Thursday, January 31, 2013

BOOK BLURB: Speechless

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.


Date Read: January 31, 2013
Rating: 4 stars

Words matter - how we use them and how we don't. Sometimes it is really difficult and even scary to speak up for what you believe is right, but it is important to do. At the end of the day, you answer to yourself, no one else, so you'll be happy you did. - Hannah Harrington

Chelsea Knot, once popular and envied upon by many, is now a social outcast because of her big mouth. Her inability to keep her mouth shut caused people to get hurt, mentally, emotionally and physically. Because she thinks it is better for her not to speak at all, she took a vow of silence ending all the gossip and rumors she once breathed. But she stumbles upon the unlikeliest students that helped her get through, made her realize the things that really mattered and showed her how to be truly happy.

Hannah Harrington has successfully whipped up an intuitive story about finding one's own voice amidst all the silence and everyone's the noise. Speechless is simple yet it holds something worth learning inside. It may not have been as deep with the emotions as I thought it would be, but the book delivered well. It was not complicated and stressful to read. It was light despite the problems encountered in the book. The diversity of the characters also made it more fun to read. The building up of the friendship was great. But I think there's something lacking with the blooming romance. It was sweet and cute at times, but I just did not feel it that much.

Overall, a nice read! Contemporary books with great lessons are always a pleasure to read :)

View all my reviews

Monday, January 28, 2013

BOOK BLURB: Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1)

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


Date Read: January 28, 2013

Rating: 4 stars

Unspoken is that kind of book that will keep you reading until the very last page because you really want to uncover the truth behind all the secrets and mystery surrounding the plot. It's that kind of book that obviously doesn't give out anything in beginning so you'll have to find out when it ends. It was good but sometimes you almost want to just shout in frustration because it takes a bit too long to reveal who the Lynburns really are. But the magic and mystery worked out pretty well all throughout the book. I definitely didn't see all those things coming in the end. I probably would have but I didn't really make an effort to wack my brain and guess what's going to happen or who's killing who. I even felt creeped out a few times which isn't a surprise because I easily get freaked out by a lot of things.

The characters, I guess, were well-developed too, but the setting wasn't as appealing. Apart from having a weird name, Sorry-in-the-Vale was your typical mysterious town where everybody knows everybody. I have read quite a few books with the same kind of town. The people in the town, though, were more interesting than the place they live on.

Kami Glass is a very lively and an extremely entertaining character. She's smart and funny, which makes her one of the reasons that I enjoyed the book. Another thing that I like about Kami and what sets her apart is that she doesn't constantly swoon over Jared, or even Ash. Maybe she does, but not the exaggerated adoration a lot of girls in books do. Jared, on the other hand, was not placed on a pedestal and showered with redeeming qualities, which I liked as well. What didn't please me is their very confusing relationship. Are they friends or are they more? What happened when they were fourteen? It was just so difficult to think if they would really work out. The ending did not help either. But despite their weird connection and their puzzling relationship, I still enjoyed some of their shared moments.

Holly and Angela were the minor characters that were fairly entertaining, tolerable and very unexpected. I didn't even thought that the secret was like that. I just didn't see that coming.

What else? The ending was nice. It was intense and a bit thrilling. It didn't really end with an annoying cliffhanger. Just the right sentences to lead you to the next books. :D

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BOOK HAUL: January 23, 2013

On my "January 7, 2013 Book Haul" post, I have mentioned that I took a nice little trip to Book Sale and found two interesting books that I would really like to buy. Unfortunately, I only had enough money for one book that day.

After about two weeks, I came back to Book Sale. Surprise! Surprise! It was still there. :) Funny thing is, the book was placed on the top most shelf of the store. Since I'm not the tallest person in the world, I really needed help reaching for it. Urgggh!! So I asked the sales lady (the only staff in the store) if they had that stool where you can step on and make your life easier by not embarrassing yourself when you jump and try to reach a certain book.Anyway, she was talking to somebody on the phone and she looked a bit pissed when I approached her. She just pointed where it was and didn't even say a word. Bad customer service!

Sooooo... here it is! It's still in very good condition. A few scratches at the bottom spine, but that can be fixed. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BOOK BLURB: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


Date Read: January 23, 2013

Rating: 2.5

Beautiful Disaster is one confusing book. It is interesting and it really catches a reader's attention, yet sometimes it gets frustratingly annoying. It is a page-turner, but sometimes you just want the whole thing to blow up and end. The romance gets intense and sweet, but somehow you'll eventually tire yourself of the love/hate relationship. That's how beautifully disastrous my reading experience has been.

I liked how the Abby's voice doesn't constantly remind readers that she had a bad past or that she's a troubled teenager. It was brought up quite a few times, but not to the point that everything revolves around or depends upon her past. The main focus of the book was Abby and Travis' love/hate relationship. They started off as friends, got to know each other better, then became best friends. But you can definitely sense the attraction between them. It was fast-paced, and I can safely say that the story started well.

