Book Review #66: Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

13644052

Title: Origin (Lux #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pages: 418
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Digital Copy
Date Published: August 27, 2013
Publishing House: Entangled
GoodReads Rating: 4.44
Personal Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

My Personal Thoughts

Wow! Finally! My long wait was over! Daemon Black never ceases to bring me butterflies in the stomach, ugh! I just can’t! Honestly, I still don’t like the flow of the story (it’s just going nowhere), just like with the 3rd book, but the OTP (one true pair) is just so awesome and perfect for each other. I can’t count the number of times I swoon and screamed because they just make a real great pair. The setting is getting weirder and weirder as well now because they are on the run, away from their enemies and they spent most of their time in the DOD’s (Daedalus) camp where they were held prisoners and experiments were being done. Katy is always so annoying just like in the previous books but I love how she made good choices here in the 4th installment. Daemon’s determination and perseverance is just admirable because he could have run away and never looked back but he just can’t because Katy is all that matters. This is highly entertaining and funny. Very light and cute and the characters were able to maintain their bubbliness despite all difficulties. The sad part is the betrayal of a family member, I was caught off guard and did not realise that he was a threat. Anyway, the crew is getting smaller and it saddens me because in the 5th book an all out war is screaming and I don’t know how they will be able to withstand it. Dee and Katy’s friendship was restored and it made me giddy because BFFs will always rule. Hoes over Bros like what they say. I am not yet ready for this to end. Four out five. ^_^

~JaNnA

Book Review #62: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han

30312860

“Disappointment is good for kids; it prepares them for the real world, where it’s not all about them and their feelings.”

Synopsis

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

My Personal Thoughts

Young adult contemporary books are really not my cup of tea since I started my reading habit, but Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series definitely made an exception. OMG! I don’t know how to start drafting my book review about the 3rd and final installment of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky’s young love story. It is evidently innocent, pure, and overflowing with emotions! Just like what I mentioned a year ago when I read the 1st two books via audiobook during Valentine’s Day. I know, it’s so cheesy and everything but a woman can only fangirl and reminisce, right? The characters both matured and evolved into more fabulous and gorgeous beings! Lara Jean is someone to be proud of because she kept her thoughts and principles about love and sex until the very end. Peter, on the other hand, is a young man who changed a lot because of Lara Jean. He transformed into a real gentleman compared to the naughty and easy-go-lucky dude he was from the first 2 novels. I am so happy because this book is very inspiring and it contains a lot of life lessons which are suitable for young readers especially to those people nowadays who think that young love is not or will never be a real love. I am so proud of Lara Jean’s conviction and Peter’ not-taking-an-advantage attitude. Basically, this story is just so light and cute and realistic. Many young readers can relate and reflect about their own situation and views in life. The story is fast-paced which I was able to read and finish for 6 hours. The writing style has always been my favourite part, the author writes from the heart and it is evident in my e-reader because I highlighted plenty of inspiring lines and scenes. Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Nicola Yoon are my favourite YA contemporary writers at the moment and I just admire the way they write books that will make a person swoon. I am so happy that I immediately started this book after I did a whole day of reviewing for my upcoming final exam. It was worth it. Family, friendship, life, and love lessons are all here! I can’t think of anything negative to say, maybe the simplicity which I think New Adult story lovers would find boring but not with a 29 y/o mom of two like me who still enjoys reading stories that gives me butterflies in the stomach. It is highly recommended for readers of all ages. Five amazing stars for Jenny Han and cheers to Lara Jean and Peter K’s refreshing love story.

~JaNnA💖

Book Review #61: Ragdoll (Detective William Fawkes #1) by Daniel Cole

30259893

“One body.. Six victims…”

Synopsis
A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.
Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.
The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.
With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?
My Personal Thoughts
Ragdoll is a story that will give you the feels as if you are watching the tv series CSI. It is about a detective and his journey towards unraveling a case that has been haunting him for quite a long time. It is a heinous crime where six victim’s specific body parts were stitched together to create one dead body for the police and the media to talk about. My reading experience is so fantastic that I cringed a couple of times while the characters are trying to piece together all the clues that the murderer was giving them. It was a topsy-turvy escapade because 6 victims will also be killed on designated dates and the last victim is detective Fawkes himself. The writing style is good but not that appealing, although the author caught my full and undivided attention. I was able to finish the book in 2 consecutive days. It is a decent and nice crime fiction story but I find the scenarios too TV Series-ish. All that was included in the book were also scenes that a reader can find in some tv programs nowadays so I wasn’t really that surprised with the ending. In addition to this, the Evil-ish thingie in the end is not my thing. I find it off and not too appropriate with the plot line. Overall, it is recommended for readers who enjoy crime fiction but don’t expect too much because it is a conventional type of story and writing and nothing will surprise you that much. The characters are easy to like and relate to but not that impressive when action-packed scenes are involved. The setting matches the genre, kudos to that. I am just not sure with life lessons because I don’t think it contains a lot where the readers can reflect to. I was honestly kind of disappointed, not that much but just a bit, I was so excited to read this book once it arrived because of the synopsis but once I was able to finish it, it made me think. Is it okay or not? Anyway, I am still giving it a 4/5 rating for being able to finish it that fast which means that it is gripping and a page-turner.
Thank you, Hachette Australia Books, for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.
~JaNnA

