Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review: Bull

Bull by David Elliott

Released (or TO BE on...): March 28, 2017 
Read: January 2017
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books 
Format: ARC, 200 pages
Series: Stand-alone

Description on Goodreads:
    SEE THE STORY OF THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR
IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT

Minos thought he could
Pull a fast one
On me,
Poseidon!
God of the Sea!
But I’m the last one
On whom you
Should try such a thing.
The nerve of that guy.
The balls. The audacity.
I AM THE OCEAN!
I got capacity!
Depths! Darkness! Delphic power!
So his sweet little plan
Went big-time sour
And his wife had a son
Born with horns and a muzzle
Who ended up
In an underground puzzle.
What is it with you mortals?
You just can’t seem to learn:
If you play with fire, babies,
You’re gonna get burned.

    Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did in Hamilton, the New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters.

Review:
    I'm not used to reading poetry, I prefer YA fantasy/thriller novels, but I wanted to read Bull based on the fact that it's greek mythology. AND of course, it has a lovely cover. I mean, just look at it! The bull's head is sketched beautifully with emphasis on the bright oval eyes and the midnight black words. Such a masterpiece.
    Now on to the book itself... Poseidon was absolutely hilarious; and I don't mean the Laughs-In-Head-But-Smirking funny, I mean the So-Funny-I-Have-To-Make-Everyone-Around-Me-Read-This-Right-Now funny. I couldn't put it down. The way Poseidon explained everything and could read your mind ( how he calls you out on thinking he should sound more old fashioned), it was extremely entertaining.
    The rest of the characters felt like just that: characters. It felt like Poseidon was the narrator, the main pulling all the strings, and could decide the fate of all the mortals at a flick of his wrist. This was actually more exciting than it probably sounds. It seemed like I was with a storyteller and I couldn't help but be in awe of every twist and turn of the plot. I was the small obedient child listening intently while my elder told me of the old ways. It was fascinating!
    Anyway, the story itself was intriguing. Each character's point of view really added to how the tale was perceived. By showing how Minos felt, I was easily able to understand why he acted the way he did, and the same goes for Pasiphae, Asterion, Ariadne, and Poseidon.
    In this case, the story was indeed incredibly short but that's all I needed. If it was any longer, if the author had tried to expand a scene any further, it might've felt boring at some point. Overall, I would definitely recommend Bull to anyone that likes greek mythology, the story of the Minotaur, or comedic poetry.


Favourite Quotes (When reading them, don't forget to rhyme it in your head, and the capitals start a new line in the poem!):

  • " So he wonders, If I'd give the people And omen, A sign, Something impressive, He says, something divine. Anything to prove He's the man For the royal job. So what the fuck, I think. I'm gonna help this slob."-Poseidon
  • " Be glad that I did! If I hadn't? No story. You know the drill: No guts. No glory. Now you're grossed out? Well, Life's not for wimps. Sometimes gods are gods And sometimes they're pimps." -Poseidon
  • "You'll argue he was just Putting into practice The philosophy of eye for eye. Say what you will. I don't mind; But now we know Why Justice is blind."-Poseidon
  • "Maybe we should call a hotline. But it's such a yummy plot line..." -Poseidon

Rating: 8/10

Recommended if you like: greek mythology, modernly-written poetry, comedies, poetry in general, short-but-sweet stories, the story of the Minotaur

Keep flipping pages,
Lauren


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review: Caraval




27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Released: January 31st, 2017
Read: February 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Hardcover, 407 pages
Series: Caraval 1

Description from Goodreads:

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.


Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Review:

Holy crap this book knocked my socks off. Big time. The world that Garber painted was so real and so vivid, you could literally taste the magic in the air. I loved this book from start to finish, and it really didn't have that "boring" intro part that plagues so many YA novels today. From the beginning, I could sense that this a book, singular in it's brilliance. I thought that it was so intriguing, and I loved the characters! All of the characters felt so round, and were fully developed, it seemed that there was no line where the characters began, and their stories ended. It was seamless to say the least. Plus the plot was one of the best I've read in a good long while. It kept me guessing, and the twists and turns that it took were really hard to follow (but in a really great way!). I was kept on my toes, and I loved that there were was so much to soak up. I couldn't put this book down, and I'm pretty sure I read it in a manner of two days. Plus the romance in the novel was so adorable! I really thought that it was a nice touch to the plot. In all honesty, I simply cannot wait for the sequel to drop! 

Favourite Quote:

"She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.” 

― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Rating:

9.5/10 Stars

Reccomended for people who enjoy: mystery, romance, magic, fantasy, mind games, the carnival

Happy Reading,
Mari

Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Review: Meg & Linus

  Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski

Released: April 17th, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: ARC, 323 pages
Read: March 2017

Description from GoodReads: Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They're pretty happy.
   But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn't quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . .

Review: This book was exactly the way I thought it was going to be. That's not a bad thing, necessarily. It sounded like the main focus would be on relationships, whether platonic or romantic, and it was. I figured it would have complex and flawed characters that didn't fit in the stereotypes put on them, and it did. I guessed that it would be an easy read, and yeah, it was. 
   Everyone needs books like this, where you worry about the characters, but you know they're going to be fine in the end. This book makes a good "break" novel. When you need a break from super-dramatic books, this one is here for you.
   This book also dealt well with more than a few issues. The sexualities of the main characters wasn't their identity, but it did dip casually into the bullying they had faced. It also, I feel, pretty accurately described the feelings after a breakup. I mean, I don't think most people meddle in their best friends love life instead of dealing with their issues, but apart from that, it seemed realistic.
   Some of the dialogue can be a little off, but I can let it slide, since the author is German.

Rating: 8/10

Read if You Liked: Queens of Geek, most books published by Swoon Reads, meddling

Optimistically yours, Ola <3