Rapid Fire Book Tag – Nia Carnelio

Hey there,

Yes, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged on here. Final year at University is really not as breezy as I’d expected it to be. Countless classics to be read, analysed and presented in class along with research and thesis papers, it’s a wonder I’m still breathing, to be honest. But I’m making an effort to blog a bit more, so here’s one of the first posts.

I was tagged to do this tag by Arzoo over at My Book Zoo and I picked up the original questions from Girl Reading. (The link opens to the video and the questions.)

So, let’s begin:

1.E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical books when I can get them, but e-books are a lot more convenient and easy to read while I’m travelling.

2. Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback. I usually read on the way to college and back, and I’ll legit collapse if I have to carry HCs of books that have 400+ pages and are huge. Paperbacks are easier to read lying down too, and they’re way cheaper. In India, we rarely get HCs anyway, so Paperbacks all the way.

3. Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

Online. It’s cheaper and easily delivered. And I cannot be trusted in bookstores – in the past two days, I went to two different bookstores and bought six very expensive books. I spent over 1k on these books. And now I have to hungry for the next week in college to make up. So, ONLINE ONLY.

4. Trilogies or Series?

Completed series. I’m too impatient to wait for one book to be released individually. But I also have a deep affection for trilogies done well. If the second book is written well, then the trilogy is almost always a winner.

5. Heroes or Villains?

Villains who turn heroes. Yeah, I’m that reader.

6.  A book you want everyone to read?

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. [Review for the same will go up sometime this week. SPOILER: I loved the book.]

7. Recommend an underrated book?

The Foxhole Court Trilogy by Nora Sakavic.

8. The last book you finished?

P.S I Like You by Kaisie West. 3 Stars

9. The Last Book You Bought?

Three Doctor Who Annuals – 1975, 1978 & 2007.

10. Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Um. Bus tickets? My brother’s finger until I could get up and get a bookmark, another book.

11. Used Books: Yes or No?

Yes, they’re filthy cheap and quite nice too.

12. Top Three Favourite Genres?

Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy.

13. Borrow or Buy?

Both. If it’s too expensive or a friend has it, borrow. If I’m completing or collecting the books, then buy.

14. Characters or Plot?

Both. I can read books that are only character development based with minimal plot (eg. Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler) or deep, intricate plots with minimal character development (eg. The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer)

15. Long or Short Books?

Both, depending on the mood. But I tend to like long ones better because they take longer to read. I miss books as soon as I finish them.

16. Long or Short Chapters?

If the writer can pull it off, short. Otherwise, long.

17. Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater.

18. Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Laugh. It takes a lot for me to cry over a book, but I laugh easily. And if a book cracks me up, it automatically goes up on the list.

19. Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional worlds, hands down. Our world is now turning into The Upside Down. (If you get the reference, you’re amazing.)

20. Audiobooks: Yes or No?

It’s a No from me. I just fall asleep.

21. Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Heck yes. I mean, in this age of Digitization, if you have a shoddy book cover, I’m sorry, it could be the next big thing and I wouldn’t be caught dead reading it. A good cover goes a long way.

22. Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to Movie. That way, if it’s done badly, it’s just two hours as opposed to an entire season or something.

23. A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

24. Series or Standalones?

Standalones have their own charm, but if I find a good one, then series all the way.

Nia Carnelio

That’s it. I’ll be tagging people on Twitter to do this tag (@sleepyhollowkid) but if you haven’t been tagged and still want to do it, go for it.

Until the next time,

Nia Carnelio.

Girl Against The Universe – Paula Stokes | 3.5 Stars | ARC Review

Book | Girl Against The Universe (GATU)

Genre(s)| Realistic Fiction / Young Adult

Date of Publication| May 17th, 2016

My Rating| 3.5 Stars

Cover:

GATU FINAL COVER 11.17.15

Review:

The lovely Rhea from Rhea’s Neon Journal lent me the ARC of GATU she won at YASH in April and I finally managed to finish it last night. I’ve been in a terrible book slump – I’ve only read like three books in May, compared to my fifteen in March (with exams).

I think GATU has gotten me out of that slump though; I enjoyed reading this sweet contemporary which has a realistic and healthy depiction of how mental health can affect someone’s life.

