Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Since You've Been Gone


Emily's best friend Sloane disappears, almost without a trace - the only thing left behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that wallflower Emily wouldn't normally do, and definitely not without her best friend. But what if completing the list could bring Sloane back?
Dance until dawn? Sure why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um....
Go skinny dippy? Wait....what?
Emily only has the summer to check everything off Sloane's list. The question is, what will she find at the end of it? - excerpt from book cover.

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson is a story about a girl completing a list sent to her by her best friend who seems to be missing this summer. I did not know what to expect for this book except that it's in the summer and a girl has to complete a list. At start of the book it was like introduction to the characters which did not capture me yet. But then when the list was received, things started to be really really interesting.

I really love the characters of the book especially the female lead. She has the most character growth in the book which made the story fantastic. I like how the other characters slowly emerged in the story and took part in the plots. This book made me want a best friend just like the female lead, I really wish I could find a friend like that. I also really like the male lead in the book, he is such a great guy and his friend is such a funny dude.

The plot of this story is also so so good. There are many incidents in the book that you'll just love. There are also some situations where you'll be wanting certain things to happen between characters. This book is also hilarious in quite a number of chapters. Even though there was some parts that you could predict, it was still enjoyable to read because you would want what you predicted to happen. 

I had a hard time putting the book down because it got me hooked so bad. I just wished I was in those characters' lives. While I wanted to read faster to know more, I also didn't want the story to end at all. Alas, when I was done I was very satisfied with the book as it gave me much much laughter and warmth. I would highly recommend this book to any young adult book lovers who enjoy reading about summer. This book is funny, exciting, heartwarming, cute and many more good things. I would not hesitate to pick up another book from this author as she really did a good job. Next summer, I want to read this book again.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Iron Trial


Friends and Foe.
Danger and Magic.
Death and Life.
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt. Hw wants to fail.
All his life, Callum has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.
So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come...  -excerpt from book cover.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is about a boy who was to fail a test in order not to be admitted in the Magisterium. When I got news that two of my favourite YA writers are working on a series together, I was super excited. If you didn't know, Holly Black wrote many good series such as Spiderwick Chronicles and Cassandra Clare is the author of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. Once the book was out, I tried to get the book ASAP but it took sometime before I got my delivery.

I truly enjoyed the book and I feel it is a good start/introduction to the world in the story and also preparing the readers for more of the series. If not mistaken this would be a five book series. I cannot wait for more and I highly anticipate that it will get better and better. I could not find any parts that distinctively tell it's written by Holly or Cassandra. The writing flowed so well, it was just like one person written it instead of two. I think they both have great ideas and this book is not like Harry Potter series at all. 

When it comes to magic school, people tend to relate it to Harry Potter but I have to say besides studying magic, everything else is totally different.  Even the methods to conjure magic is totally different from Harry Potter, although the combination of mages form a group of three is similar but it's sort of a requirement for their training. The characters of the book are so so different from Harry Potter which I truly enjoyed. I really love the main character of the book, he has many struggles and thus it turned him into the person he is now. I love the growth of the main characters too because as time passed and certain things happening they changed.

The plot twist was really well done and not easy to anticipate although one element of the story was easy to guess, I think it was the intention of the authors in the first place. I think the plots were really smooth and well timed. The only complaint I have is the length of the book, how I wished it was longer and more could be written on their process of learning magic or more interactions with other students. But overall, it's a great start of the series where it contains some mystery that will slowly unfold throughout the series. I hope the next book will come soon as I cannot wait. I highly recommend this to readers who loved Harry Potter, magic and fantasy.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What I Thought Was True



"Heaven by the water".
"Best-kept little secret in New England."
Seashell Island, where I've lived all  my life, is those things and more. And all I want to do is leave it behind.
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge, and she hails from a family of housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries this will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape what happened- or the island- her past explodes into her present, redefining the boundaries of her life. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true- about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself - with what really is.  - excerpt from book cover.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick is her second book with the timeline being in the summer just like the book she debut with. Seeing that I like the author's first book so much, I was excited to read this. I thought this book was just okay as the characters were people who are not easy to read. They are also people that had issues in their life that made them the people they are. I think the plot of the story was just bland with nothing exciting happening unlike the boy next door it had no twist.

This book is more about values of a person who all had different backgrounds and not much about the plot as it seems like a typical summer for a teenager. I didn't think that the characters had great personality nor were they very special people. I thought the relationships between the characters were done well. I didn't like that the actions of a certain character had no consequence and I didn't like the example that it will set on youngsters. 

