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imagineafterwords

Alice: Imagine Afterwords

I'm always looking for "the" book that will sweep me off my feet and this takes much more than the typical romance. A good adventure book though is close enough to do the trick.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer

I read this book during my breaks at work. I figure I must do something productive. Overall I enjoyed the concept. The pictures were a neat accessory to the book and made Oskar quirky and overly smart for his age. Not to mention they were relevant to the story line...at times. At one point I was like "I could have sworn that I saw that door knob before." While there were times when I was a bit confused by who narrated a chapter I gradually grew to understand it. At times where were some heartfelt moments and I wondered how the mom could let Oskar go all around the place with a complete stranger. Of course I get my answers in the end.

 

Again it's one of those books that ties everything together and honestly the last few chapters were the most interesting for me.

 

 

~finished 4/20/2015

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

This review is long overdue. 

 

Not that I thought the book was bad but because I struggled to continue reading it. This was my car ride book. It was sitting on my shelf for awhile now and the library due date was coming up so I wanted to at least read it. After a couple of chapters in I kept putting the book down after each chapter then forcing myself to pick it back up and read.

 

I typically don't read contemporary because there is often some drama or angst associated with the drama. Maybe also a bit for the insta-attraction. However, Fangirl left me in a overly giddy phase that I wanted to read another contemporary. I decided to give this a try because I always saw the book/series being mentioned on booktube.

 

I liked the idea of Anna studying abroad because there is just that level of fascination attached with studying abroad. The idea of immersing oneself into a wholly different language/culture is scary but adventurous at the same time. I was intrigued at the sightseeing scenes because I am know little to nothing about Paris or its architecture. I adored some cute scenes littered here and there, but I was glad when the book was done.

 

There were moments when I was annoyed with Anna but also times where I empathsized with her (when her family situation was explained). While I do understand the allure with St. Clair (he is British)...I just wish he acted sooner to end his relationship with his girlfriend. But of course, that extra level of drama needed to be there.

 

I did enjoy some parts of the book, but just not enough to get me attached to the story. Now if the book was a slow gradual romance then I probably would have enjoyed this more. Otherwise 3 stars out of 5.

June 2014 Book Haul
June 2014 Book Haul

Of course I'm finding myself to ordering books near the end of the month. I've also found myself more open to the concept of buying e-books now. However convenient though, I haven't actually spent time to reading them. Ahaha, I really should read them.

June 2014 Wrap-Up
June 2014 Wrap-Up

I had fun reading this month, but I got caught re-watching Detective Conan and playing Griddler to read....erm, I got caught up with life. XD I can't wait to find more treasures!

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Alif the Unseen - G. Willow Wilson

I've got to say that this is a very different book. I haven't read much books that revolved around jinns in "modern" society (but I've played Golden Sun ~kudos if you get this reference) so this concept was pretty unique to me. In my library I found this in the adult fiction section. I got the overall feeling as if the main characters were teenagers though. An age isn't mentioned at all (unless I completely overlooked it) so this is just a guess. That being said, I would have to say that this is a book for mature readers.

 

Maybe one reason is for the swear words that appear every now and again. Also along with possible mentions of rape. There isn't a scene that depicts this but the fear of rape is mentioned a lot. This book immerses us into a whole different culture. The names, the setting, and the overall environment is not similar to our own. We get to explore the mindsets along with the possible dangers a women in Middle Eastern countries could be exposed to if they're not careful. While we might not find the situation ideal, we get to see how the characters develop in this environment while getting away from the main antagonist, the Hand.

 

Alif, our main character, is a computer hacker of sorts. He keeps his clients off the grid using code and has been under the radar until he receives this ancient book. Alif finds out that the Hand is looking for the book for some reason, and people from the State (their government) are trying to find him. Usually when people from the State come then it usually mans that someone is in BIG trouble. The Hand works for the State and takes down hackers and sites that go against the State. Alif then goes out to find what's so special about this book he received and why the Hand of all people would want the book.

 

I like how Alif's character was depicted fairly true to character. He is someone who works behinds the scene so I was very happy to read that he wasn't abnormally athletic when he was running around. I felt as if Alif's reaction to the whole situation was very believable too. I enjoyed the struggles that he went through trying to get away from the state along with the disbelief that comes when he meets a jinn. I also like how his wits are there when he faces a situation (I have big expectations for someone who writes their own program with code).

