The Midnight Star (Young Elites Trilogy) by Marie Lu | Book Review

Hello there,

It’s been way too long since I posted a review here so I thought I would change that and share my review of The Midnight Star ( the last book in the Young Elites trilogy) by Marie Lu.

It’s a review about the final installment with also considerations about the whole trilogy which has definitely become one I will cherish for a long time.

30112193 There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but the darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy everything.

When a new danger appears, Adelina must join the Daggers on a perilous quest in order to save herself and preserve her empire. But this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger . . .

DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

I have read this trilogy all together, picking one book after the other non-stop and I think that by doing that I was able to fully immerse myself in this world created by Marie Lu, and thus enjoy the story even more.
When I first picked The Young Elites I was surprised to find out that the main character, Adelina Amouteru, is sort of a villain. Personally, I don’t usually sympathize and enjoy too much characters that belong more to the darker side. This time though, Adelina was a character so well built and developed that I couldn’t help but really care for her until the end. I loved every single character, there wasn’t one I could dislike at the end, either good or bad. Maybe it was Marie Lu’s writing but she made it possible to try and understand where every single character, even Teren, was coming from in their actions and therefore accept them and empathize with them.
Each book in the trilogy was as well written and engaging as the others. There is nothing I would change about them. The only flaw this last book has is that, maybe, it felt a bit rushed. Another 100 pages would have made it more whole. I would have liked for the writer to tell us more about Enzo’s death (and Tristan’s) and how the characters felt about it because it seems like it all happened in two seconds and it was all done and forgotten after that. I also would have appreciated some chapters from Magiano’s point of view. I would have loved to read more about his story, his thoughts, how he fell for Adelina and the reasons he kept loving her until the end.
The finale though was good. I am a sucker for happy endings and redemptions. I don’t think it was foregone though as it definitely also broke my heart.
The last two pages on the folktale about Adelina and Magiano (aaahhh my ship!!) were brilliant: “These are only rumors, of course, and make little more than a story to tell around the fire. But it is told. And thus they live on.”

The whole trilogy was dark, thrilling and heart breaking but hopeful until the end. I loved The Young Elites books immensely; it has definitely become one of my all-time favourite series ever.

The Midnight Star:
★★★★☆ (4.5/5)

Have you read this wonderful dark trilogy? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!If you haven’t yet, as you may have guessed, I highly recommend it!!!

If you haven’t yet, as you may have guessed, I highly recommend it!!!

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Soundtrack To My Life | Book Tag

Book tag, book tag, book tag! My absolutely favourite posts to write and I am sure you have figure that out by now. I am always on the hunt for great book tags, in fact I have another one scheduled already. Oops.

Found this tag on  A Fangirl’s Opinion and as per usual I have auto-tagged myself. Let’s begin!

Opening Credits: favourite childhood book:

With no doubt all the books by Geronimo Stilton aka Elisabetta Dami. She wrote dozens of books and short stories using Geronimo Stilton and his family and as a kid I used to read and collect them all. I was literally obsessed. I think that’s when all of this started.

geroninom

Waking up: A book that got you out of a reading slump:

Recently it was Under the Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland. I have suffered several reading slumps so I don’t remember all the books that got me out of them.

School: A book that you ended up reading for school and ended up loving it:

I have never really loved a book that I was assigned in school just because of the pressure of reading it by a certain date and than having to write essays about it (wait, isn’t it what I do now? lol) but some books I would have enjoyed if they weren’t assigned are probably In The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and Room by Emma Donoghue

 Falling In Love: An author you love so much you want to read all of their books:
Mmmh I don’t know? Probably Stephanie Perkins at the moment and also J.K. Rowling I guess.

 

Fight: Book with the best action sequences:

Can’t think of any. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

Break up: A book or series you didn’t finish and do not intend to finish:

The Vampire Diaries series by Lisa Jane Smith and Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard because I only got the books after I started watching the tv shows thinking I would also enjoy the books…I was wrong!

Hanging with friends: A book that you think everyone should read:

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Breakdown: Book that seriously affected you or had you crying your eyes out:

It didn’t “affect” me but I have never cried in my life reading a book as much as I did with Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

lucy crying.gif

Road Trip: Your favorite series (more than 3 books):

Not very original but Hunger Games, Divergent and Harry Potter! 

Flashback: Your favorite book from 5 years ago:

The Twilight Saga, hands down. I was one of those people who was OBSESSED!

Getting Back Together: A book you can’t stop rereading:

I cannot reread. I don’t think I have ever reread a book in my whole life. Is it bad?

