I'm an eighteen-year old two-faced Filipina extrovert who has been living in the pages of books for two years now. I expertize in warped logic and extreme criticism.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Clipped Wings is a beautiful story about two people, Hayden and Tenley, who find solace in each other as they try to leave their tragic pasts behind them and just embrace the future. I shelved this book under Supernatural thinking it's about angels given the word wings in the title. But when I checked on the synopsis on Goodreads, I didn't know I was in for a big surprise.
Helena Hunting's writing style is rich and delicate. She could perfectly execute the emotions of her characters in detail without boring her readers out. At some point I found myself reading a finely crafted prose. All the emotions and stories of the two main characters' pasts were brilliantly put into words and interlaced with the future.
The characters are very likable as well. I rarely take a liking to both the main characters of a book (the last time I felt so was with Mia Sheridan's Archer's Voice) and it surprised me that Hunting did not disappoint me in that area. I am very particular with New Adult books as I have not appreciated the fact that authors of this genre would want to write about emotionally and mentally injured protagonists and lose the logic along the way when it's time to talk about lewd scenes. But in Clipped Wings, even as both of the characters have pasts which they would just want to leave behind and never think of again, Hayden and Tenley didn't go all stupid as they quenched their thirsts for each other. And that's another thing I liked about this book, the fact that Hunting used their physical connection to deal with their pasts.
But the one I loved the most in this story is how Hunting made tattoos and piercings a beautiful thing. I am not pertaining to how they adorn one's body, no. I'm talking about how Hayden's being a tattoo artist isn't just about creating art on people's bodies. It could be correlated with someone's emotions as well and it can either break or make him. Hayden taught me that tattoos aren't just "designs" on one's limbs and torso but they're actually representations of that person's past and even future. Most stories about bad boys with tattoos are just for the sake of satiating the reader's craving for a bad boy. Clipped Wings isn't just about a bad boy with tattoos and piercings, it's about what tattoos and piercings are for.
Everything about this book is beautiful. The descriptions of the tattoos, how I imagined them to look like, the story of Hayden and Tenley and how they deal with the horrific and overwhelming past of the other...so brilliant. I just wish Hunting would have explained some scenes more and elaborated further on how Hayden and Tenley had connected with each other after only weeks of seeing and barely talking to each other.
I want my own Dante Walker. He's like Jace of The Mortal Instruments series, only, he's from the Underworld.
My not-so-updated bookshelf.
I started reading and collecting books in 2012. Prior to that I was an ultimate “book nerd hater”. My friends and I insulted book nerds. We condemned books and reading. We thought reading was for nerds, one thing we didn’t want to be called, and it was nothing but boring.
I grew up surrounded by books. I know, I know, ironic, isn’t it? My parents made sure my siblings and I grew up as bookworms like they did. I learned how to read at the age of five and if I remember it correctly, when I was kid, I couldn’t sleep without reading a book or two. I don’t know what happened when I reached fifth grade. Perhaps because technology and social networking sites have become rampant that reading books became the bottom of my priority list.
Then one day, a miracle happened.
Summer of 2012, we just got back from La Union where we had a mini reunion during the Holy Week. One of my cousins asked if she could use my PC because she needed to download something for her project (she was an IT student, she’s a graduate now) and then we found out that our router was having a malfunction.
My dad promised that he would have it fixed right away knowing us who couldn’t survive one day without Facebook.
It took PLDT two weeks to respond. By then we were more than bored and I almost cursed PLDT because my cousins were leaving the next day and there was no internet and I was dying of boredom. So my cousins tagged me along as they went to check on books at the local bookstore. They’re avid readers, you see. I was very excited not because we were going to the bookstore but because it was located in SM and strolling around the mall was a breather.
I didn’t end up strolling.
I ended up reading a book instead. It was Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate. My cousins read books for almost two hours and because they asked me to wait for them which definitely bore me the heck out of me, I had to grab a book and check it out as well.
That started my journey with books.
I then realized the book I was reading was part of a series and it wasn’t the first book. I searched the shelf and saw Torment, which had a similar cover, and thought of buying it as soon as possible. I asked my dad a day after if I could buy it and he happily said yes.
