~ A Young Adult and Fantasy Book Blog ~

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite cover’s with that characteristic. 

This week’s cover characteristic: Town/City Background

The theme is easier for me this time around. Apparently every girl on the covers that I've chosen except Dark Star is facing the opposite direction. Completely unintentional, LOL!

5. Until I Die by Amy Plum
I've read Die For Me and I swear I won't go near her books again. Have you seen the cover for Book 3? Such a disappointment. It is as bad as the cover for Heaven (Halo, #3)

4. The Last Princess by Galaxy Graze
Galaxy Craze? Lolwut? Emm...the reviews haven't been convincing so far. So...we'll see.

3. Above by Leah Bobet
This book was so hyped before it was released but once it was, all the buzz died down?

2. Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
As Disney-Hyperion doesn't offer ARCs to bloggers anymore, it's hard to tell whether this is a book worth-waiting or not.

1. Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
Author of Flygirl? Weird, never heard of her before. Anyway, that cover with that slight tilt with that strong sun flare just drawn me in the first time I saw it.

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

For the past week, I just couldn't hold myself long enough from requesting ARCs. Yup, I really need Hermoine's time turner now.


1. The Iron Fey Boxset by Julie Kagawa
This is a risky purchase because I only have read The Iron King and Winter's Passage. But I hope it worth it!
p/s: I seriously don't know that they included a poster with Puck and Ash on it. It's not like I'm going to paste it anywhere but heheh...damn, Ash looks yummy.
2. Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness #1) by P.T. Michelle 
Last time I checked, it wasn't sold for $0.99. So, when Amazon send me recommendation for this book and I saw it is now sold for $0.99, I couldn't resist anymore.

Review Copies

1. The Gathering Darkness by Lisa Collicutt
I just couldn't stop requesting titles from Curiosity Quills Press! Their books usually have good cover.
2. Broken by A.E. Rought
I vowed that I will not request this but I did. I feel like flogging myself in public. Bad kitty! Very bad kitty!
3. Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes
I heard heads are flying even within the first 50 pages? Whoaaa...sounds like something I like to read! ^_^
4. The Sun Dwellers (The Dwellers #3) by David Estes (Beta version)
The epic finale of the best dytopian series I've read this year. I'm half afraid to start this because I don't want it to end!


1. Inhale (Just Breathe #1) by Kendall Grey
People said that they'll be sex scene in this one? Yup, definitely a deterrent. I hope there's more to the story than the steamy scene.
2. Wander Dust (The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy #1) by Michelle Warren
This has been in my TBR list for years! No excuse for putting this off any longer.


Bonus time! I went for sightseeings around South Australia last week and bought these! Not that I often read physical books any longer but bookmarks as souvenir are nice, aren't they? Cheap and practical. :)
1. Australian Arid Lands Botanical Gardens
2. Adelaide Zoo (Giant Panda - Funi)

Whisper's Edge by London Cole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Drake and Kelsie quickly discover life won't be quite the same after getting their new abilities, but they hope everything will settle into a sort of normalcy. It doesn't take long for them to realize it's not the kind of normal they were hoping for.
When Kelsie joins Drake for a routine Hunt, they end up stumbling upon an underground bunker that hasn't been opened in nearly a century. When they meet a far-too-friendly ghost, it should be their first indicator to leave things alone and get out of there. Never ones to resist the opportunity for excitement or mystery, they end up in a situation that could cost them dearly–threatening not only everything they've worked for, but their very lives!
Drake's world is turned upside down. A mysterious new girl seems intent on capturing his heart, but that's not all she's after.
Kelsie faces betrayal by the one she holds most dear, only to meet someone new who could change her entire existence; past, present, and future. If only she can stay alive long enough to find out the truth...

Actual rating: 2.5 stars

Oh dear. This is one tough review to write. For start, I sort of accidentally requested to be a part of the blog tour because as always, I'm drawn to eye-catching book covers. I wasn't aware that Whisper's Edge is the second book of the series because I trusted Goodreads with my dear life (you know, GR usually put the book number in the bracket after the book title which is there now but not before). Anyway, I was indeed supplied with the first book but I chose to read the sampler from Amazon and a few reviews instead because of the time constraint. The first few chapters of Book 1 were okay, I guess. It convinced me enough to proceed with Book 2.

I had a very mixed feeling about this book. Hmm...how do I say this. Of course, it's unfair not to like a book because I don't understand what was going on in the first place. But here's the thing, if I really like the other aspects of the book i.e. the writing, the characters development, the conflicts, I would go back to Book 1 and look up all those new terms and characters background because I have it at my disposal. The problem is, I didn't care enough to do that.

I read Young Adult books to...uhmm...avoid reading about sex scenes. While there was no sex happened in this book, the innuendos and the foreplay kind of bothered me. I understand that Drake and Kelsie don't even know, how..ermm...babies are made, so sleeping and showering together should be practical things to do and completely 'harmless' for them but I found these scenes a bit too abundant. It was borderline fanservice. Kelsie and Drake should compete who got naked more often.

