quinta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2014

Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi [Review]

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins (2012)
Pages: 340
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought


No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.


This is one kick-ass book and I still have no idea why the hell it took me all this long to read it!
Most of the times, and primarily as a reader, I don’t agree with the marketing/editorial decision of changing the cover of a book—especially if it happens mid-series—, being that due to lack of sales or simply for some aesthetic reason, but I must admit that this change, in particular, was for the best. Yes, the first cover of Shatter Me is beautiful—if I’m not mistaken it actually sort of sparkles—however, this second option has a much more hypnotic, visually appealing look to it. The eye with the flying bird (talk about details!), the metallic mixture of colours, and the overall design are drop-dead-gorgeous and even though I don’t like confessing that I often purchase books because of their cover, I must recognise that I did buy Shatter Me precisely for that reason. Still, the most incredible and pleasing feature of this book is the fact that the inside matches perfectly with the outside.

I have to say that I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this reading as I usually don’t read many reviews prior to acquiring a book, but I did research a little bit about Shatter Me and the one thing I ended up understanding was that you either love it or hate it—there’s no middle ground with this one, no shades of grey. I believe that’s a pretty common trait in YA Dystopias as it is not a genre for every reader but what tends to happen with me is that all those little details people state as being the reasons why they disliked the book are the elements I end up liking the most. And, again, it happened.  
Tahereh Mafi’s writing style is absolutely breathtaking and so, so deep. During my reading I constantly felt like I was inside Juliette’s head, like I was Juliette. I could sense her fears, feel her tension and her desires as my own, and it’s utterly amazing how she grows so much and adjusts herself to her surroundings, to what seems to be her present and her future, in her private self—which means, in Mafi’s writing. This is a sort of stream of consciousness approach to the story that allows the reader to genuinely connect with the main character, with lots of strikethrough sentences in the beginning and repetitions throughout the narrative­—to me those elements were of great beauty. I finished Shatter Me feeling like I knew Juliette as a human being and as a ‘supernatural creature’, and that’s all I can ask from a first book in a series—that sense of acknowledgement towards the characters, towards their next actions, that will keep me eagerly waiting for the next instalment in the series/trilogy.

Juliette is a remarkable figure but she is not alone, names like Warner, Adam and Kenji equally stand out. Warner has a sense of evilness that is purely delicious. I’ve been craving for a twisted character like this one for such a long time! It seems like, lately, all the bad guys from YA aren’t wicked enough so whenever I compare the ones I know with Warner they look like children—that’s how malicious and cruel he (Warner) is, and I love it (plus, it's always interesting to witness his interactions with Juliette). As for Adam, he has a really cool sense of tenderness. He is a sweet, protective type of male character that easily appeals to readers, and he is a great match for Juliette. Yet, there’s something off about him and I can only hope he brightens up a little bit in the next book. Kenji, on the other hand, is a box full of surprises. He often represents the comic, funny side of this story, as his laid-back attitude occasionally softens the intensity of the plot.

Regarding the story, I feel like I can’t say much without getting into spoilers. This is a fast-paced book, with lots of action, lots of surprises and passionate, severe moments. The only thing I did not totally like was the ending and the direction that the author decided to take. It was great while Juliette was the ‘only one’, but as soon as you come across the enormity of what’s really going on and of what’s out there, the novelty of this book sort of gets lost a little bit. Still, I’m immensely curious with the following book, Unravel Me, which I hope to read soon. Despite the ending, I’m almost certain of this debut's presence on my top 2014 readings—yep, it’s that good.

quarta-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

‘Waiting on Wednesday’ is a weekly meme from Breaking the Spine, that consists of picking an upcoming book release that somehow or for some reason has caught your attention. This week’s choice is Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

I’ve fallen deeply in love with this author ever since I read Cinder. She’s not only one of my favourite authors now, as her series also is one of my favourite series ever. I can’t wait to put my hands on this little beauty, as I already miss Cinder, Scarlet and Iko.

Cress is due to be released on February 6th

terça-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2014

Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014

Since I have a lot of free time (not!), I’ve now decided to join so many other bloggers in this meme—Top Ten Tuesday. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting every week, but what I can do is to try my best in keeping this updated. So, this week the theme is: Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014.

