Omens by Kelley Armstrong Review

kelleyarmstrong-omens

I’ve never read the Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong but I did read The Darkest Powers trilogy and I remember liking it a lot thus I picked up her first book in her new series, Cainsville. Actually, when I was buying this book I thought it was a standalone but unfortunately it is a series. I wasn’t looking to start a new series because I really do not enjoy waiting a full year for the next book to come out. I rather read a new series when all the books are out and I can read it all at once, that way you won’t forget the characters or the plot. Usually, when books are released a year apart, I always have to re-read the whole series and that is very tedious, especially if there are more than three books in the series. Sorry about my little rant.

Nevertheless, moving on from the fact that I started a new series, I very much enjoyed this book.

The book follows a twenty-four year old woman who grew up a life in privilege. She is the only daughter of a very rich family and she is engaged to a handsome CEO. Her life is pretty much perfect until she finds out that she is adopted and her real parents are serial killers, serving a lifetime sentence. Apparently, her adoptive parents did not know of this thus it is a shock to everyone. The woman, Olivia, becomes the attraction of all the media. She starts to seek refuge and finds the little town Cainsville, where she adapts to a new life and tries to investigate the truth about her biological parents.

I am developing a strong interest in mysteries so this book was very fascinating. This book is also categories as paranormal but honestly there isn’t much paranormal in the whole story except a few “omens” and superstitions. From other reviews that I read, everyone thinks this book is very misleading in that case. I did not find it to be that disappointing. I feel like later on in the series there is going to be more paranormal material. I think because Olivia is new to the world and she just starts to understanding all the omens so do the readers. The readers do know that there is something more than the ordinary going on even though Olivia is oblivious to this at some parts.  I enjoyed the way this book was written because sometimes between the chapters that Olivia was narrating, there was a chapter from a minor character and their intake of the situation. For example, I’ll try not to spoil anything, when Olivia moves to the town of Cainsville, the readers are able to get a perspective from an elderly couple from whom we find out that they were expecting her and they do not seem to be  bothered that her parents are serial killers. This illustrates that there is something supernatural going on because how else would the people of Cainsville know that Olivia was coming and they accepted her even though they do not like many outsiders? We just do not know what this supernatural aspect is. My theory, which is pretty obvious, is that they are all witches and Olivia is one too. It even indicates that Olivia’s biological parents were practicing Wicca and that it is the reason behind all the murders, I mean “sacrifices”.

I would recommend this book for a light reading. The only thing that i did not like about it is that we didn’t get a chance to fully see how Olivia’s life was before she found out she was adopted. The books main focus is the mystery so do not expect anything else from it. Not much romance either, even though there is a possible love interest 😛

I give it 4/5. Meaning I liked it at a 4.

The writing 4/5

And the plot, I give 5/5 since is very thought through.

With love, Maryana

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

15745753Ugh, sad to say that I didn’t like this book. The whole story was irritating. I have so many questions that weren’t answered.  I hated the ending especially.

This story is about two teenagers falling in love. Eleanor is the new girl that everyone automatically hates because of the way she dresses. Park is a quiet guy that everyone leaves alone because of his family name. Two of them are misfits in their own way and then they develop feelings for each other.

Spoiler alert

I thought the story had a lot of potential but it just wasn’t explained. I didn’t like the story because I don’t understand how Park went from hating Eleanor from the point where he couldn’t stand looking at her and then falling in love with her because she started reading his comic and listening to his music. The only contact they had was on the bus before school, they didn’t talk in class or at lunch, they didn’t talk on the phone because Eleanor did not have one.

Eleanor comes from an abusive home. Her mother left her with a friend of theirs for a year without a notice. I wish this part was explained more. I want to know the reason behind Eleanor’s departure and why her stepdad snapped at her. I also do not understand why Eleanor’s mother chooses to stay with this guy. Sure, he provides for them but that’s not even enough. Eleanor and her 4 other siblings need to share a room. They don’t even have enough food to eat daily. Anyways, I wish Eleanor’s mother behaviour was explained more. Also, I do not understand why the stepdad dislikes Eleanor so much or why by the end of the book she says that he is going to kill her when he found some of her make-up and comic books.

Now let’s discuss the ending. Eleanor goes to stay with her uncle after she says her stepdad will kill her. Her family disappears. We do not know if the other kids went to live with the uncle as well or if the mom gained some courage and left the jackass.  Park is left heartbroken and a year passes when he gets a postcard from Eleanor, after not hearing from her the whole time, saying three words. So what are these words? Did she tell him she loves him? I do not understand the point of that. Park wrote letters to her every single day at the beginning and she didn’t respond to any of them. So why would she choose to do this to him now after he tried to move on? Ugh I just hated the whole relationship. Park did so many wonderful things for Eleanor and she never seemed thankful for it. He always said he loves her and she never said it back. There was a chapter in the book when Park’s mother did Eleanor’s make up and she started crying afterwards because she said she doesn’t look like herself but much prettier. It wasn’t  tears of joy. So ungrateful, all the time. Park stood up for her on many occasions. Park was the one who took her to her uncle’s home in the middle of the night too. So what did Eleanor do for Park the whole book? I would like to know please.  She was grateful in her head, maybe, but she never expressed it.

Sorry for my nonsense but I am just not a fan of books like this. I wish it would just end with Park getting over Eleanor or her coming back.

Anyways, I liked the book on scale of 5 at a 2.

