Books Crumbles

"I am a reader not because I don't have a life but because I choose to have many"

settembre 11, 2017

Release - Patrick Ness' new book!

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Release
by Patrick Ness


"Today everything changes"

Weirdness is the best noun to describe any of Patrick Ness' books, but for this one, it's just perfect!
The book is to say peculiar, it follows two story lines that touch briefly at the end. It almost felt like there were two books in one, switching between a day in Adam Thorn's life and an eerie ghost story, which clearly has something to do with the recently deceased girl in the main plot, but I'm still a little bit confused about this magical realism that seems to be co-present with Adam's one.

Adam Thorn's story-which I will regard as the main plot- walk us through a day in his life. A really important, difficult day. A day of confrontation, running, sex, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe hope.
Adam is the gay son of a preacher, struggling against his family's beliefs, trying to keep off his boss' advances, while working out some heart's matters. The author is able to show us a picture of such a transforming day in his character's life with simple and effective narratives. Adam's chapters are fast-reading, highly emotional and addicting. Ness made the character evolve in the span of a day, and as we probably all know sometimes the realization of a moment, it's all it takes to make us grow up, learn and finally move forward.

I liked the story, but what I had a hard time understanding was the weird side story. It was probably supposed to give more meaning and structure to the book, but it ended up feeling out-weighted and intellectually heavy compared with the main plot line. I would have liked more Adam and less of the weird ghost's story.
In the end, if it wasn't a little weird it wouldn't be Patric Ness, when I read something from him I expect something uncanny to reason about. So - also thanks to the beautiful cover- it's getting 4/5 stars. I can't give less to one of my favorite author of all times!
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Patrick Ness website ---> HERE
giugno 17, 2017

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher - Review

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13 Reasons Why 


My sister came back from her holidays with the perfect gift for a book nerd like my: the bestselling novel 13 reasons why by Jay Asher. I've to say that I was probably the only person on earth not aware that this popular book was going to be transformed into a Netflix hit.

"I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why."

Told from Clay point of view, the story revolves around Hannah - a girl who recently killed herself. After her death, Clay receives set of cassette tapes on which Hannah explains the 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself. And since he is listening to them he must be one of the reasons why.

This book is extremely compelling, it catches your attentions from the first few lines - almost impossible to put down. I needed to know what happen, when was Clay coming into Hanna's story? What has he done? And all the others characters, in which way have they affected Hanna's life?.
The plot makes you think and inquiries your teenage self, what if it was me? how would I've reacted? I answered some of those questions, I compared myself to her and came to the conclusion that even though we related to difficulties and life in different ways, I can understand her feeling. Hannah might come off as bratty, selfish and ofttimes over-sensitive. But you should remember that she is a teenager and we all were a little like that. Also, anyone who did experience depressions knows how hard is to see positives things and how easily you can be put off balance.
As Hannah says it's a snowball effect, it can start off as something small but builds upon itself becoming bigger and bigger. That is why we should pay attention to what we do and how we behave with other people because our action can be the push to speed up the snowball. This is what I think the book wanted to point out, our little selfish action can truly affect someone else.

Some other things I liked less, like the way in which famle sexuality was presented. Being Hanna's rumors true or false, hers and society view was old-fashioned and wrong. She didn't deserve to be slut-shamed even if the rumors were true, the book doesn't point out how women should empower their own sexuality, which is something that it still a taboo nowadays.
Apart from this, it's a page-turner and a beautiful reading. I'm also checking out Netflix series and let me just tell you that it looks amazing.

4/5 STARS

Netflix 13 REASONS WHY Trailer:




giugno 09, 2017

DRACULA (1992), starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves directed by Francis Ford Coppola - BOOK vs MOVIE

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DRACULA (1992)
directed by Francis Ford Coppola


Probably the most famous and well-done movie adaptation of Dracula is Coppola's one. Has it claims from the title, this is a very straight adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel (REVIEW-->HERE).

