May 30, 2012

Revamped by Ada Adams Review

Angel Creek #1
by Ada Adams
Published on February 20th 2012
300 pages
Find the title on Goodreads - Amazon

A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

- description

Revamped is an interesting story about Dawn. Dawn is a vampire. But in the world that Ada Adams created there are two types of vampire; the Made and the Born. The Born are very few. The Made are very popular and there are losts of them around the world. Dawn is a Born. And she trained since she was a baby to combat and fight. She is 19 years old now, and she is sent to her first mission ever. The one that she has dreamt about forever.

In world, that Ada has build, the vampires are all the sorts of celerbities. Every vampire on earth wants to be a celebrity. There are tons on reality shows, movies,.. And people are so shallow. I didn't like it. They are so superficial, and it has bothered me a lot. I mean, in today society I have a strong feeling that people are too shallow, and hence, I really don't want to read this in books, too. Reality is sad enough.

Dawn. I really liked Dawn! She is strong, she does what it's right and she is a total badass ;) All she wants from life is, for her father to be proud of her. She is very mature for her age. When she moves to Angel Crack for her mission she is faced with troubles, where she really needs to put all her training and studying into practice. She is so capable and not willing to give up at any costs.

Overall, Revamped was a good story. I really liked Dawn. The plot of the story was good, tought there were some things, I wish were more explained and more deep. About the action – there was a lot of it in the book, but I wanted more details about the fights. I don't know, everything has seemed somehow too easy. And the world vampire society really wasn't of my liking. And I wished there was more romance in the book.

May 29, 2012

Timepiece by Myra McEntire Review

Hourglass #2
by Myra McEntire
Publication date: June 12th 2012
EgmontUSA, 336 pages
Find the title on Goodreads - Book Depository

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results. 

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.
- description

As you know Timepiece is told by Kaleb's point of view. Which was ok, I really liked him! But sometimes, especially at the beginning it was a bit confusing. Well, you know, the reader is used to Em's feelings and thoughts and especially her attitude :P So yeah, but it was good. Because Kaleb feels all the emotions from others, so we actually get to know more about others. It's more deep.

At first, after finishing Hourglass, I was contemplating if there will be a development of the love triangle in the second book. I was so relieved, that this wasn't the case. I would have hate it, for Kaleb to be hurt.

So, the story. Well, there is still Jack and he is still messing up with everyone. But this time he is doing it from distance. He shows up sometimes, but most of the time he is gone. And they are searching for him. Because they got an ultimatum - till Halloween - to find Jack. The time is messed up. Rips from the past are messing with the present. And anyone who has an ability is able to see them. That's why the ultimatum – to restore the continuum.

This book is more focused on others. There are still Michael and Emerson, but they are more like second characters. The main are Kaleb and Emerson's best friend Lily. Her ability comes in very handy in this book. The reader gets to know her better. And she's really a badass. And she is smart and she has courage. And surely not as impulsive as Emerson ;)

Overall Timepiece was an intrigued and compelling story. Our team gets to learn more things about time space, other abilities and more about the enemies. They have also grow up as characters, which I really enjoyed, especially Kaleb. Timepiece was a rollercoaster of emotions and will left you with an insufferable need to get your hands on Infinityglass. Which sadly, we will need to wait a year to read.

May 27, 2012

Book Haul (3)

I will no longer be participating in In My Mailbox meme, but instead I'll be doing Book Haul, inspired by Katie’s Book Blog. Feel free to share your own link in the comments if you still do IMM or any other meme in this section. I love seeing which books you've got this week :)

Hi there!! How are you feeling today? :)
I've started my practice at a Mental Health Institution on Wednesday and I must admit I really like it! I'm having so much fun and the people there are really nice :)
Last week I've got City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. I loved the book :) But I have some problem with it, so I decided to have an Open Discussion for City of Lost Souls and I would really, really appreciate your thoughts about it! :)

I am so super excited about Kill me Softly by Sarah Cross - I've heard awesome things about it and I think this book will rock my socks!! :D
7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker - I stumbled upon this book on a blog - don't remember which one, but I've read about it and people said this book is great. I decided to give it a shot!
In Honor by Jessi Kirby - Pretty much everyone is talking about the awesomeness of this book, so I guess it was about time to get it! :P

My practice books for my preparing for the IELTS International English Exam. Oh yeah, this will be fun. Good luck to me.

