Friday, April 22, 2016

First & Then



Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy silently crushing on best friend Cas and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive jock Ezra right where she doesn't want them - first into her gym class and then into every other aspect of her life. - excerpt from book

First & Then by Emma Mills is a debut book for the author. This is a book about first love and also about family. It was a short and quick read as the book is only 267 pages long. The reason that I picked up this book is because it was all over social media and it had a good rating. Also the cover design was too cute to pass and under the dust jacket it was cute too. With no expectations and any spoilers I went into the book and surprisingly I enjoyed it.

The characters in the book are not bad, the relationships between them were real. I thought the main character Devon was a really sweet and cute girl. As for the male interest of the book he was quite reserved at first and more than meets the eye slowly you get to know him a bit better. Along the book I enjoyed their interactions immensely and I keep looking forward to more of it. The side characters were good too as they had interesting interactions with Devon. There was much growth for all of the characters in the book which caught me by surprise as this was a short book. I quite liked Foster in the book as he is a cute kid and also dealing with a difficult issue.

I thought the plot was good because it was unexpected as I was not able to predict anything at all. The twist was good too because it was surprising. I loved the flow of the book and felt that the story was too short and wished it was longer. Overall, the book was short and sweet with a good message or two incorporated. I would say that this book was more of a coming of age book than a love story. If you're looking for a light contemporary read then I recommend this book to you. You'll be surprised that this short book can be such an enjoyment. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Books I'm Intimidated By



When books intimidate me I would just put it aside in my TBR pile, thinking that I'll get to it one day, probably. So these are books that are typically in a subject that I'm not the most interested in but still a little bit curious about it. Another reason would be that the English is too deep so it would be hard for me to understand and thus reading it will take a long time too. Sometimes books that are too thick also intimidates me because my attention span is quite short. Not to forget that books that won any prizes also intimidates me because I'm afraid I would not love it and would not understand why it was awarded.

Without further delay, here is my list not in any particular order:

The Book Thief


I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for more than a year and I've still not read it. I roughly know what's the book about as there was a movie based on the book. I'm quite afraid to read it because it's quite a thick book and also it's historical fiction. This genre often scares me because I do not know my history well. History was not my favourite subject in school and we did not have much topics on world history in the syllables. Hopefully I'll pick it up soon.

All the Light We Cannot See

This is another book that is in the historical fiction genre. Other than that, it won an award THE PULITZER PRIZE. With the award, it has already scared me because it gives me the impression that it's a deep book. It really intimidates me because I'm afraid I would not feel the same as those who have read it. I feel pressured when it comes to books with so much attention and high ratings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Heir



Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection - and she and Prince Maxon have lived happily ever after. Princess Eadlyn has always found her parents' story romantic, but it's not what she wants for herself. Unfortunately, Eadlyn can't escape the path laid out for her...including her very own Selection.

Eadlyn doesn't expect to find love among the Selection's thirty-five eligible guys. But as the competition begins, new posibilities may just capture her heart - and prove that finding her own happliy ever after isn't' as impossible as she's always thought. - excerpt from book.

The Heir by Kiera Cass is the fourth book in the series which was announced after the third book was out. The third book was supposed to be last but the author managed to sign for three more books for the series. If you have not read the Selection please stop reading my review here. Like it's predecessor, the cover of the book is just gorgeous, I really love that dress. The book cover designer did a fantastic job.

The story continues to the daughter of America and Maxon, Princess Eadlyn. The whole book is in her point of view. Of course with the Selection happening again, we have a ton of new characters introduced into the story. While the characters that are important from the first three books of the series are already grown up and in their mid thirties to early forties. It's great to read about the oldies with a little bit of what happened to them.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Books with "Hard" Topics


Very often we read for entertainment and enjoyment, thus romance books will lift up your mood, fantasy and science fiction for an adventure. When it comes to contemporary books, sometimes it touches topics that hard such as mental illness, sexual assault, incurable sickness and etc. Those are topics that are brooding and often puts people in deep thoughts. I quite like books like these, not because I like tragic things but it's how the author convey their message. How realistic they can make a story be that's important and of course it builds compassion. Often than not, these books touches a person's heart and that is the ultimate goal of a good author (IMO). So here is my list not in any particular order:

A Step Towards Falling

Now this book is the first hard topic book that I picked up this year and I went in without any expectations. I really really liked it because it talks about autism, about standing by and not doing anything. It is a hard topic because when a person is helpless and you did nothing, what are the consequences, what should have been done and of course the impact on the victim. This author gave the perspectives of the victim (who has autism) and the teenager who did nothing to help. What this book invoked in me is more understanding towards people with disability. Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2016/02/a-step-toward-falling.html

