Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Jewel



Today is my last day as Violet Lasting.

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty, The Jewel means royalty.

But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude.

Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained to work for the royalty. And she quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel's glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life. 

When an unlikely friendship offers her an opportunity she never dreamed possible, Violet clings to the hope for a better life. But a forbidden romance changes everything. And suddenly Violet finds herself in a different kind of danger, one that may cost her more than she bargained for.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing is the first book of The Lone City trilogy. It's about a girl name Violet being trained to be a surrogate and little did she know things aren't what she thought it is. I like the concept of this book as it's in the dystopia genre. The world built is an interesting place and the people in it are awful but it makes the story good. I feel that the plot flowed really well with a good twist at good moments. This book can grab my attention well at good moments but also some chapters can be just okay, nothing exciting.

I didn't quite like the main female character as I felt she is a bit too immature and naive but I guess it fits the story well. Sadly, I did not see much character growth for her or maybe I was expecting too much. The other characters of the book are interesting people as not much has been revealed yet and I'm sure that's on purpose. I'm really curious to know more about other people instead of Violet. Sad to say she kind of annoys me. The romance of the book is insta-love style which is not acceptable for me as I prefer love that slowly blossoms. The love story seems rushed and lack of development which puts me off a little.

Overall, it is a story that has much interesting elements and many questions unanswered which intrigued me to continue reading and I'll definitely wait for the second book. The ending was also quite shocking to me and that itself earn a star on it's own. This book represents many things that I feel young people should know about society. I love the message I got from the book and I hope others who read this understands it as well. A good story to enjoy just forego the romance part and I'd like to recommend to dystopia lovers.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Trial by Fire


I remember what I must do , even if it makes me the villain of my own story.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies make it increasingly difficult to live a normal life, and after a completely humiliating incident ruins her first (and perhaps only) real party, she's ready to disappear.

"Come and be the most powerful person in the world"

Suddenly, Lily finds herself in a different Salem.One overrun with onsters and ruled by powerful women-including Lilian, this world's version of Lily.

"It will be terrifying, it was for me."

What made Lily weak at home, makes her extraordinary here. It also puts her in a terrible danger. Faced with new responsibilities she can barely understand and a love she never expected, Lily is left with one question: How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini is the first book of the worldwalker trilogy. I have yet to read anything from this author before hence this is my first time reading her book. The story is about a girl who went to another parallel world with her own world. In that other world, there is another version of her and some other people in her life. The idea of the story is really good as the other world built by the author is quite good with detail. I like that there is much mystery to what some of the characters are doing, especially the main character.

There is much growth to the characters which I love. I like the relationships that are built up along the story and felt that it suites the story really well. This was a book with a good amount of action and it was written well. I like the flow of the plots and the twist of the story was well done. The only complain I have is I felt towards the end it was a bit rushed. I would have enjoyed it if there was more action than what happened in the book. The ending is good as it will leave you hanging and wondering about the next book. I have not read many witch story type of books except for Charmed so I can't remember well enough to compare hence this book is a new experience for me. 

I quite liked the book and I'm looking forward for the next book as there are some questions that I hoped would be answered then. I recommend this book to readers who love stories of witches and parallel worlds as the book's concept is quite refreshing. I would skim through the book before reading the second book which will be out next year. Other than that, I'm not sure if I would pick it up again.  

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 people that have many issues in their life that turned them into the people they are now. I think the plot of the story was just bland with nothing exciting happening unlike the boy next door this book 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 no 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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Shadow and Bone


Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they're sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling's favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. Bust as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her...and only she can save the future. - Excerpt from the book's dust jacket.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is a high fantasy book under the young adult catergory. I absolutely love this book and I finished it within 2 days which I don't do often. The story is certainly new for the YA genre. When I was reading this book, I can't help but being reminded of another fantasy series which I love dearly which is The Black Magician's trilogy. I'm not saying it's the same but there are some similarities which I would not mention. I have been reading quite a number of contemporary books and so reading this book reminded me why I love fantasy in the first place.

The plot of the story is very smooth and twists was just fantastic and thrilling. By reading just the prologue, I was hooked instantly and I just kept reading. The characters of the books are also good especially the Darkling which made I kinda love. That character is just so intriguing and I know that there's more to him. Two quotes from him that I love are:

"The problem with wanting is that it makes you weak"- pg 221

"There are no Ravkans, no Fjerdans, no Kerch, no Shu Han. There are no more borders, and there will be no more wars. From now on, there is only the land inside the Fold and outside of it, and there will be peace"-pg 341.

For the main heroine, I just felt she had okay character development but I kinda wanted more from her. Other side characters were written essential to let the plot move forward which I felt it was good. Some russian is used in the book where I don't quite understand and I wished the author would put in a glossary at the back of the book with the meaning and pronunciation of the word. The world and magic that author created is good and unique which makes the book more interesting compared to other fantasy.

