Saturday, January 30, 2016

Scarlet



Even in the future, beware of the big, bad wolf....

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She is trying to break out of prison-even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing, When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wold unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now. all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
- excerpt from book

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the second book in the series where it just gets better and better. The book continues right where the previous book stopped but this time the main character is Scarlet instead. For this book, it's the fairy tale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It's so fun to try and relate the actual story to this book, discovering where in the plot and who of the characters will be similar.

While the main plot focuses on Scarlet 's story, Cinder's story runs parallel in the timeline. I love how the author can keep me at my toes with two leading ladies in the story. Both plots are fantastically thrilling and action packed. I love how the book is broken down into parts again just like the first book. I love consistency shown in writing when it comes to series. I'm also loving the swapping of stories in the book and it's not confusing at all. Every time a swap of character's point of view happens in the chapters, you'll be left hanging on the previous character which then makes you want to keep reading to reach the other person's story, such a good page turner method.

With the introduction of some new characters into the series, there is so much room for growth. I absolutely love the new characters that are written into the story, especially the funny and sarcastic ones. All the male characters in this series are just to die for, each of them exuding qualities that you would want in men. Of course, they are not perfect people but the author makes their flaws so entertaining to read about. Without a doubt the men in the series have woo my heart, I can easily picture them with their beautiful features (drools). The female characters are just as good as the men for me, they are definitely women you don't mess with.  You can certainly see all the characters grow in the story, their interactions  are so pleasant to read. There's so much you can learn about the characters' personality just by the way to react to situations and the conversations with other characters.

This is one of those books that does not lack in action, romance, wit and many more. Reading this book was sort of like picturing a movie for me and it was so epic and entertaining. It had fantastic plots and characters which resulted the book being hard to put down. If you have read the first book, of course you have to read this one too. I highly recommend this to young adult book lovers, the science fiction part is just a setting for the book, it's nothing too technical/mechanical to understand. I'm so in love with this series right now and it's easily scored a place in my favourites for this year. I cannot wait to start the next book as I am now waiting for the delivery. The series has very good reread value too, I'm definitely going to read again to see if I've missed other details. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Top 5: Disappointing Eye Candy


Wow this is another week's topic that is quite hard for me to choose as I've always researched a book before I've bought it. I seldom buy books based on the cover looking beautiful but I think I can find a few (goes to my bookshelf.........start rummaging around........back after 50 minutes).

So I do have some books that I've not love and I've mainly sold it off as it was not worth to keep on my bookshelf. So here goes my list:


This is a book I bought because I like the author and the cover also looks good too. Sadly the plots were just okay and the characters did not have much growth at all. I was disappointed as Amanda's previous series were quite good and I loved it. As it's so mediocre I've decided to let the series go.


As you can see this book had a very nice typography indeed together with simple icon that sort of depicts the story. I found this book okay and it was not a book that was particularly funny or romantic. I can strongly say that this was a book that did not leave an impression on me. The characters and the plot was just average.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Cinder



Even in the future, the story begins with a Once Upon a Time....

Humans and androids crowd the raueous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl....

Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citisen with a mysterious past and reviled by her stepmother. But when her life becomes interwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalatic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for. - excerpt from book

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a Cinderella retelling with a science fiction/futuristic theme. This book is first in the series which are 4 books in total. The whole series is called The Lunar Chronicles and all the characters intertwine in the books.  The series had a lot of hype and it's a much loved series, which I'm also in love with now. I was totally blown away by the idea that the author have even though it's a retelling but to come up with plots that is interesting is so hard. I could not stop reading the book, it certainly captured my attention well since the beginning of the book.

The plots of the book is very good with such good twists and turns. I absolutely love reading it and trying to relate it to the fairy tale that we all know as children. Every time something happens I'll  be thinking in my head that the fairy tale was like that and the author wrote it like this. There are similarities but it's also a world of difference at the same time.  If you can picture the incidents of the story it would make such a good movie. The world is slowly described, the characters are presented and then the story climaxes and the ending leaves you wanting more.

