Week #143 of Reading Like A Maniac

Good afternoon, y’all

This week was a great achievement for me, cuz I read more than usual since I’m on holidays that’s not an actual surprise, anyways; now I guess I’ll meet new people in my career, it won’t be easy for an introvert like myself but I’ll try make the best of it as working on this cycle’s paper which will be harder than the ones I had before. However I won’t let fear get in my way to success, nor in my way to complete my TBR list since now I’m adding new releases which I never use to do, changes are everywhere, my friends. Anyways, here they are: the 6 glorious books I managed to read.

First I kept going with the Isabel trilogy, this time it was the last one titled ‘Isabel, el fin de un sueño’ (Isabel, the end of a dream) by Martín Manuel.

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Queen Isabel is a lot older, stronger but not wiser, with enemies next door in the shape of France and the Vatican; she’ll try to forge the best alliances using her own children as prizes. She’ll meet the resilience of Portugal’s new king and how much it can damage her blood; she’ll also venture through Austria ready to deal with the confident son of the Holy Roman Emperor as with a Flemish daughter in law that won’t succumb to her demands. Will these be her last truces or what’s left of her legacy?

IT HAD LESS WAR BUT IT WAS WORTHY.

In this new adventure we go through the bad parenting and just not-so Catholic nor pious decisions the Queen of Castile makes. I mean I don’t hate her but I just hate her belief in the men of God instead of godly things like values and you know common sense, I feel she was too much influenced by everyone in her life in a passive way even from Chacon, I mean she was Their Queen more than her own self after book one, Isabel was just never more that challenging spiteful yet just ruler she wanted to be. Somehow her daughter Joanna went through the same thing instead in a more aggressive and passionate raw manner, I felt bad for the poor archduchess I mean she was going through a depending relationship as some bi-polar disorder and post-labor depression, she had a lot in her plate and could have been a great heiress if only her idiotic parents had marries her off to someone they actually knew about for his good ways, like the odd King of Portugal or anyone seriously anyone but fucking Phillip. I felt miserable for poor Princess Isabel having to go through hell because of her parents bad decisions to her imminent yet merciful death, even though like a good Trastamara she hated Jewish people. In other news, the only character I grew to love and like really appreciate was our loving Archduchess Margaret of Austria, damn she was funny and gracious, this lady was smarter than her brother (not hard to achieve) and such a real person, she cared enough for Joanna and her children, despite losing Juan and having the Catholic monarchs hating her for no godamn reason. I really enjoyed her quotes, I mean since her joke on their way to Castile I enjoyed every moment she spend with us. Such a nice lady. If only I could take my time and explore every single character like the Borgias, Anne of Britany, the crazy French Kings, Christopher Columbus, my loving perfect Gonzalo Fernandez De Cordoba. But overall, all I can say was that it was a pleasure reading about this historical characters from the perspective and imagination of TVE’s script writers, and it was actually nice written even though I wish there were more physical descriptions like in the first book, I mean I think we only got one little description of the blonde braid of Philip’s mistress and that was pretty much it. 🙄🤔

Then I read the first one in the Casteel series by VC Andrews, titled ‘Heaven’.

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The Casteel family is quite known, they are the worst, the poorest, the dirtiest, the blood that nobody wants near their own. Even the new generation, Heaven, their eldest might be smart and pretty but that’ only because of her mother, Tom might be the same but their future is not up to them, Fanny is the very embodiment of the white-trash nature of their last name with the worst manners, and the little ones who spent more time at home than at school. But nobody expected their future to be so wicked especially when it came in the shape of their cruel father? Could the Casteel children were the victims?

WOW, I ACTUALLY LIKED THIS VC ANDREWS BOOK. MINDBLOWN.

My relationship with VC has never been great, I always read only first books of her series and never keep going cuz I’m not ready to see the characters make awful relationship decisions, you could see my horror while reading My Sweet Audrina, but with this book it was a whole new story. I mean I was still diverted by the sexualized body image she has of anyone and her addiction to make people just vomit the fact the dickhead father is “nice” and attractive, and of the other sexist shit I’ll blame it on the times this was written so leaving that aside, I was actually entertained and not that insulted/disgusted by the twists and turns, I actually liked and could understand Heaven’s mind: how when we are young we used to think we have it all figure out and will make good decisions once we’re older, and the fact that we learn the harsh lessons of life when shitty things happen to us, we see that we are still those children been taken advantage of even if it’s in the sweetest way, that sometimes we’re alone no matter whoever we think is our rock (Tom, Cal, the lovely teacher), that our feelings and suffering do not matter for nasty providence. It was hard for Heaven and since I’ve read spoilers it will be much more, but I actually side with her cuz she doesn’t choose to remain ignorant nor naive because she thinks is what’s meant to be, she chooses knowledge and grudges against hopeless hope that could only break her like it already did once. Our girl learned from the shit life kept throwing at her and I’m sure she won’t stop. All I can say is that no matter my issues with VC’s writing, her obsession with nudity nor her sexist twists; these characters will remain a cherished one in my heart and memory.

