Release by Patrick Ness ☆

20170609_135153

5starsplus

“Ain’t no shame in a broken heart.”

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: The way Ness writes is bewitching!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, at least for me. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t put it down and this is the third Ness’s book that has done this to me. I loved it with all my heart; there is something in Ness’s books that resonates with my soul and I feel them embracing me and cuddling me. The magic touch, at first peculiar, settles into the narration almost unnoticed and unforced. All of this makes Release one hell of a book to read and treasure.

This is not the easiest of books, it is a book about life and the obstacles it throws at you; it gives you hope in a better future if you’re willing to fight for it. It is so hard to fight for something you don’t think you deserve because you’ve been “taught” that what you are goes against nature, against the will of a lord you think doesn’t really care how you live your life.

“Through prayer, everything is possible-“
“I don’t know, I’ve prayed for years to change your heart. Nothing’s happened so far.”

Adam Thorn doesn’t believe he deserves being loved. He grew up in a very religious family being the son that’s different in a way they don’t dare to say out loud. Adam is gay and his family thinks it’s merely a phase, they think what he feels is not real. How much realer can it be if it breaks his heart in a million pieces? Adam Thorn has loved and his broken heart is the result of it. Will he ever let go of the past and fight for a future worth living? Will he ever let go of the boy he gave his all to but apparently was never willing to give anything back?

Where on earth had this day come from? And where was it headed?

We follow Adam throughout one day of his life; one day that will change everything. He will wake up, run errands, exercise, go to work, help his father and say goodbye to the boy who broke his heart. It’s going to be a long day, a day of news that will test his mind and episodes that will test his heart. Today everything changes.

He starts his day going to buy flowers his mother will certainly hate, and then running to clear his mind thinking how everything he does is never and will never be enough. He wants to go away and be himself but at the same time he is struggling to find some kind of peace in a home that has conditions for you to be worth being in it.

He can’t evade and find peace at work either with a boss sexual harassing him who knows pretty well how these accusations will go away easily; after all, who will believe a 17-year-old gay boy saying his boss touches him inappropriately? Here comes the frustration, the realization that a teenage boy is helpless, unable to reach for help because the world has this unbelievably twisted conviction that teenagers can only say lies and you should never believe them.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

Adam finds his peace with Angela, his best friend. She is a tough girl and she is there for him whenever he needs it. Her family is different, open minded and kind, a safe refuge when he needs to get away from his cruel reality. Angela and Adam are a wonderful duo, ready to take the world head high. Their flashbacks show how incredible their friendship is.

“I’m always gay?”
“In every universe.”
“That makes sense. Are you always short?”
“Except in the universes where I’m Beyoncé.”
“In some universes, we’re all Beyoncé.”

I was so happy about Angela because at this point in the book I was ready to fight everyone who was in the way of my big blonde guy and his happiness. Adam deserves the world and I was more than ready to give it to him. Letting go is hard, painful, but once it’s done you’re free to live and start again. Our brain is one hell of an instrument: it tortures us when it decides on its own accord to fish memories you wanted hidden. Mastering the cohabitation with your bad memories is the way to keep them at bay and not letting them hurt you ever again. They are there, you sense them, but they don’t control you; you don’t allow them to do it.

Will Adam be ready to let go? This day will decide it; it will decide his fate.

While we follow Adam on the day his life is going to change forever, a spirit called by one single, an apparently innocent, action will leave the safety of her home to answer questions she doesn’t even know were asked. The magical realism, very similar to the one in the other Ness’ favourite of mine “The Rest of Us Just Live Here”, can seem out of place but you need to let it flow, no questions asked. It’s a parallel quest, seemingly unrelated, to our Adam’s journey, that will set in motion the end of the world, as we know it.

This book left me shaken. I related to parts of the book and sympathize with everything else. I was frustrated and angry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to have hope and believe that maybe the world doesn’t really hate us the way we sometimes think. That maybe we can build ourselves a safe heaven in the midst of our not so very perfect lives.

I loved Release and it confirmed my love for Patrick Ness and the way he writes. It’s a hit or miss in my opinion and I understand when the story doesn’t reach everyone the way it reached me. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading.

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”

firmablog

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo ☆

20160930_172716

“I’ve taken knives, bullets, and too many punches to count, all for a little piece of this town,” said Kaz. “This is the city I bled for. And if Ketterdam has taught me anything, it’s that you can always bleed a little more.”

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Why you should read this book: Second and last book of this great duology, a must read!

Read the summary from Goodreads here

This riview contains many spoilers!!

I don’t think I will be able to write a review about this book because it was just too perfect. I loved everything, frustrating parts, happy parts, romantic parts, let’s kill everyone parts, everything. It’s difficult because I don’t have a clear way to express my feelings. I can be very incoherent and it is bad. I start talking about superfluous things and it’s not good.

