Love. Art. Thieves.

Hey guys I’m sorry for my lack of posts, I just needed some time to recharge and now I will definitely try to get back on track… again!

Lately I fell in love with the Heist Society series by Ally Carter. I’m not gonna write about each book separately but I will give a review for them as a whole.

Overall rating: 4/5.

You know how you always judge books by their covers? Well this is exactly why I didn’t wanna read this series but they still kinda made me curious. I mean… look at this cover:

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You just can’t be attracted to a book that looks like this. And this is just the cover for the first book, I don’t think anyone needs any more details.

So because I can give second chances and a benefit of a doubt, I started reading the first one and could not stop. I love the characters and I love how mature they are. I forget they’re like 15-16 years old! Like how can a 15 year old rob a super safe and secured museum making up a really good plan in a super short time? Most of the 15 year olds play Fortnite so that was not very realistic.

I’m trying to keep this as much spoiler-free as I can but there’s also like a huge drama happening (of course) that might endanger Kat’s dad’s life (Kat is the main character). Of course she solves everything in the end with her squad and there’s a love story starting to sparkle between her and W. W. Hale, the rich and cool one.

In the second book Kat has been conned which was really dangerous because it involves the Cleopatra emerald, she basically steals it for the wrong people and she has to get it back from them but they know any tactic they could approach so it was pretty stressful for everyone (even myself). Long story short, there’s drama between Kat and Hale and a lot of suspense and them being smarter than everybody and we don’t know what Hale’s W. W. stand for!! I love how Kat is always trying to guess them.

Anyways, moving forward, Perfect Scoundrels (book 3) was SO GOOD!!!!This time it has to do with Hale’s family and there’s drama between Hale and Kat again because of course she wants to keep him out of it?! I didn’t like that part. It’s his family and he has all the right to know what’s going on, dear. Now they also have to rob the Henley (the museum from the first book which is even more secured) and a huge bank! I like that they make it a little bit more realistic involving the Interpol and all the travelling and talking about art just adds the perfect details. It involved a lot more complications and the most suspense so far. It has plot twists and a much more developed love story and now there’s family involved too! I think it had all the things I wanted like emotions, plot twists, love story, action and cool characters.

I can’t wait for the 4th book to come out!!

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Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Inferno by Dan Brown resurrected my hope for the Robert Langdon series after The Lost Symbol was a super disappointment for me.

Rating: 4/5.

The amount of research that is being made for these books blow my mind. I rarely see this much dedication for a fictional piece of work. And that makes it even more special for me. Besides the fact that it’s very entertaining, I also learn historical art and I acquire all kinds of information that I wouldn’t even bother about… I mean… I don’t just suddenly wake up thinking that I should check out Dante Alighieri’s biography and stuff like that. Even if I may not be interested in certain things, Brown suddenly sparks an interest in me through his awesome writing.

What made me like this book so much is the subject, Inferno by Dante Alighieri. I couldn’t wait to get to this book in the series. Although I haven’t read the original Inferno (but I will soon) Brown explains very important stuff about it and I think it’s awesome all the connections he makes to music and paintings.

I will always admire the way good writers know how to twist the plot in such a way that it seems complicated but it’s still easy to understand. All the running around, people chasing each other, shooting guns and a plague, you can still find your way through it.

Looking forward to the next one! I love Robert Langdon.

Still Me

I loved Me Before You and After You, I thought it was a perfect duo. I did not feel the need of a third book, however, I still had to read it. I would not refuse more Lou Clark.

Rating: 3/5.

Everybody loved the story of Will and Lou in Me Before You. It was truly something else that touched many hearts even through the movie.

Afterwards, I was so happy for Lou for finding someone else and being able to go on with her life in After You. And I hoped that would be the ending, we all know Lou is fine and alive and everybody can go on with their lives too.

