12.17.2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.


Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


5 STARS out of 5
TITLE:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone

AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
GENRE:
Young Adult


Hello everyone!  Let me introduce myself again. I'm Airah and with the exemption of HP, I can never be a solid fan of fantasy books.

That is, UNTIL NOW.

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.


Amidst the bizarre names, and equally bizarre world-building, I can't help but ask myself at first.. Who the heck is Karou anyway?

As the story unfolds, I got my answer -- she is THE daughter of smoke and bone!

:) Like, IN YOUR FACE!

On a more serious note though, Karou seemed like your typical Czech teen.  That is, if a typical Czech teen actually sketches weird creatures and paints nude people at school. I haven't met one, so pardon me.


What made Karou stand out from the rest was her naturally blue hair, the tats on her arm.. and wait, was that also tattoo on both her palms?

As I went on with my reading, I learned what it was, and many other things too.  I loved how the symbols in this book were beautifully interwoven.  The teeth, the hamsas, Karou's name, the crescent-moon knives and the wishbone.

Of course, the wishbone.

"Magic?" Akiva had asked. "What bird does this come from, that its bones make magic?"

"Oh, it's not magic.  The wishes don't really come true."

"Then why do it?"

She shrugged. "Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."


It was that piece of relic which snapped something in Akiva to finally recognize Karou for who and what she truly is.  And I say, it's my most favorite moment in the book.  Akiva on his knees, crying in front of Karou.  I didn't exactly know the magnitude of Akiva's discovery at that time, but it was certainly heartbreaking to read.


I tell you guys, this is one heck of a love story only a fantasy novel could give! I'm so much in awe!

Also, let me share how much my heart is bursting with love for Brimstone. He remained to be the father Karou never had. I will always imagine him sitting in his shop, working endlessly with those jars of teeth.

Oh, and a big shout out goes to Karou's real life sketchbook characters -- Kishmish, Yasri, Issa and Twiga -- for also staying loyal to her after all those years.  You will be missed, darlings.

The moment I'm done reading, all I could think of was how perfect the title fit, and the overall brilliance that this book has achieved.

This is literature you guys! One so captivatingly written that I won't likely forget in a long time. Very much worthy of the hype and the 5 stars!

*Photo courtesy of the author's Pinterest page

12.13.2012

Angelfall

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.


5 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Angelfall
AUTHOR: Susan Ee
GENRE: Young Adult


WOWOWOWOW!!! 5 BIG STARS!!

The first YA book I've read about angels was Hush, Hush; and that doesn't even compare to this one.

THIS BOOK is phenomenal! Hooked me from the very beginning and never let go! It was so unputdownable that I started this a bit late last night, only to sleep past 4am then continued reading this the moment I woke up 2 hours ago. It's like this book took precedence over brushing my teeth and eating brunch.

WOW. Just wow.

This is a dystopian story about Penryn, a teenage girl who is truly determined to save her 7 y/o crippled sister, Paige, from the hands of angels.

The angels in this book are not much different from the angels we know. Though they're definitely not the cherubs type, they were described to have flawless skin and have really beautiful, strong wings -- on varied colors, of course.

Unfortunately for Penryn, she was stuck with a dying angel. A dying angel with deep blue piercing eyes, that is. And no wings to boot. He's one of the fallen, or so they claimed.


Actually, he looks exactly like a gorgeous Olympian champion. It's more than a little disturbing just how much he looks like a supreme example of a human being. I mean, shouldn't an angel that's part of a legion to eradicate humanity look, well, evil and alien?

Raffe -- short for Raphael -- is actually one of the few archangels left. He was beaten and mutilated all due to angel politics. Just when I thought God was supreme and omnipotent.. who knew dirty politics exist among the angels?

He was saved, then kidnapped by a human. And a teenage girl no less! Penryn needs his help to find her way to the aerie to save her sister.

What came next was a bunch of giggle fits directed at Penryn and her illusion that she can stand her own against an angel like Raffe. She actually tried to use the angel sword against him!

"My sword would never hurt me. And my sword is the only one you can wield."

Reminds me of Harry Potter and his wand. I just loved this! Loyalty was tested, and Penryn proved to be on Raffe's side all through it all.

Together they took up a journey back to the aerie with different goals -- for Penryn, it was to save her sister and for Raffe, to find a way to stitch his wings back.

Let me share the lines which made me grin really hard: 

It occurs to me that I might be in the unprecedented position of being able to glean some intelligence on them.

What I would do with angel intel, I don't know. But it can't hurt to gain a little knowledge.

And of course, who could forget about this one?

"Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I'll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That's what you are."

That actually made me super LOL! Oh, how much I loved this book! It's extremely well written and the world building is absolutely perfect! This is surely one of the most memorable paranormal reads I've had. Can't fight this angel cravings! I need the sequel ASAP! 

Sweet Evil

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


2 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Sweet Evil
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
GENRE: Young Adult


Oookay. That was so ANTICLIMACTIC!


Don't get me wrong though. I enjoyed the first half of the book.

It was well written. The world-building was really good, though it came off as plain storytelling from a few characters. But I can't blame the author for that. There's no way one can tell the origin of this angels & demons fiasco without going back to the days where earth wasn't even created yet.

The author gave her own spin to this angels & demons tale -- adding Dukes of sins and their kids, the Nephilims, who work their asses off to bring chaos to mankind.

I even liked the main character, Anna, and her unquenchable thirst to find out who she really is.

