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Snow White Blood Red by Cameron Jace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?
Book description of Snow White Blood Red: A Grimm Diaries Prequel as told by the Snow White Queen:
I have always wondered why you never asked about my name. Was I so superficial to you? So stereotypical and mundane? Why did you treat me as if I were just the monster of the week? You know what I think? You never had the time to really hate me. You wanted to hate me, long before you even met me. You wanted to scrape my existence and avenge your childhood princess by laying all blame on me. What if they didn’t call me the Evil Queen, what if I told you the real story from my point of view instead of hers, would you ever think of me as an angel? Could I ever make you care? I know that deep inside of you, you adore me,but you’re just scared, afraid to admit how much you love the Snow White Queen.
This Grimm Diaries Prequels are a number of short books in the form of epistolary diary entries. The diaries are more of teasers for the upcoming series: The Grimm Diaries, allowing you to get a glimpse of what to expect of the series.


Why 4 stars you asked? I'm surprised myself. I don't know if I'm being biased because I always...

always...

like fairy tales retelling.

I came across this quote in the author's blog;

"...although the prequels were in no way a true reflection to how I write, and as I said I am not a writer. I am storyteller"

At first, I was like, 'arrogant much?'. I mean, of course authors such as J.K. Rowling and J.R.R Tolkien are exceptional storytellers but do you think they can be the best-seller authors of all time of they weren't a good writer in the first place?

So, I thought, hey Snow White Blood Red, come at me bro!

*half an hour later*

There is a freaking rainbow in the author's mind. I enjoyed this thoroughly. (Dammit! I hate being wrong)

I don't know how much of what he'd been telling us in his novellas are facts (as he claimed them to be) but the stories are rich and surprisingly, original.

Somehow, I feel like all the plaigarism accusations directed towards the author turned out to be blessings after all. Because he did mentioned that he wrote the prequels to clear up all those accusations.

For those who haven't started with this series yet, I think it's better to read this particular prequel first, then wait for Snow White Sorrow because personally I think that prequel #2 Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder is better suited to be read before Cinderella Dressed in Ashes but I could be wrong.

And as ridiculously as this may sound, you may need to read the author's blog to sort of understand what was going on (sort of like a companion book).

Note to the author: No, I didn't appreciate the reference to Lady Gaga. It was so awkward and out of place. And I think with a good editor and a good planning, you can go far. (Honestly, you can't keep changing things - the order of the prequels, the number of the prequels, the length of how long your books will be free on Amazon, it's very, very confusing)

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Shift by Em Bailey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Olive Corbett is definitely NOT crazy.
Not anymore. These days she takes her meds like a good girl, hangs out with her best friend Ami, and stays the hell away from the toxic girls she used to be friends with.
She doesn’t need a boyfriend. Especially not a lifesaver-type with a nice smile. And she doesn’t need the drama of that creepy new girl Miranda, who has somehow latched on to Olive's ex-best friend.
Yet from a distance, Olive can see there's something sinister about the new friendship. Something almost... parasitic. Maybe the wild rumours ARE true. Maybe Miranda is a killer.
But who would believe Olive? She does have a habit of letting her imagination run away with her…


Mother of God...Okay, I did give 2 stars because usually I gave one star for books which I couldn't even finish.

*Sigh* It's so confusing, I mean, I finished this book within hours (which is very quick to my standard) but there was hardly any plot at all! Gosh, I should have ditch the book but there was something that drawn me into.

Answers...

...which I didn't get even long after I finish this book.

******Spoilers ahead******

What happened to the teacher?(can't remember her name, the one with a cup of herbal tea). Who is Miranda exactly? Of course she's a shapeshifter but what is her modus of operandi? What happened to Dallas? Miranda didn't take his form. What actually happened to Loony Oony? Who called Noah, Olive's boss? Why Olive's mom prevent her dad from seeing her? Why she attempted suicide in the first place?[What happened to the teacher?(can't remember her name, the one with a cup of herbal tea). Who is Miranda exactly? Of course she's a shapeshifter but what is her modus of operandi? What happened to Dallas? Miranda didn't take his form. What actually happened to Loony Oony? Who called Noah, Olive's boss? Why Olive's mom prevent her dad from seeing her? Why she attempted suicide in the first place? (hide spoiler)]

The writing wasn't bad. Just okay. Not much maturity. The characters seemed distant from the readers too (well, at least for me). The setting was kind of close to heart since the author and I both reside in Australia. Other than that, I found it hard to relate with the story. On the plus side, it feels good to read a stand-alone book. I read too many books within a series lately.

