~ A Young Adult and Fantasy Book Blog ~

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.     When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
     With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

Actual rating 2.5 stars.

Whoa...hold on to your horse Katsa. Lemme explain why

*sigh* I feel as if I have betrayed this book and its fans. One thing, it took me about half a month to finish this. So, I don't think it's fair for me to review a book which I couldn't even remember some parts of it. I don't know, Graceling just didn't grab me, it lacked the spark I was looking for. The progress of the story was very slow for me and honestly, I could not understand why because this was supposed to be all that I ever wanted to read.

Trust me when I say I was really, really looking forward to read Graceling. The idea of a female assassin in an epic fantasy set in somehwat a medieval time was so, so appealing. It sounded irresistible like a unicorn dipped in nutella, leaping over a double rainbows.

But after few pages, I got distracted. In every sitting! Yes, some people did have issues with Katsa being portrayed as this man-hating lady killer, it didn't bother me so much because I sort of understand why was that, and why she refused to get married and bear children. She did not have an ideal father figure to begin with, the closest one she had was that sadistic uncle of hers, Randa.

And I would be traumatized as well if I had killed my cousin when I was eight years old.

There was a little inconsistency with Katsa's characterization in my opinion. She dared to disobey Randa's order for the sake of this one lord (can't remember his name. Katsa supposed to torture him so that he gives up one of his daughters) but in the wood, while trying to rescue Bitterblue, she didn't feel sorry to kill Leck's soldiers. They were innocent too, their mind was being controlled by Leck!

Po was quite charming. I liked his sort of bohemian style. He was sensitive and patient. Hmm...what else. It was quite a relief as well because at first I thought that their Grace were like X-men superpowers but the Grace proved to be very dynamic. I mean, the Grace were kind of like a separate characters on their own, not even the Graced truly understand what they actually possessed.

I think the aspect that truly killed my interest was the writing. It sounded detached from the readers (at least for me). The author was describing all these mundane things; horses, leaves, fire, I just felt it was not worth spending time reading about all these. I expected the action sequence could save the book, but not really. I didn't find my heart pounding faster while reading it.

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The Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Bee is imprisoned in a magical, cursed house because of her father's selfish choices, she has just one plan... escape! But she must solve a riddle and help her fellow prisoners break the curse that binds them all before she can leave, and that is proving more difficult than she originally thought thanks to the bitter young master of the house, Will.
Will wants nothing to do with Bee or her help (and he certainly isn't planning on falling in love with her), but he might have underestimated just how determined and clever--and irresistible--she can be.

Excuse me while I'm

for a while.

*Try to recompose myself which may or may not help in the construction of a coherent review because I'm pretty much in my fangirling mode*

My dear fellow readers,

I know there are a few reasons which render you feeling skeptical about the awesomeness of this Beauty and the Beast retelling.

1. The..well, the whole Beauty and the Beast retelling idea. When authors decided for their work to be based on a well known fairy tale, they either scored or failed miserably because they (the harsh word is, pardon me) basically ripped off these popular stories which most likely have a strong-based fans. So without a credit for originality, if you didn't nail it then your book will just be mocked around. Surprisingly, Miss Ellison here had done the near impossible task by nailing her version of Beauty and the Beast!

1. The title: Gee...if you put this book side by side to, let say,The Dark Divine, based on the title alone, I'd go with the latter on any days. But the title, The Curse Girl best suits the book anyway, so why I am complaining when the content is this good.

2. The cover: While I found the colour scheme as very nice, I'm always uncomfortable with model exposing her skin like that. (I know I should keep my conservative side to myself) but hey, Bee wasn't anywhere near a seductive or a sensual character, so the cover is a bit misleading for me.

3. Bee's full name is Beauty. At first, I was like, seriously? Craving for some originality here!  I remembered her inner monologue which mentioned that Beauty was not her real name but I didn't recall her name was fully revealed until the end of the story.

4. The length. Yup, it's very short. And sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! Here we got a book which doesn't kid you around, telling you about all these craps you don't even care. Actually, I'm glad this book is short, otherwise, it might fail to sustain its magic on me. Nothing rushed, nothing underdeveloped, it was just nice :)

5. It is only $2.99 on Amazon. Okay, so you're being suspicious to unusually cheap books? Read Angelfall then you'll vomit rainbows.

Okay, here comes the actual review.