Whenever I fall madly in love with a book and its series it's not only the plot but also the characters included. The main characters for this book was awesome. I especially love the two main characters who have a little spark between them. Never have I wanted two characters to be together so much. They have such good moments together in the book which puts a grip on your heart. Both characters have such good development in them, they grow so much and change according to situations. I really love Cinder's personality, she does so well in such tough situations. Her interactions with other characters were wonderful and exciting to read about. The male character is also a guy that's captured my heart, I would easily fall for him in real life.

This was a fantastic book to start the year with, I enjoyed the excitement, so many gripping moments that are unforgettable. The ending was such a good suspense which makes readers want more. I'm so happy that I have the second book to continue with instead of waiting. My advice is get the whole series and then binge read. I highly highly recommend this series as the retelling of the fairy tale stories is such a fresh idea. I love how while you read, you would try to find the original story in this futuristic one. If you love young adult science fiction, this book is recommended. If you love reading about fairy tale retelling, this is suitable for you too. After falling victim to the hype, I have no regrets at all. This is certainly a series that can be read many times over.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Top 5 Favourite - Buzz Words



This week's topic is top 5 favourite buzz words. It's words that is printed or used to described a book that will guarantee a buy from you. It's was kinda easy for me to pick those words as knowing myself as a person who always buy books based on this alone. So many times I would buy books from the book store just by browsing and upon spotting those keywords, my mind goes "BUY!!!!!". So here are my choices in no particular order:

  1. Heist - I'm such a lover of heist type of stories, even for movies. My favourite is of course Six of Crow currently. What made me love heist so much is because I love the details of how the plan will be, how the people execute it and how there's always something that will go wrong. My love for heist is strongly influenced by Oceans 11 movie and the following ones too.
  2. Con - This is one similar word to the one on top but there is a difference when it comes to the story. My favourite con related book would be The White Cat series from Holly Black. This was the series that made me love the author's works so so much. 
  3. Revolution - Whenever humans are oppressed in stories and a group of people band together to start a revolution or resistance, I'm pulled in for sure. I love this because I love how the author can be creative on the suffering of the people, how that band of people come together and lastly how will they fight against this oppression. Books that are somewhat in this category would be The Hunger Games, The Mistborn, The White Rose and many more.
  4. Anti-heroes - Bad guys who turn out to be heroes or heroes who are actually bad guys. It'll be like taking a candy from a baby for the publishers because I'm sold! I love how that people with powers who are supposedly be good but are bad instead, or people who are bad ended up fighting the good fight. Vicious and Steelheart are two books that I've read who are in this category.
  5. Time travelling -  OMG!!! The easiest hook on me is this one. I love love love books on this topic because I'm intrigued as to how the author can deal with butterfly effect, how the story come together to explain time gaps and how when events happened are link to the time traveller. The series that I've in this category is Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, and Emerald Green. The author did a fantastic job with the series.
Some books that I've mentioned will have links to reviews that I've written, do check it out. Please share in the comments below what buzz word/s is a guaranteed buy for you.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mini Block - Elmo

The following are instructions on how to build a Elmo from mini blocks. The same design can be replicated with nano blocks as well. I will also include the video that I've uploaded on YouTube of the process on assembling it. I hope you do try it, it's quite fun!







Friday, January 15, 2016

Favourite books of 2015

I have had a great year with books and thus it was hard to choose my favourite.This is because quite many of the books become my favourite this year. Before I present to you my list, I would like to say that these books are not necessarily published in 2015, they are just books that I've read in 2015 although a few was published in 2015. I've decided to choose a top 10 to share with you guys. These books have such great stories to tell and some have pulled at my heartstrings. I highly recommend these books and I'll insert links to my reviews of those books too. The list below are not in any particular order but I have to mention that my most favourite book of the year would be Six of Crows.






Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - The story is set in the Grisha world but these characters are not related to the Grisha trilogy. They are a band of bad people who are trying to work together to prison break an important person. How will they pull off this task when that prison is the hardest place to break out of? They also have many conflicts with each other, can they actually work together without killing each other first? What I love about the book is it's action packed, the characters have very interesting past, and as you read along the story you will find out how they pull off their heist. My full review: click here

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray - A girl chases a boy across multiple dimensions because he killed her father. I love the world that is built in the story, all those parallel dimensions are so unique and special. The characters were also people with personalities that grabs your attention. It was a fantastic page turner as you want to follow the heroine on her quest for justice. This is the first book in the firebird trilogy. My full review: click here

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray - The second book in the firebird trilogy. The romance in this book was so so good and of course the parallel dimensions that are new in this book was really well built too. This book also talks about morality issues. A new danger and a new adventure in the second book that totally grasped my attention. My full review: click here

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Top 5 - Favorite Self-Published Books



I've  missed out on last week's Top 5 but it's okay I thought I would join this week. I was suppose to participate actively last year but life got in the way (excuses?!?), seriously it did. Read my review on 2015 to find out. This was quite a hard one to do as I'm not sure what book that I've read are in self-published by the author. I only realized there was one author that I read and it was Amanda Hocking. The series that she debut with was self-published and I did read all the Trylle series. So I did my research and there was a whole list on Goodreads. I was surprised that there was quite a number of it. Sadly, there wasn't much I could pick from either, so the following list which is only 4 books that I've read qualifies.

  1. Switched by Amanda Hocking
  2. Torn by Amanda Hocking
  3. Ascend by Amanda Hocking
  4. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
These books are all in the young adult fantasy category. What I love about the Trylle series is that the idea is fresh, the characters are interesting and the back story is quite good. As for Inheritance, it was a book with a good world built by the author, the history/past of characters are so good, the plot fantastic and I feel that the movie did no justice to the book. The book was very good and detail. The author actually wrote the series at his teens and I'm super impressed by it. I have the rest of the series sitting on my shelf that I've yet to pick up, not because of my lack of interest but because the books are thick and I would need to talk some time to read and appreciate it properly. Lately, I've been into fast paced and short books. But nonetheless, I hope to complete it this year if I can.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Six of Crows



Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager
A runaway with a priviledged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction- if they don't kill each other first. - excerpt from book

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is her latest in a new series that is set in the world of Grisha.  The timeline is after The Grisha trilogy where this band of characters are not related to the characters of the previous trilogy. I was so stoked to know that there is a new book from the author, I was totally mesmerized by The Grisha trilogy which made me want more. This time the story is about villains instead of the heroes and I was impressed yet again. I cannot stop thinking about the book for days after I finished and I desperately hoped I had the second book immediately. 

To say that the book was not a page turner, I must be insane because once the story starts you will not stop reading, you just want more and more. The plot of the book was fantastic, so many twists and turns, so many surprises!! The hype around the book was not a joke, it is indeed worth the hype. I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this book from the start till the end. The story is separated in parts and the chapters are point of views of the characters which is more than 2 of them. This format of writing is so pleasing for me as I am a person who loves reading many point of views. It is not annoying at all with the swapping because it reveals the personality of the characters not to mention the progress of the story too. I really felt like I was one of the characters while reading the book, it was like I am present in the story. 

Besides the plot being good, the characters are the essence of the story. I loved all the characters especially Kaz and Inej who are the main stars of the story. I loved their past because it strongly influenced their personalities. They are a pair of characters that can compliment each other really well, a very good team. The rest of the crew are just as important as their views of other characters will contribute to more personality revealed. They are all very unique characters with very interesting stories about their past. I secretly have a crush in Kaz and I'm sure he has more to him than this first book has revealed.

I read the book without expectations, without any predictions of the outcome. This book was full of action, excitement and mystery as to the execution of the heist. I totally fell in love with the book, no complains at all. Leigh Bardugo has written a masterpiece, the Grisha trilogy was fantastic, this book was one step above it. I cannot wait for the next book as the ending was left at a cliffhanger. Without a doubt I will recommend this to readers who loves fantasy, who loves a heist, and those who loves the Grisha world. This book is one of my favourite books of 2015 which is also my favourite out of the top 10 picks. I am so reading this book again when the next book is nearing it's publication date. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Mini Block - Cookie Monster

The following are instructions on how to build a Cookie Monster from mini blocks. The same design can be replicated with nano blocks as well. I will also include the video that I've uploaded on YouTube of the process on assembling it. I hope you do try it, it's quite fun!






