Thursday, 26 February 2009

Fun! Fun! Fun! Play with authors and win cool stuff

On the occasion of their book releases, some authors have held great parties for us to join. Trust me, they're too fun to miss : )

Amanda Ashby Party!

Calling all zombie lovers!!! This is a great chance for you to hear other authors/bloggers talk about zombie and the likes. Okay, so what if you're not into that creepy creatures? Still there're guest posts you'll enjoy. And lots and lots of cool prizes (not just books) are waiting to be taken home. More information should be found in the vid below. 

Sneak Peek of Twenty Boy Summer

Wondering what's so funny that the man has to crack up? Me too. I know we all want to read Twenty Boy Summer right now, but the problem is it won't come out till June 1st. Sarah Ockler knew it too, so she offered to giveaway two ARCs of her first book. It's simple, join this contest and spread the word. If luck adores you, you'll find Twenty Boy Summer in your mailbox soon. Extra entries are available so more chances to win.

Is that enough to satisfy your greed? No?  I got something else for you.

Brook Taylor's Swag Bag

Okay that's not exactly how the bag looks like but I bet the real one is just as big and beautiful. Why? Because it contains so many great things: a signed copy of Undone, some stickers/magnets/bookmarks, and a book of your choice from a provided list of authors. You decide what you'll find in your bag. Come here and tell Brook yourself.

Last but not least, GOOD LUCK, because I know we all need it =D

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (6)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

A Map Of The Known World by Lisa Sandell

Cora Bradley dreams of escape. Ever since her reckless older brother, Nate, died in a car crash, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town and high school. She seeks solace in drawing beautiful maps, envisioning herself in exotic locales. When Cora begins to fall for Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, she uncovers her brother's secret artistic life and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. With stunning lyricism, Sandell weaves a tale of one girl's journey through the redemptive powers of art, friendship, and love.

They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me. I want to do things-I want to walk the rain-soaked streets of London, and drink mint tea in Casablanca. I want to wander the wastelands of the Gobi desert and see a yak. I think my life's ambition is to see a yak. I want to bargain for trinkets in an Arab market in some distant, dusty land. There's so much. But, most of all, I want to do things that will mean something.

I saw the book cover at Alea in one of Lookalike posts and have been in love with it since then. So yesterday I decided to check out the plot and it turned out to be very my type. I'm dying to know what Cora found out about her brother Nate through Damian and how she dealt with it after that. I also love how nostalgic it sounds,  along with the sad but strong aura. Hopefully it's going to be a haunting book. Oh yeah, ain't the title meaningful?

April 15th. You know where to get it : )

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Publisher: Walker & Company
Pub. Date: December 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: paperback
Source: contest prize

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

If you're like me - one of the girls who are crazily in love with bad boys, you'll surely enjoy this book. And even if you're not, trust me, you'll join my clan soon after you finish Perfect Chemistry.

This book is truly a page tuner. Everything was exciting from the very first pages, and only got better in the next. The point of view switched between Alex and Brittany, so you'll get to know both of them immediately. Their first few encounters did not sound very original, but I adored how they flowed perfectly, paving the way for more and more interesting meets.

Brittany and Alex came from different worlds, even though they inhabited in the same town. While Brittany's neighborhood was luxurious and full of people with class, Alex's life on the opposite wasn't any close - he had to share a room with two little annoying brothers, carried the responsibility of the family man and had to join Latino Blood so as to keep his loved ones safe. On the outside they looked nothing alike, but there was something they both shared - their true selves were always hidden. Brittany was not perfect and she was scared that fact would upset her mother and everyone around. As for Alex, witnessing his Dad's death left him in a prolonged grief and fear of losing someone he loved. The characters developed through certain circumstances, with their thoughts showing the deep side; conversations, on the other hand, showing the goofy, lovely or playful, scary side.