I was quite disappointed with the book as I expected some cutesy summer romance but it was more towards issues that teenagers faced and also about status quo in society which is not totally bad but not fantastic. There were parts that I like and there were parts that were boring. Overall, it was just an okay book and I don't think it would be the type of book that I would read again and enjoy. I would also not recommend you to pick this book unless you really like this author. It's a book that can be skipped and I hope the author would write a better one next time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One Day


15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? An every year that follows? - summary at the back of the book.

One Day by David Nicholls is a story about two people and twenty years into their lives. I have to say that this book started off okay, then it became boring, then slightly good and then it went back to boring. The boring part of the book was really long, I could not read for 5 minutes every time I pick it up. After being determined that I must finish it, I pushed on and when I got to the good part it was just too short. 

It's a book on life more than romance and reading about life is the interesting part for me. You learn about two people who went on different paths and how they try to stay in each other lives for years. I enjoyed the life lessons of the book as it made me realize certain things such as why wait? why so many excuses? and lastly timing is the key to everything. If these people did things differently, I guess we would not have the ending we get. 

I cannot say I love the characters very much because some things that they have done are not in agreement for me but nevertheless the female character is the one that I liked more. The plot regarding their lives are sometimes good, sometimes boring. I just feel that reading one day of every year for twenty years is not enough to know everything about their lives and their interactions with other people. But I think the author did a good job on displaying the characters of their personality even though it's just one day. There's one paragraph that I liked in the book:

'Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't' practical. Better by far simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Changes lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance. 

I don't think I would pick this book up again or even recommend it to anyone as I feel that it's just an okay book as it has quite a number of boring parts. When reading about slice of life titles, I have read better ones and also watched Japan animation that have fantastic plots. Those animation exudes wonderful values and life lessons at the same time which always made me cry. Sadly, this is one book that I might not keep in my bookshelf and would be given away or sold away.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After


The cafe is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: "Josh!" His head jolts up. For a long time, he just stares at me. And then...he blinks. "Isla?"

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris, And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. - excerpt from book.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins is the third book in the series featuring characters that were mentioned in the first book as the main leads(Isla and Josh). I absolutely loved this book, it was so adorable, so sweet and silly. It gives me all the good sort of feelings when reading the book. The love/romance written in the book is like reading a shoujo manga similarly to Kimi Ni Todoke. The feelings of the characters towards each other is so cute.

The plot of the story was really smooth and it climax at really good timing. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions between Isla and Josh, it reminded me wonderful feelings when a couple starts dating. The setting of the book is no doubt a great place and the author made me want to go to Paris so  much more now. The pace of the relationship is quite good which doesn't feel that anything was rushed into. I like the struggles of their relationship too and it's really what a normal relationship usually go through,

The personalities of the characters are certainly the reasons for the events that happened in the book. It contributes greatly to their actions and reactions in the relationship. The author did a great job writing about a teenage relationship and it was just so real. Overall, I think this was a good book to the ending of the series. I really loved the book most at the middle and towards the end. The author did a great job tying up all the characters together. If you ask me to pick my favourite parts from all three books, I'll say I love the second book because of the male lead there. I love this book as it has the sweetest and cutest relationship of all books. Lastly, I love the female lead in the first book. All three books were good and I highly recommend this to reader who enjoy a fluttery, sweet and cute type of young adult romance book,

Before I end my post, below is a section of the book that I truly loved reading, it made my heart flutter for the characters and think about all other romance books that gave me the same feeling. It also definitely made me think about first dating my partner in crime =P.

Josh grins."Just give me your hand."
"W-what?"
"Your hand," he repeats. "Give it to me."
I extend my shaking right hand. And- in a moment that is a hundred dreams come true - Joshua Wasserstein laces his fingers through mine. A staggering shock of energy shoots straight into my veins. Straight into my heart.
"There," he says. "I've been waiting a long time to do that."
Not nearly as long as I've been waiting. pg 88


Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Rithmatist


"More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatist have the power to infuse life into two-dimentional figures known as chalklings. They are humanity's only defense against the wild chalklings- merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing - kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes. Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery, one that will change Rithmatics- and their world - forever." - excerpt from book.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson is a young adult fantasy about a boy and his adventure of uncovering the truth. I was totally captured by this book from the start till the end of the story. My feelings after completing the book was wanting more of the story. That urge is so strong as this book is just that good. The world created by the author is absolutely fantastic and there are still  many mysteries that I can tell is left for other books to reveal but it's enough for this current plot line. The magic aspect of the book is so interesting and truly unique along with other mechanics of the book.

