Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: The Way We Fall

The Way We Fall
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up this books because it was recommended along some dystopian novels I've been reading and it was getting a lot of attention at the Goodreads portal. Also, the author lives in my same city, and I do like supporting local authors and enjoy references to things and places I'm familiar with.

However, I was not expecting this story at all. For some reason it ended up being more realistic than I imagined. Having said that, I want to point out that I am a sucker for books, movies and pop culture references that touch upon viruses, epidemics and large scale contagion. (If it ends up with zombies, better- not the case in this book though). And this book delivers smoothly-I'm still hoping\dreaming about zombies- as it describes what happens to a teenage girl in an island that is affected by a deadly unknown virus.
I felt like this book was a mixture beetween the H1N1 spread + Movies: Contagion and Outbreak and Anne Frank's letters. These all blend in Kaelyn's POV as she writes down 3 months of how life changed with the spread of the deadly infection.
The bottom line: the story is entertaining, but the main character annoys me. Kaelyn doesn't feel real to me. Her head is too simplistic, and maybe she feels way much more mature, non-rebellious goody-good for a regular teenager who is living quite of a hellish experience. If it was me in that situation I would be meaner, more flawed and less idealized. Life is not that simple. One thing that I did like about her was her determination. This is a good quality to highlight when faced by challenging situation.

So I recommend it for whoever wants a bit of a paranormal/dystopian/zombie break, but be warned that the cliffhanger at the end is frustrating! And yes, I'll be reading the next one just to find out what happens with those still alive.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Toronto Public Library- open letter @torontolibrary

Dear Library (and library employees):

I support your legal strike, but I miss you :(
I know this might sound selfish, but my reading habits are a bit disrupted because of you. I'm a proud bookworm who loves devouring +2 books a week. It's been a whole week without you (feels longer) and I'm soon to be finishing reading my last checked out items.

Wishing that a settlement can be achieved soon. If there is anything I can do to expedite or help in this, please, let me know!

Lina -frequent library patron.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: The Host

The Host
The Host by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like books that question human behavior, asking answers about life, death and the ethics behind any choice that characters encounter.

This is a book that touches these dilemmas in a very good way. We find ourselves immersed in an alien entity's viewpoint of humanity as experienced as an alien host (Wanderer)in a foreign human body (Melanie). It is set in a world in which humans are no longer themselves. They are just bodies who host alien souls. But Melanie still is there and Wanderer has to make choices, humans - alien ones :)

I was debating internally for a long time to read this book or not. I was a bit biased since knowing it was from S. Meyer and I didn't want to visit Bella or Edward in any way possible. I was wrong! This book has nothing to do with that other world Meyer created. I felt it was much more richer and complex than I expected . The best part it was that it stands alone, no sequel necessary without crazy cliffhangers at the end. So yes, I should have read this one earlier. And it did fulfilled and surprised my curiosity.
It reads fluidly and keeps you glued in many ways. I think it will be one of those stories that will definitely linger in my head for some time. What a memorable (not) little sci-fi novel with aliens, cryogenic capsules and abductions.

On a side note, How appropriate it is that the day I finish the book the first trailer for the 2013 movie appears: The Host Trailer

Another good book gone to Hollywood! It will be wonderful

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh, Hi Spring. Nice to see you!

I'm ready for you! Sprouting seeds - I consider this my container garden- and Enjoying lovely walks under this weather.

An enjoyable visit to Mars

Yes, I was there for a bit and stayed for more than two hours. It was beautiful. A dry, sandy, sunny desert full of Martians and gravity games. It was called Barsoom.

Yes, it was also filled with astounding visual sceneries, conflicts among Martians, and one lovely story to tell.

My visit was the result of sitting at a Theater to watch 'John Carter'.
If you want to enjoy a fun and entertaining time in Mars, like I have, go and watch it.
I promise that you'll have a nice voyage!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Enclave

Enclave (Razorland, #1)Enclave by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit I didn't enjoy too much my first read of Enclave. Perhaps the moment when I was reading it I had gone through a few too many dystopian/zombies/post-apocalyptic books in a row so I didn't fully grasped the beauty of what Ms Aguirre created. Oh boy was I so wrong! I received a copy of Enclave from Ann after an awesome twitter contest and I gave it a second chance before I started with Outpost, thus my original 2 star review was dramatically changed ;)

im so cool photo imsocool_zps90e9b626.gif 
I'm so cool I can change my mind

Original review:
Blah. It was okay.
But it took me quite a while to finish it. It dragged and dragged. I started reading it as an e-book, and ended up taking it from the library. I wanted to see if actual print made the difference. And it did, yay! Finished - now I can gently pat myself in the back; you did it Lina-

This is a book about a post- apocalyptic - zombie infested world. People who live in subway tunnels in cities underground and their fight for survival.

