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komalmikaelson

Komal Mikaelson

Currently reading

This Song Will Save Your Life
Leila Sales
Progress: 15 %
The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel
Carol Rifka Brunt
The Liberator - Victoria Scott Update #2
As Jana pointed out in the comments section below, Victoria Scott has confirmed that there will NOT be a love triangle!
*relieved*
Breathe, people! :D

Update #1
I may be mistaken, but the blurb hints heavily on a possible love triangle.

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WHAT THE FUCK.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Don't you dare do that Dante. Don't you fucking do that.

There is just one redeeming quality about you and that is Charlie.
Just that one. Don't fuck it up.

And that, seriously, was the last straw. As if the series could fall any lower, Scott introduces a triangle.
MIND. BLOWING.


The Guardian Angels - Rohit Gore Okay, so first confession time: I don't like books by Indian authors. I hate [a:Chetan Bhagat|61124|Chetan Bhagat|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1255919964p2/61124.jpg] books with a fiery passion and I DNFed [b:The Immortals of Meluha|7913305|The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy #1)|Amish Tripathi|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1334659192s/7913305.jpg|11196793].
All the authors seem capable of are cheesy lines, haywire stories, flat characters and all in all, lackluster stuff, which fails to impress big time. So, I was skeptical to start The Guardian Angels in the beginning, what with all of my past experiences with these books. I hadn't read any other books by the author previously and didn't know what to expect.
So, safe to say, I gave it a fair chance.

Now getting to the review.

The Guardian Angels is love story. NOT a love story, people.
Aditya Mehta, the heir of a billion-dollar conglomerate, Mehta Groups, first meets Radha Deodhar while he was being scorned and thrashed by school bullies at the age of 12. She outwits the bullies and saves Aditya and thus begins their story. The novel spans 30 years and delineates the interwoven threads of their lives.
How their lives come together, coalesce into a resplendent relationship and subsequently moves apart.

The story line was fairly engaging. Not keeps-you-to-the-edge-of-your-seat engaging, but neither wouldn't-pick-up-for-my-life dull. Just walks the fine line between the two.
The prologue was a disappointment of sorts. And safe to say, I wasn't really impressed. But as the story progressed, it sure gets interesting and I found myself leaving other books to complete this one.
The entire novel is written in POV of the two protagonists. And here lies a major problem. I couldn't distinguish between their monologues if it hadn't been clarified right from the beginning of the chapter. Both Adi and Radha have similar voices inspite of being polar opposites of each other.

The author keeps the story simple and succinct. No copious amounts of teenage angst, no superfluous drama, no bitchy antagonists.
I loved how Radha and Adi remain friends and don't jump headfirst into a relationship. Because, really, all relationship DON'T HAVE TO BE ABOUT LOVE.
It was sweet, but not disgustingly saccharine.

Aditya/Adi Mehta is a child starved for attention. The father and mother are too busy running their business to pay an iota of attention to their child. Consequently, he is closed-off and terribly shy. He finds a great friend in Radha, who supports him, encourages him and doesn't hesitate to call him on his bullshit.
Adi's chracter was easy to understand and relate to, which is more than I can say about Radha.

Radha is born and raised in a strictly urban middle class family. Her father is a socialist and safe to say, they reside in a sphere glaringly far from the Mehtas. I understand the fact that it is uncomfortable for her to live in Adi's glamorous world, but seriously, she went way overboard with the uncomfortable thing. She would rarely visit Adi's house and even if she did, she wouldn't wander far from
his room in fear of god knows what. She comes off bitchy at times, when she incessantly scorns Adi for his father's wealth. Give the guy a break. It isn't his fault his family is filthy rich.
The characterization was okay, I guess. Not really attention grabbing but not drab either.

And now, the major letdown that resulted in slashing of 2 stars straight: the writing.
*sigh*
Whenever the going would be smooth and the story engrossing, BAM! A grammatical error here, a misspelled word there and all the magic would be leached away. It was like being woken up rudely to the reality. And I absolutely loathed it because the story had some true potential. The amateurish writing and awkward sentence construction made it really hard to get into the story. The sentences were choppy and just didn't go with the setting. All this and the terrible editing kept the story strictly at a superficial level and prevented from evoking any real feels, which in turn ensured that the book stays away from my favorite shelf.

Conclusion: The Guardian Angel is a good novel much much better than Chetan Bhagat according to me. If you can condone the writing and are looking for a light, breezy read, the novel's just right for you.

*The copy was received free of cost by the author in exchange of an honest review*
Adorkable - Sarra Manning More of a 2.5 stars.

Adorkable was 70% dorky boring and 30% adorable. I was really excited about this book and all about badgered Jessie to read it with me and you can check out her review here. I mean, have you read the blurb? 17 year old dorky teenager, blogger extraordinaire, " an innovator and a one-girl zeitgeist and the queen of the outliers" AND a hot guy? Sign me up!
The story revolves around Jeane's break up with her boyfriend, Barney, and her navigation along the lines of dorkiness and loneliness and subsequent acceptance and development.

Character

Jeane Smith
First with the good part.
Jeane is ...fun. She is confident and blunt and doesn't take shit from anyone. A strong, independent protagonist. She is comfortable in her own skin and hell with you if you don't understand me. I don't give a shit. She is awesome that way. She is quirky, witty and brilliant in a way.

