REVIEW: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi a.k.a. a “WAIT. WHAT?” novel

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  TITLE: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
  AUTHOR: Tahereh Mafi
  PUBLICATION: Published October 2nd 2012 by HarperCollins
  GENRE: YA > ROMANCE | Scifi | Dystopia
  PAGES: 340pages (Paperback)
  SOURCE: Own
  RATING: 2★★1/2 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

 

 

REVIEW:

First of all, I want to apologize for my bookish friends who adored this book, I tried. REALLY TRIED. But I’ve never been so wrong about a book before and the struggle is just so real..

Before continuing though, I want to say this: Shatter me is a terrible first book in a series that may be really good. I wouldn’t even say that I don’t understand why people loved this because I DO (i think). But I do think that it’s not for everybody. This is me the first half:

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Then when I’m closer to the end:

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In between:
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There. That’s my meme representation of myself.. And here is why it came to that.

Plot. It doesn’t have any. Let’s move on. ….kidding! There is, of course. It’s poorly executed though. I personally think that this book would be better if they’re in a YA contemporary romance genre. And I just noticed something, this is from my experience and I don’t know if you’ve had a similar experience but most of the time when I ask some people who loved Shatter Me what the book is about, I get more raves about the love triangle. Maybe I should have taken that as a hint already. And  I can’t even believe that some mentioned that if you love Hunger Games, this should be your next read.

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Don’t even compare it. Although this novel has a dystopian setting and has been marketed as such, the world- building of the novel isn’t fully thought out. There are a couple of paragraphs mentioning the problems of the world and the government that now controls it, but they feel hasty, like they were added at the suggestion of the editor at the last minute. I would definitely call this a romance novel that happens to be set in a future society.

Characters and Romance aspect. Let’s start with Juliette, our heroine and the narrator of the story. Well, to be completely honest, I wanted to smash Juliette’s head in with a baseball bat. See? See what Juliette is doing to me?! 

She’s always surprised, startled, gasping, choking and aching. Aching in her joints, stomach, skin, eyes, eyelashes and there’s always something in her throat like a reptile or cottonballs and her jaw is always dropping on the floor. Sometimes, it’s even dangling in her shoelace. Oh and she says things like this:

“They locked me up with a boy. A boy. Dear god. They’re trying to kill me.”

OMG NO

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Stuff like this too: 

“He was wrong. He was SO wrong. He was more wrong than an upside-down rainbow.”

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“Every organ in my body falls to the ground.”

“My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps.”

“Every night there are sounds I don’t hear.”

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“I’m blushing through my bones.”

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“Warner thinks Adam is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations.” 

“I’ve acquired a full time job choking on the weakness of my limp body.”

I swear, Juliette is making me a violent person. And probably my favorite:

“Hate looks just like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into the semblance of something too passive to punch.”

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I tried to symphatise, to even put myself in her shoes, I even considered the possibility that maybe she is crazy. You know, legit crazy. But no.. she still think properly at some point in the book. As a character on the brink of being driven insane by loneliness and starvation for human touch, she had a lot of potential . Again, not executed very well. I understand her actions at the first few chapters, but when she came out of that cell she’s been holed up into, I was expecting some character development. Like, c’mon Mafi! Just some, leave your metaphors for a while and focus on Juliette. But in the end, I still haven’t got any. And if you’re talking about this being a character development, I’d say NO.

“I grab the gun from Warner’s limp hand and slam the butt of it into his face. I’m stunned by my own reflexes. I’ve never held a gun before but I guess there’s a first time for everything.

I point it at Warner’s eyes. “Don’t underestimate me.””

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WOW JULIETTE, Y SO SCARY. Also, this girl always makes things hard for herself.

“My jaw falls off”

“A steam engine hits me in the face”

“My head is a piece of pavement and I’m being trampled to death”

“My ears snap off”; “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps”

“My jaw is dangling from my shoelace”

— all of which, I believe, translate to “I’m shocked.”

“I fall off a ladder holding a paintbrush dipped in red”

“I melt into Pink Play Doh,”

— I’m pretty sure she’s just embarrassed. But that’s Juliette for you. Making every single emotion she feels overly dramatic. Oh and nice to know that Play Doh still exist.

“I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.

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In short, It’s just raining guys. It’s just raining.

