“The Merciless” by Danielle Vega

 

The MercilessRating: 1/5
Title: The Merciless
Author: Danielle Vega
First Published: 12 June 2014

Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned.

… this entire book is a sin, yeah!

 
So I’m sick and I couldn’t sleep last night so apparently I decided reading a “horror” book in the middle of the night was the best thing to help with that. I flew through this baby in two hours flat, but that has nothing to with it being extraordinarily good. Quite the opposite, which is so fucking disappointing! Let me give you the goodreads synopsis of this and you’ll see why I was actually really excited to pick this up.

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .
 
In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

Does that not sound so fucking awesome!? Well it isn’t.

I mean straight off, this official synopsis essentially spoils the plot of the entire book, which makes all of the author’s attempts at creating suspense and having chills run down your spine fruitless. The only chills I had whilst reading this were due to my shivering fit thanks to the fever I’m having.

I’ve seen this being compared to Mean Girls a lot and it really is EXACTLY like that movie. Only topped up with extreme religious beliefs and some very unnecessary gore. I didn’t find anything that was happening in this book scary or suspenseful at all. Gross, yes, but not scary.

Another thing I really didn’t like with this book is that one of my most hated tropes in all of bookish history can be found here and that is the “Absent Parent Syndrome”. Sofia’s mother is basically non-existent and very handily detached from her daughter’s life. The sequel to this book (yep, apparently there’s a sequel coming out this year) takes care of Mommy Dearest completely since she conveniently drops dead. Also, by the way, not a spoiler since the entire plot of the second book is again summarised on it’s goodreads page. Not only that, it’s in the mothereffing title oF THE BOOK! So no need to go out and get that one either. You can just read the title. Or you know, the blurb if you wanna get really in-depth with it…

The language is very simple, which is not a bad thing at all, and as I said, I flew through this, but the fact remains that this was supposed to be a Horror/Suspense book, but what it turned out to be in the end was cheesy and completely unbelievable!

And that ending! I mean, was this supposed to be a surprise? Did people really not see this coming? Because I saw that waving at me from miles away.

In the end “The Merciless” tries hard to be cool and edgy and something fresh, but really it just seems desperate.

 

Did you already read this book? If so, let me know what you thought of it!

I hope you’re having a very good day, lovely humans!

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The Greatest Hits of 2015 – Part II: The Sequential Art

On Friday, I told you about my favourite books of 2015 and if you want to can refresh your memory about those right here. Today I wanna talk to you a bit about my favorite books filled with gorgeous illustrations.

Again, the order of my “ranking” is just the chronological order in which I read the books and Graphic Novels and if I’ve written a review or mentioned it in a wrap up, I will link those up for you.

 
#1: “The Sleeper and the Spindle” by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell
The Sleeper & The Spindle CoverI said it before and I will say it again every time I talk about this book: THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! This is a fairytale retelling of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty combined and it was amazing! Snow White and Aurora are two of the fairytale characters I dislike the most, but Neil Gaiman put his own spin on them and it was fantastic! And Chris Riddell swiftly and permanently placed himself in my heart with his illustrations. They are just absolutely stunning and I show some of them as well as even more love for this book off in the first part of my January wrap up.

 

#2: “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick
Hugo Cabret CoverThis is one massive book, which is why I’ve put off reading this for quite a while. What makes it so big however is the fact, that this is a wonderful combination of text which is then complimented by page after page after page of incredible pencil drawings. I picked this up and flew through it! The story is sweet and magical and will tug at your heart strings in all the right ways. You can read a bit more of my thoughts on this in the first part of my March wrap up.

 

#3: “Saga, Vol. 1 – 5” by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Saga Volume 1 CoverYes I’m cheating because I fucking love them all and I can’t single one out! There’s a lot of cursing and sex so this is definitely not something for the kids. I mean the very first phrase on the very first page is “Am I shitting?” and full blown nudity soon follows, so it’s not for the faint of heart. All of the f-bombs are being dropped everywhere and anytime which is great in my book! If you enjoy action packed and funny reads filled with great characters then this space opera is definitely up your alley! I’ve gushed about these some more in my March and April wrap ups.