Overall the storyline and plots are the parts that captured me the most followed by one of the characters. I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers because this is one of a kind. It's a fantastic page turner which impressed me much and I will definitely treasure this story. This is one of those that I will read again and again. After doing some research I found that this book was taken on for a movie so I'm looking forward to hear news of it. There is also a wikia page for the book which shocked me that there were so many fans for the trilogy which was good. I can't wait for the last one to come out as I plan to order the second book along with the last one. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels


Simon was on a date with Isabelle and they met up in a coffee shop. Simon was troubled as he did not know whether he was exclusive with Izzy and so he was dating Maia at the same time too. There was two weird men hanging around the shop and Izzy was able to tell they are subjugates of a vampire. They approached the table and said that their master wanted to meet Simon. Simon thought it was Raphael so he went with them, Izzy wanted to follow too but was not invited hence Simon went alone.

They arrived at a trendy restaurant and Simon did not expect to see Raphael at a place like this but he was actually asked by a woman. She is Camille Belcourt, a vampire that led the clan that Raphael is in charge of. Camille has been around and she offered Simon help where she can teach him how to stomach normal food and also speak the holy words that Simon could not. In exchange, Simon were to help her get back her position with the clan as Camille claimed that she was forced to leave by Raphael because a crime was blamed on her. Simon had a lot to consider whether he should help or not.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is the fourth book in the mortal instruments series. This book was quite slow in the beginning of the book, there was action here and there occasionally but not enough for me. Towards the end of the book it was really good. I read this book with a big gap between the third book as I knew that book 4,5,6 was more closely related. When I started the book, there was much things that I kinda forgotten and so I needed to research on the third book to refresh my memory. 

Being the fourth book, I actually expected more growth for some characters which I actually did see in Simon but not so in Clary and Jace. I'm not fond of female leads that are weak and sort of damsel type so I honestly say I don't like Clary. But the other characters that were involved in this book made it good for me. I liked that the story was featuring more of Simon as I was not impressed by the teenage love drama happening between Clary and Jace.

As for the plot, it was really interesting because I do not know what to expect after what happened in book three. I really enjoyed reading more about the story and the progress of it. The ending did make me feel excited to continue to the fifth book which I have and subsequently the last book was out last month so I get continue on without waiting. My advice is that if you love the series just continue with it as it's still fun to read about the shadowhunter world. For new readers, I wouldn't say it's my favourite series but I still like it as it's a unique world just that it's not at the top of my list to recommend and I feel that there is too much hype for the series. I would prefer infernal devices because of the characters in that book are stronger and this book has weaker ones.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Unbound



Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to ger  her life back. But moving on isn't easy, not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real. When her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's truly safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. Unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything: not only her role as Keeper, but her memories - and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?- Summary from book jacket

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab is the next book after the Archived. I was truly captivated by the book and I didn't want it to end at all. I would love to have this become a longer series because I wanted more of Mackenzie's school life and learn more about Wesley Ayers too. I think it would be exciting to know more about their relationship too. Alas, it had to end and I absolutely loved the ending.

This book is so so good with its plotting and I have to say that even though the start felt slow but it was important to have that pace as the mystery slowly builds up stronger. When the climax of the story comes you would be wowed big time, that's how I felt though. There are more characters introduced this time and I really loved everyone involved in the story. Every character was well written with their interactions with Mac that I so adore. The story flows really well because we have characters such as the ones written in the book. Mac and Wes really captured my attention and I wanted to read more about their progress in the story. Mac is such a strong person who did so well in her struggles.

The actions such as fighting scenes were really well done in the book. The entire concept of the book is so unique in the first place and I wanted to know more secrets. This book is such a page turner just like the first book and if I have to choose which was written better I wouldn't be able to as both books were good. In conclusion, this book was fantastic and I wanted more, the author continues to be my favourite without a doubt. If you love the first, you'll love this one as well. I highly recommend this book to people who love young adult fantasy, action, love and mystery all together, this is the book for you. I heard a rumor that there might be a third book, so fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Archived


Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, sje lies to the people she loves, and knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. 

Being Keeper isn't just dangerous- it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac start to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itsself may crumble and fall. - Summary from book jacket.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab is about a young girl who has a secret job passed down by her grandfather. This book is absolutely fantastic, I couldn't stop reading it at all. This book just grabs your attention and you're trapped having a thrill ride. The plot is so unique and special that it keeps you entertained from start to end. I really love the twist and turns of the book as I could not anticipate anything at all. I love the mystery surrounding the book and how the main character slowly uncovers more to the story.

