Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward **18 Yrs Above**

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3)
By J.R. Ward
Release Date: September 5th, 2006
Number of Pages: 434
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

My Review:

"I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came...and I was awakened."

The horror. The traumatic events. The sorrow. The sweetness. Lover Awakened shook me to the core and wrung my heart unlike any other. It made me well up with tears, laughed and grinned like an idiot. Lover Awakened was so fragile which it has to been handled with care. No words could described this book and I am too overwhelmed by it to review it. The ending was so privately sweet. Z deserved all the happiness after all that he had gone through. It just feels too sacrilegious to review Lover Awakened and the quote above says it all.

Book Review: Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2) by J.R. Ward **18 Yrs Above**

Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2)
By J.R. Ward
Release Date: March 7th, 2006
Number of Pages: 441
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. 

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...

My Review:

Wow. Just wow. I'm taking deep breaths and still trying to wrap my head all around this. I actually love Rhage's story more than Wrath's. Just a little bit more as it involves a beast. A real living literal beast and the taming of it.

I appreciated the slower romance especially on the female's part. It's understandable how long it takes for Mary to actually believe that someone as gorgeous and to-beautiful-to-be-real actually wants her. I mean, I wouldn't believed it myself and boy, can she harness and tame that beast into a pet. I'm quoting Butch here.

Rhage was a really sweet lover. Such a sweet, gentle and loving guy underneath. It was kind of funny to see him insert Mary's name in almost every sentence when he addresses her. It's like the word "Mary" is honey to his soul and he's afraid she will poof off and disappear if he doesn't say her name. It felt like a reassurance and affection.

The brothers are fabulous as always and I just can't get enough of the troika bromance and the gangsta talks. You feel me, WARDens? I have a love-hate relationship with the Scribe Virgin. Seriously. She's like some kind of sadist but not quite. Talking about the Scribe Virgin, my mind literally went blank when the meaning behind Mary's name was revealed. I was like, "HUH?? What?? Are you serious?"

Anyhow, the ending was deservingly sweet and I can't wait to read about Z's story next. My heart aches for him.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cover Crazy #3: Vessel

Cover Crazy is hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms

This week I am crazy about....

What I Love:
The fiery and warm colors.

The dress. Could it be more gorgeous??

I love the backdrop. It looks like she is dancing under the moonlight in the desert.

I really like how evening twilight/dusk and  the night itself are blended together.

And I really adore the font and transparency of it.

This cover just screams to be pick up. And I will. Definitely will.   

So, what are you crazy about this week? Do share your thoughts =D

"In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes."

Book Review: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan

The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2)
By Rick Riordan
Release Date: May 1st, 2011
Number of Pages: 452
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
One curse. Two Heroes. Five days to save the world.

EVER SINCE THE GODS of ancient Egypt were unleashed on the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, have been in trouble. As decendants of the magical House of Life, they commend certain powers. But now a terrifying enemy- Apophis, the giant snake of chaos- is rising.

If Carter and Sadie don't destroy him, the world will end in five days' time.. And in order to battle the forces of chaos, they must revive the sun god Ra- a feat no magician has ever achieved. First they must search the world for the the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant it's spells...

Can the Kanes destroy Apophis before he swallowa the sun and plunges the earth into darkness...forever?

My Review:
The Griffin fixed its hungry eyes on Sadie...'Sadie,' I said, 'drop the scroll.' 
'Hello? It's stuck to my hand!' she protested. 
'And I'm on fire! Did I mention that?' 

Rick Riordan is a fantastic narrator and author. The pacing of the story was fast, action-packed and wonderful. I enjoyed all the characters; old&new, central&secondary, hero&villain.

Although there were a few minor things that bothered me, it is indeed a well deserved 5 brilliant huge stars.

The things that bothered me:
1. The romance. I think it isn't really necessary to actually HAVE romances - considering the young ages of the characters. It's rather silly when I think about my brothers around the age of Carter&Sadie being frustrated over their loves. Not really realistic. I would understand if both have reached the age of young adults - in my case, 16. But younger then that and being all sure about love, hmm, it didn't really work for me although I still find it rather sweet among all the chaos happening. Even if they have matured beyond their ages through all the experiences, I still think 13 and 14/15 are still too young to be torn over love.

2. Sadie Kane. Yea, I liked her in The Red Pyramid but my liking for her sort of flickered. God, she was rather mopy, pity-party and annoying. I know she's the opposite of Carter. She's more outspoken and rebellious. And she was rather childish at times. I didn't like how the importance was placed and emphasized on her more rather than Carter. It felt like she learnt more and was more important than Carter. I didn't like that. It made me as a reader feel that Sadie was more important and she learnt more but Carter was just there, the same. And she being torn and confused over her feelings for Anubis and Walt was rather overbearing. It got my nerves. I have no problems with Anubis and Walt. They are both wonderful. I felt that Jaz was better compared to Sadie although she was mostly dormant throughout the story.

I just felt that not much emphasis was placed on Carter and too much was on Sadie. It felt bias and one-sided. I really like Carter. He was the most stable character. I was looking for progress and added knowledge about Egyptian magic in him but was disappointed that those happened on Sadie instead - the ren and secret name thing.

I'm looking forward to the third book and really, really hope that Sadie improves. No more moping and self-pity please. Carter. Please place more emphasis on him. He is also a central character.

Thus, I end my ramblings.

Book Review: The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1)
By Rick Riordan
Release Date: May 1st, 2010
Number of Pages: 544
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
One curse. Two heroes. And an evil that won't stay buried.