The plot

I admit that the whole plot was a bit Disney-ish but not that kind of silly Disney where everything is too good too be true. I believe every thing that happened in this book made sense and was justified appropriately.

While the storyline may be obvious to some readers, I was quite blinded by my swooning over Will! Haha...sometimes it is fun to let the books taken you by surprise instead of you trying to figure everything out from page 1.

The characters

I actually like every single character in this book!

Beauty - I warned you while Beauty is a certified martyr, she is still in her junior year, so stuff like prom, ice cream, sleepovers are still within her concerns. Yes, she ain't no Katniss or Penryn, but she is a very resourceful character. She can be reckless sometimes but still within reasons. And yeah, she IS funny.

The steps to the labyrinth fell away from me. A dank draft caught the candle flame and made it dance.

“Maybe I’m supposed to go down these steps,”I muttered aloud. Famous last words, maybe. 

I inched forward. My toe bumped on the next step down. My chest squeezed tight.

An agonizing scream echoed from below. I froze. Better not go empty-handed. Who knows what was down there. I stepped back into my room and grabbed the candle bracket from the wall too. It was heavy brass. Good enough for braining monsters in a fight, right? Maybe not, but I felt better holding it.

See? I was useful.Apparently Beast Boy was too good to “paw around on the floor” and find things.

Beauty's father - While he was the reason why Beauty was trapped in Beast's mansion, he had her own reason and that reason was actually valid from my point of you. So, kudos to the author for not making me hate this guy.

Will - Hello? I think I might just found another Mr Darcy here! You must be thinking, since he is the Beast, he must be the dangerous, mysterious, brooding, cold kind of guy. I tell you what, I don't think he would lift a finger on a lady.

At first, he was moody and quick on snide remarks but he was cursed! Give the boy a minute, will you? Some of his witty comments;

"I prey on innocent villagers and terrify their children," he said with a nasty smile. "And sometimes when I'm feeling really evil, I read books or paint."

"You want to break the curse, I want to break the curse. We don't need to be nice. We need to be effective. Just help me figure it out, and I'll make you a rich woman"

And the most wonderful thing, there was no the ridiculously..


INSTA LURVE!!! They even hated each other at first.

"You’re ruining that book!” He pointed to the page I’d torn out. “That’s a perfectly good book!”

Holding his gaze, I reached down and ripped another page out. “I’m making roses.”

“Well, it’s my book.”

“Sorry.” I tore out another.

O.o Epic fight!!!

I even wondered, how could the author wrote a perfectly developed and believable love story in less than 200 pages!

My only criticism is probably this part here;

Will reached down to help me up, and when our hands touched an electric shock jumped between our fingers.

Seriously, this electric buzzing thingy HAS TO STOP!

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Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Calla has always welcomed war.
But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

I know this is bizarre, but this book was better than I expected.

I thought I will let this book to be drenched in the thunderstorm outside because I expected Calla to be so dumb and Shay and Ren would act like total douche bags.

That was how low I've set the bar for this book. Don't get me wrong. Calla was still dumb and the two boys did act like douche bags but it was tolerable.

**Spoilers ahead** Just go ahead...you won't read this book anyway because your time is better spent for something else. Trust me.

So this book started off with Ren and Calla, almost making out. And I thought, here I am...reading a young adult book for its supposedly clean romance. Hmm...maybe I should limit myself to children books only.

Then Calla brought Ren back to Searchers HQ and somehow forgotten that Shay was there and he could not be in the same room with Ren.

Dear Calla, I don't know if a wolf's brain is smaller than human's but it's not an excuse for NOT using it.

As you might have expected, Ren and Shay tried to bite each other's head off and poor Calla still didn't know what to do.

Until Adne asked her to be their alpha.

Again, Calla dropped her brain, most likely while shifting from her wolf form.

But no! Apparently she forgotten to pick up her brain back because she dared to sleep with Shay while Ren was in the same building as them!

And not only that, when Shay was not around, Calla didn't waste her time, kissing Ren and stuff.

Kids, we all know what do we call a woman like that.
Shhh Nikki Minaj. We're not supposed to say those words while the kids are around.

Calla is one greedy chick. *sigh* She refused to pick her mate because she didn't want either Ren or Shay to leave!