So I decided to write about what I liked about the different parts of the story. Let’s see if this thing writes itself like I envisioned.

“Do you know what Van Eck’s problem is?”
“No honor?” said Matthias.
“Rotten parenting skills?” said Nina.
“Receding hairline?” offered Jesper.

Inej is kidnapped by that hideous man, Van Eck. Hideous man, I hate him so much! The gang of merry men is plotting thousands of ways to save her. Kaz thinks so many things at once; everything that happens is either exactly how he intended or fortuitously a nice coincidence. I am always in awe in front of Kaz’s intelligence. That man (I still refuse to believe he is a teenager, in my head he is 26, they are all from 24 to 27, don’t argue with me about that) is always a few steps ahead of everyone else and the few surprises and twisted don’t affect him much because he is already thinking of all the other ways to make things work his way. He is smart and deadly, perfect combination!

“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Inej is saved and the real plan, the masterplan, is going to take place. Van Eck has to pay what he promised the gang and he is also going to pay for everything he’s done because he is a really bad man!
Twists here, twists there and I find myself afraid for everyone. Are they going to die, are they going to be badly hurt? What is going on? Why are the bad guys forming alliances?? This isn’t supposed to happen but of course it happens. It’s only half book and things are nowhere near done.

Another plan is thought (how does Kaz think these plans, anyway? I know he doesn’t sleep but still, that’s amazing) and things start moving. So many things happen and I can’t write everything down or else I start writing the whole book. I would love to do that because it’s a great book but I’m lazy and it takes a lot of time. More twists but are they really twists or are they fake twists to make us think things aren’t going as planned but indeed they are exactly how they were planned from the beginning? Come on, Kaz, share your secrets with us!

She rested her head on his shoulder. “You’re better than waffles, Matthias Helvar.”

I was sad about what happened to Matthias, one character I really loved in this book but I think I already felt he was the one who was going to be sacrificed. When I read someone maybe was going to die, the first name that came to my mind was his and it was indeed him. Too bad, he was starting to change, to grow and see things in a different way. I still want to cry, that’s not fair!

Seeing Kaz vulnerable is always painful. You see this dark figure plotting perfect plans, guiding his companions as safely as he can and then you see his fragility and all you think of is “that boy needs a hug and I’m going to give him one he’s not going to forget”. Same about Inej with her past and her insecurities. Such a strong girl, a survivor, and all you want to give her is the world and some piece of mind. It’s not much, right? They deserve happiness, all of them!

“Yes, yes, Nina Zenik is hungry. Now will someone feed me before I’m forced to cook one of you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Jesper. “You don’t know how to cook.”

Matthias and Nina. All the feelings. Matthias opening up, helping Nina with the jurda parem abstinence, with her body and power changing. Trying to make her eat, protecting her in every way he knows. A giant teddy bear! A hug for him, too! And of course a hug for Nina, she seems like a great hugger! Flirty Nina is one of the greatest gifts this book gave me! Thank you for Nina and her teasing!

“I’m teaching Matthias all about fun. He’s an excellent student. Diligent in his lessons.”
“Nina—” Matthias warned.
“Has problems with attitude. Shows room for improvement.”

Jesper and Wylan. OTP from the beginning, of course. How could they not be a very solid ship from the very first time it was mentioned they might be interested in each other? We are shown their pasts, the difficulties they had to endure and how much they still have to do to be whole. Wylan is Jesper’s rock in my opinion and he will help him be a better person. And Jesper will be Wylan’s rock, that’s pretty obvious. The first kiss was perfect and the kiss between Jesper and fake Wylan (damn you, Kuwei!) was hilarious! Poor Jesper!

“You’re stupid about a lot of things, Wylan, but you are not stupid. And if I ever hear you call yourself a moron again, I’m going to tell Matthias you tried to kiss Nina. With tongue.”
Wylan wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it.”
“Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.”

I wrote about everything and nothing at all. It’s a complete mess and since it has spoilers it won’t be helpful to convince you to read it because if you are reading this you have already read it or you have no interest in reading it (and I don’t understand why).

If someone is reading this, I’m sorry, I tried. I loved this book. This duology has a lot of elements I love in books. I was sure from the beginning that I was going to love it and I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed. All the stars from me! Recommended to everyone!

Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is so great I really think you need to read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

firmablog

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ☆

20160906_135434

“Going outside is highly overrated.”

Ready Player One

 

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Why you should read this book: Because this is a journey inside one of the most wonderful virtual realities ever written.

Read the summary from Goodreads here

This is going to be one tough review to write because there are so many things I loved about this book but I have no idea how to put them into words.
This won’t be a traditional review, this won’t be a review at all; I won’t write much about the book but about what I thought while reading it. I just feel that if I start writing about the book then I would ruin all the fun for the first readers. I don’t want to be the party pooper of the situation. Just so you know, I loved it, it will stay with me forever and I will recommend it to people!

