Sunday 31 May 2009

Sunday Special (18) The Challenge That Completes June

This June holds the birthday of a really really great YA author, someone whose books capture the hearts of teenagers, not only ones in USA but all over the world. Her style of writing is amazing - simple, close to heart but still so profound. Her latest book is also coming out at the end of the same month. So who is she?

Well, you all are right. It's Sarah Dessen! :D I love her so much. She's such a great person. She's talented and she's also nice and kind, too. Even though I've only read The Truth About Forever, I'm already deeply in love with her writing. And I guess so are you. As you can see, there're so many celebrations in May-June for Sarah's birthday as well as Along For The Ride. One of them is that at The Sarah Dessen Diarist which features a lot of authors and bloggers' posts dedicated to Sarah. And another one, which I want to mention today, is Sarah Dessen Challenge hosted by Em @ Em's Bookshelf. The goal is to finish all of Sarah's books before June 30th, and in plus, spread the word and the love to whoever you can. So if you're interested, please head to Em's blog and sign up.

I myself couldn't enter so I joined the fun by making some buttons for the challenge. Here they are


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I think this challenge is nothing but awesome, hence, if you have time, make sure you don't miss it. The books will definitely satisfy your crave for excellent reads, especially in the summer. So what are you waiting for? RUSH to EM'S!!!!

Okay one thing before you go, because I'm a curious cat, please tell me your favorite Sarah Dessen book and why. You won't leave me dying in curiosity will you?

Friday 29 May 2009

After The Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: May 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: hardcover
Source: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She’s smart. She’s brave. She’s also a self-proclaimed train wreck.

Leigh Hunter is smart, popular, and extremely polite. He’s also completely and forever in love with Maia Morland.

Their young love starts off like a romance novel—full of hope, strength, and passion. But life is not a romance novel and theirs will never become a true romance. For when Maia needs him the most, Leigh betrays both her trust and her love.


If you assume you can tell from the beginning to the end of this book just by glancing at the summary, let me tell you something, you.are.wrong. Before I actually started the book, I'd expected it to go this way - the couple met, fell deeply in love like everyone else, then he cheated, broke her heart and everything went downhill since then. But, After The Moment wasn't anything like my prediction.

The book tells the story about the first love of a young man, Leigh, who seemed stuck in his own world not knowing what directions to take or even what he really needed in life. It was a strange, tempestuous yet peaceful love that vaguely begun and ended in just the same way. Throughout the romance, readers will explore lives of two typical teenagers and their adventure to gain self-understanding.

On reading this book there was one word that bounced up and down in my head - slow. Everything went on slowly, like the author paid really much caution on the plot and more carefully put it into words. It was neat and the pace allowed us to keep up with the characters' thoughts and feelings. However, the first few 100 pages, to me, was draggy -Garret used one-third of the book just to introduced the background of Leigh's life. Not that I said it was a waste of paper or words, but, let's face it, some will find it boring and put down After The Moment before the actually interesting part came to view.

I found the main characters quite shy and quiet. Even though there were some moments when they exposed themselves to the world, most of the time it felt like they were holding back a lot from each other. Also, it was really fun that even though the book was set in modern life, it had a touch of the past - all the walks, the dinners, books and gardens, they reminded me of a classic novel.

I wouldn't call it a betrayal like the synopsis claimed Leigh's action to be. It was merely a mistake and everyone made mistakes, including Maia herself. What Leigh did was just the last straw and it pushed things to the point that it couldn't be improved. The book shows us another side of love which is painful, heartbreaking and not so beautiful. Love isn't a fairy tale, nothing is easy in love and a mishap can turn everything upside down. Having said that, what I saw from the book was also a lovely romance which freed both Leigh and Maia from their shells, giving them first bittersweet experiences in love.

Overall, After The Moment is just like how Leigh once described Maia - hugely strange yet so captivating you just want to know more about.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (17)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters.

