sábado, 29 de dezembro de 2012

Death Note - Vol. 1 - 3

I’ve only read the first three volumes of this series and so far I’m really enjoying it!

At first this might come across as a simple story, that’s just there to entertain us but I think it’s more than that. Light (the main character) is intriguing, complex, incredibly smart and has a very particular sense of justice; his idea of creating his own utopia is something that I had never seen on another story.  Even L – just as smart and intriguing as Light – is a really captivating character, especially given his quirks and how he analyses facts.

Of course this series raises some moral questions – what’s right or wrong, the implications of having the power to decide who gets to live or not, among others – but I believe that’s what makes the story a lot more rich and captivating.

It’s incredibly addictive – as soon as I finished one, I would start the next one right away! I strongly recommend this series.

5 out of 5 stars

The Time Machine

This was the second time I tried to read this book and, fortunately, this time around I managed to finished it – actually I read it rather quickly. I’m not the biggest fan of sci-fi books but I thought I ought to read this one since it’s considered a classic within this genre.

I liked the first 20 pages of the book because the story seemed more dynamic at this point; there was more interaction between the characters and I liked how we were introduced to the concept of time travelling. However, I can’t say the same about the rest of the book; I didn’t enjoy the writing style – too descriptive -, it became a bit boring and difficult, at times, to keep a certain level of interest on the book.

Reading this book ended up feeling more like a duty; I didn’t enjoy it that much but I kept reading because it had been sitting on my bookshelf for years and I just wanted to read it so I could finally take it out of my to be read pile.

3 out of 5 stars

sábado, 22 de dezembro de 2012

El Tiempo Mientras Tanto

I had never read anything from this author - actually, I had never heard of Carmen Amoraga - but when I was at the bookstore I decided to pick this up; it seemed like a light read.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book because I didn't expect t get so caught up on its story! The writing style is really simple, we are always dealing with the same small group of characters and it didn't dwell over details that didn't mater to the story.
What I also liked was the fact that it was focused on a character that actually didn't interact (at least directly) with the others throughout the story - she was on a vegetative state and at the verge of dying; what was really interesting about her story (Maria José) was how she had made such a great impact on other people's lives, even though she didn't seem like the type of person who would have such an ability.

4 out of 5 stars

terça-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2012

Quote of the Week #7

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
 C.S. Lewis

domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I just finished reading this book and have to tell you, I feel the urge to pick up again and reread it! Yes, this book is that good!

I loved the fact that we were reading the letters written by Charlie and that we got to understand how he saw the world, his perspective and how he dealt with issues that at the age of fifteen mean the world to us. Charlie is definitely a special character; he's naive and true to himself  and even though he was exposed to a lot of things - sex, drugs, alcohol, among others - he always remained genuine and didn't become a completely different person. I also liked his relationship with Bill, his English teacher, and how important books and reading were to him during his journey on this book.

I really enjoyed the fact that it was about real people and that it was the kind of story that dealt with a lot of the issues that we have to deal with throughout our teen years (mostly); it made the story a lot more realistic.

This book was everything I was expecting it to be and more! It captivated me, it fascinated me, it made me laugh, it made me think ... overall, it was intense! A must read! 

5 out of 5 stars

sexta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2012

Perfect Chemistry

“Two different worlds. One true love”

After reading this and seeing the cover of this book I kind of knew what I was getting myself into. I knew this was going to be the typical love story between two teenagers that belonged to different and never should have fallen in love with each but, surprise surprise (or not) …. they did!

I’ll admit, the book was entertaining and I couldn’t put it down; I flew through the pages and I actually delayed all the work I had to do just to finish the book. Yes, it’s incredibly cheesy and it’s filled with all the clichés that we’ve all grown to love but sometimes we just need to read something like that. There were times I said to myself “Oh God, I can’t believe you used that cheesy line!” but I just couldn’t put the book down!!

It’s not brilliantly written and the characters aren’t that special but this is like when you’re on a diet but you’re really craving for chocolate or candy – you know  you shouldn’t  and that there are better options but you just can’t help yourself and you pick it up any way because you know you’re going to enjoy it!!

4 out of 5 stars 

sábado, 1 de dezembro de 2012

Read in November

Night Flight

My Aunt Margaret's Mirror (included The Highland Widow)

quinta-feira, 29 de novembro de 2012

The Shining

Let me just start by saying that this was not only my first horror book but also my first novel by Stephen King. This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for years but last week I finally decided it was time to get out of my comfort zone and read something different, from a genre and an author that I didn't know that well.

