Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Alienated (Alienated # 1) by Melissa Landers

Title: Alienated (Alienated # 1)
Author: Melissa Landers
Published: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

My Rating: 3 stars
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
Ever since reading JLA's Lux Series, when I hear aliens in YA novels my brain automatically equates it to hot guys. Lol! So I was actually pretty excited to start this one, plus quite a lot of positive reviews this book is getting, so that definitely added to the anticipation. And so I dove into it and I...liked it. Not loved, which was what I was hoping to happen. It did deliver most of my expectations and did put on a number of smiles is my face and gave off swoony and giddy feeling but in the end, it's just that. I liked it but I just didn't really lose myself into it. 

Cara, our heroine, was an easy character to like. She was smart and an over achiever but determined and extremely loyal. I liked that although she was reluctant about the scholarship and the arrangements she took responsibility of it and with great open mindedness. Her efforts on being a host and a friend to Aelyx were adorable and genuine. Aelyx on the other, while I like his initial mysterious and aloof personality, sometimes it borders to boring, (almost Edward Cullen-y, if you know what I mean). So I took great pleasure whenever this playful and sexy side of him slips in. It was fun and entertaining reading through the dynamic and development between the two especially how different they are. 

Now, as for the plot and world building, I have to say that the story did provide quite a lot of interesting and intriguing ideas especially about the world of L’eihr. I was curious with it and was really looking forward exploring more of them. However I was a little disappointed to realize early on the story that the setting for the first book will mostly revolve around in our world. While the whole book was actually and easy read I would have love to see more complex and complicated situations that would make the story a whole lot more exciting and thrilling. 

Nonetheless, Landers was still able to provide enough ideas and factors to keep me entertained all throughout. And she does know how to write a funny but totally sexy and drool worthy scenes. Heh. 

This book will probably work much better to those who are looking for a fun, light and entertaining read but wouldn't want to venture out of the world of paranormal or sci-fi books and jump over the realistic/contemporary ones. A good little break to all those too complicated and problematic ones. Ha!

Thanks to Disney Hyperion for providing a copy of this book.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: February 5th 2013
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
My rating: 4.5 stars
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Stars! Remind me again why I just read this now? I was both annoyed and relieved that I got on to this one pretty late. Annoyed that I didn't realized how much fun I was actually missing until I started this one (but it's better late than never, right?) and relieved because I wouldn't be waiting that long before the next book comes! So that totally saves me a year of crucial wait. Because, seriously, this series is just so freaking amazing!

I was afraid I'd have a hard time getting invested on the new characters for this sequel. I was a big fan of Kai and Cinder and thought that I'd be too preoccupied with their pairing to really appreciate Scarlet's and Wolf's. So it was actually quite surprising with how easily and fast I fell for Wolf this new couple. With Scarlet's fierce and determined character and Wolf's enigmatic but surprisingly adorable child-like innocence, it made their pairing so much more interesting. 

As for the plot, it was totally a win. Although this book doesn't really contain that much action and battle it was still fascinating going through with the discoveries and revelations and see the connections between the characters and what had happened in the past. The re-imagining of the tale of Red Riding Hood and it being applied to this world was fantastic. I don't know how Meyers do that but that kind of creativity is just bloody genius. 

We get to see a lot of perspective in this book too, majority from Cinder, Scarlet, Kai and Wolf, a couple of Thorne's and a small portion at the end from Levana! Too many point of views usually annoys me but I think, here, it kinda helps seeing better angle in the story and understanding and connecting with our characters.  

I had a lot of fun with some of the secondary characters too, like Iko! She's just so cute and she's like you're girl best friend who teases you with your crush and swoons over sweet things when in fact she's just a cyborg, or no, actually she's just a character chip and here she was the ship! But her voice really sounds genuine and real. And another one is Thorne! I don't know if I'd be annoyed with him or be actually amazed with his weird antics. But he's quite an interesting and unique character. I shared some laughs with some of his action, and stars, he even flirts with a ship! Haha!

Anyway, to close this review, if you haven't started this series you better start thinking now. You're totally missing out here! Where else can you find a fairy tale inspired sci-fi story with talks of war and aliens and totally out of this world ideas but still with a touch of, although light, sweet and cute romance? All of that is in here so you better pick this one, asap! Haha! 

