Thursday, 21 February 2013

[REVIEW] Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Published: September 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age Group: YA
Series: [not sure what it's called] #1

Cover Blurb thoughts: Well it seems like a Harry Potter situation combined with something like the hunger games. Interesting.
Cover: drool-worthy

I don't know what to say about this book. I had high hopes for it (mainly because the cover was soooo alluring) but all I got was a confused jumble of interwining stories and confusing narrators.

Firstly, The City seems very similar to the artistrocratic times of the Middle Ages with a ruling king and the aristoracy all the way down to the poor who thieved and robbed. Then you have the other side of the story that takes place in the Human world. Melissa Marr does a wonderful job in exlaining this City place but the Human world is lacking. Maybe she assumed that since we live in the Human world we could construct it ourselves but in reality she gives very little or no description of the place throughout the story. At the start we are introduced to Mallory who is getting coffee which I find to be the most descriptive scene in the Human World. After that we are just to assume that Mallory can find her way to places with little description of her journey, the people or the environment around her. I'm not a fan of this Human world mainly because I have very little idea what it actually is.

Secondly, the story has three different narrators. All with their own agenda and it gets very confusing trying to distinguish whose who considering they all interact together in the story. I've had to re-read sections to try to figure out who's speaking.

The biggest thing I disliked about this book was that I was really not a fan of the female characters. They all seem very snobbish and I did not feel like I could relate to any one of them. Granted there are only three females but honestly I felt more of a connection to the male characters. The females confused me greatly.
[SPOILERS] For example, Aya seems to be saying one thing when she says something else. First it's "I refuse to breed. I don't want to be just a housewife" Fine that's reasonable but it then turns to "I can't breed" Ok, I'm still fine with that. Maybe she has some biological issue. But then its "They're going to find out my secret if I breed so I can't breed" WHAT? When was she hiding a secret? I was so confused and maybe there were hints along the way but I didn't catch any of them [SPOILERS END]

Mallory, one of the other main protagonists had contradicting actions throughout the story.
[SPOILERS] I understand she's spelled under her father but seriously, it's like there are two different people. Firstly she calls her father "Daddy" for a good half of the book and then all of a sudden it's "Adam" instead. Why does she start him calling him Adam and not Daddy? Does a couple of days change the way you call your father? And then when she's with Kaleb she can't deny the attraction between them. Fine, that's fair. He's your true love yada yada but then when she figures out he's a daimon, oh no. No more attraction. I hate your guts. Don't touch me. A complete 180 in my opinion. [SPOILERS END]
The only female that I can actually understand is Evelyn. Her ruthlessness is consistent and is clearly explained why she acts this way.

Mainly the entire story is full of contradicting actions and 180's.  [SPOILERS] When Kaleb goes to tell Haag he's backing out of the contract he stands his guard and refuses to kill Mallory but then in a couple more sentences it's "Ok. I'll kill her for a good price" Is your love that worthless that you'll bend under Haag? I guess so. And then Kaleb's actions in the story after that do not reflect his promise at all. I am happy that he refused to kill Mallory but the way he conceded in the story didn't match his later actions. [SPOILERS END]

The story seemed to be a combination of middle age rule mixed with different paranormal creature "rules" can I say? I'm not really sure what to call them. In some instances the story follows werwolf stories with the whole having a pack and Kaleb instantly recognizing Mallory as his mate reminds me of the whole imprinting thing. Especially the wedding proxy, that is very middle ages the whole process of having witnesses there.

Some of the titles or different groups of the people in the story also confused me. Some are introduced without any build up and I get confused figuring out who they are. I do enjoy her whole world building and creating this place where you can buy pleasure and murder, distinguished by different masks and how everything is sort of governed by masks but I find it too complicated for it all to be explained in the short paragraph allocated to introducing each.

Also at the end, what just happened? I feel like there was no way to end the story on a climatic note without writing what she did. Even though it doesn't make sense, the timing is too perfect and there was no foreshadowing or build up, it happened just to move the plot along and I absolutely hate when I catch these moments.

I was not impressed with Carnival of Souls and honestly I'll read the second story because I really want to know what happens.

Hopefully you find it more interesting than I do.

2.5 - 3 cups of tea. (I gave it some extra points for the ah-mazing cover.)