Dear
___mother
___father
___other

There was nothing you could do to stop me because:
___I’d already made up my mind
___I have been suffering my whole life
___ you were too slow to notice

I offed myself because:
___my life sucks
___the world sucks
___ you suck

Good-bye,
Daelyn

Reasons why I cannot wait to read this book any longer:
-1. It's about suicide. The subject is touchy and is now a big issue not only in teenagers' lives but adults too. I'd love to know more about this.
-2. The excerpt sounds very vague, hence I'm super duper curious. Seems like it's written in verse too (or it's just a way of how the girl writes in her diary?)
-3. Great title and very emotional cover. Such a perfect match.


By the time you have this book in hands, it'll be January 2010.

Monday 25 May 2009

In My Mailbox (18)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Some cool book arrived for me last week. Check them out.


My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman.

With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade. Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel.

I'm really excited about this one - bestfriends drifting apart sounds good already but bestfriends suddenly no longer bestfriends is even more interesting. This book seems hilarious, mysterious, serious and light-hearted at the same time. I'll read this one fast and lend it to my bestfriend. I bet we'll both enjoy it.

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund.

With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .

I'm dying to read something about school - especially exclusive school so Academy 7 came just at the right time. It also has secrets, competition and romance - I couldn't ask for more couldn't I? The cover is really intriguing too, love the pose of the couple.

Initiation by Susan Fine.

The halls of St. Stephen's reek of money, secrets, and desperation. Competition to be top dog at the Manhattan private school is fierce. But Mauricio Londoño—Latino, middle-class, and new to the brutality of prep school life—just wants to survive ninth grade.

Apartments the size of a city block...Vacations in the Hamptons... Being near all this extravagance, intellect, and beauty is a thrill. But navigating their sparkling world is another story. When two warring freshmen use the Web as a weapon, Mauricio gets burned in the online crossfire and learns firsthand how the privileged don't always play by the rules.

This book is not my usual type but something about it still interests me. I saw quite a few negative reviews on it but I'll try hard not to judge before actually getting to read it.


Thanks Lauren, Anne and Susan for sending their lovely children to me :)


Have a bookastic week ahead everyone!

Sunday 24 May 2009

Sunday Special (17) Six Pick For Summer

Summer is here everyone~!!! Are you excited? It's my favorite time of the year because I can finally rest and have more time to myself. Time to READ! We all know that there're a lot of books coming out in the next three months, so which to pick up first and which to put aside for later? Have you decided yet? This week I want to show you top 6 of my summer list along with ideal reading spot.


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1. It's Not You, It's Me by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann - at a slumber party with a bunch of giggling girlfriends.
2. Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita - at summer camp of course, should be at noon or something alike.
3. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler - at the seashore at dawn/dust when noone is around.
4. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen - at a park after a ride, preferably with an icecream cone.
5. Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott - in my bedroom with a blanket on a rainy days.
6. One Lonely Degree by C.K Kelly Martin - on bleachers at the pool or the court.


How about you, I want to know what you plan to read in the first few days of summer. Share your choice of books and places, will you? *smiles*

Saturday 23 May 2009

My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: April 2009
Age Range: 12
Pages: 352pp
Format: paperback
Source: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

It’s the end of junior year, and summer is about to begin. The Summer of Passion, to be exact, when Jory Michaels plans to explore all the possibilities of the future--and, with any luck, score a boyfriend in the process. But Jory has a problem. A big problem. A curvy, honking, bumpy, problem in the form of her Super Schnozz, the one thing standing between Jory and happiness. And now, with the Summer of Passion stretched before her like an open road, she's determined for Super Schnozz to disappear. Jory takes a job delivering wedding cakes to save up for a nose job at the end of the summer; she even keeps a book filled with magazine cutouts of perfect noses to show the doctor. But nothing is ever easy for accident-prone Jory--and before she knows it, her Summer of Passion falls apart faster than the delivery van she crashes. In her hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel, Sydney Salter delivers a story about broadening your horizons, accepting yourself, and finding love right under your nose.


