Shearwater (Part One), from Derek Murphy

Hi, there! Happy Wednesday for you 🙂 Despite being the queen of scheduling of late, this post is being written live, as I just NEEDED to talk about my last finished book: Shearwater (Part One), from Derek Murphy! I requested an ARC version of the book to help on its promotion, as all the money that Shearwater makes will be donated to organizations that help cleaning and preserving our environment 😀 To learn more about this awesome campaign, please click here.

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from my Instagram 😀

The Story

Clara is regular 15-year-old teenager living in Arizona. Her dream is to become a famous singer someday and she already kicks asses in her school with this talent. On the night of her presentation, her parents suffer a car accident and die, shattering Clara’s reality.

Clara’s mother apparently had had her share of secrets, as Clara sees herself being shipped to Ireland, into the arms of a grandfather she didn’t even know she had until now. As she hangs around the small city that she now had to call home, more mysteries come to light. Her grandmother ran away and a priest disappeared. Her mother ran away after a town boy died. A mysterious note appears pinned to Clara’s front door.

And adding to all this turmoil, there was Sebastian, the other new boy in town. He was way different than anyone Clara had ever met, with this aura of perfection around him. Moreover, he seemed to know exactly what was going on and purposefully hiding it from Clara.

Not for long. Clara would get him good.

The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

When I was a child, I wanted to grow up and become a mermaid. Like when you want to be a doctor or teacher, I thought I could be a mermaid. I learned how to swim very early in life and it was the only sport that I ever kicked ass in school – I guess, in a way, I became a mermaid, haha! So it was only natural for me to show interest on Derek’s cause and, of course, to read a mermaid themed book.

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Actually, I don’t know how this is only my second mermaid book in my life (the other one was Of Poseidon, from Anna Banks). Anyway, I was enchanted! Murphy’s writing was so fluid and easy to follow; Clara was such a nice heroine… I was hooked since page one! It’s a shame that I couldn’t get over some small problems during the story, so I gave it four stars 🙂

The narrative style was first person from Clara’s point of view. It’s not my favorite style, but it worked, as Clara has many mysteries in her hands. Her awareness of the world helps to maintain the wonder that she feels in Ireland and every time she discovers something knew or gets an answer. Thankfully, I also didn’t develop extreme personal problems with her, so we’re cool, haha! I still think it would be nice to see things through Sebastian’s eyes, but I can survive if it never happens 🙂

The plot was something else! Despite being pretty obvious since the beginning of Clara’s changes that she is a mermaid (or merrow, as Murphy describes Clara’s kind in special), all the other mysteries surrounding her were downright maddening. You ached to have answers just like Clara, haha! I’m still on my toes to know how this is going to end, but so far, so wonderful. At this point, it is useless to talk about loose ends, as part two isn’t here yet 🙂

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me waiting for part 2 ❤

There were a few small things that bothered me in the plot. First is that I saw it all coming with the mermaids and stuff. Usually, this doesn’t bother me, but as Clara was so slow, it got old fast. Second is that I don’t think a love triangle was necessary in this book, so I got really unmotivated to see that one is forming; to me, it sounded forced, specially after everything that Clara and Sebastian went through together. And the third thing is a bit stupid, but it’s there nevertheless: Clara’s grandpa’s cat hated her when she arrived and started to like her overnight, without any more explanations. This bipolar change of scenarios had me rolling my eyes a bit. I told it was stupid, sorry ^^”

Now, the characters. I surprisingly have no hard feelings for Clara. She pissed me of at times, but she never did something too stupid, not on my opinion. She makes mistakes on the same percentage of all of us, haha! At the same time, the things I had against her were part of the reason why this isn’t a full five stars book for me. Clara says she’s sarcastic and have a morbid sense of humor since the beginning of the book, but 189 pages later I’m still looking for a significant number of remarks to prove her true to her word. She wasn’t a stupid empty-minded girl, but trust me, she is so not sarcastic. Not even inside her own head, the place where we spent all the story in. Another thing was that she posed as a strong female (and really was one in several scenes), but anyone could make up her mind. It was SO ANNOYING!