Now, the slightly disconcerting part.
Jeane is ...weird. Not dorky weird, just weird. She has half a million followers on Twitter but can't manage to talk/relate to even one person, except Barney, at her own school. It was like, everyone was beneath her and Miss. Dorky Personified couldn't be bothered with the lowlifes she was forced to spend time with.
She was all like:
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She was too full of herself. She was ornery, obstreperous, obnoxious and "all other unflattering o letter words. I couldn't identify with her. I don't have a Twitter and like Micheal, I "don't get Twitter".
But that's just me.
I'll bet tons of people will relate to her, because let's face it, our generation do spend more time interacting with netizens that our school mates.
I could totally sympathize with Micheal's view that internet friends are not exactly real friends. It is nice if you are active virtually but you really can't substitute actual people with the internet guys.
Hmph.
I'm guessing, I just sounded like a 10000 year old there, but I like going out with my "real" friends too.

At the end of it all, beneath all the glitter and flashy, mismatched clothes, all the bluster and rambunctiousness, Jeane is just a lonely girl starving for a hug.

Michael Lee
In a word: AMAZING.
Your Mr. Popular and NOT a manwhore. Head of the debating society, captain of the football team blablabla. You get the drift. All in all, Mike was a pampered child. No traumatic childhood, no drunk dad or absent mom.
Normal. Happy.
There was this child-like innocence in him that was glaringly lacking in Jeane. But Micheal was timid too. 18 year old, following a time table to the T posted by his parents. Scared of breaking his curfew. Living within boundaries set by his mom parents.
You might call it spineless or obedient.
Your call.

Writing
Great.
There is something about British writing that makes it adorable. I haven't read many Brit lit, so maybe the unfamiliarity held a certain charm for me. I don't know. Whatever it was, I adored the writing.
The dialogues were witty and Jeane's monologue smartass-y.
All in all, enjoyable and entertaining.
And totes? Is it a British lingo for totally?
And what does blates meaning?

Story
Okay-dokey.
Nice at best and dragging at worst.


High Points
Jeane Smith. Adorkable. Lee. Humor. Christmas Eve. Stuck doors. Candies. Haribo. Gizmos. @winsomedimsum. Adorkable Manifesto. Cheating ex. Raw honesty. Dialogues. Straight forwardness.

The stupidest thing in the entire book
How Jeane and Micheal hooked up. No talking. No communication. No explanation. Just hook up. When the opportunity arises, one of them would jump at the other and snog the heck off each other and then be on their own merry way.
Seriously?
That is the height of WTF.

Conclusion
You will either love it or hate it, depending upon how much you can identify with Jeane's situation. Or how attached you are to your virtual life :)
The Golden Lily - Richelle Mead Prior to finishing this book
Adrian, baby, please don't disappoint me in this one too. Please?
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After finishing the book

Oh my god. Oh. My. God.
OH MY GOD!!

Initial Reaction after reading

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*This reaction was solely due to that bitch Sydney. Don't let that fool you in believing that I didn't like The Golden Lily.*

Ok, so let's get this shit on the road.
What can I say? The book blew me away. Blew. Me. Away. I can't hep but fall in love with Ms Mead. Hats off to you lady.
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After been started off with the disappointment that was Bloodlines, the book picked up pretty fast. Amazingly fast and well.
All the complaints that I had with Bloodlines, all of them, were so meticulously eliminated in this one that I can't help but gush about the book.

High Points
Sydney. Adrian. Eddie. Unrequited love. Runaway models. Mustang. Self defense classes. Low-on-carb diets. Honesty. Love. Friendship. Textile museums. Aura. Lia Distafano. Red dresses. Brayden/Hayden/Brandon or any other names they come up with. Ms Terwilliger. Khaki-R-Us. The last 5 fucking pages. Adrian. Adrian. Adrian.
Ok, I've got to stop or I'll end up copying the whole book.

Low points
Sydney's inept social skills(more on this later).The last 5 fucking pages.

So the book started right where Bloodlines left off. With Lee killed and Keith out of the way, Sydney's life becomes easier, marginally. Dimitri Belikov and Sonya Karp arrive to experiment on difference between Belikov's and Adrian's spirit and blablabla. You can read all that shit by yourself, I'll tell you what's awesome about this book.

Firstly, the humour and romance that were completely ignored in Bloodlines are abundantly present here. I even enjoyed Sydney's monologue that I found so drab in the previous installment. Her characterization had improved so much from the boring-responsible-dutiful Sydney to still-responsible-dutiful-but-now-interesting Sydney.
She was awfully smart and really spouted some wise and inspiring stuff.

There are no victims here. We all have the power to choose what we want.


The part, the only part, that bugged me she was very selfless and understanding. Emphasis on very. Too much. Unrealistic.
The second part, ok scratch only, for such a brilliant girl, she is just plain dumb naive about guys. No one is that oblivious.

*This happens after Sydney and Brayden's second date when he gets her flowers*

“Brayden got me flowers,” I declared.
“And?”
“And, why’d he do it?”
“Because he likes you, Melbourne. That’s what guys do. They buy dinner and gifts, hoping that in return you’ll—um, like them back.”


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The girl is really asking why her boyfriend, who was completely jazzed by her knowledge, brought her flowers?
Huh.

And then, even if I can understand accept her dearth of social skills, she is pretty sharp in picking up Eddie's and Angeline's feelings. What is that about?

