Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2012

Today is the last day of Top 10 2011, the last post(weep...) is the Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2012. Enjoy!

My day 2 post: Top 10 Covers of 2011
My day 3 post: Top Ten Book Boyfriends of 2011

And in case you didn't know about the blog event, check out my post of Top 10.

Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent(#2)
Out: May 1st, 2012

I loved loved loved Divergent sand would like to know more about Tris and Four.<3 (my review of Divergent here)

Author: P.C Cast and Kristin Cast
Series: Novella(House of Night)
Out: January 31, 2012
However much I pissed by the new installment of House of Night series, novellas are a fresh little tale, unconfined and untainted by the rest of the full-fledged novels(read about my reason here).

 These are the only two that have publication date, and they're part of a series. Normally I don't hunt for novels, especially series, because of the difficulty of finding the novel in local bookstore. So usually when I see a novel and the summary is interesting enough, I get it straight away, hence the short Top Ten list. Most of the time, when I'm in the bookstore, I just look for standalone novels, no matter if it is the latest publication or not. If you're reading this post, please give a few suggestions of the standalone books I should be waiting for next year. Thanks! 


Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: ROSEBUSH by Michele Jaffe

Jane is found, near death in a rose bush, a victim of hit-and-run. She couldn’t move at all, and the memory of the night of the accident was lost to her. But when a threat was written in the bathroom mirror, she finds her voice and scream. She believes that someone was trying to kill her on that night, but failed to do so. And the killer is still trying to murder her. But who would want to kill her? After all, she’s  one of the popular girls in school, has a sweet boyfriend, and two awesome BFFs. Sometimes the truth is a very thorny thing.
Michele Jaffe brings us a powerful psychological and sexy thriller. Fast paced and in a smooth flow, Rosebush will have you hooked right from the beginning.

     Jane is a beautiful and popular girl in her school. At first she seems shallow, but as the story unfolds, she seems to gain more dept. Except for Jane, the other characters are pretty two dimensional and boring. Jaffe didn’t write her side characters well enough, though the boys are hawt.

     The novel is full of suspense, and Jaffe write the psychological part very well. The writing keeps you on edge, and there’s none awkward scenes in the novel. Still, some minimal parts of the novel appears shallower than it seems.

     Although the synopsis just look like another novel about a popular girl caught up in mystery, Rosebush is none of the ordinary. Jaffe puts a lot of new twists in the novel and keeps you guessing on every page, no matter the murderer or love interests. Yes, there are love interests, but the thriller is even better, although I find the reason of murder a little forced. Also, I love how the way Jane's relationship with her mother and step-father mend and build throughout the novel.

     A twisted psychological killer written by a new voice, Rosebush is one novel you ought not to miss. Jaffe show readers that she has the potential to be Stephen King in the YA world.

     Cover: A little boring for me. Maybe less rose. Or maybe a huge rose dripping with blood would be nice.

Ratings: 4 stars

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Ten Book Boyfriends 2011

My day 2 post: Top 10 Covers of 2011

Book boyfriends! And if you'd read my reviews before, you'll know who I have the hots for. Okay, most of my boyfriends are from series that started before 2011, but the latest installments are published this year. So forgive me and let me be in boy haven for a while. Without further ado, let me present my bfs:

Jeremy King
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez(my review here)
Cute and awfully talented, I would like the violinist to be the accompaniment to my piano.

Divergent by Veronica Roth(my review here)
Strong, silent, humble, smart, kickass, brave, self-sacrificial, handsome. Do you need any more reasons?

Dimitri Belikov
The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead(my review here)
Hot, kickass Guardian, sweet and intimidating, he's every Rose's dream guy.

Noah Shaw
The Unbecoming of Myra Dyer by Michelle Hodkin(my review here)
He may seem like the ultimate playboy, but deep inside he's sweet and caring. It doesn't hurt that he has healing powers(opps, unintentional spoiler!)

