Review: The Boy Most Likely To, by Huntley Fitzpatrick


 
The Boy Most Likely To
by Huntley Fitzpatrick


Edition: 2016
Pages: 446
Publisher: Egmont Publishing



Summary: Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house..

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To... well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.

Rating: 4/5

Review: 
I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review. 

"My Life Next Door" was my last read of 2015. At that time, I thought one of strongest points of this book was the Garrett's family and only when I rediscovered them in "The Boy Most Likely" did I understood how much I missed them. The sweetness of George, the crazy ideas of Harry and Duff, the continuous amorous crisis of Andy and all the good values and strength of Jase, with some fun show ups from Joel. And Patsy, that child can certainly make one smile, even the ones who are not her Hon!
 Of course I didn't forget Alice but I will get to her later. For now, let's just say I admire the construction of this beautiful family and how this second book of them made me fall in love like I never was in the first book. Sometimes, there are books like this, that light up the previous ones and make them better in general.
As for the main couple, Tim was one of the characters I enjoyed in the first book. I was never interested in reading "The Boy Most Likely To" because of the way the book was presented. But then I met Tim at MLND and I got hooked on him. There was so much more about him than what we first saw and I loved him because of that, of what others saw on him that made him more interesting and engaging. And when it gets to Alice....I would say she was the quirky girl everybody was curious about but that was very slippy and didn't allow us to meet her well. I wasn't wrong and this book proves it right.
I enjoyed the two point of view dynamic, but I would like to see it more evidently. I'm not sure if its because I read it on ebook version but there wasn't anything that could easy help the reader distinguish Alice and Tim apart from each other before getting into the chapters. I would expect either a exchange of fonts or at least their names on the top. But it's a small detail that can be corrected on next editions.
About the story itself, the connection between Alice and Tim were well developed and I enjoyed their connection, not in five seconds but with steps and a delightful evolution. I didn't think there was any need to create Tim's main plot after all he already had so much going on that it could have been used to create a beautiful story of self-development and finding of his true self without more noise. As for Alice, I liked to see her relationship with her family but it still felt like she had much less voice than it was expected. We saw a lot of her with her family, dealing with problems but never had a proper access to her thoughts.
Also, although we had moments with either their families, they were mostly alone or at least that was the feeling I got. On the first book, we had other strong presences, like Grace or even Tim (that was what made me fell in love with him, like I already told you) and here it was somehow mostly focused in the two of them. It wasn't bad, but I would prefer to have of that side and take off the other plot I referred moments ago.
In the end, what I really enjoy in Huntley Fitzpactrick's books is that these aren't the typical YA. It's not exactly about the romance (even if this one had much more than the other focused there) but about values, family, support, friendship, growing up and development, sacrifice and generosity. It's about lives and what we have to do to make them better. It's about being an human being and the better we can. With many valuable messages, this book tries to add something more to the YA genre and deserves to be read!



Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

Review: Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman

Grayling's Song
by Karen Cushman
Edition: 2016
Pages: 224
Editor: Clarion Books
Summary:
It's time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a “wise woman”—a sort of witch—has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called “Feeble Wits” by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook! 


Rating: 5/5

Review:
I received an ARC copy from NetGally in exchange for an honest review.

There’s something about Karen Cushman’s writing and the way she weaves magic into her stories that I can't quite describe. I am not new to Cushman's books I started with Catherine, called Birdy a couple of years ago and followed it with all the other books I could get my hands on. If you pay attention you can always spot Cushman’s writing by the way she weaves ordinary things into fantastic adventures and I enjoy the way she gives voice to young apprentices throughout history in the most amazing tales.
In Cushman’s books there are no heroes and villains per se only people who try to do the best with what they have and in doing so, Cushman creates characters that are easy to relate to and to enjoy.
Grayling's Song is Cushman’s latest book and up to now one of my favourites by this author and if I am honest probably in general as well. Wise women are characters that I always like to see in fiction, better yet when we see a wise woman come into herself. Like most books by Cushman this a coming of age tale where our protagonist leaves her childhood home behind to find her place in world. This in essence also gives Cushman’s books a feeling of fairy tales since her characters leave the warmth of home in search of fortune.
Grayling has been at her mother's beck and call all her life and believes that she is useless and only an extra pair of hands to her mother. So when a mysterious force strikes her mother down she has to step up and try to save her. Harmed with her wits and what's left of her mother's potions Grayling goes on in search of answers even though she doesn't know exactly what are the questions.

Beautifully written and with funny characters Grayling's Song provides an interesting view into the wise woman's journey and how our biggest fears can be our biggest friends or worst enemies depending on how we choose to face/embrace them. All in all a book that I would recommend.