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Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear that he'd rather not have anything to do with her, either. But soon Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her freinds and possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying shories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagned and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Can she save Varen from the madness taking hold of him? Or will they both be consumed by the shadows of his nightmares

This is what I feel after I finished this book in three sitting.
I smell smexy!

WARNING: This book can cause excessive fangirl-ing.

Don't let the cover which seems like it was coming straight from a grade B movie poster fools you.(Although I shall agree that the male model on the cover is freakishly gor-geous!)

And don't let the 500-ish pages fools you too.

I smell smexy!

Because the moment you open the first page, you'll be drawn into the intriguing world of surreal realm of fantasy (not sure if this phase is even right, it just sounded nice :D). Be prepared to lose few hours of your mortal life because as for me, my lunch, sleep were all gone for a while.

I smell smexy!
Welcome to the dark side

The actual rate for this book is 4.5 stars. This book merely lose half a star just because I feel that the male lead, Varen was so weak and uninspiring towards the end of the story. I almost got my vote on Reynold until well, I found out he lied about getting Varen home.[well, I found out he lied about getting Varen home. (hide spoiler)]

And oh, Varen...what a smexy name. Calm down the girls out there, as much as I head-over-heels for the dude on the cover, I couldn't help but imagining Varen either portrayed by Jared Leto or Shiloh Fernandez.

Or

We could have both. Shiloh as Varen, Jared as Reynold. There. Everybody's happy :)

Honestly, I was a bit nervous when I learnt that the female lead, Isobel is a blond cheerleader. I was afraid the author would try very hard to set Isobel apart from the typical blond cheerleader. (you know, the stupid, airhead, the girlfriend of the quarter-back type) and ended up spoiling Isobel as too-good-to-be-true kind of girl. Praise to Creagh, she moulded the character beautifully. I'm not saying that I didn't find her complete lack of time management skill appealing but she came out as the strong, inspiring character towards the end.

Hate to break this down. Thanks to my trolling brain, I couldn't shake the image of Quinn, Santana, and Britanny posing as Isobel, Alyssa and Nikki.
I smell smexy!
I smell smexy!
Glee, give me back my sanity! Why did I ever start watching this STD-promoting TV shows again?

Again, the author did a wonderful job in keeping me guessing right till the end of the mystery that surrounding Varen. I proposed many theories, among others, Varen is the reincarnation of Poe.

but then, I thought better of it because it'll be too creepy.

Anyway, I still think Varen is some sort of gothic version of Mr Darcy. They both even live in the mansion albeit the situation is different per say.

As a final note, let's sleep with our windows closed.

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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. 
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. 
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. 
As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Oh dear, I saw that Cassandra Clare is a fine author, but I don't get why all the buzz and hype over her books. I honestly thought I'm going to adore this book. She can't be successful for her Mortal Instrument series for nothing can she? I mean, what a better way to join the bandwagon than to read the first of the prequel books for the best-selling series?

Hmm...I feel indifferent towards this book. Maybe I like it but I expected better than this. The beginning excited me very much, it reminded me of Sherlock Holmes and Kuroshitsuji. Tessa's ability blew my mind away, very original indeed but I was hoping she had given more chances to utilise her talent.

The twists and turns were somewhat intriguing, albeit I successfully guessed the main one (which obviously didn't help improving my impression towards this book). Tessa as the female lead, ironically with the power to change her appearance, barely had any personality. Will and Jem (I thought there supposed to be a love triangle? Am I missing something?), huh...if you like bad boys, you would go for Will or otherwise, Jem would be your favourite.

It is understandable that this book is the prequel to an established series, but I found the earlier parts as unnecessary complex. In similar vein, it was a bit disappointing as the graceful tone of the Victorian era language was slowly dissolving as the book approaching its end.

Except for the tight knot I felt over the attic scene, the romance was just so-so. I guess, this book and the series is just not for me :/

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Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains--except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.
******Spoilers alert******

*Inhale deeply then exhale*

For start, I was prepared for the finale of this series. It's not one of those shallow Young Adult series revolved around a helpless girl obsessing over her supernaturally-gifted boyfriend or anything of that sort.

