sexta-feira, 26 de abril de 2013

# Friday reads (3)

Unfortunately I haven't been reading that much lately and my Friday reads for this week is still Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (you can check out what I've written about the book here). 

I'm more than half way through and I hope to finish it within the next couple of days leave a review here so you can see what I though of it.

Hopefully, next week's Friday reads will be a bit more exciting :)

terça-feira, 23 de abril de 2013

Quote of the Week # 13

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
 George R R Martin

sexta-feira, 19 de abril de 2013

# Friday Reads (2)

This hash tag was created on Twitter and it's main purpose is to share with other people what we'll be reading during the weekend. It's now becoming a trend on the BookTube community and I've been really enjoying these videos because they always talk a little bit about the books they have chosen to read and tell us how they are liking the book so far.

This weekend I'll be reading Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while and today I decided to pick it up; I'm already 54 pages in and so far I'm enjoying it.

You can find this synopsis on Goodreads:

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

I know there's a movie that stars Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt but I've never watch it and, honestly, I don't know if I'll ever watch it because I'm not the biggest fan of Tom Cruise's work.

quinta-feira, 18 de abril de 2013

Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I've recently finished Insurgent by Veronica Roth and instead of reviewing just that book, I thought it would be more interesting to also talk about Divergent. I'll try not to spoil anything for those of you haven't picked up these books yet.


Divergent is a trilogy created by Veronica Roth and it's a young adult series that stars Beatrice - also known as Tris - Prior, a teenage girl who lives in dystopian Chicago. The city is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular trait - Candor (Honesty), Abegnation (Selflessness), Dauntless (Bravery), Amity (peace) and Erudite (Knowledge). Every year, there's a public ceremony where every sixteen year old has to make a serious decision - they have to choose to which faction they'll belong to for the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, this decision seems to be more than just about choosing a faction; it's about choosing between staying with her family or being who she really is.
She makes a surprising choice but also learns a secret about herself that could either save the ones she loves or destroy her ...

What Made me Start Reading this Trilogy

I read Divergent right after finishing the Hunger Games trilogy. I wanted to read more books that were set in dystopian worlds; I wanted to know what else was out there within the same genre and Divergent seemed like a logical choice and the fact that it got so many rave reviews definitely pushed me to buy it.
The idea that people lived in a city that was divided into different factions and that they would dedicate their entire lives developing a certain trait seemed quite interesting, not only from a world building perspective but also from the character's point of view. I wanted to know more about their lives, what were their traditions and how they carried themselves, how all the factions got along but also how they developed their virtues. I was also intrigued by their political system and what was expected from each faction as a contribution to society.

My Thoughts

Divergent: I didn't know what to expect from Divergent in terms of story and character development. I had read many reviews saying how great it was and how it was the perfect book to read after the Hunger Games but I hadn't read anything that would go into much detail about the story itself.

I liked the setting of the whole story and the factions but I wanted to know more about them; I was a little underwhelmed because there wasn't a lot of information about some of the factions but also because there seemed to be a lot of mystery about the world outside the fence (yes, Chicago is surrounded by a fence) but we were left without any clues regarding that matter.  Also, we were not provided with a much needed explanation about what had led to the division into factions and what was its purpose.

I really liked Tris' characters. We can see, from the beginning of the book, that she's quite special and that her personality doesn't fully convey her factions' beliefs; she belongs to Abegnation, where people are selfless and their main concern is to take care of other people's needs. She's determined, strong-minded and the fact that she questions a lot and is so perceptive made her seem quite smart and canny and I really liked that about her. This set her apart from the others because they seemed to be so shaped by their factions traits and the fact she wasn't - even though she was capable of selfless acts - made her a special character.
I also liked Four; he seemed rather mysterious at first but then we got to know a bit more about him and see how sweet and responsible he was, how much he cared for Tris and how coherent he was about his beliefs and ideals.

Divergent is a great read. Is fast paced and action packed, with well written characters that captivate us from the beginning. This was a great start for the Divergent trilogy and really left me wanting more! I gave Divergent 4,5 starts.

Insurgent (I'll try to give you my thoughts about this book without spoiling it for those of you who haven't read it yet): I was really looking forward to read this second installment of the Divergent trilogy and, I'll admit, my expectations were a bit high. The first book had left me with some questions and the way it ended seemed to promise a lot more story development. However and even though this novel had some interesting points, there were others that failed to meet my expectations and left me a little underwhelmed.

I liked the fact that this book was just as fast paced and action packed as the first one; it made the book a lot more engrossing and kept me wanting more. I also liked the fact that we got to know more about the other factions - how they were set out, their habits and beliefs and how they reacted to what was going on in Chicago. As for the characters, Four was, by far, my favorite in this book even though I feel that we didn't get to see that much of him - I was hoping for (just) a bit more.

