Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tempest

Tempest
by Julie Cross
Released: 17th Jan, '12.

From Goodreads:
The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

A word about the cover: I don't know why but I really like the floaty-ness of it. (Is that weird?) Also, the photo is a little unusual for what has recently flooded the YA market (read: Sad Girls In Pretty Dresses). It makes me want to give it a second look.

My Thoughts:

The whole time-traveling shizz appeals to me a lot. I think that's the coolest possible super-power to have. I mean, what can you not do if you can travel through time? And lets face it: the premise of Tempest is actually very relatable. How many times have we thought if only I could turn back time when we lost a loved one? Me? Tons.

Tempest was a book I wanted to read, ever since I started following Julie's blog, right after she got her book deal, even before the book became the talking point across blogosphere.

It was..well, inventive. I was uber curious about what was happening and what was going to happen and if Jackson would really be able to save Holly and all those things that could make this book work. Unfortunately, it was also one of those books that you go through a page-flipping-frenzy mode for then promptly forget about (I didn't forget because I had to do this review, but you get the hint).

My problem mostly was with the characters - a shallow bunch of jerks with some wrong notions about certain things. Case in point: Holly's roommate is called a feminist - when she is very clearly a misandrist - and is dismissed as being a bitch along the same lines. And what does that imply? That a feminist is very easily a misandrist or that feminists are bitches? Because that's EXACTLY how it comes across.
Also, Jackson's reaction on getting to know that Holly is a virgin? He's worried about her and then goes -
The idea that she might not enjoy this was turning me in the other direction. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been with a virgin, even just messing around. Maybe never.
I mean, DUDE, seriously? Jackson's seventeen. And he has slept with so many people he doesn't even remember the last virgin he slept with? (At the same time we get to hear Holly call him 'deep'. I mean, SERIOUSLY?) I don't get moralising over books or anything but what really annoys me is Jackson's attitude here. So is he implying that being a virgin means you're all uptight and that it probably puts him off? Or is it that because somebody isn't a virgin it's okay to mess around with them?
And at the same time he's actually worried about Holly, huh? Contradictions, contradictions. Conclusively, Jackson ends up being typecast as the seemingly nice guy who is really a jerk underneath. Sadly, no character development there.
I call these characters jerks because there's no redemption, nowhere in the book do they regret such thoughts or realise what absolute jackasses they really are. All of it is as easily dismissed as it is brought on. Like this very dignified bit:
"I just met this chick last night at my friend's party. She's mega hot and a total airhead." "Exactly your type right?" "Yeah, but only if the flakiness is genuine. Not that pretend-I'm-stupid shit. You know it's going to bite you in the ass later. Besides, I love messing with people who just don't get it." 
Waaay. To. Go.

I had issues with Tempest throughout my reading experience of it. Maybe if I leave my own personal beliefs aside, maybe it could work. I mean, I loved the bits Jackson had with his sister Courtney. I think I was mostly in that page-flipping-frenzy mode just so I could get to the parts with/about her. But then, such personal beliefs can't really be pushed aside. I *am* a feminist and I cannot tolerate sexism and coming from a country where woman's position in society is a matter of argument every-freaking-day, reading about women being dismissed as easily as toilet paper makes me angry.

Yes, there are good things about the book. Like I said, Courtney. And it moves at breakneck speed inspite of the whole 'time-line' thing being highly confusing more often than not. And the last quarter of the book makes you feel a little bad for the main characters sometimes. It's not a bad book.

But, I don't know. With all those sexist ideas being dismissed as casual fun, it's not exactly making it to my list of good books.

Reading is subjective, right?
I know Tempest has/will have it's fair share of fans (heck, a movie's been optioned, too!). It's just that I'm not one of them.

Have you read Tempest? What's your favourite read on time travel?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday #4


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jill @Breaking The Spine, where we talk about upcoming releases we just-can't-wait for.

This week I'm waiting for,

Hanging By A Thread
by Sophie Littlefield
Expected Publication - 11th Sepetember, 2012

From Goodreads:
Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong. 
And they're not the only ones hiding something. 
Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams. 
In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?


Why I'm waiting for this:

Lets be honest - it's the cover that pulled me in for this one. Initially. I mean, WOW, LOOK AT THAT! Instant. Cover. Lust. And then the title. Oooh, prettiness.
But yeah, pretty covers are plenty. What really has my attention is the fact that the main character is a seamstress. Rolling your eyes, are we now? See, while the whole keeping-up-appearances and digging-beneath-the-surface is not a very uncommon theme - especially if you add a few murders alongside - vintage clothes definitely make things interesting. So, yes, I'm shallow, but how can I help it? Pretty things are so awesome. And dude, VINTAGE!

Of course, the murder and the town's secrets make things more exciting. Who doesn't love secrets? And here's a town-full of them. This one's got plenty to draw me in right now.

I mean, seriously, LOOK AT THAT - *drools over cover*

- so, uh, what's making YOU drool this week?