If I asked "who hates her own nose?" and you raised your hand, then this book will absolutely change your opinion.Told in a fun, realistic tone, My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters is a compelling read both for body image issue and summer.

First of all, it has a lovely plot, though every typical. With many twists as well as predictable moments, the story will keep readers absorbed in it until the very last page. Jory's journey to discover self-adoration includes lots of ups and downs, sometimes at peace, sometimes full of drama. Mother-daughter conflict? Broken friendship? Shattered heart? Unexpected romance? You name it, you get it. Combined in a skillful way, these turn "I've seen it before" moments into "I've never seen it that way" ones. In addition, Sydney Salter's friendly and natural voice does a great job on making you feel like you're reading about people from real life, someone you know, not a product of imagination.

Jory oh Jory. How much I love this girl! She's so ordinary, one with almost nothing special (if being a total wrecker counts then she does) but to me, she's still the coolest. She's one of the a few character I've ever felt really connected to. Certainly Jory is crazy, clumsy, clueless, unpopular, she doesn't do really well in her study, she isn't that great with guys and she doesn't even know what she wants. But, her inner beauty make up for it all. She has such a pure heart; she's nice, caring and never tries to hurt or harm anyone. And no, she's not an angel or someone too good to be true; she's just nice, real nice.

Apart from Jory, other characters are significant, too, in one or another way. On the good side there're Jory's Mom and Gideon. They both annoyed me in some parts but all turn out to be really good, especially the guy. He was so unpredictable and fun; moreover, never afraid to appear bad or girly. The romance between the two was one of the things I loved the most from the book - and on and off kind that leaves you nothing but the crave for more. How about the evil side? So sad to say even when they "redeemed" in the end, I couldn't stop being pissed at Jory's friends. They're so selfish, mean and ignorant. A true friend wouldn't hurt you like that - acting all lovey dovey with your crush in front of you then insisting nothing happens between them. Ugh!

Above all, this book is a brilliant debut for Sydney Salter. It showed her talent in conveying a common teen issue into something light-hearted, close to heart but still thought-provoking. If you ask me what good it'd do you to read My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters, I'd ensure you'd gain two things: an unconditional love for yourself, and a fictional bestfriend named Jory Michaels.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (16)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate.

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake.

Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.

From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrov
e.


I want to read this book because:
-1. The cover is so alluring. So I judge a book by its cover, what's the big deal? It makes the book look half teen, half adult don't you think? I just wish it would be less dark. My eyes hurt : (
-2. Sounds dangerous and sinful. Accidental death is not something I'm into, but the progress of how the secret is hidden and later, exposed is really really fun.
-3. The author seems new (or is it just the clueless me?) I want to check out her writing!

Beware of betrayal on Nov 12th 2009 ><

Tuesday 19 May 2009

In My Mailbox (17)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Cheers for the great books~!!!!


After by Amy Efaw.

Who would leave their own baby in the trash to die?

Certainly not someone like Devon--a straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother. But desparation and panic drover her to do what most people can't even imagine. Now Devon's in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder. If she's tried as an adult, she faces life in prison.

Does Devon deserve that punishment? Your answer depends on whether you believe her story--that she didn't even know she was pregnant. Was she buried in a denial so deep that she was unable to register the seemingly obvious signs of pregnancy? Or were her actions the result of a more devious, premeditated plan?

I caught a glimpse of this book at Reviewer X's blog and knew I had to get my hands on this one other else I'd be crazy. The synopsis created such a strong impression on readers and the cover looked as if it was calling to you "Get.Me.Home. I demand!". The subject of pregnancy is so touchy, therefore I'm really attracted to this book. I'm saving it for a free weekend since it looks long.


Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph.

High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out — doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T — and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest — and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize — Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare....

A contest prize, again. Actually, I won the second price which included Shrinking Violet goodies but because I lived so far, Danielle offered a signed copy of the book instead. So great isn't it? I love reading about shy girls and how they learn to break their shells. Don't you?