Carter and Sadie Kane's dad is a brilliant Egyptologist with a secret plan that goes horribly wrong. An explosion that shatters the ancient Rosetta Stone and unleashes Set, the evil god of chaos.

Set imprisoned Dr Kane in a golden coffin, and Carter and Sadie are forced to run for thier lives. To save their dad, they must embark on a terrifying quest from Cairo and Paris to the American South-west and discover the truth about their family's connection to the House of Life: an Egyptian temple of magic that has exsisted for thousands of years.

The Pharoahs of ancient egypt are far from dead and burried. And so, unfortunately, are their Gods....

My Review:
'I guess it started the night our dad blew up the British Museum'

It. Was. POW. I enjoyed the narration that alternated between Carter and Sadie. It was awesome how Rick Riordan managed to portray the voices of both Carter and Sadie individually different. The beginning was just a very, very, minutely slow but after that it got very magic-packed. I only had problems with all the Egyptian gods' names and roles. I got kind of confused at first as I was more versed and familiar with Greek mythology than Egyptian mythology.

I love the use of magic in The Kane Chronicles. Riordan has wrote another blockbuster novel. Finished the whole book in one seating. It was that good and addictive. I also appreciate how family sacrificial love and relationships themes were weaved into a story. The ending was a bittersweet one. A very touching one.

A recommended read to all.

Book Review: Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J.R. Ward **18 Yrs Above**

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)
By J.R. Ward
Release Date: September 6th, 2005
Number of Pages: 393
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

My Review:

I have a huge goofy grin on my face right now. Seriously. And I feel utterly foolish, ridiculous and silly - all in a great and awesome way. I don't care that there are others saying this series is ridiculous and whatnot but I've never enjoyed an Adult Paranormal Romance like I have with this book and I know I'm tremendously late into starting this series. Nevertheless, better late than never right? The Black Dagger Brotherhood is so kickass awesome and I have Maria Mentzelidi to thank for all her gushings and persuadings. I am now officially a huge fan and convert of the BDB series. Now, on to the review.

The most important thing to me in a book is the main character. In order to fully get immerse and fall in love with the book in the process, you gotta have a connection and chemical reaction to the main characters as well as the rest of them who are going to stick around. Dark Lover has it all. I really like Beth and Wrath. They are awesome characters. Beth is perfect for Wrath because Wrath is a king. It is in his blood. He is a warrior and a leader who has a very strong will of his own and Beth has it in her as well to match his and tame him when need be. I didn't really mind the "instant attraction" paradigm used in Wrath's story. He is a vampire after all with animalistic instincts. I have to admit I kinda love the possessiveness and protectiveness they have over their loved ones and to see how much they actually cherish their shellans/hellrens and I simply have a weakness for the endearment leelan. I really enjoyed reading about and connecting with the hero and heroine.

The brothers. They are one messed up bunch but oh, so lovable. I love them all. Baggage, curses and all. It is so heartwarming to see them have each other's back, ready to defend and protect. And their banter with each other is very, very, very entertaining and OMG hilarious. I even love the doggen, Fritz. He is such an endearing character and reading his scenes was great. Even Beth's cat Boo is no exception although all it did was purr around the Brothers. Butch was a surprising one. I wasn't all that into him in the beginning. I found him a "hardass" and rather pushy-tough. But I quickly warmed up to him and totally was rooting for him with the rest of the brotherhoood all the way. It was so cute to see V and him buddying up over their fandom for the Red Sox and cozying up with the rest of the brothers. It was great to see them accepting him like one of their own - almost.

Readers have reviewed and commented that Marissa was a rather bland character. Yes, she is - in the beginning - but after that I realized I was wrong. Marissa was sheltered and protected all her life. She tries very hard to be presentable and wanting Wrath to actually want her as his true shellan. Her character is the totally opposite of Beth's. While Beth is all fire, Marissa is like a calm ocean. She is docile, elegant, naive and so innocent in so many ways. She has led a miserable life and I truly wish her to have a happy ending with Butch. I really like Marissa. I found her a very sweet character.

All in all, I'm glad that I took Maria's advice and picked up this series. Although there were LOTS of things happening all at the same time, I could wrapped my head around it and keep up with all of it. Dark Lover or I can confidently say The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, has a healthy balance of action, hot sizzling romance, cute and hilarious banters and everything you need. I know there are some cheesiness and I seriously don't care.

Now, on to Lover Eternal.....*winks winks*

P/S: Thank god for the glossary at the beginning of the book. I would be so lost without it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pages From My Thoughts: Giveaways

Pages From My Thoughts: Giveaways: Giveaway Announcement : Hey Guys, I have a good news. I have decided to organize giveaways twice or thrice a month, so there will be 24 to...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: Shadows (Lux #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Shadows (Lux #0.5)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Number of Pages: 179
Format: ebook
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

My Review:


This was so awesomesauce!!! Dawson and Beth are such darlings. You couldn't not love them both the moment they were introduced. Shadows was really sugary sweet and poignant as fans of the fist novel, Obsidian, already knows what will happen to our sweet couple.

Dawson was the complete opposite of Daemon. Dawson was like sunshine, unicorns and rainbows while Daemon was all thunder and lightning. Shadows gave an insight of why Daemon was the way he is in Obsidian. Even in Shadows, Daemon kept people at arms' length and was the parent figure in the family as he was the oldest - by a few minutes. I understood Daemon better and his behavior in Obsidian  was justifiable as it was like history repeating itself all over again.

Dawson on the other hand, was a sweetheart and did what he liked. His romance with Beth was very different from that of Daemon and Katy. Dawson was the all-smiling-and-grinning guy. He was very lovable and sweet. When he asked Beth for permission to kiss her, I found it so cute. I mean, how many guys nowadays actually asked your permission to do that? He did not regret loving Beth but the only thing he regretted was that he wasn't as strong as his brother.