First of all I loved all the references, even the ones I didn’t get because I was too young during those years.
I was born in 1985 and I was lucky because I have a sister 6 years older than me that introduced me to so many things and gave me almost all of her videogames consoles when she was too cool for them. I am still not too cool for any of them; maybe now I’m only too lazy to give videogames much time. I was too little to know a lot of the 80s references that were used in the book not only because of my age but also because I didn’t grow up in the US but in Ecuador. Yes, we could watch a lot of US TV shows and movies but not everything, or at least that’s what I think because I don’t remember a lot of them.

“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.”

Every time the characters said something I knew I started grinning like a fool. I was so happy to relate to some of the excitement they felt! And when I didn’t know what they were referring to, I made my researches and now a lot of things are on my to-watch list. Just a few weeks ago I saw episode 0 of the new season of Mr. Robot and they were talking about Wargames and how the movie made people wonder if those hacks were truly possible and how it inspired the increment of security protocols. I found it very interesting and now I need to watch that movie: I really don’t know why I haven’t watched it yet.

Something weird is happening with my reading process. By sheer coincidence every book I read has something that I find in the book I start reading after finishing it. It’s a chain reaction I can’t seem to stop. Let’s see if this weird fate is going to repeat itself after this. This book had Vonnegut references and I came to know him from the last book I read and now there are a couple of his books I really want to read. How crazy is that? References, I just love them! I learn so many things from them.

“I was watching a collection of vintage ’80s cereal commercials when I paused to wonder why cereal manufacturers no longer included toy prizes inside every box. It was a tragedy, in my opinion. Another sign that civilization was going straight down the tubes.”

The whole looking for the “Golden Ticket”, the Halliday Egg, was intriguing and exciting. The “gunters” (the egg hunters) studied everything there was to know about the creator of the virtual utopia OASIS, to look for clues to find the egg. But OASIS is immense and Halliday liked so many things. I wonder how Wade (aka Parzival) found the time to learn, watch, listen, play and read everything. He also went to school and some of the things he liked best he did repeatedly. Are there enough hours in a day to do everything he did? That’s a miracle and Wade has my utmost admiration.

“No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.”

It’s the future (a horrible one on top of that) but it has this nostalgia feeling and sometimes it’s hard to separate the two different eras. When this future didn’t remind me of the 80s, it reminded me of our time now. People living their lives through the internet, social networks, fake personas, scams, illegality, etc. In this future you create an avatar and that’s you. You can make it real or you can alter your appearance to be whoever you want to be, not really to deceive but mainly to feel better about yourself. Real life is ugly so you need your fake life to make you happy and if to do so you reduce your nose size, make yourself taller, thinner, prettier, so be it. You have the world and you don’t even need to get out of the house. OASIS is your everything, you don’t need anything else.

I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.

So take the virtual utopia everyone lives in, add a spectacular egg hunt with a multibillionaire prize, then add a very clever anti-hero with his virtual friends who are everything but perfect, complete everything with the evil corporation run by an evil villain who wants to rule the real and virtual world, and you have READY PLAYER ONE. The perfect combination of everything fun, smart and geek that will make you wish you were looking for the egg with Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Shoto and Daito!

Are you ready?
Always, baby!

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it now and love it forever.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

firmablog

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson ☆

20160621_173913

“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

Title: We Are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Why you should read this book: Because this is one of the most beautiful and moving books I’ve ever read and the world needs to know it.

Summary from Goodreads:

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

“We remember the past, live in the present, and write the future.”

This book deserves a rating of 144 stars. 144 like the remaining days our main character, Henry, has to decide whether he wants to push the button or not to save the whole world. This book is important. This book is not about aliens; this book is about life and all the collateral effect it causes. The author digs into emotions, into hard themes that, willing or not, surround us every single day. Maybe you are not aware of them, but trust me, they are there, very present in your life.

Despite what you’ve spent your entire life believing, you are not a special snowflake. Somewhere out there, another you is living your life. Chances are, they’re living it better.

Henry Denton has problems. The first time he’s been abducted by aliens he was 13 years old. They have abducted him several times, doing experiments on him then leaving him far from home naked or only in his underwear. Now it seems they are going to blow up the Earth and they are giving Henry the power to choose if it happens or not. A big red button: pressing it means the world is save. Guess what Henry’s going to do? He doesn’t want to press it. He hates the world, a world where his mother is struggling with money, his father abandoned them, people are making school a living hell and his boyfriend committed suicide the year before without leaving a note explaining why.

“What if I don’t give a shit about the world?”
“I’d say that’s pretty fucking sad.”
“Why?”
“Because the world is so beautiful.”

