A room without a book is like a body without a soul - Cicero

To Be Read Soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born. It's where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack's imagination -- the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells; the imaginary world projected through the TV; the coziness of Wardrobe beneath Ma's clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night, in case Old Nick comes.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it's the prison where she's been held since she was nineteen -- for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven foot space. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's own desperation, and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely. . . . Told in the inventive, funny and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience -- and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.
                                                                                        -Chapters Canada

Room is an incredible novel that I had to read after seeing it's eye-catching cover on blogs, in stores, and everywhere, really. If you do not know of this book, I pity you. It is awesome. It is so incredible that you can't help but feel like a better, more informed, or just more enlightened, person, having read it.

Donoghue incorporates every amazing thing that I love into this novel: amazing emotional depth, scary suspensefullness, unconditional love, uncanny narration, and innocent cuteness. All of that plus a heaping plate of psychological turmoil. And she does it so effortlessly.

 It never ceases to amaze me when I read a book, so beautifully written, that captures so perfectly the unknown. Which Emma Donoghue does in Room. Jack, a newly 5 year old boy, lives in Room, the only place he has ever lived, and ever known. Room is his life. His world. He was born there due to the fact that his mother was kidnapped years before he was even born. In Room I was not only able to read of Jack's amazing innocence, but also of his Ma's despair and desperation. Everything is seen by Jack, and relayed to us blatantly, due to his fresh and unbiased opinion on life.

I highly recommend this book. It is such a great read, and has every element of a good novel wrapped up into a heart-breakingly cute, hope-inspiring, coming-of-age tear-jerker. It is like no other novel that I have ever read. It is everything. And it is lovely.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

As soon as I started reading of all the things that constitute Jack's life, I knew this book would captivate me. It was so completely heartbreaking, but completely fascinating at the same time. I saddened when I learned that Jack eats almost nothing and thinks the world of it. I winced when Jack obligingly plays 'scream' (a game designed by Ma to desperately attract anyone to rescue her and Jack). I shed a tear when Jack explains that he counts how many 'squeaks' it takes every night until Old Nick (their captor) is finished raping his Ma.

As the story goes on, and we are able to really see behind everything that Jack consistently reports to us, the story got more and more sad, yet gave me more and more hope. I was actually really surprised that Jack and his Ma were able to escape, and thoroughly enjoyed the incorporation of after they escaped Room. I definitely did not anticipate it based on the summary. It was almost symbolic how Jack has to pretend to be dead in order to get out from Room and save his mother. We eventually see the innocent, shielded boy that lived in Room die, in a way, when he goes back to Room, and finally sees it for what it is.

It was also so refreshing to see the world from Jack's perspective because he was a blank slate, and so many of his blatant observations held so much wisdom that I think we are totally unable to pick up on as a society today. One particular line stuck out to me, when Jack and his Grandma happen onto a breastfeeding mother. Grandma tells Jack that the lady wanted to be alone, or private where Jack promptly thinks in his head, "I didn't know persons could be private out in the world." This line was so absolutely perfect and honest and truthful. Jack can just see the world for what it is, and I commend Donoghue for being able to capture that sentiment so completely.

Another thing that made this book so epic and unforgettable was the psychological aspect of Ma that we see through Jack's eyes. Even though Jack doesn't understand all the time, he still seems to relay the information to us (which is another amazing benefit of the unique narration style). I saw Ma struggle with so many things, which seemed only secondly important to Jack by a small margin. Because as important as it was to understand Jack's sorrowful situation, not knowing what was there for him in the world, we still have Ma, Jack's rock, who knows all too well what was stolen from her when she was captured by Old Nick all those years ago. When Ma was 'gone' as Jack says, I saw the ultimate depression that shrouded her as she attempted to deal with her situation. And when they were out, as much as she wanted to stay by Jack and help him acclimate to his new world, she just wanted to get back to the things that made her feel normal when she had her freedom; before it was taken away.