Third book I read is supposed to belong to The Haunting new series by Anya Allyn, however there’s still only one so… Anyways, its title is ‘PARACOSM: Bleath: The Hauntings’.

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Zoe is about to start her thesis, and her choice of subject drives her to Bleath, a small town filled with strange cases of paracosms: a child’s quite real mental capability of creating a whole new world, like the one Tolkien created that made him write The Lord of the Rings. Zoe will have to figure out if these children come from very imaginative backgrounds or perhaps Bleath is more than a simple colorful town?

** spoiler alert ** DAMN. ANYA ALLYN DID IT AGAIN.

Most of all I was drawn into it the moment the Easter eggs started to appear, I mean I had a slight memory of little Prudence and then the freaking dollhouse with the carousel in the basement with them “dolls” and the creepy Raggedy dolls (the scared the hell out of me then and surely they do it now). I mean I even started playing the whole Carousel song by Melanie Martinez, it hit me hard in the great scary memories. Now let’s go back to the actual story, damn! Our new heroine was as clueless as I was while reading, I mean I had some thoughts that perhaps everyone in the town were ghosts but nope, they were just wicked bitches plotting against our girl’s best interest with these parallel universes that are making me wonder what’s real and what isn’t. I mean those poor kids used as twisted puppets by the Magician and them harvest people used as sacrifices by them psycho townspeople, and that end was everything. Now I only hope that Anya might give us some clue to what came out of Zoe’s future in that specific universe. I need to know!

After that I read ‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ by Suzanne Young, the first one in the new series of the same name.

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Innovations Academy assures its benefactors they’ll get a good final product, they’ll get what they invested for, they’ll get the perfect young girl, well-behaved, submissive, lovely, beautiful and charming. After all, Innovations Academy is filled with their men’s ideas of making Girls Great Again; that’s all Mena knows while studying there, that those men are there to make them perfect and that the students are not there to think or want. But there’s always something odd that might not go right, that these generation of girls are not as tamed as most think, they are not as soft, nor as vulnerable, but definitely tougher.

I’M GLAD I VENTURED READING THIS.

I mean the plot convinced me but once I got it, I just stored with other ones so when I finally had to read it, I wasn’t too into it, I was looking for something deadlier and was uncertain this would please me at all. Thank my brave heart I actually went on reading it and all I have to say is I’m glad I did it cuz in these dangerous misogynistic and sexist times, this tale was truly frightening because of how real it can become. I mean it had a bit of The Handmaid’s Tale on it and I was furious, I mean I would have gone all aggressive on them pieces of shit males treating them girls so poorly, I just wanted to shelter them and be their mother teaching them to love themselves instead of following those bitches rules as they were preaching a fucking sermon. I lost count at all the times I wanted to punch those cruel monsters, I was losing my sanity and that let me see I still have my feminist fair and honest nature with me, and no bitch can take that away from me. Changing the subject, I kinda figured out the whole surprise revelation way before, it was my main theory: the huge Stepford Wives plot Twist that they were *SPOILERS AHEAD* these robots or at least androids with this reset button and that those memories of parents were fallacies through and through, make-believe dreams which somehow still made me want to fight for their rights, in my mind if you have a conscience and feel pain, then you are a being that deserves a human treat. But what I wasn’t expecting as much as this revelation was the while Leandra’s twist, how she’s aware and so cold-blooded like one of those I Robot things however she was helpful and deadly, and I loved everything about it. However, I don’t trust her words on Weeks, I don’t like him having his army of Girls with that young girl (I can remember her name but it had a “-” in between), I just don’t trust he’s so good, I don’t buy that. I prefer all of them Girls with nice gas station boyfriend and his buddy. Safe and sound and just free from all form of incarceration. Can’t wait for the next one.

Fifth book I read was ‘A Room Away From the Wolves’, a standalone by Nova Ren Suma.

