Sunday, June 30, 2013

JUNE 2013 RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


Hello there you lovely Blurbers! (okay, I came up with that term. Is it hideous? How about Blurbies?) It is the time of the month again for some recapping and I am happy to say that I've reviewed a lot this month! For some reason, I am on a book reading bonanza, like non-stop reading these couple of weeks and I actually have like 5 drafted reviews already! I hope I would be able to continue this though! My TBR stack is seriously going down!

June 02 - #PhoenixPHTour Guest post!

June 04 - Cover Revealed: INFINITE (Newsouls #3) by Jodi Meadows.

June 05 - Waiting of Wednesday: THE HOUSE OF HADES by Rick Riordan.

June 07 - 4 stars for Jordana Frankel's debut novel, THE WARD!

June 09 - 4 stars for Kiersten White's MIND GAMES. (found my favorite quote ever!)

June 12 - 4 stars for Jodi Meadows' ASUNDER!

June 15 - 5 stars (SUPER AWESOME SEQUEL) for Elizabeth Richards' PHOENIX! (blog tour).

June 18 - 1 star for Jackson Pearce's FATHOMLESS.

June 19 - 4 stars for Abbi Glines' FOREVER TOO FAR.

June 20 - Author of the Month (guest post) is ERIN BOWMAN.

June 23 - 5 stars (OMG THIS IS A GOOD ONE) for CJ Redwine's debut novel, DEFIANCE.

June 25 - 4 stars for Amanda Sun's Debut novel, INK! (Blog Tour)

June 27 - 5 stars for Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.

June 29 - 2 stars for Jennifer Rush's ALTERED.

June 30 - June Recap + Book of the Month.



And before I end my recap, I would also want to share the book that I truly loved and can blurb about twenty four by seven here. This title not only made me fall in love with it but the impact it has on me is tremendously strong that I had book hangover for days (and of course, my personal thoughts on the novel is considered). Here you go.

Okay. So this month, there's a tie. I cannot find any tie breakers good enough to just choose one and my love for both these novels is just beyond my comprehension at the moment. I guarantee that both are FABULOUSLY AWESOME!

The first Book of the Month for June 2013 is DEFIANCE by CJ Redwine!


And lastly, this novel is one of my favorite contemporary novels EVERRRR! If you haven't read this, DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER!

Am presenting the second Book of the Month for June 2013, 
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

REVIEW: ALTERED BY JENNIFER RUSH.

Title: Altered
Author: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #1
Edition: Hardbound
Publication: January 1, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 323
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Category: Romance, Dystopia, Sci-Fi

Synopsis:

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

Amazon 🔼 Barnes and Noble 🔼 Book Depository


Altered is seriously a heart-stopping novel!

This is one of my 2013's Most Anticipated Debut Novels and just like what I always feel for my books, the excitement I have for it is so much I can sometimes barely breathe. The cover and synopsis just make me so giddy and finally now, I can let go of the breath I've been holding for so long: I am done reading it. Whew.

Life in a lab has been routinary for Anna. But lately, she has been sneaking out to visit the boys, Sam, Cas, Nick and Trev, who have been undergoing alterations by the Branch. They are locked up and always on medication because according to Arthur, Anna's dad, they are being made into fine soldiers. Anna likes Sam and she trusts the boys. When Arthur's boss visits them and decides to shut down the entire experiment, the boys move and escape with Anna. The revelation of their past awaits and Anna isn't even prepared.

Altered for me is obviously a Sci-Fi. There's a hint of dystopian and a lot of ogling romance. I liked the whole concept of it but my questions cannot be ignored. It wasn't clearly explained how the memory wiping and alterations are done except for pills, for what purpose (I couldn't buy creating fine soldiers), what has Anna got to do with controlling the boys and if they can make her control them, why couldn't they create a simulation or something that would control them otherwise, If they wipe their memories, why are they having flashbacks, how long has the lab been creating soldiers like the boys, what really started it and so on and so forth. I got a ton of deeper questions but they would be too much of a spoiler so I will not include them. I also find the slow buildup a little annoying but I enjoyed the full blast action of it. No one was holding back and that added a really nice air to the whole Sci-Fi plot. The disappointment it left in me was huge, to be honest. Maybe I expected so much and failed again. There were just too many loop holes in the story and I am saddened that I couldn't give it more than two stars.

