Book Review · Books

The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries #2) by L.J. Smith [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Struggle is the continuation of the Vampire Diaries Series by L.J. Smith. The second book that features the life of popular girl Elena Gilbert and her endeavors with the mysterious vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore.

The Struggle continues where The Awakening ends; Elena is looking to talk to Damon, knowing that he has something to do with Stefan’s disappearance.

I felt like there was more action in this book, compared to the first one. It made me more engrossed with the story and I was very excited for all the twists.

Elena was obviously the main character in this book, alongside Stefan and Damon. I am not sure how I felt about Elena in this book. She seemed to ignore everyone for a while and just be her selfish self – which resulted in getting people in trouble.

On the other hand, I really loved the history of Stefan and Damon. The memories from hundreds of years ago. The author manager to portray the time very well, and I was easily transported into another world, another time… I think these scenes were definitely the favourite part of this book.

I wish we saw more chapters with Bonnie and Meredith. Even though best friends, it didn’t feel like they were too involved in the story. We didn’t get to know them properly and it has already been two books. I really hope book three will let us meet these two characters better.

I am happy with the book in general.

The scenes, the plot, the twists – they were all very carefully put together. Elena’s love choices are opening up, letting us wonder which brother she might choose. Making us choose sides (team Damon here!). This battle between the love and hate of the two brothers definitely seems interesting.

The ending was everything I was hoping for and now I can’t wait for the next book. The Awakening and The Struggle were only an introduction and the real adventures are yet to begin!

I recommend it to all of you that love young-adult, teen romance and vampire stories. It will keep you on your toes for sure!

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Book Review · Books

The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith [BOOK REVIEW]

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I had The Awakening and the Struggle (the first and second books from the Vampire Diaries series) on my shelf for years.

When I say years, I mean it. It all started when I was in high-school, around 6 years ago, and I was in love with the Vampire Diaries TV Show. When I found out there are books as well, I begged my mum to buy them for me. And once I had them, I never got to read them, because teenage logic…

I recently noticed the Vampire Diaries books sitting on my shelf, forgotten, and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to read it in October, because of the whole spooky vibe. So there it is now – even thought the wheel didn’t choose it, I did, because it deserved the attention!

Elena Gilbert is a popular girl in high-school and she always gets what she wants. Boys want to be with her, girls hate her, or want to be her best friends. And when this new boy Stefan comes into town, all mysterious, Elena wants him. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret that Elena might now be ready for just yet. And her life, as well as the life of everyone living in Fell’s Church is in grave danger… Elena finds herself between two brothers – one who came for a new life, and the other, who came for revenge…

Reading this book, while already knowing what the plot it, I thought I found find it boring. But no. I still enjoyed every single page of it, and I still devoured this book in one day.

From the first chapter, this book is intense and captures your attention. It is written in third person, but it also contains diary entries that belong to Elena and capture her deepest thoughts that she doesn’t dare share with anyone else.

I loved Elena!

Her character is exactly what I was expected and what I have known to love – brave and fierce, and also willing to sacrifice her own happiness and safety for the people she loves the most. 

Elena’s friends, Meredith and Bonnie are the friends every girl needs. Funny and caring. A few pages in, and you will get to love them too.

Stefan – the mysterious new guy in school. The guy that tries to stay away from the girl he really wants because he’s a danger to her. A little bit of Twilight vibes, but we can get past that. Because there is one thing that Twilight didn’t have, that you can find reading The Vampire Diaries…

DAMON

Even though we only get a glimpse of him in this book, we can feel his presence throughout the whole book. We can feel his connection with Elena, as weird and spooky as it may be. All that danger that he carries with him, we all want to see whether there’s anything good in him at all. His story is the most intriguing one, I think. His hunger for revenge makes you really understand both sides of the story and choose a side for yourself.

So, are you team Stefan, or team Damon?

I loved reading this – it was an amazing experience and it reminded me of my high-school days, of those innocent happy memories. My teenage life didn’t include vampires, but hey – it was still awesome!