Blurb:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

This is the second Paula Stokes book I’ve read and I think it’s the better one of the two. GATU was such a cute novel – it made me grin and swoon and made me so happy to watch Maguire and Jordy deal with their problems in a positive and healthy way and move on to happier things in their lives. It certainly takes a lot to make the decision to leave one’s past behind and the way Maguire and Jordy worked on it was really captured well.

The book contains all the YA Contemporary staples:

-Nerdy Protagonist

-Hot / Goofy Hero

-Decent best friends (Who also double up as some comic relief)

-Mean girl

But even then, it does manage to strike a chord and be different in its own way. My favourite parts of the book were when Maguire mentioned all the bad stuff that had happened around her, just thinking about those events was funny for me. I dunno, those events were not comical, but I was imagining them as Bad Luck Brian ones.

But the next favourite bits had to be Jordy-Maguire interactions. They made me grin and laugh and gave me hope. Both of them had problems to deal with and they worked on it and it didn’t magically go away or anything because they met each other and liked each other or anything. They both sought the help of a professional therapist and also used the support of their friends and family and it was all of this that made me give it an extra half star. The positive portrayal of mental illness and treatment was the highlight of the novel and I do believe that even if the book has a conventional plotline, it’s worth reading to see how Stokes puts her own spin on it.

Jordy and Maguire are both lovely, likable characters and you tend to root for them to fight against and overcome their problems. Their chemistry is cute and more importantly, believable. Both of them are their own person, and they don’t mesh into one simply because they met each other or like each other.

As a non-sporty person, the tennis bits and other outdoor stuff they did kinda flew over my head as I wasn’t able to visualize them properly because of my lack of knowledge. But it wasn’t as though I was completely blindsided, so if you’re looking for a YA Contemporary mixed with a bit of sports, mental health positivity & some swoon, this is the book for you. Even though I rated Liars Inc. the same stars, I believe that GATU is Stokes’ best work and I think it’s worth a read.

Overall, this book was a really fun, cute read and it got me out of my book slump. Jordy & Maguire were great protagonists to follow, Penn and Jade, their friends made valuable additions to the novel in their own ways and even their families were interesting to read about.

Give this one a try, for all the positive depictions of seeking help and the portrayal of PTSD. And of course, for Jordy & Maguire, who are stars in their own right.

Thanks for lending me your ARC, Rhea.❤

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

Blog Tour – Jerkbait – Mia Siegert | ARC Review

Jerkbait-blog-tour-banner

Book | Jerkbait

Genre(s)| Realistic Fiction / Young Adult

Date of Publication| May 10th, 2016

My Rating| 3.5 Stars

Cover:

27220352

Review:

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hey guys,

Today I’m part of the Blog Tour for Jerkbait by Mia Siegert and I’ll be reviewing an e-ARC of the same for you.

Blurb: [Taken from Goodreads]

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

My thoughts:

I read the entire book in less than a day and during exams no less! Even though it started off a bit slow for me, it certainly made up for that in the latter half of the book. This book has an amalgamation of themes – from LGBTQ representation, to bullying to internet predators to oppression of the LGBTQ character. There are also two distinct themes in the form of sports and theatre – contrasting yet complementing each other at the same time. This book has first person narration, Tristan is the one whose mind we get a look into the whole book.

Positives:

I really liked how the book blended all the themes I mentioned above and formed a really neat mixture of issues and things I really enjoyed reading about. Tristan and Robbie were relatable as siblings and as characters that had to go through a lot in a short period of time. Robbie, especially, was extremely heart-breaking as I felt for him every page of the book. Even though there were several issues being dealt with in the book, I didn’t feel as though I was reading a book that was trying too hard. I understood the struggles Tristan went through, felt for Robbie and hated their parents – all in all, what the book set out to do. The fact that this focused more on the bond between the twins than anything else really did it for me.

Negatives:

In contrast though, the plot of the book felt like it came second to the issues being discussed in the book. For the first few chapters, I really couldn’t stand Tristan’s perspective and it wasn’t until mid-way that I really accepted him as a proper narrator and then moved on. This book may have a lot going for it, but it also falls flat in several places for me where I got a bit bored. The last bit of the book was where the real excitement was, but again, the ending felt a bit rushed and rather abrupt to me.