There you have it. I bought Torment by Lauren Kate. I was rather stoked to start reading when I got home. I even grabbed a pencil to mark the words I didn’t understand and even underline my favorite lines. My mom saw me and told me about her bookworm habits when she was a teenager. She said I inherited that habit from her. She used to read anything and marked everything she didn’t understand. That was how it enhanced her
vocabulary and now she’s an English teacher.
It’s funny because Torment isn’t the first book either. It’s Fallen. I discovered it only when I was already halfway through the book. After Torment I went back to the bookstore for Fallen. Unfortunately, Fallen wasn’t available at the bookstore yet. So I had to wait. But since I had nothing else to do and I thought I enjoyed reading, I bought Vampire Academy instead.
From then on, I spend my summers reading books. Actually, not only summers. I buy books every time I have free time even on school days. I even got scolded by my teacher in high school because I was reading instead of doing our thesis.
Who would have thought that a book nerd hater like me would end up as one?
Now I have a hundred physical books and five hundred ebooks. Why do I only have a few books? It’s because I don’t buy another one unless I finish one. So yes, I’ve read every book I have. Oh and most of my books are with my friends so my bookcase doesn’t look like a two-years worth of collecting books.
There was no electricity this morning so I had to read a physical book instead because I wasn't able to charge my ipad where I'm currently reading Across the Universe. So far I'm liking it. It's a fun read and the obnoxious homesickness of the main character unexpectedly appears funny to me. Now I couldn't put the book down.
★★★★★ Excellent. Brilliant. Perfect. Definitely an all-nighter. I LOVED IT!
★★★★½ Almost perfect albeit there is one meager complaint.
★★★★ It's an ''okay'' read but there is something lacking.
★★★½ Close to "I really liked it." but there are a couple of loopholes in the story.
★★★ I liked it. Torn between liked and hated.
★★½ I almost liked it.
★★ It's okay but it elicited too much head-shaking and eye-rolling.
★½ There are at least two insignificant things I liked about it.
★ Irrational. Too awful to continue reading. At some point I just wanted to chuck the book somewhere else.
5 out of 5 stars.
Having a stressful week? Frustrated with the book you just read? Or simply having too much going on? THEN I SUGGEST YOU READ THIS BOOK! This book is so refreshing it can take away your stress and frustrations.
If you take a look at my previous reviews, you'd see how frustrated I was with the recent books I had been reading. Either it had become irrational or it just didn't reach my expectations given the promising premise.
But this book? Holy crap. This book was like HEAVEN-SENT when I began reading it.
Everything is thoroughly explained and the plot is very original. It's tells the story of a girl who lives in a place called the Compound where people have extraordinary psychological abilities. This girl, Addie, has the ability to see her future but only if she has to choose between two choices. So when her parents announce that they're having a divorce, she's forced to decide whether to stay with her mom in the Compound and continue the life she has always known, or leave with her dad and blend in with Norms or normal people.
Each chapter is an alternation of Addie's life in the Compound and in the Norm world. At first I was confused how and why in one chapter she's in the Compound and then the next she's in the Norm world. But I have to admit the writing is so savvy I didn't entertain that thought until I'm one-fourth of the book in. And then things appear which makes me realize she's currently in a Search and she's simultaneously seeing her life with her mom or dad after six weeks. The twists are so good I actually found myself literally gasping.
Then there's the romance. Gosh, choosing between Duke and Trevor is like choosing your favorite among your children. It's that tough of a decision! I didn't know whether to opt for cocky yet sweet jock Duke or quiet and simple Trevor. Addie's life with either of these two equals the other. It's one of the things that will certainly pull the reader towards the end because they will be greatly anticipating for whoever Addie ends up with as well.
Lastly, the plot twist is just so groundbreaking! Everything about this book is so brilliant! I admired how Kasie West put together the mysterious and heart-stirring elements of this book. And even if most people will consider it a light and fun read, the emotions are still real that the reader will suddenly find herself reeling from it too.
In as much as I'd like to talk more about it, it will be better if you see it for yourself instead.
I stopped reading because the story doesn't make sense anymore. I wanted to continue to at least give it a chance because I know a couple of stories that become better halfway through but this? No. It just becomes more twisted and frustrating as I go on.