What have you got this week? :)

Blogspiration #14

Blogspiration is a Brand Spankin' New weekly meme hosted by both GrowingUp YA and Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers and writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation, and just a little SOMETHING.

Okay, so for this week's post I decided to post about attitude. Yes, attitude. You know, after my Erasmus, when I discovered Vampire Academy, I also re-discovered my attitude. It was always mine, but I kind of just forgot about it, because of the stupid circumstances of life, my life in that time. I thought once I re-discover it, I won't be ever able to forget it again. The Rose in me won't let me forget it again.

Here I go. Silly me. Forgot about it, again. Sometimes we really need someone to remind us, who we really are.
Pic found here.
I am so sick of people telling me I can't. The truth is, I've never cared much about it. But after studying so hard for my exam and about the subject of socialization and Important Others, I kind of went with the flow. And I started to believe others - ok, here I need to specify Important Others. So, our friends, family, teachers. They know. 

Bullshit. They don't know anything, about me, that's it. I make my own decisions. I decide when I want to fall, and when I want to fly, and when I don't want to do either. I should know better. And I should pay more attention to what I want to do. I know what is right and what's not. I should have never doubted it. Never.
Pic found here.
Let me just tell you something. June*. You're coming soon. But I have something to say to you too. I am coming too. And this time I won't fall or chicken out. I've learned my lesson.

What's your blogspiration this week? :)

* June means the month of my last exam, and the international English Exam.

May 25, 2012

I've Lost Myself on the Way

This could not be a coincidence. It's May 24th, 2012. I was going trough some past work papers form the University. And I re-discovered a file. The title is Emotional Intelligence – How do I cope when I feel uncomfortable. It's from my first year of the University.

And now I have a serious question. Nea, how is it possible that your past-self was truer and stronger and more confident and far better than your present-self?!

Let's discuss it. Because this needs discussion. A tough one. Because I need to understand where exactly I've got off my way. It's too important to let it pass lightly, honestly.

I'll quote my past-self (I'll put just the one subject, that I feel is the most important for this task):
I feel I can't talk to my parents about my opinion about anything. I feel that I am not smart enough. 

How could you change the things that bother you? 
That I don't feel smart enough, well, I think life is a big learning, therefor I can't know everything. About my parents. I feel that I can't talk to them because really, I don't talk to them about my problems. My parents always said that if I had a problem I should tell them about it. But when I did tell them my what my problem was, they dismissed it like it was nothing or they told me something like »you're not competent enough«. Therefor I haven't spoken of my problems ever again. I tried to solve my problems by myself or I told them to my friends that always helped me. Usually, in life, I try to be independent without my parents' help, so I don't need to hear about how much they are trying hard for me and stuff like that. Therefor I rather do all by myself and I accept the consequences of my acts as my owns. 

What are your feelings about the things that bother you? 
I tend to feel angry about the things that bother me. I feel anger toward my parents for not listening to my opinion, like my opinion doesn't count at all. Therefor I feel angry at the whole world, because of why are things the way they are and not different. Then I somehow accept it and I go on. 

How do you usually solve the problem? 
I usually solve the problem with accepting it. I tell myself that all the things can't go always on my way. Like with my parents, I always hope, that they will understand.. and they don't. And every time I tell myself »how could you possibly think that this time would be anyhow different? It's always like that. 

How do you cope with the stress that comes with problems? 
Well, in fact, it's not that easy. I don't cope well. Lots of times I start screaming. I start crying. In then when I calm down, I find the solution to the problem. And with that, the stress goes away, too. In my opinion, I think the anger should be faced, put out there. Then you take a deep breath and you go on. If we keep them inside, it will suffocate us.

Ok. My past-self Nea is bad-ass. Really.

So.. where did things start going off, of this way of thinking? Where did I change?

