Thursday, 17 May 2012

Still on my Mind (#2)

Still on my Mind is a weekly meme hosted by Haley at YA-Holic.

This week's feature is Keeper by Mal Peet.

Goodreads Description: When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in the South American rainforest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach a poor, gawky boy the most thrilling secrets of the game. A seamless blend of magic realism and exhilarating soccer action, this evocative novel will haunt readers long after the story ends.
"This stirring adventure — a soccer story? a ghost story? — defies expectations. . . . Both lyrical and gripping." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

Keeper is a novel that stayed with me long after I finished it and made me think, a lot. It was beautifully weaved with words that carried me into a world both enchanting and haunting. Written so wonderfully, that for a moment, I lived in Gato's world and to me the story became real. I read it first when I was 13, and three years later it's still one of my favorite novels and I always read it once in a while. And cry :'( It was uniquely dark and captivating then and it's still so now. As much as, Keeper was a book about football, it was also a book about self-discovery, love, will-power, struggle, determination and compassion. It taught me that your dreams aren't bizarre, your belief that it's bizarre is actually bizarre.

The Glimpse by Claire Merle

The GlimpseThe Glimpse by Claire Merle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

Ariana Barber knew her life wasn't going to be the same the day she was tested to be a Big3 Sleeper i.e. a potential Crazy. Nearly two years since being diagnosed , Ana is at last going to be joined with Jasper Taurell - a guy she has a crush on since she was eleven. Jasper was also the only one who could save her from being condemned to the City. Everything was on path of being right until Jasper disappeared days before their joining ceremony. A journey to save Jasper takes Ana out of her safe Community and into the City of Crazies. The Glimpse weaves a tale of betrayal, love, politics and lies as Ana uncovers some truths that are going to change her, and everything else, forever.

 Warning: Contains mild spoilers

The Glimpse was an enticing, controversial, complicated, witty, intriguing, uncensored, smartly-written, mysterious, dark, brain-racking, fast-pacing, lovely, captivating book. It is certainly a genre of its own. Looking at the cover, one can expect a light contemporary which is is totally opposite of what The Glimpse is - A heavy, complicated dystopian.

Claire Merle is a genius. She has crafted an amazing story of a smart-witted and independent girl who tries to find logic in the chaos created by the Crazies and Pures alike. She has wonderfully mixed political elements with mystery and teen angst and frustration to create a story that'll leave you turning pages long after the book has finished. But the problem - it actually took around 140 pages (out of the total 422) to actually to pull me in and intrigue me. Before that, it seemed a bit boring.

Ana is a bold, strong, assessing, determined and logical character. She simply won't believe what everybody says and questions everything rightfully. Ana is also no love-struck, vulnerable girl. She might seem weak, but then to be kick-ass you don't need to know how to pack a punch, but she's a really strong character. Ana is increbily smart and you can see that in the court scene. Leaving Community behind to venture into an unknown City, shows how brave and independent she is. All the while, she comes across as an lonely, rebellious and realistic teen. She is certainly one of my favorite heroines.

The more deeper I get into the book, the relationship of Ariana and Jasper becomes clearer. In my opinion, it is no way love between them. It feels like they barely know each other, which is exactly the truth. I loved Cole and Ana's chemistry. The scene where they play music from digital colors was my favorite. But individually, Cole and Jasper came across as shallow characters, which is one of the reasons why I couldn't give this book the perfect five rating. Though Lila was a wonderful addition to the story.

Ashby, Ana's father, is a very intriguing character and complicated character. At first, he is uncaring, then all about reputation, after that he is hell-bent on saving his daughter, then she's a precious possession. He loves her, that is clear but he rather keep her keep caged without her wishes than give her the freedom that she needs to be really alive. Because in the end, her freedom is his downfall. And Ashby is dillusioned when it comes to that. The world will be thrust to chaos and anarchy without the society indiscriminantly divided into Pures and Crazies. I think that is one of Claire Merle's messages: No one is crazy or depressed. People make them like that. The percentage of kids taking anti-depressant pills is shockingly increasing, The Glimpse is just an example of what might possibly rest in the future.

The actual idea of Glimpse and the Enlightenment Project was interesting but I didn't like the fact that the author didn't elaborate on it much. I had so many expectations from Cole's Glimpse but when time came for that, it kinda fell flat for me. Many threads were left loose in the end which I hope the author would look after in the sequel.

