Thursday, June 30, 2016

Love, Lies and Spies

Juliana Telford isn’t your ordinary nineteenth-century lady. She’s more interested in publishing her research on ladybugs than in marriage or fashionable dresses. Spencer Northam isn’t your ordinary nineteenth-century gentleman. He’s a spy for the War Office on his first mission. But when Spencer’s assignment involved keeping an eye on the lovely Juliana and her friends, their plans for a season without romance are unapologetically foiled.excerpt from book.

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey is a historical romance in the YA genre because of the main character’s age I guess. I have always loved this genre and if you’ve been reading my reviews then you know I’ve read many. So the bad thing is that I can compare it with many other books and my verdict for this book is it was just okay. It has a plot that is similar to many other books and I find it quite repeating at some point. But I guess this is because a season London is always the same for the ladies, you can’t run from traditions. So when there was one or two plot twist in the book, those were the parts that managed to capture my attention well. Other than that, generally I was always waiting for something romantic to happen between the characters.

As for the characters, I really wanted more interactions between them. They were not particularly characters that grew with the story because they are who they are. I felt that the side characters were also a bit bland and didn’t necessarily supported the main characters well enough. Sometimes it felt like they were just there hovering around in the background without doing much. Although I have much criticism, I do like the personality of the characters which is one of the reasons that I kept reading the book. They are not special people but their personality fit the plot very well.

In conclusion, I would say that this book is not boring but not too exciting to read. It certainly was entertaining but at the borderline of almost dropping to the boredom line. I don’t really recommend this to historical romance readers because there are way better books than this. But if you’re interested in the characters themselves maybe you can give it a go, find it in a library. Sadly this is one of those books that I would not read again and probably don’t mind not having in my collection.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This is Where the World Ends

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That's how it's been since they were children, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It's the perfect friendship-as long as no one finds out about it. - excerpt from book.

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang is a standalone book about two teenagers who are secret friends and nobody else knows. Something happened to them and Micah can't remember what because Janie is missing. I have heard many praises for the author's first book and I thought I gave this one a shot because I found it in the bookstore. At the start of the book it was quite slowed pace with two POVs. The chapters alternate between the point of views as well as past and present at the same time. This writing style sort of reminded me of Jandy Nelson's I'll give you the sun. I didn't mind the perspective change because that way I get to know both characters from each other's view. It's common that people view you differently from  how you view yourself sometimes. 

I'm okay with the character's personality it seems real enough for me but I don't quite like them as a person. They have behaviours that I can't agree with and their actions are just naive and nonsense most of the time. This is one of the points that I do not like about this book which is how those kids handled their problems. The premise of the plot was just okay as it's trying to highlight some problems but we do not get to those problems till later of the book. Most of the time it's more about the characters' activities and interactions with other kids. 

Sadly this was not a book I really enjoyed. It had a message but it was also too messed up at the same time. Things weren't handled well and I guess the author might be trying to show a different side of human when all things go wrong. I would not recommend this book to contemporary lovers because you're not missing out on anything. It was a quick read and an easy book to predict. I don't see the value in reading it again. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Favourite Post

Time for some self-promote?? I find this topic fun because I went through all the post titles that I've written, pick ones that are the most memorable to me, read through it and decide whether to put it here. So here are some numbers, I have published a total of 369 times and it seems like a really small number because life gets in the way. Looking back at how long I've started this blog which was since 2006, that amount is too little. So for about 10 years I have to pick my top 5 from 369 posts. Here are my choices without any order, do click on the title as it's a link.

This was a really fun post to write because I got to share pictures of my trip to Singapore. And now that I'm reading back, it brings wonderful  memories for my visit there.

Another post that sort of mentions some highlights of my life. After reading this post, I feel motivated to continue in pursuing my dreams. Honestly, I'm not there yet, I'm not even close but I've not given up at all. I still have the same dreams and I'm working on reaching there. 

This book review was my first time reading a book by Julia Quinn in the genre of historical romance. Ever since then I've fallen in love with her writing. This book is one of my favourites from all her books. I like how I used to summarize the book and then gave a bit of opinion on it. I have since then changed my book review style.

Go read it because you'll get to know me better. Need I say more why I picked this post??

Discovering a magical book and sharing it in review is one of my biggest joy. This book is my all time favourite and to know why just read the review. I've recently introduced this book to a friend of mine and I'm waiting for him to start so we can read it together. I hope readers will be able to enjoy this book as much as I did.

I hope you'll take a look at those post that I've shared and do please comment about it here. Share some posts that you really really love with me too. Have a great week!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Crown

A selection can only have one winner.
A princess only has one heart.

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illea to told her own Selection, she didn't expect to fall in love the way her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you...and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible- and more important-than she ever imagined. - excerpt from book.

The Crown by Kiera Cass is the last book in the series. I was excited to read this book but was disappointed that it was so short, everything wrapped up really quickly. The book felt like a rush job and everyone's story just completed in a matter of 278 pages which was way too short for me. I didn't get the satisfaction of the characters growing where they slowly transition into the person the author wanted them to be and have the ending that was meant for them. It was just "oh you were like this and then it became like that" nothing much in between happening. The readers would just have to accept that it ended that way for those characters which were the boys in the Elite specifically.

As for the plot, everything happened really quickly. The whole story was on a speeding train and there was so much more that I feel the author could have expanded on. Because there were so many characters involved, there are so many mini plots that could be written. Even though the book was short I felt that the plot was not exciting enough, I could sort of predict what would happen. Sad to say I'm not satisfied with the twist and turns because I saw it coming.