 

#4: “Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen” by Chris Riddell
Goth Girl and the Pirate QueenThis might be just a teeny tiny book, which was published for World Book Day, but I adore this! I adore all the Goth Girl books and I did read Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright as well last year, which is the third “full-blown” book in the Goth Girl series, but I just loved this tiny thing so much! It’s as sweet and filled with as many fabulous British puns as it’s bigger siblings! You can go to my April wrap up for more of the love for this as well.

 

And I don’t think #5 will come as a surprise to anyone. This is by far my favourite read of all of 2015 and it is:

#5: “Rat Queens, Vol. 1 & 2” by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch & Stjepan Sejic
Rat Queens CoverOh you foul-mouthed, drug taking, ass kicking queens of sass how I love you! This is full of action and fantastically diverse characters, but my favourite thing about these Graphic Novels is the friendship between these wonderful ladies! I need more girl friendships in my books!!! Why is this not more of a thing? I want there to be a shitload of females in all of the books fiercely supporting each other in every fucking thing they do! And also: realistic body types for the fucking win!!! Some more fierce adoration is given to this in part II of my March wrap up.

 

Did you read any great and outstanding Graphic Novels, or comics, or just books with lots of pretty pictures in them as well last year?

I will be doing an entire post dedicated to my least favorite books and picture books as well because I feel like doing some shitting on the stuff I didn’t like so bear with me on that and be on the lookout for those posts!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend, lovely humans!

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The Greatest Hits of 2015 – Part I: The Books

The other day when I reviewed my reading year I decided to write down some of the books that stayed with me and really impressed me and that I just really fucking enjoyed reading!

I split this list up into two categories of fives, the first one being, well, “actual” books for lack of a better word and the second one being Sequential Art books and Graphic Novels. Also in the end, because this just got a bit too long, I decided to split up the entire post into these two categories so today I wanna talk about the books and the beautiful picture books will soon follow! The order I put my “ranking” in is just the chronological order in which I read the books because I suck at picking favourites!

If I’ve written a review about the book or mentioned it in a wrap up, I will link those up for your further reading pleasures.

 
#1: “Elijah’s Mermaid“ by Essie Fox
Elijah's Mermaid CoverNow I’m not usually a huge fan of historical fiction, but this book was one of the first books I read last year and it stayed with me until now. The characters and the story were gripping and I read this book in one go. This is extraordinarily well researched and so well written! The atmosphere is mysterious and sometimes really eerie and kind of creepy and I loved it. I wrote more on this in my January wrap up.

 

#2: “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire
Wicked CoverElphaba might be my favourite character of all time! She is so wonderfully flawed and sometimes she displays a very questionable set of morals, but this is why I love her so fucking much! I’m sick and tired of reading only about characters that are either good or bad, because it’s not realistic at all. Everyone has their grey areas. We’re not all solely good or solely bad and sometimes we all make decisions that might not be morally very sound, but that’s what makes us human! And that’s what makes Gregory Maguire’s characters extremely relatable and you can read more about my love for Wicked in my February wrap up.

 

#3: “The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin” by Colette Moody
The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original SinIt’s been a long time since I’ve read a book and had to laugh out loud! This story was just so fucking funny! There are pirates and lesbians and lesbian pirates and brutal sea battles and some sexy times and witty characters and need I say more? You can find a bit more about this in my July wrap up.

 

#4: “Vicious” by V. E. Schwab
ViciousTwo friends who basically make a pack to kill each other and then bring each other back to life in order to get extraordinary abilities. Victor and Eli met in college and conducted a research, which says that under the right conditions you can gain “magical” abilities. Again, like Wicked, this book is filled with morally grey characters and really makes you question your own definition of good and evil and of what defines a protagonist and an antagonist. The writing, as always with Victoria Schwab, is phenomenal and the story is magical and sometimes a tiny bit disturbing and the whole concept of EO (Extraordinaries) was amazing. I really, really enjoyed this book! This will keep you hooked from start to finish.