The second year of University I went abroad for a year. I was planning this amazing year of my life in a foreign country. I'll admit, my Erasmus experience was taught one. I thought I would dissolve into nothing. And I'm not kidding. It was hard. Thinking New Moon was helping me cope, go through the day.. well, you must know, it had been hard. Very. And during that period, I escaped. I went home after a month. I booked a ticket to home for 3 weeks. And when I came home.. I was a disaster. No exaggeration or whatsoever. I was empty. I just was. Like I was a bystander. And my mom looked at me, and I started crying. Hard. And she hugged me and told me »Nea don't worry. You're home. Mom will take care of everything.« And I believed her. And in that instant I realised how much I loved and needed my mom to be there, to understand. I couldn't do it alone. And believe me, I was trying really hard for months before I gave up. From that day on, I had a good relationship with my mom.

After my Erasmus was over, I was myself again. That bad-ass Nea from the first year of the University. I've grown a lot in that period. I've learned something very important in that terrible month.. You can run all you want, but you will never be able to run away from yourself. And I've learned, that social environment is important – it is important to have people you love around you. I've never felt that alone in my life.

So ok, I've changed a little. I've grown up a bit. But I was still the confident Nea. The strong one. The one who believed in herself. Who faced the obstacles. The Nea who fought back for what she felt it was right. And the one who accepted the consequences of her decisions.

Today on my practice as a student of psychology at a mental health institution, a guy who's working there asked me something. I think he doesn't know what a big impact that statement did to me. He asked me »Why do you always put the blame on others? You're responsible for your actions and your doing. It's on you. You decide how will you face everything in your life.«

Uh huh, of course – like Freud himself said, the mechanisms of defense really work hard to protect us. My first impulse was to deny it. And I did. But now.. it has struck me to a halt. Wow. Damn, he is right. He is so fucking right.

How could this happen? I mean, really, how? Where is the strong Nea who faces her fears and accept the consequences?

When I discovered the answer, it has shocked the hell out of me. What?! I couldn't believe it. Still, can't. Well, actually I can. After 2 hours of thinking, yeah it makes sense. But it needs some theory, to be understood. Yeah, I know this is getting really long, but I need to write it down because this will make it real. And making it real, I will need to accept it. And start working on it. They said, if you know what your problem is, you're half way to solve it. We'll see.

You all know about my favourite professor. She's like God because she is so damn smart and intelligent and wow. I think that's also, mainly why I failed this exam already 5 times. I thought I wasn't good enough. Her lessons are life lessons. I love them. And most of all, I believe in them. And here starts the problem...

This is an important theory. Here it goes:

There are 3 types of people in the world:
-         Self-directed type
-         Other-directed type
-         Pathological Narcissist

Specifically for my need now, I will focus just one the first 2 categories. I will explain about Pathological narcissism another time, I promise. I think it's something we all should know about it. But let's stay on the topic.

1. Self-directed type

The self-directed type is representative of liberal capitalism. This type of capitalism was used before the collapse of the economy in 1929.

The characteristics of this type of people are:

Oedipus complex is solved classically – this means that the Father did well his job at being a Father – he was the Authority. Because with the punishment and the acceptance of the Authority of the father – the child has developed the ego and the ego Ideal. With this comes moral imperative. And afterward, the child will know (without the help of his father to reminds him) what is right and what is wrong. This person will have autonomy – when faced with a decision to be made – he will ask his conscience what to do – and the conscience will answer with the 10 commandments + additions (made by the person himself). So, don't steal, don't kill, don't... The person knows what's right and what's not. The person is also functionally grown up. And between choosing loyalty to – Law – people – comfort – he will choose the Law. This means, not to listen to what others say, but to listen to the Law (10 commandments + additions). Today there is 1% people of Other-directed type.

A bit tip here: THIS IS THE WAY YOU WANT TO RAISE YOUR CHILDREN. So, get your man to do his job right.

2. Other-directed type

Other-directed type is the representative of corporate capitalism. This type of capitalism has begun after the second World War – because the countries needed to put themselves together and they needed a good led for the economy. This is where managers were invented. To provide knowledge and rules so the economy won't collapse again.

