Lanaia @ The Temporary Escape

Reading & Reviewing books of different genres, mostly YA Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
Sometimes it feels that the hardest reviews to write are the ones for the books I loved. What’s there even to say, other than go read it and see for yourself just how amazing it is? After I loved Cinder I had no doubt Scarlet will be just as great. A fantastical adventure, filled with great characters you fall in love with at first sentence. A richly imagined dystopian world and elements of classic fairy tales. 

The main strength of this series are the wonderfully developed characters. Both Scarlet and Cinder are strong, badass girls, but still different. Scarlet is a normal human girl, who lives in futuristic France on a farm with her grandma, who’s gone missing. She is convinced someone kidnapped her grandma, and after police refuses to help her, she starts to look for her by herself. She meets Wolf, who’s supposedly a street fighter and he promises to help her. The relationship between Scarlet and her grandma was really nice to read, with all the love and loyalty Scarlet felt. It really made me wish Scarlet would find her grandma alive and well. She is also a bit more emotional than Cinder and consequently, some parts were heart-breaking. Cinder is a cyborg and the state’s most wanted criminal. Her story starts in a prison, where Cinder is being kept, but of course she’s already escaping - there’s not a single dull moment in her life. She meets co-prisoner Thorne and they escape together on his airship. While Cinder doesn’t know exactly what to do with her new-found power, evil Queen Levana wants her dead, so she could rule the world. Both Cinder and Scarlet find themselves in great danger.

I loved reading the story from all point of views. It never got boring because there were always some twists, which brought new mysteries to solve. Wolf was a very interesting character and I was never sure if I should trust him. He had some adorable moments, like when he tasted tomato for the first time in his life. He acted so clumsy I just wanted to hug him. But then he also had bad moments, like when he would change into a terrifying monster. I loved reading about the bond created between Scarlet and him and I’m curious what will happen in next books. I actually didn’t like Thorne at first. I thought he was a bit nuts, but it turned out he was just a trouble-maker, in love with himself and always looking for ladies. He was weird but sweet and together with Iko they were the main source of humour in the story.

Besides great characters, Marissa Meyer created a wonderful future world, full of flaws and political intrigue. The world building was great and the atmosphere intense, but not too dark, with fairy-tale elements and funny moments. It was such a thrilling ride reading this book. I declare myself a big fan of Marissa Meyer and love her writing style. I don’t think she could do anything wrong in next books, and basically I’ll read anything she writes. 450 pages just flew by, even if I tried to read slowly and enjoy, it was still too short. I definitely recommend these books to any fantasy and fairy-tale fans. The Lunar Chronicles is already one of my favorite series and I can’t wait for Cress!

Review: Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

Witchstruck - Victoria Lamb

Witchstruck is a highly imaginative young adult fantasy, set in the dark era of 16th century England. The story follows young Meg, who works in service of banished Tudor princess Elizabeth. Meg is a witch and proud of her powers, but she lives in time when practicing witchcraft is punished with death, so she can never be too careful. Witchfinder Marcus Dent wants to marry her and her own family is plotting against Queen Mary, and as if she didn't have enough problems, Meg meets young Alejandro, who seems to be a mystery on his own.

I haven’t read much historical fiction set in Tudor England before, but I loved the historical background to this story. I’m from central Europe and the time of inquisition is a dark stain on our European history. We’ll never know how many women were accused of practicing witchcraft and consequently drowned or burned, but the numbers go up to 50.000 and more. I was instantly interested by this historical concept of Witchstruck and it didn’t disappoint. A big part of this book is about witch hunts, political intrigue and conspiracies. And when Meg falls in love with soon-to-be catholic priest Alejandro, there’s also a forbidden love.

The story was constantly so intense, I could hardly stop myself from reading. It was action-packed with so many things going on at all times, it never got boring. Twist and turns always made me wanting more, because they were so unexpected. There was no way to predict how the story will continue and ultimately, end. The world building was rich and it created a mysterious, thrilling atmosphere. I was devouring every page of this book!

I loved the main characters, especially Meg and Alejandro. They’re such a sweet couple, Meg sometimes stubborn and acting childish, but I guess it was understandable under the occasions. She was no damsel in distress and she relied on her own powers. Elizabeth wasn’t that likeable, being the proud heir to the throne, she didn’t hide her wish to be a Queen one day. Marcus Dent was a great villain, smart and ruthless, he was very scary and easy to hate.

