Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Elite

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.

Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever- and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want- and America's chance to choose is about to slip away. - excerpt from book.

The Elite by Kiera Cass is the second book to the Selection trilogy. The book picks up right where the story stops in the first book. I have to say the dress worn by the model for the cover is absolutely fierce and chic. In this book, I find that the main female character was a bit annoying for me as she can't decide which male character she loves. The love triangle in this story was a bit annoying for me as I have already picked a side and wanting the girl to be with the guy that I've favoured. In this book, the side characters were getting better as there were more emphasis on them. I like reading more about those who help support the story, people who influence the actions and reactions of the main character.

The plot for this second book was very very good, there were many exciting turn of events happening in the book. It captured my attention so well that I could not stop reading. I loved how the characters reacted to the situations, it was on point and revealed so much about their personality at the same time. I love that there is another agenda in the story that slowly surfaces and it was so so good. This is the part of the book that made me keep reading even though the love triangle was a bit off putting for me.

Overall I think the second book was really good, the twists and turns were better than the first, the characters revealed more which was interesting. I love that this book is a quick read, enjoyable and like the first a wonderful page-turner as well. If you have read the first book, you'll definitely pick up the second book. I highly recommend this trilogy to young adult lovers as the story is getting better and better, readers who enjoys love triangles and also readers who enjoys books on imbalance society.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Selection

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.

The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. - excerpt from book.

The Selection by Kiera Cass is the first book in the trilogy. This is my first time picking up this book from the author because my cousin sister recommended it to me. This trilogy is also quite popular in its genre so why not find out it's hype right? Lucky for me I did not need to wait like the fans yearly for a new release, I bought all three of the books one shot.  Firstly, I want to say is the dress worn on the cover is absolutely gorgeous, so classy that you only wear to Grammy or Oscars and also there an image of a crown over the top of the book title, so pretty.

Before I read the book it was implied that is like The Bachelor TV show, so there will be many girls and the bachelor will pick one to be his wife. For this book, there has been a tradition where the prince will pick his wife from a selection of eligible ladies from the country. The point of view in the book is on one of the ladies that were to compete with other girls. I would say that the female heroine has quite a number of good traits along with one or two that I may not like. I felt that the growth for the character in the book is quite minimal.  The side characters were quite okay, supporting the story very well. The male characters were really good and interesting to read about, I wished there was more written about them.

I really like the setting and the world build by the author in the book. I like the idea of the social/job system in place in the country. That idea is quite fresh and unique. As for the plot, it was quite good and fun, it captured my attention well. The twists were good but one of the twist I was able to predict. This book is similar to other books in the dystopian genre such as Hunger Games minus the violence. I also thought that I would read about those girls competing each other like the Hong Kong drama s where the kings chooses a new concubine and there usually will be concubine wars,  the queen making her own pick eliminating other concubines who can obey her. Luckily it wasn't that dramatic else it would have put me off a bit, seemed like the author copied of those dramas.

Overall it was an enjoyable read, a very good start for the trilogy. The story is a good page-turner as well, it got me hooked easily and I kept reading it quickly. I highly recommend this book to readers who love young adult genre with romance, competition like the bachelor show theme. I definitely will read this book again in the future as it was a fun and light read.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pixel Block - Snowman

The following pictures are instructions on making a snowman pixel block from this Innisfree christmas set. The proceeds of this item is all going to charity. It was really fun assembling this decoration. You can replicate this snowman with nanoblock or Legos but the Lego one would be really big. I have also recorded a video on how the snowman was assembled. I will link the video at the bottom of the post.

Video on how it was assembled:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pixel Block - GingerBread Man

The pictures below are detail instructions on how to make a pixel block Gingerbread Man. It can be replicated with Nanoblocks too, you just need to follow the block shape that is used. Have fun!

The video below is how the pixel block is assembled, video recorded by my sister.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tonight the Streets Are Ours

There must be more to love, more than this.

When Arden stumbles upon the online musings of Peter, a young New York City writer, it feels to her that she's finally found a kindred spirit. His blog gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express and she's convinced that, if they met, he would understand her in a way that no one else does.

So she sets out on a road trip to find him.

During one crazy night in New York - the type of night when anything can happen and nearly everything does - Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was either.excerpt from book

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales is a standalone book about a girl finding herself. Firstly I have to mention that the titles to each chapter are very well thought of which makes reading the chapter more interesting because I will see how the content relates to the title. The font type for the chapter title is beautiful, same font as the title of the book. It certainly puts me in a good mood reading this book every time I look at the nice font.