The movie follows with the book well enough, straying only to streamline storyline to save time, and draws from it in aesthetics. The events and style mirror the journal/letter structure of the novel but don't follow it entirely. The main addition to the plot was certainly the love story between Mina and Dracula. While in the book Mine is repulsed and disgusted by Dracula, in the movie we see how the attraction starts from their first encounter.  Dracula thinks of Mina as the reincarnation of his deceased wife, and that why in the movie he comes to England. Their relationship is heavily sexualised, as any other interaction with the women, where Stoker portraits a more chaste image.
Coppola shows us also how Dracula came to be, while in the book, apart from knowing that he was a conqueror, we are never explained his point of origin.
Other small different that can be overlooked since they were mainly made to make the movie streamline more fluid.


I loved the costumes and the settings, to which is shown a particular research and attention. The acting can seem a little scratchy for our modern standards but it still effective and Gery Oldman was able to bring Dracula - excuse the oxymoron - alive.
Coppola's movie takes considerable creative liberties with the source material. However it's clear that Coppola was really familiar with the novel, brings to action a keen reading of it. It's not only an interpretation or a tribute to Stoker's novel, but also to the gothic genre.
In some way, he made Dracula even more gothic. He explicit the sexual content and humanized Dracula through romance, getting rid of the Victorian taboo while leaving their presence and presenting a more complex character not only driven by ambition and thirst for power.

I enjoyed Coppola's reading of the novel and I would certainly recommend the movie but at the same time, one of the features I love most about Dracula was in fact that he was dehumanized, a monster inside out.

BOOK vs MOVIE --> BOOK WINS!

Trailer:


maggio 29, 2017

Dracula by Bram Stoker - Review

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Dracula 

by Bram Stoker


If you thought that vampires were sexy creatures, hunting only at night, sparkling under the sun ray, with a kind human heart; you should stop reading Stephenie Meyer and get your hands on Bram Stoker Dracula!

Reading this classic for my English literature class, I was quite surprised how much I ended up liking it and about how ignorant I was about the original plot. After Interview With the Vampire by Anna Rice, the way we perceive these nightly creatures was totally changed from the one that Bram Stoker's contemporaries had. She made being a vampire a lifestyle, something cool, that everyone would like to experience. But we couldn't be any farther away with Dracula. He is a mean villain, ready to conquer the whole world, starting from London to create a vampire's pandemonium.

The whole book is framed within letters, diaries and journal's entries, telegraph's text. In the begging of the novel, we are introduced with Johnathan Haker, a young lawyer who is traveling from England to Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase an estate in London. Dracula wants to immigrate to England and would like Johnathan to help him with all the legal matters. Once he arrives in Dracula's castle everything turns out to be very peculiar...
And the rest is legend!

What I loved most about this book, was Dracula description. Contrary to popular understanding, Stoker has his Draculsportingng a large, bushy Victorian mustache and having a profuse head of dense, curly hair, massive eyebrows, and peculiarly sharp white teeth, especially the canine teeth. The first time that Johnathan sees him, he notices the overgrowing hair on Dracula's hands. He is often described with features that belong to animals; moreover, he is a shapeshifter: he can transform into a wolf, a bat, mist/vapor. He doesn't appeal like a sexy character in the book; instead, people are constantly disgusted and scared in his presence.
Finally, a vampire that looks and behaves like a vampire, a real monster inside out!
The writing style is good but antiquated and redundant making the novel a heavy read. I took me a lot to finish the book - two weeks - while I'm usually a quick reader, but the story is worth the pain, so push on until the end!

4.5/5 STARS

Dracula 1931 movie trailer:










maggio 25, 2017

TEA TIME & SEASON'S TAG #8

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Seasons of Book Blogging Tag


We are almost entering summer and in this period of season's changing, what's better than a book tag about them.
The creator of this tab is Jordyn from J.Bookish, and I've been tagged by Elena from The Book Portal, go and pay this amazing blogger a visit. Without any further do, let's jump right in!
Rules are simple:
1. Thank the creator and the person who tagged you.
2. Begin with the month in which you have been tagged and move forward from there!
3. State the best gift you've been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
4. Tag whoever you'd like when you're finished.
5. Have fun, of course!