Overall, I loved this book. I keep thinking how awesome it would be to see some kind of sequel in the works about Jack and his endeavors as he grows up or as an adult even. But for now I am content of thinking of Jack and Ma, in their new apartment, maybe fulfilling all the things on their list, when they can be 'scave' enough.

Wish they were all this good--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Monday, August 29, 2011

Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me.

Seriously! I'm trying to get a good picture over here!

Well, I think it's safe to say mission accomplished. On this fine, cool evening-reminding me lovingly of the Autumn to come-I got a veritable collection of sunset pictures, that were all taken within about half an hour. The sky just kept changing and getting better and better. Without further ado, I present to you what Cait and I like to call: 'Cotton Candy on Fire'    Hahaha

When I first came out, things were looking pretty dark.

And then rapidly started getting lighter. And purpler?

Lots and Lots of purpler.

I was then awed by the fire-y tinge.

Finally, we ended back on a dark note!
(With a little bit of everything else thrown in for good measure!)

Needless to say, it was a pretty beautiful night as far as sunsets go. It was also full of Me frantically running back and forth from the computer to the balcony, with camera in hand, every time I noticed that the sky was changing. It was quite a masterpiece (on my part) in and of itself, I must say.

Until Dawn--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Completely Classic: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Completely Classic is a feature (started here!) that discusses Modern and other Classic literature.

 In this nightmare vision of a not-too-distant future, fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends rob, rape, torture and murder - for fun. Alex is jailed for his vicious crimes and the State undertakes to reform him - but how and at what cost?

                                                                                       -Chapters Canada

I've been wanting to read some Classics recently, and when a friend of mine brought this book for me to borrow, I knew it was time to commence my reading of classic literature.

This book, a Modern Classic, is dystopian, which I always love, and is written in 1962. This made for a very interesting read since it's written about the future, ergo our past and/or present. Some of the things were pretty accurate, and some things were pretty off, and strange. Like the language. Wow. Am I ever glad that I read the introduction before reading the book, because I had no idea that the language was at all anything special, and it TOTALLY was. The language in A Clockwork Orange is completely unique and not in any way English. Which was pretty confusing at first, but, after I got the hang of it, was completely cool. I found it fascinating how quickly I could incorporate Alex's slang words into my vocabulary and understand every word that he said. I am really looking forward to seeing the movie, and to see how Alex and his crazy language translates into film! 

It's a movie!
Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

So a little bit about the book: Alex is pretty much a psychopath, and that becomes quite evident early on. Burgess gives us such a vivid look into Alex's psyche that I felt like I understood him right off the bat. In the society in which Alex lives, not only do the youth speak using their own slang language, they are completely without morals. Alex and his 'droogs' (friends) go around stealing 'pretty polly' (money), raping women, and beating up whomever they please (usually 'starry' people, which refers to anyone elderly).

The book is written in three parts, 7 chapters each, and all start out with the same clever phrase, "What's it gonna be then, eh?" I found this really clever and I loved how Burgess divided the novel so interstingly. In the first part we are introduced to Alex and his 'droogs' and all of their crazy antics. We also see some of Alex's wisdom despite the fact that he seems lost to the world and humanity. Some of the things that he says were just so wise and smart, and made me love him against all the odds :)  Throughout the rest of the novel, Alex goes through many changes, going to jail, and enduring crazy torturous treatment that makes it so that he literally cannot commit violence. And even though I feel like this is supposed to be the main theme or idea in the novel, I really just took away my own message from it. Because when all was said and done, I saw Alex in part three, who finally choose to not do wrong and actually wanted to find love and family, as just a normal dude. This just kind of reminded me of how teens are nowadays (obviously not as drastically rebellious) and how society views them to be menaces. But really, we all grow up and learn from our mistakes (obviously there are some exceptions), and I think that is what Burgess demonstrates through Alex. Even if it was a little scary to read.