Overall:

Personally, while I believe that the book may not have a strong plot or many of its characters going for it, you should pick it up simply to understand the way gay athletes are treated in sports, the discrimination faced by a boy who wants to do theatre instead of sports, to understand the cruel faces that parents don when they want to believe they are doing the right thing but are destroying their child’s life. You should read this to know, to understand, to learn how mental health is important, how the internet can be a scary place for someone utterly vulnerable among many other things. That’s the book’s most powerful point – it drives you to understand what someone else may be going through.

Thank you, Jolly Fish Press for the ARC and for letting me be a part of the Blog Tour.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

Girl Against The Universe – Paula Stokes | Book Blast & Giveaway!

Hey guys,

I’m so happy to be a part of Paula’s GATU book blast, and I have some amazing content here for you today – including a giveaway, and yes, before you ask, it is INTERNATIONAL! Paula is such a cool author, and she’s amazingly nice too, and I’m EXTREMELY excited for GATU!

GATU FINAL COVER 11.17.15.jpg

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

Paula: 

Girl Against the Universe will release on May 16, 2016. I am so excited to share this book with the world, and particularly with people who are struggling with PTSD, survivor’s guilt, anxiety, shyness, or people who just feel like the odds are stacked against them. Maguire’s story is full of struggles and triumphs, new friends and family bonds. Even if your life is totally peachy at the moment, there’s a good chance you’ll find Girl Against the Universe funny and inspiring. I hope you give it a try.

HERE’S WHAT SOME AMAZING AUTHORS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK:

“Filled with equal amounts of empathy, humor, and heart, Girl Against the Universe is an empowering story about finding the courage to piece your life back together, even when it feels irreparably broken.”

–Tamara Ireland Stone, NYT bestselling author of Every Last Word

“Romantic, honest, and deep, Girl Against the Universe is one of those books where I couldn’t believe that the characters were only a figment of the author’s imagination—they simply jumped off the pages with their beautiful flaws and hard-earned wisdom.”

–Sarvenaz Tash, author of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

“I loved this sweet, slow-burn romance. Sports fiction at its best!”

–Miranda Kenneally, bestselling author of Catching Jordan

“Absolute perfection. Completely magical. Girl Against the Universe is a poignant, beautiful story.””

–Ann Aguirre, NYT bestselling author of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

THE BOOK IN A SINGLE GIF:

GATU GIF.gif

THE BOOK IN A SINGLE WORD:

GATU in a word

THE BOOK IN A SINGLE SONG:

Want to read more RIGHT NOW?

Lucky for you, the first three chapters are out for you to read (thanks, Paula!)

Click here to read the first three chapters of GATU.

And what would a book blast be without a GIVEAWAY? Check out the Rafflecopter for how you can win a finished copy of the book—INT.

US winner will received signed book. INT winner will receive order from The Book Depository + signed bookplate. If you live in a non-TDB country, you can win an e-copy of the book.

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Wait, we’re not done yet, there’s more good news coming your way!

Score an e-book of The Art of Lainey for just $1.99 all week!

lainey199 final

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

Armada – Ernest Cline | Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Hi guys,

Having read and loved Cline’s Ready Player One, I am so glad to be a part of Armada’s paperback release tour! Enjoy the post and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a copy at the bottom, along with a copy of Ready Player One (which you should read, like right now).

Book | Armada

Genres | Science Fiction / Young Adult

Date of Publication | April 12th, 2016 (Paperback)

Cover |

Armada Pbk Cover.jpg

Blurb:

Since Ready Player One’s publication, Cline’s fans were anxiously awaiting his next endeavor—and he delivered another inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure with ARMADA (Broadway Books; April 12, 2016), his second New York Times bestseller, which is now in paperback.
ARMADA opens as high-school student Zack Lightman glances out his classroom window and spots a UFO. At first he thinks he’s going crazy. A minute later he’s sure of it, because the ship he’s staring at is straight out of the video game he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.

Zack is sure he’s lost his mind. But what he’s seeing is all too real, and his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save Earth from what’s about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can’t help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little too . . . familiar?

