sábado, 28 de dezembro de 2013

Maratona Literária Adeus 2013: Mini Desafios III e IV

Foram lançados novos mini desafios pelas administradoras da Maratona Literária Adeus 2013.

O terceiro mini desafio consistia em escolher uma imagem que ilustrasse o que o livro escolhido nos fazia sentir.

Penso que esta é  melhor imagem que posso associar ao livro O Despertar da Magia de George R. R. Martin. Sempre que penso neste livro e no mundo criado pelo autor, lembro-me das aulas de História e de quando falavámos das batalhas que tinham sido travadas ao longo dos séculos.

O quarto mini desafio consistia em dar uma opinião sobre o escritor.

Este é já o quarto livro de George R.R.Martin que leio e posso dizer que estou fã do seu trabalho e do mundo por si criado. É incrivelmente rico e detalhado e dá-me sempre a sensação que estou a ler algo que tem história e tradição por trás. Apesar de também ter alguns elementos de fantasia, não é nada que se possa considerar como demasiado irrealista ou despropositado. Para além disso, cria personagens fantásticas (exemplo, Tyrion!!).

quinta-feira, 26 de dezembro de 2013

Maratona Literária Adeus 2013

Mais um post em português, mas desta vez não será o único :)

Uma despedida das leituras de 2013 pede uma maratona literária e foi precisamente isso o que a Catarina e a Silvana resolveram promover. Entre os dias 26 e 30 de Dezembro, o tempo disponível é para dedicar às leituras e aos livros que queremos acabar antes do final de 2013.

Para além de contar as páginas e livros lidos, serão ainda lançados mini desafios nos quais os participantes poderão participar.

O primeiro desafio consistia em deixar uma fotografia da nossa pilha de livros para esta maratona. Tendo em conta que ainda não programei nada, apenas postei a fotografia do livro que estou a ler neste momento, que é O Despertar da Magia de George R.R. Martin.

(péssima qualidade de imagem, é o que dá tirar fotos com o telemóvel)

Para o segundo desafio, tinhamos de transcrever a primeira frase ou parágrafo do livro com que tinhamos iniciado a maratona.

O monte projectava-se por cima do denso emaranhado de floresta, erguendo-se solitário e súbito, deixando ver as suas alturas varridas pelo vento de milhas em redor. Os patrulheiros diziam que os selvagens lhe chamavam Punho dos Primeiros Homens. Jon pensou que realmente se parecia com um punho, atravessando a terra e a floresta, com vertentes nuas e castanhas encimadas por pedra.
Tentarei postar com alguma regularidade os meus avanços na maratona. Até agora apenas posso dizer que comecei com este livro do George R.R.Martin e que espero conseguir acabá-lo até ao fim de semana.

sexta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2013

#Friday Reads (18)

So, this weekend I'll be reading Extras by Scott Westerfeld. This is the forth and final installment of the Uglies series. However, this book is a little different from the other three because this is kind of like a companion novel and not a direct continuation of the story.

Here is the synopsis:

It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of "American Idol." Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.

As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.

Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for ...

I'm already 120 pages but honestly I can't really say if I'm enjoying it or not. I was really curious about this series - it had received such rave reviews! - but then, as I started reading it, I couldn't really connect with the story or with the characters and I wasn't particularly impressed by it. I just hope that this one is better than the other three ...

On another topic, I'll be posting - hopefully soon - my review for A Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón but let me tell you, reviewing this book isn't easy!

sexta-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2013

#Friday Reads (17)

This weekend I'll be reading La Sombra del Viento (The Shadow of the Wind) by Carlos Ruiz Záfon. I bought this book when I was in Barcelona and ever since then I've been waiting for the perfect moment to pick it up.

Here is the synopsis:

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

So far I'm 150 pages in and I honestly think that this will become one of my favorite books (not just for this year). I love the author's writing style and the story is incredibly engrossing. Definitely a book that shows a lot of promise and I hope to finish it during the next few days.

quinta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2013

Carrie by Stephen King


Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget ...

My Thoughts:

I'm not the most experienced reader when it comes to horror books. I've read a few but I'm still relatively new in this genre.

Carrie was my second book by Stephen King and, once again, I was completely fascinated by the story he created. It was a really quick read - something that I didn't expect - and it captivated me right from the start.

I was completely awestruck by what Carrie went through, not only at school, but also at home. Her mother startled me and I actually think she was much scarier than Carrie - even though she didn't have her telekinetic abilities. She was too radical in her religious beliefs and the way she treated her own daughter was appalling! As for Carrie, I actually liked her but I also felt sorry for her even after all the terrible things she did. I think it was really unfortunate that people treated her that way and made her feel like a complete outcast ...

