Match Made in Mondays: taking a character’s place in the book!

Hello, good Monday to you 🙂 Without much further ado, as I’m in a hurry, today I’m answering sweet Audrey’s meme Match Made In Mondays! As always, please visit her blog, Forwards and Bookwords, for more info about it 😀

Today’s theme is:

Me taking the spot of THIS CHARACTER + THIS SCENE/MOMENT OF A BOOK (Remember when you were staring at the pages of your book screaming, Don’t do that you idiot!? If you could take the place of a character in a certain scene of a book, who would you pick and what would you do different? How would it affect the rest of the book?)

I’m going with I don’t know, because once again Audrey caught me off guard, haha! But I’m going to go with Kara, from Finding Forever, by Linda Oaks!

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from my Instagram ❤ to read the review for Finding Forever, click here!

Kara is one of my favorite females in all time, but sometimes, I wanted to punch her in the face. Due to spoilers, I’ll put the kind of situation that I would like to take into my hands instead of describing scene by scene 🙂

Kara loves Devon, he is her soul mate and all, but you JUST HAVE TO TALK TO HIM. You can’t allow him to maneuver you to the bedroom EVERY TIME THINGS GET TOO SERIOUS! How to have a healthy relationship with only sheets talking after so much crap? D:

Seriously, hold your pants, Kara. Just hold it. The story would have been a lot less dramatic and painful if you just could talk to Devon without jumping in the bed every time.

That’s it, haha! Thanks for reading and sorry about this rant, but OMG, I can’t stand goner people in the bed – this is for girls and boys, not just girls, haha!

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Braver With You, from A. Hart (Great Love #1)

Hello, good Sunday to you! Another review is up on the blog, this time for Braver With You, which I received from dear A. Hart in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, I loved it!

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from my Instagram 😀

The Story

Emerson looks like your regular girl, except that she’s anything but. Em won the fight of her life, against cancer. Now she just wants to have a normal and healthy life, free of drama and hospitals. And, if it’s not asking for much, beside the boy that she met during the darkest days of her life.

Calvin is a soldier, shipped everywhere to protect and serve his nation. He met Em while she was still fighting cancer and was thorn to leave her to attend another mission. Now Calvin is back to their small town and plans to stay after his last assignment, which shall take place in a couple of weeks. The trick will be convincing Em that what they had before can grow into so much more.

Two shattered hearts, one future. They only need to be brave.

The Analysis

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

I have to say that contemporary romance usually is not my first choice of genre, but holy cow! A. Hart did an amazing job with this book! I really liked it and couldn’t stop reading ❤ Just the kind of book that makes you want to hug it and never let go, you know? It was a wonderful surprise to love Em and Cal, to support their love and be a witness of their happiness together. The only reason that I took off one star of the book was due to editing problems, but the story itself is a five stars one 😀

The narrative was very interesting. You see, it was first person and if you have read one or two of my reviews, you already know that I’m not a fan of this narrative style. Yet, Hart played with Em, Cal and Sid’s point of views, so the reader didn’t lose any part of what was happening, being able to understand all the reasons behind what was happening! It was brilliant! *–*

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The plot is simple. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, have to split up thanks to life, meet again in the future and try to make it happen again. The master play in Braver With You is how Hart treats themes like cancer, responsibility, stalking, sexual harassment and abuse, recipes to happiness and love itself. Cancer, for example, wasn’t an active character, just a shadow. We don’t get to see Em’s time at the hospital, for which I’m very grateful (I lost an uncle for cancer last year, it would be impossible for me to read a book that talks about a cancer patient routine right now), we meet Em and Cal at their reencounter 🙂 The way Hart brings the stalking and sexual harassment into the plot is also very good. She shows how it can happen to anyone, without a previous warn, and that the people that do these sick things not always have mental issues. Sometimes, they are just that mean and, no matter how small the incident looks, ALWAYS report it to the authorities. ALWAYS, okay?

Now, characters. It was very nice to see that Cal didn’t leave Em because he was confused or anything. Cal, as a soldier, had responsibilities that he couldn’t and wouldn’t ignore and this is part of his charm. Em understood that to a point, but as they didn’t talk, she had her doubts. By the way, I loved them as a couple. Em could be a pain sometimes and Cal could be very dense, but those two together become better people after getting together. I LOVED IT! ❤ I really hated the bad guy that shall have his name hidden due spoilers. He was disgusting since scene one and I wanted to hit him with something heavy straight in the head.

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Ahem.

Bonus point: besides the cool switching points of view, there is one other thing that made me love this book a lot. There is a scene where Cal and Em start to watch Funny Face, with Audrey Hepburn! This is my second favorite movie that she stars, just losing to My Fair Lady ❤ YOU ROCKED HERE, HART! /o/

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if you didn’t watch it, please do! ❤

Overall, I enjoyed a lot this book, specially the twists in the end. After the major cliff hang on the last chapter, I can’t wait to buy and read the second book of the series, Stronger By Your Side 😀

4star

That’s it! Thanks for reading and thanks once again to A. Hart for this heart-warming book ❤ Do you like contemporary romances?

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Ps: That was my fifth book on the #12daysofbooksmas2 readathon!

Convincing the Secretary, from Ava March (London Legal #3)

Good night! I know, the blog is on fire, haha! And it is about to burn all the way up because the reviewed book of the evening is HOT HOT HOT!

