Monday, December 31, 2012

What the year brought


Dear 2012,

You gave me plenty to enjoy:

-185 books read (35 books more than I planned)
- Movies I had (not too patiently) waited to see:
Including its amazing soundtrack



- Fully enjoyed the Toronto International Film Festival with my mom & dad


- Did my share of supporting human rights with Amnesty International's campaigns.

- Gave Twitter a chance (and it made me glad).

- Had the unique opportunity to witness curious Oliver grow up and learn to talk, walk and explore. Better yet, that his lovely parents whom I adore, will add +1 to the fam. And on these lines, happy for the news that Martina will be welcomed next year to Fede's family.

-  Had a new tattoo, died my hair, saw some dear friends (catched up with some more... but not enough, I know), played and lost a few rounds of games with friends, met Deborah Harkness and went to the Art Gallery of Ontario.










- And above all, I had the best of times enjoying every single day with my best friend & partner in life:



Dear 2013, I hope you'll be as spectacular as the previous. 

Lots of love for everyone,

Lina

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Beautiful Disaster


Beautiful Disaster
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Oh Woohaaaaa
This was one of those books that I couldn't put down!! But it gave me many mixed feelings.... a little bit more depth of main characters would have been nice. Though I have pulled a all too familiar 'all nighter' with this one :P I'll have to gather my thoughts and come back later.
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I am conflicted. On one hand I could not stop reading this book, however this is not a prime example of its literature awesomeness... specially since this also happened with the 50 dreadful Shades one *shhh don't tell*
However, this book left me a with sour taste. But really, sometimes I crave lemons on a cold day! Ha ! So this is truly ambiguous. I kind of sort of feel like undecided about this one.
Beautiful Disaster is written from Abby's POV. She is a Easter University student who moved from Kansas to start with a clean slate. She purposely chose a place where she can be a different person, and her past/family won't interfere. She meets Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox, a student who's way of earning extra money is through an underground fighting/betting ring called the Circle. He is a 'bad boy' in all its stereotypical glory: sleeps around without any strings attached, has little temper, is full of tattoos, smokes, drinks like crazy and becomes madly obsessed with Abby. He is majoring in Criminal Justice for real?, and apparently is a very smart guy. However, his actions are not very consequent with his choice of study... But.....whatever, it's all good in writing... Right?
Now, insert every imaginable drama+breakup+romantic plot you can think about + a couple of trips to Vegas, and voila! This is the Beautiful Disaster.
I felt that the characters were not very 'realistic' and their motivations were not very clear. Beyond the explanations of Travis and Abby's family and how they families were, it sounds a bit overstretched?
Abby's lack of agency is truly annoying and Travis' aggressiveness, protectiveness, jealousy, childish behaviour and obsession with Abby - AKA Pidgeon- got under my skin.
But again: I could not STOP for the life of me reading this addicting book. It's 416 pages went through very quickly and I felt like a zombie afterwards.
I have read a few contemporary fiction YA books with complicated 'tortured' characters. Bad boys and Bad girls. Full of issues and family drama:
Easy, Pushing the Limits and On the Jellicoe Road. I can imagine some good scenarios that could have been better described. For example the whole Parker issue was very unclear. Her relationship with her dad. He just shows up and briefly leaves a whole mess. What happened with her mother. What was her upbringing... I felt like there was much more substance to write about beyond this strange tortured relationship.
Maybe I had higher expectations about this book after reading these previous ones. Or perhaps I was just in another mind frame, by being on an incredible reading spree where each book I'm reading is simply amazing.
As a fellow Goodreader (Kerry) points out, this is 'a tale of toxic co-dependency.' And I am convinced that this novel is as toxic as the relationship it describes, mischievously making me an addict with each turn of the page.



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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instead of browsing I should be reading

Is it random that I like the down page illustration of Goodreads as much as I love the actual site?

Since Alice looks so peaceful reading I should be doing the same :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

On how I get easily entertained with a book series

A year and a month ago I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, and I loved it. It's as eerie and mysterious as its book cover. I sat down and in 2 days I finished this book. I was very happy to know that this is a trilogy, so I did assume many unanswered questions will be present. Oh boy...I was blissfully assuming just some lingering plot lines unresolved. And I was happily disappointed! This book was better than I expected and more than I though I wanted. So I sat down today with book #2 The Evolution of Mara Dyer and all of a sudden I just had the strongest necessity to go back and re-read the first one. Not because I didn't remember... No no because I wanted to set myself up in that amazing mood!
Oh this was great! The best re-read ever! I have happily finished reading book #1 in less than 4 hours and now I'm ready for The Evolution!
Ahhhhh the joys of reading :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: Outpost


Outpost
Outpost by Ann Aguirre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



After leaving the city, and all the nasty encounters with flesh eating creatures (Freaks), Deuce, Fade, Tegan and Stalker found Salvation. A town of survivors who maintain life in the most pristine calm way favouriting 'old ways' where gender roles are very specific. Deuce at 15 years old, was already considered an adult at the Enclave, now she must abide by different age expectations, a challenge she has to endure. Yeah, welcome to the apocalypse! Freaks -or Muties- are still roaming close by and survival instincts are ever present in the life of Deuce.
Things are getting complicated for the dwellers of this settlement as the planting season approaches. Deuce wants to understand what makes her fellow Gotham companions behave different among her, while trying to 'fit in' her own way in Salvation.
This second instalment of the Razorland trilogy was brilliant!
Ann Aguirre pleasantly surprised me again. She nailed it! 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. That way I had it fresh. And it was perfect. I got to enjoy Deuce more. Her strengths, weakness, how everything that happened changed her in what we see now in Outpost. We learn about love, family, loyalty and hope. The book's mood is notoriously different from the despair we read in Enclave, but still as gritty and action paced. Don't expect our beloved Huntress to go all soft and mushy all of a sudden. She will still wield her knifes and kick-ass skills many many times, to defend herself and those who she cares.
It's a fun fun ride and I hope you join us.

And if this does not convince you, please check the creepy fingers on top of the back cover's barcode.




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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Funny Books I Read

I've been so focused reading so many books lately + work + family stuff + events that I've had no time to post anything new. As such, this is just a sweet treat from a book series that makes me laugh out loud: Endlessly by Kiersten White.
Oh the funny things Evie thinks!!
You can imagine her personality just from her anti-Crocs philosophy :)
Happy last days of 2012 reads!