 

I enjoyed this book though. The overall concept was fascinating and I've got to say that I was rooting for Alif all the way. He was literally the underdog.

 

 

 

Summer Planning

So today I signed up for my local library reading program and picked up some books to read. I'm so excited since this will be the first time that I'm participating in such a thing without any requirement needed.

 

I need to get the numbers up so that the likelihood of me getting a prize would happen! Yes, I'm excited about that, but it's not really the reason why I joined. While the prize is a perk, there are a lot of YA books/series that I want to read. 2014 has been the revival of my reading hobby. There are so many books out there that I need to catch up on...or give a chance on.

 

I don't have any reading goals that I'm striving to achieve this year (and I don't want to form one) but I'm really looking forward to diving into all of these different worlds.

 

I mean, I could probably go on Goodreads and find some read-a-longs...but me and reading schedules just don't go together very well.

 

I can't wait to read more!!

 

On another note, I've just finished reading "Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas and I'm pumped with adrenaline!! Such a bad idea. Now I need to find something to do or else I won't be able to sleep.

SPOILER ALERT!
City of Heavenly Fire  - Cassandra Clare

I just have to throw in my two cents.

 

WARNING: Spoilers.

 

Oh the feels I have for this book. I was excited when I received the book. Excited when I read the book. Sad when I finished the book. When I heard of this new installment into the Shadowhunter world, I was wondering how it would all work. I thought that the new characters would get their own introductions in the new series, but I loved these characters had their own cameos in the book. Genius. Now I’m invested with how this story would unfold. Needless to say, I’m eagerly waiting for the next book.

 

Overall, I loved how everything interconnected together. I smiled when I understood some of the inferences mentioned in the pages. This made me really nostalgic of the Infernal Devices. I haven’t read the Bane Chronicles yet, but I’m going to get a physical copy when it’s released in November. I’m sure that when I’ve read it when my curiosity will be settled. C’mon, Magnus is sharing his past with Alec. So sweet.

 

Now to the review.

 

How the book started was a refreshing change albeit initially confusing. (I haven’t done any research of the new series, but I’ve heard of the main character names. I wasn’t sure what was happening until it happened.) I’ve read prologues that have explained the history of land or dealt with the beginnings of a fascinating mystery. I thought that the book was going to start off with a big dramatic war where Alicante fell and everyone just had to rally together and ultimately defeat Sebastian. I’m glad that I was wrong. (I don’t usually enjoy those types of books.) Getting to meet Emma and Jules really got me attached into finding out what happens to them. This would be the first time I’ll be reading a series that goes beyond the dramatic event that occurred. I get to continue seeing the world after the ‘happily ever after’! I really thought that the Blackthorns would get Mark back in this book.

 

I was very drawn into the story. The concept of an alternate Idris that was the home to demons was really interesting. I got really angry at the ignorant adults who wouldn’t consider the opinions of any one else! Listen to the children! Then when they used the Mortal Sword on children!! Why?! I got angry when they wouldn’t consider even commission an undercover mission to try to locate and rescue the Downworlder’s that got captured! Gosh, so good at fighting demons but no team dynamic at all! I just got so frustrated when the Sebastian was always two paces ahead of the Shadowhunters. I wanted to pull my hair because of this setback! Then I wanted to pull out my hair because everyone was so annoying! Gah!

I was disheartened when more Shadowhunter’s drank from Sebastian’s cup. While I was reading I kept thinking that there had to be some way to reverse the effects. There has to be! I didn’t like seeing the Shadowhunter’s on the losing end. Then I was brutally reminded that their soul was no long there. Only pure evil. That was so sad especially when the Blackthorns who faced their Endarkened father. Depressing moment.

 

I’ve got to say that I did not see the Seelie Queen and Sebastian scene come up. I was sure that they were partners in crime, but just not…partners in the physical sense. Initially, I didn’t understand what was really happening in the scene and then it hit me. Gobsmacked, I was.

 

The treatment of the fairies at the end didn’t really surprise me. Along the way I just knew that the proud Shadowhunters were going to make them pay. C’mon, Jace and Alec’s confrontation to the Seelie Queen really sold that idea. When I was reading the whole confrontation I was wondering of what would happen to the Seelie Queen after Sebastian was gone. Can a new Seelie Queen be appointed? I mean, were there Fairies who were against the whole thing? At the end, there was no mention of the Seelie Queen at all so I was just curious. What did happen to her?

