Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Summary on Goodreads.

I don't give it the full 5-stars because of the ending, but this is just another of Adler-Olsen's books that blows my mind.

This is a compelling work. I couldn't stop reading it. It is not about the regular Nazi crimes against Jews but about a Nazi asylum for the insane. I literally devoured the plot.

At the beginning it was a little slow paced, but it was necessary so we could understand what James and Bryan went through to adopt their new identities. And life in the asylum! I expected a little bit more instances of crazy-like behavior but, it was good.

The only thing that seemed kind of fantastic (as a magic solution) was the ending. Stop reading NOW if you don't want to know what happened to James!



So, how come that after 30 years that James spent drugged (he was constantly fed some pills to keep him quite), one day he doesn't take the pills and that is enough to make him "wake up" and kill everyone? Even more, after 30 years without speaking, he suddenly was able to speak again. Not only speak, even curse and be sarcastic!!! I found that too fantastic-like. Maybe a slow recovery would had been believable.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall

Summary on Goodreads.

First, skip all that crap about Cate and her estranged sister and new boyfriend. Really, that... sub-story was just dragging and to make the book longer.

Now, focusing on Humber Boy B, this really is an interesting story. It shows how fucked up the justice system sometimes is.

I have never read anything about the life of rehabilitating teenagers after they are released, and although this book is not exactly about that, it gave me a glimpse.

I would say Humber Boy B is very realistic and well written. I am not satisfied with the end, though. Although I don't root for happy endings, I do like my books to have some closure and justice delivered. I like stories that offer some hope.

I supposed that in some obscure town of the US (or London) things would go the way it went for Humber Boy B. Sometimes I was furious (why won't you just say what happened on the bridge?).

I was so identified with Humber Boy B that I am truly sad about his end.

Just 4-stars because the story with Cat, her father and sister was not necessary. Really, you can just skip that crap.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cut me free by J. R. Johansson

Summary on Goodreads.

Do authors read their books after they finish it? Because if Johansson had read this book, she/he would have realized how pathetic this attempt to a thriller is.

And how old is Cam, the male MC? I don't know, but by the way he acts I would say he must be in his 30s, yet, he falls in love with Piper who is.... (music please) 17!!!

I'm gonna leave the pathetic romance boarding in pedophilia alone.

Now, Charlotte was raised in an attic pretty much Flowers in the Attic style. Yet, not only she learned to read all by herself, but once she escaped she turned out to be pretty savvy. She knows how to read people, that she needs a new identity (and I don't mean just cutting and dying her hair), that she needs to be on the run... but she doesn't seem to know that just being 17 means that you could go to the police.

Oh no, smart Charlotte has the audacity of stealing her parents money to run away.

Now, Charlotte was in the attic with her little brother who died. His death is dragged all throughout the story as Charlotte, every few lines, remembers that "he is dead because of me. It should've been me." I mean, come oooonnn!!! I got it the first 10 times.

On top of fending for herself, Charlotte saves a little girl from a bad man (yes, all by herself). And, since we are at it, she takes the girl in. You know, it is just normal after all for a 17-year-old girl to raise a nine year old all by herself. Even more normal is to get said 9-year-old a false identity and register her into school.

Now, there is some creepy pervert after Charlotte, and, as it is to be expected, she saves the day all by herself. Isn't it just marvelous for a girl raised in an attic to become Xena?

I'm not even going to comment on the stupidity of the manager of the restaurant helping the perv to get the little girl back because he told her that Charlotte was trafficking children, and she believed him!!! HELLO, WHAT IS THE POLICE FOR?

Okay, all in all the idea of a girl escaping and trying to survive is a good one. However I never believed Charlotte. Yes, she said that X and X happened to her; she acted shy and awry of people; she avoided human contact... but she was too damn smart for someone raised in captivity.

I never felt sorry for her because I never felt her pain. And Cam, you are a pervert; get someone your own age.

Oh! But by the end of the book Charlotte loves him! Wasn't that fast for someone who had been tortured for, like, ten years?

And did I mention that Cam's love interest in Charlotte came out of no where? Really.

I also noticed that everything was conveniently close: Charlotte's apartment to the restaurant she was working at, to Cam's studio, to where the little girl was being kept captive... all within blocks.

Convenient pathetic crap.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The way we bared our souls by Willa Strayhorn

Summary on Goodreads.

Pretty boring for me. What if you have an illness (or problem) and you could switch it for someone else's? So in this book, five kids swapped their problems through some native American ritual and now they are living what the other other person lived.