Pick the Vampire Diaries up if you love Young Adult spooky books, if you loved Twilight and if you love vampire, love and mystery stories in general.

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Book Review · Books

The Die of Death – Kenneth B. Andersen [BOOK REVIEW]

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WELCOME TO THE OTHER SIDE

The Die of Death is the second book from The Great Devil War Series, written by Kenneth B. Andersen. If you have read my review of the first book, The Devil’s Apprentice, you would be familiar with Philip.

Philip is a good boy, but he ends up in Hell by mistake. And on top of that, he is chosen to be the Devil’s Apprentice. Even though he’s always be good, he is not good at being bad. A danger occurs in Hell and the Devil is dying. When Philip solves the mystery, he returns on Earth to continue his normal life. 

But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, they need Philip’s help. Death’s Die has been stolen, the one that decides when each person is going to die. Because of that, immortality is now spreading. Philip goes back to hell to solve the mystery, but during his adventures he discovers some horrible truths…

I really have no clue why it took me quite a long time to get to the second book, but I am so happy that I finally got to read it, and endeavour this story.

It is so unique and I am in love!

The chapters just flow through – even better than the first book – and within minutes you are captured in this world, full of good and evil, or decisions being made that question your moral time and time again, in a very understandable way for young adults as well.

The story of the Die of Death, and the scenes related to it were my favourite. I love what Kenneth created, and how Death rolls a dice at the beginning of each life, that determines how many years each person gets to live. I loved how everyone had their own hourglasses and the mysterious snake that guards them.

We get to see the Purgatory in this book too. Only for a moment, but it was wonderful to read about it. It reminded me so much of Dante’s inferno, and I loved it! There was also the theory of reincarnation, told by a dog – a scene that was quite powerful! We even got a glimpse of Heavan, a few mentions here and there, that made me want to know more.

I like Philip as a character, but Satina was my hero! She has the best comment on everything, and they make such a good team with Philip. Also – did you know Hell has its own newspaper? It’s called Hell Times! So cool!

I loved this book. I cherish it. And I can’t wait to see what happens next and I highly recommend it to you – especially this month, as it’s Spooky October already! 

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Book Review · Books

Scythe by Neal Shusterman [BOOK REVIEW]

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman is my favourite read for 2019 so far! I had this book on my TBR shelf since last Christmas, I don’t even know why I waited so long to read it!

“2042 is the year we conquered death, and also the year we stopped counting. Sure, we still numbered years for a few more decades, but at the moment of immortality, passing time ceased to matter.”

In a perfect world, where immortality exists, the only way to die is to be gleaned by a scythe. Citra and Rowan are both living different normal lives, when they both have separate encounters with Scythe Faraday that will change their lives. They are both chosen to be his apprentice, a role neither of them wants to have.

“Every child is told from the day he or she is old enough to understand that the scythes provide a crucial service for society. Ours is the closest thing to a sacred mission the modern world knows.”

They have no choice, but to learn the art of gleaning – a word that has replaced killing many centuries ago, as it sounds better. Citra and Rowan are on their way to find out about the world of scythes, and what it takes to be one, and take on the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims.

In a  perfect world though, corruption still exists, and Citra and Rowan will have to join forces to defeat it. But one day, they are told that one of them has to kill the other…

Neal Shusterman is a maestro with his words and world building. He managed to create this dystopian world where good and evil exist, where we have beaten immortality and a big machine called the Thunderhead controls everything – apart from death. Because death is an act that must be performed by another human.

Every scythe must reach of quota of number of people to glean, and within that number there must be diversity and percentages met (a few fisherman, one Latino woman, one child, etc.) Each scythe has all the weapons available and all means in order to perform the gleaning, and it is up to them to choose the ways to do it. Some scythes are compassionate, and some scythes are brutal. And every day, all the scythes have to write an entry in their diary of their day, and this information is available to the public. And through Scythe Faraday, Scythe Curie and Scythe Goddard, we learn different personalities and see this responsibility, this gift (or is it a curse) from different points of view.