Called a “must-read summer blockbuster novel” by Mashable and a “a thrilling coming-of-agestory” byEntertainment Weekly, ARMADA is at once an adrenaline-fueled, surprising thriller, a classic teenage adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with Cline’s trademark pop-culture savvy. The book is already being adapted into a film by Universal Studios, with the author himself writing the screenplay.

 Excerpt:

I didn’t remember unzipping my backpack, or taking out the tire iron, but I must have, because now I had the cold steel rod clenched in my hand, and I was raising it to strike.

All three of my opponents stood frozen for a moment, their eyes wide. The Lennys threw up their hands and started backing away. Knotcher’s eyes flicked over to them, and I saw him registering that his simian pals had bowed out of the fight. He started moving backward too.

I looked at the curb a few feet behind him, had a nasty thought, and followed through on it by lunging at Knotcher with the tire iron. He lurched backward and—just as I’d hoped—caught a heel on the concrete rise and landed flat on his back.

And then I was standing over him, looking down at the tire iron clutched in my hands.

Off to my left, someone screamed. My head snapped around and I saw that an audience had gathered— a handful of students on their way in to first period. Among them one girl, too young and deer-in-the-headlights to be anything but a freshman, slapped a hand over her mouth and flinched backward as I looked her way. As if she was terrified that I—Zack the school psycho—would choose her as my next target.

I glanced back at the Lennys, who were now standing among the students who had gathered to watch the fight. All of the onlookers seemed to be wearing the same expression of horrified anticipation, as if they believed they might be seconds away from witnessing their first homicide.

A wave of cold shame washed over me as the intensity of my rage faded away. I looked down at the tire iron clutched in my hands and let it clatter to the pavement. I heard a chorus of nervous laughter behind me, along with more than one relieved sigh.

I stepped away from Knotcher. He slowly got to his feet. We stared at each other for a moment, and he looked as if he was about to say something when his gaze shot upward, focused on something in the sky behind me.

When I turned around, I saw a strange-looking aircraft approaching from the east, moving at an incredible speed. The closer it got, the more familiar it looked. My brain still refused to accept what my eyes were seeing—until a few seconds later, when the craft braked to a dead stop and hovered directly over us, close enough for me to make out the Earth Defense Alliance crest stenciled on the side of its armored hull.

“No way,” I heard someone whisper. A second later, I realized it was me.

It was an ATS-31 Aerospace Troop Shuttle, one of the ships used by the Earth Defense Alliance in both Armada and Terra Firma. And it was about to land in front of my high school.

I definitely wasn’t hallucinating this time: Dozens of other people were staring up at the shuttle in amazement, too. And I could hear the rumble of the shuttle’s fusion engines and feel the heat from their exhaust buffeting my face. It was really up there.

As the shuttle began to descend, everyone in my vicinity scattered like roaches, heading for the safety of the school.

I just stood there like a statue, unable to look away. The ship was identical to the troop shuttles I’d piloted while playing Armada, right down to the EDA crest and identification bar code stamped on the underside of its hull.

The Earth Defense Alliance can’t be real, Zack, I assured myself. And neither can that shuttle you think you’re looking at right now. You are hallucinating again, only it’s much worse this time. This time, you’re having a full-on psychotic break.

Reprinted from Armada Copyright © 2015 by Dark All Day, Inc. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

Praise for Armada – 

“…a thrilling coming-of-age-story.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Ernest Cline’s follow-up to Ready Player One, proves he has the ability to blend popular culture with exciting stories that appeal to everyone…Cline’s voice for Zack makes the reader believe a high school senior with a love of video games and sci-fi television and films is narrating the story. And love of popular culture isn’t necessary to enjoy this amazing novel.” —Associated Press

The GIVEAWAY:

A signed copy of READY PLAYER ONE, a signed ARMADA poster  AND a copy of ARMADA in paperback! 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

About The Author – 1035x1298-Ernie-Cline-Official-Author-Photo

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His two novels, Armada and Ready Player One, were both New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, and Ready Player One is currently being adapted into a film by Warner Brothers and director Steven Spielberg. Ernest lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic videogames. You can find him online at www.ernestcline.com, on Twitter @erniecline, and on Facebook at Ernest Cline.

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell | 3.5 Stars

Book | Carry On

Genre(s)| Fantasy / Young Adult

Date of Publication| February 25th, 2016

My Rating| 3.5 Stars

Cover:

28356624.jpg

Review:

Book(s) – Carry On

Feels– All the Bazimon Feels.