I also find the characters very vulnerable. Since there hasn't been any successful experiment in the past, the people who were administering the said experiment couldn't give concrete answers or explanation to any of the characters. Their adventure in finding out what Sam stole a long time ago boosted my confidence in it a little because that was very interesting. They could fight alright, but I just don't understand how one can survive gun shots in the chest. They links the boys have with each other wasn't also thoroughly explained and all I have were the pills they gave them. The romance was very predictable, too. I've been wishing that Sam would give Anna a hard time but no, it didn't happen. But I love Cas and Nick though most of the time he's being ridiculous and Trev, too. He's kind.

Altered is a very promising debut novel that I enjoyed reading. I may have too much questions that left me hanging but the thrilling adventure Rush enveloped in each character made it full of life! The action scenes were all very intimidating, shocking and electrifying! I am hoping there would be more in Erased!


"In all things it is better to hope than to despair."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

REVIEW: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS BY STEPHANIE PERKINS.

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Edition: Paperback
Published: December 10, 2010 by Dutton
Pages: 372
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
Amazon 🔼 Barnes and Noble 🔼 Book Depository


Anna and the French Kiss is uber romantic!

I wasn't into contemporary back when I purchased my copy of this novel yet. But during Tahereh Mafi's book signing last March, she mentioned that this one was her favorite novel and recommended it. I thought I would really have to start reading it and Oh. Mi. Gosh. It just bombarded with so much emotions that I felt the highest level of nostalgia!

Studying at School of America in Paris isn't something on Anna's wish list. She is just beginning to work her way to reviewing movies, she can't leave her best friend especially the romance that might possibly happen between her and Toph. But she don't have a say on it. When she lands in Paris, she meets Ethienne St. Clair. A handsome student with a handsome British accent. He takes her around Paris and she is starting to like him. The problem is, he's taken. And she thinks Toph might be waiting for her.

Where?? Where to properly start raving about this? This thing definitely tops my favorite contemporary novel! Perkins' prose was so conversational I thought I was just simply watching a TV series. I didn't feel like I was reading it because everything was so light! The fact that it was set in Paris was another plus for the novel! I suck so much when it comes to Paris.. and Eiffel Tower. I haven't tried macarons though! Pathetic right? But going back to the review, Anna and the French Kiss did all weird things to me. The romance hit me like a bomb! I was seriously blown away! I kept giggling and giggling and screaming and screaming why they wouldn't kiss yet! I kept reacting and mumbling to myself as I go deeper! The plotting was very simple if you think about it but the execution was just beyond what I could describe! Perkins nailed it! I loved everything about this novel and it made me miss falling in love.. Like desperately!

The characters are all dreamy. Like Anna. She's simple, bright and funny! She's very easy to talk to and I loved how she's so into films. Even though she has the tendency to shut everyone out, I think that was just her defense mechanism and I totally understand that. I usually assume things and read signals differently. And then there's St. Claire. Oh gosh. He's just frakking perfect. Though I initially disliked him for hitting on Anna while he's in a relationship, what he did to win my heart over worked. I don't want to think that he broke up with his girlfriend because Anna came in the picture because that would just totally break my heart. I loved everything he did for Anna. How he respected her and didn't take advantage of her. I also want to specifically gush over St. Claire's attempt in explaining how he truly feels for Anna on top of Notre Dame. That was a total winner! I wish he was taller though!

Anna and the French Kiss unraveled my love for being in love! It exploded with so much romance that I wanted to cuddle and kiss and hold hands! It is the epitome of love despite differences and it is truly a wonderful read! The experience from reading it was priceless!


"Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?"
"There's only one thing I don't love about him. Her."
"Why is that the right people never wind up together? Why are people so afraid to leave a relationship, even if they know it's a bad one?"
"How many times can our emotion be tied to someone else's -- be pulled and stretched and twisted -- before they snap? Before they can be mended again?"
""Why aren't you two together?" "I don't know, sometimes I think there are only so many opportunities to get together with someone. And we've both screwed up so many times that we've missed our chance.""
"The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR (12): INK BY AMANDA SUN.

Today is obviously my stop for Bookcase To Heavens blog tour and luckily, my stop date is exactly the release date for Amanda Sun's debut novel, Ink! Here I would like to share my review, a giveaway and interesting things about this lovely author! Thank you so much Bookcase To Heavens for organizing this event, to Amanda and Net Galley for the ebook copy and Louisse Ang for the print ARC! Enjoy you guys!


Title: Ink (Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Edition: ebook fron Net Galley/paperback ARC
Published: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 377
Source: Author and Net Galley/ARC borrowed from Louisse Ang
Category: Paranormal, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Ink is certainly a brilliant material!

The moment I saw the one of a kind gorgeous cover, I knew that I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to read Ink for anything else! I've never seen such fantastic cover! And learning that Ink was set in Japan, the asian in me seriously flailed massively! This. Will. Rock. My. World. And you know what? IT DID!

After her mother passed away and her grandfather is on chemotherapy, Katie doesn't have a choice but to move to Japan and live with her Aunt, Dianne. Her whole world is about to collapse. She lost her mother, she's a foreigner in a country where she couldn't read and speak the language and where the food she's weirded out. All she wants is to go back to Canada where her home is. But after accidentally overhearing Tomohiro breakuping up with his girl friend and seeing his drawing move and stare back at her, she suddenly know she has to figure out what's up with him. He's gorgeous but too dangerous. He's out of her league. But she can't just ignore her veins calling out for his touch and her heart beat longing for his attention. Plus, she has to know why his drawing moved.

Cherry Blossoms. Bikes. Maki. Katsudon. Tempura. Hiragana and Katakana. Tattoos. Rich culture. Japanese people. Anime. Sailormoon. Hotohori. Tamahome. These are just some of the things that I loved about Japan. I grew up addicted to different kinds of animes and it is impossible shoving what I loved as a kid. Japanese culture tend to stick with you so much that there is no way for you to remove it from being attached to you. Sun made me adore Japan more. While I was devouring this novel, I feel the authenticity of the description she used. Every single thing made me feel I was reading in Japan. I haven't felt left out and the Japanese terms Sun used didn't bother me at all even if I didn't know some of them. You can easily get the meaning. I loved how so Asian this novel is. It is the first novel I read that basically showcased how pretty Japan is. I mean, it's an Asian country and am just so proud that Sun chose this to be the setting. And the plot was just raw. I've read so many Greek/Egyptian/American history inspired novels and it is always refreshing learning something new. The Paper Gods seriously made me appreciate how vast Japan's culture is and how traditional they could be if they wanted to. It made me remember the reason why I've always dreamed of visiting the country, why I tried learning Higarana and why I even memorized two Japanese songs. The whole experience with Ink was incredible. So so incredible.

Japan is known for so many things and I liked that Sun incorporated her experience with the history and even made it into something extraordinary. I loved the mystery of the Kami and how the whole ink power thing works. One major point that mesmerized me was how my brain couldn't picture Tomo as the way he was described but someone like a male character from Final Fantasy! His sexy smirks and hard headedness were endearing and mind you, this guy not only can be a badass but he can also be such sweet guy. And the talent/power that he has? SWOON! Katie Greene, another stubborn female protagonist is just perfect for him. She doesn't know when to give up and she certainly won't accept no as an answer. And what about our hot guy Jun? Goodness, I wanted to hear more from him and am hoping the romance would be a little intriguing in the sequel because I find it a little insta-love. I just don't agree with that no matter where and how I look at it.