So, accept the few 2 above points, I loved it!

Adrian
Yes, he deserves his own paragraph.
I'd just like to quotes Augustus Waters here-
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He was everything he lacked in Bloodlines. No more moping, no more idiotic quips, no more yearning for Rose.
He was perfect. The book had more of his protectiveness, witty quips, love, snarkiness and everything that altogether makes Adrian, Adrian Ivashkov!
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Conclusion
All those disappointed by Bloodlines, hang on guys, the shit gets better.

Spoilers ahead. And I mean major ones, that'll probably ruin the book for ya and you'll end up cursing me. Don't read if you haven't completed the book.

Ok, so I was trying so hard, so fucking hard, to not to write this, but I can't resist. THAT ENDING.
Really? You had to do that? Are we on some lets-make-Adrian-suffer bandwagon? I mean, Jeez, why can't he fall for someone whose first instinct is to NOT to throw his love right back at his face? Do we really need to be that cruel? Please, please give him a break. He. Fucking. Deserves. It.
Stop it. Seriously stop.

And since, I'm a sucker for cheesy lines, I had to post this:
You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you’re like… like light made into flesh. I said it on Halloween and meant every word: you are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth. And you don’t even know it. You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine.


Thanks to Basuhi, Liz, Aimen, Sacrlet and Jerry! Guys, you were right. So right. Thanks for making me read this. You are awesome!
Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning Yes, I know it's adult. And legally I'm not allowed. But after reading the first book of the series, I'm so hooked! Definitely gonna complete the series. :P
Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout Ok, so this book was beyond expectation. I haven't previously read any books from the author, so I wasn't expecting much. And to add to that, there had been some allusions that it was similar to Twilight, which was disastrous. And you know what they say-once bitten twice shy. So on completion, I was pleasantly surprised. The book managed to pick up every damned cliche there is and turn that 'round. It was a refreshing to read about protagonist that actually has a backbone and doesn't give in to the oh-so-obvious charm of the guy. So going to the storyline-

Katy moves to West Virginia to start over after the death of her father. In the sparsely populated area, her next door neighbors are Daemon and Dee, hot and beautiful aliens with amazingly green eyes. Katy strikes a friendship with Dee and is constantly engaged in war-of-words with Daemon, who is infuriating, rude and arrogant as hell. But as the story progresses, the mystery lingering around the siblings and Daemon's character is peeled layer-by-layer.

The highs of the book were-
1) The hilarity involving the situations dealing with Daemon.
2) Katy's witty and sarcastic comebacks which were invigorating after reading umpteenth bimbos who would get tongue-tied when the sexy hero so much as smiles.
3) The plot
4) Deamon's sarcasm.
5) Deamon's wit.
6) Daemon's character.
7) Daemon
8) Daemon
9) Daemon :P
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So concluding, it really is a fun read with the laugh-out-loud conversations. If you're looking for a light, unforgettable and enjoyable book, go for it. Its thumb up from me!

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Fall for Anything - Courtney Summers 2.5 stars really.

Okay, so after the reading all the great reviews, I had, maybe not huge, but some expectation. This was my first book by Courtney Summers. And it wasn't bad but I'm not satisfied either. The writing is way beyond awesome. Its like beauty in motion. So, no complains there.

But I didn't get Eddie Reeves, the protagonist. She's messed up, understandably, after her father committed suicide by jumping off the roof, and wants to know the reason behind it. She really needs to sort her feelings about her best friend Milo(what is with the names? Milo, seriously?). She's crazy jealous ,or insecure maybe, when his ex shows up. But when he kisses her, she gets all awkward and stiff. So, I didn't get that. And then she keeps climbing roofs, to understand God-knows-what. And I still don't understand why she keeps saying her hands are dying. So all in all, frustrated as hell with the protagonist.

Its a light read with raw and intense emotions. The characters(except Eddie) feel real and close to you like you know them. The story line, I guess, is pointless and the ending vague.
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell Initial Reaction After Completion
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You know how we all cry at tragedies. We cry with Rose in Titanic, with Liesel in The Book Thief, with Harry in Shell Cottage, with Maya in Forbidden. We are a sentimental specie and we cry a damn lot.
But how many of us cry at an especially beautiful ending. When wounds heal, when all loose ends are tied, when broken relationships are mended.

I don't.

I never cry at the happy stuff. Never. It's too mushy, wishy-washy for me.
I mean what is there to cry about in something good? Tears don't get to show up in good times too. We see enough of them in the sad ones.

But today was a first.

I got teary-eyed at a happy ending. It was nothing too incredible or stunning or anything mind-blowing really. It was simple. And in that simplicity, it encompassed so much more than any grandiose ending could ever have. Because isn't life ultimately about the simple stuff?

The Plot

Fangirl follows the life of Cather as she muddles through her freshman year at college, with her social anxieties and this almost religious circumventing of any social interaction. But I wouldn't say she is closed off. It's just that she is much more comfortable with her glasses on, laptop in front of her, writing fanfiction. She writes fanfiction on Simon Snow series which is equivalent to our Harry Potter phenomenon and has a massive fan following. We follow one year of her life, the year before the release of the last book in the Simon Snow series.