Henry is bullied at school; they call him Space Boy because they know about the abductions. High school boys are cruel in a way that always leaves me perplexed. I can’t seem to understand where all that cruelty comes from, why they seem to gain popularity by doing awful things to their weaker school mates. Henry is weak because the ghost of Jesse, his now dead boyfriend, hunts him. He thinks it’s his fault because he didn’t see the signs, he didn’t realize his own boyfriend needed help and was thinking about hurting himself. This situation makes him weak and an easy prey to bullies and it makes his life at home harder that how it already is. But nothing is an excuse for bullying. If Henry went to school dressed as an alien, you don’t have the right to bully him, NOT A SINGLE RIGHT! No excuses whatsoever! Let’s put an end to this nonsense!

Maybe love doesn’t require falling after all. Maybe it only requires that you choose to be in it.

One day he meets Diego, a newly transferred student from Colorado with a secret past we later found out about. It left me speechless but I didn’t blame him. How could I blame someone for doing what I was thinking of doing in his situation but I’d always be too scared to do? Henry meets Diego and it puts his life in perspective. Henry starts seeing other faces of the dice that is the life he thinks he knows. Diego will make Henry question his decision to not push the button and let the world end. But Diego can’t and won’t make that decision for him; Henry has to want to push the button or else it’ll be pointless. Henry needs help and someone needs to see it before it’s too late.

“Depression isn’t a war you win. It’s a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest.”

I struggled with Henry because I felt his pain, his indecisions. I am an over thinker like him and that leads me to a lot of anxiety filled scenarios. Henry doesn’t like people hiding things from him; all of this because of what happened to Jesse. He decided to believe his lies and not ask for explanations and that resulted in his suicide. Henry can’t let something like that happen again. He won’t be responsible for someone else’s death. The pressure of life is too much and he can’t bear it. We will never know why Jesse took his own life and knowing it won’t change the fact that he is already gone. The grief will accompany them forever, memories will be cherished but life has to continue, it’s the ugly truth: we may need a break from life, but life doesn’t stop for us. Don’t let that overwhelm you, go at your own pace like I do.

I’d let myself believe the lies because it was easier than digging for the truth.

He won’t allow himself to have feelings for Diego. Diego is hiding his past from him and Henry is still pretty lost in the memory of Jesse, feeling that he’ll be cheating him if he starts liking someone else. More importantly, with the world ending, what’s the point? What’s the point of everything? Nothing really matters. Not for Henry. With the end of the world he will free his Grandma from her Alzheimer consuming her, his mother from the money problems, his brother from bringing to this awful world another human being; and he will be free from bullies calling him Space Boy and from the grief from losing Jesse that is eating him alive. But maybe you don’t have to save the world or end it, for the sake of others. Maybe you have to be a little selfish and make that decision for yourself.

“There’s an amazing world out there for you to discover, Henry Denton, but you have to be willing to discover yourself first.”

I love Henry. I want to hug him and help him in his road to be better, to accept and move on. To have a life filled with difficult situations but knowing there are people out there to help you, that you are not alone in this. I love Henry. I love how he changes throughout the book, the more the day of the end of the world approaches, the more he doubts what he believed in the beginning. And that’s perfect. I think we have to question what happens to us but being careful about not over thinking because that leads to an infinite loop of fear from which is not easy to get out. I know that loop all too well, I hate that loop. But I love Henry. I love him very much.

People wait for the countdown to tell them that it’s okay to believe in themselves again. They end each year with failure, but hope that when the clock strikes twelve, they can begin the new year with a clean slate. They tell themselves that this year things will happen, never realizing that things are always happening; they’re just happening without them.

So I as said, this book is not about aliens. I still have my doubts about said aliens but that’s ok, I don’t need to know. This book is about all of us. This story is filled with emotions, raw and deep and hard. The world is an ugly place and we have to find a way to live in it. Whether we want to fight for what’s right, or live quietly far from chaos, the world is ours, is a big community and it’s an ugly one. So many bad things keep happening, and if you think about it for a bit you just come to the conclusion that IT SIMPLY DOESN’T MAKE A FREAKING SENSE!!

“When the days are darkest, dear, you latch on the happiness wherever you find it.”

We have to choose what to fight for, we have to look for small personal victories, at home, at work, at school and the bravest of us, will look for large scale victories and we are going to support them because we are in this together.
We aren’t going to give up on the world just because we are sure things aren’t going to end well.

“So, when you’re offered bacon for breakfast, do you refuse because you’re worried about what’s going to happen when it’s gone?”

If I knew the world was going to end and I was given the possibility to stop the end from happening by pressing a button, would I press it?

I guess you will never know ;D

Do I recommend it? Yes, and read it soon, it’s really worth it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

firmablog

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness ☆

20160601_141617-1

“Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.”

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Why you should read this book: Because it was a nice surprise, a different book about things that are familiar to us all.

