Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Release date: January 2012
Age group: Young Adults
Pages: 318

Expectations

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, but also never wanted to start reading it. I know reading this will be an emotional roller-coaster and I needed to be prepared for that.  I talked to another book blogger Katrina and we decided to read this together!

Synopsis from Goodreads
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review

The first five chapters show us a great start of a very touching story. When I started reading this, I knew that I will be emotionally invested in the characters John Green describes so realistically. 

I immediately liked the main character Hazel a lot. She has a good sense of reality. She has a great sense of humor, which is always a plus for me. We get to see her connecting with Augustus (Gus). From the moment they meet, they seem to have some kind of deeper connection. I love Gus, he really gets Hazel and he is the person she needs. He understands her fascination for the book she has read over and over and he tries to help Hazel the best way he knows how.

I also liked the side-characters, especially Isaac. I really enjoyed reading about him and liked the moments with Isaac, Gus and Hazel a lot. 

The writing is so beautiful and rich. I really get the feeling that I read Hazel's thoughts and get to see the way she's trying to live her life, despite of everything going on.

An example of the exquisite writing:
Hazel's on the phone with Gus:
'And then the line was quiet but not dead. I almost felt like he was there in my room with me, but in a way it was better, like I was not in my room and he was not in his, but instead we were together in some invisible and tenuous third space that could only be visited on the phone.' 

Part of the book takes place in Amsterdam. It was fun to read about the city where I live, which made reading this more dynamic for me.

I definitely was crying my eyes out near the end, but still loved reading this story. It was definitely the roller coaster ride I thought it was going to be and I felt all kind of emotions reading this.

 I would recommend reading this, but only if you're up for it and ready to tackle this emotional read. It's beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

5 Questions
Katrina and me both answered these five questions about the book. Check out her review and answers to these questions: review TFIOS by Katrina

1. What was your favorite part of the book?

That's a hard one, because there are a lot of great moments in this book.
To name one, I loved the scene with the swing set. Gus doesn't pity her and that's exactly what she needs. He doesn't see her as a dying girl. When he looks at her, he sees a great, funny and smart girl who he can't be without.

2. Did you have a favorite character? If so, who?

I would have to say I loved most of the characters. If I need to choose a favorite one, I think it'l be Gus. He understands her fascinations for the book she has read over and over and he tries to help Hazel his way. I really like Gus' personality. He seems to fit Hazels'perfectly. He knows the struggles because he's been through the same process.

3. Was there anything that you didn't enjoy or would change about TFIOS?

Of course I wished the sad parts didn't happen, but at the same time, it because of those moments this book is such an amazing novel. It's very realistic and honest. At the end, I think changing things would take away some of the awesomeness of this novel. 

4. How did you feel when the book was finished?

 I cried reading the end of the book. I couldn't write a review right away, which is what I normally do right after reading a book.  I really needed a couple of days to process what happened.

5. If you could say anything to John Green right now, what would you say

I would say that I loved reading this and the story really grabbed me and didn't let go for a while. Reading this really motivated me to read more of John Greens books and I'm sure I will read more books by this author in the future!


Rating

I couldn't do anything else that rate this book my full 5 stars. I loved it and it gave me all kinds of feelings. I feel like there's so much I haven't said about the book, but I think you got to experience those things yourself and I don't wanna spoil that for you. If you have some time and a quiet place to read and cry, go ahead an read it!
Btw,the movie is coming out in June 2014, you can check out the trailer (I waited to watch it until I read the book, but that's just me) 

Happy Easter everyone!

Myra

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Divergent: a great story or just another dystopian?

Title: Divergent
Series: Divergent #1
Author: Veronica Roth
Release date: February 2012
Age group: Young Adult
Pages: 487

Expectations

It's safe to say my expectations are very high. This is one of the books I feel like everyone has read except me. I was so excited when I received this book as a gift!
Divergent is the first book in the trilogy by Veronica Roth. The trilogy has been compared a lot with the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I really loved the Hunger Games. If this even comes close to the Hunger Games I'm very sure I'm going to love it. As I said, high expectations..

