Monday 31 May 2010

In My Mailbox (55)

Idea taken from The Story Siren.

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead.

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to beg. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

This was supposed to come with the two books last week but just reached me today. I've been waiting forever for this fifth installment of VA to come out and cannot wait any longer to start reading. I heard that the last book would come out in 2011 and I'm already looking forward to it. Have you read this one yet?

Thanks Erin again for all the books ^^

Friday 28 May 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Publisher: Hacourt Children's Books
Pub. Date: May 3rd 2010
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - HCB

Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.

Jekel Loves Hyde is intriguing, dark and full of secrets. If you're a fan of paranormal, you cannot miss it out.

Readers that have read and loved Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or are interested in chemistry will probably be extra fond of this book. If you don't belong to those two groups, it's fine too, because Jekel Loves Hyde still have more things to offer. Mystery, romance and a plenty of insanity are what will keep you read on and on.

The book has a very potential plot to begin with, it's based on a fiction in the past so everything seems very mysterious. Because of that, too, the two main characters are linked with each other and they seem to click immediately. The pace is always fast, so the whole story, from page 1 to 288, is extremely intense.

What I like about the book is that the problem is introduced very soon and got tangled up with others later so you won't have to wait for too long nor lose interest half way. With a wicked formula that can affect anyone, we can't predict how the characters will act or turn out to be.

Having said that, I still think Jekel Loves Hyde lacks something. Maybe it's because I've heard lots of praise for Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side I expect something huge from this book but couldn't find any, or because Jill is not as witty and strong as I want the female lead to be, or, as stated above, the book is always intense but doesn't have any super intense moment it lessen the effect.

Above all, to me, it's still a very good book. Totally worth the wait.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (61)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Girl Parts by John M. Cusick.

"Hello, David. My name is Rose. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We are now entering minute two of our friendship. According to my Intimacy Clock, a handshake is now appropriate…"

David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot to encourage healthy bonds and treat "dissociative disorder," he can’t get enough of luscious red-headed Rose — and he can’t get it soon.

Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Severed from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal "companion" is about to become her own best friend.

In a stunning and hilarious debut, John Cusick takes rollicking aim at internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uber-connected world.

This book sounds fun, super unique but close to heart as well. I really don't know what to expect of this book so I'm looking forward to it even more. Hopefully it comes out as well as the synopsis promises. What do you think of it?

Meet the hot companion on August 10th 2010

Monday 24 May 2010

In My Mailbox (54)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

It's been a while since I last had an IMM post. Finally, my mailbox isn't empty anymore ^^

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta.

Melina Marchetta's brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca - only this time it's five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving. Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world. But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death. And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

The Lonely Heart's Club by Elizabeth Eulberg.

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .

Melina Marchetta is my number one favorite author so I'm really excited to read this book. I'm sure her awesome writing won't disappoint me. The Lonely Hearts Club looks so good I couldn't help but request for it. I have read lots of mixed reviews on this one, but I hope I end up liking it anyway.

Thanks Erin from Penguin Aus for all the books : )

Friday 21 May 2010

Lost It by Kristen Tracy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Pub. Date: January 23rd 2007 by
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - S&S Aus

What would you do...

...if your best friend were plotting the annihilation of a small, furry neighborhood poodle? Or if your parents up and moved to an Outward Bound-type survival camp in the middle of the desert? How about if your grandmother bought you new bras and underwear -- and you actually thought they were a teensy bit, umm, sexy?

Most people would not react well.

Tess Whistle's junior year of high school is off to a fairly bizarre start. One might even say her life is spiraling out of control. But with her sense of humor firmly intact and her first real boyfriend on her arm, Tess is dealing with the ridiculous twists quite well, thankyouverymuch.

Just wait until her shoes explode.

Honestly, I don't have much to say about this book. Like the title suggests, it's a story about "losing it".

The book reminds me of Anatomy Of A Boyfriend because both book discusses the same issue. If there's any difference, Lost It is less explicit and contains of the bizarre characters and situations. However, the reason that I finished this book is I was curious about why Tess' romance comes to an end. Plus there's a lot of things about wild life that we can all learn from this book.

The first few chapters of Lost It is okay to me but it starts to drag later. Although there are a lot of problems to solve in Tess's life, it seems to me that they don't connect well together, making the story pretty boring at some points.

Like I said, the characters are pretty bizarre, especially Zena and Tess's boyfriend. The one I like the most is her grandma because she's very cool and understanding. The rest, I don't have much of an impression.

The ending is okay, pretty meaningful I think. But as a whole book, I think this one doesn't come up to my expectation.

Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (60)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Matched by Ally Condie.

In the novel, a 17-year-old girl, who has waited her entire life to be told by a group known as “the Society” who her soul mate is, has her world upended when she discovers she’s in love with someone other than the group’s pick. Don Weisberg, president of Penguin Young Readers Group, along with Lauri Hornik, president and publisher of Dutton Children’s Books, and Julie Strauss-Gabel, associate publisher of Dutton Children’s, all worked on the deal, which is for North American rights. Gabel, who will edit the book, said that it “will make readers crave the passion of uncertainty and cherish the power of the written word.

After reading Cinderella Society, I've come to love the idea of society real much and this is more interesting that this one holds the power to tell its member who her soul mate is. I have a feeling this story is going to be very dark and romantic as well. And not to mention the cover. It's beautiful and portrays the book very well.

Are you and this book a match? Find your answer on November 30th 2010.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub. Date: December 16th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 252
Format: Hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Disney Hyperion

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

A balanced story of paranormal and thriller that you might consider picking up, although it's not guaranteed that Deadly Little Secret will satisfy fans of these two genres to the max.

Personally I think the story is okay. The plot is well developed, most of the characters are interesting and the excitement/thrill is to be felt during the story. I love the idea of Touch - the power to see someone's past, present and even future. Even though that is used in a lot of books already, I find the description in Deadly Little Secret the most. With the background of the male lead, it's suddenly more mysterious.

I like that lots of characters are introduced, making us enable to predict what's going to happen next or who's the creeper. Also, scenes of Camelia's being scared at home are very intense, capturing all of my attention. I think I'm slowly interested in thrillers nowadays.

There are a few things that I don't like about Deadly Little Secret too. It suddenly slows down when we reach the most exciting part. I expected a more eventful escape of Camelia. It's too fast and I don't feel its impact on the story. And Camelia is sometimes very clueless. I mean you can trust your savior but the way she acts, like she knows he's danger but still heads to him. And her friends annoy me often. They don't add much to the story either.

Having said all that, I still enjoyed Deadly Little Secret to an extent. And the ending is not that good doesn't mean I'm not curious to see what happens in the next book.

Rating: 3/5

Friday 14 May 2010

Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Turtle

Publisher: Dial, Penguin USA
Pub.Date: October 2nd 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Penguin USA

Paisley, a sophomore at Pleasant Hill High, is horrified when she is transferred out of Yearbook and into Drama, home of the freaks and weirdos. She's already lost her friend Jen to the lure of the ├╝berpopular crowd. But those teens are also the bullies of the school, picking on anyone too timid to fight back. As her disillusion with them grows, Paisley makes new, truer friends among the drama set. Still, she struggles with the desire to fit in versus total disgust with the actions of the in-crowd. Writing a column for the school newspaper under the pseudonym "Miss UnPleasant," she makes radical statements praising unpopularity and gets the entire student body talking, making Un the "it" thing to be. Paisley's struggle with the social hierarchy of high school will strike a cord with every teen, popular or Un. Tuttle's writing is quirky and witty, full of fabulous language and phrasings and spot-on with today's teen vernacular.

Quirky, unusual and super fun, Paisley Hanover Acts Out is the first book of a promising series about a popular girl who decides to fight for the unpops. Tired of naive innocent unpopular female lead? This book will give you a different flavor.

Paisley Hanover Acts Out looks pretty crazy and unique on the cover, which portrays the story perfectly. The plot is not typical though can be found in some previous books - a pop got abandoned by her community and turns to the crown she's never joined before, surprised to feel more belonged than ever.

The narration is super funny. Paisley doesn't act like a pop. She's totally crazy and unpredictable and do/say things that are very unexpected. She's just a normal teenager who has her own crush, who wants to do great things and cannot stand to see the evils take over the school. I love how she slowly gets involved with the unpops - who I think are just as awesome as she is. They're different with distinguishable characters that you might not even find in the so beautiful pops.

The story is very well-planned. Although it seems that Paisley gets herself into a lot of messes, the author does a great job of untangle everything, and in an exciting, fun way as well. You can never tell what's going to happen next. The writing is very witty but feels close, not unfamiliar.

The ending of the book does not answer every question because there's another installment coming up but it's enough to satisfy me. Go read and see which male lead you root for. It's gonna be a hot issue in the next book.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (59)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

When Rose Wakes by Christopher Golden.

An enchanting tale by Christoper Golden about a teenager who wakes from a coma and slowly comes to realize that she is Sleeping Beauty of fairy tales.