James Stark
Destined by P.C and Kristin Cast(my review here)
The devoted Guardian and Protector of Zoey Redbird, he is fast to act, kickass and not to mention hot. Perfect boyfriend.

Passion by Lauren Kate(my review here)
A fallen angel that has been searching for you for eternity and eill do anything to get you back, this is a pretty boy with hopeless adoration for his girl.

Prince Maxmillian
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting(my review here)
Looks and noble blood aside, Max is even more swoon worthy as he is ready to turn his back on his family for the right cause and to protect his loved ones.

Ethan Wate
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl(my review here)
Smart, handsome and always trying to save the world even if it means sacrificing his own life, Ethan is one boyfriend you do not want to let go.

The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead(my review here)
Come on! He may be bad and drunk sometimes but in the end he's just like any other guy who cares for his loved ones. That, is a reason enough to put him on my list.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick(my review of Torment here)
 So I'm gonna cheat here and put on a guy from a novel I haven't read. But he is the bad boy of the year, and I do not need to read the latest novel to fall for him all over again.

Honorable Mention
Beck from Forsaken
Zev from Every Other Day
Sam from Linger, Shiver, Forever

There's my list for book boyfriends 2011. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top Ten Book Covers of 2011

Today is the linkup of the Top 10 Covers of 2011. Enjoy!
And in case you didn't know about the blog event, check out my post of Top 10.

 READ(my review here)
Simply gorgeous. The model on the front is my imaginary Carmen, and the pink somehow translate into flowing music and emotional rides. 

Ain't the cover beautiful. Serene and lyrical at the same time.

 READ(my review here)
Strong and clean, having the important elements of Roth's debut on it.

READ(my review here)
Dark and moody, with some sense of despair and dread. You know I love it.

Grey is a neutral color, and the red on it offsets the dread perfectly. Somehow this works better than real life model.

READ(my review here)
I'd always loved House of Night covers. Plus, the hunk is hawt.

READ(my review here)
Gorgeous, dark and mysterious. As I'd said, my kind of cover. 

The model is beautiful, and the caged bird is good symbolism. You know you love it too.

I have a rush to buy this book everytime I see it, but I'm broke. Dang the cover is gorg!

The cover gives off a sense of danger and urgency, though you'll never guess what the story is about. Still.

So, this is my Top 10 Cover of 2011. Please leave a comment and say what you'd thought of it. Happy reading!

Top Ten: A Week of Looking Back... and Looking Forward

Hello and welcome to........

                         Top 10: A Week of Looking Back....
                                             .........and Looking Forward.

Last year Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and A Life Bound By Books posted some Top 10 lists the last week of 2010. For five days we recapped some of our favorite books, covers and characters. We also listed some books we were looking forward to in 2011. This year we thought we'd do it again... just with a twist. We have invited some friends to help us co-host things and make an event out of it! Rachel from Fiktshun & Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books and Jessica and I have all come together to work on making this into something we hope more people will want to join in on and contribute. You're probably wondering what the topics of this years Top 10 lists will be and the dates, right? Well I have all that info for you here....

Monday 12/26 – Top 10 Books I’ve read in 2011
Tuesday 12/27 – Top 10 Book Covers of 2011
Wednesday 12/28 – Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011
Thursday 12/29 – Top 10 Characters in 2011
Friday 12/30 – Top 10 Books I’m looking forward to in 2012 (also on this day, we'll each be adding something of a recap of the total number of books read, pages read, etc. This part of the post is optional. Feel free to add any stats you'd like to share with everyone. So, if you'd like to also include some end of year stats, feel free to join us!)

Waiting On Wednesday: 28 Dec

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

 I stumbled upon this Kiera Cass few days ago and off I went to her website. I was attracted by the beautiful cover of The Selection and was hooked by the summary. It's going to be out on April 24, 2012. Ach, such a long time to wait!

