Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Unraveling (Unraveling #1)

Unraveling (Unraveling #1) by Elizabeth Norris

Rating: 4.5 stars

Right now, I found that I'm in the mood of science-fiction novels. So, after reading Dreamless by Josephine Angelini which was a very heavy book for me, in a much needed break I picked up Unraveling. As soon as I read the blurb I was like: yes! Unique characters, great! Science-ficition, awesome! Crime/mystery involved, exciting! Actually included physics in it, correctly written physics facts and structure names too! All the better! (Haha, you might be thinking: what a nerd! But really, I love Physics, you have ta give me that XD But I hate it when author who don't know what in the world they are talking about attempting to write a science-fiction with the technological stuff, get real and learn your stuff!) 

I was instantly absorbed into the story of Unraveling. The first thing I found interesting was that instead of chapter numbers, each "chapter" was labelled by a set of countdown from the days accurate to the nearest second. So it was counting down towards the end of the book. Initially it started with something like 27 days, something hours, something minutes and some seconds I think (or something like that, sorry don't have the facts as I've already returned the book), and every chapter, it was counting down (though not the same intervals). I loved the idea of a countdown, it made me feel the pressure along with the characters as time passed by.

Another reason I really liked this book was because it involved a lot of things about the FBI. I have always been a crime/mystery fan and loved to read about solving a huge problem/mystery. The crux of the whole story was the main character Janelle Tenner had to solve a certain 'puzzle' (not literally) before the clock ran out and something terrible might happen. Janelle's Dad was the head of FBI counterintelligence and therefore Janelle learnt a great deal of being a detective from her Dad. She loved sneaking into her Dad's office to read files and try solving problems or giving ideas to her Dad about cases he hadn't been able to solve yet. Hence the whole point of her trying to solve this whole mystery (but there's a little more reason than that, which you will have to read and find out yourself). I learnt a lot more about FBI and crimes/crime scenes from this book, as well as other sciency stuff including innovative ideas about molecular structures (that was awesome!). The author was able to let me experience being a detective along with Janelle and hopefully try to figure things out before Janelle (though I didn't manage that all the time sadly).

I really liked the main character Janelle Tenner. I usually don't like the centre character as much, but in this case, I felt for her and understood her. Janelle was very independent, brave and smart. She had reasons to grow up fast and take care of her little brother Jared (as well as some other people). It's hard to take on the role of something of a parent of your younger sibling when you are not even truly expected to, but was force by circumstance. I felt sorry for her on that aspect and felt frustration and disappointment she sometimes had in her parents, especially her Dad. Aside from that, she also experienced other hardships that many girls may not necessarily be able to come to terms with. However, she was tough and knew what to do in certain situations and didn't let humiliation get the better of her. She was smart AP student (yay for having a smart girl as the main character and not just some girl who can do great bodily harm but can't figure out a simple Algebra problem). Her actions in the book and the way she conducted herself really warmed my feelings towards her.

Another character I couldn't go without in this book was Alex. He was Janelle's best friend. No matter what happened, he stood by her and listened to her. Believed her and believed in her when hardly anyone else would. He would do anything for her and also followed what she said in situations when she needed him. And he was always there when she needed him and took a lot of care of her (and vice versa). Janelle and Alex were lucky to have each other and have such a pure and trusting friendship. Another point, I liked how Alex was a geek (not completely but close enough) who pretty much aced all his subjects and love 'playing' FBI (while not exactly 'playing', I meant he helped Janelle a lot at figure out all the cases and problems). 

Ben and Janelle's romance wasn't exactly as I expected, though some parts of it were easy to guess. However, I liked how they both took responsiblities and didn't rush in head first to anything. I also liked the trust and complete honesty Ben and Janelle had with each other. I really look forward to see whether there would be any more of them and if so, how in the next book.

In the blurb it said that "the stakes are even higher when someone close to Janelle was murdered" (or something along the lines). While, that one hit a bit too close to home. I really didn't like the choice of the character but knew that it was inevitable. I felt every bit of Janelle's pain over loosing someone close due to Norris' excellent writing (mostly).

The one thing that I didn't feel content with, and therefore probably pulled the book down for me was once again, the ending. Why can't YA book nowadays just finish with a decent end?! The ending killed it for me. I was so angry and frustrated, it wasn't even funny! When I finished, I had a rage. I didn't understand why the author did that and cried over the lost of some people. It was unforgivable! I think mostly she did that so that she could write a second book. But I seriously don't see how and what she is going to write about in the next. But if the writing is good and she keeps up her science goodies, I may be willing to give a try.

