Saturday, June 27, 2015

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Summary on Goodreads.

The first thing you need to know is that this is NOT a disaster book but rather a display of outer space science and engineering knowledge.

Page 150: The moon broke up in seven parts. Earth has 2 years until a meteor shower that could last from 5-10 thousand years destroys it. To save the human race, they are making a space ark to repopulate humanity. Who will be the chosen ones to go live up there?

Page 230: Skipped a lot to this second part of the book because instead of showing me the selection of people, the book was A LOT about space stuff that I had no idea but, I am sure, is fascinating for people who can understand space machinery jargon.

Page 318: The meteor rain begins to fall. How is the world being destroyed? I have no idea because instead, the book keeps its undigested lecture of other "important" things.

Page 350: Oh! Earth is gone; and that is that. Life on the ark now.

Page 570: Part three - Five thousand years later and a new race of humans! What are they planning to do? Go back to Earth. Now we have new names, new characterless, and more of the same technological shit that amounted to nothing.

This book is empty of emotions and feelings. The Earth died and I didn't give a damn. Oh! The president of the US is a woman here. Well, 900 pages of nothing. Really. The only character I could keep track of was Dinah, the rest....? A bunch of names here and there that did this and that. I didn't care about anyone because no one single person was given depth. The author seemed to be more concern with writing about his expertise in building a space ark. So... if something like this would ever happen, now we know how to build the damn ark.

You would think that after a global announcement that the world would end in 2 years people would go crazy - riots and shit, and that people would fight to be chosen to be in that ark. But nope. I didn't see any of that here. Apparently, we are more civilized that we give ourselves credit for. In this book, humanity worked peacefully for the survival of a few.

The world is being destroyed... at least give me some San Andreas (the movie) image of it! Nope, the meteor rain started to fall and that was that.

Five thousand years and five hundred pages later a new race of humans is functioning. I still have no idea who was picked to be the new elite and proud... But whatever. I didn't have the energy to engage in new names and new astronomy and space science knowledge.

The book would make a great TV series though. No doubt. However, Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life as we knew it is better.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

All the rage by Courtney Summers

Summary on Goodreads.

Well, we have the usual: poor girl crazy for gorgeous popular boy (in football team, mind you) that goes to party hoping to hook up with said boy. Girl gets drunk and boy rapes her. Just your regular YA.

Obviously, these YA characters don't read YA or they would know better. Time to change the MO authors!

Darn it, I knew from the summary it was gonna be like this but, ... so many good reviews about this book that I got hooked. Just like Summers' previous books, this book made me mad for things that should be said but weren't.

Oh! I'm giving up. Can't keep reading the same YA crap over and over again (with different characters' names and towns). Maybe some teenager can relate to this weird behavior, I can't.

And it is official, the only book I will ever like by Summers is This is not a test.

Monday, June 1, 2015

One step too far by Tina Seskis

Summary on Goodreads.

I almost feel like giving it two stars, but everything was good up to the end. I loved the different POVs and the back and forth in time.

I however, feel cheated with the twist because I don't feel the twist to be much of a twist, really. Okay, Emily felt she needed a new life after what happened, the thing is that I don't see what happened as something worth to base this book. Yes, I expected something more... grave.

I also feel tricked because the very first page of the book led me to believe something that was not. Because of this, I never guessed the twist (all along I thought it would have something to do with her twin), but I was just tricked into thinking this way.

I don't feel glad with the ending because I feel it came out of nowhere ... damn, I really can't say why without giving the plot away. I wasn't cleverly deceived but flatly lied to.

*** Spoilers      Spoilers ****

Oh! What the heck?! Stop reading if you don't want to find out the twist but I must say what it was or I would get an ulcer.

So, Emily left because her son, Daniel, was killed in an accident. They were at the park and she got distracted with her twin sister's dog when Daniel crossed the street and bam! She felt it was her fault and she couldn't face telling her husband so she ditched him.

Now, that would've been okay if the hadn't made me believe that her son was Charlie, he was still alive and she was leaving him too. You see? On the first page of the book, Emily is leaving her family and she goes to the room and sees Charlie sleeping. She leaves quickly before Charlie wakes up because then she knows she won't have the heart to leave. At some other part of the story, Emily is thinking about her husband and Charlie. Charlie! How she misses him, but she knows he is well taken care of with xxx (name of husband here).

So all that led me to believe that Charlie was Emily's son. BUT NO!! It turned out that Charlie is a fucking dog and Emily's real son was Daniel and he's been dead from the beginning.