Tears – None

-I received a free e-ARC of this book from Netgalley but this did not affect the review in any way-

Carry On was Read Now when I downloaded it off Netgalley and I jumped on the opportunity to read this highly recommended (to me by others) and beloved book.

I went into it expecting a book similar to Harry Potter, with roots that had been laid in Fangirl and I got exactly that. Somewhere along the way I also found out that this was meant to be a spoof? of Harry Potter, and I think to some extent it does.

Carry On is the story of a boy mage (magician) who is the Chosen One. Here’s the summary off Goodreads:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

I quite enjoyed this book, even though it took me about 25% to actually get into it and read it with appropriate enthusiasm. Simon and Penny were my favourite characters, especially because of their actions and their morals. Agatha on the other hand (Simon’s girlfriend) bugged me from the start. But I think that’s how she was written, to be the thorn so we’d fall more in love with Bazimon like we all inevitably did.

This book was mediocre, to be honest. And I didn’t really feel it deserved all the hype it got – but then again that was because Rowell’s books have always been in the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong, I read the book and I liked it, but I don’t think it was great or anything even remotely close. The big twist everyone told me to look out for? I called it out fairly early – and now I wonder how they didn’t – it seems like the most obvious thing. And that particular character gave me the creeps early on.

Also, was it only me or was the book a bit too long? I think it was being unnecessarily being dragged out over five hundred pages and I was ready to have it end at maybe 250 or 300. Some things were just not needed and bored me to death. Not the Bazimon, that was important for my heart.

About things I liked about the book- Bazimon action! – Baz and Simon were the cutest couple! And I loved everything about them, from their enmity to them falling in love and oh my god, someone hold my shipper heart. I gave the book an extra half star because of Baz, he was the best thing about the novel for me. Snarky hero, with a heart of gold, how could anyone not love him? And I’m so happy the author didn’t choose the easy way and make Simon and Penny end up together –Harmony was never my ship and it’s never going to be, not if it’s romantic. They’re best friends, brother and sister and just that. They’re family.

The book is basically what Harry Potter would be if the pairing was Harry-Draco with some other twisted stuff. I’m all for Dramione when it makes sense like Bazimon, hallelujah!

Pick this up for a light read, with some lovely romance bits with queer characters and WOC and some quick and witty banter. My review is nothing but Bazimon shipping, and that’s all you can expect from a girl who thrives on fangirling.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

 

 

Mini Book & Film Reviews – The Martian | Fight Club

Hi guys, I’m back from a mini-hiatus, I’ve been battling a writer’s block coupled with bouts of laziness and the realization that regular blogging is really hard work. I’m working on it, I swear. I’ve got a couple mini-reviews (book and film) for you today:

Book | The Martian

Genre(s)| Science Fiction / Humour

Date of Publication| February 11th, 2014

My Rating| 4 Stars

Cover:

18007564.jpg

Review: [Edited from my immediate GR review.]

Well, this is quite a book. I mean, it’s pulling fiction to the ends but I still immensely enjoyed reading it. Mark Watney is an amusing protagonist and he mercifully takes the time to walk us through all the sciencey-spacey stuff he does. I mean, a good lot still flies over my head but I had fun reading it. It’s not the most action packed novel, but it has enough suspense and twists to keep you hooked. The book was kinda unputdownable like that. Is that even a word? Probably not. This book had me laughing out loud at several points and I really liked the plot as well, because there was always something happening to keep me interested. Took me a few to get into it, but then I blew through it.

This book was part of my buddy read with Christina back in January. And I sped past while she took her time. We both read the books on Salonie (a mutual good friend)’s recommendation and god, it was SO WORTH IT.

For like a lot of the book I wondered if we were going to be introduced to aliens or Martians or whatever, didn’t happen but can you blame me? I’m a Whovian through and through.

Film Review – The Martian

I watched the film a couple days later and here’s what I thought:

I really liked the adaptation. They did cut some chunks but I guess that’s to be expected when you want to compress an entire novel into a couple hours. And that happy ending at the end was cute, I mean I didn’t need it, but I know that’s standard Hollywood formula for a good film. All in all, from the shit-crop-growing to the touching-interspace-hugs, I loved the film.