 

The only part that really threw me into a loop was when Jace and Clary met up in the middle of the night in the demon realm. I thought they were going to do some explaining or planning especially when the containment of the Heavenly Fire was really vague. I didn’t really expect them to get some sexy time going on. That really surprised me.

 

I’ve got to say that the only time I was near tears was when Magnus had called his father and his father wanted his immortality. At first, I was all for it. Mortal Magnus. Yes! Malec forever. Then when everything was explained and Magnus was going to sacrifice himself, I really almost cried. Not Magnus! No! Such a colorful character. I was relieved when Simon stepped up but hated Magnus’ father when he added that twist. I was really grateful for the wrap-up because I was so afraid that there would just have been a quick epilogue without tying up the loose ends. Simon was beginning to remember certain flashes. He was going to be a Shadowhunter! That’s gotta be pretty exciting. I’ve got to say though that Simon just doesn’t really seem like the usual Simon that we all knew. I enjoyed his D&D references and he just doesn’t seem all there yet. The Blackthorns stay in Los Angeles with their uncle. Emma and Jules are going to be parabatai. The framework was wonderfully set up.

 

Overall, I was really satisfied with the book. I didn’t find any passage in the book to be boring at all. I LOL’d at certain parts (Simon’s D&D reference when Jace was going to get the sword) and was sometimes confused on certain parts. Alas, it was an amazing adventure. I can’t wait to see how TMI characters mature in the new series.

 

 

P.S. Just something that I had to mention.

 

I was really sad to see Raphael go. I understand that he was a threat against Simon's life, but Raphael just grew on me. I just didn't really feel like Raphael was that big of a threat against Simon's life. Kinda got a dog with no bite kind of feel from him. Pun not intended. Raphael always had a role for Simon to fill in even after he threatened Simon with death. What, with the whole Camile ordeal. Then when Maureen became the new leader and Raphael rescued him for the council meeting. Then when Raphael was speaking with Magnus we learn how indebted he was to Magnus that he ultimately didn't follow Sebastian's orders...which led to his demise. I was very sad at that point. What's to say that if Raphael was alive when Simon and the gang reached them that Raphael could have been indebted to Simon for getting him out of the place?

 

I just had to get that out in the open.

 

May 2014 Wrap Up
May 2014 Wrap Up

This was a good half of the month while I was reading. "City of Heavenly Fire" and "Fangirl" came in the mail today! (I'm just really sad that I probably scratched the dust cover for "Fangirl" while I opened the box. *sigh* This really put a damper on my excitement.) I didn't read CoHF yet...I probably will tomorrow. I was planning on starting the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas but I decided to leave the book aside after I done mourning CoHF. I'm so excited!! Maybe I should pull an all nighter. Ahh, I have to reel in my excitement.

 

I really can't wait for the next installments to "Fire & Flood" and "The Nethergrim". I've got to say that it has been a while since I've read books that engrossed me into the plot. Now my reading journey continues...

May 2014 Book Haul
May 2014 Book Haul

Ladeeda. This is a collective book haul.

 

Today (May 29), I just ordered "City of Heavenly Fire" by Cassandra Clare and "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell that won't come in until June 2. I initially wanted to wait for my local library to read the book, but I would have been 17th in the holding period. I didn't want to wait that long. So I shan't. I could have bought it from my local bookstore, but living on a budget makes me like finding deals.

 

The top row consists of books that I purchased online from Better World Books. I've got to say that some of the books are in the condition that they are said to be in. Although there are times that I question the condition of some of the books. Oh well, I enjoyed receiving them either way. Come on, $3.98 per book regardless of whether the format is paperback, hardcover, or e-book! Also, free shipping! Huzzah! I'm using this site to slowly buy back the first half of the Harry Potter series in hardback.

 

The bottom row of this haul I got from my local library book sale. Five books, four hardcovers (Doctrine of Labyrinths series) and one paperback (Revelations by Carol Berg), for $2.25. Amazing. The only thing that's a downer is that the one paperback  that I picked up is the second book in a series. Argh. Why?! I think I'll go back after work to try and find the other books. *fingers cross* I hope they're still there...or being sold.