Undone by Brooke Taylor.

Kori Kitzler is the "dark angel" of her high school: beautiful, mysterious, the subject of rumors. Serena Moore is just an average girl, until a run-in with Kori in the bathroom in eighth grade. When Kori tells her that they are more alike than she thinks, Serena is instantly intrigued, and their fateful friendship begins.

When the girls are asked to complete a writing assignment listing the five things they would want to happen--their five ways to tempt fate--Serena doesn't take it seriously. But when something tragic happens to Kori, Serena is left with her loneliness and Kori's five things. Can Serena complete her best friend's tasks, or will she leave her list undone?


This book sounds mysterious. The synopsis left me in awe not knowing what to expect. I have a feeling that it's going to be really sad and deep. I adore the cover really much, too. Have you ever read this one? Care to tell me your opinion?


So that's all I got. Next week should be better cos I'm expecting a few review copies to come.
How about you?

Thanks to Danielle Joseph, Brooke Taylor, Amy Efaw and Jullian from Viking for giving me a chance to have these books.

Monday 18 May 2009

Sunday Special (16) 13 Reasons Why Going 30!

In case you didn't know, my number one favorite book Th1rteen Re3sons Why has been a New York Times best-seller for 29 weeks, which means...it'll take only a bit to go on 30. Awesome, isn't it? So, on this special occasion, to show how much I'm crazy about this book, I'm going to post all the different editions of its cover today!


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Left to right, top to bottom: US, UK, Brazilian, Italian, Polish, German, Korean and Japanese Japanese and Korean (sorry for the confusion).

So what do you think? I'm in love with these. Whoever designed the covers must have been really creative and careful. Look at the Brazilian and Italian one, so impressive! I seriously cannot tell which is the best, for me it's a tie between Brazilian and UK ones at the moment.

Oh and don't forget to enter the contest to win a signed copy of 13RW and many more cool stuff over Jay's blog.

: )

Thursday 14 May 2009

A Certain Slant Of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: September 2005
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288pp
Format: paperback
Source: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Graphia

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

Such a lovely read this book is. Although all the thrill and mystery included didn't come up to my expectation, it was still a nice story about ghosts. Scary? No. Dark? A little bit. Meaningful? Hell yeah.

Light is the way the author called the Death, and Quick the Human. They connect to each other one way or another - some ghosts have to cling to the hosts in order to get through the days, while, some, if lucky, could take control of the living body of those whose spirits choose to drift away and let the flesh hollow. This is a fresh take, on exploring the world of the Death, you also learn so much about Life, especially ones of people who are still breathing but are no different from the bodiless creatures.

The first thing I noticed about this story was the ghosts were so nice, not to say vulnerable. Helen didn't float freely in the sky, she didn't stir things to scare people, she didn't even know how she looked like. To survive, she had to be close to her hosts and never to wish for anything more than to be with them. She went through 130 years with so much pain and fear, pain of not knowing how to really interact with them, fear of losing them and being dragged back to darkness. The most ironic thing was when a human saw her, Helen was terrified and embarrassed. I was annoyed at first, but as the story went on, I wasn't anymore. Why? Because in this stories the ghosts were just like human - they had weaknesses, they had feelings, they had desires too.

The adventure of exploring who they were and why they were here of Helen and James - the guy in the boy body was very enjoyable. Love snuck in and everything turned out to be crazy for both. Excitement rose when they found away to be together and got stuck in a bunch of troubles they weren't ready for. During my read sometimes I lost track of the main point, like the story just went on and on and I didn't know what to expect. But as the end neared, everything was cleared - the message was about how precious life is. It can be dark, it can be miserable, it can be so so meaningless you just want to escape from it, but if you drive out all the bads, there're so many things and people to live for. Just the ability to smell, to taste, to feel the skin is enough for life to be cherished. And the key to let your spirit free is to forgive yourself.