I loved Brittany and Alex's love. It came unexpectedly and naturally. It was attraction at first but then it grew into something stronger and more beautiful. They did not only have crushes on each other, but also shared understanding and real affection. The relationship encouraged Brit to do stuff she didn't dare to or just helped Alex get along with people he always thought he couldn't be with. I really really admired how Simone wrote their love making part. It was simply breathtaking and touching, making something stir inside me.

The ending was perfect. After everything they'd been through the couple finally had their happy ending, with realization of true love, friendship and what family really was. The epilogue cracked me up and I was really hoping there would be a story about little Paco and some poor (or lucky) girl.

If you love the kind "when two worlds collide, facade cracks and true love invades" of book, Perfect Chemistry won't disappoint you. And I have to add, best way to learn a little bit Spanish too

just so you know, i really think my week of spamming at books boys buzz to get Perfect Chemistry is really worth my while : )

Rating: 4/5

Did you know? If Perfect Chemistry was to turned into a movie, Simone thinks it'd be nice to have Hayden Panettiere as Brittany

Monday, 23 February 2009

In My Mailbox (6)

Idea taken from The Story Siren
These three fabulous books come from the fabulous Lenore : ) 

Fringe Benefits by Valerie Frankel (paperback)

You can take the girl out of Brooklyn-or can you?

Waitressing at an exclusive tennis and squash club isn't all it's cracked up to be. Just ask Adora Benet. For as long as she can remember, summer has meant European vacations and sleepaway camp. But this summer is different. While her friends scatter the globe for adventures of their own, Dora finds herself stuck in Brooklyn, learning the true meaning of a dollar.

Fortunately for this working girl, there are fringe benefits that come with the territory: cool older friends who really know how to party, for one thing. And an unexpected gig at a veterinarian's office with a totally hot doctor. Soon Dora's boring summer turns into her first taste of real life. But with all these new responsibilities and thrilling relationships, freedom can get a little scary sometimes . . .

What do you think? Sounds pretty interesting hey? I love reading bout interesting summer that tends to change teenager's life.

Princess Of The Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (ARC)

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

Ever since I saw this book at Lenore I've been attached to it. I always love modern stories but this has something so special that got me all excited. And great too cover too yeah? My cousin couldn't stop staring at Princess Of The Midnight Ball.

Triple Shot Bettys In Love by Judy Gerhman (ARC)

Geena is freaking out. She's been going out with Ben for five months, their relationship is comfortable and perfect, and then Bam! he's suddenly putting the pressure on to be way more physical. She's not sure she's ready.

Enter Mr. Rex Sands, Geena's delectably hot and brilliant English substitute teacher (he speaks to her soul!), on whom her best friend Amber develops an immediate crush when he stops by the Triple Shot Betty coffee shack. Amber needs Geena's help talking to him because he is such an intellectual, so Geena finds herself writing love notes, MySpace messages, and texts to Mr. Sands under Amber's name. And he writes back! Geena is just doing it all for Amber (sort of), so it's not technically cheating on Ben . . . right? In this romantic and playful update of Cyrano de Bergerac, Jody Gehrman reintroduces readers to Geena, Amber, and the Sonoma gang as they walk the rocky and confusing path toward true love.

Cute and relatable, who can resist this book? I also have a crush on it because one of the character name is same as mine in English. I've not read the prequel so let's hope that doesn't effect my review on this one.

Thanks again for sending me these books Lenore, you simply rock! *kisses and hugs*
You guys must have received some just as fabulous or more fabulous than mine, so spill!!! : D

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sunday Special (6) Me?...Or me?

Idea taken from Pop Culture Junkie

A bunch of hardcover and paperback/reprints of several books you may or may not know. Doesn't matter. Just tell me which of the two catches your eyes? Which will you buy?