The other characters like Dee, Ash, Adam and Andrew were the same. Dee was as hyper as ever and her mouth was 'bionic' as quoted by Dawson. Man, she could really talk your pants off and you can't help but adore cute Dee.

The ending was really a heartbreak but I have a really strong feeling that Dawson and Beth may not be dead after all as Daemon and Dee never got to see their bodies. Therefore, I wasn't that devastated and frozen over the ending like my book buddy Maria Mentzelidi was. Shadows answered the questions I had in Obsidian but left me with even more after it. For example, what was happening to Beth when she suddenly felt all hot and collapsed near the end?

After reading the synopsis of Onyx, I'm more certain that this lovable couple isn't dead and I'm really hoping that I'm not wrong. They are too wonderful characters to be left dead. Jennifer, you can't just kill them off like that. Seriously.

Shadows is a wonderful read and I recommend reading it after Obsidian.

Now, I'm simply dying for Onyx.....

Cover Crazy #2: Glitches

Cover Crazy is hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms

This week I am crazy about....

What I Love:
Can I just say I love EVERYTHING about this cover?

Don't you think the artwork is simply amazing??

Just in case you're wondering what cover this is, this is a prequel to Cinders by Marissa Meyer which I recommend should be read before Cinders and it is free!!

Read Glitches now!!

So, what are you crazy about this week? What are your thoughts? Do share them =D

"Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. In “Glitches,” a short prequel story to Cinder, we see the results of that illness play out, and the emotional toll that takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch...."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Damaged Goods by Lauren Gallagher **WARNING: 18 Yrs Above Only**

Damaged Goods
By Lauren Gallagher
Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Number of Pages: 166
Format: ebook
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Jocelyn Rhodes is a single mother with a demanding career and a long-neglected libido. Frustrated with the dating scene and way overdue for some satisfying sex, she takes a friend’s advice and hires Sabian, a deliciously sexy escort. He’s well worth the money, and the sheets haven’t even cooled off before she’s ready to call him again.

The more time she spends with him, the more she realizes she and Sabian have more in common than she thought. She’s a single mom, he’s a prostitute, and when it comes to dating, they’re both damaged goods. To most potential mates, Jocelyn and Sabian are in a category akin to dented soup cans, but if the two of them can look past each other’s respective dents, they just might find something they’ve both been missing.

But even if they do find that something, how on earth can she make a relationship work with a man who sleeps with other women for a living?

My Review:
I've never been a fan or reader of the Erotica genre because of the few times that I've come across them, basically they were just full of sex scenes with bad storylines, plots and characterisations. Thus, I've never wanted to read them again as they left a bad taste in my mouth. But, I was really cajoled and persuaded by my GR and book buddy Maria Mentzelidi to try it as it has surprised her too.

And I have to agree with her on this. It really surprised me too. Although the sex scenes were hot and all things yummy, what I appreciated most was the way the author wrote it. She made them flowed naturally as the story progressed. She made them beautiful and clean.

The story was written in Jocelyn's POV and you can see that she is a really nice and great character. The author also managed to capture and flashed out Austin's thoughts and feelings very clearly and he is such a sweet, sweet guy. The preconceived notions society has on sex workers and single mothers were brilliantly executed. It was a thought provoking read and made me rethink my perceptions regarding this issue.

All in all, Damaged Goods is a beautiful story with a solid storyline, plot and characterisations. This is what I call a good book.

P/S: I know others have mentioned it already but I just have to get it out of my system. My only gripe regarding this book is the cover. This book deserves a better cover. Seriously.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Review: Bloodspell (Bloodspell #1) by Amalie Howard

Bloodspell (Bloodspell #1)
By Amalie Howard
Release Date: May 27th, 2011
Number of Pages: 369
Format: ebook
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

My Review:

This is just going to be a brief review. Bloodspell really surprised me with its twists and turns. It was really nice to read about both witches and vampires together in one story. The characters were brilliantly flashed out. I'm really glad that Victoria is one strong girl and could kick some ass.

Christian is swoon-some and an eye candy with his dark blond hair and silver eyes. Vampire with silver eyes. That's a first indeed. The secondary characters were very interesting as well; they each had histories of their own and were fully used in the story.

Bloodspell was an addictive read and I am looking forward to the sequel.

Book Review: The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

The Vampire Stalker
By Allison van Diepen
Release Date: June 1st, 2011
Number of Pages: 283
Format: ebook
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:

What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?

Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

My Review:

As cheesy as the title sounds, it was what caught my attention to it. The title and synopsis of the book said it all. Simple and straight forward. No putting on the thinking cap trying to figure out whodunnit.

The Vampire Stalker is a simple BUT interesting story. I mean, which avid reader out there who hasn't ever fantasize about their swoonworthy male characters actually coming to life in this real world? Don't you dare tell me you didn't! Liar. LoL!

Amy was a nice enough character, not too bland and not too irritating either.Alexander was alright too. But I do adore Amy's two besties, Katie and Luisa. They were what I call, true best friends - supporting you in whatever situation you're in.

Overall, this was a very breezy and easy read with a very unique concept.

Book Review: The Mating (Law of the Lycans #1) by Nicky Charles **WARNING: 18 Yrs Above Only**

The Mating (Law of the Lycans #1)
By Nicky Charles
Release Date: February 23rd, 2010
Number of Pages: 377
Format: ebook
Source: FOC
Rating: ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Elise had no idea when she came home that day that she'd end up mated to a complete stranger. A new Alpha and the need for an alliance between packs have made her a pawn.