The other thing to love about the book is the characters where the female character is  a strong person and how she deals with the problems are just so brave and smart. You would not only love the female character, you will fall in love with the male character. I wished there was more of him but it's much of a mystery for him. He is such my type of guy and reading about him just makes you fall for him because of his personality and his actions. The fighting and the action is very well written as writing about fighting scenes is never easy.

The whole world built for the story is also a job well done. It's easy to picture in your mind. The values that are highlighted in the book is also good and it's quite deep but I love it. This book would make very good movie material. I'm so so happy that there is a second book as I couldn't get enough of it. In conclusion, this is a book with a fantastic plot line, memorable characters, haunting world that is a page turner. You won't stop thinking about it if you didn't finish it one shot. When I put down the book, I wanted to dream about it and that's how much I love the story. I highly recommend this book because the author has already captured me with Vicious and this book just made her my favourite author. This is definitely a book worth reading again and again.

Monday, June 16, 2014

To all the boys I've loved before


Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved - five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her hear and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.- Excerpt from back of the book

To all the boys I've loved before by Jenny Han is a story about a girl who had her secret love letters sent out to the boys that she used to love by mistake. When I finished this book, this is how I felt "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" in a good way because I wanted more of the book and sadly the sequel is not out till next year spring time. This book is warm, fluffy, cute, funny and all the good happy feelings that you can get. It's really enjoyable because the story is just so cute for a high school teenage girl's love life. 

I especially loved the characters in the book, as they are just so real and the main female lead is so easy to relate to and to care about. Other characters of the book are just as good as well with their personality and their interaction with the female lead. The plot is smooth and moving at a good pace for the characters and there isn't anything that you can predict much from this book. The ending was really good with a suspense that will just make you wished you have the next book. I really could not put down the book until I had something more important to do (like sleeping =P). 

This is the type of young adult romance that I really really adore and love. I have to say that this book reminds me so much of Anna and the french kiss and Lola and the boy next door, not that the story is the same but the feelings that I get from the book. I can just picture myself squealing and jumping like an idiot if I get my hands on the second book. I would highly recommend this book to people who have greatly enjoyed the other books that I mentioned. You will definitely get a good feeling from reading this book and when you think back of the book that feeling lingers in your heart reminding you of warm fuzzy love stories.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Requiem


Lena managed to help Julian escape his death sentence. when they met up with the others a member of the resistance gave Lena a shock because it was Alex. Alex did not die and was sent to the Crypt. When there was an explosion there, he managed to escape with many other prisoners. Alex had now join them and they all moved to join the rest of the homestead along with Raven and Tack.

While they were out in the wilds travelling, they found an old lady and young girl who was injured bad. The old lady who was the young girl's grandmother did not make it. The girl named Coral told them that they lived in a farm that is secluded but were found out and their home was burnt to the ground along with her family members. Lena and the group realized that the regulators and the government have finally acknowledged the wilds since the explosion that happened in Portland. This caused them to start searching the wilds and exterminating those who live there peacefully. Their lives are now in danger as every where they go they are hunted and killed as if cleansing and cleaning the world from deliria.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver is the third and final book of the trilogy. I was so excited about reading the last part but I got slightly disappointed. Halfway through the book, I got a bit bored and had left it alone for two weeks and moved on to reading other books. The book is written with two perspective this time alternating between Lena and her best friend Hana which I thought it was interesting but then again it just made Lena's side of the story shorter. I didn't quite like reading about Hana as a whole chapter because her story was just okay and some times boring which is the reason that discouraged me to read the book quickly.

Another thing that I felt was lacking is the relationships in this book is too complicated but then left out on its own without tackling it at all. I wanted more from the relationships and it sort of just stops there because they have more pressing matters. The action was on and off but it gotten better at second half of the book. I would love the book more if there was more character development for the main characters. The plots like I said it was boring at first with slight action and then it got better but the climax was just so so. I did have two quotes that I quite liked:

"This is what amazes me: that people are new every day. That they are never the same. You must always invent them, and they must invent themselves, too." page 118.

"That's what people do in a disordered world, a world of freedom and choice: They leave when they want. They disappear, they come back, they leave again. And you are left to pick up the pieces on your own." page 331.

Overall the meaning of the book still retains which I felt was important but the plots was just okay and the ending was acceptable to me. If you've had read the first two then it's a must to get your ending. If I have to choose this would be my least favourite book of the trilogy, the second one is my favourite followed by the first book. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Islands of Chaldea


The time came for Aileen to go into the Place where she is suppose to get visions. Those visions are the initiation of her becoming a wise woman just like the other women before her (Aunt Beck and her mother). Aileen was afraid of being alone and cold underground and she tried really hard to keep her eyes open for fear she missed her visions. After not knowing how long she's been there, she saw a light coming into the Place and she scrambled to get out of the place. After she was out, she noticed that  not much time had actually passed and so she went back underground and finally fell asleep.  In the morning when her Aunt Beck came to fetch her, she told her there were no visions which resulted that she failed.