I love that there are two parts to the book as you read you will realize why the author plotted the story that way. I thoroughly enjoyed both parts of the story very much each playing a different role for the main character. I like that the story started with a cliffhanger and then the plot slowly unfolds itself to reach that peak point. The first page itself have captured my attention well because the author has already inserted a point into your head and throughout the story you'll be searching for it. I also love that from that peak point the story continues to be exciting. There were some twist and turns which was delightful to read about. I would say that the author plotted the events of the story really well.

Now the characters in the book seems like mediocre people but I really like the main female character. Her personality was adorable, sweet and so kind, her reactions to situations were understandable and her interactions with her friends is just too cute. I would say that if I have a friend like her I would be so lucky. The side characters of the book is wonderfully suitable in supporting the main character and helps her progress well in the story. I felt that with the situations that happened to the main character, it changed her and allowed her to grow.

At the end of reading a book, I always ask myself did I learn anything and the answer to this book is yes, I've learnt much. It was a book about finding meaning in love, it's a good book about a young girl's perspective on it. Even though it's seems to be a young girl's view but I very much think that adults would think like that too. I truly love the message that the author is sending to the readers, it's very meaningful.  I highly recommend this book to young adult contemporary readers, you will definitely enjoy this book. Or if you're a reader who loves book on the topic of love, this is your cup of tea.

Below are some of the quotes that truly speaks to me when I read the book:

"but usually she went to the Internet to reassure herself that there was a whole world of people out there, living their lives just as she was living hers. Sometimes they had experiences like her own, and sometimes they had experiences that seemed completely bizzare, but either way, their mere existence made Arden feel less alone. No matter what time of day or night you go online, there are always countless other people there too," - page 55, line 17 to line 23

" It didn't seem right that somebody else's carelessness or selfishness could have such a huge impact on your life. Could destroy you. It didn't seem fair that your happiness was constantly at the mercy of everybody else." - page 155, line 7 to line 11

" Maybe loving somebody means simply they bring out the nest in you, and you bring out the best in them - so that, together, you are always the best possible versions of yourselves." page 342, line 7 to line 9

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

I wish:
I could get a seat on the tube....
I hadn't eaten that entire bag of Maltesers....
I could meet a man whose hobbies include washing up and monogamy...

Heather Hamilton is always wishing for things. Not just big stuff- like world peace, or that Brad Pitt wants her as jis next leading lady- but little, everyday wishes made without thinking. With her luck, she knows they'll never come true...

Until one day she buys some heather from a gypsy. Suddenly the bad hair days stop. A handsome American answers her ad for a housemate. She starts seeing James- The Perfect Man who sends her flowers, excels in the bedroom, and isn't afraid to say 'I love you'.

But are these wishes-come-true a blessing or a curse? Does getting what you want make you happy? Ans is there such a thing as too much foreplay? - excerpt from book.

Be Careful What You Wish For by Alexandra Potter is the author's fifth book which I enjoyed very much and I really liked the storyline. The reason why I liked it is because I kinda connected with the main character very much, some of the things that happened to her are quite similar to my current life. The messages that I picked up from reading the book was really meaningful to me and it touched my heart. Those messages helped me look at certain aspects of my life differently and I really have to thank the author for it, it was so unexpected to read it from the book. 

The plot of the story was quite well written with very good twists and turns. One of the twists that happened totally gave me a shock and made me really nervous for the characters. Other twist were not so easy to predict at all which is what I like when reading genres like this. If a romance book is totally predictable to me, I would not have enjoy it so much. Unless the characters that I ship so strongly will end up together, that's the time I want to get my prediction correctly.

I really really like each and every incident that happened in the book, it certainly changes the behaviour of the characters. I love how the main heroine reacts to those situations and I love the side characters that bring out her personality so well. The characters all interact so well with each other which are so entertaining to read about in the book. My favourite is the relationship between the main character and her father, it touches your heart and pulls at your heartstrings. 

My attention was certainly captured well by this book and many a times the messages I pick from the book gave my heart a little bit of warmth. I'm impressed that the author did such a good job with the story, it's not a wonder that this book is a best seller. I highly recommend this to chick lit lovers because this story was quite meaningful and you'll certainly learn a thing or two. Whether I'll read the book again, I'm not quite sure but I think I would probably 4-5 years later.

Here's a quote from the book that we often forget:
"yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why we call it the present." page 45, line 3.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ten Thousand Skies Above You

Ten Thousand Worlds.
Ten Thousand Enemies.
One Love

Marguerite Caine has done the impossible, travelling to alternate dimensions with the Firebird- the brilliant invention of her parents, her boyfriend, Paul and their friend Theo. But she has also caught the attention of enemies willing to kidnap,  blackmail, and even kill to use the Firebird for themselves.

