Sunday, January 29, 2017

Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover


“Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still a part of the same ocean.” 

Published August 2nd 2016 by Atria Books

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS


SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

MY REVIEW


“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.” 


Umm... I have some conflicted views regarding this book. I just can't seem to make up my mind about how much of this book I actually liked. It showed up in my Goodreads feed when it won the annual award for the best Romance novel and many of the reviewers whose taste in books match my own were raving about it. So I thought, Yeah! I should give this one a try! I went into it with some inhibitions since I'm not the biggest Colleen Hoover fan. Though her stories read very easily and the flow she establishes is flawless, they aren't as plot rich or character driven as I like. 

So, the things I liked about the book were:

1. The theme. After reading the blurb I was kind of expecting a love triangle. But the book was about an important topic and sent out a powerful message. I would have liked to say something else about this, but I can't really do that without giving away spoilers. And I, like several other reviewers, believe that going into this book blind would probably make the reader enjoy the book more. 

2. I liked all the characters in the book. Even the ...ahem... negative ones, though there is no negative character per-say. There are just normal people who are caught in bad situations. And Hoover writes their emotional turmoil very beautifully. There were instances in the book when I nearly cried at their misery, primarily because no one was at fault and because the situations described in the book were very real situations that probably happen every day in multiple households. 

3. The flow of the story. Yes. Like I mentioned before, it's the best thing about this author. Once I start a book, the words flow so easily that it's impossible to put it down. 

“He pulls back to look down at me and when he sees my tears, he brings his hands up to my cheeks. “In the future... if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again... fall in love with me.”

4. The part about Lily's diary entries which she addressed to Ellen Degeneres. This was a fun and quirky habit that I loved. 

Now, the things that I didn't like:

1. Insta everything. Ugh. I hate when authors do this. Ryle and Lily meet at a rooftop one night and ZAP! Instant attraction! He tells her that he wants to fuck her and she's breathless with desire for him. **pulls a meh face** And what was with all of Ryle's creepy behaviour? Was it supposed to be sexy? Well, it wasn't. And if it wasn't enough that there was insta love, there was also insta friendship! Lily and Issa meet and BAM! They are instant BFFs. 

2. The part of the book where everything was sickeningly perfect and everybody was deliriously happy. Seriously, it was very fake and irritating. 

I might also be a little put off by the ending, even though in retrospect it was perfect. But I was just hoping so strongly for everything to be all right. But then again, that's life. :-( And the world is not a wish granting factory. 

All in all, an okay one time read. 




Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch


Published July 26th 2016 by Crown

“If there are infinite worlds, how do I find the one that is uniquely, specifically mine?” 

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS


“Are you happy with your life?” 

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. 

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. 

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” 

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

MY REVIEW


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” 


Oh. My. God.

This was me throughout the book, right from the very first chapter. 



And this was me near the end. 


Dark Matter is so artfully written, the plot so amazingly crafted; there really is not much scope for dislike at all. It was a total nail biting page turner from start to finish. And there's this sense of doom and paranoia that the author creates, that was palpable throughout the book. I was constantly at the edge of my seat, clutching my iPad with shaking fingers, almost afraid to find out what was to happen next.

And it made me feel oh-so-small, like an insignificant little blot compared to the infiniteness of the universe (or in this case, the 'multiverse'). The book begins with our MC, poor Jason Dessen, being abducted and tossed into an alternate reality that is nothing like his own. It's a topsy turvy place where he's a legendary genius but without his beloved family. And this is where shit hits the fan. Teemed up with an unlikely ally, Jason tried to make it back home- a job that is much more difficult than it sounds. The author writes Jason's rage, helplessness and determinedness very beautifully. I was moved by his suffering, by the very idea that he couldn't reach home, that he was trapped amidst infinite possibilities, unable to figure out which one is his.

The author has also written all the scientific explanations very thoughtfully. Everything makes sense and nothing is out of place. It is neither too abstract nor too detailed, but just the right amount. I also loved the entire concept of people being the sum total of their choices and the choices they might have made. 