My Review:

This was an alright read for me. Never have been a fan of shifter series but this intrigued me enough to keep on reading and continued on to its sequels as I liked The Keeping more than The Mating. The storyline was simple enough to predict and understand. No guessing and wondering.

The characters were, well, okaaay. As I said, shifters don't really appeal to me. They kind of give me an impression that they are a really sexual group of paranormal creatures.

Overall, a decent and average read. Pick it up if you are looking for something simple to digest.

Book Review: Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Ten Things I Hate About Me
By Randa Abdel-Fattah
Release Date: October 1st, 2006
Number of Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:

Ten Things is about Jamie, a teenage girl from Sydney’s south west who lives two lives: at school and in the outside world she is ‘Jamie’, a bottle-blonde with an apparently Anglo Aussie background; at home she is ‘Jamilah’ a Lebanese-Muslim who is proud of her cultural identity. Jamie struggles to maintain her two personas as the rules of her over-protective father collide with the normal adolescence she perceives other teenagers to have and which she so desires.

Life appears to be looking up for Jamie when the most popular boy in school begins to show an interest in her. Added to that she gets an after-school job and makes an email friend, John, the only person with whom she can be completely honest. However her fate as a social outcast appears sealed when her father’s Stone Age Charter of Curfew Rights threatens to prevent her attending the much-anticipated Year 10 formal and her Arabic band is hired to play at the formal.

My Review:

I love the cover. Very eye-catching. I love this book. I love how racism was discussed in this book and it was kinda weird to read the word "Malaysian" because I am a Malaysian. I love Jamilah's family. I could see Bilal's protectiveness towards his sisters in my big bro and it makes me feel so proud of Bilal, even with his faults and all.

Shereen is a really passionate person who is awesome in her vocabularies. Makes me feel ashamed of myself. Lol. I love all the characters in this book - Timothy, Amy, the dad, Miss Sadja, Aunt Sowsan, the quiet uncle, the madrasa gang, Lindsay and Bilal of course. But boy, do I detest Peter and his gang from the first moment they were introduced. Such dickheads.

This is a great book and every teenager out there should read it. And I'm not ashamed to be Asian and am proud of my cultural roots.

Good job Randa!

Book Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Hereafter (Hereafter #1)
By Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Number of Pages: 404
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2

Blurb from Goodreads:

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss.

My Review:

I really really really really really wanted to LOVE this book. I really did but sad to say I couldn't. I can't make it my best friend, just a casual friend. That means I just like it because I don't dislike it. But boy, am I glad that I'm done with this book because that means i can read another one. Yay!

Sluggish. Slow. Ho-hum. Hereafter was exactly that. No POW, WHOOM, WOW moment. No feverishly-flipping-through-pages-and-unable-to-tear-your-eyes-away experience. It was more of a sigh-when-will-I-reach-that-moment experience. Reading Hereafter was like wading through a river of mud fully clothed.

I was rather expecting an eerie and spooky story that would at least chill me to the bones here and there but alas, it was not to be so. It was rather, well, dull. Nevertheless, I did like that twist and unexpected revelation regarding Amelia's death with the added bonus of Joshua's family's heritage. That was pretty surprising and I did also find the romance between Joshua and Amelia rather sweet.

Overall, it was an okay read which interesting enough to make me want to read Arise when it releases.

Book Review: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
By Richelle Mead
Release Date: December 7th, 2010
Number of Pages: 594
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Ratings: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

The astonishing final novel in Richelle Mead's epic series!

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.

My Review:

This was a breathtaking book and finale to the series. Am so sad that I'm done with Vampire Academy. It has been such a wonderful and exhilarating experience. I've grown so fond of Rose, Dimitri, Lissa, Christian, Adrian, Eddie, Sonya, Mikhail, Janine, Abe, Jill, Sydney and many others. I know a lot of readers simply adore Adiran and he has such a huge following but to me, he hasn't done and proven himself enough to wow me.

He's not fighting and having that determination to better himself. I feel for him but he needs to man up and stop frolicking around. Yes, Rose hurt him terribly and broke his heart and he will need time to mend himself but sometimes, I feel like Adrian does not have that fire in him. He does not fight enough for himself to be a better man. Adrian has still yet to fully swoon me like Dimitri did. He needs to stop escaping his problems in cigarettes and alcohol.

Last Sacrifice was incredible. It is a start of a new beginning and many more yet to come.

I am a certified Richelle Mead fan and the VA series is a definite MUST READ.

Book Review: Gladiator: Fight for Freedom by Simon Scarrow

Gladiator: Fight for Freedom (Gladiator #1)
By Simon Scarrow
Release Date: October 6th, 2011
Number of Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
It's Rome, 61 BC. Recruited as a gladiator, young Marcus Cornelius Primus faces a new life of brutal training, governed by strict rules, as he learns the skills of an elite warrior. But Marcus cannot simply forget his past. His father lies murdered by soldiers and his mother has been kidnapped and forced into slavery. Marcus is determined to find his father's old commander, Pompeius the Great, to seek justice for his family and set his mother free. Yet, unbeknown to him, Marcus is hiding a life-threatening secret. And if the Romans discover it, there will be no escape...

My Review:

Gladiator: Fight for Freedom had me clutching my hair and my heart pounding in anticipation. It is action-packed, intriguing and bloodthirsty. It was awesome. But, one thing I want to point out was I could figure out Marcus's secret early on in the book. It was kinda obvious but still great nevertheless.

Marcus is a great and very likable character although his stubbornness to keep proclaiming out loud on who he is and the injustice done to his family kinda irritated me at times. I'm glad he matured fast, a determined and strong fighter but very smart. You can literally feel and see the fire burning in him when faced with difficult situations.