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Bina’s mom promised her they would go to New York when they escaped her father’s abuse, she was 7. Now they’re with another paternal figure that she doesn’t like, with stepsisters that make her life miserable and her mother seems like she transformed into an absent parent that no longer wants her daughter. Bina’s a teenager with a complicated background, so she’s the perfect type for Catherine House, the NYC house her mother stayed when she was her age. Bina doesn’t want to remember what happened before she arrived here, she doesn’t want to admit it and somehow she’ll come to terms that nobody in that house wants to accept their sad existences neither.

SOOO NOVA DID IT AGAIN. SHE MESSED WITH MY HEAD.

Here we go again with an arsty book, it was a fine piece: its narrative made so ethereal on purpose, its characters so blurry on purpose, its plot twist incredibly soft yet heart-wrenching, and the ending completely open to interpretation and continuations. But there had to be some issues too with the details and its lack of realism, and I know that it’s a weird thing go expect from a supernatural inclined story, however I actually thought it was a little odd that nothing had been done about the woods body, I mean bitches were not blamed and shit went on as if nothing had happened, with just a little depression I mean divorce was needed right there but whatever, it still bugs me though. Now going full *SPOILERS AHEAD*, it was sad to know she was dead the whole time but I guess it was obvious, however I do think her passing was cruel and the fact her mom did not do her justice was just another way to kill her again on my record, anyways I felt the connection between Bina and Monet, I wanted that relationship to at least have a kiss before that open finale, I feel I craved for something and was given nothing more that the blurry POV of NYC purgatory. 😒 I was entertained though, and after reading some other reviews I finally got the whole ghosts in denial sort of issue.

Finally, I read yet-another standalone titled ‘The Girls of No Return’ by Erin Saldin.

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Lida knows what she did was wrong, she knows she’s broken and just doesn’t want to fix it. That’s why her dad and stepmother desperately send her to an all-girls school/camp for troubled young ladies. She’ll have to deal with three types of girls, those who are kind and amicable like Jules, which is something she cannot bear, then there are those like Boone, straight-up bullies with a no-nonsense politic against the newbies, and finally there were those like Gia, perfect looking girls with a likeable soul. But all of those girls are hiding something, after all, simple good, bad or complex girls should not be in that school, there must be something and no matter if Lida doesn’t want to know, their truth will come out just like hers.

I CANNOT EVEN REMEMBER WHY EXACTLY I PICKED THIS ONE, HOWEVER I’M SO GLAD I DID.

I must recognize I was waiting for murder or a wicked sorority of cruel girls, however I ended up dealing with serious issues about girls who didn’t take their wellbeing seriously and who were immensely young and vulnerable in their hearts, besides being self-centered as every single girl you’ll know. I include myself, since I felt awfully similar to Lida (*SPOILER* not the cutting part), her superficial need of wonder and her reluctance to stay friendless because somehow it was easier once you forget how pathetic it is, how your baggage still can affect some decision you make that could cost you a lot. How I was also tricked by Gia’s charm and reduced Boone to a hair-cutting bully, how it seemed easy to remain in the middle for her own benefit, as a mean to stay relevant without admitting it. Focusing on the alphas rather than the sweet omegas like Jules, those with leas baggage that could’ve been helpful. I understood Lida and just went through this book as an expectator rather than a character, or a motherly figure, and I enjoyed it. I could feel in the woods, isolated and scared, amused and reluctant; however I do have a question, did Gia actually did it or was it Boone who did it herself? 🤔 I’m left with that doubt from some lines, Lida had in her inner thoughts, perhaps it was in the last epilogue or the page before the last epilogue but I read that. So… Answers please. 😬

At The Movies… VC Andrew’s Heaven

Good morning, whoever is reading this.

So, last night was the first Saturday of other four to present the movie event of Lifetime Casteel Saga adaptations, it started with heaven and I wanted to share my views on what I thought about the contrast between the book that I just finished and the movie that I just finished too, so I’m fresh on little details. Anyways, here it is: my review.

Where do I start? Overall, I could see the connection between them movie and book, there were the country mountain side that everyone seemed to loath, there was the drunken father, there was slutty yet comic relief Fanny, there definetely was Sarah leaving unexpectedly, and daddy just giving his children away besides Heaven having to leave with Kitty and Cal. So there was all that, but I’d like to mention some things I kept thinking last night that I just couldn’t pass, like where the fuck was Miss Deale? The only almost perfect human being in that godforsaken small town, instead we got Kitty’s mom who also is a shitty teacher not quoting Shakespeare right and being just a bitch to poor Heaven. Also, Tom’s failing classes?! He was a fucking smart kid just like Heaven. Not happy. I wishe the whole selling their kids would have been explained, how Luke told them to dress nicely everytime he was gonna sell them, it lacked that fear instigating feeling. Some production issues with the doll having Heaven’s same hair color, since now we know that Leigh will have dark hair, it will give the audience some issues recognizing who this kid is. BTW, the Casteel kids seemed to have lots of clothes, some shitty ones but Fanny got style. 😀 In other news, Kitty’s clay animals are nowhere to be found as the pink and white of the house. Also, there was never flirtatious moments between Cal and Heaven, their thing just fucking happened out of loneliness and confused feelings, they do not share a careless longing passion and where the hell was the guilt? I don’t like this Cal, he’s to clingy and abusive.