 
Being able to hear and see and smell everything within a one-mile radius was major sensory overload. And unfortunately, perfect health did not make me immune to pain.

It would definitely suck to have talents like that and then knowing you aren't exactly a normal human being to begin with... thanks to a fellow Nephilim and the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan Rowe, for the knowledge he had so easily and willingly imparted.

At one point, I actually giggled at what he shared:

 
"I had a tattoo once," said Kaidan. "Last year, just before we left England."

"What do you mean, you had 'once'?"

"Bloody thing was gone by the morning!" His voice was indignant.  "Sheets were black with ink. I put myself through all that for hours, and my body just pushed it back out!"

I WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS BOOK. I really would.

But here's a sad thing about world-building taking precedence over character development -- CHARACTERS GET LOST IN THE MUDDLE. I couldn't feel them anymore. This book got so much potential but then lost it.

I should be ending this review here but I couldn't help myself.

Here's a note for you, Kaidan, because you frustrated me the most! ---

Kaidan (Ky-den),

First of all, let me tell you
how very much distracted I am about the right way
to pronounce your name in my mind
every time I glance on my Nook.

To say the least, it frustrates me,
Even while writing this now.

I know you're a smokin' hot drummer
with an English accent;
and your work of seducing the ladies
should earn you a ticket to my swoon-worthy shelf,
BUT you, Mr. Rowe, came up short.

Almost halfway,
your lines seemed a bit off and forced.
You used the word "Er..."
and sometimes stuttered like a virgin teenage boy.
UGH. Where was the hot Kaidan guy I met at the beginning??
Where the heck was he?!


Your fear of your demon father is perfectly understandable.
Unfortunately, it made you appear as a wuss.

No offense.
Though I will be watching your moves on the next book.
I hope you grow a freaking backbone.

Much hate for now,
Your less-than-thrilled reader
ME 

The Sea of Tranquility

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.


5 STARS out of 5
TITLE: The Sea of Tranquility
AUTHOR: Katja Millay
GENRE: Young Adult


Wow. I'm amazed at the writing. It's emotionally charged in a really beautiful way.

The thoughts conveyed throughout the book weren't phenomenal, just simply amazing. I applaud the author for that. For her to be able to describe the thoughts in smooth, convincing details, she must be really good at human psychology.

This book helped me figure out some things about life. It was that insightful. It helped me confirm that I'm not the only one who felt certain things, even if Nastya is just a fictional character. I could include few excerpts, but this one felt the most enlightening for me, yet somehow minor at least:

I’ve done the support group thing, too, but I hated it even before I stopped talking. I never understood how hearing everyone else’s shit stories was supposed to make me feel better about mine. Everyone sits around and laments the crap hands they’ve been dealt. Maybe I’m just not a sadist. It doesn’t comfort me to see other people as annihilated as I am...

Plus, support groups get a little antagonistic when you don’t talk. It’s like you’re pilfering everyone else’s pain, taking, but not offering anything in return.

It wasn't an actual support group per se. I quit a religious cell group months ago, because it was pressuring me to always show up at certain events in a week. Maybe I'm not that committed; but the truth is, listening to other people's problems regularly made me feel useless since I didn't have big problems like them. (Not that I'm hoping to have bigger problems.)

Aside from listening to their problems and the cliché encouragements I throw their way, I didn't have much else to say. So I stopped showing up.

Hmm. Now that I thought about it, I realized why I love to read. And of course, why I love reading good books like this one.

Reading is some sort of a therapy for me. With feel-good books, reading is an escape from reality. Like how other people would mostly feel.

But once in a while, I come across a book of high caliber. Not because of the words used, but with how those words were used fluidly.

This book is one of them.

Reading this is a grasp of reality. Something to correlate with what's happening in my life. Not that I'm a victim or anything, but this one touched fragments of my life. As exampled above.

The Sea of Tranquility might be a slow read but this got me really emotionally invested. And I love it when books make me cry. 

Losing It

Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Losing It
AUTHOR: Cora Carmack
GENRE: New Adult


My attention was immediately caught by this book's cover after most of my GR friends started adding this to their TBR pile weeks ago.

Whoever made this book's cover was a genius. Even with the miniscule thumbnail of the book on my phone's GR app, it literally stood out. Translation, it looked really hot. Readers took notice and moved on to the blurb. Then, bam, TBR button clicked.

After reading really beautiful books, I thought the writing in this one seemed plain. In my mind, I was already deducting a star.

After a chapter though, I noticed that my impression about this book has changed. The writing wasn't trying hard to be beautiful. Instead, it opted to be realistic.

Scenes changed at second chapter, and from then on, everything else felt right and humorous. Give me a book that makes me giddy with excitement, and I'm hooked.

All throughout, I was chuckling like a madwoman at Bliss' crazy talk and inner monologues. Just look:


Whoever said one-night stands were supposed to be simple with no strings attached had clearly never met the disaster that was me.

She is such an endearing character. Her awkwardness to lose her virginity is believable. Her unfortunate antics, especially the "Stop! Cats! Stop..." part, didn't feel over the top. Just sort of something ridiculous you think of randomly just to escape a situation. And I'm glad the author included that part well with the unfolding of the story because it surely made me giggle like a little girl.

Oh, and what made me giggle a whole lot more? Of course, it would be Garrick, the male lead. I may not know much about him, because this book didn't provide an in-depth characterization about his past (which I'm thankful for because it would be a bit useless with the plot); still, my heart swoons for this British guy.

The forbidden aspect of their relationship was what made the book ticked, and this wasn't new to most readers. Fortunately, the author gave the trite plot with her own twist.

