» The Martian Chronicles — Ray Bradbury.

Sunday, July 22, 2012
5:40 PM
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This was not a bad novel. In fact, the concept was interesting. Humans finally found a way to fly to Mars and attempt to colonize it. Yet problems arise and of course everything is not as simple as it may seem at first.

This took me a while to read because I kept getting distracted. That's the thing with this book; I found it hard to pick it back up after putting it down. It was all right once you start reading, but there is that feeling you get when you look at it sitting there. You just feel like you don't want to read it.

Each chapter tells a different story about different characters, and some of them come back in later chapters, but not many. I feel like there is a crowd of people that came out of the novel, all of them pretty much faceless, but there is an abundance of them. It's like Ray Bradbury recycles personalities, if you know what I mean. Different characters talk and act too similar for me to think of them as distinct people. The only character I actually liked was Mr. Stendahl. He was insane, creepy, obsessed with Poe's works. He really stood out.

The chapters are not interlocked besides the setting and major events. They simply tell about people living their lives on Mars, what happens to them, from the earliest astronauts to the last people left on the red planet. I was expecting more action, and there was little to none. I was expecting the different stories to connect in some brilliant way in the end, but that never happened. Oh well.

Ray Bradbury's writing style and I did not get along. It's not something I usually read, but I was prepared to be surprised. Nevertheless, his way of writing failed to hook me and make me keep reading constantly. The only reason I sped up the reading towards the end was because I basically said "Oh fuck this" and rushed to finally finish it.

Overall, the novel was okay. The plot was interesting, some individual stories were nice, the fact that the book covered a large span of time was cool so you could see how the whole colonization of Mars went. The writing style did not float my boat, and most characters were quite boring.

★★★☆☆ 
sviristelle. 

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» Shatter Me — Tahereh Mafi.

Thursday, July 19, 2012
4:56 PM
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I cannot understand why so many people loved this and have been recommending this to me. I am not going to lie, I read 338 pages of this and I still have no idea what was supposed to be so amazing or captivating about it.


Here we have a summary. Juliette's touch is fatal to other living things. Thus she has been locked up in an asylum and did not touch anyone for exactly 264 days. That is until she gets a cellmate who is — surprise surprise — a male about her age and is incredibly handsome and gorgeous and perfect and he will become her bird so she she can fly fly fly away! What the fuck.


Let's start with the positives. I like the idea of an insane girl being locked up for having a power that kills. I like the concept of a crumbling world, and things changing and all that. The whole deal with The Reestablishment sounds interesting. 


Now. 


The only reason this book is called a "dystopia" is because it is set in a supposedly crumbling world, yet there was no word-building whatsoever. I really found it hard to care that the clouds are the wrong colour, or that birds don't fly, or that they are trying to get rid of languages, or that there will be a war. I can keep going.


This belongs in the romance section. The instalove in this novel is evident, and I do not buy the whole "childhood friends" thing. It seems like it was added in as an excuse so the author did not have to build up a relationship gradually and could just start writing scenes of Juliette and Adam swapping saliva. They're making out in the shower 100 pages in, for Christ's sake. What is going on.


Everything is just so terribly convenient it's not even funny. Adam just happens to like Juliette since childhood and she liked him back. He just happens to be among the people who wanted to find Juliette. He just happens to have immunity to radiation. He just happens to be immune to Juliette's touch.


Adam is a completely flat character. The only thing I remember about his personality is the fact that he is in love with Juliette. That is completely it. He has no little habits I can recall, nothing that makes him his own person. His purpose is to be a pair of lips Juliette can suck on once in a while. It is quite disgusting. 


Warner was a cheesy villian. The only character I actually liked was Kenji, who actually seemed to be more intelligent that Juliette and Adam combined. Winston was cool too, until he gave Juliette that leotard at the end. What the hell was that. 


Where did the ending come from anyway. It appeared out of nowhere, with no buildup or foreshadowing or anything. Just — bam. And it is suspiciously similar to another fandom, which makes me a sad panda, because I like those movies. 


Juliette just seemed weak to me. I understand that this book was supposed to be from the point of view of an unstable, insane girl who spent more than 200 days in isolation. Yet throughout the book she is either whining, petrified in fear, wishing to die, et cetera. 


