~ A Young Adult and Fantasy Book Blog ~

Alright folks, for my first ever author interview and giveaway, I am very thrilled to announce that I was able to force persuade the author of The Evolution Trilogy and now a newly released, The Moon Dwellers, the first book of The Dwellers Series, David Estes to make an appearance.

This is the cue where you should clap your hands till they are caught on fire.

David had been kind enough to answer all my long and almost sensible questions. Okay, maybe he had been too kind because he should never encourage me -_-" But his kindness doesn't stop there, he is also willing to give away an e-book copy of his new-released, The Moon Dwellers (sold wherever e-books are sold).

In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.
After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason.
Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.
At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.
When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.
In their world, someone must die.

Not that anyone cares, but you may check out my gushing review for this book here.

Zuleeza: First, we start off with the burning question I had since well, since I found out that you're the author of Evolution trilogy and now the Dwellers series. As a male author, how does it feels to enter the Young Adult market which we all know is pretty much dominated by female authors?

David: First off, I just want to say thank you so much for having me on your blog and for reading and reviewing my new YA dystopian novel, The Moon Dwellers. I really enjoyed reading your review and was so pleased you enjoyed it!! 

Zuleeza: *Giggles stupidly* Eh, it was nothing! I thoroughly enjoyed the book and Roc.

David: Now to your question which is a great one! Before I was a writer in the YA market, I was (and still am) a reader. I love diving into a great YA story by authors like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, James Dashner, or Maggie Stiefvater, to name just a few of my favorites. So when I decided to write for young adults, I never really thought twice about being a guy, because I LOVE the genre so much. So really it just feels funny to me when people point it out and I tend to think Huh? Oh yeah, I guess I am in the minority. In any case, the vast majority of my friends on Goodreads are women and it feels totally comfortable to me, so I guess I fit in OK!

Zuleeza: Of course you're fit in okay. You are, as I dubbed, the Goodreads Heartthrob these days. *giggles some more*

David: ...........................

Zuleeza: *clears throat* So, next question, having written a paranormal fantasy series, the Evolution trilogy, a dystopian fiction, The Moon Dwellers is quite a departure, and I'd say quite a brave departure since our Young Adult market is now literally overflowing with dystopian fictions. What do you have to say about this?

David: I am completely and utterly addicted to YA dystopian books at the moment and am reading as many of them as I can get my hands on, and it seems like a lot of other people are loving dystopians now too. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps because they have a real feel to them, like What if that really did happen? In any case, right now it seems there’s enough room in the market for a few more dystopian series, at least until some of the bestselling ones are finished, like Divergent and Delirium. 

Zuleeza: The setting for The Moon Dwellers is refreshing; a society which was forced to live underground after the Armageddon wiped out most of the U.S citizen and probably the rest of the world. What inspired you to come up with this premise? And how difficult it was for you to craft the economic and the political structure of an underground society?

David: Another awesome question! When I fell in love with dystopian novels a year or so ago, I started thinking about writing one. I thought about all the great dystopian novels I had read and came up with a list of what elements they had in them, and what had already been done in terms of setting and political climate. I wanted mine to be different and unique, but still fit nicely within the genre. I realized that most dystopians take place on earth and everything has been changed. So I thought it would be cool to have everything take place underground, which would make my novel quite different and give me plenty of challenges in creating a world where people have never even seen the sun or the moon or the stars. A world without rain or wind or flowers or trees. Once I had the idea, I just started building my world from the bottom up. What forced humans underground? What changes would occur once they moved underground? How would politics change? I LOVED the process of creating this world from scratch developing a backstory to it all, and creating characters within all the turmoil. I almost feel selfish, like I got to have all the fun creating and my readers only get to read the finished product!

Zuleeza: The Moon Dwellers is such an action-packed flick. The fighting scenes were very well-written. Do you know martial arts yourself? *Grins*

David: Hahaha! I wish! I’m basically just living vicariously through my characters. But one element of the many dystopians that I love is that they have plenty of action so I wanted mine to have that too!

Zuleeza: Oh well, I guess I can't have a butter knife fight against you. *shrugs* Okay, I can confidently say that The Moon Dwellers is not just another cliche Young Adult book laced with fluffy romance. The book emphasize the importance of family ties, friendship, loyalty and fighting for the right cause. Do you purposely incorporated all these good values, or they just came naturally? Do you believe in nurturing our youngsters through literature?

David: Oh my gosh, you’ve hit the nail on the head (sorry, couldn’t help using a cliché after you said my book was NOT cliché!) I grew up with parents who helped me develop a love of reading and steered me towards books with good messages and values that would make me a better person, while providing me and my imagination with a place to dream. That’s exactly what I hope to accomplish with my writing. I want it to be subtle but at the same time evident that good conquers evil in the end (although evil will get its licks in sometimes!).

Zuleeza: Adele is for me, one of the most memorable female protagonists in YA books. She is strong inside and out, gets her priorities right and very strong-willed. What inspired you while writing Adele's character? *Ehem* I kno w that she is named after your wife. Is that had something to do with Adele's characterisations?

David: You’re right, I did name her after my wife. It’s funny, because a lot of people have been saying that’s adorable and cute that my wife’s name is the same as my main character and although I love that fact, I chose the name because it’s the right one for her, which is the most important thing. However, I will admit that my wife is awesome and opinionated and says what she means and means what she says, so they do have a bit in common. But Adele (and my wife) also has a softer side, one full of compassion. It’s the balance that I think makes Adele such an endearing character. By the way, my wife and I have the most wonderful relationship, we have truly found love in every sense of the word, and it’s many of the emotions I feel with her that I use to pour my heart and soul into my writing.

This is the part where you should say 'awwwwwww.......'

Zuleeza: Classic question but I believe many readers would like to know about this. You read a lot of books yourself, you interact with your readers and Goodreads friends quite often, you have a family to be taken care of at the same time, and yet you have to write books as well. Tell me, David. Do you take a special tonic of some sort, because man, you are unstoppable! How do you manage to do everything (and I mean everything) when you got so much on your plate?