Juliette is supposed to be this tough chick, but I’m greeted with a weak and whiny heroine. For someone with a lethal touch, that’s kind of pathetic. I don’t think I would’ve minded that too much in the beginning if there’d been any character development throughout the book, but by the end she hadn’t changed much at all. Adam is no different. He’s too purrfect for my taste and a total bore. He’s the kind of character who just exist because of the main character. He got me at the first few chapters, he got me swooning and all but Juliette ruined him for me, the way she describes Adam is plain disgusting and smutty and it turned me off. I won’t say anything more, I’m just done. Oh and this how Juliette and Adam’s conversation most of the time

“Why do you love me?”
“I’ve always loved you!”
“But why? I’m a MONSTER.”
“Because you’re good and perfect and lovely !”
“What? No! I’ve KILLED people!”
“I loved you the first time I saw you!”
“But whyyyyyyy…?”

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 Now Warner, is a completely different story. Not because I like him or I’m swooning over him, but because he’s a mean and crazy and he made me scared a little. I still don’t know if he’s a genius or a lunatic.. BUT I’M ROOTING FOR HIM. I hate that he’s inlove with Juliette who is a whiny, emotional wreck who just never seems to grow a pair and rise above.

The most frustrating and hated thing about the book is the writing. I adore Mafi, I really do. At first, I thought that the strike troughs are very unique and I was actually excited for it. But then it got annoying and I wasn’t enjoying anymore. Then I found myself asking.. WHAT IS THE ACTUAL PURPOSE OF DIZZZ. And I’m a big fan of prose and poetic writing but  metaphors are effective if they’re done well, and in the hands of a masterful writer they can be nothing short of glorious. That just isn’t the case here. They’re distracting, over-used, and, in many cases, downright nonsensical. They make the entire book feel melodramatic, like a creative writing class gone wrong. I know I’m a horrible person because of this but ever since I’ve read this book and I’m feeling down, I read some passage from the book and have a chuckle. It’s just too much, you know? To the point that it doesn’t make sense anymore.

“I saw enough to see what I couldn’t see in the darkness.”

“Sometimes it’s safer being cut by a butcher knife than being scratched by a random scrap of metal.”

“My heart is a stick of butter, melting recklessly on a hot summer day.”

“He drops kisses down my throat like ecstasy.”

“My stomach is a flimsy crepe, my heart a raging woodpecker, my blood a river of anxiety.”

“I can hear our heartbeats in the silence between us.”

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And I love you guys, but to those who are asking if I will continue the series, I’m having second thoughts about it. I’m glad you guys enjoyed this, really.

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THAT IS ALL.

BLOG TOUR: Gathering Water by Regan Claire [Review|Playlist|Giveaway|]

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[click here for the tour schedule]

AMAZON  

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TITLE: Gathering Water

AUTHOR: Regan Claire

PUBLICATION: Published February 1st 2014 by Createspace

GENRE: YA > Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance

PAGES: 276pages (Paperback)

SOURCE: eArc via Tour Host

RATING: 4 ★★★★

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Della Doe Deare isn’t like most people. Most people begin their life on the day they enter the world; the day they’re born. Della, well, hers began on the day she turned eighteen. After all, it was the day she first heard her real name, and that of her mothers. With nothing but a couple of duffel bags and a folder full of questions, she travels home to coastal North Carolina to claim the house she inherited from a grandmother she never knew. She has two goals: discover why her mother ran away from home all those years ago, and avoid the family that had left her to rot in an inept foster care system. Hard to do when the family she’s been trying to avoid is dragging her into an unimaginable world… a world on the brink of war, and both sides want her dead. All Della ever wanted was to know who she was, but the journey to self-discovery might just lead to her destruction.

REVIEW:

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First, I would like to pat myself in the back for signing up for this tour. To think that I almost missed this one! Lucky me!  Let me tell you, Gathering Water is something that you’ll rarely find this days. The concept is unique and thank the Book Gods because it was executed very well. This is a debut novel, it said. 

So I’m telling you right now, this author is someone to watch out for and her book is something to be read and talked about! 

Della, who is an orphan, just. found out that she has a living breathing relative existing.. One problem though, she wasn’t really ecstatic about it. Well why would she? They already know that she is alive and in a foster care but they didn’t do a thing about it. And the fact that this relative lives on the other side of the country didn’t help either. But her curiosity for her mother won her over and the next thing she know, she’s in North Carolina! And here starts Della’s kick ass way of uncovering her past and finding out what she’s capable of.

