~Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl~ {Review}

FINALLY finished this wonderful novel! And my, was I totally stunned by the ending! 0_0 So, let me get this straight, it’s NOT a 3-part series? I thought it was! I was expecting that there will be a closure as the end drew near but there were still some stuff that needed to be explained. Not that I’m complaining. I like surprises. And this is THE GOOD kind of surprise. 😀 I admit, this series is definitely a page-turner. I’m not just biased towards ‘magic-centered’ plot okay. Yes, it kinda reminds me of Harry Potter in more ways than one but it’s the NOT-FOR-KIDS type I suppose.

So the whole world – or maybe just Gatlin county – is coming to an end. I can imagine how extremely agonizing that must’ve been for the high and mighty, righteous and selfish people there. In the last book, Lena broke the order by choosing neither light nor dark. We find out later on that there is ‘light and dark in all of us’. Basically, it’s a whole new story twisted around the same plot and involving the same characters.

What I like about this book was the fact that it can stand alone. Although it is of course advisable to read the two books before this, you won’t get so confused and lost when you read this. I like the fact that it didn’t just revolve around the main characters – Lena and Ethan. There was a story for every character, Everyone is equally vital to the plot. Each character evolved, not just physically but also emotionally, mentally and perhaps spiritually. I think another reason that made me love this was because it didn’t bore me with too much lovey-dovey scenes between Lena and Ethan or Ridley and Link. Everything was just the right amount — nothing over the top, nothing exaggerated. I like the mix of fantasy, romance, magic, action, drama and even darkness here. It was a complete recipe for perfection IMO.

I just adore Macon Ravenwood from book 1 until now. I love how he’s sort of like the equivalent of the ‘fairy godmother’ here who’s always to the rescue whenever the kids are in trouble. His powers are just amazing and it makes him an even more prominent and admirable character. There’s nothing ‘UNLIKEABLE’ about this man. He’s now on my top 5 best fictional characters ever.

In this book, however, I kinda started to like JOHN BREED. Before I just like him coz I kinda imagine him as this really hot and gorgeous dude. But now, I just love his personality. After finding out about his past and what REALLY happened to him, I felt sorry for the guy. I empathized with him. He is that irritatingly arrogant character who’d get on your nerves but you can’t help liking. I guess I can relate a bit to his character — what he went through and how he felt throughout his ordeal. The tension between him and Ethan cracked me up so much. XD And dang, John and Liv??? I never would’ve thought that! Genius!

I like the fact that, although Lena is still the main character here, it did not focus on her. It was all about Ethan. The story definitely progressed in a great way – from Ethan-Lena to more on Lena to more on Ethan. Sarafine’s past was equally as surprising and interesting as Macon’s past. I like how snippets from her past weaves in and out of the plot making every detail juicy and hauntingly beautiful. There might be some loopholes here and there but they were insignificant and I guess it would be explained in the next book. 😀

It was a wonderful love story between two innocent teenagers shrouded in mystery, doused in magic with a dose of mystery and darkness and a bundle of fantastic supporting cast! It kept me on the edge of my seat. A very compelling read and worthy of my precious time.

The only thing that bothers me is… I have no idea what’s gonna happen on the NEXT book. Dang. I REALLY didn’t see that coming! That caught me off guard! Haha. I kinda expected Ethan to die and that’s it. LOL. But then again, that’s a good one. Now I’m craving for more! ^^

Some quotable quotes from the book. 😀

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” ~ Winston Churchill

“I will love you until the day after forever.” ~ Izabel — I am so gonna say this to my next boyfriend. Haha!

When I fi rst met you, that’ s what I remember. I looked up at the sky and thought, I’m going to love this person because even the sky looks different.” -Lena to Ethan – Aww. I swear this moment was just… *sighs* I was totally moved. So, do I have to look at the sky the next time I meet a guy? 😀

“Do you believe in love after last sight, Ethan?” – Lena

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” – Macon

 

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~Hollow-fied~

“It’s exhilarating, Abbey. You exhilarate me” ~ Caspian, The Haunted

Ever since the Harry Potter series ended, I’ve never been attached to any book trilogies or series. Well, I THOUGHT I’d never get hooked again. But then there’s Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s fantastic trilogy, Beautiful CreaturesBeautiful Darkness– ??? Yeah, I dunno the third book’s title yet. ^^ I loved it from start to finish and I just can’t hardly wait for the third installment.