Uh, uh, though one, especially ‘cause I wasn’t able to fulfil all my literary resolutions for the past year and, therefore, I can say that I am a bit scared in actually making ‘new’ resolutions for this year. But either way, this is what I would like to accomplish in 2014 (bookish and not bookish):

1. Read over 75 books (this should be an easy one but trust me, it’s not. I’ve always read over 100 books a year but 2013 was not a book bookish year due to my moving to London and going back to school. So, if I manage to go over 75 books this year I’ll be a very happy reader. Oh yeah!)

2. Finish most of my current series/trilogies (this is actually one of my main goals for this year. I have a lot of series and trilogies to finish and can’t seem to be able to stop myself from starting new ones so before I lose my mind I’m hoping to be able to cut my current number a little bit low. Fingers crossed!)

3. Write more reviews in English (another hard one. I’m Portuguese so this means that many of my reviews are written in my native language—also because I do get free books from Portuguese publishers in exchange for an honest review—but seeing that I’ve moved to London and now have access to so many different books I think the time has come for me to give a little twist to this blog and start writing more in English.)

4. Get a job in the industry (this is not a bookish one but, at the same time, it sort of is. I’m currently taking an MA in Publishing Studies so yes, it would be pretty cool to get a job in one of these incredible publishing houses that we have in the UK.)

5. Complete all my bookish challenges (maybe the hardest one yet. I’ve managed to put myself in four challenges this year—I must be crazy—so I’d love to be able to complete them all, especially since I was unable to do that in 2013. I’m participating in the New Author Challenge—that I absolutely love!—, the Dystopian Reading Challenge and, more recently, in the 2014 Finish Series Challenge. Oh, my GoodReads reading goal is missing.)

6. Go to more author events (yes, please!! Since I moved back in September, I’ve been to a few author events—David Levithan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, John Connolly, Tanya Byrne and Lauren Kate—and I can’t tell you how much fun I had!)

7. Visit Hogwarts (who doesn’t love Harry Potter? I always refer to this series whenever someone asks me why and how I started reading fantasy… so it is more than obvious that I must take the Harry Potter tour in the Warner Bros. Studio London. It’s gonna be this year!)

8. Decrease my TBR pile (hahahah, I know! This one deserves a good laugh, no doubt on that, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do it. I do! I’m hoping to be able to, at least. My TBR pile is constantly growing but I do need to put a ‘stop clause’ in it, so I’m gonna try to read more than I buy. Key word: try!)

9. Pick the right stories (don’t we all hope for that? It’s a shame when we come across a book that we’re not that into, especially since I always have to finish what I start so… I’m hoping to pick the right books, the right authors, the right stories.)

10. Love & have fun (with books and in general. What’s life without a little bit of love and fun?)

This is a weekly meme from The Broke and the Bookish

segunda-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2014

A Quote to Remember #11

'I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.' Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

domingo, 5 de janeiro de 2014

Finish Series Challenge 2014

Eu tento, a sério que eu bem tento... mas depois existem casos em que simplesmente não consigo resistir. O que quero com isto dizer é que vou abrir uma excepção (a única!) e participar em mais um desafio para o ano de 2014, e isto só porque, vistas bem as coisas, o propósito do desafio enquadra-se, na perfeição, em algumas das perspectivas que tenho planeadas para este novo ano. Assim, e graças à Jen do Cuidado com o Dálmata que me deu a conhecer este challenge, vou arriscar e tentar o nível 3: Doped—7 to 9 series, e ver o que acontece. Algumas escolhas estão já feitas, mas confesso que podem muito bem sofrer algumas alterações ao longo do ano. Por isso, aqui fica a lista do que espero vir a terminar em 2014, em termos de séries/trilogias:

  • Unearthly, Cynthia Hand
  • Gemma Doyle, Libba Bray
  • Paranormalcy, Kiersten White
  • Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • Soul Screamers, Rachel Vincent
  • Divergent, Veronica Roth
  • The Chemical Garden, Lauren DeStefano
  • The Selection, Kiera Cass
  • Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini
  • Darkness Before Dawn, J. A. London

Na maioria dos casos falta-me ler o último volume, mas depois tenho uma ou outra situação mais complicada em que faltam dois ou mais livros. A ver como isto corre... 