The annoying thing was the "getting together" part. Both of them got very confusing and the rest of their relationship almost always had complications that just seem to [I guess] insignificantly lengthen the book. Honestly, the story of their relationship felt a bit dragged because so many things are happening. There were so many problems tossed in one book. For instance, Parker, the Vegas thing, the trust issue and a lot more minor dilemmas.

Also, I don't get Abby's personality. It's like Abby and Pidge are really two different people. The first one was a simple math geek who wears a pair glasses and cardigans. The other one was like a party girl who wears heels and drinks a lot. Travis wasn't as appealing as the book described him. Though he had his respectably sweet moments, he's actually quite irritating, especially when he instantly loses his temper and goes berserk.

I was not really very satisfied with the ending. It wasn't convincing. But I guess it was okay. Just okay...

View all my reviews

Friday, January 18, 2013

BOOK HAUL: January 7, 2013

Pre-loved books are always a pleasure to buy. Not only will you get to buy a book... but you'll get to buy it at a cheaper price. All it takes is a bit of savings from your allowance and the patience to hunt for that book discarded by the previous owner which will soon be in your loving hands.

So my trip to Book Sale actually went pretty well... :) I was actually aiming to find a good YA novel , hard-bound and super cheap (aren't we all looking for that?). Sadly, I found none that tickles my interest. But I found two paperbacks that I actually wanted to buy - one is the first book of a somewhat popular series and the other one I have seen on goodreads. The bad news, though, is I can only afford one. So this is what I bought...

*Sorry! The photo quality is not that great. I just used the webcam :)


BOOK BLURB: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.


Date Read: January 18, 2013

Rating: 3.5 stars

I have read a few of Angel/Nephilim books before, and I personally like most of them. Some of them were okay, some were a bit darker than the others, some were really good, but they were all quite different from each other. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, thankfully, also separates itself from all the other angel books.

Despite the fact that it also had a different taste from all other angel books, the first half of the story was a bit boring. It introduced the angel-bloods, their purpose, how they came to be, their characteristics. The book started with most of the explanations about the them. In my opinion, the beginning of the book was a bit weak.

Aside from the fact that it was mostly narration of angel stuff, I didn't really get Clara. She even seemed annoying sometimes. I just didn't connect with her. Plus, the obsession with the guy in the vision was a bit too much. I was already debating with myself if I should still continue the book or not. Thankfully, the story picked up just a little before prom season and...


Tucker did not really stand out when he first appeared in book. But gosh, did he change my mind about wanting to stop reading! He was actually one of the major reasons I kept on reading. And thank heavens I did because the story was actually good. I like that the whole story was somehow driven my Clara's purpose, and not entirely by the romance. The cute love story was great as well. And the ending was nicely put up. It wasn't really a cliffhanger, but it will leave you wanting to read the next books (if you liked Unearthly).

I don't know if I should give it the complete four stars or what.. I got ticked off by the beginning. So 3.5ish... :D

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

BOOK BLURB: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1)

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.

Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.

For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.

Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.


Date Read: January 12, 2013

Rating: 3.5 stars

It seems to me that there are a lot of books nowadays revolving around two messed up people who’s lives, coincidence or not, intertwine - they share their secrets, they become close, they try to fix each others lives and eventually, they fall in love. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden falls within the walls of that story, and honestly, it went pretty well.

The story began immediately with a hint of the revelations of both Callie and Kayden’s lives. As you read on through each chapter, the pieces of the past gets revealed bit by bit as Callie and Kayden gets to know each other better. My only issue with the story is the first half of the book. I did not really enjoy the attraction of both of the characters with one another, and the way they’re relationship began. Having recently read a book with a similar story, it is easy to compare the development of the relationship of the characters from this book to the other one. And honestly, I prefer the other one.

The second half of the book, on the other hand, was better. I really liked it when secrets starts to resurface and the their pasts are revealed. Even their relationship became better and sweeter than before.

So in total, I liked the book. I would have given it 4 if it weren't for some minor issues I've had with the book. :) The ending was unexpectedly unexpected - cliffhanger!!! I really thought this was a stand-alone book. I guess I was wrong. I am definitely reading the second book. ;)

The cover is gorgeous, by the way. :)

View all my reviews

BOOK BLURB: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.


Date Read: January 10, 2013
Rating: 3.5 stars

...but since I really liked the ending, I’m going to click that fourth star right there :)

What did I not not-like?

First of all, the weirdly unconventional characters John Green and David Levithan has conjured with their heads. Sometimes, it’s just refreshing to read about people who are normally abnormal in their own ways - some are fabulously gay, some are incredibly smart, some push the world away with their “I-do-not-care” rule, and some are just plainly pissed off all the time. Yes, sometimes, it’s not just the amazingly gorgeous guy that keeps you from flipping the pages. Sometimes it’s the sheer weirdness/uniqueness of the people that relates to the readers (like me).

Second, the things i got from the book. Honestly, it wasn't the greatest story I have read, but along the way you just pick up things that sometimes make sense and other times doesn't. Like, how it’s not just about falling, but more of the floating *winks* , and doing something good for people, honesty , love and truth. What I really liked though, is Will and Tiny’s friendship. I don’t know, but I just like it. :) And I think Tiny’s play, if I would have watched it, would be as awesome as the words in the book.