  • May is the month when flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.



I've never been a Science fan, but after reading the Martian it was all about space. During and after reading it I started to read more about the scientific space advancement and discoveries. All the legends and stories about the moon's landing and space's adventures will blow your mind!
The Martian is really well written, Andy Weir was able to make science not only simple but also funny and appealing.

June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.

When I need to plug off from everything I usually go for a Romance, better if it's about teenage drama. More than anything it has to be a light and fast read, where my brain can chill and have a good time.

  • July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don't light books on fire)



Talking about fire certainly, Frost Blood by Elly Blake has it (REVIEW--> HERE). This new dystopian series started off quite well with a Little Red Hood reminiscence in the plot and the building of a world separated in fire and ice. A good read but still unremarkable under many aspects, I waiting for the spark in the second book!
Also July it's my birthday month, the best gift I ever received was two concert tickets for my favorite singer: The Passenger, thanks sis xx

  • August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.


Well she is already hot and if you haven't heard about her you should open Goodreads, cuz Victoria Schwab is going worldwide. A Darker Shade of Magic it's been on the top ten NewYork Times bestselling fantasy for a while, also the trilogy if starting to be translated around the world, not to mention that the right have been acquired for a possible movie-series adaptation. For me, this series is one of the best high-fantasy and dark story of all the time, all mixed up with perfect writing and clever plot, put her on the list for the next J.K Rowling.

  • September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.


I was lucky enough this year to read all good books - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde by Robert Luis Stevenson, Hamlet and The Tempest by Shakespeare, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Dracula by Bram Stoker- I enjoyed all of them but if I had to pick one, I'll say Hamlet. I still can't believe how much I liked this tragedy, I did revalue Shakespeare a lot and found myself in love with his plays.

  • October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick a character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.


Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. She is a kickass famle character with kickass ability, what else do you want!?!

  • November is the month when we're reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you're grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!



Cinder by Marissa Meyer and I'm super thankful to @bright_star91 for recommending it. I would have never though that classic fairytale could be swept into a sci-fi universe and still work so well.I loved the book and I loved the series.

  • December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.




A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, this book I surely one of my must-gift. I did give it already to almost all my friends, I love the book, it's a short beautiful story and the illustration from Jim Kay are amazing.

  • January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you've kept it or not.
Well, has every year I usually promise myself that I'll be more healthy, I'll do more sport, go on a diet, get out more, study harder, and has every year it turns out that I have all good intentions but the universe is plotting against me. Like if I want to go on a diet, my sister will pop by my house with cake; if I wanna go running, it will start to rain, if I want to study, a book will start screaming to be picked up from my bookshelf. So yes, it's not that I'm not persistent in my goals, it the universe!

  • February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!


Jenny Han is one of the best in creating a real net of characters, you can touch the connection existing between the characters in To All the boys I've loved before. The love and feelings between the character are at hand, you feel them ahs your own.


  • March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you'd never read it. 




Harry Potter for sure, It was my first fantasy series and I do reread it from time to time so I would love to experience again all that wonder and anxiety.

  • April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.


I was expecting way more from a Wintersong by S.Jae-Jones (REVIEW-->HERE), though I loved the whole idea about the goblin wife, the development and the boring description about music made it so that it was a struggle to get to its end.

I TAG:


They are all amazing blog, check them out!I really enjoyed doing this tag. Of course, don't feel forced to do it, it's to have fun if you have the time ;).


maggio 21, 2017

Summer Books - 2017

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The sun's out, the weather is nice and I can't wait to pick up all my books and lay out in the garden to read. I'm already planning my summer reads and I want to share with you some of the books I'm planning on reading in this hot weather!

1- Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han


It wouldn't be summer without a good romance and for me, that means Jenny Han. Her writing skills are amazing, and the simple and cosy story she creates are just perfect. Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I've Loved Before. it still nowadays one of the best romance series I ever read, maybe because more than romance we are talking about love. Love for our family, love for our friends, love for ourselves and of course also passionate love. 