Some parts from this story reminded me of an exercise my Intro to Archaeology prof assigned. She asked us to write an essay describing what will archaeologist find in our home-city in 500 years, if it got completely preserved and covered in sand, mud, something that will keep it 'frozen in time'. What will they interpret of the artifacts. What lifestyle will they imagine for the people who created and used the artifacts. Ultimately, what would you think of the past without any previous knowledge or background. The only context is the present.
And with this mind-set, this book makes creative attempts to show us this future and how the characters find themselves in situations of (re) discovery of a previous society (our current one).
But the book itself is not fun to read. The main characters lack any sense of charisma. I found myself more interested in the zombies -and actually rooting for them every time they made an appearance-, than in the humans.

At this point I don't know if I will be interested to read the sequels.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Grimspace

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is a quirky Space Opera full of: action, +20 characters, chasing scenes, spaceships, baby aliens and lots of time explaining what's in our kick-ass female main character: Sirantha Jax's brain. Don't be fooled by a name that sounds like cough medicine. Jax does grow into you.

My main issue is that I still have no concise idea of WTF is Grimspace and that oddly genetic thing that allows Jax to access it. These and un-solved or at least hint/explain occurrences that pile up in this book. I know that I might be expecting too much of a chick-lit space opera, but Grimspace its the name of the book! At least you can be more explicit about certain hard to describe more - reader wont get- Grimspace jumps. It's scientific? metaphysical? metaphorical?

What is the deal with invoking Mary every paragraph or so? I'm confused: Is it the same Mary I know about, as in the mother of Jesus for Christianity? It does sounds like it and for me it echoed in wrong places for the context of the book. Yes, I know is my first non-YA in a while and it takes time for my brain to shift, but I feel that some stuff deserved more meat to chew upon.

On a brighter side, there are some very intense scenes and lots of drama that will make you want to read more if you are into lit chick literature.

In the aftermath, I recommend it for a light read. I am actually planning to read book #2 Wanderlust sometime in the non-immediate future (and not only because I really like this Megadeth song)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No added Zombies

Good to know that Zombies are not in the ingredients of Ollie's food!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lunch break!

Time to enjoy yummy sushi+ book

Review: Wake

Wake by Lisa McMann

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a nice quick light read. I actually enjoyed a lot the creative way the story is told. The book is entirely in third person-present tense, with interesting time/day details.

This is the story of a girl who has the ability to slip in other people's dreams. I thought it was quite original and fresh.

is this real photo tumblr_md4tqhhn9z1qbtvygo1_500_zps08d9f70a.gif
(is this a dream?)

 I want to know what happens to her in the sequel, 'Fade' :)

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

My commute

And this is a rare sighting: Yonge/Bloor stn EMPTY!

Review: Life Sucks

Life Sucks
Life Sucks by Jessica Abel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a quick funny read. Of course it's a joke, and a very simple critique of bad bosses and dead end jobs, with the best theme ever: Vampires! Yes, the clerk at the midnight shift of a strip mall convenience store is a sad, unaccomplished, underestimated, undervalued vampire employee.

There were some few parts where I laughed out loud.

I recommended it for a quick light fun read :)

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Hi lovely day!

The view outside is gorgeous and so is the weather 14C. I can stop complaining now about my missing hour of daylight savings :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zombies are taking over

Our Friday night so far

Books I love

A couple of hours after I finish a great book I received this e-mail :) yay, for great reads.
- The odds are in my favour!

Review: Finnikin of the Rock

Finnikin of the Rock
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I savoured every single word of this book. Melina Marchetta's way with words has struck again on the fine core of my heart-brain. I love fantasy, and this is one of the most realistic fantasy written books I've read. It's taking a well deserved place in my favourite fantasy bookshelf next to almighty Tolkien. Yeah, I'm that impressed.

This story is set in a land called Skuldendore and describes the lives of those who survived the aftermath of a terrible curse in one of its kingdoms Lumatere. 10 years have passed since Lumatereans were forced to exile as a result from the slaughter of their king and a dark cloud that enclosed the realm. We travel this land alongside Finnikin of the Rock, the son of Trevanion- whom is the captain of the Guard-. Finn is trying to help the exiles scattered in camps throughout Skuldendore. This book starts with a journey where he is summoned by a novice Evanjalin. 

I'm familiar and have worked a lot with human rights issues and displaced communities; and even though this is a fantasy novel, Finnikin of the Rock touches many delicate situations communities face when loss, threats for their life, survival and impotence finds them. You will encounter the need for solidarity, which is very relevant for our everyday life... as you may imagine, humanity and its meanings bleed from these pages!

This is just a brief description of the setting, spoiler free, since Finnikin's world is so rich and complex, I see myself re-reading it over and over again.

I pre-ordered last night the sequel: Froi of the Exiles -to be published March 13- **giddy dance**

my precious photo mypreciouss_zpsbbcb74e2.gif

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