Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Review] Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Add to Goodreads
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 14/09/2014
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352
Source: Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Contemporary

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Christina Perri - Arms

My Rating: 

Feel good read

My thoughts

Let me preface this review by saying that I am madly in love with Stephanie Perkin and her previous books (Anna and Lola!). Her stories and characters are so incredibly realistic, fun and interesting. You can't help feeling happy reading her books. In the case of Isla and the Happily Ever After... I'm not sure if it's just a personal thing (where I am compared to where I was back when I read her previous novels), but there was just too much of it. It was too cutesy, too happy, too easy. Instead of feeling excited to continue reading I was groaning and waiting for the agony to end.

The first 150~ pages is practically a recount of Isla and her mad love affair with the dreamy, swoony, perfectly gorgeous bad boy artist with whom she had been crushing on for the past three years--turns out he has been crushing on her all this time, too! It was just... too sweet for me to swallow. But afterwards there was actually some substance and STORY and now my feelings for this book as a whole is a jumbled mess. On the one hand I love where the story ends, but the beginning was such a struggle to get through. It pains me to even say this about Isla. All things considered, I am glad that this book exists and I applaud Perkins for finishing all of their stories. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

[Review + Giveaway] The Infinite Sea (#2) by Rick Yancey

Add to Goodreads
(#2, The 5th Wave)
The 5th Wave | The Infinite Sea | Untitled

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 16/09/2014
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher for review + Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Dystopian

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
♪ x

My Rating: 

Mindblowing

My thoughts

Warning! Spoilers if you have not read The 5th Wave!

THAT ENDING.

WHAT EVEN HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK?!?!?! I STILL HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. I finished this book whilst on night shift at the hospital and I was just gaping from ear to ear, thinking that there must be more, that Yancey couldn't have ended the book like that. But he did, and now I--we--have to wait for the next installment... it's going to be excruciatingly painful and long. I hope it will be more than worth it.


Monday, October 27, 2014

[Review] Heir of Fire (#3) by Sarah J. Maas

Add to Goodreads
(#3, Throne of Glass)
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 11/09/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 560
Source: Bought
Genre: YA (16+) - Fantasy

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Evanescence - Bring Me To Life

My Rating: 

THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING!!!

My thoughts

Warning! Spoilers if you have not read Crown of Midnight!

This book. Man, this book was DEEP. Maas pulls so many powerful punches in Heir of Fire; without question, even more than she did in Crown of Midnight (and that's saying something because that book was flipping intense!). I feel so strongly about this book, and my thoughts are kind of all over the place, so I'm glad that I did write notes right after I finished reading it initially. I've since read another book in between to try and gather my thoughts, but still I don't know.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

[Review] The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Add to Goodreads

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 22/10/2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 370
Source: Publisher for review
Genre: YA (14+) - Dystopian

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
My Rating: 

Intense

My thoughts

Thank you so, so, so much Alesha @ Scholastic for sending me a review copy! I have been so excited to watch the movie (huge dystopian fan!), only that I hadn't yet read the book. (And I make it a general rule to read the book before the movie.) I went into this book feeling a bit hesitant and anxious to pick up and read other books that I NEEDED-TO-READ-RIGHT-NOW, but since this book was for review and kind of urgent (as I wanted to read it before watching the movie) I pushed forward. By about 50 pages in I was hooked. Dashner throws you into this freaky world where teenage boys have had to build a society in a place surrounded by the Maze. And he kept unleashing mystery after mystery, bringing about such an intense and fast-paced read that I couldn't stay away for long--for the past few days if I wasn't at work or busy socialising, my nose was stuck in this book.

Top Ten Tuesday (9): Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn't


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. I, however, will just pick and choose which ones I want to answer because I play by my own rules. #rebel


Top Ten Book Covers I Almost Put Down But Didn't

  1. Game On (#1) by Monica Seles
  2. Falling Kingdoms (#1) by Morgan Rhodes
  3. Cinnamon Rain by Emma Cameron
  4. Born Wicked (#1) by Jessica Spotswood
  5. Emerald by Karen Wallace
  6. Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia
  7. Wood Angel by Erin Bow *
  8. Small Blue Thing by S.C. Ransom
  9. Matched (#1) by Ally Condie
  10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
* I am extremely, extremely glad that I didn't put this book down because I would have missed out on one of my absolute favourite books ever! <3 It's a bit slow in the beginning, but it picks up and it's just beautiful.