When Paul's soul is splintered into four pieces- pieces that are trapped within Paul in other dimensions - Marguerite will do anything, and travel anywhere, to save him. But the price of his safe return is steep. If she doesn't sabotage her parents in multiple universes, Paul will be lost forever.

Unwilling to sacrifice her family, Marguerite enlists the brilliant Theo to help, The two forge a plan to save Paul and the Firebird, but succeeding means outsmarting a genius and risking not only their lives but also the lives of their counterparts in every other dimension.

Their mission takes them to the most dangerous universes yet: a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each leap brings Marguerite closer to saving Paul-but her journey reveals dark truths that lead her to doubt the one constant she's found between the worlds: their love for each other.  - excerpt from book.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray is the second book in the Firebird trilogy. Right from the start the book had already captured my attention, it had such an exciting start. The first chapter was really good and the rest of chapters were just amazing. The dimensions involved describe by the author was just so fascinating to read about and of course our heroine's adventures there was just as exciting as the world she jump to.

You will not stop reading as you just want to keep knowing what is going to happen, the storyline just keeps getting better. The plot twists and turns so well, so unexpectedly, it always catch you by surprise. I love all the events and incidents that happened in the story and all the reactions of the heroine touched my heart dearly. You could say that the flow of the book was just perfect, no flaws to talked about at all.  I love how the author brings the dimension into life with the description of the places. It's just so good where the timeline is same for all dimensions but because of some things, the world is in a totally different state and era.

I love the characters in the book very much, all of them were special and unique people. I especially love the main heroine, she really grew a lot in the book and also her actions were just really true to her personality. I also love how there can be many possibilities for each character in a different dimension where circumstances are different which changes your outcomes in life, certainly quite true in reality.  But out of everything I love, the thing that made me love this book the most is the Marguerite's love for Paul. It touched my heart greatly and it's exactly how I feel about my boyfriend too. The way she describe her feelings is just the same as mine and it was this point that made me connect with the character which made me love the book so so much. Below are some lines that meant a lot to me in the book, there are more but I forgot to jot it down:

"But grief changes. It softens, adapts its shape to become part of you. The kind of sorrow never gets any lighter, but you grow accustomed to the weight as you carry it on." - Pg 342 line 27 to pg 343 line 2

"I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past." - Pg 369 line 12

The author has done a fantastic job in building the world, writing about the character's feelings, their actions and reactions all together in this wonderful second book. I highly recommend this to young adult fantasy lovers, readers who enjoy dimension travel, readers who enjoy an adventure with many many twists. Lastly, I have to say if you read the first book, why miss the second book? The first book is one of my favourite and this second book has easily topped it and become my most favourite book that I read this year. Truly a fantastic sequel to a fantastic start. If you have not read the first book, here is my review: click here =)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Me and Mr Darcy

He's every woman's fantasy...
After a string of disastrous relationships, Emily Albright has had it with modern men. 
She'd rather curl up with Pride and Prejudice and step into a time where men were honourable and strode fields in breeches, their damp shirts clinging to their chests. The men she meets are more into pleated trousers, two-timing and internet porn.

So when her best friend invites her to Mexico for a week of margaritas and manhunting, Emily books a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead.

There are no dream men here. The coach is full of pensioners, apart from one Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist writing a piece on why most women would love to date Mr Darcy.

But then she walks into a room and finds herself face-to-face with Darcy himself. And every woman's fantasy suddenly becomes one woman's reality... excerpt from book.

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter is a chick lit book about this woman who had many failed relationships and for her the perfect man would be Mr Darcy which is a character from Pride and Prejudice. At first I thought the book was quite at a slow pace revealing the personality of the main character. Slowly then did the story picked up with interesting incidents happening after the main character had more interactions with other people. I guess you can say that she is one boring person and it is the side character that are much more interesting to read about. The side characters all have a wonderful background story to read about.

The setting of the book is also good as I've always loved chick lit that is in England. The author did a great job describing the places that the characters visited, those places sound so beautiful. The plot of the book was smooth with some good twist and turns. I find that at the end of the day, this book was trying to get a message across and I think it's a good message for adults who are in the dating scene. 

In summary, this was just an okay book, it can capture my attention for a while and then lose it quickly after that. I don't think I would be reading this book again. I only recommend this book to readers who like the author. Maybe I picked up the wrong book from the author to start with as I saw that she actually have quite a number of books published. I'm going to give this author another try so I bought her best selling book Be Careful What You Wish For. I will review that book as soon as I finish reading it.
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