Most of the reviews I've read about this one complained that it wasn't that steamy enough. And I'm telling you right now, if you want to read this book because of the cover, sorry to disappoint but there are no phenomenal sex scenes here. Okay, just plain ol' vanilla sex almost at the end.

There were so many predictable moments; still, I enjoyed reading this.  The sexual tension was handled well and with this kind of story, it was enough.

Losing It is a quick read, not only because it's short, but also because it is really captivating. While I'm writing this review, it seemed that my smile is permanently plastered on my face. I definitely had a fun time reading this book!

Life of the Party

Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Taylor can't wait to be free; free from high school, the shadow of her perfect older sister, and her disapproving parents. The rebellious party girl has a perfect accomplice in best friend Riley, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who scores them drugs, booze and under-age entry into the only club in town. But then everything changes. A traumatized Riley suddenly decides to give up the party life, and a wide-eyed Mackenzie meets Grey Lewis, a broodingly talented, gorgeous older man she falls instantly in love with. Though Riley warns her to stay away, the aspiring rock star's body and ample drug supply are too tempting for her to resist. Previously inseparable, Riley and Mackenzie go their separate ways.

When summer hits, Mackenzie has new friends, a new apartment and new drugs to mask the pain of Riley's absence. And of course, she has Grey. But despite the fierce, consuming passion they share, the mysterious bad-boy always leaves her guessing. Is Grey really a good guy? Or was Riley right about him all along? Mackenzie's in too deep to care. Unable to curb her mounting addictions, before long the lust-for-life teen totally loses control. She forgets Riley, forgets life, forgets everything but Grey and their next hit.

But luckily for Mackenzie...Riley has never forgotten about her.


4.5 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Life of the Party
AUTHOR: Christine Anderson
GENRE: New Adult


I should warn you -- this book is NOT by any means a light YA read. And this isn't your average teen angst novel. This one is so well written -- beautifully dark and emotionally intense. I loved it!

As most of you already know, I don't rave about books which couldn't even hold my attention for the first 100 pages or so. Well, this book is quite long.. but please don't get intimidated. It had me captivated at the very beginning, and ended up being a winner. IMHO, what this book needs is a devoted reader.

Now, I'm just thinking of how to review this book without giving so much away.

Hmm. What first caught my attention was the title -- Life of the Party. That wasn't extraordinary but it's everything I'm not. I enjoy parties, but I don't like the attention. I'm one of those people contented enough to really laugh at another person's jokes, but couldn't bring up a single, original joke to save myself.

I'm a wallflower. Yes, and I'm actually glad to be one. Feels more comforting, I think.


I'm not sure what happened to me. There's no defining moment in my life that separates the good girl I used to be from what I've become. It was like a gradual transformation, and one day I realized that I just didn't care anymore. I started living to please myself instead of everybody else, and realized there's more to life than school and studying and going to college to get a good job and make the most money possible. There's fun, friends... life outside of how we're told to live. Basically, I just started rebelling.

And I've loved every minute of it.

Meet Mackenzie --- the 17-year-old girl with an easy-go-lucky attitude. She's the black sheep of the family. A total bad-ass.. and a virgin. She craves danger and drama like a passion.

I was an all-around good girl during my highschool years that Mac was the perfect person I imagined to be, if I did want to suck up and throw my life away during those years.

Mac smokes and parties a lot. Oh, she loves being high too, courtesy of her bestfriend Riley. Though in fairness to the latter, he takes care of Mac even though he's the one providing her with drugs.  Even from the start, I could tell Riley has feelings for Mac. Although it was hinted that they made out, Mac was too high to even remember. Dang Riley! I feel you man.

Then we meet Grey (Of all the sexy names in this world, why author, why??), the singer of the Serpentine band and Mac's instant dream guy. He also works with Riley at some restaurant. He's like Kellan Kyle from Thoughtless, only a bit hotter.

And this, my friends, is NOT an instalove story, which I'm totally grateful for. Nothing else screams ho-hum like two people making out at the first few chapters. Mac has to grovel for Grey's attention. It's awkward but really fun to read. I was hooked.

I chuckled mostly at the beginning. I especially liked the mushroom part where Mac prayed for Riley. It was hilarious.

Then it stopped being funny, and started being heartbreaking instead. Life changed for Riley and Mac, and from then on, I felt a bit empty. Of course, I'm rooting for Grey and Mac, but I don't want Riley out of the picture. I know, I'm such a selfish person.


It was pretty hard not to wallow in self-pity. In the matter of a few short weeks I had managed to lose all my friends and get a broken heart in the process.

Ring a bell? I suddenly couldn't help but think that it's really easy to get carried away with a new guy.

And to think that Grey isn't your usual womanizer. He just doesn't do relationships. Period. And with Mac, everything seemed hot and cold. I was frustrated most of the time, as evidenced by the updates below.  But somehow I understood and actually craved for that flaw in their relationship. Gah, at first, I don't even know what to call with what's going on between them. There are a lot of ups and downs, but they are really captivating that you almost wouldn't notice you just went through a hell of a rollercoaster ride.

Then a BIG twist happened; and I was sobbing like crazy. WOW. This book was so intense to the core. It pulled a myriad of emotions out of me that I felt utterly depleted the moment I'm done reading.

I'm giving this book 4.5 STARS! Which is actually a first for me.