One more thing I love to mention about this book - it's so inspiring. After reading it, if you're a writer, you'll love to write more. If you're a reader, you'll want to snatch another book. The way it's illustrated by words is simply beautiful and poetic.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (15)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr.

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.

Three reasons why I can't wait for this book to come out:

1. The cover is so beautiful. If it captures the story well enough, I'm 100% sure I'm going to enjoy it to the max. Just look at that flower as an O - how creative.
2. Its Sara Zarr's "production". I've yet to pick up her books but I've heard from everyone that she's really great. And her books seem sad, which is just perfect for me.
3. Love the synopsis. It'll be nice to see a naive girl exploring the real world when things aren't so nice and pleasant.

Let the book save you from being lost on Oct 1st, 2008


p.s anyone likes the new header? i was so bored so i made one for a change. the bluish colour makes me feel good :)

Monday 11 May 2009

In My Mailbox (16)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

I got a bunch of new books, all from Houghton Mifflin ^^


Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

In the course of her dark and eventful tale, Cashore plays with the idea of awkwardness, how at a certain age gifts and talents are burdens, how they make it impossible to feel comfortable in the world. And in this she writes a fairly realistic portrait of teenage life into the baroque courts of her outlandish kingdoms…In many respects Graceling is a study of mysterious angers: it offers a perfect parable of adolescence, as its characters struggle with turbulent emotions they must learn to control. The consequences are more tangible than they usually are in more mundane settings—if Katsa loses control, she breaks someone's jaw by accident—but the principle is the same. The teenage characters in this novel, like some we may know in life, grow into their graces. They realize that their monstrous individuality is not so monstrous after all.

What more can I say? This book rocks. Everything about it makes me want to squeal like a fangirl - the cover, the synopsis, everything. I'm so glad I finally had a chance to read and review it because rumor has it that it's brilliant. I'm not in the position to say anything about the story but hopefully I'll enjoy it to the max!

Stay With Me Garret Freymann Weyr.

Leila Abranel, an Egyptian-American young adult, tries to understand her half-sister's suicide by learning the story of her family. She forms a strong attachment to her father's former wife so that she can learn more. In the end, she realizes that everyone has a different version of the story and that stories change over time depending on the teller's current perspective. Leila realizes the importance of family lore in continuing traditions and keeping loved ones alive in some small way.

There's no synopsis on the front flap of this book. It just said - Stay With Me is about how impossible and how important love is -but that what makes me hooked. Isn't it good to read something different? It doesn't say in the summary up there but I found out that it had a relationship between a teen and an adult. I so wanna see how it turned out to be.


After The Moment by Garret Freymann Weyr.

Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She’s smart. She’s brave. She’s also a self-proclaimed train wreck.Leigh Hunter is smart, popular, and extremely polite. He’s also completely and forever in love with Maia Morland.

Their young love starts off like a romance novel—full of hope, strength, and passion. But life is not a romance novel and theirs will never become a true romance. For when Maia needs him the most, Leigh betrays both her trust and her love.

Told with compassion and true understanding, After the Moment is about what happens when a young man discovers that sometimes love fails us, and that, quite often, we fail love.


After The Moment is going to be so sad : ( but I love sad stuff so I had to ask for a review copy. I just hope that I won't be heartbroken like any of the poor characters in from the story. Time to see how true romance is different from novelish romance.

My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter.

It’s the end of junior year, and summer is about to begin. The Summer of Passion, to be exact, when Jory Michaels plans to explore all the possibilities of the future--and, with any luck, score a boyfriend in the process. But Jory has a problem. A big problem. A curvy, honking, bumpy, problem in the form of her Super Schnozz, the one thing standing between Jory and happiness. And now, with the Summer of Passion stretched before her like an open road, she's determined for Super Schnozz to disappear. Jory takes a job delivering wedding cakes to save up for a nose job at the end of the summer; she even keeps a book filled with magazine cutouts of perfect noses to show the doctor. But nothing is ever easy for accident-prone Jory--and before she knows it, her Summer of Passion falls apart faster than the delivery van she crashes. In her hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel, Sydney Salter delivers a story about broadening your horizons, accepting yourself, and finding love right under your nose.