Ahem, do you remember when I did this mega post talking about the release of Convincing the Secretary, third book in the London Legal series, from Ava March? So, Ava sent me a copy two days ago as an early Christmas gift and allowed me to open and read it on the spot! 😀 ❤ Thanks so so so much, again!

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from my Instagram!

 

I finished the book on the same day, but Ava plays so hard with my emotions that I needed to breathe before posting this review, haha!

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Ok, I’m in control again. Without any more giber jabber, let’s do this and THANKS AGAIN, I LOVE YOU, AVA! ❤

The Story

Edward Fenton has always fantasized about a lasting relationship with someone that he truly loved and that felt the same way towards him. At first, his boss Arthur Barrington sounded like the perfect choice for his dream to come true. Except that the man is already way taken by his lover, Leopold Thornton. One can’t win them all.

With the arrival of a new solicitor in Barrington’s office, Edward is relocated as his secretary. Lord Grayson is the perfect definition of tall, black and handsome and sends Edward’s imagination to depths that he never knew himself capable of. But can a relationship with such a powerful man work out the way Edward dreams of?

Gray, in the other hand, knows he found the perfect match in the moment he understands Edward’s interests on him, but how to convince the young man that he is Mr. Perfect?

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The Analysis

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

Ava always catches my heart unguarded. I was completely okay with life, minding my own business, when I opened my e-mail and saw her gift. As the book isn’t going to be published until March of 2016, I was trying to lead a mental healthy life without being too much of a goner and counting the minutes for the pre-ordering to start on Amazon. But the heart attack was so worthy! This book was awesome! It is a short book (my copy had 100 pages), but the romance is so intense that you are breathless for the whole time! (Or maybe I was, because it was a gift from my favorite author and a book that I already knew about for quite a while.)

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I’ll try to be professional now, but I won’t promise that I’ll be impartial, because that’s impossible when working with perfect books. #justsaying

I really love March’s narrative style. Third person, alternating points of views between the couple present in the book ❤ Both Edward and Gray had their own minds and you could see who was doing the thinking very clearly. Once again, March showed how important is communication in a relationship, as words unspoken do the damage in both men’s feelings.

The plot was simple, but not obvious, not for me. I mean, okay, boy meets boy in the 19th century, boy is not sure if other boy likes boys as well, both give the relationship a try and things go wrong. To explain why I wasn’t very sure of the outcome of this particular work of March, I’ll have to talk about the characters, so hold that thought. Back to the plot, we get to see Arthur and Leopold again, which was awesomely cool (I always like to see my boys again; those two are the heroes of the first books in the series, Convincing Arthur and Convincing Leopold, respectively). There were no loose ends; it would have been nice to know a little more about Edward’s and Gray’s past, but no information was lacking inside of the proposition of the book.

The characters are the best part. You see, in a regular March novel, you’d have two individuals that really need to find true love, that feel incomplete and don’t know what they need until they meet their soul mates, for say. On this book, it was different. Both Edward and Gray are pinning for a happily ever after, but not necessarily with each other. Gray realizes faster that he needs Edward, that Edward is the one, but Edward was more down on the earth. He felt the need of having Gray around, but could (cof and did cof) survive a break up with him without dying the emotional death of break-ups, you know? Honestly, Edward impressed me. He made a cameo appearance previously in the series and I never paid much attention to him, he was so… Bleak? Haha! But being inside of his head, it all made sense and oh boy, he grows up SO MUCH! He is officially one of my favorite males from March now ❤

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I always like her males, for God’s sake…

And, dealing with a book written by March, I can’t treat sex scenes as a bonus point, because they are always there and she never EVER disappoint her readers. Did I mention that NEVER happens? Okay, haha! Since the beggining, the bed roles between Edward and Gray are pretty clear and I was waiting for them to have a kind of Oliver and Vincent relationship behind closed doors. Once again, I was wrong! =O I mean, none of them gets to really submit and I thought that AWESOME. Neither was the “fragile” part, always so equal even inside of the bedchamber. AVA, YOU ROCKED HARD!

Bonus point: oh, this cover. Do I need to say more?

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also from my Instagram! 😀

Overall, I knew I would love this book since Ava told me she was beginning to write it and I did, a lot. Ava, Thanks again for sending me this, it was the best Christmas present EVER! 😀

5star

That’s it! Thanks for reading and humoring me as I once again talked about Ava March’s work 😉 I bet you all can’t wait until next year, when I’ll do a big re-reading and reviewing of ALL OF HER BOOKS, MWAHAHA MWAHAHA.

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Ps: don’t worry, there will be Harry Potter and The Vampire Diaries reviews too, haha!

Ten Count, from Rihito Takarai

Hello once again! I’m sorry, I feel awful that the next four reviews scheduled for the blog are all about gay books or mangas (a.k.a. yaoi mangas), but it’s as I was telling my friend earlier today: not my fault that my dissertation got me so far behind in living and blogging, haha!

