Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies by Issac Marion
Rating: 2 out of 5 Wine Glasses

This is the second zombie book I have ever read. The first was Zombie Island which doesn't have the beautiful cover, clever title or interesting chapter illustrations as this book has however what is gained in the external beauty of Warm Bodies is lost in content.

Throughout the book the characters remained dry as did my eyes. R is forgiven to fast for killing and eating Perry. I think it is strange that Julie couldn't forgive her boyfriend for having drunk sex with another girl but can forgive her "new" boyfriend for eating her ex-boyfriend brains. What the ....? I would have liked it more if Julie stayed mad at him or at least had some conflict about her feelings toward R. I wish she exhibited a greater dimension of emotions - denial, confusion, anger, fear of R, emotional trauma, ect.

The strangest part is that this book is based on Romeo and Juliet however I didn't long for the romance that this book presented since it felt fabricated and the relationship progression was unrealistic.

R experiences emotions and love through Perry memories and lingering thoughts similar to the way the Wandered forms an emotional bond with humans from Melanie remaining essence in The Host.

Each character in Warm Bodies has their own issues but the author only gives a bit of the information here or there so it is hard for me to care deeply about the fate of any of the characters. It is more like the author is telling why they have these issues - the majority of issues center around abandonment - versus giving me a background. Nora's parents kicked her out during the zombie apocalypse because they were drug addicts and couldn't feed her. End of that story. So much potential lost.

I liked the first part of the book when they were in the airport - then it went downhill for me. The ending felt like the author ran out of time so he just slathered it together without explaining the obvious questions. Why did her eyes turn yellow? Why did the Boneys retreat and become slow - the explanation given doesn't make sense. I am not sure if I want to read the second book just to find out these answer IF the author chooses to work them out.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Forsaken by Heather Fleener

Forsaken (Ancients of Light, #2) by Heather Fleener
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 wine glasses

The first 17 chapters are set primarily in Chicago where you meet Ella, a non-practicing Fire Caste witch with a fiery personality and Nicholas (aka Cole), a dark vampire warrior. The storyline slows down a little in the middle of this first part as the romance heats up. This section reminded me a little bit of Pretty Woman minus the stripper.

The following 30 chapters are mostly set in the Realm. Ella and Nicholas' story becomes intertwined with Lorcan and Kaitriana. This is where I had trouble putting the book down until I finished it.

I must confess I am getting a little addicted to this series. When I read the first book I didn't realize these were paranormal romance novels so I was a little taken back by the "romance" aspect. I am not a huge romance novel reader, but this is one of the best ones I have read.

I usually associate romance novel with not having much of a storyline outside the romance, but this book is so much more than just your typical romance.

This book has witty dialogue, lovable characters (I love Dunkirk) and a captivating plot. This author creates a world that I can't wait to get sucked into.

I really hope I am not going to have to wait a year till book 3, Broken is released. The main protagonists in Broken are Kylie and Sayer.

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

How easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new…like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.

The above quote pretty much summarizing the idea of the book. When I first started reading this book, I was afraid I wasn’t going to like it. A popular girl dies and she keeps reliving the same day trying to figure out how to make it stop. I told myself this story is going to be predictable and the author is going to try to make me feel sorry for this “mean girl” which I don’t think she deserves in my initial analysis – she doesn’t deserve to die but I don’t think she has right to past by death when no one else gets a freebie when their times comes…or do we? However, the book was surprising in many aspects.

First, the author did an amazing job making you feel like you were back in high school. So amazing it was scary at times how real it felt with all the cruel name calling and mean jokes. My school was different from the book in many aspects but let’s face the facts – kids are cruel everywhere. My two personal favorite creative but cruel nicknames in the book were:

Sophomores (Lindsay calls the s’mores because they’re always stuck together and more than two will get you sick) and

Lindsay calls them [this group of girls] the Pugs: pretty from far away, ugly up close.

Second, I thought reliving the same day again and again would get boring but it didn’t. In fact, the author made all the character more round and dimensional by doing this. You got to experience the same day from multiple vantage points. Each day, you discover more people’s secrets and learn more about the people surrounding Sam. Some of the secrets are predictable and some aren’t as much. I keep wondering when reading the book if Sam was in a comma, in purgatory, dreaming, hell (and doing penance for her sin committed), in heaven going through something like The Five People You Meet in Heaven scenarios or if she was being given a fresh start to fix stuff and appreciate her life. Read the book and then we can talk.

Third, the author has a beautiful, simple way of explaining profound stuff that just makes sense. There are so many beautiful quotes I can't put them all in this review.

Here’s one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It’s like that old riddle about a tree falling in a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there’s no one around to hear it. You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That’s how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth.

Some readers may say the protagonist growth and develop is too quick but I think death changes and ages even the most popular and carefree teenage girl especially when it is your own.
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