I have to also say that it completely broke my heart when Alex was brought back to 'HOME' in part 3, after his previous friends had raped him and beat him up, and he discovers the old man willing to help him, only to find that he, Alex himself, had killed the man's wife. It really made me sad, more than anything else in the book. And I could tell that Alex was saddened by it, which is maybe the first time I thought that he could turn out alright. It was so ironic and beautiful, and probably my favourite part of the whole story.

Overall, I think that A Clockwork Orange is a timeless piece of fiction that anyone can enjoy, whether young or 'starry'.

Tehe-Cheers & Enjoy♥

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ordinary People by Judith Guest

The Jarrets are a typical American family. Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. In this memorable, moving novel, Judith Guest takes the reader into their lives to share their misunderstandings, pain . . and ultimate healing.
                                                                   -Book jacket

I had never heard of this book previous to someone lending it to me with other books, saying that it would be a great read. Well they were right. This book was so emotionally dead-on, and really made me think outside of my own situation.

The book explores the themes of a normal American family, whose exciting plot is made up of nothing more than hardships that are commonly found in various households. The Jarrets lose one of their sons, and we are introduced to the surviving son, Conrad, when the book opens. We see immediately the pain that is weighing down on Conrad, and view his insight after he tries to commit suicide and spends time in a mental hospital.

The book really is very moving and is full of dynamic supporting characters, many who will make you angry, and some that make you never give up hope for Conrad. I really enjoyed the book (and can't wait to watch the 1980 Oscar-winning movie!) and must say that Guest really captured the emotion perfectly, and I had no trouble believing that the struggle to recovery that we see Conrad and his family endure, was anything but genuine.

    It's a movie!

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

As mentioned before, we see right off the bat that Conrad has experienced hardship, and something really traumatic, even if we don't learn until later that he has lost his only brother (and thinks it's his fault) and suffered from severe depression finally exploding when he tries to take his own life.

As the book goes on, Guest lets us in more and more into what really happened, which kept me really interested in the book, and gave it an even more realistic quality, as if I was Conrad's psychologist. I loved that aspect.

I also loved the various points of view that we get to experience. Cal, Conrad's father, gave us an interesting view on the situation and also into his own problems, which is so characteristic of the situation; another thing I loved! I enjoyed being in on the problems within the marriage as well as his heartfelt struggles to reconnect with Conrad, holding on to the last string for dear life, and trying to know what to say and how to act. Which was so authentic. This book was just so spot-on and accurate and true. I loved it!

The only thing I hated was Conrad's mother. She just never seemed to get it. It infuriated me, but in a good way. I knew that she was paramount to the story, and I just loved hating the hell out of that biatch. She just never seemed to understand her own son's struggles and never even wanted to. This book truly showcased a heartbreaking situation that occurs often in our society, and did it amazingly.

I recommend this book to both adults and teens, because I think it should be read by all, and can be interpreted, understood, and helpful to all!

Moved--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oh No they Didn't! (They did! + other unrelatedness)

Yep, You see that correctly. That is the Gossip Girl cover, in all its creepy, gory, bloody weirdness. Apparently Cecily Von Ziegesar is much more far gone than I thought. After reading her last stand alone novel, Cum Laude, I was really questioning her sanity, since I absolutely LOATHED the book (read all about it here, along with some other abominable narratives). It seems she has really gone off the deep end. In case you are wondering, she has re-written the first installment in the already very messed up series about privileged teens living the high life in New York City. This time there will be blood. (Evidently!) So as I understand it, the girls, blonde bombshell Serena & brunette beauty Blair, will now resort to murder to further fulfill their every spoiled want and need. Even though I kind of find this revolting, I also say, "sign me up!". Obviously, I NEED to read this, whether out of sheer fascination or not (or also possibly because I have every other possible Gossip Girl novel in the franchise, including prequels, sequels, spin-offs, and quite possibly prequel-sequels. Anywho, I will keep you updated! Look for this one October 3rd! Here's a summary:

