Book review: Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If asked to describe this book in one word, I would have to go with: frustrating.

I enjoyed the story, despite the ending which to be honest didn’t really come as a shock. I’m not exactly happy about the predictable ending and its circumstances, but enough on that.

While I loved Kate and her strength as a person in the first book, here she is reduced to a lovesick puppy constantly questioning herself, Henry and their relationship. I’ve lost track of how many pep talks Kate received and how many times she was assured by others of Henry’s love for her. It grew very tedious and downright infuriating. But Henry too feels like a changed person. He is just so non-communicative and distant during most of the book.

I found myself rolling my eyes not just once and pleading with Henry and Kate to just communicate and talk about all their worries or “problems” that they think they might be having, but Henry especially kept avoiding Kate.

I absolutely loved the fact that we got more of James this time around. He is a character that intrigues me and especially his relationship with Kate. Hope we get even more in book three.

I was scared of Persephone’s entrance but she proved to be an interesting enough character. One I didn’t mind reading about.

One thing I absolutely missed in this book was the great mother-daughter relationship that we had in the first installment. But based on the ending, I think we could get more of that again in the next one.

To sum up, “Goddess Interrupted” is a sequel with a nice enough premise and storyline but a poor execution. It fails to deliver mostly due to a whiny and insecure protagonist. But nevertheless I will definitely check out book three in order to see how Aimee will handle the cliffhanger of this book.

An ARC was provided by Netgalley. “Goddess Interrrupted” is scheduled for a March 27, 2012 release.

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Book review: This Is Not A Test

This Is Not a TestThis Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not a pretty book. It’s dark and it’s depressing. And on top of that, it’s an amazing read.

Summers doesn’t dwell long to plunge into the action. We get a brief glimpse of Sloane and her life before all hell breaks loose. Living with an abusive father and the fact that her sister left her, Sloane actually welcomes the end of the world. The first attack happens and we flash forward seven days. We never really get told what exactly went down in those seven days, but the aftermath of it gives us an inkling that it wasn’t pretty.

Sloane is not your typical heroine. She is marked by what life handed her and that’s what makes her such an interesting character. I haven’t read many books where your main character is in such a depressing state as Sloane is. I thought I would grow tired of it but it was actually amazing to have a character that is so different and who has lost all her reasons for living and to see her handle all of her bleak feelings during this crazy time. And you want her to overcome this darkness, you want her to be happy admidst all the insanity that surrounds her.

If asked to describe this book, I wouldn’t necessarily define it as a zombie novel. The zombies are actually more of a backdrop for the real story in this book. I love me some action and gore and believe me, you will get your fix here, but I was amazed that I found the characters’ stories to be more intriguing and fascinating. After setting this book down, I’ve found myself still thinking about these six characters and their ordeals.

Sloane is joined by five other young characters, all high school students who got thrust together and barricaded themselves in the high school. It’s not an easy alliance, these characters most often don’t see eye to eye and we get quite a lot of confrontations. It’s amazing to me how real this book and especially its characters feel. All of them are relatable and most of all believable.

I took my time reading this book. Most often you tend to skip over words or sentences when reading but here I savored every syllable, no matter how raw and painful they might have been.

If you enjoy a book that leaves you at times shocked, depressed, gasping, emotionally hurt and above all contemplative after finishing it, then “This Is Not A Test” is for you.

An ARC was provided by Netgalley. “This Is Not A Test” is scheduled for a June 19, 2012 release.

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Book review: A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)

A Dance with Dragons ( A Song of Fire and Ice, #5)A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Martin wrote in the acknowledgments that “The last one was a bitch” and it shows. I don’t know what to make of this book. I’m sad about only giving 3 stars but at the same time I feel like those 3 stars were generous. I just didn’t really care for this book that much which is sad because I love the series as a whole.

Before I started reading “A Feast for Crows” I’ve been hearing that people thought this was Martin’s weakest book in the SoFaI series so far, so imagine my surprise when I’ve found myself enjoying it immensely. Thus, I initially had high expectations for book 5.

I think part of the problem with “A Dance with Dragons” stems from its length. Yes, all of Martin’s book are long and I have no problem with that. It is refreshing to have such rich world building but in this book, its length really showed. I found myself almost skipping through some chapters or passages.

Whether you enjoy this book or not is of course dependent on one’s favorite characters. I’m quite the Lannister girl myself, so book 4 was a dream come true. Book 5 put mostly Daenerys and Jon and a lot of the Greyjoys in the spotlight. While I’ve always been intrigued by Dany’s and Jon’s storylines, they didn’t really grab or thrill me this time around. Sure, during the last chapters this all changed. Martin has a way of putting his characters through hell and leaving you with cliffhangers that have you biting your nails like crazy.

The amount of Greyjoys was definitely something that I didn’t enjoy. At times there were multiple chapters in a row of “background” characters that I just didn’t care about and it was hard getting through those.

This may sound all negative, but despite its many flaws “A Dance with Dragons” is still a worthwhile read and a nice addition to this fantastic book series. It’ll be interesting to see where Martin takes his characters next and what turmoils lie ahead for them.

Let’s hope for book 6 Martin can deliver something on par with “A Storm of Swords”.

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A year in review

This comes a little late due to time constraints at the end of last year, but I wanted to share my favorite things of 2011 with you. Cross-posted to my Tumblr.

Favorite Retuning TV Shows
Downton Abbey
The Walking Dead

honorary mentions:
Sons of Anarchy
The Vampire Diaries

Favorite New TV Shows
Game of Thrones

honorary mentions:
American Horror Story

Favorite Books
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Divergent by Veronica Roth
River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren

honorary mentions:
Unveiled by Trisha Wolfe
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Slumber and anything by Samantha Young

Favorite Movies
X-Men: First Class

honorary mentions:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Sucker Punch
Source Code

To new beginnings

Happy new year everyone! I got home from a short yet great vacation in Austria today. The scenery was magnificent. We had every kind of weather you can imagine. I literally took hundreds of photographs in those 7 days. I hope to be working on those and share my favorite ones with you asap. For now, I’ll leave you with a photo that I took riding shotgun while on the drive to our destination. Crazy conditions but the view over Lake Wolfgang (which hides beneath the wall of fog) just ached to be captured. If you hover over the image, you can check out the original unedited photo prior to my post-processing it.