Book reviews

Book Review | The Virgin Suicides

Title: The Virgin Suicides

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis 10956The haunting, humorous and tender story of the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, The Virgin Suicides, now a major film, is Jeffrey Eugenides’s classic debut novel.

The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters’ breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite a while now so when an Independent Study assignment came up for English I thought what better? I’ve made about 7 pages of notes on this novel so forgive me if I’m not too keen on the details in this post. But I really really liked this book.

The Virgin Suicides could be set in any suburb in America, it could concern any teenage boy or girl in this world. It’s a highly generalised novel and that’s what I love about it, it could happen to anyone at anytime and that’s what makes it so relatable.

The novel is written in the most mundane way possible. The littlest details are delved into like what the Lisbon girls had for breakfast and it doesn’t get boring. All the way there is this underlying mystery and intrigue as to why the Lisbon girls committed suicide.

But the interesting part is, the novel isn’t centered so much on the suicides as it is on the boys who’re trying to come to terms with the girls’ suicide. For these teenage boys, the Lisbon girls are the epitome of adolescent fantasy so their obsession makes sense. As a reader, you get shocked with the boys, you fall in love with the Lisbon girls as the boys do and through their broad perspective you start to see the charm and the attachment that the Lisbon girls entail.

The novel is also very much trying to bring awareness to suicide and the causes and the increasing rate of teenage suicide. I like the honesty with which the problems are presented in this novel and they really make you reflect on happiness and society.

The novel is very much open to interpretation and it leaves a mark on you because you’re always left wondering, why did the Lisbon girls do it?

Rating

5

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Book reviews

Book Review | Illuminae

Title: Illuminae

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Synopsis: 25524728One moment, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason have nothing bigger to worry about than each other. Specifically, avoiding each other in the wake of their messy break-up. In the next second, their entire world falls apart.
The year is 2375 and one of the mega-corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra’s planet. Read More at Goodreads 

 

THIS BOOK IS INSANELY AMAZING! I rarely get this hyped and crazy about a book but guys, this is like up there with the top books of 2016! It’s left me with the feeling of “what am I supposed to do with my life now?” and here’s why:

Not only is it uniquely structured to represent an Intelligence Report, it is methodical and informative yet has a certain poetic element to it.

Both the authors have managed to do an amazing job of creating a project of such magnitude. The plot is obviously very well thought out. The sequence of events is borderline insane, it messes with your head. And at some points it is best advised to read with the lights on.

From the get go, the novel is action -packed. There is obviously an element of mystery as to why all these crazy things are happening but towards the end it get super intriguing and you just wanna keep turning the pages.

The characters all have different voices and there is humour in cooperated among all this chaos. It’s very amusing to read the banter between Kady and Ezra. The book is written in a very matter-of-fact way to keep in style with the Intelligence Report format but it also questions existence and human emotion and all those big questions.

You simply have to read it to understand the hype so GET ON IT.

Rating

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Book reviews

Book Review | Ready Player One

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Synopsis  

12600138In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

 

Guys this is one book I would recommend for everyone to read just because of how unique it is. Ready Player One is seriously unlike anything I have ever read before.

First off, the world building is absolutely incredible. The virtual reality is portrayed so it’s easy for readers to imagine and often i found myself getting lost and absolutely immersed in the novel. Although, it did get too technical at times which was a bit difficult to follow considering I’m not a video game freak.

Ready Player One is a beautiful beautiful tribute to ’80s pop culture. To be honest, I wasn’t around in that era and I’m not too educated on it either. However, the things mentioned in the book seem so thoroughly researched and I came out learning that much more about the ’80s!

The author writes in a very informational, straight to the point kind of way which is required for this kind of novel. However, every character seems to have their own distinct voices in my head so it seems like the author has done an amazing job at character development along with everything else.

I feel like the author has used this whole book as a metaphor for so many universal themes such as good vs evil, escapism and the hunger for power and the measures people are willing to take in order to attain it. And that, I think, is what makes this book so much more than just about video games and pop culture.

Rating

5

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Book reviews

Book Review | Prince’s Gambit

Title: Prince’s Gambit

Author: C.S.Pacat

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Captive Prince #2

Synopsis: 24706448With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master Prince Laurent must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot. Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow . .

I recently reviewed the prequel here which I absolutely loved! this book was just an amazing as the prequel but everything was just amplified. From the mind games, to the politics, to the goriness and the sex.

I highly appreciate the consistency the sequel managed to have as I was unsure of whether the sequel would be able to live upto the standard of its predecessor.

