Review: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

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“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor
Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is now to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion…and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world, and in Cat’s heart. 

Actual Review:

The Mad Scientist’s daughter is Cat.

She is selfish, she is passive, she is spineless, she is the kind of heroine I hate.

But she is the kind of heroine that I care about, because she is a lot like me. A lot like us.

Her character mirrors each one of us who made decisions based on what they think they should do, and not based on what they wanted to do.  God knows I’m not the only one.

Her character mirrors each one of us who are in limbo. Numb, unfeeling, and just plain stuck.

I rooted for her, mourned with her, at times wanted to throttle her because of her selfishness,  her choices, but at the very end I wanted to hug her. Because she finally managed to grow as a person, and redeem herself. (And maybe finally managed to give Finn the happy ending he deserved. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows , but it was bittersweet.)

It was kind of funny really, that as one was growing number and transforming into an ice queen each day, the other was growing even more sentient and human. Finn is someone you’ll manage to care about and fall in love with, trust me.

This was a very emotional read for me, not because I cried beause of one or maybe two moments in the book, but because I was carrying around this doomed and depressing feeling all throughout the novel that only left me as I reached the final pages.

Read this. You won’t regret it.

Verdict:

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Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Synopsis:16113606

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Actual Review:

“Beauty is wherever you find it, and Beast is there when you need to defend it.”

Beautiful and riveting. This retelling brought something new to the table and added more flavor to the story of Beauty and the Beast. The synopsis honestly doesn’t give it much justice. It made the story sound simpler than it was.

The premise somewhat reminded me of Under the Never Sky, with domes protecting people from the dry and barren world outside. I loved it immensely, although there were some things that could’ve been done better.

Isra’s blindness for example, was felt only in a few parts of the book in my opinion. It felt that she wasn’t an accurate portrayal of a blind person. This was in the 1st person narration as well.

I also wanted a bit more elaboration about the world inside the dome, because even though the story mostly happened inside the city of Yuan, I had a clearer image of the world outside in my mind. I understand though that it’s because of the fact that Isra was confined to a tower in the palace and was also blind so I guess there was no helping it.

Even so, I still ended up loving this. The romance was well-done and I cared immensely for the main characters. (No insta-love here folks!) The style of writing was also wonderful, one of the best I’ve seen. I honestly am surprised that so few know of this book.

Verdict:

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Review: World After by Susan Ee (Penryn & the End of Days #2)

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In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Actual Review:

Ultimate gushing and fangirling (with ovaries exploding) will commence in 3….2…..

Oh.My.Gosh.

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Before I started reading, I was actually feeling a tad bit nervous. I mean, I’ve been waiting for two years for this baby and Angelfall was such an awesome book filled with a lot of action, horrific scenes that made me shout “Oh my goodness this is so awesome.” while I was having goosebumps. A few seconds before I decided to click open (I have this in ebook format) I was having an inner monologue along the lines of “Oh my goodness, this is it. What if Angelfall was simply a one trick pony? Could I actually live with that? What if I end up getting disappointed with this book? Could this actually match up to the first book in terms of it’s awesomeness? Oh my goodness shut up and open it already!”

The minute I opened it and started reading, it dawned on me that I shouldn’t have doubted Ms. Susan Ee.

This book was just as awesome as the first one, and yes guys. TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT. It’s fast paced, exciting, and deliciously horrific with funny moments in just the right places.

Penryn is just as awesome as she was before and this book proved that she doesn’t need Raffe to make this novel successful and although I was saddened by the fact that he was not with her in the first half of the novel (probably due to me hardcore shipping Penryn and Raffe since book one) it gave us a chance to further understand Penryn’s mom, Paige and the dynamics of their family.

I couldn’t help adoring the mom. She has shown countless times here in this book that she loves her daughters and expresses it in her own little way such as tying a writhing monster on a roof and drawing a heart on its stomach with the words Penryn and Paige with a lipstick. It was touching in a twisted kind of way.

Pooky Bear is also worth mentioning as well. Do you remember Raffe’s sentient sword in Angelfall? Yup, that’s Pooky Bear. She showed us a glimpse of the Raffe we have seen for only a few lines in the last book. The vulnerable Raffe.

And of course, how could I forget mentioning the ADORABLE  AND HILARIOUS MOMENTS when Paige And Raffe are together? The attraction’s definitely there and I absolutely love the fact that their interactions weren’t filled with angst and cheese.

“If I hadn’t already flown with him, I’d be scared. I’m above the water with nothing but his arms between me and an icy plunge. But his arms are wrapped tightly around me and his chest is warm. I lean my head against his muscular shoulder and close my eyes.

He rubs his cheek against my hair.

I know that soon I’ll have to think about Paige, Mom, and Clara. My priorities will be all about survival and getting my family together and keeping them safe from monsters and people alike.

But for now, for just for this moment, I let myself be a seventeen-year-old girl in a strong guy’s arms. I even let some of the what-ifs seep in, the kind of possibilities that might have blossomed between us in the World Before.

Just for a little while.

Before I carefully fold my dreams away into the vault in my head.”

