Emma by Jane Austen review

This is a must read according to my friend Kat, who has gifted me with this novel. 9781454901334M

Many people say this is the best of Jane Austen’s novels and has become everyone’s favorite, as in the case of my friend.

I, on the other hand, cannot say that this is my favorite of Jane Austen novels because this is the first Jane Austen novel I have read. I did take a while. I originally started reading it this January but I didn’t really get into it. I picked it up again few weeks ago, determined to finish it. Again, it didn’t really capture my attention until the last one hundred pages, where things became very interesting.

I am going to admit that it was challenging to read and I zoned out completely at some points. I had to read Sparknotes to see what I missed. 😛 But I did like reading it when it wasn’t dull.

I love the early 19th century society with all its formality.

I actually like Emma’s character a lot as well. You either love her or hate her. I loved her character because I found it easy to connect with her.  She exhibits an ordinary girl to whom everyone can relate to at some point. I’m sure at some point in our lives we think we can play cupid and try to match a couple like Emma does with Harriet and Mr. Elton. Also at some point in our lives, we also think we’ll never get married and will rely on our parent’s fortune for the rest of our lives like Emma plans originally. The only thing I did not like about Emma is that, towards the end she changes her relationship with Harriet because of their class rank after everything they’ve been through. Emma really cares about her reputation and her status but I desire to think that, that it is because of the society she was born in and how she was raised. I do not understand how people blame Emma for being spoiled and thinking of herself too highly. It is not like she spoiled herself.

I also would have liked to see more of Emma’s and Mr. Knightley’s relationship. There wasn’t anything romantic in the novel but that is the usual for the classics.

I’ve heard that Jane Austen based Emma on herself. I think that is very interesting because we not only get to know Emma’s character but how Jane Austen was in real life.

I think this was a very good book to read and it had the nice Happy Ever After ending. I haven’t read many classics that end happily and that didn’t have many deaths. This was definitely a first.

I am glad for receiving this book and reading it.

I give it for 4/5 of my liking.

Plot 4/5

Writing 5/5

I need to set up a better rating system! Next post!

Kisses, Maryana

he’s Gone by Deb Caletti Review

ImageHello everyone,

So I am currently reading Emma by Jane Austen and it is taking a while. I am only half way through but I intend on finishing it in the next week, hopefully.

As a breather between reading Emma, I read he’s Gone by Deb Caletti.

This is the first novel that I read by this author but I’ve heard that she has many YA novels.

Also this is not the usual fictional book I read because it does not have anything supernatural or extraordinary.

The reason why i picked up this novel is because the cover appealed to me and the story caught my attention since it is not what i usually read.

It follows the life of a middle age woman, who one day wakes up to find her husband missing. Throughout the book, the readers are introduced to her life, her relationships, and the events leading to her husband’s disappearing. Sounds kind of typical but I was still flipping through pages to find out what actually happened. I am going to admit that the ending was disappointing because the author did not want to make it a typical story following the circumstances. There was this big build up and then nothing.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book even though there was nothing special about it. It was boring and uneventful at some parts and obviously I couldn’t relate to the protagonist. I enjoyed reading it because I like to change perspective sometimes. The protagonist in this novel was the mother of a girl around my age.  I was satisfied reading about this woman, who is in love already, has a family and a career contrary to a teenage girl who falls in love with some you-are-too-good-for-me boy, has some special ability and has to save the world.

I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone because as I said it is nothing special. It is written well though.

I liked the book-3/5

The writing is 4/5

I give the plot 3/5

One last thing; I know that I said I am reading Emma and that it is already different from the typical YA novel but I still wanted to take a break from it and read something else. I usually do this when I read classics. When I was reading Anna Karenina, I read Eve of Darkness by Sylvia Day. I never did a review on it because I didn’t have this blog at the time but since I am writing about it now…it wasn’t great, waste of my time.

Kisses, Maryana

Ink by Amanda Sun Review

ImageYup, I am not consistent with my readings. I said that i would read either, Inferno, Emma, or the great Gatsby but i did not.

I was not planning on reading this but then I saw a signed copy of the book and I just had to have it. I am also a sucker for pretty covers too. And I’ve seen this book all over the place, so why not buy it.

This book was refreshing to read because it didn’t mention the usual supernatural beings such as vampire, werewolf, fairies, or angels. Instead, the book focused on Kami, Japanese gods and how they have powers through ink. This was very cool.  The protagonist, Katie, moves to Japan after the death of her mother to live with her aunt. She is the usual outcast and is attracted to the most popular boy at school. Typically, the boy barely notices her at first but then is fascinated by her character and obviously both of them have a special connection.

I really love how the setting takes place in Japan. I honestly barely know anything about the culture and I enjoyed learning about their customs. I would love to visit Japan, it is so intriguing. Kendo sounds like so much fun.

