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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! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Skid Out (Heavy Influence #0.5)

17 year old high school senior, Jake Masters, front man of a rising rock band, finds new interest in his younger freshman next door neighbor Alyssa Montgomery. Their relationship breaks hearts; stirs jealousy and band infighting. When they’re brought to new found awareness of body and soul, will rightful boundaries be crossed? Will the right decisions and choices, which are detrimental to the band and its future, be made through the haze of infatuation? Will Jake’s absences on the road lead to another filling his shoes? Jake and Alyssa’s lifelong friendships are strained and tested; secrets are kept, admitted and shared. Family bonds are broken, as others grow stronger. Who knew a first love could cause so many problems? Then again, in their eyes, there are no problems as long as they’re together. In the end, will his new found muse bring down everything he’s worked so hard to achieve or will she inspire positive creative change; that will carry him and his band to stardom.

The Review:

As a prequel to the
Heavy Influence trilogy, Skid Out did its part as a very tempting foretaste of an interesting and intoxicating story and another swoon-worthy literary crush to come.

The plot portrays a coming of age theme, which is inevitably linked to sexual maturity. The story was mostly about the coming of age of a 14 year old Alyssa, who has never thought of feeling a different surge of emotion towards the her next door neighbor, Jake Masters, because he's practically family to her. She basically grew up with him, since Jake and her brother were childhood friends. Part of the story was taken from Jake Masters' P.O.V., giving us an idea of how he feels towards Aly. He has always had this feelings for her, but because of their age difference, he doesn't pursue her. Up until that day they took notice of each other again in a whole different way...

I rated this prequel 4-stars, not because I love fictions with rocker guy characters or because Jake Masters is an utter hottie (although, yes, both reasons were considered), but because the story was downright stimulating. However, I took off a star because I think it lacked a bit of thought-provoking moments.

The song Transposed, which was sent to me attached with this novella, has also added to Jake's teenage punk-rock side of the story. And yes, the song was so good it went straight my iPod. ;)

Ms. Ann Frohoff has crafted an enticing coming of age story complete with fun and intriguing characters, which makes for a delicate yet pleasurable read. I cannot wait to read the first installment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

The Review:

An Abundance of Katherines. This is my second John Green novel after Paper Towns, and of course, it was as entertaining albeit less emotional, and as decidedly amusing. So yes, I loved it.

An Abundance of Katherines is about Colin Singelton, a child prodigy (and has always longed to be a genius, so that he can be someone significant) and has acknowledged himself as a certified dumpee. He was just recently dumped by his 19th girlfriend, who is also his 19th Katherine. Hassan, his arab best friend (and only friend), came up with the idea that instead of Colin moping around, they should go on a road trip. And so they did. But the problem is that they don't have any destination until they passed-by a town claiming to possess the grave of a prominent Archduke. Of course Colin insisted they visit the grave, so albeit Hassan's enthusiasm about history is not as vast as Colin's, they went through. Neither of them had any idea that entering Gutshot, Tennessee will shake their lives like a fugging snow globe and turn both their worlds upside down. ;)

While I loved the whole book, here are some of the things I liked about it:

  • Interesting secondary character (Lindsey). And when I say interesting, I meant that she's, like, this is oh-so-cool and oh-so-bubbly person around everyone, yet you have this small feeling that she's just putting up a facade so people will think of her that way (a quality similar to Margo Roth Spigelman of Paper Towns). So you get intrigued about what the real Lindsey is like, and why she keeps that charade. 
  • No love-at-first-sight cliche. Yes, as much as I loved some love-at-first-sight novels, I still get tired of it sometimes. So one of the things I liked about this book is that the characters slowly develop their feelings toward each other, thus making the story more convincing and realistic; so the story grows gradually on the reader.
  • Straightforward characters. Unlike other novels, the major characters bluntly say what they feel towards the other---no dilly-dallying, no hesitations; straight to the point. Because of this, the characters, as well as the story, is easy to comprehend.

As the main character ponders about mattering in this book, I, too, have come to a realization that: You can make a theorem that can explain the past, but you can never make one to predict the future. The past is a logical story, whereas the future is unknown. That the infinite future makes Colin's idea of mattering (formulating an original mathematical formula) impossible. But there are stories. We can all be forgotten but the stories will last. And so that way, people can matter. Instead of obsessing about our past mistakes, why not live the most of our lives and make it a story worth-retelling? You can't stop the future from coming. Don't worry or think too much of what was, think of what lies ahead instead. Think of what you can be or what you want to be, because there is always, always, room enough to be anyone. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears -- leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. 
But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her into the backwaters of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only a soulless can. 
She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

The Review:

After a couple of snide remarks here and there, and a few smooches or so, Conal Maccon and Alexia Tarabotti was finally wed in book one, Soulless. Now that she is Lady Maccon and Lady Woolsey, she is to live in the Woolsey Castle with her husband along with the rest of the pack.

