September 27, 2012

Banned Books Week Hop

You know, I used to think that I lived in a free country, that banned books and censored novels were a thing of the past. I thought that fiction was the one thing we could take for granted. And you know what?

I was wrong.

I'm not American; I'm Spanish. Here, we don't have lists of challenged books or lists of books that might be a poor influence for our youth... that's why I thought we were just fine. But the fact is that we still censor contents, bias stories to make them suitable to what should be considered "proper" and "right". The first time I notice it was after reading a manga, a comic: I had devoured the original story in Japanese, and when I saw the translated, licensed volume in Spanish I just went and browsed for my favorite scenes, out of curiosity.

The violence was toned down. One of the secondary characters was in love with a travestite, and the small nuances that conveyed those feelings in the original were gone in the translation. Two samurai, minor roles who appear in just a couple of chapters in a series of over 30 volumes, had a relationship: now, it had become friendship.

It was the same story, only... more "appropiate".

I'd like you to be aware of this: even if you don't know it, there's a lot of people out there who is still trying to tell us what kind of world we should see... and worse. what kind of world we should imagine. And I'd like you to use choose a book that deals with something problematic, something not pretty, something that makes the book challenging and real.

You can pick whichever book you want, from Book Depository, under 10$

To win, just fill in the rafflecopter form below. And if you have time, check out more info about Banned Books Week in this link. a Rafflecopter giveaway Visit the rest of the blogs taking part on this hop:

September 25, 2012

VBT: Brightest Kind of Darkness Series, by P.T. Michelle

What series am I exactly talking about, you say? Well, you should know by now: other than being a huge indie hit, I've been raving about Brightest Kind of Darkness and its sequel, Lucid, for quite a while. In case you missed it, you can check out my reviews of both instalments here for Book 1 and here for Book 2.

After reading that, you should be in  a hurry to meet P.T. Michelle... Okay, I can help you. Here, some info!


P.T. Michelle is author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.


And now, the most super-important things: the excerpt I know you're just dying to read... and the GIVEAWAY afterwards! Ready? Here we go!

September 19, 2012

Review: Andy Squared, by Jennifer Lavoie

Author: Jennifer Lavoie
Title: Andy Squared
ISBN: 9781602827431
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 18th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old twins, Andrew and Andrea Morris, have always been close. They share everything—from their friends to a room—and they both enjoy star positions on their high school’s soccer teams. All’s right with the twins...or is it?

When new student Ryder Coltrane moves from Texas to their small New York town, he spins Andrew’s world upside down. All of Andrew’s past relationship troubles begin to make sense and his true feelings start to click into place after Ryder comes out to him. His friendship with Ryder turns secretively romantic, but secrets, they soon find out, are hard to keep. Once rumors start to fly, so-called friends turn on them, and the boys’ relationship turns into a bomb about to explode. But Andrew never expected it would be his own twin, Andrea, holding a lighter to ignite it” GoodReads’ blurb

You know that, from time to time, I wander into the topic of this book in search of a compelling, moving, real story. I’m usually left wanting, but, and this is the big BUT, not this time!

Andy Squared was a sweet, tender love story that I completely fell for. The characters, as usual, did most of the job for me: the way Andy started to accept himself and to accept his feelings was gradual and easy to believe. I also enjoyed his relationship with his twin, the other Andy, which starts out great and then turns out all kinds of... wrong.

September 17, 2012

Review: Stormdancer, by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff
Title: Stormdancer
Series: The Lotus War (#1)
ISBN: 9781250001405
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Hardcover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire."
GoodReads’ blurb

Japanese Steampunk, indeed. I’m pretty new to the steampunk genre, but it’s one of those things I love to dabble on whenever I have the chance. And if you’ve been reading me or talking to me on the media, you know I’m a somewhat fanatic of Japanese culture. The latter is a double-edged weapon, because I’m extra picky: any guy/girl swinging a katana won’t just cut it for me.

So, what did I find when I went into Stormdancer?

September 12, 2012

VBT Review: Arise, by Amber Garr

Welcome to the Syrenka series book tour! Here at Stories of my life, you'll have the chance to read reviews of all three books through its duration, and if you want to check out other great stuff like excerpts or guest posts (and other reviews too!) you just have to check the master schedule, clicking on the Tour Banner above.

There's two surprises: one is a tour-wide giveaway where you can win signed paperbacks of the whole series plus some cool swag... And the other is exclusive to Stories of my Life and consist on a giveaway for your e-book of choice of the series. You'll find instructions on how to enter at the end of the post.

And now that the deets are out of the way, I give you... Syrenka!