 Cat / Ki

Known bookaholic and weekend writer. Cat loves books and everything that's related to them. From time to time she has very strong feelings and opinions about books and the world and she likes writes about them (mostly in her blog Encruzilhadas Literárias). She also has a personal GoodReads account and she believes the world is a better place for it (AKA no more repeated books from relatives as gifts). She lives in the UK and can often be found either in Waterstones or the Charity Shops.

Review: The Scarlet Letter - Manga Classics Edition



The Scarlet Letter
original story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, story adaptation by Crystal S. Chan and art by SunNeko Lee


Edition: 2015
Pages: 308
Publisher: Udon Entertainment

Summary: Experience CLASSIC tales in MANGA format!

Advance Praise
"In small, Puritan Boston, a woman holding her baby girl walks onto a scaffold. She is Hester Prynne. Her child is Pearl, but no one knows the father. When asked by the minister Arthur Dimmesdale to reveal the fellow sinner, Hester refuses. As time passes, Hester moves to a thatched cottage outside the town. She is forced to deal with terrible prejudice, even though everyone buys her embroideries. Her husband, who she thought had died at sea, returned on the day of her trial and now seeks the father of Pearl. He, Arthur, Hester, and Pearl all struggle to lesser or greater degrees as moral conundrums are presented to them.There is a great sense of drama conveyed by the illustrations. They are masterfully crafted to portray the emotions invoked by the situations Hester and other characters are in." - San Francisco Book Review

Rating: 2,5/5

Review: 
I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review.

"The Scarlet Letter" was my second read book from Manga Classics. I started by reading "Les Miserábles" and I got interested in Udon Entertainment works. Contrary to what happened with my first read I didn't know the story of the classic by Nathaniel Hawthorne, only the premises. And I think this is a good introduction to classics that somehow can be a little scary, either because of their plots or because we are trying to figure if we have any interest on reading the original one.
With that being said, I also have to point out that this books have a particularity that I think is an amazing add: in the end you can find a short description of the adaptation process to manga, with some detailed information about each character and even better, some sketches of the first tries to get the characters right.
Algo, since we are talking about manga, maybe the isn't a biggest point to people who are used to read it, even if in a digital access the book is read back to forward in order to give the same experience as the paper books.
About the story itself, I think the two artists were able to get the main setups of the original book and work through it. Of course we can't consider the possibility of having all the details and singularities of the books transformed into graphic storytelling, but even so the story is well told and has the among of necessary details to create a structured and continued plot.
Speaking about the content, I'm afraid I didn't enjoyed this story quite much. I was aware of the tangles between characters and about the synopsis and it was appealing to me but the constrictions and absolute references to religion were a little bit to much for me. I would enjoy to see more explored the social models in other aspects in a way it would complement the book's mainframe. And that's also because the characters didn't exist much besides that story alignment and I wanted some profundity and a better connection of elements.
But that's not Crystal S. Chan and SunNeko Lee's fault since they followed quite well the original plot to create this story.
I could not finish this review without talking about something extremely important in mangas: the art itself! And this one is well done, with singular features and amazing expressive characters.  If you are wanting to dive in some classic novels and don't know where to start, maybe this collection is a good way to introduce you to the concept and in the future, look for the original romances!


Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

Opinião: Perdida, de Carina Rissi



Perdida
de Carina Rissi
 
Edição/reimpressão: 2016
Páginas: 352
Editor: Topseller
  
Leiam as primeiras páginas aqui. 


Resumo: E se o amor da sua vida apenas existisse no século XIX?
Perdida é uma história divertida, apaixonante e intensa, que vai querer devorar até à última página.
Sofia é uma jovem de 24 anos que vive numa grande cidade e está habituada à sua vida independente e moderna. Divertida, mas solitária, Sofia não acredita no amor, convencida de que os únicos romances da sua vida são aqueles que os livros lhe proporcionam.
Porém, após comprar um telemóvel novo, algo misterioso acontece e Sofia descobre que está perdida no século XIX, sem saber como ou se poderá voltar para sua casa, para o «seu» século. Enquanto tenta encontrar uma solução, é acolhida pela família Clarke, à qual, à medida que os dias passam, se afeiçoa cada vez mais.
Com a ajuda do prestável e lindo Ian Clarke, Sofia embarca numa busca frenética e acaba por encontrar pistas que talvez a ajudem a regressar à sua vida.
O que ela não sabe é que o seu coração tem outros planos, e que a ideia de deixar o século XIX pode vir a tornar-se angustiante?
Aviso aos leitores: Este romance pode afetar gravemente a sua perceção pessimista da realidade. Provoca gargalhadas e a vontade imparável de mais e mais. Os seus personagens são como os filhos: quanto mais disparates fazem, mais gostamos deles. Cuidado com os corações: podem começar a sentir estranhas vontades incontroláveis. - See more at: http://marcador.com.pt/conteudo/309-a-felicidade-e-um-cha-contigo#sthash.g2jMvJ7t.dpuf
Aviso aos leitores: Este romance pode afetar gravemente a sua perceção pessimista da realidade. Provoca gargalhadas e a vontade imparável de mais e mais. Os seus personagens são como os filhos: quanto mais disparates fazem, mais gostamos deles. Cuidado com os corações: podem começar a sentir estranhas vontades incontroláveis. - See more at: http://marcador.com.pt/conteudo/309-a-felicidade-e-um-cha-contigo#sthash.g2jMvJ7t.dpuf