Also, not my fault if Ava March is perfection and sent me an early Christmas present yesterday, but this is a topic for another post, haha! Now I’d like to talk about the manga in hand, Ten Count, from sensei Rihito Takarai ❤

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from my Instagram

The Story

Shirotani Tadaomi is the secretary of the President of his company. Despite suffering from a high degree of Mysophobia (the fear of germs and dirt in general), Shirotani does his job well and lives a quiet existence. Until he meets Kurose, a psychiatrist that immediately acknowledges Shirotani’s condition and offers to help him, but as a friend.

Shirotani wasn’t bothered by his own life style until Kurose sweeps him off his feet. Now, besides dealing with his fears, he also has to decide what he feels for the psychiatrist. His responses to Kurouse’s advances are what is going to determinate whether he can be cured or if he is a real lost case.

The manga is still being publish in Japan and this review contemplates it until volume 4.

 

The Analysis

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

This series was recommended to me by a close offline friend that knows darn well my reading tastes, so I had no doubts that I would love it as soon as I got to read it ❤ Thanks, Rach! I’m deeply in love with Ten Count since page one *–* (and you already knew that because of the discreet voice messages that I sent you, screaming the matter and all).

Honestly, this is one of the best manga series that I have read in my life! It meets with all my expectations when I pick up a series: the art is flawless, the characters are awesome, the plot is lightly mysterious and involving, the romance (when present) is cute and the sex scenes (when present, again) are hot and without any trace of vulgarity.

I know it’s a little sad and depressing to have a mental checklist when you start to read something, but it is truly rewarding to find a series that makes all the items checked on the list! Ten Count is one of those series and its author, Rihito Takarai, is amazing.

The narrative pace is slow and we see it all from Shirotani’s perspective, so the reader also finds Kurose a mystery in a pretty package. Shirotani reflects a lot about almost everything despite not being a talker, so the story pace is very slow in the beginning and it gets better with each volume, as the reader now is enchanted by what lies within both characters pasts and how can they be in love with each other.

The plot is not overly complicated. Shirotani has a mental condition and a stranger offers to help him healing. There are some twists and some reader-heart-attack moments, but nothing brilliant or overly intelligent. The focus of the story is the human development between Shirotani and Kurose and I’m totally fine with simple plots, as long as they are well executed. Spoiler alert: this one is, haha!

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…with everything about you, Ten Count…

The characters. OMG the characters! We barely know any other characters that are not Shirotani and Kurose AND I COULDN’T CARE LESS 😀 Both are such complex and complete characters… I mean, it’s amazing. Both men are broken, each on their own way, but they are not lacking individuals that were just waiting for their soul mate to arrive, you know? They already are who they are, but they get better together. It’s magical.

And to talk about the art is to show, so here are some illustrative images* of our beautiful couple, colorful and black and white:

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from left to right: Shirotani and Kurose ❤

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Flawless. I love this soft drawing style, fluid and clean. SO PRETTY, OMG!

Bonus point: the sex scenes. Until volume 4, the sex scenes are sparse and most preliminary play than actual sex, but all so true and so plausible… I can’t wait for volume 5 to be out, because I really want to see those two catching fire together, haha!

Honestly, I love the soul deep connection between Shirotani and Kurose and their love, as dysfunctional as it is, warms my heart ❤ If you like yaoi/boys love, just read this one, seriously.

5star

That’s it! Thanks for reading and sorry for the many reviews on books and mangas of the same genre, but oh well, haha! I regret nothing ❤

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*ps: I do not own the illustrations, they were found on Google, belong to Rihito Takarai sensei and were used with illustrative purposes only 🙂

Book author: Meg Cabot

Hello! Today we have the first post in my new section, Authors from my Heart <3, that will talk about a book author! Last time, I talked about a manga author and now we open the book author section with Meg Cabot!

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(x) Writer’s royalty member

The first time I’ve read a book by Meg Cabot, I was just a kid. I knew her from The Princess Diaries movies and, of course, wanted to read the books as well. I ran to the bookstore with my mom (I was about 8 or 9) and the first book in the collection was sold out on that particularly place. On that fateful day, my mom couldn’t take me anywhere else and I was so sad that I would have to wait a few more weeks to get it… I don’t remember why, but my mom wouldn’t be able to take me to another bookstore anytime soon. Then, feeling my pain, the bookshop seller said that I could take home a different Meg Cabot series while I waited for The Princess Diaries to be back on stock. That’s when I met The Mediator series ❤ I held the first book with its oh-so-ugly cover in my hands and wanted to cry. My mom insisted that I take it, along with volume 2 in The Princess Diaries series (which had a beautiful cover), so I did it. THANKS, MR. BOOKSHOP SELLER, THANKS, MOM!

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That’s how I got to know my all-time favorite series from Meg and how I discovered that I only liked when Meg wrote supernatural stories. I read the second book in TPD series, believing that I didn’t need book 1 as I had seen the movie and hated everything, haha! Point for the ugly covered book 🙂

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from my Instagram

In order of appearance in my life:

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I love the movies with all my heart, but those books weren’t for me, simply like that. I used to have the Brazilian Edition in the picture, but I gave it away to my school’s library, as it was clear I would never read it again or continue reading…

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also from my Instagram o/

Oh those covers. Honestly, they were so ugly that the next Brazilian edition had it changed to this:

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despite the inconstancy of Suzannah’s looks through those covers, they are still better than the ones I have home.