In this third instellement in the series, Lara Jean is having the best year a girl could hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad's finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot's coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.
But change is looming on the horizon.And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father's wedding, she can't ignore the big life decisions she has to make. most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means fro her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean's the one who'll be graduating school leaving for college and leaving her family - and possibly the boy she loves - behind.
When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

I just order it on Book Depository and I can't wait to relax and read it!

2- Release by Patrick Ness


If you have been following me for a while you'll know my blind love for Patrick Ness, I was craving something new from him this whole year and finally Release come out this month. Patrick Ness is such an amazing writer, he is able to create unique stories while always portraying themes like diversity, discrimination, friendship and love. (--> Check out A Monster Calls review and the BOOK vs MOVIE review)


Inspired by Mrs. Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It's a big day. Things go wrong. It's intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches...

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It's a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won't come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

3- A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J.Maas

Sarah J.Maas is a must read if you love the YA  and High-Fantasy genre. The writing is beautiful, the action is engaging, the plot are well developed and the characters have a good psychological depths.
I really enjoyed the ACOTAR series so far, it starts of has a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast but develops as an independent story.( --> Check out the 2017 Beauty and the Beast movie review, and if you love retellings I made a post on The Beauty and The Beast ones) 

Looming war threatens all Feyre hold dear in the third volume of the New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.  
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords - and hunt fro allies in unexpected places.

Sounds exciting, right? I can't wait for it! 

4- The Circle by Dave Eggers


The movie (--> Check out Book to Movie adaptations 2017) it's in the theater right now and I wasn't able to read the book in time for the release - thanks to my uni exams - so I'll probably gonna catch up with everything this summer.

The Circle is about a young women, Mae Holland, who takes up a job at a Google-like tech company where she quickly climbs the corporate ladder. But the new technology that they are developing is threatening the freedom and autonomy of the human king.

The plot had me at the hook at the breaking of every privacy criteria, something that we have to consider more every day.

5- On the Road by Jack Kerouac


Every summer I pick up a book about an adventure or a travel, as I usually say - if you can't live it, read it-, last summer I pick up Wild by Cheryl Strayed and loved it (--> Check out Wild review, BOOK vs MOVIE review), so this year I want to finally read the book icon of the Beat generation.
On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the north American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a sideburned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty", the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

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This  is a part of my TBR for the summer. What about you? Any book to recommend?
maggio 20, 2017

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones - Review

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Wintersong
by S. Jae-Jones


While I was still looking for some Beauty and the Beast retelling this book pop out. A crossover between a German folk story and the myth of Persephone and Hades, so instead of finding a beast we are rewarded with the beautiful and damn Lord of the Underworld: the Goblin King.

 "Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell"

The story is about Liesl, a young woman, who since she was a kid has heard the legends and stories of the mysterious Goblin King, who is also the muse around which her music is composed. While growing up she had to set aside her music in favor of more practical concerns, helping to run the family inn.
But when her sister suddenly disappears taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to the Underworld and cuts a deal with the Goblin King, to exchange her sister life for hers. She becomes the goblin wife; both physical and emotional passions are revived, she is free to be herself again, goes to write and play music. The goes on and while the world above is moving forward be becomes slowly weaker and longer while the goblins feed on her energy.
As the Goblin king and Liesl become closer, they must learn just what is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

The first half of the book has a nice pace, the story was well presented and the first encounter with the male protagonist is exciting, but once we get to the center of the action nothing is really happening. All the reference about music could easily appeal to anyone interested in classic music and even though I felt like they get kind of repetitive after a while, they were poetic. I wasn't able to enjoy the descriptions and I was constantly craving for more action. To summarize my feeling: I felt bored the whole time.