          "Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep-sometimes with each other. It's a luxe life, but someone's got to live it . . . until they die. So begins Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer, a re-imagined and expanded slasher edition of the first groundbreaking Gossip Girl novel, featuring all new grisly scenes and over-the-top gore by #1 New York Times bestselling author Cecily von Ziegesar.
          Just as in the original story, Serena returns from boarding school hoping to make amends with her BFF Blair Waldorf--things just haven't been the same since Nate Archibald came between them. But here's where our dark tale takes a turn: Serena decides that the only way for her to make things right with Blair is to eliminate Nate. If that means killing him, well, c'est la vie. Her attempted murder doesn't go unnoticed by Blair, however, who isn't about to let Serena kill whoever she wants-not when there's Cyrus Rose and Chuck Bass and Titi Coates and everyone else who's ever irritated Blair to get rid of first . . . .
          American Psycho's Patrick Bateman has met his match in Manhattan's newest, most fabulous trendsetting serial killers, Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen."

In other news:

*There has definitely been a trend with books becoming movies and TV shows recently (as if I need to say this again!), the latest additions being The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, Warm Bodies by Isaac Morton, The Secret Circle series by LJ Smith, and The Lying Game by Sara Shepard. The former two are going to be movies, while the latter two are TV series' that already have shows in existence based off of different books from the same authors! I am super excited for ALL of them, but if you want to know more Book to Movie news, stay tuned for my Book to Big Screen feature. (And click for previous posts).

*If anyone is wondering where the Harry Potter Re-Read-a-Ganza! went, I am still planning on finishing it up, but due to the high volume of borrowed books (from both friends and libraries), I have a lot to catch up on, but promise to wrap it up in due time. So stay tuned for that as well. Also, I did happen to get early registration to Pottermore, so I will let you guys know all about the awesome-nosity as it happens to me :)

*There have been loads of great movies recently, and I have only seen a select few of the ones I've wanted to, mostly because I haven't had time to see all the ones that I want! Here are the ones that I've seen since mny last update:

Horrible Bosses was a pretty great movie, jam-packed with some of my favourite funny actors and lots of funny moments. The combination of Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day (as the good guys) and Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey (as the bad guys) was purely marvelous. I loved all of them, and they really showed their hilarious versatility in this comedy. I know we are going to be seeing lots more from new-comer Charlie Day, and I really hope to see Jennifer Aniston in more of these roles, because she completely pulled off the villain! The plot was pretty funny and the ending was also pretty great, with lots of funny scenes and dialogue in between. This was a perfect summer comedy and I can't stress enough how bang-on everything came together!

I saw Bad Teacher after that, thinking that it would be so funny, exactly how I imagined it from the trailers: funny-girl Cameron Diaz in a funny role and hilarious concept, with an amazing cast to back her up. Jason Segel. Justin Timberlake. How can you go wrong? Let me spoil it for you: it went wrong. It just seemed like one of those movies that shows all its funny parts in the trailer. And it was way more vulgar than I thought, which isn't usually a problem for me, but it kind of just seemed unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, the actors still did an amazing job, I just got the feeling that there wasn't a whole lot to work with. I kind of couldn't wait for it to be over. It was still funny though and I liked the ending, and loved Jason Segel. I guess it's just more of a rental movie than a theatre one.

Crazy Stupid Love.
 Wow. I loved this movie. I saw it most recently, and I cannot get it out of my head. I want to see it again. I wanted to see it again right after I saw it! And again, and again, and again! This movie was so amazing, and there are so many good things about it. I love all the actors. They all did amazing jobs, and were so convincing. I really believe that this movie appeals to all generations, due to it's relatability and separate yet involved storylines. There were also so many surprises (ones that even I
 didn't see coming, and believe me, I pick up on a lot). And of course the movie was filled with hilarious parts. The dialogue, the scenes, the techniques. Everything seemed to add to the humour and authenticity of the movie. Steve Carrell was stellar, as always. Ryan Gosling. Yikes. Don't even get me started on this Canadian hunk-a-hunk. He was AMAZING in this movie, and acted superbly. He captured the essence of the character perfectly and makes me swoon everytime I think about it. He was funny and genuine and cute and sexy all at the same time, and I love him! The love stories portrayed throughout the whole film were so well done, and this movie really gets it, and has everything going for it! A must see, and one of my favourites, EVER!