The caracteristics of this type of people are:

Oedipus complex is solved, BUT not classically. The Father is absent (being absent means he could be physically absent or he didn't do his job at being the Authoroty). The Authoroty was forced by others – by the mother or by the peer group. He is moral, but he is not autonomous. He has heteronomous morality – which means – when he asks his conscience what to do – the conscience doesn't answer with the Law, but it answers with »ask what others think it right«. So, between choosing loyality to – Law – people – comfort – he will choose people. He is uncapable of making his own decisions. He needs others to tell him what is right. This type is also interesting because it helds the power to convert something immoral to something moral. Why? Because his conscience tells him to ask others, and morally (to this type) this is right. Then it depends on how are the Important Others to this person – as in, who will he ask for the answer.

This type is also the traditional type of Slovenian people. Because of the history, we needed to be practical, if we wanted to survive 1600 years. Worldwide it has started after the second World War. Today there are ½ people of Other-directed type.

So, this second type is important to me. You know.. being a traditional Slovenian type and all. You know, the funny thing is, I've always thought my father was the one to be blamed. I don't have a very good relationship with him. Well, actually, that would be an understatement. I have a bad relationship with my father. Which is a good thing. He did his job right.

And now here comes the shocking part (to me). Freud believed in it. My professor believes in it. And I did, too. Actually, I've believed it too much. (We, students of Psychology always tend to process everything we learn about ourselves).

In the traditional Slovenian Other-directed type, the mother takes the raise of her children in her hands (with the absent father and all). She uses punishment so that the child can functionally grow up. Here's the catch. The Mother is the form of unconditional love. With the mother's unconditional love, the child will develop the belief in himself. And the Father should be there to do his function – Authority. But as we said, the father is absent. That leaves the mother on her own. So she starts with the Authority if she wants her child to functionally grow up.

Now.. the child is seriously confused. If the Father would be there, the child would have come to understand – how to operate with the mother and how to operate with the father. 2 registers. With the mother, he would use the register »comfort« and with the father, he would use the register »do what it's right«. Becuase the Father's love is conditional. The child has to know, that he needs to do what is right so the father will love him. With the mother, he doesn't need to do what is right. He can stick with, what is the comfort. – This is the way it should be!

BUT. As we said, the Father is absent. So, the child has a mother and he is completely confused. Because she is one person and he is incapable to figure which register to use – the comfort one/the right one. It's unconditional love and conditional love at the same time. Obviously, the child is confused. And this way of raising a child will develop – a moral child nonetheless (other-directed type), but! also a child incapable of having the feeling what is right and that he can count on himself. That he is worth it. – Therefor: He will know what is right when faced with BIG decisions, but he won't be able to choose right from comfort in the SMALL ones. – Sadly saying this, but WOMEN OUT THERE – if your man is absent – YOU NEED TO DO THIS. IT'S NOT THE BEST, BUT IN A LONG SHOT IS LESS WORSE, THAN THE OTHER OPTION, which is PATHOLOGICAL NARCISSIST. So, I should say here, CHOSE CAREFULLY THE FATHER OF YOUR FUTURE CHILDREN. If he will do his job right, you won't be facing any problems of this kind ;)

But let's get back to me, now. Freud said that only the child who experienced the unconditional love of their mother will develop the belief in himself. He will know he is worth it, even if the whole world would stand against him.

This was the shocking discovery of my pathetic life. A year ago. I've been dealing with this shit for a year. I've been so angry with my mother for a year. Of course, I didn't say anything to her, but inside I was boiling. Why couldn't she love me unconditionally? Why couldn't she? Yes, this was a big stress. And lots of lost of coffees with my friends. Long conversations that lasted for hours. Trying to figure out, what in the world had I done wrong? And that's also why I haven't passed this exam yet. I studied hard, and I know I know the subject well. But I didn't feel confident. I haven't felt worth it.

So, today when that guy at the Mental health institution told me I was blaming others for what should be mine to blame, I was completely shocked with the realisation.