And then the author wasted a chapter for a chit chat between Calla and Bryn on which dude she should choose. An entire chapter only for the climbing part when the Searchers team went to retrieve a part of the elemental cross. Another chapter for the swimming part only when they went retrieving for the other part of the elemental cross.

Now that I've mentioned it, I don't understand why the cross parts weren't guarded heavier when the Keepers knew Shay was looking for each part. Yea, there were vampire bats and stuff but even though the Keepers were too prideful, they should have think better not to let Shay gets the cross and wait for the risky showdown.

Okay, here's the big part. Ren's death! When I looked through the rating, I wondered why the rating is quite low for this book. Because only the fans who would still read the final book of the series, otherwise people would just drop it after Book 1. Like I suspected, the low rating was because the author killed off the fans' favourite character.

Now I tell you what. Calla didn't even deserved Ren. She was spineless albeit growling and snarling all the time. Who would suit her better than this controlling, possessive, Shay.

I'm happy Shay didn't stay with his parents because I remembered a part where Shay admitted that she joined this Searchers mission not for anyone else but for Calla. Not even for his long lost parents.

Back to the snarling, growling part. Since Book 1, I was always uncomfortable when the author portrays the shifters with animalistic traits like that so often. LOL! It turned out that their true self were indeed wolf.

Really, Andrea Cremer, really? I've been wasting my time on animals fable?

Sorry, but I have to remove Nightshade from my favourite shelf.

Fyi, bears are cooler than wolves okay!
descriptionSee? I told you.

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended.Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered.
But then the Searchers make her an offer,one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

Gosh, I'm glad I decided to continue on reading instead of just dropping the book half way. The first 200 pages were like...soooooooo slow including the action scenes. Meeting with the searchers, long lecture about all the lies and history stuff, going to the battlefield, Connor made horrible, horrible jokes, Calla unsure whether to trust the Searchers or not, Ethan trying not to kill Calla, Adne trying to show off how capable she is. And yeah, Shay acting like a douche. Those are basically half of the story. I was getting furious, why every second book in the series (Linger, The Lost Saint)are just painful to read? And hello, where's (my) Ren?

Well, I think I understand why the author spend half of the book doing that. With so many new characters and lies to be unfold, she did the right thing. But it doesn't mean that she can compromise the fluidity of the story. Only when Calla and a group a Searchers when to Vail, that's where the true action begins. Still not that natural in the sense that once Calla met Ren, they sort of spent waaay too much time 'lovey dovey'ing while the rest of the team was fighting the incoming Guardians. Then, Ren want to hurt Calla by how? Raping her was it? Man, with too many characters around, I kept losing who's done the talking at some point.

Calla's roller coaster of emotions is another proof why women are more complicated than calculus. Yes, yes, I'm a girl too but I just couldn't identify with her sometimes. The dilemma between Shay and Ren was convincing. For me, there's no clear choice there (although I'm pretty sure Shay was meant to be the male lead). Next, when Calla's found out that her mother was killed, she didn't seem to be that devastated, she seems to care more about her pack, Ansel and Ren. It's a mom we were talking about you see! And my goodness, I feel like the entire time Shay was only trying to make out with her. The make out scene at the very end of the book was aaaawwwkkwwwardd!! Calla was so devastated, she even cut her hair with gardening prune and poof! She spent the night with Shay!! Bad, bad timing, only hours after Monroe was dead and she met Ren.

Anyone notice the similarities between Adne and Ariadne from Inception, apart from they bear the same name (thank you Captain Obvious). They both young, sort of genius and the architect of the team (well, by creating portals, Adne do need to know the building's layout right?)

Legend by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I couldn't bring myself to love this book till the end...

You know that feeling when you were sure you'll give a book the perfect five stars, shelve it under your favourite, and order it from bookdepository.com (because physical books in Aus are just damn expensive)?

Well, that's what happened with Legend. Plus, I always have a thing for Asian authors (not that I'm racist, I mean, really, it is just so far they've been delivering fresh new hits after hits).

Then, I asked myself, what is wrong with me? I mean, seriously. Here we got two 15 years-old prodigies, both capable of butt-kicking, one is a republic agent and the other one is a notorious street thug!
Did you hear that? That was the sound of my muffled scream against my pillow

Yes, I was that excited when I read the blurb.

