domingo, 18 de marzo de 2012

Esta es la primera review que publico aquí que está en inglés. Espero que no sea la última, porque quiero hacer este blog bilingue!!! La versión en español la publicaré dentro del día, espero :)


I got this book thanks to the Authors Requesting Reviews that my group Basically Books is hosting. A free book from an indie author in exchange for a review, and this was my first try.

The plot

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die?

Meghan is 16 when it happens to her. She wakes up on a flying steamboat on her way to a school run by Angels in a white marble castle. It is a school everybody has to go to before they are let into Heaven. On the boat she meets Mick who has been dead for more than a hundred years but still looks like a teenager. He helps her past the difficult beginning at the new school in a new world. One day some of Meghan's roommates find a mirror in the cellar of the school and they persuade her to go through it with them - well knowing it is strictly against the rules of the school. Meghan ends up back on earth where she meets Jason. But Jason is in danger and Meghan know something important. Something that is a matter of life and death. Soon she is forced to choose between the two worlds. The one she belongs to now and the one she left.

Beyond is the first novel in T. P. Boje's Afterlife series and is great for children and teenagers ages 9 and up. (From Goodreads)

Why did I read it?

Well, after my three-month absence from the group I came back in glory, and found this sort of program run by Tana. I felt immediately interested, since helping indie authors is always a good thing! Beyond caught my attention because of the afterlife topic and I requested a copy. I was lucky, because it was the last slot.

Personal opinion

As this is supposedly a children’s book, I read it with the mentality of a child –or at least with my bitter nine-year-old self’s mentality- but it was not enough. I tried hard, but I didn’t like this book... I just couldn’t.

The first thing that failed for me was the beginning.  I found myself receiving a lot of information about the world that I considered unnecessary for the beginning of a story. It would have been more interesting if we started directly with Meghan in the boat, and the readers discover this information with her, as the story passes.

The second thing that failed for me was the writing. I was told that English was the author’s second language, so I really shouldn’t be complaining about this; especially if we consider that it’s my second language too! However, the storytelling was so simple, that it made me bored. The descriptions of places and people were quite plain, the characters didn’t have much depth (including the main character!), and what was supposed to be action scenes were unable to get me involved in the story and the character0s feelings. To put an example, the romantic scenes seemed forced and superficial; as readers we didn’t have the chance to see much of the relationship between the characters and their backgrounds to feel truly excited about the prospect of a kiss.

The third thing that bothered me was how this world was constructed. The Christian elements are not a problem since I’m a Christian (sort of...) and the ideal concept of the Christian heaven is not unknown to me, even though I don’t agree with it at a 100%. Nevertheless, I expected to see some fresh twist to it, some unique view that would make things a little bit more interesting... but it’s just the typical paradise, with the typical heaven vs. hell, good vs. evil fights. The only novelty was the Academy, which wasn’t original at all. It felt like Harry Potter version dead people and with angels.

I liked Mick, though. He was nice, supportive, old-fashioned and had a British accent. And he cooks. Excuse me, he’s mine.

Punctuation 2 stars.

sábado, 10 de marzo de 2012

... es que me gané una beca y no he tenido tiempo para nada! Ni siquiera para leer... ni un sólo libro :(

¡Pero estoy de vuelta! Aún no decido si publico los reviews de los libros del año pasado, o me los salto y empiezo -al día-con los de este año. Hmmm, decisiones...