Now I understand why people sometimes give a half-star rating. This book sends a powerful message about drug addiction, but I didn't like some events that transpired after the said twist. They were realistic and some people may like it, but I honestly don't. I know it's Mac's journey to positivity but it's just too full of everyday whatnots that I thought the book might be better off without the detailed aftermath.

Please don't get me wrong though, because I don't regret picking up this book ever. I've been absolutely floored by the epilogue. Life of the Party is a gripping tale about friendship, love, loss, self-destruction and the beauty of second chances; and one of the most emotional reads I've had recently.
 

If I have the strength to leave,
It'd be the greatest gift that I could give.
The greatest gift that I can give,
I want you to truly live.


-as seen on Mac's diary

Where She Went

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.


5 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Where She Went
AUTHOR: Gayle Forman
GENRE: Young Adult



WOW. I would give this sequel gazillion stars if I could! I can't help it. I didn't know it was possible for me to like Where She Went more than If I Stay, but I did.

Remember from the first book how Mia always want to know what was so special about her that she was chosen by a highschool rockstar like Adam? Now this, being at Adam's point of view, I could now fully understand how he chose Mia. I would too, if I was a guy.

Mia was just so special, so reserved and so real that you can't help but be drawn to her.

I applaud the author for writing this in a man's point of view in a very convincing way. I could feel the angst, even the pent-up desire to win Mia back. Even though at first, I emphatize with the man and it made me somewhat angry at Mia for leaving him.

And Zizz wasn't kidding when she said that the lyrics here are better than the poems at Slammed.

I mean, it was like comparing oil and water, but the lyrics here definitely pulled more emotions out of me. It's like, can someone please make songs out of this in real life so I could play them when I re-read this sometime?

The lyrics are THAT good! It hits you, in a good way, everytime. Even though I don't know much about songwriting, I bet the author could make a career out of it! The words are interwoven beautifully. Just look at this:


The boogeyman sleeps on your side of the bed
Whispers in my ear: "Better off dead."
Fills my dreams with sirens and lights of regret
Kisses me gently when I wake up in a sweat


-"Boo!"
Collateral Damage, track 3

And my favorite of them all was the chorus from Animate, the band's official anthem and the first track of their initial album Collateral Damage (I actually tried singing it on my own weird angst version):


Hate me.
Devastate me.
Annihilate me.
Re-create me.
Re-create me.
Won't you, won't you, won't you re-create me.

You know, wow. Just wow. I could go on and rave about how good this book really is. Like how the words flowed smoothly, and I savored, really savored, every chapter. But it will possibly drown you out so I will end my review with this:

If you're a big fan of emotional, angsty reads and had this seating on your TBR pile for awhile.. PICK THIS BOOK NEXT. You will probably love this! Because I really do.

Long after I turned the last page, I knew that this book will stay with me for a really really long time.

Mia Hall and Adam Wilde. I'm so gonna miss you both.

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

 4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
AUTHOR: Kody Keplinger
GENRE: Young Adult


GOODREADS UPDATE (10/23/12):

This is the first time I'm doing this -- subtracting a star weeks after I reviewed it and removing it from my faves shelf.

I've read really good books lately. And whenever I visit my "favorites" shelf, I felt that this book does not belong there anymore. After awhile, it just doesn't have the same impact like the other books which I've learned to love.

ORIGINAL REVIEW (9/18/12):

This book surprised me so much.

At first, I doubted if Wesley, the hero, was redeemable. According to Bianca:


He’s arrogant, and he sleeps with everything he can get his filthy hands on. Most of the time, I just want to claw his creepy eyes out. How could I like him?

And if our intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal, compassionate heroine doesn't like him, how could I, a mere reader, like him??

So I read on. Curious, and a bit hopeful that something will change my mind regarding Wesley's character.

And I was not disappointed.

Just when I decided that a "4 stars" rating is generous enough, Miss Kody chose that time to give me a peek at Wesley's world. So okay, I was convinced that he has enough flaws that could somehow justify his earlier actions.. More as a realistic part of a novel, and NOT like in real life (don't get me wrong, being a man whore as a coping mechanism will never be justified IMO).

I loved the writing and the highschool drama. Nothing too heavy.. not even a single tear-inducing moment for me.

Unlike other books which I feel like I'm reading so I could get to the end ASAP, I was savoring every moment of the story. Actually, if reading this was like watching a sitcom, I surely had laughed at all the punchlines.

This isn't your average YA novel. This is a story that speaks volumes about the importance of self-esteem.

Upon reading Wesley's letter to Bianca, I knew instantly that this story just climbed a bit higher at the totem pole.

All grown up, but a part of me will always be a DUFF.  So this one goes straight to my favorites shelf.

Ruining Me

Eighteen year old Jay Stevenson is living a horrible nightmare.

Two years ago she had the world in the palm of her hand and in one moment it was all ruined for her. Secrets, lies and the worst imaginable betrayal will haunt her for the next two years, until all of it catches up to her and she will lose the control of the lonely world she has built around herself.

Three guys from her past and present will be there when it all comes crashing down. JT the perfect boyfriend she never wanted to give up, Rhye the local bad boy “rock star” that made her forget the past and Kane the funny and sweet tattooed bartender that wants her future.

Is it possible to change the path she chose for herself and still keep all of her secrets?


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Ruining Me
AUTHOR: Nicole Reed
GENRE: New Adult


WOW! Okay, I was more like, what!!! This book was really good! This had been a combination of recently hyped books DONE RIGHT. Thank goodness!