3.5 Stars for the movie, even though Matt Damon made a good Watney, he just didn’t have that sense of gallows humour going for him (I think my imagination was better there.) And for some reason, I didn’t even realize that was Damon until I checked IMDB for the same.

My advice: Read the book, and then watch the film. It’s a good experience.

* * *

Book | Fight Club

Genre(s)| Thriller / Classic / Mystery

Date of Publication| October 17th, 2005 [The edition I read.]

My Rating| 5 Stars

Cover:

5759

Review: [Edited from my immediate GR review.]

I read this as part of my Literature assignment (we had to pick two American Lit novels and analyse them) and as it happens, Christina also picked the same book for one of her books. This book is one of the few I’ve actually loved reading for my Lit course. And now, for my review after finishing the book:

OH MY GOD. THIS BOOK.

Until 60%, this was a strong 3.5 Stars, and then shit hit the fan with the plot twist I did not see coming at all. And then things happened, and now I want to re-read the book again. I’m downloading the film and I can’t wait to watch it this evening.

What a great book. I have so much to write about for my paper. This book. Everyone needs to read it once.

FIVE STRONG STARS AND A B FOR THE MASSIVE BOOK HANGOVER I’M GONNA BE FACING. FUCK.

“The first rule about Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club.”

Film Review: Fight Club

SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT:
The movie is pretty good, I like how they stuck to the major parts, although what was up with Brad Pitt dressing so flashily? Anyway, I went to check out some trivia and on the wiki page I found out that the narrator isn’t dead, but actually in a mental hospital. I’m quite the idiot to think it actually WAS heaven. I also had to go read up on why he was still standing when he’d shot himself in the head – only the cheek, as it turns out. Other than that, I think the casting for The Narrator and Marla was spot on. Jared Leto as Angelface was pretty cute too. I liked Bob as well, I relived his death. Sigh.

The book is better (as it often is) but yes, this is a movie one needs to watch.

“The second rule about fight club, is that you do not talk about fight club.” 

I immensely enjoyed reading and watching Fight Club, the twists really screwed with my head. I really liked analysing the book against the backdrop of the American Dream and oh my god, I learned so much. I am also wary of eating in restaurants now, so there’s that too.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

 

Blitz Tour: Furious – T.R. Ragan | Excerpt & Giveaway

Hey guys, today I’m a part of the Blitz Tour for Furious by T.R. Ragan and I bring an excerpt & a giveaway for you guys.

 Book | Furious

Genre(s)| Thriller / Suspense / Mystery

Date of Publication| March 22nd, 2016

Cover:

Furious Cover.jpg

Synopsis: 

Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance. Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy. The forces she’s up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there’s nothing they won’t do to turn Faith’s crusade into a suicide mission. But they’re about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who’s earned the nickname Furious.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | The Book Depository

EXCERPT:

The kids unlatched their seatbelts, jumped out of the car, and ran through the garage and into the house before the song ended. Faith sang along until the last verse, then sat there for a moment and soaked in a little peace and quiet.

Working full-time and raising two young kids tended to make moments like this rare.

Her cell phone buzzed. It was her sister. “Hey, what’sup?” Faith asked.

“I’ll tell you what’s up,” Jana said. “Steve is driving me nuts! I quit drinking, I stopped devouring cake and cookies, but now he won’t let me lift anything heavier than a milk carton. This baby is going to be born stressed out if he doesn’t chill.”

Faith smiled. Her sister was a drama queen. “What time will you be coming tomorrow?”

“Oh, my God, I forgot about the party.”

“You have got to be kidding me,” Faith said. “You were supposed to make six dozen cupcakes. Do you know how much I still have to do before—”

Her sister’s laughter cut her off midsentence.

Faith sighed when she realized Jana had been joking about not making the cupcakes. “That’s not funny, Jana.”

“You’re such a dweeb. How could I possibly forget to make six dozen cupcakes when you’ve reminded me every single day for the past two weeks?”

“I don’t know, but I have to go.”

“Wait—Have you told Craig the news?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“He’s been busy with work—and, you know, bills stacking up, new tires for the car, busted water heater last month. I haven’t found the right moment to tell him about baby number three.”