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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Laylthan

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The Man Of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

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A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

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>I Know It's Over by C.K Kelly Martin

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Doing It by Melvin Burgess

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Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

My favorite ones are all the left, especially the bluish I Know It's Over by C.K. Simply peaceful but sad. Nick and Norah reminds of Ipods, and don't you think the second cover of Doing It is kinda bold? It scares me yet I crack up everytime I see it.

More to come next week, buddies<3

Friday, 20 February 2009

Love, Meg by C. Leigh Purtill

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: April 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: hardcover
Source: contest prize

Fifteen year old Meg Shanley knows two things: first, her older sister Lucie is the only family she has. Second, Lucie will uproot her to a new town and a new school at least once year. This time, it's Hollywood.

Alone and lonely n LA, Meg settles into a familiar routine. She scopes out New Friend candidates and determines the shortest distance between home, school and Starbucks.

Then Meg discovers a secret that turns her whole world upside down. She has a family she never knew about - an uncle and a grandmother - in Queens, New York.

Meg is convinced she can have the dream life she's always wanted. She defies Lucie and flies to Queens.

When she arrives - three thousand miles from everything she's ever known - she discovers that real love has always been just a letter away.

Okay, I admit. When I first read this book I didn't expect anything much, either because the story sounded familiar or the cover looked so boring (I know I'm bad, but I do judge a book by its cover). Guess what? I was surprised after I finished it. C. Leigh Purtill did a good job at making simple things beautiful and touching.

The first thing I recognized the book was Meg's huge obsession over Jennifer Aniston. It wasn't just a celebrity crush, it was like Jen was someone really important to the teenager, the only person she could confide in and ask for advice. Meg was not happy with her life. She hated moving all over the places, was afraid of making friends because she knew the bond wouldn't survive the distance once she was told to pack and leave (again). Her sister Lucie appeared to be so selfish and tired all the time, which Meg wish she could tell her, but never did. That was why she turned to Jen. Meg's letters to Jen were nice to read. It showed a lot of love and respect for the actress, as if she was Meg's real sister, but the tone also contained craziness of a loyal fan.

I loved how Leigh worked on the characters' emotions in this book. Anger, madness, sorrow, joy, ect were portrayed at a decent extent so that you could still feel them but they were never to become overwhelming. My favorite part were when Juny gave Meg her very first kiss at New Year's Eve and when she finally came back to Hollywood to settle her life after the long adventure. There were also twists in Love, Meg. Seriously, who aren't into twists? I don't want to give it away so find out yourself ; ) All I can say is that one was extremely shocking and one was way too cute and touching.

The only thing that didn't satisfy me was the ending. I thought Meg deserved more than that. I so wish that she had been accepted by her father. After all, he was the reason why she came to New York.

If you want to read this book, you should read it with a family member.

Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday, 19 February 2009

You know you'll love this

Interview with Melissa Walker and more : )
Also, don't miss a chance to win a copy of Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne. More info on on Melissa's blog.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (5)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin

Anything is possible. . . .

Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend . . . can she?

I guess it's self-explanatory why I'm waiting for this book. It's like,  everyone is waiting for it. I've heard a lot of great things about C.K Kelly Martin, esp during the Girl Week last year. Hopefully this one will be as great as the previous. I'm totally intrigued by the plot, it's somehow relatable.

One Lonely Degree will come out in May 26th, 2009. Mark your calendar!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The Man Of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

Publisher: Random House Inc
Pub. Date: April 2007
Pages: 304
Format: paperback
Source: purchased

