Good afternoon, peeps! I feel very rant-y this week, so I decided to leash it all on my Top Ten Tuesday theme, haha! So, turn on your rant-y vibes, because I’ll complain my heart out! Hahaha
As you may know, this meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish =D My theme today is Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters EVER! In no particular order, let’s talk about those people 😉
~I do apologize for all the people that love those characters; this is only my opinion and doesn’t mean that yours is wrong in any way! This post was made with entertainment purposes only and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings~
Hello, there! Nice Friday for you =) As I had warned yesterday, here it comes my selection of the best books to hit town in December – you know, all in my humble opinion, after checking Goodreads’ lists, haha! This is a mix of what’s coming from authors in my shelves + popular books added by the community, so here we go! I’ll probably share even more titles with you on the following weeks, as my inbox keeps screaming at me, full of authors’ news =)
Hello, again! Aren’t you all proud of me for popping up again on your mailbox on such short notice? I knew you would, haha! #what Hope everyone survived Monday – I was barely conscious myself until a few minutes ago, being a creature of the night and darkness – and hope everyone has a great week ahead. Keep calm, Christmas is coming ❤
But I babble, as always. I’m here for much better reasons, I promise: let’s talk about the second book of the Never Veil series, from Amy McNulty: Nobody’s Lady! =D
Annelise, dear, haven’t we already seen a review for this book on this post?
Yes, my darlings, it’s true. However, I was too awestruck on the first time I’ve read this series to have a coherent and constructive review for this book, so now I’ll present you with a 2.0 one to try to do justice to such a wonderful series! =D Also, if you are experiencing a double sense of déjà vu, I must admit I just posted the review for the first book below, haha! Oops? Sorry not sorry?
Anyway, I have received this book from Chapter by Chapter’s team in exchange for an honest review for their blog tour in April and here I am again to fulfill this duty with extreme pleasure. Thanks so much again, guys! Also, if you didn’t got the memo of the review of the first volume in the series, you may want to read that before we start the second o/
Noll finally got what she wanted: everyone on her village was free to love whomever their hearts truly desire. The men didn’t live to worship their goddesses anymore and women could see beyond their respective men. However, things aren’t going as Noll expected and that’s an understatement.
After so many bad blood between her and Ailill, he politely tossed her away from the castle and after her father and Jurij left her mother and sister, Noll felt politely tossed out from there as well. Now living on her own at an isolate area of the village and woodcarving her own pieces to make a living, all Noll wants is to be forgotten and, perhaps with a bit of luck, forgiven by her people and Ailill.
As she should have guessed, Noll hadn’t luck. Her peaceful days were short-lived as her old childhood friends made way into her heart once again and begged her for help. This time, Noll was sure she could fix things and help people rather than destroy their lives and beliefs. She knew she would do everything in her power to make things right, even if it meant her own demise.
But is Noll prepared to expose others to a danger even bigger than she knows?
Just remembering those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
If I had to use only one adjective to describe the Never Veil series, it would be ‘mind-blowing’. Like in scrambled-eggs-made-out-of-what-is-left-from-our-brains blowing. I was already in awe with the first book, but the second took things to the next level. My feelings for Noll got more clear, my love for Ailill only increased and I felt Amy pulling my blood thirst as I got to know the real personalities of some of the men of the village. This book just didn’t make for a full five stars because I was absolutely unable to care for any of the characters 98% of the time (not even Ailill) and because the line “I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding” was used. It was a huge turn off =( All in all, four proud stars just like the last time I’ve read it ❤
The narrative keeps its style from the last volume: first person from Noll’s perspective. Honestly, at first I was making so many concessions to Noll, but now I just hate her. As I read Nobody’s Lady, I remembered the wisdom of my good old friend Jenny regarding Red Queen. She told me at the time, when I stopped to breathe between rants, that no one would ever read the book because of the main character what’s-her-name. We read it because the girl was trapped into a very interesting situation with even more interesting people and the sad part was that we only got to glimpse at those marvels through what’s-her-name’s eyes. Unfortunately for Victoria Aveyard and luckily for McNulty, I was able to cut Noll much more slack than I did with what’s-her-name in Red Queen and I enjoyed the Never Veil series to the core.
Also, McNulty has the upper hand with me: her writing style is so involving and beautiful. For real. I’ve read four books and a short story by her so far and the writing always sweeps me off my feet and waltzes around with me on its arms.
The plot was, once more, wonderfully done. I have to admit I saw some of the shit hitting the fan before it did, but that was more due people’s skills than a brilliant trail of thinking into this particular story. Since elementary school, I have a special knitted group of friends and those four amazing girls were responsible for my education in predicting shit hitting the fan. Especially as, most of the time, I was the one with the bucket of water to do damage control in the afterwards. However, Noll wasn’t so fortunate: her friends left her before she got a good grip on how to recognize the signs of something foul in the air. I don’t hold her innocence against her as I would have with other characters.