What did I not like?

I expected a different turn of events after the two Will Graysons meet. But of course, that didn't happen. They weren't much involved with each other. Just connected by a common friend. So yeah, a bit bummed by that. And to be honest, this isn't really one of those extreme page-turners. The humor that is supposed to be there did not affect me. The attitude and pissy moods did, though. Hahahaha...

So in general, it was good. But not really to die for :)

By the way, while reading the book, I was thinking about who wrote who? Who wrote the Will Grayson (Tiny’s best friend? And who wrote the other Will Grayson (the mathlete)? I think John Green wrote the first Will and David Levithan, the other one. I don’t know. I hope I’m right :)

View all my reviews

Monday, January 14, 2013

BOOK BLURB: The Edge of Never

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

* Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction 


Date Read: January 6, 2013
Rating: 4 stars

I think I can’t really say much without giving away any significant part of the book. But here goes nothing...

So basically, it’s the “messed-up-girl-who-meets-a-handsome-guy-and-helps-her-feel-again-but-turns-out-to-have-secrets-too” story. I have read quite a number book synopses with a plot like that. Although the reasons, the experiences and the turn of events are different, it all boils down to the general plot, which was mentioned earlier. Well, I actually kind of like these kinds of books. They are extremely emotional and usually have this sizzling yet sweet romance. Then, lessons are learned about life, love and one’s self.

This book is not far from that. It was actually a great story, with a strong and nice beginning. I really liked it. The moment Camryn leaves was the mark of the books awesomeness! I loved everything from there up until the point when... *secret, no spoilers* Camryn and Andrew’s coincidental or destined bus ride was great. Andrew’s playful attitude and Cam’s cranky and wild responses was very fun to read. Even after the terminal incident, it went nice. I just love the first half of the book.

The weak point that let me down a bit was when they had their first intimate physical attachment. I was really disappointed with that. It was just.. ugggh!! The only nice thing I can think about when that happened was it was nice of Andrew to consider the fact that Cam must first know what she really wants and ... before they really do it. And it continues after that. It never really picked up the awesomeness it had before. So, bummer!

The ending was okay... just okay. Not great. Not awesome. Not strong. I would have wanted it to play out differently. Maybe a more sorrowful ending. (Yes, I like sad stories.)

Overall, 4 stars :)

View all my reviews

BOOK BLURB: Annabel (Delirium #0.5)

Annabel by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost in Lena's past. Until now.

Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver's brilliant original digital story set in the world of New York Times bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium.

Lena Halloway's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.

But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.


Date Read: January 8, 2013
Rating: 3 stars

Who is Annabel apart from being Lena's mother? What really happened to her? And why did the cure not work?

I was hoping all those questions would be answered upon reading this short story, if not clearly, then atleast give readers a hint, because is all about Annabel Haloway. Sadly, my questions weren't completely answered.

Here, Annabel was portrayed with many different faces - a rebellious and reckless teenager (I love her like this!), a strong and passionate woman, and a very loving mother (So sweet and kind, like a mother should love). It was all there. A brief story about her past and how she met Conrad Haloway, which was disappointing by the way. Nothing really much happened to them. But there were still some parts I found cute, though lacking in some ways.

Included also were the days of being imprisoned in the Crypts and the escape of Anabel, which weren't really that exciting at all.

Now, why wasn't she really cured? I still don't know. I'm still hoping this will be answered in the 3rd book.

That's it, I guess. 3 stars :) A bit disappointed because I expected more.

The "Then" and "Now" chapters are back! :D

View all my reviews

BOOK BLURB: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2)

Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Number of Pages: 298
Date Published: June 21, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary / Mystery


Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. 

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

My Thoughts:
(Date Read: January 3, 2013)

Even though I still like the Gallagher Girls series better than Heist Society, I think the latter series has great potential to reach GG's level on my list. What can I say? Ally Carter has a way of making readers love her stories and her characters. I know I'm really starting to like the Heist series, and I definitely enjoyed reading Uncommon Criminals.

Ally Carter, as usual, was able to put in a bit of action, a pinch of humor, a subtle yet very satisfying romance, friendship and family drama into one helluva-book about thieves! *clap clap* I don't know how she does it. Maybe she's a really a Gallagher Girl, or she's secretly stealing paintings from Henley. But seriously, her books are awesome!

So... Uncommon Criminals. Here, Kat struggles with a lot of things - her own issues, her family, the heist-gone-wrong, and HALE! Kat and Hale's relationship is really interesting, even though there aren't sooo much sweet talks and smooching. It was subtle, but very satisfying. Aside from that, one of the great things I love about Ally's books is there is always something about families.

February 2016 Update: This 2012 review has been somewhat updated to suit the format and the layout of the blog. No major change has been made with my review. The thought, and most of the words I used back when I wrote this review is still the same. Only some minor editing, like deleting unnecessary words, phrases, expressions and emoticons.

BOOK HAUL: January 1, 2013

Happy New Year everyone!!!
So the on the first day of 2013, I visited National Bookstore. And look what I found...

by Cassndra Clare

by John Green

by Joh Green and David Levithan


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...