Monday, February 5, 2018

Traitor to the Throne

This is not about blood, or love. This is about treason.

Amani has always been more gunpowder than girl. But as the Blue-Eyed Bandit her powers have gone from strength - as has the rebellion she risks her life for.

Then a brutal kidnapping leads her straight to the Sultan's palace, and she is forced to return to her desert-girl's instincts for survival. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are a way of life here - and Amani finds she fits right in.

But with the ghosts of her past swirling all around her, Amani's greatest fight may be to keep her own secret heart and desires under control...- excerpt from book

Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton continues right where we left off in the first book and it had an interesting start. I wouldn't say my attention was instantly captured but the action was good. I enjoyed the book a little but I read real quickly through most parts and focused more on conversations and only when it's exciting. There was quite a number of plot twists that caught me by surprise and it was really really good. The author have done a great job planning the story that leads to those incidents. All characters have such important roles to play in it.

The heroine is a well established character in the first book and you would expect less from her. In this book there is just little growth to her as she still lives up to her Blue Eyed Bandit role but then situations does not permit her to be herself and that's when she had to change to survive. I love her interactions with certain characters with moves the story forward with ease. The introduction of new characters into the story also brought a breath of fresh air to it. These new characters are unexpected and they all play really important roles. Sometimes you wished there was more interaction of them with Amani. One thing that disappointed me was the absent of some other characters which I liked in the first book.

This was a really thick book and there was just enough action. I expected more to happen but the timeline was short and we can't have too much happening actually. But still I felt that there was a lack of incidents and also too much focus on the main heroine. The book would be more exciting if there was another point of view introduced. Maybe I expected too much hence I got a tad disappointed. Overall this was a good second book with a good ending that will want you reading the last book. The only reason why I speed read was because I have the last book on my hands and I just wanted to breeze through this book. I think I  might not do it enough justice but then again with speed reading I skipped through parts that were what I felt unnecessary in the stories. If the first book didn't capture you then I think there is no point in continuing the series.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It Only Happens In The Movies

When Audrey meets Harry, it's the start of a truly cinematic romance- or is it?

Audrey knows that Harry is every movie cliche rolled into one. But she still chooses to let him into her heart....- excerpt from book.

It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne is about falling in love at first sight, about how a divorced family is like and also about dealing with a heartbreak. Which teenager never had struggles? It's just a common thing and honestly this book highlights family problems, relationship problems which are quite average but what makes this book deserving a publication? I would say the uniqueness of discussing romance movies is what kept my attention captured, otherwise I felt that the female character was just an ordinary teenager.

To my annoyance I felt that there wasn't enough growth to the main heroine but it did happen gradually instead of an instant. Throughout the plot she has many interactions with her peers where there were interesting ones and some boring ones which I felt I can make do without. The male counterpart needs more attention as well, he was quite sidelined and I wished there was more of his background revealed. His interaction with the main character are parts that I enjoyed but when it comes to her thoughts and her school life, it's just normal.

The plot had an okay pace with not too many plot twists making the book barely grasping my attention. Often I would just speed read through only paying attention to conversations. I definitely enjoy her assignments and thoughts to romance movies but without those parts, the plot is just meh~. I would not really recommend this book and I can't really comment on the writer as she is quite famous for a trilogy. Maybe I need to read those to properly judge her writing style but in all honesty I just liked it, I don't think you're missing out on anything if you did not read it.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there's still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach week after graduation, and her dad's wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she'll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekend.

Life couldn't be more perfect!

At least, that's what Lara Jean thinks...until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans-but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? - excerpt from book.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han is the last book in the series, it's truly a bitter sweet one for me as I was reluctant to finish the book, dreading the ending. With an eagerness to read, I jump into the story the instant I've gotten the book and my attention was easily captured. The author made this young adult romance so exciting to read about as there were many new events for Lara Jean and her family. The ups and downs were just so entertaining, never failing to amaze me through the reactions of the characters. 

I was waiting and waiting for a certain male character to show up as I wanted a spicier romance for Lara Jean but sadly I was just anticipating too much. Lara Jean is on a search to find what she wants, her journey and growth truly made her special, the way she dealt with situations was genuine. I love how tight the family is and how that one person's actions and reactions would affect the family's dynamics. A heartwarming family from start till end, I love how they would stay so close and honest with each other.

To drill down on the characters, they are realistic people written by the author. The author potrays them well and pulls you in till you have that feeling that you know them well, like Lara Jean is your real life friend. I love how Lara Jean grows up gradually in the story, I often have moments of conflict when she is making decisions, I'll be like oh no sister, you shouldn't do it that way. As for every other character in the book, they fit in quite well with their personality, doing things they are meant to do perfectly.

I had no idea how the plot would go at all, I was happy that I didn't try to anticipate anything and just go with the flow. The flow was indeed good with surprises here and there. I love the plot twists although childish but very realistic. Indeed this was a heartwarming book with moments that you can treasure when it comes to family. It was a good conclusion to the series but I cannot hide that I was disappointed at some parts but nevertheless it was still acceptable. Overall I would say this series is worth picking up, giving you a good amount of romance, fun, family and teenage problems. I highly recommend this to those who want a refreshing take that is non cliche contemporary young adult series.

Monday, January 22, 2018

What To Say Next

"Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're so weird," she says. I look at her, or at least her chin, and discover that an offhand comment by Kit can disrupt my respiration. "But good weird, you know?"
Good weird.
Good weird is what I've been telling myself I am for years, when being just plain weird was too much of a burdern to carry. Good weird is the only solution to the problem, when normal isn't a viable option. Good weird may very well be the opposite of cool, but I've never aspired to cool. At least, not the version I'm familiar with.
"Thank you/"
"Speaking of weird, I have a random question for you. What can you tell me about quantum mechanics?" Kit asks, and a shiver makes its way from the bottom of my spine all the way to the top.
My sister suggested that I think up some small-talk ideas in case Kit came back to my table today.
Top of my list?
Quantum mechanics.
It's almost enough to make me reconsider the entire concept of fate. - excerpt from book.

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum is about two people who are not in the same click in high school but starts to interact with each other. A traumatising incident caused the popular girl Kit to suddenly sit at David's table.  It's definitely something that has never happened to David as he eats alone all the time. He rather have the quietness than to be bothered but why did Kit sat with him. 

I like how the author emphasise on biracial as it's not a topic often talked about, especially for those who are in America as from where I am it's quite common but there are always issues involved. I'm pretty sure it's the typical ones such as cultural differences, religious practises and principles while growing up. For someone like Kit who is half and half it's quite hard to get the correct footing as people would ask that question of "so what race are you". I find it quite rude but then again children are innocent because they don't understand how it impacts the person asked. That is just part of the important topic, another one would be a socially awkward child and how he fits in high school. 

I find David's perspective to be interesting to read when he is all alone thinking about his peers, how he views them and how his sisters gives him warning about those people. Of course all those socially awkward people are not entirely the same but they do go through the same struggles, trying to either fit in or be invisible. Of course we will never see the end of the "normal" people judging them and the extreme ones will bully. 

When those two interact, what are the conversations and activities that they partake, how they feel about each other are parts that enhances their personalities. I totally loved how the author manage to make the story flow without boring the readers, everything was light and easy yet a heavy message was subtlety told. Having a simple plot yet giving it life through the emotions and reactions of the characters made you feel closer to them. Lastly, how they grow directed the book to its plot twists.

A good page turner, this thin book packs a punch to your emotions and leaves quite an impression. For all those contemporary young adult lovers, this is one book you should not miss. I have heard that the author's debut was good, so after reading this I am convinced to pick up that other book.

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 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.
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