Diário de uma Maratona: 15.º Dia

E mais uma maratona que está quase, quase no fim. Ainda falta um dia, é verdade, mas não me parece que vá conseguir aumentar, assim tanto, o número de páginas que tenho até ao momento. De qualquer das formas, e com todas as interferências que surgiram pelo caminho, esta até que foi uma maratona interessante no sentido em que descobri bastantes páginas absolutamente viciantes! Ah, mas aqui fica a actualização do dia:

Páginas lidas

Páginas lidas até ao momento
1129 + 120 = 1249

Livros lidos hoje
Shatter Me (120/340)

Livros lidos até ao momento
Memórias de um Amigo Imaginário
Anna Dressed in Blood
Luz e Sombra
My Soul to Save
Shatter Me

O porquê da escolha
Já olharam bem para esta capa? É que é absolutamente, maravilhosamente, espectacularmente linda! E foi precisamente pela capa que adquiri o livro... Já andava com vontade de lhe pegar e quando me deparei com duas pessoas a lê-lo, e a falarem bem dele, por sinal, pensei que este era o momento certo para, também eu, o devorar. E não estou nada, nada arrependida.

sexta-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2014

Pawn, Aimée Carter [Review]

Title: Pawn
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1
Author: Aimée Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 296
Format: Paperback
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered. The same one that got her killed…and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.


Pawn was my very first Aimée Carter book—why it took me all this time to try this author is still something unknown to me—and despite my immense curiosity towards the story it is a fact that I didn’t really know what to expect… and what a great, shockingly good surprise this one turned out to be!
Dystopian novels have been growing on me for the past few months becoming one of my all-time favourite genres to read, and whenever I see a new release coming out I can’t quite resist the urge of at least taking a look. Pawn was one of those tempting cases—a gorgeous cover, an interesting storyline and the promise of a grand adventure were more than enough to catch my full attention.

Kitty Doe is an Extra—which means she’s a burden—and regardless of the possibilities that might reach her way once she takes the test that will determine her place in the society, she knows she’ll never be able to get a good enough score to grant her the stability and decent sense of living needed to build a safe future with Bengy, the boy she loves. So when the opportunity of going up a few numbers in the rank takes place, she’d be a fool not to accept it—the only problem relies on what she’ll have to give up in return in order to become part of the most powerful family in the country.

Oh dear goodness in heaven, this book still gives me the chills! There are simply no sufficient words to express how incredibly mesmerizing, and exhilarating, and refreshing this book truly is. Carter created a fabulous world of false hope and mischievous secrets, little imperfections that gradually start coming up during Kitty’s self discoveries. She is in deep, deep trouble, and it is quite amazing and exciting to ‘watch’ how Carter draws her main character’s lines of life through the dangerous fate of becoming a Hart. This story is twisted in so many and unimaginable ways that even for me is extremely complicated to put into words how fascinating this narrative can be to a dystopia’s fan. 

So many are the details that give life to Pawn—even the title is a key aspect of what this story hopes to portray. The society itself is interesting as Carter was seriously intelligent in the way she developed and structured the world building, but also the characters are a feature of great importance. Kitty is witty, and courageous, and fragile all at the same time, and that gives her the necessary depth for the reader to connect. The things she has to go through in order to conquer a very wanted freedom are unbelievable and the way she reacts to things, to the situations she is pushed to only make her even more special. In addition, even the secondary cast is graciously terrifying and often cruel. Figures like Knox, Daxton and Bengy shape what’s good and what’s bad in this thrilling narrative and it’s impossible not to care for them, even for the perverted, sick ones.

With no obvious love triangle­—which counts as a bonus for me—, no romantic relationship taking over the plot and a brutal and merciless place called Elsewhere in the horizon, Pawn is, without a doubt, a great read to dive right into. After turning the last page, I can only imagine the secrets and surprises kept in Captive, the second instalment in this trilogy. Uh, I can’t wait!