Friday, September 26, 2014

[Review] Reality Boy by A.S. King


Add to Goodreads
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 22/10/2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 353
Source: Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Contemporary

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
My Rating: 


My thoughts

I am writing this review 1.5 months after I've finished it. Yep, it's another of those kinds of books, I kind of have no idea what I thought of it. But let me start off by saying that I love A.S. King. She's an extraordinary YA writer who deserves every single bit of recognition and acclaim she has received so far. If this weren't written by a beloved author that I trust and adore I probably would never have given this book a second look, it just didn't sound like my kind of read. And it wasn't, but that doesn't mean I didn't like the book - it's just my least favourite of hers so far.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (8): Covers I'd Frame as Pieces of Art


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. I, however, will just pick and choose which ones I want to answer because I play by my own rules. #rebel


Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame as Pieces of Art

I have over 2000 books on my Goodreads list, I gave up at 700, so really this is my "Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame as Pieces of Art" among the 700 most currently released (or to-be released) books on my Goodreads.





Extra:


Monday, September 22, 2014

[Review] Crown of Midnight (#2) by Sarah J. Maas


Add to Goodreads
 (#2, Throne of Glass)
The Assassin's Blade | Throne of Glass | Crown of Midnight | Heir of Fire | Untitled

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 15/08/2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 353
Source: Publisher for review
Genre: YA (14+) - Fantasy

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes

My Rating: 
Kick-ass!