The lesson? I guess it would be that your problems are not the end of the world; that everybody has problems (bigger or minor than yours) and life goes on. That you should love your life and live it no matter what ails you.

Well, that is what I guess the message of the story wants to be but the story was very boring for me; I felt it lacked depth. For instance, Kaya could feel no pain; how was it living like that? I don't know; I didn't know Kaya's life before the ritual so I couldn't relate to what the person that got Kaya's affliction was going through.

As I said, the story lacked depth all over. It was quite simple, though. I think the author just wanted to make a point of living with someone's burden so she didn't take time to explore and show us everybody's life before. I got a little glimpse of this and that after the ritual but nothing to make me side with anybody in the story.

The books is cataloged under Magical Realism  but I didn't see any of that either.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Summary on Goodreads.

It is really not fair to compare books that have nothing in common. Why would you bastards say that this book is like Gone Girl if it is NOT? Just to make me buy it?

Okay, I didn't expect it to be like Gone Girl at all, but I did expect a wicked character. At 75% I am not getting that; even more, I'm not interested in finding out if good girl Mia is, in fact, a good girl or a Gone Girl wanna be.

This book is so tedious that I don't care!!!

It is written in different POVs: Mia's mom, Gabe the detective, and Colin the kidnapper. So we go back and forth before and after the kidnapping through the voices of all these characters; however, Mia's own POV was never present. I got to know Mia from what others said. Not a big problem, really; but it didn't work out for me here.

My problem with the story is that by the second chapter Mia comes home!! Well, for me, part of the reason for reading this book was to know what happened to her. I'm not saying that the plot didn't work that way, it just didn't work for me. As soon as I knew Mia was back I lost interest. What was there left? Well, yes, I still needed to know why and how she made it back. But really, I didn't care. She was back, period.

Also, I absolutely abhor amnesia in plots. Although I have to admit that I don't know if Mia's amnesia was fake because I DNF the book before it induced an acute case of amnesia on myself... If so, this could be the reason why the book is called The Good Girl: a rich girl falling for her kidnapper and faking amnesia to save him.

The writing is good, yes, but for some reason it bored me. So...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Departure by A. G. Riddle

Summary on Goodreads.

How can a book start so good and then turn into total crap?

I got a free sample first, and it was so good that I bought it. The beginning reminded me of the tv show Lost. But then something happened. I feel cheated. This seems to be two different books put together thanks to technology!

As soon as the main characters discover they are in the future, the story becomes a bunch of explanations about time travel and some conspiracy.

Did I really need all the quantum crap about time traveling? Nope.

Seriously, I want my money back.

At some point Harper asked, "we are in the future, aren't we?" just like that is an everyday possibility. You know, the media shows us news everyday of time traveling so it was just normal for Harper to assume that's where she is.

I'm so furious I paid for this shit.

I can't, I just can't keep reading this crap. DNF at 56%.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Legacy by Ellery A. Kane

Summary on Goodreads.

A typical dystopian YA with nothing new in it. Society is destroyed... but leave it to a bunch of teenagers to restore it. And when I say there's nothing new in the story I am being generous.

There must be a template for writing this genre because otherwise it couldn't be more predictable.

I managed to read half of the book because I got it for free from Netgalley; but I had to DNF it. I don't have patience for generic, cliched stories.

As soon as Lex meets Quin she is like "well, I shouldn't care what he does, right?" And we have the same Elana-is-so-beautiful-and-perfect crap here.

Let me see... what is interesting here? NOTHING. You get to know each character because they are introduced to you. As in "this is xx, he does this and that."

And who is Quin, really? The typical cryptic, emotionally distant hero who joined the good side (the Resistance) just so he could be the other party involvedd in the lame romance of the story. He has a secret, though. He did something so horrible that he thinks it is unforgivable... just so we can find out that what he did was not so terrible. He isn't a bad person, and he didn't have a choice. Oh! he reads poetry; isn't that sweet?

We have the usual "it's better if you don't know" to save Lex from... whatever. So everybody knows but Lex; but, as customary in YA, she finds out.

I don't know where more cliched crap will come from for the next books (since this is a series).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Into the Darkest Corner and My Real Children

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Rating: 3-Stars

I didn't find it to be all that. As I read, I felt it was a mix of those two movies Sleeping With The Enemy and Enough.

The plot goes back and forth between past and present. In the present, Cathy has a new relationship that sounds totally bland. Well, some love stories are written like that: boring.

Anyway, at the end we get that Enough (the movie) solution that I was so forward looking for.