“Was there ever a time when people weren’t plagued with boredom? A time when motivation wasn’t so hard to come by?”

It is a great responsibility, deciding who lives and who dies, and performing the gleaning itself. That is why not everyone becomes a scythe. Not everyone can handle this responsibility.

I loved how through Citra and Rowan we learn a lot about the Scythe world, but also learn a lot about compassion and caring, about love and respect. And even though Citra and Rowan have different qualities, we can see them connect over at least one – compassion!

With an incredible plot, incredible world-building and unexpected plot twists – this is a book that has left me speechless many times. I don’t often highlight pages and quotes in books, but I did here. It left me wanting for more, and I couldn’t put it down until very late in the night. I was so engrossed by the whole Scythedom world, that I cannot wait to read the next one!

If you love Young-Adult Series, dystopian worlds, many amazing characters, love stories, quotes to remember for life and a little bit of spookiness – this is the book for you. This is what you have been waiting for all along. Go and grab it!

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Book Review · Books

The Tether – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

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As soon as I read The One and Only, the first book of the ELI Chronicles, I knew I had to finish the series. When Julia Ash reached out to me, letting me know the second book, The Tether, is available for review – I obviously jumped at the opportunity!

It took me a bit to get to it due to my busy schedule, but once I finally got my hands on The Tether and started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.

The Tether continues where the first book finished – Ruby managed to save the Earth from the ZOM-B disease and a possible zombie apocalypse, being the only person with a unique blood type that can provide a cure. And then she got turned to a vampire. 

And when everything seems quiet, things are starting to escalate again. Ruby’s blood donors are from another planet, and one of the donors is the King of Darkness, an ancient vampire who is in search for food – animals and humans on Earth. And once again, it is up to Ruby to save the planet and her family. Only this time, she discovers she has way more power than she thought.

If you read my review on Book One, you will know I was confused and angry with how the first book ended. Right after a Zombie Apocalypse, we had a vampire ending. For a moment, I thought that once you start mixing too many things up, it can get confusing. But this series somehow manages to keep it all together, and it all logically makes sense. I just fear that perhaps people might not agree with me and find it confusing. I didn’t though.

Ruby, again, was my favourite character. She had to go through so much, and then learn to finally embrace it. She kept herself down on Earth, despite her power, and that made me like her even more. I also respect her so much for sacrificing herself for a greater cause, and always putting her family first!

Clay, oh, Clay…

We never got along buddy. But I couldn’t help but feel for Clay in this book, and he is slowly growing on me. He has to slowly age and then die, while his wife is immortal. Secretly, I hope he becomes a vampire too, so they can spend their eternity together, even though, let’s be honest, he won’t really bring anything much to the table. But I loved, how he sacrificed himself for his family, and stood up against bullies, even if they were immortal vampires.

I loved our main villain in this book – Zagan. For he had reasoning for everything he did, even though it was wrong. He had a purpose and a goal, and he did have a pinch of good inside him. But he also had evil, and that was never gonna change.

Interestingly enough, and a big no-surprise for me was the government. Their corruption and the depths that they were willing to go to reach their goal was scary – and very accurate to what actually is currently happening in the world. The fear is also represented, and how differently they react as soon as they see someone who has more power than them. Their thinking of making new people similar to this one case, that they could use for greater goals. This moment was captured in the book in a great way, as it is a great discussion point and a very painful subject at the same time for some people.

The new planet, new characters, new powers was an interesting switch within the book. I didn’t expect that at all, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it all fitted in. It was all well thought of, The Tether story, the tree, the blood connection with Ruby, the link between the planet and Earth, the concept of how people lived their belief of healing what they were hurting and keeping the balance. The one thing that confused me was the mentions of their heartbeats, as I thought vampire’s hearts don’t beat.

I really enjoyed The Tether and it ended perfectly, getting us ready for the third book and Ruby’s next challenge. I highly recommend it – it is a real page-turner with incredible plot twists! 

Thank you to the author, Julia Ash, for sending me a copy of The Tether, in exchange for an honest review!

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