The sad part is to see that the original covers also sucked hard. Still, ugly covers or not, I love this series. Jesse was one of my first bookish boyfriends and he played a very important part in my life, as he was almost a cowboy and I have been fascinated by those since I’m a toddler that watched my dad reading Tex’s adventures (a cowboy with a yellow shirt, any bells ringing?). But I’m babbling and the important thing is: WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER BOOK IN THIS SERIES NEXT YEAR!

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Instagram ❤

This book shouldn’t be a standalone, Meg! Please, stop writing lame books and revisit this series, please! But, again: BRAZIL, WHY DO WE HAVE SUCH AN AWFUL COVER?!

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I was so happy with The Mediator and Jinx that I forgot how big of a flop that TPD was for me and borrowed The Boy Next Door from a friend. Awful mistake. I’m still not into those kind of books :/ I don’t even remember if I was able to finish it or not, haha!

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I actually love the Brazilian Portuguese edition ❤

This book features several authors, including Stephenie Meyer, but Meg Cabot’s short story was my second favorite ❤ Stephenie’s one was awful.

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I had a true State of Grace when I started this series, as I was on a big hiatus from Meg (her fault, as she made it so hard for me to buy her historical romances and impossible for me to like her regular teen books). I read it slowly, savoring each chapter, because I knew it all ended in three books. And it did and I cried because I was once again orphan from her. And still am, btw. I plan on starting the 1-800-Where-R-You series, but I have no guarantees that I shall like it, so I’m delaying this moment, haha!

Oh, and by the way. 1-800-Where-R-You also has awful covers. Meg, you should sue most of your your graphic designers team. Just a friend’s advice, seriously.

That’s it! Thanks for reading ❤ Do you like Meg Cabot? Which is your favorite book? HAVE YOU READ 1-800-Where-R-You SERIES?! I need to know if I won’t have my heart broken, haha!

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The Night Clock, from Paul Meloy

Hello, there! Today I would like to introduce you to a book called The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy! We are on its release day, so I’ll leave a list of where to find it online on the bottom of the review 🙂 I received my review copy through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review, so thank you again!

from my Instagram <3
from my Instagram

I’ll do something different this time, as I was in love with the blurb available at NetGalley and Goodreads: instead of telling the story myself, I’ll let you guys see what I expected from the book and I’ll explain why later:

Goodreads Story

An incredible debut novel that will move and terrify you, as reality itself is threatened by a world just beyond our own.

And still the Night Clock ticks…

Phil Trevena’s patients are dying and he needs answers. One of the disturbed men in his care tells him that he needs to find Daniel, that Daniel will be able to explain what is happening. But who is Daniel? Daniel was lost once, broken by the same force that has turned its hatred on Trevena. His destiny is greater than he could ever imagine.

Drawn together, Trevena and Daniel embark on an extraordinary journey of discovery, encountering The Firmament Surgeons in the Dark Time – the flux above our reality. Whoever controls Dark Time controls the minds of humanity. The Firmament Surgeons, aware of the approach of limitless hostility and darkness, are gathered to bring an end to the war with the Autoscopes, before they tear our reality apart.

The Analysis

I apologize for not bringing the story myself, but I wanted you guys to feel what I did. The Night Clock sounded to me like an amazing sci-fi/horror story and I make no secret how much I enjoy fictional books that discuss on their narratives the capacity of our minds. I was so excited when I started it that pains me to say that I wasn’t the right audience for this book. Without a doubt it has an amazing plot and the narrative style is interesting, but I was bored to my bones. It takes too much time for the reader to realize the connections that Meloy does between his characters and the character’s manners also got me a bit. I can handle swearing and I don’t mind, but I don’t like vulgar and there were too many vulgar characters to my taste. I finished the book yesterday night and my overall evaluation was of two stars, as Meloy has good moves during the story and had an amazing plot to work with. Now, let’s begin the real analysis.

As I said, the plot was amazing. A doctor that starts to see his patients dying out of nowhere? A book that plays with the mind? Awesome! But I got so confused during the reading… I discovered that I didn’t like or connect with neither Phil or Daniel, so it was hard to be involved in the story. I really think that Meloy had an awesome idea, but I wasn’t ready for it, it was beyond my tastes as a reader and I apologize for that. I feel very bad for talking like this, because I know how much love, thought and effort takes to write and publish a book. Honestly, if you like sci-fi, give it a try, you may like it 😀

The narrative was a strong point of the book. The point of view of the characters was always changing, so you could have a big picture of what was happening during all the struggles and mysteries – but without realizing what was within The Night Clock. I was so anxious to know exactly what was The Night Clock that I made a dance when it was finally explained (it was part of the mystery of the book, so of course it takes time for us to be sure, haha!). I liked that no character was wasted for Meloy. If the person appeared, Meloy always had a way to tell the reader who that person was before their function on the book. I’m a very curious girl (cof journalist cof), so I was very happy with this, haha!

Which takes me to the characters. I didn’t like or connect to anyone, but also didn’t hate anyone. They were real people, don’t get me wrong. Just not my kind of people, I guess. I see book characters as someone you would like to be near in anyway and you measure how much you like them for the desire of closeness with them (we do this without realizing, trust me). I didn’t wish to be close to anyone in this book and you see, I have a soft spot for villains and bad guys. That’s why I said that I was the problem, that this book wasn’t for me. If you can’t connect with anything in the book, the problem is you, sorry, haha!