The novels are highly focused on plot development yet that’s not to say the writing or the characters are lacking. The novel excels at every aspect I believe. The writing is straightforward avoiding confusion or being lost what with all the new names and places being tossed around. The plot is highly organised and the author doesn’t serve everything on a platter but lets the reader do their own figuring out which lends its own thrill to the book. The characters I can tell have been highly thought out.

The central relationship between Damen and Laurent developed further in this book with them getting more personal and intimate with each other. The conflict was made even more obvious and in terms of the way the book ended I CANNOT WAIT to see where it’s going. like I NEED THE FINAL BOOK NOW.

But we’re gonna have to wait until next year.

I highly highly recommend you guys to get into this series. Everyone needs to read it, like NOW.

Rating

5

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Book reviews

Book Review | The Sword of Summer

Title: The Sword of Summer

Author: Rick Riordan

Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1

Genre: Fantasy/ Mythology

Source: Puffin Books

Synopsis Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . .

 

Magnus Chase was like a throwback to my Percy Jackson reading days (which weren’t that long ago..). It was the same witty sarcasm that Riordan is renowned for on his Twitter and in his books but wayyy funnier.

The book is basically a Viking Encyclopedia in disguise, any Riordan fans would expect to know everything about the Vikings by the end of the book, seriously why can’t he be my teacher? I’m actually learning stuff whilst having fun, yeah guys that’s a thing.

The plot is packed with adventure and cause and effect events that leave you turning pages. The dialogue is unbelievably funny with some important life lessons hidden within (if you know to look for them).

Magnus’ voice is distinct and his emotions are explored analytically, his actions and decisions are also not left without being explained.

Riordan does a very good job of adding diversity into the book through characters with different religions and disabilities. He also manages to give the sidekicks “screen time” by explaining their pasts. I have a feeling he is going to add another POV in the sequel.

Speaking of the sequel, the novel thankfully did not end on a cliffhanger however, there is much to be explored I can tell.

Rating

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Book reviews

Book Review | Little Women (The Magic of Classics!)

Title: Little Women & Good Wives Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre: Classic

Page Count: 224 Pages

Synopsis
The four March sisters–Meg, Amy, Beth, and feisty Jo–share the joys and sorrows of growing up while their father is away at war. The family is poor in worldly goods, but rich in love and character.

goodreads

 

 

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

 

 

This book took me all of the recent holidays to read but you know what sometimes you need that slow, take-it-all-in kinda read in between all the action packed YA you read all the time.  Little Women was warm but tragic but funny.

I don’t know why but I always find it difficult to review classics, there’s something about classics that is so different from the novels nowadays, a certain charm which just makes you want to not break it down.

Little Women describes the day to day life of four sisters and leaves the reader with such a homely feeling, the kind of feeling that wants you to snuggle up in a blanket and keep reading this wonderful book.

But the book also explores morals and character and people’s limit and worth in society, their deepest desires and I guess the magic of classics is just that, They’re infinite

Even in the 21st Century you’ll always find a Jo (the feminist protagonist) or a Beth (the underrated, selfless one)

I absolutely adored when the sisters were little but as the Volume progressed into Good Wives (the second half) I felt the writing and events were a bit superficial especially the ‘falling in love’ bits.

If you do read the full volume which contains Little Women and Good Wives it does get time consuming but it’s also relaxing in a way. Oh and although it was written nearly 200 years ago the writing is still relatable and understandable.

Those are my collective thoughts on Little Women, I know this isn’t a standard “Infinity Reads” review but as I explained earlier it’s a classic, it’s incomparable.

Rating

5

 

BONUS TREAT

Little Women has recently being adapted into a Youtube adaptation (is there a particular name for that?) I’m only a few episodes in but I’m enjoying it so far!

 

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Book reviews

City of Heavenly Fire- NON SPOILER review

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Pages: 725
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Summary:

ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance?

 

  • This has been one of my most anticipated books of the year. I shall not discuss my thoughts extensively in this review as it is non-spoiler.
  • If you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments series yet. What are you doing with your life? In all seriousness. I highly recommend them!

Cassandra Clare’s writing is so involving and I love how it flows almost like a poem, but there are also the action packed scenes which give it an edgy feel. The sarcastic humour of the Character had me literally laughing out loud, these moments were like a nice refreshment from all the pressure and seriousness of the rest of the novel. We see the return of some old characters as well as the introduction of some new and ahh it was like a big happy reunion. I loved the cause and effect sequencing of events, like everything seamlessly lead to the conclusion so smoothly. As to the ending, I can’t say anything without spoiling so you’re gonna have to read my spoiler review 😉

Rating

5