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Well, let’s see what I liked: Logan and Heaven were upgraded to this century and there was no mention of her being pure or innocent, progress! Then, I laughed my ass off with Fanny and I also yearned for her, she was nice and dumb but she didn’t deserve what happened to her. Fuck the reverend! Heaven making sense about why not telling others that they are utterly alone, social services would split them up! And Kitty’s rages mixed with agression were everything the book described, so spot on. In general, I enjoyed the movie adaptation though I laughed my ass off everytime Logan’s mom popped out of nowhere to tell Heaven some trash, seriously.

Week #135 of Reading Like A Maniac

Hi, ya’ll- I seriously don’t know why I keep greeting you like this since I’m not even from the south, but I gues it’s just a style option, right?.

Anyways, I managed to read four books (one of which was a sort of graphic novel or comic, I’m not really sure how differentiate them), I actually enjoyed and had a hard time trying to finish them, IDK why I’m becoming so lazy when it comes to reading new books or just long ass books, it’s like I’m becoming old when I’m only 22! Well, I really don’t know what else to write in here… Oh, maybe I’ll start giving you entries on Saturdays since April to let you know about the manuscript I’m currently writing since last year in Spanish, it’s a new adventure I’m not willing to let go that easily, besides I could tell you about a time where my previous manuscript went to hell when I drop my Smartphone on the toilet on a drunken night. Dude, I actually have a lot of stories to tell you!

The first book I read was the penultimate book in  the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, named King’s Cage.

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Mare’s nightmares have come true and she’s become a slave of a maniac false king, one that she thought she loved but with every new torture he imagines for her, she begins question if his madness goes beyond hectic jealousy of Cal, or it might be deeper and darker than just hatred. But this new King is more than a maniac but a political mind that might ruin everythin the Red rebels have achieved not only within other royals but in the hearts of the small folk tired of a nonstop war.

“I GIVE YOU A FOUR CUZ YOU BROKE MY HEART, DUDE, AND THAT’S NOT FAIR”.

So idk why my first thought when I started reading this was that perhaps we were gonna spent a while with crazy Maven and then the crew would come for Mare and we would be OK, crazy, right? I mean the title itself says King’s Cage which obviously meant spending tiring and nauseous huge amount of time in confinement. Anyways, I just wanted to stab Mare and Cameron when reading their first povs, I was hating Mare for still have feelings for that creepy nut case and I was hating Cameron for being such a bitch about Mare, I was complaining during 60% of the book, it was unbearable but I still read it. And when my ship was reunited and had their moments I was like “every storm has its rainbow” when those last chapters broke me into millions of pieces and made me cry at 3am, I should be sleeping not crying Victoria Aveyard! 😭Well, whatever now I can only hope fucking Cal, who I worshipped like a teenage girl, can go back to his fucking senses and he better beg for forgiveness, fucking beg for it! 😠😠💔💔

Next I read the final installment in the same series, named War Storm.

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Mare just had to choose duty over love, the greater good over an uncertain future as Cal’s mistress, her integrity over greetyness and selfishness. She chose good over evil, so why does she feel so broken? So destroyed to pieces? But the world is not only crumbling in her heart but all around her, there’s danger and death right every turn she and her allies take. There’s treason and lies, there’s murder and torture, and finally giving up to her power could help the world, but will she be able to control it or she’ll just end up with her hands covered in blood (silver and red) once again?

WOW, IM STILL RECOVERING FROM THIS MADNESS.

It all started like a heartbreaking journey to some suburb like nation that’s really safe and socialist and pure and with lots of bisons that I so love, with the heartache the last book left me of my characters standing up for what they believe in with no time for their starcross love. While somehow Victoria Aveyard made me love Evangeline, I hated the girl’s blind trust in her father but I fell in love with her kickass personality, so unapologetic and she gave my ship a night of passion and recklessness which I appreciate. Anyways, I grew to adore her and specially when she was finally able to speak in her own voice to her parents and run the fuck away, even though I don’t like Elane at all, my home girl deserves better than that little shady weak link. In other news, I got to feel a bit bad for Maven I mean the kid’s sick literally he saw no reality; and I think we can all agree we wish we could have read more entries about Cal’s mom, she sounded like an interesting character and we would have felt his tears in a more relatable way if we knew more from her pov and tender heart. 😳😳

Third one I read was a gothic sort-of-classic named My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews.