There’s something that I really wish to compliment: the looks of The Night Clock. I got a pdf for this review, but omg: it was BEAUTIFUL. The cover, the title page, the chapters… Seriously, I don’t regret owning this ebook at all and wish I could afford it on print. The art is breathtaking and deserves a space on my shellfish wardrobe ❤

The amazing title page <3
The amazing title page ❤
the chapters <3
the chapters ❤

I won’t make this as long as it could because I see no point: I really admire Meloy’s creativity and his narrative skills, his talent for making a story of everything inside of The Night Clock and I wish him all the success in the world 🙂

2starThat’s it, guys! Thanks for reading, sorry if I wasn’t very helpful today. As promised, you can take a look here where to find the book 😀 And Happy release day to Paul Meloy!

Amazon

The Book Depository

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

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5days

What Lies Within, from James Morris

Hello, lovelies! You are not hallucinating, I did write a review in the middle of the weekend! YASS! *taps on her own shoulder* I would like to start this post by apologizing to James Morris with all my heart, as I took so long to read his book. I’m sorry and I hope the wait was worthy because here we go!

The book in question today is What Lies Within, from James Morris. We met through a common friend (hi, Lindsey!) and he kindly sent me his book in exchange of an honest review. This is it!

from my Instagram <3
from my Instagram ❤ Didn’t the Vampire Knight necklace match it perfectly?

The Story

Shelley is a girl that lost her mother at the age of 13 and still suffers with the loss three years later. She lives in a small city on the USA and plans on moving to UCLA on college. Her life could be described as very boring, if it weren’t for some incidents of anger, blackouts and a current nightmare. All in a good day of a teenager’s life, or so she thought.

One day, a boy approaches Shelley with an insane story about she being adopted and Shelley panics because it made sense. After running away from him and confronting her father about it, Shelley falls apart: who was she?

The more Shelley discovers, deeper the hole seems. Was she up to going until the end to find herself and sacrifice everything she thought she knew or would she stop and forget all about her birth parents?

The Analysis

Just remembering that these were my impressions and opinion while reading the book 🙂

The book started slow for me, I hated Shelley and it was a third person narrated book from her point of view only and solemnly, so I couldn’t take a break from her. Around chapter 5, I couldn’t let go of it anymore and I speed-read it until the end, that disappointed me beyond measures. I saw Shelley grow so much as person for it all to stop there? Once, Frank Herbert said that “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story” and I find this to be very true, allowing happy endings to books, movies and such. But Morris COULDN’T HAVE STOPED WHERE HE DID, OMG! I felt betrayed as a reader with Shelley’s final decisions and I cried hard for about half an hour after I was finished. I even forgot to post on Goodreads that the review was coming soon (I always do that when I rate the book), haha! The book hangover has so strong that I dreamed with its end tonight and then I decided I needed to do this review fast because I couldn’t handle it, haha! Oh, by the way, I gave it four stars 🙂 I considered giving three, but the book did impress me, it was good while it lasted.

The narrative is amazing. Morris writes perfectly and his rhythm and pace were perfect. Description, scenarios, tempo, IT WAS ALL PERFECTION. I don’t have what to say about that. But you must be wondering why the book started slow for me if all of those aspects were so good. Excellent question, my dear reader! The thing is I had a problem with Shelley, the protagonist, since page 1. So, in the beginning, on the “normal” part of her life, I was bored to my bones and now it makes sense: Morris wants us to feel how insipid was her existence, how immature she was and that was very, very tiring. After the trigger of her brother, you dive hard on Morris’ world and you feel like you are a part of the scene even with Shelley being the center of the narrator all the time. What she doesn’t know, the narrator also doesn’t, what is not revealed to her, isn’t to us either. On a mystery book like this, I think this narrative form worked until the end, when it all got doomed, haha! This is a standalone book and Shelley finishes it with tons of unanswered questions. We don’t reach that part of her life were things get stabilized when the book ends, so you feel like a piece of your heart was ripped apart from you. I didn’t thought it a happy ending and one star was lost for it – my reviews are fair, my ratings are TOTALLY personal, sorry.

I would like to open a parentheses here to comment something. I think it is amazing when a man has the capacity of writing a first person book narrated or following a woman as protagonist. It is very hard and Morris was very good at doing it – Shelley’s small worries about herself, her thoughts, her acts… Honestly, congratulations, James! It was amazing!

The plot was very good and creative. Morris mixes teenage life with science fiction, adventure, a bit of suspense and lots of mystery and it worked out pretty well. It is amazing how everything is connected during the whole book, how so many small things from the beginning made sense in the end. The problem were the problems that surfaced in the middle to the end of the book, that Shelley never had a chance to solve. The best part of it is there we get the chance to feel Shelley’s personal grown during the unwind of the plot.

