Sunday, January 7, 2018

Without Merit


"Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness"

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother's former nurse, the little half-brother isn't allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there's Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn't earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her---until she discovers that he's completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she's never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves -- excerpt from book

Coming from the author who took this genre with a whirlwind and a storm, her books are something you will learn to love. Latest from her collection of great books, this story focuses on a seventeen year old with family issues. She is someone who will trigger your feels in a sense that you might be able to relate to her. Her issues are not of the odd ones and definitely something common in our society.

Many characters are involved with our main heroine, she's quite conflicted with most of them. From her point of view, she would tell how she sees them. You can gauge her personality by her thoughts and action and realised that some days I'm just like her. I absolutely love it when she interacts with her family as it's the key to capturing my attention. Another character that caught my heart would be the love interest of Merit. He is one individual that is mysterious at first and when you get to know him better, the more you'll love him. Every other personnel in the household are certainly unique/normal enough to read about, I swear you'll never be bored.

As a new adult genre, do not expect too much of the plotline and you will enjoy the book. The events that happened are results of reactions from the characters of the book. You can expect a smooth and intriguing story but at some point it was slight bore where you wished something would happen already. But luckily for the plot twist it held my attention once again. 

Overall I would say this book was good but not as good as my favourite November 9. The character growth is good but the plot is average. There are certain moments that pulls at your heart string but not strong enough. The conversations about a certain issue highlighted in the  book can be related easily and that's one of the important things that I appreciate how the author approaches it. Without a doubt if you're a fan this book is a must have, but comparing it to the other two I've read, this is currently 3rd place.



Friday, January 5, 2018

Caraval



Caraval by Stephanie Garber was reviewed as similar to The Night Circus hence it enticed me to buy it. With that kind of anticipation I was greatly disappointed as it was no where near that book at all, no where near a circus theme as well. In the end this book was more focused on games that are played on human emotions and decision making. The setting could be similar to a circus but to me it wasn't enough to fit the description. With a beautiful cover, you can easily be fooled to purchase the book but here I am advising you that this book is nothing to be missed.

What I can praise about this book is the mysterious characters involved. The side characters were quite intriguing as not much are revealed about them. These characters adds on to the suspense of the book. As for the main heroine, I find that she is too uptight and she hardly grows in the book, it certainly took some time but the progress is not ideal. Her interactions with other characters are often brief and her reactions were just acceptable. I would have love to see more reactions from other parties that interact with her. The most mysterious person unfortunately did not get much revealed towards the end of the book and I'm thinking the author has plans for the next book.

A roller coaster ride is not what you'll find for the plot line, albeit some plot twists this book is not able to capture my attention well. I felt that many incidents happen without proper build up to it. Often at times, I'm wondering what would compelled the plot to turn out this way. One things for sure is that the plot twists are unpredictable which is the motivation for me to complete the book. With the mysteriousness shrouding the book, it was worth reading to the end just to find closure to certain questionable people.

Do not go in with high expectations and I'm pretty sure that you'll enjoy the book. But since I have gotten reviews about comparing it with The Night Circus, it totally ruined how I viewed the book. It wasn't awesome but the author did go a good job on the plot twists seeing that this is a debut. I do recommend this book for fantasy readers as it's somewhat fresh in terms of the type of setting.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

All That She Can See



Cherry has a hidden talent. She can see things other people can't, and she decided a long time ago to use this skill to help others. As far as the rest if the town is concerned she's simply the kind-hearted young woman who runs the local bakery, but in private she uses her gift to add something special to her cakes so that after just one mouthful the townspeople start to feel better about their lives. They don't know why they're drawn to Cherry's bakery - they just know that they're safe there, and that's how Cherry likes it. She can help them in secret and no one will ever need to know the truth behind her gift.

And then Chase turns up and threatens to undo all the good Cherry has done. Because it turns out she's not the only one who can see what she sees.... - excerpt from book

All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher is about a woman who can see feelings and she tries to help the community with her ability. A little bit of magic, an adventure and much life lessons to be learnt. I cannot contain my excited when I received the book and knowing that this was not the author's first book she must have done something write. A little bit background on her, she is a singer/songwriter and now a book writer, talent is oozing from this author.

The main character Cherry will capture you with her personality, her beliefs and most of all her purpose. It starts with some background of her and how she overcome those obstacles, throughout she continues to strive to be better. Her character growth is consistent and wonderful to read about. As for the male counterpart of the book, he appears like a strong wind shaking our heroine. Their interactions are fun to read about and slowly you're hoping more for the two of them.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Duels and Deception


Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until the day Lydia is kidnapped - and Robert along with her. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name unsullied and expose whoever is behind this devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is what she truly wants..... - excerpt from book.