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Little seven year old Audrina Adare lives under the shadow of her dead sister, they had the same name and now her parents try for them not to have the same end, so poor little Audrina is a prisoner in her own home. With no friends other than her wicked cousin Vera, with no love other than her parents’ poisonous charm, with no life beyond old Whitefern Mannor. She’s tol she’s an special girl, forced to reemember her sister’s horrid passing and to never recall how time goes by; it all seems like a cruel nightmare but what does she know, Vera says, she’s the town freak.

I CAME HERE FOR THE DRAMA, NOW I’M NOT SO SURE.

Soooo, where do I begin? The story itself, the plot and twists provided with drama were pretty good, I mean they were sick but really recklessly impressive. However, this is not a book for you if you want to fall for characters, I mean I reached the end and I was cheering up for Audrina until fucking Sylvia had to fuck her sister’s future away from this madness and her own in the process (yeah, I spoiled myself about the second novel ‘Whitefern’😨). I mean not a single character stayed likeable, and the lack of feminism shows us the awful unapologetic man’s world port VC Andrews most have lived in, I mean if I could have my way and somehow upgrade this even more than what Lifetime did (yeah I watched the redeemable adaptation), I would have made Audrina give herself some love and kick Arden’s idiotic ass the moment they started dating and he began acting like a sexist dick. I would have made her stand up to her father and force her aunt to help her run the fuck away from that sick mannor. I mean everyone was so twisted and ridiculously sexist that I would have shipped her with Lamar more than with Arden. And what about a seven year old’s obsession with adult like talk and everyone’s boobs?😲😲.

Then I read was the comic/graphic nvel named Wires and Nerves, Volume 2: Gone Rogue, from the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.

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The mutant wolves will not give up the fight, as things get complicated when Cinder arrives Earth after announcing her abdication and the new Republican era for Luna once she steps down. Nothing could get worse, right? Only if a friend and ally turns to a traitor by joining forces agains the crew, will Iko defeat this threat or she’ll be just another casualty?

I ALMOST FAINTED FOR A MOMENT.

Wow, what a great conclusion. Of course it felt fairy tale like but I guess it was enough for my heart, this one that loves this series since day one. It focused in all important matters, like Iko and Cinder’s friendship, Iko’s undeniable loyalty and humanity (my home girl is just perfect 😍😄), as the rough yet adorable edges Wolf can have when it comes to love for Scarlet or his new chosen family, Cress’ badass innocence and cleverness, Winter’s oddities, as Kinney’s journey to discover what it truly is to feel. Plus, the graphics were perfect, I mean they truly showed us Thorne’s flamboyant personality, 😂 which added a lot to the story.
PS. : I almost died when they got Iko the first time, and also the catering guy. 🍱💁

The last book I read was the full of twists stand-alone mistery novel Sister Sister by Sue Fortin.

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Alice was always the pretty sister, she was just perfect with a sweet nature, one just couldn’t forget or stop loving her, not even when her father took her away from her family and nobody saw her since she was a young girl. Her older sister Clare lived with her mother, tried looking for her but never accomplished anything. Now she’s about to turn 30 with a stay-at-home husband and two little girls still living at mum’s house, her life couldn’t be more regular until her not so little sister comes back trying to effortlessly take everything she work so hard to get. Is Clare losing her mind over jelousy, or Alice is the wicked psycho who wants to get rid of her?

READING MY FIRST CLUE/SPARK OF DOUBT ON THIS, I WAS LIKE “I KNOW MYSTERIES, I HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT”, I GUESS I DIDN’T.

I mean I got the obvious twist, the not so “related” tragic truth but the partner in crime plot twist gave me the satisfaction I thought I wasn’t able of feeling again. No author shocked me and villified characters as much as Sue Fortin, she gave them human but unforgivable mistakes that I wouldn’t forgive, but they surely had to, except Clare and her mom, that relationship is shattered forever. I mean I only feel entirely bad for Chloe and Alice, oh and I really like the Stepmother, those were characters one truly felt bad for. But anyways, what started as a boring little storyline while I read the first seven chapters, ended up being such a hit in my Mystery Bookshelf, not because of the plotline itself and its arch but because of its actually surprising twists that had me on the edge of my sit.