Witchstruck wasn’t perfect but it came very close for me. I wanted to read more about witchcraft Meg was practicing and some details fell a little flat. Still, I think this book is a hidden gem that deserves much more readers and higher ratings, so if you like YA historical fiction and magic, I really recommend it. I can’t wait to start book two and see how the story continues!

*I received this book from publisher via NetGalley for an honest review - thank you!*


Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood is one of the most popular YA horrors of the last few years. Just look at this gorgeous cover and you pretty much know what the book is about. Anna is a ghost, a girl who died at 16 and who kills everyone who steps into her house. That is, except for Cas. Cas Lowood is teenager and his job in this world is to kill ghosts. But Anna proves to be a much tougher ghost than Cas expected, so he turns to his friends for help.

I should probably first get off my chest what didn’t work for me. Our main character is Cas and he felt too stereotypical for my liking. He was this cool, tough teenage guy, never letting anyone close. He has only one purpose in life and that is killing ghosts. I didn’t like him that much as a character and didn’t enjoy the story told through his eyes. There were a lot of references to random movies or actors, which I never like to read in books, because I feel stupid when I don’t get it (I’m not into movies much). And the romance.. this sadly ruined the book for me. I saw it coming, but when it came, I didn’t know exactly why. I kept asking myself, why would he fall for her. I really didn’t feel it from the start, and it just got weirder and weirder.

What I liked in this book were some of the characters. I really liked Anna, she had a bad life and a horrible death. It was hard to even read about how she died, it was that cruel, and I think I even cried a little at that point. Some of Cas’ friends were also likeable, especially the nerdy and awkward Thomas, who had some funny moments. But what I liked the most is that this book is a great horror story. I’m not easily scared, but for the most part I was reading it at night before going to bed, even if other reviewers advised against it. There were some scenes that made me cringe because of all the gory details. This only shows how the author made an amazing job in writing this horror. I got really scared for characters at one point and couldn’t stop reading. I also got this weird spooky feeling a few times where I had to look around the room to make sure nothing unnatural is happening. I also liked the totally unexpected turn of events, when a new villain stepped on the scene.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book as a horror and I definitely need to read more of these! I give the author credit for writing a great scary story and will read more of her books. But I’m very picky about romances, and this is another case where it felt too rushed and practically unnecessary. Why would it be wrong with them just being friends? The contemporary feel to Cas as a character didn’t make me love this book either. I’ll probably read the second book, but I’m lowering my expectations. I seem to be in minority about my opinion, so if you like horrors, I definitely recommend it!


Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle

On Every Street  - Karina Halle

You should probably know that I’m not a fan of books focused on romance, much less of contemporary erotic romance books. So why did I want to start The Artists Trilogy? Honestly, because of the interesting premise, but mostly because of all the great reviews I’ve read, and there’s plenty of them. My trust was rewarded - I pretty much loved On Every Street, making me glad I’ve read something out of my comfort zone.

On Every Street isn’t a fluffy, cheesy romance that I usually dislike, nor is it a chick-lit or erotica full of soulless sex scenes (I don’t like these, too). There’s a really great story behind the romance. It’s a story of revenge and first love and the heartbreak that usually follows.

Ellie Watt is a 20-year-old woman and a daughter of con artists. She’s a pretty good thief and a con herself, too. Her childhood was ruined by a drug lord and the time has come to change the name and take the revenge. To get close to this drug lord, she needs to get close to his employee, Javier. She’s a very smart girl but you know how you can’t escape your heart’s desire.. so she falls in love with Javier. He’s her first love and they have a very passionate and a bit angsty relationship.

Like I said, I’m not usually comfortable with all the relationship drama, but for some reason, Ellie’s narrating the story worked for me. She’s this intelligent, strong young girl, who so foolishly falls for a man, and you can’t not root for her. Javier has his great moments, but he rubbed me the wrong way from the start. It’s no spoiler that this love story doesn’t end well, because the first novel in the series, Sins & Needles, has a different love interest, though I saw Javier appears in the future, too. I think there were two or three sex scenes, and I was really glad the book didn’t focus on that. It was so much more than just that.

