Thursday, October 16, 2014

Think out Loud #13

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

This weeks Think out Loud by ClarA RowlKin

This is my first attempt at this, so be gentle ;)

I went on my first trip out of the country! I’d love to tell you a little about it. I went to Curaçao with my parents and boyfriend and his cousin in the first week of October. We had to check in at 3 am, so I was pretty sleepy. I didn’t really explore the airport either.

Finally at 5 something a.m we boarded the plane. It took a while before we took off, but it felt so strange. I was upset I didn’t get to experience this with my boyfriend next to me since it was our first time in an airplane. I slept for most of the plane ride. We stopped in Trinidad for 45 minutes, after which we directly flew to Curaçao.

We were picked up by the lady at whose apartment building we were staying at. She was very nice and told us a little about the island on the drive. The apartment was smaller than I expected, but it had a pool and a beautiful patio, so I didn’t really mind. Later I realized that the house we were staying had a nameplate in the front that said: “Fam. Gerritsen”. How awesome is that!

I felt very itchy that day, so I showered. After which I sat on the bed and looked at myself. I saw red spots everywhere! I showed my boyfriend and my mother. She thought and we hoped it was a rash caused by the jacket I was wearing, but it was chikungunya. So I was sick and in pain the first 4 days of my vacation, which sucked.
But I got to swim in the sea and go to most of the beaches. I also loved swimming in the pool at the apartment. I got to drink a lot of ice tea and had Starbucks coffee and bubble tea for the first time. Despite my sickness I enjoyed my vacation. I did look for bookstores, but I didn't find one in the city. Another reason to visit the island again. I really wanted to buy a book to read in the plane, but since I didn't find a bookstore I just bought a magazine and puzzle book.

We stayed for 7 days, but I didn't feel like leaving yet. It was so amazing. At the airport, to kill time, we browsed in the shops. They sold books, but they were so expensive. My boyfriend called me to come to the book rack he was standing by. From afar I saw The Fault in Our Stars, so I quickly walked over. I picked up the book and it was A HARD COVER COPY!! But my boyfriend told me to close my eyes. I did and he put a book in my hand. That book was……….  THE CASUAL VACANCY by the one and only J.K. Rowling. And of course I bought it!
I literally almost cried. It was a bittersweet day.. sigh.. If my little blogger bestie has the time, she’ll write a review. After I’ve read it of course.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.GOODREADS

I got this book in a trade. It's not the kind of book I'd buy, but since I had it I decided to read it. It wasn't what I expected. I suppose seeing as I had watched some of the movie; I expected some Cameron Diaz-like drama. The book isn't anything like that IMO.

The book has more story to it, more structure. There are flashbacks; different POVs and each other part starts off with a quote about fire. I absolutely loved that each part started this way which fits with the story because Brian is a  firefighter and Jess is an arsonist (Arson is bad!). I suppose fire is kind of  a metaphor in the story;  Anna is named after a star and stars burn;  Anna was a light; she meant hope for Kate and knew how to break the tension in the house. In the end she does save her's will burn itself out; even without your help.

It takes some time to get into the multiple POVs, but, once you have, the story reads pretty well. There are POVs from everybody in the family, the lawyer and Julia; in the end there's one chapter from Kate. All the POVs are centered around one event/theme i.e Kate. Jesse's POV, Campell's and Julia's surprised me because I didn't really think they needed to have one. Jesse's is important, because he showcases what happens to other family members when somebody in the family has cancer or is seriously sick. 

Jesse was my favorite character, unfortunately we didn't get to see the real Jesse in the movies. Jesse in the book is an arsonist, he goes around abandoned buildings and sets them on fire. He then waits for his dad ( a firefighter) to come put them out. Jesse also exhibits self-destructive behavior at a young age. He can't save his sister because they don't match genetically, so he reasons if he can't heal he should destroy. It sucks that they watered down his character in the movies.

Campbell is the lawyer that takes on Anna's case; he's a funny guy with a secret. I was amused by how he always came up with something ridiculous when people asked him what his service dog was for. Then there's Julia ( a guardian appointed to Anna ); who happens to be Campell'high school girlfriend. This leads to a romantic sub-plot I didn't really care for or thought was necessary. It eventually grows on you though, but I could have done without it.

The ending; I definitely did not see that coming. Although I don't mind giving away spoilers. I'll refrain from sharing the ending here. How this story ends is an important part of the story. It's unexpected and it's also the one thing that gives the story it's climax.  


Monday, October 6, 2014

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Just when you thought doomsday was over...

Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.

As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.

The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her.

But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.

Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?YOU DON'T KNOW STYXX


If you've followed Kenyon's facebook page and devoured the excerpts and the Styxx related goodies then like me, you've been dying to read this book!...for the bromance!

Sadly it doesn't exceed my expectations, if anything Acheron's book was better. This only by comparison: Styxx's book starts from the beginning like Acheron's . The same beginning and the same story, only now from Styxx's point of view. It pretty much feels like 2/3 of the book is repetition, because everything that happens has already happened in previous books and the other 1/3 of the book with the new stuff is very little and felt rushed.

The writing is at times too detailed and corny! So damn corny! I suppose this is just a pet peeve  of mine.."no, honey"...."it'll be fine darling"...."you're amazing"...

Beth and Styxx, they both lie about who they are when they meet. They're fated to love each other. Bethany's awesome I guess, she's a goddess, a warrior. Has a bad ass father. Then she's all sweet and lovey dovey with styxx. It felt off at times...again this might also just be a pet peeve.

Oh and not to mention the son they "lost". Turns out Apollymi didn't kill their son (Styxx & Beth's).. He's alive....and it's Urian!! The revelation was freaking awkward....most of the emotional scenes at the end just felt awkward.

There are some funny bantering scenes and overly philosophical ones. And (I guess for me) some painfully cute scenes between Styxx and Beth.
Styxx gets Beth a dog: first this just annoys me because the dog adds to this "perfect'-ish lovey dovey picture..but the dog also added some comedy to things.

In the end, Styxx shows us the other side of the story. Now we have the whole picture of what happened to Acheron and Styxx. I found this to be discomforting, because I like Acheron; he's the leader of the dark-hunters and yet he made this major mistake. I get the message, emotions cloud judgement but..this is Ash we're talking about.

The book isn't without its surprises or question marks.
Styxx is a freaking Chthonian! A  godkiller....and he kills Archon.
Another thing that has me very piqued: if Archon  isn't Ash's dad..then who is?.....I'm thinking maybe Savitar? If it is...then there's going to be some more awkward scenes coming.

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