So I think that that's just about all that I have for now...

It is time to retire (to bed!)--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. 
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.                                             -Chapters Canada                                                    

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is truly a book that stands out from the rest. With a one-of-a-kind narrator and some pretty dynamic events, this books never leaves you without wonder.

I have heard so many good things about this book, but surprisingly little about its actual plot. I was pretty confused when I started reading it. The concept seemed cool, but the narrating voice was puzzling, which kind of added to the intrigue and overall effect of the book. I'm not going to give it away (until after the jump, of course) because I think that's what makes this book as good as it is, and the mystery is what makes the book.

Having said that, the book wasn't epic to me. I still came out of the book kind of confused and with a lot of unanswered questions, which I'm not sure if I really liked. I also got the impression that it was a slice-of-life kind of book, which is probably my least favourite kind. The characters seemed to just be there, not really adding to the book; not really taking away from the story. I guess I'm just ambivalent to it I guess. To tell you the truth, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this novel, and it definitely keeps you thinking about it long after you've finished.

Overall, I think I just found it kind of vague. And I can't decide whether I like that or not. One thing's for sure though: it's definitely curiously notable. And I'm looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out in 2012.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

The book starts out by pulling me in with its unique style: we don't really know who the narrator is, nor do we know who he is writing letters to. And we never really find out, which is frustrating and neat all at the same time. Which is pretty much how I feel about the whole book. I can appreciate the odd writing and storyline, even though it leaves me with so many questions.

I immediately noticed that the protagonist was different, and I just kept waiting to see in which specific ways. Well we never really find out do we? And I think that's how the author wants it to be. Even now I am constantly trying to categorize Charlie, but then I think, it doesn't really matter does it? Charlie is just Charlie. He is smart and different. And that's just what makes him him. Whether he is autistic, schizophrenic, or just eccentric, Charlie is just Charlie. And I think that's another pretty awesome concept wrapped into this thin little narrative. It is so complex yet simple at the same time. So puzzling and strange and sad yet happy.

Throughout the book, we learn things at Charlie's pace, and see everything through Charlie's eyes and mind. Which at times can be frustrating, but most of the time rewarding and wise. Probably my most favourite thing about the book is Charlie's infinite wisdom. There is no filter for him, and he has the amazing ability to see things at face value and interpret things in an honest and true way, that 'normal' people just can't.

I loved being inside of Charlie's mind for the meager 200-and-some pages that I had with him, but he definitely left an impression on me, and I think that this book will stick with me for a while. Chbosky has the rare ability to write about the seemingly unknown, and in such an accurate way.

I don't really know who to recommend this to, since I think that it could be relatable and relevant in any situation, and to anybody, really. Just an all round interesting read.

Still thinking--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Covergasms♥ (10)

Covergasms♥ is an original Book♥Hooker feature that discusses all things cover related!

This edition of Covergasms♥ is brought to you by flowers: they smell nice and look pretty! I love flowers, and have been quite inspired by them this summer. They are extremely beautiful, and come in so many different varieties, I just can't get enough!

So I was just surfin' the web (do people say that anymore?) last night, you know, looking for new literary prospects, when I stumbled upon a few covers that I loved, and noticed that they all showcased flowers. Which is awesome. Like I said before :)



1 & 2) Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
          After I had Margaret Atwood books recommended to me (I loves me some dystopian!) I of course decided to look 'em up, and found the first two gorgeous covers waiting for me. There are many different covers out there for these two books, but I think that I like these best, and they are the ones that are offered to me at Chapters. I must admit that they aren't conventionally what I would find aesthetically pleasing, but these vibrant covers evoke really strong and intriguing feelings in me. It could just be all psychological, but the covers look just so good, and seem to promise me well written stories and interesting plots. We shall have to see, as it won't be long until these classics are on my shelves!

