Saturday, March 14

[Review] Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Original Title: Attachments
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Release Date: April 14th, 2011
Finished Date: March 6th, 2015
Pages: 323
Read in: English

Synopsis
"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?

Source: GoodReads


Final Rating: ★★.5

I'm going to be honest - up until half the book I wasn't very impressed. Beth and Jennifer were hilarious, but I wasn't convinced with Lincoln. It was hard for me to start seeing him as more than a creep who proof-reads other people's e-mail. Once I got over that, it was actually like experiencing a Nora Ephron movie in book form - think You've Got Mail, but creepier.

«Falling... was he falling? Or was he just bored?»
I will also admit that, since I don't even know what Dungeons & Dragons is, there might have been little things that I didn't notice and/or couldn't interpret correctly.
Anyway, it was nice, but not really my thing. Which is a shame, because I actually like Rainbow Rowell's writing a lot.
Give it a try, you might like it.
«"I think I missed my (...) get-a-life window. I think I was supposed to figure all this stuff out somewhere between twenty-two and twenty-six, and now it's to late.»


The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

Monday, March 9

[Review] The Bronze Horseman - Paullina Simons

Author: Paullina Simons
Original title: The Bronze Horseman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: Januray 1st, 1997
Finished date: February 23rd, 2015
Pages: 912
Read in: English

Synopsis
The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.
Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.
Source: GoodReads

Final Rating: ★★★
«“I found my true love on Ulitsa Saltykov-Schedrin, while I sat on a bench eating ice cream.

You didn’t find me. You weren’t even looking for me. I found you.
Long pause. “Alexander, were you… looking for me?
All my life.”»
~~~~~
«Alexander was the one who crossed the street and said, I’m yours.»

I read this over a period of 8 days. I can tell you right away that this was not due to my not liking the story. It was because unfortunately, I do not read for a living, and I couldn't stretch the hours on my days enough to read 900 pages non-stop.

In The Bronze Horseman we follow Tatiana, a young and incredibly na├»ve Russian girl through the beginning and then the development of World War II.
«The Russians were unparalleled in their suffering, the English in their reserve, the Americans in their love of life, the Italians in their love of Christ, and the French in their hope of love.»

This was her idea of the different nations in the beginning of the book. I have seldom seen such a huge character development in a book. Tatiana starts out as a weakling and ends up as a strong and remarkable woman.

It is written beautifully. I felt cold when she felt cold, I felt hungry when she was hungry. And I felt the overwhelming despair of not being able to do anything about it.
Yes, a major part of this book portrays a love-triangle. But this is the kind of love-triangle I don’t mind reading about. One that is well-written. One that is not the whole plot.
Throughout the book, we see very clearly the interaction between Tatiana and Alexander evolve with and because of war. I loved their first moments together, sweet short moments in which innocence was still present. 

In America we have a custom. When you’re given presents for your birthday, you’re supposed to open them and say thank you.

Tatiana nervously looked down at the present. “Thank you.” Gifts were not something she was used to. Wrapped gifts? Unheard of, even when they came wrapped only in plain brown paper.
“No. Open first. Then say thank you.”
She smiled. “What do I do? Do I take the paper off?”
“Yes. You tear it off.”
“And then what?”
“And then you throw it away.”
“The whole present or just the paper?”
Slowly he said, “Just the paper.”
“But you wrapped it so nicely. Why would I throw it away?”
“It’s just paper.”
“If it’s just paper, why did you wrap it?”
“Will you please open my present?” said Alexander.

The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

Thursday, March 5

[Review] Ruby Red - Kerstin Gier

Author: Kerstin Gier
Original title: Rubinrot
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release date: May 10th 2011 (original: January 6th 2009)
Finished date: March 3rd 2015
Pages: 336
Read in: English

Synopsis
Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for travelling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveller from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
Source: GoodReads

Final Rating: ★★★
Ruby Red was a really nice surprise. I have always been fascinated by the concept of time-travelling, but I had never read a book in which it was the main issue. This book has it all - history, science-fiction, witty and funny dialogue, intriguing characters and even a little bit of fantasy.
I was a tiny bit disappointed that this was such a small book. It felt a little like an introduction to the actual story. When I was so excited I couldn't stop reading, it ended. I liked it very much, but I didn't feel like I was satisfied by the end. I definitely have to get my hands on the next instalments. 
I recommend this one if you are looking for a short, fun and intriguing read or if you also are interested in the subject of time-travel.

The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

Tuesday, March 3

[Review] Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Original Title: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 23th, 2005
Finished Date: March 1st, 2015
Pages: 183
Read in: English

Synopsis
It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who's just walked in to his band's show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City--and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date. 
This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be--and where the next great band is playing. 
Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you'll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.
Source: GoodReads

Final Rating: ★★★

Sunday, March 1

Welcome

All right. I finally decided to do this.
I'll tell you right away - if you haven't figured it out by now due to the wonderful design here displayed - that I am a blog virgin. So bear with me, please. I will be learning as I go.
I've been keeping track of my reading life on GoodReads so far, and even though I've had the idea of creating a book blog before, I never did. And that was simply because I have no idea what I'm doing.
I love talking to other people about the books I've read, and I find that the Internet is a wonderful place to do so. I can discuss the books I've read with people who agree with me - we usually have similar tastes - and with those who don't. These people, I've found, are those who keep me on my toes. The ones who always offer me a fresh perspective on something I had taken as one-sided. 
Anyway, I'm rambling. I have some reviews posted already on my GoodReads account and I may be uploading those to the blog, but if by chance one of the books I've read does not have one, please feel free to ask for it.
Also, I'm always open to suggestions on what I should be reading next.
As you might have noticed by now, I'm not a native speaker, and am therefore prone to make mistakes when writing. I apologise in advance for that.


Love,
Francisca.

You can find me at:
https://www.goodreads.com/chicaa