I think there was something addictive about this book because there were moments when I couldn't put it down! I loved how the plot kept building up and getting more complex and how the characters developed. But I also have to mention the hotel where the whole story took place because, for me, that was one of the strongest points of the book;  I think it was really interesting the way this place was almost personified - to a certain extent, it actually was - and how it influenced the characters' behavior. There were times I felt that the hotel was practically one of the main characters of the book!!

I have to say that even though we had well written characters with very specific traits and complicated backgrounds that made them stood out, what really surprised me was how powerful this family was as a unit, how they tried to overcome, together, the harsh period they were going through, how they hoped for better times.

I haven't seen the movie adaptation yet but I'm planning on doing it soon, especially because I've heard great things about it; however, some people have pointed out that it's different from the book but just as good, so I'm really curious about it.

I have to say, overall this book was a surprise because I wasn't expecting to like it  as much as I did! There were some creepy moments that actually scared me but I wanted to know - so badly - what was going to happen next that I just kept going. I would definitely recommend this book. 

4 out of 5 stars

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Book Review Blogs.

terça-feira, 20 de novembro de 2012

Quote of the week #6

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”

C. S. Lewis

Think of a Number

When I read the synopsis of this book I was like "I have to read it!"; the fact that a stranger could guess - on a letter - a randomly picked number from 0 to 1000 grabbed my attention! This seemed different from what I had already read within the crime/mystery genre.

For me, the strongest point of the book was the fact that it was really focused on the criminal investigation and didn't dwell too much on personal issues. However, by the end of the book I couldn't help but feel that it had been taken to an extreme; there were some issues regarding Gurney's (main characters) personal life that deserved some development.

Unfortunately there were some other issues with this book: I think there were some inconsistencies regarding the serial killer - his method didn't seem solid and sufficiently coherent, which ended up damaging the credibility of the plot (at least to a certain extent) - and some moments were a bit dry, especially during Gurney's self examinations.

I'm not particularly fascinated by this book but I'll be checking out the second instalment of this serie.  

3 out of 5 stars

sábado, 17 de novembro de 2012

An Unfinished Portrait

I’ve always been really curious about Agatha Christie’s work as Mary Westmacott so I decided to start by reading An Unfinished Portrait.

First of all let me just say that I’ve always been a great fan of her work and for that reason my expectations towards this book were high - unfortunately they weren’t met. I didn’t like the main character – thought she was too submissive and naïve – and the writing was a bit dry. The plot wasn’t that appealing; I kept hopping that something interesting would happen but it didn’t.

Reading this book was a bit of a challenge but I managed to finish it; I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you more accustomed to her crime novels.

2 out of 5 stars

quarta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2012

Read in October

These are the books I read during this month:

terça-feira, 30 de outubro de 2012

Quote of the Week #5

“Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.” 

Arnold Lobel

sexta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2012

Quote of the Week #4

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” 

Oscar Wilde

sábado, 13 de outubro de 2012

Battle Royale

I have to admit, I decided to read this book because after reading The Hunger Games I saw a lot of comments referring to Battle Royale, saying how good it was and that the trilogy created by Suzanne Collins was just a rip-off. Needless to say, I was curious!

It’s impossible not to notice the similarities between them: they are both set in a society where teenagers have to participate in a “contest” where they are forced to fight each other to the death until only one of them remains; however, the similarities – at least, as far as I’m concerned – end here. One of the things that stood out to me and that really made a difference between the two stories was the fact that in Battle Royale all the participants knew each other! This might seem like a small detail but for me it wasn’t – imagine what it would be like to be forced to kill all your classmates in order to survive! In my opinion that added a lot more depth to the plot because we were able to understand a lot better the reasons that led the characters to act a certain way and how they decided who to trust or not.

Yes, the book is a lot more gory and brutal than the Hunger Games; we are provided with a lot more details about the way they kill each other - the modus operandi of some of them is actually a bit disturbing - but it suited the book and it added to its complexity.

On the down side, although the book started at a great pace, I think it ended up slowing down a little in some parts, but overall I liked how the plot developed. Also, there are a lot of Japanese names - some of them look the same - making it a bit more difficult to follow the character’s journey (at least in the beginning).
I actually feel I could say a lot more about this book but I don’t want to give away too much and spoil it to those who haven’t read it yet. Definitely worth checking out! (Especially if you’re looking for a book that doesn’t have an annoying love triangle or that focuses too much on a love story)

5 stars!

