Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Book Review: Outlander


OUTLANDER [Outlander 1]
Diana Gabaldon
Bookshelves: Historical, Time travelling, Romance


Blurb

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.


Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


My Verdict


So I decided to read the Outlander books having come across some rave reviews on Goodreads. It wasn't really what I was expecting. The story started freshly, a young couple trying to rekindle their marriage after a long time staying apart. They are on their second honeymoon in Scotland, enjoying their excursions and unwinding from all the terrors that haunts one in the wake of a bloody battle, in this case WWII.

Moving on to the time travelling and we have Claire in the highlands some 200 years earlier and she's outspoken, curses like a sailor, and has no problem snapping out orders. What's more, she really isn't intimidated by the Scots clad in their kilts and exuding fierce barbaric auras.

I bit back a smile each time she dressed Jamie's wounds and barked at him. I said to myself, now this is interesting. Let's see what these men make of a modern woman, someone who isn't afraid to speak her mind and won't be docile ¬¬

Boy, was I disappointed! She not only let herself be coerced into marrying [though I suppose it wasn't that much of a coercion since she found Jamie attractive], but also let him beat and rape her among other things. I found it distasteful to be honest and unforgivable, I can't put down in words my shock and horror at finally realizing that Jamie thrashed Claire and I was so angry when she forgave him after hearing his stupid childhood beatings. I realize, that during those times it wasn't uncommon to treat one's wife in such a crude fashion but it wasn't necessary. Unforgivable. His heavily Scots accent was another thing I didn't like, it wasn't a nice smooth reading and called for unnecessary attention while reading.

And what was with all the rape?! I don't know how many times Claire was assaulted or had her clothes torn and flesh all exposed. And Claire wasn't the only one out there getting all this 'attention'. The mother of all nightmares in the end left such a bad taste in my mouth. Take a psychotic bastard who happens to be homosexual, add coercion, lust, torture, s&m, and ramblings about incestuous feelings towards your brother = Jamie being raped by his wife's husband's ancestor. I mean what the hell?! Messed up just went to a whole new level.

After reading that, I felt so repulsive towards poor Frank and he wasn't even to be blamed. Claire should have cut off Randall's balls when she had the chance. I agree with others that the book was never ending, it dragged on quite a bit for me. I started skipping a lot of pages, I skipped the sex scenes [I have nothing against sex scenes really but most of the ones in this book were either uncomfortable, unnatural, uninteresting or unpleasant to read] and I specifically skipped a lot of pages towards the end right after Jamie's rape induced phobias.

I finished the book and read one page of the second book but somehow I didn't feel the need to quickly continue with a couple's story like I usually do. I don't know if I love this book or hate it, I guess it's neither. I just found it alright, with some moments of good reading and story line. On finishing this I was sure of one thing, I do not like devilishly-handsome-rugged-warriors-who-are-too-passionate-and-too-possessive-almost-savage-at-times type of guys, contrary to what I thought earlier.


I am planning to read all the books in this series. I just need to figure out how to read all these longish novels! I do know I'd like to have a medal if I make through all of these novels. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Books I can't wait to read: Enshadowed


ENSHADOWED
Kelly Creagh

Bookshelves: Young Adult, Paranormal, Heroes I love, Mystery, Suspense, Favorites


Can't Wait to read this one! Here's what the blurb offers:

While Varen remains a prisoner in the dream-world, Isobel is haunted by his memory. He appears to her in her dreams and soon, even in her waking life. But is she just imagining it? Isobel knows she must find a way back to Varen. She makes plans to go to Baltimore. There, she confronts the figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster—the same dark man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams, calling himself “Reynolds.”


Go girl!! We're all with you. Bring Varen back! :D

Ah, this sounds so intriguing. Can't wait to read it. Dark world of fear, terror and anger. Couldn't be better. Bring it on!

When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. With his mind poisoned by the dream world, he becomes a malevolent force, bent on destroying all—even himself. Now Isobel must face a new adversary, one who also happens to be her greatest love


Ah, this last bit is what I'm looking forward to the most.

Cruel.

So cruel.

Atrocious really, how the reader is left at such a cliff hanger.

It's pure torture.

 August come sooner!


Meanwhile, I'll probably re-read Nevermore, and all works of Edgar Ellen Poe and this little synopsis right here! 

