Wednesday, September 2, 2015

book re·view : You Before Me by Jojo Moyers


3 Stars.


Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


Ok, this was a doozie.. Also, I have an unpopular opinion, so lets start knowing that. And be warned, this is not a love story, not even a little bit.
A friend send me the ebook for this book and told me was her favorite book, that I needed to read it right away and since I never get book recommendations from real life friends, I didn’t look up anything about it, just started reading. I had so many problems with this one, don’t even know where to start.
Firstly, the characters, I have no problem with her living at home and having less then ideal career situation, what bothered me is the lack of wanting anything other than a paycheck, and then guess what changes her mind? Will. Yes, there is no other real reason, he decides what she should be doing and she decides that she is going to do whatever he tells her to do.
Will is just selfish and obnoxious.. All of the characters are forgettable, to be honest. there is no real depth.
Other thing that was weird, was the way money was treated on this book, witch is a thing that never had me thinking one way or the other.. but here, I felt like the author just dislikes wealth, and keeps turning her nose overtime she talks about it.
The fact the Will is a quadriplegic is very one sided to me, reader is spoon fed all of the horrible things about the condition, is like the author wants us to believe that in life there is two options, you can be healthy, live an amazing job filled with rock climbing or you are stuck to a bed. There is no real talk about patients that thrive and live a fulfilling life from a chair.
As for the writing, that was the thing that made me actually finish the book, it was enjoyable and easy. My only problem with that was the sudden change in point of views in the end. It just started to flipflop in consistently between characters.

Monday, August 31, 2015

book re·view : The Marauders by Tom Cooper

3 Stars.


When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette,  these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.


I picked up this book for two reasons, first is South Louisiana, since moving out of New Orleans, I keep trying to think of ways to get back there, and a book is as good as I can get now. That was great, I could see the bayou, the setting was beautiful and I also enjoyed the way the problems with the Golf and Katrina were discussed, they were there, but not in any way front and central on the story.

The second thing that made pick this up was the promise of treasure hunting, pirate treasure hunting to be more specific. And that is where the book felt disappointing to me, I went in expecting a completely different thing than I ended up getting. I envisioned a plot driven race on the bayou, I got a character driven plot where the treasure barely appears. 

The book is also written in multiple points of view, and while it was well written, I kept waiting for all of them to eventually merge in the search for - you guessed it - the treasure, and while this is a solid book, if just felt like a missed opportunity. 

I realize I complained quite a bit, but this really is a solid first book for the author, if you take is for what it is, a character driven book, set in a beautiful bayou, you will enjoy it thoroughly. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

book re·view : End of Days by Susan Ee


5 Stars.


End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


I have so many feelings about this, ALL OF THEM! I have loved this story since I randomly found the book and bought it without thinking much of it, and just snowballed from there, I just love the series and I don’t think I could have asked for a better ending.

I don’t usually like reviewing books in series other than the first one just because of spoilers, but I will make exceptions now and then and this is one of them. So you have been warned, spoilers galore ahead.

After all past shenanigans, Penryn and Raffe are together for most of this one, and that brought the palpable tension between them that is just SO good, specially because now they felt more conscious of what they felt for each other. And to be honest, that with the fact that she knew she wanted to be with her people and him vice versa set the tone of the book, it kept the the tension helped with the pacing and the plot still kept the reader guessing. 

Also, character development was on point, we got to learn a lot more about certain characters without someone having to sit and tell a story, we learned while characters were experiencing the story, witch is the best way to do it.

I heard complaints about how Ee decided to close off the trilogy, but I enjoyed every word of it, I felt like it was true to the story and to the characters she built. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

book re·view : The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


4 Stars.


Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


So, I'am not completely sure as to why I decided to write a review for this book, it’s been a few months since I read it, and I gave it a 4 star rating and I remember why it didn’t get 5, but that is about it. So give me a sec to go to the book and remember.. Oh! now I remember, this was beautiful!