Now, I got into reading with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Yep, the third book and with no idea whatsoever about the previous two installments. I had this heavy, hardbound copy which my mom used to read me to bed every night. And that marked the beginning of my HP obsession. I was in 6th grade when HP7 was to be released and had managed to find friend who was just as HP crazy as me. We used to squabble over who would end up with whom, will Harry-Hermione ever be possible, Snape-bitching, what will happen to Harry and all sorta shit. When I completed Deathly Hallows, a month, a WHOLE GODDAMN MONTH AFTER ITS RELEASE, for this one moment, before I started babbling over how Harry triumphed over Voldy, I was shocked. It was over. When something you grow up with comes to an end, it is scary and.. new and you don't know if you'll ever feel so much invested in something ever again.

So, yes I'm rambling, reading through Cath's obsession and fangirl-ism was nostalgic and sad and delightful and relatable all at once.
Conclusion, I may or not be wholly ruled by my emotions here. Wholly.


Characterization and other good stuff

As much biased as I am here, these is still something so refreshing about this book. The characterisation was amazing. Everyone, and I mean everyone was so real. They had their own quirks, separate qualities, distinct shortcomings. No one was wholly perfect or irredeemably bad. I adored them.

The best part about the book is that it gives equal importance to all the relationships portrayed. Whether it was the father-daughter relationship between Art and Cath or the twins', Cath and Wren's development or Raegan's awkward and straight-forward friendship or the budding romance. Because it it so common in today's YA to erase all other people to make space for the luurrvvee interest. Rowell navigates this tricky area brilliantly.

Now, I'll take a moment to talk about Cath and Wren's deal. I love love love love their relationship. It was so cute the way that they supported each other, wrote fanfiction together and were always there for each other. There were no unnecessary jealousies, petty rivalries or frivolous quibbles. As I said, refreshing.

The romance angle


We all are more than familiar with today’s love interests. Their muscled body, ripped abs, broad shoulders and what the fuck not. To say Levi’s descriptions were out of the norm would be an understatement. He has a receding hairline, soft muscled body and no towering 6 foot plus height. Levi had no scarred past or traumatic childhood; in fact he is one of the good guys, who have suddenly fallen out of the fad. You know the type, chivalrous, polite, a smile pasted on and being nice to strangers just because they can. They take a moment to read a bus driver’s name and thank them. Peeta Mellark kinda guy.
Because he is more than just the sexy love interest. First he is a nice person and then has more layers to him, which was so great to read about.

Levi is outgoing, popular, the social kind which contrasted sharply with Cath's introversion. And they complemented each other perfectly.
So, needless to say, what wasn't there to love about the guy?
So, inspite of all Levi’s swoon worthiness, if I talk about something that transcends even him, then you know, the book is good. More than good. Excellent.

And now, I can't resist; I have to talk about Cath.

Cather Avery

You know about your siblings. How they annoy you at times, trouble you but you still manage to have loads of fun with them. How it is alright for you to bitch about them but no one else can say a word against them. How protective you are of them.
That is exactly how I feel about Cath. She is hesitant to trust others, reluctant to make friends, but once you get to know her, you can't help but feel she is amazing. She is a geek. A nerd. A bookworm. And I loved that about her. I loved how strong she remains in crisis, how caring and supportive she is of her father, how protective she is of Wren.
Her interactions with Raegan are hilarious.
“What’s wrong with Levi?”
“Nothing,” Cath said. “He’s just … not like me.”
“You mean, smart?”
“Levi’s really smart,” Cath said defensively.
“I know,” Reagan said, just as defensively.
“He’s different,” Cath said. “He’s older. He smokes. And he drinks. And he’s probably had sex. I mean, he looks like he has.”
Reagan raised her eyebrows like Cath was talking crazy. And Cath thought—not for the first time, but for the first time since last night—that Levi had probably had sex with Reagan.
“And he likes to be outside,” Cath said, just to change the subject. “And he likes animals. We don’t have anything in common.”
“You’re making him sound like he’s some rowdy mountain man who, like, smokes cigars and has sex with prostitutes.”



So, wrapping up,
This is a do-not-miss-even-if-the-fucking-sky-is-falling. It is breezy and joyous coming of age novel which will undoubtedly tug at your heartstrings. Beneath all the fun and humor lie subtle hints to maturity and development. The honesty and innocence it emanates will lift your spirit and restore your faith in YA literature.

I am leaving you with this absolutely stunning vignette of wisdom:
“I find Ugg boots really comforting,” Cath said.
“Why? Because they’re warm?”
“No. Because they remind me that we live in a place where you can still get away with, even get excited about, Ugg boots. In fashionable places, you have to pretend that you’re over them, or that you’ve always hated them. But in Nebraska, you can still be happy about new Ugg boots. That’s nice. There’s no end of the innocence.”
Dance of Shadows - Yelena Black Meh. Review to come. Maybe.
Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo Update: I'm downgrading the rating to 4. When I look back now, it simply wasn't a 5 star read. I was high on the Darling, Sturmhond, whatever when I completed it initially.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars. 4 stars

Initial Reaction After Completion
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MY. GOD.
How can you end a book like that?
HOW?

Siege and Storm was phenomenal. Not as good as Shadow and Bone but scarily close. The book shows much developed and mature characters. The theme itself leans a bit more towards politics and corrupting influence of power rather than teenage drama.
In a nutshell: I loved it. Loved everything almost everything to pieces.