The Heroine is presented as an uncommon beauty, which did charm the Goblin King with her inner passion rather than her external appearance. I liked this new perspective, where a female heroine doesn't have to be extremely beautiful but rather develop her inner self and intelligence, becoming a more interesting character. What I didn't like was that she constantly reminds the reader that she is ugly, so instead of creating a self-conscious and strong heroine, the author built this insecure girl that need reassurance from her lover about her inner beauty.
The writing is beautiful and crafted but the story doesn't develop well, at times I also found it hard to follow and contradictory.

In short: two many beautiful words and so little action!
I'll keep a watch on this writer I'm sure she can do better than this.

2.75/5 STARS

Check out S.Jae-Jones Website!--> HERE
marzo 29, 2017

Wires and Nerve (Vol. #1) by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Douglas Holgate - Review

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Wires and Nerve  

by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Douglas Holgate


The Lunar Chronicles are back with this first volume of the graphic novel illustrated by Douglas Holgate. If you loved the series you are certainly gonna enjoy this!

In this adventure we follow Iko, the sassy android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a new dangerous adventure. 
The Plot starts from where we left, or just a bit farther in time: a few months have pass since Cinder and her friends saved the world, but there still a lot of work to do. Both Luna and Earth needs rebuilding and establishment; Cinder is struggling to be acknowledge as queen by the lunars, not to think of the packs of wolf-hybrids that have gone rouge on earth. This is when Iko gets in, she takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She will soon be working with and handsome royal guard - if you have paid attention  in the series you would have gasp the attraction between her and You-Know-Who, starts with a K.- who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty and her own humanity.
We still get a glimpse of all our other beloved characters - new Luna's queen Cinder, her lover and Common Wealth's Emperor Kyo; Scarlet and Wolf at the farm; Winter the new ambassador for Luna on Earth, tailed by her beloved stalkerish guard Jacin; and the one couple I was waiting for: Cress and Thorne traveling and delivering the cure, for the lunar disease, to all earthen.

I was happy to see all the old character, but it was even more delightful getting to know better Iko, since we don't have her full perspective from the series. End what a spicy android she is! Funny, girly, caring, end at the same time a kick-ass character, terminator style. What appears from this graphic novel is that she is more similar to a human than a robot. Her feelings are strong, they don't feel like the product of program. Seeing her starting to fall in love was the cherry at the top of a Sundae.
The story was simple and good, but what I wasn't in love with were the graphics. I did find the drawing to simple and scratchy, not really the style I like.

All in all it was nice and I will pick up the rest of the volume.

3.5/5 STARS

HERE'S A NICE SPEED-DRAW OF IKO BY SHANLIGHTYEAR:


marzo 22, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King (#1) by Tricia Levenseller - Review

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Daughter of the Pirate King (#1)
by  Tricia Levenseller


Is not everyday that we are able to read a YA with pirates as main characters, which is a shame cus - has The Pirate of the Caribbean movie franchising shows - we all love them. It seems that recently they are again picking the interest of writes: we saw a bit of the pirates' world in a Darker Shades of Magic trilogy, by V.E. Schwab,  with Lila and Alucard (ADSOM REVIEWS HERE --> #1#2#3); or a bit of naval adventure in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but finally in Daughter of the Pirate King we have old-dirty-scam pirates, mermaids, damoiselles not so much in distress and more than one bottle of rum!

Alosa - daughter of the Pirate king - was sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient map, that leads to Isle De Canta; there's only one problem, the map is hidden on another pirates ship. To retrieve the map Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search the ship.
What she didn't expect was for her captor's first mate, Riden, to be so clever and unfairly attractive. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few trick up her sleeve, and a simple pirate can not stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Tricia Levenseller did find a way to make pirates in fashion again! She didn't make them impossibly beautiful or unbelievable, but she gave to ruthness a new shine. They are sweaty, with golden teeth, saggy, smelly pirates; well some might smell better than the others but still, you get the idea. They are believable, and that's key in a book, if you can picture the characters as physical identity, that means that the writer was able to conjure a convincing/concrete world.
The plot is simple but beautifully crafted, all the main actions take place on the ship so there is little world building, but I'm sure we will get to know more of it in the next books. The characters are well rounded, there is not too much psychological depth to them but they emerge well from the pages. Our heroine Alosa is a bad-ass, funny, sassy, with a little too much self-confidence for my liking, but still I enjoyed reading about her, I liked her alot.

"Lass, you've the face of an angel but the tongue of a snake"

The writing is good and so is the pacing. I flow through the book - I read it in one stand - and I can't wait to get my hands on the second book: Daughter of the Siren Queen, which is coming out february 2018. I can not wait for it!

4/5 STARS
marzo 20, 2017

TEA TIME: Beauty and the Beast - Retellings

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IT'S TEA TIME !


The disney real-action movie just came out, as a retelling itself, I'd like to honor it and go through all the Beauty and the Beast retellings I've read so far. Since is quite a popular story, there are a lot of books inspired by this classic fairytale but I've gathered down below just the one I've read. 
In no particular order - without any further do, let's jump right in!

- A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas -


Sarah J. Maas is probably one of the  best master when it comes to Adult Fantasy. In A Court of Thorns and Roses series she took the starting point from the Beauty and the Beast and created a richly imagines fairy tale. We don't have a beast but shape-shifters faeries.

Plot:
When nineteen-year.old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land sh only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamil- one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled the world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But and ancient wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin - and his world - forever.

The story is sprinkled with beautiful themes and sensuality. The world building is inventive and even though you don't get the full picture in the first book, the horizont gets wider and more detailed in the second. The writing is good, and above all the characters development throughout the series is amazing.
I  gave a 4/5 starts at this first installment in the series, and a 5/5 star at the second (A court of Mist and Fury), which was just perfect!

- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge -


Rosamund Hodge is well known for her classic stories retellings, her style and characters dosen't do for me but they are loved by plenty, so it's worth a look to in which side you fall.


The story is about Nyx, who since birth has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all becouse of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth she is been training to kill him.
Without a choice Nyx, at sixteen, abandons everything to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the curse he put on her people.
But Igenex is not at all what Nyx expected.

Has I said at the beginnings I can't come to like her book, but that doesn't mean that they are not plenty of good they just don't get to me. I thought this book did mix to many myths and legends, and I ended up giving it 2/5 stars on Goodreads.

-Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer-


Scarlet (REVIEW-->HERE) is the second instalment in the Lunar Chronicles series, even if it's supposed to be a retelling of Little Red Hood, there are too many recalls to the Beauty and the Beast. It's impossible in my opinion to pick it up as a standalone, but the series it's really good so I suggest you, if you want to read it, to start of with Cinder (REVIEW-->HERE).

Plot:
Cinder, the cyborg, mechanic, is trying to break out of prison - even though she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have informations as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

The series is beautiful and a fast read, don't get scared of by the massive volume, you will fly through the pages form an exciting adventure to another. I can't say al lot about Scarlet/Wolf's story without spoiling it too much, but to give a reason to the why I put it in the Beauty&Beast category, let's just say that wolf will become quite beastly over time.
I gave this book a 4/5 stars, highly recommend the series!

- Uprooted by Naomi Novik -


Uprooted get the whole Beauty&Beast feeling, but instead of an ugly beast we get a powerful, cruel wizard.

Plot:
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known as the Dragon , to keep the wood's powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.
When the next choosing comes, the Dragon chooses her to serve him.

The story is hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid; the plot gets pretty twisted but works perfectly, the writing style is highly evocative, and the characters feel real. This is for sure one of the best fantasy novel inspired by folk and fairy tales. I handed up giving it a 4.5/5 stars, you are gonna love it!.

- The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi -


Star-Touched Queen (REVIEW--> HERE) presents itself like a fairy-tale retelling, based on stories like Beauty and the Beast and the greek myth of Hades and Persephone all mixed-up with indian legends. The writer was able to mix all this elements and created an imaginative tale.

Plot:
Maya, one of  Bharata Raja's daughter, has been cursed with a Horoscope that promise a marriage of death and destruction, making her an outcast in the court. Content to follow more scholarly pursuit, her world will be turn upside down when her father arranged a political marriage to peace the outside rebellions. She will soon find herself in Akaran, a land in between worlds, married to the Raja Amar - and in his mysterious palace there are many doors that must not be open and many voices not to follow.

All of the lucks in the characters development are mystified by the vibrant, elegant language, Roshani Chokshi use. She is clearly a skilled writer and her poetic vibe did combine wonderfully with the magic atmosphere of India's folk stories. 
I ended up giving this story a 3/5 stars.


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This were my Beauty&Beast read so far, do you have some other retelling of this story to recommend me?
marzo 18, 2017

Frostblood (#1) by Elly Blake - Review

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Frostblood
by Elly Blake


Frostblood is the installment in Elly Blake's Frostbrood Saga - three book have been announced until now- and if you are a block of ice you should prepare to be melt down in this new YA fantasy book.

"You don't know the effect your words have on me, Lady Firebrand. It took year to build up this ice. You will melt it and then I will be broken."

There's a war going on earth between Fireblood and Frostblood, an old conflict created by greedy Gods, so Ruby - a fireblood stuck in the Frostblood's kingdom- has to hide her power from the cruel eye of the ruling class. But once discovered, her mum is killed and her village set on fire. 
Luck seems to turn her way when a mysterious rebel Frostblood, Arcus, demands her help to overthrow the bloody king. While busy saving the kingdom, the temperature between Ruby and Arcus is rising, let's just hope they don't catch fire!

If you read a lot of mainstream YA fantasy book, you probably have already read this story. In fact this book is full of chlichè, yet the writer did manage to hold my attention.
If I was reading a book of this genre for the first time, I would totally love it, but I've already read about society split in two groups, a heroine different from everyone else, whose destiny has already been carved in a prophecy and who by pure chance falls in love with - drum roll- the mysterious guy that is supposed to be the enemy. I mean if you have read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, this is practically a false copy of it. 
Frostblood is unremarkable under many aspects, but somehow manage to still works. The dialogue are crafted enough to be funny, and the heroine is well rounded - even though I would have appreciated more psychological depths. For our male counterpart I can't say the same, he was quite flat, aiming for a Heatcliff 's model but never getting there.
The writing style is good, too stereotypical for this genre, but still able to hold the your attention making it a fast read. One of the most remarkable feature of this book is the cover, I'm digging this style!

In summary it was an ok start for the series, I'm hoping to see some real sparks in the next book of the series, Fireblood, coming out September 2017.

3/5 STARS

marzo 17, 2017

TEA TIME: Beauty and the Beast (2017) - Animated Version vs Live-Action Movie

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The new Disney's movie adaptation of this old classic just came out, and oh boy, it was worth the wait, it's stunning!
This old classic gets a 20th century kick in - if you've been following Emma Watson's interviews you will known that she tried to give Belle's role a stronger, independent women appeal. As all the new Disney movies suggest, the princess is not waiting to be saved anymore, instead she is the one doing the saving. 
Let's have a look at the main changes made from the 1991 animated version to the new live-action one:
[CONTAINS SPOILER] 

1- The Prince.


Apart from computerized, beastly Dan Stevenson  appearance, in this movie we finally get a bit of the Prince's back story. At the beginnings, we see the young prince having a lavish ball in the castle. We are shown as he throws the beggar women, seeking refuge, out of the castle, at which point she turns into the enchantress and places the curse on the castle.
Later on, we learn about the Prince/Beast 's past and how his mother died when he was a kid, leaving him alone with his cruel father, who raised him as the mirror image of himself.

2-Belle's dad.


In the animated version Belle's father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), was an inventor. Instead in the live-action movie, is presented as a skilled artist. While the role of the inventor is taken up by Belle, when she comes up with a laundry machine that saves her time and work, so she is free to read as much as she wants.

3- Escaping.