I highly recommend this.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Published: January 8th 2013; October 10th 2013
Publisher: Dutton Children's 

Soooo...after two years of waiting (I added this in my GR shelf on 2011! Didn't realize it was that long!), I was finally able to read another stunning novel from Gayle Forman. And as ever, she did not disappoint and again, didn't fail to make me cry. 

Whatever I'm going to say on this review, I know have already been said by many others, but I'm still going to say them anyway. Gayle's writing is definitely one of the most commendable one I'd ever read. It flows with so much knowledge, experience and understanding. Reading her stories, it seeps you in. You feel and cry and learn and grow together with her characters. It makes you feel exactly what it should be felt. So in the end, you actually felt this quiet kind of fulfillment. 

What I really like with Willem and Lulu's story was how natural it actually felt. How they met and clicked and understand each other, for the one day that they traveled together, the development felt gradual and slow. It was so genuine that you forgot they just literally met. Pulling off a 24-hour romantic development like this is not an easy feat, I've read some that totally felt forced and unrealistic. So it was amazing how Forman presented this story. 

Although the romance plays a very big part on this story it was the self-discovery that I appreciated most. The things they learned about themselves upon meeting each other and meeting a lot of different people as well; the mistakes and then the learning and understanding. I was touched and moved by Willem and his mom's relationship; with how Allison finally stood up and chose and made decisions for herself; I love how they soon associate they're one day meeting, though ended in quite a bad way, to something that opened up possibilities and things they hadn't realize they want for their selves.

The traveling part is something I enjoyed as well! My inner wander-lustful self totally rejoiced with all the places they went to. And I'm sure to try out some macarons when (not if) I go to Paris! Haha! 

The only thing that I think I can fault in this duology is that I want more! Haha. I thought the second book will pick up where the first book left off but while the first book was about them meeting and most about Allison the second one is clearly about Willem and how he handled and realized things after that day in Paris. It was a great ride getting on to his perspective but of course, I wouldn't mind getting more sweet scenes between the two especially after a year!

Overall, this is one such amazing story of love and self-discovery. Gayle Forman really did a brilliant job on this one. I highly recommend this.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterday (All Our Yesterday #1) by Cristin Terrill

Title: All Our Yesterday (All Our Yesterday #1)
Author: Cristin Terrill
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
My rating: 4.5 stars
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
Time travel is not exactly my favorite concept in a book and most of the time I avoid reading them. So it was actually quite surprising when I found myself picking this up, turning each page eagerly and digging the book with such enthusiasm in one night! Cristin Terrill's All Our Yesterday definitely took me by surprise with it's clever and thrilling concept, fantastic characters and sweet romance. And I just so so loved it!

Ironically enough, my favorite part of the story is actually the time-travel itself - the whole re-writing of history, the connection of the past and the present, how things turned out like that and how they all add-up in the end. It was very interesting and impressive as Terrill presented it in such a mind-boggling and clever manner. I enjoyed predicting and finding out how each turn around will affect and change the course of the story. 

With the way the story was presented, we were able to see the changes from the past Marina, Finn and James to the present them. The inbetweens during the time travel, what led to this and to that, things they had gone through - we were able to understand how all of these contributed to the development and growth of their characters. It was an effective presentation because I quickly became invested with the characters - with their relationship and the friendship and love between them - it's quite impossible not to be emotionally involve as well. 

And I wouldn't be ending this without, of course, the mention of romance. I loved the subtle way it was handled in this book but never lost the sweet and swooning effects it should invoke upon its readers. It was lovely, heartwarming and achingly sweet. 

Although I was satisfied with the overall of the story, I felt some things could still be add up and developed on the story so I was really happy when I found out that there would be a sequel for this book! It's a little hard to imagine what the next book would be especially with that pretty clean ending but of course, I certainly won't pass up another whole book with Finn! Lol!

This is a must read! I highly recommend Finn this! ;D     

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#31) : What I Though Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" is..

Title: What I Though Was True
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Expected Publication: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions. Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti
After enjoying and loving Jase *coughs* I mean, My Life Next Door I made it a promise that I'll be looking out for any books coming from its author and I'd be sure to have it on my TBR. So when I discover that a new book is coming and when I realized what the book will be about well, I was just ecstatic! I can already feel it's going to be a great book full of swoon-worthy and adorable scene! I can't wait to meet Gwen and Cassidy. Hopefully they'll be as lovely as Sam and Jase! :D

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
My rating: 5 stars!
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
Disclaimer: After more than two months of not writing a review and blogging I'm not sure I'd be able to give justice to any good books I've read much more to something totally as spectacular as These Broken Stars. So this review might be a little bit rusty but hopefully it would be convincing enough to make you want read this book - because this book is seriously fan-freaking-tastic! See, it made me want to blog/review back. That should say a lot! Lol!