The characters are certainly not plain. In fact, I find them pulsating with good energy and life which is something refreshing in books with post-apocalyptic setting. They have attitudes and the dialogues were believable and casual with some swearing at times if you don't mind. The problem is I do mind and it's not the book's problem, it's my problem.

Uh, I think I lost track of what I want to say.

I don't know...I have a tendency to like well-mannered characters, that's all. But trust me, the characters, even the secondary ones are well-developed. The main proof is that the characters in the Guild interact like they are indeed in a community. I particularly like Samantha, she stood out as the ghost with an attitude. The rest...hmm...I'm fairly indifferent to them.

In my opinion, the biggest weakness of this book is the plot. The subplots could have be told more neatly and I was hoping that the main plot would carry more substance than 'Drake and Kelsie finally realize their feelings towards each other'. I know some readers might disagree with me because their mutual affection is not as simple as the way I put it but seriously, the whole story revolves around the tug war between Drake and Kelsie. Otherwise Kelsie's mad dash out will not lead to revelation of her true form after she died and Drake's feeling of rejection will not somewhat lead to his involvement with Meghan.[his involvement with Meghan. (hide spoiler)]

The main conflict in this book is just not sufficiently big enough. Like, the whole book could be condensed into an episode of a TV series instead of a sequel to a movie saga. Judging from the cliffhanger ending, I have no doubt that Book 3 will be big. But it doesn't mean that Book 2 should function only as a bridger. It should have its own moment of glory and sadly, I don't think it achieved that. Will I read Book 3? I don't think I would. This series does offer a wonderful world for us to explore but I struggle to adapt with the characters and the writing.

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Ever by Jessa Russo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
BOOK ONE in The EVER Trilogy
Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.
Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.
Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.
Some girls lose their hearts to love.
Some girls lose their minds.
Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

Actual rating: 0 star

What the .... did I just read.

It's been more than 48 hours since I finished with Ever, but I'm still contemplating what is the best way to write the review. One thing for sure, this is definitely the worst book I've ever read (worse than Fallen, who would've thought so!).

Urghhh...although I can write a very 'colourful' negative review, it doesn't mean that I like to write such review. More so now, when I myself directly involved in the creative process of publishing books as a beta reader. I hate it even more to write a negative review for a debut novel. But this, this is just intolerable.

Dear Curiosity Quill Press, I had a 'pleasure' of reading Wilde's Fire halfway and a pleasure of reading and occasionally skimming Fade and Ever. While I'm very grateful for your generosity for offering me to review those ARCs, here are a few things that I want you to take note because I do notice some 'unhealthy' patterns emerging in your books;

1. I think we had enough with Mary Sue heroines. It doesn't hurt to feature strong, independent female protagonists with more brain cells.

2. Stupid, and I mean stupid love triangle. Love triangle doesn't equal to 'it's okay for the girl to date/flirt/make out with two boys in such a short time frame.

3. Mysterious males with 'paranormal, mythical' true identity as the love interest.

4. Insta love/obsession/soul mate or whatever you feel like naming it.

5. Gross make out scenes EVERYWHERE in the book. I feel like stepping on land mines the whole time. I was just trying to get into the story and here we go again 'His lips covered mine' bullshit. Trust me, readers are not that stupid anymore to buy a book just to read the steamy, hot make out scenes because hey, there are a lot of post-Fifty Shades erotica books in the market! And trust me, the make out scenes in Fade and Ever are gross because the characters hardly know each other/they were best friends before! Real relationship needs development, people!

6. You are in dire need for unique, attractive book title. How do you know if that book title is not a good idea? Search that title on Goodreads and your book isn't among the top five hits.

7. On the plus side (hey, finally!) the cover for your books are quite decent. Keep up!

Okay, back to Ever. This is my pre-morning book (I like to wake up around 3-4 am to read. Pre-morning inspired by Sheldon Cooper's pre-evening definition because when I say early morning, people imagine 7-8 am), not my plane book, or my between classes book, or my 'I can't sleep so I'm reading' book. Which meant to say that this book had my full attention. I even read this during my stay in Port Agusta (such a lovely place!) which meant to say that I was in peaceful mood without any assignments plaguing my mind. And what did I get? An awful, awful experience. I even decided to get back to sleep because of the horror! And ended up having nightmares. And I had to try so hard not to let it ruin my mood the whole day for the sake of my travel buddies. True story bro.

Usually I do agree that reviews/ratings are subjective and whenever I hate a book, I would still recommend my other Goodreads friends to read that particular book just to know other people's point of view. But I don't dare to do that for Ever case because I don't want anyone else to undergo the emotional trauma that I had.

Okay, just to prove that I'm not exaggerating, I beg the author/the readers to read my summary of Ever. Granted, summarizing can take things out of context but I just don't care anymore at this point.