Aileen was depressed, sad and tired so after eating she went to sleep. But she didn't get to sleep longer because the King had asked her aunt and Aileen to join them for dinner. Ogo who is a boy from Logran was to fetch and escort them to the palace. When aunt Beck asked what was the matter he had no clue at all. Dinner with the King was weird as High King Farlane who is King of all the islands also joined for dinner and it did not happen often. Many important people were at the table and so the reason was told by High King Farlane that according to prophecy told by people from other islands, if the wise woman were to journey to each island and bring one person from it and then head to Logran, the wall that was brought up by Lograns would fall. The mission was to save the King's son who was kidnapped along with his men who went hunting with him. Aileen's father was one of the men who was kidnapped many years ago. Aunt Beck, Aileen, Ogo and the King's son Ivar were to go on that mission.

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones, completed by Ursula Jones is the last book that Diana wrote while she was sickly but did not complete due to the severity of her cancer which eventually took her life away. I was really happy to read another title of hers but sadly it's her last one. This book has some good adventure in it and it was entertaining. It isn't her best work but her standards are there. The events happening in the book can either be mediocre or very exciting. The fan girl that I am would be comparing this book with all the titles that I have read and her writing really brings nostalgia of her other books. 

The character of the book are interesting people and the main character herself does go through character development which I felt it was good. This book was completed by the author's sister and I could not tell where the book was left off for her to fill in. I'd say Ursula did a great job writing just like her sister. It would be wonderful if the story was longer as I felt that if Diana was alive it definitely would be so. Unfortunately for us it had to be that way but it was still enjoyable reading it. I only recommend this book to fan of hers as I felt for people who have not read her books before might get misdirected. The misdirection would be thinking that her writing is like this but I can tell you she has many books who have very magical stories in it. Read her books by following the date of publication and then you would know how great a fantasy book writer she is. After reading this book, I could not help but re-read some her books which I really love. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pandemonium


Lena manage to escape from Portland's walls and into the Wild she goes. That escape came with a sacrifice which was Alex's life. She kept running and running but she was lost and also lost track of time. When she had no more energy, Lena just collapsed and lucky for her some people saved her. She was in and out of consciousness and wasn't aware where she was brought to but she only know that it was a woman who is caring for her injuries. After few days, Lena managed to wake up and found out that the person who saved her is Raven. The place where she is not the Wilds that Alex showed her but it was a homestead for quite a number of people. To earn her place, Lena had to help out with chores everyday.

Presently, Lena goes to school in Quincy Edwards High School which was an all girls school. She is also a support for DFA which stands for Deliria-free America. She has the procedure mark on her neck but secretly it's a fake one. Tack, Raven and her live under one roof as a family now but it's just a cover for them as they were members of the resistance.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is the second book in the trilogy. The second book is just as good as the first one probably slightly better. I love how the writing in this book changed to two timelines that are alternating chapters. The events that happened in those chapters just keeps you reading because you want to know what happens for both the past and present, it's just so exciting. New characters are introduced and they are certainly interesting people. The male lead in this book has much character development and it's good getting to know him. How the female lead changed and adapted to situations amazed me and I love her more and more.

This book is as beautifully written as the first one and again I have two quotes that I absolutely love from the book.
"If you take, we will take back. Steal from us, and we will rob you blind, When you squeeze, we will hit. This is the way the world is made now." pg 181.

"Someday the eye will turn in this direction, like a laser beam, consuming everything in its path. Someday all the wilds will be razed, and we will be left with a concrete landscape, a land of pretty houses and trim gardens and planned parks and forests, and a world that works as smoothly as a clock, neatly wound:a world of metal and gears, and people going tick-tick-tick to their deaths." pg 349.

The meaning in this book is just so so good and important. Besides that, the turn of events certainly made this book fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start till end with no complains at all. I couldn't put it down till I have reached the end. I could slightly predict the ending of the book and I liked that it ended that way. This book is a good page turner. If you liked the first book, you'll love the second one. I'm looking forward to the ending of the trilogy. It's a must read for dystopian lovers.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Delirium


Lena was so looking forward to the cure most of her life. She just wanted to be cured and be happy since her mother suicide because of deliria. Lena now lives with her aunt Carol and live life according to the order for non-cured. Getting the cure before 18 is dangerous therefore it's not practised. Lena goes to an all girl school because of the disease hence the female and male under 18 goes to school separately to avoid being infected. Those who are not cured are not allowed to mix around the opposite gender that are non-cured and they have a curfew to not stay out pass 9 at night.