David: Haha! Sometimes I feel like the days just sprout wings and fly away. I can barely keep up with everything I have on my plate at the moment, particularly because I’m in the process of launching the first four books in my first kid’s series. Although I’m travelling the world with my wife while writing full time, I work A LOT! I’m always online, working on interviews, giveaways, writing, formatting, editing, etc etc. It’s exhausting but I wouldn’t change it for anything. My wife is so supportive, always helping me find the best way to get my work done while still doing activities together. I am so blessed to be a writer and to have such a loving wife. I’ve taken a vow to respond to every piece of fan mail and so far I haven’t let anyone down!

Again, 'awwwwwwwwwww....'

Zuleeza. I must say that with your current achievements (Trust me, David has a strong fanbase already, it's not like I never stalked his fan group on Goodreads. Haha!), I do believe that you will not have any problems getting accepted by big publishing house already. What made you choose to stay as an indie author?

David: Being completely honest, I’d LOVE to be accepted by a big publisher, if only to get my books out to a wider audience, but first I have to get past the gatekeepers: literary agents. Most big publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts so you need to have a literary agent to assist you in finalizing your book and getting it in front of the publishers. In the ultra-competitive YA market, I haven’t been able to find an agent yet, and so I’ve decided to go the route of self-publishing, which has been extremely rewarding. My readers have been so amazing and supportive and allowed me to write full time even without a publisher. 

Although it has its challenges, I love being an Indie author. I get to control the creative process from start to finish and learn all the ins and outs of publishing. And the rewards are simply incredible as I get so many nice messages and reviews from those who have taken a chance on my books. 

Another one of my favorite things about not having a publisher is keeping the prices of my books low. Even if I was a bestselling Indie, I’d still be able to sell my ebooks from less than $5, and paperbacks for less than $10, which is impossible if you have a publisher, as they have to make their money too, thus pushing the prices for both paperbacks and ebooks over $10. I think it’s awesome making my writing affordable for everyone.

Zuleeza: The cover for The Moon Dwellers is such a piece of art. Would you like to share who had designed it and did you provide any inputs?

David: Thank you so much for noticing the cover. My good friend Tony over at Winkipop Designs in Australia did the cover art and did a fantastic job! I think readers will really appreciate the cover even more after reading the book because it is a perfect representation of the world I created. When we first sat down to brainstorm the cover, it was actually my wife who had the initial idea of having a gnarled tree near the top with the roots descending deeper and deeper, showing the transition to an underground world. What Tony did is bring it to life, beautiful in its simplicity without overdoing it. He hand-drew the tree and roots and customized the font. What you get is the perfect cover for The Moon Dwellers. Thanks Tony, I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the sequel!

Zuleeza: Okay, I believe David has grown tired answering so many questions from me. LOL! I know, I'm so excited I can barely stop *recompose myself*. So David, tell me, what are your current projects? I need to prepare my ovaries my mind before it got blown away from your work. Again.

David: My first priority is the sequel to The Moon Dwellers, which will be published in September of this year. I’ve just finished the first draft, which we be reviewed by my beta readers soon!

I have also completed the first four books in a children's series aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 10. It's a classic superhero story about a girl who meets a strange animal who leads her to a treasure chest in the middle of the forest. The chest contains a gift that allows the girl to perform miraculous feats. I have another two books planned for the series, which I will be working to complete in 2012, although the first four books in the series will be published on August 31st 2012.

I have also recently finished a Middle-Grade novel about a boy with a very unique disability and one hell of a sense of humor who meets loads of interesting early teenagers on a suspenseful yet funny adventure to uncover the truth about the father he never knew. This book is scheduled for release later this year.

My remaining projects range from a variety of children's novels from the fantastical to the downright silly, to my next venture into YA fantasy, and to the creation of an adult suspense/mystery series with a strong and interesting male character. I have written the first page of more books than I can count without taking off my shoes!

Thanks for your time and for interviewing me. I just want to end by saying that I love my readers and I always love hearing from you all. Without all of your support and encouragement, my books would be nothing but words on a page. I owe my career to my readers, which I’ll try to repay by publishing books that entertain, excite, and delight all those who read them. I welcome any and all comments, encouragement, feedback and questions by one of my favorite social networking sites shown below. Happy reading!!

Thanks to you too David. There you have it, folks. David Estes, the author with a heart of gold :) Shoo, shoo! Go fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway widget below.
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. Follow David on Goodreads | Blogger | Twitter | Facebook 
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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.

I don't know when was the last time I cried over a book, but this one was definitely sad. And they were only 215 pages of it!

Oh God, I'm still sobbing...

This book comes in a complete package. Almost everyone who read this had experience how was their life went at the age of 13. Hence, most of us would relate to this story well. Nevertheless, it was not simply a children book, nor it is mere a young adult book. All the four tales told by the monster and Colin were deep and almost philosophical.

It was amazing how, given the limited number of pages this book has, every character was developed perfectly. They have their own goodness and flaws, in short, this book will mesmerized you in term of how the voices will stay long after you read the last page.

Finally, you would be able to sense that this book was written with honesty and sincerity.

And even you read the book without the knowledge that the idea for the book was originally came from the late Siobhan Dowd i.e you would be neutral about this book in the first place, then yes, this book would still be awesome. Trust me.

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Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.

Actual rating 3.95 stars? I don't know...it's not quite a 4-stars read but it definitely deserves more than 3.5 stars.

Okay Obsidian, lets do this!

So...my e-book copy ended up looking something like this;
Yup, I have a habit of highlighting all my favourite quotes in a book. Which in this case, says a lot about my feeling for Obsidian. I actually enjoyed it!

I'm not sure if I need to put spoiler tags anywhere since half of Goodreads population have read this.

I had been avoiding this book long enough. First because it's too mainstream. That book cover is literally everywhere...the fangirls everywhere...it was quite suffocating to be honest. Second, I'm not fond of aliens. Third, I heard that Daemon is such as an ass and I never fancy a combination of good look and rudeness in guys.

Seeing the unbelievably high average rating sparked a curiousity in me so I thought it doesn't hurt to try...

From the first page, it became clear why. Katy is so easy to relate to. Or Zazzy as I'd like to call her (Sorry, giving nicknames to fictional characters is another habit of mine). Why Zazzy? Because she's sassy and her words zing!

Okay, maybe Sheldon had something to do with it too. I mean, Daemon keeps calling her Kitten anyway.