Thursday, 7 February 2013


So I found a very interesting article this weekend about the sequel to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the American adaption of the Girl who Played with Fire.  Now I know there have been many comparisons between the Swedish and the American versions of the film and honestly, I've been neutral between the two but after what I just read, I know for a fact that the American films will suffer in comparison to its Swedish counterpart if they actually go through with this idea: they're planning to cut out Blomkvist from the sequel entirely...WTF.

Who decided this idiotic plan. Not only is he the main protagonist but Blomkvist is integral to the storyline. I know that the second book is more focused on Lisbeth but still, cutting him out of the second film will only make it much more troublesome for the third film when he returns as the main protagonist.

Now let me tell you the reason why they're planning to cut him out. Apparently Daniel Craig is asking for a raise after his "phenomenal performance" in Skyfall (I haven't watched it so I won't comment on that) and there isn't enough money in the budget to pay for him so they're going to cut him out...Well isn't that a stupid reason. Why not find a new actor that looks like Blomkvist? Or find somewhere else to get the money to pay for his salary increase.

All I know is what they're planning can only end one way: very badly. There's no way you can cut out a main character and not have the story face negative repercussions. Hopefully they'll come to their senses otherwise they're just wasting money to film the sequels.

The original article that I read.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you think this is a good plan or completely crazy?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

[TO THE BOOKSTORE FOR...] Unravel Me and Scarlet

The first week of February book releases.

1. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.
Shatter Me was a pleasant read for me. [review here] It was one of those uber hyped up books that fell short in my opinion but don't let what I say completely influence you. I am curious to see how the story will continue, mainly this complicated love triangle, which is probably what is propelling me to read the sequel.

They also did some changes to the cover designs so now it's more like the Divergent covers and more symbolic. I don't like it. I think the covers with the girl had more impact but then again there is much to be said about simple, minimalistic covers too.

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life. (From Goodreads)

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.
First, if you haven't read Cinder yet, I suggest you do that post haste. It's an amazing book and I absolutely love it. Don't be like me and delay reading it because I did (For almost a year) and I seriously regret it completely because than I would have experienced it sooner but on the plus side the waiting time for this book (although equally unbearable) has  been shorter.

Scarlet is the sequel/companion piece to Cinder. It follows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, if the red cape wasn't an indication. I'm really excited for this and I really feel like Marissa Meyer can't do anything to bring me down from this Lunar Chronicles high...hopefully I didn't jinx it.

If you want to give this book a try before buying it, apparently the first five chapters have been posted on line.
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. (From Goodreads)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

[RANT] Tea worthy books of the month

So for January, I had a bunch of books that I thought were definitely tea-worthy of reading:

1. As I mentioned before, honestly anything written by Alice Clayton I'll probably really like. She adds so much wit, romance and love to her books that I just can't stay away from them.
Definitely read Wallbanger and the Redhead series by her.
2. Love Left Behind by S.H. Kolee. There were definitely some parts that I wasn' too happy with or in my opinion dragged on but I absolutely loved the tale of these two people that were so in love with each other and than broke up but still love each other so so much. I'm a sucker for a good love story and this was definitely one of them.

3. Beneath this Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas. I wrote a review on this so check that out before I repeat everything I loved about it.
There aren't any YA books this month but honestly there haven't been any that have absolutely blown my mind. Expect that to have changed for the month of February (especially with the release of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, who else is as excited as I am???)

Friday, 1 February 2013

[UPDATE] 2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

I found this lovely book challenge today and thought why not? It's the "2013 Outdo Reading Challenge" hosted by The Book Vixen and I'm so excited to be joining it.  Last year I barely scraped by with my 60 books read challenge and honestly, I wasn't proud of that amount. So this year I'm aiming for more than that, 100 in fact. So first let me state the rules and then declare my challenge:
2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.
Levels: Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

Now that we all know the rules, I'm officially challenging myself to the 'I'm on fire!' level. Hopefully I'll make it (Although if the amount of books I've read in January is a good indication I think I'll be fine).

Books I've read this year
(the link will take you to my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2013 which I'll be using to keep track of all the books I read)

Feel free to sign up as well, in fact I definitely encourage it. Have fun with this reading challenge and if you do join, comment below so I can follow along with your challenge.