Tuesday 27 August 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.

Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

One word. Breathtaking. I don't think I've seen such a beautiful cover ever since I laid eyes on The Selection. I just love the dress especially the colour. But I'm hoping this book isn't just a pretty book. I hope the cover is just as great as in what's inside. Aside from the cover, anything that has star-crossed or forbidden love mentioned in the synopsis, I'm all up for it.

Oh yeah, did you notice that the model was holding the R? I didn't catch that at first.


Monday 26 August 2013

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass (Hourglass #1)
Author: Myra McEntire
Pages: 390
Publication Date:June 24, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?

Hourglass had a fantastic start, but it turned disastrous as the story progressed. Our main character, Emerson sees ghosts. Her brother, Thomas has hired many people to help solve the problem, but none seem to do the job. Until he hires Michael. Emerson soon starts to develop feelings for Michael, of course, as their meetings start become more frequent. However, Thomas clearly spoke to Michael that Emerson is off limits. No pleasure or personal affection should be involved.

I liked Emerson - I really did - but what I didn't like was that she was so clingy towards Michael. She wanted to know where he was, who he was with, why hasn't he come back, etc. Her mind was constantly on about Michael. And I think that was the reason why I didn't enjoy this much as I wanted to. To be honest, I wished Michael was out of the picture. I didn't like Michael at all. Period. In fact, I prefer Kaleb over Michael, even though Kaleb and Emerson were going a little too fast. 

Overall, Hourglass has its ups and downs, but I will definitely continue on with the series because I seem to enjoy the time travel aspect to this. 


Saturday 24 August 2013

Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered (Altered #1)
Author: Jennifer Rush
Pages: 323
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

After reading over hundred books, I think I found the one. You don't know how long I've waited to read this. When I first saw the cover on Goodreads, I immediately hopped onto my library's database. Seeing that they didn't have it, I requested it to be ordered. Thankfully, they accepted my request. Two months after waiting for it to be ordered and processed, I finally had the chance to devour it. And let me say, that even though the year isn't finished yet I think I found my top read of this year. 

Our protagonist, Anna was thirteen when discovered she discovered four boys living in their basement. Five years later, she helps her dad take their blood samples and test their skills for certain reasons that her dad kept hidden. With a set of boys, Anna, obviously, has her eye out for one boy. Nick, Cas, Sam and Trev are a complex group of boys. Different personalities and traits, they somehow seem to work well with each other. Cas is the funniest out of the group - always cracking jokes and bringing humor into the group. Their leader, Sam is quiet and always keeps to himself. Trev is what I like to call a down-to-earth kind of guy – kind, easy to talk to. Out of all the boys, I seem to find Nick the most interesting. Even though he's mean and rude, there's that hidden past to him that I'm waiting for the author to reveal. 

I don't have problems with Anna, but I don't see why she's head over heels with Sam. It's not that Sam is a horrible love interest because believe me, he's isn't, it's just that I don't see the chemistry. They do have some swoony moments but that wasn't enough for me. In the second book, Erased, I hope to see more character development. Though I didn't see any chemistry between those two, I did see potential chemistry between Trev and Anna. 

What I liked most about this book was the chase, the locations, the hiding, basically everything. With characters on the run, it makes the book exhilarating, exciting and definitely a page-turner. You're always on the edge of seat, wondering when they'll get caught or what secret is each of them hiding. Trust me when I say that you need to read this. 

Overall, this was a phenomenal debut with a killer plot, devastating secrets and heart-pounding twists; you'll have a hard time putting this one down.


Thursday 22 August 2013

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die for Me (Die for Me #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Pages: 341
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

I didn't mean to pick up this book, but the cover was just too stunning for me to pass it up. Our main character Kate, is our typical quiet girl who prefers to stay indoors. Her grandparents and sister, Georgia forces her to branch out into the city. Instead of Kate being home all the time, she spends most of her time at a cafe where she meets eye with Vincent. If I could choose one word to describe him, it would be gentleman. He's kind and caring, but sometimes, he can come off as a little too perfect. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I prefer characters to have some flaws.

With the concept of revenants, I think the author did a splendid job on creating her own twist with zombies. Revenants are basically zombies - the walking dead. I don't want to go into further detail but I suggest you read this but it is quite interesting and original.