3) A Long Long Sleep
          Just released this week, A Long Long Sleep, boasts a kind of fairy tale, dystopian structure, along with a gorgeous cover. The flowers truly add to the vintage-almost recycled-view of sleeping beauty which matched the plot to a T. Rose wakes up to a new world after 62 years of suspended sleep, and must navigate the new society with people she doesn't know. Sounds good enough to me! The summary also mentions that guy that kisses her awake, which I think should add just enough romantic pizzazz to fulfill that part of my reading needs. This one seems like a recipe for a pretty good one.

4) Shine by Lauren Myracle
          This cover instantly caught my attention. It has the exact colour story and warmth that I look for in pretty much everything. It seems so vintage and sepia-like. The flower is so simple, and the background is just delicious. It matches perfectly how I feel about the story itself. The summary describes a mysteriously scary, deeply emotional journey alongside an interesting small-town dynamic. This one is a sure page-turner.

Hope you liked my summer-themed book picks that are as interesting and unique as they are stunningly beautiful. Let me know if you've already delved into these 

Earth laughs in Flowers--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review,Publishers Weekly called it "raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking." Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer.
                                                                                           -Chapters Canada

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. After yearning after Delirium for months, it became quite clear that it was certainly meant to be after it made not one but TWO rare appearances in the Express collection at the library (the first time there was an unfortunate incident including a much-needed library card renewal + fine paying fandango). Anyway, it was much anticipated and much enjoyed.

Delirium is pretty much everything that I like in a book: suspenseful, heartfelt, surprising, unique and of course, dystopian. I love anything dystopian, and this one definitely fit the bill. Lena lives in a not too distant future where Love is considered a disease, complete with a mandatory cure for everyone when they turn 18. The picture painted was so vivid and interesting, and all-encompassing in its own little bubble. Everything was realistic and seemingly plausible with plenty of links and references to our own society. Delirium marks the first book in a series, and I am definitely looking forward to the next books, if only to work out the huge cliffhanger we’re left with!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian novels, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy in particular, since I found them really similar. It is also a perfect portrayal of romance that is so new, innocent, and real, it makes for a very amazing and genuine love story that is nothing but pure. It is described absolutely breathtakingly, and is probably my favourite component of the book.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

From the minute that I picked up Delirium I knew that I would love it, and could tell that the imagery, scenery, and background would be rich, diverse, and convincing. Everything was so completely realistic, which I love about dystopian novels; I love it when they read almost allegorically.

Lena is a strong heroine marked by a painful past; a past that will come back to being her surprises and give her much needed strength in critical times. Her mother was never successfully cured, and although she has been scared and raised thinking that love is a disease (which is quite literally heartbreaking, in my opinion), she is always left with the memories of her mother, clinging to love despite the regulators ripping it away. She is finally brought to the point of suicide, or so Lena thinks. One of the huge surprises was that she actually was not dead, just being held prisoner in the lonely and rank Crypts: a jail for sympathizers or really anyone who disobeys.

Predictably, we see Lena start to break away from the norm (I mean, can you imagine if instead Oliver wrote about some goody-two-shoes who refused break the rules?... BOring!) and do the forbidden: talk to a boy. And more than that too. Lena falls in love with Alex. And it is the most pure and real and innocent love that I think I have ever read about. The fact that the idea of love in this society is so taboo made for such an abundant love that was so simple and honest. The description was so authentic and realistic; the writing was superb and exactly right, and I am still in awe at how perfectly Oliver captured the emotion so entirely.

The end. Wow. I still don't really know what to think about the bombshell at the end, and I really don't even know what to expect going into the second book (coming out March of 2012). I'm not as upset with Alex seemingly dead, as I usually am when someone so close to our protagonist gets taken away. Which is surprising, but I guess that really explains just how good the book was and how strong the heroine really was. Everything just felt good, and I really trust where the story is going, and where Lauren Oliver is sure to take me. I just know that there are great things in store for the next book, and I can't stress enough how much I loved the book. It felt completely right, and I don't really have any complaints other than the fact that it reminded me a little too much of the amazing existing dystopian series The Uglies.