All in all, this is a book worth reading. Everything except the ending was great, if you haven't add it to your TBR list and is interested in science-fictions, you should definitely give it a go!

Synopsis from Goodreads

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, Janelle knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her reincarnation, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI-agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Giveaway at Ivy Book Bindings

If you would like to win a pre-order copy of a book of your choice from a list of amazing book, check out the giveaway at Ivy Book Bindings here: 


Friday, 27 July 2012

Dreamless (Starcrossed #2)

Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini

Rating: 3.5 stars

I was terrified to read this book. I even put it down for once after reading the prologue and waited for three weeks before I had to read it again because it was due in the next week at the library. Partly of why I put it down was because I couldn't remember the story from book 1 too well as it had been so long! But another part of why is something that always happens to me before I pick up the second book in series which the first book had truly impressed me. If I love a book which is the first in the series, I usually found that it's rather hard for the second book to step up, instead they usually ruin it a little. I truly loved Starcrossed (I will put the synopsis and cover at the end of this review for those who have not read it). I'm vastly interested in Greek mythology and other myths, Starcrossed and Dreamless were the author's completely original take on these Greek myths and characters, and I loved it. Every new take held something new from the author yet some parts of the original tales. Starcrossed was not only beautifully written, it had a wonderfully spun storyline and 'real' characters. I liked everything about it except the ending. The ending was a bitter disappointment as well as a shocking cliffhanger. I really hated that and it pulled the book down for me. I was dreading a little of how Dreamless will start.

It started alright, and I gradually got absorbed back into the story and the Greek background. But before I go on to talk about its writing style, character or storyline, there's one thing I found really unforgivable about this book. Why did the author put in a love triangle here?! What on earth were you thinking?! I hate love triangles! Did I mention how much I hate love triangles? Not all love triangles, but just the ones that aren't there for a good reason or not necessary at all, plus badly written.  So many recent YA books have involved a love triangle somewhere, and most of them didn't even need to be there in the first place! Same situation here, I just felt like Josephine Angelini threw in a love triangle because it was the "cool thing" to do and it would drag out the story a bit more. While I liked the introduction of a new lovable character, I didn't appreciate the role he had in this book. Maybe I am biased towards Lucas and Helen's relationship, but I really didn't connect with the other new relationship in this book. 

Lucas, oh Lucas. I've always had a soft spot for Lucas out of the YA novels, but I had no love for what the author turned Lucas into in this book. I want the old Lucas back! I have mentioned before that I really didn't like the typical YA relationships where a guy meets a girl and they are perfect for each other, but then something happens and the guy (usually) finds out he's "not good for her" and trys to push the girl away, even by being hateful to her. I mean, how could you do that to someone you love? You can't just say "I love you" one day and then completely turn a raging monster towards the person you love the next day! If there is a problem between the two of you, explain it and talk it out! Figure out a solution together if you are really in love. There is something called communication, and I just felt the author completely ignore that between Lucas and Helen in this book. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't even seem reasonable and that really took the meaning of the story away for me. You can't have something which totally didn't match with something in the previous book. 

Dreamless picked up right after Starcrossed, it continued life of the Demi-gods of the Delos Clan and Helen after Helen's mother Daphne drop a bomb shell about Helen and Lucas. It took me a while to get back into the story, I kept feeling unsure about where the story will go and if it would bring something of a sparkle in the Greek tales. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed, I kept waiting for it to get better, though it did pick up some where past the half-way mark, it just didn't do it for me. The plot was predictable and didn't have the "wow" factor I associated with Starcrossed. I got bored at a few places and was annoyed at a lot of the character's actions. My friend and I were reading this book together, and she started it a bit earlier than me so when I got frustrated with the storyline I kept asking her whether it gets better or not, and it seemed like we had similar opinions regarding this book. To sum up, it did get better, but not good enough.

As the main character, Helen seemed too weak for me here. Gone was the fierce, strong and powerful descendent of Scions, Helen turned damsel in distress overnight. Yes, she was still determined, but that came across as empty determination for me. Without Lucas, she had no center, and that was why I really want their relationship to just get back to normal. Lucas was good for Helen and vice versa, without Lucas, Helen was a pathetic mess. However her friends care for her, she just didn't seem to be able to hold herself together. 

I really liked Orion in this book. Even though I really didn't want to like him (more like determined not to like him), but he was just too likable. If there was a best friend I could have, I would like to have a friend like him too. He was caring and sweet, honest and open. But I have a feeling something is going to change in the next book...

I liked the mention and meeting of some of the Gods and other characters in the original Greek mythologies. In Angelini's story, some of them seemed so different from how I viewed them. I loved the variety of character from the new characters. 