However, there were some things that didn't please me as much. Tris was a little disappointing in this book. I get it, she had gone through a lot in the first book so she was expected to have a lot going on and to be a bit more self-absorbed and "depressed" but I think she went a little too far; sometimes she came across as somewhat selfish, childish and too inconsequent about her actions - I wasn't a big fan of the whole  "act first, think later" - and for that reason she ended up making some terrible decisions. I also didn't like the fact that there were still a lot of question left unanswered - what had led to the creation of factions and what was outside the fence. Yes, the end started to give some hints about it but I wanted to know more! Finally, I felt that the story didn't progress that much; in Divergent a lot happened and Insurgent seemed to just set the foundations for something big, that will only take place in the final book ...

Overall I enjoyed this book but I wasn't as impressed as I was with Divergent. Sometimes I would get a bit angry at Tris for acting a certain way but then, as the story progressed, I would let  go of those feelings and just enjoy the narrative and what was going on.  I'm really looking forward for the third and final book of this trilogy, which comes out this year, in October 22nd.

I give Insurgent 3 stars

sexta-feira, 12 de abril de 2013

#Friday Reads #1

This hash tag was created on Twitter and it's main purpose is to share with other people what we'll be reading during the weekend. It's now becoming a trend on the BookTube community and I've been really enjoying these videos because they always talk a little bit about the books they have chosen to read and tell us how they are liking the book so far.

I've decided to do something similar here. From now on, every Friday I'll post what I'm planing on reading during the weekend. I'll talk a little about the book, explain why I've chosen it and if I'm liking it so far or not.

This weekend I plan on reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth. 

This is the sequel to Divergent which - in case you haven't read it yet - tells us the story of Beatrice Prior who lives in a dystopian world where the city of Chicago is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a certain virtue - Candor (honesty), Abegnation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace) and Erudite (knowledge). Every sixteen year old has do chose the faction where they'll live for the rest of their lives and for Beatrice the decision seems to be bigger than that; she'll have to chose between staying with her family and being who she really is because she can't have them both.

I enjoyed Divergent and I liked it's pace and the setting where everything took place so I'm really looking forward to read the sequel. I just hope it's as good as the first one ...

quinta-feira, 11 de abril de 2013

Reading Challenge Update #3

As you may already know, this year I've decided to take part in two reading challenges: the A-Z challenge and another one where I would try to read most (if not all) of the books that are currently sitting on my bookshelves. So here is my update for the month of February:
  • A-Z Challenge - I've managed to read 2 books from my list (check out the list here) and they were 1984 by George Orwell (review here) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (I'll try to post a review for this book within the next few days)

  • Books from my bookshelves challenge -  This month I read 3 books that had been sitting on my bookshelves for a while and they were 1984by George Orwell, Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Once again, I managed to surpassed my quota for this month I'm actually happy with the books I read this month for my challenge because I really enjoyed them. This challenge was created by Sheila from

domingo, 7 de abril de 2013

1984 by George Orwell

The Premise

Big Brother stares out from every poster on the street; he will not tolerate dissent, not even in the mind and for that reason he relies on the Thought Police to uncover every act of betrayal ... 
Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, works for the Ministry of Truth and he's responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. Like any other person in Oceania, he follows the Party's ideology but when he falls in love with Julie, he discovers that life can be different and awakens to new possibilities. They begin to question the Party and they are drawn towards conspiracy ... but at what cost?

My Thoughts:

Reading this book was an interesting experience. There's a lot to take in but also to make us think and question what we know. 

What was really engaging about this book was the world created by George Orwell because of all the detail he put into it but also because of the Party's ideology and how people complied without questioning it. All the surveillance and control in Oceania was quite disturbing and, I have to admit, sometimes scared me! It was so different from what we know today and from what we believe to be righteous, especially because the Party controls every single aspects of someone's life, including what they eat and drink, what type of workouts they do and, most shockingly, their thoughts.

Something that really impressed me was how they manipulated past occurrences just to make them fit the present but also how they would get away with it ... the idea that we can't change the past and that it's unalterable doesn't apply in this book.

I wasn't that impressed with the characters of this book. It was interesting to know so much about Winston and see how conflicted he was about his beliefs- he knew he should obey blindly to the Party's ideology but at the same time he would question it. His character really grew on the third part of the book but I won't say much about it because I don't want to spoil it to those of you who haven't read it yet. As far as Julie is concerned I have to say that I was a little disappointed by her - I actually didn't like her that much. She seemed a bit childish and selfish as far as her resistance to the Party's ideology goes; she would only be against the Party if it affected her private life and she didn't even bother to question the foundations and what had led to the implementation of the current political system.

In my opinion this book is more than just a novel; it's and essay about society and politics that in spite of the fact that it was published in 1949, it's still thought provoking and it makes us question a lot and compare what we now know with what is described in this novel. It's not a light read but definitely worthwhile; sometimes it's violent and grim especially because we are reading about a regime that is quite stern and doesn't allow people to be themselves and where family and friends are depreciated. 

An astonishing book and a must read! 5 out of 5 stars

This is the Portuguese cover

sábado, 6 de abril de 2013

Read in March

These are the book I read during the month of March

 Short stories written by Ondjaki, a writer from Angola.

Lady Here's Your Wreath by James Hadley Chase