***Spoilers ahead***

Frankie, Ever best friend had passed away for two years but strangely he (or his apparition) still lingers in Ever's house. Neither Ever nor Frankie know why Frankie's soul couldn't move on. Ever claimed Frankie is the first and the only guy she ever love in her lifetime. Ever's choice of best friend is interesting because Jessie changes boyfriend as often as I have to mow my damn lawn and she only wears pink. Not that I have a problem with that but wait until I describe Jessie's behaviour.

Ever (I don't know..complains? rants? mentions?) that she will never have an embarrassing make-out story-let alone sex because apparently she has given Frankie her heart all those years ago.


Enters Toby, the new guy on the block who moves into Frankie's old house. Ever's first thought '"Toby," I whispered. Yes. I liked the way that sounded, almost as much as I liked the way he looked. Wow."

Note that this quote came only a few pages after Ever said Frankie possessed her heart for years. Yawn.

(And I think Elenoar is a nice name. Why Ever thought it's an embarrassing name? Can someone bother to tell me why?)

That night, Ever went for a movie with Jessie. But she couldn't concentrate to the movie. Why you asked me? Because her attention, 'unfortunately' was on the hot guy next door! Even more imaginative than usual, her mind started making up all sorts of different things about him, and Ever found herself creating and playing out scenarios in my head about how the two of us would meet and what would come next.


Next page, Ever thought 'I didn't know why, but I found myself really wanting to touch him'

Toby came to approach her, asked her out, but she refused because she said she has a boyfriend.

Ever saw Frankie looked broken after her little conversation with Toby and she wondered why?

That night, Ever had a nightmare and she was calling Frankie's name. Of course, Frankie appeared on her bedroom but then he saw Ever was only in her underwear. "I watched his gaze slowly travel over me. He seemed captivated by my lack of clothing, and took his sweet time before meeting my gaze."

Oh, now the ghost is getting horny too.

The next morning, despite the rejection, Toby gave Ever her favourite flower, anemones. Of course Ever went nuts wondering 'How do he knows my favourite flower' and all that. Then, Ever thought 'only crazy person would allow herself to continue obsessing over someone long after he'd died. Sane people focus on things they actually can attain, like relationships with living people. Like Toby'

Note that this happened only the morning after Ever thought 'Was I imagining the heated look in his (Frankie's eyes because I wanted to see it there so badly?"

Back to Jessie, the first thing she asked regarding Ever's new neighbour was did Toby ask Ever out. Eheh. We could all use a friend like that, do we?

And here's Jessie's word of wisdom '...we are seventeen years old. We are supposed to be dating and having fun. Susan says - in one of the only bits of advice I'll even bother with - that we should be dating multiple guys at a time! Multiple."

Yay, and then we could all have multiple STDs. Hooray!


After numerous useless references to colour pink and legging, Ever encountered Toby again. And she wondered what brand of shampoo he used. Because Jessie with all her intelligence managed to set Ever on a 'date' with Toby in the name of 'showing him around', Ever stuck with Toby that very night. Toby even added that hopefully Ever's 'boyfriend'' won't mind.

A few blushes, tongue-tied moments with several thoughts back to Frankie, the date is over. The next morning, Ever was woken up by Frankie (Believe me, Frankie serves nothing except for Ever's personal alarm clock at this point) and Ever thought she wished she could hold Frankie and Frankie felt the same way too.

Moving on, someone knocked the door and Ever opened it. And it was Toby. What did Ever thought? 'I found myself blushing at the thought of what he might sleep in. Flannel pajama bottoms...boxers...nothing at all.'

Wow, Frankie just got totally friend-zoned by the horny Ever.

And oh, I forgot to mention that Toby came to invite Ever for their second date. At this point, I don't know what happened to the 'fake boyfriend' story anymore. Of course, Ever had her first kiss in only her second date. How romantic.

Next, Ever parents get all worked up by the fact that her seventeen years old daughter is dating a twenty-two years old guy. Hmm..I don't know. I thought this is normal? Except if that 22-years old guy is Ever's teacher?

After throwing a tantrum, Ever went back to her room to reply Jessie's 'OMG, EVER!' e-mail. Frankie appeared and asked where she'd been and she lied to Frankie. And I didn't understand why the lie is needed when Ever thought there's no hope between her and Frankie. Frankie sensed her lie and Ever got so defensive, it chased Frankie away. Of course, Frankie came back to comfort the crying Ever who at this very moment thought 'Frankie is her entire world'.

And I didn't really understand what happened next, between the pink toenails and Jessie's scream 'Toby!!! I won't let some guy ruins my vacation with my best friend!!!" And I thought Jessie was the one who set Ever up with Toby in the first place!

Next, Frankie was trying to talk Ever into not going out with Toby for 'a reason he couldn't tell' (of course) and Ever replied 'Get out of my way and stay out of my life. I can see whomever I choose.'

Remember last night when Ever thought Frankie is her entire world?

And I also didn't understand what happened next, between Frankie trying to calm the crying Ever again because Toby hasn't call her but Toby appeared next carrying Ever favorite flower and kissing her senseless.