Another interesting fact about this book is that it includes illustrations. It was very nice to see the drawings that were mentioned throughout the book on the pages.

The first chapter was very good and I had high hopes for the rest. But as I got to know the characters better, especially Katie, I became disappointed. I found Katie’s character to be very irritating and annoying. I do not want to spoil anything for those who actually want to read this book so I am just going to say that she is very nosy and thinks of herself more worthy than she actually is. Also, maybe this is because of cultural differences, I found some of the events to be overdramatic. I did enjoy how the book concluded. SPOILER; I kind of wish that Katie did go to Canada to see how the events would play out when she is on her own, but I am happy with her decision to stay too.

Am I excited for the next novel?

Not really, but I’ll still read it.

On scale from 1 to 5, I liked this book around 3.

I give the writing 4/5 and the idea 4/5.

Love, Maryana

The Liebster Award

ImageYesterday, I’ve been nominated for Liebster-award by Classy Cat Books. This is very exciting because this is the first nomination I’ve got. I am very happy and honored to be considered for this.

This is one of my first book review unrelated posts. I never know what to write about or how to participate in those daily blogger challenges. But I hope I’ll be able to do that soon.

So according to Classy Cat Books there are some rules that I must follow in this post.

First, I need to thank the person who nominated me and link back to their blog.

Second, I must post 11 facts about myself, answer 11 questions asked by the presenter, and nominate 11 of my own blogs.

Finally, I must display the Liabster Award logo.

This is very simple so I hope I do this properly.

11 Facts about me

  1. I am definitely not a writer. Although I write better than I speak sometimes. But mostly I write the way I speak. I do want to write a novel someday. I have so many ideas.
  2. I love languages. I only speak English, Russian, and Ukrainian but I am learning French right now. After I finish with French, I want to learn Spanish, Italian, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, etc. I doubt that I’ll manage all of this but who knows.
  3. I never leave a book unfinished. Even if I hate it and have no interest in reading it, I will still force myself to finish it. I feel like all books are special and they deserve to be respected. You cannot just judge a book by a few pages. Sometimes I have a certain opinion at the start of a book which changes completely by the end. It is not just to criticize a book if you haven’t read it fully. Sorry if I am being very critical, I mean no harm though. I understand how sometimes people just do not get into books or they are written poorly that you cannot read it anymore.
  4. I did not expect to actually enjoy blogging. I started my blog because obviously I love books and I would always love to talk about books with my friend. Everyone in my high school used to love reading so I have always had someone to talk to but since we graduated, everything changed. I am the only one who is still dedicated to reading while most of my friends stopped and had no interest in listening to me. Thus I started my blog so I can actually talk to people who like reading. I did not think that I would enjoy writing reviews because I am not a writer but this is fun.
  5. Coca-Cola is my only vice. I am seriously addicted to it. I drink coke almost every day. I don’t smoke, do drugs, or drink too much alcohol. I just drink coke 😛
  6. I have a cat. I honestly do not know what breed he is but he has white fur and green eyes. His name is Dollar because I got him for one dollar 😛 He is very lazy but when he is active, he can be evil. He sometimes reminds me of a dog (he chases his tail, and sticks out his tongue) also he reminds of a horse when he runs.
  7. I either love to be a social butterfly or a loner. I love going out, meeting new people, dancing, drinking, and having fun. But sometime I just want to live in a cabin in the woods, with no electricity, just candle light and thousands of books. I am sure we all feel like this.
  8. I do not tan, I just burn. There has been very nice weather recently. Yesterday I went to the beach. I stayed there for 3 hours and I was so happy because I thought I did not get burned but then I went out to dinner with my friends and I turned red as a tomato. I had to run out of the restaurant to the closest drug store so that I could buy after sun soothing lotion. I was very itchy and in pain. So today, I cannot go anywhere because I do not want to risk more sun exposure. White skin problems.
  9. I want to open a publishing company. I do not know when this will happen but I really hope it does. If I were to open a publishing company then my books would include a hard copy and PDF like some textbooks do. I am sure other publishing companies will start doing this soon. I carry my books everywhere and I know that ereaders make this simpler but I want the best of both worlds.
  10. Let’s talk Harry Potter. I would be in Slytherin. I always wanted Harry and Hermione to be together. (Don’t hate). I never cry in movies, but Harry Potter is one of the only once I did. I waited 12 hours outside the theater to see Deathly Hallows Part 2. On Wednesday, me and my friend went to see the Sorcerer’s Stone in theater because they are replaying all the films this summer. I do own them all on DVD and Blu-ray but it is just nice to do see it on the big screen. This is the second time we’re doing this.
  11. I am paranoid about technology. It freaks me out to think that you are on a camera most of the time. I hate how much technology controls our lives to the point where we cannot survive without it. I feel like freedom is not going to last and with all this technology it is so easy to control people. As I said, I am paranoid.