So I started reading Jessica Verday’s THE HOLLOW. Then went on to read THE HAUNTED. It took me about two and a half months to finish them. And I can say it was well worth my time.  I don’t really plan on making a long-ass review here. I just want to share my thoughts about these wonderful reads.

I liked The Hollow due to the simple fact that it was refreshing and unique as compared to the current craze over sparkling vampires with bad attitudes or hot-tempered fallen angels. There are no werewolves or wizards here either. Just a simple dead boy who is haunting the haunted village of Sleepy Hollow. 😀

From the start, Caspian had been nothing but nice, sweet, kind and a true gentleman. Although he has his ‘moments of teenage angst‘, he never showed it to Abbey. I think my problem with the first book was Abbey’s ‘pity-me-my-bff-died-its-all-my-fault-i-shouldn’t-be-happy-i-should-forever-be-emo’ attitude. With the first few chapters it was okay. Tolerable, to say the least. But as I read more of her outbursts and crazy wild emo moments, I got more and more irked. Okay, I know how she feels. I lost someone too. Been there done that. But it was just… I dunno… sometimes it feels like she’s being TOO emotional and she’s overreacting.

Anyway, although there were lots of loopholes and WTF moments in The Hollow, especially when my suspicions about Caspian were right, some of them were thoroughly explained in the second book– The Haunted.

I still don’t get Nikolas and Katy though. I KNOW. They’re Shades or whatever, but their connection to the legend of Sleepy Hollow is just– WTF. ~__~

The things that didn’t make sense in The Hollow were finally explained in The Haunted which made it a compelling read. With every page I  get awed by Caspian’s sweetness and I get enlightened by the revelations. ^^

What set Caspian apart from the other ‘lead guys’ in fiction novels is the fact that he’s just a boy. Who died, yeah. But his being separated from his physical body didn’t stop his heart from beating. It didn’t stop him from falling in love with Abbey. And that makes it more interesting and special.

He has his flaws, yes, but that’s what makes him more gorgeous. He’s NOT perfect. It’s just like having a normal teenage boy as your  boyfriend. Only he’s dead. XD But I think he’s so much better than most kids his age who are ill-mannered, bad-tempered and who thinks of nothing but doing ‘THAT’.

Another thing about The Haunted is that it stands well alone. I think even if I wasn’t able to read book one, I won’t be lost upon reading this. All the important facts and events in book one were recalled and well expounded in book two. Although the author might’ve missed a few issues here and there –like what the hell is Nikolas and Katy REALLY??? Or what is Ben supposed to be– the dead bff’s secret admirer, the unofficial other guy or just Abbey’s friend? Why was Caspian chosen as a shade? Or rather, how did he become a shade?

I dunno. I don’t really nitpick when it comes to the books I read. Unless there’s really A LOT to nitpick on. XD I try to put myself in the author’s shoes, being a writer myself… ^^

Anyway, although I sympathize a little with Ben– the unofficial other guy– I still love Caspian to death. Okay, no PUN intended. XP He’s just the best dead boyfriend ever.  He understands Abbey’s shortcomings and unreasonable emotional outbursts and he really cherishes her so much. I mean, let’s face it. The way I imagined Abbey, she’s not THAT pretty. I bet she’s more on the average-looking side. Not the head-turner type. I really like how deep and passionate their love for each other is despite their young age.

I still don’t get how this story’s gonna end though… ^_^;; I mean, okay, so Vincent Drake doesn’t want Abbey to die coz he doesn’t want her and Caspian to be ‘whole/complete’– but WHY??? And what’s up with those creepy revenants anyway? Why should the living half die as well…? Are they really trying to help?  Can’t the living half and dead half be together as it is? *sighs* I need the third book NAO! >_<

AND can I just say that IF EVER there is  a movie adaptation, this person should TOTALLY be Caspian. 😀

Tom to tom tom ~ Tom tom ~~~