Alright, Zazzy is so relatable because is an avid reader, obssesses about her bookblog and a bit OCD-ish. Doesn't that sort of represents majority of female YA readers? Jennifer Armentrout definitely knows how to make her books marketable.

Now, the one who doesn't need an introduction; Daemon. Contrary to many other YA books, when Zazzy and Daemon first met, whoaaa!!! Sparks didn't fly, profanities did. Not that I'm a fan of profanities but Daemon definitely deserved those.

I actually find it hard not to like Daemon because he is like a doctorate in art of sarcasm. Nevertheless, his mood swings more frequently than a girl on her period. I think the inclusion of the extra scene at the end is very wise considering I changed my view of Daemon quite drastically after I read it.

But the best part is, Daemon found his equal in Zazzy. Oh Zazzy, may I have your DNA profile so that I can breed you to replace our current female population on Earth that consists mainly of bitches and sluts? And Mary Sues. Don't forget Mary Sues. They do exist outside of books. Scary.

So, I heard that Half-Blood, also written by Jennifer Armentrout had many similarities with Vampire Academy, which I haven't read yet. But I have read Twilight, and plotwise, Obsidian sounded similar? Minus the love triangle of course. I mean, Zazzy moved to a small town with her single mom, just like Bella and Charlie. Daemon becomes attracted to her and Dee wants to be friends with her, just like Edward and Alice. Dee is in relationship with the quiet one, Adam, Daemon had a history with Ash and Ash hates Zazzy because she feels protective of her family, just like Jasper and Rosalie. Daemon saved Zazzy from being hit from a truck, Edward saved Bella from a moving van. Daemon possesses super-speed and inhuman-strength, just like Edward. And these aliens are like perfect specimens, just like Stephanie Meyer's vampires.

Honestly, I have no problems with the similarities, whether they are accidental or not because Jennifer Armentrout definitely can write. And she is crazy good at it. Trust me, there was never a dull moment for the first 90% of the book. It was as if the author felt obligated to fix Twilight catastrophe and tried make it right again.

Some things that bothered me; why Zazzy appears to have no friends from Florida? With personalities like that, I don't think she was a social outcast back when she was in Florida. I also didn't get why Zazzy's mom is too trusting of Daemon. I thought he has all those bad boys persona and Zazzy's mom never even met Daemon's parents to make an appropriate judgement (despite she will never have a chance to do so).

Okay, lets move on to the last 10%. I honestly thought Daemon is like Mr Darcy. All arrogant and prideful until he found the love of his life. Can someone please make me understand, why did Daemon thinks it's okay to leave Zazzy topless on the couch? Alien or not, I felt like morphing into Sailormoon and punish him in the name of the Moon. And that make out scene! It was very visual. It's...it's...kind of too Fifty Shades of Grey-ish for a YA book? Okay, maybe it's kind of too Fifty Shades of Grey-ish for me because I don't think I've read enough of YA books yet.

And Daemon blew up Zazzy's laptop.
How could someone blew up something so sacred?

And manners. Didn't they teach those on Lux? Granted, Ash was rude because she was overly protective. But what's up with Andrew? (Andrew, please don't reproduce. Just...don't.) And Daemon at the beginning. With all those 'humans are weak, humans cannot be trusted'. I'm human and I find this offensive.

The climax. I remembered trying to pull out my hairs when Bella decided to bled herself to distract Victoria's attention from Edward in Eclipse. Why Zazzy had to do the same thing by making herself a target for Baruck just to prove she's not a liability? I think it was a rash decision even though the encounter turned out good. Zazzy's loyalty was admirable but if the author could write the climax differently without involving Zazzy doing that reckless act than I would've like this book more.

Overall, aliens premise isn't a bad idea at all. I'm actually satisfied with the explanations (the Luxen can bend time and space, they can hitch a ride by traveling with light etc). I don't know, the last time I learned about Physics is when I was in high school, so I'm not sure how much of those made up facts do make sense, but I find them believable, if nothing else.

And oh, the fanservice was done right most of time. Except this part;

"I could feel every breath he took, and when he shifted his hips, my eyes went wide and I gasped."

Ermm...gross? I agree Zazzy...Daemon could've just told you, instead of shown you.

The inevitable pen poke, the food ninja, the aliens with big appetite...all these small, small things made this such a fun read for me!

*Runs back into Naji's arms* So girls, I'm done with your Daemon, feel free to have him back.

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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY
The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.

Lets recall how I decided to pick this one up, Rage Comic style!

Pffftt...this book just isn't for me. I made it up to 50% and then I couldn't go on anymore. Realizing just how many 4-5-stars ratings for this book, I decided not to rate it because I think the problem partly lies in me.

Patience. I don't haz it.

Aria and Perry both have a very unique and distinctive background with countless terms dedicated to describe their daily lives. Reverie, Realm, Bliss, Unity, Aud, Aether, Blood Lord, Mole, Outsider, Dweller, Tides *tries to catch a breath* Luster, Scire, Seer and etc.

The funny thing is, the author barely described the terms when they were first intoduced. I needed to come across each particular term two to three times before I finally understand what they mean.

*Just remembers to check the back of the book for glossary*

Owh, none! Bummer!

Hmm...looks like I have to shelve this under DNF for good.

The problem with terminology done, I still had problem making sense what was going on majority of the time. The writing and the word building was very...odd. It was as if Veronica Rossi left out bits and pieces here and there. Things seemed calm and normal, and suddenly boom!, we got major conflicts and suspense.

***Spoilers ahead***[I was like 'Wait, they thrown Aria out in the desert?', 'Wait, the Dwellers took Talon away?, 'Wait, Perry killed those men?' (hide spoiler)]
I was like 'Wait, they thrown Aria out in the desert?', 'Wait, the Dwellers took Talon away?, 'Wait, Perry killed those men?'
***Spoilers finished***

The characters while they are given names, they come and go. Some made an appearance for two pages max. I don't know about anyone else but for me personally, I prefer these unimportant secondary characters to not be given names, otherwise I'll try to commit the names into my memory in anticipation that they'll contribute more to the story.

