Apr 20, 2014

Riot by Sarah Mussi (also riot in skull)

As we speak right now, I am away camping for 4 days! So excuse my uncanny absence on the blog and the internet. (Oh gosh, I am going to get so much reading done.) But since fifty-two-billion books are being released on May 1st, I'm bumping this one forward. Woot. Or not.

I downloaded this from NetGalley on a whim. Honestly: "read now" titles will be the death of me. And the death of my common sense. This book won't be making the huggable list, let's just say that.

Thank you Hachette Children's Books on NetGalley for the e-ARC!
Riot by Sarah Mussi releases on May 1st, 2014.

It is 2018. England has been struggling under a recession that has shown no sign of abating. Years of cuts has devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out.

The police are snowed under. Something has to give. Drastic measures need taking.

The solution: forced sterilisation of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment.

The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians are unshakeable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, no more free school meals, no more children in need. Less means more.

But it is all so blatantly unfair - the Teen Haves will procreate, the Teen Havenots won't. It's time for the young to take to the streets. It's time for them to RIOT: OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE, OUR BODIES, OUR FUTURE.

add it on Goodreads

Sarah Mussi was born in Gloucestershire. After her education at a girl’s school in Cheltenham, she completed a post graduate degree at the Royal College of Art before leaving the UK for West Africa. She lived in Ghana, West Africa for over eighteen years, marrying a Ghanaian and teaching in Accra. Sarah now lives in Brixton and teaches in Lewisham, splitting her holidays between England and Ghana.

The blurb and cover called to me (as blurbs and covers do...don't you hear those little voices? read me read me), so I'm honestly surprised I didn't like this book!

While the writing is good and the characters are engaging, I just didn't buy the plot. Take a peek up at that blurb. This book takes place in 2018. That's FOUR YEARS from now. Maybe I have an over-confident picture of society in my mind. But do you think human rights will plummet in four years? Do you think protests will be illegal, there will be curfews everywhere, forced sterilisation of people, and the government will get away with shooting people with no repercussions?

You say "2018", I don't think "human rights GONE". I think "Winter Olympics in South Korea and the establishment of free chocolate hand-outs in the street". Okay, maybe the latter is a little iffy. But still!

I feel like, in 2018, this book will be a huge joke. And that's not good news for any book!

Writing? It's great. I really enjoyed the narrator's voice and style. Although, seriously...there's only so many times you can use the word "flipping". I'm not living in a cave. "Flipping" is usually the safe way to avoid the other F-bomb...so it doesn't make sense that Riot used both. But the narrator used "flipping" every paragraph and it was...lame. Darl, you need to just chill out or find a new expression.

Characters? The narrator, Tia, was incredibly naive. Frustratingly so. She organises protests! She's a hacker! She has a corrupt politician for a father! You'd think the girl would have a few more ideas about the world...wouldn't you?

I did like Tia and Cobain's relationship, though. It was logical and quite sweet actually. The learnt to depend on each other as friends FIRST. Plus Cobain was kind of the...bad boy. As well as being sweet. N'aww. Adam, get the parson for them two sweet thangs.

That's a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers reference, just in case you're not educated in the ways of musicals.

Obviously I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I had a real issue with it. It. was. not. okay. The way the ended the book? I was half disgusted, half horrified that anyone would call that a resolution. This has got you intrigued right? Oh, devious me.

If I had half a brain for politics I'd have enjoyed Riot a lot more. As is, my political views more include matters of chocolate freebies and world domination. SO. Be prepared to launch headlong into speculative politics. And don't worry about being bored, because the plot is BANG BANG BANG -- figuratively and literally. I don't even think anyone has time to shower. Ew. 

Cait understand politics! Sort of! She knows...something... about...okay, never mind. She has no idea. All she understands is President Snow with "make-all-the-people-hungry" and Marie Antoinette with "let-the-people-eat-cake". Is there no happy medium between the two? Really? Currently, she's camping without internet (sobs) and reading THE WINNER'S CURSE. 

Apr 19, 2014

Concerning Chocolate, Playing Catch-Up-The-Endless-TBR, and WE ARE LEAVING YOU

Yes, that's right, peoples, we are leaving you. 

But only for 4 days. Woah, what a let down, right?!

Because it's a) Easter holidays and b) school holidays we are going camping in the bush! Which is both good news and bad news. Good: lots of trees and walks and chocolate and food. Food is awesome. Bad news: no internet.