Moment of Triumph: Longest book you’ve ever read:

I don’t have my books with me right now so I can’t really check but it was probably Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling or The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

micky

 

Death Scene: Book or series you wish had ended differently:

Again, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Champion by Marie Lu and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins didn’t have the most exciting endings either.

Funeral: Book with the best or worst epilogue:

Cannot choose one. Every book has its different ending that makes it perfect (or horrible) for its own story.

End Credits: Who do you tag?

As always, I tag all my followers that read this post until the end and want to play with this tag as well.

Yaaay, this was fun.

Have a nice week people,

Giovanna x

Under The Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland | Book Review

Hello bookworms, how are you doing? First read for the month of March was Under The Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland so here comes my review.

dusty moonShe’s with the band, whether she likes it or not.

Victoria Mahler is the sixteen-year-old only daughter of rocker Micky Wayne, whose band, Dusty Moon, took the world by storm when Micky was just a teenager. The band broke up under mysterious circumstances, but, after years spent off the road being a mom, Micky’s solo career is finally starting to take off.

When an offer to tour Japan falls into her mom’s lap, Vic is left to spend the summer under the care of her distant grandmother, and without her built-in best friend. Fortunately, a boy with a secret geek side and a group of feminist game-makers save the season, and Vic starts to see herself as her own person, out from under her mother’s shadow.

But when Micky finally comes home — with a poorly chosen boyfriend in tow — all bets are off. Will Vic be able to maintain her newfound sense of self amidst the building thunder of Micky’s second chance at stardom? And through it all, will Micky still really be her best friend?

{I kindly received an ARC of this book  from Dundurn Publishing in exchange of an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.}

First of all, I need to thank this book for helping me get out of a really annoying reading slump that’s been with me for over two weeks. THANK YOU!!!!

Under The Dusty Moon was an easy and quick read, very nice and enjoyable. I really recommend reading the book without paying much attention to the blurb because I found it extremely misleading.

I don’t know if it was because of the short length of the book, but some of the things mentioned in the blurb were only small details that appeared in not more than two chapters at most and did not have any impact in the story.

Under the Dusty Moon focuses on the summer of Vic and her relationship with her mother who used to be in a famous Canadian band, Dusty Moon, and who is now trying to make it as a solo artist, her best friend who loves video games and a new boy who’s a geek as well as a music fan.

As someone like me who is really fascinated by the music industry and everything that comes with it, I was really excited to read a novel that had some music elements to it and my expectations regarding that side of the story were quite met.

What I found really awkward though was everything about the mother-daughter relationship. It was really unclear to me what Vic’s feelings towards her mother were. In the blurb  and many times in the book, the author calls Micky Wayne, not only Vic’s mother but also her best friend. That really confused me because I was left with the feeling that rather than being actual good friends like in a Gilmore kind of situation, it was just her mom trying really hard to be young and funny and desperate to be her daughter’s best friend. There wasn’t anything amazing about it.

Also the author presents the book as if the video games have such a massive influence in the story when I actually did not see that much of it. It was only a detail that could have been changed with any other kind of hobby.

Points to the main character for not being a hideous and needy seventeen years  old girl like it often happens in contemporary-like novels. She was actually really relatable even though I am few years older than her. Congrats Vic!

I think some characters should have been developed more. Lucy, the best friend, probably deserved more consideration. Some of her actions (and reactions to certain things) were left unexplained so I would have liked to have more answers and know her a bit better.

The funny thing about this book was that certain parts were extremely realistic and very well written scenes while others were absolutely insane and unbelievable (i.e. almost everything that Mick Wayne said or did to her daughter).

Overall it was a pleasant read. I was satisfied and I would definitely recommend it to someone that’s looking for a quick summer read.

★★★☆☆

Have you read Under the Dusty Moon? it was recently published on January 23rd.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Talk to you soon,

Giovanna x

February Wrap Up | 2016

Hello,

here I am writing this post with a lot of disappointment. February brought me into a reading slump I am still trying to overcome and I am really really mad about it because January on the other hand was great.

So I have read a total of 3 books (a paperback and 2 ebooks) and started 4 more that unfortunately I haven’t been able to finish. If you have any advice or book recommendation to help me solve this problem please let me know in the comments, I desperately need it.

champion.jpgChampion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu
Paperback, 353 pages
Finished on February 2nd, 2016
★★★★★

I picked up Champion right after finishing Prodigy because I just could not wait any longer to know how this trilogy would wrap up. I absolutely adored it even though my ship…went down but this book wasn’t a romantic novel so it doesn’t influence my overall judgment. I must say though that Marie Lu played a lot with my feelings mostly towards the end. I loved the 10 years forward chapter, that’s something I adore in books. But she played with my ship too much; in one sentence they were together, the next one they weren’t… sorry if this is a spoiler but ugh I honestly gasped with excitement only to throw away in anger (not literally) the book two seconds later. Fantastic. It was a very exciting book and series. 100% would recommend it.