Starting with the stuff I liked,


Sturmhond
Man. That guy was the major part of why I liked loved the book. He is brilliantly shrewd, fleetingly vulnerable, adorably idiosyncratic and easy-to-love character in the entire novel.
Charismatic. Irresistibly magnetic.

He is the...*trails off*
As the story progresses, we see him...*trails off. Again*
Sturmhond flawlessly...*what the fuck*

Okay. I can't talk anything more about him without giving away MAJOR-ruin-your-life spoilers. So, that is all you get.
I wish I could include some of his dialogues and eccentricities, because that guy is hilarious. But SPOILER!

The Plot
Duh.
The story continues with the Alina and Mal escaping The Fold and trying to cobble together a living in a new city when predictably the Darkling captures them and they aboard the Volkvolny to cross the True Sea.
The story is as riveting and twisting as ever.
The Darkling is more formidable and strikingly breath taking than ever before. He has acquired some new badass powers and is determined to push himself beyond the boundaries of Grisha.
It's not as much with the plot twists that make it this overwhelming, it is the character development, the undercurrent of dread and the slow creeping darkness.
We don't know exactly what is happening, what characters are at play, who to trust and where is the book leading to.
The good, nail-biting, what's-gonna-happen-next suspense that keeps you to the edge of your seats.

Alina
Never thought I'd actually include her in The Good section

Alina develops incredibly in this novel. When in #1, she comes out to be timid and insecure, in #2 she does a complete 180. She doesn't try to fend off all the shit she's dealt with, rather accepts them and works brilliantly with it. There is this new, unfamiliar edge to her thoughts and she gives off the vibes of developing into a darker, bitter version of herself, which was mysterious and alluring.
Can't say I'm complaining. I like version 2.0 of Alina much much more than Alina 1.0

Yes, that's about it. The writing, character development and world building was just as stunning as in Shadow and Bone.


Now, that stuff that made me stave off half a star aka
The bad Not-so-Good stuff.


The Darkling
I'm dying to know your actual name!

Anyway, yeah.
Don't take this part to mean the Darkling disappointed me in #2. Nope. He was just as captivating and terrifying as in the first installment.
I just feel that there wasn't enough time given to him. I mean, C'MON! the guy just wasn't there enough. We just met him in the beginning and at the end showdown. NOOOO!
I missed him so much :(
We did meet him intermittently in Alina's "dreams" and I still don't understand how that worked. Obviously, the Darkling had added to his imposing stash of powers AND WE DON'T GET TO KNOW WHAT.
You CANNOT do that Ms. Bardugo. You have to the bad guy enough screen time. Hmph.

Mal and Alina

Drab. Dull. Grating on the nerves.
That just succinctly described what I felt throughout their romance. They are just not meant to be! Let it go, Alina.
Mal has to be the most insecure, shitty love interest. The whole of Ravka is falling apart, the Darkling might annihilate them at any moment, their chances of survival are pretty slim, the odds are stacked against them, but that guy just doesn't get it. He is insecure over Alina and the Darkling and Alina and *ahem*. Seriously?! Give her a break. She has enough to deal with without you adding your childish worries.
I was absolutely jumping with excitement when the Darkling was able to drive a rift between them even when he wasn't present with them! Kudos to the guy!

And Alina.
*sigh*
She too is pining over lost loves and broken hearts. This drama and angst I felt, was superfluous.

So, that is about it.

Conclusion: A must-read, of course. A stunning sequel to Shadow and Bone which will undoubtedly capture your hearts and twist your feelings into mush. And, hence, I can safely say the Grisha trilogy has been inducted into my Favorite-Series-Ever shelf.

Now, I'm gonna go and mark my calendar for release date of Ruin and Rising, which is somewhere in 2014. 2014!
Damn it.
Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3. Kill Mal in #3.
Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare Initial Reaction After Completion
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This was mainly due to the WTF epilogue that irritated me no end

So, this was my second attempt to read and complete Clockwork Princess. The first time around when I'd picked it, I was so annoyed at the slow pace and the corny lines, that I dropped it.
But this time, a completely different story.
Since, this book had already been reviewed thoroughly, each and every dialogue dissected, I won't be doing a proper review. Just the stuff I loved and hated.

The absolutely gorgeous and heart-breaking part of the novel:
James Carstairs and William Herondale

Love love love love, double love, love entirely
I cannot even begin to describe how much I luurrvveed their bromance. They made me smile, made my heart ache, tugged at my heart strings and ultimately ripped them all out. And I don't hold it against them. They deserve it and I owe it to them. They were perfectly imperfect in their action, which endeared them even more to me.

Clockwork Princess is based mainly on a love triangle, which I passionately hate. But it's alright in the book. Because, really, who would be able to choose between such guys? Not fucking possible. Kudos to Clare for writing such strong, realistic characters. I especially loved the fact that a girl doesn't comes in between a true and beautiful friendship.

Jem was supposed to die. We all knew this fact off the bat. But sensitive, vulnerable people that we are(at least me), we were hoping for some miraculous cure or some convenient plot device to elude the inevitable heartbreak.
Jem was supposed to marry Tessa before his time runs out.
And Will. *sigh*
Will was supposed to bear this stoically.

But it didn't happen that way. Never does with Clare.