Also, I really enjoyed the writing style and the inclusion of different perspectives while the story was being narrated. Some of them were a bit more personal and emotional and others were objective - like the excerpts from books and the questioning led by the White Commission. I thought this was great because the story seemed a lot more complete and thorough - at least when it came to understanding what had led to the tragic events of prom night.

Overall, a great read that took me by surprise. I don't think it's the scariest book I'll ever read - I think Shining was a lot more scary - but I couldn't help but feel that prom night was quite grim and disturbing ... I definitely need to check out more of Stephen King's books!

I haven't watched any of film adaptations of this book but I plan on watching the first one. I'm not entirely sure I want to see the latest since its reviews haven't exactly been the best ...
I give it 4 ou of 5 stars.

segunda-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2013

Read in November

These are the books I read during the month of November.

Completed the series this year. You can check out my reviews for the entire trilogy here and here

My first book by Cassandra Clare. Wasn't particularly impressed by it and I'm not entirely sure I'll be continuing with this series. I've posted my review here

 Pleasant surprise :) Review here

 Not a favorite ... It was interesting to a certain point but then it started to get too repetitive and less believable ...

sexta-feira, 29 de novembro de 2013

#Friday Reads (16)

I'll be dedicating my weekend to one of my recent purchases. In the beginning of November I bought Carrie by Stephen King but I hadn't got around to it until now.

I've started it today and I'm already 102 pages in an so far I'm really enjoying it. This is only my second book by Stephen King but, from what I've read so far, I think that I won't be stopping here.

Here is the synopsis (just in case you're not that familiar with the story):

The story of misfit high-school girl, Carrie White, who gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers. Repressed by a domineering, ultra-religious mother and tormented by her peers at school, her efforts to fit in lead to a dramatic confrontation during the senior prom.

segunda-feira, 25 de novembro de 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

And another series is completed!

I have to say, even though I was never particularly attached to the Divergent trilogy or to its characters, I wanted to see how it would all end and how Veronica Roth would explain everything that had happened until now.

Like I’ve mentioned in my previous review, I always felt that I didn’t know that much about Tris’ world; I needed to know why they were living in factions and what had happened before Chicago was divided. In Allegiant we are finally provided with an answer and, I have to admit, when I first read it I just felt like saying “Really? This is how you decide to explain this world and connect all the dots?!”. After so much time – and pages – invested in this story and in this mystery, I felt that the explanation given by Veronica Roth was a little weak and that it diminished – in some way – the relevance of dividing Chicago into factions.

As for the characters, I liked Tris and Tobias’ story lines. Tris grew a lot during this book. She seemed a lot more focused on what was important and more determined to make a difference in her world. As for Tobias, I liked how vulnerable he seemed and that we got to see him deal with some unsettling discoveries. I also think that, as a couple, they matured a lot and were finally able to understand what being together truly meant.

Finally, as for the plot and how the story progressed, I have to point out some of issues I had with it. First of all, I think it lacked some balance because there were moments when we had a lot going on but then, all of the sudden, the narrative would start to drag and loose the pace that had been set before. I also think that some of the deaths were unnecessary and I’m not saying that just because I liked some of those characters. It just felt like the author had grown tired of them and decided to kill them off because there was nothing left to do with them. They didn’t add all that much – if anything – to the story!

Overall I give this book 3,5 stars. I think that, as a trilogy, it could have been told in fewer pages and that it could have delivered a lot more than it actually did. I think the story was overstretched and that there was a lot of stuff in the middle that wasn’t necessary and ended up seeming a bit pointless.

sexta-feira, 22 de novembro de 2013

#Friday Reads (15)

I didn't do one of these last week because I wasn't really sure what I was going to read that weekend, but I've already lined up a couple of books for this one.

First of all I'll be finishing Allegiant by Veronica Roth. This is the third and final installment in the Divergent series and, even though this isn't one of my favorite distopian series, I really wanted to see how it ends.

Here is the synopsis:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

After that, I plan on starting Saving Grace by Wendy Hewlett. I don't know that much about it but it seems to be a mystery novel. Here is the synopsis:

After spending most of her life on the streets of Toronto, Taylor Sinclair suddenly finds herself in the lap of luxury as she attempts to protect Gray Rowan, a woman she’s idolized since she was ten years old, from becoming a repeat victim of escaped serial rapist/murderer Ralph Morse. The connection the two women share quickly develops into a deep friendship, something that Taylor denied herself for years. Just when Taylor begins to believe in herself, her world turns upside down. Taylor’s past becomes fuel for the insatiable appetite of the media, triggering a police investigation targeting her abusers. Taylor has to deal with the horrors of her past if she has any hope of making it through the Police Academy or developing a relationship with the gorgeous Caillen Worthington. (Book 1 in the Taylor Sinclair Series) .

terça-feira, 19 de novembro de 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Clary Fray, 15, learns she has the Sight, when she sees murder, and three tattooed teens with bizarre weapons at the NYC Pandemonium Club - or does she? Her mother disappears, a demon attacks her, and Clary is drawn into the world of Shadowhunters, warriors who kill demons. Jace is a Shadowhunter who looks like an angel and acts like a jerk.

