My reading tips this week is the second installment in the amazing and completely unique Shatter Me-series by Tahereh Mafi: Unravel Me.
I have to admit that it took a while for me to get into this book, even though I loved the first one in the series. The start was rather slow, and to be honest I didn’t particularly like Juliette in that part. She was just whining, not trying to get to know the other in Omega Point, just moping around and feeling very childish and selfish. And the writing style that I loved so much in the first book, kind of annoyed me a bit now. It was just a little too much when it was combined with Juliette’s whining... But then halfway in the book it all changed! OMG the intensity, the feelings, the action! I don’t want to say too much to spoil anything but the book got so much better once Warner was in it again.
The second half of the book was pure perfection, so mind-blowing and with so many twists I hadn’t expected at all. And now the writing style worked its magic again. Once again, Tahereh Mafi’s unique writing felt beautiful and fluid and so full of emotions, drawing you into the dark world and troublesome minds of both Juliette and Warner.
I loved that we got to know Kenji a bit more and how he and Juliette grew closer as friends. But I’m hoping for even more of Kenji in the third book, he’s got such a potential to be a favorite character. I also missed Adam’s connection with James, and hope we get to see more of that too. And I can’t wait for Juliette to really start kicking some ass and getting her revenge!
Overall this was a great bridge between the brilliant Shatter Me and the next book in this unique and amazing series!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Tahereh Mafi
This book blew me away! Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is so amazing and completely unique, it’s raw, twisted and dark, yet hopeful and romantic at the same time.
For some reason, I wasn’t sure I would like this series and put it off for so long to start reading it. Also while reading it I still had my doubts a few chapters in, but shame on me! I was so wrong! I really ended up loving this book and can’t wait to continue the series!
There are so many things I love about this book, especially the writing style. It’s very special though, so I can understand why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it was definitely mine! I think the writing is extraordinary. The way Tahereh Mafi uses numbers to tell and emphasize the story is completely unique. The repetitions and the way she crosses over text to make us understand the underlying thoughts and doubts is almost magical.
The characters are also very complex and engaging. My heart really aches for Juliette and her situation. And even though it’s a sci-fi setting and a supernatural problem, you can really relate to it all, especially the feeling of being unwanted and scared without control over your own faith. And then the slow-burning romance with Adam. It’s so intense, with Juliette fighting her urge and desire to touch him, knowing that it might kill him. It’s so well done! And Warner. Talk about complex character! I have a strong feeling that he and Kenji will get much more focus in the following books. At least I hope so, they sure have captured my interest and I want to know so much more about them!
Overall this was a brilliant and unique read and a fabulous start of this series!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Tahereh Mafi
When it comes to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline I must confess to an unpopular opinion: I liked the movie better than the book…
I saw this movie a few months ago and really loved it, so I assumed I was going to love the book too. (I mean, move adaptations are never ever as good as the book, right?!) The book was good, don’t get me wrong, but I actually felt that the movie was better. Or rather, that they were two different stories. Well yes, they were both based on VR and the OASIS and Wade was still the main character and his squad was there, but all the important scenes had been changed. Like how they entered the competition, how Wade found the first key, how he and Art3mis and the others met, even how they won the competition and the entire ending, everything was different!
I guess that if I had read the book first, I would have seen that story as the right one, but since I saw the movie first, I already had that version in my mind and when the book was so different it made it a bit too confusing to really enjoy the book as much as I would have otherwise.
A thing that bothered me in the movie adaption though was the way they changed the characters appearance. I think a really important message in the book was the inner beauty and that they fell in love with each others persons not the looks, so I really think that the characters, especially Art3mis, were too good looking in the movie. But almost most other things were better in the movie. For example, I liked Wade’s character so much better in the movie. In the book he and Aech’s friendship was not at all as strong and easy-going as in the movie. In fact, the way Wade and Aech talked in the book irritated me. And the part in the book where Wade was hiding out alone in his apartment and turning from chubby to super-fit just felt out of place for the story line, so I’m glad that was left out completely in the movie.
But overall, the book was really good, even though not as mind-blowingly great as I had expected. Both the movie and the book was a wonderful trip down memory lane. There were so many amazing details that went in to creating this story and the world building was so well done. And the characters were adorable.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Ernest Cline
Dark, twisted and addictive! The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a delightful read, with a fresh twist of a small mortal girl in faerie land as the main character.
The main character, Jude, was such a favorite of mine. She’s a complete bad ass, strong and fearless and never whining or feeling sorry for herself no matter what ill treatments and injustice she suffers. And she always tried to protect her twin sister Taryn. (Who I did not like at all, by the way, she is Jude’s complete opposite - selfish, weak and insincere.)
I also loved Prince Cardan from the start. You could really tell that there was a good heart in there somewhere, and that he was having a lot to deal with in his own life. I cannot wait to continue read more about him and learn more about his complex personality. He has so many more layers that I hope will be revealed as the series continues!
There is also a lot of fey politics, betrayal and deception going on… The story is very dark and twisted, with so much bad treatment of Jude that I sometimes had problems to distance myself from the bullying that it in fact was. But once you started to understand everything that Cardan was going through, it felt easier to see through the maliciousness.
Even though it’s a fantasy novel taking place in faerie land, that’s not really the main drive of the story. The big spark here is the sparring personalities and enemies-to-(potential)-lovers fighting between Jude and Cardan. I cannot wait to see how their strange relationship will evolve!
Some parts of the story and some characters were a bit too predictable, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and I absolutely look forward to reading what comes next.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Holly Black
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo is not only a dark, magical and amazing retelling of The Little Mermaid, it’s also one of the best enemies-to-lovers stories ever! I binge-read it in one day, completely hooked! The story was amazing, the world was incredible and the characters so real and faceted.
The story at its core is a fantasy retelling of Little Mermaid. But to be honest, I didn’t even realize that at first since it is so much darker, and with Princess Lira being so much more powerful and vicious than in the original story. I really loved that it was such a dark and sinister version, and that it put Princess Lira and Prince Elian on an equal footing. Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all, known as “The Prince’s Bane”, until she disobeys her mother, the Sea Queen, who punish her by transforming her into the one thing they loathe most-a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian's heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. Prince Elian on the other hand is a pirate and a siren-hunter, something of an anti-prince who would happily give away his crown for a life on the ocean. When his friend is killed by the Prince’s Bane, Elian sets out on a journey to revenge him and save the world by killing all sirens once and for all.
So, basically it's a story about a siren who murders princes and a prince who murders sirens, who are determined to hunt each other down, no matter what. But ripped of her powers and turned into a human, Lira end up at Elian’s ship, looking for an opportunity to take his heart. Only that spending time with each other makes them go from deadly enemies, to distrusting co-habitants, to reluctant admirers who accidentally save each other’s lives instead of killing each other when opportunity arises, and finally to lovers. The romance was so wonderful and slow, one of the best enemies-to-lovers stories ever!
I loved the dual narration, it really added to the suspense and made it so much fun with the snarky comments from both Elian and Lira.
I also really loved the amazing world building and the whole magical world and the amazing creatures that Alexandra Christo created. There are sirens, pirates, mermaids, mermen, a beautiful, honorable and unselfish prince, and a save-the-world-adventure. What more can you possibly ask for?!
I must admit that lovers-to-enemies is my favorite trope and Alexandra Christo used this trope in the best possible way to create a masterpiece! This is of my absolute favorite books of all time!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Alexandra Christo