Of course Toby didn't explain where he'd gone and of course Ever forgive him. A few small talks later, they kissed again. And kissed again. And kissed again.

But brace yourself because the next morning Ever admitted that she was simultaneously feeling that same strong pull toward Toby and Frankie. That Frankie whom she yelled at the day before.

And that very same day, Ever went out with Toby again. Seeing Ever, Toby kissed her again. Toby brought Ever's parents in his ride, quickly earning extra points for himself. Next, Ever and Toby started their real date on a ship. Next, they made out. At home, Frankie got upset because Ever went out with Toby.

Next, on that night, Ever had a nightmare. Her mom had to calm her down by rocking her in that way she always did when she was a little girl.

Okay, that basically what happened for the first 100 pages.

Next 100 pages.

Jessie's drama llama with her mom's boyfriend...Frankie told Ever not to go on a date with Toby again...she didn't listen because she wanted to be happy, she wanted to have a boyfriend (apparently happy and having a boyfriend is interchangeable in Ever's dictionary)...Jessie's family drama llama again...Ever and Jessie talk about Jessie's new boyfriend, Greg...Ever overheard Toby's confrontation with his 'dad'...Ever and Jessie's double date with Toby and Greg...Ever found out that Toby's ex is a psycho...Jessie's PDA with Greg...Ever and Toby kissed again once they got in the car...

Oh finally some plot!

Ever's dad got killed in a car accident!

Cue the tiny violin sound because our Ever is broken and depressed. Cue the heroic sound because of course, Toby came to the rescue. Ever cried and cried and got aroused. Aha! She even thought she didn't want to be responsible, she wanted to go all the way with Toby! She even thought she loves him! Honey, everyone loves their boyfriend when they get horny.

But Ever ruined that moment because she broke down and cried again! Classy. Toby accidentally spoke too much and now Ever demanded some answers. When he couldn't provide those, he dumped Ever! Minutes after they almost went all the way.

Ever punched Toby. He left, and of course, Frankie was there to comfort Ever.

Four miserable weeks, Ever longed for Toby. In the meantime, Ever's mom couldn't function anymore. To cheer Ever up, Jessie invited her to a party and introduced her to Scottie. And they made out too the very same night. Being Ever, of course she thought Toby was a better kisser.


To add to the awesomeness of the plot, Ever caught Toby making out with his ex, Ariadne. But suddenly, Toby got up and spoke for Ever when Scott asking Ever if she's okay. Ariadne introduced herself and of course Ever felt a pang of jealousy.

But oh! Later that night Toby came to apologize and guess what, they made out again! And hey, what do we have here. Ever's mom knocking on her door when they just about to do it.

Thank God.

And then Frankie and Ever fight again. And then Ever realized that she'd always loved Frankie.


The next morning, Ever went to Toby's house and caught him just wearing a towel. And guess what? Of course they made out again. Ever and Ariadne had a fight...Toby and Ever kissed...Jessie threw a surprise party for Ever's birthday...Toby and Ever kissed in Haunted Mansion...Ariadne showed up in Ever's house

...bringing her own surprise gift, Frankie in flesh not in a ghost form.

Finally, we got a plot development.

No, no, don't celebrate yet because what comes next was Ariadne kissed Frankie and Ever fainted at the sight.

When Ever woke up, Toby came clear that he was a soul collector (well, this is apparently the big secret), and Ariadne too. In fact, Ariadne brought Frankie back alive to trade him for Toby. Funny thing was, this meant that Frankie's soul belongs to Ariadne now. Ever got so mad, she threw up, she shooed Toby away.

As you may expect, Frankie came to console her and they relive they long lost love by having intercourse.

Note that this happened a few hours after Ever was Toby's girlfriend.

Well, I couldn't bother summarizing what happened afterwards until the end of the book because I'm very stressed out right now. I feel like puking and I'm losing my appetite. Summarizing Ever is like reliving my nightmare, so that's it. I got to stop now because it has taken toll on me.

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Fade by A.K. Morgen
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?
When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.
When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.
Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

Actual rating: 0.5 star (Well, it's slightly better than Ever)

The Lord has given me strength to stomach this book, so here is what I came up with:

When I first saw the book blurb '....She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father (heard that before)...unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him (yup, definitely about werewolves or shapeshifter, nothing new)...Norse prophesy-

Wait, what?

Norse prophesy?

Do you think what I think?


Yup, apparently I wanted to read this book because of Loki. Well, not entirely...because I wanted to see myself what's all the fuss about the horribleness of this book. LOL. I couldn't agree more with the other reviewers, but for the sake of entertainment, I shall review this with character interview style!


Me: *Clears throat* Hi Arionna! 'Nice' to have you here with us. So, let's get straight to business. During your mom funeral, you saw a wolf. And what did you feel at that moment?

Arionna: I wonder if he'd lost a loved one too. Do animals feel loss like us? Do they grieve, too? I hoped not.