To be blunt, I was anticipating a lot for this book as the previous book ended with suspense. I am disappointed at the things that happened in the book, the speed of it happening. The characters all did not have room to grow at all and they could have had more happening for them. Overall, it ended the way I thought it would so no surprises there. The first 3 books were certainly good and this last 2 did not give me the same feelings previously. I would recommend people to only read the first 3 and as for the last 2 you don't lose much for not reading it at all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Favorite Character Names

This is one week late because I've been busy but I still thought it was an interesting topic to write about. Characters names certainly play a role in the books as they often represent a little bit of the personality of the character. Other than that, if the name is catchy it will  be easy to remember them and it will definitely trigger hopefully your feelings or memories when reading that book. So here are 5 names that appealed to me because they were great characters and unique names,

Cinder from Cinder
Although it's short from Cinderella but making her an asian character certainly makes her super unique plus the fact that she is a cyborg makes it even cooler.

Marguerite from A Thousand Pieces of You
This name is my first time reading it so it's quite unique to me besides that she is quite a strong character as well. I certainly love her very much in her story.

Celaena from Throne of Glass
A strong character with a strong name. I think it's a strong name because it's one name that people can remember well and also give the other title that she earned, she's not one to mess around with.

Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses
I have to say that the author is so creative coming up with wonderful names that is unique and memorable. Besides that, the character that bears that name is an amazing character at the same time.

Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury
I love love love this character so much. He is one character that has so much depth and yet there's still some mystery to him. His name certainly suites him and he is one male that I will remember always.

As you can see, there is a strong female presence in the list and only one name made the cut. Honestly I do have some names to mention for male character such as The Darkling, Liam, Kaz Brekker, and Kell. These are also names that I quite love. So what character names is your favourite?

Top 5 Wednesday - Father Figure

In lieu with Father's day coming this weekend, this week's topic is Father figure. Having a father in the family has always been essential for a wholesome family. It is quite hard to get some characters for this topic because many a times I've read books that does not have a father in the family but there are some times that a male character will find themselves in a fatherly role for the main character. So without following order, here is my list:

Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter
How to not love Arthur who is the head of the family for the Weasley. He is at times humorous and also a reliable father when it comes to important stuff. 

Sirius Black from Harry Potter
Godfather of Harry Potter who took care of him even though he was not close to him. I love how Sirius honors his promise to Harry's parents. You can read the love that he has for Harry and it's just beautiful.

Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter
I always thought Dumbledore took extra care for Harry more than anyone else. He has taught him many life lessons and spoken so wisely many a times to Harry. The sacrifice that Dumbledore made for everyone shows how much of a father he is to everyone in the school and the wizarding world.

King Maxon from The Heir
I love the grown up Maxon very much in the book. He has gone through a lot and it's wonderful when he passes on his wisdom and experiences to Princess Eadlyn.

Shalom Singer from The Selection
America's father is truly different from the family. The connection between father and daughter means so much to the both of them. He often gives good advice to America and trying to help support her emotionally too.

As you can see my selection is quite limited as there are many books that I've read who are young adults that needed to struggle on their own without any father to pass them wisdom. Harry Potter series have the most parents around. So what are your picks?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Book Theme Song

This week is an interesting topic to discuss about. Sometimes when you're reading, there is a tendency to imagine everything described and maybe just maybe you'll also have a song in mind for certain scenes. I kinda do that for books who are written in a way that could be a good movie. Books packed with action would be harder to associate a song with because usually in the movies it's music that heats up the scene. As for theme songs, it's easier to associate it with contemporary books. I wouldn't say below are my top 5 theme songs or books because it was quite hard to pick a song to match a book for me. But anyway here are my 5 picks:

Since You've Been Gone - Toploader ~Dancing in the Moonlight

Emily is determined to finish up her list of things to do given by her best friend Sloane. In one of the items, I felt that the song really suited the scene. Emily was required to do certain things late at night so dancing in the moonlight kinda clicks with it for me as it's having fun and being free under the moonlight.

The Crown - Michelle Branch ~You set me free

The reason that I've picked this song is because the candidates in the Selection for Princess Eadlyn has since changed her and helped her grow. In a way those boys kind of help set her free from the perception of how she must act as a princess.

One Day - JJ Lin ~Too Bad
As for this book I do not want to give out spoilers but the timing of the characters of the book is always off. They have the worst timing ever for everything and sadly it made me thought of this song Too Bad. It's a mandarin song singing about missed chances and bad timing.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You - Vanessa Carlton ~ A Thousand Miles

If you haven't heard of this song, I'm a bit sad because this was one big hit when it was out. Everyone was loving it and boys who knew how to play the piano showed off in church. Girls would flock to the piano to hear the guy on the piano. So the song describes that the person would do anything to see his/her other half and it totally applies to the book. Marguerite is doing all she can to save Paul and to have him save in her arms again. Of course there are similar songs but this one sticks with me the most.

Skip Beat - Katy Perry ~ Hot N Cold

So this is a shoujo manga series that's still on going for quite a number of years now. I really love the characters of the story. The reason why I've chosen this song because the relationships/romance of the characters are like the song, Suddenly it's a yes and then it's a no, a number of push and pull happening in the plots. 

I still find it hard to listen to music and read at the same time because I can only concentrate on the book. The lyrics of the song would be distracting me from my book instead and sometimes I also have a strong urge to sing along. Do share with me your theme song for books, it'll be interesting to read how you can relate that song to the book
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