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: DRAGON'S OATH by P.C & Kristin Cast

The novella follows Dragon Lankford as he ventures to the days when he first met Anastasia, at the funeral of his mate. Read the beautiful story of the couple when they’re young and Dragon’s  fight against Darkness.

     When the House of Night novels are withering and dying, the novella is a refreshing short read. It’s better than the full novels, probably because it doesn’t involve Neferet and Zoey. Written in the same way, a little more mature than the novels(it doesn’t involve teen perspective), Dragon’s Oath describes the heartbreaking love story of Dragon and Anastasia. The illustrations between the chapters are beautiful too, as the artist is a very talented individual. I just could droll over her lively drawings.

     When you feel tired of reading the novels, you’ll love the novella for the newness of it.

     I like this cover, but the US cover is better.

Ratings: 4 stars

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez

 Courtesy of Simon and Schuster Pulse It!

Carmen is a violinist in competing for first place in the prestigious Guarneri competition, for a one year contract, a tour around the world as the soloist and for the ownership of the most expensive and beautiful sounding violin in the world for a year. She has no competition, for she is the best among the best. That was before Jeremy King. Infuriating, arrogant, and the only one who could beat Carmen, he is the threat, as well as the love interest. Soon, Carmen begins to defy her mother/manager, go for late-night-outs, kisses Jeremy and surprisingly, she finds the passion for music that was long since lost. But she still can't tell Jeremy about her secret-her addiction with anxiety pills, no matter how charming he is, and there is absolutely no way she can let him win the competition too. Sick with her addiction, sick with people always telling her what to do, and sick of doing what's expected, she's heading for a crash, and being on the top means that you have an extra length to fall.

     Beautiful and inspiring, Virtuosity is a novel that strikes straight to the heart of readers, music lovers especially. Lyrical and brilliant, Martinez keeps you eager for the next line. There was never a dull moment, for it is full of tension, emotions and romance. 

     The characters are extremely relatable, especially Carmen. She is strong yet vulnerable, and able to confront her own fears and problems. Extremely talented, she leads an unusual life, yet still strives to live a normal teen life. It's hilarious yet sweet as hell.

     Jeremy King is an awkward, humorous yet awesome and talented British lad(why am I reading so many novels with British guys lately?). Completely believable, as Carmen is. Jeremy will be one of your favorite guys. The other characters are very human too, their actions and emotions make sense and will also catch your heart. Everyone has their stories, and their past make them who they are in the novel.

The relationships between the characters are expertly constructed too. I loved watching Carmen grow into the talented woman she is, Carmen's bombastic and sad relationship with her mother and Carmen's relationship with Jeremy.

     The world crafting is immensely successful. You sense the city Carmen is in, and you'll get the tension in between the lines. You'll understand more about the classical music world than you'll ever know. This is another reason why I love the novel. 

     Despite the novel is mainly about classical music, non-musical readers will find themselves sucked in by 
Carmen, Jeremy and the Guarneri, and understand everything they're going through. Every scene is well crafted, oozing with emotions and atmosphere when it's supposed to be. 

     The main reason I love this book is because of the music and drive. For me, Carmen's need to strive is that much more endearing and heart wrenching. Being a pianist myself, I understand Carmen's need to excel, to win, to be the best of the best, her passion. Even if you do not play an instrument or love music, you'll know and understand the feelings and actions Carmen have. Some parts-some despairing parts-I find my nose sore and eyes wet. This shows how good of a writer Martinez is. 

     Virtuosity is a wonderful debut novel from Jessica Martinez, fully capturing the voice and life of a child prodigy, turning in to a talented young woman, while she finds love in the brutal world of classical music. A definite job well done, clean and expertly executed.

     The cover is gorgeous! The exact profile of Carmen in my eyes. I can feel the passion and desperation, all at once.