I've always felt worth it. Always. Until last year, when I first heard about this. And I believed it. And of course, it was easier to blame it on my mom. She isn't perfect. She is too apathetic too many times. But that shouldn't mean she doesn't unconditionally love me. And even if she doesn't.. It's me, who needs put things in my hands and start doing things for me. I've allowed myself to overshadow everything I ever did in my life, by what? Some stupid little insecurities I've got in that time. The irony isn't lost on me. I feel so stupid. I've spent a year blaming someone else, when I should have been the one to blame, for being a bystander and thinking things couldn't get fixed. God, I was so so wrong. I will fix it. Because if there is another thing that I've learned is this: We are, what we think we are. And therefor, I can change everything. I will change everything. And I hope, I will never ever do this mistake again.

Not everything is written in stone. If we wouldn't have doubts about anything, we would still be 500 years behind, maybe even more. Science has started with a doubt. I should have doubted, too. I think I've learned my lesson. And now I need to face my consequences. Yey for me. Being grown up really sucks :P

Good God, it has taken me 6,5 Word pages and 5 hours to write this down and to understand, finally.

Uh huh. Thinking of it now.. Well, this is kind of very personal stuff. But then again, I think no one will read it all. I mean, 6,5 pages?! Ugh. And I, um, apologize for any grammar mistakes.. 5 hours in the flow, should answer your frustrations. And it's 3am. I'm tired now. God, I need to wake up at 7am. Ouch, life really isn't fair. But, tomorrow I will start in my best to improve all this knowledge into practice. I will figure it out. And you know why? Because I am worth it.

May 21, 2012

Book Haul (2)

I will no longer be participating in In My Mailbox meme, but instead I'll be doing Book Haul, inspired by Katie’s Book Blog. Feel free to share your own link in the comments if you still do IMM or any other meme in this section. I love seeing which books you've got this week :)

Finally May has come around ;) <3 <3 So many amazing books are out :)
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - You can read my review here :)
Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - I've already read it. I loved it! But I have some issues with it - You can join my open discussion about the book here. I would appreciate your thoughts!
And another picture, because I just L-O-V-E these books <3 <3 Totally obvious from my happy face with that big smile on it :D
I won these two beautiful bookmarks from Ada Adams at a giveaway hosted by Hilda at Catch the Lune! Thank you, Ada and Hilda, so so much! I love them!! :) <3
Then, I got these beautiful bookmarks from Tiffany at Escaping... One book @ a time <3 Some of them are signed <3 :) Thank you so so much, Tiffany! :)
And! I've got this awesome card from Team Kilt & Keeley from the fan page of Jeri Smith-Ready, because I pre-ordered Shine <3 Love it! And.. haha, they actually sent it to the name Nea Barabea - and it arrived anyway!! :D :D This is awesome! My mom was laughing so hard "Barabea hahaha". Lol. 

This week was so so awesome :)
What books have you got this week? :)

Open Discussion for City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls
The Mortal Instruments
by Cassandra Clare
Published on May 8th 2012
Walker books, 536 pages
Jace is a now a servant of evil, bound for all eternity to Sebastian. Only a small band od Shadowhunters believe he can be saved. To do this they must defy the Clave.  And they must act without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. 
Clary is willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? 
What price is too high to pay, even for love?
- Backcover description

BIG SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the book, don't read this. First read the book and then come later to share your thoughts, if you want to ;)

Ok. I've been waiting for this book since July 25th 2011. I've been dying to read this book. When I finished City of Fallen Angels I almost literally died. It had broke my heart.

So, yesterday, I've finally got my date with Jace. The whole day. I was so happy. :) I wanted my date to be on Wednesday, but with all the kaos about my stolen purse.. The date got postponed.

City of Lost Souls, I must admit, was a disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. But there is just something missing. I don't know, maybe because I was so excited about it and I was expecting way too much. I honestly don't know.

Is it just me or has anyone else got the feeling that City of Lost Souls is, um, like an introduction for City of Heavenly Fire? But it was like 536 pages long? This is the feeling I got, when I finished the book.

This book was all about saving Jace. Don't get me wrong, I was so so happy when we saved him. But hell, the entire book was just about this. We didn't get to know nothing else. Yes, we got to know Sebastian a bit better. But then again, did we really? When I look back everything was a pretense on his part. Everything. He said it himself.

Clary. Ok, I must admit, in this book she was good. Way good. An awesome Shadowhunter. I was fascinated by her in this book so much. The way she fought. Against demons, against Sebastian and in the end when she stabbed Jace. Wow. I couldn't believe it. Yet, I had a feeling about this sword and the meaning of the angel.. well it wasn't really clear after all. And when her mother wanted her to leave Jace alone, because she thought he died, I mean, what the hell?! I wanted to scream »Leave her alone, Goddamn it!!« Thank God, there was Isabelle. I wouldn't have left him. Neither should have Clary. It felt wrong.

Her mother. Bloody fucking hell. I so don't like Jocelyn. She so didn't have the right to say those things to Clary. It wasn't fair and it wasn't right.

Jace. Oh, my Jace. This was such a pain to read. Reading about him, and yet, it wasn't really him. This was torture. And when it was the real him, he wanted to go to the Clave. So tipically Jace. Did he really think Clary would have let him? Come on. Well, I wouldn't have called Sebastian. I would have gone with him and then got to Magnus and the Team Good for help. They would have figured out something.

Alec. What on earth was wrong with him?! You can't claim love, if you don't know the basics of love. Like trust. Like sincerity. I don't get it. Really, I don't. Ok, I get that he has troubles to talk about his feelings, but damn it, to go to Camille for advices?! Hell no. And after Magnus figured it out, Alec still couldn't believed he was actually leaving him? Hello? How could he not? This was so so wrong. Alec did everything wrong. Poor Magnus. I felt so bad so him. :/

And another thing. How on earth did Maureen kill Camille?! She is, what, like thirteen. Camille was ancient. Not to mention very strong. And also.. did Raphael died as well? Camille wasn't the head of the New York clan. She wanted to be, but she wasn't. So this leaves.. what on earth happened to Raphael?!

And the end – about Sebastian's coming – yeah, big surprise there. Come on, wasn't it logical, that he will come? Big plan and all that.

And about Jace's glowing with heavenly fire? That was pretty hardcore :P And yet another thing.. again, they didn't let Clary see him?! What the hell?! She saved him. She loves him. And yet, everyone could go see him, but she couldn't. I would have been so so pissed of in her place. Seriously.

I guess, 2014 can't come soon enough. But at least this time I feel good about it. Jace is safe. We will figure it out, somehow.

So, tell me, what do you think about the book? Did you like it? What did you like? What did you dislike? What did you hate? This is an open discussion, so feel free to share all your thoughts ;) I won't jugde :P

May 18, 2012

Intelligent Life by Neil Arksey Review + Author Interview

Intelligent Life
by Neil Arksey
Published in 2011
Global Drama Productions, 282 pages
Find the title on Goodreads - Amazon

The quiet unassuming one in a family of high-achieving attention-seekers, Jonathan is nevertheless filled with a deep curiosity about the world. And when his father, a drink-addled journalist, mysteriously vanishes overnight, despite suggestions that he should leave well alone, Jonathan cannot resist looking into the matter. 

And that is how the trouble begins…

- description

Intelligent life is an exiciting and interesting read. I must admit, at the beginning I didn't know, if I should accept it or not, because it wasn't really my genre, but I am happy I did. Intelligent life is such a funny read, full of interesting turns out.

At the beginning I was a little confused. The story starts with a boy, Jonathan, who choked on a peanut, while reading a book. And he dies. He gets to experience his life again from the beginning. When the »movie« of his life arrives at the moment where he choked on a peanut, he forces himself back into his body. And he lives. Interesting beginning, I must admit.

But then everything starts to get even more interesting and a bit confusing. He moves to his dad's place for a couple of weeks and here is where the actual story begins. The confusing part was with the chapters – every chapter was told by someone else's point of view. And sometime I needed to check twice to see who's actually speaking and what's going on. But everything else was ok.

This book really focus on the fact of Randomness. I really liked the author perspective about randomness. The point is, that random and unexpected moments do affect us, but most od the time we're simply amused by them or briefly intrigued. They may make life a little more unpredictable, but they tend to make it more interesting too. And because these moments are not usually of serious consequences, we tend to just accept their unexpectedness as part and parcel of the way things are. – I love it! And I think it's so true.

