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Venticinque anni e il naso sempre tra le pagine – Chistmas edition!


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MiniReview: “Deathless”, Catherynne M. Valente.

Libro consigliatomi dalla mia anima gemella, inutile dire che l’ho amato moltissimo – e non c’erano dubbi a riguardo, perché quando una persona è la tua anima gemella, lo è persino nei libri che legge e ti impone di leggere. Chiusa questa piccola, ma doverosa, premesse, vi auguro un buonissimo inizio di settimana!

Titolo: Deathless (Deathless #1)
Titolo originale: Deathless (Deathless #1)
Autore: Catherynne M. Valente
Editore: Corsair
Pagine: 352
Anno: 2011

A glorious retelling of the Russian folktale Marya Morevna and Koschei the Deathless, set in a mysterious version of St. Petersburg during the first half of the 20th century. Child of the revolution, maiden of myth, bride of darkness.
A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, and he is Marya’s fate.
Koschei leads Marya to his kingdom, where she becomes a warrior in his tireless battle against his own brother, the Tsar of Death.
Years pass. Battle-hardened, scarred by love, and longing for respite, Marya returns to St Petersburg – only to discover a place as pitiful as the land she has just fled: a starveling city, haunted by death.
Deathless is a fierce story of life and death, love and power, old memories, deep myth and dark magic, set against the history of Russia in the twentieth century. It is, quite simply, unforgettable.

COSA MI È PIACIUTO

  • L’ambientazione. La Russia della Rivoluzione è un una parentesi spazio-temporale che ha su di me un fascino incomparabile, mi prende e non mi lascia più andare, e la Valente è stata capace di ricostruirne uno spaccato che è così vivido, così reale, così assolutamente particolare da lasciare senza fiato. Pagina dopo pagina, l’impressione di non essere più nella mia cameretta a Forlì ma in un paese dai contrasti violenti, opulento anche nella miseria, affilato d’inverno e generoso d’estate si è fatta via via più forte, fino a sradicarmi totalmente dal mio presente per catapultarmi in un mondo dove realtà e folklore sono così sapientemente calibrati da rendere impossibile distinguere il punto esatto dove uno inizia e l’altro finisce.
  • I personaggi. Costruiti magistralmente, sviluppati in maniera coerente e mai banale, unici, inconfondibili, con voci talmente particolari da saltare letteralmente fuori dallo schermo del kobo e prendere vita davanti ai miei occhi, trascinandomi in un mondo vivido quanto loro. Marya, Koshei, Ivan, tutta la schiera di creature prese in prestito dal folklore russo… non c’è davvero modo per descrivere a parole la straordinaria personalizzazione che l’autrice ha saputo cucire su ogni nome, facendo vivere l’inchiostro, dandogli la forma di qualcosa di unico e irripetibile.
  • La storia. Eccezionale. Non c’è niente da fare, la Valente ha fatto bene i compiti e si vede: il contesto storico è impeccabile, la trama vi s’incastra con una naturalezza strabiliante e la narrazione scandisce un ritmo maestoso, mai troppo veloce o troppo lento, snodandosi attraverso gli anni senza fatica, accompagnando il lettore attraverso le ombre e le luci di una terra dai contrasti vibranti e il passato imponente. Fiaba e realtà si mischiano, amalgamando un racconto che coinvolge e cattura, che rende impossibile immaginare che sia solo frutto di una fantasia straordinariamente feconda e sapientemente utilizzata.
  • Lo stile. Perché si, per quanto il mio inglese non sia tale da permettermi di apprezzare le più piccole sfumature di una lingua che non è la mia, devo riconoscere che il modo in cui questo libro è scritto ha qualcosa di magico. Le parole hanno una consistenza che buca le pagine – o lo schermo del kobo, nel mio caso – e un sapore che è difficile ignorare, figuriamoci dimenticare.