Book Review: One night of Scandal


ONE NIGHT OF SCANDAL
TERESA MEDEIROS

Bookshelves: Romance, Historical, Mystery
Rate O Meter: ♥♥♥


What the Blurb said
Proper decorum has never come easily to Carlotta Anne Fairleigh --- not even tonight, when the lovely, impetuous miss is finally making her debut. As she waits to make her entrance, she can't help wondering about the darkened house next door, the supposedly abandoned home of Hayden St. Clair, the man society has dubbed the "Murderous Marquess." Certainly one small peek through his window before the festivities would be harmless ...

And, naturally, this latest "adventure" ends in disaster, thoroughly compromising the budding debutante's reputation and leaving her suddenly, unthinkably ... betrothed! Soon she's en route to the wilds of Cornwall in the company of the handsome, mysterious marquess whose name the ton whisper with fear and loathing.

Yet there is something thrilling --- and surprisingly tender --- about her dark, unreachable groom, and the desire in his eyes is undeniable. But before Lottie will surrender to the yearnings in her heart, she must unlock the secrets of Hayden's past, no matter how scandalous --- or perilous --- they may be.

What I say

This book had it's high and low moments but I thought the plot was a little haphazard. Too much thrown in. The paranormal references were totally unnecessary and irrelevant in my opinion. It just didn't sit well with the overall plot, and seemed like a bad imitation of Jane Eyre where the mistress is kept hidden and it's such a big mystery. It just seemed out of place. I liked Lottie better in the first book. I guess I wanted a bit more rebellion and wildness from her other than just her annoying screaming. Despite being the hellion that she was while a child, she grew up fairly well, a simple stern miss very much capable of dealing with all kinds of situation. That's not novel at all, is it now?

I definitely liked Laura and Sterling's story a lot more, with plenty of good humour it made me smile plenty of times despite the overused story line. This book had me smiling too, specially whenever there was a tea party going on. I guess I would have liked plenty more of scenes where Hayden bonded with his daughter.

Hayden was hardly convincing as a murderer. He didn't even seem suspicious at all, more like morose and forlorn. Initially I thought Lottie would have a lot more to handle being married to MM but I guess not. So in the end it was just a lot of smoke and not much to it.

It was a good to read about Laura&Sterling, and Diana&Thane once again. It was a light and fun read though, perfect for the type of easy reading [the only kind I can manage] at times.

Book Review: Hades



HADES [Halo II]
Alexandra Adornetto

Bookshelves: Paranormal, Young Adult, Pretty covers, Stupid hero/heroine
Rate O Meter: A shriveled 1/2 ♥


What the blurb said

Heaven Help Her.

Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier’s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.

The story that Alexandra Adornetto built in her New York Times-bestselling debut, Halo, comes alive in action-packed and unexpected ways, as angels battle demons, and the power of love is put to the test.

What I say
The blurb obviously lied!


So I wonder if I've ever told you people how much I love making lists. Yep. I spend hours on my things to do and other random lists.

Here's one I'm sharing with you.

Things I'd probably do while trying to read HADES

Leaf through the pagesdescription
Endure description
Shake head in disbelief description
Raise my blood pressure description
Grind my molars to dust description
Be stupefied beyond belief description
Kill my brain cells description
Go to sleep description
Watch tv description
Read another book description
Laugh hysterically description
Scream in my pillow description
Have a good time
Enjoy reading

Now that almost all of these have been checked off the list except the last two that somehow evade me EVERY TIME I TRY! I decided I couldn't wait forever to write a review on here.

BEHOLD! The RESULTS OF MY MANY ATTEMPTS TO READ HADES [IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER]

Attempt # 1:

“Are you coming over for dinner tonight?” I asked Xavier, linking my arm through his. “Gabriel wants to try making burritos.”

*major eye roll* Get your own gourmet show already Gabriel! Or get a life, whatever comes first. Growing a pair might help too.

Attempt # 2:

I’m just thinking,” he said. “How come in all the paintings, angels are depicted guarding thrones in Heaven or taking out demons? I wonder why they’re never shown in the kitchen making burritos.”
“Because we have a reputation to uphold,” I said, nudging him. “So are you coming?”

Hmmm, I wonder what reputation she's talking about? Oh I know! the dumb ass, good for nothing angel trio reputation! Lets see how the story goes. Once upon a time, 3 great angels descended from the heavens, each bringing a gift to mankind No, no, no. That is all wrong.

There were these three angels, the elder one liked cooking, the middle one liked partying, the little one made everyone's life miserable.