The writing was entertaining and nice, but no more than that. I didn't really connect with most of the characters through the author's writing this time, and that was another regretful disappointment for me. I could only feel some of the emotions that came out, but mostly it was the heavy emotions such as dread, fear and hurt. That was why this book felt so heavy for me and I really needed to take a break from it with something lighter and happier after reading it. 

Overall, it was a disappointing second instalment of the series, however it still contained my interest and I made it to the end. I myself, have a perfect ending for this story, but I really don't know where and how the author will take it next. But I hope Lucas and Helen will be together again and that Daphne will be telling the truth soon instead of what I was feeling like one lie after another lie. 

Synopsis from Goodreads

Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out--a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.
Josephine Angelini's compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling "Starcrossed" delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1)

 Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention. 

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Rating: 4 stars

The initial impression this book gave me was that it was hopeless, useless pages of rabbles. At first, I didn't understand what in the world it wanted to get across (if anything at all) and I wondered if it would get better. After I finished, I still didn't really like it, didn't know why it was said to be one of the top Classics of all time. It felt like the author wasted all his time to write and the book was a waste of paper. But then, as I thought about it, I did manage to finish the whole book no matter how much opinions I have against it. It was interesting enough to get me reading. So after all it must not be too bad.

I re-read some parts of it and found the writing to be very funny and entertaining, thought not my usual style. The main character Holden Caulfield is a 16 year-old high school student who despised the students and teachers in the top schools (which he has been to and had been expelled on 4 multiple ocassions). He is not a dumb person but he didn't want to try because he felt like that all those other people are so unrealistic and full of pretense that disgusted him. One of the funnist part I read was about his grades, he failed every subject except English. 

There are a lot of deep morals and reasons that people should realise from reading this book. In between the seems-like-useless-banter of lines, J.D. Salinger presented morals that needed to be thought through before you can understand them. Are the people who Holden dislikes really that fake? Are they really that good? What kind of people deserves respect? Holden "has become an icon for teenage rebellion", and this book has always been on the 100 best English-language novels from 1951 to 2005 and many many people have read it and liked it. It's true, the more I think about what the author has written and what Holden did/thought (the books is essentially just about him, his actions and his thoughts), the more I get what the writer was trying to say and the themes such as identity and social relationships. 
This is not my favourite book, but it's definitely a book worthy of reading. It is one of the funniest and most interesting books I have read, no matter in style, writing or content. If you have time and my review hasn't put you off, you should pick it up some time. 

Synopsis from Goodreads

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Touch (Denazen #1)

Touch (Denazen #1) by Jus Accardo

Rating: 4 stars

Touch is something of a guilty pleasure of mine. I took out the book and sat there on Sunday morning thinking that maybe I would like this book, and should give it a go, taking a break from all the Greek mythology I had been reading (I was reading Dreamless by Josephine Angelini and I will do a review on that shortly). However, I found myself glued to the pages in my hands and pretty much devoured the whole book with my eyes before I put it down. I finished the whole book in one day and then ended up re-reading most of it that day too (I'm one of those people who re-reads books I liked). Afterwards though, I thought that maybe I really shouldn't have liked it that much, but I did. According to the style of writing and the sort-of typical YA plotline, I really shouldn't have liked it THAT much. But I guess I was just in the mood of a book like that to relax my thoughts and drown in some action. It was quite exciting and fast-moving. 

Like I said, I shouldn't have liked it that much because of the typical YA plot line. It wasn't that bad, and some things were still rather original, but the whole story just yelled out the word "typical", especially the synopsis. But it's one of the only typical books I enjoyed. As typical as it seemed, it wasn't predictable (Thank God!). I didn't know what was going to happen and was bursting to know what's coming next. It was almost as if the author had turned me into the adrenaline junkie the main character Dez was, wanting to feel every rush and high that came with the twists and turns of the story and the emotion. The writing was alright, not too bad but not too descriptive either. But it described the details just enough for me to imagine and experience the story with the characters. I can imagine the characters and their surroundings just right, I can visualise every move they make and every twitch in the environment. I could actually connect with the central characters and feel their feelings, which is something I found quite important in a book personally. If I can't feel their emotions, it would be like there's always an invisible wall between the characters, their emotions and intentions, and me. Touch, however, pulled me right in and took me along for the ride.