So yeah, please don't hate me if you're a fan of this book. I have a very short winter break. So, I need to utilize my holiday for enjoyable reads only :D

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Vengeance by Michelle Madow
How far would you go to get revenge?
When Chelsea Givens discovered that her ex-boyfriend Drew dumped her to be with her former best friend Lizzie, she'd never felt so betrayed in her life. Then her new friend Shannon tells her she can help set things right. Chelsea's willing to listen, but what Shannon wants her to believe -- that she shared a past life with Drew -- is impossible. And what she wants her to do to get him back … well, it's downright crazy.
Could Shannon be telling the truth? And if she is, what lengths will Chelsea go if it means making Lizzie pay?
Find out in Vengeance, the second part of the Transcend Time Saga.
*Vengeance is the short story that bridges the events in Remembrance and the final novel in the Saga.

How do I rate this when I could write the whole plot at the back of a stamp.

***Spoiler alert***

It wasn't particularly bad. I actually enjoyed learning more about Chelsea and Shannon. But I'm quite disappointed to know that Chelsea tried to win Drew back because 'I look better than Lizzie with her out of control hair' or 'Lizzie always gets the guys' or 'Drew and I are meant to be together'. Chelsea said she loved Drew, either she is delusional or love in this book series holds a very shallow meaning.

I'd like to direct the author to this line here;

"She wore one of those shapeless dresses fat women wear, even though she was so thin that a breeze could knock her over."

The line came from Chelsea, which is understandable considering her bitchy persona in this novella, but I don't think it's appropriate to write something potentially offensive like that in a book.

I also find that disappointing to find out that Chelsea had this thought;

"Now if Shannon got mad at me, she might tell everyone in her group not to be friends with me."

Blergh! Popular girls and their paranoia for tainted reputations.

"But the strangest thing about it was that instead of being electric, it was lit by candles."

Finally, real time transcending happened! If Genevieve tried to tell Chelsea's everything through words, I swear I'll flip a table. Fortunately, such thing didn't happen. But wait...what? I thought it's common sense. NO ELECTRICITY EXISTED CENTURIES AGO! What is strange about it, Chelsea?

Oh well, I don't know...this short story changes everything I knew about Chelsea. I used to think she is more than this typical airhead, pretty, popular girl at school. Like I said before, I thought she is deserving of Lizzie's friendship, not judgmental, confident without a care of the world. Getting rejected by Drew shouldn't change what she is 180 degree.

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Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

LOL. I thought I can bear this farther than my fellow GR friends.

*Chuckles* Who was I kidding?

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing

Zoe as The Paranoid Parrot
Adrien as The Guy With the Weird Cuss Words
Max as The Guy Who Kisses Grossly
Some Superpowers Borrowed From X-Men Franchise

Sorry, but no, I will not bother to expand anything. This book is just nightmarish.

This e-ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine . It's where we showcase all the books we can't wait to get our hands on!

This week's WoW pick is;

Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini 
Expected publication: October 30th 2012

Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn't remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.
Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she'd rather keep buried. Memories of people she's hurt, people she's betrayed...and people she's killed.
As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she's hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves...even if it means losing them both forever.

Look at that cover, LOOK! Well, I think the Instagram-like filter did the job, but just LOOK!

All those little birdie. It's a crime to be so beautiful!!!

I'm longing for good paranormal - ghosts book. I've read Hereafter and it was blerrghhh! Awful (sorry if you're a fan). And if you know any good YA ghosts book, do recommend them to me!

Back to Touching the Surface, don't you think the blurb sounds like Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver? Well, I haven't read Before I Fall but they do sound similar. Hmm...maybe it's just me.

Anyway, I'm bracing myself for a love triangle when I came across this part "the two boys she loves". Hopefully, this is not another story featuring dumb and awful love triangle.

Remembrance by Michelle Madow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.
Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?
Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.

Actual rating 3.5 stars

Our birth is but sleep and a forgetting
The soul that rises with us, our life's star
Hath had somewhere its setting
And cometh from afar
~Intimations of Immortality - Ode. Wordsworth~

Hmm...ironic how my favourite quote from the book is not actually written by the author.

Anyway, I expected a snarkfest review would soon follow when I decided to read this but it turned out, I actually enjoyed this!

that this book gives Lauren Kate a run for her money?

In fact, I think it is more socially acceptable if Remembrance gained more fans than Fallen.

So, if you never heard of this yet, Remembrance is a story inspired by Taylor Swift's Love Story music video which was inspired by Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen ::Inspiraception::

The cool part here is of course the whole idea of reincarnation which Lauren Kate tried to write but failed miserably. Michelle Madow handled the concept better but I wished for more visual time transcends than hearing the history of Lizzie and Drew's past lives from Drew. It was as if the author didn't do enough research and wasn't confident enough to bring her characters back in time. Well, I think her school got in the way. The author meant this to be a homework after all when she first started.

Honestly, I don't know if I'm being completely unbiased with this one when it triggered so much sweet memories from my childhood/pre-teen/teen life (see things that captured my heart below). Things that I used to like and I used to wish for. And of course, I can remember vividly when I first listened to Love Story, back when I was in college. Actually, I was already eighteen at that time but the song and the video went viral and suddenly whenever someone blasted the song from her stereo, the whole wing would start to sing along with the song.

Aaaah, such a lovely time. *Chokes back tears*

I'm sorry if I just wasted your time. Okay, time for the actual review.

***Spoilers ahead, I think (somehow the blurb itself seems to give out everything***

Well, the plot actually sounds very cliche if you try to sum it up. Lizzie is in relationship with Jeremy, Drew suddenly transferred to her school, several eye contacts and electricity buzz later, Lizzie is positive she meant to be with Drew. Drew starts to be a douche and stays away from Lizzie. He even chooses to hook up with Lizzie's best friend, Chelsea. A few mean comments and a bucketload of tears later, Drew decides he cannot deny his feeling for Lizzie anymore. They both break up with their partners and starts to see each other behind their ex's backs.

Like I said before, not much time transcending actually happened, so this is more of a young adult romance/contemporary than a young adult paranormal/time travel.

What so special of this book is all the 'almosts' and 'not quites'. Let see if I somehow managed to explain this.

1. Lizzie is girl with a heart of gold. She works hard to get good grades, try to please everyone, and like to stay out of troubles. Sound like a Mary Sue? Almost but not quite. There are many facades of Lizzie. Sometimes she worries too much about hurting other people, sometimes she can be a little bit paranoid and inferior but at other times, she is brave enough to stick up for herself and willing to go to an extra mile to demand answers.