My Real Children by Jo Walton
Rating: DNF

Had I known this crap was going to be like Life After Life I would have saved my myself the trouble of checking it out from the library, carrying it home.... and now I have to take it back.

But is totally my fault for not reading the summary. I just read in a blog I follow that the book is perfect, and I wanted to read it.

This is some shit about two possible lives. I can just stand this two-lives crap in movies (like the movie Sliding Doors, but in books I find it boring.

I don't see the point of reading two different stories about a character in the same book.

I was bored out of my mind with the story and had to DNF it before the book induced dementia in me too.

Friday, February 6, 2015

We were liars by E. Lockhart

Summary on Goodreads.

I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. I hate stories about amnesia because, predictably, the character remembers everything at the end. This book was like that but I didn't see it coming.

When Cady can't remember why she was found on the beach, I didn't see the predictable amnesia twist creeping up on me. Well, maybe because it wasn't totally predictable, or maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. Whatever, the story grew on me.

I don't entirely
love this writing style. I don't
why the sentences
have to be broken
just like this.

So I just skipped that. Oh! I also skipped Cady's made up stories. Useless. Really.

I didn't get Cady's random acts of charity either; but whatever. Again.

The romance was sweet. Really, nothing overly done.

The adults are fighting over their inheritance. Suddenly, the patriarch feels his daughters don't deserve to inherit his money because they haven't worked hard enough for it. Well, did you teach them differently when growing up?

One of the daughters feel she deserves more because she kind of took care of their mother when mom was sick. Well, with all that money they could had hired a nurse and period.

I didn't see the ending coming. At all. In my defense, I've been down with a stomach virus :-)

Since I wasn't expecting the ending, it did took me by surprise but that doesn't mean I entirely liked it. I feel tricked. Lockhart threw ghosts at me without warning. Thank God the ghosts weren't obvious. As in, "what was that?"

So yeah... it was sweet. Not a complicated heavy plot but something easy to follow. I didn't see it as rich white people problems as other bloggers say. Just a summer tragedy.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Super short reviews: Unremembered, Conversion, The Islands at the End of the World, Wild, and The prisoner of night and fog

Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Summary on Goodreads
Rating: DNF

Interesting up to page 115. But then Zen, the boy, explains to her who she is is... and I'm really not in the mood for another story about a person created in a lab thanks to Origin by Jessica Khoury.

Conversion by Katherine Howe
Summary on Goodreads.
Rating: DNF
I don't have time for Colleen's blah blah blah. It just annoyed the hell out of me.

The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
Summary on Goodreads.
Rating: DNF
Totally ZZZZZZ inducing. Not even worth saying why.

Wild by Alex Mallory
Summary on Goodreads.
Rating: DNF

A horrible attempt to civilizing Tarzan. Some classics are better left alone. Not even the TV series back in 2003 with gorgeous Travis Fimmel could make it past 8 episodes.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Summary on Goodreads.
Rating: DNF

Something must be wrong with me because this book should be like... I don't know, a master piece, maybe? Yet I got bored and DNF it. I'm really tired of beautiful brainwashed girls who can't think by themselves, must keep appearances, and find forbidden love un order to see clear.

For me, this lame love story between a Jew and Hitler's niece (nonetheless) didn't hold my interest. Nicely written though.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rape Girl by Alina Klein

Summary on Goodreads.

This is another typical "rape" story: girl likes boy, boy ignores girl until they hook up at a party. Obviously, girl gets drunk because in her right mind she wouldn't have sex. Sooo boy and girl make out, girl doesn't want to make out anymore and asks boy to stop. Boy (because he is not a robot) can't stop thus he rapes girl. Girl is not sure if it was really rape because she liked the guy and she was blown out her mind he was paying attention to her, BUT, she did ask him to stop, right? So, if he didn't stop is his fault he is not superman, so it was rape.

Predictably, girl's best friend stops talking to her and takes the boy's side because "everybody saw you going with him." But no worries, girl will find a new best friend who was previously her nemesis but believes her and now they will become new best friends.

At least in this story the guy got to say it how it is: hey, yes, you said stop but I though you didn't mean it. I mean, you didn't slap me or anything. You just said don't (and we know that lots of times we say no just because but internally we mean yes). Anyway, not the point here. They guy thought she did want him. Which she did, just not right then and there.

How did Adam get her pants off without a fight? Oh wait, Valerie was feeling sick and when she woke up her pants were conveniently rolled down. Her panties too?

A word of advice: when making out and you want the guy to stop, say NO like you mean it. A slap would get the point across, I think. Unless, of course, you don't want people to hear he is about to rape you...