I can tell you that this book is a crazy combination of Robin Hood + Romeo and Juliet + Sherlock Holmes + some other awesome stuff. But then I guess, it lacks the ummph factor I was looking for. The plot was a bit predictable, the narration while satisfyingly concise and precise, but it sounded dull...reminding me a lot of my monotonous yet knowledgeable lecturer *sigh*.

Some of my GR friends did point out that the age as a function of behaviour was not proportional to each other in this book. Given that Day and June are both prodigies, I'll just pretend that they are not just ridiculously book-smart but somehow they also posses an epic level of maturity and coolness, just so I like this book better *shrug*.

It was also a bit unfortunate because I think, if you minus the prodigy thingy and the dystopian setting, this would be just a regular crime novel despite it was definitely be a good one. The dystopian label was also kind of 'seriously?' for me because eugenics is not a new concept. Purposely infecting people to develop a perfect cure or vaccine? I think I've heard that before. So, I don't know if the true political message from this book is hidden behind that innocent young adult, distopian fiction label.

I bet it is.












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The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.
Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.
With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.
First impression

One of the three shapeshifters/werewolves series I started last year apart from Wolves of the Mercy Falls and Nightshade. I remembered thinking that all the first books for the three series were amazing although I barely remember why.

After a huge disappointment with Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) last year, I hope this one will be a hit :)

Full review

Okay, first thing first. what's with the bold text! It pained me just looking at the pages!

Second, what's up with the cover! It didn't match the first two!
The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1)The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine, #2) Was it really hard to match the title font at least?

Nevertheless, I always find the titles of books in this series as among the best.

Alright, there are 488 pages of this book but if you ask me what was going on throughout the book, I probably could tell you that in a single breath. I can hardly remember most the events. This book simply is not memorable.

Fortunately, it was miles better than the second book but I think it was still not as good as the first? Gah! I remember The Dark Divine as being awesome but maybe I was just so much into werewolves during those days.

Anyway, Grace still forgot to use her brain during the first half of the book. She even dared to say things like this;

"I swore I wouldn't give up on him. And I'd more a whole damn mountain if I thought it would change him back."

"But I'm going (to Caleb's super dangerous abandoned lair) and there's nothing that can stop me."

"My future? What future?" If we can't turn Daniel back into a human. I don't have future."

So Grace, tell me, is love the only thing you need in this world? Love can get you money, get you into a nice college, get you a good job, get you a half chicken for today's dinner...

YA heroines...when will they stop obsessing over their boyfriends...

Good gracious Grace was more tolerable for the second half of the book. I particularly like this one line from her;

"Little Miss Naked is my responsibiliy. Nonne of you boys will be able to focus while fighting her."

And oh, her best friend, April was as dumb or probably dumber than Grace herself. I mean, really, you do notice how many best friends of YA's heroines are plain stupid and annoying right? Maybe one day I should make my own list to honor their admirable personality.

Miss Bree Despain, for your third book, I would expect better than something like;

Daniel sprang into action immediately, pulling his coat off and using it to entrap two of the monsters at once, and then flung them into the wall of cornstalks in a move he must have picked up from a Jackie Chan movie or something"

Jackie Chan movie or something? Ermm..your book is not a parody of some sort is it?

Some new characters were kinda likable such as Ryan, Lisa and Slade. The ending was satisfying as well.

At the end of the day, if you're thinking of starting this series
then probably no. I could barely find any originality in this series, particularly in this book. The hunting part reminded me a lot of Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) and the lost boys reminded me of Jacob's pack in Twilight series.

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The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

I am someone who prefer to write a review straight away after I finished the book.

Instead, I went to bookdepository.com and ordered The Iron Fey Boxed Set.

Isn't the packaging adorable? *puppy eyes*

I tend to avoid any series which consist of more than three books. Most of the time, I heard that the overall plot could be easily condensed into fewer books and the authors were just keen to have more money out of you. I was also skeptical with books based on fey myth because I thought they were like the bubbliest, shiniest, radiating-with-good-energy creatures out there, and I thought nah...probably for kids but not for me.

This book proved that I should never generalize.

If you've read it, you'll notice that this book was born from years of imagination. Not something that an author tried to come up with when realizing the burst of Young Adult market in the past few years.

The choice of words and the fluidity of the plot was impeccable. It reminded me of The Lords of the Rings, Narnia, Alice in Wonderland but unique enough to stand in its own league. I didn't like Meghan as much as I wanted to but I guess, there are more pages reserved for Meghan to be the ass-kicking heroine whom I longed for in later books.