“He’ll be thrilled. Don’t wait too long, OK?”

“Don’t worry, I won’t.” Faith disconnected the call and was about to head off for the store when she remembered the grocery list hanging on the refrigerator. She left her purse in the car and climbed out. Weaving around toys and bikes, she headed through the garage door into the kitchen, where it looked as if a tornado had swept through the house. Kitchen drawers had been left open.

Papers and broken dishes were scattered across the floor.

Her heart raced. What is going on?

Just as she was about to call out her husband’s name, she stepped into the family room and saw Craig on the floor, bound and gagged.

A man she didn’t recognize hovered over him.

The scene before her made no sense.

Her heart pounded in her chest, making it difficult to breathe as her gaze darted around the room.

And then she spotted them.

Lara and Hudson sat together on the couch. Their hands had been duct-taped behind their backs. More duct tape covered their mouths. Another man stood close by, watching over them.

Time stopped as she tried to figure out what to do.

Craig always said they should buy a gun, but she didn’t want to keep one in the house. Eyes wide, she looked at the knife drawer. Grab a knife? Or run and alert the neighbors?

The two men exchanged a glance. Their eyes said it all.

She turned and ran.

If she could get inside the car and lock the doors, she could honk the horn or drive the car right through the wall and into the house if she had to. That might get one of the neighbors’ attention.

She flew through the back door leading to the garage and screamed at the top of her lungs before someone grabbed her from behind, twisted her around, and brought her face up close to his.

“Where is it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said as she struggled to get free.

He sneered. His eyes were bloodshot, filled with desperation.

He smelled of stale tobacco. Strong arms held her in place. She thought of every show she’d ever seen on getting away from an assailant, but fighting him was useless. “Let us go!” she cried.

He shook her hard enough to make her teeth rattle.

“You have five seconds to tell me where it is!”

This time when she screamed, she dug her heel into his foot and tried to twist out of his grasp.

He slammed her to the ground. Her head hit the cement floor, and her world turned black.

-Text Copyright © Theresa Ragan, Published by Thomas and Mercer-

EARLY PRAISE:

“Faith McMann, heroine of this gripping novel, is a Sacramento schoolteacher, wife, and mother who comes home just in time to witness her husband’s throat getting cut and her two children hauled away. The attempt on her life is botched—the killers were in a hurry—and as she recovers, she’s convinced the police are brushing her off. So she whacks a detective with his computer keyboard and gets sentenced to anger management sessions. If this were a cookie-cutter thriller, the male hero would be tracking the killers with an automatic weapon and maybe a major babe beside him. But our hero is smarter than that, and her revenge is a product of relationships, not bullets. In classes, she meets other victims as angry as she is, and, together, in fine scenes of action and suspense, they seek explanations and vengeance as well as the children’s rescue, which takes them into a slimy world of human trafficking. Learn here about “lot lizards” and “kiddie strolls” on the way to a wild finale. Suspenseful and smart, in equal measure.” —Don Crinklaw, Booklist

“Searing…Readers with strong stomachs will eagerly await the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

AUTHOR BIO:

T.R.Ragan.JPG

T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. Her exciting Lizzy Gardner series: Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies, has received tremendous praise. In August 2015 Evil Never Dies hit #7 on the Wall Street Journal Bestselling List. Since publishing in 2011, she has sold over two million books and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, PC Magazine, Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly. Theresa grew up in a family of five girls in Lafayette, California. An avid traveler, her wanderings have carried her to Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Thailand, and Nepal, where she narrowly survived being chased by a killer elephant. Before devoting herself to writing fiction, she worked as a legal secretary for a large corporation. Theresa and her husband Joe have four children and live in Sacramento, California. FURIOUS, the first book in her most recent Faith McMann series will be released March 22, 2016, followed by OUTRAGE and WRATH.

GIVEAWAY:

Five Copies of FURIOUS – US ONLY

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

And that’s it for today guys, I know haven’t posted in a while, I apologize, exams have been going on and I’ve been reading and I’ve finished The Lunar Chronicles and I’ll have a full series review up soon!

