Monday, August 30, 2010

Rating System

Let me begin by saying that initially I was completely opposed to a rating system of any kind.But.Skimming through reviews of some of my fellow bloggers, I caught myself searching for how many stars or butterflies or whatever the blogger has given the book before reading the actual review!Thus, and mainly because hypocrisy doesn't become me, I decided to rate the books I review, too.I'll keep it pretty simple, 5/5 equals amazing, awesome, go and buy it now and all that and 1/5 or lower equals don't bother.I think you pretty much catch the drift!

Enjoy :)


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

READING : Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication date: July 13th, 2010
Published by: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5
Grace and Sam must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

An incredible thing just happened to me : I didn't enjoy Shiver at all but I loved Linger.How can it be??I am pretty shocked myself, to tell you the truth, because I was expecting to be disappointed once again.As it turns out, this is definitely not the case!

First and foremost I'd like to tell you that this review contains a lot of Shiver- Linger comparisons, which I find inevitable when it comes to books of the same series.It's probably not a very "professional" way to review a book, but I just cannot forget I read Shiver and regard Linger as a stand alone.

Let me begin by saying that Stiefvater's writing is exactly the same in Linger as it was in Shiver : brilliant, lyrical, wonderful, beautiful. Incredibly depressing and emotional, of course, but it's only natural, since Shiver was all about new found love and romance and Linger is about loss and sorrow.Either way, Stiefvater's writing is amazing in both books, regardless if you like her books or not.It's just an undeniable fact!

The main problem I had with Shiver was the lack of a story.Sure, OK it had one.The romance between Sam and Grace.But even though it was well written and all that, it really didn't do it for me.What is the reason of having a supernatural element added in, if it's gonna go to waste?Well, Linger is a reason, and a very very good reason at that.Linger has a story and it gave meaning to the whole series,in my opinion.Things are not what they seem with the wolves and Sam's alleged cure, while Grace suffers immensely when her inner wolf awakens,wanting out.I really can't reveal any more of the plot for fear of major spoilage.Point is,when a book is based on a story that can lead somewhere and it's not the classic I love you-you love me-this isn't going anywhere story, it's so,so much better for the reader who wants to read more and more and can't get enough and is addicted and hooked and wants to know how it all ends.Combine that with excellent writing and you got yourself a great book!

There is one more reason I liked Linger and its name is Cole.With his troubled boy attitude and his continuous  will to self-destruct, Cole is undoubtedly a great addition to the books.Also, his background story has already played a very integral part in Linger.
As for the other characters, Sam has grown in ways I can't even tell you since Shiver.I liked and admired him very much in Linger, even though I didn't much care for him in Shiver.Grace, well, I still don't like her much.Too self righteous for my taste.Well, in retrospect, who can blame her?It's a wonder she grew up the way she did with parents like hers.You know, a friend on GoodReads actually pointed out that parents in Stiefvater's books are the worse parents she ever read in YA fiction.I'm afraid I will have to agree with that!

The only thing I had a little trouble with when reading, was the 4-way narrative.I usually love it when different voices express their thoughts and emotions, but this time I had a hard time getting used to it, since narrative changed all the time,unlike Shiver,and I had trouble telling Sam and Cole apart at some point.
But other than that, nothing was wrong with Linger!

So, if you guys are like me and gave up on reading Linger because you found Shiver boring and bland, I am begging you to reconsider.Believe me, you won't regret it!



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Thursday, August 26, 2010

ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD



I am very very proud to announce that yesterday I received the One Lovely Blog Award from Missy @ Missy's Reads & Reviews.Thank you so so much, Missy!!!


Here is how the award works:


1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.(I don't know if I can come up with 15 but I'll try...)

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.



And the blogs I have chosen are:


Books To Brighten Your Mood (my fellow greek avid reader:)
La Femme Readers (Eleni, you're amazing!)
Imagination In Focus (love your writing, Amelia!)
Once Upon A Bookcase (awesome reviews, Jo!)
I Heart Monster (my first read along!)
Bloody Bookaholic (because I agree with her on almost everything!)
Teens Read And Write (you're not afraid to say what you think)
The Undercover Book Lover (Not Really) (love my fellow administrators!)
The Story Siren (because her In My Mailbox post is the first thing I read-or watch-on Sunday!)
Book Fanatic (my first followers!Thank you guys!)



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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

READING : Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Publication date: September 1st, 2009
Published by: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Rating: 6/5
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
I don't think there is a single thing I could say about this book that has not already been said.I keep trying to think what to write in my review about Catching Fire and only one thing comes to mind:stunning.Oh and some other things, like unbelievable, amazing, awesome.


I was in such a reading denial this last mont- I could not concentrate and I just didn't want to read anything- and this book snapped me out of it, and that has got to count for something.


I think that I liked Catching Fire more than Hunger Games, if that's even possible.I liked how the characters grew, I loved the story about the mutiny,which got me super excited, I loved the idea of the Quell, everything that's in this book.And the writing...oh, the writing!I am so glad and proud that I can honestly say that this book,and Hunger Games, does not only have an original and fascinating story but is also a literature gem.I bow to you, Suzanne Collins.


I know that my review probably won't say much to you.There really isn't much to say 1.without  major spoilage and 2. without the fear of sounding like a broken record.