So let me tell you my insights on this nonsensical book:
1. Amber was an abuse victim for three years. She claims that the mere touch of other people can already trigger the trauma so she stays away from them as much as possible. However, for the past eight years, she's been sleeping (sleep, as in sleep) with her older brother's best friend because he comforted her one night. And she feels his morning glory every time, at that. Now how could one guy be an exception to her fear of touch? Plus, a guy's morning glory means he's turned on and might be craving for sex. So shouldn't Amber be scared that he might force himself to her because he's turned on? How is that okay for her when one touch is already a big deal?
2. This: "I tried to wriggle free, but it just made us rub together in places that I would rather not think about my brother's man-whore of a best friend touching. My body started to tingle and I couldn't help the little moan that escaped from my lips. Oh my God, that actually feels nice!" Who's the whore now? I'm sorry but for a victim of molestation? You're a horny one. And this is just chapter 3, everyone, chapter 3. Instead of jumping off and running for her life, she actually says it feels nice. Way to go, horny lady!
3. There are a lot of "out of the blue" lines and scenes. I was like, "Where the hell did you come from?" or "This doesn't make sense!" For example, the morning of that day, they were teasing each other (not to mention some meager flirtation) because they're supposed to be in a love-hate relationship. And then at night, Liam does things like stare at her "with a weird expression on his face" and Amber says "Why was everything so tense and strange between us tonight? It was probably just because I was so pissed off at him this morning it's made things a little awkward." It doesn't make sense, right?!
4. "They are the two best players on the hockey team and look like sex gods..." In this scene, Liam and Jake (Amber's older brother) are being swooned at by practically every girl in the school. I think it's exaggerated. First off, Liam and Jake's persona at school is just so perfect for a human being. Secondly, are they the only guys at school? Is every girl a hormone-ridden one enough to openly eye-screw them?
5. There's this one scene wherein Liam and Amber are at a store and while Amber's reading a magazine, two guys come up to her and start flirting with her. Who does this on a normal or ordinary circumstance? It's not everyday someone will randomly flirt with you and at a convenience store, for that.
6. "He looked straight into my eyes; I could see the honesty in his deep blue watery eyes." So Amber claims that one touch can already bring back memories of her dad, right? And then one day Liam wasn't lucky enough to be an exception because Amber suddenly panics and "tries not to cry". And then Liam apologizes and says he'd never hurt her and that line above comes next. Whoa, wait there, that's a weird transition, isn't it? One second she's reacting like a harassed girl and then one stare from the guy, she says that ^. Again, it doesn't make sense.
7. For an abuse victim, she certainly shows so much skin and is an easy one. At a party, a stranger guy invites her to the kitchen and she just joins him? Without any hesitation? If you were an abuse victim, will you just go with a guy without feeling scared let alone hesitant? Given that you're tipsy, even? If you're smart enough you'll know you're weak to fight back should anything happen so why join a guy right away?
8. The guy in number 7 forces himself to her, Liam saves her and they make-out. Again, why do some writers make it seem as if sex is the best distraction or trauma-erasing crap nowadays?
9. New Adult writers should stop creating this rape victim crap in their stories for the sake of plot. It conflicts the logic of the story and makes their characters less sympathy-worthy. How? What kind of rape victim easily gives in to sex or anything closely-related to it?
10. Cheesy. Everything Liam and Amber does is either too cheesy or too hormone-ridden.
I've a lot yet to list but I guess this will suffice. This story was not well-thought of and it oozes of raging hormones. There's no logic in the scenes because everything's about hormones...hormones, sex, hormones.
I don't know why but I've been into these kinds of books lately. I guess it's because I'm craving for some light reading.
I've already jotted down the points I'd like to talk about in my review on this and honestly, I'm not enjoying it. I can already see a flashing "DNF" otherwise "Did-Not-Finish" sign or 1-star rating tops.
The Maze Runner series
3 out of 5 stars.
Once again a book I'm not sure I like or not hence the 3-star rating.
This story's about a cynic and a playboy. Bianca crosses paths with Wesley when he approaches her one night and calls her the Duff. The Duff, according to Wesley, is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend, which means the least-attractive friend in the group. This enrages Bianca and makes her despise what she calls the "man-whore" even more. But the unexpected comes when things at home don't go very well and Bianca suddenly sees Wesley as a distraction. The distraction? A kiss. Little did they know, that kiss is the start of a hate-with-benefits-relationship. And as much as Bianca hates to admit, she realizes she's gradually falling for the man-whore.