My Thoughts

In spite of this book's popularity, I never felt that I HAD to read it. Actually that was one of the reasons why I kept avoiding picking it up ... Also, after reading Twilight, I wasn't really in the mood to start another series with demons, vampires and werewolves. 

However, I couldn't ignore all the hype around it and the fact that some of my favorite book reviewers kept raving this series, led me to finally decide to pick it up and see if it was worth all the hype.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book but that isn't enough to say that it's worth all the rave reviews that it has received or that it's one of the best books I've ever read within this genre. It's entertaining and it has some funny moments but there's not much more to it.

I wasn't fascinated with the world building and with all the demons and other "monsters" that Jace, Alec and Isabella hunted. I think that was actually my least favorite part of the book ... However, I enjoyed the dynamics between some of the characters, especially Jace, Clary and Simon. They formed this really funny love triangle that didn't make me want to say "Let's get this over with and just pick one of the guys!". That was one of the things that I enjoyed the most about this book; there was romance but it wasn't cheesy or annoying to the point of making me lose interest in the story. I think that Cassandra Clare did a really nice job balancing it out with the rest of the story.

Overall an entertaining and - at times - funny book. I still don't know if I'll be continuing the rest of the series but I would like to check out the Infernal Devices series and see if it's similar to this one.

I know there's also a movie but I'm really not that curious about it so I probably won't be watching it any time soon.

I give 3,5 out of 5 stars.

quinta-feira, 14 de novembro de 2013

Quote of the Week #18

His hands were weak and shaking from carrying far too many books from the bookshop. It was the best feeling. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

quarta-feira, 13 de novembro de 2013

Easy by Tammara Webber

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

My Thoughts:

I wasn't expecting to like this book. I wasn't expecting to care for its characters but this book really surprised and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Yes, this is one of those super duper romantic stories that follows that simple line "girl meets boy, boy is cute and she's also cute but isn't fully aware of that, they are perfect for each other right from the start, but then something happens" and bla bla bla. Sounds familiar? Yes, just like any other book within this genre but don't think that Easy is just that.

It's a new adult book so, unlike books like Perfect Chemistry, it has not only a lot more mature content but also it deals with more serious issues like sexual assault and losing a parent in the most heinous possible way and having to deal with all the emotions that it involves. And honestly that was one of the things that I enjoyed the most about this book. It wasn't as focused on the love story as I thought it would be and actually tried to go a little further and address other issues.

As for the characters, I think they were a little stereotypical, especially Lucas. He was the poster boy for that "dark and mysterious but also sexy as hell" type of guy that always has girls throwing themselves at them even if they don't want anything to do with them. At least this is the first impression that we get from him, but then, as the story progresses, we get to know him a bit better and see that there is actually more to him than just that. Overall, I think it was impossible not to like his character. As for Jackie, I have to say, I didn't care for her that much and I didn't connect with her at all! I actually preferred Erin, her roommate and best friend, who seemed to be a lot more fun and easy going.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I like how it surprised me. I'm not going to say that it's spectacular and that it's a must read but it's definitely entertaining and a little addictive. I think it's quite easy to get lost in it and read it pretty quickly without even realizing it.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

sexta-feira, 8 de novembro de 2013

#Friday Reads (14)

So, this weekend I'll be reading (again two books).

First of all, I want to continue Fanny Hill by John Cleland. I'm already more than half way through and I'm confident that I'll be able to finally finish it this week.

I'll also be reading Easy by Tammara Webber. I was a bit hesitant about this book but since this was the pick for this month in my book club, I had no choice but to read it lol I've already started it but I'm only 20 pages in but I think I'll probably finish this one first because it seems to be one of those quick reads.

Here is the synopsis (from Goodreads):

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

terça-feira, 5 de novembro de 2013

Reading Challenge Update #7

I know it's been a while since I've done one of these and so I thought it was finally time to let you guys know how I was completing my challenges.