So you see why I feel lied to? A dog! For fuck's sake.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Living by Matt de la Pena

Summary on Goodreads.

I'm surprised with this YA. It took 110 pages of setting the... scene (I guess) before the earthquake finally happened. Usually, YA gets right into it with less blah blah blah and adds things as the story develops. Nice change though.

Are rich people really obnoxiously dense? That's kind of what I'm getting here. And apparently, rich people on a cruise like to introduce themselves to the staff. A lot. Oh! and casually mention where they got their money from (of course, there might be a reason for this here that I'm not seeing just yet... but most likely not).

Nice romance; thank God no insta love. Carmen seems to be the most beautiful Mexican American girl to ever have existed though, and white chicks come close but can't compete. Fortunately, Carmen acts as if she doesn't know she is beautiful (now this is the usual predictable YA I was missing earlier).

I can't connect with Shy, the story, and the plot. I expected this to be more... about a disaster/survival story, and it is not. For some reason I can't stand Carmen.

The second book is already out but I won't be reading it. This book didn't hook my interest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why popcorn costs so much at the movies? by Richard B. McKenzie

Summary on Goodreads.

Am I really dumb or this guy explains things in a very difficult way. For instance, I read the section about the shortage of water in California and, from my understanding, there's no such shortage. They increase the price of water when it doesn't rain too much to create awareness that it isn't raining so they should mind the water. Well, if that really is the explanation, couldn't he just say so without so much blah blah blah?

The explanations must be in the book, I just didn't find them as they were buried under a sea of economic verbose.

A shorter, more concise, in layman's language book would had been better.

I also got the impression the author jumped from one thing to another without finishing his thoughts.

The editor of this book must have a Ph. D. in economics. I'm sure the editor and the author are the only ones who read the whole thing! What the heck, this book must have been written for Republicans! I was looking for something more straight forward and simple for my brain; something more like Freakonomics.

So, why does popcorn cost so much at the movies? I still have no idea.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

End of Days by Susan Ee

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days #3)

Summary on Goodreads.

At 30% I was not enjoying this last book. All I kept thinking was, where is the stuff that made me fall in love with Angelfall?

This is so full of action and gore descriptions that I was bored and skipping. I found it hard to connect, but I kept reading expecting something worthy to happen. After all, it's the conclusion to Angelfall!!!

89% and really bored with so much fights and nasty descriptions. Could Penryn be half angel? Because she fights and fights and never gets hurt. Or tired.

100% - Well, finally finished. For me, it was meh. So much fighting really bored me. The writing is consistent with previous books but I couldn't feel anything in this last book.

I skipped pages because I just wanted to get it over with. I don't know what is wrong with me... Where did my feelings go? I tried to feel the same excitement, the same thrill, and the same love I felt for Raffe in the first book, but Alas! It's just not here.

I was bored of Penryn and her constant reminder of what her sister had become.... Yes, I read that Paige is stitched up just like a hundred times already. I was expecting something else, not this nothingness the book left me with.

Somehow, angels are supposed to be higher beings, but here they are almost pathetic.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Short reviews: Challenger Deep - Dangerous Girls - All the Rage

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

A difficult book to read. I've heard that it is worth to get the hang of it, but I couldn't keep up. I love books about mental illness, but I also prefer more linear stories.

I was interested in Caden, I just didn't like the format of the book, the way the story is told. Right now, I need something more straight forward.

Maybe the book is worth those 5-stars I see everybody giving it. I'm giving it 1-star so when I go through my list I can see that I attempted to read this book... and did not succeed.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Rating: 3-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

You see? So many books are compared to Gone Girl for no reason... but this is one book that I would compared to it. Oh! They are not alike, of course, it's just that the end was like, well... well, this could be our next Amy.

I'm not gonna say the story was mind blowing but it was decent. It does have the usual high school shit of rich kids drinking and doing all kind of drugs. By the way, is that all rich kids in high school do, drink, drugs, and sex? wow!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

Well, we have the usual: poor girl crazy for gorgeous popular boy (in football team, mind you) that goes to party hoping to hook up with said boy. Girl gets drunk and boy rapes her. Just your regular YA. Obviously, these YA characters don't read YA or they would know better. Time to change the MO authors!

Darn it, I knew from the summary it was gonna be like this but, ... so many good reviews about this book that I got hooked. Just like Summers' previous books, this book made me mad for things that should be said but weren't.

Oh! I'm giving up. Maybe some teenager can relate to this weird behavior, I can't.

And it is official, the only book I will ever like by Summers is This is not a test.

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.