“Deathless is a fairytale”, scrive Giovanna su Goodreads, “and is as dark and sweet and lovely as only a fairytale can be”. Ed è proprio così, senza mezzi termini e senza mezze misure: la scrittura non è che l’ennesimo riflesso di un libro ben scritto, ben pensato e ben costruito, che vi ruberà il cuore senza mostrar segni di rimorso, consegnandovi ad un mondo che che vibra di ombre e luce, facendosi ora metafora e ora fotografia, respirando magia e cruda realtà, costringendo il lettore a piegarsi alle ragioni della leggenda popolare che si anima e s’impone in una realtà impregnata di gelido, crudele cinismo.
Leggetelo, amatelo, custoditelo con cura: non vi deluderà.

Let the truth be told: There is no virtue anywhere. Life is sly and unscrupulous, a blackguard, wolfish, severe. In service to itself, it will commit any offense. So, too, is Death possessed of infinite strategies and a gaunt nature- but also mercy, also grace and tenderness. In his own country, Death can be kind.

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Citazione: “Alienated”, Melissa Landers.

I sweat, it’s last time you’re going to read a blog post in English.
My week as curator of the @I_am_Europe account it’s almost over, so I’m not going to share there any other post. But since today it’s the last day, I want to say goodbye on this blog too. It has been fun and challenging to tweet everyday in a foreign language and of course I’m going to miss all those people who interacted with me, but I’m not going to lie: I’m happy to speak and write Italian again. So thank you, european people who read me! Here’s a teaser for you, from a lovely books I read a while ago: Alienated, by Melissa Landers. Enjoy!

Closing his eyes, he wrapped his hand around Cara’s fragile wrist, then smoothed it slowly up the length of her arm to her shoulder. He gulped a breath. Bleeding gods, no sub- stance in his world or hers had ever felt so soft. He skimmed two fingers across her collarbone and rested them at the base of her throat, feeling the pulse of her heart beating through the delicate skin. He’d touched her there a dozen times in his dreams, but it didn’t compare to reality.
“Your heart rate is eighty beats per minute,” he said qui- etly, trying not to let his voice tremble.
“Why does that matt—”
“Shh. Don’t talk.”
With his other hand, he swept Cara’s silken hair out of the way, lightly brushing her neck with his fingertips. Her breathing hitched, and he paused for a moment, stunned by her reaction. Had she actually liked that? Was it possible she wanted him? There was only one way to find out. He nestled his cheek against hers, indulging in the feel of her bare skin. Keeping one hand at her throat, he flattened the other against her back, where heat radiated from beneath the thin fabric of her top. He stroked the length of her spine from top to bottom, his fingertips massaging, teasing, and trailing lightly, leaving her skin covered in goose bumps.

He whispered into her ear, “By monitoring our partner’s heart rate, we know how they’re reacting to our touch. The body doesn’t lie. This is the truest test of physical attraction. For example,” he said, stroking the base of her throat with his thumb, “your pulse is ninety beats per minute and increas- ing very quickly.” She did want him. He couldn’t believe it. The soft curves of her body rose and fell against him as the pace of her breathing accelerated, his own pulse quickening in response.
Aelyx brushed his lips back and forth against her ear and whispered, “One-ten now.” But he hoped they could do bet- ter than that. He continued to caress her back, pulling her body even closer to his and brushing his lips down her neck to the top of her shoulder. A quiet murmur escaped the back of her throat and fire pulsed through his veins. More. He wanted more. He traced his fingertips along the outline of her hip, continued across the top of her thigh, and then back up to her waist. Slipping his thumb underneath the bottom of her shirt, he stroked the warm skin of her lower back, then flattened his palm and pulled her hard against him. Her quick, erratic breaths tickled the side of his neck.
“One-thirty now,” he said in the faintest whisper.
It was too much. The most deliciously animalistic thoughts filled his head, and he knew he’d lose all control if this con- tinued a second longer. He abruptly removed his hands and stepped back before he did something he’d regret later. He gazed at Cara—sunset hair framing her scarlet-flushed cheeks, lips parted, eyes closed, lost in the moment. By the gods, she was exquisite. His heart swelled inside his chest. This human had captivated him, and her body’s response gave him hope that she felt the same way.
“I’d better stop.” He tried to hide his elation, but his face probably glowed like a neutron star. “I don’t want to send you into cardiac arrest.”