But I do have a book review of Riot by Sarah Mussi going up tomorrow (caution: it's recounted in Monty Python GIFs because...just because). And then, you shall hear from us on Saturday!

I know, the loss of us for a week is hard and you will miss us and the world might end. BUT. We have exciting things coming up to look forward to, like...

happening soon...
- A new blog design. Finally! I've been promising it for ages, but I've put the finishing touches on our epic new look. Also: it's actually hand-drawn by Mime. Trust me when I say it's fabulous.
- Our bloggy birthday is in May! We're turning 3 next month! So old and mature, I know, I know. Last year we spent the whole month celebrating, which was awesome but mildly exhausting. This year we have plans to do a Fairy Tale party week, with HEAPS of giveaways and maybe games, and probably lots of Moth Love. You knew that was coming. IT'S GOING TO BE FABULOUS.

taking a break is good

I confess, I'm hopelessly behind on commenting on your blogs and replying to my comments and...reading in general. I'm looking forward to a break. So I can come back and fangirl about books with you again, which is my favourite thing to do of ever. Honestly, it gets difficult to blog AND read AND write AND take over the world. I'm swamped.
This evil genius needs a holiday.

I also finished edits! Insert crazy party of relief and fatigue. So therefore I can write a NEW book! Yay! It's most likely about zombies, because I haven't written zombies before and that needs to be remedied.

my going-away reading pile
Camping (without internet...sobs) is a fantastic time to catch up on reading! Because, goodness knows, I'm not going to look at the Great Australian Bush or anything when I can be looking at lines of black-and-white print. SO. Behold my reading pile:

I have owned Tiger Lily and Scan forever. I feel absolutely awful that they keep getting pushed to the bottom of my pile. If I win or buy a book, I just don't feel pressured to read them. Awesome. Buuut, they tend to get forgotten in favour of ARCs.

I won Cracked from Allen & Unwin, but it was kind of a you've-won-this-but-please-review-it? I need to get onto that. Goddess is NOT my typical read, but it was an unsolicited review-copy from Bloomsbury. So why not?!

The Assassin's Blade (OMG!!!) and The Winner's Curse are new from my MOST FAVOURITE PEOPLE EVER. GO BLOOMSBURY. I just love them.

oh and a question!

We've been having trouble with our email-subscriptions. If you're signed up to receive emails of our posts....you might not be getting them. This is a tragedy. It appears to be working now, but if it's not working for you, try unsubscribing and re-subscribing. This happened to me a while ago with my friend's blog's feed. I unsubscribed and then re-subscribed and it worked okay.

Let me know if you're having problems with it!
so bye! 
We'll be mostly eating chocolate and reading and freezing, probably, since it's kind of cold in the bush at night. (Good excuse for fire and marshmallows, though, right?!) It'll be fun!

Happy Easter, blogglings! Eat chocolate. Happy holiday!

what's on your Easter reading pile? what have you just finished and do you recommend it??! i'm always looking for more books...

Cait is mildly frantic because her Goodreads isn't working. Is it the site in general? Is just her internet? WILL IT BE FIXED SOON BECAUSE SHE NEEDS IT? ASAP. Between moaning about Goodreads, she's getting a Pinterest fix and replying to all her emails. You know, embrace the internet while you have it.

Apr 17, 2014

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (OH THE BRILLIANCE)

Words. Okay. Words. I must remember how to do words.

Peoples. ANOTHER 5-star read and I'm absolutely floored and...words. I just...Oh. WOW.

NOTE: I can't possibly talk about this without babbling spoilers, BUT I will have a spoiler section. It'll be clearly marked and you will not see spoilers unless you want to. So rest easy as you read!

Thank you thank you thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for the review-copy. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) hit shelves in August, 2013.

about the book!

Book #2 in the Throne of Glass series

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

add it on Goodreads
meet the author!

I'm Sarah J. Maas, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). The Assassin's Blade, a bind-up of all five TOG novellas is out now! Starting in Spring 2015 - my New Adult Fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well! Horray! I was born/raised in Manhattan, but traded freezing winters and sweltering summers for No Winter Ever Weather when I followed my then-boyfriend (now husband!) out to California in 2008. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College with a degree in Creative Writing, and a minor in REligious Studies. I'm represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

It's super hard to write reviews for books you absolutely 100% adore. Gosh, it's impossible. Where do I start? What do I tell you? WHAT CAN I SAY THAT WILL SUM UP THIS GLORIOUS CREATION?