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Hear us, Clara? More strength of mind, if you will. And, to close my complains on her, I have to point out that she was too slow. Honestly, I think Murphy got too heavy on the “I don’t know who I am” thing. It’s okay to have some moments, to doubt yourself in such a different situation from what you’re used to, but this was too much for me. Clara was too dense to figure out that she is a mermaid for my tastes. After she found out, I almost thrown my hands to the heavens and my problems with her pratically almost over, haha!

Now, I also own her some appreciation. Clara wasn’t an over-power character. She has gifts and obviously is special, even among other merrows, but she didn’t go and stopped the world with her powers; she’s training. It may sound a simple thing, but I was really afraid that she would become a bitch-op kind like this:

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Not the case at all!

And then there was Sebastian. He strongly reminded me of Stefan Salvatore, from The Vampire Diaries. He is a peaceful merman, but too scared of all the consequences of the world. I’m not saying that he should just throw his life in the garbage because he met a girl (and I loved him for not doing so), but this is rare. On the other side, we had Ethan, a. k. a. Sebastian’s Damon Salvatore. They are not brothers, this is a pure matter of personalities. Ethan seems to be a good boy on the inside, but I didn’t really liked him. Which, thinking better, is odd, as I usually have a thing for bad guys… Oh, well. Sebastian is different from my regular type of guy, but I’m more in love with him than Clara is, haha!

Oh, another strong point of this book: there is no insta-love, something way too current on young adult novels. Until this moment, I’m not sure how Clara really feels about Sebastian and I’m good with it 🙂

To close the character’s section, I’d like to talk about Rosin and Clara’s friends. I don’t know what happens with this girl Rosin, but I felt that she disappeared after a while, like in vanishing style. Allf of her existence is a bit weird, actually. Maybe we understand more about her on the next part, but so far I feel like she was a throw character in the plot, without any real relevance or enough evilness to justify her part. As to Clara’s friends, I loved both! I think they were good sidekicks, even being in the dark regarding her real self.

Overall, I loved the way Murphy has built his mermaid world and the way he used Ireland’s mythology and legends 🙂 It’s one of the strongest points of the book and you feel like you need to know it all because it is that cool, haha! The romantic element also really pleased me, despite everything ❤ If you like young adult novels and mermaids, please, just read this one. You won’t regret it!

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That’s it, haha! Thanks for reading 😀 Oh, there is another thing about this book: Derek is hosting a huge mermaid giveaway to celebrate the release of the book, on January 26th, and you can find out how to win awesome mermaid goodies here 😀

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December Wrap up + Book Haul + January TBR!

Hello, again! I know I am a little late to do this, but better late than never, haha! January is going to be insane for me, as my younger cousin is going to be here until Sunday and next week I may start a course – more info as my life goes, haha!

But I’m blabbering, let’s do this:

December Wrap Up

I’m very proud of my reading month! I’ve read 11 books!! =O I’m still wondering how I did it, so I can repeat the dose this month, haha!

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all pictures from my Instagram!
  • Stripped with the Vampire, from Jax Garren [review here]

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  • Convincing the Secretary, from Ava March [review here]

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  • Cemetery Tours, from Jacqueline E. Smith [review here]

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  • Between Worlds, from Jacqueline E. Smith [review here]

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  • The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, from Anne Rice [review here]

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  • Roses of the Angel, from Kalee Marshall [review here!]

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  • Daughters of Darkness, from L. J. Smith [review here!]

 

December Book Haul

  • Fangirl, from Rainbow Rowell [review here]

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  • Peter Pan, Barnes & Noble edition

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  • A Court of Thorns and Roses, from Sarah J. Maas
  • Of Poseidon, from Anna Banks
  • Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1), from Annabeth Albert (ebook)

 