Our heroine, James -- nicknamed Jay (which is a weird name for a girl IMO) -- was a bit slutty. Well, NOT really. Though she used to favor one-night stands. Nice change from the goody two-shoes heroines I've been reading lately.

She's torn among three guys:
- JT, the highschool quarterback and her first ex-boyfriend
- Rhye, the average highschool bad boy and her previous conquest
- Kane, the 23 year-old bartender she just met who was described as seriously fuckable

And with three gorgeous guys like that, who gets my ultimate vote?


He's about six foot two with buzzed dark hair. He's got amazing cut arms and don't get me started on his stomach. One night, he pulled his t-shirt up and he's got a serious six pack. Oh, and his butt? You could bounce a quarter off of it... I didn't know that people could actually have eyes that green and he's got the coolest tats on both of his arms and neck.

-Jill, another bartender friend of Jay

Did she just described him like that?? LOL That's super illegal, like it came straight from a model's profile! Oooh now I'm drooling and totally not making any sense! Team Kane over here!!!

Whew.

Anyway, I really like Jay, the heroine. She's damaged but fierce. And she has a secret nobody knows. But being a perceptive reader that I am, I already have a good guess at chapter 2! And damn, I was right! If not for the conspicuous clues, I would have thought that this has a TSOT vibe in it because of how beautifully the story unfolds.

Towards the latter part of the book, it all came down to two guys though -- and I kept thinking that this is Thoughtless, the shorter YA version.

Everything seemed predictable until after the climax, where it took my breath away.. and I felt stunned by what happened. But no tears to shed this time. I was just plain stunned. This was like the book Taking Chances done right. Like WTF did just happened??!!

I really enjoyed reading this book -- very captivating and angsty! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves angsty reads. 

The Marriage Bargain

A marriage in name only...

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: The Marriage Bargain

AUTHOR: Jennifer Probst
GENRE: Contemporary Romance

SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk.

The title caught my attention. Who doesn't want to marry a billionaire?

I read for enjoyment so I don't overanalyze m
ost things. But wait, one scene made me grin so hard I almost forgot I still have common sense.

A room full of dogs. Seriously. After I got so excited with that scene, I found myself thinking, how the heck didn't Nick noticed there were dogs in there? Not just two, three dogs but more than half a dozen dogs! They bark, aren't they? If so, is the house really that big not to hear canine sounds so early in the evening even if one is upstairs?? Or is the spare room where Alexa brought the dogs soundproofed? If it was the latter, well sorry to say, it wasn't mentioned.


Regardless, I really enjoyed reading Alexa and Nick's story. I loved their witty banters. As a heroine, Alexa has a lot of spunk, and I admire her for that. Nick may be damaged; but his open-mindedness, albeit late, to Alexa's world casted him in a positive light for me.

The writing was really good. It wasn't too descriptive, just gave the right vibe. It even flows perfectly.

I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, fun and sexy read! 

Onyx

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…


3 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Onyx
AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Armentrout
GENRE: Young Adult


Here, we pick up from where things left off at Obsidian.

Daemon and Katy are back! And they're seriously kicking DOD's asses this time! But before we head to that, let me tell you how much I hate the bets taking place on novels nowadays. They're too cheesy. Just look at this:


"Stop distracting me, Kitten. Back to my bet -- by New Year's Day, you'll have admitted that you're madly, deeply, irrevocably, and irresistibly in love with me."

Warning bells kept ringing on my mind when I came upon that. Reminded me of the reason why I never continued reading My Favorite Mistake. Bets like that seemed ridiculous, and IMO, did not make the banter between the characters any good. It just made me want to pull my hair out a couple of times.

Nothing personal on bets. Just saying.

I started getting bored with this whole alien shenanigans, even Daemon's hotness couldn't stop the yawn coming out of my mouth. I actually almost put this book on hold, when all of a sudden Katy acquired some alien powers and met another guy named Blake!

Daemon and Blake.
I smelled war.
Oooh, it's definitely on!

LOL

You see, the thing with hyped books like this one is that even when the pace seems slow, I somehow felt obliged to finish the book just to know if something good and exciting will come out of it.

Fortunately, like the first book in the series, Onyx has something original and a bit exciting in store for the patient reader. So if you're like me who likes getting some action fast with this type of books, well.. just hang on people! ;)

Taking Chances

Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.

Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.


2 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Taking Chances
AUTHOR: Molly McAdams

GENRE: New Adult


Okay, I loved the first half.. and that's it. I only tolerated the remaining part of the book.

To say that I skimmed when it came to the 3/4 of the story was a serious understatement. So many "I love you's" were thrown that I can't help but think that the HEA should end earlier, and not drag the readers to an excruciating pages of unnecessary details.

And by the way, aside from the climax, one scene shocked me to the point of almost closing this book for good:


"Brandon? Harper?!”

We sat up at Bree’s shrill voice and were off the bed before she got to the room. Taking four long steps toward us, her palm connected with my face before I even registered her hand swinging back.
 ...
 Bree sobs turned to hiccups not long after and she pulled back to look at me, “I’m sorry for slapping you, I can’t believe I did that.”

The corners of my mouth tilted up, “I think I deserved that one friend.”

What?? I know they're bestfriends, and I know that it was Harper's fault that Bree became concerned (for those who already read this, you know what I mean). But wow, that was a real slap, and seriously, WHO DOES THAT? That was completely uncalled for! Can't Harper bring her kid somewhere and just think for awhile? It was completely out of character for Bree to physically hurt her BFF.