So, the story is about Jonathan's path through unexpected events that come in the way of his journey. Everything is happening in London and I really liked that. It reminded of the days I've been walking on the same streets, that Jonathan did. He has a funny father, which is so damn clumsy, that you need to love him. His father ex boss is hiding something very big. His father wants to figure it out. But he gets kidnapped and Jonathan journey starts with the search for his father. And the random things that come in the way, believe me, are hilarious! Just to show you how much they are, I'm gonna post a quote from the book below. Then there are these two »detectives« that wants to help Jonathan, and they are freaking hilarious! They were my favourite characters in the book, because everytime they showed up in the story, I've found myself laughing like crazy. Because they are, well, from another planet and you should see the way they talk and act and what they actually wear, OMG, hilarious!!

The "Detectives" - Quote about the nuns:
‘The females were awesome,’ said Sidereal after a moment Lugubrious nodded. ‘Brave and fierce.’ ‘And really quite vicious,’ said Sidereal. ‘It must have hurt on the receiving end.’ Lugubrious grunted. ‘Those lummoxes had it coming to them.’ ‘During my research,’ said Sidereal, ‘I read something about an order of warrior priestesses.’ ‘That must have been them,’ said Lugubrious. ‘We should count ourselves lucky. They saved our bacon.’

Interview with the Author

Where did you get the idea for Intelligent Life?
Well.... after the tsunami of Boxing Day 2004, I started to pay more attention to global catastrophes because eerily, my novel As Good As Dead In Downtown had predicted a tsunami in SE Asia and I had visited schools in areas hit by the tsunami before the disaster struck. So the tsunami had a strong impact on me. At the heart of Intelligent Life is the idea that people are unable to really grasp what is going on when something massive, random and unexpected happens.

We live in strangely uncertain times. There has been a surge in the number of catastrophic events around the world – it’s a fact. 2011 really was the worst on record in terms of natural and man-made disasters. And this phenomenon drives the story. But I also wanted to look at how random and haphazard incidents seem to play a much bigger role in some people’s lives than in others.    

In the book we can see that randomness has a big role in the story. Do you think randomness has really that big role in real life? I'm interested in your opinion :)
Some people sail through their lives with little or no drama. Others trudge through a storm of incident and disaster. I’m very intrigued by this. And why it happens that way. We like to try and understand our environment – the universe - and we like to feel we have things under control. We have a tendency to see patterns where there are none. And we have a tendency to see those patterns as real and absolute till someone or something comes along and shows us they were all an illusion. Till Copernicus came along, the world was the centre of the universe. Nobody saw that coming. Till 2004, there had been no large scale catastrophic tsunami in living memory. Now there have been two in 7 years. No one was expecting that. Till the crash in 2008, investors thought the bankers really knew what they were doing. The bankers thought so too. Now the world seems to be in an unprecedented and unforeseen state of continuous financial turmoil. What next? You’ll have to read the sequel to Intelligent Life for the answers!

I've found the two "detectives" so freaking hilarious! So tell me, which character did you enjoy the most writing about?
I’m glad you like them so much. They seem to be most people’s favourite characters. There’s so much doom and gloom out there in the real world today and for a long time now, it’s seemed to me, YA fiction has been wallowing a little too much in angst and dystopian bleakness. Lugubrious and Sidereal were great fun to write. But then so were the more sinister characters. Even they have their humorous sides.

About the peanut. Do you really think such a small thing can have such a big affect?
Of course. The science in this book is real! A thing’s size bears no relation to the degree of its influence. Take black holes, for example. Or Horatio Nelson.

Another thing. From everyone's perspective Jonathan seems really intelligent, but then in the end, we see that it was actually all about randomness and not about intelligence. I've found it very interesting. Can you tell us, if Jonathan attended that exam in the end? I'm curious.
That’s your interpretation. J Randomness plays its part, but in the end Jonathan’s bravery and a certain kind of intelligence play their part too. If you think about it, Jonathan’s actions, even before the book begins, play a key role in the ultimate outcome. (I’m trying not to give the plot away here!)  I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the sequel to find out what happens with the exam. 

Thank you so much for the awesome interview :)

So all of you out there, if you want to read a good fiction full of mystery and action and if you like the concept of randomness - this is the perfect book for you! ;)

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