On Every Street is a realistic, sad and dark read and even though I knew what was coming, Ellie’s heartbreak made me cry in the end. Karina Halle is a very talented writer and I’ll definitely read Sins & Needles as soon as I feel like reading out of my comfort zone again. This could be easily read as a stand-alone, so I recommend it to every 18+ romance fan and even for those who, like me, don’t particularly like the genre.

Favorite Quotes

"I couldn't get past all the wrongs in my life, I couldn't accept them. To accept it, to live it, peacefully, that was like saying it was all okay."
“You know,” he began, voice low and full, “if you were to ever leave me, I’d come looking for you, on every street.” 
"He lied. I lied. Any love that starts out under a lie is bound to kill you."
"So? Your first love? We all have our first loves. They come and they go. Just because he’s your first love doesn’t mean he’ll be your last. Take it from me, the human heart is much more capable than we give it credit for. Being able to love again is a choice."
"I could show the world that it wasn’t such a bad place when it really, really was."

The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Mass

The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.3) - Sarah J. Maas

Celaena returns from the Desert and is determined to leave her master and Assassin’s Guild to start the life on her own. But Arobynn offers her an assignment Celaena can’t refuse - she must kill the man who wants to trade slaves with the kingdom. I liked this short story the least - it was just too predictable and it was hard to read how naive Celaena was. I totally saw it coming, I knew exactly how this story will end. Celaena really starts to show her flaws. She’s too trusting sometimes and even when she constantly repeats how great and pretty she is, deep down she’s actually very insecure. She’s grown fond of Sam, but she just can’t stop being rude to him. These faults gave her personality more depth and it really made me love her as a character.


The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Mass

The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.2) - Sarah J. Maas

In this second short story, Celaena is sent to the Red Desert as a punishment, to attend to the Silent Assassins, where she needs to train with them and bring home a recommendation letter from their master. Celaena is used to being alone, taking care of herself and not needing anybody, but there she meets Ansel, another great assassin. Ansel is a girl damaged by her past and I loved how the two girls bonded over this and became close friends. But someone is plotting with Silent Assassin’s enemies and Celaena finds herself in the midst of the fight. This is a story about friendship and betrayal. I really didn’t see the big twist coming. The things were solved a bit too easy for me, but I was happy to finally see Celaena and her assassin skills in action.


The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Mass

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1) - Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is the first of four short stories, prequels to Throne of Glass. I haven’t read Throne Of Glass yet, because I heard it’s better to read these stories first. And I’m really glad I’ve read them! In this first story, we get to meet our main character, young Celaena Sardothien. She’s a very interesting character, sometimes a bit annoying in her cockiness, but mostly fun and actually very kind-hearted. Celaena is one of the best assassins, working for her master Arobynn Hamel. He sent her and Sam, a fellow assassin, to collect a debt from the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns they actually want to trade in slaves, she’s determined to stop them, even if it means her master will be very angry.


Conclusion to all four novellas:
I loved these four novellas and I recommend them to every fantasy fan. If you’ve read Throne of Glass or no, you should read these short stories. I love the world Sarah J. Mass created. The story flowed beautifully, the writing style was rich and engaging. The world building wasn’t perfect, but since these are short stories, I guess it’ll be better in novels, where I hope to find some maps. The story never gets boring, it’s very fast-paced and intense. The characters were diverse and complicated. I started to really love Celaena. She’s brave and kick-ass, but she’s so much more than just great assassin and pretty face. She clearly shows her strength in the last books in the end. I can’t wait to read more about her. But beware - the author doesn’t hesitate to kill off some beloved characters. I can’t wait to start Throne of Glass, but I’m a bit afraid it’s going to hurt.


The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Mass

The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4) - Sarah J. Maas

Heart-breaking. And this is only a short story.


The Assassin and the Empire was the hardest and darkest novella of all four. Celaena and Sam left Arobynn but they’re still far from freedom. They need to accomplish one last assignment, which won’t be easy. And it seems that traitors are everywhere. Since we get to see in the beginning how the story ends, it wasn't that unpredictable. We know how it’ll end, but I still loved it, maybe I could even say it was my favorite. It’s definitely very sad and infuriating, I really wished things didn’t turn out that way. Yes, I cried. It takes the story to a whole new level, to the point where I’m actually afraid to read Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I already know these won’t be easy and fluffy books, but I’m pretty sure they will be great.