I was indeed bothered with the pace of the story. Despite the incredible personal growth that Noll experiences, she keeps extremely self-absorbed and really selfish, just too happy about being the village’s martyr when they needed clear leaders and she was one of the two people that knew what was happening to everyone. Also, this volume made me realize I didn’t have a correct idea of the size of the village – while I imagined a place with like, 200 people, we get to know it was about 500 people or so. It’s something minor, but it was quite a shock, haha!
I didn’t really want to enter more in the character’s merit, but I must. You see, it’s not that they aren’t interesting people, it’s just that I’m mildly a bitch and am hard to woo into liking someone, real or fictional. Ask my cousin’s girlfriend: the girl has been trying to woo me for five years in all ways she can to make me like her because my cousin is like my twin brother, but she still isn’t going anywhere in my good sides.
I had a fling with Ailill, I admit, but he wasn’t a strong enough male for me to admire and I’m afraid I didn’t fall for the whole amorous triangle thing between Ailill, Noll and Jurij because guess what: I never liked Jurij! #bigsurprise I did like to meet Rosalyn, but her part was too small for my tastes, just like Alvilda’s. As to all the other characters, I just didn’t connect with anyone =(
As I fleetingly mentioned on the last review, the greatest catch of the Never Veil series is the questioning of society roles and the chaos that comes every time we change something on it. Of course, the happenings on the book are immediate and brutal, but it’s a perfect lesson on definitive gender equality: women and men have to learn they can’t live without each other, that no gender is superior and that everyone is screwed as long as they fight with each other. McNulty’s message is clear: we have to stick together, to unite. Then, we succeed.
As much as I allow my skeptical side to guide me through life, I like to hope for a society in which labels won’t define us or confine us to anything. A world where it won’t matter if you are men or women, if we are white or black, hetero or homosexual, tall or short, slim or fat. I honestly hope that someday the people who really have the power to bring significant change on a world level wake up to face the facts and help us build a free and less hypocrite society and series like Never Veil help me to feed my hopes even when all facts point to a continued downfall of the whole human society. Maybe someday the right person will come across it and make the difference, who knows?
All right, things got intense here too fast. I do need a therapist after this post, wow! Sorry, guys! Maybe I should stop listening to all my emo songs from the 2000’s, haha!
Anyway, let’s just wrap this up with some cool quotes from Noll =)
“So much for convincing him [Jurij] to join the ever-growing list of people who hate me.”
“I wasn’t so sure happy drinking was anything more than painful drinking under the mask of laughter.”
Also, this volume also won a new cover for the release of the third book, Nobody’s Pawn:
As it happened with the first, I already liked the first version, but the second nailed it even more! ❤ This model is so beautiful I could cry *–*
Overall, if you like awesome fantasy books with dystopian touches, you have to get your hands on this series ❤ It seriously changed my life.
Thanks so much once again to everyone who was brave enough to read this review until the very end, as I do realize this IS LONG. Who knew George R. R. Martin syndrome is contagious? Also, once again I’d like to thank the team of Chapter by Chapter for my review copy and Amy herself for all the endless patience with me ❤ You rock, Amy!
Hello, there! I’m feeling like a winner at the moment because I managed to put up two reviews today, haha!
In March, the lovely Jess from Mud and Stars agreed to start a book club with me and our first read was Red Queen. You can read her review here and if you don’t know her, please take a moment to stalk her blog. She’s one of the most kind and sweet human beings ever!
I’m already late in my own chronogram, so let’s go, haha!
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
I simply have to say that I don’t understand all the hype around this book. I admit I’m not a hardcore fan of dystopian books, but Red Queen got my attention. The premise had potential, everybody seemed to be speaking only good things about it and the cover is gorgeous. What I actually got was a blanket made with a piece of every famous recent dystopian book series that reached the stars. I was constantly thinking of The Hunger Games (and I only saw the second movie!), The Selection, Star Wars, Pokémon and so on. Yes, you read it right, Pokémon. We’ll get there. What I’m trying to say is that Red Queen is not an awful book by any means, but it isn’t original or brilliant either. I’m happy that the author got famous and the book sold well, as deep inside we want all authors to succeed, but I just don’t understand the circus, you know? After some epic scenes, tons of eye rolls, a couple of clichés and almost zero emotion, I think Red Queen is only a three stars book: enjoyable, but not brilliant by any means.
I’ll keep this review short because I have more complaints than compliments.