A breathtaking read that takes you on a journey of ancient Rome, its cultures and traditions. Really anticipating the sequel.

Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan
By Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: December 1st, 2011
Number of Pages: 252
Format: ebook
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

My Review:


I really enjoyed Catching Jordan. But I just couldn't give it a 4-5 stars rating. I really like Jordan as a protagonist. I like how she is a girl and a captain and a quarterback in her high school football team. That's a first for me. It was really sweet how her teammates treat her with respect and protectiveness. Her friendship with them was so cute. And Sam Henry. AWH. I adoreeeeeee him.

Ty Green. Well, let's just say I was already rooting for Henry way before Ty appeared. I just couldn't make myself be interested in Ty. There was something really weird and odd about him. Ah, the cheerleaders. I mean, Carrie and Marie. They were really great girlfriends. AND, not forgetting the Woods family. Such a cute family.

Now, for the things that really bothered me. A LOT.

Jordan's naiveness and stubbornness regarding her father even though it was already explained why. I just wanted to shake her so bad and slapped her awake. Can't she see that her dad's actually worried for her well-being the most? Yes, he knows that Jordan is great in football but technically, she IS still a girl. Maybe that's one of the conflicts and plots of Catching Jordan. Understanding her father better and each other.

The other is the mention of sex. I was really disturbed at how casual it is mentioned in it like it is nothing but free candies to pass around. I didn't like it when Jordan had sex with Ty. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. And she still does it and continues her relationship with him even it was so clear that she loved Henry who was occupying her thoughts most of the time. I felt the focus on her "budding romance" with another person was a waste of time. It was like a relationship of convenience and I was further provoked at how easily it was ended in just one short scene.

How can someone who has given her virginity to another make something like this so flippant? Sex isn't supposed to be such a casual thing. I felt the author should have been more aware about this. It is not just Jordan, it's like practically the whole football guys and cheerleaders. Sex is suppose to be a beautiful thing between two people who loves or cares deeply for each other and who are committed. That's what I believe and I'm sorry if others do not agree. I just felt the build up should have been highlighted on Jordan and Henry. And the whole sleeping around thing was so unnecessary.

The book would have been perfect without it as I really enjoyed the whole football premise although I myself am clueless about football.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cover Crazy #1: Want

Cover Crazy is hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms

This week I am crazy about....

What I Love:
The retro look and the swirly/calligraphic font.

The best part is the piano. I am a musician myself so the cover model lying atop the piano appealed to me.

I also love how the black and white piano keys stands out against the vintage like colors. The overall look of the cover is very ethereal.

What are you crazy about this week? What are your thoughts? Do share them =D

"Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her. 

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: Jack Blank and the Secret War by Matt Myklusch

Jack Blank and the Secret War (Jack Blank Adventure #2)
By Matt Myklusch
Release Date: August 9th, 2011
Number of Pages: 525
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

Jack and his fellow students are now well into their School of Thought training and are “sidekicking” for official, card-carrying superheroes. But even though Jack feels more at home in the Imagine Nation, he’s still hiding secrets from his friends Skerren and Allegra.

Jack is trying to find out how far the RÜstov sleeper virus has spread, working to find a cure, and striving to avoid the dire future that Revile warned him about. Meanwhile, Jonas Smart is working just as hard to discover what Jack is hiding from everyone. When a rogue Secreteer—the protectors of Imagine Nation citizens’ secrets—starts selling info to the highest bidder, Smart is ready and waiting. If Jack is going to help prevent a second RÜstov invasion, keep Smart from discovering his secrets, and find out what a shadowy, half-mad Secreteer knows about his long-lost father, he’ll need to learn to trust his friends and find the true path toward becoming a hero himself.

My Review:

"The true greatness of the Imagine Nation isn't found when times are easy; it's there when the moment is hard and we rise up as one to meet the challenges we face. When we cast aside differences and triumph together in a way we never could when standing apart."

If the quote above didn't already say it all, I don't know what else could. The Jack Blank Adventure series is such a gem. There are so many positive and motivating messages incorporated in it. Although it is categorize as a MG book, it is more than that. Matt Myklusch does a very good job delivering the actions, tense moments and greatest of all, the surprises that I definitely don't see coming.

Jack Blank and the characters of the Imagine Nation are very good teaching subjects. They teach all of us so many of the values in life that we tend to take for granted as we grow older. It frustrates me that everyone expects so much out of Jack as though he is some accomplished adult, never realizing he is just 13 y/o and have come a long way. They should give him a break but Jack realizes his mistakes and is humble and quick to admit and rectify them. He is such a courageous and brave boy after all that he's been through.

This sequel to Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation or known also as The Accidental Hero, is a must pickup and will remain as one of my favourite series.

Book Review: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux #1)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: November 29th, 2011
Number of Pages: 287
Format: ebook
 Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Review:

Damn! Sizzle. Sizzle. Sizzle. Pop. Pop. Pop. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Did you just hear that? Yes! Those firecrackers and bombing sounds. That's Obsidian my beloveds. Obsidian sizzles at the edge at first, then burning you at the fingers which mercilessly proceeds to consume with its raging fire. Obsidian burns baby.

Obsidian is more than hot. The characters are so wonderfully engaging; slewing you with witty dialogues and fizzling chemistry. Kat is more than feisty. She is like popcorns popping without stopping. Me likey. Miaowwwwwww.

Ah. The legendary god-jerk. Daemon. Daemon Black. You can't help but love him and be exasperated with his brazen attitude.

Dee. Dee is like a squirmy kitten or puppy. She is so squiggly. So cute. I love Dee.