Delia's Shadow (Delia Martin #1) - Jaime Lee Moyer Delia’s Shadow intrigued me with a beautiful haunting cover and an interesting premise. After I first registered on NetGalley I went straight for this book because I knew it was my type of story. Ghosts, serial killer and historical setting - I couldn’t ask for more. It didn’t disappoint me and I’m really glad I got a chance to read it.

The year is 1915 when Delia Martin returns home to San Francisco and her best friend Sadie, after spending a few years in New York. She’s been stalked by a ghost - she calls her Shadow - for the last six months and she feels like she might find some answers back home. Shadow’s been trying to tell Delia something important and with a help of a psychic, she starts to discover the story of ghost’s gruesome death. Gabriel is a young police detective and best friend of Jack, Sadie’s fiance. He’s in charge of a mysterious case. A serial killer’s been torturing and killing more and more people and it seems that it’s the same killer that Gabe’s father tried to catch thirty years ago. When Delia and Gabe meet, things get personal as the killer starts to threaten them both and it seems he’s constantly one step ahead of them.

The story is told from Delia’s and Gabe’s point of view. I really appreciated that because we get to know their feelings more that way. They both lost someone in the earthquake a few years ago. Both of Delia’s parents died in it and Gabe lost his young pregnant wife. Delia’s been seeing ghosts since then, questioning her sanity. Gabe’s been grieving for his loved ones and has been unable to move on. But when they meet, they slowly start to build their friendship. I loved them as characters, they were such strong and mature people. I liked their slow-building romance, based on trust. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I really prefer to read about this kind of romance over angsty and passionate one. The love story of Sadie and Jack was very sweet, too - they’re both so in love they can’t hide it, talking about each other all the time and fearing the wedding.

I was a bit surprised that the paranormal aspect wasn’t that big of a deal in the story. It was important to Delia as a character and how the story unraveled, but nobody called Delia crazy. They all accepted her seeing ghosts and once or twice, even her friends could see or feel some supernatural forces. I actually liked that and it made the whole story more eerie. The mystery was a bit predictable, without any major turns, but that didn’t spoil my fun. There is no way a reader can guess who the killer is and I loved reading about all the clues and pieces of the puzzle falling into place. There are some very sad moments, which were written very good. The author really made me care about the characters, they felt very real and I really loved some of them. I will definitely keep an eye on upcoming books from this author.

Delia’s Shadow is a slow-building story, not that full of action, but I really appreciated it for this. It was refreshing and something new. There was a bit of a swearing, but apart from that, it could be read by younger audiences, too. I recommend this book to everyone who loves to read historical fiction, mature romances and paranormal detective stories.

*Disclaimer: I received an advanced digital copy from publishers via NetGalley for an honest review.

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City of Bones - Cassandra Clare So I finally finished the famous City of Bones! I’ve been putting it off for a long time, I’m not really sure why. I’ve read both negative and positive reviews before starting the book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved The Infernal Devices series, with a historical setting, great characters and steampunk-ish touch, and it’s one of my favorite series. But City of Bones sadly failed to impress me that much.

The story follows Clarissa Frey, who is plunged into a world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, a paranormal world she had no idea it existed. But when her mother is kidnapped by a great villain Valentine, Clary starts to discover her family’s secrets and her own identity.

I liked this book, I really did. It gripped me from beginning to end, it had some great twists I didn’t see coming and all in all I enjoyed reading it. But there were some things that bothered me, with characters being my biggest problem. Clary is such a general character, I can’t find one word to describe her personality. She’s not scared or brave, stupid or smart, she’s just boring in her generality. I couldn’t relate to her or any other characters. Simon was a bit childish and annoying at times and Jace too much of a jerk for my liking. All the characters had some funny sarcastic remarks from time to time, but they felt out of place because they were all the same. There can be one or two characters with witty remarks per book, not all of them. The characters I liked the most were Magnus Bane and Alec, and I hope there’s a story about them coming in next books!