Oh wait, I think I got my 80 year old neighbors confused with these characters.

Attempt # 3

"He was just as breathtakingly beautiful as ever. His tie hung loose and his blazer was slung casually over one shoulder."

*blinks*
*tries to recall what Xavier looked like*
*an image of a faceless teenager with mouse colored hair pops in mind*
*shakes head sadly*

This girl needs to get some, if she thinks a tie hanging loose and blazer slung casually on one shoulder makes for breathtakingly beautiful.

Attempt # 4 

“Gabriel wants to try making burritos.”

Hmmm ¬¬

I'm hungry. I should go get some burritos too. *cheerfully walk to the kitchen*

Attempt # 5

Since the violent encounter with Jake last year, Xavier had hit the gym even harder and thrown himself into sports more vigorously.

*stupefied beyond belief*
a little pause

*laughs hysterically*

I'm sure the occupants of Hell are waiting in agony for Xavier's Ultimate Fitness Show. LIVE.

Attempt # 6

"His face was open and friendly. I was pleased to see that Gabriel was more relaxed these days."

*gasp* Is he?! I tell you! it's those ballet classes, and sewing he's taken up. Isn't he divine! *swoons*
I mean seriously, can anyone focus on their DUTY for a minute!! Whatever happened to saving mankind and why do they keep saving Bethany?!

Attempt # 7

"I kept one of Xavier’s T-shirts, dowsed in his cologne, under my pillow so that every night I could imagine he was with me."


*PUKES*

Friday, 4 May 2012

Book Review: Pure [Covenant II]





PURE [Covenant II]
Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bookshelves: Heroes I love, Favorites, Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology
Rate O Meter: ♥♥♥♥♥

What the Blurb said

There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

What I say
First off, this cover is gorgeous! It's such a divine shade of blue. Love it!

SETH! *.* 

Seth! Oh my God, where to start? I am totally rooting for Seth and Alex to end up together now! I just love these two together! They not only have great chemistry, physics and biology, Seth brings out a lighter side in her. He'd make her forget her past, or her troubles and just be great! Okay, I believe there will be time to gush about Seth later on.

Back to reviewing! I hope you guys like it [It's really going to be about Seth I warn you. My writing a review is only an excuse to cover up the fact that I'm going to be totally gush about him after every 5 lines]

While Half Blood focused on Aiden as the hero, this book has him in the back seat and it's a welcome change I must say. The book opens with Alex in her training class, not long after all that has happened. She's still trying hard and her trainers are pushing her like always. What's more, she has to train with both Aiden and Seth [who by the way never lets a chance to flirt pass by, gotta hand it to him. He's pretty tenacious]. Apart from her very hectic training schedule, nightmares from the time she was captured by Daemons when she went to hunt her mother keep her awake at night.

Her popularity is the same as it was in book one [which was nil, nada, non existent zero] so naturally there are plenty of taunts, snide comments, general antagonism and only two of her friends stick by her.

Covenant II is about Seth and Alex really [all the more reason to love it], their Apollyon prophecy to be specific.

I totally adored Seth in Pure, even though he had those cliched traits of a prick I couldn't help liking him. He's just one of those loveable guys, I love his devotion, his calmness, his carefree attitdue. His compassion and understanding and the utmost care he shows despite being the steretypical bad boy who eats little girls for breakfast! I always enjoy reading his interaction with Alex, be it their training session or flirtatious banter. Aiden seems a dead bore in comparison [I probably go for guys like Aiden in rl but on paper Seth sounds so much better! Yes, double standards]

Pure was one hell of an adrenaline pumping ride and I enjoyed reading it. I did roll my eyes every time Seth called Alex cuddle bear :P [Just couldn't help it] but I also chuckled every time Seth had Alex all worked up and spitting fire and vice-versa.

I also rolled my eyes [a little bit] to all those moments when Alex was just so bad ass. Seriously, tackling the furies on her own? It seemed too atypical of the lead protagonist of the average YA novel. Having Seth and Aiden by her side would've been a lot more believable and cooler. I mean, within a span of some weeks, she goes from not being able to tackle a daimon on her own to killing three furies? She seems all too powerful which only makes her more dangerous because she doesn't use her brain as much as I'd like her too! She was a lot better behaved in this book though. I'm hoping her journey from now onward will only make her wiser and mature.