Fear not, the romance was not done excessively in this particular book (thank God!). Ash was the classic Mr Darcy, so I instinctively drawn to be in his team. But Puck was a strong male lead as well, unfortunately I think he'll be staying in the friend-zone for the rest of the series.

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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Sometimes life-ending.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Why is this happening with every second book? When I read the first book, I thought, Beautiful Creatures is for me. If I can be a writer, I would write a story like this. More condensed maybe.

Urghh...when I read Beautiful Darkness, I kept telling myself, I have to finish this, I have to finish this. It's pathetic,really. The story got so complicated but very little were being revealed (even after all 500 pages of it). I once thought, am I too stupid for this book?


Urghh...definitely not a pleasant book (except for Lucille...I miss Boo by the way). Ethan still sounded like a girl (I was guessing the authors would appreciate all the comments thrown at their first book, but no, Ethan sounded more feminine than ever). Not even Link's jokes could rescue this book anymore. Lena was so irritating, uninspiring. Ok, she had her reasons, so? Those were not excuses for behaving so weak.

The climax scene seemed so rushed, I could barely get my head around what happened. I understand the book is meant to be in paranormal fantasy genre, but coming back from dead? (this applies not to only one person, but two). LOL! Too much magics, no logical explanations given.

Long story short, I won't be reading the sequel anytime soon with plenty of good books on the market right now.

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Across the Universe by Beth Revis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Well, it wasn't as bad as I first expected it to be. Not to say it was mind-blowingly awesome. A quick read and just...meh!

Ok, let's start with the cover. I could've sworn that the girl on the cover is blond. So, when I came across the part where Amy's hair is described as red or sunset? I was like

Gah! The cover wasn't one of my favourite anyway. I felt weird carrying this book around with that cover. It's not like Romance is my favourite genre.

Enough rambling about the cover, I was actually deceived by the title. I though it was a love story between two persons coming from two different worlds, like in The Lake House or The Time Traveler's Wife.

So much for my hatred for romance.

LOL! I like love stories when it is impossible for that two persons to be together. Some people just like to see the world burn. Next time I should read the blurb more closely.

Anyway, reading this book wasn't a complete waste of time. I adore the author's description of cryogenics, something I picked up during my ethics class long time ago. I would say, the world crafted by the author was believable albeit the disturbing portrayal of The Season.

Of course I was expecting a intergalactic battle.


but let's face it, here we have a hero who is still couldn't figure out how to operate the damn ship and a heroine who is still clutching her teddy bear, the chance of them winning would be none.

I'd still give the author credit for her writing style. To be honest, the pace of the story itself was very slow, but I kept on reading because the short, sharp transition from Amy to Elder point of view and back again although I did skipped a few paragraphs and pages here and there and didn't feel like I was missing much.

I like how Elder as the male protagonist is flawed but I am very traumatized by his revolting thoughts;

My eyes devour her body, then drift back to her breasts. The ice is a little foggy there, teasing me, but I can see enough to know they're lush, and even if they're frozen, I imagine that if they were warmed up...

I want to protect her now, cover her curves instead of run my fingers over them.

When I looked at Amy...I know what I'd like to do with her, and I know that I could.

Amy bites her lip, and all I want to do is seize her, crush her against me, feel her lips with mine.


That is worst than insta love. That is lust! Elder freaking unplugged Amy just to mate with her! Don't tell me that Fifty Shades of Grey is the new Twilight because then I'll be the who has to page my mother ship.

Moving on to Amy, thank goodness she wasn't immediately attracted to Elder. But she did admit that she watched people having sex on TV for million times? OF course she agreed that seeing people making out live was disturbing but I don't know, I find that part unnecessary?

Gah! I know I'm conservative and I should keep my thought to myself.

Anyway, I'm still considering whether I would continue on with the series. I kinda like the ending of this book. At last, in book two of a series, someone could desert her love interest for a valid reason.

Even Snape approves.

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything
When I read the reviews on Amazon, I quickly requested this book from the library. But the reviews on Goodreads have not been promising, plus the fact that this book is ridiculously long, I thought I might return this book as soon as I borrowed it but since my holiday is about to end soon, I gave this book a try, and I finished all the 563 pages of it.