2. Drew. He obviously made a wrong decision by dating Lizzie's best friend and warning Lizzie to stay out of him. Almost like other countless scumbag heroes? But not quite. He managed to redeem himself later in the book and the explanation that came along with his previous behaviour does make sense.

3. Chelsea. The girl who changes her boyfriend every month, doesn't mind wearing barely there dresses in winter and like to draw attention to herself. Almost a bitch, but not quite. She actually cares and appreciates Lizzie as her best friend. In fact, she was the one who first wanted to be friend with Lizzie who at that time, was a loner.

4. Jeremy. Co-captain of the school soccer team. Highly competitive, listens to trashy rap songs, quite high tempered and easily jealous. Almost the typical jockey-jerk, but not quite. He lets go of an argument pretty quickly, unafraid to say sorry and encourages Lizzie to be more involved in his new social circle.

5. The almost insta love. Oh, you can imagine all the details. "There seems to no one else in the room but Drew and me, all the sparks and tingling sensation whenever he is there"...you know the drill. But given that Lizzie and Drew had known each other from their past lives, it kind of make sense. Oh well, I have yet to find out how Drew and Lizzie ended up together in the first place, hundreds of years ago but if it was insta love, you better watch out, Michelle Madow. Muahaha~

6. The almost love triangle. Or a love rectangle, whichever you prefer. But not quite, because for Drew and Lizzie the choice is crystal clear. At least, that's how I define love triangle is, only when the protagonist is torn between two other characters.

Some other small, small things that captured my heart
1. French classes
2. The swing on the playground
3. "Minuet" by Mozart.
4. Pinecones throwing.
5. Lizzie's halloween ensemble.
6. Pride and Prejudice first edition.
7. Lizzie's drawings.
8. Music box

And oh, I really feel it's necessary to include this unnecessary line;
"I flipped my phone open and pressed number four, followed by the green send button. Chelsea was fourth on my speed dial, preceeded by my dad'scell, mom's cell, and home number. Jeremy was number five."

LOL! Lizzie, I don't think I'm interested to know who is in your speed dial.

And I did tell you that this book is extremely fluffy, right? If you can't handle fluffiness, I advise you to stay away from this. Hazard: Risk of choking.

"I want you." he said. "Just you. I used to go through every day without thinking about the future, but with you all I can see are the possibilities of the experiences we could have together." He paused, clasping my hands in his. "But remember that whatever you choose. I want you to do what will make you the happiest".

All in all, I think the greatest quality of this book is its innocence, honesty and sincerity. I believe many of us have this so-called reader instinct which can detect if the author wrote a book for money and popularity or for his/her own fulfillment and the readers enjoyment.

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Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Embrace the Forbidden
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Look, I'm aware of just how many of my GR friends are fans of this book. But, Kaidan didn't work his magic on me, nor I can tolerate everything else about this book.

Buckle up, boys. This ain't going to be pretty.

The whole time, I was trying to figure out the author. What was it actually that she wanted to convey? It was as if she was drunk herself while writing this!

I'm not saying that this is a total trainwreck. My 2-stars rating proved that. Somehow, Sweet Evil managed to sustain my attention until the end, and I actually almost fell for Kaidan. Almost.

Maybe I should show a figure to illustrate how I was feeling.

The prologue was okay, unfortunately its Chapter One was the worst first chapter I've ever read.

"Kai, like Thai, only yummier. Gah! Who was this girl invading my brain?"

I asked the same question myself, Anna.

"A freckle was not beautiful. It was a small dark attention grabber. I hated the way everyone's eyes went to it when they talked to me."

Tell me people with freckles, don't you find that offensive? Dear Anna, keep your idea of ideal beauty to yourself, will ya?

"I didn't really know what gonorrhea was, except that it was an STD"

Ugh, Anna. I thought you are this good girl who always scores in class. Even if you never learn about it in school, it doesn't hurt to have broader general knowledge.

After a couple of brief encounters, Anna made promise to Patti that she'll stay away from Kaidan, but the next thing she did was to go to Kaidan's apartment straight away?

And then, that 'a half-naked half demon was burying his face in my neck' thing (I seriously don't know what to call this)...was just disturbing in the sense that Anna got all excited and had to keep her hands from going everywhere on Kaidan.

I was sitting there, dumbfounded and thought

Look, I got that this Kaidan is the son of Lust and being sexy is indeed his job on this earth, but I would appreciate if Anna had more self control, considering she is ***spoiler ahead*** a half angel. ***spoiler finished***[considering she's a half angel! (hide spoiler)]

And then the road trip! So, they were short on time because Sister Ruth was dying, why wouldn't Kaidan and Anna just take a flight then? Come on, Kaidan is filthy rich right?

Don't get me wrong, I did miraculously enjoy the road trip part except when Kaidan slept naked and all those foreplay with Anna (seriously, Wendy Higgins, why wouldn't you just rename your book as FANSERVICE). I got to learn more about Kaidan's actual stance and the other side of his personality. Also, Anna became less annoying during this part.

Then, it went downhill from there. The awkward conversation between Anna and this father, the messy introduction of the other Nephilims, Anna's obsession for Kaidan, bla3. Like I said before, some other random shits.

So, tell me again what's up with all these Team Kaidan stuff? Because he hardly made an appearance after the road trip part.

Oh well, I should have known better than to read books with highly sought after bad boys. Maybe I should steer clear from Obsidian, Existence and Perfect Chemistry series.

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What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Don’t even think of leaving… I will find you,” he whispered. “Guaranteed.”
Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it.
With each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

I don't always read realistic fictions but when I do, I..


Damn ninjas cutting onions!

So...it took me a full month before I finally posted a full review. The thought occurred everyday within that one month. I had been thinking, was it laziness? Was it lack of mood?


I simply didn't want to go back there again, among those trees in the cover.

This is why I rarely read realistic fictions or watching documentary about abuse, poverty and such. I hate thinking, 'This shit happens, alright? More than I know. Everyday'. Oh well, I need to stop being a coward, am I?

This book is told from a sixteen years old girl POV. The voice sounded like how I would imagine a sixteen years old girl feels like. Very impressive writing.