Lena and her best friend Hana were to be evaluated on the same day. The evaluation is to pick a match for them, those who are cured and graduated high school will be married if they were not going to college. Lena walked with her aunt to the lab while Hana got driven there by car. They both line up to wait for their turn and when it was Hana's turn she came to Lena and said something before going into the lab. What Hana said was not normal for her and it made Lena slightly nervous when it was her turn. Lena's evaluation was interrupted when there was noise outside the room and it turns out to be a stampede of cows wearing wigs and gowns.  Lena looked up at the observation deck and saw there was a boy there smiling at the incident that happened.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is about a dystopian world where love is a disease and by 18 there will be a procedure that people undergo to completed be cured from it. I really really love this book, the idea/story is really original and good. What I love the most is the message that the author is sending out from the story. The other thing that I love about this book is the way feelings of our heroine is described. Below are two quotes from the book that I especially love but there are more because the whole book is like that, so beautifully written.

"My heart is drumming in my chest so hard it aches, but it's the good kind of ache, like the feeling you get on the first day of real autumn, when the air is crisp and the leaves are all flaring at the edges and the wind smells just vaguely of smoke - like the end and the beginning of something all at once."pg. 277-278

"Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side. Before and after - and during, a moment no bigger or longer than an edge." pg. 358

As for character development, it's just fantastic how the main heroine can grow so much and have so much insight. The side characters were also quite well written and certainly made the story interesting in their own way. I really love how the characters think and react to situations. I have to say that the plot of the story is ever so smooth with climatic situations happening at the right timing. I cannot predict much for this book which is the element that kept me reading on. A book that is so hard to put down because things that happen are just that good.

I really think this book proves that the author keeps getting better after writing Before I Fall. It's a fantastic book to read and I highly recommend to dystopian and contemporary readers. I can see myself picking up this book to read again soon because I greatly enjoyed the writing. I'm just so happy that I have the whole set and need not to wait for the second book. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Before I Fall




What if you only had one day to live?
What would you do? Who would you kiss?
And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. 

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

The alarm was ringing and Samantha was late for school soon. As usual her best friend Lindsay comes to pick her up and also Elody with coffee and bagel all ready for the girls. It was to be an exciting day as it's Cupid Day in school and also Sam was to spend the night at her boyfriend's place and have sex for the first time.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is a story about a girl and her journey to discover the mysteries of why the last day of her life is repeated 7 times. I read this book with not much expectations and no clue of the story at all. At the start, it was a tiny bit slow so that you get to know the characters in the story and slowly you'll learn more. The character development of this book is the thing that captured me followed by the events that unfolds. I really like how the main character developed and also for one more guy character. The relationships of the characters was also well written.

The plot of the book is at a good pace and I was shocked by some incidents that happened. While I could predict one of the things  that happened it was still a good read for me. The thoughts and the feelings of the main character was easy to understand and realistic. Although I was a bit sad about the ending but it definitely is a suitable one. A very good contemporary story as it highlights important things about high school life and also about actions and consequences. This book has a great moral to it and it's a good message for readers of young adult age where I believe it's an important message to spread. I highly recommend to all readers who love contemporary stories with a wonderful meaning to it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Half Bad


Nathan is half white witch and half black witch. His mother is a white witch healer and his father is a black witch killer. The first notification came when Nathan was really young and it was about those who are half-black&half-white would be classified as half-code. Jessica which was his oldest half sister dislike Nathan very much as his father was her father's killer and their mother committed suicide because of Nathan. Jessica often bully Nathan when she has the chance to do it. Nathan is very close with his half brother Arran and they often watch TV together and Nathan loves spending time with him, 

One day when they were both watching old shows, the second notification from the council came stating that all half codes need to be assessed every year to determined whether they were white witch or black witch. Nathan's grandmother brought him to the council building to get assessment and when questions were asked about his parents Nathan just kept quiet. The results was Nathan's nature was not ascertained which was a good thing according to his grandmother. Many notifications came throughout the years but one that was nearing Arran's giving ceremony, Nathan was apprehended and sent elsewhere far from his family. Nathan was kept in a cage with a guardian name Celia taking care of him. Life was miserable but Nathan learnt as much as he could and slowly planned for an escape.

Half Bad by Sally Green is a story about a boy who has a white witch mother and a black witch father. I loved this book as the story is really unique and original. There isn't a book that is similar that I can mention. I like the setting of the book and places mentioned were simple. The main character of the book really captured me as he is a strong and determined person. Given the situations that he encountered, he really endured well in it. Although this book is in the fantasy genre but it has minimal magic involved, I believe this book is just the build up for the rest of the series. 