Sittenfeld's poignant if generic follow-up to her bestselling debut, Prep, similarly tracks a young woman's coming-of-age, but rather than navigating an elite school's nasty and brutish social system, this time the narrator contends with a dysfunctional family and her own yearnings for love. Fourteen-year-old Hannah Gavener is abruptly shipped off from Philadelphia to live with her aunt in Pittsburgh when her mercurial, vindictive father breaks up his marriage and family, which includes Hannah's older sister, Allison, and their browbeaten mother. Sweet but insecure and passive, Hannah had "been raised... not to be accommodated but to accommodate," an upbringing that hobbles all her subsequent relationships. The novel follows Hannah through her teens and late 20s (from 1991 to 2005), as she searches for romantic fulfillment, navigates friendships (e.g., with her larger-than-life cousin Fig) and alternately tries to reconcile with her father and distance herself from him. But the most influential connection Hannah makes is with her psychiatrist, Dr. Lewin, whom she begins seeing her freshman year at Tufts. Although the novel aspires to be taken seriously and Hannah is a sympathetic protagonist, she remains a textbook case of a young woman who wants "a man who will deny her. A man of her own who isn't hers."

When I asked my cousin why she got me this book, she said it was because it looked and sounded very cute. That was I believed too on looking at the cover and skimming through the synopsis. However, The Man Of My Dreams was not what it seemed. Contrast to its light-hearted appearance, it was deep, heartbreaking and realistic (since it was so realistic, I have to warn you about somewhat explicit scenes).

The story was split into three parts: when Hannah was 14, during her college life and her late 20s years. There were cut between them so you didn't get to learn Hannah's life step by step. Instead, you had to collect the pieces and put them together to have a better view. Also, the effect of the cut was that it kept the readers curious, as for me things were so dreamily that I had to go on reading till I figured out everything. Like one second Hannah was so nervous about her first kiss at college, then a second later she had already been in a relationship with her boss.

I also loved the character development in this book. Hannah was a very complicated one. She went from being naive and lonely to doubtful about life, desperate about love and finally, started to learn to be happy. Hannah could have been like any other teenager, but too bad her father's treatment made a big impact on her, especially after her parents' divorce. She didn't think herself as pretty anymore, she felt kind of distant, and had a habit to imagining the future - which always turned out to be dull and calm. She didn't like to be protected, she accepted risky relationship even if it hurt her, partly because she was too afraid to claim happiness. What was the worst that she always saw life in the most miserable way. On reading the book I sometimes found Hannah annoying for she always brought out the bad in stuff, and she was such a coward not to take the chance to get close to Henry - the man of her dreams and make him hers. Then again, I felt bad for her. Hannah was never confident enough to make a move, like she didn't think she deserved happiness at all. Sometimes she did try, but it was too late.

The book's ending was so sad. Hannah had yet to find her dream guy and was not even sure when she would fall in love again. But she found happiness and meaning of life. That was what mattered.

The book is only 304 page long but you'll feel like it lasts a life time, a life time with so much ups and downs, joys and hurts : )

Rating: 4/5

Free books again? Are you kidding me?

Of course I'm not : D Here I am recruiting you to another place where you will stand a chance to be one of the 6 winners who are to get 50 books. Where? Melange's Book Review. Simply head over there and become a follower, then, if you're any lovelier, post about her blog on yours. So what are you waiting for? GO!!!!

Good luck my love<3

p.s Don't forget to tell her you're referred by me okay?

Monday, 16 February 2009

In My Mailbox (5)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

This week is a fabulous one! Look at what I've got!

Looking For Alaska by John Green.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words — and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

I won this book on Korianne's site which was just a few weeks after I added it to my Wishlist. I'd never ever known John Green til I found out about the book blog community and I'm so glad I did. This book sounds amazing and the cover is so gorgeous (I like it better than the other one). It also came with a few bookmarks from Kori, very cute!

Fly Girl by Sherri L. Smith

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn't stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy's gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.

When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women's Airforce Service Pilots-and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something signifi cant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won't accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of "passing," of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one's racial heritage, denying one's family, denying one's self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

Another prize contest : ) this book was shipped by Penguin and also an ARC version, so it was in perfect state. I've been wanting to read it since I saw a review on Lenore's site. This will be the first YA about war I read.

Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison.

Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Walden-a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane-arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie's chapbook poems, and Michael's dive log. It's as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.