Another reason why I really liked the book and couldn't resist branding it as a guilty pleasure was because of the main guy character Kale. I loved this central character. He was so sweet! Even though he was taught and brought up one way, he isn't the cold-blooded weapon he believed himself to be. His innocence and his love for Dez was adorable and he would go to the ends of earth to protect her and be with her. I also really liked Dez who is the main character and whose perspective the reader was reading in. She was strong and full of spunk, but not really the invincible kind either. She needed to have others there for her at hard times, which is understandable, but she was also very determined and stubborn, quote: "I rein as the Queen of Stubborn". Kale and Dez's relationship is something I would root for, it was so sweet! Unlike a lot of other YA pairs, where the guy always says he loves the girl but he's bad for her, and tries to push the girl away, Kale and Dez understood how precious what they had was, and they treasured it. They didn't ever try to hurt each other that way, it was awesome to finally read a YA with a straight forward relationship!! Please please Jus Accardo, do not change that in the next book! I would get seriously mad if that happened... 

This book was full of double-crossings.  I loved to read about double-crossing and see how the characters work their way through them and their reactions when they find out about them. It also involved a lot of logical thinking to solve problems. Problem solving with logic was used plenty by Dez to figure out some intense plots against them. It was fun to try figuring out problems before the characters did.

Just thought I would mention that the synopsis of the book really doesn't tell you much. All of that happened like in the first few pages of the book. The book was way better than its description sounded. It was quite a fast paced action-packed book. I loved the idea of "Sixes" and their abilities, but Dez's Dad freaked me out a bit, I absolutely hated him! (It's ok, I'm not ruining anything, he's supposed to be the bad guy like from page 1). And I really didn't like Alex. I won't say anymore, you can go figure that one out yourselves! 

I can see why some people thought it might be similar to Shatter Me from reading the synopsis, but seriously, they are two totally different book. If you didn't like Shatter Me, please don't judge Touch by it, it would be such a shame. Yes, they might have a tiny bit of similarity in the idea of a death touch, but the similarity ended there. 

Well, that's about it for my rant today, now that I've read Touch (I was hesitanty about it before I started reading), I am really excited for Toxic to come out at the end of this year. More Kale and Dez will be super awesome! XD But Jus Accardo, please don't ruin my contentment with the way you wrote this book with the next one. No useless bad boys personas, no love triangles, no predictable boring plots and no weak, whiny main characters!!

Synopsis from Goodreads

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse #1)

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication Date: 2nd Octorber, 2012

Rating: 3.5 stars

Firstly, thanks to Angry Robot for letting me read and review this ARC of The Assassin's Curse on NetGalley. 

I was really excited to find out about this book and when I got this ARC, I went straight to read it. But as soon as I started, I found myself slightly confused about the writing style and setting for this book, as well as what age it was intended for. It was a really olden day kind of style of writing but some of the things mentioned in it was also kind of modern. So I was really confused at first. The language used at the beginning also struck me as rather simple and childish. 

Still, I continued reading it and in fact did find this book as funny and entertaining. The plot got better as it progressed. I really enjoyed having a pirate girl as the main character; she was strong, skillful and knows when to do certain things and when she should keep her mouth shut (unlike a lot of immature YA main female characters I had come across). I also got used to the strange language and its faults, I have to say: I didn't want to put it down until I finished, the story pushed me forward to flip each page for more of Ananna and Naji's turbulent and exhilarating adventures. This really surprised me, because usually if I didn't like a particular writing style I would not want to continue the book.

Despite the weird feeling Clarke's writing style of the book gave me, I have to admit that to keep the whole book in such a type of writing is quite hard to do and I give her credit for that. It reminded me of the writing style of the book Chime by Franny Billingsley. Unlike Chime, which I didn't really like and couldn't get used to its strange feeling of the placing of the words, the more I read the more I liked Clarke's writing. It seemed like a combination of the older English with the ragged language of pirates and other lower society slangs, but I can't be sure, I will have to ask Clarke about it! 

Many parts of the story was entertaining and funny, especially when Ananna initially met Naji, but some parts of the story were meaningful at the same time. I learnt a lot more about pirates after reading this book and by the end of it, sort of figured out the time and setting of the story. Still slightly confused though. Because I couldn't connect with the character through this style of writing, I couldn't feel a lot of the characters' emotions and couldn't think in their place, for this I didn't enjoy this book as much as I might have otherwise. Naji seemed a particular puzzling character and I'm not even sure if I really like him all that much. He seemed so opposite to Ananna and I ended up wondering what he really thought half of the time (the book was written in first person perspective of Ananna). The plot was a bit dragging and slow in the middle, and not much happened in this whole book. The story was actually quite different from its synopsis and I found myself slightly disappointed at that and the lack of real substance at times. 