While the book dealt with a heavy subject which is abuse, the romance is still incorporated but I didn't like it that much because everything between Sara and the boy who has crush on her happened too fast (It's a short book anyway and well, the romance is not the subject matter of the book a-ny-way).

I'm still not sure what to make of the idea that Sara has to write an assay for every English class based on different one word each time. I mean, for sixteen years old students, that method of teaching seems...fitting only for seven years old students?

Everything else about this book was mesmerizing, so I hope more people will read this someday.

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Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire, fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
Her Family think she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's Family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the king's feast -- as the entrees.
The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends — especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache — to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her Family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

How about I first show you the picture of how I feel about this book.

Yup, if unicorns can poop rainbows, I can figuratively vomit rainbows just because this book was unexpectedly awesome.

Btw, I'm proud to declare that I was the first person who read the copy from my local library!! I may have to purchase this book later so that I can highlight all the hilarious lines!

I finished this book in one sitting but I was too sleepy afterwards to write the review because it was already freaking 2 a.m.

Why I'm telling you this...

ANYWAY, I honestly want to give this book 4.5 stars because well, while it offers a sheer joy, it's not one of those books which will establish a new genre or even establish a new insight into fiction writing. And of course, some of the scenes were downright ridiculous. ***Spoiler ahead*** You can't just go around, telling other people you are a vampire and then show them your fangs, because in real world, people will not react as mildly as Pearl's friends. And yeah, the ending was a perfect happily ever after too. But that's for the best since I don't think it's appropriate for this book to end in major casualties.***Spoiler finished*** But, I cannot resist but to round it off to five stars because this book excels to entertain with such a simple premise, without going too deep into all the complex mythology, and that's a rare thing to accomplish. Again, it felt sooooo good to read a stand alone book.

I think there was not a single character that I didn't like. As stereotypical as some of them may be, the dialogues are totally witty and smart. ***Spoiler ahead*** I even feel a pang of sadness when Brad died :([I even feel a pang of sadness when Brad died :( (hide spoiler)]

The only drawback is entirely my fault!!! I was scrolling for the reviews and then I spotted the word were-unicorn! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

This one is like one massive parody of all-things paranormal. I might like it if I was fourteen. The plot is very similar to Hex Hall, at least up until the point where I decided that this just doesn't worth my time.

Annoying, self-conscious, whiny heroine who thinks she's funny.

Her life had toilet-bound stamped all over it.

Suddenly, Kylie started feeling people turn and look at her. Or were they looking at all of them?

Stupid, spineless best friend.

The she recalled how Sara had given in to Brad's "needs"-Brad who was the love of Sarah's life-yet, within two weeks of giving in, the love of Sara's life had dumped her. What was so special about that?
Since then, Sara had dated four other guys, and she'd slept with two of them.

To Sara, fitting in was...everything. If blue eye shadow was rave, you can bet Sara would have blue eye shadow before the week was out.

I didn't read far enough to know how the love interest, Derek and Lucas are like.

Just found out there'll be five books in this series.

May God have mercy for all those trees sacrificed in the making of the remaining books.

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The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.

An ARC of this book was sent to me from Angry Robot through Netgalley.

Easily, the BEST BOOK of 2012 I've read so far.

First, I would like to offer a shitload of virtual Nutella for mah girls,
and Lisbeth as a sign of gratitute. Without their gushing reviews, I wouldn't go about requesting this from Netgalley.

I think I may have found my favourite book of 2012 so far.

No, I'm not kitten you.

My favourite shelf had been so loneleyh! SO LONELEYH! No books, and I mean no books had ever made it into that list after Daughter of Smoke and Bone earlier this year. Some made it close, but this book just went cruuuuuuuuising into my favourite shelf.

Like a boss.

This is the book which I need it in physical form no matter what.
This is the book which worth a place next to my Lord of the Rings trilogy on my shelf.
This is the book which needs to be read slowly because you don't want it to end.
This is the book which I'll re-read over and over again in my lifetime until the cover eventually falls off.
This is the book I want to marry. I don't care if I die alone with 72 cats.
This is the book which left me lost for words. I have nothing bad to say about it! Now, how the hell I'm going to write a review if I like everything about this book?

I know, I know...shame on me for never running out of ideas on how to condemn a book but not to praise it.

I mean, I expect nothing less from an author with mitochondrial as her twitter username.

This is a usual story of how a girl meets a boy, well, except that the girl is Ananna, a pirate and the boy is Naji, a blood magician/assassin who is assigned to kill Ananna. Ananna is hunted by the groom's family when she decided to escape the wedding day. During the confrontation between Naji and Ananna, Ananna accidentally saved Naji's life which resulting in an impossible curse inflicted onto Naji. Consequently, Naji is bound to be with Ananna all the time to protect her, otherwise he will experience great physical pain. Together they cross the desert, the ocean and a magical island on a mission to break the curse.

Hurm, that's why I hate summarizing. The story ended up sounding so dry.

It was hard to get into at first for me. First, because it's from Ananna POV and she got all these pirates vibes going on in her speech and monologues. Second, I couldn't grasp the reality of her relationship with her parents that made her decided, it's okay to leave them to escape the arranged marriage.

Ananna or as I'd like to call her

How do I describe this young lady... I adore her so much, I wish to breed her, I wish for all the versions of myself in parallel universe to be like her. She is err...Anannananana batman. Unique. Fearless but not reckless. Ambitious but practical. Eager to learn. She does all those pirate stuff, cursing, shoplifting, pickpocketing but she possesses an admirable ability for compassion and loyalty. She could just leave Naji to die in the desert but she sticks with him anyway, through thick and thin.

Most importantly, she is so much fun to read, to learn about.

I was building up to my best one, about a whore and a court magician, and I knew it'd get a laugh of Naji for sure.

I like 'em well enough, even though they teased me and tried to embarrasses me with crude stories and the like. Course, I had a few stories up my sleeve that made them blush.

He was curled up on the net and didn't move. "E'mko and his twelve dancing seahorses, you better not be dead."

A million possibilities raced through my head. Maybe he'd turned into moonlight after all, and I was next. Maybe he'd turned into a fern and I was ripping him into shreads in my fear.



Damn, I lost my ovaries to Logan from Defiance two days ago but right now I'm in dire need to have them back so that I can explode them all over again. For Naji.