There are a couple more shocking twists in the story.. that I think you have to re-read to fully understand because it really hits you when you don't expect it. The author likes to put the characters in the scenes wherein you will be left confused because the said characters knew THE TWISTS first, before you will be able to know.

Oh, and another thing which bothered me.. Well, I like love triangles when reading a story, and I truly respect the author for trying something new.. but when you kill a character like that, make sure that the end of the story is already near. Because frankly, where is the original angst if one point of the triangle is already gone?

When he died, the story should have wrapped itself up. It makes the angst fresh on the reader's mind and heart. It makes us want to crave for more. 

Torched

Rose Whitfield's senior year just went up in smoke. Instead of having a blast with her best friend, her cheerleading squad, and her boyfriend Ryan, she's framed for arson. Popularity and criminal records don't mix, apparently.

Luckily, Rose knows who's framing her: Paxton Callaway. Paxton and Rose have spent years locked in a war of practical jokes. This time he's gone too far. Rose sets out to prove her innocence, win Ryan back, and take Paxton down hard.

Not necessarily in that order.


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Torched
AUTHOR: Andrea Lynn Colt
GENRE: Young Adult



Rose Whitfield, the heroine, is everything a senior girl could ever hope to be -- a smart captain cheerleader who dates a tall, lean and deliciously broody soccer guy, and BFF's with the popular girl who literally owns the school. How cliche can you get?

That is, until the arson stuff happened.

This book is really good! This is like YA version of a chick lit mystery. Not my usual type of book, but it kept me entertained. I'm that easy to please.

I loved guessing about the identity of the real arsonist. It was pretty exciting.

Until of course, the initial confession. I was like, Whaat?? It just came out of nowhere. And frankly, the reason behind the arson was pretty dense. I thought THAT was it. So, in my mind, I was already itching to give this book 3 stars!

But then, an unexpected twist happened, and I'm doing my happy dance once again.

I also liked the growth of Rose's character in this story. From being a shallow person, she became someone who is sensitive to another person's feeling. Just goes to show that tragedy indeed brings out the best in people.

Rose and Paxton. Let me just say this: your pranks rocked! Wouldn't like them happening to me in real life (who would?) but I definitely enjoyed reading about them!

Stalk Me

Gossip girl meets Hollywood in this new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.
Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam.
Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to.
It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.
And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends.

To add to the drama, her movie star mom’s long-time fan has turned stalker.
An older man is flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together.
And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating a guy like him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony.
But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Stalk Me
AUTHOR: Jillian Dodd
GENRE: Young Adult


If you want a light read, try this!

This book has the ingredients for an exciting next read: catchy title, totally hot, swoon-worthy boys and a filthy, rich heroine who seriously needs to make up her mind.

TEAM CUSH all the way!!!

Halfway through the novel, I kept thinking, Keatyn can't keep bouncing from one guy to another. It was a frustrating read for me.

Even before everything was spelled out for the heroine, I already knew two things. That Sander was gay and Brooklyn did not really love her THAT MUCH. The moment I realized these things, I just want to shout at Keatyn, Get a freaking clue already! Let me tell you, she's THAT clueless most of the time.

I know that I wasn't being patient but you could just imagine my frustration when I realized that it's already past 3/4 of the novel, and she's making out with new hotties and I'm like, who do you really end up with, Keatyn, huh?

Then it's the end. I was like, WHAT?? Did this book just kept me hanging? I didn't know this was the first in a six book series until I've read the acknowledgements. No warnings whatsoever.

So consider yourself forewarned, I repeat, this book is the first in a SIX book series.

Don't expect any HEA yet. Because I did, and look what happened to me. I was totally frustrated.

But no matter how many hotties appear til book 6, I'll stay loyal to the Cushman!

Anyway, I liked Jillian Dodd's writing. Like That Boy, this is fun and easy to read. Definitely a YA chic lit at its finest.

UPDATED:
I was using mobile app for Goodreads so imagine my surprise when I opened the GR desktop site, and saw the book title with (The Keatyn Chronicles #1) next to it. Maybe, GR mobile app should show not just the book title but also the series name. Just saying.

If I Stay

A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.


5 STARS out of 5
TITLE: If I Stay
AUTHOR: Gayle Forman
GENRE: Young Adult


At 15%, I knew that I won't be able to put this book down even if I try.

Instantly, this book captured my heart.

Years ago, my career in real life made me realize how short and precious life really is. I've seen too many people on moderate high back rest, awake one moment, then dead the next.

Even though I'm used to being a part of the medical team, it's kinda refreshing to see the scenes from the point of view of a patient. I mean, Mia's soul; the one which stayed and became a bystander.


“But seriously, how do you get over the jitters?”

Dad was still smiling but I could tell he had turned serious because he slowed down his speech. “You don’t. You just work through it. You just hang in there.”

Loved that advice! Definitely something nice to remember when I'm having a stage fright. Where I'll use it, I'll never know. But who knows?


The social worker looks exhausted, as if she wouldn’t mind crawling into one of the open beds. I am not her only sick person. She has been shuttling back and forth between patients and families all afternoon. She’s the bridge between the doctors and the people, and you can see the strain of balancing between those two worlds.

With that excerpt, I swear she does not only described the social worker but also my job as a nurse. Wow. Honestly, this book felt pretty insightful and real.

I loved the writing. It almost seemed lyrical, and the flashbacks felt natural.

I also loved how the author showed the relationship between Mia and Adam. It was realistic and not without its flaws.