This is the book I want to read most of the batch. Why? Because it's so cute and so close to heart. I used to dislike my nose too - not as much as Jory but to some decent extent. I don't know if I should start reading now or save this one for summer. What do you think? Oh and my Mum thinks the cover looks creepy. How come? It's so cuteee!

A slant Of Light by Laura Whitcomb.

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.


I'm at page 100 of this book. So far so good is all I can say. The ghosts here are nothing like the normal ghosts, which is just...good. Nice romance too. I'll put up the review as soon as I finish it. Come back soon if you wanna know how I think, okay : )


So what books have you got? Which one will you read first?

Thanks to Kristin Cashore and Nayda from Houghton for these copies. I'm really appreciated.

Sunday 10 May 2009

Sunday Special (15) How Come We Are So Alike?

Simply, because we're twin covers! Haha. More lookalikes for you to munch on, including three pairs of twins.

Idea taken from Pop Culture Junkie


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The Secret Life Of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti.
Flirting With Boys by Hailey Abbott.

I so love this picture. It looks good on both covers don't you think? The pose of the couple is kind of strange, still it feels light and nice enough to capture attention. It's really hard to pick one but I'll go for Prince Charming because we gett to see more of the photograph and the orange header does a pretty good job of blending with the rest of the cover.


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The Fortunes Of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti.
Palms To The Ground by Amy Stolls.

Another Deb Caletti cover spotted as a twin of something else. Great shot too yeah? Once again I'll go for Deb book - it looks softer, nicer (more branches of trees and lighter colour you know). Also, don't you just dig the indigo background? So nostalgic and perfect for the title. I also like how her books got the same layout, when you put them together they make a cute collection.


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First Aid by Janet Davey.
Annie's Baby by Beatrice Sparks.

Annie's Baby made another appearance in Sunday Special Feature because I happened to come across a book that has same cover. Amazing how they both look so sad and gloomy, the blue scheme does make things sleepy and depressing hey? My choice would be First Aid. Like I said before I didn't like the girl's expression. Besides, I love head cut off covers.


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The Last Summer by Ann Brashares.
Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel.


Beautiful covers of the beautiful books. A little off topic but I so so so want to read these two. They look (and sound) so great!!! Anyway bout the similarities, can you spot some? Since their concepts are almost the same I bet you can tell loads, my favorite part is how they turn their back to us and look towards the ocean - seem pretty calm and peaceful.


Enough for today. Hopefully I'll spot more lookalike covers to show you next time.
Now, tell me your favorite!

Saturday 9 May 2009

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: February 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: from publisher - St. Martin Press

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.


I'd came across with so many mixed reviews of this book before I actually started that it became confusing to me. And now, after finishing Evermore, I'm even more confused. Why? Because I'm now having more mixed thoughts and feelings about the book.

Let me tell you what holds me back from being completely into Evermore - it's quite unrealistic. Sure it's paranormal, but it's still about a girl living in a normal world right? For some reason I cannot feel connected with the characters. Trust me, I've tried, yet I don't think I know much of Ever or Damen. Well, everyone would be able to learn that Ever was a poor girl with a sad past and some gift she didn't want to possess, and Damen - an immortal who was madly in love with our female lead. But that was it. I'd love to see more of the emotions side, something other than how Ever felt so left out and jealous of the girls. Everything seemed to revolve too much about her relationship with Damen, which to me, too, was pretty vague as well. I don't see how they got together so fast and how Ever was like, head over heals with him in such a period of time (for Damen it's okay because he's been there like...forever yeah?). At some points the story was draggy - one day Ever came to school happy because Damen was all over her, the next one she was mad for he acted like he didn't know that she existed and the unncessary repitition went on. You know, even at the last page, what I felt was that I was still in the process of understand the characters. It was a little bit sad.