The events that happened in the story was really exciting for the main character and the people he came across were interesting people. The connections between some characters was quite well done to accompany other character's actions and behaviors. I love how the book started and the perspective was really good. The writing style of the book is different in the beginning and then we get our hero's perspective. There is much meaning to the book as you read the struggles of the main character and I believe that there is a lesson to learn which made me love the book very much. It's not your typical story about witches that have magic but something more. The book ended at a cliffhanger and I'm so excited to read the next one in the series but sadly I would have to wait till Spring 2015 and the book is titled Half Wild. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a different kind of young adult fantasy and loves a book that has a great meaning in it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Panic


Everyone gathered at the beach as Panic was going to start soon. The crowd slowly increased like every year the game always begins where people who want to compete would require to jump off that cliff into the sea. Those who have the guts to do it will enter the Panic game. Heather gathered there with her friends to watch and give support to her best friend Natalie who decided to join. The rules are simple where you just have to pass the test to reach the final round and be the winner whereby those stages are fear related situations. Although Heather is there to support Natalie but her eyes was elsewhere looking for Matt. Sadly, she saw him with someone else and that means their relationship ended. Heather did not feel good at all which resulted in her jumping down the cliff and taking part in Panic in the heat of the moment.

Panic by Lauren Oliver is about teenagers competing in a secret game held in their town where the winner takes about 50,000 dollars but this year it amounted up to 67,000 dollars. The author has written 4 books and those were New York Times bestselling titles. I bought and read this book first as it was the latest one from her and I got the privilege to meet her in person at a local book store. I got my copies signed and was really excited to read this. Before I started the book, I did hear some inspirational words from the author and some of the things she likes about endings. Her words of the ending made sense after I finish the book but I did hope for more but then again it's her writing style and I appreciated it.

I quite liked this book with two perspectives involved that slowly linked up and the connection will show eventually. At the start of the book it's slow as it is building up suspension and I quite liked the direction of it. One of the main characters were mysterious at first which makes me want to read more to find out.  The background story of the characters are certainly good and well written. I also love the personality of the characters as they were different people with different goals. The plot of the book is good and when the twist happened, it really got me by surprise which I loved.

The meaning behind the book and the message that the author is sending to the readers is a point that I love much. The characters are caught in situations that are realistic and how they face and conquer it was really good. I was greatly entertained by the book and it gave me much assurance that the previous books the author wrote was certainly good and not hyped up by marketing. I highly recommend this to contemporary book lovers and also readers who love Lauren Oliver's previous books. I can't wait to start on her other books now! In terms of re-reading, I don't think it is likely to happen for me anytime soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Every Day


Every day I am someone else. I am myself - I know I am myself. But I am also someone else. It has always been like this.

Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There's never any warning about who it will be. There's never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

And that's fine - until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with - everyday...

Every Day by David Levithan is about a boy who changes body every day where he takes on that person's life just for one day and then the next day he would be someone else. I really really like this book just that I wished the ending was something else but it was still a good ending. This book has many good values in it and I totally agree with it. The love that is being portrayed is so true and beautiful and this is the kind of love that is real. 

One thing that I absolutely love about the character is his view of society and human behaviour. He is a person who went through a lot and I love his personality that was developed because of his experiences. There is this particular thought/view that he has that I totally agree with "Race is different purely as a social construction, not as an inherent difference". The thoughts of the male lead is quite mature and I feel that teenagers who picked up this book will learn a lot and probably have a change in their view of the world. The whole story has such great meaning and values in it. The plots of the book is smooth with a good pace. I highly recommend this book to people who loves John Green's writing. I can say it's a bit similar but I like this book more than The fault in our stars. I will definitely read this book again and again and again.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Night Circus


The circus arrives without warning. No announcement precedes it, no paper notices on down town posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspaper. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

The towering tents are striped in white and black, no gold and crimsons to be seen. No colour at all, save for neighbouring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colourless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick.

But it is not open for business. Not just yet.

Hector  Bowen which is known as Prospero the enchanter as a magician had someone waiting for him in the office. There was a girl sitting in the chair who is about 5 years old. Apparently this is his love child and the mother has passed away and so the daughter's only family member left was the magician. Her name is Celia Bowen and like her father she had talent for magic which pique her father's interest on her. He contacted a man in the grey suit and they arranged a challenge to happen. The man gave Celia a ring to wear and it was burnt into her finger leaving a mark there. Details of the challenge was not discussed and it will happen when it happens. The man in the grey suit went to an orphanage interviewing many children and there was this boy who loved to read. He decided to pick him and they went to live in a house. Prospero also gave a ring to the man and so the ring was worn by the boy and it reacted just like Celia's. Challengers have been decided but everything else was still vague.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is such a beautiful book with a description of a circus that is so magical. This book is absolutely fabulous, enchanting and so so magical. The reading is just wonderful especially the descriptive parts. The time and setting of the book is so suitable for the story and it's one of those era that I absolutely love. It's a book about magic, illusionists and a beautiful idea coming to fruition. How the whole circus slowly came to be and expand even more is such wonderful thing to read about and I enjoyed every moment of it.