The plot itself had some holes too, I kept second-guessing the characters’ actions. They often had no logical reasons for their doing. The most infuriating part was at the end, the scene with Valentine. I had a problem believing Jace would really react that way and I kept waiting for some trick, but it didn’t come. And it really frustrates me when they have the villain right in front of them, when they could kill him but of course they let him live! Come on, how many more people does he have to kill?! Maybe I’m just too old for YA and expect too much blood and gore, haha. The complication between Clary and Jace didn’t surprise me, I totally saw it coming, just like I already know it will be solved in the next book(s).

Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading City of Ashes. I also heard the books in series get better. I’m at the end of my review and I still don’t know if I should give this book 3 or 4 stars. Maybe I should keep higher ratings for sequels? Oh, and now I can finally go watch the movie, I really hope it’s good!

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Succubus Dreams - Richelle Mead Succubus Dreams is a third book in Georgina Kincaid series and the last one for me. There are 6 books in this series total, but while I love reading some paranormal romance, this book gave me headaches from all the drama and I really struggled to finish it.

In short, Georgina is a succubus, a shape-shifting demoness who gets her energy from having sex with people. With this act she takes years from their life. She has a boyfriend Seth, who knows she’s a succubus. Georgina doesn’t want to have sex with him because then she would shorten his life. He’s okay with her having sex with other men for her survival and she insists he can have sex with other women. My main problem with this book was I couldn’t see how a relationship like that could work. I believe in physical and emotional fidelity and it was beyond me to grasp why exactly Seth would want to be with Georgina.

Seth is a great person and I’d even say a perfect guy, at least in my eyes. He loves Georgina and doesn’t want to have sex with other women because he doesn’t do “casual sex”. He’s attentive and loving, except when he’s writing his book. He’s a famous writer so he doesn’t have time for Georgina whenever she pleases, and she even dares to think how maybe she’s the one who got it bad, not him. Seth is clearly an introvert and loves his time alone, but of course that’s a problem for Georgina because she’s so freakin’ hyperactive and extroverted and she wants to hang out with her friends 24/7. I hated her for trying to change him and the other introverted person in this book, Maddie. She even says how disappointed she was in her when she saw she’s a bit socially awkward.

Oh but Georgina is a perfect woman and nobody knows that better than her. She’s such a hypocrite. She (allegedly) loves Seth and she keeps telling herself she only has sex with other men because she has to. Wrong! She enjoys every second of it and she has sex with people who don’t even give her the energy. When she becomes bored in the evening, she goes out to flirt for fun. There was this one scene when I came really close to throwing my kindle in the wall. Basically, Seth stood her up when they were supposed to go to a theater. She got angry so she got herself a guy and they went to this sex club where they had sex in front of other people. This was described into details and I really wasn’t enjoying myself reading it. She loved watching other men’s faces when they watched her having sex. This isn’t a hot sex for me! Not when a perfect guy is waiting for her at home! Oh but when she came home, Seth gave her this beautiful expensive ring. It was painful to read this!

The paranormal twist didn’t come up until 45% of the book and even then the romance drama and angst remained in the center of the story. The mystery was pretty obvious and got solved very easy. I gave this book 2 stars because I’m Richelle Mead’s fan and I love her writing style. But she confirmed for me that she can write infuriating characters.

Let’s just say I’m glad with how this book ends, so there’s no need for me to read this series any further. I’m not a fan of relationship between Georgina and Seth and I don’t want them to be together in the end. I recommend this book if you like angsty romance and cheating doesn’t bother you. If you want paranormal fantasy without these things, then this book is probably not for you. I wasn’t for me.

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Legend  - Marie Lu Legend is a futuristic dystopia where United States have split up and there’s a war between the Republic of America and their neighbours. The story is narrated by two point of views, our main characters, teenagers Day and June. June is Republic’s prodigy, a highly intelligent and trained warrior used to rich girl’s commodities. Day is Republic’s criminal, coming from poor family and living on the streets, trying to find a cure for plague that affected his family. When June’s brother gets killed, Day is a prime suspect and June intends to find him and kill him.