Here's how I've been doing so far:

* A to Z Challenge: I've read three books from my list and they were City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and La Saga de Los Longevos by Eva García Sáenz. I made a small change on my initial list, because this last book wasn't in it but I decided to include it because it was so different from what I had read and also because it meant I had to buy one less book to complete my goal. You can check my complete list here.

* Books on my bookshelves challenge: unfortunately I haven't read any of the book from my list. I hope to read at least one book for this challenge this month ... (This challenge was created by deliberatereader.com)

domingo, 3 de novembro de 2013

Read in October

These are the books I read during the month of October

 My review has been published here

I loved this book and I'll try to put a review for it during this week

 Interesting read. I really enjoyed it and how different it was. You can check out my review here

Finally finished this trilogy and I have to say, I'm not impressed. I really thought it was going to be a lot better. 
I still have to read the forth book, wish is kind of like a companion novel. Let's hope that one is a bit better!

sexta-feira, 1 de novembro de 2013

#Friday Reads (13)

Getting back to a decent schecule of posting for the blog!

This weekend I'll be finishing City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and I'll try to read a bit more o Fanny Hill by John Cleland.

I'm already more than half way through with City of Bones and so far I'm actually enjoying it! I was a bit sceptical about this book and I wasn't sure I was going to like it because of all the demons and Shadowhunters but so far it's been a plesant surprise.

As for Fanny Hill, it's a XVIII century erotic classic an even though the writting style
and vocabulary is quite different and thta it's far from fantastic, I'm enjoying reading it.

quarta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2013

Le Magasin des Suicides (The Suicide Shop) by Jean Teulé

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Has your life been a failure? Let's make your death a success With the twenty-first century just a distant memory and the world in environmental chaos, many people have lost the will to live. And business is brisk at The Suicide Shop. Run by the Tuvache family for generations, the shop offers an amazing variety of ways to end it all, with something to fit every budget. The Tuvaches go mournfully about their business, taking pride in the morbid service they provide. Until the youngest member of the family threatens to destroy their contented misery by confronting them with something they ve never encountered before: a love of life.

My Thoughts

I had read great reviews regarding this book and the fact that it had such an interesting concept really grabbed my attention. A novel about a suicide shop where everyone could - literally - pick their poison (among other means to end their life) written by someone with a real knack for dark humor seemed like a great finding.

I really loved the idea of having a shop where people could find everything they needed to end their life. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in suicide but it was so different and out of the ordinary that it really sparked my interest. Also, this setting, the items sold in this store and its customers provided for a lot of funny moments.

As for the characters, I think it's impossible not to sympathize with the Tuvache's. Yes, they are peculiar and a little eccentric but they end up being funny, despite being always so down and defeated. I loved Alan and the fact that he never stopped trying to change his family and their ways. He was always so optimistic and always tried to see the best in the world and in people. 

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. I love dark humor and the fact that it was so well incorporated in this story was, in my opinion, on of its strongest points. However, I have to admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending. Even though the characters developed as I expected them to, I was also a bit surprised with the way things ended. It was unexpected and I'm not really sure it was necessary to go that way. In spite of all of that, I really loved this book and I liked how different it was.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

domingo, 13 de outubro de 2013

Read in September

These are the books I read during September

First half of A Clash of Kings (original version) by George R R Martin

My review is publish on a forum and you can check it out here

 Last book of the Trilogia de la Niebla. Out of all three, this was my least favorite

sábado, 14 de setembro de 2013

Book Haul (1)

My first book haul on this blog! yeyey

First of all let me just say that, usually, I don't buy that many book each time I go to a bookstore. I don't like to accumulate a lot of unread books on my bookshelves so I try to control what I buy. For this reason I don't think I'll be doing monthly book hauls because I rarely buy an amount a books that would justify doing them regularly. However, I'll try to do them whenever I have 3 or more new books to show you ;)

I've recently been to Barcelona and I took that opportunity to buy some Spanish books that I've been eying for a while  but that I didn't want to order online.

Las Luces de Septiembre (The Watcher in the Shadows) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the third and final installment of the Trilogia de la Niebla. I've already read the other two books and even though I've read trilogies that were a bit more interesting, this has been a great introduction to this author's work and writing style.

This might sound a bit weird but I hadn't bought this book before the trip because I really wanted to buy it in Barcelona. I though that it would be a different experience if I only read it after visiting the city because that way I would (hopefully) be able to recognize some of the places mentioned in the story

I read great things about this book and its synopsis intrigued me from the start. So far it has only been published in Spanish, but I leave a small synopsis in case you're interested in checking it out

Corre el año 2012. Iago del Castillo, un carismático longevo de 10.300 años al frente del Museo de Arqueología de Cantabria, se ve arrastrado, en contra de su voluntad, a dirigir una investigación genética: sus hermanos Nagorno —un conflictivo escita de casi 3.000 años— y Lyra —una huidiza celta de 2.500 años—, cansados de enterrar durante siglos a sus familias efímeras, están obsesionados con identificar su rara mutación y tener hijos longevos.

