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Pandabearbooks

I love a great world with relatable characters who seem realistic, even if they are fantastical.

Currently reading

City of Ashes
Cassandra Clare
With a Bullet
M. Chandler
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K. Rowling
Bridget Jones: Elämäni sinkkuna
Helen Fielding, Sari Karhulahti

Metsän äiti

Metsän äiti - Anne Leinonen 3,5 tähteä

Vähän kummallinen lukukokemus. Kirjassa oli ehdottomasti parasta tunnelma. Alku johdatteli hyvin vahvasti lapsuuden kellastuneiden kesämuistojen maailmaan, isomummon vanhojen omenapuiden ja pihakaivon liepeille. Kertomuksen edetessä alkoi tuntua siltä, että outoutta oli outouden vuoksi, mutta lopulta tarina paketoitiin niin hyvin, että se ei jäänyt häiritsemään. En nyt ehkä itse osta tätä ihan kauhuna, mutta tunnelmallisena jännärinä ehkä.

Pidän kovasti metsän ja muinaisuskontojen teemoista, vaikka jälkimmäisestä en niin kovasti tiedäkään. Tuntui hyvältä samoilla Riinan mukana suolla ja metsän sylissä. Juonellisesti vaatinee ehkä vielä hieman purekelua ennen kuin siitä saa jäsenneltyä mitään järkevää.

Looking for Group

Looking for Group - Alexis  Hall 4,5 stars

I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I expected. I skimmed a one star review before starting in on the sample and kept waiting for this to be rubbish, but I really loved it. It's a sweet romance between two different types of nerds. It's about accepting both yourself as well as others, and it's about not putting so much stock in other peoples views and opinions, assumed or otherwise.

The book is half prose, half game chat, and I really like that. I don't know what it is about IM formatted books but I've really been feeling them recently.

I also think that I know a perfect amount about MMOs to enjoy this book. That is to say, I've played enough (and more so,now enough people who play) that I understood the lingo and easily kept up with that was happening in game, but I don't really play MMOs myself, so none of it felt fake either. (I can't say how this would have read to an actual gamer, but I sure enjoyed it.)

The side characters were quite a diverse bunch, and I'd really enjoy reading about them in their own right. I found the main characters relatable enough, Kit more so than Drew. I also very much enjoyed the commentary on online relationships, having spent a big part of my teens chatting with people on MSN messenger.

I also thought that the book was written pretty well. It read effortlessly, and I found it easy to buy the voice of the 19-year old male narrator. I'm glad the author hadn't attempted to make the prose unnecessarily pretty, because I don't feel like it would have fit the story.

For some inexplicable reason, this made me want to play Dragon Age: Origins again, so I might just go and get the download started.

Mature Content

Mature Content  - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell 3,9stars

This was possibly the hottest of the four.

Hard Wired

Hard Wired - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell 3,2 stars

Not as good as the previous two, but still entertaining. Somehow the conflict seemed a little try hard, but I still couldn't stop reading. Looking forward to Beau and Zane's story.

Fast Connection

Fast Connection - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell 3,5 stars

Strong Signal

Strong Signal - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell 3,25 stars

I picked this up because I wanted something semi-light, fast, fun, hot and decently written. This isn't a literary master piece, but this delivered everything I was after at the moment.

Easily read in one day, didn't drag at any point, and the authors worked well as a team, so no awkward style shifts or the like. The characters were relatable to my introverted self and for some reason I enjoy books that mix IM formatted dialogue in the text so this was nice on that account as well.

I'm not too keen on how easy it was for Kai to start managing his anxiety, but I'm sure that's not the only unrealistic aspect of this book so I'll look past it.

Will definitely pick up the next part when I next feel like a fast paced palate cleanser.

Double Down: Shadow of the Templar

Double Down: Shadow of the Templar - M. Chandler 4,75 stars

I knew I liked this book going in to it, but I didn't remember just how much. I think it's a shame that this series is "just" a self-published one and it's not crossed more people's paths than it has. I'm pretty sure if Shadow's character was female, these would be some sort of best sellers (although some things would surely be different in the story line.)

It's hard to pinpoint what I love most about these, but in the end it probably boils down to the characters and their interactions. I especially like Nate and Johnny, but they all feel so real (if not completely realistic) that I just feel like I'm more invested in them than I probably should, considering they are all fictional. It makes it all the more difficult to read, knowing what's up a head for them.