Also, um, Juliette, if you can apparently crush concrete with your bare goddamn hands then why 
Why didn't you 
Why didn't you just bash Warner's skull in? Instead of, you know, firing a gun at him with your eyes closed

The writing was dreadful. The metaphors were painful, like the author was trying way too hard to be creative and poetic. I know that the writing is the reason most people liked it, but it just made my head hurt. I head to reread some sentences a few times before they actually made any sense. 


"I'm an old creaky staircase when I wake up." 


"I catch the rose petals as they fall from my cheeks, as they float around the frame of my body, as they cover me in something that feels like the absence of courage." 


"Every organ in my body falls to the ground."

"There are 400 cotton balls caught in my windpipe."



"Warner thinks Adam is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations." 



And I'm probably going to read Unravel Me, too.


rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
sviristelle. 

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» School's Out - Forever — James Patterson.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
2:51 PM
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Here we have the second novel in the Maximum Ride series. Max and her flock are found by an FBI agent and start to live with her because apparently it is totally okay to trust complete strangers in their situation. They are also going to a completely normal school, talk to completely normal children, and of course that does not last for long.

Some time passed in between me reading the book and writing the review, but I can surely say that this book was better than the first. This actually deserves 3.5 stars instead of just three. The writing style seemed to mature a little, if you know what I mean, to the point that it was much more enjoyable to read.

Max proved herself as a strong character, someone capable of making decisions and supporting children younger than her when she is not even an adult yet. Still, she has her flaws and weak moments, and that makes me like her. She is not the damsel in distress type of character most YA authors nowadays make their heroines. No one had to save Max, she saved herself.

There is more information about what Max is supposed to save the world from. However, there are still questions unanswered, such as Jeb's odd talks of the whole thing being a test. Also Max's parents are nowhere to be found, not even the slightest hint. Is she a test tube baby? I kind of hope so, I want to see how Max would react to that.

Yet this book does not reach the four stars. It is not a masterpiece, and not something I would pick up again and again just because I liked it so much. It was enjoyable, but it is just another book. Plus, the writing is still slightly childish.

★★★☆☆ 

sviristelle. 

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» Mein Kampf — Adolf Hitler.


2:39 PM
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This book just made me extremely angry. Not only was it incredibly boring, but poorly written, and it is not even the translation that made it so. Hitler's writing skills are appalling, he contradicts himself at times, and I could not bring myself to agree with his views even after reading his reasons.

It is always someone else responsible for the wrongs in the world, apparently. That, and many others of Hitler's thoughts were listed in this poor excuse for a book, not even written clearly enough so that the reader can at least understand a quarter of the content.

For Christ's sake.

This shit was 694 fucking pages.

Damn.

★☆☆☆☆ 

sviristelle. 

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» The Suicide Club — Robert Louis Stevenson.

Saturday, May 19, 2012
8:31 AM
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Been a while since I last reviewed a book. Hm.

The story follows Prince Florizel of Bohemia and his friend Colonel Geraldine, who encounter a young man giving away cream tarts. They soon learn that he has completely lost the will to live, but cannot end it himself. So he joined the Suicide Club, which is literally what it sounds like. It is a club where its participants get a chance to have an "accident" staged that will kill them. The role of the executor is given to one of the participants as well. Florizel and the Colonel join the ranks to figure out what the deal is, and of course things like that never go well.

The novel is divided into three parts — "Story of the Young Man with the Cream Tarts", "Story of the Physician and the Saratoga Trunk", and "The Adventure of the Hansom Cab". The part I enjoyed most is the first one. It was truly captivating and interesting. The whole idea of a Suicide Club is amazing and could have been taken even further. But Stevenson did a great job nevertheless.

The second story was quite boring and the protagonist appeared very weak. The third was better, but not as good as the first one.

I somewhat wish that Stevenson worked more with the first part of the book and made it into a whole novel of the Suicide Club and its activities. I did not feel like I would have missed out on anything by not reading the last two parts.

rating: ★★★★☆ 

sviristelle.

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» Chosen — P.C. + Kristin Cast.