The story started off pretty well, considering although I've read the synopsis earlier, I couldn't make sense what the book is all about. The jokes were sometimes really funny and I liked the idea how even though Lena was quite pretty, she has no sense of style whatsoever, which somehow made her stylish in her own way. But towards the end, she seemed to give up too easily and kept saying 'there's nothing you can do blah3'. Come on, a female lead should be more inspiring than that.

What I like
- The whole type of Light and Dark Casters, the Siren, the Natural, the Incubus etc. Cool names, but the details of their powers were not being elaborated enough for the readers to fathom.
- The sharing of dreams and visions, and how the smell, the heat, the blood lingered even after the dreams and visions were gone.
- Link is a pretty hilarious character.
- Boo. I silently wished he would not be dead and thankfully he survived.

What I don't like
- The length! OMG, how could the authors force me to read a 563 pages long novel and left me with so many questions even after I finished reading the last page. Save for the sequel of course, but honestly, by reading the synopsis of the following novels and the no of pages they have, I don't think I'll read the sequels anytime soon. Maybe never.
- The story lost pace after about 200 pages or so. Yes, I did finish this book within 24 hours, and as much I was eager to find out what happens next, I can't help but noticing how there were so many scenes that were insignificant and should be cut off from the novel.
- The prejudice against the Southern people. I mean, they can't be that bad, can they?
- The cover. Some people commented it was beautiful but nah, I don't think so. Just average.

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Mercy by Rebecca Lim
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mercy ′wakes′ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else′s business -- or thinks they do. But they will never guess the secret Mercy is hiding ....
As an angel exiled from heaven and doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, Mercy is never sure whose life and body she will share each time. And her mind is filled with the desperate pleas of her beloved, Luc, who can only approach her in her dreams.
In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is now presumed dead. When another girl disappears, Mercy and Ryan know they must act before time runs out. But a host of angels are out for Mercy′s blood and they won′t rest until they find her and punish her -- for a crime she doesn′t remember committing ...
An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, MERCY is the first book in a major new series.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO...was the first word I muttered when I finished reading this book. Can't the author have some 'mercy' for her readers?

I don't know about other people but I wished there are more background story about Luc, Mercy and Uri was explained. It's mean you see, having read all 280 pages of this book and left feeling like this book is some sort of an episode from CSI i.e Ryan, Carmen, Lauren are just characters for an episode, filling in for a side story.

But I have to admit that the writing was impeccable i.e words crafting: Asian level. Oh, I think the author is indeed at least partly Asian right? Her writing skill is beyond standard. For the first few chapters, I thought I had another Unearthly-like blockbuster in my hands but the admiration dissolved after a hundred or so pages.

I'm still not sure if I like the idea of 'less romance' strategy in this book but it's definitely refreshing to have the female lead noting the features of the male characters simply because she likes beautiful things.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
It started with a cup of hot tea I made at 1 am. Darjeeling tea to be precise.

I felt craving for hot beverage after a few rounds of UNO tournament with my housemates. While waiting for the drink to cool off a little, I decided to pick up this book where I left it off at around page 100 or so.

It was a wrong decision.

I even forgotten that the hot drink was there.

I ended up going to sleep at 5.30 am.

Which obviously pointing out at one thing. I'm a painfully slow reader. Well, I wanted to savour every word of this book!

Oh ya, another obvious thing...


After Unearthly and Angelfall last year, I had a season of drought when I could hardly find a phenomenal book like this.


It took me forever to borrow the book from my local library. The requests keep coming in. That explains why I had been so left behind of this awesomeness. I'd say now...


Well, I almost feel reluctant to review the actual book. I believe I'll be repeating what the other awesome reviewers had said.

But I'll review it anyway because I can. Ha-ha!

Since I've read Angelfall and Divergent first, It was hard for my brain to adjust that this book came before those two. And if there are any intentional resemblance to The Hunger Games, it's Veronica Roth and Susan Ee who have to answer to us. But soon, I didn't care much because I was too engrossed in the story and the actions.

The narration was simple enough, not many catchy phrases or mind bogging words but the philosophy runs deep. As brutal as The Games, I couldn't help but to question, are we being control to that extent as well, but with more subtle disguise?

I would totally vote for Raffe against Gale or Peeta because this book IS about Katniss. Although without any male characters to be swooned for, I feel like the emphasis on Katniss was a smart move by the author albeit the risk.

