Thursday, 30 August 2012

Onyx - Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #2)

*4.5* KYAAAAA!!!!!
I can't believe it's already over. Again!! I loved it. I did, I did, I did!

So. Starting from the beginning. Some of you might have noticed my obsession with the Lux series for quite some time already (like seen in Obsidian and waiting-for-Onyx post). The feeling after finally finishing a book I've waited for so passionately is frankly a bit overwhelming. I feel speechless.

Before reading I already noticed people arguing which of the series was better. Both of them were amazing, yet I feel Obsidian was a bit more fresh? I was totally new to the idea of aliens etc, but now I already knew, what to expect. I think it's inevitable and I'm totally okay with it.

It's once again action-packed swoon-worthy  demonstration of Ms Armentrouts amazing skill. I liked how the intonation of the book was so different from the previous one. The action picked up and then slowed down again, all the time reminding the reader, that it's far from being over. Awesome! If they're as amazing as the Lux series, then she just might be my new favourite author ^^

The reason however, why Onyx did not get the perfect 5 from me was just that even though I really loved it, I felt Obsidian wowed me a teeny bit more. And I know I gave Obsidian the same score and now I really feel like I should go back and make it 5. xD

I was also pleased to notice the development in the relationships between characters. For some weird and twisted reason, I even enjoyed Ash. A type I usually despise. And of course, all the other Luxens - Adam and Dee, Matthew! Kya! Even now I can't stop smiling. There are also new characters introduced. I'm not a fan of them, but for the sake of plot, I approve :D And then there's the truckload of sexual tension and banter. You've sure read the teasers we were teased so mercilessly with for such a long time. (If not, check them out NOW!) Now, imagine a whole 376 pages filled in a similar manner. It leaves me gasping for air!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday Night Dessert #2 - "Real" books, Audiobooks or eBooks?

Another post in my series of Wednesday Night Dessert. WhoopWhoop!

This time I'll be addressing the theme of different formats and platforms for my beloved books. I have heard so many debates about the topic, that I finally wanted to have a say myself!

I think I'll say couple of words about each and then we'll see, which really is the best.

Firstly, there are the good ol' paperbacks (or hardcovers for that matter). You buy them, you have them, no matter what. You can read them anywhere and how many times you want. And I LOVE the classical entertainment value it offers. There's really no feeling quite the same than sitting down with your favorite book and a steaming cup. Really! Best. Feeling. Ever. Sadly, there come the tricky parts.

Books are expensive. As a college student I have a really strict spending policy. Every now and then I still squeeze in a book, but still. Then there are libraries. Another magical place. I honestly could spend a whole day walking from shelf to shelf. But if you live in a non-English speaking country then you know the problem. New releases take ages to be available, a then there's the 2 month long waiting list. Charming. If I have waited a whole year for a release, then there's just not enough force in the world that would make me wait another two months, knowing others enjoy freely. Grr.

There come in the saviors - eBooks. They're a lot cheaper and instantly accessible. You can't fight the logic in that! What makes people dislike them, as I understand it, is the need of an additional equipment, making it hard for the eyes and impossible to concentrate. And I really get it. It took me a year to get accustomed to electronic books. Once in university, all my study materials were suddenly available only in pdfs. I cursed the system and all technology, but kept on reading. And after a while I have to say it became a really convenient and comfortable way to read.

I adjust the font size to my liking, you can choose intesityof the background light and overall customize almost everything to your liking. While reading a real book I especially enjoyed the act of flipping the page. So, I chose an eReader that has an animated page flipping function. Also I can use my phone, laptop or iPad. I love it.

And finally there are the audiobooks. Most infamous of them all, I feel. It's not really a reading now, is it. But imagine a situation where you literally have no time for reading. At some point my every waking second was spent on the run. On my way to the bus, in the bus, running to school, then on to work etc. Riding a bicycle, working in the garden. That's how I discovered audiobooks. There's really nothing more pleasing then using the time, which other way seems wasted, practically!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

What can I say? I overcame myself and still wrote a separate review to each of my reads instead of a one huge post I mentioned last time. Sweet.

*2.5 stars* I had to check my own guideline for grading to determine this one. Brr.

What convinced me to pick up this particular book was the huge commotion around it. The synopsis sounded interesting and all the reviews and comments made it out to be just magnificent. I should have known better. There really is just only so much you can hope for with must read books. Although the cover was rather exceptionally well chosen.I definitely gave couple of instant brownie points.

I can't say I didn't like the book. It was readable. Meaning it was interesting enough to keep me going, but just so. I don't even know, what exactly I expected, something to blow me away maybe? :D It took me almost three months to finish. But nonetheless. I think a huge part of the problem for me was the absurd amount of unnecessary flashbacks. I feel that if the story had stuck with just the story of Akiva and Karou, it would have been a lot more easy going and interesting!

The concept of the whole book sounded really alluring so I'm  not sure, where Ms Taylor went wrong. By general understanding, it really should be amazing. Awesome characters, beautiful surroundings. How on Earth did it end up like any other supernatural mediocre YA novel?

The plot was so obvious. At times, painfully so. The huge reveal left me rather nonplussed and it should not be so. It has happened before, that in overall a very good book has a bit slower start, but in time the whole action swallows the reader in. So I kept waiting and waiting for the climax. And then I waited some more. I even kept waiting after finishing the book. Maybe it was just my amazingly slow brain. Now I've inclined to think it was more than just me. I really was boring. Also, constant shift between characters and POVs tends to be rather more confusing, than explaining. I see the need to introduce each character with their history, but that was just spelling out the obvious. Really!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Another update: I'm alive afterall!

Hello hello hello! Yes. I'm glad to let you know I'm not dead, I have just been hibernating, like I like to call it. (How not-so-surprising it has been to notice a ton of posts with similar headline.) My wonderful reading summer has passed with three almost finished books. Rather pathetic, if I may say so myself, but I guess my brain needed a rest from all the super-awesome adventure-filled time consuming YA books. I'm still a huge nerd and been collecting ebooks to my e-library, knowing, that once the peaceful summer is over and the sudden shock of "real" life hits me again,I'll be in a desperate need of distraction. Last two months just laying in the sun, sleeping, watching movies and eating good food was just a build up for the upcoming season.

However, I haven't been absolutely useless xD I have a horrifying number of unfinished reviews and posts on topics I probably will never complete. So what I though I'd do is that in near future, I repeat near future, like in a week or so I'll combine them all in a huge post :D So yeah, here you go. My entirely useless summer might not be so useless after all.

And another completely acceptable explanation to my slacking off is the publishing date of Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout!!! I just could not make myself concentrate knowing that soon there was going to be a new hot piece of alien to chew! And now it's upon us! I'm almost afraid to read the book I've been ridiculously obsessed with for the past half a year. I'm so close to finally getting it and once I've finished, there's NO doubt you'll miss it.

I also decided to pick up the famous Game of Thrones, knowing it might be the next couple of decades until the two last books are released... and this far (73%) I have to say I love it. I love the world, the characters, even the show! But I'll try to keep my rambling to minimum. For now. Mwhahahaa. So in a nutshell, here you have my summer. Yay! Let me know how yours was. A bit more productive I hope? See you soon my lovelies ^^