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her"



Review

First impression
As soon as I started reading this book, I was drawn in and didn't want to stop reading. 
Just reading the synopsis really made me want to start reading this. I loved every minute of reading this amazing dystopian book. 

I got the same feeling reading the Hunger Games and I can understand why people compare the two. They're both dystopian books with strong female main-characters. But I don't think we should compare these books. They both are unique in their own way.

Personal growth
Tris is a great and powerful female character, who's torn between being who she really is and staying with her family. She's continually trying to find out who she is and what she really stands for. We get to see Tris transforming from a skinny, young girl into a confident girl, capable of fighting and not afraid to do so. 

Worldbuilding
The faction-system intrigued me and made me interested in reading about each faction and their visions on life and society. 
We really get to see how the people live in some of the factions, while other factions stay pretty vague. 
I liked the way we get to see the Dauntless faction and their rules and behaviors. 

Friendships
Tris makes new friends, but also loses some. 
I think in this book she worries about who she can trust and sometimes trust the wrong people (which happens to everyone in life). She tries to figure out if people are good or bad and how she should portray herself to protect her from any dangers. 

Let's just talk about Four... what an amazing character! I really loved him being tough and soft at the same time. I liked the connection between Tris and Four and  how they drew closer, finding out some of the similarities they share.


Rating

Overall, I thought this was an amazing, fast-paced read and I loved everything about it. So I do think this is a great story and not just another dystopian novel. I think Veronica Roth did an amazing job writing this action-packed book.

Let me know your thoughts on Divergent. Did you see the movie? I did!
Happy reading!

Myra

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: The most unique books I've read


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they come up with something we can make a list of and share it with each other. Check out their blog for more info on how to participate!



Today the list is about: 
The most unique books I've read


I went through my Goodreads read list to see what the most unique books are I've read so far. I came up with a list of 5 books, all very different and made a very unique impression on me while reading. I also added a link if I reviewed the book on this blog. Here we go!


1. √Čtica para Amador by Fernando Savater



I needed to read this one for school a while back and was pleasantly surprised. I read the dutch version, but in English it's called 'The good life'. 

This book is written by a father to his son. He attempts to explain life to his fourteen-year-old son. This book really made my think about all aspects of life. He really makes you think about it long after you've read this book. 










2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon


This is such a unique book, following a young kid who's autistic. The writing gives you a chance to really get inside someone's head and experience how they think. 

I found this extremely interesting to read and I would recommend this to everyone!!










3. Divergent by Veronica Roth


I just finished reading this so I HAD to put it in the list. I know the book belongs to the Dystopian genre, but within this genre I think this is a very uniquely written book. It keeps you on edge with every page and the characters are amazing! 


A review is coming up.









4. Thrall by Jennifer Quintenz



This book is unique in it's own way. The story is about Braedyn, who discovers she's a descendent of Lilith, the mother of all demons.
There's integrating pf fantasy-elements within the normal life and the main character battling with good vs bad.
I really like the writing style and the amount of mythology within the story. You should defenitely check this one out (you can win an e-book version of Thrall in my giveaway that's still running)

My review






5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

What I love about this series is that although it's about Vampires, it's not the kind of story you would expect. I honestly think this is the best Vampire series I've read so far. 
The story follows Rose, who's a dhampir (half vampire, half human) and she will do anything to protect her best friend Lissa (who's a royal vampire). The world-building is amazing!









My previous TTT posts:

Top Ten Things on my bookish bucket list

Top ten books to read in the Spring!

If you want to, you can still enter my giveaway! 
Are you participating in the TTT? I would love to read your post, link it in the comments and I will definitely check it out.


Thanks for visiting and happy reading!!

Myra
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