In character matters, Morris was very realistic, sometimes to the point of pain for the reader. He shows clearly how it is ourselves who decide if we will have a quiet or exciting existence, that what really matters are our choices and not what lies within (you see what I did there, don’t you? Haha!). My favorites were Shelley’s father and Winston. And, judge me, Kevin. Shelley’s father has a heart bigger than himself (which is a great deal, as she describes him as a bear) and showed me something about myself as well. There’s this scene where Shelley asks him why he likes city models and trains and miniatures in general and he says that those stuff, he can control; he didn’t have control over Shelley’s mother death and he couldn’t control Shelley herself on any way, as any other aspect of daily life, so that was his private paradise. And it was there when I noticed that I do the same thing playing The Sims 2 (yes, 2, as I hated 3, the Medieval one, the mobile one and 4 is more or less). Every time that my life is going through a path were I can’t be sure what’s going on or what’s next, I start playing it on my free time as much as I can. I have never realized it and it is so true. The illusion of control is comforting and you know that, at least on one little world, your will is the law. Winston also showed me something: sometimes we make excuses for our tastes for our own sanity and not for the sake of others. He liked to blow up things, ships on the water. For Shelley, he said it was for a movie and he pretended to want to record the explosions with his camera. During his own personal growth in the book, we can see that there is no movie, just the same desire for control without attracting attention of a possible need for therapy. By the way, I don’t understand how people are so afraid to go to therapy, it’s great and delicious for the soul .-.

Anyway, sorry for the major reflections, haha! This book made me think a lot, oops! Let’s get back to characters: I hated Shelley. I thought she was a bratty spoiled girl, I didn’t have any identification with her and her reaction to being adopted was the worse for me: selfish and self-centered, just hurting her father to no ends. I have very strong positions about adopted children because I have a case very close on the family and I can compare, you know? I understand Shelley wanting to know where she came from and who were the people that gave up on her, but nothing justifies what she did with her father. Nothing.

Overall, it was a good experience, I was meaning to read more science fiction and this was awesome. Thanks again to James Morris for trusting me with his work! I would highly recommend this book to people who likes a good mystery, psychological research, personal growth, adventure and a breathless end. Oh, but stay away if you, like me, can’t handle an end without a happily ever after, okay? I don’t regret reading this, but it got me hard, haha! I hope there is a sequel for What Lies Within someday ❤

4star

That’s it! Thanks for reading ❤ Let’s see if I manage more reviews this next week, haha!

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The Fireworks Book Tag!

Hi, there! I was tagged by my sweet Audrey, from the Forwards and Bookwords, forever ago in the Fireworks Book Tag, thank you! Let’s answer it 😀

  1. Screamers: a book that made you want to scream! (in a good way)

Hmm, I would say Viscount’s Wager, from Ava March. Ava sent it to me as an early birthday present and I freaked out both when I won it and when I finished it, haha!

From my Instagram account :)

  1. Bombers: a book you read before it exploded in the book community

Hmm, I would say The Book Thief and The Vampire Diaries 🙂

bloguito

3. Banger: a banned book you read

I honestly don’t know, haha! I’m not aware of any banned books in my country or estate, so I don’t think I have read anything banned so far…

  1. Peony: a book/author you think everybody needs to read

Emily Rodda, for sure. I loved the whole Deltora Quest saga and now I’m totally digging Rowan of Rin series. Love her!

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  1. Crossette: a book/series with a complicated plot

The Fellowship of the Ring, first book in the Lord of the Rings saga. Really, I didn’t think it was so entwined when I saw the movies, haha!

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  1. Diadem: a book/series with amazing central characters

The Selection, by Kiera Cass. I loved America (and I usually have deep issues with narrator characters), Maxton, Celeste and Aspen… Everything!

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  1. Atches: light your own fireworks by tagging five people

Ellen, from Eveningreads

Erika, from Erika.reads

Kim, from LazyCaramelReads

Jenaca, from jenacidebybibliophile

Bianca, from The Ultimate Fangirl

And anyone else that wants to do this tag ❤ Thanks for reading!

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The Need, from S. L. Hannah

Hello, guys! In July, I received from dear S. L. Hannah her new release, The Need, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks again, Hannah! ❤

from my Instagram :)
from my Instagram 🙂

The Need is the story of Angie, a very insecure girl that has a fight with her boyfriend and is left alone to wait for him in a club. After more than an hour waiting for him and observing a beautiful woman on the dance floor, Angie engages in conversation with the object of her attention. Heather seems a strong and wild woman and Angie finds herself accepting to go to her house, tired of waiting for Eric.

After a good and passionate night, things start to go very wrong with Heather when Angie tries to go home and finds herself drugged and tied up to Heather’s bed. A new deal is on the table: Angie must stay a week in Heather’s hands and then, if she still desires to go home, Angie was free to go.

However, a week in the hands of the most amazing and terrifying woman that Angie has ever met is a journey to self-discovery – will Angie be able to walk away without a broken heart?

Now, the best part: analysis! Just remembering that this is just my opinion and impressions of the book 🙂

I was very excited to read this book, as I’m a big fan of LGBT romances and the fact that this was a thriller romance only spiced things up (also, the cover is breathtaking <3). The book was a good passing time, but I expected more. At Goodreads, I rated it 3 out of 5 stars because I had some issues with Angie – the narrator character – and I got so excited and happy with the end’s twist just to be disappointed by the end itself :/

I commented before here on the blog that I tend to have problems with first person narratives because I get too angry at the narrator’s actions and can’t take a break from their thoughts, besides the basic problem that no one never knows everything that is happening or will happen with everyone – which leads to inevitable holes on the story.

