Sisters Red // When Red Riding Hoods Kill
Friday, 27 May 2016 @ 10:11// 0 comment(s)


Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1) by Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release date: June 7th, 2010
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Supernatural
Pages:  344
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
Review:

I bought this book for one third of the original price at a book fair in my town. I checked the rating on Goodreads and it didn't even reach four stars. I reconsidered on buying this book. But, oh well, how bad could it be? Besides, I'd be able to buy it while it was cheap!

Turned out, I was pleasantly entertained by this Red Riding Hood retelling more than I could've thought possible.

In this retelling, we have two Red Riding Hoods instead of one. And they're both badass! What more could I ask for? The story starts with a flashback. A werewolf—or a fenris, as they called it—appeared in front of their doorstep. It killed their grandmother. Then, the older sister—Scarlett—decided to protect her little sister and killed the beast. But she had to lose an eye and have scars all over her body. From then on, Scarlett decided to dedicate her life to hunt Fenris for the rest of her life to avenge her grandma. The little sister—Rosie—who felt in debt to Scarlett, followed her sister's footsteps and did the same.

There were two point of views in this book, one of Scarlett and one of Rosie. They were practically opposites. Scarlett was a tough, cold, and hardly interested in anything besides hunting, while Rosie was bubbly and, well, so very like how a typical sixteen-year-old would be. Everything Scarlett thought of was hunt, hunt, hunt. Kill all the Fenris. No. Mercy. While Rosie was like, yep, okay, I'll hunt. But, wait, I want to take dance classes and, oh! Origami seems fun! Reading their POVs back to back felt kinda overwhelming, though, at some point. I obviously preferred Scarlett's POV. Rosie's POV was too full of clingy romance and high school crushes.

However, if you are looking for action-packed scenes, then you won't be disappointed. This book has LOTS of them. I particularly liked Scarlett's narration better. Even though sometimes I got sick of her lack of explanation every time she looked at a random boy or guy and thought, He is a Fenris, I just knew it. That was it. No explanation. You want me to buy that? Nuh-uh. I need an explanation (sure, he was actually a Fenris but it was gonna take more than just your instinct to convince me).

The plot was predictable, though, in my opinion. But I was still intrigued to read it. I wanted to see how it would unfold. It was fast-paced too. You just have to read a few more pages to read from a fight scene to the next one. Yeah, I didn't mind that at all.



However, there was nothing special on the writing/literature part. I might as well be reading a diary of two different teenage girls. It was just too...bland. Too straight-forward. And, well, it might have been better than reading a long-winded narration. But still. I love good literature and I didn't get it here.

In all, I think Sisters Red was better than I expected. It succeeded in making me read it in one sit. So that's a plus. However, I gave it three and a half stars because it was more than okay, but definitely didn't make me 'really like it'. See my Review Rating System for specifics.

Do I think you should read it? Well, I'll let you decide for yourself.

My rating:    . 5


Reviewed by Inas

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Delirium // In Love? Call 911!
Friday, 20 May 2016 @ 10:00// 0 comment(s)


Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 3rd, 2011
Genres: YA, Romance, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Pages:  441
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing.

They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Review:

I've been avoiding this book for as long as I can remember. Every time I saw it in a bookstore, I was never interested even in touching it. Why? Because it was about love! As a disease! It practically shouts the whole story line already. Of course the book would be about romance. Like, hundreds of pages of sickening romance. I predicted it'd be about a girl who (OF COURSE) eventually fell for a guy even though she wasn't supposed to.

But, well. I was wrong.

Not about the prediction, but about the hype. The book wasn't bad. In fact, I found myself enjoying it more and more as I progressed through the pages.

In this book, the thing we call love is a disease. It's called amor deliria nervosa, precisely. Deliria for short. It's been 75 years since the government officially stated that love is a sickness and everyone, by the age of 18, must go through a procedure that would eradicate love from their being. The procedure is supposed to make them happy and safe forever. It won't make them feel desire or love. They won't even miss anyone or care too much about anything.

Scary, isn't it?

Imagine living in a world like that. You wouldn't feel love from your own parents. You wouldn't be kissed, hugged, or cuddled by anyone. Anyone who did any of those would be assessed as Infected. 

I had to give the author two thumbs-up. Oliver succeeded in writing such a well-described and beautiful narrative. She made sure that every possible question that we have while reading is answered as we progress through the pages. The world-building was brilliant. On the beginning of every chapter, there would be quotes or excerpts from some kind of institute or book that existed in the world. That really helped me understand the world more perfectly. By half of the book, I could already imagine what it would be like to live in that world.