I loved everything about this book. The theme is supposed to be dark, with death and coma being tackled; but somehow, it felt light and really easy to read. Not once did I cry, but it totally grabbed my heart.

Heavy Issues

Steering clear of relationships has never been difficult for demolitions expert Cole Bowen, but now, with his brother's engagement sending the female population into full-blown hysterics and the town of Alden's month-long festivities helping along, he finds himself in hell. When he discovers Alden's new resident and the object of all his wet dreams, Christine Sheridan, has sworn off relationships and is going to hire a gigolo to get professionally laid, he decides to kill two birds with one stone.

Christy is so not drinking again. Thanks to José Cuervo she has her friends signing her up for stud conventions and Cole frigging Bowen offering sex in exchange of fake dates, which is so out of the question it isn't even funny. She knows the domineering man will push her boundaries, and after battling all her life with self-esteem issues, she isn't ready for that. Too bad he won't take no for an answer.

Cole is determined to strip away all of her defenses but refuses to lower his ever-present walls, so when Christy realizes she wants more, she's left with only two options; walk away or crack his shield and risk her heart in the process.


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Heavy Issues
AUTHOR: Elle Aycart
GENRE: Contemporary Romance


After one emotionally intense read, I was in dire need of a feel-good story --- and this one felt like an answered prayer.

After a long engagement gone bad -- Christy realized that she needed to dust the cobwebs off her vagina -- no-strings-attached style! And what's the most convenient way to do it? Hire a first-class stud of course! Pronto! Or is it just the tequila talking?

Enter Cole -- a rich demolitions expert AND one of the infamous Bowen brothers -- who made it pretty clear that he wasn't into relationships; but decided that Christy was hot enough for him to consider being her man-whore.

His brilliant idea? Christy gets her no-strings-attached sex, and he'll have his decoy date for the festivities. Whoa. Perfect economical exchange!

Unfortunately for Christy, she kept on thinking that she wasn't good enough:


It was easier for her to believe he was an asshole making fun of her than the possibility that he’d seriously consider having anything to do with her. That was just baffling. Mind-boggling. Out of an X-Files episode. Guys like him didn’t go hiring themselves out for girls like her. That was a fact of life.

Indeed.

But then who could resist an alpha male like Cole who keeps on pushing himself to Christy's life?

So there goes the story of Cole and Christy -- even with all the baggages between the two, the book spells FUN and STEAMY. Just the way I like it.

Well, Cole is definitely book boyfriend material. I liked his guts. I mean, who wouldn't? He's a hard, arrogant and sexy man, and he knows it. He talks smack that could make any decent girl blush and clearly runs the show here. It's not everyday you encounter this kind of guy. And If I ever meet one in real life, I would definitely act like Christy and won't ever give him the time of day. He's a walking heartbreak. And most books, as we all know, are clearly just a part of imagination. Some guys just love to stay as jerks.

This book is really good and well-written. I haven't picked this up before because this is part of a series. And books series sometimes intimidate the heck out of me. Reading the same characters for weeks makes me feel like I was missing out on other good books.

But then I read from another review that this can be a standalone. What a nice read! I'm so glad I picked this! 4 STARS! 

Crush

Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect.

Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other.

As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Crush

AUTHOR: Lacey Weatherford
GENRE: Young Adult
 

Wow. Wow. Wow.

This book is so good and so awesome that I'm glad I picked this one when I was sick.

Hunter, our infamous stoner, is just so drool-worthy. Whenever it's his POV, I kept going back to the cover. I can't help it! I loved being lost in his eyes. It's surreal!

Cami is a nerd by association but described as a really gorgeous, curly redhead whom every guy at school talks about behind locker rooms.

Together, they make a royalty -- King of stoners and Queen of nerdy chic.

I loved how it's not just a YA love story, but it has mystery too! Though I already had a clue what Hunter was doing the first few chapters, I still enjoyed the unfolding of the story.

If only I was able to finish this in one sitting, my rating would have been a star higher. But then my temperature went high again literally, so I had to continue reading this for another day. And unfortunately, it didn't sucked me in like the first time.

But this was definitely a good read. I find myself leaning to this kind of YA nowadays.

 

Divergent

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


3 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Divergent
AUTHOR: Veronica Roth
GENRE: Young Adult


Um, okay. So I finished Divergent. Big deal.  With all the hype surrounding this book last year, I thought I was missing a lot. Guess not.

Book 1 done and I still haven't really bought the whole 5 factions stuff. I wished that the author had allotted more time for world-building because I was really craving to connect with the characters.

I'm giving this book 3 stars. Though I finished this, reading this book actually seemed like an effort for me. I tried to really really like this, since most people really do care about this book; and I feel that there must be something in here that deserves a certain attachment for the YA dystopian fiction.

But I was disappointed.

All throughout, I feel like I'm watching a soap with my poker face on; ready to bolt from the television anytime, not caring what's next for these characters.

I read this purely for the entertainment value, and I will surely devour the next book for the same reason.

Since I would like to hunt for another series to love aside from the trilogy that took the world by storm, I'm really hoping that the next book will somehow change my mind about this genre.

12.10.2012

The Perfect Game

He's a game she never intended to play.
And she's the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind... like getting Cassie to give him the time of day.


They're both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together.


Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful... 



3 STARS out of 5
TITLE: The Perfect Game
AUTHOR: J. Sterling
GENRE: New Adult


SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk.

Let me get this off my chest first. Honestly, I don't know much about baseball other than what I see while channel hopping on TV.

As far as I know, its popularity hasn't even reached my country yet. Lack of wide media coverage for the national team is a proof. (I actually googled if we even have a national team.)

So a professional college baseball player doesn't really excite me that much. But I thought, as long as the hero has one thing he's passionate about, aside from breaking a girl's heart of course; I decided to give this book a try.

And I wasn't disappointed. At first.

I was really entertained. The writing wasn't really something to gush about, it's simply good.

Just don't get me started with Jack Carter, the said baseball player. He's a world class jerk, and at first, I really liked him. He's fucked up since chapter 1.. so I thought, oooh, no surprises! But I was wrong. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. What he did at the end was too cheesy, it actually pissed me off.

Oh, and it was mentioned that Cassie, the main character, was reading The Opportunist! I liked Cassie because she puts herself first and she doesn't tolerate BS.. then I liked her more because she read one of my fave books. I know, pretty shallow reasoning.

I should have stopped there.. with me liking her character. But then, after the WTF events, she accepted Jack like nothing happened, and that's where it went a bit downhill for me.

Clearly, there was a complete 180 degree turn from Cassie's character because it's like I don't know her at all. She started off strong then became almost pathetic towards the latter part of the story.

If a guy who loved me marries another girl for whatever fucked-up logic he has and also for the unborn baby he wasn't 100% sure "his", then leaves the said girl after he found out what a lying, manipulating bitch she really is.. And then goes back to me, groveling.. Well, I wouldn't forgive myself for accepting the guy easily.. much less beg for his attention.

Unfortunately, that's what Cassie did. She welcomed him. JUST LIKE THAT. It was really unrealistic and completely out of character for someone who has serious trust issues.

Anyway, I had a hard time rating this book. At first, I thought this was a "3". But then I realized that despite some inconsistencies found in the book, I really enjoyed reading this. And when I enjoy reading a book, no matter what, it remains a 4 for me. So this should be a 4. But then a part of me didn't feel that 4 is right, so I went back to 3 stars.

So there folks, 3 stars!

But please, don't go running yet. Because if you're looking for a good new adult drama, and you have high tolerance for jerks, you might really like this.

Wallbanger

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight.


4 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Wallbanger
AUTHOR: Alice Clayton
GENRE: Contemporary Romance


Okay. I don't know if this is just me but this usually happens when I read funny books. They make me LOL so hard at the beginning that it gets tedious after awhile.

Then this book became as cheesy as what I expected towards the end. I enjoyed the storyline, thought it was really really silly. Reminded me NOT to ever move in one of San Francisco's apartments, because this book just ruined the city for me. Two financially able professionals living in apartments with walls so thin you can hear wallbanging from both sides.. Huh. Not for me.

But then.. there was Clive. Haven't I told you yet how much I adore Clive? I swear, he's a human pretending to be a cat! He's a good scene stealer btw!

Would have given this book lesser rating if not for the LOL moments I've had. Overall, I enjoyed the book but not enough to give it five stars.

Obsidian

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.


3 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Obsidian
AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Armentrout
GENRE: Young Adult

 
3 CRAZY SAUCE!!

This is the first time I've read an Armentrout book, and definitely wouldn't be my last!

Katy, Katy.. What to say about her? Hmm. I loved the fact that she maintains a blog site dedicated mainly to her recent reads. I liked how she says that she's done with being the pushover Katy, and does exactly that -- yay for the spaghetti scene!!

Sauce and noodles coming up!

Oh, hello Daemon! Sorry, former pushover Katy just threw them on top of your head. But you totally deserved that you.. you!!!

The male lead, Daemon, is as hot as any other book boyfriends I've had. Who the heck could resist those startling, intense, shocking, unnatural, vibrant, rare green eyes?? The endless description just goes on!

But I refuse to put him to my swoon-worthy heroes shelf because I have a love-hate relationship with him.

You see, he's this hot guy who's actually a light resembling a body.. in short, he's a freaking alien. And haven't I told you yet, aliens shouldn't look that hot on book covers. The general public might have this misconception of how aliens really look like. Someone might encounter a little green man with big eyes and spindly arms on the street, and that someone may never know what just passed by him.

So I say, let's boycott the cover because the guy's too hot for words.  Okay, now I'm babbling. Moving on.

This is the main reason why I couldn't connect fully with Daemon's.character:

Daemon was a douchebag to the highest order.

And that was Katy talking btw. Daemon's hot and cold toward our heroine. At first few encounters, that should be the case and I understand why. He needs to protect his sister and his race from the Arum, I get that. But I'm past halfway with the book and three traces later for Katy -- Daemon's still acting the same. That's one sexual tension definitely NOT done right. I was frustrated and really annoyed with his character. I mean, just please man up dude!

Carissa and Lesa, Katy's latest friends from her new school, were also kind of annoying. It felt like the author just added their characters so that there'll be side characters when Dee's not around for Katy.

Annoying characters aside, I actually found myself enjoying reading this.

UNTIL that one stupid decision made by Katy almost at the end of the book which led her running straight to Baruck's arms literally, where she almost died and tantananan! Daemon to the rescue!!. I mean, how stupid can you really get? Humans on this book simply can't fight and expect to live AGAINST a powerful alien who lurks on the shadows.

OVERALL, I liked the plot. The execution, not so much. Felt a bit like Twilightish to me, minus all the glittering vampires of course. I kept bracing myself for some really great alien action, and all I got was a mediocre fight against four Arums! That definitely lowers the rating.

But like what I've said earlier, this won't be my last Armentrout book. I'm planning to devour the sequel soon!