Me: *Eye-twitch* So instead of running away from the scene and warning everyone else about the presence of the wolf, you wondered...did he (oh, you know its gender too)...ermm..lost a loved one too?
Okay, moving on. When you first laid your eyes on Dace, you felt...

Arionna: Oh, I felt like I knew him. I felt...peaceful. As if looking at this beautiful boy washed away everything that happened since Mom died. I felt right in the way I never had before, not only unburdened and aware, but complete. Like gaping hole inside me had fillied with him. I think Dace felt the same way.

Me: *Snorts* I mean, sure! Your mom would feel so proud to see that you were moving on because...you met, ermm no, saw a random guy from a distance. And I believe Dace said he was not used to seeing beautiful girls standing on crumbling walls every day when he first met you?

Arionna: Yeah, he'd call me beautiful. *blushes*

Me: .......Uh, right. And then he held you gaze, an absolutely predatory gleam in his eyes. Nothing human reflected in that look, but something complete male did. His desire brushed across your thoughts like a caress. He wanted you, wanted to claim me. You was a virgin, but you wanted him to claim you?

Arionna: *Nods sheepishly*
Tell me, girl. Which part of the word 'rape' that you didn't understand?
Anywaaaaaaaaaay, how do you view yourself?

Arionna: I'm just a girl. Just a sad, messed up girl. Nothing special about me at all.

Me: *Blink blink* Uhuhjustanothermarysue.

Arionna: What did you say?

Me: Nothing. How did you meet Dace for the next time?

Arionna: Call it instinct or whatever, but I knew he'd snow sooner or later when I went jogging in that area. Around forty-five minutes later, he showed up.

Me: Ermm..so, you just waited randomly for a random guy for 45 minutes in random area. And when he did show up, you didn't want to talk, you wasn't ready to face him. You felt like you might start crying if you opened your mouth. You didn't let him touch you and you were half afraid the scene from Thursday would repeat if he touched you. Hmm.

Arionna: Yup.

Me: Then, Dace said you two are probably soul mates? In your second meeting?

Arionna: Aha, yes.

And then a few minutes later, you guys were kissing each other senseless? And you even hoped that he takes away your virginity against a tree?

Arionna: Yes. Whoaa...why you get so uptight?

Me: Me? Uptight? Eh, of course not. *wipes sweat on forehead* Okay, so you met a girl, a friend of Dace and what did she think about you and Dace?

Arionna: Chelle thinks maybe I'll be good for him.

Me: (Weird town, everybody thinks Arionna and Dace are soul mates. Really? How sweet!) And I also noticed you have a tendency to pass out or cry whenever you think the situation got better of you.

Arionna: Well, I couldn't help it.

Me: (Damsel in distress level 9000) Okay, tell me something. When Dace told you about what he really is, how did you feel?

Arionna: I thought I'm like him, I thought I'm not me.

Me: Instead of having a hard time believing Dace, you thought you're like him? You're just- Wow! I'm speechless. And you are really an incredible young woman, you know that, Miss Arionna? Because your heart felt like cracking open when you heard the death of Dani, the girl you're barely know.

Arionna: I-

Me: Yes, you're so incredible, Dace like to call you love? Like, I never heard of any of my friend's boyfriends calling their girlfriend love. The only person who uses that term of endearment is that lady from the post office. She even called me cupcake once. I wonder why Dace doesn't call you that. Huh.

Arionna: He-

Me: And suddenly halfway throughout the story, everybody isn't really a human? Yay! Now, we have a love child of Fallen and Shiver.

Arionna: Yup, that's the idea! And here's my favourite quote from the book, "...well, had the wolf not be so eager, I wasn't sure I'd still be a virgin.

Me: Arionna?

Arionna: And Dace replied 'telepathically' of course. 'Do you honesltly think I'd take your virginity on a picnic table?

Me: What r u're doing

Arionna: And I asked 'Why not?'

Me: Arionna?

Arionna: It's better than the back of a car.

(And punches are flying)

Me: Okay, kids. I think we're done here. Kthxbai.

Did I care about the mythology? No. I was too distracted with the level of intelligence shown by the characters. But I think that's the only thing that worth the 0.5 star because everything else is just wrong on so many levels.

Bonus time: I think my tablet got so petrified with my decision to read this book despite all the warnings. I brought it on board during my Dolphin Explorer cruise, or Dolphin Fin Explorer cruise as I'd call it (I only saw the fin of the dolphin, that's why. But what do I expect with a $8 cruise! Pffttt), and somehow I accidentally left it(I think my tablet just got scared too much until it decided to be left). And my tablet did have valid reasons to be scared.

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Okay guys, remember The Moon Dwellers and my interview with the author, David Estes?

Now I have a special treat for you because IT'S THE DAY WHEN WE CAN FINALLY SEE THE COVER FOR THE STAR DWELLERS, its sequel.