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

Symptoms of Being Human – Jeff Garvin | 3.5 Stars | SST Review

Book | Symptoms of Being Human

Genre(s)| Young Adult / Contemporary / Realistic Fiction

Date of Publication| February 2nd, 2016

My Rating | 3.5 Stars

Cover:

22692740

Review:

Book(s) – Symptoms of Being Human

Feels– For the problems the LGBTQ+ community goes through.

Tears – None

-I received a free e-ARC of this book from Edelweiss but this did not affect the review in any way-

Hey guys,

Back in October, I had requested Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin as my first ARC from Edelweiss, and amazingly, they approved my request. I read the book early in Feb, right around the time it released (goddamn exams for screwing with my schedules) and now this review is a part of the Sunday Street Team for Symptoms of Being Human.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, and a cause to believe in— or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

This is a very good, diverse, representative novel. In fact, this is one of the first 2016 reads that has made me think over things I had assumed to be fact and understand that there are several layers to every person.

SOBH is told through Riley’s perspective – Riley is a high school student and a genderfluid blogger. Riley hasn’t come out to her parents yet, or to anyone other than her therapist. A secret blog is started as a means of expression, which is a huge hit among the LGBTQ+ community. As a character, Riley is fairly complex and kept me interested in the life affairs throughout the novel.

Positives:

The novel deals with and brings to the forefront a very good representation of genderfluidity. While I’d heard of the term before, this was the first novel I picked up with an LGBTQ+ character as a protagonist, which is also a bildungsroman of sorts. I really enjoyed learning about the several types of gender identities, the way people choose to express their identities and the sheer number of sacrifices they have to make to feel at home with who they are. I have a much better understanding of genderfluidity and how it shapes an individual, much like my own gender identity.

The book is written every well – the words have been carefully chosen and beautifully constructed into sentences. There were some meaningful sentences I really thought over. One important factor of the book is how Garvin does not use any pronouns in the novel for Riley. Even as I write this review, I’m struggling not to use ‘she’ for Riley because of something that caught my attention in the novel, which means writing a full length novel without any gender pronouns, from the protagonist or from outsiders is quite an impressive feat.

Where the writing is concerned, this book is pretty damn good. It manages to convey the emotions Riley feels, the conflict between acceptance and rejection and there are some pretty neat scenes in the book that will open your eyes to the reality of the intolerant world that we live in.

Negatives:

While there are several positives, the book also contains several flaws. The non-use of pronouns, for instance, is definitely impressive, it is also confusing. I did not know which pronoun to employ for Riley and I can’t keep writing the name over and over again, which is very cumbersome to say the least. The use and the dictation of proper pronouns, of ones Riley wanted to be used with respect to (can’t use a pronoun see?) Riley’s identity should’ve been mentioned.

Riley as a character was simply too hard for me to connect to – that was another major problem I faced while reading the novel. I kept wondering why Riley didn’t come out to the parents, because they honestly seemed like nice people to me. And I get that it takes time for people to adjust to the idea, because hell, it took me a while to get a hang of the concept. I found Riley to simply make mountains out of molehills?

I can’t go into deeper detail, because that may giveaway crucial spoilers, but in my opinion, simply being honest with her parents earlier would have done the trick. It would’ve taken time, sure, but every big change does. Genderfluidity is a relatively new concept and it does take time to understand.

Controversially, I also think Riley invited trouble sometimes. I don’t know how to explain this, because this is a deeply personal opinion, but I think Riley behaved like a spoilt brat a lot of time and did judge everyone around as being bigots & as people who won’t ever understand –they weren’t even given the chance.

As for the blog, it was informative as hell, which also made it a bit of an info-dump. As I said earlier, I wanted to read about Riley, to see the character develop – only what I got was a blog that told me exactly how I should view genderfluditiy which I found very hypocritical. I was being asked to accept something without question, and when someone did dare to ask a question, they were given a public sarcastic smack down. To be honest, I had that question myself.

Conclusion:

Symptoms of Being Human is a very diverse novel, with bold characters like Bec & Solo, and occasionally Riley too. It educates you about genderfluidity. It is a brilliant representation of the LGBTQ+ community and how badly they can be treated in the society that we live in. If you are into books that kinda shake your world around (but in a good way) and expose you to things you haven’t thought of before, then this is book for you. But if you dislike obstinate characters, then may be try it out before you go all the way.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.