My thoughts

*sigh* This is the second time I'm writing this review. I accidentally copy and pasted right over my entire review like 10 minutes after I finished it. :( I was legit about to go on hiatus, because I was that frustrated. Anyway. Hope this review is at least half as good as the first time around. I will be writing this in the same format as I did last time -- responding to my previous notes from Goodreads, my reactions after finishing the book about a whole year ago.

~~~

By the Wyrd, this book just... kicked ass. Maas writes suspense SO WELL!

That, I remember well. If nothing else, I remember how much this book kicked ass. There is still so much action, so much violence, so much going on that it was hard to stay away. I remember picking up the book and telling myself, "Just one chapter," and then that would stretch into two, three, four chapters.... There's a slow build-up, suspense and mystery that keeps you on the edge, Maas reveals at a good pace -- not too fast, and not too slow. The writing, as usual, is fantastic. I love the style that she utilises, and her writing just flows nicely.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

[Review] Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Goodreads
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 31/07/2014
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher for review
Genre: Adult // Magical Realism

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Lily Allen - Littlest Things

My Rating: 
Delightful read
My thoughts

This was my first venture into Rainbow Rowell's writing so any of my expectations were established by the enormous amount of buzz, hype and love that surrounds this author. Of course, much of that buzz, hype and love is directed towards her young adult titles, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, but her adult books have also received much praise. 'Landline' was a delight to read, and it invites the reader to question what they would do in that situation: if you had a magic phone that could somehow contact someone from the past, would you try to fix things?

Friday, September 5, 2014

[Review] Days of Blood and Starlight (#2) by Laini Taylor

[Goodreads]
(#2, Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Days of Blood and Starlight | Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 08/11/2012
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Pages: 512
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA (14+)

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Meg and Dia - Monster

My Rating: 
x
My thoughts

I've always despised reviewing second books (plus) in a series. Just how much should I be allowed to disclose before the alarm bells in my brain go off, alerting me to the fact that SPOILERS ARE EVIL!? I will preface this review by saying that it if you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone it should be no question as to whether or not you continue the trilogy with Days of Blood and Starlight. Seriously, the cover alone should be convincing enough! Or what about the ending of DoSaB?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[Recap] YA Book Buzz @ Kinokuniya - National Bookshop Day 2014



I normally never get the opportunity to attend a book event--it's either work or school, too early or too late or too far or just somehow otherwise inconvenient to get out there to meet the authors. But not this time! Stroke of luck: my boss told me to take the day off work, so I quickly RSVP'd and ended up going with a couple of fellow book-loving friends.

We entered Kinokuniya at roughly 11:30 am, drinks from the Starbucks downstairs in hand, only to be faced with a panel of authors overlooking about five rows of chairs. Luckily we got to sit down (a few people had to stand along the sidelines) and enjoy our drinks while the crew set up the mics and the authors talked amongst themselves. They looked quite excited to be there, the audience, ditto.


A couple of minutes passed before the host hopped up on stage and started things up. The authors bantered about who should speak first: Garth Nix eagerly nominated Wanda Wiltshire, who admits that this is her second book event, but her first with a considerable crowd. She passionately described her novel, Betrothed, which is about not just romantic love (it is NOT just a romance novel!), but love of all kinds. I had never even heard of her book before, but it was a treat to listen to her talk about her book, as well as her sequel, Allegiance. She finished up with some book recommendations--anything by Melina Marchetta and the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.

Garth Nix took the mic next, much to Wanda Wiltshire's relief (Garth: don't worry, we'll get back to you). He was a bit sick but still very charismatic and funny. Unfortunately I only remember his recommendation of Rogues, a collection of short stories about rogues written by the likes of George R.R. Martin, Gillian Flynn, himself (Garth Nix) and Neil Gaiman, and Howl's Moving Castle and all other works by Diana Wynn Jones.



Next up, Margo Lanagan, who I was pretty excited to meet since her books probably interested me the most. She describes her books as 'dark fantasy' and mentions that her next book will also be a selkie novel, but even darker and more messed up than Sea Hearts (The Brides of Rollrock Island). She makes light of the fact that her previous books have run into trouble in the past for being filth (Them: Is this the kind of filth that kids should be reading these days? Margo: Yes!). Her biggest recommendation was Joyce Carol Oates.



Last to speak was Justine Larbalestier, who was wearing an incredibly snazzy coat. Her new release, Razorhurst, sounds so good, it was pretty hard for me not to get a copy of it for myself (both my friends did, so I will have to borrow later on). I can't remember what she recommended, but she did add on to one of Margo's (Careful, He Might Hear You by
). (Apparently the dialogue is amazing; Justine wrote Razorhurst from her reading of that book to better understand the period and how to write good dialogue.)


Then it was time for questions!



I had intended to get a copy of Tender Morsels for the longest time, so I finally got it and it's mine and she signed it and she was lovely. I'm kind of really really frugal and money-conscious, so I did not end up buying a book from every author on the panel (I did feel bad about it when I only went up to get a signature from Margo!). If I had prepared a little more and KNEW that there would be author signings I would have brought my copy of Zombies vs. Unicorns, Team Human and Sea Hearts. My friends made up for it though since they went nuts.


Anyway, I had an awesome time and I was extremely glad that I was able to attend. Let me know if any of you guys attended too! I would love to have more reading buddies for Tender Morsels... and also for Garth Nix's Abhorsen series (I've preordered the pretty new cover editions! :D)!


PS. I know I'm super late with posting my recap of this book event. I'm going to try and be more up to date with the goings-on with bookish stuff, including book events.


PPS. I will be having a giveaway in the near-ish future. Something Garth Nix related! :D <3

PPPS. I am EXTREMELY sorry for the lack of posts and presence lately! Blogging is, and always will be strictly a hobby for me, so in the grand scheme of things it'll never be up there on my priority list. Work's been crazy, life's been crazy, you know how it can be. I'll be flitting from one full-time job to another very soon, so I have no idea what's to come in the future (as usual).
 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

[Review] Bitterblue (#3) by Kristin Cashore

Goodreads
(#3, Graceling Realm)
Graceling | Fire | Bitterblue

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 18/09/2013 (pb)