I love so many things about Obsidian. So much till' it's impossible to put them all in words. Obsidian sucks you right in the moment you open it to read. It takes you on a non-stop roller coaster ride which will leave you breathless and literally begging for more. Obsidian is a unique one. It starts with a bang and shamelessly ends with a bang.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: The Revenant by Sonia Gensler

The Revenant
By Sonia Gensler
Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Number of Pages: 315
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:

When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn't belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary.

Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie's room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.

Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn't sure anymore. She's also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys' school who has taken an interest in her—his past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . .

My Review:

This was a really refreshing setting, premise and plot. It gripped me from start till' the end. The characters are flashed out brilliantly. I could hardly stop myself from turning the pages. I enjoyed the spooky and haunting aspect, learning so much about the Cherokee people and I simply adored the clean-cut romance that was simple and sweet yet deep.

Willie is an interesting and relatable character. She runs away rather than face her troubles but slowly realizes her mistakes and foolishness and sets about putting them right. I wish I could read more about her family because they were so sweet. Eli is such a strong character who isn't afraid to speak his mind. He and Willie complement each other. The secondary characters were also wonderful.

I don't regret picking up The Revenant. It is an unique and amazing read that will continue to leave a smile on your face even long after finishing it. I hope to read more of Gensler's works in the near future. I wonder what is her next project?

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1)
By Julie Kagawa
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Number of Pages: 459
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

My Review:
**Minor Spoilers Ahead. You have been warned! Proceed at your own risk**

I think "awesome" isn't enough to convey what I feel about this book. It is the awesome of awesomeness, if that even makes any sense. I love Saba's no nonsense-bring-it-on gutsy attitude which was consistent throughout the story. I was glad she didn't contract the damsel-in-distress syndrome after all the horrors that she had gone through. I am so amazed at how Young could make you fall in love with Jack at first words aka sight. That 'oooooooooo' feeling I got when Jack was first introduced into the story was delicious.

I like how Saba's attitude and treatment towards her sister, Emmi, slowly changes. It was really nice to see the two of them finally having a sisterly bond. Lugh was mostly absent throughout the story and I hope to read more about him. I can see some sparks between him and Maev, the leader of the Freedom Hawks. I am so mighty curious about De Malo. Who is he really? All the characters in the story were wonderful and beautifully flashed out. And I wish Ike didn't have to die. Why oh why? He was one of my favourites. Everything screams 'WOW' in Blood Red Road, from the action to the romance. The writing style was rather unique. It gave off a rustic feel about the whole thing which made everything I've read seemed more real and vivid in my mind.

I am already antsy and looking forward to the second book. I wonder what adventures are awaiting me in book two? Thank you Moira for writing such a supercalafragilisticexpialidocious book. Hats off to you :D

P/S: Nero! How could I ever forget him?? I am so sorry Nero. Nero is so, so cute! At times, I even forget that Nero was just a crow. There was a passage that mentioned Nero somewhere in the middle of the book and I was like, for a moment, "Who's this Nero? Did I miss this person somewhere?" and then I was like, "Oh, yeah. Nero's the smart crow who's more like a person than an actual crow." Lol. It was so funny. Nero is like a part of Saba. If anything ever happened to him, my heart will be so broken. I've grown so fond of this human crow.


“Ever heard of the rule of three? he shouts as we run. 
If you save somebody's life three times, their life belongs to you. You saved my life today, that makes once. Save it twice more an I'm all yers.” 

“Yer in my blood, Saba, he says. Yer in my head. Yer in my breath, yer in my bones...gawd help me, yer everywhere. You have bin since the first moment I set eyes on you.” 

Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

By Alex Flinn
Release Date: December 29th, 2009
Number of Pages: 300
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright--a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever--ruined--unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

My Review:

I was hooked the moment I started reading it. The chat group was and still is very unexpected. I totally love it. Reading about the fairy tale characters I grew up loving. Alex Flinn did a great job in the modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Her descriptions of things, people and places are so descriptive and beautiful.

I felt one with the characters. I couldn't put it down. Finished it within a few hours. Hmmmmm...Adrian. Kyle. I love how Alex personified him - before and after. I totally love the pretentious and prettified way he began to speak. "Who dares disturb my roses?", "I'm here, my love." 

I'm in love with this book. I'm in love with the world and story. Totally worth every cent and penny.

Book Review: Angel by L.A. Weatherly

Angel (Angel #1)
By L.A. Weatherly
Release Date: October 1st, 2010
Number of Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Blurb from Goodreads:

Angels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible.

Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch.
But what if their potent magnetism isn't what it seems?
Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars.
Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from.

Until she meets Alex…
Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her.
The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible.
In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

My Review:

Update as of 21st Sept 2011

I was going through my reviews and happened to click on this; went through the book mentally which was stored in a space in my brains and decided to elevate its status to four cheery loves.
And YES, I am continuing with this trilogy and am hyped up over the soon-to-be-released Angel Fever! FYI, I just placed an order for it in Bookdepository.

11th June 2011
It's between a 3 and 4 but leaning more towards 3. . I like the different and unique twist Weatherly had to the concept of angels being evil and feeding off humans in order to survive. The first time I read it, I only got 2-3 chapters in and then completely gave up on it. I gave it a second chance when I was looking for something sweet and cheesy. This book survived this time. Lucky you. I like the characters enough. They did not annoy to the extent of me wanting to roll my eyes.