The narrative style was first person styled from Mare’s point of view only. Then the problem started. By the end of the book, I couldn’t stand Mare. I felt she was too shallow, our personalities didn’t matched 😦 She was too indecisive, hotheaded and really selfish. Also, I’ve never been attracted to character with deep existential doubts or that have a strong need for self-categorization to keep breathing. I guess I took my mom’s speech of “you are not everybody to have this or that too” a bit too serious while growing up, I don’t know. Or maybe I just hate labels and can’t respect people that need them to establish themselves as someone.
The plot was the strongest point of this book. Although I was able to predict the twist, I still liked to see things changing and happening. Mare is the ranting kind of narrator, so it was incredibly difficult for me to get past some parts in the book. Thank God Jess was there for me, haha! Also, I suffered with an unique problem that I don’t hold against Red Queen or Victoria Aveyard at all: I’ve read the Brazilian Portuguese edition for Red Queen and it was so bad. The translation was rough and often too literal, without any care in it for the sentences to make sense. I’ll give a simple example.
In Brazilian Portuguese, we only need one word to say that we are sorry and it is “desculpe”. So when Mare apologizes to Cal more to the end, she thinks something like this: “I hated saying these three words, but I felt that was all I had to say”. Something like this, right? Well, the Brazilian Portuguese sentence was like this:
“Desculpe.” I hated to say these THREE WORDS…” [in BP, of course]
I mean, seriously? THERE ARE NO THREE WORDS! No adaptation at all. I can only imagine the confusion that a non-English speaker from my country felt on this part. But, as I said, I don’t hold this against the book in any way or against the author, it’s not their fault. I hold it against the Brazilian publisher. Moving on.
I discussed this book with several people along my read and I have to quote what an offline friend said about Red Queen: “Mare is not a likeable character. You’ll keep reading Red Queen not because you like Mare; you’ll do so because she is surrounded by a highly interesting world and awesome people.” (M, Jenny – love you, doll!). She is right, of course. Cal and Maven’s relationship were a breath of fresh air in the middle of Mare’s ranting and I also loved Julian to the core. Also, I loved to hate the queen, haha! ❤
Oh, and I’m so sorry for all the fangirling you had to endure on my part, Jess! I know you’ll never think of Cal and Maven together on the same way again, sorry LOL
Also, I’d love to compliment Aveyard on the blood system. It was incredibly cool and one of the things that most excited me on this book ❤ Also, the gifts were cool. It made me think that I’d be the top student on the Silver elite class, as I’ve been a Pokémon fan since 1998 and a hardcore gamer since 2003, but they were cool. Oh, and the fighting scenes! THEY WERE EPIC AND SO GOOD! [I’m talking about the arena ones, okay? Nothing that happened in a ball, because that was the epitome of lame]. Those are the things that make me say that I want to continue on this series.
Overall, it was an easy book to read despite the large and constant eye rollings. If you like dystopian, don’t mind instalove, lack of originality and clichés, and love epic battle scenes, Red Queen should suit you 🙂
That’s it and thanks for reading! Also, I’m sorry if anything that I said may have sounded offensive, that wasn’t my intention at all. And, of course, thanks so much to Jess, that put up with my endless ranting and gay fangirling during March ❤ (And will be doing it again in April, haha! This girl is a fighter, honestly ;D)
For those who still haven’t read Red Queen: that you may love it more than I did. For those who read it and loved it to the core: I hope you can keep loving it for the both of us.
Hi, there! September is going to be such a full month for us readers! There are a lot of cool books coming out and omg, I want them all, haha! I did a short list with my top most wanted for September, so here we go!
. Catacomb (The Asylum Series #3) – Madeleine Roux
I JUST NEED TO READ IT. Sorry for caps locking, but I’ve read Asylum and Sanctum earlier this year (January and March) and I need to see how it is going to end! I tried to get myself a review copy only to read it faster, but I didn’t got it – it happens – so I’ll have to wait the good will of Brazilian bookstores now…
I’ve been wanting to read a book by Sarah since December and something always happens and stop me from doing so. Hopefully, next December things will be different. For now, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series is out 🙂
I read the first book of this series earlier this year as well and I didn’t know it would have a sequel, it was such a good surprise! ❤ Jordan kindly sent me a review copy and I will start it as soon as I finish Sigmund Shaw! 😀 Thanks again!
This one I already read thanks to NetGalley (review is here) and OMG, it’s amazing! I can’t wait for the release, everybody should read this book! Think about The Vampire Diaries series with fairies or Fae. PERFECTION! ❤
I’ve met this series thanks to the Asylum series and I still haven’t started it – but I will, soon! Today, I almost chose its first book in the bookstore, but it wouldn’t be fair to read it before The Heir… Anyway, the third book in the series is out this month!
Another series that I want to start. You must be thinking: “omg, where does this girl lives? Didn’t she read the coolest new series out there?” I apologize, I don’t have a good excuse for that, haha! Anyway, the fourth book of the series is out this month.