Ink is a very powerful, dangerous, romantic and delightful debut novel! It is well-written that doesn't complicate anything at all and only makes the richness of the plot blossom! I was immensely focused by the engrossing mysteries and sexy romance! I want more!

Thank you Amanda and Net Galley for the ebook copy and Louisse for the ARC!

VERDICT:
"They tell you you'll forget how it used to be. You'll get used to it, that it's better to move on. They don't realize you can't. You're not the same person anymore."


Here is the awesome giveaway guys! And you can click on the picture above to be routed to the host's website and the tour schedule:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Amanda Sun:

I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with
my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.

Order Ink
HAPPY HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO INK!! CONGRATS AMANDA!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

REVIEW: DEFIANCE (DEFIANCE #1) BY CJ REDWINE.

Title: Defiance (Defiance #1)
Author: CJ Redwine
Edition: Paperback
Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 403
Source: Won
Category: Romance, Dystopia, Fantasy
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
Defiance knocked my breath out of my lungs!

I won this copy from Amaterasu Read's giveaway sometime last year and I wasn't able to read it immediately after all those gushing blurbs about it. I kept getting and buying books that it was buried deep into my ever growing TBR pile! But it deserves all praises nonetheless.

Rachel isn't the girly type. In amid of growing up in a town called Baalboden where girls are all excited for their Claiming, she's different. She is taught by her father James to track, fight and be independent. One day, when her father didn't come home after a mission and is announced dead by the Commander, she is put under the protection of Logan, her first love and first rejection. She's decided to go and find her father with or without Logan's help. Along the way, since they are both being watched by the Commander, they are tasked to find a package her father didn't deliver and eventually pushed to their limit with raging pain from loss and devastation. She has to avenge the people she loves and kill the Commander.

I cannot contain the FEELS Defiance brought to my life. From the first few chapters of it, I knew I would love it. Baalboden and the Wasteland were alluring that I wanted to see it myself plus add that scary looking, acid spitting Cursed One. The novel could take one to different heights of imagination and it did add points to the gravity of how beautiful it is. The plotting is one of a kind. The adventure of finding out what package wasn't delivered while tracking the best Tracker around is very electrifying! Absolutely impressive!

The pain, rage and loss Rachel experienced can never be measured. I sympathize during those times she almost chose to succumb to numbness. It was like her emotions were directly ripping my heart out piece by piece and I wanted to get her and comfort her. I cannot blame her for not being able to think clearly and for defending herself to survive even though her impulsiveness added to her guilt. The strength she conveys is admirable and her loyalty to her loved ones is unquestionable. She could be an assassin if she chooses to be but deep inside, she's just a broken girl who almost have nothing left. Thankfully, there is Logan. Her first and only love. Without Logan's intelligence and ability to think, analyze and strategize under pressure, she would be lost all together. I adored Logan's organized thoughts and how he plans. He's responsible, always have back up plans, skilled and logical. His Worst Case Scenarios were all cleverly brilliant. And the part I loved most is that he learned to love Rachel on his own merit and not because he knows she feels something for him. If I am going to compare the Commander to anyone else, I always picture the Governor from The Walking Dead. They have similarities and their characters deserve torture and slow death! I am turning morbid somewhere around here but I can't help but be mad about how ridiculously evil the Commander is. Especially when I think about James and Oliver.

Defiance is a stunning debut novel that captures one's full and undivided attention! It is magnificently laid out and gravely consuming! I let it give me emotions I never thought I would ever feel again and the adrenaline rush every page turn is terrifyingly addictive! I was at the edge of my seat the whole ride!