Yet, I was very much overwhelmed by every turn of event in this book. I think Suzanne Collins had written this book with spontaneity in her mind because I couldn't guess pretty much everything that would happen afterwards.

So I left in that situation again, the one I experienced when I finished with The Night Circus. I honestly don't know what is my rating for this book.

I could hardly follow up the plot, I was not sure if it was because the author's fluid writing skill had deteriorated or because I was reading it in Katniss' voice.A very depressed Katniss.[A very depressed Katniss.

I had several 'eh?' moments:

1. Was it really realistic to have a 17-years old girl to be THE mockingjay? To have her in the battlefield? To let and aid her to assassinate President Snow?

2. How can the 13-years old Prim was allowed to be in the medical team? Shortage of staff probably but I don't know, it sounded strange.

3. What happened to the next Hunger Games which supposedly involved the children of Capitol citizen? Why Katniss even agreed to that idea?

4 Why everyone was so suicidal? (hide spoiler)]


I had several 'eh?' moments:

1. Was it really realistic to have a 17-years old girl to be THE mockingjay? To have her in the battlefield? To let and aid her to assassinate President Snow?

2. How can the 13-years old Prim was allowed to be in the medical team? Shortage of staff probably but I don't know, it sounded strange.

3. What happened to the next Hunger Games which supposedly involved the children of Capitol citizen? Why Katniss even agreed to that idea?

4 Why everyone was so suicidal?

But in the end, I think Katniss had make the right decision between Peeta and Gale.


*sigh* I'm still having this conflicting thought. I think subconciously I was expecting Katniss to be married to Peeta, Prim still has her goat and Buttercup to play with, while Katniss mum occasionally tend to sick people. They live in the Victor Village with Haymitch, Gale and his family as neighbours while sometimes Effie, Finnick and Annie, Johanna, Cinna and his prep team come visiting them.

LOL! I should grow up faster :)
[*sigh* I'm still having this conflicting thought. I think subconciously I was expecting Katniss to be married to Peeta, Prim still has her goat and Buttercup to play with, while Katniss mum occasionally tend to sick people. They live in the Victor Village with Haymitch, Gale and his family as neighbours while sometimes Effie, Finnick and Annie, Johanna, Cinna and his prep team come visiting them.

LOL! I should grow up faster :) (hide spoiler)]



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DIES IRAE by Christine Fonseca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some sacrifices should never be made—even for love.
Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. That is, until he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth. Assigned as Watchers while they await their decision of which angelic order to serve, the three assume the bodies of teenagers and experience life as human.
The sensations are overwhelming as the angels experience a host of human emotions—rage, terror, love—and come ever closer to breaking one of the unbreakable rules—never fall in love.
But being human isn’t the only problem facing the three angels. Unbeknownst to the Council, demonic activity is on the rise, threatening to break a tenuous peace that has existed for a millennia; a peace Azza seems bent on destroying.
Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces and Azza, and fighting against his rising emotional attachment to Demi, Mikayel must now decide how much he is willing to sacrifice for his new found love—a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.

Oh my God!!! This book is full of tragedies, it reminded me a lot of Shakespeare's plays.

If fact, I think I'm not fit to continue on with Lacrimosa anytime soon. I'm depressed enough with my exams coming soon

Oh yes, I can be that melodramatic.

First of all, can't be have a better cover art than that? Please pwetty, please...

Second, I think the writing was just stunning. But I won't lie, I did expect Maggie Stiefvater's level of awesomeness when I read my GR friends' reviews but well, I'm more than happy with this level of writing.

I don't know about you, but this book just fell short from getting the full five stars because I was a bit annoyed with one after another big mistakes committed by every single character in the story. It felt like those mistakes weren't fully justifiable, yet the author decided to throw them in to make the story more tragic. It felt overdone for me, so...yeah.

Another thing, I'm a bit disturbed by the premise that 'nothing good would come out of all these human emotions'. I mean, there must be something, anything that these angels could learn while inhabitating their human hosts, they couldn't be all bad, could they?


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Frost by Kate Avery Ellison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.
She saves his life.
Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.
But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.
Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

If there's one thing I had learn after finishing this book is; these days, it is just bloody hard to write a dystopian novel and come out on top.