Overall, the story was simple and sort of child-like, maybe written for readers a few years younger than myself, between Year 7-Year 9? But it was still entertaining and kept me wanting to read it (quite an accomplishment for this book) and I would really like to read the next book when it comes out next year to see whether it would be the same style of writing, if it has improved and whether the plot will be more mature. I do enjoy pirate stories and hope that Ananna continue to be sensible and fiery at the same time!


Ananna of the Tanarau is the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the loose assortment of cutthroats and thieves in the Pirate's Confederation. When she runs away from the marriage her parents have arranged for her, they hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

When a mysterious woman in a dress shop offers her magical assistance for dealing with the assassin, Ananna accepts. She never went in much for magic herself -- she lacks the talent for it -- but she's not quite ready to die yet, either. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails.

Fortunately, Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him a few years earlier. Now, whenever her life is in danger, he must protect her -- or else he experiences tremendous physical pain. Neither Ananna nor the assassin, Naji, are pleased about this development.

Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe, visiting such mysterious places as the Court of Salt and Waves, in their desperate effort to lift the curse. Soon they will discover that only by completing three impossible tasks will they be able to set themselves free.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Giveaway at Turning The Pages

There's an amazing giveaway at Turning The Pages. I really hope I will win!! XD But if you want to check it out, here's the link:


Versatile Award

Versatile Award

So, I've finally had a little bit of time tonight to write a post about a blog award I got! XD I've also received the Liebster award, but I still haven't gotten around to write a post on that, will try to do that soon, no promises though! XD But I would also like to take this opportunity to say that, as much as I like receiving blog awards and I'm so happy that anyone would nominate me, I just don't usually have the time to post anything for it or to tag others. So from now on (after my post about the Liebster Award I got), this will be a blog award free blog. Thanks anyway!! :)

OK, so, back on topic, thanks to Nic at Bookmark Reviews, Sharissa at It's all about the books and Sunshine at A Thousand Books and Still Going for nominating me for this blog award. Please check out their blogs, there are some awesome reviews there!


1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
2. Let the nominated bloggers know that they have been nominated for this award
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself
4. Thank the blogger who has nominated you
5. Add the Versatile Award picture to your post

7 random facts about myself:

1. I love the outdoors. I really enjoy tramping, camping and hiking. I even read under a tree somtimes when the weather is nice.
2. I have a little sister who is 6 years younger than me.
3. My favourite subject is Physics. I also really like Chemistry (actually all the sciences are awesome XD).
4. I play the flute, the piano and I sing
5. My all-time favourite movie is The Lord of The Rings (my favourite favourite would be The Fellowship of The Ring).
6. Right now there are 12 books stacked beside my bed which I will have to finish in the next month. (hey I've already got through a few since I last counted!) I read fast. 
7. I love art, especially architecture. I would love to vist all the famous architectures in all parts of the world and see them with my own eyes. I might not want to leave them when I see them! But I also have a soft spot for oil paintings.

So, blogs I will tag (sorry, I don't think I'm going make it to 15... so many people had already been tagged! I know I know, sorry!):

Project Pages
Paper and Pages
Singing the Melody of my life
YA Book Season

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Partials (Partials #1)

Partials (Partials #1) by Dan Wells 

Rating: 4.5 stars

I got this out a few weeks ago but only just got around to finish it today. This is what happens when all the library books you have requested ages ago come in for you all at once. I have about one month to read something like 17 books! 
Anyway, I read the synopsis for this book and was instantly drawn to it, so I was very excited to start reading it a few days ago. I had quite a high expectation, and I'm very glad to tell you: "Yay!! I loved this book"!

Science fictions, especially for young adults, are usually quite hard to write. Because the background of the book have to be somewhat scientific, full of imagination, be able to capture the reader's interest yet have deepth. Most YA science fictions I have read disappointed me a little, but Dan Wells did a darn good job at this book, it captured and contained my interest, full of action, had deepth and knowledge as well as managing to write at a high standard. I'm impressed.

Partials started off a bit slow, I was not as entertained at the beginning as I was after that, but I was still curious enough to read on. But I guess this is understandable as the beginning needed to explain a lot of things, let the reader get used to the science-fiction environment and some terminology. So if you aren't too impressed by the first 30 or so pages, don't scream in frustration and throw down the book! Calm yourself and continue, you will be positively rewarded and grateful for that decision. The pace then gradually built up towards the climax and the whole story/plot evolved to the next level, drawing the reader right in. I didn't want to put the book down after the first 30 or so pages. From that point on, it was action-packed and would make your blood pump harder (or mine did as I "ran" along with the actions the main characters took part in). The climax was awesome, and you could clearly see where the climatic point was. Do you know what's one of the most annoying things that can happen while you read? Having to put the book down right in the middle of the climax! That's what I had to endure while reading between classes. *sigh* once again, the ending was a huge cliffhanger and I can't emphasis enough on how MUCH I WANT the next book. I didn't want the story to end and am looking forward to more actions (perferably not stupid actions) in the next book!