VERDICT:
"I need Logan. Not because I need saving. Not because he could plan our way out of this. But because on some basic, soul-deep level within me, he is the solid ground beneath my feet. The one who will move mountains to keep his promise. The one who looks at me and sees. I can't imagine my life without him. Everywhere I look, he's there. A constant thread binding my past, my present and the future I want so badly to have with him. With him. My eyes fly open. I'm in love with Logan."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

FEATURE: AUTHOR OF THE MONTH.. (6)

I was on a reading slump for at least 2 weeks and was still having an issue finishing a book. But when I decided to fight it and grabbed my ARC of this title hoping it would bring me back to my reading mood, it did more than that. I was so suddenly awaken by my love for this dystopian novel and I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2!! I am so glad the author finally agreed to be featured on my


ERIN BOWMAN.
What inspired you to write Taken?
It sort of fell into my lap. Well, the story didn't, but Gray did. I was working on a separate manuscript when he started wandering around my head. He was living in isolated town and was dreading his eighteenth birthday. Gray's voice was so clear that I couldn't ignore him. I started asking why—what happened at eighteen that he feared so much?—and the story slowly took shape.

Look what just arrived at the Bowman household!! There are so many. This is really happening, guys!  source
Sitting outside in this gorgeous weather and annotating an arc for the giveaway. source
Why did you choose the dystopian genre?
I've been a fan of dystopian tales for as long as I can remember. They tend to take some of the evils that exist in our own world and amplify them, letting the reader experience a "what if" scenario through the safety of pages. For me, reading about broken worlds and watching people fight back--even when everything is stacked against them--is incredibly inspiring.
That said, I didn't intentionally set out to write a dystopian tale with TAKEN. When I first drafted it, I was just trying to tell the tale of a boy looking to find himself and his way in life. The setting eventually grew to showcase a dystopic backdrop--probably influenced by my love of other dystopian tales--but TAKEN was first and foremost about a boy in search of answers.

Taken #2 Title Reveal!! source
Source
About Erin:
Erin grew up in rural Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood telling stories. It is rumored that her first words were not “Mama” or “Dada,” but “Once upon a time.” In middle school, when kids were going off to sleep-away camp for the summer, Erin was attending writing camp and penning short stories.

At the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York, Erin studied web design (and minored in Creative Writing because she couldn’t stay away from stories). After several years working in advertising and designing websites for various brands, she has moved on to writing full-time. When not writing, she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger. Her debut novel TAKEN will be published by HarperTeen April 16th, 2013. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.


Order Taken:

Website



I would like to thank Erin for finding time to answer my questions despite of her super busy schedule! I absolutely loved Taken and you can find my review here! I am also currently giving away a copy of Taken for my first blogoversary here! And again, thank you Sarah of HarperCollins for the ARC and Erin for allowing me to feature you!
"Taken is surely a very strong debut novel! The pacing is right, the twists are surprising, the romance is thrilling and the overall plotting is uniquely delivered and I thoroughly loved and enjoyed it! Bowman did a fantastic job in giving us a one of a kind dystopian approach that I would love to read over and over!" - The Bookaholic Blurbs.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

REVIEW: FOREVER TOO FAR (FALLEN TOO FAR #3) BY ABBI GLINES.

Title: Forever Too Far (Fallen Too Far #3)
Author: Abbi Glines
Edition: eBook
Published: June 9, 2013
Pages: 309
Source: Amazon
Category: New Adult
Trailer: not applicable
Synopsis:

Rush promised her forever... but promises can be broken.

Torn between his love for his family and his love for Blaire, Rush has to find a way to save one without losing the other. In the end one has to be more important. Letting go isn’t easy.

Blaire believed in her fairytale... but no one can live in a fantasy.

Her love for Rush and desire to have a family keep her believing that they can find a way for this to work. Until she has to make the right decision for her and the baby. Even if it breaks her heart.

Can they find the forever that they both want or has it all just gone... too far?
Forever Too Far is delicious!

I tweeted this several days back that it would be hard for me to see this series end. Aside from it was the first ever New Adult series I read, I just devoured it! I loved how sexy it was and how I was engulfed by the novel so saying goodbye would be difficult! But Forever Too Far is just the right ending to a hellish hot novel with a hellish hot character.