The other thing that Chandler handles exceptionally, is tension. These books pull me in so completely because they are just so well written that you feel like you're living in the story. I just can't get over it.

These books somehow manage to have a bit of everything I usually look for in a good book (or most of everything). The dialogue is funny, the emotions are easy to empathize with, the characters are flawed but lovable, the plot moves forward with exceptional pacing and while the plot might not be mind blowing, it's well thought out and very entertaining.

I like that The Relationship isn't the leading plot line, while it is an interesting one. Simon's so messed up and Shadow's too good for him, but there's constant development and hope. I also appreciate the author's decision to fade most sex scenes out. I agree that in a book like this, sex scenes would detract from the plot, so it's good to leave it to the reader's imagination. (Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a good sex scene as much as the next person, but I think there are books better suited for those than these ones.)

I'm probably going to get into With a Bullet straight away, even though I'm simultaneously dreading it.

Leo Loves Aries

Leo Loves Aries - Anyta Sunday 4,25 stars

What a sweet contemporary romance! I pretty much had a smile on my face through out the book and found myself giggling aloud on several occasions. The characters were well-written, and while the plot wasn't the most mind blowing thing out there, it was entertaining and believable enough (I mean, I guess it's conceivable for an actual person to be as clueless as Theo, right?). I also like the structuring of the chapters with the quotes of the day thrown in between.

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness, Jim Kay 4,75 stars

Read in one sitting, bawled my eyes out for the last third. I can't write any kind of coherent review right now, other than to say I loved it and it broke my heart.

(Also, I read this as a part of a 24h readathon, of which I have four and a half hours left. What can I possibly follow this up with?)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling Finished reading this for the umpteenth time as part of the July 15th #ReadathonByZoe 24h readathon. Never gets old.

True Luck

True Luck - Anyta Sunday 2,25 stars.

Anyta Sunday is my go to feel-good author when I want something well written and adorable. I've enjoyed most of what I've read of hers, including True Colors, which is the second installment of this series (even though it wasn't my favorite, either).

This one, though. I'm not sure how to describe this, other than calling it a disappointment. To be honest, if I hadn't read the author's name on the cover, I would never have guessed she wrote this. The language was very different to her other work, and the writing was less than stellar. The characters were pretty one dimensional and the dialogue was very inauthentic. The plot is more like a seedling of one that might have had potential, but really did not deliver.

If you find yourself interested in this series, I would recommend you skip this novella and go straight to True Color.

The Morning Star: Shadow of the Templar

The Morning Star: Shadow of the Templar - M. Chandler 4,75 stars. I used to have this as a three star read, because I read it back in the day when I still rated books on one big scale. Nowadays I realize that there's no point in comparing "fun" books with "serious" books because I read them for completely different reasons. It's like trying to use the same criteria for rating a cheesecake and a pizza, just madness.

What I love about The Morning Star are the characters, the world, and the writing. Even with all the ridiculous jamesbond-esque gadgets Shadow has, or the way team Templar seems to be able to bend the law to suit themselves, the writing is just so good that I don't really pay attention to any of that. The author can sell it to me, which is all that matters.

These books are so much fun, even when they take a turn for the serious, and I'm going to be continuing on to the next one right after I've finished reading all the extras between Morning Star and Double Down.

Off Base (Out of Uniform)

Off Base (Out of Uniform) - Annabeth Albert 2,75 stars. Pretty mediocre in its own genre.

Kuinka minusta tuli tyhmä

Kuinka minusta tuli tyhmä - Martin Page 2,5 tähteä. Olen lukenut tämän pari kertaa joskus hyvin paljon nuorempana, ja joko aika on kullannut muistot tai minä olen muuttunut, koska tämä ei ollut yhtään niin hyvä kuin muistin. Ehkä kaksi ja puoli tähteä on vähän alakanttiin, mutta se oli niin kaukana odotuksista että pettymys jäi tällä kertaa päällimmäiseksi olotilaksi, etenkin lopetuksen takia.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates 3,75 stars. I liked it, but in a way that's really hard to pin point. Everything about this was better than average, yet nothing blew my mind.

Taivaalta tippuvat asiat

Taivaalta tippuvat asiat - Selja Ahava 4,25 tähteä. Kummallisella tavalla kaunis ja koskettava.