, the second book from The Parasol Protectorate series, started off with Conal rushing off to handle a certain BUR business that requires leaving in a dash without informing her wife about it, leaving a disconcerted Alexia curious as to where he could possibly be going so early in the morning (or in the afternoon, essentially). And also, to find that the rest of the regiments from the war (also part of the Woolsey Pack) scattered about her front lawn. She, then, found out that the reason that had her husband in such a rush that morning is about a large scale humanization in London that was immediately and injudiciously assumed as her doing because, come think of it, only a preternatural can do so. But, Lady Maccon was not one to be affected by these unfounded accusations and merely dismissed them flippantly. However, as muhjah to the queen, she has rights, as much as her husband does, to investigate about such an occurence. So, by means of a dirigible, she, along with Miss Hisselpeny, Felicity, Madame Lefoux, and Mr. Tunstel, went to Scotland, where the source of humanization has been moved recently. It is also precisely where her husband went off to, but didn't informed her of it, so she wanted to know why exactly.

After some incident of food poisoning, falling from the dirigible, having a Westminister Hive spy in her allies, and having
that spy shoot Lord Maccon accidentally, Lady Alexia Maccon successfully found out who the culprit is, as well as the source of the humanization plague, in the end.

Blameless did not fail to amuse and entertain me with its action-packed plot, mystery, pack/family matters, conal/alexia banters, and of course, Miss Hisselpenny's outrageous hats (my new founded favorite character). But for the first time, there is this little
itty-bitty-bit part that I didn't like (only because the character was inconsiderate and prejudice), which is what happened in the ending, of course.

Oh, Conal, how could you even think of her doing such a thing? I am most upset. ;(

Anyhoo, Ms. Gail Carriger did not fail to entertain me with this quirky and witty novel. I loved it just as much as I did the first book! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Heart on a Chain by Cindy Bennett

17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns. 
Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun an to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him. 
Kate can’t figure out what game Henry is playing with her - for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her? 

The Review:

Just to be clear, this book is more of a 4.5 out of 5 stars to me.

So I've been looking for good and tear-jerking books like If I Stay or Flat-Out Love, and found this. I've read some sparkly reviews about it and so I gave it a read. And you know what I think? I think describing it as "a good book" is most-certainly an understatement. Heart on a Chain was completely engaging in a way that you somehow feel what the main character feels, and that you have this strong urge to protect her from those who torment her.

In this book, we meet Kate Mosley, a plain girl who strives to be invisible from her parents and peers mostly to avoid attention---because attention means a focus of physical/emotional abuse and mortification for her---ever since she was nine. That is, until Henry Jamison came back. He was Kate's childhood friend, first love, and admirer until he and his family moved away. And now that he's back, he immediately became Mr. Popular in her school. She doesn't know why he keeps on trying to talk to her while she consistently ignores and scrambles away from him---because talking to Mr. Popular will induce a great deal of torment from one of her worst tormentor, the school's Ms. Popular, Jessica Bolen. So when Henry persistently try befriending Kate, she was then perplexed whether this friendship with Henry is genuine or if he went over to the bad side and it was all just one of Jessica's mean prank...

See? The outline of the story alone will make you want to read this book, well, at least for me. Though I admit, I was a bit incredulous during the first few pages because Kate's life seemed exceedingly drastic. But as the story goes on, I eventually became so engrossed that I started to tear up whenever people abuse or torment her. So, somehow, this book made me appreciate life even more; that we are very lucky not to experience such unfortunate situation as Kate's. And so when I was done reading it, the first thought I had was: Good luck, Kate and Henry. Most especially Kate; she deserves all the best.

All in all, Heart on a Chain is an utterly heart-wrenching, and absolutely moving story of love, abuse, friendship, betrayal, family, and trust. Kudos to Ms. Cindy Bennett for an amazing novel.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Angel (Angel #1) by L.A. Weatherly

Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where she gets this power from - But Alex does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous - and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy. 

The Review:

 I think it deserves a three-star rating and I will tell you why. I liked the idea of a different take about Angels, but the relationship between the two main characters was just not compelling, at least for me.

Angel was such a refresher from all the clich├ęd YA angel fictions nowadays. Its different take on Angels is a really intriguing and original concept. However, the story became a little dull in the middle part of the book when Alex and Willow acknowledged their feelings toward each other, because I was simply not absorbed. The lines were just too mediocre for my taste, thus unconvincing. And in my opinion, the author dragged their "cabin" moments a little too long that I start losing interest with the whole "saving the world from angels" plot.

And another thing, I feel like the climax didn't suffice. I mean, they've spent time pondering the whole "saving the world" shebang, but then in the end, when they finally had a way to destroy the angels, they found out that it doesn't really work? It's like they wasted time and effort for nothing. What's worse is that they didn't do anything about it. It's like: Oh well, it didn't work. Let's get out of here, then. Better luck next time!

Seriously?! :|

Okay, I apologize for ranting, I wasn't meaning to. But, too bad, I really liked the refreshing new concept of Angels; it could have been a great story, really.