This is part of one of my favorite kinds of books, fantasy with a dash of fairy tale in it. That with Black’s writing style, just made it an beautiful read. I also love the melding of the regular world with fantasy, I feel like it makes the immersion in the story so much more enjoyable.

I saw Hazels twists coming since the beginning, but I didn’t really mind, what i really enjoyed is how we got there, I knock done star because the switching of point of views got really tiring, specially because it wasn’t balanced between characters.

I just loved the characters and their voice, it’s creepy and lovely, reminded me a lot of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, so good. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

book re·view : Landline by Rainbow Rowell

5 Stars.


Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?


Can you say late?
Yes, I know, everyone and their mother reviewed this, and to be honest, I was not interested, but then I founded it for a couple of dollars.. so I had to get it, right? I mean, It was worth it just for the beautiful cover. But I ended up loving it, I wanted to talk about it, so lets do it.

This book was magical, I am married for almost 5 years, we don’t have kids, but a lot of things had to happen for us to come together, the biggest thing being me moving countries. We also work a lot, with crazy hours, so when we are both really busy at work, we barely see each other. It just really made me think about the things I want for our marriage, and our future together. In a lot of ways we are the couple from Gorgie's past. It made me feel good, warm and fuzzy on the inside.

I really did want to talk more about the story in itself, but my love for this book really is about how it makes me think about my own life, and my relationship. It was very surprising, the way it made me stop, and think about things, and not only my life with my husband, but also my family dynamic. 

It also made me very curious about the other Rowell books.

Monday, August 24, 2015

drink : Brazilian Lemonade

I have been seeing different takes on this all around recently and a work friend asked me if it was a real thing, or just an american invented thing with a Brazilian stamp on top. And to be honest I never gave it a second thought, yes it is common in Brazil, although, I don't know if it is our invention, and for the confused people out there, I am Brazilian, even though I live in North Carolina now.

Where I am from, this lemonade is called Swiss Lemonade and is a treat, not a daily thing, we used to get it leaving the beach, when all the sea salt made it even sweeter.

First, we use limes, so this should technically be a limeade? You can use lemons, but the end result is just too sweet, the tartiness of the limes work better with the condensed milk.

The proportions are as follows:

1/2 cup juice from about 10 limes
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
pinch salt
3 cups cold water
1 quart ice

Serve with a little zest on top for fragrance and maybe a little rum.. and  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

book re·view : Armada by Ernest Cline

4.8 Stars.


Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.


On a fine vacation day in Denver, I decided to go to the Tattered Cover, because books and side note, if you are ever in Denver, go! It is BEAUTIFUL! Ugh, I can't deal. I saw this on the shelf and thought I was elucidating, because I was very sure the book wasn’t supposed to come out till the next month, but it was there, on the varnished shelf, looking beautiful, I bought it on the spot, and felt like I was getting away with something...

For the next week, it sat on my hotel nightstand. I knew once I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop and you know, vacation and all, I wanted to have some dedicated time for it, and I am pretty sure the husband wouldn’t like it I was awake till morning reading, so as the adult I am, ended up reading the entire thing on the flight back and regret nothing. 

But you know, lets talk about the book and not me..

And the elephant, yes, it reminded me a lot of Enders Game, but to be honest, I liked this a lot more than Enders and the similarities didn’t bother me at all. 
Another big part of the book is the fatherless situation, witch I can’t really give an opinion on, because I never experienced anything like it before.
My favorite thing about Cline are the references, I LOVED the playlist, since I know nothing about video games, I don’t linger too much on any of that. As always, I loved the tone of the narrating, it was witty and sarcastic and lovely.

The ending felt philosophical, about how humanity came together and what not. Am I overanalyzing this? hahaha.. But I did feel like an open ending, I don’t know if there is more to come, but it there is certainly room for that, this book is completely plot oriented, so I think it would be interesting to see a second book more character based.