When I saw the news of Still Me the first reaction was excitement. I was super excited for another book until I gave it another thought and talked to myself in my mind “ok why would we need MORE? I mean… sometimes LESS is MORE and this is a perfect example. What could happen now?! Is Will raising up from the dead?” and so on and so on I thought of some scenarios.

I was pretty surprised that Lou took New York (yes, the Kardashians inspired me with this line) because I couldn’t ever imagine her there. If there’s a thing I feel that’s pretty exaggerated about her is her awkwardness, especially at the beginning when she is in the airport and she is being asked questions upon entering US. That scene destroyed me.

What I also hate are clichés. Agnes is too clichéic. The idea of NY is also clichéic.

I also have mixed feeling about Sam. I was silently hoping they would break up. I felt like she would be better alone. And I was pretty intrigued about Josh until we actually got to meet him, another cliché.

If there’s a positive thing to say about Lou is that I love the positivity her character transmits. Even when people around her hated on her and were mean to her she managed to be such a sweet and kind lady, I was really impressed.

Overall, the story of the book is not super special but it’s a pretty nice cozy read.

I would recommend it if you’ve read the other 2 books and you want a little closure or you really wanna finish the series.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35791968-still-me

 

The Wedding Date Review

As promised, here I am with the review I wrote for PageHabit for February’s romance book!

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       For more pics like this check out my bookstagram         @bookspottings

It usually never happens to me to be even more excited about the book in a subscription box than most of the goodies but this time I was (and the goodies were awesome btw). From the moment I have seen the cover I knew this will be a good read! The synopsis of the book made it pretty obvious that I’m gonna read something different than any other romance I have read so far.

Rating: 3.80/5 (it is hard to rate this because it is definitely more than a 3.5 but it’s still not a 4)

Even though the protagonists had different backgrounds and lived in different places, that did not even represent the only difference between them: she is a black, curvy, independent woman that you fall in love with instantly and he is a white, tall and charming man. I love that the author chose to represent an interracial couple in such a realistic and beautiful way!

They took me with them through the anxieties she has had as a black woman in a white community. I loved that the issues about race were not ignored and Alexa even educated Drew about it and Drew was so open to understanding things from another point of view.

I’m a fan of stories where relationships develop from being fake to being real and this story was exactly what I expected. It was fast paced and an easy read, what I usually call a “book-cleanse”. After reading books involving complicated plots I needed one like this, actually I needed it so bad that I’ve read it in 2 days. Everything flowed and I suddenly realized I’ve read half of it in what felt like 5 minutes.

Of course there are no romance books without some steam, and be prepared because there’s a lot of it, maybe too much but it doesn’t feel like it thanks to the author that knew how to describe the scenes without being too vulgar.

One of the reasons why I liked the book even more was the fact that both characters loved their jobs and they were so dedicated and ambitious, you just wish you could be like that. He is so good with the kids he is taking care of as a doctor and he gets so attached to them and she is so refreshing and thoughtful, a big help to the community when trying to create an arts program for underprivileged youth. Apparently the author has a background in law and that is pretty obvious when “monitoring” Alexa at her job.

Also, should I even mention that they eat a lot?! And not only that but the food sounds so good and I’m such a foodie, I could not help but observe that. I literally started craving donuts because of Alexa.

I totally recommend this as a “book-cleanse” or a beach read, all the characters in this book are really well built and each one of them have so many different personalities that Jasmine knew how to differentiate, it’s pretty hard to think that this was her debut novel. I’m totally looking forward to checking out more of her books in the future.

If you like swoony and fun romances, you have to read it!

 

We’re all blind here.

Blindness by Jose Saramago.

Rating: 4/5.

This is one of that type of books whose images get stuck in your mind and you know you will never forget them. They’re disturbing and they’re interesting and they sometimes make us realize that we wouldn’t have thought of that, wow. The concept of the book is really good. Blindness, as a sickness, is a pretty delicate subject in my point of view but Saramago knew how to do it right.