PS. Also, I went for a second watch of The Hunger Games. Go, Team Seneca Crane's beard!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games. OMFG.

Yes. It happened.
I watched. The first show in the city, in the wee hours of the morning.
Did you? Did you? 15+ hours later, I'm still overwhelmed.

And...WOW. It was SO good. The book came alive and there was Katniss with her bow and arrow and the Capitol and - OH SHUCKS, I'M JUST GONNA LIST IT COS I CAN'T HELP IT. (This might get spoiler-ish, so be warned).

  • JENNIFER LAWRENCE. She was born to be Katniss. No exaggeration. How could I EVER doubt her? She was amazing. I can't imagine anyone else taking her place. Oh God. I think I'm pretty much in love with her. Who cares about the boys - yes, they were delectable, but heck, TEAM KATNISS!
  • The Capitol and it's clothes. It was like an avant-garde rainbow parade. And holy moly, THOSE EYELASHES.
  • Effie's appearance reminded me of the Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland. Elizabeth Banks is a delight to watch. I was a little bummed that she wasn't as despicable as I found her to be in the first book, but, oh well, she's very watch-worthy.
  • If beards can give you boners, watch out for Seneca Crane's. His is the shizzle. And that scene with him in the end? Perfection. I wish he didn't have to die, so I could drool over his beard some more. (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?*shakes head*)
  • Also, WHO KNEW CATO WOULD BE SUCH HOTNESS? By God, the Witch Mountain kid grew up and how. Major. Swoon. Alert.
  • I was wrong about Josh Hutcherson. He made an adorable Peeta. I wanted to bring him home with me the entire time. And he should go blond permanently.

  • Liam Hemsworth as Gale? STUDMUFFIN. Keep that black hair dye on. You lucky girl, Miley!
  • And no, I'm not going to go into the whole Team thing 'cos I like both boys but I also think Katniss made the right choice. The only thing that bothered me about the movie is that Real/For show love between Katniss and Peeta didn't seem to be emphasized upon much. A non-reader of the books could easily miss the fact that Haymitch uttered a couple of words about putting on a 'show of love' to  make an impression on the sponsors and the gamemakers. I thought that was a very important aspect of the Katiniss-Peeta relationship - how that Love For Show becomes Love For Reals - so the underplaying of that was a little, um...jarring? If I think of it independent of the book, though - which I can't, the obsessive fan that I am - I guess it works well.
  • I bawled my eyes out when Rue died. My brother cried, too, I know, although he had his hands over his face. A 15 year old boy crying in the theatre should tell you there was a lot of perfection involved in the shooting of the scene, in spite of the whole thing about the little kid dying being so very, very wrong.
  • The other tributes? I don't know how many times I have to repeat the word 'perfection' in this post. Yes, that. Special toast for the Careers. You've gotta agree they've got style.
  • District 12 and Katniss' home. EXACTLY how it should've been.
  • Yes, there were a few things I would've liked to see. Like, you know, Madge. Even though she's probably not that important but - she gave Katniss the mockingjay pin! And that had a lot of significance which was kinda lacking in the movie. Umm, yeah. And I thought that President Snow would be more sinister and not look like a dystopian-Dumbledore-with-a-shorter-beard. And Haymitch would be, well...drunker. STILL. It turned out to be a really good movie with a cast of uber-talented actors. And guess, what? I, for one, cannot wait for Catching Fire. (also, that happens to be my favourite book of the series).
So.
Have you watched it yet? Are you going to?

On a drool-worthy note, I'm gonna leave you with a photo of the beautiful cast of tribute when they aren't at each other's throats. Psssst, look at that sexy blond in the middle!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (#3)


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jill @Breaking The Spine, where we talk about upcoming releases we just-can't-wait for.

This week's wait is for,

Breaking Beautiful
by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Expected Publication - 24th April, 2012

From Goodreads:Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness. 


Why I'm waiting for this:

First off: Even without reading the book summary, there's something about the book title that is achingly sad. And the kind of masochistic reader that I am, I'm inevitably attracted to books that break my heart, and yeah, the name says. it. all.

Then, the summary. The whole death of a boy/girl you love hits really close to home and makes it an automatic must-get read. Add to that a secret that can't come out, it becomes a must-get-NOW read.

And I can be called biased for this but JENNIFER SHAW WOLF IS A DEBUT AUTHOR! And I lurrrve first novels and first-time authors. The whole discovering-a-new-voice thing is right up there on my list of Things That Give Me A Personal High. So, that.

I don't know how or when I'm gonna get a copy of this in my hands - considering I live under a rock and as usual I'm pretty much broke at the moment and April's not that far off - but I sure hope someone benevolent sees this and oh, I don't know, maybe surprises me with this as an April Gift (gifts are all year round, right?).

Oh well, a girl can hope.
And a broke one can hope some more.

What are you reading or waiting for right now?
 
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