As we said Belle is not a passive heroine, so at the first chance she tries to escape the castle. After being dressed up in a ridiculous outfit by Garderobe, she decided to use the fabric to make a rope to climb out of the tower. But her plan foiled when Mrs. Potts sees her and convinces her to go to dinner.

4 - Trembling castle.


One of the feature I loved the most was how the castle was directly involved in the curse. Apart from been divided in the Ovest/Belle's wing - light and rich - and the Est/Beast's wing - gothic and gloomy-, it also starts to crumble every time a rose petal falls.

5- Enchanted Book.

The Beast has an enchanted book that allows him to travel. One of the cruel jokes the enchantress plays on the beast is also giving him a book that can take him anywhere he wants. Though he doesn't utilize it much, since his beastly appearance will be rejected by others. He will use it to take Belle to Paris, where she discovers something about her past.

6- Belle's mom death.

In the movie, the Beast uses his enchanted book to bring Belle to Paris, where she visits her childhood home and learns that her mum died from the Bubonic plague.

7- Gaston is really evil.


After Maurice rejects the idea of Gaston marrying his daughter, Gaston decides to tie Maurice to a tree and let him be eaten by wolves, in the hope that Belle will need a man to take care of her after the loss of her father. Maurice is saved by Agathe, the spinster, that at the end of the movie reveals herself as the enchantress.

8- There's a new character!

We are introduced to a new character: Cadenza. Played by Stanley Tucci, who turns into a piano when the castle is cursed. He is married to Garderobe, played by Audra Mcdonald.

9- Le Fou is gay.

We learn that Le Fou (Josh Gad) is gay. Not really surprising -with all the subtle reference in the animated version-, but he is the first disney character to be officially and openly gay. This fact made it to the headlines all around the world. A theater in Alabama decided not to show the movie in its establishment because of the scene, which I find behind any sense of reason since the only explicit "gay" scene regards Le Fou dancing with a man who enjoy dressing in drags, at the end of the movie. 

10- Mrs Potts and Cogsworth are married to villagers.


We learn that all memory of the castle and its inhabitants were forgotten by the villagers. When the curse is lifted, we find out that both Mrs Pott (Emma Thompson) and Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) are merries to people we already met from the the village.

This were the main difference I spotted, did you find some other important changes?

TRAILER:



marzo 15, 2017

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn - Review

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The Enemy Within
By Scott Burn



I've been craving some YA, sci-fi adventure for a while, so when I got my hands on The Enemy Within I was prepared for an extra terrestrial trip!
The 5th Wave meets I am number 4 in Scott Burn debut novel, while bringing a new spin on the human/alien conflict.

Max always felt he was different, he was never able to fit right in, but since the visions came he feels totally estranged. He keeps on seeing a burning city, pain and suffering overtaking his mind. He can't understand what he is experiencing and it's getting stronger with time. Thinking he is going crazy he attempts suicide, failing and as a consequence handing up in a mental institution. But sooner he will discover that his hallucinations weren't just in his head. 
While stuck in the mental hospital, three others are searching for Max. They , as Max, don't really fit in with humans but are something more. Each of them has a special ability, that will come in handy when a military organization comes after them.

The novel has simple premise, that we can find in a lot of YA books, but we get some twist and turns that are worth the reading. Even though it uses some eternal sci fi clichè, which I'm sick of seeing in movies and books, the writer is able to make the story interesting with some unexpected plot twists.
The characters are well outlined, the author was able to give them a good psychological depth. The protagonists of our story are really fun to read about - some exchanges were hilarious - and it was nice to see their relationships evolve. 
I loved the story and how everything played out, but what is bugging me was the world construction and the absence of descriptions. A lot was left out to the reader's imagination, there was too much blank space to fill in, making the scene and settings sometimes difficult to picture. It felt, at time, more like a script than a book, which was a shame since the story had a great potential. 

Apart from my little grumbles it's a good reading, quick and fun. You will certainly not regret it!

3.5/5 STARS 

Scott Burn official website--> HERE



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