At first, you’re gonna stumble upon a weird writing technique. I don’t know if he writes all of his books the same way but you have to get used to it. It was pretty difficult at the beginning but that was not an impediment because the book is really good from the first pages and it won’t let you leave it unfinished.
The thought of the whole population going blind is so unpleasing that it is almost painful to read this book and see their struggles and how hard it is to even go from your bed to the door, to wash yourself or to find a scrap of food to eat and in the end famine, water and electricity crisis installs in the world.
Saramago held no barriers upon approaching this subject. He throws everything he has in it. I hope you don’t have a weak stomach and I sure hope you’re not very sensitive.

What I really loved about this book was the perfect addition of that ONE person who is able to see while the rest of the population isn’t and she is also a female. I consider her one of the strongest (female) characters I have encountered so far in books.

Another awesome thing about it was the happy ending it had that balanced the frustration and sadness the characters depicted.

I also have good news, there’s also a sequel called Seeing that I can’t wait to read!

Time travels

Personally, I’m not necessarily a Sci-Fi fan. I’m not a Sci-Fi fan at all but I still gave this one a shot. I have a friend that usually recommends me really good books so I followed his advice when he told me that I HAVE to read this one.

One of the best literary choices I have ever made was picking up Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Rating: 5/5.

If you want to know a page-turner, this is the one. I literally had to have some self control and not read it too fast. I had to slow down and read only like a few chapters a day, but that didn’t work as expected… I passed my limit… a lot of times.

*takes a deep breath*

You know from the beginning that this is going to be an awesome experience. It makes a statement from the first pages and you don’t forget it very easily. I’ve never read a book that involved time travelling before and I would start with this one all over again if I could. This was one of the cases when I wished I could delete the memory of a book and then reread it.

I would also like to bring out the fact that Blake is really smart and you can clearly see that by the way he organized the plot and his writing. The plot has tangles and twists and turns but you will never feel like that. He knows how to make the readers UNDERSTAND, and that’s super important since many times a good book can leave the reader unsatisfied because by the end you still can’t get anything that happened in it.

As a conclusion, yes, go read it. It’s a must.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27833670-dark-matter

Starlight Nights

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As I promised on the post where I presented the PageHabit January box, here’s the review for the book that came with it: Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade.

From the moment I’ve seen the cover of this book I was pretty sure I’m gonna enjoy it.

Rating: 3.5/5

I loved how well Stacey Kate built the characters. You can see how both Calista and Eric begin as being weak persons but throughout the story it gets obvious how much they change, how strong they become and how mature they end up to be. They both know they’re flawed and they both accept each other the way they are instead of trying to change one another based on “how it should be”.

Their parents are horrible persons from the beginning to end and I believe that’s the antithesis this book needed: Eric and Calista vs Rowley and Lori.

I loved how well Stacey depicted the Hollywood ideas through Calista’s mother. It was shocking to think that the fictive life of Calista actually takes place in reality, behind the scenes of some of the celebrities we admire.

Back to our intriguing love story, Calista and Eric are those type of people that are beautiful together even if they are not a couple, if that makes any sense. There could be a crowd of people and I would still ship them. It was obvious they’re ending up together but hey, you never know how surprising an author can be (thank you, Stacey, for not ruining this for us). It was awesome the way their love story developed from beginning to end with an obvious chemistry at a perfect pace.

Starlight Nights contains everything you might expect: addiction, cliches, bad choices, character development, hollywood life and a messy but beautiful and unique love story.

Strike and Robin to the rescue!

Did somebody mention J K Rowling? Did somebody say she wrote a crime detective series under a pseudonym?

Yes, all of that is true and we’re talking about Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith *wink*.

Rating: 4/5.

This just became one of my favorite things that happened in the bookish world. I had this book “tucked” somewhere on my kindle completely forgetting anything about it. After a little research on Goodreads, I’ve seen that it’s been written by J K Rowling, so of course, I had some expectations.