There were a lot of medical related knowledge in this book, involving many scientific calculations and examinations as well as some futuristic approaches to problems. I really liked that as the science subjects are my favourite subjects and I'm kind of good at that area, so it's nice to read something that had the right knowledge in it and was able to develop a story around it so well. Kira, the main character herself, was a medic.

The heroine was kick-ass and strong. I love strong central female characters. Kira was solid, brave and intelligent. She was so smart! Also, she never gave up and always believed there would be a solution to the problems she encountered, she was determined and trusting. She was always the lead in whatever action they need to take and was able to make others listen to her and help her. Some called her crazy (not really in a bad way) and I found lots of the conversations and actions funny and entertaining. Jayden and Samm were also other characters whom I really liked.

The writing style was a balanced combination of extended description and short sharp sentence/dialogues that pushed the pace forward. Dan Wells used the human senses to help in his descriptions and did so successfully. I couldn't complain much about his writing style as I did many other YA novels, so congrats! The book is written in third-person but using Kira as the central character. I have always found male authors who wrote in a girl's perspective weird and uncomfortable, but Dan Wells really gave me a brillant suprise. He is almost the only male author so far in books I read who has successfully written in a girl's perspective. I didn't found many faults in there and there were only a few places where I felt he could have written a little better as a girl which suggested that the author is a guy. But overall it was great.

All in all, it was an excellent read and I have to endure another long wait until Fragments comes out!! 

Synopsis from Goodreads

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.
Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar GalacticaPartials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Until I Die (Revenants #2)

Until I Die (Revenants #2) by Amy Plum

Rating: 4 stars

After many, many hours of waiting, I finally got to hold Until I Die in my hands. This is the sequel to Die For Me by Amy Plum. I thoroughly enjoyed Die For Me, it was amazingly written and had a gripping plot. So, when I had Until I Die in my hands and were about to open it, I was actually afraid, just like when I was about to read Insurgent (Divergent #2). That was because the first book in the trilogy was so good, I didn't know if the sequel will live up to my expectations or ruin the series. But don't worry, I got over my fear and was immediately thrust back into the familiar settings of the Paris undead world.

Considering how hard it was to live up to the glamourous debut of the trilogy, Until I Die actually did a pretty good job. I had always enjoyed Amy Plum's writing: it was fluid, comfortable and with precise picking of words. Her books are also some of the rare YA novels which contain high quality vocabulary (I love good language and vocab!).

Throughout the book, she used many imagery and language features such as similes and metaphors. These imagery let me experience the scenes/events and settings as if I was there myself, feeling the Parisian wind or the coast of Nice. I really wanted to go visit France after reading this.  It also appealed to my senses (all of them: taste, smell, sight, sound and touch) and lured me further into the story. Because it was written in first person, the reader got lots of insights to Kate's thoughts and her understand of the situation. It both helped to lead the readers into the wrong conclusions when the author wanted at the same time made it easier for me to understand certain situations. I'm not sure if I was supposed to, but about two-thirds of the way through, I was one step ahead of the main character(s) and kind of knew what was going to happen.

After my praising of the lovely writing, you know what's coming next. Though I enjoyed it, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed in this book. In the first book, both the writing and the plot complemented each other, making the story flawless and seamless. The plot was exciting and was at an exactly right pace. The second book however, felt a little dragged on at places. The pace was a bit too slow and some scenes/thoughts/descriptions appeared to be unnecessary and dragging. Not much actually happened in this book. For a good half of the book, no action or significant event actually took place and we were stuck with Kate's daily routines or some more romantic stuff. OK, I love romance and romantic relationships, but when parts of books which promised action is reduced to that, I'm not very happy. For some reason, Kate and Vincent's relationship seemed far more distant to me than it was in the previous book. I used to hang on to every touch and scene they share and actually felt all of their emotions, but here, I only felt or connected to them occasionally and didn't really root for them as much. But the relationship between them itself wasn't as smooth in its course either, so that might have contributed towards how I felt. 

Things only got real interesting after about two-thirds of the book (or at least past the half-way mark), when some real action took place. So I was unsatisfied about the plot construction and pace, hence the 4 star rating.