It's a short and light read, nothing much of conflicts and breath-stopping chapters.
I must say I somehow enjoyed the book solely because of Bianca's narration. She's a straight-A student, yes, she's very critical when it comes to love, yes, but she's not boring and actually has a sense of humor. At some point her "tone" even reminded me of the movie Juno and I imagined her as Ellen Page's character in that movie.
I also loved the characters especially Bianca's best friends because I saw my best friends in them. And somehow, the word "Duff" stirred something in me and then I realized I'm the Duff in our group. But it's not the physical aspects that reminded me of them, it's the characters' personalities that did.
And the sequence of events are okay, there are no unnecessary scenes to complicate the story.
However, I didn't like how fast the transition is between Bianca's loathing for Wesley and then their hate-with-benefit relationship. The premise says Bianca is too smart for Wesley's playboy-tactics but it takes her only a few days to start having this kind of relationship with him. I mean it's sex, it's a big deal for someone who believes love takes years to establish and develop.
And then there's this issue of her cynicism most especially with guys. It isn't stated upfront but it is directly implied. I understand that she has so much going on at home and every time she's with Wesley, for some unknown reasons, she forgets about these things and stuff. But my point here is, why sex? At the latter part of the book it shows that Wesley is someone you can confide in so why sex? It just shows that most people, God forbid teenagers, nowadays resort to sex when every thing comes to worst. And to think that a lot have "shelved" this book as Young Adult? I don't think it's quite acceptable.
I also don't think I should recommend this to people who easily get offended by guys who mistreat women. Wesley here is a jerk and the word "Duff" is actually a big deal to Bianca. She even admits this word is rather offensive and prejudicial. Oh so there's one more thing that waged a war inside me. Bianca claims that Wesley hurts her emotionally every time he calls her this and Wesley calls her this word the entire time yet she still allows him to let alone screw her? That's just so wrong, so wrong.
Over all it's an okay read it's just that this book raises quite a couple of questions.
Simply because I'd like to see how contemporary erotica will go with me.
EDIT: I tried so hard to digest the scenes but I can't...I just can't.
3 out of 5 stars.
The ending was okay and it even had me saying, "Aww!". But this book just has so much going on it irritated me. I don't think I love this story neither do I hate it. I give it a 3-star rating because I have a love-hate relationship with it.
The story follows two unlikely people, a pompom queen who lives a lavish life and a gang member who has to work at his cousin's auto shop to help provide his family's needs. Brittany, the female protagonist, has lived her life trying to be perfect for everyone's satisfaction. Turns out she has more to keep to herself. Her sister is a celebral palsy patient and this fact alone ruins the "perfect" facade she and her parents had kept up for years. Alex, on the other hand, is a Latino gang member who joined the gang only because he wanted to protect his family after his dad was shot when he was six.
I know, what a cliché, right? It's the typical rich girl-poor guy love story, needless to say the perfect girl-bad boy situation. I must say there's just too much stereotyping and banality in this story. Here's a list:
1. Latino gang member. I'm not American and I haven't been to the US either. But movies have taught me about gangs there and I know for sure that there are indeed Latino gang members. My point is, not all Latinos are gang members and not all gang members are Latinos. I know for a fact that there are White, Black and Asian gang members as well. And the fact that ONLY Latinos were considered gang members in this story, my question is: "Can't the male protagonist be a gang member without NECESSARILY BEING A LATINO?" Because surely, that's how it was put in the book. I suggest you watch "Freedom Writers" to have a better insight on the diversity in gangs.
2. Cheer leading captain and football star, a couple. Whoops! Tell me a story that isn't about a cheer leader dating the "heroic" quarterback. To be honest, I'm just so sick and tired of this "worn out scenario". And then there's this co-captain "best friend" who steals her boyfriend afterwards and almost everything from her because she's little miss perfect. Bring it On, anyone? Can't it at least be original?