This is the very very very ARC I got and it was signed by Angela Morrison too. After almost a month stalking her blog and Facebook I finally was picked to be one of the teen reviewers for Taken By Storm. This book feels special for me not only because it's my first ARC, but also for it'll be published on my birth month. I felt in love with the cover and the plot at first sight (and read)

I'm expecting a few more book so hopefully next week will be even better : )
So what've you got? Tell us!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Sunday Special (5) Upgraded

This week I'm giving you some Meg Cabot book covers to judge : D

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The Boy Next Door

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Boy Meets Girl

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Queen Of Babble Gets Hitched

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Every Boy's Got One

Whatcha think? I loved the last cover of each title, simply bright and striking. On looking for these I also realized one thing: UK versions are always more beautiful, but they don't seem to have many hardcovers : (

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

happy valentine's day~

Have anyone received roses or candies today? I hope you all did, if not, here you are *hands out chocolate*. Enjoy your day and do not forget to spread love everywhere you go!!!

i HEART u : D

Thursday, 12 February 2009

PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: January 2005
Pages: 512pp
Format: paperback
Source: purchased

Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.
The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while, PS, I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!

I expected great things from this book because the synopsis and everything they said on newspapers and magazines over here sounded extreme. I even asked some of my friends who had actually read it before and they all complimented PS, I Love You. To my dismay, this book turned out to be quite disappointing.

There was nothing wrong with the plot or how Cecelia writes. Honestly, I really loved the story itself because it was touching, heartfelt and made us appreciate the people we love even more. It also dealt with getting over a great loss, learning to live on your own and finding happiness. The story flew from the beginning to the end, maybe not in a perfect way, but nice enough. However, there were certain reasons why I didn't enjoy it. First it was too typical and Cecelia didn't add anything to make the story stand out. Second, there were so many parts about Holly's mourning, therefore it became draggy in the middle of the book. I was a bit sad that there was no climax, like the story could go on and on and on forever.

About the character, I really liked Gerry. My favorite parts of the books must be the flashbacks and the letters he left Holly. He was such a sweet, thoughtful, loving guy who cared more for his wife than himself. I was very touched when I read on how he sneaked out of the hospital to book Holly a trip he thought would make her happy. So, guess whom I disliked? Holly. I knew that she was hurt and depressed after the love of her life had gone but man, she was weak to the point of annoyance. She cried at times I thought she shouldn't and was way to dependent.

Overall this book is an okay one. You may or may not have fun reading this, I cannot tell : |

Rating: 2.5/5

Waiting On Wednesday (4)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Bone Song by Sherryl Clark.

Part of the "Cutting Edge" series, "Bone Song" is a gritty, honest and hard-hitting quick read for teens and young adults who find conventional fiction irrelevant to them or too hard to read. Rebellious Dobie despises her wealthy background and has just lost the chance to be a professional dancer. Then there's Melissa - smart and sensible, always doing her best to compensate for a life on the run with her alcoholic mother. They couldn't be more different yet in between the anger and disappointment there's common ground. Once, they both had dreams - what went wrong? Thrown together in detention they forge an unlikely friendship that gives both of them the strength not to give up on their dreams."Bone Song" is a moving story about the magic of friendship, and the power that love and hate can wield inside every family. The fast-moving, character-focused narrative delves right to the heart of a tougher side of life. Packed with drama and emotion from one page to the next, readers will be truly compelled by this gripping and satisfying story. Carefully chosen fonts, simple layout and controlled vocabulary help carry readers from beginning to end without any hint of chore-factor creeping in.

I started to have a thing for books with black and white cover, they look so haunting and impressive just like the stories they hold inside. Another non-romance one I think I will enjoy. How strong, wild girls deal with tough lives sounds great. Besides, this is only the beginning of a series, so I guess more good things will come later.