Summary from Goodreads:

What if you aren t the Chosen One? The one who s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

We could keep being too afraid to say we don’t know stuff and then the future will come and eat us anyway and we’ll regret not doing all that stuff we wished we did.

This is my second Patrick Ness book and the second one I truly loved. This man can write and he keeps getting to me with deep emotions and fantastic stories. He makes me feel connected to the characters from beginning to end, whether they make me happy, sad or angry, they are fractions of me in different periods of my life. I identify so much in their actions that I myself become part of the story. How do you do that, Mr. Ness? No, don’t tell me, but keep doing it.

“But I don’t care what you think, not about these things anyway. If you don’t think they’re real or important or you think that we’ll all grow out of this nonsense, well, that’s not really my business. I can’t tell you what’s real for you. But in return, you can’t say what’s real for me either. I get to choose. Not you.”

The thing about living is that so many things can go wrong so you worry over everything, mostly over things you shouldn’t be worrying about but you can’t help yourself and you worry a lot. Feelings generate deeper feelings, and these deeper feelings make you anxious. Anxiety is ugly, it sure is. Mikey, the main character of the story suffers from it, and he gets stuck in loops of actions that he thinks will make things better. He knows it won’t work but he can’t stop, he keeps doing it until he bleeds and cries. I fell in love with Mikey, he is a wonderful character, full of emotions, ignorant of what is going on around him, extremely sensitive, and willing to fight for the ones he love.

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

In this weird world there have being several “apocalypses”: ghosts, vampires, gods. Somehow the “indie kids” or “chosen ones” are the ones being targeted by these entities and by sacrificing themselves they have to save the world. From what I understood, these indie kids are hipsters with weird names like Satchel or Kerouac who do things ironically. At the beginning of every chapter we get a summary of what is going on with the indie kids, then the chapter itself is what is going on with the main characters during that same lapse of time. It’s a really interesting way to tell a story like, here I am having this delicious cup of hot chocolate, while backstage there is a teenager sacrificing himself to kill the king of the undead. It’s funny!

Mikey and his friends are not the heroes of this story; they are trying to live their lives until graduation hoping the apocalypse won’t kill them all in the meantime. Well, yeah, Jared, Mikey’s best friend, is a quarter God of the Cats but they are mostly normal teenagers wanting to go to prom and everything. How great can it be to be worshipped by cats and felines in general? To be able to communicate with them on a daily basis? It’ll be a dream! Jared has secrets but one secret in particular was WTH? I would have never guessed it, everyone knew but Mikey and I. Not fair but, what a revelation. Nicely done, Mr. Ness!

“It has nothing to do with not trusting you. It’s to do with what something becomes once you tell it. It’s like it’s truer. And it’s got a life of its own and it rushes out into the world and becomes something you can’t control.”

Mikey is overprotective of his two sisters, Mel and Meredith. Mel had a rough time in the past and she is still struggling so Mikey worries a lot for her and wants her to be happy and serene. Meredith is still very young, only 10 years old, and he is trying to protect her from the ugliness that can be the real world.

“We share out craziness, our neuroses, our little bit of screwed-up-ness that comes from our family. We share it. And it feels like love.”

Henna is Mikey’s crush. He loves her so much, or he thinks he loves her more than anything in the world. He is so focused on his “love” for her that he is making things difficult for himself and for his friends. Lots of misunderstandings and fights lead to many interesting revelations. At first I wasn’t really fond of Henna: she appeared to be having feelings for the new kid Nathan, but then it seems that she was leading Mikey on like he had a chance. Feelings are complicated, I get it, so I forgave her for bringing Mikey pain because I understood what she was experiencing. Nothing is more confusing than love. What the hell is love? It brings joy, it brings pain, it builds mountains, it destroys planets. It’s overwhelming.

I step up onstage, still feeling at sea, feeling like I’ve just lost sight of shore and though I’m swimming okay for now, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up.

I loved this book and I’m not giving it enough credit with this mess of a review. There are so many things that need to be said, so many quotes to be written, so many feelings to be shared. It’s hard to write coherently when you loved a book as much as I loved this one. I didn’t know what to expect, I kind of bought it blindly and now that I finally got to read it, I want to punch myself for not having read it sooner.

Again, thank you Mr. Ness for all these wonderful experiences that you are sharing with us. If I could hug you, I would!

Do I recommend it? Yes, you’re welcome.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

firmablog

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater ☆

20160523_135101

“He was a king. This was the year he was going to die.”

Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Why you should read this book: Fourth and last book of the series and it certainly will take your heart, shatter it a little, then give you feelings you didn’t know you needed.

“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

It is really hard for me to write this review because it is the first time in a very long time that the release of a book has driven me almost insane. I woke up at 5 am, on a weekday, to start reading the ebook because I knew my paperback was never going to be here on time, and I am a spoilers magnet (95% of the times I am the one to look for spoilers, I’m not ashamed). At 9 I went to work and when I came back for lunch I kept reading until 7 pm, when I finished it. It was a wild day, I have never read a book faster in my life!