This might seem a little slow for some readers (like me) but I want you to be patient. Honestly, I’m not a patient reader myself (I’m trying to fix that) and i am just so happy that I waited and kept reading. It’s really hard not to anyway, because…

Della is a likeable narrator and heroine. She is descriptive, quirky and strong and wow, i can’t even think of a flaw.. Hmmm. Well she can be bitter sometimes, but totally understandable! But Della isn’t the only character I adored, there’s Cash.. 

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and Dove…

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Love these boys a lot! It’s so fun to have a break from dark and mysterious and brooding guys.. What a breath of fresh air! And did I mention that the Romance is absolutely sweet? No drama . No love triangles and hear/read this, NO INSTALOVE. YEP, you read that right! 

Now the concept is the one that will completely draw you in. I’ve read a lot of powers before but I don’t think I’ve encountered Gathering Water before. Or air. Or any kind of Gathering. It’s absolutely uniquie and mesmerizing read. It’s intense all the way and I love being inside Dellas head the whole time.

But you know what I want? THE SEQUEL! I NEED IT. LIKE, RIGHT NOW. Although the words like evil and cruel passed in my mind when it comes to the ending, I will wait. Impatiently. 

THE PLAYLIST:

Track list:

Sail – Awolnation

(this song is so kick ass, just like the book)

I’m in Here – Sia

(my song for Della)

Amsterdam – Imagine Dragons

What’s So Bad About Feeling Good – Ben Lee

(my song for Cash baby)

Round and Round – Imagine Dragons

No Myth – Michael Penn

(perfect for that Dove and Della moment at the end)

You can listen to it HERE.

THE AUTHOR:

A Tidewater girl born and bred, Regan Claire’s first friend and love was the Atlantic. Growing up being told the legends about Pirates and American Natives common in coastal VA and NC, coupled with being an only child, did wonders for her imagination; Regan had one foot in fantasy-land ever since, a trait her dear husband heroically endures (and one she secretly hopes her daughters have inherited). Her family moved inland to Nashville while she was entering tweenhood and not a day went by that she didn’t miss her childhood playmate and her crashing waves. Nashville has her perks though, namely the love of Regan’s life and their two sweet girls. Their insane mutt-dog and the stray cat that refuses to leave their porch aren’t too bad either. Regan loves fairytales A LOT, teen movies (preferably with dancing or singing), reads entirely too much, and is constantly late.

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THE GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton a.k.a love can make us such fools

tumblr_n5m1l6PYla1tnpsmxo1_400TITLE: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
AUTHOR: Leslye Walton
PUBLICATION: Published March 25th 2014 by Candlewick Press
GENRE: YA > Fantasy | Magical Realism | Romance
PAGES: 320pages (Kindle Edition)
RATING: 5 ★★★★★
You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON | B&N  THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

 

 

REVIEW:

“The following is the story of my young life as I remember it. It is the truth as I know it. Of the stories and the myths that surrounded my family and my life — some of them thoughtfully scattered by you perhaps — let it be said that, in the end, I found all of them to be strangely, even beautifully, true.” 

Sometimes you’ll read a story and it will make your chest ache so much because it’s so beautiful and tragic and you know what? you’re going to be happy about it. For me, that story is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I think I felt every emotion I could feel by reading this. I appreciated and understood Love more. How it can make someone so bitter that you can taste it just by her eyes or how it can make someone float in happiness and do foolish things. How powerful Love is. How it can be the one who can make someone the happiest person or the most miserable person living on earth.

“Love makes us such fools.”

This story is narrated by our main character, Ava. From the prologue where she starts to introduce us to what she is, I got the impression that she’s older and she’s just reminiscing her family’s tragic and beautiful love stories. And she starts from her maternal grandmother, Emilienne, and from there I’ve read one of the most wonderful and lonely stories I’ve ever read. I was instantly hooked. That Prologue is so powerful you just know that it’s preparing you for the following chapters. I did not put it down. In fact, I was so engrossed by how Ava narrates the story that I almost finished it in one sitting.

