Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This is Where the World Ends

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That's how it's been since they were children, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It's the perfect friendship-as long as no one finds out about it. - excerpt from book.

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang is a standalone book about two teenagers who are secret friends and nobody else knows. Something happened to them and Micah can't remember what because Janie is missing. I have heard many praises for the author's first book and I thought I gave this one a shot because I found it in the bookstore. At the start of the book it was quite slowed pace with two POVs. The chapters alternate between the point of views as well as past and present at the same time. This writing style sort of reminded me of Jandy Nelson's I'll give you the sun. I didn't mind the perspective change because that way I get to know both characters from each other's view. It's common that people view you differently from  how you view yourself sometimes. 

I'm okay with the character's personality it seems real enough for me but I don't quite like them as a person. They have behaviours that I can't agree with and their actions are just naive and nonsense most of the time. This is one of the points that I do not like about this book which is how those kids handled their problems. The premise of the plot was just okay as it's trying to highlight some problems but we do not get to those problems till later of the book. Most of the time it's more about the characters' activities and interactions with other kids. 

Sadly this was not a book I really enjoyed. It had a message but it was also too messed up at the same time. Things weren't handled well and I guess the author might be trying to show a different side of human when all things go wrong. I would not recommend this book to contemporary lovers because you're not missing out on anything. It was a quick read and an easy book to predict. I don't see the value in reading it again. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Favourite Post

Time for some self-promote?? I find this topic fun because I went through all the post titles that I've written, pick ones that are the most memorable to me, read through it and decide whether to put it here. So here are some numbers, I have published a total of 369 times and it seems like a really small number because life gets in the way. Looking back at how long I've started this blog which was since 2006, that amount is too little. So for about 10 years I have to pick my top 5 from 369 posts. Here are my choices without any order, do click on the title as it's a link.

This was a really fun post to write because I got to share pictures of my trip to Singapore. And now that I'm reading back, it brings wonderful  memories for my visit there.

Another post that sort of mentions some highlights of my life. After reading this post, I feel motivated to continue in pursuing my dreams. Honestly, I'm not there yet, I'm not even close but I've not given up at all. I still have the same dreams and I'm working on reaching there. 

This book review was my first time reading a book by Julia Quinn in the genre of historical romance. Ever since then I've fallen in love with her writing. This book is one of my favourites from all her books. I like how I used to summarize the book and then gave a bit of opinion on it. I have since then changed my book review style.

Go read it because you'll get to know me better. Need I say more why I picked this post??

Discovering a magical book and sharing it in review is one of my biggest joy. This book is my all time favourite and to know why just read the review. I've recently introduced this book to a friend of mine and I'm waiting for him to start so we can read it together. I hope readers will be able to enjoy this book as much as I did.

I hope you'll take a look at those post that I've shared and do please comment about it here. Share some posts that you really really love with me too. Have a great week!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Crown

A selection can only have one winner.
A princess only has one heart.

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illea to told her own Selection, she didn't expect to fall in love the way her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you...and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible- and more important-than she ever imagined. - excerpt from book.

The Crown by Kiera Cass is the last book in the series. I was excited to read this book but was disappointed that it was so short, everything wrapped up really quickly. The book felt like a rush job and everyone's story just completed in a matter of 278 pages which was way too short for me. I didn't get the satisfaction of the characters growing where they slowly transition into the person the author wanted them to be and have the ending that was meant for them. It was just "oh you were like this and then it became like that" nothing much in between happening. The readers would just have to accept that it ended that way for those characters which were the boys in the Elite specifically.

As for the plot, everything happened really quickly. The whole story was on a speeding train and there was so much more that I feel the author could have expanded on. Because there were so many characters involved, there are so many mini plots that could be written. Even though the book was short I felt that the plot was not exciting enough, I could sort of predict what would happen. Sad to say I'm not satisfied with the twist and turns because I saw it coming.