Legend is a fast-paced story, full of action and plot twists, that sometimes left me breathless. That’s the main strength of this book - you can’t stop reading, because there’s always something going on, always more questions to answer. The writing style is very simplistic so it’s easy to read and the story itself is quite short, maybe too short for my liking.

I loved this dystopian world Marie Lu created, but I wanted to know more about it. The world building is very lacking and that’s the most infuriating thing about this book. I wondered about the history, when and why US had split up, why is there a war.. there’s NO answers in this book! But I think there’s a reason for that - the story is told from Day’s and June’s POV and that is why narrating is so simplistic and why we don’t get a glimpse in history - because they don’t know it. They probably don’t even know why there’s a war. So I guess I forgive these faults, but I will need answers in book two. I already peeked at Prodigy - there’s a map in the beginning of the book, so that looks promising!

I liked both Day and June, especially how intelligent they were. I hoped this will be the kind of book where the smarts matter, but of course they had to be both extraordinarily beautiful, too. I felt the love story was a bit forced and it could easily be left out. While I think this wasn’t a case of insta-love, there was an instant attraction, but I didn’t mind it because I think both of these characters lived very lonely lives. Thomas was a perfect villain who really managed to creep me out. He was heartless and didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

Legend isn’t a book without flaws but it was still an enjoyable read. I wouldn’t mind it if there wasn’t a love story, but I guess all YA novels need to have one :). The story ended nicely, without major cliffhanger. I still want to know what happens next and I’m really looking forward to Prodigy.

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Flash Gold - Lindsay Buroker Actual rating: 4.5

I wanted to read Flash Gold since before I knew it was free on Amazon, so I was very excited when I got it a few weeks ago. It was actually the first freebie I ever read, but it surely didn’t disappoint!

The story is set in 1890s. Kali is an 18 year-old girl, living by herself in a small town in Yukon, where it’s always cold. She’s got home-made mechanical dogs, home full of booby traps and hidden weapons. Her father left her a big alchemical fortune known as flash gold and many men wants to steal it from Kali. The story starts off immediately when Kali meets Cedar, who wants to help her win the sled race. Kali reluctantly agrees but remains suspicious about his true motives. They start an action-packed adventure where they try to win the race and stay alive at the same time.

Flash Gold was a short and funny story. I loved both Kali and Cedar, but especially their teasing dialogue and bickering. It was highly entertaining to the point where I was laughing hard several times. If you like kick-ass heroines and sarcastic comments, I definitely recommend this book. And it’s free for Kindle! I’ll continue reading this series, but this time I’ll wait for colder weather - I must be the only person in the world reading a book set in winter time while scorching myself in summer sun! I wouldn’t mind it if this book was at least a bit longer. I wanted to know more about Kali’s background and there are some things left for book two, like the true Cedar’s name. I can't wait to read more of their adventures!

"“It’s polite to call a lady ‘ma’am’. Even if she’s a half-breed wearing man trousers with tools sticking out of all her pockets.” Not to mention she was only eighteen and covered in grease. She would collapse in surprise if anyone called her ma’am without the ulterior motive of needing a favor."

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The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan The Lightning Thief is the first installment in Percy Jackson series and my first book by Rick Riordan. It’s a middle-grade/ younger-YA adventure full of mythological creatures and legends.
Considering high average rating and the premise (a young boy finding out he’s different and he goes to special boarding school), I expected something similar to Harry Potter. Maybe I expected too much of this book and that’s why I was a little let down when I finished it.

Percy Jackson is a twelve year old boy, who goes to different school every year because he literally attracts troubles. Something weird happens wherever he goes and that’s exactly what happens on a school trip, when his teacher changes into a monster and tries to kill him. Percy’s suspicions are soon confirmed - he’s different. A demi-god, son of human mother and god father, whom he never knew. He goes to Camp Half-Blood, a summer school where all kids are like him and there he meets some new friends, Annabeth and Grover, who is a half-goat. It turns out someone stole Zeus’ master lightning bolt and Percy is a prime suspect. Now he and his friends need to find the thief and return the bolt to Zeus before gods start to fight each other.