The narrative had a good pace – the book is a fast read, easily finished in one sitting (it took me more time because I buddread it with some Instagram friends <3). Angie is very accurate on details, sometimes a little too much, as she lives a true horror story in the hands of Heather, haha! You can feel her horror, her force and her excitement through the pages; you connect with her and wants to help her. And because I wanted her to see reason is that I got angry. Angie edges between a Stockholm Syndrome and the acceptable since the moment that Heather locks her up and it tired me a little. It all happened too fast to justify it, you know?

The plot is freaking awesome. The idea was very original and Hannah executed it very well, leaving the reader in the edge of tension, not knowing until when Angie will survive or if Heather will push her to the point of no return. You keep asking yourself in Angie will leave the apartment in one piece, literally! I admit that, in this aspect, the first character narration worked perfectly, as it intensified the reader’s feelings as well as Angie’s. We feel what she feels: you get confused, agonizing, scared, everything. And, at the same time, there’s all Heather’s complexity, her contradictions, her humanity – this last one is defied until the very last moment, haha! But I can’t with the end of the book. No spoilers, easy now, but I really found the way things turn up very inconsistent. The story was too fast for the characters relationship to grow as it did, in the way it did, you know? Even being an insane and crazy experience, in the sense that normality just pushed itself from the window, the end was too much for me… :/

Moreover, we never find out what happened with Heather’s company, with Eric, with Angie’s parents and, to be very honest, I’m not even sure of what happened with Angie and Heather. Maybe that’s me, I do have a closure problem, haha!

Now, let’s talk about characters. Hannah has such rich describing powers, it’s amazing. She builds each person of the book for her reader and we can feel the reality of it all – from abilities to insecurities, from looks to small habits (like Heather’s one, to chew her nail when she got unsure about something). For the first time in a really long time, I felt during the whole book that I was dealing with real people all the time. Even with all the mental sickness of everything that happened in Heather’s apartment, I felt the human essence of each character, in kindness and evilness. You can understand even uncle Johnny and Rachel’s need of being there. All the time, each character needs something, is moved by a stronger force of desperate desire that can’t be full filled – even Angie herself and Eric, the worst boyfriend ever, haha! Hannah plays with her reader from beginning to end, trying to break them as Heather tries to break Angie. What’s real? We don’t know and so doesn’t Angie.

However, the book key is the breaking. In the story, Heather uses a metaphor about the butterfly that leaves its cocoon. The break of the cocoon is the real start of the butterfly’s life and it applies to all characters. While they are at their comfort zone, they are not really living. They are not getting any satisfaction, just like The Rolling Stones, they can’t be truly happy. This was ingenious.

Another strong aspect of The Need is the sex scenes. I admit that I kept questioning myself how on earth could Angie feel any pleasure some acts, but it’s because of personal beliefs and views – I have a strong feminist trace in my personality, haha! In quality, form and intensity matters, the scenes were unique and perfection.

Overall, the book was good and got my attention in a high level, but my personal problems with Angie and with the book’s end were too high for a totally fair rating and I’m sorry for that – this is the shit of having strong opinions, haha! Still not giving any spoilers, but I would like to leave a reflection here. If Hannah’s intention is to make Angie grown into a real woman, capable of fending for herself and sure of her desires, why does Angie have to choose between Heather and Eric? There are 7 billion of people in the world. She is not trapped with only two people and gained the capacity of seeing what’s good and what’s bad for her after this insane week.

That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading this review and thanks again to S. L. Hannah for sending me this, it was a very interesting book! The Need will be officially out on August 25th (really soon!), don’t forget to check it out on Amazon 🙂

What do you think of psychological thrillers?

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The Tutor, from Bonnie Dee

Hello, everyone! Some days ago, I received a book called The Tutor, from Bonnie Dee, to review. It’s her newest release and I got pretty excited to read it, as I’m a big fan of Bonnie. This work was a standalone solo from Bonnie – she and Summer Devon write many books together, but they also publish alone 🙂 Thanks again, Bonnie Dee!

From my Instagram account :)
From my Instagram account 🙂

Let’s head to the story: Graham Cowrie is a poor guy from London that is desperate for a scenario change as the winter approaches and his house is not even remotely close of being prepared to endure extreme weathers. After applying for a position at Yorkshire, as a tutor for two 9-year-old twin boys and making his résumé way prettier than it actually was, Graham reads to the country, hoping only for a roof over his head and food inside his belly.

However, as soon as he lay eyes on Allinson Hall, his future winter home, he’s mortified. The house looked like a depressing asylum and has an awful aura about it. The house staff is also intimidating and far from welcome. Graham soon learns that his employer, Sir Richard Allison, lost his wife about a year ago and that the loss was hard for the children, as the circumstances of Lavinia Allinson death were pretty obscure.

Whitney and Clive Allison, Graham’s charges, prove to be elusive and smart boys, but Graham knew how to deal with children despite his résumé lies and soon wins, at least, their respect. Soon, he learns that the twins are different as day and night, despite being completely devoted to each other. Whitney is easy going and talkative, open to his tutor, while Clive completely muted after their mother’s death, being shy and suspicious all the time. Graham also learns that Sir Richard Allison, their father, is a smoking hot man and a burning desire grows between the two men.

As Graham fights to earn Whit and Clive’s trust and to attract Richard’s attention to physical matters – all the while maintaining his own part in place -, weird accidents start to happen and Graham discovers that not believing something doesn’t mean that it is not there.