I started this series of books late, only a few months ago because I started following more tumblr blogs about books and there are so many posts about the raven boys and I wanted to know more about them. Then I saw how good were the reviews on goodreads so I decided to buy the first 3 books of the series.

One of the best decisions I could’ve made. The story is fantastic, magical but also contemporary, a tiny bit of drama, a tiny bit of romance and a tiny bit of everything else. I love books that are a perfect mix of everything I enjoy. Wouldn’t we love to discover dead kings, visit magical forests and take things from our dreams? I know that I would, for sure.

ATTENTION! FROM HERE ON THERE ARE SPOILERS!

After finishing Blue Lily, Lily Blue there were still a few weeks left until the release of The Raven King. I pre-ordered my paperback copy back in January but the more the release day approached the more I grew anxious and desperate to know what was going to happen!! Is Gansey really going to die? Is Blue going to find what she is going to do after high school? Is Adam going to accept who he is and stop whining? Is Ronan going to find out how to wake his father’s dreams? Is Noah going to follow the light and cross over?

So many questions that needed answers and, guess what? I got my answers, I was very satisfied by them, I got so many more beautiful things and, even if some things were left unanswered, I can’t say I’m not happy about how the book ended. Maggie couldn’t have answered every single thing because we are supposed to be left wondering what they are going to do, what they are going to see, who they are going to be. Knowing every detail of their lives would’ve taken a lot from us, we have to wonder, we have to imagine the future we want them to have. We are given inputs and we can work our imagination from there. I LOVE IT!

There is only one thing that I would have loved to see. I wanted Gansey to see the demon wasp, I wanted to see how he would react to the demon, I wanted to see him afraid but unafraid of it because Henry helped him manage his fear a little. That’s the only thing I think of. The rest was perfect!

Let’s talk a little bit about the characters, only a few of them or else this review will be Bible long.

“She was the only person who he could not dazzle, and he loved her for it.”

Gansey
Baby Gansey, our beautiful boy, our explorer and Glendower number 1 fanboy! He has always been brave but fragile, a few layers and a few masks to show to different audiences. He opens up a lot to Blue, they are perfect together and the fact that they can’t kiss amplifies a lot how they show affection to each other. He loves her so much it hurts because I want someone to look at me the way Gansey looks at Blue, a guy who thinks the world is a much better place with you in it, that every noise the outside makes is silenced when you are talking. Awww, sweetheart, you are perfect and it’s impossible not to love you. I can’t hide that I was extremely sad about the whole Glendower situation but I get it, maybe the hints were there all along and I didn’t pay attention.

“I thought you would be hairier”, she whispered.
“Sorry to disappoint. The legs have a bit more going on.”
“Mine too.”

Blue
Not loving Blue is impossible; she is smart, says what needs to be said, is brave, super strong. What’s not to love? I was in pain for her because she knew about Gansey, she knew how much she already loved him, she knew the day she had to say goodbye was near but she chose to stay with him and suffer all the way. She could’ve stayed away from him, spare him and her a little bit of pain but no, she chose to enjoy every single second they had together until the very end. Blue’s interactions with Ronan are one of the best things about this book; I can see a BFF necklace for the both of them in the near future.

“Look, Sargent,” Ronan retorted. “I was gonna dream you some eye cream last night since clearly modern medicine’s doing jack shit for you, but I nearly had my ass handed to me by a death snake from the fourth circle of dream hell, so you’re welcome.”

Noah
Creepy little boy, creepier that in the 3rd book, much creepier that in the 2nd book, and sooo much creepier that in the 1st book. It was a weird escalation of creepiness. I knew Noah was important even if a lot of times he wasn’t there, you couldn’t forget about him. He is dead, he is there one second and the next he is gone, sometimes for days. But where does he go? I don’t have many theories but, after what we learn at the end of the book, maybe he is a key member of the circular flow of time weirdness that is Cabeswater and the ley line, and without him a lot of things couldn’t have happened. When time is involved, everything becomes weird. Noah said something about that being the last time reviving Gansey in the past. Why the last time? How many times has he done that? Damned you, circular time, so hard to follow!! Is the last time reviving him in some way linked to Gansey reviving in our present, to the disappearance of Cabeswater? Is that why after that he just slips away? Why, Noah, why??? Why didn’t you tell us something? You just left and here I am in pain for you because, even if you were so much more, different, alive, you were still very much as dead. Poor baby! Wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!! Noah used his favour from Cabeswater to revive Gansey, okay, but was it really for Glendower or was it for something else that I’m not getting?? Please, people, let’s exchange theories, this is driving me crazy!! Besides my random rambling, I am still a little mad about the fact that we didn’t get to hear the boys and Blue say something about Noah. I wanted something to be said about him in the epilogue, something nice, a little something to know that they knew what he did, that they cared a lot about him and that they were sad because they didn’t get to say goodbye! I’m sad about Noah and will always be! WAIT A MINUTE!!!! What if by slipping away in time that last time he disappears also from the boys’ timeline in the present, and that’s why no one says anything about him because they don’t remember him?? Is that even possible? Maybe it is with circular time, maybe I’m just going mad completely. SEND HELP!!