Oh, if you're looking for a book with a strong dystopian element, I wouldn't recommend this to you because for most parts, this book might as well set in Middle Age time and you would believe that, right down to the dialogues.

No kidding.

Well, I'd say that I am still a fan of Ellison's work. She is that kind of authors who would not mess around by giving lengthy details of things you don't give a fuss about; she writes things that actually matter. In fact, she sort of my dream author because my ADD always render myself impatient against books or series that are too damn long.

Judging by the number of pages, one would think that Ellison's writing is simple but no, her writing is sufficiently graceful but easy to follow at the same time.

Unfortunately, this didn't score a spot on my favourite shelf. I kept telling myself while reading this that 'No Zuleeza, you don't need another butt-kicking heroine for a book to earn five stars'. I mean, Lia Weaver as the protag is strong as hell INTERNALLY which is something rare in YA books nowadays. She is responsible, compassionate, thoughtful and protective of her siblings.

In fact, when she took the risk by saving Gabe, the reason behind the decision was totally justified (I swear insta love has nothing to do with it) not 'ZOMG, look at his abs, I better save this dude before he got eaten by the Watchers so that I can rub, rub, rub his abs!'.

Nevertheless, the resemblance between Rose from The Curse Girl and Ivy is a bit uncanny. Hmm...

But in the end, I'd still consider this as a hit since it was literally unputdownable.

Pre-review

As this is a book by Kate freaking Avery freaking Ellison, it deserves some pre-reviewing.

Lord knows how much I went fangirling over her previous work, The Curse Girl. Why didn't I jump and read this straight away afterwards? Because I freaking want the physical copy of this and The Curse Girl too for that matter but I'm too stingy to pay for the postage cost.

Book Depository...why can't you sell them??

But now, how can I refuse when it is offered by Read2Review program :3


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Neophyte by Emmalee Aple
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Addisyn White thought she had her new life, her after life, all figured out. Granted death had not brought her to the pearly white gates, she hadn’t even left Earth. But death had its perks; she got to live forever with her best friend and her assigned Link of Angels, in a beautiful beach house. Even with the changes she was going through to turn her human body into an angelic one, everything seemed pretty easy. Until a gray winged angel comes into her life, then all the secrets and lies her Link had been keeping start crumbling away, exposing a whole new world of dangers she didn’t even know about.
Now Addisyn must fill in the blanks before things escalate too far. Will she save her Link? Or will she be buried in their secrets forever?

Okay, my mom once taught me that when people give you free stuff, say thank you, no question asked regardless whether the thing you got is beneficial or not to you.

So dear author Emmalee Aple, I am very grateful for your generosity. But in exchange for an honest review, I had to give your book a 1 star because Neophyte wasn't a great experience for me. I tried, like, I honestly tried to finish reading it but no, it's really hard when you simply didn't care much about what happened to any of these characters.

So, confession time. The book has about 500 pages or so on my e-reader, I read only until about page 261...about halfway.

Honestly, I think I could tolerate or even enjoyed this book if I never read Unearthly, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Angelfall. I wish I can be unbiased but it's virtually impossible not to compare any angel books with that three holiest of holiest angel books.

The premise was very promising, I'd give the author that. Like, how if you died a noble death, you may be reincarnated as an angel. The concept of unclaimed, blooming, Link, period of time before you become a full-blown angel...this book had so much potential, you see.

The book started with some butt-kicking actions despite it was executed a bit messily. And I thought, 'okay, you have my attention, please continue to amaze me'. But the moment never came. Maybe once. Nowhere near the testosterone-fueled opening scene, but the part which we learn about Greysan's past life was very interesting.

Apart from that, suffice to say that the first half of the book revolved around how her Link tried to protect Addisyn from the truth, how Addisyn was pretty mad about that yada yada. And oh, don't forget the typical prom scene which need to be included in every Young Adult book!!! :3

*sigh* Sorry if my sarcasm is offensive but I believe we can still write a young adult without any prom scene mentioned.

My biggest deterrent from finishing this book most likely was Addisyn herself. At some points, she did admit that she can't continue being this irrational, hormonal teen. But the next thing you know, she was being her old annoying, clingy, immature self. And her major crush on Greyson was very tiring to read. She practically chasing over him like an obsessed fangirl.

I think that's all for now. I may elaborate later with actual quotes from the book and some seizure-inducing gifs.


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