 

#5: “Queen of Shadows” by Sarah J. Maas
QoSNow the thing is – I’m really not enjoying this series as a whole all that much anymore if it weren’t for one character and the storyline surrounding said character. And that is Manon. I FUCKING LOVE Manon with all my heart and soul! If it weren’t for her and her wyvern and her witches, I would have probably stopped reading this series after Heir of Fire, because I cannot stand any more of Celaena or Aelin or whatever the fuck she wants to call herself now. She’s become so incredibly annoying and conceited and just makes my skin crawl! And then, alas, Manon to the rescue! Like Elphaba, she might be depicted as somebody who is inherently completely evil and ruthless and, let’s be real, she’s fucking cruel! But then again, especially in her interactions with her wyvern and her witches you can see her softer side and her loyalty to the people she values most and I just really fucking love her so much!

 
What were some of your favourite reads from last year? Part two will be up soon, I promise, and until then….
I hope you’re having a great day, lovely humans!

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Rewind Reading Style 2015

I know, I know – it’s been a while… Life has been a bit of a bitch and interfered with the bloggershpere… I hang my head in shame so can we please, like, pretend that the last couple of months didn’t happen? Please!!?? Can we still be friends? Yeah? Cool!

Since the year has come to a close (holy shit that went by fast) I decided to take a look back at what I read throughout 2015. I made checklists and pie charts and everything! Fancy AF!

It wasn’t the greatest of reading years for me since it was filled with one gigantic reading slump after the other. The last couple of months I haven’t picked up a single book and actually enjoyed reading it, let alone finished one. I did reach my goodreads goal of 65 by reading 70 books, but in all honesty I’m not very proud of that number. And you’ll see why in a minute.

So let’s get down to business and crunch some numbers. Or actually, you can look at the numbers because I already did all the crunching for you..

Pie Chart_1First I decided to take a look at the authors I read. I never pay attention to gender or race or sexuality when picking out books to read so I never consciously make the decision to read diversely or read more female authors or more authors with an LGBT background, et cetera et cetera. I know it’s a very popular and dare I say “trendy” thing to do right now in the bookish universe and if you choose to pick your reading pleasures by those standards I tip my hat to you, because honestly, I’d love to read more diversely, but for me in the end the most important thing is the content. I pick my books based on whether or not the story sounds exciting to me.

Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by how evenly the genders are distributed this year. I read nearly equally as much works written by women as I did by men. I usually tend to gravitate more towards the dudes, so this was nice to see.

Pie Chart_2I then looked at the different genres I read and this is where my discontent for my 70 books comes in. I read 34 books that fall into the “Sequential Arts” category, so Graphic Novels and Mangas. That’s nearly half of all the books I read last year. Granted some of them were huge, for example “From Hell” with over 600 pages, but most of those had the usual 120 – 160 pages. That’s not a lot. According to goodreads I read a total of 18312 pages. Like I said… Not a lot… Even though I just said that this bugs me a little, I’m not ashamed of that gigantic chunk of Graphic Novels I read because I really fucking enjoy them! I did a course at university entirely dedicated to Graphic Novels last spring/summer and ever since then I’m in love! So I will continue to devour those, but I will also actively try to tear myself away from them and read more from other genres.

Pie Chart_3Lastly I looked at my overall ratings and again, I’m really surprised. I thought they would be way worse because I had a feeling that I read a lot of shitty books this year. Maybe that’s because I read most of those in the latter part of the year. In actuality the biggest chunk of my books were all 4/5 or 3/5 ratings, which is pretty darn good.

So that was my not so glorious reading year of 2015. I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring especially because I think I know the reason for my many reading slumps last year and I think there are some changes in my reading habits afoot.

How was your reading year? Are you happy with the books you read? Did you set yourself a goal? Did you reach it? And what are your reading goals or just general goals in life for 2016? Let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful day, lovely humans!

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August & September Book Haul

Holy smokes, I realised it’s been quite a while since I hauled some books. And I got A LOT of them in the past two months, so as a coy little “Hi there, I’m sorry for neglecting you and I hope you’re not too mad at me” post, I thought I’d do a good, old-fashioned book haul! Yay!

 
All the books froAugust and September Book Haulm top to bottom:

And now for the graphic novels:

2015 seems to be the “Year of the Graphic Novel” for me. I really fell in love with this medium. It’s also great when you’re stuck in a reading slump (as I am right now 😓), because they’re rather short and filled with action and colour! Since books seem to put me to sleep lately again, reading graphic novels is awesome because all the gorgeous artwork and the butt-kicking and sassiness (oh, Hannah… *googlyeyes*) keep me hooked to the end.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, lovely humans!

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