“Adam smiled cheerily. Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable.”

Adam
At first I didn’t like him very much; he was all whiny and not very nice with the people around him. His friends wanted to help him and he refused and acted really rudely thinking they wanted to own him, make him their charity project. Adam, baby, they love you, that’s what people who love you do, they help you, they want you to be happy and live comfortably. Book after book he redeemed himself becoming one of my favourites (they are all my favourites, though) and in this last book there was so much Adam and I couldn’t be happier. Love me some Adam! Of course there is also the Ronan situation. I knew he was watching Ronan and seeing something more than only a friend. He was trying to understand what he felt and I loved the fact that he didn’t dismiss the change of his heart and he took the leap and allowed himself a little bit more of happiness. WTH, he deserves it. Good for you, baby boy, proud of you!

“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

Ronan
My beloved, my dark knight, my raven whisperer, my baby daddy. I started loving Ronan from the start but only saw this as real love maybe after half of The Dream Thieves. I don’t really remember, it was light infatuation turned into hard-core love in the end. I know now that I love him and that I want him to be happy. I am happy for him; he knows very well a lot of things and chooses to deal with them as best as he can. The Adam situation is overwhelming for my boy; knowing Adam knows about his feelings is hard because he sees how Adam has changed around him, how many more smiles he reserved only for Ronan. Is he ready to take a chance or is he too scared to ruin what they have? He took the right decision, the PERFECT decision.
Can I say how important is Ronan? Not only for me, of course, for this whole quest? There is so much Ronan, and I couldn’t have asked for more. I want a whole book about Ronan being a farmer; The Farmer Boy.

“Ronan Lynch — dreamer of dreams, fighter of men, skipper of classes — might”

Henry
New fabulous addition to the gang!! Our Henry, half Chinese (which half? Hahaha), half Korean, keeper of RoboBee. Who is said RoboBee?? Only one of the best dream things the world can ask for! Precious little thing, not only RoboBee but also Henry. I knew he was going to be something since they barely introduced him in the last book. He makes me love him and, yes, I would love to travel the world with him. He paying, obviously, I’m broke.

The epilogue was fantastic. Maybe I wanted to know more about everything but maybe I am happy about what was given. I love how their adventures have just begun.

I will miss them with all my heart. I feel so empty right now, I feel weird.
I will read the whole series again very soon, how can I stay away from them? Not possible!

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it, long live the Raven Boys.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

firmablog

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune ☆

20160516_141026

I had a lightning-struck heart and my gods did it beat.

Title: The Lightning-Struck Heart
Author: T.J. Klune
Why you should read this book: Because it is one of the funniest and sweetest book I have read in a while.

Summary from Goodreads:

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.

“You know what they say, once you go dragon, all the rest is just laggin’.”
“No one says that,” I said. “Absolutely no one.”

This will be a review with many quotes because I loved every single word written in this book and I felt like sharing them with the world.
You’re welcome.

This book was a surprise (read: I F****** LOVE THIS BOOK — I don’t swear, I’m a princess); I really didn’t expect to love it this much. It’s one of my favorites and I will recommend it to everyone all the time. I was completely in love with it since the first page; seriously, first page. I highlighted more quotes in this book than I’ve ever done to any book ever. Even more quotes than The King’s Men, my other favorite. It is that great, trust me. Everyone needs to read it.

If I have to explain why I loved it so much, I wouldn’t be able to do it. It just felt right, the right amount of everything. So many humorous moments, so much sass and everything just felt wonderful. A kingdom in which you can love whoever you want, in which being different is not bad, everyone is accepted and it’s wonderful. Why it has to be difficult in real life? It shouldn’t, and that will always bother me.

“I don’t have time for all the relations and courting and wooing bullshit,” I said. “I’m a wizard. I have quests.”
“Uh, you’re an apprentice,” Gary said. “And you’re sent on errands.”

Sam of Wilds is the hilarious main character. He is an apprentice wizard and he is 95% fan boy, and 5% puns/jokes, all in the body of a gracious sexy hugger whom everyone seems to want to have sex with. His life is all kinds of absurd, danger follows him everywhere. Is he cursed? Of course not, but I don’t want to exclude it, it seems really weird that he finds himself in those awkward situations.