“We're more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.” 

The entire idea of an infinite reality tree, sprouting new branches every time a person is confronted with multiple choices was mind bogglingly awesome. Then there was also the irresistible but extremely questionable idea of having a clean slate. If somehow you could switch realities, having seen the consequences of an apparently wrong choice, would you? Or is it better to live with your choices and learn? That was a real toughie! And it led to me having sympathy for the negative characters in the book too, because regret is a very tangible thing, and I totally got where the crazy desperation was coming from. 

This book was scientific, mysterious and emotional rollercoaster and it rendered me breathless with it's pace and intensity. Highly recommended for everyone! 

And one last quote perhaps?

“It's a troubling paradox -I have total control, but only to the extent I have control over myself.” 

**slinks away to contemplate life, universe and everything.**


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle


Published March 9th 2013 
Metal Blonde Books

“You know,” he began, voice low and full, “if you were to ever leave me, I’d come looking for you, on every street.” 
“You promise?” 
“Always.” And I knew he kept his promises.” 

Ques: Romantic or creepy? 

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS


When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she's set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.


Takes place six years before Sins & Needles. It can be read before or after Sins & Needles and may also be read as a standalone.

MY REVIEW

“Any love that starts out under a lie is bound to kill you. I just didn’t want to die on my feet.” 



I read the first book of the Artists Trilogy ie. Sins and Needles quite a while ago. It was a lot of fun as far as smutty action packed mafia romances go. I never got around to reading the sequels and it was only by chance that this novella showed up in my Goodreads feed... and I thought to myself 'What the hell! I'm in the mood for some morally questionable romance!' and I picked it up with almost zero expectations. 

But it was just so addictive! I finished it in one seating flat. There's just something irresistible about forbidden love, isn't it? Also, there is a telltale feeling of doom right at the beginning of the book. You know things aren't going to end well. But Halle writes the romance so sexily, that you just can't help but root for the doomed couple. Ellie Watt, our favourite congirl from the Artist Trilogy is back in this book, set about six years prior to the first book (Sins and Needles). Although this one can be read as a standalone, it did explain a lot of stuff that was left unaccounted for in Sins and Needles. I completely got where Ellie's paranoia came from, Javier's obsession with finding Ellie, the whole background story about their supposed great romance and it's painful ending. 

Also, Javier's character wasn't all that significant in Sins and Needles but we get a look at him now. And boy is he one hot son of a bitch! And I totally agree with Ellie when she says, 

“He was a kinky motherfucker, that’s for sure.”

You'd think that all the foreplay talk he came up with would be cheesy or just plain gross, but sometimes it's hot as hell instead. Plus the whole aura of power he has, the knack of getting things done, passion almost bordering on violence... well I won't lie... it's SEXY! Then there are some instances when he actually shows a vulnerable side and then I just find myself melting into a big gooey puddle. He was a gentleman sometimes, he was downright animalistic a few seconds later. The personality switches were rapid and FUN

Then there was Ellie. I liked how Halle writes her struggle so well. She's a novice as far as conning goes but she is determined to get vengeance from the man who ruined her life. She is a risk taker. She is headstrong. But what she didn't bargain for was Mr. Sex-On-Legs Javier Bernal. It was just so very human to see her desire for revenge crumbling in the face of new found love. 

I loved the analogues with song lyrics, as is evident from the title of the book itself. I liked all the songs the author mentioned in the book. The sex was a bit over the top. That was probably what prompted me to knock off a star or two off the rating. But then stories with a lot of smut are just not my thing. But the romance was oh so good. The ending of course was heartbreaking and I feel like I need a Javier POV to straighten things out. **hint, hint** ;-)

A great, swift, hot read to warm you all over! Rating: 3.5/5 stars!

“Vengeance is a beast, you know. It can be tamed. I just stopped feeding it.” 

AAhhh... if only! :-(