Love, Love, Love--Cheers & Enjoy♥

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She''s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And-most importantly of all-she can finally call Jace her boyfriend. But nothing comes without a price. Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary''s best friend, Simon, can''t help her. His mother just found out that he''s a vampire and now he''s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side-along with the power of the curse that''s wrecking his life. And they''re willing to do anything to get what they want. Not to mention that he''s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls-neither of whom knows about the other one. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace. 

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

I finally got this out from the library (after waiting far less time than I originally thought, which I think I remember describing as 27 years) and could not wait to read it. I've read all of the other books in the series, and was super pumped to get my hands on it, since I refuse to buy it until it comes out in paperback, and therefore matches all the rest of the books in the series on my shelf.

I must admit that I was slightly disappointed. And I even feel bad saying it, and as though I have to defend the statement. It wasn't a bad novel by any means, obviously nothing by Cassandra Clare could never be anything but amazing, but I do remember thinking several times as I was reading it, that it simply wasn't as good as its predecessors.

The love story seemed pretty wrapped up after the last novel, City of Glass, and I would've been perfectly happy leaving the story as it were. Having said that, I did enjoy the new storyline to some extent, but it did come off as slightly forced, since it's hard to out-do that of the previous installments. I also found myself really confused about the new plot since I wasn't at all sure about the direction it was going, and also the new twist to what I naively thought would be a well-deserved healthy relationship between Jace and Clary. The whole time I just kept thinking that it was lacking some kind of emotional depth, and really focused more on hot and heavy romance, which I'm not complaining about, but still.. a little bit lacking.

By the end of the book, though, I found everything wrapped up well, and I realized that the book did need to be the way that it was since it had to build an entirely new plot for the books to come. And I'm really excited for the next books; this one ended pretty excitingly!

I obviously recommend this to anyone who has read the previous books in the series (as if I even need to say that), but the first ones are better, in my opinion, so just be prepared for that.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

The book started out pretty intriguingly with Simon, and his part of the plot. And I didn't really remember a whole lot about where we left off, just that things ended in the favour of the good guys, and that Jace and Clary were able to be together.

I always find myself feeling really sorry for Simon, since we all knew that Clary would never love him the way she loves Jace. And then to see him struggling through being a vampire, I just really feel awful about him having to lie to his mother and such. Being a vampire goes so against his entire personality, and it's something that he really struggles with, and I did along with him.

I also struggled a lot with Jace. At first I found myself annoyed since he was so moody and I didn't know why, and I just wanted him and Clary to be together already! When I finally did find out about his dreams and what was wrong with him, I liked the direction the story took, and I am especially excited to see how that comes into play in the coming novels. I just knew that the ending wasn't going to go well, and sure enough, stay tuned for more turmoil concerning Jace and Clary, and their ever stress-filled relationship!

I actually was really excited to learn that evil Sebastian is coming back into the story, because we didn't really see a lot of him, and despite the fact that he's about as evil as they come, I kind of want to see him more, and I have this delusion that he might end up turning good, or at least doing some kind of bonding with his sister and mother. Wishful thinking, I know..

All in all, I really do just want to see what happens with all the characters. The dysfunctional yet stubborn relationship of Jace and Clary. The cute and unexpected one of Simon and Isabelle. The complicated and budding one of Maia and Kyle. The steady and evolving one of Alec and Magnus. The tried and true one of Luke and Jocelyn. They all have so much going on, and I want to see more development from them as much as I want to find out what else happens to do with evil and Downworlders and runes and what not.

The book was still pretty good, like I said before, but I really must regretfully say that I'm not as excited for the next book, and there are other series and books that are probably going to take up more of my time and excitement when the next book comes out.

Quite ambivalent--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...