“Sam said he doesn’t have time for a boyfriend, much less Knight Delicious Face.”
“Remind me why you call him that?” Pete asked.
“Uh, pretty simple, Pete,” I said. “He’s a knight. And his face is delicious.”

Our delicious boy is crazy in love with the Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, Prince Justin’s boyfriend. He loves him so much; he is also part of his fan club in which meetings he goes disguised as bearded Mervin, the only guy there.

I was too busy writing sad ballads to unrequited love in my head and planning a life where my hand would be my boyfriend.

Sam is really perv when it comes to Ryan, he says the most hilarious and embarrassing things when he thinks or talks about him. I think Sam is a national treasure and the world should worship him.

“Sam’s just dealing with some issues. He recently came to the realization that he’s a twenty-year-old virgin prude.”

And the winner for the best sidekick everyone wishes for is…..GARY, the hornless gay unicorn!! I’m trying to picture Gary but it’s so hard because there is so much about him. He is everything, EVERYTHING. It’s impossible to describe him. You know he is a unicorn without his horn, he is beautiful because, well yeah, he is a unicorn, a majestic magical creature. He is also the funniest unicorn in existence. How can you describe the perfect sidekick a mind could think of? The answer is, you can’t. You have to read this book and find out for yourself. Gary is the best and no one can deny it.

“Too bad you’re like my older sister. We could have been something special.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Older? You’re seventy-six!”
“Boo, you whore,” he said.

When a unicorn is not enough to go on adventures with, having a half giant is what you’re looking for. Tiggy is sweet, deadly and adorable! He loves with all his half giant heart and if someone wants to hurt the ones he loves, he won’t hesitate to SMASH you! That’s right, SMASH YOU! Their trio is wonderful; they support each other, make so much fun of each other and save each other. They are family and it’s adorable.

“Sam never gonna find a boyfriend,” Tiggy said. “No one gonna take his flower.”

The wizards!! Morgan is Sam’s mentor and he has to live with all the weirdness that is Sam since he took him as his apprentice. Sorry, Morgan, that sounds like a hell of a job! Morgan is fun, a little cryptic and, even if he doesn’t want to show it too much, he loves Sam with all his heart, weirdness, puns and everything. Who can blame him? Sam is awesome.
Randall is the oldest wizard still alive; nobody knows how old he is. When you need someone to officiate a wedding, you call Randall. You also go to Randall to face the Trials, become a full wizard and acquire a wizard name that will bring fear and greatness to your life. In other words, Randall is fantastic! He is also funny as hell. This book is funny as hell, haven’t I already told you that I love this book?

“Because you love me,” I said, sounding smug.
“More like you grew on me,” he said. “Like fungus.”

Let’s talk about Ryan. Knight Commander, the prince’s fiancé, the love of Sam’s life, perfect human being, dashing and immaculate. That Ryan. He is clearly in love with Sam. It is so clear it’s painful to watch them interact. It is also super funny but that’s because with Sam, Ryan is a different person, he smiles a lot and it’s sassy beyond compare. If he loves Sam, why is he going to marry the prince? Ehhhh, you’ll see, you’ll suffer, you’ll cry! Maybe not cry, but you will suffer a bit. Don’t make my Sam cry, you beautiful monster!!

“Everything wants to have sex with him,” Ryan said. “Really?” Mama asked. “Everything. Imagine that.” “Dark wizards,” Ryan said. “Tiny men with wings. Fan clubs. Dragons. Guys with weird ears because apparently that’s sooooo cool and whatever, you know? We all have ears. Gods.”

Jealous much, pretty boy? Ryan was so jealous it was hilarious! Literally everyone in the kingdom could see how much they were in love with each other. Everyone but Sam, apparently, because he is oblivious, the most oblivious guy ever existed.

So what is going to happen when the dashing Knight Commander joins the magnificent trio, Sam, Gary and Tiggy to go rescue Prince Justin who was kidnapped by a Dragon?? Everything happens, people get molested by trees, tiny naked humans want to do nasty things with their tiny tongues, half elves want to taste every inch of skin on your body, flirting becomes very awkward to people around, and the truth may come out in the most random way ever.

Still not convinced? Let me look for another quote but, dears, there’s not enough space for me to write them all. Everything about this book is perfection.

Pretty much an all-consuming, forever kind of love that is really gross for other people to witness because I want to stare lovingly in his eyes and call him boo and mini-muffin. It’s awful to say that out loud. I know.

This is it, that’s the feeling, that’s the struggle. Sam, I feel you!

I’ll wrap this up with what I think summarize perfectly why I love this book:

I looked at them. A hornless gay unicorn built out of rainbows and bitchiness. A half-giant who wanted to smash everything. A dragon who winked and flicked his tongue at me. A prince who I wanted to protect but also punch in the face. A knight I had a heart boner for. “We’re doomed,” I moaned again. “Doomed.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it RIGHT NOW.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

firmablog