Other than that, everything was pretty okay. I do have to agree with Mocha Latte that it was a bit 'twilight-ish' especially the romance between the leads. Not that it's a terrible thing or anything but well maybe too sweet for my taste. I've never fallen in love so I have no idea how it actually feels like to be in love like that, so, it's not for me to judge how the romance should be played out. Maybe falling in love is like that. I dunno. Lol. But anyho, I still think that there were too many kissing and declarations of love over and over again. It got too overwhelming and sickeningly sweet. I was like, "Okay, they're going to kiss again and vow their undying love for each other". Sighs.

I appreciated that the secrets were surprisingly quick to be revealed and all the actions were going full out throughout the book but then when they finally got together, everything kind of trickled and petered out.
The story kept me interested enough to consider reading the sequel. I may or I may not. That depends on the level of cheesiness. I can only tolerate that much.

In My Mailbox #01

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren


Lol. As you can see from the picture above, it was a real big book haul seeing as I purchased them all.

Standing (From left):

  • Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon @Goodreads
  • The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa @Goodreads
  • Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch @Goodreads
  • Jack Blank and the Secret War by Matt Myklusch @Goodreads
Lying (From Top Left):
Bottom Left:
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi @Goodreads
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater @Goodreads
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor @Goodreads
  • Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié @Goodreads
And I accidentally left this out:

  • Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2) by Marianne de Pierres @Goodreads
Angel Arias has an awesomely gothic cover, no?!

For Review From Netgalley:

  • Spellcaster (Spellbound #2) by Cara Lynn Shultz @Goodreads
  • Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2) by Aimee Carter @Goodreads
And that's all for now. So, what are yours? Do share. =D


Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4)
By Julie Kagawa
Release Date: October 26th, 2011
Number of Pages: 361
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Review:

It has been an amazingly wondrous magical journey. I feel so sad and yet happy that I have reached the end of my Iron Fey journey. The Iron Knight has been insightful where we, as readers and fans of Team Ash, got to delve deeper into the very essence and being of Ash. Why, how, what. The questions that swirled within me, they were cleared up in this book. I'm so proud of Ash.

He has bravely overcome all obstacles and pains to gain a soul. Not only that, to prove to everyone and most importantly himself - a chance for Meghan and him to really have a life together. I'm feeling rather sorrowful having to bade Ash, Meghan, Puck, Grim and the rest of the Fey folks farewell. *sniffles*

But, I'm a little comforted over the news that there will be a spin-off series focusing on Ethan Chase, Meghan's cute brother, as the protagonist. I'm really looking forward to it but at the mean time, I shall indulge myself in the bonus content included in the paperback copy of The Iron Knight. *I smell blood! (Scurries off to bonus content)

Book Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2)
By Julie Kagawa
Release Date: August 1st, 2010
Number of Pages: 359
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

My Review:
Breathtaking. Thrilling. Heartstopping. The stakes are higher than before. The Iron Daughter is a fantastic spin of action, romance and heartbreaks. Meghan was a mess in the first few chapters of the story. She was crying a lot in The Iron Daughter but thank god she snapped out of it and was the old Meghan we all loved again.

Ash is brilliant as always. I love how the challenges, obstacles and conflicts he faced in his relationship with Meghan were played out. It breaks my heart and there are questions swirling in me wanting answers.

Puck is the joker of the group. He is simply adorable and awesome as always. Although I do love him, my heart belongs to Ash.
All the characters that were in the first book are back: Grimm, Ironhorse and as well as new characters.

And I am so fond of Ethan, Meghan's cute 4 yo brother. Although his scenes were brief, he has always left a deep impression upon me. I can't wait to read the spinoff series focusing on an older him.

The Iron Daughter was simply wonderful. The pace was fast and 'read till' can't put it down' exhilarating. The Iron Fey series is a simply MUST read. Go grab it now!

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King (Iron Fey #1)
By Julie Kagawa
Release Date: February 1st, 2010
Number of Pages: 363
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

My Review:
The story was a little slow going in the beginning. I found myself slogging through Part I. Fortunately things got better when all the actions started. Okay. I'm admitting it. Mostly when Ash made his appearance. Grim and Puck are funny characters. They were the antidepressant pills in the story.

The story has a depressing and dark atmosphere. Not much romance. Julie gave very brief but boy oh boy, very tension filled chemistry between Meghan and Ash. She really knows how to make us go "AHHHHH..I want moreee!!!!"

All in all, a pretty good read if you prefer action to romance.

Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
By Kelly Creagh
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Number of Pages: 543
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

My Review:
**Minor Spoilers Ahead. You have been warned! Proceed at your own risk**

Oh. My. Freakin'. Good. Lord. I can't breathe. My heart just stopped beating when I turned the last page. It is such a beautifully written story. So poetic. So in tune with every cell and fiber of my being. The story flowed so fluidly and never was there a dull moment. At every page, the anticipation and adrenaline built up inside me. I was hooked to the spine of this book like how Isobel was hooked to Varen. How my heart aches just to think and utter his name.

The ending totally killed me. My heart was shattered into a million pieces. Waiting for a whole freakin' year - 2012 - just to read about Isobel and - owww - Varen again is totally driving me insane. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't stop staring at the hauntingly breathtaking cover. I so love the way Kelly Creagh crafted her story. So beautiful. So heartachingly gorgeous.

The characters and their relationships are so well written. So natural. She made you fall in love in the process - just like Isobel. Never in my literature life have I ever imagine to be so provoked over a Goth/Horror/Paranormal novel. So unforgettable. Isobel and Gwen. What can I say? They totally kickass. Go Girls! Danny oh Danny. Though you appear less, but you totally stole my attention. Varen Nethers. God.

Oh yeah..I forgot to thank Mr.Poe. My hugest gratitude to you. If it weren't for you, Varen and Isobel will cease to exist. And so will this book and its mind blowing contents.