Thursday, May 3, 2012
5:11 PM
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Zoey Redbird is most possibly the most irritating teenage protagonist ever in the history of young adult fiction. I sincerely hope she gets hit with a bus at some point in her useless existance.

The Casts open up with Zoey complaining about her birthday being right before Christmas, December 24th, and whining about how she constantly gets holidays-themed presents every year. Thus, everything goes downhill when her friends give her snowman-themed gifts. Since Zoey never bothered to tell her friends about dislike for such things, even though her birthday was coming up, it was her fault. She certainly had no excuse to be a brat about the whole thing, and just storm out of the room when she did not seem to like anything.

Our protagonist is then off to Starbucks to meet her grandmother, who will actually get her a cool present that is so much better than the Christmas-like things from her best friends. Once again we are reminded that the Cherokee word for "daughter" is "u-we-tsi-a-ge-ya" and how it "wrapped around" her. Then her mother shows up, and everything is once again going downhill for our poor Zoey who has never done a wrong thing in her life. Because she is so nice and pure and always does good, damn it.

Her mother makes an attempt to let her know she is still part of the family, which Zoey turns away without a second thought. She even returns the book in which it is scribbled. Of course her step-father shows up and poor Zoey and yadda yadda.

Throughout the whole novel it is stuffed down the reader's throat how Christianity is bad and how Nyx's religion is much better, and how Christians ( more specifically, the People of Faith ) are loud-mouthed, close-minded, psychotic people that do not tolerate other beliefs and believe that those that do not believe in their God go to Hell. Now they are the ones blamed for the murders of vampyres that began going on. The whole topic just irked me. Maybe it is because I am a Christian, maybe that is why it offended me personally. Well, okay then, Casts.

The plot is . . . wait what plot. Literally, most of the book is devoted to Zoey and her love life, exclusively. She still has three guys going after her, Heath, Erik, and Loran. She imprinted on Heath and keeps wanting his blood, and can never get through with breaking up with him. She needs to grow a damn backbone. Erik is her official boyfriend, whom she only thinks about once in a while and feels guilty about liking other guys. Loran is the sexy grown vampyre that she is sure loves her. Of course everyone wants her, since she is so amazing and lovely and perfect. Bah.

We did have little snippets of other things, however. Aphrodite I actually grew to tolerate, since she is her own character and actually has her own personality and a backbone. The Twins became annoying after a while with the dialogue, and constantly talking together. Can't Shaunee or Erin say something without having the other butt in? Jesus.

The ceremonies got a little boring after a while. The scenes did not hold a magical feeling for me, just words that I had to read through to get closer to the end of the book. The one star I gave this waste of trees was for the murders going on, because that did spice things up a bit. Other than that, nothing eventful really happened. Eh.

rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

sviristelle. 

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» Felidae — Akif Pirinçci.


2:50 PM
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This is a novel of murder, mystery, thriller, with detectives and riddles and many, many secrets waiting to be uncovered, as well as betrayal. Oh, and it is also about cats. 

Francis is our feline protagonist who moves into a new neighbourhood with his human named Gustav. He is irritated by the poor condition the house is in, as well as the laboratory-like smells coming from it. Very soon after moving in, he discovers a dead body of a tomcat, whose name, we find out later, is Sascha. Francis also meets a live cat, a maimed tom called Bluebeard, who is convinced it is the work of humans. 

As more cats are murdered, Francis becomes a little detective. He tries to figure out who is causing the deaths, with help from the friends he makes. The task becomes tougher and tougher as his theories contradict each other, riddles become unguessable, and the only witness is brutally murdered under mysterious circumstances. 

I really liked the book. You can tell that the author either did thorough research before writing it, or really loves cats and knew the information beforehand. The feline anatomy and behaviour descriptions only added to the plot and made the novel seem more like it was written from the point of view of a cat. Francis himself was an interesting character, quite different from the protagonists I usually read about. 

The author's description of scenery is very good, as well as houses and weather. Francis's dreams are also very creepy, and after reading the novel I actually had nightmares. No shit. 

The author's writing style was a bit . . . odd. I am not certain how to describe it. It was full of similes and run-on sentences that made it a bit tedious to read. But that is the only imperfection I saw. 

rating: ★★★★☆ 

sviristelle. 

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