UK Cover
(Mira Ink)

Diário de uma Maratona: 13.º Dia

Eu nem acredito que vou escrever isto mas... o estudo lá ficou, novamente, para segundo plano (algo que me começa a deixar algo ansiosa e preocupada) e visto hoje até ter sido um dia relativamente ocupado—muitas horas na rua e a passar pelas brasas no sofá—, é com algum pesar que constato que não consegui adiantar muito da leitura. Enfim, aqui fica a actualização do dia:

Páginas lidas

Páginas lidas até ao momento
1041 + 88 = 1129

Livros lidos hoje
Pawn (88/296)

Livros lidos até ao momento
Memórias de um Amigo Imaginário
Anna Dressed in Blood
Luz e Sombra
My Soul to Save

O porquê da escolha
Não sei como, mas lembrei-me que tinha este livro por terminar na estante. Esta é uma distopia que chegou cá a casa por parte da editora, em troca de uma opinião sincera, e dado que o livro vai ser lançado amanhã (ou melhor, nesta altura já será hoje), apercebi-me que tinha mesmo de o terminar para escrever e publicar a review. De qualquer das formas, é leitura que não só me agradou no passado, quando a iniciei, como me agradou agora, no seu final. Opinião em breve!

quinta-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2014

My Soul to Save, Rachel Vincent [Review]

Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Ink (2011)
Pages: 362
Format: Paperback


When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies. So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.
The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld--a consequence they can't possibly understand.
Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk....


Since the moment I turned the very first page of this book that I’ve been asking myself why it took me this long to catch up on this series. I absolutely loved My Soul to Take (that I read back in the beginning of 2012), and despite having the need of taking some time between readings of the same author or series, I can’t seem to find a good enough reason for why I ‘needed’ almost two years to go back to Kaylee’s world of crazy. One thing I now know for sure: I refuse to take another two-year break until I devour the third instalment of the Soul Screamers series, entitled My Soul to Keep.

In addition to a drop-dead-gorgeous cover, My Soul to Save also embraces a strong plot with a fare share of unexpected twists and turns that maintain the reader in an absolute and exhilarating agony while waiting, wishing even, for the possible solutions to many of the problems encountered, effortless way-outs that could easily save such an adoring group of characters, but also knowing, at the same time, that those will never happen—all due to the particularity that this is not a simple, obvious story. Vincent created an incredible world of bean sidhes, and reapers, and all kinds of terrifying monsters that go perfectly together with the type of characters that populate it. Kaylee is unbelievably charismatic and engaging by the fact that she’s still discovering a lot of what her heritage stands for and that allows the reader to connect with her on a different, deeper level seeing that he/she is also learning along side her. This means that every single problematic circumstance that comes in the way represents a novelty for both main character and reader—and that sensation of forever being on the edge of the seat is undoubtedly priceless in a book like this.

The big surprise in this second book, though, is Tod. The narrative itself might be of great quality—as a matter-of-factly is—, but Tod gives it an extra touch of enigmatic, mysterious and utterly sarcastic vibe. He is such a charming figure, with so many cool ‘powers’ that it is impossible not to feel impressed by him, and when you add an additional dose of personal feelings and worries (actually towards a girl that is alive—well, sort of), he gains a whole new level of sympathy and care. I, for instance, really like the way Vincent has been developing his personality and plan of action, and can’t wait to read more of him.
At last, another aspect that must be mentioned is the Netherworld. It is clear as water that this is a dangerous and cruel world, but I never imagined how much until I actually read this book. Vincent reveals bits of the ‘hows’ and the ‘whos’ of this particular place and I couldn’t be more captivated by it. A creepy, creepy place that I hope to get to know more about in the near future.

quarta-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2014

Diário de uma Maratona: 12.º Dia

Embora tenha folheado algumas páginas ontem, por não ter tido oportunidade de vir aqui deixar-vos o update, decidi juntar ao total de hoje. Espero que não se importem. =)
De qualquer das formas, acho que hoje foi mesmo o último dia que tive para desfrutar, à séria, de uma leitura (ainda que com bastante movimento aqui por casa, o que dificultou um pouco a concentração), isto porque tenho mesmo de começar a estudar para uns exames que terei muito em breve e, como seria de esperar, parte do tempo livre (grande parte) será dedicado ao estudo e não às leituras e ou imensidão de opiniões que tenho em atraso. Por isso, veremos como corre o resto da maratona. Mas por hoje, isto é o que fica (como estou a escrever uma opinião e a ver Os Jogos da Fome, não conto ler mais nada até à meia-noite): 

Páginas lidas hoje

Páginas lidas até ao momento
828 + 213 = 1041

Livros lidos hoje
My Soul to Save (213/362)

Livros lidos até ao momento
Memórias de um Amigo Imaginário
Anna Dressed in Blood
Luz e Sombra
My Soul to Save

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