Attachments

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Attachments

“”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 . . . ?”

-Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8909152-attachments)

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Group for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was a light and entertaining read, which I thought was better than Fangirl (I have not read Eleanor and Park, so I can’t make any comparisons). This was also a book that got me thinking about privacy in the work environment and misuse of company e-mail addresses.

At first, what Lincoln did, wasn’t really bothersome. It was his job, after all. But when he starts reading Jennifer and Beth’s email exchange for his own distraction rather than to monitor their content, then it got a bit creepy, in my opinion. While I felt it was wrong of Lincoln to do that, I also thought it wrong of both Jennifer and Beth to use their company e-mails to exchange messages that were absolutely private. I mean, one thing is to set up a lunch with coworkers; another is to discuss their love lives and private fears and dreams using their company e-mails.

I also thought that the ending was a bit rushed. Lincoln and Beth only actually meet at the end of the book and the whole stalker-ish situation was solved too easily in my opinion. The two of them acted wrongly, in my opinion, but I would hold a grudge for a little while anyway.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)

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Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

“For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy…

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17926775-stolen-songbird?from_search=true)

I’d like to thank Angry Robot Ltd and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I picked this book up to read, I was a bit hesitant, as I was having a streak of bad books, when I couldn’t care less about what happened to the characters. Fortunately, Stolen Songbird came to break this streak.

This is an action-packed book, with the action starting at the very beginning, when Cécile is kidnapped, right to the very end when… Wait, I’m not spoiling it! Cécile was a strong character in my opinion, as she handled quite well what was thrown her way. I could relate to her, I could care about her, and I could root for her, feelings I had sorely missed in the books I read before this one.

While my sympathy for Cécile was immediate, Tristan had to work a bit harder for it. At first, he came across as a very conceited character, full of himself. Then, as the story unfolded, I began to understand his reasons and his goals, and Tristan became a likeable character.

Because there is no insta-love here (yay for that!), the romance between them can be incredibly frustrating. There were scenes where all I wanted to do was lock them in a room and only let them out when they finally admitted their love for each other. It was a good type of frustration, though. While we, the readers, know that the main couple is in love, they don’t know yet, so we have to wait until they find that out.

The world building was also well done, in my opinion. I found the concept to be both original and engaging, and I also really enjoyed the writing style. To be honest, there were only two things I didn’t like in this book. 1.) Sometimes, it felt like the arguments between Cécile and Tristan were just too frequent. 2.) There is no word yet on the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2)

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Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2)

“Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be…kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.”

-Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8581936-supernaturally)

In this sequel to Paranormalcy, Evie is trying to adapt to a regular life and to spending less time with Lend, as he’s gone to college now. Because of this, her routine at the beginning of the book was a bit boring. But the pace picked up, and then Evie was trying to juggle her normal life and her exciting life.

This book also raised several questions that were not answered in it. I’m not going to spoil anything, but those questions really bugged me, and I hope they are answered in the next book. The highest point of the book was Steve’s special appearance (sorry, that was a bit spoilery), which I absolutely loved.

As for plot development, some of it was really predictable, but as a whole, it was still really entertaining. The pace was nice, and there were several funny lines (‘scared bleepless’ comes to mind). As for Evie, I didn’t really agree with several of her decisions, especially regarding her attempt at having a normal life. It was a bit sad to see how those decisions played out (not because of Evie, but because of the other characters involved).

Overall, it was a very nice read, and I’ll definitely be finishing this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

 

“Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11235712-cinder)

I’m not overly fond of fairy tales retellings. Because of this, I was not exactly interested in reading Cinder. However, after it was finally chosen as the book of the month in the Goodreads group I participate in, after months in the running, I decided to give in to the hype. And, this time, I have to admit that the hype was right.

In case the title hasn’t made it obvious, Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella. All the basic elements are in there, the evil stepmother, the rejected orphan. There is, however, a major difference from the fairy tale: the world building. While the original fairy tale is set in a medieval world, Cinder is set in a futuristic world. Our main character, Cinder, is a cyborg and, because of this, is rejected not only by her mother, but by society. There is also a mysterious disease that kills every single patient and a very ambitious Lunar queen.

The way the author chose to retell Cinderella’s tale made for a very interesting it. While the core elements were present, she added new elements to the story, and completely changed the world building. As for the plot itself, some events were quite predictable, but that didn’t make the reading any less enjoyable.

The characters were also very nicely done; the evil stepmother was adequately evil; the prince was very charming. Cinder, however, came across as being stronger and tougher than the Cinderella portrayed in the Disney animation, especially considering there is no fairy godmother here. There was also Iko, the comic relief of the book. Really, her lines are fantastic (‘I do not have a faulty personality chip’).

This book ended in a bit of cliffhanger, and I felt relieved that the next book is already out and I already have it, which means that I can read it whenever I like (April or May, most likely).