Not much has been revealed about Naji's background up until this book but I think I've learned enough about him to decide that he is indeed swoonworthy. Naji doesn't talk a lot, hides many things, a bit sarcastic, rarely smiles let alone laughs but he is not a douche, not even close. Instead, he is sort of ermm...socially awkward no matter you believe it or not. He is...well, Naji, a very special character and perfect for Anannananana batman.

"You really don't have to stay-it's-well, I'm doing something very rare, full ack'mora-I wouldn't expect-" He straighened up, ran one hand through his tangled-up hair. "Though I ask that you stay in the hotel. My-oath-I'm not sure what would happen to me if you got caught up in danger while I'm away."

*sigh* Well, I ran out of things to say, so to whom I recommend this book to? I want to say everyone but I don't think this book will appeal to everyone. Not that I care, hah! I'd love this anyway if the whole world hates it. Suffice to say that if you're looking for romance and cookie-cutter male and female protagonists, you wouldn't get any because this is one of those books where the characters started off as friends, taking their time to know each other first. A relationship built on trust not lust.

So...Book2, The Pirate's Wish


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Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“LACRIMOSA reaches out, grabs readers by the heart, and takes them on an emotional journey from the first page to the last. The last novel you’ll need to read to understand true sacrifice.” ~Elana Johnson, Author of POSSESSION
It’s been three thousand years since the fall of Azzaziel and the rebirth of evil; three thousand years since the Sentinal Order, an elite group of warrior angels, returned to Celestium. Their job—rid Earth of the dark creatures, the UnHoly. And with luck, end Azza’s rule.
As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.
He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.
Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself. And her choice may cost her, and Celestium, far more than anyone realizes.
How much will she sacrifice for love?

This needs to be awesome because;

1. Lacrimosa by Mozart is one of my favourite songs.

2. Lacrymosa by Evanescence is one of my other favourite songs.

3. Lacrimosa by Kalafina is another of my favourite song.

Not related to the book you say? Well, I'd read a book for strangest reasons because I'm weird like that.

Full review

Actual rating 4.5 stars

It was indeed awesome. I thought I had enough of angel books but this one truly changed my mind.

First, I had to take back my words by saying, Christine Fonseca's writing matches Maggie Stiefvater's but in a completely different way. Hence, I was wrong when I said in my Dies Irae review that Maggie Stiefvater's writing is better suited for stories like this.  Heheh.

What prevented me from giving this book a full five star? I felt like I couldn't grown attached to any of the characters. I did feel their pains and torments but I don't know, somehow it felt like everything was overly dramatic but I guess, that's just the way this story was supposed to be written.

Pick this one up if;

1. You do like larger than life love stories and tragic Shakespeare's plays such as Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.

2. You think you would feel comfortable talking with Master Yoda because the prose goes like this;
Visions of my lips on Nesy turning her blood to poison
-I won't allow thiis
Intimate embraces that turn her body into flames
-I'll never hurt you
The sound of her screams as I end her life
-I'll protect you. Somehow

3. You don't mind the abuse of Tab key. The author seems to love paragraphing.

4. You can tolerate a bit of insta love (just in the flashbacks)
"My name is Elle." Our gaze meets and I'm locked in sacred moment, just the two of us. Her eyes search mine and I wonder if she knows what I am. But it isn't my wings or my glowing skin she seems to see. It's my soul-the part of me I show no one.
  In that second I know...
    I will never forget her.

Other than that, I think everybody should give this a try and probably enjoy it.

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NetGalley Knock Down is a very laid back month-long digital copy read-a-thon hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews.

This are the galleys I'm hoping to finished this whole month.
Glitch (Glitch, #1)The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)
Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)Defiance (Defiance, #1)

Two down, two more to go!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine . It's where we showcase all the books we can't wait to get our hands on!

This week's WoW pick is;

Ironskin (Ironskin #1) by Tina Connolly
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.
It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.
When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.
Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.
Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
Leave that gorgeous cover aside, do you realized that this a Jane Eyre's retelling? A Jane's Eyre's retelling with steampunk and fairies all rolled into one?

Do you know what this means?
and without imagining Micheal Fassbender as Edward Rochart?

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

An ARC of this book was sent to me from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.

Meet the characters:

See the cover? That's freaking Rachel Adams. With her fiery red hair, skin-tight pants and billowing cloak.

Behind her is not a weird looking kitchen, but the Wasteland, infested with wingless dragon-like creature known as The Cursed One.

If you fall for this book for its cover, I can say that you'll get what you bargained for because not only the cover fits the story perfectly...

...Rachel, beyond the cover is one helluva character.

If you liked Katsa from Graceling, you might adore Rachel as well. I did fancy her most of the time especially when she had the gut to tell Logan about her feelings for him when she was just 15 years old. Well, majority of YA heroines' logic dictates that when a girl likes a guy, do nothing about it and expect him to magically know and make the first move.

Anyhow, I actually disliked Rachel's attitudes after Logan gently rejected her. 'Not that I care about his this and his that'. Of course everyone hates rejection but I would like her more if she handled herself with more grace and less ego around Logan.

As much as everything about Rachel's skill and exterior from swinging her Switch and knives to leaping from trees to trees exudes badassery, I did yearn for more dynamic inner personalities. I don't want her to be an exact replica of Katniss from The Hunger Games or Penryn from Angelfall, but she would have saved herself from a lot of troubles if she could use more of thinking with a clear mind than with a fueled rage.

Logan. Or as I would call him Logan and his ribcage (I'll explain later). One of the quotes from his POV;

"My body doesn't agree with my theory, so I force myself to recite the Periodic Table to give myself something productive to focus on."

Periodic Table, you say? I think you might have just unleashed my inner nerdiness.

Damn you, Logan! Damn you and all your techs!

Oh yeah, somehow Logan managed to spend half of his POVs, describing his ribcage.

"...as one guard's booted foot slams into my ribcage and sends me sprawling."

"...keep from pressing my lungs against my ribcage with too much force..."

"I'd laugh if it wouldn't hurt my ribcage."

"...send sharp jabs of agony into my ribcage..."

"I rewrap my ribcage and stuff additional supplies in my pack."

"...down the tree starts a fire in my ribcage."

"...of something other than the fire in my ribcage and my fear for Rachel."