World After is a wonderful sequel and I am absolutely not exaggerating when I say that I fell deeper in love with the series after reading this. It’s a book you definitely shouldn’t miss. Easily one of my favorite books of the year.

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Verdict:

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Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Synopsis:17406183

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Actual Review/Rant:

Warning: This review contains spoilers….And rants. You’ve been warned.

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Let me tell you guys a story. It’s about a girl named Ktine who discovered Divergent. She loved it and even got addicted to it to the point that she couldn’t wait to read the second book. She picked up Insurgent and she thought it was…. okay. Not good, but not terribly bad either. She had doubts about picking up the last book but since she trusted that the author probably just had a case of that so called “Second Book Syndrome” and that Ms. Roth would end the series with a bang, she picked up Allegiant.

This story does not end well.

Well, the series DID end with a bang. A terribly bad bang… A bang of the train wreck variety.

It’s not even Tris dying that made the book bad. I could deal with protagonists dying. (We’ve already established from the previous books that that Tris is pretty selfless to the point of being stupid) IF they had any reason to. I could love a book that had many deaths of characters I fell in love with (think Hunger Games) IF the rest of the book was magnificent. Sadly, Allegiant fell flat. This book was filled with so many wrong moves.

I was expecting this book to resolve the feud between the factions and the factionless, instead it decided to create ANOTHER issue to be solved. Genetically pure and the ones damaged. I could deal with that, but in this case it was a wrong move. In the last book, you were supposed to further develop characters and wrap up all of the mess neatly and tastefully. Instead, what I got was underdeveloped characters and a terrible wrap up… They even forgot to use tape so all of the mess is still spilling out,

Dual POVs are double edged swords. If done right, it’s awesome. Done wrong… No, just no, In this case the dual POV was not done well because Tris’ and Four’s voices were indistinguishable. They had no distinct voices. It just made things confusing.Also I found myself crying out in frustration because the awesome Four I knew in the first book was gone. Who is this bumbling idiot who made rash decisions and what did he do to Four?

ALSO. I was sort of expecting Caleb to redeem himself in this book. The perfect opportunity was presented during the last parts of the novel; him instead of Tris dying. Sacrificing his life instead of Tris. Sadly, this did not happen.

Once again, numerous deaths happened and I didn’t feel a thing. Probably because the characters weren’t fleshed out enough for me to care for them.

So, my advise to all of the people who want to start reading this trilogy is to read the first book (Divergent). ONLY the first book. Allegiant? What Allegiant? Does a book like that exist?

Verdict:

No devious smiles. I should develop a new scale… Devious frowns. After reading this, I couldn’t pick up another book until after a week or more.

 

Review: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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Synopsis:

“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story

Actual Review:

Well….
I’m going to be honest here. The real reason why I decided to pick up this book is because I’ve heard from somewhere that it had incest in it, and it won a Printz.
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Well, I know that the first reason is kinda invalid, but so what? I like me some weird in my books, and I definitely got it in this one and it was most definitely my kind of weird. But, anyways back to the review.

During the first pages of the book, I was very much tempted to just drop the book because I couldn’t see the reason why it deserved an award. The heroine was your typical snarky awkward anorexic teenage girl who definitely wants and needs some sort of attention. She wasn’t likeable at all. Plus, it didn’t exactly grip me, you know? I mean, all I’m seeing in the first pages was that this girl went there to England for summer, the mansion was old yet pretty, and that she had mysterious cousins. It seemed like a coming of age book with a bit of supernatural mixed in. I mean that’s all fine and dandy, “But where was the dystopia?”, i thought to myself. “Where was the war, the chaos…..Everything?”

And then, this thing with Edmond happened. And yes, the whole time I was reading all of the pages dedicated to them, including the ones at the end, my face was scrunched up and I was definitely not impressed. Simply because it was weird that the people around them accepted their relationship just like THAT. They definitely didn’t live during the ages where marrying your first cousin was normal to preserve the bloodline/ riches or something…

And I don’t think the incest and the premature sex they got going on was necessary at all because after the beginning, I realized why this won Printz.

When the war started, I loved how it has shown in this book that children don’t really actually care with what’s going on as long as it wasn’t affecting them and the fact that their “innocence” was shown by the fact that they were actually secretly happy that there was no guardian taking charge of them. They were like in their own little paradise. Then, they got separated from each other, it became action packed, exciting and this is where I began to start loving Daisy.

She became less the selfish character who only cared about herself and became someone who was doing everything to keep Piper safe and being able to be together with the others again. She also started changing her ways and realizing that starving is most definitely not a good idea. She realized the preciousness of food. (CHARACTER GROWTH, EVERYONE!)

I also liked the fact that this book showed how a war deeply affects the people around them and how killing (brutally or not) deeply damages a child’s mind.

But there were a few things that kept me from really loving it. First of all, the incest (the execution of it, to be exact) and the fact that there was a huge lack of punctuation marks. It got me distracted especially The Jokes Implied Like This.

Overall, it was a pretty nice read. Not really something I’d pick up again, but it’s good to read it at least once.

Verdict:

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