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A blog for all my reviews, rants, thoughts, and whatnots. Well, yeah, pretty much. Also, there will be random posts about movies, music, and other mundane stuffs like that. But this will be mostly me blabbering, ranting, and gushing about my latest read. So, if you are one who finds bliss in sipping a cup of tea while reading a book on a rainy day such as myself, then by all means, read on! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kissing Coffins (Vampire Kisses #2) by Ellen Schreiber


Not far from Dullsville, someone's lurking in the dark. . . .
After meeting the handsome and shadowy Alexander Sterling, goth-girl Raven's dark world has a bright, new glow. But as in her favorite movie, Kissing Coffins, Raven knows that love always has its complications, especially when Alexander has a big secret to guard.
When Alexander suddenly disappears, Raven leaves Dullsville to begin a dangerous search to find him. Can she stay safe, no matter who—or what—she encounters on the way?

The Review:

Kissing coffins is, I must say, much better than the first one in the series. The story is quite exciting, for the most part. While Vampire Kisses is more on paranormal love story and mystery; Kissing Coffins is more on suspense. I mean, what could be more thrilling than a vampire stalker following and hunting you and your vampire lover? Yeah, maybe there are lots of things more thrilling than that, but still. This sequel gained another star from me. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. 
To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

The Review:

*wipes eyes, sniffs, and takes a deep breath*

 I want to write a review that is worthy of this amazing novel. So, where to start? 

When I first saw this book, I've expected a light, feel-good kind of YA romance novel. The title suggests a bit of a cheesy love story, which I have no idea I would flat-out devour.

 I would start of by introducing the MC. Julie Siggle is a college freshman who had an unfortunate situation of getting scammed into paying for a non-existent apartment. Luckily, her mother has been good friends with someone whose house is in that same area, which leads to her meeting with the Watkin's family. Enter Matt, a Geek (the exact term for him, and he prefers it that way), who is a double major of Physics and Math from MIT (see? absolute geek!) and the second son of her mother's friend---is the one who picked Julie up. Inside the Watkin's residence, she met Mr. and Mrs. Watkins, Celeste, the youngest of the siblings, and.....Flat Finn. Flat Finn is a cardboard cutout representation of their older brother, Finn. Finn is away...he's always traveling, that's why Celeste has Flat Finn as a substitute.

Julie, of course, found it strange that Celeste wants to keep a cardboard cutout of Finn. So, when she found the funny, gorgeous and hot Finn on Facebook (yes, facebook. the author is quite funky), she asked him why. But, neither Finn nor Matt answers any of her questions regarding Celeste. After a bunch of exchanged message and chats, Julie found herself falling in love with Finn, albeit he's far away and she's never met him personally. Julie was almost sure that Finn is "the one", until she found out all the answers to her every question about the Watkins family.

 Let's just end it up at that. I don't wanna mess up the twist. ;)

I flat-out love how the story ends in this novel. I am moved on how the characters struggle for their feelings towards the other, and how they exert effort for someone they love. I am glad that Julie has learned something during her stay at the Watkins residence---that Love is not always recognizable; Sometimes, love catches you off guard

 It takes an absolutely creative imagination to write an amazing, epic story such as this one. I just hope Jessica Park will write another epic love story like this. It is quite amazing how the story left me feeling heartbroken and flat-out in love at the same time in the end. Hands down, Flat-out Love is the most touching contemporary love story I have ever read. :')

Monday, September 19, 2011

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast—as the entrées.
The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

The Review:

So I was a bit sceptical before reading it, mainly because of the unicorn thingy. I mean, a unicorn? Really? But when I got to read the book, it proves to be an entertaining read. 

 I liked the idea of a vampire daywalker and the having the unicorn as the reason why Pearl, the main character, could come out during the day. It is supposedly exciting, mostly because of her emotional conflict because she doesn't know whom she would rather betray, her human friends or her kind, and somehow, it was. But as I the story unfolds, I find myself getting irked because it feels like I'm reading an ordinary love triangle, not a paranormal one. I mean, I'm looking for some vampire actions but there's not much of it here. Nonetheless, Drink, Slay, Love is an enjoyable read about love, friendship, and loyalty.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. 

