Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Reads

It's summer!Which means that it's time for all book lovers to select books for their summer reading shelves.There's a two and a half summer vacation for students,and families are already making plans for going on trips near the beach,whether it's the Pacific area or Europe,it simply doesn't matter.So have you selected books for your summer reading list yet?If not,here's something to get you started:

So enjoy your summer burying your nose into books!(Oh,and by the way,piece of advice: try keeping it low on reading during family trips.It can sometimes highly annoy family members.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Review:Romeo Redeemed by Stacie Jay

Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2)Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Expected publication: October 9th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Reader 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy.

The blurb: 
All will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself.

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.

My Review:
It is very rare to have a sequel which is as good as or better than the first one.While Romeo Redeemed does not fall into these category that does not mean that it was disappointing.For those who have Juliet Immortal,remember where we last left Romeo in Dylan's body? Well it starts from there and somehow, we see Romeo becoming a good guy as he tries to make Ariel fall in love with him within three days.Then there's also a glimpse of Romeo's past, and of the mistakes he had made.In the beginning and the middle, the story turns its course towards the chick-lit genre (not that I didn't enjoy that) but then sets back on track towards the end (Thank god, for there's only so much of something that I can take). But anyways, I'd recommend it to anyone who has read Juliet Immortal and would advise those who haven't to read Juliet Immortal first before reading this as you might be a bit confused with the story-line.(By the way, I'm always up for a third book but I'd advise the author to think twice before planning on writing one).

And for those who haven't read the first book(i.e,Juliet Immortal) yet,check out its goodreads page:

Perfect soundtrack for the story:
Love Story by Taylor Swift (But I guess you already knew that ;D)

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Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ever thought of a cyborg Cinderella?And yes, I do mean like the cyborgs which we see in sci-fi movies and comic books,so don't think that I'm talking about something else.Well,Marissa Meyer was actually able to think up such a concept for her book,Cinder.
By this time you've probably figured this out, but still I'm mentioning it.Cinder is a dystopian re-telling of Cinderella.The prince charming in this book is a hot Chinese guy and the main character,Cinder, is a cyborg.Not only that,she's also the best mechanic in the city.The story is set in New Beijing,the capital of the Eastern Commonwealth,whose king is Kai's(our prince charming)father.But then he gets infected by this deadly plague which has been been spreading throughout the empire.We also come across the existence of this civilization of Lunar people whose queen is trying to make the lives of our world's leaders hell.There is nothing they can do but compromise because she has strong troops and they know that starting a war would make things only worse.Don't worry,we still have the evil stepsisters(well,one of them anyways)and stepmother.After all what's a good story without its main villains?To give you an even better idea of the story,here's the blurb:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

But let me tell you one more thing.I would've liked Cinder a whole lot better if Marissa Meyer described Cinder's personality more like this:


than like this:

You know,a bit bad-ass. Not that I'm complaining. I absolutely loved Cinder because of it's uniqueness from the other fairy-tale re-tellings.The fact that the author was able to think up such a plot was more than enough to impress me.The book ends in a cliffhanger and according to the author,there will be three more sequels to the book.
Cinder has also been translated to Italian and Spanish.Here are the covers:
This one's the Italian cover:
and this is the Spanish one.

 I know,I know.The Italian cover's way cooler.But some disappointments just have to be borne.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Book Review:The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl #3)

The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3)The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary:
Artemis Fowl II, criminal mastermind aged 12 is off on another crazy encounter with fairies accompanied with his ever-faithful bodyguard Butler. In this adventure, Artemis builds a cube with stolen fairy technology. It is stolen by Jon Spiro, a Chicago business man....

My Review:
I've always liked the main concept of the Artemis Fowl series,how a twelve year old criminal mastermind discovers the existence of a whole civilization living hidden right under our very nose,or should I say feet?To tell you the truth,I think of Artemis Fowl as a role model.He might be a criminal mastermind but still,he is extremely successful.In fact,a couple of years ago, I myself had this dream of becoming the world's youngest billionaire.But I know better and with the level concentration I put in my studies,that's not gonna happen.But I enjoyed The Eternity Code way more than the other two books.It was more action-packed and adrenaline kicking while I felt that the other two,while not half bad,was a bit numb and unmoving.This surprised me a bit,since it's usually the first books which are better than the sequels.Not that I'm complaining.After all, a good book IS a good book.;)And honestly,you could practically see the smirk on my face when Spiro gets tricked by Artemis and Foaly acts as if he's the cube. I really didn't like the guy since he got on my nerves too much.But then again, there cannot be a story without a villain.
But whatever,at least Butler's still alive!The story just wouldn't be the same without Butler as Artemis's bodyguard. [Butler's still alive!The story wouldn't be the same without Butler as Artemis's bodyguard. (hide spoiler)]

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal RulesThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published: April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen 

 I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader's copy.


In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

 My Review:

I'm not a big fan of the vampire fiction genre but I decided to give The Immortal Rules a chance since I loved Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.And I'm glad that I did because otherwise, I would have missed reading one of the greatest books of the YA genre that has ever been written.The author brought out the true meaning of dark romance through this novel.In fact,I think this is the first time I've enjoyed a YA vampire fiction so much.

"You are a monster."Kanin's deep voice droned in my head again,As I forced myself to move,to walk away."You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it.But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you."