I met lovely and real characters. It’s so real that I think some of them is living inside of me now. It’s weird actually, all that is happening is weird. The ghosts, the girl turning into a dove, a priest with sinful motives, a lot of magical stuff. But instead of confusing me, it made me keep on turning the pages.
Each of the characters are original. I love how we know their backstories and how connected I am with them. And can I say how brilliantly written this book is? So sophisticated and dazzling. To think that it’s the author’s debut novel. Amazing!

If you’re looking for a story with a lot of dialogue, this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a light read, this isn’t for you. I dare you to enter the Roux household. To join Ava as she narrates her family’s history of unlucky love stories. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is an eye opener and a thought provoking novel. I assure you, it will stay with you forever.

 

 

REVIEW: Trouble by Non Pratt a.k.a yes, that’s sperms in the cover


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AMAZON | B&N

TITLE: Trouble

AUTHOR: Non Pratt

PUBLICATION: Published February 20th 2014 by Walker

GENRE: YA > Realistic Fiction | Contemporary | Romance

PAGES: 284pages (Kindle version)

SOURCE: eBook (Kindle)

RATING: 3 ★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.

REVIEW:

I’ll be very honest now and say that the main reason I bought this one is because the cover really caught my attention. I feel like having the sperms in there made the book stands out and it makes the book more intriguing

But the cover isn’t the only one that stands out, the story itself is powerful, thought provoking and brutally honest. I’ve never read a book about teenage pregnancy that is so real and fun.. yes, you heard me, fun.. Well, I’ve never been pregnant, but when the time comes that I have a bump on my tummy (not just because I ate a lot) but because I’m pregnant, I want to have some of Hannah’s attitude. But, I don’t want to be in her situation. Not ever. So first, I want to pat the author in the back for being so brave by putting the truth out there when it comes to teen pregnancy and the ups and downs of being a teenager.

So.. Hannah got pregnant. Who’s the Daddy??? Ssshhhh! It’ll shock you.Just find out when you read the book. And look, there’s Aaron. Silent and loner Aaron who thinks that by getting close to Hannah and her friends, he can forget the things that happened in his old school. Now, when Aaron found out that Hannah is pregnant, he decided to tell everyone that it’s his. And why is that? Because he’s stupid! Lol just kidding. But anyway, this is where my conflicting feelings starts. (This is told in two POV’s by the way, Aaron and Hannah)

I love Aaron. A lot. He’s real. I have friends that are Aaron so it’s easy to be inside his head. I don’t know what to say anymore about him but I can confidently say that any reader will find it hard to hate this guy. You’ll be frustrated, yes, but c’mon! He’s a teenager with issues. Now, Hannah on the other hand is different. I want to symphatise, I really do. But IT’S SO FREAKIN’ HARD. She’s funny, witty and full of angst but she’s also.. dumb. That’s why while reading, I can’t help but think that she deserves everything that is happening to her. (And trust me, it’s all horrible things) She’s not acing at school, she doesn’t think through the things that she does and she can’t think about anything but sex. That’s why she got pregnant in the first place. Oh did i mention that she’s just 15???

Plot. The plot is what I love. There’s no sugar coating. No pretentions. Here it is. The harsh truth. Here’s what happens when you’re 15, got pregnant, and you don’t have any idea how to reveal to the world who the the baby daddy is. I loved Aaron and Hannah’s friendship, their character’s development and how they tackled their own problems with the help of each other.

I had some problems with Trouble though, like..

– what happens now that the baby is out in the world?
– what is the score of Hannah and Aaron’s relationship? Do they even have one??
– having sex at 15 with a much older guy? is that even legal?
– WHY IS AARON SO STUPID?
– who names their baby girl TYLER? who does that??

Anyway, other than all of that.. I enjoyed reading Trouble. I was frustrated, it got me laughing and it made me think. I don’t think it’s for everybody though, but it’s worth giving a try!

Monthly Rundown #001: JUNE2014

Rundown

Welcome everyone to Her Book Thoughts’ Monthly recap. In which I look back and summarized what happened on the blog this past Month.

MONTH: JUNE 2014

 BOOKS READ: 17

DNF-ed: 3

Re-read: 0

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HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: I guess I can say that my highlight would be me moving! You can check my post HERE.

 

YOU GUYSSS! i want to hear from you! What’s the highlight of your month? Any book recommendation for me? 🙂