My favourite character was not the main characters Kate or Vincent (it usually never is), but Jules: Vincent's best friend and a good friend to Kate. He was funny and flirty, yet serious when need be. He cared deeply for his friends and was always there to support and protect Kate. A part in the book made me respect and like him even more because of his unwillingness and refusal for anything to come between him and his best friend Vincent. His loyalty to his friend and Kindred was something worth admiring. He was a more light-hearted character who brought joy and fun to situations and lightened up atmospheres. Lastly, he was an exceptional artist which made me give me extra cool points! Haha, I love art, especially oil paintings.

I also really liked Ambrose, who considered himself a big brother to Kate. He apparently would have gotten a PhD in it if flirting was a subject XD

A few new characters were introduced in this book such as Violette and Arthur. I didn't like the new characters as much, but what can I say? I got attached to the old friends :D

The ending is another freakin' cliffhanger! I hate cliffhangers! Did I mention how much I dislike cliffhangers?? Ugh, why?! Amy Plum, before you did this, maybe you should have written AND published the third book first? :P 

All in all, the beautiful writing neutralised some of the plot's weakness and I still liked this book very much, almost loved it. Almost, but not quite. So I can't wait to read the third and final book If I Should Die next year! Another long wait...

Synopsis from Goodreads

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.
In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series. 

Clockwork Princess Cover

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) Official Cover!

There were no words to describe my reaction upon seeing this cover. I was speechless for once. This cover is so amazingly gorgerous and elegant that I can't think of a prettier cover for this book. I LOVE THIS COVER!!

Please, my fellow bloggers and readers, may I present to you the official book cover of Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare. (But maybe some of you had already seen this?) It was released a few days ago (maybe two?) so for once, I'm not totally behind.

Only the morning two days ago did I vote for my favourite fan-made cover of Clockwork Princess on The Infernal Devices Group on Goodreads, then yesterday I saw this! The covers of Cassandra Clare's books are really one better than the one before. This depiction of Tess seemed quite perfect to me (although it's not how I pictured Tessa to be). She took up a good space on the cover, holding a seemingly magical book full of light and even the Clockwork angel around her neck shone. I loved all of it, the figure, the lights, the book and the background. Can't wait to February 2013!! 

I will share with you here the synopsis of this book. If you haven't read The Infernal Devices or The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, you should. Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite YA authors (though the last two books of The Mortal Instruments were a bit of a disappointment to me). So if you haven't read Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) or Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2), Skip the next part and scroll down to see where I have put up the cover and synopsis for these first two books further down the post. 

Synopsis of Clockwork Princess
In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again? 

Synopsis of Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. 

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. 
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.  

Synopsis of Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Obsidian (Lux #1)

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 4 stars

Obsidian was an enjoyable, easy and fast read. I dove right into it and didn't want to put it down until I finished it. I pretty much finished it in one day (I didn't update my Goodreads status when I finished XP). It was action-packed, full of fun and unique characters. 

Daemon was a very interesting character. Throughout the book, I couldn't really pin point what goes on in Daemon's head. He can seem really annoying and rude, but then there was always something that suggested that 'he is not what he seems' or that type of reference, but the reader couldn't be sure. So this, for me, fell short in the portrayal of his character. I didn't seem to connect with him or like him as much as I did other male characters (for example, compared to Aiden of Half-Blood). He was a nice character and all, and lots of girls go crazy for him, but I just didn't feel too connected with him. 

This however, changed a little after I had read the little extra from Daemon's point of view. Those let me get into his head more and for once, understood what he was thinking or not thinking, and his motives for certain actions. It also made me think that he is, in fact, not the rudeness and arrogance he tries to be. 

Jennifer had a whole new take-on on aliens in her book, and it was very refreshing to read something alien-connected that wasn't "slimy green creatures" or giantic insects as the book put it. Human-looking aliens do have a certain charm on the readers and the central character Katy.

But one more thing that I didn't quite like was the amount of swearing, rude words and gestures used in the book. It was not a good influence and I thought the author might have over-done it. A little bit was ok, but the inappropriate gestures and language in Obsidian was not just 'a little bit'. I hope that there will be less rudeness and the characters will mature in the next book.
All in all, there were a lot more positives in this book than negatives, and some of the characters were very attractives and nice (Dee! She is an awesome friend!). So yea, I am looking forward to reading Onyx when it comes out. Don't know where Jennifer will take this series next? 

Synopsis 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. 

Torrent (River of Time #3)

Torrent (River of Time #3) by Lisa T. Bergren

Rating: 4 stars

*Warning* If you haven't read the previous books in the series and want to read them, this review may have the possibility of ruining some parts of the previous stories for you.