Okay, so I already know what happens to Jem at the end, courtesy, my sadistic, insensitive lovely friends. And inspite of this fact, I was crying so damn hard I had to put my Kindle down for fear of getting water on the screen.

James Carstairs
There is more to living than not dying.

You know, how there are some people so selflessly giving and inhumanely compassionate, that they seem unreal. Looking at them we feel ashamed and guilty and mortified and so damn annoyed at them for making us feel these things.
James is the quintessence of such a person.
The sheer will and the innate goodness of the guy is unbelievable. He gives and gives and gives some more, when he is clear;y not in a position to do so. His faith, forgiveness, certitude and love, unflinching, all-encompassing love, towards Will was heart warming at one end and utterly shattering on the other end.
Hats off to the guy

William Herondale
You hear that, James Carstairs? We are bound, you and I, over the divide of death, down through whatever generations may come. Forever.

Will is passionate, loyal and a lovely person. Stripped of his hard, bitter veneer, he is vulnerable and desperate for love. And so damn endearing.
I loved his impromptu songs. I loved his hostility towards Gabriel. I loved his fierce love for Cecily.
But his propensity for espousing such cheesy, romantic lines had me literally cringing. I don't know of it's just me but every time he got close to Tessa and in his 'desperate loving' mood, I'd have this sinking feeling in anticipation of the dreaded corny lines. I know the guy is good with words, but still. GOD! Enough with the cheese. There's only so much I can take.


The Writing
The writing was phenomenal.. at places. Clare uses such powerful and heart rending expression, you can't help but fall in love. The way Jem and Will express their fears, their loves, it is amazing. You are right there with them, experiencing their pain and joy. Not only Jem and Will, but Charlotte, Magnus, Cecily, Sophie, the Lightwoods, every major and all the secondary characters utter such perfect statements. MY GOD!
If it had been up to me, I'd included all the dialogues here. Because most of them were highlight worthy.
Bus as I'm flying high on the vivid, beautiful descriptions when BAM! a twisted metaphor or weird simile would burst my bubble. The writing was riddled with such awful phrases, lines whatever that it was cringing to read it RIGHT AFTER reading the beautiful ones.
Now, the descriptions. Lengthy and superfluous. At some point, I started skipping paragraphs just to get to the damn point of the chapter. Another reason I dropped the book at the beginning. It was too long and winding.

Now the stuff that irritated me no end

SPOILERS SPOILERS HUGE SPOILERS
- Cadair Idris. Will and Tessa have sex just after Jem died. LIKE REALLY? WHAT THE FUCK? I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO I CANNOT EVEN

-The epilogue. Really was that even necessary? I admit, I've been a Jem+Tessa shipper from the very beginning but this is too much. It was pleasing to know about Will and Tessa'a kids(JAMES. BRB CRYING) and grandchildren and 30th ANNIVERSARY but JEM AND TESSA? I didn't want to know that. How much more perfect could you shape the ending into? Every choice has its consequence. Jem's choice did too. YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE IT UTTERLY PERFECT. And even if you did, I DON'T WANNA KNOW.

-Gabriel+ Cecily and Sophie+ Gideon
The coincidence that EVERYONE finds their true love rankled with me. I know I'm being mean here, but really? Too perfect syndrome.

Conclusion
A perfect, poignant ending to a beautiful series. It will not spare any of your emotions and twist and fray your feelings to such a mush, you won't be able to recognize yourself at the end of the ordeal. Still, utterly beautiful and life-shattering and a must read.

I'm leaving you with a line/phrase that ripped my heart when I first read it, but now brings a tentative smile to my face.
Atque in pepetuum, frater, ave atque vale,” he whispered. The words of the poem had never seemed so fitting: Forever and ever, my brother, hail and farewell
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult Can't get into it right now. Hopefully, I'll pick it some time later and do the book justice.
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo Initial Reaction after Completion
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I was wavering between 4.5 and 5, but what the hell.
5 enormous, scintillating stars it is.

This book.

Wow.

Wow.

It was brilliant, amazing, and hype-worthy.
One of the few books I've read that live up to its hype and smashes my expectations with its inherent goodness.

I don't even know what to say. It was ASDFGHJKLPOIUYTREWQ!
Okay, calm down.
*deep breaths*

Lets get this over with.

The Story/ The Setting
Awesome.
You know, how we come across fantasy works with all this potpourri of information dumped on us that doesn't make an iota of sense or even worse, is under developed.
Shadow and Bone walks this tightrope ingeniously. Every detail accounted for, the whole hierarchy construed flawlessly, entire world of Ravka beautifully envisioned and executed.

The story line revolves around the kingdom Ravka, severed into two by The Fold, a region of impermeable darkness brimming with unimaginable atrocities. Ravka is habituated by Grisha, a group of man and women capable of wielding magic and normal peasants.

The Characters

Alina
Alina was a lonely, scrawny, never-fit-in-any-damn-place orphan. She worked as a mapmaker in her kingdom before she was divulged to be a very powerful Grisha with much coveted power of summoning the Sun, which could prove beneficial in banishing The Fold. Henceforth, she is trust into the glamorous, vain world of the Grisha and the story progresses.
Alina was okay protagonist. Not too whiny, not too awesome. She fits in well with the plot. She makes some mistake (don't we all?), but learns quickly.

BUT THAT ENDING! HOW COULD SHE?
Damn damn damn.
Now, to speak more about her would culminate in giving away spoilers.

The Darkling
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Okay, now that is said.
The Darkling is the leader of the Grisha. The titular head of Revka is the King, yet the real power vests with him. And does he know it.
He is charming, yet conniving.
He is badass, yet endearing.
He is a megalomaniac, yet alluring.

*sigh*
All in all, a melange of discordant emotions.
I'll give it to Ms. Bardugo, she knows how to fuck with our minds.

Mal
Meh.
He was your hackneyed childhood crush, who didn't give a shit to you before, but suddenly sees the light.
Whatever.
The love interest is mediocre.
Blah.
I mean, you will ship Mal-Alina when we have the Darkling with us?
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.
.
.
.
.
*what to write now*
Well, I don't know. I flew the book and hardly took notes or highlighted text.
The only stuff I highlighted was the Darkling's lines with the pure intention of swooning
Okay. Whatever.

Winding up,
The book was phenomenal. A must read at all fucking costs. It's refreshing to read fantasy novel which isn't all bilge, with a banal plot and insipid, drab characters.
Engaging. Sensational. Stunning.


SPOILERS AHEAD. Mild, I think.

I just couldn't resist.
This quote, you guys.
swwwwoooooooooooooonnnnnnn
“Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”


My. God.
To hell with Mal. To hell with goodness. To hell with it all.
I'm rooting for the Darkling.
Hmph.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin Initial reaction After Completion

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More like 2.5*. I am rounding it off to 3* because of the absolutely gorgeous covers.
That wasn't stupid at all

Throughout the book, there were two emotions warring: creepiness and annoyance. I was equally torn between the two and couldn't make up my mind as to what I really felt. Upto 60% of the book, that is. After that as you can perceive from my rating, annoyance won, hands down.

Random trivia (Jessie, for ya)
I did NOT like the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. And what is with the title anyway? What has 'Unbecoming' got to do with anything in the book?
Um, anyway, it was easily predictable. Cliched. Hackneyed. Overrated. Twilight-ish romance.
The one twist was the addition of supernatural element at the verrryyy end of the book, which felt like a lazy attempt at redeeming it, but couln't quite manage. And it irritated me no end. But as bad as it was, it still managed to pique my curiosity over what would happen next. Marginally. Or maybe that was the cover.
Whatever.

Now, getting to the second installment.

Starting with the good part,
The Creepiness

That wouldn't necessarily sound like something that would make a good part but, believe me you, it was.
The book picks right after the first one ended and we find Mara in a facility after her father's shooting. She is prattling about Jude being alive, but no one believes her, pinning that to hallucinations due to PSTD. Subsequently, she is released when she shows signs of improvement.
And that is when, it starts getting weird. The actually-seeing-dead-Jude stuff that I had bought earlier, now started to seem a figment of her imagination. I mean, the girl is suffering from severe PSTD which has delusions as valid symptoms, so what's to tell if she wasn't hallucinating all that stuff? She starts sleep walking, losing time and acting like honest-to-God mentally, unstable kid.

We, atleast I, did not know what to believe.
Or who to believe.
What was real and what wasn't.
Because there were some really, really creepy elements.

And, I guess that was what Hodkin was rooting for. And she succeeded partially.
So, that part constituted the riveting, mind fuckery side of the book.


Now the bad part,
Annoyance

The Plot/The Suspense

Haywire. Chaotic. Messy.
This is the second book and I still don't what the fuck is happening. I mean, a good suspense is healthy for everyone, but not long, drawn-out, far-fetched drama. There is only so much deflection and evasiveness we could handle before it starts getting on our nerves. It was like we were running around in damn circles. It gets exhausting, y'know. We need some answers, for heaven's sake. At some, point I started wondering if I was missing something. I mean like, I was reading some situations twice to get what the hell was happening.
Infuriating!

The Flashbacks
What the fuck? What happened in India? Hugely annoying and senseless, whatsoever.
Every time one would come up, I'll be like: Not again. I understand that the third book will be the all-enlightening one, but this is too much. One explanation, one clue, as to what is happening, was that too much to ask?

Noah Shaw
Yes, I am aware that many girls are absolutely gaga over the boy. And no, I'm not.
There something really off about that boy. On the side, he seems a xerox of our great Edward Cullen.
-Don't tell the girl anything and make all the decisions on her part as she is too stupid to handle stuff on her own.
-Show any and everything revolves around money.
-Blame yourself for everything that happens to her because that's oh-so-romantic.
-Speak like you are 110 years old.
Atleast that was valid one for Edward because he was 110. But Noah? What was his fucking excuse?
And on the other hand he played the arrogant, assholian, bad boy who is actually very noble. Oh, and the broken past, of course.
Very annoying.
Oh, and Noah:
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Keep that in mind.

The Romance
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HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD. DON'T SCROLL IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK.

The Plot Holes
Or the questions that better be answered in #3 or I'm kicking someone

-Jude's Powers
I din't quite understand that part. He has the power to draw the life out of people to sustain himself? Really? So, how come when he supposedly died, he lost the 2 hands? Did they grow back or something? Wierd.
-Grandma is immortal?
-Dr. Kells was following them in the asylum, at the day of the incident, right? So, does she have powers too? If not, how on earth did she survive the collapse?
-If their abilities are acquired, how come Mara's parents are clueless about the whole thing? Wouldn't they know if someone took their daughter, did something to her genes maybe and returned to them?
-What was the point of letting Jude in and torture Mara at the end? Wouldn't Dr. Kells be disappointed if something happened to her lab rats?
-The people with powers can't be killed? They are immortals too?
-What's up with Jude's parents? They never lived there? Are they ghosts?