The Sky is Everywhere

This book talks about grief which is quite a difficult topic to approach because everyone deals with it differently. When I was reading this book, the incident where my love passed away has yet to happen. I can say at the moment when I finish the book I felt that life is hard especially when a tragedy happens in your life so suddenly. When dealing with grief in the family, everyone has a different relationship with the person but it's healthy to grief together. So fast forward to now and thinking about this book I sort of felt that the timing is just too coincidental. Why did I pick up that book that time and it feels like God was already sending me messages or preparing me for the battle ahead. Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2015/09/the-sky-is-everywhere.html


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Winter



Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend, the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Qinter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? - excerpt from book

Winter by Marissa Meyer is the final book in The Lunar Chronicles and it was a grand finale. I loved it so so much and while reading it I wished it wasn't going to end at all. It was a book that I could not put down at all, it was non-stop action and excitement. If this book was made into a movie, it would be epic. Just like the praises that are printed in the books it's a mix of Star Wars with fairy tale retelling. This series is by far the best young adult science fiction I've read and it is now my all time favourite series.

The characters of the series certainly made this book so alive and well loved. The introduction of a new female character into the story was just like the previous three books, her name is Winter and her knight is Jacin who was introduced in the third book with a side character role. As you can see from the name of Winter, it's a retelling of Snow White hence she is somehow similar to her but definitely unique on her own. Even though Winter is kinda the highlight of the book, Cinder is still the main character and the spotlight is shined brightly on her. Her progress and growth in the story was beautiful, I really love her. The other gals were all fantastic too along with their men, they played their parts so well, had so much growth and supported Cinder perfectly.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Rainy Day Reads



Rainy days are my favorite because living in a tropical country it's always hot and humid. When it pours heavily it's the best time to sleep because it's cooling and windy. So since I like to sleep on a rainy day instead of reading this was quite hard to choose. Hence I imagine myself not sleeping on a rainy day and reading so what book would I read? Below would be the list of picks but not in any particular order:

FanGirl

One of the cutest book written by Rainbow Rowell and it would be a joy to read on a rainy day to lift up the mood. It totally gives giddy feelings to those who love cute characters. This book is my all time favourite contemporary book because it's light hearted and easy to read through. I have a review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2013/10/fangirl.html

Anna and the French Kiss

All three books of this series are super cute and adorable. The stories are so sweet and heart warming that it's a book that's hard to put down. Just imagine yourself curled up on bed with a hot cup of tea/coffee/cocoa next to you. With your blanket covering your feet, giggling because of a book. I've already read all three so here the reviews if you wanna check it out: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2013/12/anna-and-french-kiss.html
http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2013/12/lola-and-boy-next-door.html
http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2014/10/isla-and-happily-ever-after.html

Attachments

This is my favorite Rainbow Rowell book. It made me laugh, it was exciting and of course I love the format of the writing so so so much. It's an easy book to read so it doesn't take too long, probably one sitting and you're done. So to lighten your mood on a rainy day a book that makes me laugh is a good choice. Review is here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2014/01/attachments.html

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend



Hot Sun. Blue Waves. New Romances. Old Secrets.

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistake identity causes the people she knew years ago - including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh - to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already. - excerpt from book

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn who is also known as Morgan Matson is a first in a series call Broken Hearts & Revenge. Firstly this book is one of the longest titled book I've owned and I thought it was cute. The reason for me purchasing this book was because of Morgan Matson, I loved her "Since you've been gone" book very much. Without any regard of the rating on Goodreads, I've started the book and I loved it. I think it's because of my love for summer romance books.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Least Favorite Book in Your Favorite Series


There are so many series that I've read over the years and usually my favorite are ones that gets better and better. There are some series where I love all books equally and then there are some that are hard to choose. The books mentioned below are some that I can distinctively tell the difference. Without following any order here are books:

Allegiant
I totally love the first two books and it really became my favorite Dystopian novel until I read the last book. Sadly, everything seems to wrapped up really quickly, the answers to some questions were not detail enough. It just felt like a lousy job done quickly to meet a deadline. I had such high hopes but was greatly disappointed.

Prodigy
The only reason why I felt that this book was least favorite because the beginning was great and then the second book was good but the last book was fantastic. This book didn't suck, it was just the caught in the middle of two great books making it a good book.

The Elite
Well I like this book the least because of the indecisiveness of the characters that pissed me off. Other than that it had a great plot.

City of Fallen Angels
This is like the worst book out of the six because it felt like a filler. When you watch anime that is adapted from manga, there is a point where the manga is not drawn fast enough for the anime. Hence, the production studio put in fillers like Naruto and Bleach had many fillers before focusing back to the main plot. This book just filled in the blanks with just a little bit of action happening. Even the characters felt like they were stagnant in their growth.

The Hunger Games
I liked all three books but this was picked because I felt that some events happened just too quickly. It would have been better if we get to know the side characters better, give them a little bit of growth. I felt that some contestant from some districts were kinda sidelined.

I truly wonder if the author would have made any changes if the reviews for those books were not as good as expected. I think some times it is not bad to have alternative endings. What are your picks? Please share at the comments below. Thanks for reading.
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