Saturday, 15 June 2013

5 Topics That Make Me Pick Up A Book


I've always been a sucker for cowboys and since I read Texas Gothic my romance with Texas even strengthened. I can just imagine what it's like there - nice people, wonderful atmosphere, blazing sun and shirtless cowboys... I can just imagine myself fitting there real nice and it's an ideal book setting.

Jerk hero

What can I say - they're definitely not boring. We all love to hate them - and then in the end just love them...


This is Matilda's fault. And Potter's. And Prue and Phoebie and Piper's. I still sometimes cry myself to sleep at night because I can't do magic (yet I still try every day).

Boarding School

A closed-off setting is bursting with potential! No parents, no real supervision; crushes and romances; mass of teenagers - something interesting is always bound to happen. Just take a look at Hex Hall or Vampire Academy or Harry Potter! 

Pretend relationship

It's my guilty pleasure. I like the complexity of the situations, the character development, the tension between the hero and heroine and I'm always interested to see in what way are they going to get their happy ending (because, let's be frank - it always ends up with a HEA).

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Fallen Star (The Fallen Star #1) by Jessica Sorensen

Jenna is a normal teenager... Wait, let me start again. Jenna is not a normal teenager because until recently she was unable to feel. Anything. She also lives with her grandparents with whom she has an extremely strained (putting it mildly) relationship. Jenna has no clue why she is so different from everybody; why she has purple eyes or why she can't experience normal human emotions. But then one day the flood opens and she starts feeling these prickling sensations on the back of her head. She suddenly feels. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Jenna is not able to control her sudden outbursts and is absolutely baffled by her reactions. Then one day she bumps into a new guy at school and her life turns into a mess of epic porportions.

What attracted me to this book was that Jenna is 18 years old (not a child at 16, yay!) and that she can't (couldn't) experience emotions. And what turned me off were the similarities with a book we all are very familiar with. I jotted down a few:

- heroine and hero meet in school,
- hero seems to inexplicably intensely hate the heroine from the beginning,
- they are forced to work together in class,
- there are sparks although hero tries to hide his attraction,
- hero has an annoyingly nice sister (named Aisling, get it? Aisling, Alice?),
- hero takes the heroine to a "special" place,
- hero lifts a gigantic branch over his head like it weighs nothing (and the other dude saved the girl by stopping a car).

Have you figured out which book does it remind me of? Twilight, doh. However, things changed somewhere in the middle of the book and the Twilight references stopped there. Suddenly it turned into an action packed The Shadow Society with all sorts of creatures, hidden agendas, plans to save (and ruin) the world and mysteries. Because there is a reason Jenna is different and her 'grandparents' knew about it all along. Speak of the grandparents - I couldn't believe my eyes when I read about Jenna's relationship with her only family. What striked me as weird was that Jenna didn't really question why they're treating her so bad. That's not normal! But I guess since she was emotionless she didn't know how horrible they were to her and the explanation we get later makes everything fall into perspective. 

Jenna is an ok heroine, but that is all. She is average despite having purple eyes and a week after reading the book I am still not sure whether I like that she talks to the reader sometimes. "Well, you get the picture." No I don't! Stop doing that and start acting like a real book! (I guess I didn't like it, hee.) There were not enough descriptions of people, places and situations and I really need those in a book. I need it to create a mini film in my head through which I can experience what is going on in the book. And if there are not enough descriptions, how am I supposed to do that? 

There were many things left unsaid and for this reason I will read the second book in the instalment. It's not that The Fallen Star has disappointed me - it's just that I expected so much more since it had so much potential! A girl with no emotions, for Joaquin's sake! And the secondary characters are so bland I can't even think of one person from that book who is not the hero and heroine. Also, don't even get me started on Alex, the "hero"! He is one lying, manipulating son of a peacock (if I may borrow this expression from a friend) whose intentions toward Jenna are still a little shady. I really need to read the sequel so I can form a solid opinion on this series. I'm also getting tired of this genre, I think I'll switch to something else for a few months so I can recover and return to my sharp, opinionated self. 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Demon Lover and The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles #1 and #2) by Juliet Dark

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart (Goodreads).

I've tried, many times, to write a review that would do these two books justice, but I didn't succeed. It just can't be put to words, that is why I'll have to make an exception and show you with pictures, not words.

Things that are great:
> the heroine
> the covers
> the plot
> the narrative
> the secondary characters !!
> the twists
> the mythology
> the supernatural creatures
> Fairwick
> the demon lover
> the writing style
>... I'll stop here, because it'd take all day to finish the list. 

I was fascinated and mesmerised by the world Juliet Dark created - I couldn't get enough! The vivid and colourful descriptions of Fairwick and its inhabitants had me glued to my chair without even needing food or water... or even air. I was enthralled by the mythical creatures that roam around Fairwick and their adventures; the way Dark transformed them into words was just magnificent. 
The most interesting thing? I racked my brain for days trying to come up with one bad thing to say about this series. I failed. Well, if I think about it, there is one serious flaw with both of the books - they're too freakin' short! And the third one, The Angel Stone, is not coming out until September!! What if I die before September!?