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2012

Quote of the Week #3

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 

Oscar Wilde

terça-feira, 2 de outubro de 2012

Quote of the Week #2

" A room without books is like a body without a soul"

Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is presented to us as a must-read for Hunger Games fans. It is a YA dystopian novel that tells us the story of a boy named Thomas who doesn’t have memories – except for is name – and is trapped inside a maze. There is a small community of other boys that, like him, were thrown into that maze and that have been trying to solve it in order to get out.

The premises of the book seemed appealing and the hype around it was so big that I was actually anxious to read it; so, when I bought it I dove right in! I have to admit, I don’t think it’s that extraordinary; I think the book is a little vague in some parts, it lacks answers - I wanted to know more and half of the answers provided seemed to fell short, they weren’t enough for me.  However, it is great to see a book that puts a group of boys as the main characters and that doesn’t dwell on a love story throughout the whole book – there’s definitely a deep connection between Thomas and Teresa but, so far, it hasn’t been said much about it.

Even though the book didn’t grab my attention from the beginning like I was hoping for, it’s entertaining – and a little apocalyptic towards the end -, and it leaves us with a lot of mystery for the next book. I’ll probably read the rest of the trilogy, hoping that I’ll get more answers; I know there’s also a prequel but I haven’t decided when to read it. 

quarta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2012

El Príncipe de la Niebla (The Prince of the Mist)

What price would you be willing to pay to have one of your wishes granted?

This is basically the premises of the book; there’s this mystical character – the Prince of the Mist – who grants wishes in return of a certain price - an unreasonable price -, that can go from setting on fire a merchant’s warehouse, to sacrifice the life of your first born.  He believes that people shouldn’t expect to get everything they want without giving something in return – he sees it as a fair trade.

There was a certain simplicity to the plot and there weren’t that many characters, which I liked; I felt that the book was really focused on the mystery that I was presented to and didn’t try to introduce other elements that probably wouldn’t be that relevant to the story. I also enjoyed the fact that the author didn’t try to give us an expected happy ending – something bad had to happen for the story to make sense.

This book is the first one of a trilogy and I’ll be reading the rest of it even though, from what I’ve read, the other books have different plots. I really liked this book and I would recommend it. I know this author is famous for is adult novels but this little young adult trilogy is worth checking out.

I've read this book in spanish and this is the cover:

sábado, 22 de setembro de 2012

A Game of Trones - second vol.

Not as good as the first half of A Game of Thrones but still a great book!

I wish I could have seen a bit more of my favorites characters on this book - especially Arya - but I guess that for the story to make sense it had to focus more on other events. Although some parts were kind of predictable – mainly who was going to be killed off and the decisions that were made by some of the characters – I still enjoyed them.

I really liked the development that Tyrion went through on this book and the fact that we got to know him a little better and his relationship with his family; I love how he’s not afraid to speak his mind and to be sarcastic and sassy towards others – definitely a great character! Another character that, in my opinion, stood out on this book was Daenarys Targaryen; she took me by surprise and I actually started to admire her willpower, her determination and her strength. I’ll be looking forward to see what she’ll do on the next book.

I really liked the way the characters grew; the way they reacted to certain events and how they dealt with their emotions was amazing and it actually gave them a lot more depth.

Great book and a must read!

This is the portuguese cover:

sexta-feira, 21 de setembro de 2012

Quote of the Week #1

So many books, so little time.

Frank Zappa

sexta-feira, 14 de setembro de 2012

A Game of Thrones - first vol.

Since the portuguese edition of A Game of Thrones is divided into two volumes, I’m only going to give you my initials thoughts on the first one (after reading the second one, I’ll make a more detailed review):

·         Amazing characters! I really liked the fact that each character had its own traits and quirks making them unique and real – it’s almost like reading a story about real people. So far, my favorites characters are Arya, Jon Snow and Tyrion;
·         The story is told through the different perspectives of several characters; it’s a great way to get a full grasp of what is going on and to know more about their traditions and history;
·         Loved the way it is written because, even though there’s a lot of detail to take in, we can just fly through the pages. I also liked the way some of the characters talked, especially Tyrion – really sassy!

Definitely a must read! 5 out of 5 stars!

      This is the portuguese cover



Hi and welcome to my blog!

I think the hardest thing about having a blog is writing the first post; I keep thinking "what am I going to write?". Well guys all I can say is that I love books and that I've decided to create this blog to write about them and to share my opinions with you - hopefully you'll also share yours!