Early praise for The Star Dwellers

“Estes´s creative genius continues to shine in this installment. We get quite a few questions answered and more are raised.”
Author Christie Rich

“This is easily becoming one of the best dystopian books I've read.”
Lolita Goodreads

The Star Dwellers surpassed all of my expectations and more. I was just completely amazed and thrown back into this fantastic world and left dying to know what will happen next.
Kayleigh Goodreads

Early praise for the author

“David Estes you are a genius! This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt such intense emotion to the main characters and their cause.”
Tina Donelly Goodreads

“Another fantastic book by David Estes that had me gripped straight away”
Adele Goodreads

Early praise from me (man, I have to include this one too because I can..haha!)

"So...everybody's familiar with KFC's "Original Recipe" of 11 secret herbs and spices? Now, I think David Estes has found 11 secrets to write a smashing Young Adult hit."
Ninja assassin reviewer Zuleeza 

About the author

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually 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. He´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. Author of the Evolution Trilogy Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

The Star Dwellers Synopsis:

After rescuing her father and younger sister, Adele is forced to leave her family and Tristan behind to find her mother in the cruel and dangerous realm of the star dwellers.

Amidst blossoming feelings for Adele, Tristan must cast his feelings aside and let her find her own way amongst the star dwellers, while he accompanies Adele's father to meet with the leaders of the moon dwellers and decide the fate of the Tri-Realms.

Will Adele be able to rescue her mother and make it back to the Moon Realm before the President and the sun dweller soldiers destroy her family?

Can Tristan convince the moon dweller puppets of the error of their ways?

Was Adele's lost kiss with Tristan her one and only chance at love?

In her world there's only one rule: Someone must die

And now, the cover reveal

Now tell me what you think about the cover.

And don't forget that The Star Dwellers blog tour will stop here on 3rd Oct! ^_^

 THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE! It's the official day for His Black Wings cover reveal. Are you ready? Are you? Are you? Because the cover definitely took my breath away when I first saw it.

Brace yourself.

His Black Wings is...
Beauty and the Beast set in the future during a Victorian era revival. 
The Grand Council has brought the world peace, but will it last?
Malice, revenge and lust are not easily defeated...
Claren Maidstone has been forced to flee her childhood home, following the death of her parents and a vicious attack from a man who intends to marry her. 
She assumes a new identity and finds employment as an assistant to the handsome, Fredrick Lowood. However, Fredrick's generosity isn't without a price and Claren soon finds herself forced into a strange friendship with his disfigured son. 
Unaware of how Claren's past entwines with his own, 
Etrigan Lowood begins to yearn for her love. 
Unfortunately, the past is not far behind.
Is his love for Claren enough? 
Or will Etrigan remain alone with his black wings... 

What do you think guys? I don't usually go for anime-ish cover but with that kind of synopsis, His Black Wings does remind me a lot of my favourite anime/manga, Kuroshitsuji, also set in Victorian Era. So saying that I'm excited for the release is an understatement (it'll be out early November this year, by the way)!
Astrid Yrigollen is a self published author of young adult and children's books. Astrid started her writing career when she begun work for the international video game giant, Sega of America. Working her way up the ranks, she began writing companion guides for games. With a love for writing fiction since childhood, she took her short stories out of storage and had her first story ever written published. It was only after that she found out that first stories are never published! She has resumed writing full time and has succeeded in putting out the titles, The Doughnut Tree, Mysterious Pootkins, and The Mosswoods--to name a few. Her short stories have appeared in the literary journal of Threshold Press and Shock and Awe Magazine.
Connect with the author!
Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Website

There will be three winners total and the giveaway will run until the release of His Black Wings!

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

p/s: Sorry if I come across as a very, very stingy person. I'm just flipping poor. A student, get it? Hence, no moneiz. Heeeeee

The Five Stages of 'Rejoice, rejoice all around because I found a good book through Goodreads'.

1. Denial

This happened back in early May 2012. I need to give Larissa credit for introducing me to Slammed because she's my first Goodreads friend who've read this book. She said that this book made her cry and she never cried over a book before. I was intrigued, but being me, I am never so much of a contemporary reader. Plus, the title, the cover and the blurb didn't drawn me enough. But come on! Although the rating was exceptionally high at that point, there were only like, 40 reviews in total! So, I decided to let it pass.

Back in August, I've seen one after another 5-stars rating for this book. But the true turning point was when I saw Slammed on Netgalley as an auto-approve title. But being me, I'm still skeptical. I mean, if Simon & Schuster could take over and publish Beautiful Disaster (the horror!), then I thought S&S wanted to do the same with Slammed because it was intensely hyped, not because it's a quality read. Heh! So, I requested Slammed only, thinking I won't want to read Point of Retreat afterwards.

*Shakes head* Egocentric Zuleeza.

Now the sequel is sold for $9 instead of $0.99.

I feel like punching myself in the face.
EDIT: Strangely I could find Point of Retreat when derping around the new Netgalley.

2. Anger

Dude, have you heard that people's saying Taylor Swift is like the sober version of Ke$ha?