On the other hand, there're a lot of things about this book that got me exicted. I like Ever's abnormal ability and how everyone around her was described in their auras - I actualy had fun learning the aura chart. Besides, there're some cute moments of Ever and Damen that would keep you giggling and aww-ing, like the tulips thing, for example. My favorite character? Riley. She was adorable though very cheeky, her love for Ever was something rather heartfelt. And of course, I must not forget to say how much I like Alyson Noel's writing - a nice and well-arranged kind.

Much as I pointed out the weaknesses of Evermore, I still think it got great potential. It's just the beginning of the series so there must be much more to come. Maybe in the future the characters will fully develop and we'll see every side of them clearly. There'll be many thrilling adventures await us in the next books, so don't hesitate to give Blue Moon a try when it comes out in July. Maybe Alyson Noel will blow us away with it, hopefully.

Rating: 3/5

Friday 8 May 2009

An ARC Of Shiver Is Coming This Way!!!

Uhm okay I sound a little bit like a maniac but don't you just want to have this book on your hands right now? Well, thanks to some crazy people on eBay who sold and bought an ARC of Shiver at the prize of $51, Maggie Stiefvater has decided to throw one our way. She's so cool, isn't she?

For those who haven't heard of Shiver (I'm pretty sure everyone has though), here's the synopsis:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.



Can't wait? Me too. I love the wolves so much I squealed reading the summary. You can pre order Shiver here, or if you're any lucky, enter Maggie's contest. The details are right below.

Taken from Maggie's LJ:

It's running from May 8-15th. The idea is to convince as many of your LJ or blogger or wordpress friends to post about SHIVER (you don't have to pay them, although it might help). Winner is whoever manages to get as many of their friends to post and comment back here by 8 p.m. EST on the 15th.

And the reward? Okay. Here it is. First of all, you have to get at least 5 friends to blog about it to be eligible. Winner gets:

- a signed ARC of SHIVER
- 4 signed copies of LAMENT
- and for each of the friends that you got to comment, a critique of the first 5 pages of any of their manuscripts

And if any single person manages to get over 50 friends to comment, I'll make it 3 ARCs of SHIVER and 8 copies of LAMENT.


So what are you waiting for? It's time to beg, nag and threaten your friends to blog about this for you (and themselves too) to be able to be one of the winner. Don't forget to go here and tell Maggie about your post and you heard about the contest from me. I love you. I know you love me to too!

Good luck to all of us :D

Wednesday 6 May 2009

The Book Review Club May - Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: June 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: paperback
Source: gift from friend

There are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.


Before I start reviewing, let me just say that I have a big crush on this book (if it makes any sense). Don't ask me why because there's something that lures me in and I think I had fallen in love with Two Way Street even before I opened it. But I'll try to be as much objective as I can.

Upon glancing at the cover and skimming the synopsis, I had this feeling that the book was going to be really sad. Firstly, because it was about a breakup and its aftermath; second, words of the blurb sounded nothing but nostalgic. I was expecting a lot of breaking down and crying and grieving. To my amazement, I found most of the book funny and cute.

The story started at the beginning of the roadtrip of Courtney and Jordan, later jumped back and forth between current happenings and the past. Parallelingly telling us how the trip went on, the author also gave us a full view of how the couple got together in the first place. Because the irony was so obvious - the guy broke up with his girlfriend for another girl. yet still agreed to go on a roadtrip with his ex - you couldn't but wonder if there was something else that led to the separation. Actually, I was torn between the two parts; one moment I wanted to see what was next, a second later I found myself gaping at how their relationship sprung. Sometimes it could be confusing, since besides switching the time, Lauren Barnhodlt also let us approach the story in different points of views.

The writing was really nice. It wasn't embellished with flowery words or complicated descriptions. Everything, on the contrary, was simple and straight to be point. The dialougues fell real and natural, even though the mention sex of was often, I felt more funny than uncomfortable. However, there was something I have to say - this book is not going to be interesting from page one to the end. The secret mentioned in the synopsis (which, I think, is what you want to learn most) was unfolded in the early chapters. So do not expect the thrill or mystery.

