May 29, 2011

The Goldsmith's Secret, by Elia Barceló

The Goldsmith's Secret, by Elia Barceló on Goodreads

Release Date: March 31st, 2011, UK
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Categories: Romance, Time-Travel, Historic Fiction, Contemporary
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
Read in May 2011

Summary from Goodreads:
One snowy night in New York City, a successful, solitary goldsmith reflects on his life, and his unrealiable memories intertwine and collide. Journeying to the village in Spain where he grew up, he hopes with some trepidation that he will encounter Celia, "the Black Widow", a beautiful and mysterious friend of his mother with whom he had a short and passionate affair when he was a teenager. But instead he meets a young woman who opens doors into an unimagined world, and takes him back in time.
The Goldsmith's Secret is a remarkable story of a love trapped between two parallel times, set in Spain in the 1950's, 1970's and in the last year of the twentieth century.
In beautifully economical prose, and with a structure as intricate and refined as a bevelled jewel, The Goldsmith's Secret is alight with intense nostalgia, memories and desires.
Elia Barceló has come to be recognized across Europe as a truly original voice, and her books as poetic works of great subtlety.
My Opinion:

To be such a short novel, it had a very long story that traveled through time; a unique romance.

Written somewhat poetically, Barceló tells us the story of Celia and a man whose name we don't know, if I remember correctly.

Celia, the widow, is in love with a man she loved in her youth, and who left without saying goodbye. And he, a teenage boy captivated by that woman's strength. In their short affaire, she tells him something like, "I knew you'd be back." He doesn't understand a thing, and thinks she's confused, speaking to the man she once lost.

Now a grown man, he makes a trip from New York to the town where he grew up, and where he hasn't been in years. He expects to find a modernised town, as towns tend to get after some decades, right? But when he gets there at night, he can only see a few lights on here and there, and this brings back a memory from his childhood.

The hotel where he's staying is just like the one from his memory, from the time when he looked through tge window to spy on the visitors who stayed there when he was a boy. And like that, litttle by little, he realises that -almost magically- he's back to the Villasanta of his early years. And he remembers, too, that Celia is a teenage girl in this time. 

And so begins the search for the love of that young Celia, while he's a fourty-some-year-old man.

The Goldsmith's Secret is a beautiful tale of a love that couldn't be. He gets his second chance, but will he succeed? 

There's not much more to say about this book. I loved Elia's writing; I could see that old Spanish town very clearly while reading. I'm also a hopeless romantic, and this book was perfect for me. I'm really glad to have read it. 

Thanks to Nicci Praca for sending me a review copy.

May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA: Networking

Welcome to Day Three of Armchair BEA. Today is all about Networking, which is basically a Blogger's bread and butter (correct me if I'm using the wrong expression, please!).
Without it, we wouldn't be able to talk to other bloggers and/or authors, therefore, never being able to build those relationships I cherish so much right now. 
Because without book blogging, with whom would I share my craziness over books? Who would hold long talks with me about whether Katniss did the right thing by staying with Peeta (she absolutely did the right thing!)? Where else would I find people so inmerse in books and their world? 

To me, finding and making a new book blogger friend is always something beautiful. So when I discovered that Alex, from A Girl, Books and Other Things, is Mexican, I started jumping up and down in my seat. I love finding new Latin bloggers!

Enjoy my interview with Alex, it's quite fun!

Alex with her two dogs. Aren't they adorable?
Let's start this interview with you telling me a bit about yourself. Where do you live?
Hi!! I live in Mexico City, and I honestly can't imagine living anywhere else, even though it can be crazy living here since it's such a huge city.

I've noticed your favourite genres are Romance and YA, like me! Let's imagine I'm not an avid reader, and I have no idea what to pick up next. What would you recommend me, in both genres?
In the YA front, definitely get you started on some Meg Cabot, she writes in such a way that it's like a friend is telling you a story, probably recommend the Airhead series, or The Mediator, depending on how you feel about Paranormal. An in the Romance front, for historical Lisa Kleypas, definitely, either Dreaming of You, or maybe her Hathaway series - and she also writes lovely contemporaries.