3. Rich girl "imposing" a perfect life. This one's not much of a complain. I completely understand that Brit has to live a perfect life because her parents, especially her mom, are one heck of control freaks just because they can't get over the fact that their first daughter is "disabled" (that's how it was put in the book) so they want the other one to make up for such "imperfection". I get, I totally get it. But this situation's mostly been present in other books and even movies. I want more substance!
4. Judgmental brats. I don't get why most authors nowadays find the NEED to make their protagonist's friends as brats who judge people that are "financially inferior" to them. So they're well-off, but does that mean they have to regard people who can't afford designer clothes like them as if they're lepers? Why can't there be a "sidekick" who actually has the brain, enough to understand that money doesn't reflect a person's character? This kind of illustration of what most people are today in books is just so sickening. What, just for the sake of having a plot? Oh please, there're a lot out there that you could use as a plot.
5. Typical "I don't like you for my daughter because you have a questionable reputation and you're parents aren't loaded." and "I don't like you for my son because you're rolling in it and bloated people like you are heartbreakers." Again, another depiction of today's society, ladies and gentlemen. I want something original. People have already had enough of this lame bullcrap regarding social status discrimination. The last thing we want is it being rubbed on our faces over and over again.
There's one more thing I hated about this book: Brittany. She's nothing but a spoiled brat and a hypocrite. I used to pity her, used to. At one point she makes Alex choose her over his gang. That's kind of normal given that Alex's life is at stake as well but so is his family's. Even if Alex tries so hard to explain to her that he can't because it'll mean his family's lives, she actually reasons out that she had jeopardized her friends and family for him so he has to do the same. If I were in her shoes and I had to keep up with a family and friends like that, what I wouldn't give to be finally free of them! She just proves to him what people had always thought of her: a blondie who gets everything she wants regardless of whatever's at stake, as long as she gets whatever she wants.
And she ORDERS him to change into someone he hadn't needed to be before she barged in to his life! If some girls complain about guys wanting them to be perfect, well Brittany is just the female version of those guys, which makes her a hypocrite.
Some people may argue that maybe it's because it was how she was trained at home, to be perfect and presentable to other people. That's the point, my friends. She says she hates how her parents order her around, how they control her life, how she's supposed to show a perfect life to the people at school even if sometimes she just wants to let her secrets out. As someone who has suffered this kind of torture, shouldn't she be the first one to understand that people are human thus flawed? Isn't that why she fell for Alex in the first place? Because despite his imperfections she still sees something in him that makes the tables turn? Isn't that what this story's trying to relay to us? That love is about acceptance, that when you love someone, you also love their weaknesses, shortcomings and flaws? Please enlighten me because I certainly didn't see that in Brit. More than half of the book she's embarrassed of Alex, she's scared that he might ruin her reputation, she wants him to be someone he clearly isn't. Even if they're already dating she still can't digest that she's dating a gang member.
Plus Brit's an imbecile. What kind of girl does not get mad even the slightest bit even after she sees a picture of her boyfriend and another girl? Sure she confronts him for this while they're about to have sex but just one sentence of denial and she lets him slip off and suck on her breasts? And it's crystal clear that her friends are fake because they insult her judgments and choices upfront and she's still okay with that?! One's already backstabbing her, no, stabbing her in the chest and she still calls her a friend? I don't know what kind of head she has but it's obviously not a good one.
One more thing, I hated the fast transition among the scenes. One second, they're living a good life, the next, Alex is already talking about his gang and crap. At one point I find myself confused at whatever's already happening.
There are just two things I loved about this book: the humor and the portrayal of gang situations. Elkeles sure knows how to portray a gang member's life. She knows her terms and whatever's happening in a gang.
All in all it's an okay read. There are just too many flaws and head-shaking for me to concentrate on the story.
It's 2:25 am and I'm laughing my ass out...laughing my ass out at the stereotyping and worn out scenarios. Not all Latinos are gang members and not all gang members are Latinos, mind you, Simone Elkeles and not all rich people are OBLIGATED to BE PERFECT. Although I've laughed my ass out half the time (in all fairness Elkeles sure knows how to tickle people's funny bone) I'm at this point where I can sense the female protagonist's about to do something stupid. Let's see how it goes...
1.5 out of 5 stars.
Sometimes, a book's premise can be deceiving.