Adriana, una joven y resuelta prehistoriadora, regresa a su Santander natal, contratada por el museo, dispuesta a aclarar el extraño suicidio de su madre, la psicóloga de cabecera de la alta sociedad cántabra, ocurrido quince años atrás.

Iago y Adriana chocan desde el primer momento, aunque entre ellos surge una intensa atracción que ambos intentan ignorar. Pero poco imaginará Adriana que la muerte de su madre tuvo mucho que ver con lo que le ocurrió a “la vieja familia” en el pasado y obligó a Iago a entrar en la investigación del gen longevo. Cuando descubran la cruda realidad y reaccionen, las consecuencias de sus actos les dejarán marcados para siempre.

segunda-feira, 9 de setembro de 2013

Read in August

These are the books I read in the month of August

Animal Farm by George Orwell. Amazing book!

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

sábado, 7 de setembro de 2013


I know I haven't posted in a while but the fact is I haven't been reading that much and I went away for a week and I didn't have much time to just pick up a book. 

But now I'm back, I'm reading and I hope to put up a review this week and I might even do a haul, but I still have to give it some thought ...

See you soon ;)

quinta-feira, 29 de agosto de 2013

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

(I'll keep this review short and free from spoilers since this is a sequel to Uglies)

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I did Uglies.I still had some issues with Scott Westerfeld's writting style but I felt that he developed the story quite well in this second installment. So, I'll just summarize the main ideias I took from this book:

  • Even though Tally's development was somewhat expected, it was nice to see that she still managed to remain true to what she thought during the first book (even if some of her memories were blurred)
  • Shay became one of those characters that I actually "liked" hating; I knew she was immature and didn't seem to have a mind of her know but I never thought would rebel in her own way and make herself special in a peculiar way
  • This book was a lot more dynamic than the first one. There was a lot more going on and I really enjoyed how the characters interacted with each other
  • Loved the fact that we got to know a bit more about the world created by Scott Westerfeld and the twists he incorporated took me by surprise
  • I missed David in this book .... I thought he would have a bigger role in this sequel

  • Loved the ending! Blew my mind and left me wanting more!

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I thought it was more engaing than the first one. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

quarta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2013

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

My Thoughts: 

This book had been on my wish list for a long time. The reviews I had read were quite positive and it seemed to have an interesting concept - somewhat different from what I had read so far. Needless to say, my expectations were relatively high and I was really excited to start this series.

Starting with what I loved about this book.

I really enjoyed the whole concept and the idea that people needed plastic surgery to enter the different stages of their lives. Yes, it was a bit weird that everyone kind of looked the same and that they were so focused on their appearance - something that I (personally) find quite unhealthy and excessive -  but in their world it made perfect sense to be like that and to basically bash the way they looked before the surgery.  The idea that was promoted by this society was incredibly wrong and appalling but I enjoyed it because it made me think about it and because it made the story a lot more captivating.

I also liked its messages and how the book tried to educate the reader through its story. However I couldn't help but feel that some of them were targeted to a younger audience (maybe between the ages of 14-16) but I was still able to appreciate them and understand what they conveyed.

Unfortunately, there were some things that didn't sit that well with me.

I felt that it's pace was somewhat irregular. The beginning was fast; Shay and Tally became best friends instantly and soon began the drama. Then it dragged for about 50 pages and when Tally arrived to a new city, again, it all seemed to happen too fast. It annoyed me and it actually compromised my connection with the story.

The characters weren't (in my opinion) that relatable and I felt that they weren't that well written. Shay didn't seem to have a mind of her own, was a bit childish and easily influenced by others. Tally was smart but too brainwashed by the society's ideology (I can't really blame her for that) but I liked her transformation throughout the book and the fact that she started to see things differently. Finally, there was David; he seemed a lot more rational than the other characters and I liked how knowledgeable he seemed to be. Unfortunately this is all I can say about this characters; they didn't have much more going on ...

I also didn't like the fact that this book was written in a way that was actually distracting and confusing. I wouldn't always gather what was actually going on and it wasn't sufficiently engrossing - I even got sidetracked a couple of times.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I felt that it set some interesting foundations for the following books. It's a bit juvenile but I was able to appreciate it, its story and messages. I just hope that the next books are more enthralling and that the characters have a bigger development. 

I give it 3,5 out of 5 stars