Question time

What is your favorite book genre?

I mostly read fiction. Fantasy especially. I used to love post-apocalyptic novels but now they all sound the same to me. I still read them though.

What is your favorite cereal?

I am not a morning person. I usually sleep through breakfast so I don’t usually eat breakfast food such as cereal. If I had to choose though, I would say Kellogg Krave. I am not a healthy person 😛

Why did you choose the topic you did for your blog?

Honestly, my blog is still a work in progress. I am not a huge fan of my name or the layout of my blog. I plan on changing it when I can think of something creative. I do have a layout planned out for my blog. I just need someone to help me create it.

What was(/is) your favorite subject in high school?

It changed from year to year. Usually it is the one I got the highest grade in 😛 So in grade 9 I would have said Art. Grade 10- leadership. Grade 11- History. Grade 12- English.

What is your favorite TV Show?

Now this is a tough one. My all-time favorite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Now i love watching True Blood and The Walking Dead.

What is your favorite word and why?

I don’t have a favorite word, does anyone? Some words are pretty fascinating but they usually come from another language. Nothing comes to my mind right now.

What type of animal do you most identify with?

I love Lions. They are related to cats. They are super lazy at times but at the same time powerful. I envy them. But others would say that I am probably a monkey; crazy, silly, and weird.

Choose an adjective/adverb that starts with the same letter as your first name and also describes you.

Mischievous, modest, motivated, marvelous. I am all of those.

What’s your favorite Disney movie and/or song from a Disney movie?

The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.

What type of music do you listen to?

Anything, it all depends on the mood I am in. I love Eminem, Rihanna, Muse, Linking Park, Marina and the Diamonds, Iggy Azalea, Justin Timberlake, Jem, …. And the list goes on.

How many words can you make from the letters in ‘Classy Cat’?

Ugh, I am terrible at this!!! Okay, there is class….ass….salsa….cast….say…at…a…. I am going to stop now.

Nominees…

I really do not know how to nominate people and I do not think I follow 11 blogs with under 200 followers. If I could I would just nominate all the people I follow and all the people that follow me.

Okay, so I hope I did this right and once again big thanks to Classy Cat Books.

Sorry if i have any spelling and grammar mistakes.

Xoxo, Maryana

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Review

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Finally read it!

It is sad to say that I did not fall in love with this book. Don’t get me wrong, I did love reading it and there was nothing that irritated me. The plot was very good and so was the setting. I love the fantasy world that Leigh Bardugo created with a thing called “small science”. The Grisha could manipulate matter thus it is their power. It’s not magic, its science. 🙂  Also, I love how the setting is based on 1800s Russia. I am close to Russian so I can relate to everything in the book.

Alina, the protagonist, exhibits character development which is a good thing for a YA novel. She started to understand herself and her power towards the end of the book. She possesses a rare ability which she must use to save the world from the Darkling. That’s kind of typical but it is presented in a unique way that you will be surprised.  I actually love the Darkling even though he is ‘the evil’. I kind of wish he and Alina could be together because both of them have special gifts and they are the most powerful but they are fighting each other. I am always intrigued with characters like this. I am going into spoiler mode. I am happy for her that she is with her childhood friend, Mal, I love couples like this too. But Mal is pretty ordinary and I hate it how Alina cannot truly be herself with him. She cannot use her power with him and he will never understand that part of her because he has no power of his own. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Alina and the Darkling demonstrated their power at the King and Queens ball. They are wrong for each other but it’s like the yin-yang in my opinion. So the Darkling has obviously put his spell on me.

If I read this a year ago I would probably be drooling over this. I do not understand why I am not doing so right now but I guess I expected more out of it. Maybe I’ll love it more when I reread it or start the second one.

Every book that I’ve been reading lately is turning into a movie. I am happy and annoyed by that because once a book is adopted into a movie some of its appeal is lost to me. And then there are those fanatics that just watch the movie and say that they know everything about it even though they have not read the book. But I am excited that David Heyman is going to produce this movie. Harry Potter was one of those rare adaptations that did not lose its magic on the big screen. Harry Potter films brought the books to life contrary to other book/films.

I am not sure when I’ll be posting my next review. I started reading inferno by Dan Brown, the Great Gatsby, and Emma by Jane Austen. I do not know which one I’ll finish first plus there always a chance I am going to pick up a different novel but right now I need to focus on my studying (I fell behind on some of my course work). I am not a dedicated blogger yet but hopefully I’ll be able to create a schedule for myself and maybe I will be posting more often.