I've been waiting for this book since May last year! And alas, after waiting for 17 months (Yes, I counted it! Oh well, I should probably make it only 15 months since I received the ARC two months ago! Heh.) I was finally able to read it and boy, did it not disappoint! The wait is totally worth it and I can say that this is definitely one of my best reads this year. Tarver, Lilac and their world universe is one of the most original concept I have ever come across reading and it has captivated me from the very first start until the end. Reading These Broken Stars is one hell of a freaking experience.

The combination of well-rounded characters, magnificent world-building, and thrilling but oddly creepy (the voices, yeah?) plot is what made this book such a fantastic and amazing read. I have to admit, I was fooled a little when I was only starting it because it totally reminds of Titanic and I thought it would just be like that. But boy was I wrong because in a blink of an eye it showed me just how far and deep it could go. It was more complex that I could have ever expected.

Lilac and Tarver are from two different worlds. Lilac, the daughter of the richest man in the universe and Tarver, a young war hero who came from a middle class family. It was fascinating witnessing how fate brought this two together and was put together in drastic and survival situations and having them learn to get over their prejudice to each other then trust and then soon fell in love with each other. 

The development of each character were very well crafted and presented. I especially loved how Lilac grew throughout the story from the naive, spoiled, daddy's girl to someone who'd learned to make a camp and light a fire by herself, question her life and beliefs, braved a room full of dead rotting bodies alone for days to get the things they needed and who'd sacrifice herself and her happiness to ensure he wouldn't suffer. I'd come to really loved her character as the story went on. Tarver, on the other hand, I adored him instantly (well, yeah, I'm that shallow) but I think I just easily saw through him. Behind the tough soldier mask was just a boy with soft heart and tender feelings. I loved his relationship with his family and how much he treasured them. I think he's even more sentimental than Lilac. Haha! And he writes poems! That pretty much sums everything up. The romantic development between the two was very well written, it didn't feel forces or too fast but slow and realistic. And definitely swoon-worthy. 

As for the world building, the idea of a space ship that could travel light-year fast and of super advance technologies that enables one to teraform planets and move from one to another was very interesting and quite honestly, a little bit terrifying too. But I definitely enjoyed exploring it here and hopefully more on the next books. And for the plot, it was impressive and very entertaining, there were no dull moments. I loved seeing what Lilac and Tarver would do to survive each day and what things they'd discover along the way. The twists and turns were thrilling and exciting and at some point it even felt quite scary and sinister especially with the voices and visions! a! You guys have to look out for that but that's one of my favorite things in this book.

So there you go! With impressive concept, thrilling plot, fantastic characters, brilliant world-building and oh so swoon-worthy romance, this will definitely be shelved on your best reads this year. This would work not just from romance junkies but to those who love sci-fi and actions as well. This is a must read! I highly recommend this. 

Thank you Disney Hyperion for providing a copy of this book.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Without You by Brooklyn Skye

Release Date: 10/22/13

Summary from Goodreads:

*A novella to the best-selling New Adult novel STRIPPED*

I’m the knight on the white horse in her eyes, the one who broke down her defenses after her sister’s death until she realized she was capable of love. To her—aside from my name, Torrin Kingsley—I’m perfect.

But there’s a sliver of my past I’ve never shared with her. One that is now haunting me with every breath I take. One she is starting to raise her brow to.

I’m not certain how much longer I can keep it from her. To be honest, I don’t know that it would make a difference anyway, because it seems no matter which path I choose, they all lead to the same end point. A place without Quinn.

My demons run bone deep. I guess burying them forever wasn’t possible.

About the Author
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. Her Best-Selling New Adult debut, STRIPPED, is out NOW! Represented by Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary Agency.

After reading the first book and enjoyed it, I was surprised to see that there will be a follow up novella for it and in Torrin's pov. Although the first book isn't really something that was totally mind blowing, it was still a pretty good read and left enough lasting impression on me to look forward for this one. As for the cover, I'm not really sure what it was depicting and I do find it pretty far from the premise, but maybe when I get into the story I'd see more connection on it. Heh. :D


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