First of all, Cormoran Strike has a cool name. It just gives you that mysterious vibe of a detective and I could not write this review without mentioning that I love his name, okay? At first he seemed to me like being clumsy and not that smart. Through all the events in his life he was able to stand up and do his job, not letting his private life interfere with his business. He knew what he had to do and he did not hesitate. I felt like to the world he just looked cool like he got his life together, but nobody expected him to live in his office, wearing a prosthetic leg after he lost his leg in Afghanistan, and all the pain he had to endure and the lack of money.

Second of all, his secretary couldn’t be better, for him and for the whole plot. She’s hard working, smart, intriguing and man she has some guts! I loved her! And when you see them on the scene together they’re the definition of a power couple. I hope they will end up together, I don’t care how and when but I need to know that they are together… some time… in the future.

What I didn’t like about this was the length of the book. It could’ve been a great book even if it would have been shorter but at the same time I liked the fact that it was pretty long because I got to attach myself to the characters and it was easier to make the difference between them and all the twists and turns (which many times is hard to keep up with).

It was interesting to see how everything connected in the end, that’s the best part of these books. I feel some kind of a relief every time the plot is untangled.

I recommend it if you’re a fan of detectives and mystery.

 

 

Two moons are there for us to share.

As you might know, Murakami is one of my sweethearts and I’m close to reading all of his books (so far). This time was 1Q84‘s round.

Rating: 3/5.

I started this book with some big expectations but he didn’t really reach them.
For a book that has like 1000 pages in which Murakami could spill all his creativity in and play with it however he would like to, I was not that impressed. Of course, he had this crazy idea of another world, little people make air chrysalisis, every person is pretty much split in two (a dohta and a maza), weird religions, disturbing scenes and two moons, it had a lot of things. But it still lacked a special “spice”.

While reading, of course you make up a lot of theories and ideas that this might be that and so on but as usual he leaves you pretty confused.
What I do believe that happened in 1Q84 was that the people were split. For example, while Aomame was in hiding and the NHK fee collector always came to knock on the door and disturb her (same as what happened to Ushikawa in hiding) was actually Tengo’s father that while in coma was “knocking” on his bed and Tengo actually told him to get over it because he is not an NHK collector anymore. But that’s what he knew to do best.
Another example for that was the moment when Tengo did it with Fuka Eri… more like Fuka Eri with him… he managed not to get Fuka Eri pregnant, but Aomame. I believe those were connected too.

In the end, while many of us, Murakami lovers, have been looking for his book’s meaning, we just have to get used to the fact that this book has no meaning just like most of them. He’s just entertaining us with an otherworldly fantasy in which nothing that we ever think that could happen actually takes place.

 

 

Women power.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

When I selected Wild Nights: Heart Wisdom from Five Women Poets I expected a book that contains contemporary poetry collected from 5 women that are not that known. Kinda like promoting local artists thing.

I was not disappointed tho’.

Rating: 2/5

I just gave this book this low rating because, in my opinion, the selection was not that good. It was pretty random.

It started with some greek poems written in old english, some mythology here and there, but they had some nice verses. I don’t say those are awful but they’re just not my taste.

The next part was my favorite, Emily Dickinson. Of course I devoured this to the last letter and I just felt accomplished reading Dickinson again.

There were other 2 writers that were pretty irrelevant for me. I don’t have any opinion on them. I enjoyed their poems but nothing stood out.

The one that had an impact, if I can call it that, was Sara Teasdale. Never heard of her before but I’m so glad I found her! I can actually say that I loved her part more than Emily Dickinson’s. Her poems felt real. I really enjoyed every verse and I’m gonna share one of them with you:

After Parting

Oh, I have sown my love so wide

That he will find it everywhere;

It will awake him in the night,

It will enfold him in the air.

I set my shadow in his sight

And I have winged it with desire,

That it may be a cloud by day,

And in the night a shaft of fire.