Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Unearthly #1)

Rating: 4 out of 5
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia 2011/HarperTeen 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Angels, Paranormal, Romance



Unearthly
HAND, CYNTHIA

Australian Edition
Unearthly follows the story of Clara Gardner as she collects the shattered pieces of her life after she finds out...that she's part-angel. Let me tell you, after this bombshell things change. Her 'angelness' starts to become visible and she starts having visions that point to her purpose (because everyone has a purpose right?). All angels have a purpose, or mission that they most complete and Clara's involves saving the anonymous sexy boy from her visions. From a fire. In a town that she doesn't know.
So from that moment Clara's (and her family's) life starts anew, complete with a new town, new school, boys, questions, sadness and wings.


USA Edition
Trust me, this novel is a lot more than my short summary might give. Although judging from the summary Unearthly might seem like the usual teen book with crushing girls, settling in,etc., blah blah, Unearthly is SO.MUCH.MORE. This novel has often been compared with popular teen 'angel' reads such as Halo, Hush-Hush and Fallen and I found the storyline of Unearthly so much more believable, clean, progressive and romantic. A true gem of a young adult novel.

Although Unearthly couldn't escape the Young Adult characteristics of Love Triangles, Popular Girls and hotness incarnate, the novel made up for this with the wonderful fluid writing and sweet 'lovestory' romance and at times I was thankful for the YA Chracteristics when I needed something to get me glued to the book again. I must admit that occasionally some parts of the novel dragged on a bit, when all I wanted was chemistry at some times of 'over-sadness' in the novel.

 Overall, Unearthly is a fresh, new different take on the ever popular Young Adult paranormal romance genre and it is amazing (*Hint* the second book; Hallowed, is even better)! Cynthia Hand has made fan-girls out of all her readers who are all anticipating her second and third books in the trilogy: Hallowed (Unearthly #2) and Boundless (Unearthly #3).

Boundless comes out January 2013



Saturday, 8 December 2012

Dreaming Fantastical Tales: Her Emotion struck many (Dying Swan)

 
Her emotion struck many (Dying Swan)
Laetitia Nguyen

The rustling curtains whisper my name, perhaps I am mad. But I am about to step onto a lake that will keep my name floating for centuries after. The stage is my lake and as the music starts I hope the ripples I make will spread afar. When I dance, my arms are wings, fluid, otherworldly. With each extension of my foot, emotions strike out like the beating of swan's wings. I am a swan, a dying swan. As the music dies, the swan dies,the audience is silent with awe. It is evident that the ripples of the lake have turned to waves, lapping at the shore.

Copyright Nguyen, Laetitia 2012

Book Review: The Season by Sarah Maclean

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Books/ Orchard Books (2008)
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction/Romance

The Season
MACLEAN, SARAH

Set in the world of Regency London, this story is the narration of a typical London Season, though twistedly driven down into a flurry of treason and danger. The book is based around the experience of a young woman, Lady Alexandra Stafford a.k.a Alex, with a determination of straying from the wealthy candidates that she herself had inconveniently lured without knowing, despite her fiery personality and inexplicably sharp-tongue. Managing to haul along her partners in crime, Ella and Vivi, they become entangled in a mystery that involves life…and death.

Sarah Maclean manages to create a clear image of each character with great detail and connection. She created various characters that will imprint in your mind. Lady Alexandra Stafford (daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Worthington) is feisty, witty and unlike many other young women of her time. She is up to date with politics and loathes the idea of marriage and the trappings of romance, though, her ideas evolve entirely throughout the social whirlwind of the London Season.  Another of Alex’s greatest friends, Lady Eleanor (Ella) Redburn (eldest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Malborough), shares her loathing for marriage and romance; this rare personality defies her petite, porcelain looks. The story is written with many sub-plots all making sense and connecting together one way or another. I find that with the many sub-plots, the way she wrote in third person yet focusing on one character was a very successful method of writing and gave way to more describing, which I loved.  The main plot was very strong and focused upon and being me who’s always shouting in my head: “Romance! Romance! Romance!”, I think this plot really answered my calls.
This book, I believe ticks most boxes that I would seek for in a book; Romance, More Romance, History, Mystery, Murder and treason. Rarely authors can manage to weave so many categories into such a satisfying story and I believe this is what singled ‘The Season’ out from other novels. I really don’t think this book could be altered in any way and emerge better. In my eyes, it is perfect already and just the type of book that I would want to read again and again (not that I know anyone who did soJ)
Sarah Maclean incorporated many messages into the book which would vary as you mature and decipher them in your own way. One of the messages that I particularly liked was “Appreciate what you have while you can and don’t let this appreciating become corrupted”. Messages like these started off as little ideas and these ideas grew as I was told more and more knowledge of the situation, then I was able to piece everything together and turn it into a meaningful message. It isn’t a wonder that Sarah was able to keep me so keen on the book. The mere subject of the book was enough to keep me from my studies until the book was done and read. Her describing skills pure amazing, providing me something to look up to in my own writing. The author always built up climaxes leading into consecutive chapters and left questions and curiousity, urging me to read on.
In the end, the Season made me feel thankful for my family yet it also made me long to have lived in the world that Alexandra Stafford lived in, Regency London (or Tudor times would be nice).Recommended for people who like history (even just a little bit) and romance. I wouldn’t suggest this book if you weren’t the Jane Austen, balls, dinner parties and tea type but it wouldn’t hurt to try new things. The Season was an amazing book and I can’t wait to read a new novel that you might suggest.



Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

As seen on Goodreads:


Rating
5 of 5 stars false
StatusRead from December 04 to 05, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
TAYLOR, LAINI
 
I think I've fallen into a magic portal and disappeared into the amazing world of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. An art student, Karou, attends an art school in Praque where she learns to paint nudes, converses with friends that accept she's an enigma, gets pestered by her sexy ex-boyfriend, draws fantasy drawings that aren't fantasy and seems to come from a completely different celestial world. Wow. Caught in a battle between two fantastical clans, Karou must discover what she really is, a decision that could not only change her own life and trusts but could also change the lives of those that she loves...and hates.

 This novel takes you on a journey that not even dreams can conjure... where celestial goodness, mystery and romance are at their best. With multiple crescendos and twists, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a work that few can rival with such a great and imaginative storyline and the classic 'forbidden love'. It is unlike most YA novels and is a real treasure of a book. I really do recomend this book to all, whether your genre is fantasy, paranormal, historical or you just read books.

After this amazing novel comes the second instalment; Days of Blood and Starlight. When I manage to get my hands on this one get ready for a bombshell.


 

Nice to meet you

Salutations,

My name is Laetitia and through my love of books I have decided to start a blog to share my love of books, "Because everyone deserves the magic a book can create", right? Here I will attempt to assemble my 'flurried thoughts' on books into book reviews and we'll just have to see what the end product will be.☺.
Generally, I review Young Adult, Historical Fiction/Romance, Classics and everything in between. What catches my attention, I read. What I read, I review. Occasionally a movie might come up. Or perhaps a book that might be made into a movie.

I will post short stories every week and they can be based on a subject in media, a photo or even a continuation  of a movie.

But until then...