After Rush won over Blaire back, they start to plan their wedding. However, Rush isn't prepared to deal with his rock star father, Dean, yet. What's worse is Nat, his bitch of a sister, is trying to break all hell's loose with her too much insecurity and pain. Rush is torn between his family dilemma and Blaire. But Blaire feels like she isn't the priority. That Nan would always come first.

Honestly, Forever Too Far is just like reading Never Too Far. The only difference is that some POVs had been added. Nan's case was just a little bit exaggerated and I don't feel like it was necessary anymore. There could have been more to it, I would have loved to see few more changes.

Rush will always be hellish hot in my eyes. No matter how overprotective he could get, I will forever be amazed by his overall personality. He isn't only hot or sexy but man enough. Man enough to face responsibility and keep everything real. The song he made for Blaire made my ovaries explode ten times! He's definitely swoon and drool worthy! However, I find Blaire too sensitive in this novel. At some point, she got me irritated already. But since she's pregnant, I'm giving her credit for it. Though she remained a good friend and a good person all throughout, I could forgive her for being spoiled. And yes, I agree with Louisse Ang about this: I TOTALLY DIG DEAN FINLAY. Oh God.

Forever Too Far will make you hot two ways: sexually and emotionally. It is sexy and so romantic that swooning wouldn't do it justice! It is also have a heart of its own. A heart where forgiveness and healing can be found! The right ending to a pleasurably awesome series! Highly recommended!

VERDICT:
"No, I'm not waiting any longer to change your last name."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

REVIEW: FATHOMLESS BY JACKSON PEARCE.

Title: Fathomless
Author: Jackson Pearce
Edition: Paperback
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 291
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Category: Romance, Fantasy
Trailer: not available.
Synopsis:

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.
Fathomless is simply one of a kind novel.

I heard nothing but amazing things about Fathomless and I was so excited about it because it would be the first mermaid-inspired novel I'll read! Somewhere in my head, there's doubt because I have issues with retellings but still I gave it a shot. I don't know how to feel about it after though.

Being a part of triplets with special powers, Celia feels she's left out. While she and her sisters are out, she sees a musician in the park fall into the ocean. She hurries up and tries to see what happens to the guy then there's a naked lady already tries to swim the guy to the shore. When Celia touches the lady, she sees her past and knows she's different. Celia actually reminds the lady of her name she even can't remember: Naida.

When I hear the word mermaids, Ariel and Pirates of the Caribbean come to mind. As a kid, I had wished to become one and I even tried to swim with my feet positioned as a mermaid's tail. So reading a novel with such promising plot is something anyone can be thrilled about. I liked Pearce's concept of retellings though this is my first Pearce novel. The twists she came up with were all very compelling however I find it very off. Her attempt to make wolves be the creator of mermaids didn't actually work at all for me. No sparks for it or something. I actually find it ridiculous and it wasn't thoroughly explained in the novel either. As a whole, that idea wouldn't just sync in my head.

The characters are weak. I hated how Celia have all the best intentions in helping Naida to remember but then she keeps on lying. The reason why Jude fell in love with Celia was just horrible. And how about Naida/Lo's personality issues? It just made my head ache. She just couldn't stick to a decision. And Celia and Lo/Naida's friendship? Superficial.

I was strongly disappointed with the entire plotting of Fathomless. There is definitely a huge possibility of it being what Pearce intended it to be but I feel that  it wasn't just maximized to its full potential at all. It was really heart breaking to read your first mermaid novel and be this sad about it.

VERDICT:

"The only time you don't get a choice is if you're stuck watching the past. Sometimes you have to look away."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

BLOG TOUR (11): PHOENIX (BLACK CITY #2) BY ELIZABETH RICHARDS.

