February Wrap-Up

This month, I have read a total of 8 novels and 2 graphic novels, which is considerably less than last month… Mostly because I have been watching two (awesome) TV shows, Shameless (US) and How To Get Away With Murder. I am wondering as to whether I should write some articles about these shows I love… Should I?

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1. “Reflected in you” by Sylvia Day

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“People get over love. They can live without it, they can move on. Love can be lost and found again. But that won’t happen for me. I won’t survive you, Eva.”

This is the second book in the Crossfire erotica series. Honestly, it’s the first erotica series I ever read, and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. It follows the story of Eva and Gideon (their screwed up relationship).

I’ll sum up this book (maybe even the whole series) in two words for you : sex and drama. It’s pretty much all that happens in it, and I honestly don’t mind reading those kinds of books once in a while. Crossfire has been advertised as ‘Fifty Shades of Grey only darker’. I haven’t read 50SOG, and certain quotes I have read discouraged me to pick it up in the near future, but I can see why the story has been related to 50SOG‘s. Eva and Gideon’s relationship is unhealthy, but the subject of rape or submissive/dominant sexual relationships wasn’t handled as terribly as I thought it would be. Despite the big amount of drama, I found myself moved by some scenes. This is by no means great literature, but I did enjoy reading it for the most part

I gave this book 2.7 stars!

2. “All The Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

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“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”

All The Bright Places tells the love story of Theodore Finch, bipolar adolescent, and Violet Markey, who lost her sister in a car accident two years before she meets Finch.

I feel conflicted about this book. One one hand, I enjoyed the reading and certain elements, the writing style was nice and I have to admit I did cry over it. But on the other hand, the story was so typical and predictable. You probably think you know the ending, and you’re probably right; everyone saw it coming. Theodore Finch was an unrealistic character that said unrealistic things. Violet wasn’t very endearing. If you like John Green’s books, I’m pretty certain you’ll like this book, though!

I gave this book 3.5 stars. I hated it. But kind of liked it too.

3. “Entwined with you” by S. Day

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“I look at you, angel, and I want you so badly. I want to be with you, listen to you, talk to you. I want to hear you laugh and hold you when you cry. I want to sit next to you, breathe the same air, share the same life. I want to wake up to you like this every day forever. I want you.”

This is the third book in the Crossfire series. We follow Gideon and Eva, this time more secure in their relationship and dare I say, more mature?

This book was slightly better than the two previous ones, due to the new strength of Gideon and Eva’s relationship, their mutual trust and character evolution in general.

However, this series has me fed up, so I don’t think I’ll ever be continuing on with it (I probably shouldn’t have read book 3 so soon after book 2)

I gave it 2.8 out of 5 stars.

4. “A Thousand Pieces of You” by C. Gray

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wow the cover

“I meant it when I said I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a moment. A moment when you glimpse the truth within someone, and they glimpse the truth within you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any longer, not completely. Part of you belongs to him; part of him belongs to you. After that, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you want to, no matter how hard you try.”

A Thousand Pieces of You is the first book in the Firebird series. It tells the story of Marguerite, who travels between dimensions thanks to the Firebird, a device invented by her parents, pursuing her father’s murderer.

I am once again conflicted about this book. I really liked the original idea and the plot in general : Marguerite can travel between dimensions. There’s a universe for each possibility : one where the Nazis won WWII, one where China invaded America long before the Europeans, one where the Beatles didn’t meet… And you can only travel to dimensions where you exist, inhabiting your other self’s body when you’re there. I thought it was a great concept, and I loved the world-building, as well as one plot twist I didn’t see coming.

But the romance was bad. Why do YA authors feel the need to include a stupid love triangle in 80% of their books? Really. It’s unnecessary. I was very much distressed to see there was a (stupid) love triangle in this book, and it’s the most annoying kind : the one where you know who the ‘true’ love interest is, and the other guy is just there to glorify the protagonist and cause drama. I hated this. I wasn’t impressed with the writing either, and I didn’t get attached to any character. It was overall a disappointment.

I ended up giving this book 3 out of 5 stars.

5. “This Shattered World” by A. Kaufman and M. Spooner

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“He could tell me he loves me, but he doesn’t know me the way a lover would; he knows the shape of me, though, the curve of my heart, as I know his. He could tell me he doesn’t want to lose me, but we’re both already lost, and only the tether between us keeps us from drifting out into the black.”