All I can say to you is : buy and read these books because if you don't, you're beyond any doubt, missing out!


Don't miss Mockingjay, the last part of the Hunger Games trilogy, coming out August 24th!


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Friday, August 13, 2010

SUMMER VAC!!!FINALLY!!!!

This is it, guys!I'm out of here!Out of the insufferable heat and this terrible city, into beautiful beaches and cocktails!
I will be gone for a week, so this means no reviews, no updates, nothing. I know I have been MIA for quite some time now and I really don't know what the problem is.I am not reading at night, when I usually do most of the reading, because I am super obsessed with a TV show lately (Friday Night Lights, check it out!) and I am sitting at home all day watching FNL and when I am not sitting at home, I am out for whatever reason and I just can't get myself to sit down, concentrate and read a book.I mean, I've started reading Catching Fire on Saturday and I still haven't finished it, which is unacceptable! And it's not even about the book, because it's brilliant. It's me and I really hope some beach time can change that!

Speaking of, here is where my friend Irene and I are about to go:


This is one of the beaches (St. Anna) in the island of Amorgos.It'd be my 3d time there and I absolutely looooove it!This is a picture I took, actually 4 years ago, along with this one:




(same beach) and this one:




This is the sunset at Egiali beach and where we're staying.
*sigh* I can't wait!The only drawback is : 8 hours from Athens by boat!Kill me now!!!!



So, see you guys next week.
Be good.Read some books.

:)


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Friday, August 6, 2010

READING : The Absolute Value Of -1 by Steve Brezenoff (ARC)

The Absolute Value Of -1 by Steve Brezenoff

Publication date: September 1st, 2010
Published by: Carolrhoda
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5
Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent's illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief. 

The Absolute Value of -1 is a book about  three teenager's, Noah, Lilly and Simon,relationships, and how they change as they grow older along with their perception of the world and the way it works.This is a book about their lives.


I know that you are all probably thinking that you've read books with a similar, if not the same, theme before.But I would suggest that you don't think about all the other books you've read on the subject and read this one with an open mind.


I liked The Absolute Value of -1 very much!I loved the writing- no disrespect to YA novels but this book was so eloquently written,I mistook it for an adult novel!I'll be on the lookout for any other books by Brezenoff!Because even when I think that a story is weak, I always enjoy and value a book that is brilliantly written.
I loved the characters-the same story is re-told in each chapter from Noah's , Lilly's and Simon's POV.I always like it when the author uses different POVs for one story because not only there is a sense of objectivity when you get to hear different opinions but also it keeps you from getting tired of a story that is always around one person. I liked all the characters, although some were portrayed less than others.
The only thing I didn't like about The Absolute Value of -1 is the ending.It was a bit anticlimactic, considering the strong and very shocking beginning, making you even more anxious to find out what happens in the end, therefore making you feel even more disappointed by the very simple and blunt ending.


Overall, The Absolute Value Of -1 is a wonderfully written book about changes and how some of them we can control and makes us  different and better and some of them which are just out of our reach, are the hardest to take in and can sometimes break us completely.
I recommend it to every person who has problems at home or at school or simply with themselves. 


DISCLAIMER : This book was given to me by NetGalley free of charge.




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Monday, August 2, 2010

READING : Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Publication date: August 21st, 2007
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She'd know about her mom's new family. She'd know about her dad's fiance. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.But Naomi picked heads.After her remarkable debut, Gabrielle Zevin has crafted an imaginative second novel all about love and second chances.

I enjoyed reading Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac.Zevin's writing was brilliant and the story unique and beautiful.

After a simple coin toss between friends, Naomi finds herself in the hospital, having lost the memory of the last three and a half years of her life.This book describes her efforts and emotional struggle not only to regain her memories but also to cope with the life she has now and come to terms with her old and new self,as she comes to the realisation that the two don't go together.

As much as I loved the idea, I can't say the same for the characters, especially Naomi.I get that what happened to her was serious and very unfortunate but she behaved kinda like a brat throughout the whole book.Who has a sister and doesn't want to meet her?Who doesn't want their parents happiness?Who has a boyfriend for the sole purpose of being socially accepted in school?(a lot of girls, actually, but that doesn't make it all right!)Who likes  someone because he is as "damaged" as you and then when you are fine again, you don't care about him? I guess when Naomi lost her memories she was an OK girl, but when she started remembering, the girl she became, and evidently was before the accident, was not  OK at all!

Anyway, I don't know what else to say about this book.I liked it, I loved the writing, I recommend it, but I don't know what I feel about the female lead.Should I dislike her for her selfishness and immaturity or should I just forgive her for all that and blame them all on what she went through? I really don't know.I think that was Zevin's goal from the start, to create an ethical dilemma to the reader about the heroine.Or maybe I am reading too much into it.You read it and you tell me :)



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Sunday, August 1, 2010

In My Mailbox(17)



::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::








For Review:


(this book is from NetGalley)



...and my awesome prezies:





So, I guess you're wondering why the presents.It's not my birthday.There isn't any special occasion.Well, unless you count the person that got these for me, because she is special alright!I don't know if she wants to be mentioned, so I'm not gonna say her name.

But E. you should know that you're an awesome, fantastic, amazing person and that I'm forever grateful!
Thank you so much!

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