Jan 26, 2012

Book Review: Fallen - Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen (Fallen #1) - Lauren Kate
Release Date: The edition I have was first published September 28th 2010
Publisher: Ember
Pages: 452 (paperback, first edition)
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

For quite some time, I eyed Fallen every time I saw it in a bookstore. A cover that pretty is a total head-turner and thankfully, what's inside is just as beautiful.

Luce Price was a typical teenager on the surface but ever since she was little, she had been haunted by what she called the Shadows. She told her parents about it and, as expected, they tried to help her by bringing her to eye and ear doctors, and eventually to shrinks, but they had done nothing to help eliminate the dark figures until she grew tired of the meds and sessions and just decided to pretend that she was already fine. She was doing well until one night, the Shadows hurt her and killed the guy she liked. Everyone except Luce's parents and her friend, Callie, believed that she was at fault for the death and branded her a troubled kid, so she was sent to a reform school. Luce thought it was the end for her until she laid her eyes on Daniel Grigori who was hot-one-minute-and-cold-the-next, but she never could have imagined the reason why...

I read the book twice before making this review. The first time, I gave it four out of five. I was planning to give it a three because I found it totally dragging, particularly the middle part, but the ending saved it for me. But on the second time, the story just enthralled me and I enjoyed it a whole lot more.

No story is perfect though, and I had two problems with this one. Number one: the characters were not developed enough. They had to be taken at face value, and I think number two explains why: the book was written like a movie. Most of the characters’ thoughts and, at times, even the setting were not elaborated enough. But the good thing about that is that it makes it easier to picture the scenes in your head because there are fewer things to include in what you imagine, and reading Fallen was just like watching a movie.

Nonetheless, this was a really good book and I’m planning to read it again before going on to the sequel when I get to buy it!


My favorite part: Daniel showing his wings to Luce. That was so heavenly. "Twitterpated" is probably an understatement of how I felt while reading that.

Rating: 5/5
(photo from goodreads.com; summary from author’s website)

Jan 24, 2012

Book Review: A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin

 Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) - George R.R. Martin
Release Date: The edition I have was first published August 4th 1997
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 835 (mass market paperback)
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.  
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

I first heard about A Game of Thrones when some people I followed on Twitter posted about how good the HBO series was. I google-d it and found out that it was based on a book so I decided to read first before watching, and that was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

The story starts with the depiction of the lives of the Starks in Winterfell. It was generally peaceful until King Robert, Lord Eddard Stark's good friend, offered him something that he wanted to refuse at first but, thanks to a terrible turn of events, ended up accepting.

I totally regret not giving more time for reading this book (I read this for four weeks *kicks self*) because the story was really fast-paced and unpredictable. At first it was quite confusing, though that's probably because of my lack of imagination. I would recommend reading a quarter of the book THEN watching the first episode of the TV series so that you can associate faces with most of the names. Also, I think another reason for that confusion of mine was because Martin jumped from one person's part of the story to another in every chapter, but I got used to it soon enough.

In conclusion, I love how there's a perfect mix of reality and fantasy in this story. Halfway through, I told myself I won't read the next book in A Song of Ice and Fire until after months, but I changed my mind when I got to the ending which was a total cliffhanger! So I would recommend buying the sequel, A Clash of Kings, before you finish this one.

My favorite part: Every time Tyrion displays his wit and humor, and Arya being the bad-ass that she is.

Rating: 5/5
(photo from goodreads.com; summary from publisher's website)