The characters of the book are also really interesting people and you see much growth from the main characters. I really like the mysteries of the characters in the book that was slowly revealed. There is nothing I have to complain about the characters as they seem so perfectly fitted for the story. As for the plot of the book it was so smooth and exciting where everything that happened is so significant to the story. The turn of events in the book was also written in such good timing to the story and it caught me by surprise.

Some favourite lines from the book:

"The most dangerous kind of man is not the one who spent his youth shoving others around. That kind of man gets lazy, and is often too content with his life to be truly dangerous. The man who spent his youth being shoved around, however...When that man gets a little power and authority, he often uses it to become a tyrant on par with the worst warlords in history." - pg 121. I find that these are such wise words describing human nature which does manifest in the real world.

"I can't understand something until I know why it happens the way it does. There has to be an objective point of reference that determines what makes a good drawing and what doesn't - even if that objective point of reference is the subjective opinion of the Rithmatist doing the drawing"  - pg 191. I like the logic sense of those words said by a certain character.

"school is about learning to learn. If you don't practice studying things you don't like, then you'll have a very hard time in life." - pg 214. Another set of wise words that I wished someone could have told me when I resented studying history when in high school.

This is my first time reading this author's creation which is now one of my favourite books of this year. I am so impressed with the book which gave me high hopes that other books from this author will offer excellent quality of fantasy stories. I cannot wait for the next book and looking at his website, the second book won't be coming any time soon as his book schedule is quite packed. I'm already feeling excited to start his mistborn trilogy which will be soon in the months to come. I highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers, fans of Brandon Sanderson who have read his adult fantasy. Even though this is young adult fantasy, it does beat much of the adult fantasies that I have read. This is no doubt a book that I will read again nearing the release date of the second book.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We Were Liars


We are liars
We are beautiful and privileged
We are cracked and broken
A of love and romance
A tale of tragedy
Which are lies?
Which is truth? You decide 
- excerpt from back of the book

We were liars by E.Lockhart is a contemporary young adult book. I went into this book without any knowledge since most people in the booktube community suggested to read it that way. I was surprised by this book and I quite enjoyed it. The plot of the story can really take you by surprise and I like the timing of things happening in the story. I also enjoyed the perspective of the main character and her feelings. The characters of the book are very suitable for the story which made the book a good one.

The message that's the purpose of the book is what I love the most. You might not see it clearly but as things unfold in the story you will. Overall this book is a big surprise with a wonderful meaning attached to it. It's quite a thin book so it's quick to read. I don't think I would read this book again unless I can forget what's it about as knowing the story erases the thrill of reading it. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Landline


Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. It's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and he still loves her - but that almost seems besides the point now. Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells him that she can't go. She's a TV writer and something's come upon her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her - he is always a little upset with her - but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she's supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened? - excerpt from book.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell is the author's second adult contemporary book. The story is about a marriage having problem and the heroine of the book is given a chance to change it. I was having quite high expectations for the book as the author is now one of my favourite authors. I was a bit disappointed maybe because of the high expectations but overall I did enjoy the book. The book started off slow but in the middle the pace did pick up and that's the part where I couldn't put down the book.

I love reading more about the relationships of the main characters. As the past of the characters unfold I felt attached to their love and their story. It was really wonderful reading about their love. I also love the personality that the characters have and you can see them grow a little. What I enjoy the most from the book is the message of the book as I can relate and understand the situation and feelings of the characters.

I really like the author's writing whereby she makes the characters so realistic and also the situations itself is just something that truly happens in real life (not the part of phone call to the past). Rainbow Rowell's writing just does this to every book she wrote and Landline was not left out. If more was written about their past it would make me love the book even more and for that I decided to give it a 4.5 star. I love all her books but I still love Fangirl the most followed by Attachments. I will definitely read this book again as her books are my favourite contemporary stories. If you love her other books you'll love this one too. If you have not pick up a book by her, you'll love her writing it will do you no wrong to read it.

P.S: There's an easter egg hidden in the book. If you've read all her other books you can spot it. The hint is an update about a couple in her previous books.
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