All in all this book is just crap but I'm giving it two stars because I read it in an hour. I think that some innocent sixteen year old would dig it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Summary on Goodreads.

I might be the only one who didn't like this book (after loving the first one).

I knew Tarver and Lilac wouldn't be here; and I was really digging Chase and Flynn but, you see, from the very beginning I had a problem with Chase being the ultimate soldier... at 17.

Really, Lee Chase was like... God walking on earth, and she being so young and all... I just didn't buy it.

I was completely invested in the story until I got bored somewhere around the middle of the book. Why? Well, because our characters here were completely black and white/good and bad.

For instance, McBride. He was a bad seed from the beginning and I saw his foul play coming, but come on! Give me something to wonder here.

I don't know how, where, or when Lee learned to be better than The Rock, but whatever.

I like than instead of being about people (and eexploitingTarver and Lilac until the end) this series is more about a planet, or these beings of light. We get different stories around the same topic. Very clever indeed.

At some point, Lilac and Tarver made it back into the story but I felt I wasn't reading my Lilac and Tarver at all. They sounded more like grandparents that the two awesome teens from the first book.

In short, I found the first half of the book to be pretty strong but something happened in the second half that made me roll my eyes, look for a gun to shoot the book, and stop caring about it all.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Above by Isla Morley

Summary on Goodreads.

Another insipid story. I guess it wanted to be a cross between that book Room (or is it The Room?) and Gated by Christine Parker. Anyway, the second half of the book is really, really horrible. So the kidnapper did her a favor after all?

It was never explained why this man thought the end of the world was coming? Was it religious fanaticism? Were there others like him?

The first part of the book is spent below. It wasn't all that bad but it was tedious and I just wanted it to end. The way things were written didn't make me connect with Blythe or her situation. To make time pass and move on to the 17 years after the abduction, Dobbs, the kidnapper, would disappear on trips. I guess the author didn't have anything to fill the pages with if Dobbs were actually there.

The second half of the book is the part after the escape and it is spent above. The author made this part slowly confusing and never-ending. I think that after 17 years of imprisonment, I want my victim to receive justice and be validated. Instead, I got like a different story line. It was as if the author didn't know how to finish the book.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Piccolo: An Intern's Tale by Piccolo Fortunato

Summary on Goodreads.

I don't know why I picked this. So far from what I read! But I was nicely surprised with Piccolo. I liked Piccolo's proneness and... innocence. I enjoyed the writing style, so simple and at the same time funny.

The book is very short which reminded me of Alessandra Torre The Dumont Diaries (published as short novellas and then as a whole book). Piccolo seems to go the same way??? At the end it says that there is another part coming.

Is this a children book? It could be if it wasn't for the art references (which I didn't get). But I'm sure that someone who appreciates art will greatly enjoy Piccolo.

Ah! For those starting artist that come to New York to get discovered and get fame, read Piccolo's adventure and learn of possible scams.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Summary on Goodreads.

Originally posted on Elfswood.

Let me see… so simple, really, that I cannot bring myself to finish it. I like Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series but this is totally pathetic. Is this Twilight wanna-be with dragons? Because perfect, beautiful, gorgeous humans are monumental here.

Why should I care about MC Ember? Ah! Right, because she is a dragon that must pass by a gorgeous human. But she is also so tired of following the rules and the training that the order of Talon forces her to undergo. And then there is Dante, her just p.e.r.f.e.c.t. brother.
We also have Garret, the perfect epitome of beauty, as Ember puts it, BUT he hunts dragons.

Do you see where the simplicity of this is going here?

This world with dragons hiding among humans felt plain and just uninteresting to me. I can’t help to wonder if Kagawa rushed to write about dragons before the boom of Daenerys and Game of Thrones faded because this is so ridiculous that I cannot finish. I’m half way through, though.

I can’t connect with none of the characters because they all lack depth… development.

So our perfect human Garret saves dragon girl Ember of being sexually assaulted (as if there could have been any chance of that happening to a dragon!) and Ember is instantly wondering is she would ever see Garret again and “somehow break through that dignified shell to the person beneath.” But, of course she must put those thought out of her mind because Garret is human and dragons and humans simply don’t mate.

Oh! But Garret can’t get Ember out of his head either. You know, she being so beautiful and all…

Then we have a rebel dragon that left the protection of Talon and is stalking Ember because he wants her to know the truth about Talon. (….)

And so the story will become a love triangle that I have no interest in knowing how is going to end :-)