Friday, January 8, 2016

The One



The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown- or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose- and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants. - excerpt from book.

The One by Kiera Cass is the final book in the trilogy. Finally we are able to find out who Prince Maxon shall choose as his wife. This book's cover is my favourite, the dress that the model wore is just to die for. That dress will make such a wonderful wedding dress. I was so excited to read the last book as I hope that America had finally made her decision. The plot for this book was very exciting, it was such a good page-turner. The twists of the book was so shocking, I absolutely loved it. You really could not predict it at all.

Each and every character in this book was very important to support the story. I loved the interactions between the characters, their reactions to situations that occurred.  The characters have a lot of growth in the story which made it so enjoyable to read. I like that the situations moulded some characters into development of their personality. I didn't feel annoyed with the main female heroine in this book, in fact I like her a lot now. As for the male characters, well I've already loved the Prince from the start so this book just adds a little more of admiration for him.

In conclusion, this was a fantastic end to the series, it was really exciting, it was heart warming, it brought some tears too. This book was very good for me because of the exciting plots along with the development of the characters. The plot was so so good, it captured my attention so well. I did not predict anything at all which gave me lots of surprises when I encounter a plot twist. I highly recommend this series because I love everything about it. The last book is certainly my favourite out of the trilogy. Readers who love romance topped with a dystopian future that has an imbalance society, this is your kind of series. I will definitely read this series again in the future for some fun and light reading.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review of 2015

Before I gather my thoughts for this post, I always look back at what I've written at the start of the year, my resolutions and my review of the previous year. I realized that 2014 was a tough year for me but I had support endlessly which I'm forever grateful for. Thinking that 2014 was tough, 2015 was worse, it was bitter sweet. Sadly it was more bitter than sweet, never would I have thought that I would have to go through this in such early stages of my life. I saw that I put importance on health and not taking life for granted in my review posts which somehow along the months I suddenly have forgotten. 

For the first 9 months of the year, there were some struggles but it had not crossed my mind that it was hard or tough and this was until an incident changed my life forever. My significant other passed away on 22nd October. That was the worst day of my entire life. I cannot even put words to how I felt that morning when I received the news. His heart stopped beating in the morning where he was in the hospital.

It's still hard to talk about what happened so I'll write it in a different post on a different day. When he left, I lost my best friend, my lover, my family, my soul mate and a big chunk of me. The pain is still here and will continue to be with me as 2016 goes on. His death truly reminded me that health is important and during all days that has passed since my family have been supportive. I am forever grateful to my family especially my mother and my sister who have been with me. They truly showed me so much love and care.

I just one day at a time, I do not want to think too much. For now, I just want to grief his death so I didn't bother to think about the resolutions that I have set out for 2015. Honestly, I tried my best and with the events that happened I don't really care whether I succeed or failed but I will evaluate myself. Below are my 2015 resolutions and my progress.

  • Eat healthily (I did manage to drink more water, less soda and also ate more vegetables)
  • Exercise once a week (Nope)
  • Plan my week and try to execute the plans (Worked for some weeks not all the time)
  • Plan more blog posts (Failed)
  • Learn more web development (Learnt a bit of javascript but have not practice it) 
  • Be more positive (I think I was for a brief moment) 
  • Grow more as person (I do care less what people think)
  • Always think before I speak (Yeap)
  • Control my emotions (Nope)
  • Read 50 books (Only managed 43 books)
In the end, I feel that nothing matters anymore without him by my side. I just carry on and live while hoping that I will see him again someday. I will forever remember 2015 because of the pain and devastation that has struck my life.  To those who had a great year I'm envious of you, and to those who had a terrible year I pray that it will get better for you. What I plan to do for the year I will post about my resolutions for 2016. but it won't be much as some days I have motivation, some days I have none. 
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