19508953

 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Kindle, 385 pages
Finished on February 4th, 2016
★★★★☆

So as you may have read in my review I posted a few weeks ago, I finally decided to pick up this book after hearing so much, like really so MUCH about it over the past few years. I was a bit skeptical at the beginning because I really did not know how a book with such a kind of cliched plot and setting could be so praised. After reading it – devouring it – and actually enjoying it I was still not sure how to rate it. I gave it four stars even though a part of me still wanted to rate it with three and another one wanted to give it five stars. It really was full of cliches, it wasn’t this life changing story for me but what really made me love this book was the amazing job Stephanie Perkins did in building such a good character as Etienne St. Claire. I am honestly in love with him and he is just a character! I loved everything about him to the point I was absolutely jealous of Anna,the main character. How silly is that? Looking forward to reading the other two books of this series.

 

FOURFour (A Divergent Collection) by Veronica Roth
Kindle, 304 pages
Finished on February 8th, 2016
★★★★☆

I am a huge Divergent fan yet I waited a year and a half to read this book. Why? I just couldn’t read the last piece of writing by Veronica Roth about this series. I wanted to feel like I still had something new to read for a little longer. I described this reading in my review as “returning back home after a very long time”. Four is my favourite character in the whole series so I was happy to read a few more things about his life. My favourite story of the four in this collection was definitely the first one called “The Transfer” in which we see more about Tobias in his early life and his terrible father. Loved reading about his Choosing Ceremony so much. I couldn’t give it five stars though because the other stories were just okay. I was expecting maybe a bit more and that’s why I was a bit let down but nonetheless I enjoyed the collection and wish Veronica released 40 stories about him rather than just four… eheheh.

❊ ❊ ❊ ❊ ❊ ❊ ❊ ❊

Then I went into reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and that’s when my reading slump started. I am like 30% into the book and even though it seems very interesting it’s at the same time a very complicated read in my opinion. There are lots of technical terms and scenarios about rockets and stuff that happens in the galaxy and while it’s sounds very exciting, it is also very hard to understand in the way the author writes things. She also creates all this different kind of beings with their weird names of their species and characteristic that are just a bit too much all at once.

I also picked up City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare ( Yes I haven’t read the Shadowhunters series yet, oops), Red Rising by Pierce Brown and The Verne Legacy by Tom Ford, an ebook I have received through NetGalley for review and it sounds very interesting so far. I hope I will be able to finish these books in March since I couldn’t in February. I’ll let you guys know.

 

How many books have you read? Hope you had a better reading month than me.

 

Talk to you soon,

Giovanna xx

I Met Pierce Brown | Red Rising Trilogy Author

On February 20th, the Post-Apocalyptic Book Club and Waterston’s Piccadilly hosted a fantastic event: “Dark Societies – In Conversation With Pierce Brown“.

Last night was Pierce Brown first ever event in the UK. The American author flew all the way to London to discuss his Red Rising trilogy and in particular its final instalment, Morning Star.

To say it was exciting is an understatement!

I have been following Pierce Brown for quite a while on the internet, apart from loving his writing I have always been very interested in him as a person because he seemed like such a nice and chilled guy. Check Tashapolis collabs with him on YouTube for a proof of it!

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excuse my awkward face lol

Gladly, he definitely met my expectations. He has such a good sense of humor and all I can say is that he is one of the loveliest humans I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

Pierce has this natural gift of making you feel comfortable the second he enters the room, no awkwardness when meeting him or anything like that. It’s actually a delight listening to him talking.

The event consisted of two parts. One in which he was interviewed and talked about Red Rising, a little bit about Morning Star and talked a lot about politics as it’s a topic strictly related to his stories and the script he is writing for the movie adaptation. The second one was for fans to ask him some questions.

It was really entraining because this guy talks a lot. Like really a lot but never in a boring way. He will ramble, start talking about stuff that have nothing to do with the original question but he will keep you interested through his entire speech no matter what he says. The variety of his speaking vocabulary is something I noticed and really really appreciated. I am always impressed by such a characteristic in people. It’s not something that should be taken for granted just because he is an author because unfortunately I have come across so many writers that are so repetitive in the use of their vocabulary it makes me so sad…

If you have never red the Red Rising trilogy I highly suggest you do so as soon as possible. It’s such a thrilling and fantastic story you won’t be disappointed. Can’t wait to dive into the last book(probably should have read it before meeting him but thanks God he was against spoilers yaaaas!)