Duels & Deception  by Cindy Anstey  is about sometimes planned things are not the best things for you. I have a confession to make, historical romance is my guilty pleasure. My all time favourite is Julia Quinn and so I often compare her writing to many who are in the same genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's debut book so when I came across this one in the bookstore with it's cutesy green colour cover, it's was an instant buy. As usual the setting is the Victorian age in England which is my favourite. When reading the summary it felt like something fresh and not so cliche but when I delve more into the plot it felt that everything happened too fast. I wished there was more interactions between the main and side characters.

Don't get me wrong, the character build up and growth were quite well written but sadly it was lacking strong reactions from incidents around. Lydia and Robert are quite strong characters with wonderful personalities but seems a bit too perfect, I would have loved if the author stressed about their flaws which would make them more realistic. One thing I do love is the different perspectives of the characters as emotions and thoughts are made clearer to us readers.

There are two major incidents happening parallel in the plot where in my opinion seems too much as the focus changes all the time and there wasn't enough room for those incident to climate properly in the book. Things just happened too fast and it felt like the story ended too quickly as well. The plot twist felt dry and rushed as well. I might be too critical as I have read too many historical romance, nonetheless the characters made up for the story. I wouldn't say this book was a total let down as I did enjoy it but not up to my expectations. If I were to compare this book with the author's debut, then I would say that the first book was better as the story had more focus. As for this book, I could kinda predict what's coming. I wouldn't really recommend this book as adult historical romance are way better.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Words in Deep Blue


Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family's bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. Now Rachel has returned to the city- and to the bookshop- to work alongside the boy she'd rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can't feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side- surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages- they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it's possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough. - excerpt from book.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley is about a girl who left town and came back 3 years after and things that follow after it.. I'm often paranoid when it comes to reading new authors as I don't know what to expect and books aren't exactly cheap where I am. If a book isn't satisfying then I've wasted my time and money. Going into this without expectations with just a high Goodreads rating, I was captivated. The title certainly resonates well with the story. Words inside this book will speak to you, will pull at your heartstrings and lastly it will make you think hard about life.

The book swaps POV between Rachel and Henry and with some letters in between which plays so well in escalating emotions in the story. Having a character named Henry instantly boosted the rating, I'm being silly but much books that I read, all the Henry's are such sweeties and wonderful people. This one no doubt is another addition to the Henry's in my book world. I cannot stress how much I want to help him, how much I wanted to talk to him to come to a realisation but that's not my job but other characters'. His feelings, behaviours and interactions are brought to life with simple yet truthful words. 

Rachel is a character that has a great struggle and it slowly unveils through her thoughts and emotions. Her thoughts capture my attention again and again as I could somehow relate to her and understand her so well. Rachel and I we both have something in common hence my heart is being tugged multiple times through her reaction to the world and life itself. The side characters are not redundant as they all play crucial parts in changing and helping the growth of the main characters. Interactions between them are often intriguing never boring.  

The plot has a simple concept and a focused goal but it will not disappoint. It tells the story smoothly and poetically at times. The time frame covered in the present and past are not too extensively long yet it packs a lot into it. The pace of the book is just perfect giving you enough time to learn and love the characters. There aren't any twist and turns just important events in the book that impacts the characters. 

I could go on and on but where's the fun if I reveal too much. This is one thin contemporary book but it's worth every word read. This book made me cry as it brought out emotions and a past that is hard to forget, grieve is certainly well written in this story. This is possibly one of the best YA contemporary I've read this year which I gave a 5 star on Goodreads. Please try this book out if you want something real and true about life. To end I would like to share this sentence that I absolutely loved: 

"Words matter, in fact. They're not pointless, as you've suggested. If they were pointless, then they wouldn't start revolutions and they wouldn't change history. ~ If they were just words, people wouldn't fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them, and stop aching because of them."- pg 210

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Boy Most Likely To


Tim Mason was the boy most likely to:
  • Find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
  • Need a liver transplant
  • Drive his car into a house
Alice Garrett was the girl most likely to:
  • Well, not date her little brother's baggage-burdened best friend, for starters
For Tim, it wouldn't be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if "smart" is always right. Soon they find themselves moving closer to each other-until the consequences of Tim's wild past come back to haunt him. With all Alice has to balance in her own world, is she sure she can handle Tim's too? - excerpt from book.