The different perspectives involved in the book was really good as having different insight adds so much more to the story. The characters of this book is full of mystery which slowly unfolds. I love how so many people are involved and intertwined with the circus and how things are connected. The plots of the book was just really good and the flow of the story was so seamless. I could not put down the book as I wanted to know more and I felt that the book was not thick enough for me. This book is such a good book to read again and I guarantee that you will be satisfied and also have the hunger for more of this author's works. I highly recommend to those who love magic, love 1800's timeline and love imagining a magical circus. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Lost Duke of Wyndham


"Jack Audley has been a highwayman, a soldier, and he has always been a rogue. What he is not, and wanted to be, is a peer of the realm. But when he is recognised as the long lost son of the House of Wyndham, his carefree life is over. And if his birth proves to be legitimate, then he will find himself with the one title he never wanted: Duke of Wyndham.

Grace Eversleigh has spent the last five years toiling as the companion to the dowager Duchess of Wyndham. It is a thankless job, with very little break from the routine...until Jack Audley lands in her life, all rakish smiles and debonair charm. He is not a man who takes no for an answer, and when she is in his arms, she's not a woman who wants to say no. But if he is the true duke, then he is the one man she can never have..." excerpt from book.

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn is about a man who has his whole world changed once he was found out to be in line for dukedom. I find that this book was just okay compared to other books of the same author. The characters were good but the storyline was not exciting enough. I thought that the romance was also just okay because I wanted more romantic gesture from the gentleman.

Everything went really well for the plots where there isn't much twists involved. The start and the end of the book was acceptable for me and I find the middle of the book to be slow. I didn't get the usual excitement or happy feelings from her other books.  I think I probably expected too much from the book as her other historical romance books were fantastic. It wasn't bad but just not as good as others. I don't really recommend this book for keeping as I don't I would read it again.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This is What Happy Looks Like


One day, Graham stumble upon Ellie's email address because he made a mistake while contacting his pig sitter. They exchanged emails for some time and it was much much fun conversations. Luck was on Graham's side as he is able to visit Ellie's town and he will meet her for the first time. Summer was just starting and Ellie was not really excited like everyone else in town. During this season, many tourist will visit which generates business for the town but this year the town is also involve in filming a movie.

People could not stop looking while the place is being set up for filming and also searching for the movie stars at the same time. Ellie did not bother to stop and went to work as usual as she needed money for a program that she managed to get in Harvard in august. Ellie's friend came in for the next shift at the ice cream shop and had an accident which messed up her uniform. Ellie offered hers since she was wearing a tank top underneath anyway. On her way out, she noticed a boy heading to the place and he had a look in his eyes but she carried on to her mom's store.

Graham was excited and he arrived one day early before the shoot just to see Ellie. He headed to the ice cream shop that Ellie mentioned she worked at. He was being followed by photographers as he enter the shop. He looked at the girl with the Ellie name tag on her shirt and then he asked her out to dinner tonight. The short girl which is Ellie's friend knows that Graham is a movie star and so she accepted the invitation since she liked him too.

This is What Happy Looks Like by  Jennifer E. Smith is about two teenagers meeting for the first time and how they continue from that. When I read the excerpt at the back of the book I was expecting those type of books with plenty email conversations but I was disappointed. I wished those few months that Ellie and Graham were conversing through email was more elaborated.  I do like the writing style where each chapter differs between their perspectives. I love knowing both side of a story instead of focusing on one character's thoughts and experience.

The book was slightly predictable at the start but it was okay and the from then I did not know what to expect which is a good thing. The background and personality of the characters are quite realistic which is another point that I like of this book. The events that occurred in the story line was realistic and the reactions of the characters were good. Overall this is a good book for summer reading since that is the season mentioned in the book. The love story and characters was okay for me because it didn't draw me in to love them. Compared to other contemporary young adult books, I thought this book's romance was just mediocre. The chances of me reading this book again is probably 40% but I didn't think that it's a book not worth buying/keeping in my collection. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Beginning of Everything



Ezra is the tennis team captain, dating one of the popular girls in school and he is a popular guys himself too. Life is just perfect as there are in their last week of school before entering summer holidays and after summer he would be a senior in high school. There was a party that night and Ezra went alone as he got in a fight with his girlfriend Charlotte. Ezra was trying to have a good time when one person told him he should head upstairs of the house where he found his girlfriend engrossed in sexual activity. He was upset and Charlotte even asked if he still take her to prom.

