and so unique. Warcross seems to be a fascinating game and I wanted to know more about it and the world in it as well as the dark net. 

Negatives

Insta-Love
While I did not notice this immediately, the novel does focus on a romantic relationship mostly built on hero worship and instant love. While one-sided affection based on hero worship made sense, the fact that the romantic interest was mutual did not. (I'm sorry I'm trying to avoid spoilers!) The romance seemed very rushed and built on a house of cards and I predict a love triangle in the future. 

Predictable Storyline
While many who read Lu's work for the first time will find the end shocking, the fact that I had read Lu's work before made the last few chapters extremely predictable. Lu always has some kind of shocking twist towards the end of her first novels which is why I was able to predict the climax of this novel. There were other plot points which were also very predictable, if you're new to Lu's writing style you might not be able to predict them but I felt that The Young Elites managed to shock me more than this novel. I felt that a lot of the plot and the tropes were used by Lu previously and just repackaged in Warcross and I found that to be very problematic. 

Pacing problems
While the first half was at the right pace and built up the story very well, I felt the second half was extremely rushed. I also felt that the narrative took certain things for granted and some adversities were overcome too quickly especially the final tournament. Alliances were also formed very quickly (which might be addressed in the sequel though)

Overall, I had high expectations and though the first half lived upto those expectations, the second half did not. It should be noted that this book did manage to get me out of a very bad reading slump but I am not dying to read the sequel. I felt that the premise had a lot of promise and hope that maybe more gaming world novels will be released in the future.

My Rating:


Toss up between 3 and 3. 5 
(While I am very glad I picked it up, I was extremely disappointed by the second half)


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