Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Finding Hoover | Colleen Hoover Books

I came to hear of Hoover (Colleen Hoover) from a tv commercial for a local bookstore inviting contemporary YA (Young Adult) authors to the Philippines for a book-signing. I have not read any of her books yet at that time.

About two or three months after, I got a free copy of one of her books on Kindle, It was Finding Cinderella.

Finding Cinderella

Finding Hoover | Colleen Hoover Books | Finding Cinderella by iamnotabookworm!

This is the first Colleen Hoover book I got to read. It's one of those books I would fondly call "inspirational romance". Inspirational Romance is a term made up by one of my friends who also loves to read. These are books that would inspire and remind us to not give up hope on our love lives as we are all single ladies.

This is a unique story but it's not the sort that would be impossible in real life.  This is book #2 of the Hopeless series which I did not know at that time. Even if I have read this book first, it did not seem that I have missed the flow of the story since this book is a stand alone. It can be read even if you have not read the first one of the series, which is what I really appreciate. The story is connected to the first book but it is also a totally different story. This one is about Daniel and Six.

I think Daniel's character is really funny and I love that he gives people nicknames. I sometimes do that to people I am close to, just to make fun of them. Six is also an interesting character but I don't want to go into specifics as I don't want to spoil the story for anyone.  

I find the title Finding Cinderella really catchy and curious. It's one of the reasons why I downloaded the book. I was curious what kind of Cinderella story this was. And it's one of a kind. I was not disappointed.

Just a warning, this may seem like a fairy-tale-happy-ending-girl-gets-the-prince type but do not be deceived, there is something unexpected and you would surely fall off your seat when you get to that part. I was surprised too and I totally did not envision it. 

Losing Hope

Finding Hoover | Colleen Hoover Books | Losing Hope by iamnotabookworm!

I really enjoyed reading Finding Cinderella, so when I visited the same local bookstore on the TV commercial I mentioned earlier, I made sure to take note of all her books. I even took a picture of all of them lined up together.

I also got the e-book copy of Losing Hope. As it turned out, this book is actually book #1 of the Hopeless series. This book is about Holder and Sky.

When I read the first part of the book, I felt disappointed because somebody died and I think it was too early in the plot. But as the story progressed, this death was a major element in making the story work. So, I forgave the author for that, not that she cares what I think. 

Anyway, I like that the book explores how each character gets to face and resolve their issues. The flow of the story is smooth and it worked for me. It's not dragging nor were there chapters that bore me. I was wondering though why there were chapters with just titles and nothing on them. I thought the copy I got was messed up. I then came to understand that those were chapter breaks. It was the first time that I encountered them but it did not discourage me from getting on my reading. I think it just made the book more interesting and gave it character. I also liked that the story ended well, after what each character had to go through. Not everybody hates happy endings, as what a song from Eraserheads (Filipino band) says. I love happy endings.

I find this book a lot serious and delves into a deeper subject than that of Finding Cinderella. The book also talks about bullying, addiction, and some other sensitive issues that are experienced or being dealt by teenagers and families today. Prepare yourself, this may not be a light read.

On Colleen Hoover

I think Colleen Hoover is a writer that I would love to continue to follow and read. I like that she comes up with really unique stories but are also not-so-good-to-be-true kind. I like that the characters are allowed to resolve their issues. It is also full of lessons young adult and all other readers can learn from. Her books also remind us of the importance of family and friends. Her books also have a lot of twists that are so unexpected and unpredictable. And I love them because I really hate plots that are too obvious and you can already guess what's mostly likely to happen. With Colleen, you will never know. I look forward to reading more of her books. To me, they are not-so-fiction-at-all which probably makes them all really enjoyable. I am glad that I got to watch that TV ad and came to hear of her. 

To me, finding new authors and books is really exhilarating, especially when their writings are really addicting. It's like finding a new friend and a treasure. Especially when you hear that her/his stories are really creative and amazing. To me, they are like new adventures I look forward to go and more so, if the adventure takes me to another place. More stars also for the author if the place is New York City or it mentions a Filipino character. Yes, I love New York and luckily, I have been there twice. Every time I read a book, I always picture that I am an invisible character in the story. A bystander watching it from the sidelines but not missing anything.

Finding Cinderella and Losing Hope by Colleen Hover book review
All of Colleen Hoover's books available at a local bookstore.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Chase | The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan

The Chase | The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan by iamnotabookworm!

I am a big fan of Rick Riordan. I have read all the Percy Jackson books and the Red Pyramid series. When I saw his latest book on a local bookstore, my immediate reaction was -I should get my hands on this book.

Unfortunately, no one was generous enough to give me the book as a Christmas gift, so I had to be resourceful. I got an e-book copy and started reading.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan book review
The book on display on a local bookstore.

For someone like me who is more familiar with the Greek and Roman mythology than the Norse one, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a really good source of information about the Norse Gods. According to Wikipedia, Norse Mythology refers to the mythology of North Germanic people. I think these would include people from Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. In short, all of Scandinavia. Of all the Norse Gods, I only know Odin, Thor (probably the most popular because of the movie franchise) and Loki. It was interesting to meet the other Gods and learn of what they do and stand for.

So, Magnus Chase, at first, I thought  the name sounds familiar and I found out when I read the book that he is actually a first-cousin of Annabeth from the Percy Jackson books. It was the last name Chase that my subconscious registered. Well, Magnus is a totally different character from Percy. Though, I have come to love Percy, Magnus is also a hero to-watch-for. He can totally hold his own against the Norse Gods, giants, demi-gods and other creatures of the nine worlds.  He has a lot to learn about the Norse and could only remember bits and pieces about them through the storybook he has read as a child. I am sure as the story and the next book gets published, his adventures will become more interesting and complex. Knowing Riordan, he will come up with amazing quests, impossible feats and conquests for our new hero to accomplish.

As to the whole book, it still retains the trademark of Riordan -translating the mythology (Norse) into a story set in modern times and the main hero is a clueless demigod (an offspring of a human and a god).  I think students today would find his books very helpful if they are studying Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse mythology. His books are like an idiot's guide to understanding the different mythological stories and creatures. If you read his book first and read classic mythology after, your life will be better. Like the other books, it's a story of a demigod who learns of his parentage and abilities through his adventures and misadventures along the way. I like that the book is still as funny and comical. I especially love the really sarcastic titles for each chapter. They really give you a summary of what the chapter is about, at the same time it keeps you in suspense that you can't wait to get started to read on and find out why the chapter is called as such.

As a fan and one who has been following Riordan's writing, as I have totally enjoyed all his books, I look forward to reading more of Magnus Chase. I look forward to going with him on his adventures as he travels and blunders through the nine worlds and fulfill his destiny as a son of Frey. I also think that he may soon meet Annabeth's friends as the book hinted. I hope he will. It will be so fun having all, if not, some of the demi-gods from different origins (Greek and Roman) meet.