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. 
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

The Review:

Soulless is my first steampunk book, and I must say that, even with all the wild combination of werewolves, vampire, ghosts, science, robots, victorian era setting and tea, I was thoroughly entertained. Ms. Gail Carriger is truly a creative writer; one who has the ability to craft a highly enjoyable novel. It is apparent that the author had done quite a handful of researches for this book; for it was written with certainty and that the details were very convincing.

The plot is about Alexia Tarabotti, perhaps the only preternatural alive. Preternaturals, in this book, are a member of the supernatural set but are not immortal. They have this ability to "humanize" a supernatural with just a simple touch, thus being often called the curse-breakers (to werewolves) or soul-suckers (to vampires). After she was born, her father left them, and so she eventually lived with a stepfather and two stepsisters. Because she's half-Italian, she was often ridiculed by her own family. But after a while of their mockery, Alexia got used to it and dismiss their criticisms indiferrently. She got used to people seeing her as the uninteresting one, even see herself that way, compared to her two younger siblings. That is why Alexia was surprised that in a certain ball she attended, a vampire stealthily stalked her and when he finally got her alone, attempted to slay her. Good thing her parasol and wooden hair stick is always on the rescue so she managed to stop and slay the vampire herself. Enter Conal Maccon, head of the BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry), came to the room a little too late to check what the commotion is all about and saw the staked vampire and the seemingly fainted Alexia Tarabotti lying on the floor (even though Conal knows that Alexia is just faking it). Then, after some snide comments, arguments, and banters here and there, Alexia and Conal Maccon found themselves attracted to each other, in love even. And they both went to find the whys and whos behind Alexia's attempted slaughter.

I LOVED everything about this book. I keep thinking of what I didn't like or what bothered me even for a bit in this story but I just can't think of one. I just simply liked every part of this book. The story was fast-paced, and there was always something going on so I wasn't bored even for a little while, honestly-speaking. So, as I am fond of novels with a Victorian Era setting, supernaturals, and kick-ass heroines, Soulless here was merely the finest paradigm of an amazing book for me. Complete with an unusual love story, action, mystery, fashion, and witty characters, Soulless is most-certainly not to be missed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it's all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.
But Annika's plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly fi nds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?

The Review:

You know those books that you thought would be just another YA book, but leaves you moved and staring at nothing while realizing what the story conveys? Well, Just One Wish is one of those. I was so stirred that I teared-up several times after all of it sinked in.

Here, we meet the protagonist, Annika Truman, a seventeen-year-old girl who would do everything to keep her kid brother, Jeremy's heart beating. She believes that Jeremy will survive his upcoming surgery if she encouraged him to believe he can surpass it. In order to do so, she made up a story that she found a genie, who will grant them 3 wishes. She said that she already used the first wish, thus leaving them only 2 wishes. The first wish, according to Annika, is for Jeremy to wish that he will survive his surgery, while the last wish is to be used for his own personal wish. Knowing that Jeremy loves the Robin Hood TV series, Annika bought an action figure that he's been asking their parents ever since the TV show began. But she didn't see Jeremy's wish coming---he wished that the real Robin Hood (the actor) will visit and teach him archery. Annika, thinking that everything she'd planned---from making up the genie story, up to helping jeremy believe that he will surpass the surgery---will all fail if she didn't get Jeremy's last wish to come true. So, she did everything to get Steve Raleigh visit his brother before the operation. After a couple troubles here and there, she finally told and convinced Steve of helping her plan work out---only to hear Jeremy wish a different one she never thought coming.

I was touched with Annika's made up a story about her saving Jeremy after them being stuck in the Underworld with the Grim Ripper, and how she struggles to tell him a way how the story ends.