Book Review #58: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

18253854_1023152214482836_641142913_n
Synopsis
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Personal Thoughts
Holy Guacamole! I never thought that this series gets better and better with each book! This was screaming awesomesomeness and bubbliness! Cress and Thorne made a good pair, almost! This 3rd installment focused on Cress’story which is kind of similar to Rapunzel (our 3rd fairy tale princess) who has locked up in a tower far away and up in space. She was looked after by a fake wicked mother whom she thought was an ally, just like in the old fairy tale. Thank goodness she also happens to be a hacker which was the sole reason why she became connected to Cinder’s crew. Everything became so twisted here in the book. I almost lost all the hope that the team will be able to survive all the threats and dangers that they’ve encountered. Additional members have joined Cinder’s fight for the crown but unfortunately, some allies got lost. This story is so funny because it showed how Thorne and Cress became close and how the latter continuously falls in love with our hunk. Thorne, on the other hand, had no choice but to suppress his feelings for Cress. Hopefully, in the 4th book, our love birds could finally figure out how to get their shit together. I love this book! It’s getting more fabulous each time! I can’t wait to read and finish the whole series! Winter, here I come. *wink
~JaNnA

Book Review #57: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

7wp-1492409603645.png
Synopsis
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner. (www.goodreads.com)

My Personal Thoughts
Scarlet is the 2nd installment of The Lunar Chronicles written by Marissa Meyer. It is a re-telling of the famous childhood story, “The Little Red Riding Hood”. The author did a spectacular job with this piece, and I honestly like it better than Cinder because I somehow gave the 1st book a not-so-giddy kind of review when I read it last year. I left my copy of this series in the Philippines which is why I am only reading them thru my kobo e-reader, and it saddens me because beautiful books are meant to be touched and felt. Anyway, the world building in this series continuous as the story progresses and as Cinder’s crew multiply as well. From China, the setting is now in Europe where Scarlet used to live in a farm with her grandmother and where it all started between her and Wolf (Ze’ve)! OMG! I just love and ship this pair! I like the idea of liking someone at first sight. Ofcourse it’s a cliché’ but what can I do? I am a mama who still believes with butterflies in the stomach and who fantasises about fairy tales, haha! Kidding aside, Scarlet and Wolf are both good for each other because they accept the fact that they can’t be together but did everything to be together (huh?!). I know it’s hard to understand so I suggest that you go ahead and get your hands on this series so you can catch up with me. I loved every chapter and I adored every character! A Fairytale re-telling that takes a reader into a magical world but still wants us to think how it can be related to a real life scenario. Even though it’s full of cyborgs, wolves, and other creatures, you can still feel the authenticity of the character’s feelings of love, friendship, and principles. I read this in 1 day and a half and I immediately delved on to the 3rd book which is Cress (Rapunzel), the author has a brilliant and creative mind that was able to incorporate all the fairy tale princesses into one amazing world which brought us a breathtaking story to indulge on to. I just can’t move on, not yet, it’s too good and precious. Five fabulous stars for this. Highly recommended for readers of all ages. Bravo! 👌👍👏
~JaNnA

Book Review #48: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

16665580_969155543215837_2957537750122621496_o
Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Pages: 489
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Date of Publication: July 08, 2014
ISBN: 0805099239 (ISBN13: 9780805099232)
Publishing House: Henry Holt & Co.
Goodreads Rating: 4.07
My Personal Rating: 5 out of 5
Synopsis
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love. (www.goodreads.com)

My Personal Thoughts
Whoa! The reason why I bought this book is because I’ve heard really great and intriguing reviews about it. It was also personally recommended by a bookish friend and I always trust her preferences when it comes to fantasy themed stories. Surprisingly, this book left me breathless and pulseless! Haha! Kidding aside, I adored each and every part of it.
The Kiss of Deception is the first installment of The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. The synopsis may sound cliche’ because the princess is a runaway bride. I know, right! But don’t get me wrong, it is so good and entertaining! I even liked the author’s writing style and the way she narrated the story. I got really confused but in a positive way. I was impressed with the way that she was bale to deceive me! I was mind-fucked when I found out what she did with the characters! I got it all so mixed up. The assassin and the prince, wow! I did not see that one coming. I was thinking of the other way around and I was dumbfounded! Anyway, the setting is great and appropriate with the story as well! I enjoyed how the author built the world in an intricate manner. I was able to imagine everything perfectly. The world building is so astonishing! The characters were perfectly justified. The alternating point of view is my favourite part, it has always been my preferred narration because like what I always say in my reviews, I am able to dig deeper into the characters’ perspectives. Let us not forget the gorgeousness of the cover, awwww! Hardback-worthy. ^_^
I highly recommend this novel and I’m so excited to buy the 2nd and 3rd book. The ending is a cliff-hanger, though. And I just hate it so much! hahahaha! The author probably wants to torture me, ugh. By the way, my succeeding book reviews from now on will all be just brief but meaningful because UNI is taking up too much of my time and energy. But I promise to still be active on Instagram and promote books that are being sent by Hachette, Allen and Unwin, and Bloomsbury. 🙂
~JaNnA~