To be blunt, I was anticipating a lot for this book as the previous book ended with suspense. I am disappointed at the things that happened in the book, the speed of it happening. The characters all did not have room to grow at all and they could have had more happening for them. Overall, it ended the way I thought it would so no surprises there. The first 3 books were certainly good and this last 2 did not give me the same feelings previously. I would recommend people to only read the first 3 and as for the last 2 you don't lose much for not reading it at all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Favorite Character Names

This is one week late because I've been busy but I still thought it was an interesting topic to write about. Characters names certainly play a role in the books as they often represent a little bit of the personality of the character. Other than that, if the name is catchy it will  be easy to remember them and it will definitely trigger hopefully your feelings or memories when reading that book. So here are 5 names that appealed to me because they were great characters and unique names,

Cinder from Cinder
Although it's short from Cinderella but making her an asian character certainly makes her super unique plus the fact that she is a cyborg makes it even cooler.

Marguerite from A Thousand Pieces of You
This name is my first time reading it so it's quite unique to me besides that she is quite a strong character as well. I certainly love her very much in her story.

Celaena from Throne of Glass
A strong character with a strong name. I think it's a strong name because it's one name that people can remember well and also give the other title that she earned, she's not one to mess around with.

Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses
I have to say that the author is so creative coming up with wonderful names that is unique and memorable. Besides that, the character that bears that name is an amazing character at the same time.

Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury
I love love love this character so much. He is one character that has so much depth and yet there's still some mystery to him. His name certainly suites him and he is one male that I will remember always.

As you can see, there is a strong female presence in the list and only one name made the cut. Honestly I do have some names to mention for male character such as The Darkling, Liam, Kaz Brekker, and Kell. These are also names that I quite love. So what character names is your favourite?

Top 5 Wednesday - Father Figure

In lieu with Father's day coming this weekend, this week's topic is Father figure. Having a father in the family has always been essential for a wholesome family. It is quite hard to get some characters for this topic because many a times I've read books that does not have a father in the family but there are some times that a male character will find themselves in a fatherly role for the main character. So without following order, here is my list:

Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter
How to not love Arthur who is the head of the family for the Weasley. He is at times humorous and also a reliable father when it comes to important stuff. 

Sirius Black from Harry Potter
Godfather of Harry Potter who took care of him even though he was not close to him. I love how Sirius honors his promise to Harry's parents. You can read the love that he has for Harry and it's just beautiful.

Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter
I always thought Dumbledore took extra care for Harry more than anyone else. He has taught him many life lessons and spoken so wisely many a times to Harry. The sacrifice that Dumbledore made for everyone shows how much of a father he is to everyone in the school and the wizarding world.

King Maxon from The Heir
I love the grown up Maxon very much in the book. He has gone through a lot and it's wonderful when he passes on his wisdom and experiences to Princess Eadlyn.

Shalom Singer from The Selection
America's father is truly different from the family. The connection between father and daughter means so much to the both of them. He often gives good advice to America and trying to help support her emotionally too.

As you can see my selection is quite limited as there are many books that I've read who are young adults that needed to struggle on their own without any father to pass them wisdom. Harry Potter series have the most parents around. So what are your picks?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Book Theme Song

This week is an interesting topic to discuss about. Sometimes when you're reading, there is a tendency to imagine everything described and maybe just maybe you'll also have a song in mind for certain scenes. I kinda do that for books who are written in a way that could be a good movie. Books packed with action would be harder to associate a song with because usually in the movies it's music that heats up the scene. As for theme songs, it's easier to associate it with contemporary books. I wouldn't say below are my top 5 theme songs or books because it was quite hard to pick a song to match a book for me. But anyway here are my 5 picks:

Since You've Been Gone - Toploader ~Dancing in the Moonlight

Emily is determined to finish up her list of things to do given by her best friend Sloane. In one of the items, I felt that the song really suited the scene. Emily was required to do certain things late at night so dancing in the moonlight kinda clicks with it for me as it's having fun and being free under the moonlight.

The Crown - Michelle Branch ~You set me free

The reason that I've picked this song is because the candidates in the Selection for Princess Eadlyn has since changed her and helped her grow. In a way those boys kind of help set her free from the perception of how she must act as a princess.

One Day - JJ Lin ~Too Bad
As for this book I do not want to give out spoilers but the timing of the characters of the book is always off. They have the worst timing ever for everything and sadly it made me thought of this song Too Bad. It's a mandarin song singing about missed chances and bad timing.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You - Vanessa Carlton ~ A Thousand Miles

If you haven't heard of this song, I'm a bit sad because this was one big hit when it was out. Everyone was loving it and boys who knew how to play the piano showed off in church. Girls would flock to the piano to hear the guy on the piano. So the song describes that the person would do anything to see his/her other half and it totally applies to the book. Marguerite is doing all she can to save Paul and to have him save in her arms again. Of course there are similar songs but this one sticks with me the most.