The background of the story,being a dystopic one, is set in an era where vampires have taken over and humans are treated like animals, being kept alive only for their blood.But there are still humans rebelling against the cruelty of the vampires,opposing this system and living hidden in the outskirts of the city,taking to theft as a means of survival.Allison,being one of these people, hates vampires more than anything.But then she confronts a situation where,in order to survive,she has to become one of them.

The concept of vampires crying tears of blood really intrigued me.Just the thought of it makes me shiver.I wonder why the other authors haven't thought of that idea,considering the fact that so many series on vampire fiction have been published over the last few years.Not only that,the tears of blood which Allison sheds reveals the humanity within her,despite the fact that she's a vampire.Throughout the book,we see Allison trying to hold back her monstrous
instincts and experiencing human emotions such as sorrow and love,and how the conflict between her two parts
slowly tries to break her.

The Immortal Rules is a beautiful and riveting paranormal fiction,with a dystopic background which adds more spice to the story.

Perfect Soundtrack for the story:
Before The Dawn by Evanescence 

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 The Blurb:

I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, 

like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

My Review:

Beware!Do not read this unless you have read Delirium.Might be some spoilers.

"Behind us the door creaks open, and I turn around,expecting Raven,just as a voice cuts through the air: 'Don't believe her.' "

Pandemonium starts off with a depressed and numb Lena,who is heartbroken from leaving Alex behind.But then,burying her feelings of Alex deep within her when she joins Raven and the other Invalids,all that she leaves revealed is the numbness.But even then,we see signs,or rather,glimpses of her emotions as she gets to know her fellow Invalids better and her feelings towards them gradually softens.(view spoiler)[Then when she's supposed to be on an undercover mission,she falls in love all over again with Julian,who's supposedly the enemy,thinking to give love another chance.And just then,when it's going to be all happily ever after,Alex had to appear out of nowhere and all he says are just three words,but those three words were enough to break my heart. (hide spoiler)]

But overall except for some of the "then" parts at the beginning and the middle which I thought were a bit numb,the book was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.And now, for the time being I'll be twisting and turning in my bed for nights until the release of the third book because in no way will I be able to get such a cliff-hanger out of my head.

(by the way,I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the author for providing me with a copy)

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Book Review:Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Cabin Fever)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #6)Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays

My Review:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is like a legend.While writing, authors always think too deep about the plot of the story.This is where Jeff Kinney overruled the other authors. Why write a book so complicated when you can write a simple one which everyone will enjoy?I think it's the simplicity of the book that attracted so many readers.And the doodlings make it even more interesting.It also makes us realize how there are funny stuff going on around us all the time which we don't even notice.Maybe we do, but we just don't take the humor in it.Makes us realize how dull we have become.

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Book Review:Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Oppression (Children of the Gods, #1)Oppression by Jessica Therrien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

My Review:

I was really excited to read this since a friend of mine really loved the book and wrote such a nice review about it. But sadly, while I thought that the book was not half bad, it didn't meet my expectations either.The good thing was that Jessica Therrien did not include forbidden love or anything similar which was quite unique,and I always like an author who has unique plots in his/her book instead of writing about the usual stuff.But my happiness was short-lived when I saw that the ending was abrupt, which is quite common nowadays.Of course leaving a reader mystified is a good thing, but leaving a story incomplete by making such an abrupt ending is not.The story also lacked much explanation and action as well, which might have made it more interesting.But I really liked the way the author showed the relationship between Elyse and William and also her relationship with Anna.But I'll still read the second book, and hopefully the author will make it more interesting.

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Book Review:Grave Mercy by R.L LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

 "Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?"

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

 My Review:

I always love a story with a tough heroine who does not act all damsel in distress and rely on their true love to rescue them.R.L. LaFevers did a great job in portraying my ideal story book heroine. She portrayed Ismae as a girl with a strong personality and impressive skills, but in the end,one with a tender heart like every other female in this world which reveals itself as she starts spending more and more time with Duval.Her mental strength was what really impressed me the most. She never let her father have the satisfaction in ruining her life.In fact, the correct statement here would be that the author created what the ideal daughter of death would be like.Vengeful and skilled in the arts of death.

Perfect soundtrack for the story:
Sweet Sacrifice by Evanescence 

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Book Review:Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My Review:

Review copy of this book was provided by the author.

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever.

In a dystopic America where love is considered as a lethal disease known as amor deliria nervosa , Lauren Oliver tells the story of a timid girl named Lena and her encounter with love in such a world.

I loved how Lauren Oliver portrayed her image of a dystopic America in Delirium.At the age of eighteen,every American citizen has to go through the procedure of the "cure" which basically, in real terms,means getting rid of all the emotions present in a person.I found this concept very interesting.After all,what is a human without his/her humanity,or in other words, emotions?Emotions are what gives a person his/her humanity and makes them human.

In Lena's America,however,we see that humanity in humans is struggling to survive.There are many who,have gone through the cure and lost all their emotions.Then there are the invalids or the rebels who pretend to be cured but are actually working against the government.And finally,there are those who are below eighteen,waiting to be cured,and are in a dilemma since they are confused and don't know what to make of their emotions.

But that's just the background.The main story revolves around Lena, her wild and adventurous friend Hana,and Alex, the person who makes Lena realize that maybe love is not so horrible as everyone around her thinks.This also makes her have second thoughts on the fact that whether she really wants to get cured.

Suspenseful and dystopic, and with forbidden love at its core, Delirium is an ideal read for all YA fans.

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