Janna’s Book Review #29 : Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

image

TITLE: Burial Rites
AUTHOR: Hannah Kent
PAGES: 322
FORMAT: Hardback
PUBLICATION DATE: September 30, 2013
ISBN13: 9780316243919
GENRE: Historical Fiction
DATE READ: May 04, 2016
GOODREADS RATING: 3.99
PERSONAL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / 5

“People claim to know you through the things you’ve done, and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself.”

📚 S Y N O P S I S 📚

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect if housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Toti, a priest Agnes mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

©Goodreads

📖 M Y T H O U G H T S 📖

📚 SETTING 📚

The story took place in Iceland during the 1800’s. I adore each and every part of this masterpiece. Margaret and Jon’s farm-house served as Agnes’s home during the times when Reverend Toti tried to bring back her faith in God prior to her execution. The place matches the flow of the story and every part is relevant and significant. In addition to that, it is very classy and informative.

📚 CHARACTERS 📚

Agnes Magnusdottir is a 34 y/o woman who was convicted and sentenced to die due to murder. She was accused of killing her master, Natan, so she suffered for a long time inside the prison. When her verdict was given, she was sent out to a family to be adopted in their farm (because the district commissioner is cost-cutting) while waiting for the day of her beheading. I am impressed with her character although at first I got bored and skeptical of her. She rarely talked. She observed a lot and was afraid to open up even to the reverend assigned to her (whom she secretly requested). Her weakness was loving someone deeply, even to the point of swallowing her own pride and honor just to be with the person that she truly desires. I hate the fact that she did not tell anybody about the truth right away, she let the people and the commissioners believe on all the lies. She kept the truth to herself and refused to fight back. If only the people who cared for her came sooner.

📚 WRITING STYLE AND PLOT 📚

This is one of the best books that I have read this year! I love each and every chapter.  Everything makes sense! Reading a historical fiction is an eye-opener, it will make you realize the kind of life that the people during those times had especially those who were convicted of crimes. A true to life story touches a reader’s heart. Mine was broken and shattered into pieces a couple of times and I almost cried and broke down especially because of the last chapter. I did not enjoy it (not in a negative way though) because it is not entertaining, majority of the readers especially the young ones will not be fond of it. It may not be a fun read but the writing style is awesome amd addictive! Hannah Kent nailed it! She writes deeply, kind of dark but with justice. Ofcourse there are dull moments, times that I fell asleep, but despite of it all, the urge to finish it is always present. I wanted to know who the killer was and if there’s still a slight chance for Agnes to be pardoned in the end. It is depressing, very depressing. I don’t remember any part in the book where I become happy or overjoyed. It is the epitome of heartbreak and disappointment but it is definitely one of the best books that I have ever read so far. The plot is common, about those people who were sentenced to die even though they did nothing wrong. I felt sorry for Agnes because she got no one. Being alone is just so traumatic specially in her case. It is a good thing that Margaret, John and Stein came in her life together with Reverend Toti even just for a while. It is also a slow read but I wasn’t bothered. All in all it is epic and one of a kind. It is kind of hard for me though because there’s an alternating point of view and narration. Some chapters were in the 3rd person narration while some were in the first person point of view. I got confused during the first few chapters. Lastly, some words are deep and hard to understand.

📚 FAVORITE LINES 📚

“For the first time in my life, someone saw me, and I loved him because he made me feel I was enough.”

“It is the waiting that cripples.”

“The treachery of a friend is worse than that of a foe,”

“It seems everyone I love is taken from me and buried in the ground, while I remain alone. Good thing, then, that there is no one left to love. No one left to bury.”

“There is only ever a sense that what is real to me is not real to others, and to share a memory with someone is to risk sullying my belief in what has truly happened”

📚 OVERALL RATING 📚

Beheading is the complete separation of the head from the body which results in death either through an axe, sword or knife. According to Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia is the only country that continues to behead its offenders regularly as a punishment for crime.

This book is a 4.5/5 for me. Kuddos to the author for creating a book that will be remembered. Every part of this book is amazing. It is indeed a masterpiece worth reading. It is well-written and the cover is screaming beauty and class. I highly recommend it because as a reader, we should all come out of our comfort zones once in a while and try something new. A  genre like this is hard to like but it will make you a flexible reader and you will appreciate history more.

📚 CONCLUSION 📚

I realized and learned a lot from this novel. That is the best part of reading a book, realizing what are its impact to your life and sharing it to other people as well. Here are some of them:

Always tell the truth. People may never believe you but it is your only chance.

Never be judgmental. Just because someone has a reputation doesn’t mean that he or she is already a bad person.

Loving someone makes you weak. Sometimes it makes you stupid. Choose wisely.

xoxo, JaNnA💋