Ezra went to get his car and left the place but a car who didn't stop at the stop sign had hit him. Ezra was in a daze and the driver who hit him fled the scene, soon he heard his peers approaching but none had try to help him. Ezra spent his whole summer at home in the guest room recuperating. His knee was shattered and his wrist was badly hurt which resulted that he is not able to do any sports for the rest of his life. That news make Ezra brood most of the time and he was not looking forward to a new year at school. He will be left out from the tennis team since he couldn't play and that would be his fall out from the "populars".

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider is about a boy who falls out from the "popular" group and things just sort of went downhill for him or so it seems. This book is about finding yourself and also coming of age too. The male protagonist has his life turned upside down and he will have to get over it and grow up. He is the character that grows the most and his true personality slowly surfaces. I quite enjoy reading about his story although the timeline is just a short span of 1 year. 

The plot of the book is smooth hence it was not bad. At later parts of the book, I manage to predict a bit about the characters but it did not put me off reading the book. I like that my prediction was true. I often like reading about high school life and people with slight identity crisis. Overall this book is truthful about our society and how high school social life is. I enjoyed every moment of this book , it was a fun read for me and there was a part of the book that got me in tears (guess I'm just sensitive). Teenagers will learn something from this book and I highly recommend for those who love coming of age stories.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Champion


The assassination of Elector Primo had failed and then Day pledged for Anden to calm the citizens from revolting the government. Things manage to calm down but Day's life is numbered and so he broke up with June. Day and his brother moved away to get treatment in San Francisco. Because of their break up, June accepted Anden's offer to become Princeps-Elect and her training starts where much politics are involved.

For a long time Day has not speak to June and then he got a call from her one night asking for his presence at a party. The treaty talk between The republic and the Colonies has turned bad because a virus was spread into the east. The Colonies claim that it's the republic's fault and they cancel the whole thing unless an antidote was provided. Day was requested by Anden to test on his brother Eden as the virus most likely came from him. Day fear for his brother's condition getting worse if he allows them to do testing again and so he refuses. Things are heating up as war might just start again if the Republic does not manage to give the antidote. This time, this war they will be losing for sure as there is a powerful ally assisting the Colonies

Champion by Marie Lu is the last book of the trilogy. When I finished the book, there were tears which were both sad and happy. I absolutely loved the ending with no complains here. Like the first two books the writing style is the same where alternating chapters between the male and female lead retains. In this book, there is also much growth to the characters. I love the female lead the most as she is so smart, strong, and always being able to make good decisions. 

The plots were good along with the twists. I would say that Marie Lu's writing is fairly good with how the storyline goes. It's definitely well written with very good timing for the events that happens. Again this book is good movie material as I'm always picturing it like that. The character emotions are so real and capturing. I feel that it's the characters that make the book more interesting because of their actions. Overall this is a very good series which captured me very well. All the books were page turners with much action in it and good emotions too. The female lead really captured my heart and I love her much. I highly recommend this series for dystopian book lovers as well as people who love action. This is now my favourite young adult dystopian compared to The Hunger Games and Divergent. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Prodigy



June helped Day escape his death sentence but John (Day's brother) was executed instead as replacement. Both of them travel to Vegas after the Patriots to seek for their help in locating Day's younger brother. Vegas is military based city and they had to use signals to draw them out. Kaede showed up and brought them to meet the leader. The leader agreed to help heal Day's leg and find his brother in one condition which was June and Day would have to help assassinate the new Elector Primo.

June was suppose to be a wanted person for assisting the escape of Day but because the Elector Primo Anden favors her, they are seeking for her. The Patriots were to send June to be captured so that she could gain Anden's confidence again and she would be the one who lead him to his death. June was apprehended by Commander Jameson's patrol and then brought to Denver. She was not treated badly like a criminal and was given an apartment as her prison. June starts to feel something is not right and she plans to warn Anden but how can she signal Day of her plan.

Prodigy by Marie Lu is the second book of the Legend trilogy where June managed to help Day escape his death execution day. I have to say that the story gets better as there are more twists again. I love how the characters would have to act base on their beliefs and how the female lead always manage to make good decisions. She is one strong person and I really admire her skills for almost everything yet she does have a weak side. The male lead have many struggles and that in turn made him grow but I still see him as someone weaker than the female lead. Given the circumstances of the male lead, he certainly have the right personalities portrayed in the book. The character developments for the book is just marvelous and I enjoyed reading how characters react and change.

The plots of the book is fantastic for me as I felt yet again as though I'm watching a movie. The writer's style of writing is something that I love with each chapter being perspectives of the male and female lead alternating. The story has many twists and turns, emotions involved and that made it a great book for me. The stories were very smooth and it really climax at the best timing. I loved every part of this book and it was flawless for me. I am so looking forward to the ending. This series have taken over first place of my dystopian favorite. I highly recommend for those who love Divergent and The hunger games series, especially people who love actions, military and conspiracy theory.
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