I didn't experience that many problems with this book except for Kate's sister, Georgia and the romance. In the book, it mentioned Georgia would literally assign people to accompany her sister, Kate. Bossy much? And as for the romance, I think it was a little too much. If she brought it down by a notch and replaced with more action scenes, I would've enjoyed it more.

With a dreamy place setting, mysterious boys and a unique take on zombies, I would highly recommend this book to those who are searching for a fairly good paranormal romance.

3.5/5 STARS

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.

After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she's learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam's rules: Don't draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.

Then a figure from Anna's childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth -- before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased? 

Jennifer Rush delivers a thrilling sequel to Altered in a novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last age is turned.

Altered left me breathless for the next book, Erased. It was exhilarating, thrilling, heart-pounding, everything-you-could-ask-for book. Although I am disappointed with the cover, it kills me to see that this book only contains 275 pages. I mean, come on?! I have to wait several months for 275 pages? I wish it was longer. But at least there will be another installment in this series. And it's in Nick's POV *squeals*. 

What book are you waiting for to be released? Leave them down below! I love new releases even if the publication date is so far away. 

Sunday 18 August 2013

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1)
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Pages: 368
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

With time travel being the main aspect of this story, I was hesitant whether or not I should devout my time on this. Tempest - the first time travel story I've read - fell short with its concept and protagonist. But luckily, I didn't experience that with this one.

Our protagonist, Anna and love interest, Bennett were flawed and realistic characters. Their love story was just so cute. Okay, maybe not cute, but their relationship was the one that make you sigh dreamily. When I was first heading into this book, I assumed that this book was just romance driven, no actual plot driving it forward. But, nope, I was in for a surprise. There was so much depth into this story and a surprising twist towards the end that made this book one of my favourites of this year. If I had my own copy of this, I'd be glad to read this again.

Excellent writing, captivating love story and moments where you just want to clutch this book to your chest, I have to say that this needs to be own your bookshelf. Not as a book that should be collecting dust, but should be readily prepared to be your next read.

4.5/ 5 STARS

Friday 16 August 2013

Mini Reviews: Venom by Fiona Paul & Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1)
Author: Fiona Paul
Pages: 435
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Philomel

Historical fiction isn't a genre that I usually approach, but with a lot of hype with the sequel, Belladonna, I thought I would give this series a try. One of the things I didn't like about this book was that it was narrated in third person. The beginning was hard to get through; it was way too descriptive for my taste. If there was one thing that I liked it was probably where the book took place in. Venice. Even though, this wasn't as good as I thought it would be, I would definitely read the next book.

3/ 5 STARS 

Author: Kiersten White
Pages: 335
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen

It's very common to come across a book that is too slow, but too fast?Paranormalcy wasn't equally paced. In the beginning, you immediately dive into a scene. I don't about you, but I like the beginning to be a bit slow, not too slow, but to the point where the plot is gradually building. The main character was weird. It was like the author was trying so hard to make her different. This book was a little too light and fluffy for me. I prefer paranormal books that are dark and thrilling. Sad to say, but this has to be one of the worst paranormal books I've ever read.


Monday 12 August 2013

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Going Too Far
Author: Jennifer Echols
Pages: 245
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Books/MTV Books



All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....

I wanted to try out one of Jennifer Echol's novels since I've read numerous reviews on one of her popular books, Going Too Far. To be honest, I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. Contemporary books are usually a hit or miss for me, reason why being is because most contemporaries that I've come across turn out to be a fluffy read. There's nothing wrong with books that are light and fluffy, but their storyline sometimes happen to be boring.

Going Too Far isn't fluffy nor is it a light and easy read. It actually happens to be emotional and touching. Our protagonist, Meg is a rebellious chick - what you call a "bad girl." She smokes, drinks and plays around. She meets Officer After when she gets arrested by the man himself by trespassing on a railroad bridge. What I love about Meg is how she reads people, assuming what their life is like. She assumes Officer After is a married forty year-old man with ten children. Her guess was totally off because he was only a nineteen year-old police officer. Though it does seem hard to believe that he looked forty and had ten children, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing when Meg asked him about his “kids.”

Meg and Officer After (John) was a couple I didn't think would click. But after reading this book, I could sense the chemistry between them. I loved their dialogue - hilarious and unforgettable. Meg and John may seem like normal characters but deep down, they're both hiding their own secrets.

Going Too Far is now added to my "must buy" books. With its complex characters and humorous dialogue, Going Too Far is one you cannot miss.