I give the story 4/5

Writing 4/5

Thanks for reading

Love, Maryana

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

ImageI have been planning on reading this book for over a year now. I heard things about it such as, “It the next Hunger Games!” and “It’s even better than Divergent”. I disagree with the above statements now that I actually read the book.

I did enjoy reading this book but I found it to be nothing special.

The writing was revolting and I hated it at first. I had to force myself to read the first one hundred pages and with every page I had an angry outburst on how the writing is a disgrace to English literature. But then I started to understand why it was written this way. It shows how the protagonist, Saba, thinks and views the world. Saba has had no education thus she says things like “an” for “and” or “ud” for “would”.  It was irritating but as you get into the story, you stop paying attention to it. I read some reviews where people say that they couldn’t finish the book because of the writing, but honestly you get used to it and afterwards it ain’t that bad. 😛 It would be helpful though, if the Moira Young used some quotations. It is hard to follow when you don’t know if Saba is thinking to herself or talking to someone.

My reasons why I was not impressed with this book;

First, Saba isn’t the easiest person to relate to. Secondly, I did not understand how she magically became the best fighter and was given the name, Angel of Death, for it. Maybe I misread something but I was under the impression that she had no training and even if she did, it was fooling around with her brother and father. Maybe it will be explained in the next book. Thirdly, it was hard to understand the setting. I understand that it is all dust land and how there was the big apocalypse but I wish there was more details about it. Hopefully in the next.

I still prefer Divergent next to this. I probably will read the next book in the series, Rebel Heart even though I think Blood Red Road could be a standalone. SPOILER: The first book was about Saba finding her brother and she did get him. The next one will be about them finding a place they could live in…Contrary to most books, this one did not end with a cliff-hanger in my opinion. Sure, there are some loose ends, like who is this DeMalo character, and what is Jack hiding. But the book doesn’t mention anyone being after them anymore. Plus, Saba parted with Jack well, she got to say goodbye to him and everything. The books goal was accomplished thus it could be the end.

I give the story 3.5/5

Writing 3/5

Love,

Maryana

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

ImageThe title of this novel and the cover captured my attention right away. I read many good reviews on this book but at the end I was disappointed.

The concept is unique. It’s about a teenage girl who falls in love with a prince in a fairy tale book, with whom she is able to speak with, and throughout the novel they attempt to get him out of the book so they could live happily ever after. Okay so my summary is really bad but it is actually what happens.  The prince in the fairy tale is aware of the fact that he is in a book and he wants out of it with the help of this girl.

This book is kind of irritating because, yes, it is a cute story but in my opinion, it doesn’t have the happy ending that it should have.

Spoiler Alert

I honestly thought that by the end of the book, the girl, whose name is Delilah would end up with Edgar, the son of the author who wrote the fairytale. It makes sense to me because the fairytale prince, whose name is Oliver, is based on Edgar, so through Oliver and the fairytale, Delilah falls in love with Edgar. The whole time Oliver was talking to her about how he wants out of the fairytale, is the cause that led Delilah to find Edgar, who is actually Oliver in real life. That what I thought would happen but nope, that’s not what happens.

Instead, Delilah find Edgar but Edgar and Oliver are two different beings so while Oliver wants out of the book, Edgar desires to be in the book. And that’s what happens, Edgar writes himself into the book while Oliver is written out of it. The book ends with Oliver getting a paper cut and instead of him bleeding red, he bleeds black, thus Delilah realizes it is actually the real him and they share a passionate kiss. The end.

It doesn’t make sense to me. Throughout the novel nobody but Delilah could hear Oliver, so I actually thought it was in her head but guess not. I feel bad for Edgar and how now he is stuck in the fairy tale even though it was his decision. And I still do not understand if Oliver is real or not. If he bleeds black, obviously he isn’t real and its all in Delilah’s head. But maybe it’s actually Edgar who Delilah ends up with but has the impression that it is Oliver. But if it is Oliver, the prince from the fairy tale book, does that mean everyone else can see him now. If he is the prince from the book, how is Delilah supposed to live with him, its not like they’ll ever have kids since he is made of ink, and would they even be allowed to marry? But it is a fairy tale,i suppose, these questions aren’t asked. The fact that Delilah and Oliver are together is the Happy Ever After.

Sorry, I am way over-thinking this book, it is so confusing. This review is terrible because I’m just writing without filtering what I actually want to say.

If you read this book, please tell me what you thought of it because I would really like to know.

I actually love the way this book is written. It is written from three perspectives, Delilah’s perspective, Prince Oliver’s perspective from the fairy tale, and between chapter we get the actual fairy tale story.

Anyways, this whole review was a rant and me trying to make sense of this book. I’m sorry you had to read it.

I rate it 3/5 since the story is unique

Writing 4/5

Love,

Maryana