Books I have won as gifts

  • Leaving Amarillo, from Casey Quinn
  • Convincing the Secretary, from Ava March
  • The Christmas Pearl, from Dorothea Benton Frank
  • After Death, from Jacqueline E. Smith
  • 1/2986, from Annelie Wendeberg
  • Between Sips, from Andrea Michelle
  • Our New Love, from Melissa Foster
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone, from Laini Taylor
  • The Vanishing Game, from Kate Kae Myers
  • Book of Opera, from Arthur Jacobs and Stanley Sadie
  • The Other Side of Midnight, from Sidney Sheldon
  • The Devil’s Advocate, from Morris West
  • Vixen 03, from Clive Cussler
  • The Name of the Rose, from Umberto Eco
  • Lie Down With Lions, Ken Follett
  • An illustrated guide to Dresden
  • Amar se Aprende Amando, from Carlos Drummond de Andrade
  • Antologia Poética, from Vinicius de Moraes
  • Antologia Poética, from Carlos Drummond de Andrade
  • Dona Flor e seus Dois Maridos, from Jorge Amado
  • Tieta do Agreste, from Jorge Amado
  • Tenda dos Milagres, from Jorge Amado
  • A Moreninha, from Joaquim Manuel de Macedo

I know, I know. So many books, haha! I can explain 🙂 14 of my won books were at my uncle’s place, waiting for death. Yeah. So I won a cattle with lots of books and selected the ones that seemed promising 🙂 I wish I could have saved all books that were there, but there were some destroyed ones by the time, others that I knew for being a bore and some that weren’t my thing at all… Anyway, at least I could save some of them, haha!

 

Freebies that I got this month

  • Anywhere But Here (The Starborn Ascension Book 1), from Jason D. Morrow
  • Beyond Secret Worlds: Ten Stories of Paranormal Fantasy and Romance
  • The Ducal Gift and The Christmas Carriage, from Grace Burrowes
  • Soar (The Empire Chronicles Book 1), from Alyssa Rose Ivy
  • Hidden (Dragonlands Book 1), from Megg Jensen
  • Aloha Texas (Aloha #1), from Chris Keniston
  • Binarius: Episode I (The Binarius Series Book 1), from Kendra McMahan
  • Globalização, Mídia e Ética, from Erasmo de Freitas Nuzzi and Clovis de Barros Filho

 

Received books of this month

 

[BONUS: Borrowed books from my younger cousin]

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Cabin fever), from Jeff Kinney
  • The Book of Lost Things, from John Connolly
  • The Key to Rondo, from Emily Rodda

 

January TBR

I want to play it low as I know my month will be crazy, so I have chosen six books:

 

That’s it! Thanks for reading this giant post, haha! Let’s see if I can make it 😀 have you decided what are going to be your first books of 2016??

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November’s new books!

Hello, there! We are officially on November, one month away from vacation, Christmas Time and, for me in Brazil, BEACH TIME! (Over here, we are on Spring and going strong for Summer, as if we ever have got out of Summer). Anyway, I’m babbling, I’m sorry 🙂 So, I sorted out some cool releases from November, in my humble opinion, and made a list. I have to say that this is the third month in a roll that I do this and I’m very pleased with myself, haha! (I’ve been saying that a lot lately, sorry! It’s just that it is very rewarding to be able to keep the blog alive and running during my last semester at college, haha! If you on a similar situation, congratulations: we are heroes!)

But let’s go to the chosen ones! By the way, you can check out a Goodreads list with the 200 hottest releases for November here 🙂

Day 3

Daniel’s True Desire (True Gentlemen #2), by Grace Burrowes

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So, I’m a real fan of Grace Burrowes. She does something very hard, on my opinion. Grace writes historical romances, but her differencial is that ALL HER CHARACTERS ARE RELATED SOMEHOW. Yeah. She posted on her website a map for her readers, if they really wish to read the books in the chronological order, as they are really all connected. How does she do that? I don’t know, but I’ve read three books from her (Darius and Nicholas, with their review links, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, which I never properly reviewed and I apologize for that, but you can have an idea of my opinion here) and she is amazing. So, you will know each time she releases new books, haha! Besides, the cover is awesome.

Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow Series #1), by Pintip Dunn

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What attracted my attention at first was the book cover, but a quickly overview on it’s Goodreads page told me that a lot of people that read it for NetGalley gave 3 stars or more, leaving me curious. Now I want to read it too, haha!

Idol Dreams, Vol. 1, by Arina Tanemura

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I LOVE this manga! I was trying to read it online, as it wasn’t published in English yet AND NOW IT IS! This is awesome and I can’t wait to read the next chapters – I always manage to find this title only up to chapter three… This author is the same that wrote Full Moon Wo Sagashite, The Gentlemen’s Alliance, Vampire Rose, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, and ION

It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History, by Jennifer Wright

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I have a thing for History books and this one seems brilliant! Break ups are never easy, but can you imagine how bad this can be to be considered one of the worse in History?? I’m curious to my bones!

