BOOK REVIEW: Treasure Island – by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Title: Treasure Island
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Genre: Classics, YA, Historical Fiction
First published: 1883
Finished reading: May 24th 2015
Pages: 190
Rating 2

“It was Silver’s voice, and before I had heard a dozen words, I would not have shown myself for all the world. I lay there, trembling and listening, in the extreme of fear and curiostiy, for, in those dozen words, I understood that the lives of all the honest men aboard depended on me alone.”

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I wanted to like this classic pirate story by Robert Louis Stevenson so bad. A children story about pirates and a treasure hunt sounded like the perfect read, but unfortunately I ended up being quite disappointed by it. I was unable to warm up to the main characters and there is a significant lack of action during the whole novel. I mean, the story is supposed to be about a treasure hunt, but they all seem to talk more than they actually ‘hunt’. To be honest, I cannot see why Treasure Island would actually be considered children literature… I felt bored during most of the story (not counting the final chapters), so I wonder how children will be able to pay attention for so long. I didn’t mind the prose; that is what you expect when you start reading a classic written in the 19th century. Plus, with my kindle I was able to look up any old-fashioned words quickly anyway. But I did mind the characters and their sometimes less convincing actions. Taking Jim Hawkins for example: he sure is entitled to survive a lot of dangers for a boy his age! I know a lot of people love this classic and my opinion won’t be popular, but Treasure Island really just wasn’t for me.

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Jim Hawkins is a very clever boy who ends up outsmarting a whole gang of dangerous pirates. When he gets his hands on a treasure map, he and local Doctor Livesy decide to go look for the treasure before the pirates that killed the original owner show up again. But the squire that works for the doctor doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut, and soon they are in more trouble than they can imagine… As they board the ship that will take them to the island the treasure is hidden, the three don’t realize that half of the crew is made out of the same pirates they tried to run away from. Looking for the treasure won’t be as easy as they had originally planned…

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I feel almost bad for not enjoying Treasure Island, but to be honest I had a hard time finishing this classic. I found especially the first part of the story quite boring and the characters didn’t exactly convince me. It could have been because I was expecting something different or because I had really high expectations, but I know one thing for sure: Treasure Island won’t be making it to my favorite classics list.

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BOOK REVIEW: City Of Ashes – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City Of Ashes
(The Mortal Instruments #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: March 25th 2008
Finished reading: May 22nd 2015
Pages: 453
Rating 3

“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”

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While I was reading City Of Ashes I couldn’t stop asking myself: how many love triangles does a story need? Seriously, there are so many different love triangles in this second book of The Mortal Instruments series that it’s becoming ridiculous. And I’m not even talking about what is going on between Jace and Clary… THAT is just seriously messed up.. Sure, the story has a fast pace and Cassandra Clare is using a prose that is easy to read and even funny at times. But I’m having serious difficulties with some of the characters and their behavior. I won’t be going into details to avoid spoilers, but those who’ve read this sequel already will probably understand what I’m talking about. There are quite a few plot twists and while some are quite interesting, others are plain cheesy. I already have a copy of the next two books on my TBR shelf, but I’m not so sure I will actually continue this series any time soon…

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read City Of Bones yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

After all that happened, Clary just wants her normal life back. But that is not as easy as it seems, because the Shadowhunter world doesn’t seem to be done with her. With her mother in the hospital with a coma, Luke being a werewolf and her newfound brother Jace being a Shadowhunter, things are just not that easy. Besides, Valentine is still out there planning something evil and he isn’t going to stop until he finished whatever he is trying to do. It’s up to the Shadowhunters to stop him before it’s too late… And they are trying to solve the Downworlder children murders as well. Who can they really trust and will they be able to win the fight against Valentine?

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I actually liked the prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices way better and I don’t think I will continue The Mortal Instruments series any time soon. I found the characters and their actions really annoying and I don’t think I can take any more love triangles for now. I’m not saying this is a bad read and it’s actually quite well written and funny at points, but I think there are way better YA fantasy series out there that I would prefer reading instead. This one turned out to be too much of a cheesy romance novel for my taste…

BOOK REVIEW: Falling Into Place – by Amy Zhang

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Title: Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: September 9th 2014
Finished reading: May 17th 2015
Pages: 304
Rating 3

“Gravity is our playmate, momentum is our friend. We are blurs of motion. We are racing, and we are both winning, because we do not race each other. We race the world, and as fast as it rotates, as fast as it revolves, we are faster.”