The character developments are also spot on. At first, Lena was just a goody two shoes who obeyed everything she was asked to. She followed the rules and curfew. She even counted the days leading to her procedure because she couldn't wait to feel happy and safe forever. But then, she started breaking those rules that were stupid in the first place. She didn't do these without reasons, though. She had normal reasons. Like, going to parties and concerts and just to make out with her boyfriend. I didn't blame her, because that's normal, right?

I also had a thing for her best friend. Hana. She was a really good best friend. She was actually the polar opposite of Lena in every way. But they managed to become a really good team and I loved them both for it. I liked how in the midst of untrustworthy people in that world, Lena could always rely on Hana no matter what.

The romance wasn't instalove. She didn't exactly fall for him the second they locked eyes. It developed nicely, even though a bit rushed and too soon. It was nice reading their interactions. However, I did think that the love interest was too plain. Like, he had nothing to set him apart from other fictional guys in my mind. He was nice, that's all I know.

The plot was interesting. It caught my interest since the beginning, which was a plus. It had a way of keeping me hooked to the pages. Even though the story was mainly focused on the romance, you would still be entertained by the action and everything else.

In all, I think Delirium surpassed my expectations. It definitely didn't disappoint and make me regret buying it for one third of the price at the book fair. It was a romance story, sure. But the romance is definitely not the only thing you could enjoy.  
        
My rating:  


Reviewed by Inas

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The Crown // Well, That Was Disappointing
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 @ 09:45// 2 comment(s)


The Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: May 3rd, 2016
Genres: YA, Romance, Dystopian
Pages:  278
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.
Review:

This book is a lot of things. But predictable isn't one of them.

I read through this finale with a HUGE expectation because seriously, I've been waiting for it for a whole year! And well, I didn't exactly get what I wanted.

So, Eadlyn was still her usual self, composed and poised and all. but this time, she let her guards fall a little bit, since she was determined on finding a husband that meant letting someone past her walls completely. She still managed to put her strong woman facade in front of cameras and people. But the truth is, she was just a teenager with a huge responsibility on her shoulders.

I liked how she managed to find a way to spend time with each of the Selecteds (or, should I say, Elites). Everyone got enough screen time. We got to know more about each of them. And the fact that she had let her guards down made everything better. Because that means I didn't have to worry that she'd flee when someone asked her something personal.

I also liked how her family (her little brothers, precisely) got more screen time. They were both so adorable I wished they were mine. I adored Eadlyn's closeness with her family. Even though Ahren didn't appear as much as I'd like him to. He was one of my favorite characters, for God's sake!

The plot itself was actually interesting. As I said, it was unpredictable. Just as you think you got the hang of the story line, BAM! Something appears and smacks you in the face. The intimacy between the Elites and Eadlyn also didn't hurt.

However, I did think that, somehow,  just for the sake of making the story 'unpredictable', Kiera Cass overdid herself a little too much and rushed many things. Like, everything was okay and fine, then out of nowhere something happened and made me cringe and roll my eyes so hard.

I also felt like reading through somebody's eyes other than Eadlyn's. I don't know, I felt like it was too out of character. Maybe that was character development, but I like her old self better. She fell in love, sure, but that doesn't mean she had to be weak and so vulnerable. I felt like the person she actually fell in love with didn't exactly had that much chemistry with her, compared to other people.

You know what I think the source of all the problems was?

THE LENGTH OF THE BOOK.

It was only 279 pages! Or less.

Eadlyn narrowed down 19 guys to 6 guys in the first five pages and the story felt rushed from then on.

I couldn't believe the romance that was happening. Sure, it was kinda romantic, but I found myself cringing at MANY parts and yelling for her and the guy to stop. I kept yelling at her to turn around and go to another guy. But that didn't happen, of course. 

The thing is, it's like all the romance and chemistry that happened in the first book ran down the drain the moment she had a high school crush on one of the boys. I mean, seriously? Kiera? You want me to buy that? I saw so many potential stories, and yet you chose to push all of those aside.

These asides, some things also made me uncomfortable.

MAXERICA MOMENTS

They're supposed to be glorious and fairy-taleish. After all, it's maxerica we're talking about here. But, I found myself wanting to vomit every time Maxon pulled cheesy lines or made stupid jokes to flirt with America.


I still remember exactly how I felt when I finished  The Heir. It was one of the best books I've read in 2015. I remember feeling giddy and ecstatic and hopeful. But what I felt when I finished this book was...relieved that this series is FINALLY REALLY OVER (or, is it?) and disappointed because my expectations weren't really fulfilled.

My rating:    

Reviewed by Inas

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