What do you do in your spare time?
Lately, all I have is spare time, as I'm looking for a job. A regular day for me involves cooking and baking, tiding up the house, playing with my dog and watching TV. Other than that, I work on my blog and watch anime and write my own stories - which I post for fun on Fictionpress. I also like to write old-fashioned ink and paper letters, though few people answer in the same way. Oh, and I also knit scarves like crazy.

When and how did you start your blog?
I started the blog because I could see how my friends got annoyed whenever I started to gush about a book, so one day I just started. It was April of 2008 and I was just finishing up my college degree so I had more free time than I had while at school and decided to give it a go. It was a very different blog back then - even had a different name - but it helped me learn a lot of stuff.

If you could meet one of your favourite authors, who would you choose?
Probably Meg Cabot, I have friends who have met her and swear she's funny and nice, and I always love her blog posts. Or Melina Marchetta, I love her books.

I've also seen you review films. I'm studying Film! Can you tell me which film has gripped your attention this year?
Wow, that's so cool, that you're studying film, I mean. Now, let me think... Definitely Easy A has been my favorite so far, Morning Glory and the King's speech.I can see myself watching those movies over and over, which is my standard of cool.

I've signed up for the 100 Books in a Year challenge, and I'm already behind. You've read over eighty books in these past months! WOW! How do you make the time to sit and read? I barely have time anymore!
If I'm to be completely honest... I don't sleep much - even though I spend most of the day alone and I have time to read, I read almost exclusively at night. I've struggled with anxieties from a young age and sometimes I can't shut my brain off and sleep, so I read and it helps me calm down, so reading is a necessity for me, helps me stay sane.

And finally, convince those who are reading this to follow your blog in a short paragraph.
I'm honest in my reviews, and I try my best to be consistent and not let myself be carried off in the hype. Plus, I have quite defined tastes, so I think I'm pretty reliable.

Thanks, Ella. This was fun!


I was interviewed by Stella from Ex Libris. Click here to read the interview and find out more about myself!

May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA: Best of 2011

Welcome to Day Two of Armchair BEA, the bloggy event meant for those of us who couldn't make it to the actual BEA.

Today's topic is: Best of 2011.

Well, this isn't very hard. There's one book that came out early this year, which I love and can't wait to re-read:

DELIRIUM, by Lauren Oliver.
This book tore at my heart and left me hopeless, until I found out there was hope for them.
I love, love, love this book, and I'm waiting for it to come out in Argentina, so I can have my own printed copy, since I read it on NetGalley. 

And there were other books that I really liked this year (considering I haven't read very many books):

Red Glove, by Holly Black.
A great way to continue this series;
I love Cassel!

Wither, by Lauren DeStefano.
Such a brilliant start to a new series!
It must be terrible knowing when you're going to die,
I can't imagine Rhine's world.

Both have 5-monkey-reviews :)

May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA 2011 Kick-Off

Today starts this new bloggy event: Armchair BEA, meant for those of us who are unable to go to the actual BEA. Being in Argentina makes it kinda hard for me to attend, so when I heard about Armchair, I immediately signed up!

The organisers are giving us a prompt every day, and today it is: Who are you, and how do you Armchair?

*stands up* Hi, I'm Ella, a 19-year-old Film student, and I have a problem. 

I'm a bibliophile. It's something I can't control, every time I'm close to a book store, I'm somewhat "forced" to go inside and buy a book. That leads to me having less and less money to buy anything else, and to my having books piled up at home, without having the time to read them all. 

But I'm trying to change. I am. Now that I'm in uni, I have to save money, and buy photocopies for class, food, rent, etc., etc. 

It's hard, specially because I pass a book store every day on my way to uni.

So, that's who I am. Oh, and I'll be forever grateful to the people who invented NetGalley, because I can read free ARCs of wonderful books whenever I want to!

That was a little about me, hope you enjoyed it!

May 19, 2011

Nightshade (Witches' War, #1), by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade (Witches' War, #1), by Andrea Cremer on Goodreads

Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Philomel
Overall: 4 Monkeys
Interest: Series
Categories: Paranormal, Werewolves, Magic, Romance
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
Read in May 2011

Summary from Goodreads:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: after graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.