Just One Wish is an inspiring yet heart-wrenching story about facing reality. Sometimes, in order to face life's trials, you just have to believe that everything happens for a reason, and will workout eventually---in God's will.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?
At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:
As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.
When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

The Review:

Epic Fail. Okay, so I've had high expectations for this one mainly because of its sparkly reviews. But, now that I've read it myself....I just think, er, the title says it all. xD 

 So the story is about Elise who is one of the Benton sisters, the new girls in school. They're the new Coral Tree Prep principal's daughters. There, Elise met Derek, the son of a famous actress from Hollywood. She thinks Derek, having a famous mother, is condescending and a snob. He doesn't talk much to anyone, except his pal, Chase. So, when Elise met Webster, he surprisingly relates to her that Derek has always been that snob. Everytime she and Derek are together, she finds it hard to fit him into that person Webster makes him out to be, though it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Derek truly abhorred Webster. But when she found out the why's of it, only then she understood Derek entirely. 
So, now, here are my thoughts. First, I just didn't relate much to the main character, albeit her character's not flawless, I just didn't connect with her. Second, the climax of the story didn't get to me. I think the story would've been better if the climax was more exciting or fretful than that. Layla was stuck in the bathroom while Webster was being a pervert and all that with her friend in the other room? Really? I mean, it could've been better. And thirrrd, the love story between Derek and Elise is just not compelling, at least for me. So....if you're into girl-meets-boy-and-fell-in-love stories, then maybe, just maybe, you'll like this. But as for me? It was all toooo predictable, it was Epic Fail. :-S

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Breathe by Abbi Glines

Sadie White's summer job isn't going to be on the beach life-guarding or working at rental booths like most kids her age. With her single mother's increasing pregnancy and refusal to work, Sadie has to take over her mother's job as a domestic servant for one of the wealthy summer families on a nearby island.
When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie hadn't spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house she might have been normal enough to be excited about working for a rock star.Even though Sadie isn't impressed by Jax's fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax but he fights his attraction. Relationship's never work in his world and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. By the end of the summer, Jax discovers he can't breathe without Sadie.But can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? Or will they have to learn how to breathe again?

The Review:

 Breathe. I admit, I was a bit skeptical during the first few pages mostly because I think the main characters fell in love immediately. But because the love story was so emotional and their feelings were compelling, I, too, fell in love immediately...with this book. 
Sadie White, the MC, is a responsible daughter. Her single parent's pregnant and she's the only one who has a job, which means she's expected to pay all their bills. She went to replace her mother as a maid on one of the wealthiest family in the area, the Stone's. Enter Jax Stone, the hot and talented rocker whom Sadie swore she would never lay her eyes on---she has a lot more important things to do than be interested with someone out of reach, or so she thought. 

The story is heart-wrenching, for the most part. I was so touched with Jax's persistence in the end. I cried---yes, cried---when he did everything he could to bring Sadie back, he was utterly and incredibly sweet. *sigh* I wish there are still guys like him these days... I feel sorry for Marcus though, he'd been such a good friend and I will always have a soft spot for him.

To sum up, the book is engaging and the love story is downright stirring. I would definitely recommend this to those who love a sweet and an emotional YA love story.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .
Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. 
As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype. 
Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie. 

The Review:

Cross My Heart. I've discovered this book from a recommendation because I was asking for books similar to Perfect Chemistry. During the first hundred pages, I got peeved because everything sounded perfectly cliché to me---the blonde cheerleader, the jock boyfriend, the bad boy rebel, their school project, and nothing more. BUT, I am oh so glad that I continued reading on! This book has an amazing twist in the end that I'm absolutely sure you won't see coming.

 In this novel, we meet Jaden, the usual good-girl-cheerleader type. She was faithful with her jock boyfriend until Parker came along. They were assigned as partner for their English project. Jaden becomes more and more intrigued, and not to mention interested, to Parker everyday for she feels that there's more to him than he's letting on. But when she found out what it is, everything came falling down and she doesn't know what to believe in anymore.

 This novel caught me off guard, you know. Just when I was about to conclude that this book is not as spectacular as the reviews say, the twist came all of a sudden, and every incredulous words left me. Boy was I stunned. And it's not the kind of twist that will leave you skeptical, it was one of those that will leave you in a daze. Then, as the story goes on, I get weaker and weaker in the knees for Parker. So, now that I'm done, I have to say...Cross My Heart is indeed an exceptional love story about two people surrounded by unintentional lies, but chose to believe that what's real is all that will ever matter.