Keep an eye out for this book. I don't know where it'll be released : (

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Let's be friends (and winners)

Laura @ Laura's Review Bookshelf wants to get to know more of you - the book bloggers and readers. She also hopes to receive some feedback to make her blog a nicer place to visit. So please drop by and join her on discussing books, celebrating new releases and entering many awesome contests. Don't forget to give her some tips as well : D At the moment she's offering to a chance to win any book of your choice so you'd better hurry up!

One more thing, if you read this post and decide to visit her blog. Please please leave a comment telling her I'm your recruiter ^^. Thanks, and have fun!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Teasers Tuesday (2)

Idea taken from Fizzy Thoughts

Lovesick by Jake Coborn

I do not own the book but thanks to Amazon Online Reader, we got a sneak peek here.

Ted reached for the cup of coffee that he'd forgotten about and wet his throat. He noticed his fingers were shaking, and he rested the cup back on the scuffed linoleum.

Ted slummed down in his chair '"Name's Ted. Alcoholic."

I wish there allow more than 10 pages to be read : ( this book sounds really awesome. For some reason I can't get enough of mysterious romance. And intriguing cover too, right?

In My Mailbox (4)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

I got only one book this week : (

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

...but it's a good one, so I'm satisfied.
I hope you have a better week than I do!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday Special (4) Twin Covers, Aren't We?

Idea taken from Pop Culture Junkie

Take a look at these.

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My Life From Air Bras To Zits by Barbara Haworth Attard
Does This Book Make Me Look Fat by various authors

Obviously it was the same picture taken at different angle. They even used the red background for the title of both books. I wonder if these covers are works of one designer. What's your favorite? I like first close up in the second one, but the while background with polka dots is cute too.

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Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Fate cover looks like an upgraded version of the other one. They rotated, changed the butterfly's color, added a little effect and ta da, we had a new cover. I don't like either. 

This is interesting hey? If you find any twin covers, please share with us.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Ready Or Not by Meg Cabot

Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Pub. Date: March 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Series: All-American Girl
Format: paperback
Source: purchased

Top ten things Samantha Madison isn't ready for:

10. Spending Thanksgiving at Camp David
9. With her boyfriend, the president's son
8. Who appears to want to take their relationship to the Next Level
7. Which Sam inadvertently and shockingly announces live on MTV
6. While appearing to support the president's dubious policies on families, morals, and yes, sex
5. Juggling her new after-school job at Potomac Video
4. Even though she already has a job as teen ambassador to the UN (that she doesn't get paid for)
3. Riding the Metro and getting accosted because she's "the redheaded girl who saved the president's life," in spite of her new, semipermanent Midnight Ebony tresses
2. Experiencing total role reversal with her popular sister Lucy, who for once can't get the guy she wants
and the number-one thing Sam isn't ready for?
1. Finding out the hard way that in art class, "life drawing" means "naked people."

Though this book didn't come up to my expectation, it was on the whole a nice read. Honest, humorous and well-paced, Ready Or Not was typically Meg.

I didn't have a chance to read All American Girl but fortunately the book itself doesn't relate much to its prequel so I could still give a complete review. The plot was original to me. I've yet to read anything with a teenage ambassador in it, at least not one who saved the president ad then later became his son's girlfriend.

Samantha's life was alluring to me because it both depicted a life of a normal girl and one of a young celebrity. Being famous wasn't cool as it might sound, in contrast, it brought Sam more troubles than ever. In addition to coping with common issues - going to a school she didn't like at all, having one best friend only, being semi-ignored by her parents and shadowed by the seemingly perfect sister - she also had to avoid public prying eyes into her relationship with David and the likes. I enjoyed reading those parts, which made me laugh yet feel bad for Sam at the same time.

Sex was also a subject dealt with in this story. It was bold and fun. However, it annoyed me Sam freaked out too much on being asked to "do it". What was also ironic was even though Sam misread David and all the time she was way too nervous, she was the one who later decided to take it to the next level.