And now, the silliest, most ridiculous part of the book

*drumrolls*

The Ending
WHAT THE FUCK? I know it is supposed to be heart breaking and devastating for us, and I guess it is for some Noah fangirls, but it was far-fetched. And stupid.
Of all the people who could have died, it was Noah? With all his healing powers, he died? Are we supposed to be dumb here?
Really, people.
And another massive cliffhanger. Hodkins could have easily wrapped up the book in this installment. But no, it was dragged out to the third one.
*sighs*
And, yes, I'm gonna read it.

Oh, and the last line of the book:
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AWESOMESAUCE!

Random cover interpretation
As I mentioned above, the covers are absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful and haunting. I luurrvvveed them. And I can't resist, I have need to talk about them.
Starting with,
#1 The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
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Okay, I feel like this represents the initial situation when Mara discovered her powers and Noah is trying to protect her and their forever love bla bla bla.

#2 The Evolution of Mara Dyer
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This one is pretty obvious. It feels like drifting away of Noah and Mara. Or probably, Noah dying and Mara trying to save him.

#3 The Retribution of Mara Dyer
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Feels like Noah will somehow keep his promise to Noah and protect her. And he is obviously alive. Duh.
And also, how things are somewhat stable now in Mara's life as she reaches the ground. And of course, Happily Ever After for Noah and Mara.

Tell me what you think about my interpretation. Does your differ?



Hallowed - Cynthia Hand Loved.
It.
To.
Pieces.

Review to come.
Unearthly - Cynthia Hand Initial Reaction After Completion

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This reaction is due to that what-the-fuck ending

This was a fun, enjoyable read. Among the disastrous Angel PNR novels out there, this one is much better.
And I liked it. No scratch that. I really, really liked it.
There are, undoubtedly, better books out there, but so are worse. I will confess, I won't remember the plot or the characters verbatim in the days to come, because it just wasn't that good. And I'm definitely not going to reread it.

But it was entertaining and was fun while it lasted.


What I Loved

Clara

An ANGEL protagonist that isn't grating on the nerves. Yep, I'm surprised too. She was..cool. There is just no other way to describe it. Made good decisions, loyal to her friends, compassionate towards her brother, that is, as compassionate as siblings can be. She wasn't your cliched damsel in distress or a whiny bitch. All in all, a likable heroine.

Tucker

Oh, man. Why aren't more YA boyfriends like him? AWESOME SAUCE!
Understanding, unassuming, patient, chivalrous, caring, adorable, selfless and so real. I miss guys like him.
I am head over heels for that boy!

British History Class

The classes were incredibly awesome.
Gosh, I loved them.
The teacher was damn fun and creative, who on earth wouldn't develop interest in history? These classes were a reliable source of carefree, teasing and light moments throughout the book.

"As a serf, poor Christian has already been killed several times in our class. Aside from dying of the Black Plague on the first day, he's starved to death, had his hands cut off for stealing a loaf of bread, and been run down by his master's horse just for kicks. He's like Christian the fifth now."


The Plot

Confession time: I had already made my mind how this would play out.
Clara would fall for Christian, insta-love, angst-y love triangle and yada yada.
And the author threw it right at my face. I'm not going to reveal much, but that is SO NOT what happens. Well, um. love triangle part is correct but..you'll see.

The Normal, Relatable, Real Relationships

No insta-love.
No unprecedented popularity at school.
No absent-parent syndrome.
No every-guy-in-the-entire-school-asking-the-new-girl-out routine.
No unhealthy obsession with the boyfriend.

Now, coming to the other side of the coin.

What I Disliked

The Ending
Are you kidding me? How could the book end there?
Abrupt. Hasty. Very strong 'what-the-fuck' vibes.
So many unanswered queries, unexplained situations.
FRUSTRATED.
Oh, and the cliffhanger wasn't the how-could-you-end-there-I-want-more type, rather the Dude-would-you-explain-what-the-fuck-happened-back-there type.

The Beginning

Very slow.
Patience wearing thin slow.
Almost about to DNF slow.
I judge the book by the starting. If it is tedious, how on earth am I gonna go through the entire book? And this came mighty close to being dumped to the DNF shelf.
It felt hackneyed. That reduces major Brownie points, because the book has potential. As the story progressed, pace increases and plot improves drastically, save some situations which felt xeroxed from Twilight. And that is never a good thing, is it?

Christian

Meh.
Cliched, Mr. Popular with killer looks and not-so-charming attitude.
His character wasn't developed properly. He was at best, an annoying background presence in the book. But seeing as how Clara moved to Wyoming to fulfill her destiny centered around the guy, he wasn't there enough to be a main character in the story.

Cliches/Twilight-esque

Nothing much to say about this. There weren't many, but as it is, they irritated the hell outta me. Just:
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So, that is about it.
If you have lost interest in Angel PNR and crave a light, fun read, this is for you, go grab it!
Now, excuse me, I'm gonna go and devour Hallowed.

This was a read-along with Cecile, who to put it mildly, did not like it. Go, read her review here