"Every leap strains my ribcage."

"...but the pain and weakness in my ribcage would've made that too time intensive."

"Pain explodes through my ribcage on impact..."

"We dive for the ground, and my ribcage screams at me as searing heat rolls over..."


Look, it's okay for the author to keep track of the character's injury. Nothing worse than watching an action flick with the hero magically recovers from a bullet wound on the shoulder and suddenly able to lift 100 kilos of weight and slam it down onto the villain.

But, I would appreciate if the author would've done it more subtly. I almost wished Logan would talk about his testicles instead.

Other than that, Logan is probably one of the best-written male protagonists I came across so far in my short life as an avid YAs reader. He treats Rachel with respect and trust. He is resourceful and not easily overcomes by emotions.

However, at certain points, I did question his plans because it seemed like eventhough he always assess a situation carefully, noting the best case scenario and the worst case scenario, at the end, there were just too many plans that backfired. Sure, Rachel is to be blamed for some of them but somehow I missed the part where the antagonist, the Commander found out about his plans and intercepted them. By what means when Logan claimed he had attended to all the loose ends.

I think the real culprit here was the writing itself. C.J. Redwine successfully offers multiple heart-wrenching moments and adrenaline-inducing confrontations but the built ups were almost always not-smoothly written.

This problem gets more serious towards the end where I had several 'huh?' moments. I really wished the ending was more tight and believable. It was as if the author got tired halfway through the book and suddenly received a divine idea of how she should end this book. And wrote the gap between these two parts a month later where she barely remembered how did she wrote the earlier parts anyway.

So yeah, some of the prose were indeed beautiful...

"My eyes scape over canvas tents anchored to the ground with iron pegs, linger in the shadows between the rough-hewn stalls, and finally catch a diamond-bright shard of sunlight kissing the silver of a sword"

...but the writing was simply inconsistent throughout the book.

Okay, now to the biggest confusion. Is this truly a dystopian? I could somewhat shelve this under steampunk or high-fantasy and it would still make sense. Of course we have cutting edge technology like the tracking device but what actually happened to all the firearms and artillery after the Cursed Ones are unleashed? The creature just incinerate everything on its path, but what does it eat anyway? How did it live underground all these time before it was unleashed?

"As a last-ditch effort, the government on our continent sent all they had left-a team of young, inexperienced soldiers and a handful of geologist-down into the bowels of the earth to seal our beast back into its lair. The team, lead by Commander Chase failed, and when the surviving members returned to the surface, the was no government. No law and order. Nothing but panic, fire and one surviving monster systematically killing the survivors"

Well, that's it? It sounds too convenient for my liking. Of course, there are more than meets the eyes but I would like to know more about the other continents and did they do anything to help.

Finally, I did expect more fluid dialogues between the characters. With Rachel and Logan love-hate relationship, there were many rooms for great comebacks but sadly, the author did not see to that. Otherwise, it will certainly add colours to their characters.

Nevertheless, the author excelled in providing in depth descriptions especially when it revolves around the weapon used and the ongoing duels.

"The Switch is one of Logan's more useful inventions. It looks like a solid wooden walking staff, but one end is weighted enough to crush a man's skull, and the other conceals a spring=loaded double-edged blade. Iy takes hours of work before I can balance the heavier end, swing it like a mallet and knock Bob, our practice dummy."

While none of the characters except Logan made it to my list of favourite characters of all times, ***Spoilers ahead*** I felt for every causality; Logan's mom, Oliver, Jared, and Melkin. It's depressing that it felt like Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and Mockingjay all over again because I do feel some of the deaths are unnecessary.

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Beauty Never Dies by Cameron Jace
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Peter Pan has a plan. Since it's been hundred years since his friends were all cursed by the Brothers Grimm, he is about to wake up Sleeping Beauty, his eternal lover. Oops, you didn't know that. Blame it on the Grimms.
But in the middle of the ceremony, he is visited by the Evil Queen who manipulates him into helping her with information about Snow White. This or she will expose him as he has been secretly kidnapping kids to help him rebuild Neverland in the Dreamworld.
After the deal is made, Peter continues with the ceremony, bringing Sleeping Beauty back into life. What Sleeping Beauty is capable of and who she really is are like nothing ever written in the books.

This one is very hard to rate because I really, really liked the previous prequels. It might well be a 1-star read, but I don't know, I think I might be biased due to my love for fairy tale retellings. Hurm, I would still read the subsequent prequels and Snow White Sorrow, and I may change my ratings for the published prequels accordingly.

Actually, this...did not sound like a fairy tales retelling, instead it sounded like a fairy tales parody.

And sadly, not a funny one too.

All the comments directed towards the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Count Dracula didn't get me laughing, I found some of them to be offensive instead.

I'm afraid Cameron Jace had taken the idea too far because there are simply too many characters introduced up to this novella, and some of them aren't even created by the Grimm Brothers. How do I say this...with fairy tales or classic retellings, the more alterations introduced, the more appealing they may sound, but at the end of the day, there is actually little room for dramatic changes in characterizations.

For example, Mr Darcy is my all-time favourite book boyfriend so whenever there is a book appear on the market based on Pride and Prejudice, I'd go gaga for it but I don't think I can bear the idea of reading something bad about Mr Darcy e.g. he had an affair or he has a bastard son.

Well, I'm not saying it's wrong for any authors to write opposite things about any characters we've known all our lives but I hope they'll not change the characters too much until they lost their essence and dignity (not sure if I chose the right word but that was what came into my mind).

For example
1. The Evil Queen said 'butt' and 'whateva'.
2. Peter Pan put his hand behind his neck and stretched out his body, showing off as what he claimed as the beauty of his lean and slender curves, wanting to get the Evil Queen's attention.
3. Sleeping Beauty lit 'Hunchy's' ass on fire.

*sigh* I know my review seems very personal. I still associate the Evil Queen with elegance not someone who would say words like butt and whateva, Peter Pan with innocence, not someone who would like to seduce someone else as old as his mom, and Sleeping Beauty with grace, not someone who would...ermm...lit someone else's ass on fire.

Some other issues I had with this novella;
1. Hunchy, as the term of endearment for the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
2. Peter Pan repeatedly saying he doesn't want to grow up. Well, I think we all get it the first time.

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