I enjoyed the way it was written so I give it 5/5

I give the plot 3/5

Love, maryana

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey Review

Hello everyone,16101128

I had my two week hiatus, but not intentionally. I’ve been moving and then I had my exams and now I have two weeks before classes start again. I am going to try to read as many books as I can in this time. I am currently reading the Great Gatsby and I just finished reading the 5th wave.

So what did I think of the 5th wave?

I think it actually lived up to its expectation. It captured my attention right away and I just kept on flipping through the pages trying to figure out what happens.

I wasn’t too keen on reading this book when I bought it. I wasn’t impressed by the cover (and I do judge books by their cover since it’s the first thing that makes you pick up a book) but I picked it up because I heard mixed reviews on this. I heard that it’s similar to the hunger games and I expected it to be very predictable. It wasn’t.  This is one of those YA novels that gives me hope that there is some creativity and originality left in this field. I must admit that I haven’t read many alien invasion stories so maybe that’s why I was impressed.

The book follows a girl named Cassie (for Cassiopeia) which is unusual name and I wonder if it will ever have a great significance other than being a constellation of a vain Greek queen. The first one hundred pages explain what happened to the people and to Cassie. This is a story of aliens invading earth and murdering the human race which they do in five waves. “After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one”. The aliens have been watching the human race since the beginning of history thus they know how people think and how to extinct the human race. The first wave took away all the electricity, the second wave brought a flood that destroyed all the major cities by water where most people live, the third wave brought a flu and only the immune survived, the fourth wave is when the aliens descend and start killing the people themselves but the difficult part is that they are not some green skin monsters, nobody can tell how they look like. Now it’s the 5th wave and no one knows what to expect. Cassie is alone, she feels like she is the only human left on earth, maybe she is, but she hopes she can find her little brother who was taken by the same people that killed their father. The book switches perspective between Cassie and this guy, Ben, who is at the same camp as Cassie’s little brother. So we get an outside perspective and an inside perspective.

I read so many terrible reviews on this book so people must be thinking that I have a terrible taste in books. Maybe I do but I loved this book. I think the plot was very well developed and thought through. It wasn’t predictable even though some things were made obvious to the readers when the characters had no idea. The book started off at a slow pace and then started increasing pace as the readers started understanding what is going on.  Some reviews that I read said that it went by too fast but I loved the fast paced action packed ending.

I didn’t think that this book was very similar to The Hunger Games. Sure, it is apocalyptic , there is a girl fighting for survival and being watched all the time but that’s a similar theme to hundreds of other books. You hear of every new dystopia book being compared to the hunger games now, why? I love the hunger games but it’s not like it’s the best or original dystopia novel, and it’s not like everyone compares it to Battle Royale (most people don’t even know what that is).

I thought that the book was well written, but I have to admit when the story captures my attention, I barely pay attention to the writing. Since nothing caught my attention therefore it must be okay. Excuse my poor judgment skills 😛

Overall, this was a very nice read. I give it 5/5

Writing 4/5

Plot 5/5

With love, Maryana

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Review

This is definitely one of the best YA novels that I have read.scarlet

This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, following Cinder.

I am surprised at the fact that Scarlet was not strictly based on the character Cinder. Instead, Scarlet is introduced. She is an 18 year old girl living in France and working on a farm when her grandmother goes missing. The book begins as the police call off the investigation for Scarlet’s grandmother’s disappearance. Scarlet is furious and she vows that she will keep looking for her grandmother no matter what, without the help of the police. Other new characters are introduced, such as Wolf and Thorne, and we still get to read about Cinder, Iko, and Kai. I was not expecting for Cinder to narrate some chapters since I thought the book would focus on Scarlet’s story only. Also Kai, Wolf, Thorne, and even Queen Levana get to narrate some chapters.

Both, Wolf and Thorne are the bad boy type of guys but they are very different. Wolf is very strong, quiet and shy, and very serious. Thorne on the other hand, is very arrogant and sarcastic. I like them both equally and find that they both serve the same kind of purpose for the girls (they assist them). I should mention that Wolf is Scarlet’s love interest but Cinder is still drooling over Kai thus, she and Thorne are only friends.

The book, Scarlet, is inspired by the story of Red Riding Hood the way Cinder was inspired by Cinderella. The third book, Cress is inspired by Rapunzel. The finale book, Winter, is inspired by Snow White. I hope I got it right. 😛  I can’t wait to see how they all tie in together.

There are many versions of the story of the Red Riding Hood, the most important facts are; that there is a girl in a red hood, walking through the forest to her grandmother’s house, and there is the wolf. Thus, Scarlet is described with red hair and wearing a red hoodie. Scarlet meets Wolf, who-SPOILER- is one of the genetically modified Lunars. Also there is a brief scene in a forest but that’s as far as the similarities go. There was also a part where one of the Lunar wolves gave the illusion of being Scarlet’s grandmother that’s another similarity to when the wolf in the original story dressed up as the grandmother to fool the girl.

I was impressed by Cinder, but Scarlet was on a higher level.

Why I love it…

–          It’s well written

–          The plot is well developed

–          There aren’t many books on fairy tales in the future, I would say it’s pretty unique

–          It’s not too predictable

–          It takes place around the world and space.

–          It changes perspective.

–          The story is capturing

–           And I just  love fairy tales

I got a signed copy of the book, but I didn’t have the chance to meet the author, unfortunately.

I would recommend this book to any one, it’s a pleasant read.

Sorry if my review is all over the place.

I said I would explain my rating system in the previous post, but I haven’t yet. It’s coming!!

I like this book on scale 5/5

The writing is 5/5 even though it is plain and simple, easy to read.

The plot, I give 5/5

Kisses, Maryana

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