I'm kind of nervous in continuing with the series right now because I had a very terrible experience with the second book in every series so far. Hopefully, Catching Fire would be able to break the consistent streak. I'm not sure if I would be glad if Suzanne Collins would like to start writing about a new series because I'm afraid, when you reached max level, you stop leveling.

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If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Egan's life runs on order: Both her home and her emotions are arranged just so, with little room for spontaneity. It's how she counteracts the chaos of her family -- an alcoholic mother who left when she was young, an emotionally distant father, and a free-spirited sister, who seems to be following in their mother's footsteps, leaving her own six-yearold son, Luke, in Elizabeth's care. When Ivan, Luke's mysterious new grown-up friend, enters the picture, Elizabeth doesnt know quite what to make of him. With his penchant for adventure and colorful take on things large and small, Ivan opens Elizabeth's eyes to a whole new way of living. But is it for real? Is Ivan for real?
If You Could See Me Now is a love story with heart -- and just a touch of magic.

First & foremost, I'm not the type of reader who prefer romance books because it is so difficult to find a story which portrays love in depth without any physical contact.

This is actually only the second book in romance genre I ever read (minus all those craps I read when I was in secondary school.

So, here’s quick (hopefully) look on why this book is such a smashing hit for me.

1. I got it for free! (Well, I swapped with a handbag which I don’t like. Haha)

2. I never read Cecilia Ahern’s before (I did watch P.S I Love You movie which people say id not up to the standard with the book itself) And I didn’t take a peek on Amazon’s rating or read the reviews. So, basically, I knew nothing about the book before I started to read it. So, all the surprises & twists felt genuine to me.

3. The lead roles are not anywhere near perfect specimen of human being (handsome, pretty, romantic, or anything like that).

4. It offers my favourite type of ending. A tragic happy ending.

5. You can guess it was meticulously drafted and yet, the tone felt natural and spontaneous.

6. The author is ridiculously talented compared to how young she is.

7. Not making me google anything (like when I read Dan Brown’s. Which is a wonderful thing to do actually)

8. Some of the scenes will just stuck in my head.

9. The book made me realize how all this time I was being more like a logician than an aunt. Seriously. The author wrote something like this

“I am not like Edith who will going to beat and blaming the floor in front of Luke when Luke fall on his knee”
I - Elizabeth, the main character
Luke - her nephew
Edith – Luke’s babysitter

Yup, my mom always do like that to her grandchildren and I was like, huh?

10. The last reason is despite no exaggeration on how the characters were feeling, I did shed a few tears. Hey, it’s not just about the love between the two main characters, it is also about the love within the family.

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Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Daring to Be Different
In a moving and highly engaging tale about the vagaries of adolescent peer pressure, Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli tells the story of Stargirl, a high school student who is startlingly different from everyone else. The need to conform -- and unabashed curiosity about those who don't -- are at the heart of this touching tale, which aptly demonstrates the peaks and pitfalls of popularity. 
Actual rating 4.5 stars

Well, what can I say. This book is equivalent to a cute cat on the internet. Heart-warming and generally likeable.

It's kind of funny because I kept anticipating outrageous revelations such as Stargirl is an alien, or Leo's imaginary friend, or a doll coming to life or anything like that (paranormal fantasy overdosed for sure). It is funny but in the same time it is sad that I can't imagine the existence of someone like Stargirl. What kind of society we live in today... *sigh*

If you read this book for the romance then well, there's not much in store for you. Leo and Stargirl relationship is oddly healthy (because Stargirl is definitely not the type of girl people would introduce to one's family but hey, she's definitely better than the bitches out there). Leo is not the strong male character I was expecting but I guess the author shaped his character as a representation of what a regular nice person would do. Of course most of us have a conscience to be nice to other people no matter how he or she behaves but not all of us would have the courage to stand up for the outcasts even though you know the majority is wrong anyway.

All in all, I would approve this book as a school textbook in coming years. There're so many valuable lessons coming out of this little gem.

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Hereafter by Tara Hudson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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. 
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

*Sigh* I really hate it when I have to read a book in many sittings. I can't be sure if the book was indeed not that good or the gap between the sittings made me losing my interest. The book started so well, I think the first four chapters were the best starter I've read so far. It was sharp, well-paced and deep with emotions.