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.  Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

 


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MiniReview: “Alienated”, Melissa Landers.

Titolo: Alienated
Titolo originale: Alienated
Autore: Melissa Landers
Editore: Disney Hyperion
Pagine: 344
Anno: 2014

Sinossi
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

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#40 Teaser Tuesday!

Buongiorno!
Anche oggi un teaser, totalmente spoilerfree, dalle pagine di uno dei cinque libri che ho in lettura. Niente panico, non mi sono trasformato in uno di quegli esseri mitologici che riescono a gestire così tante letture: Le Cronache di Magnus Bane sono in dirittura d’arrivo, così come questa novella dalle potenzialità incredibili ma eccessivamente pesante per i miei gusti. Ma non voglio anticiparvi nulla della recensione che mi prometto di scrivere forse già in giornata, quindi vi lascio con la citazione e vi auguro una buona giornata!

“The worst you’ll do is screw it up and it collapses. Wards are pretty harmless as spells go. They don’t hurt anything if they fail, so you can’t do worse than not managing the spell.”
“If you say so,” Tai said. He shifted, biting his lip as he stared at the flattened square of grass. Carter waited, feeling the spark of Tai’s energy as he started casting. The spell was barely there, and Carter couldn’t get a good read on it before it collapsed. Tai sighed, rubbing his forehead. “What did I do wrong?”
“I don’t know,” Carter admitted, smiling wryly because that was better than being frustrated at his lack of power. “I couldn’t get a good handle on it before it collapsed. Try again, but put more energy behind it?”
Tai nodded. This time he held a hand out toward the space where the ward would be, and Carter felt it when Tai started casting. Tai’s cool energy spun through the space, building a ward seemingly effortlessly—but then it fell apart when Tai tried to close it off far too soon. Tai looked at him questioningly.
“You tried to close it too soon,” Carter said. He reached into the space where Tai had been casting the ward, drawing a circle in the center of the space. “You set the wards up to enclose this much, but then tried to lock it in place like it contained the whole of the space.”
“But it felt like it was done,” Tai said.
Carter almost snickered, knowing full well what his mother would say to that nonsense. “Yeah? How did it feel?”
“Like the energy fit the space,” Tai said. “Like it did when you switched from building them to locking them down.”
That hadn’t been the answer Carter had expected, and he frowned, considering that. “Try it again? Push it past that point, and I’ll see if I can let you know when to try and close it off.”
Nodding, Tai held his hand out toward the space again. His magic spun up, cool and sharp, and Carter focused on it, paying close attention. Tai nearly faltered when he pushed past the point where he’d closed the spell previously but kept going. Carter waited until Tai reached the point where the space was contained in his wards, then nodded at Tai. “That’s it.”

Carter Bellwood’s family has Earth-claimed the Bellwood territory for generations and they’ve always had an excess of Earth energy to back it up. Until Carter, whose energy is barely a fraction of that his mother has. But he’s the only Earth wizard in his generation and set to inherit the territory—if there’s anything left of it. The territory is being ravaged by a disease that kills all plant life it comes into contact with. They can’t cure it, can barely contain it, can only watch as their territory turns into a barren landscape.
Then a new Earth wizard shows up. Tai is everything Carter is not when it comes to the strength of his magic, and more importantly he knows how to cure the disease. But he’s also terrified and clearly on the run from something, and Carter’s not sure Tai’s help is worth the risk of him trying to stake his own claim on the territory—or the risk that whatever he’s running from finds him…


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Recensione: “Biggie”, Derek E. Sullivan.

Titolo: Biggie
Autore: Derek E. Sullivan
Editore: Albert Whitman & Company
Pagine: 272
Anno: 2015

Sinossi
Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ‘s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?

