Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The haunting, humorous and tender story of the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, The Virgin Suicides, now a major film, is Jeffrey Eugenides' classic debut novel.

The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters' breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.

-- description of The Virgin Suicides --

The Virgin Suicides will probably become one of my favourite books of the year if not of all time. It was the third book I read this year, so I'm kind of late with this review. I expected to like this book but I ended up loving it! This book is mysterious and wonderfully written. Jeffrey Eugenides has an amazing writing style! I would even say it's one of the best I have ever read. 
And man! What an amazing first sentence, I can't even describe it, you'll just have to read it! It haunted me and I needed to know how it happened. It only took one sentence for me to be gripped by this book.

The Virgin Suicides is about the suicides of five sisters. The narrator of the story is actually a (unidentified) group of boys. All this makes the story mysterious and gripping. The boys, now men, dive into their past to try once more to make sense of the Lisbon girls. And the reader will have as much trouble as they did to figure them out. 

I thought about this book often after I read it. Just the way it was written is remarkable. I'm looking forward to read other books by Jeffrey Eugenides. Although in my opinion, none of them could ever be as amazing as The Virgin Suicides.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. It blew me away! I recommend this book to everyone! It's a book everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. I believe this book will become a classic if it isn't one already.

Later on, I will do a book to movie adaptation review as well once I've seen the movie. So look out for that one!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. description of The Duff--

I love this book! I was hoping to like this book but I ended up loving it. I read this book a few months ago and I still catch myself thinking about it a lot. So I decided to write a review. If you think that this book is going to be like the movie Mean Girls, you would be wrong. The Duff definitely treats the subject of being bullied and being told you're a loser just because of the way you look. But I found that part to be rather short in comparison with all the rest this book has to offer. 

The main character Bianca has a lot of family problems (I can relate to that even though my problems are not the same). She tries to find a way to deal with them but she doesn't want to burden her friends (plus, she probably doesn't want her friends to judge her parents either) so she keeps this a secret. But when something huge affects your home life you can't keep it bottled up. Therefore, Bianca seeks out a different way to cope with her problems and that just happens to be Wesley. The jerk that called her the DUFF in the first place.

A lot of things happen because of the choices Bianca makes. You see Bianca making the wrong decisions but you can understand why. Those bad decisions catch up with her and you get to see how she deals with that. 

This book was a lot of fun, also touching, romantic and dramatic. Bianca became one of my favourite characters of all time! She is funny, always knows something to say, loves her father and her friends unconditionally and I can relate to her, her problems and her solutions. 

This is one of my favourite books of last year and I give it 4 out of 5 stars! I'm looking forward to write a book to movie adaptation review, once the movie comes out. Granted, a first look at the trailer suggests that it will be nothing like the book, so keep an eye on this blog to see how it turns out.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. description of Shatter Me--

This week I finished the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, which means I read Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me and Unite Me (which contains the two novellas Destroy Me and Fracture Me). 

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this series, on one hand I couldn't put it down, I needed to know what would happen next. I liked the story line and the majority of the characters. On the other hand, I really disliked the writing style. 
To me it felt like bad creative writing and I'm kind of amazed this even got published. I know it is supposed to represent the thoughts of the protagonist but it was terrible to read. However, I still really wanted to keep reading. So that's why I have mixed feelings. The story intrigued me, but the writing style horrified me. Mafi's style slows the plot down and quite frankly a lot of Juliette's thoughts are unnecessary to the story and most of the time just really stupid. 

Another thing I want to mention is that the ending of Ignite Me didn't really feel like a dystopian ending. It feels like there should be another book to have a better ending of their world. Now only the romance part of the story is resolved. They won a battle but that doesn't mean they won the war.
If you read this book did you have the same problem? Or were you completely satisfied with the ending? Don't hesitate to leave a comment.

So, keep in mind that this is a dystopian young adult series that is not to be compared to Divergent or The Hunger Games. This is more like a romance combined with a dystopian setting. It is less action-packed than the books mentioned above. 
Since I really enjoyed the story but really disliked the writing style I'm giving this series 3 out of 5 stars. If the writing style didn't bother me so much I probably would have given these series 3,5 or 4 stars. 
And one final thing, the covers are simply amazing!