Rating: 3/5

Comentário: Carina Rissi é uma autora brasileira que se estreia agora em Portugal com "Perdida", pela mão da Topseller. Em primeiro lugar, desde o pequeno vídeo de apresentação do livro à pequena nota introdutória que ela dedicou aos leitores portugueses, tenho de ressalvar a simpatia da autora. Não é todos os dias que nos deparamos com estes pequenos gestos de atenção, mesmo que seja para nos convencer a comprar e ler um livro. Já sobre o exemplar em causa, "Perdida" unia todos os factores para me agarrarem à narrativa e não me enganei, o livro acabou por se tornar um agradável "guilty pleasure".
Adoro narrativas que envolvam viagens no tempo e as mesclas temporais entre passado/presente, e por vezes futuro também. Por esse motivo fiquei empolgada com a premissa que a sinopse nos trazia. A construção para o universo alternativo foi apressada, mas os poucos elementos fornecidos nas primeiras páginas tornaram-se suficientes para compreender a realidade de onde provinha uma personagem como Sofia e compreender melhor a sua estrutura, uma vez que a passagem para outro elemento temporal só sairia mais beneficiada quando avaliadas as transformações de realidade, expectativas e necessidades desta personagem, juntando às alternações de época e elementos caracterizadores disponíveis.
Já a transposição para o mundo alternativo foi entusiasmante,embora parca para mim. A História é um dos meus grandes interesses, e como tal precisava de mais alguns elementos temporais, que não proviessem somente da crónica de costumes. Naturalmente não era objectivo do livro narrar exaustivamente elementos da História do Brasil mas umas referências aqui e ali teriam sido bem-vindas. Não digo que não as haja de todo, mas são muito discretas.
Sofia é uma personagem sem papas na língua, cuja caricatura é pojada de humor (especialmente se atendermos como é tida como recatada numa época e extremamente ousada na outra), embora pudesse ter mais um elemento ou outro que tornasse a sua personalidade mais tridimensional (especialmente por serem realizadas referências sobre a sua vida pessoal que poderiam ou ter sido exploradas, ou expostas na sua personalidade). Já Ian Clarke é o cavaleiro galante, típico destes enredos, mas nem por isso menos enternecedor.
Valem também as personagens secundárias que trazem uma narrativa mais multidimensional, com apontamentos de ironia e humor, para além de uma enorme panóplia de costumes sociais que daria para explorar só por si.
"Perdida" é aquele livro ligeiro, divertido, atrevido mas delicioso de ler num final de dia complicado e um bom remédio para o stress. Foi uma leitura bem agradável e bastante boa dentro do género.
Julgo que poderia ter evitado o excesso de cliché da última parte do livro, em que um excesso de dramatismo retirou o prazer ligeiro que o acompanhou até então, mas encaro-o como um mal menor.
Para os e as fãs do género, este é o primeiro livro de uma trilogia, que eventualmente poderá vir a ser publicada na totalidade em Portugal, pelo que podem ficar descansados/as que a narrativa da Sofia e do Ian não termina por aqui. No entanto, não há propriamente uma necessidade de os continuar, porque o final deste livro nos traz um fecho da narrativa contada. Julgo que para mim a história destes dois personagens termina por aqui, mas não percam a oportunidade de os conhecer.

 
Cláudia
Sobre a autora:
 
Maratonista de bibliotecas, a Cláudia lê nos transportes públicos enquanto observa o Mundo pelo canto do olho. Defensora da sustentabilidade e do voluntariado, é tão fácil encontrá-la envolvida num novo projecto como a tagarelar sobre tudo e mais alguma coisa. É uma sonhadora e gosta de boas histórias, procurando-as em cada experiência que vive.