Hi, guys!! Today is my review and guest post stop for the #PhoenixPHTour I've hosted that kicked off June 1! Today is the last day for the tour but the giveaway is up until the end of the month! I would just like to thank all of the participants who gave precious time for this to be possible! Also, am extending my gratitude to the ever lovely and amazing author, Elizabeth Richards for allowing us to tour her second book! Thank you also to Putnam/Penguin for the review copies! I cannot believe that this blog event ends today because I have so much love for this series! Again, thank you all so so much! I hope we get to tour the third book, too! Hope you enjoyed our little surprises and here's my review!

Title: Phoenix (Black City #2)
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Edition: Paperback
Published: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 368
Source: ARC provided by the author
Category: Paranormal. Romance
Trailer: not available
Synopsis:

Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.
Phoenix is simply an amazing, brilliant, fantastic and genius sequel ever!

This is another book I am so proud about! I finished reading it in I think less than six hours because there wasn't any reason I could find to put it down! I wasn't at first sure if this will break my love for Black City but sure enough, it exceeded whatever FEELS I got from the first book! And again, thank you so much Elizabeth Richards for allowing us to tour this enthralling sequel!

After Ash survives his execution, he is now called Phoenix. Rose kept quite for some time after the said charade but the day after the voting for Rose's Law, Ash is threatened. Rose knows that Natalie is the only person keeping him intact in amid of this chaos between the government and his people. He has to decide which to vote for; Natalie's life or two million darklings depending on him.

I was stunned all together! The beauty of the world Richards exposed in Black City is nothing compared to the astounding extension of it in Phoenix! Without the war, it would have been so perfect! I loved how much the world building expanded in the sequel and how the scope widen from one forest to another gorgeous town. It wasn't difficult to picture and the way Richards created it absolutely made it feel real. It also perfectly works with the plot! How nerve-wracking this book is! I have never anticipated such rush and action it would turn out! True that there is so much loss and blood but the fight against an unfair and selfish government doesn't only make it thrilling but also relatable. Even though most of the pages showcase rebellion, the paranormal touch didn't sleep in the back ground. And most importantly, the characters true identity has been kept secret until the right time has arrived. I didn't see any of it coming at all!

Ash and Natalie can totally use comfort at this point. Their relationship has been tested non-stop. Their lives are always at stake and they are almost always on the run. Despite of that, their hearts still beat as one and for sure, the circumstances make them tougher. They remain adorable and on top of their game that I couldn't wish for a perfect partner for them but each other. It was really painful for me as a reader knowing that their pain for each other is heightened by cruelty and uncertainty. They deserve rest and peace. Looking back, Elijah's role in here was the only one predictable. Figuring out if I like or hate him doesn't really matter because I still want to cradle both Ash and Nat at this point. There were several heart-wrenching revelations throughout the novel and a lot of death, but I could swat the back of Sebastian's head till he concur brain hemorrhage for all the evil things he's done.

Phoenix is one of the strongest sequel ever written! It is fast-paced, action and romance filled that would hundred and three percent get you hooked! There is absolutely no reason valid enough to put it down! The dark and light aspects are magnificent and in this novel, you will feel all sorts of sensation! Phoenix is definitely a Haze itself; addicting, soothing and heart-warming!

Thank you so much Elizabeth Richards for sending in the ARC!

VERDICT:
""Natalie, you still awake?" I whisper. She doesn't respond. Only now that she's asleep, do I let the tears fall."


For my guest post, Elizabeth agreed to share her love for OWLS!! I am sooo fond of her collection and I can't wait to share it all with you! The owls are all adorable!
MEET THE BOOK OWLS!

Anyone who follows my Facebook page will know I’m obsessed with owls, specifically my two mascots, the Book Owls! The green owl is Byron, and the pink owl is Emily. Aren’t they adorable? They were a gift from my mum on the day BLACK CITY was released, so they have a very special place in my heart, and I consider them my good luck charms.


Since getting my Book Owls, I’ve spawned a considerable collection of feathered friends. The latest additions are the Errol and the Chicks. Awwwwww!