Torrent was a very nice finish to the River of time series, I really enjoyed rejoining the journey through Medieval Italy with Gabi and Lia.

Throughout this series, I had learnt many new things, including the history (well, at least part of it) of medieval Italy, the language people spoke, what they dressed like and their political views etc. I loved the fact that at the end of the day when I finished reading a book or a series, I felt a little bit wiser than when I started. It was quite a meaningful book (as were the first two books in the series), I liked the depictions of the characters and settings. The author always made sure the readers could imagine the scene (sets the scene well) and also what the characters were like. I felt many emotions of the characters, not just the central characters (even though it is written in first person perspective). 

Love was a very strong theme in this book, the strength of love was a continuous subject of the book. Faith was also a very, very strong point made by the author. After reading this, I had a better/new understanding of the Christian faith in medieval times and also in reality. Even though God wasn't a 'real' character in the book, you could always feel His presence between the lines and the strong faith people held on to. I felt the passion of the main characters in the book and the Faith they had in their believes.

Strangely, my favourite character was not the main male character Marcello (though he is a very likable character) or Gabi, the main girl, not even her sister Lia (they were both very brave). But it was Luca. He was adorable and super funny! He was Marcello's second. Having him in the book lightened up the dreary times and made the good times better. If I were one of the sisters who went back in time, I would probably have fallen in love with him like Lia :D

The reason I gave this a 4 star is that, comparing to the other two books in the series, it was just a little under my expectation. It sometimes could be a little overdone in the lovy-davy tone (too much love and faith can be a little annoying sometimes, especially on the forever-love etc. topic), but it was very romantic. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this series, Torrent finished it off nicely and I fell in love with ancient Italy too! XD

By the way, this book actually inspired my speech topic for this year's English assessment along with the first book in the series Waterfall. XP 

Synopsis from Goodreads

When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.

But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Discovering the book: The Assassin's Curse

I'm stumbling across lots of things book-related recently. So, I'm sorry to bother you all with my little discoveries XD But found this book called The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke today because a friend of mine was reading it. I first thought it was already out and my reaction was to go to the library website to request it. But then I looked up on Goodreads and found that no, there's still a good three months before it will be released!

Well, just to share with you here its cover which was released in May (haha yea I'm a bit behind aren't I?)

And the Synopsis:
Ananna of the Tanarau is the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the loose assortment of cutthroats and thieves in the Pirate's Confederation. When she runs away from the marriage her parents have arranged for her, they hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

When a mysterious woman in a dress shop offers her magical assistance for dealing with the assassin, Ananna accepts. She never went in much for magic herself -- she lacks the talent for it -- but she's not quite ready to die yet, either. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails.

Fortunately, Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him a few years earlier. Now, whenever her life is in danger, he must protect her -- or else he experiences tremendous physical pain. Neither Ananna nor the assassin, Naji, are pleased about this development.
Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe, visiting such mysterious places as the Court of Salt and Waves, in their desperate effort to lift the curse. Soon they will discover that only by completing three impossible tasks will they be able to set themselves free.

 (It's looking good, and hopefully won't disappoint!)

Seizure (Virals #2)

Seizure (Virals #2) by Kathy Reichs

Rating: 5 stars

Ahhh~ It was worth the long wait in the library waiting list XD Seizure is an amazing sequel to the first book in the series Virals. There really isn't much to say except that I loved this book. Science fictions can be fool-hardy and uncomfortable to read, but this series nailed it.

This is an amazing science fiction book, just as good (if not better) than Virals.
In Seizure, the main characters develop more and we see the pack of Virals becoming tighter and stronger. I really admire the heroine Tory as she is strong, determined and persuasive, she is an apt leader and knew how to tackle situation. The four Virals were also super smart and daring, I just got drawn right into the story and didn't want to put the book down until I finished. Faith, trust, determination and courage were some of the themes that stood out in this book. I experienced the emotions that the characters experienced and was in/apart of the story as much as the characters themselves. There were so much adrenaline mixed into an exciting adventure. Also, I learnt a lot of new information from reading this book (though some of them I may need to check if they are true? haha XD). In this second book, there is a hint of romance as well, I'm looking forward to see if it will bloom in the next book and where the author will take it next.
I just can't wait to read the third book Code when it comes out. So excited! Go the science geeks haha XD  

Synopsis from Goodreads

The second novel in the Virals trilogy from #1 bestselling author and inspiration for the TV series Bones - Kathy Reichs!

Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they've turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack! But now the very place that brought them together - the Loggerhead Island Research Institute - is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it!
So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can't believe her luck - buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren't the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals' special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble . . .