Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Pages: 374
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

After hearing so much hype about this series, I thought I would give it a try. The story begins with Thomas waking up. He finds that he has no memory at all; the only thing he remembers is his name. He enters the Glade and is introduced to the kids who are also trapped inside the Glade. Together they find a way to survive as they get thrown difficult challenges.

The Maze Runner was a fantastic read for me. It had the perfect dose of suspense and mystery. This book will have you flipping through pages and pages until you reach the end. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but after a few chapters, it starts to pick up.

One of the things that I disliked about this book was Thomas. I didn't really enjoy his character. He was annoying - very annoying. It didn't help that his POV was in third person. I think that if it was written in first person that it would have been better. Or another alternative would have been if we got into the heads of the other characters such as Minho, Chuck or perhaps Newt.

The ending was brilliant. It was planned perfectly and I had no clue what was going to happen next. I'm extremely excited to read the second book in the series. Hopefully it would be as good as this one. 

The Maze Runner is a great read for those who love action, mystery and suspense. I highly recommend!


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins

Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Pages: 408
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

 I left everything I knew behind.

But it was worth it. He was worth it.

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself.

If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be NOAH & ROSE together forever.

But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

Belonging is the second book in the Temptation series. After reading Temptation in May, I was quite eager to read Belonging after seeing it in the bookstore plenty of times. Though I was quite eager to buy myself my own, I resisted and decided to wait until the library had it available (I was actually second on the wasting list.)

I didn't particularly like Temptation, because of the insta love that happened between Rose and Noah. But, I did like the whole premise of forbidden love in Temptation which made it quite addicting.

In Belonging, Rose gives up everything - basically her old life- in order to be with Noah. She is put into a situation where she cannot date Noah or in their case "courting" until she becomes Amish. The both of them are followed in with challenges and loads of twists and turns.

There were two thing that frustrated me in this book:

1) Noah

You thought Noah was selfish in Temptation? Well, in this one he goes beyond selfish. I'm not joking. I don't understand why Rose is in love with him in the first place. Everything has to go Noah's way, if not, he gets incredibly angry and makes irrational choices that only benefit him.

Here's an example of Noah's selfishness:

"For Rose's sake I didn't want her to be with child, but for my sake, I silently prayed she was." 

When I read this, I was furious - furious to the point where I wanted to throw the book at Noah. No wait, I don't want throw a book, I'd love to throw my fist at his oh so handsome face instead. Noah doesn't care what she's going to go through with, the only thing he cares about is himself. Being pregnant under the age of eighteen is one emotional wreck, I've witnessed it myself. Noah wants her pregnant so that their families have no choice but to let them be together. But wait, doesn't this sound familiar?  Didn't Noah suggest this in the first book? In fact he did.

"In a course voice I (Noah) suggested, "Maybe if your father thought you were pregnant he'd agree." (Temptation, Book 1) 

Well, people, this is exactly what Noah did. He made her pregnant. Obviously, Rose wasn't aware what his real intentions were.

2) "Amish Way" 

I'm sorry, but I have a hard time absorbing this. When you're being sexually abused, you don't just wait and see what the Amish leaders of your church and let them think what the punishment should be. Instead, you bring them right to the police and have them deal with the criminal themselves. People like them should be handled by the police so that rapists like them don't get a chance of raping another person.

Overall, this book reminded me of those badly aired tv soap operas. Though I was majorly disappointed, I will be reading the last book, hoping that the author will surprise and sweep me off my feet.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Author: Ally Carter
Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

I've read the first five books this year and I cannot wait to have my hands on the sixth book. I'm super pumped up to read the shocking conclusion in this series. I'm excited to see how Ally will end the series. Let's cross our fingers and hope it's good! 

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Since I refuse to buy books, I burrow books from the library, quite frequently. Judging from the photos below, I tend to go overboard whenever I'm at the library. I'm so excited to dive into these books! 

Gone By Michael Grant
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Abandon and Underworld by Meg Cabot
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Legend by Marie Lu
The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Eleanor and Park By Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: Febrauary 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set, over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Before I start off, I have to say the author has one incredible name - Rainbow.

Eleanor and Park is a contemporary romance novel. Normally, I wouldn't read any books that were set in the 1980's, but this was one exception due to all the hype around this book. I absolutely think that this book lives up to its hype. 

I loved Eleanor. Everything she felt, I felt as well. I was crying and crying over what she was feeling.  All the insecurities she was facing with definitely represents some of the challenges other girls are dealing with now. My heart broke into two when her clothes was stolen and she was forced to walk around in her gym suit. Eleanor was ashamed of her body, yet she tried her best to embrace it. Eleanor struggled with life but yet she kept moving forward. 

Park and Eleanor were so cute. I loved how they met, their witty conversations and their love for comics and music. I was crying happily whenever they were talking. One of my friends called me dramatic because I was crying. 

I didn't like the ending. I was absorbing the ending and when I flipped the page, hoping to see that Eleanor and Park would meet each other again, I ended flipping to the acknowledgement page. I know lots of other readers enjoyed the ending, but I didn't. I wanted more.

Overall, Eleanor and Park was a great YA novel. I can't wait for her new book, Fangirl to be released!


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Author: Jessi Kirby
Pages: 278
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Pulseit

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

When I saw this book for free from Pulseit, I was overjoyed since I had heard amazing things about this author. One of her books had a blurb from Sarah Dessen, not only that but the summary drew me in. This book is amazing with a capital A. I'm not even kidding.

The writing was raw, beautiful, honest, and completely outstanding. Jessi writes it with so much passion. The journal entries in this book did seem sort of unbelievable. They almost felt too perfect - not like it's a bad thing.They were just too formal, like they were writing a persuasive letter. 

The main character Parker was your normal seventeen teenager. She was one of those girls who hid behind the scene, but that sort of changed when she decided to read one Julianna Farnetti's journal. As she begins to unravel the truth, she starts to see things differently. Parker was a great narrator. The thoughts she had about the couple, I was also thinking the same. I also adored the tension between Trevor and Parker. Their relationship slowly builds as the plot progresses. 

The ending was predictable, like really predictable which was sort of a turn off. I knew exactly what was coming. Though it was predictable, I couldn't ask for a better ending.

Golden is filled with love, tragedy and mystery. You all need to pick up this book now! And I mean, now! 

4.5/5 STARS

Monday, 24 June 2013

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 27, 2002
Publisher: Speak
Source: Library
Format: Ebook

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Aside from Someone Like You, This Lullaby has to be one of my favourites. This book was filled with humor, meaning and of course, love. I wasn't expecting humor from this book. The other books I've read from Sarah Dessen was focusing more on teen angst. This indeed had teen angst, but it was different from the rest that I've read from her.

Remy was a challenging character. She was incredibly stubborn. She had already planned out her love life. Remy thinks she knows everything about love - the logic, the rules. At times I did get kind of frustrated with her, but soon those feelings faded away as soon as she learned her lesson.

I loved Dexter. He was funny, adventurous, and absolutely careless. Though I did feel like Dexter was irresponsible. The lyrics from the Potato Song was hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing. I think I was on the verge of crying. 

This Lullaby is a light-hearted, fluffy book! I would also recommend you guys reading this for the summer!


I Am Number Four By Pittacus Lore

Author: Pittacus Lore
Pages: 440
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Library
Format: Ebook

 Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books - but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

 I really thought I was going to love this, but I was slightly disapointed. The way the story was introduced was gripping and just plain enthrilling, but as soon as the story became some high school romance; I was just turned off. I loved how the both of them, Henri and John were on the run, always hiding. I think that was better if they were on the run instead of staying in Paradise, Ohio.

The characters were decent. I wasn't overly impressed with John. Actually, I couldn't connect with any of the characters at all. I disliked Sarah. She was just a complete flat character. The only characters I enjoyed was Number Six and the dog, Bernie Kosmar (if you really count him as one).

The ending was what really keeps you hanging. The fighting, the running, everything is what made this book a great read. I wasn't a big fan of the romance - way too chessy. I really want John to find someone else, hopefully someone like Number Six.

Overall, I thought this was a good read. I don't really care for this book, but I can't wait to read the second book. This series has great potential and I really hope that it doesn't disappoint me.

3/5 Stars

Pandemonium By Lauren Oliver

Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 375
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Format: Paperback

I’m pushing aside 
the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana 
and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

First off, let me just say that Lauren Oliver is my favourite author. I adore her and her beautifully written books. Her writing style is breathtaking and I seriously want to drown myself into her writing. This book captures your attention, wanting you to have more and more.

I was overly excited to read the second book. Though I didn't think it was as good as the first one, it still drew me in. The downside to this book was that Alex was absent for the entire book except for the last page (I hate cliffhangers). The flashbacks irritated me since I only wanted to know the present, not the past.

However, we do meet a new character, Julian. Would it be a bad thing that I kind of love Julian as much as I love Alex? When I was first introduced to him, my mind instantly thought love triangle. I just knew  it was coming. One thing I liked about him was how he thought love was a disease at first, but then his view was completely changed by Lena. It was the same story as Lena and Alex.  

The ending of the book was what threw me off a cliff and had me screaming. When you finally want Alex to come in, he just has to come in at the last page. I've been waiting and waiting, now I have to wait until I get my hands on Requiem. Though I'm sort of scared to read it due to the reviews and comments.

Overall, it was a great read and I highly recommend the series!


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Every Day By David Levithan

 Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Pages: 336
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Source: Library
Format: Ebook

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

One of the best books I've read this year! I had heard loads of good reviews on this book, some saying that it was life-changing or that it was inspirational. To me, I thought it was both. Every Day was filled with wise quotes that had you thinking a lot. I literally had to take breaks while reading this, trying to reflect on what I had just read. 

I loved the variety of characters that the author had written. There were a wide range of characters. You looked into different personalities, characteristics and traits of plenty of people. It was great, yet you were still in the head of A. 

A had to be one of my favourite fictional characters ever. I liked how just for once he wanted to brighten up Rhiannon's day despite that he wasn't going to stay in the same body the next day. It was sad that he couldn't be in the same body. At times he was a girl instead of a boy which was sort of hard for him to cope with. And especially when he was with Rhiannon. It was a challenge for the both of them. 

David's writing was what blew me away. The way he crafted this book was just breathtaking. Ending was beautiful. So incredibly beautiful. It was sort of bittersweet, but I still loved it nonetheless. 

Overall, this was a spectacular read and I highly recommend this book to anyone.  

                                  6/5 Stars