Monday, October 20, 2014

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I wanted to share with you all some pictures from the book reading that I did this past Saturday at Books & Books here in Miami for my novel, THE ROSE MASTER. It was an incredible experience and I had a good turnout. Looking forward to doing it again soon!


 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I just finished reading a very interesting and disturbing book about a stalker called You by Caroline Kepnes. Definitely enjoyed this one.  Here is my review if you are interested.

You by Caroline Kepnes


YouLove hurts...

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams.

Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect fa├žade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .







This is a frightening and shocking story told from a stalker’s point of view. It really brings the reader into the mind of a man who is obsessed with a woman and it will seriously leave you with a healthy fear of meeting new people for a few days. 

The narrator’s voice is the best part of this novel. It is so distinct he becomes a real person to the reader. We can’t really trust what he says or thinks because he is a highly unreliable narrator, but we do get to feel some sympathy for him, which is surprising considering all the destructive aspects of his personality. The woman he obsesses over is Beck, who is possibly one of the most annoying characters ever written. She is flaky and spoiled, someone obviously damaged, but the ending is still quite a shock for all of us when it comes. 

If you are looking for a truly scary novel to read that has nothing to do with the supernatural but deals with a very real topic in our world, this is one for you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho

What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

 

Althea & OliverAlthea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.



This YA novel is definitely one of the best written ones out there at the moment. It does, however, leave the reader with a bit of a hollow feeling that makes it lose some of the power it could have had as a narrative. 

Let me start by saying that the writing is beautiful. It is fearlessly honest, which is not always the case with YA novels, and it doesn’t shy away from describing sexual acts or violence. The characters are fully developed and very real, as well, making them stand out of the page from the very beginning. 

The only issue I had with the novel is that I didn’t really connect with it. I can see all of the positive qualities it has and how beautifully it was written, but it didn’t resonate with me. It left me with a bitter taste in my mouth which makes me unsure whether to recommend it or not. In the end, the best thing is to try it for yourself and see if you enjoy it.
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Musing Mondays




Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Althea & OliverLast night I finished reading an interesting YA novel called Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho. It was definitely a very different type of YA novel, and although it wasn't entirely my style, it had some very beautiful moments. The review is coming soon. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


From You by Caroline Kepnes

You"Calm down, Joe. They don't like it when a guy comes on too strong."

(this is an internal monologue)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber



The Book of Strange New Things It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.

Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

This is not Crimson Petal and the White, so if you go into it thinking that’s what you’re going to get, you’ll be disappointed. This is, however, a fascinating novel that leaves the reader with many questions.

Faber’s writing style always captures my attention. There’s something about the way he structures his scenes, even his sentences, that make the novel read smoothly and without allowing it to become dull even once. For a book of the size this one is, this is a great virtue. 

I enjoyed his descriptions of Oasis and its inhabitants, because although he paints a vivid picture, he doesn’t bog down the narrative with too much description. In fantasy or sci fi novels this can be tricky to achieve. The only thing that was slightly frustrating was the insertion of strange characters to represent the way the Oasans pronounced certain words. I understand what it’s supposed to stand for, but it makes the reading experience less smooth. It’s a bit distracting. 

The characters are not too likeable, so don’t expect to fall in love with any of them. I particularly didn’t enjoy Bea, who becomes a whiny brat as the story progresses, but Peter, with his incessant Bible quoting is no fieldtrip either. Still, they are real characters who have faults and dimensions, which allow them to pop out of the narrative. 

This is a novel that I really do recommend.