The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick is sort of the continuation from My Life Next Door but focusing on different characters. Samantha is no longer the main character instead it's about Jase's sister and his best friend. I would say that at first I was not interested as Sam and Jase are my favourite characters but this book was surprising. This is a great example of when life gives you lemons, what do you do with it? Life happens and these teenagers tackled it pretty well I must say. I like how the chapters alternate between point of view of Tim and Alice which gives you more of an insight of how to perceive and judge each other.

I love how messed up Tim is but eventually there is so much growth from him. His interactions with different individuals is just attention grabbing where you want lots of things to happen. Alice is a complicated character with many conflicted decisions to make. I like how her family is influential yet not all the time. Alice's personality is one to capture your attention as well and seeing how she reacts to surprising news is just wonderful. The best part is the family dynamics of the Garrett's just like the previous part and how Tim fit into it is just perfect.

The plot is as smooth as it can gets, the story continues slightly where we're left off from Sam's story. You get Sam and Jase here and there which adds to the build up. I could not predict much of the plot and was caught by surprise with the plot twist. The ending was quite a bitter sweet one but nevertheless a well written one. I guess I love how I can come to enjoy those characters slowly and feeling a little bit emotional for their troubles and tribulations. This is a good book to follow up with the family and I love how this isn't an instant love story. The author did a great job with the characters, so if you're the type who prefers good characters then this is for you. If you've not read My life next door, please do as it'll make this book more enjoyable. Here is my review.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fireworks



It was always meant to be Olivia. She's the talented one, the one who's been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend Dana, is the one on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who's never sung more than Olivia's backup. Next thing Dana knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who's destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift...and there's only room at the top for one girl. - excerpt from book.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno is my second time reading her book, the first was 99 days and I quite enjoyed it. Sadly for this book it was just mediocre, nothing too enticing or exciting. The summary sounded interesting so I picked it up but I speed read most of the parts. Where I wanted more drama, there wasn't enough. The love story of the book was too short as the focus was actually about friendship which I felt was just not realistic enough. The drama of a girl group was just average as I expected more crying, arguments or even fights. 

I like the growth of the main character, I guess this was the only part that encouraged me to finish the book. Her interactions were okay with other characters and I often wanted more for her. She is definitely your typical teenager that is finding herself in this journey while there are others who are already really sure of who they want to be. Those are the characters that I find unrealistic and their interactions with Dana is not emotional or jolting at all.

Overall I would say the plot twist was one that I could see it coming since things started to heat up a bit. Nonetheless, it is something that you would want to happen but with a little bit extra drama. From the start till the end, it covers an entire summer which is actually quite a short timeline so some things happened too quickly without any build up. I cannot recommend this book to anyone and I think this would be the book who has convinced me to not get her next book unless I've read a good review on it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

November 9



Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon's last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallow becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben's relationshio with Fallon-and simultaneously his novel-be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak? - excerpt from book.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover has become my favourite even though I've only read 2 of her titles. The premise of this book was quite interesting with the characters just meeting once a year, you would think it's sorta like One Day but in the book itself they pointed out the difference. What really capture you is not only the genuine and uniqueness of the characters but the plot line was just amazing.

The main heroine starts off with her past and slowly in the book how it has shaped her. Through out her meetings with the male protagonist and experiences, she begins to grow and change. Her interactions with the people in her life are briefly mentioned but just enough to let you picture the whole idea. Whenever she meets up with Ben, you will be on your shoes and loving every conversation and moment. As for Ben, he is a mystery from the start till the climax of the book. Even though you don't know him but you'll love him all the same, his actions and thoughts of Fallon is one guy that captures you.

The book is written based on Nov 9 of a few years and in the perspective of Fallon and Ben. It is so enjoyable to read about a male and female perspective when it comes to romance for me as I'm often curious what goes through the other person, although in real life it's impossible to know of course. The alternating point of views gives you so much insight of the plot and also making things so much exciting with conflicting views at times. I would say that the timeline of the book is unique of its own and certainly fits the whole idea without boring you at all. You could say that there is much suspense year after year which is one of the reasons of my attention being hooked. When you reach the climax, I'm pretty sure you might let out a tear or two, at least you would feel something for the characters.

I highly recommend this book to contemporary/romance lovers, this is one of its kind. Colleen has certain amazed just through two books and I'm so excited to pick up other titles of hers to add to my book collection. The stories all came with a message and it was such a touching one. She certainly set some high standards for romance books for me now.

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