All in all, I really liked the whole story. It was fast-paced and it never got boring, the writing style was easy to read so pages just flew by. Percy is a mature, brave boy and seeing the story from his perspective was very entertaining. I don’t have any opinion about Annabeth, she wasn’t that interesting and didn’t make any impression on me. Probably my favorite character was Grover, who was very funny and made this book a fun and light read.
We meet Zeus, Hades and other Greek gods. I liked learning about all mythological being and stories, but I must confess I didn’t know a lot about them before reading this book. I honestly have no idea what was I doing when we were taking this topic in high school. But it made this book even more interesting for me and I hope to learn more about greek mythology in next Percy Jackson books.

What bothered me was how many times the three friends got themselves in troubles, when it was pretty obvious something isn’t right. There should be a red bulb flashing in their minds, but they just ignored it multiple times and this made it a bit frustrating to read. Like when they go to a hotel full of playing machines, where everything is free and they can stay as long as they want. I thought these not-so-clever adventures were just randomly put there for no purpose and they could easily avoid them if only they would only stop and think with a bit of logic. By the way, I still don’t know who was behind this weird hotel and if it had anything to do with mythological aspect of the story. I also figured out pretty fast who the traitor was, but Percy and his friends didn’t get it when it was downright screaming at them. It wasn’t much of a mystery, really.

I kept thinking how I’d like this book much better if I was younger. It’s a great read for kids/ young adults, packed with fun and action. If I compare it with Harry Potter (although I don’t know it that’s even fair), The Lightning Thief lacked the breathtaking (especially logical) twists and some great characters. But I’ve heard that it’s the weakest book in the series so I have high hopes for the next one.

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A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin Actual Rating: 4.5

I have no words to express myself how much I love this whole series. R.R. Martin’s writing is so beautifully melodic I really enjoy reading it. The only thing I don’t like and which makes me very frustrated is how most of the time nothing important happens until the end of the chapter - or the end of the book. Every chapter starts off slow, gives you billion details and names you don’t really need to know and then at the end- BAM!- something finally happens... and then it’s over. And honestly, the same was with this book, we didn’t see any major turns and dancing with dragons until 90% of the book, that’s why I gave it 4.5 even if I loved it and it’s one of my favorites.

But don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot going on through the story, to the point where it’s confusing. This is not a light book to read, I needed to be fully concentrated at all times because I didn’t want to miss any detail. Because in these books you never know which details are important and which ones are totally unnecessary. I’ve read this book for more than a month and I had to read a few other books during that time, because sometimes I had to push myself to go on reading it. That’s why books in this series intimidate me - I know I’ll read them a long time and it will be frustrating, but in the end it will be worth it. And it’s been really, really worth it.

(*some spoilers ahead for previous books*) The best thing about this series is the whole fantasy world of Westeros and some great main characters. We get to see more of Tyrion who’s one of my favorite characters. I missed Aria a bit, she only had two or three chapters. The same was with Cersei, she’s so cunning and clever at the same time and I loved reading her thoughts. We didn’t see Sansa or Catelyn at all which made me sad and I wonder what’s going on with them. But we did see a lot of Daenerys... And oh Danny, how much I love you! She’s a great leader but still a young girl at the same time, falling in love but not letting that ruin her or her plans. I loved how she said “I’m just a little girl and don’t know much about that..” always when it was convenient for her. I don’t envy her the situation she’s in but she always stays strong, relying only on herself and trusting nobody. I really hope R.R. Martin will leave my favorite characters alive. That’s why it’s hard and terrifying to read this series - you never know who’s going to die. And that includes A Dance With Dragons, too.

We get to know a few more characters in this book. The whole story never seems to end complicating itself, we never get any answers or the end to things, except with death. I need to say it again, this is definitely one of my favorite series. I have no idea how I’ll wait for the next book to come out, it’s 2 years or more until its release! I hardly remember everything that occurred in previous books and I already know I’ll need to re-read all of them before the sixth book comes out. If I don’t see some of the characters and get some answers then, I’ll get very angry!

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Fifty Shades of Grey  - E.L. James Okay, I can't go on anymore. I can sum up this story in one big eyeroll.
If you want more, here's some: "I blush", "I flush", "Oh my", "Holy crap, "Holy fuck", "Holy shit". Now you have 30% of the book. There's also a lot of talk about some inner goddess (whatever that is) and evil subconscious. There's no need for my review because I completely agree with everything Brigid wrote in her review.