Rating: 4 out of 5

Burial Rites

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Burial Rites

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333319-burial-rites)

I first came across this book on Waterstone’s, and I remember that the title and the cover really caught my eye. As I was a student then, living on a tight budget, I wasn’t able to pick it up then. It was only now, nearly six months after I first saw this book, that I was able to read it. (I do have to say that it was a miracle for me to not completely forget about it).

Lately, as far as historical fiction goes, I have been reading a lot of Bernard Cornwell’s works. His books are easy to read and have several lighthearted, if not outright funny, moments or quotes. Not so in this book. This is a dry book, full of drama. And yet, I was completely pulled in by the mystery.

While we are told that Agnes is to be executed as a murderess, we are not told the full story. The details are slowly revealed, and what was a nagging suspicion becomes a horrifying certainty. And yet, we are dragged to the end, disbelieving and hopeful. And the ending simply dashes our hopes. This book leaves behind a heck of a hangover, that’s for sure, with its dark, brooding mood.

On the one hand, it was a really good book to break away from all the YA and NA stuff I have been reading lately. On the other hand, this book makes it hard for serial readers like me to immediately pick up another book. I was left wondering about Agnes’ story and about Agnes herself.

This is a book about Agnes, and Agnes alone. There are other characters, but they lost relevance in light of the fact that Agnes is sentenced to die. Once Agnes is sent to the farm where she is to wait for her execution, the other characters start of orbit around her. All the scenes are somehow linked to Agnes, and all the characters are, one way or another, changed, affected, by her.

To end this review, I will say that this is a perfect book for those dark and cold days of winter. It just wasn’t written to be read on the beach or sunny days. And I will most definitely be watching for Hannah Kent’s next book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Month In Review: February

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Due to a backlog in reviews, this post is coming out later than intended. After this post, all the reviews pertain to books read in March. Like the January edition, there will be no covers, just titles.

Series Started:

Scarlet, by A.C. Gaughen (Scarlet)

The Program, by Suzanne Young (The Program)

Perfect Ruin, by Lauren DeStefano (Internment Chronicles)

Wake, by Amanda Hocking (Watersong)

A Song For Julia, by Charles Sheehan-Miles (Thompson Sisters)

Tangled, by Emma Chase (Tangled)

Dying To Forget, by Trish Marie Dawson (The Station)

Significance, by Shelly Crane (Significance)

Deeper We Fall, by Chelsea M. Cameron (Fall And Rise)

Series In Progress

Shadow Kiss, by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #3)

Series Finished:

Evertrue, by Brodi Ashton (Everneath)

Into The Still Blue, by Veronica Rossi (Under The Never Sky)

Perfect Lies, by Kiersten White (Mind Games)

Stand Alones:

The Golem And The Jinni, by Helene Wecker

Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout (ARC)

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

Wind Dancer, by Chris Platt (ARC)

Couldn’t Finish:

The Lost Boys, by Lilian Carmine (The Lost Boys)

Deeper We Fall (Fall And Rise #1)

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Deeper We Fall (Fall and Rise, #1)

“Two years after her best friend was involved in a car accident that caused a traumatic brain injury, Lottie Anders is ready to start her freshman year of college. Ready to move on. Ready to start forgetting the night that ripped her life apart.

Her plans come to a screeching halt when not one, but both brothers responsible for the accident end up back in her life again.

Zack is cruel, selfish and constantly rubbing what happened to her friend in Lottie’s face.

Zan is different. He listens to her awkward ramblings. He loves To Kill a Mockingbird as much as she does, and his dark eyes are irresistible. His words are few and far between, but when he does speak, she can’t help but listen.

The trouble is, Zan was the driver in the accident, and now Lottie’s discovered he lied to her about what happened that night. Now she must decide if trusting him again will lead to real forgiveness, or deeper heartache.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16157294-deeper-we-fall)

I’d like to thank NetGalley and All Night Reads for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

If I were to describe this book in a short sentence, this is what would result: Fangirl meets Ten Tiny Breaths. There is a huge accident, with equally huge consequences. There are also twin siblings going to the same college. Because the two main characters, Lottie and Zan, have not healed from that night, I thought the plot was quite similar to Ten Tiny Breaths. And because Lottie has her twin to support her, I was reminded of Fangirl.

While it was a good read, I felt like the plot moved too slowly at times. After the first half, that problem was solved, as things finally started actually happening. It was then that I got really invested in this book. Not only Lottie and Zan finally started pulling out of their misery, but the other characters got more and more interesting.

The end left me happy, although a bit disappointed in human nature, thanks to Zack and Zan’s parents, but I was already expecting it, and it made for a more realistic ending in my opinion. I also felt that, with the exception of Zack, who remained stuck in his immature behavior, all or most of the characters showed quite a bit of growth, some more than others.

As for the sequel, it is on my TBR shelf already!

Rating: 3 out of 5