Publisher: Firebird
Pages: 608
Source: Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Fantasy

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
My Rating:

My thoughts

First, let me preface by saying that it's been a month and a half since I finished reading this book and I barely wrote any of my initial thoughts and feelings afterward, simply because I didn't even know what to say or think. This series, and author, has been a major influence on me as a reader. Graceling was my first venture into high fantasy young adult fiction. It was one of the longest books that I'd allowed myself to be engrossed in from start to finish. Kristin Cashore was also the first author I'd ever met in person and gotten signed personally. So you could say that my writing this review saddens me is entirely correct. Because after this, there is nothing more. It's like recovering from a really good TV show, something that has moved you in more ways than you can even begin to understand. The Graceling books will always hold a very special place in my heart, of that I can be sure. So for all the reasons mentioned above, I'm pretty sure this review is going to be sloppy and not really any good at all, but it's important for me that I write this.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

[Review] Hold Still by Nina LaCour

[Goodreads]
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 25/09/2009
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 230
Source: Won
Genre: YA (14+)

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Passenger - Let Her Go

My Rating: 
Powerful and moving.
My thoughts

In one word: engrossing. I kind of felt like, after the last page I wanted even more. I found that I wasn't finished with the characters, I wanted to stay with them for a while longer but LaCour had decided that their stories were done, and that made me kind of sad and want more. But that's kind of what happens when an author has just done something really right: when equal amounts of satisfaction and longing are felt by the reader when he/she reads that last page.


Monday, July 28, 2014

[Review] The Lucky Ones (#3) by Anna Godbersen

Add to Goodreads
(#3, Bright Young Things)

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 27/11/2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 375
Source: Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Historical

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
♪ x

My Rating:
Entertaining to the very end.

My thoughts

Gee whiz, this series/trilogy was so delightfully fun and entertaining to read. I give it 4 stars simply because it didn't MOVE me (no tears, no big bouts of laughter) and there wasn't really much of a lesson to be learnt from reading these books. I enjoyed every page of this trilogy though; I guess I just love reading about horrible and vapid people (I mean, come on, I loved The Great Gatsby!).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

[Review] The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

(#1, The Winner's Trilogy)
The Winner's Curse | The Winner's Crime | Untitled

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 03/07/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA (14+) - Fantasy

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
My Rating:
Bittersweet and engaging

My thoughts

I love that overarching concept: even when you win, you lose. That is the main idea of this book, and you see it in everything that happens. I only really appreciated the brilliance of it all once I'd flipped to that last page and everything kind of clicked. It's not my favourite of 2014 by far, however I am still eagerly anticipating the next book in this exciting new fantasy trilogy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Reading the Classics] The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publication Year: 1925
Pages: 177

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
My thoughts

The first (and second) time I read The Great Gatsby was for grade 11 English class (2009). It was one of the only books required for class that I actually read ahead of the deadline, and it was also one of the only ones that truly grabbed me and convinced me to love it. It was all so profound and felt somehow relevant to our times and just who I was as a person. I couldn't get enough of the story, the characters, the setting, the themes and ideas portrayed and explored by Fitzgerald, an author I've been itching to read more of since.

But in 2013, I dared to revisit this highly-revered modern classic: partly so that I'd be refreshed and ready to view the upcoming film adaptation (which I still have not watched!), but also because I was curious. Curious to see how I would react after a relatively significant amount of time had passed since my first reading it. It was like going to a reunion, a warm one, where everyone is the same as they were the last time you saw them, save for a few details here and there (that you may or may not notice).

Bottom line: I fell in love all over again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

[Review] Poppy (#1) by Mary Hooper

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 08/05/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher for review
Genre: YA (12+) - Historical

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
♪ x

My Rating: 
Highly entertaining!
My thoughts

I had no idea that this book would have a sequel, but as I was nearing the end I knew there was no way there couldn't have been. May 2015, 'Poppy in the Field'. I know it's going to be an emotional and intense read.

Last week I received a package from Bloomsbury in the mail, containing two books: this was one of them. I hadn't heard anything about it, but 1) I adore good historical fiction; 2) Mary Hooper is quite a well-known staple of YA historical fiction; 3) This book focuses on WWI; 4) The heroine becomes a VAD nurse for the war effort, so I picked it up almost immediately and don't regret the decision one bit.

Poppy Pearson is a young woman working as a parlourmaid for the de Veres. The war rages on. While the older de Vere brother enlists to fight in the war, the younger, Freddie, only joins after being handed an anonymous white feather in the mail (which Poppy's teacher had encouraged her to send). It is also by her teacher's suggestion that she also partake in the war effort by joining the VAD as a nurse. She's good at taking orders and she is no stranger to hard work and long hours. Before Freddie and Poppy part, they share a few moments: a look, a kiss, a touch and squeeze of the hand; and despite their difference in social standing they exchange letters and agree to meet once again. But Mrs de Vere will not allow the two of them to end up together--her son must marry someone of higher class...


Saturday, April 12, 2014

[Review] The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Add to Goodreads
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/01/2012
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 296
Source: Bought
Genre: Adult contemporary

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
My Rating: 
Bittersweet
My thoughts

I was drawn to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry because I'd read The One-Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (review), which also involved an elderly man walking... somewhere. I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this book.

It wasn't long before I was hooked on the story, the characters and the meaning behind it. This is a very simple story. It's about an elderly man who pledges to walk from one end of England to the other because he believes that as long as he keeps walking the woman he let down 20 years ago will continue to live. She has cancer. All he knows is that he must get to her; he will not let her down again.

Related Posts with Thumbnails