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I know a lot of people loved this novel and I almost feel bad for ending up not liking Falling Into Place. I’m not saying this novel by Amy Zhang is a bad read and I really appreciate the fact that she is writing about a difficult theme. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t stand the main character Liz Emerson and that really took away a lot of my reading pleasure. I guess you are supposed to feel sorry for her since she is trying to commit suicide and all, but I was just really annoyed by her in general. She is just so… Superficial. And not exactly likeable. I remember it took me a long time to finish this one and I even had to read other books in between before I could finish it. The prose isn’t bad and I like the physics references and the general idea behind the story. I just wish Amy Zhang would have used a different main character for her story… Or at least made Liz more likeable.

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Liz Emerson is a popular girl who seems to have a perfect life; or at least on the outside. But inside, she is a mess. Her life is running out of control and she doesn’t know how to deal with her dark feelings. After discussing Newton’s laws of motion in her physics class, she decides to use them in real life… Putting them into practice by causing her Mercedes to run off the road. Liz Emerson decides to kill herself, thinking the world would be better without her. She didn’t succeed, although she is life threateningly injured and in a hospital… And it turns out a lot more people care for her than she originally thought. But will she ever wake up to find out? What will be the consequences of her actions?

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After reading all those raving reviews, I ended up being slightly disappointed by Falling Into Place. Liz Emerson is a very annoying character and it was hard for me to actually feel sorry for her. I wasn’t a fan of the ending either; it seemed a bit abrupt and didn’t add anything substantial to the story. The prose and pace were perfectly fine, but like I said my lack of connection to the main character took away a lot of my reading pleasure. I guess this might still be a good read for those who don’t mind YA contemporary novels about teen suicide… A lot of people do seem to love Falling Into Place.

Friday Finds #38 – May 29th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads… Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page.

My finds:
fridayfindsmay29th2015 Continue reading

June Read Alongs: All The Bright Places & A Court Of Thorns And Roses

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It turns out I will be joining not one but TWO read alongs next month! Both are books I have been looking forward to read for a while now, so I’m really excited! 😀

Iallthebrightplaces will be reading All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven together with a bunch of lovely ladies at The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs. It’s not exactly a feel-good story, but I have seen a lot of positive review around and I’m happy to finally read it myself. The cover, the blurb, the reviews… All the signs are here I will love this read.

 

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I’ve also decided to join the A Court Of Thorns And Roses read along hosted by Josies Book Corner and Bibliophile Gathering. I’ve recently gotten myself a copy of this new series by Sarah J. Maas and this sounds like the perfect opportunity to start reading it.

WWW Wednesdays #41 – May 27th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

teaseathousandpiecesofyouI started reading A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray the other day and so far I’m enjoying it. Hopefully it will stay that way! I’ve also started reading Tease by Amanda Maciel a few days ago and while it’s interesting, I cannot really connect to the characters. It makes it a bit more difficult to read this one fast, but it’s not a bad read at any rate.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

cityofashestreasureislandI finished Treasure Island the other day, and unfortunately I cannot say I ended up enjoying this classic by Robert Louis Stevenson. I feel a bit guilty, but I was almost bored by the story and couldn’t connect to the characters… I also finished City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and I’m still sticking with the fact that I like the prequel trilogy better. There are so many love triangles going on that it’s becoming annoying!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thedivinerstheassassinsbladeMy next TBR jar pick is still The Diviners by Libba Bray; another series I’ve been wanting to read for a while now…But I might read The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas first because I need it for my Bookish Bingo challenge. Plus, that way I will have another series completed until the next Throne Of Glass book will be published. 😉

Teaser Tuesdays #44 – May 26th: A Thousand Pieces Of You

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve started reading A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray the other day. This one has been on my TBR shelf for a while now and I’m glad I’m finally reading it. I’m not too far into the story so far, but I have seen quite a few positive reviews around so I’m hoping it will live up to expections.

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My teaser (7%):

“It feels as though I’m splintering into a dozen directions at once—grief, then rage, then panic. The last thing I need right now is to lose it. Instead I force my mind to go to the place that always calms and centers me: painting.”

 

What are you reading right now?