Slammed is like the sober version of Obsidian initially. You know...a girl with her single mom, moves to a new town, meets a hot male neighbour. Not that it angered me, I was just thinking 'this is Deja Vu. Hmm...proceed'.

The thing that angered me was, how quickly this book stole my heart without even trying so hard. Usually, it takes a kick-ass heroine, an intricate plot, a powerful imaginary world to impress me. But this book has none of those! In fact, it has the big no-no element in YA books; insta love. Yes, Layken and Will freaking kissed in Chapter Two, just when the story starts moving. How did I feel about that? I wished they kissed sooner LOL!

But, by the end of the story, I asked myself again, was it really an insta love? I personally think it wasn't. Because the time they spent away from each other was the moment that they learnt to love each other, not the time when they were together at the beginning.

Here's the peculiar part. I'd call Slammed formulaic and cliche. Is that a bad thing? Of course it is for other books but Colleen Hoover had done the impossible. If someone tried to tell me the whole storyline, I'd say 'Geez...I've heard that kind of forbidden love since I was in kindergarten. And the author expects that if she threw terminal illness into that mix, I would break down and cry?'.

Seriously, this is a book you need to experience it by yourself.

3. Bargaining

Once I finished Slammed, I was certain that I really need to punch myself for not requesting Point of Retreat. I went to Bookdepository.com, it was sold for around $14 for a paperback. Sheesh, that's kind of expensive for a Bookdepository book standard. They let you pre-order the other version of paperback for cheaper price but I have to wait. No, are you kidding me? And I'm not going to spend $9 for an e-book!

I decided to let it go for now.

Hmm...now that I think about it, I actually have a fear of Book 2. I'm afraid Book 2 is not as good as its predecessor. So yeah, I need to let my fangirling over Slammed settles down a little bit before jumping to Point of Retreat.

4. Depression

So the ending was very heart-moving. I actually had braced myself but it was really touching...no point in denying what I felt. But the problem with having a non-reader best friend is that she doesn't understand? Like all I wanted to do was to hide under my quilt and cry myself to sleep. But she didn't let me!

Of course I won't tell her why I was depressed last night because it's just too embarrassing. Heheh.

5. Acceptance

Wow. I just never felt this way about any books before. I respect every single characters in this book. I like Will. Very much. But I don't feel right making that exploding ovaries joke because I feel like Will belongs to Layken and Layken only? Weird, I know.

There are just so many things I like about this book;

The slam poetry, the lung cancer Halloween costume, the 'I don't think that's a good idea', the 'of course I let him kiss me', the backward day, the basagna, the inhabitant, the Avett Brothers song lyrics and the Chuck Norris jokes...

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite cover’s with that characteristic. 

This week’s cover characteristic: Vampire Fangs

This week theme is a lot harder than the last time because I think I had enough with books about vampires. And a lot of vampire books also fall into adult or erotica genre (which I will never read). So here are my selections:

5. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Hands down, among the funniest book I ever read. This is like a subtle parody for Twilight.

4. Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Dice, and Red Dice (Thirst #1) by Christopher Pike
I've heard a lot of Christopher Pike but nah, I'm not that drawn to read his books yet.

3. Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) by Melissa de la Cruz 
Reviews have been really mixed for this one and can I add that the series might be too damn long. So, yup. Still ain't going to read this series yet.

2. Untamed (House of Night #4) by P.C. Cast
I'm just glad I didn't buy the books from this series after I went fangirling over Twilight (which I'm not anymore. Haha!) I don't think the reviews are convincing enough.

1. Scent of a White Rose (The Rose Trilogy #1) by Tish Thawer
I never heard of this book/series before! But I really like that cover! Will I ever going to read this? Hmmm...like I said before, vampires are not my favourite supernatural creatures.

Phantom by Laura DeLuca
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.
Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.
Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

Reading this after Transcend is not a good idea.

When I decided to pick this up, I didn't know that this is a straight thriller/slasher book. I was hoping for some paranormal elements. ***Spoiler alert***Justin declared that he is a witch but hmph, it appears that he couldn't even block blows from a girl. Okay, okay, it's not an ordinary girl, it was Debbie, but still! False hope. *Crestfallen face* ***Spoiler finished*** Hence, I'm aware that my rating/review might be biased because I never like reading this genre.[(Justin declared that he is a witch but hmph, it appears that he couldn't even block blows from a girl. Okay, okay, it's not an ordinary girl, it was Debbie, but still! False hope. *Crestfallen face*) (hide spoiler)]

Honestly, the writing and the pace isn't that bad. It was really smooth, although I might add that the word building was very average. At one point, I was ready to give this book 3.5 stars! But the last quarter just ruined it for me. :/ There were so many questionable actions done by the characters! See characters analysis below.

Although many references to Grade B horror movie were made (i.e. Becca is not like that stupid heroine in the film etc), plotwise, Phantom moves like a Grade B horror movie itself. It was very formulaic, to put it simply, it was like a cross between High School Musical and Scream.

The characters. To say I'm disappointed with them is an understatement.