What to expect then? Expect love. True love.

I really really really like how love was portrayed in this novel. It started with a break up, so it felt like we were going upstream. Seeing the unfamiliar Jordan and Courtney crossing their paths of lives and broken up Jordan and Courtney gathering pieces of themselves that still remained in each other's worlds at the same time was not something I usually experienced. It was different. Their love story was very simple actually. They met, unintentionally became attached with each other and felt in love. The special thing of it was how they expressed it. If you read the book, you know what I mean. The characters were just genuine and honest in love. Every single gesture towards each other, everything they said, conscious or not, exuded an aura of beautiful love that I couldn't explain. Like how Jordan tied up Courtney's hair or when she burst out when she saw the hamburger he bought finally had cheese in it. It was a kind of raw and heartfelt one you shouldn't miss.

Overall it's a nice book about love and roadtrip. I think you will love to give it a try.

Rating: 4/5 (not biased, I swear '^^)

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (14)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine.

Ballads Of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert.

Ballads are the kind of songs that Kara McNaughton likes best. Not the cliched ones where a diva hits her highest note or a rock band tones it down a couple of notches for the ladies, but the true ballads: the punk rocker or the country crooner telling the story of their life in three minutes, the chorus reminding their listeners of the numerous ways to screw things up. In high school, Kara helped maintain the "Stories of Suburbia" notebook, which contained newspaper articles about bizarre and often tragic events from suburbs all over and personal vignettes that Kara dubbed "ballads" written by her friends in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. Those "ballads" were heartbreakingly honest tales of the moments when life changes and a kid is forced to grow up too soon. But Kara never wrote her own ballad. Before she could figure out what her song was about, she was leaving town after a series of disastrous events at the end of her junior year. Four years later, Kara returns to face the music, and tells the tale of her first three years of high school with her friends' "ballads" interspersed throughout.

What can I say? I love Stephanie Kuehnert. It's so exciting to learn that her upcoming book is also about life, love, music and everything in between. The plot excites me more than I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone did, more intense and nostalgic perhaps. I really cannot wait to see how Kara's ballads are going to be. Oh and I have to say, I adore the title and the cover of the book so much *squeals*




Since I want to make you as hyped up as me, I have to post this trailer :)




Listen to the ballads on the July 21st. You know you want to.

Monday 4 May 2009

In My Mailbox (15)

Idea taken from The Story Siren.

More books to munch on everyone!

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga.

Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.
Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.
If only he knew what the truth was . . .

This book is just...scandalous. Totally something so new and a bit bold for my style. On the other hand I'm really curious. It must be really hard for Josh to deal with everything in his life, especially his past. I can't wait to start reading Boy Toy.


A Bad Boy Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone.

Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy–a cool, slick, sexy boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt, each girl struggles with how much to give up and what ultimately to keep for herself. How do girls handle themselves? How much can a boy get away with? And in the end, who comes out
on top? A bad boy may always be a bad boy. But this bad boy is about to meet three girls who won’t back down.

The title sounds so yummy I cannot let it go. I'm really lucky to have my hands on the copy because it's a Randomhouse title. I think I'm going to enjoy this book really much due to my bad boy obsession (hehe). Which girl do you think will change the guy?


Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors.

From the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . . .

The synopsis makes me squeal inside - it's simply cute. Sounds like these stories we used to read back then when we were young and naive : ) Just that back then, the guardian doesn't fall in love with the normal girl. I'm kind of sure that this book will warm my heart and teach me a lot of things about coffee too.


Also, I received One Wish by Leigh Brescia - contest prize.


Special thanks to Suzanne Selfors, Leigh Brescia, Caroline Meckler and Jennifer Taber for sending me all these fabulous books.


So what did you guys get? Tell me!