Saturday, May 26, 2018

Truly Devious

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. - excerpt from book.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is the first of a trilogy which will absolutely be your new favourite this year. I first came across this book from Epic Reads webpage and there was a link to read the first two chapters. The summary itself was already exciting so no harm in reading that. The first chapter itself got me hooked and I cannot wait to get my hands on the book since last year. So I waited patiently until the book reaches my nearest bookstore and when I've gotten it, within 3 days I finished it and I just wanted the next book desperately.

The characters in this book are so unique with mysterious backstories. I'm totally intrigued by all of them and often want more of their history revealed. Whenever our main heroine interacts with someone I'm just on my toes, excited for the story that keeps moving forward. One would say that these characters are too good to be true but yet they have flaws that make them somewhat realistic. Their actions fit what a typical teenager would act and yet it still amazes me. Every action and reaction is unpredictable from each character which is one of the main driving points of this book.

The plot alternates between the past and present which makes it super exciting as every chapters kinda ends at a cliffhanger sort of atmosphere. You'll keep reading for more and more as the story builds up with the character's actions. There is nothing but mystery in this book as the plot thickens, twist after twist will capture your attention. This is one roller coaster ride that you can't get enough of. Even though the timeline alternates, you'll never get lost in this smooth flowing plot. 

I cannot stress how much I love a good murder mystery and this book just blew my mind. From the well written characters to the unpredictable plot, this book just ends with a jaw dropping cliffhanger (at least it is for me). I was in such a reading slump and then this wonderful book brought back my love for reading. I love the excitement of reading each chapter and trying to solve the mystery on my own but it was a tough one. Although it's not like Sherlock Holmes  as this is a modernised version but the fact that it's a mystery that is hard to solve and left hanging at the end certainly brings nostalgic emotions related to reading Sherlock. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie's work and you will not regret it, only one warning that I can give is that this book is first and the next one will be next year.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. 
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers. - excerpt from book

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is the first book to the trilogy about Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young. Now these two met in New York and there they have their own life until Nicholas's best friend is getting married and Nick decided to bring Rachel to the wedding. Little did she knows that this is the biggest wedding of Asia and also meeting Nick's family for the first time. Let me tell you, when I saw this book a few years back I was not impressed with the title itself so I did not pick it up. With a movie to be out soon and having an all Asian cast and director, the hype was on and naturally I had to read to find out about the buzz.

Of course the trailer only shows you glimpses of the book which felt exciting and extravagant, but let me tell you the book is so much more detailed and I'm pretty sure it won't all be included in the movie. With 527 pages and fonts that are not too big, it's definitely one long story to be told. Rachel and Nick is the main characters but many others have stories of their own. Hence the point of views are written in everyone's that is mentioned at the start of every chapter. I find this quite fun to read but sometimes I wished there was more happening for Nick and Rachel in parallel timing. You could easily tell what personalities these characters have and there is not much growth for many of them as they are only side characters. The interactions between Rachel and everyone else is often quite intriguing because it's fun to read about how she experiences Singapore and also how others react to her presence as Nick's girlfriend.

One thing that really capture my attention from the book is the use of multiple dialects/slang that are spoken in Singapore. It truly made me feel more at home even though I only live in the neighbouring country but sometimes visit Singapore, hence being able to relate to the language is truly enjoyable. I would say that many incidents are happening at one time and there isn't enough pages to fit everyone. I'm pretty sure this could be a Singapore drama series just as easy where there are many plots the author could have expanded on. The story-line is quite smooth with many plot twists to keep you on your toes.  You'll just keep reading because you'll want to know how Rachel deals with Nick's family, how will they treat her and how is Singapore like.

I have one complain though, that everything in the book seems way way too exaggerated in terms of the wealth of these people but at the end of the day we have to remember it's all fiction, just enjoy the book as it is. With the ways things ended, the story has just begun and I'm looking forward to read about Rachel and Nick's growing relationship and the many obstacles that will soon to follow. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Million Worlds With You

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.
  - excerpt from book.

A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray is the final book in the firebird series. I finally picked up this book, it has been sitting long on my shelf as I dread the ending of it. Catching up right where the book left us at the second book's ending, things are just way too exciting. We jump into action and adventure without much of a break for my favourite characters. This round they are slightly different people from the previous as they have grown and also went through some terrible experiences. Much of their actions are influenced by their new found attitude which was understandable and realistic. I love that we get to visit some old worlds and also have new ones. The author has done such a good job maintaining the difference between all the parallel worlds. It's the minor difference of the characters that get  me the most in a sense that one small detail can change so much of reality. The instance of what ifs are the core of the story.

I often sigh when it comes to Marguerite and Paul because their love is just so dreamy and real at the same time. I love all the interaction they have and I want so much more for them but alas this book is more focused on Marguerite saving the worlds. As she journeys through and discovers all the different versions of herself she learns to grow even more. At times she can be quite annoying but it fits well with her character. Seeing all the characters' consequences come into full view in this book was such a joy. A slight disappointment for me would be the lack of involvement of my favourite side character. But still with the growth and actions the plot moves forward with ease.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...