Or Bella 2.0. I didn't like her from start when she easily classifies people from the way they look.

He could only be classified as a nerd, if he could be classified at all. It seemed more appropriate that he would be a flunky than a friend to the popular Tom.

He was obviously Gothic to the core, a fashion statement Rebecca had always thought was secretly a cry for attention

Imma get this straight, I understand that stereotyping is a real deal in high school. But I was hoping for a more sensible heroine with slightly elevated way of thinking. Not someone who thinks like 99% of high school girls.

Beneath the black t-shirt and black fishnet sleeves, she could see the outline of tight, firm muscles rippling through the fabric.

That was only one occassion. Becca had been caught gawking at boys for several times throughout this book.

A few of the younger girls were looking at them with envy in the eyes, but Rebecca didn't feel sorry for them. After four years of sitting on the sildelines, she felt she deserved this moment of honor, and she reveled in it.

Getting the attention of the most popular guy in school is your definition of the moment of honor? What happen to good grades? Oh wait, that's my definition of the moment of honor. LOL!

Okay, I think I had enough with the actual qoutes from the book. To put it simply, Becca is an unpopular high school girl who has a bit of obsession for all-things Phantom of The Opera. One day, she went for an audition for her high school play and landed the role of Christine. Suddenly, she had the attention of Tom, the most popular guy in her school, and Justyn, the Goth (as Becca labelled him), mysterious guy who is also a Phantom of the Opera fanboy.

*Le sigh* If I first heard a boy singing nicely, I might go swooning over him, but I won't go as far as asking him to be my boyfriend. You don't go around choosing your partner based on the voice only like what Tom has done.

Back to Becca, when she started to receive mysterious letters, packages and calls from someone who obviously familiar with Phantom of the Opera, she became paranoid of everyone. And I mean everyone!

And I really don't understand if she did suspect Tom and Justyn, why did she still want to go out with them?

Oh ya, I forgot to mention that the love triangle is really, really obnoxious. Becca dated two guys at the same time and those two guys couldn't be in the same room without ripping each other's face to shred.

Again, back to Becca. During the climax, she suddenly morphed into this suicidal martyr while she was tad scared like a few hours before. She insisted to venture to the back of the curtain even after discovering ***Spoiler alert*** Wendy's corpse ***Spoiler finished*** There's a thing call, uh, asking for help?


I like gentlemen. I like romantic speeches. Justin..hmm...did make my ovaries a little shaky but nah, the undying declaration of love between Becca and Justyn was AWKWARD!

Okie, I have to stop here because if I continue on, I might get meaner which is something I'd like to avoid nowadays. Hihi.

View all my reviews

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

Admittedly, I was too excited last week when I finally have my mid semester break, so I had a little manic episode by requesting way too many ARCs and review copies. So, this week I had to tone it down because IT'S NOT LIKE I DON'T HAVE ANY ASSIGNMENT TO DO THIS HOLIDAY!!!


Yup, I do feel better now.

So, sorry if my book haul this week sounds like the most boring Showcase Sunday post ever.

Review Copies 
Book title, author and source (from left to right)
1. Phantom by Laura DeLuca (source: from blog tour)
Yup, another Phantom of the Opera inspired book. When will I get tired of retellings?!
2. Whisper's Edge (Whisper Walker, #2) by London Cole (source: from blog tour)
Funny because I didn't know that this is book 2 before signing up for the tour. I trust Goodreads and it betrays me! (GR librarians, take note of this.)

1. Blood Soaked Promises (Blood and Snow #4) by RaShelle Workman
Apparently, this is book number 4, and I don't have book 1, 2 and 3. Nevermind, as long as it's free. Weeeee!!

Sooooo...I think it's pretty obvious that I'm currently enjoying my mid semester break because I'm updating my blog every few hours..hihi.

So, I have the luxury of sitting in front of my laptop, and huzzah! I've been blessed with many cover reveals throughout this week. Let's take a look at my personal top 5.

5. Solstice by P.J. Hoover 
Everything about the cover exudes badassery, don't you think? I really like the cover scheme. The only thing that bothers me is the short. It's not a bad thing, it's a practical thing to wear when you live in a dystopian world. The problem is meeeeeeee!! I need to stop liking covers because of the dress :/

4. With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent
Which brings me to my top 4. Soul Screamers books always have breathtaking covers but the series is just too long to attract me now, I think I'm going to pass! Next!

3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (paperback)
Trust me, that's the picture with highest definition I came across so far. But I still like it far better than the default hardback cover. I've yet to read this though. Which is a shame since I'm a self-declared Maggie's fan.

2. Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson
I had never heard of this series or this author before but JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER! It makes me so want to find out what is this book about!

1. Pantomime by Laura Lam
This cover was revealed on the same day as Opal (Lux #3) cover reveal. May I say that Opal cover reveal was overshadowed by this? I know that Strange Chemistry books always have good cover but I never thought that they'll be capable of producing this beauty!

Do you have your own personal favourite cover reveal this week?

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