I'll admit this book has a very promising premise but...THE CONTENT RUINED EVERYTHING! I don't recall ever rolling my eyes at practically every chapter since I started reading books. Sex, raging hormones, perverted minds...I guess this is where the story revolved and not the characters' stories per se.
This book is SUPPOSED TO BE about two "damaged" teenagers. I have to say, when I read the synopsis, I can't help but compare it to Katie Mcgarry's Pushing The Limits. If you've read my review on PTL, you'll know how much I loved the depth it contained and whatnot. Plus, I'm a fan of books about "damaged" teenagers not because I'm a sadist or something like that but somehow I learn from these kinds of stuff considering that I grew up in an almost perfect environment.
So the synopsis talks about Kayden, the male protagonist, finding comfort in Callie, the female protagonist, when she saves him from yet another almost-death experience from the hands of his own father. Everything is expected to have a great twist when they discover that they're going to the same university. Since then Callie has sought refuge in Kayden and that one person she has learned to trust the most after her very traumatic experience when she was twelve, Seth.
The first part of this book made me send my heart out to Kayden and Callie. Who can't not feel sympathy towards a teenage guy who gets beaten up by his own father which kills him on the inside that he just receives the hits without bothering to stand up for himself and then a girl who gets raped at the age of twelve? But then again, I saw something that really pissed the heck out of me...this line: “wanting nothing more than to rip her clothes off and bury my dick deep inside her.” It then elicited my very first eye-roll at this book.
Kayden's supposed to be broken on the inside, as he claims himself to be. His father's been beating him up since he was seven up until now that he's in college and eighteen. And despite this HE STILL MANAGES TO WORK UP HIS PERVERTED MIND ON A GIRL HE HADN'T BOTHERED GLANCING AT IN HIGH SCHOOL AND HAD JUST GIVEN A GOOD VIEW THE NIGHT SHE STOPPED HIS FATHER FROM KILLING HIM?! Way to go, emotionally-damaged guy! Maybe your father's severe beatings had rattled your brain that you don't know how to contain your raging hormones even when you claim that you're broken and all secretive and crap.
And then there's Callie who's SUPPOSED TO BE A RAPE VICTIM. The experience was traumatic enough for her that a mere touch on her hand, the mere contact with a guy, heck even the mere scent of her hair, is already enough to elicit fear from her. But just one good-looking guy whom she had a crush on in grade school was all it took to make her forget about her trust issues?! Just one eye contact, one night that she had a glimpse on his scars and his vulnerable moment under his father's hand had already made her less-traumatized...horny, even? I understand that she thinks she could trust him because they're both "damaged" since that's basically how she and her friend Seth had become close, enough to tell each other everything. But really, now? One second she claims that in six years, six whole years, she hadn't been able to trust a guy, any guy for that matter and then just because Kayden's really attractive she doesn't even hesitate to join him somewhere much less be alone with him? What happened to the "supposedly" scarred girl? I doubt rape victims in real life will be at so much ease with a guy however attractive he is after a trauma-inflicting experience. And don't tell me it could be a character and plot development because if that were the case, then it's a stupid way to create such.
They claim that they're damaged teenagers with daunting pasts but instead of dealing with their life issues, they deal with quenching their hunger for each other's bodies. Instead of telling the audience that there are people out there who're suffering these kinds of life, they tell us that they're just like what society deems most teenagers nowadays to be, people who feed off on alcohol and sex. Instead of telling us that there might be hope for victims like the characters, they tell us that you can run away from these experiences by running your hands and mouths on someone else's body and orgasm your way out. Instead of eliciting sympathy for them, the only feeling it elicited from me is hatred and the need to whack their heads to make them focus on moving their way out of the agony and not on each other's body.
The only reason I'm giving this a 1.5 rating is because the introduction was able to earn my sympathy for them and somehow, in the dark, when they finally face the people who have inflicted severe pain upon them, I actually feel sorry. Unfortunately, that's just it.
I've heard so much hype about this book and so far this book's living up to that hype. I've three book reviews to post tomorrow. Yay!
EDIT: Okay, I'm kind of confused already. There's so much unnecessary scenes and the characters' feelings for each other are kind of baffling as well. WHAT THE HECK'S HAPPENING NOW?!