Skip Beat - Katy Perry ~ Hot N Cold

So this is a shoujo manga series that's still on going for quite a number of years now. I really love the characters of the story. The reason why I've chosen this song because the relationships/romance of the characters are like the song, Suddenly it's a yes and then it's a no, a number of push and pull happening in the plots. 

I still find it hard to listen to music and read at the same time because I can only concentrate on the book. The lyrics of the song would be distracting me from my book instead and sometimes I also have a strong urge to sing along. Do share with me your theme song for books, it'll be interesting to read how you can relate that song to the book

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When We Collided

Seventeen-year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life and only one thing has changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Reeling from the tragedy, Jonah  must take care of his family.

Enter Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous, unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings, she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide... - excerpt from book.

When We Collided by Emery Lord is about a girl and a boy falling in love but having struggles of their own at the same time. This is my first time picking up a contemporary book from this author reason because there was a lot of hype in the bookstagram community. The book cover is indeed very attractive and artistic to look at. As for the book itself I find it just okay, I liked it but I didn't love it to recommend it to people. If you pass on this book, you're not missing out at all. 

The plot of the book was okay and kinda predictable for me. I could already predict Vivi's secret easily. I find that this book did not have enough twists and turns but instead it was just a slow ascend up to the twist and then it sloped down. I saw kinda disappointed with the relationship because I actually wanted more interactions. I couldn't feel a connection between the characters. The bond between the side characters were also not strong enough. The only thing I enjoy very much is the dual perspective of the book.

Sadly it took me some time to finish this book because it could not capture  my attention well enough. I understand that this book touches the topic of grieving and mental issues but it's just not strong enough to make a statement in my heart. I too am grieving but I can't connect with Jonah at all, it doesn't feel real enough. I would not recommend it to readers who want to try this author perhaps another book of hers. But if you're a fan of hers go ahead and get this book. It wasn't bad just wasn't good enough. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre is a huntress. She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price...

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy's kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape . Her captor's body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked - but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre's feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she's been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows. 

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever. - excerpt from book.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas  is the first book in a series and sort of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. After completing the book, I wouldn't say it's a retelling but more likely inspired by it. There were some similarities but only at a minimal. I was quite drawn into the book after a few chapters as the background stories of the world is still quite mysterious. The world was so magical and I could tell there was more to it than what I've read. This world is unique, full of magic and full of darkness at the same time. If I was a fantasy character this world would be an exciting world to live in.

The characters of the book are very very interesting people, they pull you in and keep you wanting for more of their stories. I could not help but fall for Tamlin, he is such a gentleman and also cheeky at times. I really love his personality and often hoped for more interaction between him and Feyre. Feyre was a tad annoying at first but her character truly grew and that made the story progress really well. I really think their personalities can compliment each other so well. As for the side character of the story, I wanted more about him because he is so mysterious, reading about his past is so satisfying.  I felt that all characters truly play an important role in the plot.

When a certain character showed up at the second half of the book, things got so so much better. This character gave me the same feeling that the Darkling did in Shadow and Bone. I truly love this new "villain" in the book. When there was more content about him I was like who cares about Tamlin, I want this guy right now =P. I love that the author has written so many fantastic characters for the story. They will capture your attention so well that you forgot they were not real.

The plot of the book was very smooth, it started slow and then it escalated a while. After the first twist in the book, everything in the book was so so good. I think all the incidents that happened was just so shockingly good. The timing for every incident was just perfect, my attention was constantly captured, it was not easy putting down the book at all. It was always such an exciting plot to read, especially towards the end because it was just surprisingly good.

This was such a fantastic book, such a great start. It ended good too and makes me wonder what else is there to happen in the second book. This book set the bar so high that the second book will have very high expectations. Right now, the second book is out and there have been so many great reviews for it. Honestly, comparing this series to the other series that this author is writing, it feels so different. This book was just too good and then the other one is bumped down because of this book. I have already picked up the second book and will be reading it soon. I highly recommend this book to YA fantasy lovers and readers who enjoy books with faeries. I also recommend this if you enjoy fairy tales retelling.  This is easily one of my favorite fantasy right now.

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