When I read book #1 (Throne of Glass), I felt happy and excited and pretty much like this:

But then, oh silly me, I read Crown of Midnight (book #2) and it all turned into this:

I'm legitimately unsure of how to function until book #3 comes out. What was life before this genius ruled my emotions? How did I function? Both book #1 and #2 are ALREADY have 5-stars from me, incessant fangirling, plus they're on my best-books-of-the-year list (and I've read 70 books already, peoples, so that's not an easy feat!). I just love them, okay?

The series has everything I demand! Flawless writing. Epic world-building. Mind-blowing plot twists. Heartbreaking characters. And humour. YES! Amongst all the pain, I actually laughed out loud. Peoples, I'm not even a fan of high-fantasy (I usually get confused and bored) but I could NOT put this book down! It's complicated and intense, but I never felt like I was drowing. I just wanted moooore.

There is no "second book blues". There are no lulls. There is action and adventure and twisty characters and sneaky expeditions and some serious romance and just a little tiny bit of BLOOD EVERYWHERE. Just sayin'.

Characters are what I love most when I'm reading and Crown of Midnight delivers the most amazingly written characters EVER. 
things i will forever love!

Chaol and Celaena
I shipped them the moment we got introduced to Chaol. Dorian? He was an option, but to me: it was ALWAYS Chaol. I kept shipping them so hard in this book. They simultaneously made me laugh and GNASH MY TEETH OH GOSH HOW CAN I HANDLE THIS?

We can't forget that Celaena spent so long in the horrific prison mines of Endovier in book #1. (Not a spoiler because it says so in the blurb of book #1.) But she LOVES FOOD. I can always get alongside a character who adores food. And when I say adores, I mean: she-will-devour-a-complete-chocolate-cake-by-herself-no-regrets.

I'm not a clothes guru...but I appreciate so much when characters actually CARE about their clothes and apperance! You can still be a deadly assassin and have other interests. Celaena is such a deep character because of her personality and wit and intelligence. But also: she has such a passion for spending money on clothes. Aaaand...

There is SO MUCH BOOK LOVE here! That is amazing and makes my heart beat wildly. Books are cherished and loved and...thank you, just thank you, to the author, for making books be tools of power and wisdom.

I'm floored at how well the magic is woven into this book. And there are some killer plot twists involving magical things...ohhhh, scary. But in all seriousness (har, har): I love how the magic is unique and deadly and beautiful. Emphasis on the deadly, though. Can we NOT keep awkening scary creatures? Did we learn nothing in the first book?! I'm going to suffer a heart attack. I really am.

let's chat: spoilers! spoilers! 
Highlight to read:

Can we please talk about Chaol's grave "betrayal"?
Honestly, I don't think this was as horrific as it could have been! Maybe I'm just partial to all things Chaol...but how did Celaena flip out on him so fast?!! He'd been everything to her and in that second, she believed everything slimy Archer had to say. She didn't even confirm things with Chaol. She just flipped! And hated him and...you know the rest. This bothers me. It actually made my opinion of Celaena wobble. 

I get so very frustrated when characters go down the miscommunication route. But this isn't a critism on the writing of the book! It's actually realistic, I suppose. But I felt that Chaol and Celaena were "too good to be true" and I KNEW they'd be broken apart. I just didn't feel the "breaking point" was strong enough. 

Am I supposed to think Celaena loved Nehima more than Chaol??

After all: Nehima actually lied and tricked Celaena and then Celaena found out BEFORE Nehima died! That had that whole freakish argument. But Celaena wasn't clawing Nehima's eyes out. Am I right? I felt a wobble in the characters there: I felt Celaena's reaction to the betrayal of BOTH Nehima and Chaol should have been similiar. 

Okay. I'm good now. I'm good. I just really had to talk about that. And I'm super keen for your opinions!

what do it rate it?

OF COURSE. If I could have a higher star rating, trust me, I'd give it here. This book totally ripped my soul out, made me laugh and cry and dissolve and be inspired. ALL THE LOVE.

I need some chocolate cake.

i want to chat with you about Crown of Midnight now! what did you think about it all up? is it better than book #1?
what were your disappointments?

Cait fangirls so hard sometimes that she needs to sit down and calm herself. She literally wrote this review minutes after finish reading...soo...she's a bit of a mess. Basically: FKADSLF;ASD. But there is hope! She has The Assassin's Blade (a collection of TOG novellas) to read next. The joyousness doesn't have to end yet! Oh, and by the way, she was serious about that chocolate cake. Please?