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#35 Teaser Tuesday!

Eccoci qua! Sono in ritardissimo sulla tabella di marcia, ma Alienated di Melissa Landers è il secondo libro proposto nel GDL interno all’iniziativa di Let’s read in english!, ideata da Veronica di She was in wonderland. Per quanto Tiger Lily sia ancora insuperabile e insuperato, devo ammettere che questo YA sta piacendomi non poco: una storia leggera, dai risvolti interessanti, forse non eccezionale ma sicuramente piacevole! Siete curiosi? Fate ancora in tempo ad unirvi a noi, cliccando qui!
Nel mentre, godetevi il teaser di oggi, rigorosamente spoiler free.

Following Mom’s lead, Cara speared a forkful of beef and signaled for Aelyx to do the same. He stabbed a small bite.
Cara lifted her fork in a toast. “Ready?”
“No.”
“C’mon,” she said. “We’ll do it together on the count of three. One . . . two . . .”
Before she finished, Aelyx wrinkled his nose and shoved the bite into his mouth. He clenched his eyes shut and chewed while Cara braced herself to admit failure once again.
But then something phenomenal happened.
Mom’s pot roast brought Aelyx to life. He glanced at Cara and smiled—a real smile that reached all the way to his eyes and lit them up like a supernova. Even his body responded, relaxing against his chair the way hot wax conforms to the curves of a votive holder.
“You like it?” Cara asked.
“It tastes just like l’ina!”
“Please tell me that’s not someone’s name.”
He laughed in a warm, low chortle that made her want to say something funny so she could hear it again. “It’s my favorite dish from home.”
“That’s a relief.” She wiped imaginary sweat off her fore- head. “Hey, maybe my brother’s eating l’ina right now and comparing it to Mom’s roast.”
“Possibly.” Wasting no time, he shoveled in another bite and spoke with one cheek full. “It’s a staple on my planet.”
“If Troy ever decides to e-mail, we’ll ask him,” Dad grumbled.
“I heard transmissions from L’eihr are delayed because of signal problems on the main transport,” Aelyx said. “They should’ve given Troy a com-sphere—that’s our newest tech- nology. But e-mail is antiquated, so it’s only as reliable as the ships conveying the electronic data. Think of it as an inter- galactic Pony Express. All it takes is one ship to disrupt the chain. That’s probably why you haven’t heard from him.” That wasn’t why, but Cara didn’t want to further upset Mom, so she kept quiet.
She couldn’t quit watching Aelyx for the rest of the meal. It made her smile to see him eat with so much enthusiasm. He’d never looked more human. After they’d finished, she asked Mom to make pot roast every night that week. Bland or not, Cara would gladly suck it up if it meant seeing Aelyx glow that brightly each night. Because, you know, it was her job. Nothing more.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.  Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

|| GoodReads ||


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Recensione: “One of the guys”, Lisa Aldin.

Sono reduce da una mattina che non solo è iniziata troppo presto, ma che è presto scivolata in un trionfo di sfighe imputabili unicamente a me stessa. A questo punto dovrei decidermi davvero ad alzarmi dal divano e andare a studiare, ma sono letteralmente stremata dalla vita in questo lunedì urrendo, così vi lascio con la recensione di uno YA carinissimo che ho avuto il privilegio di leggere in anteprima grazie a NetGallery e con un nuovissimo sistema di rating per il quale devo ringraziare da qui alla fine dei miei giorni la persona disponibilissima che si nasconde dietro Petrichor – A lit blog. Non è bellissimo?
Vi ricordo, inoltre, che è in corso l’iniziativa più romantica dell’anno, A date with the perfect bookfriend! Avete seguito le prime due tappe? No? Allora recuperate qui!

I hate time. It can really screw things up.

Titolo: One of the guys
Titolo originale: One of the guys
Autore: Lisa Aldin
Editore: Spencer Hill Press
Pagine: 320
Anno: 10 febbraio 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: un libro pubblicato quest’anno.

Sinossi
Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.
Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.
But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

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