I also have an owl watch, doormat, mug, cards, post-it notes, jewelry, purse, and even an owl-shaped glitter lip-balm! So I’ve definitely stepped into Crazy Owl Lady territory. It’s probably time to stop, as my study is starting to look like the owlery from Harry Potter:

Then again, I did see another adorable owl cushion yesterday. Mmmm, maybe there’s room for one more…
And don't forget to join the international giveaway!! We have a paperback copy of Black City, hard bound copy of Phoenix plus swag up for grabs! End June 30!
AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH ELIZABETH FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE AND SUCCESSFUL AND ALSO TO MY AWESOME PARTICIPANTS! BOOK 3 PLEASE!!

 About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.

In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.
Fun facts

- She's an identical twin. (No, they don’t have psychic powers, and yes she is the evil one.)
- She's a little bit in love with Daniel Radcliffe.
- Her favourite book of all time is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- Her second favourite book is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Her third favourite is Harry…oh, you get the idea.
- Her ambition is to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She's already seen Stromboli, Vesuvius and Mt Etna. Just 7 more to go!


Black City (Black City #1)


Phoenix (Black City #2)









Wednesday, June 12, 2013

REVIEW: ASUNDER BY JODI MEADOWS.

Title: Asunder
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul #2
Edition: Hardbound/Paperback
Publication: January 29, 2013 by HarperTeen
Pages: 406
Source: Hardbound copy bought from Fully Booked; ARC Paperback copy sent by the publisher
Category: Romance, Fantasy

Synopsis:

DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:


Asunder is luscious!

Honestly, my finished copy has been sitting on my shelf since the first week of February. I unfortunately unable to read it due to blog tours. However, the publisher sent me an ARC by surprise and since I wanted to finish all my review copies first, the time to read Asunder has arrived. Good thing though it took a while for me to read it because I was able to enjoy it thoroughly.

Ana is still being treated violently: people still curse at her and throw stones at her. She still isn't accepted by most people in Heart thinking that her existence alone is dangerous. Most especially after Templedark. People still blames her and assumes that she would recreate it. However, since Dossam is very willing to be with her and help her accomplish her research about Janan, sylph and newsouls, Ana doesn't want to stop proving that she's worth a shot. They still struggle so much but the world is changing drastically. She is no longer the only newsoul and sylph followers her.

True enough, Meadows proven that there is so much more in Asunder. I had some issues with Incarnate and when I interviewed her, she promised answers in the sequel. I loved Asunder! Not only the fabulous cover but the entire adventure I experienced reading it. The world building may have not changed at all but the existence of things in it made perfect sense. It is much stronger as opposed to Incarnate. I was expecting more dragons and what I would like to highlight is the truth behind sylphs, it just pinched my heart and I want to take them all home and take care of them no matter how painful their touch can be. The unraveling of the heartless reality behind Janan made the plot so much thrilling because it wasn't really what I expected. It was beyond what I expected. I also appreciated how the story grew with fantastic twists. Basically, my understanding for Asunder expanded and my hidden love for the series surfaced with such intensity I couldn't even handle.

The romance though surprised me. I didn't anticipate that there would be such twirl between Ana and Dossam. Which made me feel a little dubious about it. Cris and Stef reincarnated over and over, doesn't matter what gender, but the feelings they have is still intact? I find it a little odd. But I didn't doubt Dossam's feelings for Ana. At all. Though Ana's feelings were sometimes weird. I both love them though. Their relationship is an icon of true love despite hardships.

Asunder doesn't only flow with flowers, cute swirls, dragons and butterflies but it exudes love like no other. It announces true meaning of friendship and benevolence in amid of brokenness and loss. It is bitter sweet and the perfect sequel to Incarnate!

Thank you so much Sarah of HarperCollins for sending in an ARC!


"I've lived long enough to know there are things worth regretting, but there's nothing you can do to change the past. And yet, sometimes it works out anyway, in ways you don't expect."