Again I am so happy with the event. Thank you Pierce Brown, Waterston’s and Hodderscape for making it happen. Hope to see him in the UK again soon.

Talk to you soon,

 

Giovanna xx

5 Favourite Romance Books (Valentine’s Day!)

Hello, it’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you care or not about this festivity, it’s impossible to avoid the love and mawkishness in the air today. Unfortunately if you are not with your other half, it’s easy to feel kind of lonely on such a day where everyone reminds you of how in love with their partner is.

But you know what? We are all utterly in love with our books and fictional characters and that’s a kind of love that will never end. This should be enough to cheer you up!

Here is a list of 5 books with happy ending, heartbreaking or cute love stories I have read and loved. No matter your mood, this list should have your covered.

19174917.jpgFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Obvious choice but this to me is the perfect read for Valentine’s day. Such a cute, realistic story that made me feel all warm and happy for the entire time. You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

love rosie Love Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

I always describe this book as an emotional rollercoaster.  If you feel sad, unlucky and like you will never meet your prince charming or you let your chance slip through your fingers, this book will reassure you and give you hope again.

 19508953Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

If you are currently free and don’t particularly have a crush on anyone, go ahead and read this book. At your own risk though. I can guarantee you Etienne St. Clair will steal your heart and make you fall in love with him within a few pages. You have been warned!

 

 

 

 

ugly love.jpg Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Oh I love this book. A fascinating man changed by a tragedy and a girl that will turn his life around. Sounds a bit clichè but trust me, I have never read anything like it. It has some mature content so be aware of that if that’s not something you usually like to read But I would suggest this book 100%. And Colleen’s writing is spot on.

 

 

 

17347634.jpgMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

If you’d rather spend your Valentine’s day with a giant tub of icecream and get submerged in tissue than this book is your choice. I will never forget the actual pain I experience when I read Me Before You. A beautiful beautiful story that is totally worth reading.

 

 

 

 

Here are some of my favourite Young Adult and New Adult romance books. These are the ones I would totally recommend for this day. Which one would you pick to read on Valentine’s day? Something cute and uplifting or something totally heartbreaking?

In any case, happy Valentine’s Day

Giovanna x

Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth | Book Review

It’s February 2016 and after postponing the reading of this book for more than a year I have finally got my hands on Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth!

FOURFans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by these four stories  told from the perspective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included in this ebook bundle—“Four: The Transfer,” “Four: The Initiate,” “Four: The Son,” and “Four: The Traitor”—give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the Divergent trilogy.

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

I am a huge fan of the Divergent Series as you may or may not know but for some reason it took me quite a while to pick up Four after it was released. Probably because a part of me needed to know, after finishing Allegiant (and going through PBD for the following months) that there was still a part of this beautiful series I could read and discover. I did not want to leave Divergent behind so pushing back this reading gave me something to hold on to. It was something that could wait since it did not contain anything major I could get spoilered or any continuation from where Allegiant’s narration stopped.

Suddenly I felt quite nostalgic the other day and realised this was the right time for Four. Now I don’t know how else to describe reading this book other than “returning back home after a very long time”.

Tobias aka Four has always been my favourite character so being able to discover a little more events that happened in his early life and know his feelings in some scene that were previously told from Tris’ point of view was terrific.

My favourite piece in this collection was definitely “The Transfer”. Even though it was very painful to read once again the brutalities he had to go through because of his father, it was lovely to read about his own Choosing Ceremony and the moment he was brave enough to leave Abnegation and Marcus behind.

I also liked the scene in which he first discovers the truth about his mother and their first meeting. I always wanted to know more about it since Four first alluded to that event in Insurgent.

I was so happy to discover one of my favourite quotes (“Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up. I have seen it. It’s fascinating“) was included in it. It put a smile on my face when I came across it for the second time.

The other pieces were a nice read but nothing too special. I guess it’s always kind of impossible for just collections of excerpts to be compelling as they cannot add any twist or anything major to the story. It’s a way to discover more details and find out what else the author was hiding in her brain when she came up with the story.

I am so in love with Four so I am very grateful to Veronica Roth for publishing this collection!  It obviously left me with a bitter sweet taste in my mouth simply because I  now know that I am probably never going to read anything new about Divergent. Sigh.

★★★★☆

I am looking forward to watching Allegiant when it comes out on the big screen next month! Have you read this collection? What do you think about it?

Talk to you soon,

Giovanna xx