And now I shall torture those who haven't read this book with a few teasers.

She'd never been kissed like that before - like the shell of her soul had evaporated.

My beautiful, my Isobel. My Love. You
ask me to wait. And so I wait.
For all of this, I know, is but a dream.
And when, in sleep, at last we wake,
I will see you again.

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
By Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Number of Pages: 452
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ 1/2

Blurb from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

My Review:
It was between a 'it was ok' and 'like it' rating.

Erm, how do I start?! The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was one insane mindtwist. When I started reading, I was haunted with so many questions and confusions over Mara and her hallucinations(if they were even that to began with). But by the end of the book, instead of being blessed with revelations and light at the mouth of the dark tunnel, I was further confounded. Not that those weren't good things. They were as I enjoyed the psychological twists but the whole thing just befuddled me and I had no idea what was real and what was just hallucinations. It left me musing whether this was a paranormal scenario like X-Files or it was just a psychological drama.

I can say that I did enjoy all the creepiness, the dead bodies and all the mysteries surrounding Mara *X-File or Criminal Minds music plays*. But...yes, there's a BIG but. BUT, I could already figure out that Mara possessed a super deadly power when she viscerally killed her next victim. Ah! The effects of reading too much mystery stories. Joy!

On the other hand, I did not see that coming concerning Noah. I really didn't. A bonus point there.

I also enjoyed the banters between Mara and Noah. They were very entertaining and I liked Mara a lot better when she was around Noah and her brothers because when alone, she tend to be all emo and stuff. I really liked her brothers though. They were such refreshing characters that helped lightened the dark aura of the book.

All in all, I was slightly let down as there were so much high expectations and hype for this book(note the awesome cover!). Also, my enthusiams for it were dampened by all the different things being mixed and concocted till' you don't know what the final results were supposed to be. Nevertheless, Michelle Hodkin did do a great job for mushing my brains - in a good way - and I applaud her for that.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy #1)
By Jonathan Stroud
Release Date: May 12th, 2004
Number of Pages: 462
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb from Goodreads:
Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.

My Review:
It took some getting use to fully immerse myself in the world Stroud created. My mind tended to focus on a Victorian era London and I had to constantly remind myself that this was a modern London, ruled by magicians and their systems. The writing style and characterisation just gave off that Victorian feel.

Bartimaeus was an extremely unscrupulous djinn with an attitude to boot. He really had me laughing at all his quips and smart retorts. He really is something altogether.
Nathaniel was a veeeeeery determined and stubborn magician's apprentice. But I have to give him credit for his brilliance in absorbing knowledge and guts in his actions.

As I've commented in my goodreads status, it really frustrated me when knowing he was going to be a great magician some day but at the moment, he was young, lonely and rather helpless at the hands of Lovelace and even those boys+girl without Barti around. Again, I had to chastise myself that he was only 12 y/o but had managed to accomplish a rather disastrous feat.

Overall, The Amulet of Samarkand was an enjoyable and hilarious read.

Book Review: From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die #2)
By Katie Alender
Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Number of Pages: 442
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ♥ ♥ 1/2

Blurb from Goodreads:
Alexis is the last girl you'd expect to sell her soul. She already has everything she needs--an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a little sister who's finally recovering after being possessed by an evil spirit, then institutionalized.
Alexis is thrilled when her sister joins a club; new friends are just what Kasey needs. It's strange, though, to see how fast the girls in The Sunshine Club go from dorky and antisocial to gorgeous and popular. Soon Alexis learns that the girls have pledged an oath to a seemingly benevolent spirit named Aralt. Worried that Kasey's in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the club themselves. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis trades in her pink hair and punky clothes for a mainstream look, and quickly finds herself reveling in her newfound elegance and success.
Instead of fighting off the supernatural, Alexis can hardly remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn't to destroy Aralt...why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?

My Review:
I didn't enjoy this as much as Bad Girls Don't Die. It didn't hold my interest like I expected it too. I found myself irritated at Alexis and losing my interest by the time I was almost halfway through. And I did the guilty thing - I sped read the rest. Urgh! Alexis was so, so, so self-absorbed, smug and downright snobbish (in a way) in the book. I got so irritated with her and all my liking for her in the first book flew out the window. Poor Carter! I have to agree with him to what he said to Alexis at the end of the book.

Alexis was so full of herself that she fell into a trap that she knew better not to. It could have been avoided but no! she was cocky and now everything's a huge mess which was worst than what happened in Bad Girls Don't Die. Alexis needs to learn to have faith and trust in those that care about her. She needs to learn to ask for help instead of bearing the responsibility and doing it all on her own.

Kasey was really likable in this book and Alexis was treating her like some suspect in a murder case from the start and I felt like slapping her. Gosh! Can't she be a sister instead of questioning and suspecting everything Kasey does? Fine, Kasey got herself into a mess before and hardly any blame could be put on Alexis's treatment to Kasey but still, she could be gentler in her ways.

I wish Carter could have played a bigger role in this book as he was hardly involved in anything in the first book. I feel like Carter was just an accessory. His romance with Alexis is sweet but not convincing and deep enough. I was hoping for progress as they only became an item at the end of the first book but instead, it went downhill here. And I still haven't commented on the plot? It's infuriating and my mind kept wandering off somewhere else. It's a merry-go-round, going in circles and tumbling down to the same thing. It reminds of the famous nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosie. Let's sing along folks!

A pocket full of posies;
Hush! hush! hush! hush!
We’re all tumbled down.

Nevertheless, I will still continue on with the series as I'm curious as to how the events will turn out. The cliffhanger at the end was good enough to make any readers curious.