But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
My Opinion:
When this book came out last year, everyone was talking about it. Everyone. But since it's about werewolves, I wasn't very intrigued, despite the 5-star-reviews. Now that I've read it, I can honestly say that I really liked it. Not loved, but liked. 

Cremer does a very good job with her characters, but the beginning of the book was a little confusing to me. I don't know if it was because I listened to the audiobook and maybe missed something, but at first I didn't know if the humans knew about the nature of the pack, and were afraid because of that, or if they were ignorant of it, and were scared of them because of how the pack acted. It took me a long while to get that they didn't, in fact, know their classmates were wolves. (Maybe this happened only to me, or maybe to someone else too, I don't know.)

And there were other things that felt a bit forced, clichéd too. Like the incident in Haldis Cavern that led to... that thing you know if you read the book. It was way too obvious to me. I would have liked -maybe, loved- this book more if that hadn't happened.

What I did love -and the reason I'm giving this 4 stars- was the characterisation of the different characters. There were like ten wolves in Calla's pack, and all of them had a different and unique personality, which was brilliantly written. So, congrats Andrea for that!
Bryn and Ansel were terribly sweet! And the loyalty of the pack towards their alphas was great too. They may had had differences with them, but the pack certainly had no doubts when it came to protecting them.

I loved how Cremer wove the wolves' history with magic! And I cannot wait to learn more about Shay's place in all of this!

Shay was great. Romantic, strong, a bit shy... he was a brilliant character. Calla... she'll have to do more to get my attention. She felt like every other YA heroine to me. She was great in her own way, yeah, but I still wanted to see a bit more of her dark side. 

Overall, a really nice book! I'll have to read Wolfsbane soon!

May 6, 2011

Dear Mr. Potter

What a wonderful thing Tumblr is. I just came across this link. It's a Sneak Peek for an upcoming book, a compilation of letters to Harry Potter from the fans. 

I've been reading it for a little while, and just had to share it.

One of the letters I read said something like, "I try to explain to people why I feel the way I feel about Harry, but only those who are like me, who love Harry's world like I do, will be able to understand me fully." And that is exactly how I feel. My friends and family don't understand why I love a "Children's" book so much, and I've tried to explain to them how I feel, but I've come to realise, I'll never be able to make them see what I see. Harry means so much to me, and I love to feel that connection to other die hard fans. 

We are the Harry Potter Generation. We are family. We are history. 


May 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Scott Westerfeld!

Thanks to you, I like Sci-Fi, which I thought I hated before reading Uglies. So THANK YOU!!!
And happy bday!

Everyone, go wish him a happy birthday here and here!

May 2, 2011

Cover and Excerpt Revealed: Becca Fitzpatrick's SILENCE!!!

WOAH!!! That is one awesome cover! LOVE the way Patch's carrying Nora, looks terrifying, haunting, lovely and... WOW. I need to read Crescendo, but I don't have money right now! *sad face*

Check out this exclusive excerpt from the book:
He closed the distance between us, and just when I thought he'd drawn me against him, he stopped, holding himself in check. I exhaled, trying not to cry. He leaned his elbow on the door jam, just above my ear. He smelled so devastatingly familiar, soap and spice, the heady scent bringing back a rush of memories so pleasurable, it only made the current moment that much more difficult to bear. I was seized by the desire to touch him. To trace my hands over his skin, to feel his arms tighten securely around me. I wanted him to nuzzle my neck, his whisper to tickle my ear as he said private words that belonged only to me. I wanted him near, so near, with no thought of letting go.

"This isn't over," I said. "After everything we've been through, you don't get the right to brush me off. I'm not letting you off that easily." I wasn't sure if it was a threat, my last stab at defiance, or irrational words spoken straight from my splintered heart.

"I want to protect you," Patch said quietly.

He stood so close. All strength and heat and silent power. I couldn't escape him, now or ever. He'd always be there, consuming my every thought, my heart locked in his hands; I was drawn to him by forces I couldn't control, let alone escape.

"But you didn't." 
Thanks to Hollywood Crush for both the cover and excerpt.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog design and content by Ella Press, using elements by EMI