Other short musings:
- The interface idea is a genius, completely loved it. Though a little confusing in the beginning.
- The Three Mills scenes are at best chilling. The horrific reality of it would shock you to the core.
- I don't know why, but the part of the book set in the community gave me a little gothic-victorian vibe.
- Courtroom scene is one hell of a scene. One of my favorites.

I can't wait for The Fall, the sequel to Glimpse, to release in 2013. Glimpse is surely one of the best books I've read in 2012.

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Still on my Mind (#1)

 Still on my Mind is a meme hosted by Haley of YA-Holic. It brand new and shiny. You can check all about it HERE.

My first feature would be Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.


Goodreads Summary: Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.


Nevermore was exceptionally the most unique novel I've ever read. The first-half of the book deals with the ground-reality of Isobel's harmlessly normal life and how it starts to fall apart as Varen slowly, unknowingly, invades her shields.

But the real deal is the rest-half in which the author with her poetic writing presents a dream world that was influenced by Poe's work as much as it is by Varen's writings. This world was hauntingly beautiful and creepily dark at the same time.

Varen was an exceptional character, as well. He was insanely hot, sarcastic, mysterious and utterly dark at the same time, all the while wearing kohl and silver chain-links. Though, the real show-stealer was the sardonically sadistic Pinfeathers, who intrigued me the moment he made his entry.

Nevermore is utterly fascinating and frustrating as it whisks you away to a world where dreams are a never-ending reality.

Quotes still on my mind:

“You're really a blond," she said, her tone just short of accusatory.
"And if you tell anyone, I will come to you in the night and smote your everlasting soul.”
'Promise?' Isobel turned back to the piano quickly, shocked that she'd almost uttered this aloud.
- Nevermore

I think Isobel and I are on the same page ;)

“My beautiful, my Isobel. My Love. You ask me to wait. And so I wait.
For all of this, I know, is but a dream.
And when, in sleep, at last we wake,
I will see you again.”

- Varen Nethers, Nevermore

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pretty in Black by Rae Hachton

Pretty In Black (Pretty in Black, #1)Pretty In Black by Rae Hachton

  "Some Things are Pretty. Some Things are Black. Love is both."

Ellie Piper had wished to die, not to meet the charming and enigmatic Marcus Marble. But now they are in love and Ellie has found a reason to live. Only if their love wasn't forbidden. Ellie was born to kill Evermores like Marcus and Marcus will break every rule if he lets Ellie live. But that won't stop them from a love that was fated. How far would they go before they realize that their love is going to destroy them. This is only the beginning...

Pretty in Black is a pretty original and intriguing novel. The atmosphere was dark and mysterious, just like I love it. Most of the times, the scenes were beautifully descriptive, poetic and captivating.

Lines like these won over my heart:

  “His eyes glistened. I'd never seen eyes that bright or that green. His were emblazoned by a dark symphony. When he blinked, his lashes spread below his bottom lid like satin spider legs, a million wishes to be made upon them, in exchange for these nightmares.”

I loved the opening scene in the cemetery, it's totally my favorite. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. Ellie's troubled past and dark personality totally intrigued me. The way her past life changed to the present Ellie, the reasons and all, were very interesting. Marcus Marble was an amazing male lead. He wasn't one of those to back down and wasn't afraid of his feelings. The concept of Evermores was an interesting one and original, as well.

There were times, I thought the book felt a bit flat. Like in Ellie's scenes without Marcus at her high school, with Giles and some of Marcus's scenes with other Evermores. Not that they were boring or badly-written, they were just not very detailed and the sentences ended almost abruptly and thus making those scenes seem unrealistic to me. Rae Hachton's writing is beautiful but it's inconsistent like in scenes I mentioned above.

My Favorite Line:

  “You Just scared me half to death," I said.

"You should be thrilled you're halfway there.”


Pretty in Black is the first novel in a gothic romance series. The second installment Black Satin would be published in May 2012. The third book, Raven in the Grave would be published in 2013 and the last book, Evermore in 2014.

I won't be rating this book since no rating seems justifiable. I've already mentioned my thoughts and this tug-of-war of rating is killing me so I left it as it is.

  “Ellie, would you frolic in the land of forever with me?”

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