So in a nutshell
Political plots? [Nothing makes for a great mystery and intrigued than back stabbing, two faced politicians who'd stop at nothing to get what they desire]

Lobbying against the apollyons - Imminent danger to my most favorite Seth and the girl he's destined to be with? Oh, we are not going down without a fight! Bring it on.

Seth - You're awesome! Just don't get your heart broken!

Fancy balls [Am I a sucker for fancy dresses and lavish balls, but I didn't really approve of Seth's white suit]

Kick ass scenes [There were plenty, yes]

The Kiss! Seth and Alex moment we've all been waiting for! I just hope she can make a good choice and stop pining after Aiden. She's hurt Seth a lot more times than he's actually let known through out the book.

Seth - I love how passionate he is. Perhaps it's because he's only a year older but I love Seth for fiercely defending Alex every single time. I mean, he actually goes dangerous when the master slaps Alex.

The furies! Oh, I loved the furies, but they were a bit disappointing. I imagined them to be a lot more apocalyptic-ally bad ass and not die so quickly.

Cuddling - Lol, yeah my apologies but I like fluff, loads of it! I found it sweet. I like how Seth always sneaked in Alex's room and comforted her. I like the bond they share, whatever the connection is.

Seth again! I also loved his streak of possessiveness, that was bordering on annoyingly-jealous-and-needs-to-get-checked-out in the book but hey I thought it was nice. He's never cared about anyone like this before so obviously he doesn't really know much about having a proper relationship with someone.

Compulsions? Some crafty people here! I guess we'll find out who's behind all this? and I wonder if we'd be meeting Alex's father any time soon?

Seth's POV was a bit disappointing and I'm glad I didn't read it fully. I was too afraid I might spoil the uber hot persona I have of him in my mind.

Unjust love - I was pretty pissed at Aiden to be honest, I mean what the heck was he thinking initially? Taking Alex out on a trip, being all nice and caring around her when he clearly knows her feelings. He treated her pretty badly when she confessed her love for him. Thought he was more mature than that. Anyways, I do understand his logic behind it but whatever. He's just being too much like the typical, suffering in silence hero type.

Having said that I did feel sad for Aiden in the end, I didn't really much care for him throughout the book [It's not really his fault because Armentrout just wrote out Seth so beautifully that he blew Aiden out of my mind, and took all the limelight] [how he takes a risk and puts his neck on the line, made me remember all the wonderful things about him that I loved in Half blood and I realized how much he truly carez for Alex. Well we kind of knew it all along, but now Seth knows too.]

I was so pissed at the stupid rules these people have made. Hey guys, there's a word called freedom - ever look it up in the dictionary? You might want to add it to your rules and legislature. Geez, what a bunch of crazy lunatics, standing in the way of budding romance between two people. Not that I want Aiden and Alex to end up together but for their sake. I mean I don't want them to suffer.

For those of you who haven't read this book, you're missing out on some amazing writing and brilliant story. The covenant series are definitely going on my favorites shelf.

I can't wait for the third book!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

First official post of May!


In case anyone's wondering where I've been this whole month of April, I was very busy and going through my usual phase of laziness and lethargy.  

Yes, that happens a lot. I might have been a cat in past life. Who knows!

All I can say is, some good things did happen in April, I got to writing, wrote a couple of pages, added to the story of this novel I've been working on.

And much progress has been made on the wedding preparations for my sister. I'm designing all her dresses and it's a big opportunity for me! 

Let's talk about today now, shall we?

My day has started out slow. I've to go to work in 2 hours time and it's going to hectic today. So I'm trying to enjoy while I can. I decided to finish up this book I'd been reading  for a while. I was thinking of drinking some coffee to wake myself up properly but I found out we're out of coffee so I'll have to settle for tea. Got to cook too before I head out. 

Work's been pretty stressful off late, thoughts of my latest project being a disaster keeps me up at night most times. And it doesn't help when I try talking about it with my friend who has plenty of experience in designing bridal dresses. I ring her up to calm myself down and I hang up feeling like a bundle of crazy nerves, she's a great person but I think she takes way more stress than me and she has everything negative to say about what could possibly go wrong that only adds to my worry. I got this sample back for the bridal I'm designing and I'm pretty happy with it, unfortunately I decided to take her opinion on it too [after her repeated insistence on wanting to help me however she can] and now she can't be bothered to ring me back :/ Don't know what's up with that. I'd have really liked some professional advice before I started on the actual dress but I've decided to stop calling her or speaking on this subject further.