It's not much of a synopsis but this seems so promising. I love how it sounds. Coma & fairy tale together? Definitely worth checking out. What do you think? Oh and don't forget the beautiful cover!

What happens when Rose wakes? Find the answer onSeptember 28th 2010.

Saturday 8 May 2010

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub.Date: March 25th 2008
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 284
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: purchased

Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast.

Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.

And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them....

If you're a fan of Elizabeth Scott, be sure not miss out on this book. Its simplicity as well as meaningfulness will reach out to each and every reader regardless of age and gender.

I realized, after reading a few books by Elizabeth Scott that her stories always sound very pleasant and light, the kind of tone that draws you in and makes you feel comfortable no matter how desperate or bad the circumstances may get. The author always has an excellent way of bringing in situations that might not make much sense if portrayed unskillfully - how you're with a perfect but still feels it's not enough (in Bloom) or how your Dad quits his job to chase after vitamin pills and push the family into crisis (in Perfect You).

The synopsis make the book sounds pretty cute for me, but it is actually more than I expected. Kate isn't just a typical teenager with normal problems that one will complain over and over again. Her life is really sucks. Her only best friend abandons her, the guy she falls for seems to be a player, her Dad makes everything complicated by starting his own vitamin business and she even has an annoying grandma to deal with. With all that, the story still appears pleasant, told in a gentle voice with steady speed yet never loses its depth.

I really Kate She's delicate but she's not some weak meek one. She also dares to speak her mind but won't hesitate to cry if she's sad. Her character development is excellent too. I love how she's cynical and defensive at first but loosens up later. Her relationship with Will is very interesting to follow but the thing that captures my attention the most is her friendship with Anna. It's really painful and I cannot understand Anna at some points. But that makes the story more compelling and realistic than ever.

Well enough said, I think you should go and read it yourself. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 5 May 2010

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB MAY 10 - Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub. Date: August 25th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 503
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Penguin Aus

How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.

He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

If I was allowed to review this book in four words, I'd say READ IT RIGHT NOW, but because I can't, I'm going to spazz over this series just like always. If you're a reader, you just can't miss this. And if you're a vampire lover, it's your loss should you not pick up this series.

Blood Promise is a little bit different from the rest from the series because this time it's about Rose's adventure out there in the real world and totally alone. It's darker, somewhat sadder and more mysterious with lots of new characters introduced, minor and major abide.

The story focuses more on Rose this time with her relationships with her mom, her friends and above all, her love with Dimitri. Readers will get a chance to know of Dimitri's family, his life at home and how he is as a normal son. Of course, the writer didn't forget to update us about Lissa and everyone back in the academy, where things also gets very complicated than ever. And we cannot forget about shadow kiss right?

One thing I like about Blood Promise is that it finally gives us the point of view of Strigois, how they want to conquer the world, how it feels to be one. It's really interesting to see Dimitri in this new form although it's a little scary. And did I mention how weaky and vulnerable Rose appears at some moments? Totally different.

My only complaint is that there's not enough of action factor in this book. There are a few fights but none is as intense as ones in the previous installments. The end is really unexpected though, promising an even more amazing book to come this May.

I know you'll pick this book up, so enjoy it : )

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday 2 May 2010

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman

Publisher: Scholastic, Point
Pub. Date: July 1st 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 244
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: from the publisher

Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels.

Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead - excpet Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts - a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen.

And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.

As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy...and that some secrets - especially the dangerous ones - were never meant to be unraveled.

A mixture of contemporary and thriller, And Then Everything Unraveled makes sure to satisfy readers' different tastes.

I really enjoyed this book because it seems different. You cannot tell at first it's a normal story about a girl who suddenly lost her mother or a thrilling mystery about a disappearance. Everything goes slow and natural, making you want to read more and more.

The thing I like about this book is that the narration is really good. It controls the whole mood of the story. Even though we got the news of a dead mother, Delia's voice is so strong you have to agree with her that it's such a false belief. The mood of the story isn't exactly bright or dark, so it keeps you wondering which way the author will choose to go. Step by step, like the title indicate, everything unravels.

We got a very calmed and collected, smart Delia as our main character. We also got the two interesting aunts who are absolutely different from each other but both are surely great and fun ones. Others also appeal to me because they are sort of mysterious, like you really don't know who's friends with Delia and who should bring her harm. For the romantic parts of this book, I didn't squeal or anything, but I still find the couple cute.

The end is a kind of open one, even though we finally have our answer about Delia's mother. I hope we'll have a sequel or something because I feel there's a lot to be explained.

Rating: 3.5/5