Anyway, I do like a lot of things about this story: the cute moments of Sam and David, how Lucy cared and protected her little sister, and the funny life drawing lessons. Besides, the book could somehow help you with your SAT tests as Meg included lots of SAT words there.

I would not say this is my favorite book but if you're looking for an entertaining one, you may consider Ready Or Not.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB FEB - Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: October 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: hardcover
Source: borrowed

You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret to press play

Clay Jessen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.

Then Hannah's voice tells Jay that his nam is on her tapes - and that he is, in some way, responsible for the death.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town
...and what he discovers changes his life forever.

On my profile I said I loved to read books and there were some I would dwell on for weeks or months because I couldn't get it out of my mind. Th1rteen R3asons Why was one of those. When my friend showed me this one, I knew it was going to leave me with an impact. And I was not disappointed.

Firstly, this book was very different. I know lots of authors have written about suicide, but Jay Asher had his very own way. He didn't tell the story in third point of view nor did he let his character bury her tragic secret into her journal. Instead, she recorded her last words and spread them around, making those who were one of the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life feel like she was step by step taking them along her death. That explained how I, a sucker for romance only, fell deeply in love with this book (and absolutely never fall out of it).

Second goes with the story line. It was just...awesome. Hannah's heartbreaking story went on without a flaw. Everything made perfect sense. It grew more thrilling page after page. Each side of every tape brought a different secret, only to be more shocking and unbelievable. On reading this book I had this dilemma: I wanted to stop because the story was so cruel and hurtful, yet I couldn't but crave to know what else those people did to pain poor Hannah. I guess that was what made the book. Jay took us for a ride of mixed emotions just like his male lead, Clay was excited when he received the package, then panic on playing first few steps, later doubtful and scared, and finally, lost in deep guilt and sorrow.

Clay's feelings for Hannah developed through the story in a way that I found interesting. The backflap said Hannah was Clay's first love but in the beginning it seemed to me that she was only a friend. Only after a few tapes did he himself confessed how he was into her, how shy and hesitant he was to make a move and how he hated himself for not trying harder to to help Hannah out. It was great because that matched with the book's rhythm. Things started at a certain stage and they logically grew stronger and deeper.

I really hated the people who was in Hannah's tapes, disgusted to be exact. There aren't enough bad words to describe them, those who unawarely ruined a girl's beautiful life. Then again, I loved them because they were so real. And more importantly they made not only Clay but all the readers realize how we effect people's life. Sometimes what we think isn't worth making a fuss over is what makes an impact on others. A fault we blame on someone to make ourself feel better, a rumor we spread just for fun, a stupid list we consider harmless, a time being fake and mean, a few thoughtless words, all could turn a person's life upside down. The book also taught us one thing: if we do care for someone, try our best to protect and help them. Because, simply, we don't want to end up like once half-hearted Clay.

The last thing I want to mention is the ending. It was very touching, especially the part when the last tape ended and Hannah whispered "Thank You" (Seriously, I was on the verge of crying). Besides, even though it was really sad, the book didn't leave us in pain, on the contrary, gave us hope in a better world after Hannah's death. We could close Thirteen Reasons Why with a smile after a lot of crying because we knew Skye would not be a second Hannah, all thanks to Clay.

So...what more can I say? If you don't read this book, it's your loss!

Rating: 5/5

Did you know? The lead female was originally named Anna Baker, but Jay discovered many other stories dealing with suicidal characters named Anna, so he changed it to Hannah. And because a baker's dozen is thirteen, there were 13 parts of the story.

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

A captivating and witty dark fantasy that will have girls lusting after it.

Morgan Sparks has always known that she and her boyfriend, Cam, are made for each other. But when Cam’s cousin Pip comes to stay with the family, Cam seems depressed. Finally Cam confesses to Morgan what’s going on: Cam is a fairy. The night he was born, fairies came down and switched him with a healthy human boy. Nobody expected Cam to live, and nobody expected his biological brother, heir to the fairy throne, to die. But both things happened, and now the fairies want Cam back to take his rightful place as Fairy King.