This Shattered World is the sequel in the Starbound series. In this book we don’t follow Lilac and Tarver (although they do make an appearance) anymore, but Jubilee and Flynn. Jubilee is a military captain on planet Avon, who has for a mission to crush the rebellion there, and Flynn is a rebel with dreams of peace on his planet. In a desperate attempt to trade with the military, Flynn kidnaps Captain Lee. It doesn’t go exactly as planned…

I liked this book way more than I did These Broken Stars. First off, I liked the characters more, which is probably the reason I found myself enjoying the romance so much more. The romance built slowly, and it simply felt a bit more real than Lilac an Tarver’s. This time there were side characters, as the characters weren’t alone on a deserted planet, which I appreciated. I also appreciated the world-building, and the pace of the story : it was never boring. And it doesn’t hurt that the writing was really good. To me, this sequel was in every aspect an improvement from These Broken Stars, which I really liked. Now all I have to do is wait for December 2015…

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

6. “The Ruby Circle” by R. Mead

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ugh the cover

“Escape plan number . . . hell, I don’t know. I lost count. We haven’t had to come up with some dreamy escape plan in a while.”
Sydney trailed her fingers down the side of my face. “That’s because we’re living it, Adrian. This is the only escape plan we need.”

The Ruby Circle is the sixth and last book to the Bloodlines series, spin-off from Vampire Academy. I’m unable to give you the synopsis since there are chances you haven’t read the previous books…

What. A. Disappointment. This book was so bad. If you’ve seen my January wrap-up, in which Silver Shadows (Bloodlines book 5) was my first read, you probably know that I absolutely loved the first 3/4 of it but disliked the ending. Well, as I feared, book 6 was everything I disliked about book 5.

The characters weren’t as endearing as they were in the first four books; they felt like instruments for action. I didn’t even find myself falling in love again with Sydney and Adrian, but rather getting bored with them. This ending was completely unsatisfactory, the writing was flat, it was all happy-happy and it made me so mad. I don’t have strong feelings towards this book since it was so damn flat, except maybe for that bitter taste when I think of how much I like the first four books

Okay, I liked that one plot twist I didn’t expect. I liked that. And I hate to say it was pretty much the only thing…

I used to believe in you, Bloodlines series. Your first four books were so good. And now you’re ruined. (I realize I am being dramatic but oh well)

My final rating is 2 out of 5 stars.

7. “Tangled” by E. Chase

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ugh the cover

“In that same year, NYU conducted its own study. With rats. They implanted electrodes in the brains of male rats and put two buttons in their cages. When the lucky little bastards pushed the blue button, the electrodes triggered an orgasm. When they pushed a red button, they were given food.
Care to guess what happened to all the rats?
They died.
They fucking starved to death.
They never pushed the red button.
Need I say more?”

Tangled is the first book in a NA-humorous story about Drew, businessman, but also what you would call a ‘womanizing man-whore’, and his love story with Kate, the ambitious brunette that works with him.

It was just what I expected it to be : a fun NA told from a man’s, excuse me, I meant pig’s point of view. I laughed a lot. It made me think of Wallbanger since it’s also a steamy/funny romance (which I do recommend). Except it’s told from Drew’s point of view, who is, as I previously established, a pig. There was some sexism in Drew’s way of thinking (I lost count of the times he referred to women as toothpaste or food) which bothered me, but not as much as it would have it the book wasn’t meant to be so humorous. Highly enjoyed the read!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

8. “Saga volume 2” by B. K. Vaughan and F. Staples

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“Some people are haunted by their pasts, but not my family. I mean, how can you be haunted by something that never really dies?”

Saga volume 2 is obviously the second volume in the Saga graphic novel series. It follows the story of two star-crossed lovers in a war between their two planets, and… their baby.

As you can see with this considerably-smaller-than-usual book wrap-up, I have been in a kind of reading slump lately. So I’ve decided to read graphic novels, and Saga volume 2 has been sitting on my shelf for a while… I can’t honestly tell you much about this book, but it was witty, the art was beautiful and the story clever and entertaining. I rarely read graphic novels, but if I had to recommend one graphic novel series it would probably be this one.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

9. “Saga volume 3” by B. K. Vaughan and F. Staples

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“Some parents let their young kids win at games, but mine never did.
I don’t think it was because they were particularly competitive, they just wanted to teach me a valuable lesson.
Life is mostly just learning how to lose.”

This is the third book in the Saga graphic novel series, and it seems this series only gets better.

If I have one reproach to make to this book, it’s that it’s too short; I need more! The writing was as enjoyable as it was in the previous books, and the story continued to be so very clever. The characters are interesting, diverse and witty; they almost feel real. And, oh, the art is still incredibly beautiful.

This series gets better and better; I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

10. “A Monster Calls” by P. Ness

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“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”

A Monster Calls is a stand-alone that tells the mysterious story of Conor, a 13-year-old boy whose mother is ill, who gets a visit from a monster one night. But this monster, he is not afraid of.

After reading and loving the Chaos Walking trilogy, I had high expectation for A Monster Calls : and I was not disappointed. Patrick Ness managed to write a (rather short) story that captured the raw feelings of an angry 13-year-old, with truth, and to wrap it up as… a kid’s book? With beautiful, dark images accompanying it. It was clever, unique and deeply moving. I am impressed.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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