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King

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It’s Stephen King. And, even if I wanted to give a more detailed description of the story, I wouldn’t be able because Goodreads managed to not say a word about the damn book on its blurb. Go ahead and check for yourself, I was so mad at this that I didn’t even researched more. They want mystery? Fine, I’ll give them mystery –‘’

The Irresistible Rogue (Playful Brides #4), by Valerie Bowman

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This is a historical romance. I love those, sorry. You will find a lot of this on the blog and on my to-read lists, haha!

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, by Jennifer Kincheloe

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This book sounds amazing. This girl, Anna Blanc, has a huge secret to keep from everybody and if her boss, her family or her fiancé find out, she is screwed. I love historical books that shows how women fought on their own way to have power 😀

White Collar Girl, by Renee Rosen

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This book is very close to home for me, as the main character is a woman and journalist. I need to know if she succeeded, haha!

Day 5

Assassin’s Creed: Underworld (Assassin’s Creed #8), by Oliver Bowden

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I’m a big BIG big fan of Assassin’s Creed. I suck at playing it, because as much as I love videogames, they always beat my ass up, haha! But with books is different: I’m missing only two books on my collection by Oliver Bowden and have read the first two. Now only 6 more to go, haha!

House of Shadows, by Nicola Cornick

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I’ve met Nicola through her historical romances, which I’ve read two: Miss Verey’s Proposal, which I just discovered that belong in a series and I never knew (it is one of those series books that could be standalones, you know?) and The Blanchland Secret. The first was rated 4 stars, it was very creative and funny, and the second, 3 stars, as it was only good enough to pass time, but nothing memorable. I apologize for not having reviews for those too, but I read like crazy since always and made the blog only 5 months ago 😦 Anyway, this one sounds interesting and let’s see what Nicola is doing!

The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy

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I was sent this book through NetGalley, it sounds cool! I’ll update this post when I have the review link 😀

Day 9

How to Lose a Bachelor, by Anna Banks

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I’ve read the first book in The Syrena Legacy series, also from Anna, and I fell in love with her writing and how she tells stories. This book sounds like tons of fun and I can’t wait to read it ❤

Day 10

A Gentleman for All Seasons, by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Kate Noble, Theresa Romain

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This is a book with several historical romances tied together by the same place, from several authors, so it shall be cool 😀

Da Vinci’s Tiger, by L.M. Elliott

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This is a historical romance based on Da Vinci’s muse, the famous Mona Lisa. I love the Renaissance, so it makes sense for me to read this ❤

When I Was Yours, by Samantha Towle

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I loved this cover and I felt sorry for the dumped guy, so I need to know what happened, haha!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), by Marissa Meyer

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I want to start, eventually, this series. Besides, this cover is awesome, haha! I have to say that I never paid much attention to this series because I didn’t thought it interesting *getting ready for the stones*, but after talking to several blog and instagram friends, I decided I have to give it a shot, along with The Mortal Instruments and The Hunger Games 🙂

Day 17

Once Upon a Marquess (The Worth Saga #1), by Courtney Milan

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Another historical romance and I regret nothing! But I do admit that this cover is amateur business.

The Golden Braid (Medieval Fairy Tale Romance #2), by Melanie Dickerson

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I saw this book being promoted on Instagram and instantly knew I needed to read the whole series: fairy tales gone wrong? COUNT ME IN! This one is about Rapunzel and Robin Hood together 😉

Day 19

Fire Falling  (Air Awakens #2), by Elise Kova

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One of my best friends (hi, Lindsey!) recommended the first book in this series to me and I’m dying to read it now, because she knows me too well, haha! Also, there’s a giveaway for the second volume of the series going on Goodreads 🙂

Day 24

Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane #9), by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Yet another historical romance…

The Match of the Century (Marrying the Duke #1), by Cathy Maxwell

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Followed by another one! I still regret nothing, HAHA!

That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading! Which books are you looking forward on November? 😀

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PS: here you can see my hottest releases for September and October of 2015 😀