Even as Cam physically changes, becoming more miserable each day, he and Morgan pledge to fool the fairies and stay together forever. But by the time Cam has to decide once and for all what to do, Morgan’s no longer sure what’s best for everyone, or whether her and Cam’s love can weather an uncertain future.

When I saw the cover and the title I didn't expect the story to turn out like this. It's definitely a different kind of fairy tale. Even though it's listed as a fantasy novel it feels real realistic to me. The subject of making choice never gets old. It's hard to decide what to do with your life, even when you're a fairy. Oh and one more interesting thing, the fairy is a guy!

Clean your shelf before June 23rd because you'll need a spot for Fairy Tale

Monday, 2 February 2009

In My Mailbox (3)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

I got books this week, again! Two are presents from my cousin from Australia and one I won over FBF.

Lock And Key  by Sarah Dessen.

After her mom vanished in a stench of drugs and alcohol, Ruby continued to live in the family house alone. Finally found out, the introspective teenager is sent to the luxurious home of her older sister, Cora, whom she hadn't seen in ten years. Everything there seems unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and supremely weird: her fancy new room; her lavish new wardrobe; the exclusive private school where she never quite fits in. Most mysterious of all is Nate, the friendly boy next door who seems to have a deep secret of his own. Another subtle character-driven teen novel by Sarah Dessen, the author of Just Listen and That Summer.

I love Sarah Dessen so you can imagine how happy I was to receive this book. It's an Australia one, too bad I couldn't find the exact cover. It looks kind of like USA version because everything is in pink, except there's a hand carrying a key and no white stripes. I'll take a picture of it someday : )

The Man Of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

After the breakup of her parents' marriage, teenage Hannah Gavener is shipped off to live with a Philadelphia aunt. Feeling like the divorce refugee that she is, Hannah struggles through her insecurities, seemingly content to live in the shadow of her hip, gorgeous cousin Fig. Later, in sessions with her college psychiatrist, she begins to cope more directly with her problems, but her intense ambivalence about deep relationships persists. Curtis Sittenfeld's The Man of My Dreams presents a central character whose crises and decisions unfold with the hard logic of life. A fine stand-alone follow-up to the author's debut novel, Prep.

I saw this book last summer but it didn't have much an impression on me. My cousin said she read it and it was cute so she got me another copy. Lately I've heard good things about the author, so I'm expecting this book to be a good read.

Love, Meg by C.Leigh Purtill

Meg Shanley always believed that her parents died when she was a baby. Since then, she and her older sister Lucie have lived a nomadic life, never settling down long enough for Meg to feel like anything but the new girl. Alone in her uncertainty and confusion, Meg writes letters to Jennifer Aniston for advice. Unlike Lucie, Jen is stable. She's on Meg's TV-no matter where Meg happens to be living-every night at eleven. For a few years, Jennifer even writes back.

But now Jen's letters have stopped. Meg and Lucie are in LA, in a tiny apartment, when a stranger shows up and reveals a seemingly impossible secret. She discovers she has relatives in New York she never knew existed. Meg travels across the country to find her family-and uncover the truth about her life. But instead, what she finds is the source of her own inner strength.

C. Leigh Purtill's surprising and suspenseful first novel captures the exquisite joy and deep sorrow of a teenager who will stop at nothing to discover who she really is.

Love, Meg came a long way from wherever Jessica Brody lives to Maryland and then  to Vietnam. I won this book over Teen Free Book Friday site and because the founder didn't send overseas, I had to use my friend's USA address. It took super long to reach me, like an entire month or more. Anyway it came at last, safe and sound. Some say it's like Sarah Just Listen and that gets me a bit curious.

What've you got this week? I hope there were a lot of cool books : D