After Chapter 4, it was...well...okay for me. Some of the scenes truly entertained me such as the differential equations incident. Some of the other scenes, for instance when Amelia went to Joshua's bedroom was more like a fanservice for me. I bet most of the readers squealing in their sit while reading that part *wink2*

Up until the climax, the author effortlessly offered adequate explanation for Amelia's nature and ability that I can read this with a peace of mind. But when it got to the climax, all hell broke loose. I was like what?

You know when a character is simmering, it's not a good sign! (except Clara from Unearthly...mind my biasness) *cough* Edward *cough*

Amelia was a cute, innocent character, I think. She can be stupid sometimes. But I guess she had the right personality to be a ghost from 1999. Joshua? He could be nosebleeding-inducing guy sometimes. Some of his lines, like

"See? Good vocabulary. 'Patronizing' has four syllables"

"Just because I can't do differential equations, it doesn't mean I'm totally useless"

were very witty. But other that that, he was not that special of a character.

I'm a bit confused with Eli. Probably the author tried to conjure Eli as a complex character, evil but the readers would feel for him as they got to know him further. For me, while the events in this book were influenced heavily by his doing some way or another, I didn't find him as a believable character. The reason behind his evilness was somewhat laughable. He couldn't be THAT immature right? He should be a sicko, you see. A stalker...obsessed for Amelia. But I seriously feel like he was just an outdated rock star who like to prank people! He was really not at all scary.

The whole Amelia-is-a-beautiful-girl was very cheesy as well.

The truth is, I really think this book is better as a stand-alone book. I found the idea of Seer as very messy. It reminds me a lot of Beautiful Creatures series. I don't know...contrary to the plethora of vampire, werewolf, witch and angel, I feel that the relationship between the living and the dead should be the simplest, purest love, where the only way for them to be together is death. I secretly wish Joshua to sacrificed himself in the epilogue so that he can be together with Amelia. Hate me people! I know I'm not the most optimist person in the universe!

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Angelfall by Susan Ee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

The 99 cent I spent on this book was the best 99 cent I ever spent.

The reviewers I followed, Cait and Larissa (thanks to both of you ^_^) generously gave five stars for this book, and I thought, sure this is good but it can't be THAT good, right?

Turned out, it can.


Yup, this book came out of nowhere, and it just blew my mind away. THIS BOOK DESERVES MORE ATTENTION PEOPLE!

The Cover:
At first glance, I wouldn't give this book a second thought but on closer inspection, I think it's a pretty decent cover, the colour combination simmers in an eerie way that pretty much resembles the end of days.

The Plot:
I honestly wish I could finish this book in one sitting but I started reading on 9 pm, so by the time it was 12 am, I regretfully had to put my tablet down or else I might not wake up the next day to pick up my friend from the airport.

So, based on the first good 200 pages I read in the first sitting, the plot was awesome! (for the lack of better adjective). I found my heart racing most of the time, sometimes spooked (the low demons were really frightening and so did Penryn mom), sometimes hyperventilating (the fighting and action scenes sounded very dramatic). Susan Ee has the gift of interjecting just the right amount of everything in her story, just the right amount of background story, just the right amount of emotions, just the right amount of descriptions.

From the second sitting, the rest of the book started to leave out few motives and information (obviously, saving for the sequels, which is not a bad thing) so I felt the story losing a few ounces of 'kicks', but then the gap between the first and second sitting was almost 18 hours, so probably that explains why.

The characters:
I'll being completely honest here. I WANT PENRYN'S BRAIN!!! Not because I'm a zombie but because she easily is the smartest lead female character in YA books. Her inner voice is very strong, she always weighed her options well before taking any action and yes she did it naturally. That's a real talent, to posses an ability to make the right decision albeit the dire of the situations she faced. I like the fact that she sounded selfish but actually she was just being practical. She was not trying to save the world in any way, just to claim her sister back. Her love-hate relationship with her mother was very moving too. Maybe the only area which Penryn has to improve is to come up with good comebacks.

Raffe is definitely not the usual 'Hey, I'm attracted to you, but I'm too dangerous for you, we can't be together so I'll stalk you. Oh no! You attracted to me too, so I must stay away from you. Then, I regret it, I must do anything to get you back'.


He basically stuck with Penryn, having a goal of his own. He put enough respect and trust on Penryn fighting skill so Penryn is not a girl who needed to be saved everytime.

Final words:
I would recommend this book to teens at least 15 years of age. There were some serious gore and theology discussion throughout this book.

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