“Play the part. Become the tutor.”

Now, let’s go to the analysis! Just wanted to remind that this is my opinion of the book and my impressions while reading it 🙂

This book left me so hangover. It’s a fast read: the book has 184 pages and you can read it on a sitting (it took me two days to finish it because I’m already back to college classes and this is my last semester, so I have to write my dissertation and all, haha!). But, when I finished it, I wasn’t ready for it to be over. Every element of the story was so good… I do have some critics, but, overall, the book is 5 starts worth!

The story narrator is Graham himself and he is a very fun and optimistic character. He’s that kind of person that always seems to notice everything around him and can tell other people’s sentiments just by looking at them. He truly has an inside light that can melt any heart – ask Sir Richard to see if I’m lying 😉

It’s not uncommon for me to have issues with narrator-characters; they usually annoy me with their actions and I get frustrated. This didn’t happen with The Tutor. Graham had me with him since the first sentence. What I really liked about him is that he is no martyr or self-centered: he has his moments just like you and me. Sometimes, he gets cocky and thinks that he’s awesome, other times he loafs himself and his lies. He can be honest even when he lies – how one does that?! He also is very describing, I dreamed with Allinson Hall the other night thanks to him… And it was creepy as hell, haha!

That leads us to the describing part. All the scenarios and characters are vivid in the readers mind. Dee mixes Graham’s thoughts with the book events in such a perfect harmony that it’s easy to feel like you are reading, that it’s not real and happening in front of you. One of the things that I liked more in this section was when Graham describes Richard’s first real and happy smile. My eyes got moist in that scene ❤

In characters matters, overall, I liked how Dee constructed one type of person for each personality and social role without falling into stereotypes. The twins were adorable, each in one kind of way, Richard was a prince of his own, Tom was a sweeting, the staff was cold, resentful and impatient (what was totally understandable, as they worked in a house with death reminders in every corner and wall). I just got a little disappointed with Richard, thanks to his behavior towards his children even after some key events in the book that should have put him into action to connect with his boys. And that’s why he won’t be featured on my vast bookish boyfriends list (but Graham is, haha! And no, it does not matter that they are both gay characters and I’m a girl, lol). I mean, he has a good heart, good actions, but he can’t make a move into two nine year olds? Come on!

The plot wasn’t overly complicated and was very obvious, but I’m not the kind of person who gets bothered by that. I don’t mind knowing where the story is going and how it is going to end; I like to see the details. I want to know how things happen. I get annoyed when I can even predict how events will turn in a book, you know? Not the case. I already read some books by Dee in the past to know what to wait of the plot, but not even one scene came out as I imagined. It was always better. But I guess that’s mostly Graham’s fault, as he was a very surprising character and his actions were also never obvious.

One thing that disappointed me in the book were the sex scenes – or the lack of them. As I said, I already read some previous works from Dee (all of them in her partnership with Summer Devon) and I was expecting more. The scenes from the book are good, but they are so few and there were many bedroom subjects to cover and justify the increase of such passages in the plot. Graham and Richard’s first time is very nice, but it’s all the actual sex we get. Everything else is just foreplay or Graham’s fantasies. The funny thing is that a solo work from Summer Devon disappointed me earlier this year for the very same reason: the sex scenes. I know their potential, so I guess Dee and Devon are soul writing mates, haha! They complete each other to make better scenes 😀

The supernatural element of the book, the very heart of the book problem, was a bit bipolar as well. In the beginning and in the middle, it was very good. Made me shiver and look twice at every shadow that I spotted. But, in the end, the problem was solved in a silly way. The answer itself was beautiful and it’s message is awesome, but I don’t know, I felt like it could have been harder. The ghost marketing didn’t matched his product, for say, haha!

Oh, bonus point, haha! I’m that kind of reader that collects quotes. I have a notebook full of them from pretty much all the parts of my life: movies, tv shows, celebrities, books, my friends, my family, my own… It’s a nice quote? I probably will write it down there. And this book had some amazing ones! This is very subjective, I know, but I’ll leave the best ones among the ones that I took note here (I’m sorry, I forgot to mark the pages’ numbers…):

“He would believe my lies only if I believed them myself.”

“What does every boy know and every man forget? That having fun is the prime purpose of life.”

“It was my nature to try to fix things and offer comfort where I could.”

“I was determinate to out-kiss a man I’d ever met (…)”

That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading and thanks again to Bonnie Dee, for sending me this! I loved The Tutor and it was one of my best reads of the year ❤

And I want to also share some news from Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon’s partnerships! They entered the Kindle Scout program with the book The Merchant and the Clergyman (you can read the blurb and chapter one on the page of the program, here).

The cover is beautiful <3
The cover is beautiful ❤

That means that US residents with an Amazon account can vote on the book for it to be published by Amazon! I sadly couldn’t vote for them, as I live in Brazil, but I’m determinate to spread the world and get this amazing authors published everywhere they see fit. If you could spare a moment, don’t forget to vote! You’ll win a copy of their book if it gets chosen for publishing!

And their last news is that their new book together, The Shepherd and the Solicitor, will be out in September!

And here it is!
And here it is!

Meaning, next freaking month!! *–* Don’t forget to check this book out too!

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