Ratings: 4.5 stars

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


 Apocalypse fanatic Phillip Flowers is a fifteen year old on the track team. No matter how impossible practices might seem with the (devil) Mr. Farragut on his back , he always has his two friends, Asher and Mark to support him. One sunny afternoon(isn’t that how most stories start?), Phillip sprains his ankle and a girl, Rebekah comes to his aid. And of course, it was love at first sight for Phillip. Then Farragut, or Ferret, as Phillip prefer, sees them and questions the authenticity of Phillip’s sprain. Rebekah defends him and in a heated discussion(okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating),  Phillip promises to join in on Wednesday. But what is Wednesday? Youth Church! Eventually, with the help of Rebekah, atheist Phillip starts to believe in Jesus, and love. However, even Jesus couldn’t see the rotten disaster that’s heading their way.

Funny and witty, Klaus brings us a tale of faith, friendship and love. One of the few novels narrated by male protagonists, the pace is decent with hilarious moments in between. Klaus successfully constructed the voice of a fifteen year old boy, in doubt, in search, in love.

Phillip is a fleshed out character. Funny, awkward and smart, he couldn’t be a more perfect lead. His fascination with apocalypse is highly entertaining, and his honesty and awkwardness often getting him into 
trouble with Rebekah and his friends.

The other characters are well constructed too. Faithful Rebekah, single parent Mr. Flowers, Asher, a** hole Mark. Their causes and actions are well thought and have  a certain impact on how the plot unfolds. In short, they are life. You could find traits of friends and family not unlike the characters in the novel.  

The plot though, is a little lacking in action. Not that it’s a bad thing, since this isn’t dystopian or adventure. Everything keeps building up to the not-so-dramatic climax, then falls slowly to the end.

The love between Rebekah and Phillip is sweet and innocent, and it might bring our readers back to their first love. Also, the fights between Phillip and his friends are pretty realistic, such that it make me think about my own friends. There are also a few scenes that explore the aspect of motherly love, or rather the lack of it, and the cause. Klauss wrote the scenes well, as they captured emotions and guilt completely. The scenes fully demonstrate the effect of a broken family.

Klauss’ novel will make you think about your own faith. Why believe, how to believe, who to believe, as Phillip himself asks. There are some issues presented that I agree with, but I don’t necessarily agree with the interpretations of the Bible of one of the characters. Rebekah’s refusal to date a non Christian also annoys me, though it is more of a family cause.

Klauss’ debut, Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse is humorous and entertaining, showing what bring us together and what pull us apart. A truly deep and thought-provoking read. 

Cover: plain. Not the worst, but not the best either. Which means, I wouldn't be picking it up in the stores.
Ratings: 4 stars

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Waiting On Wednesdays: 21 Dec

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This is not a YA, but a novel made into HBO series. You guess it! George R.R. Martin's books! I haven't read them, but how awesome is the HBO series? If the series are already this great, then the books should be better. So I'm waiting for The Winds of Winter, too bad the publication date is unknown. Grr!

The preceding novels:

And it's nearly 2012! Which means a few months closer to Insurgent and the last installment of the Southern Gothic Series(Ethan and Lena, if you will). Woop woop!

And merry Christmas and a happy new year, everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011


After banishing Kalona, the group starts reorganizing and spends the night at Benedictine Alley. Zoey dump Erick after quarrelling with him for his jealousy. The kids went back to the Tulsa House of Night, and find Dragon’s mate, Anastasia Lankford dead, the doing of Rephaim, Kalona’s favorite Raven Mocker son. Aphrodite’s vision and Zoey’s dreams bring them to Venice, St. Clementine Isle, where the Vampire High Council is, and where Neferet and Kalona is. Meanwhile, Stevie Rae stays behind as Vampire High Priestess and tending an injured Raven Mocker-you guessed it – Rephaim. What danger will Zoey and her friends face now? Will anyone die, again?  

 Zoey’s soul is shattered as of witnessing someone’s –I’m not gonna tell you who- death. Stark, Darius and Aphrodite follow Kramisha’s prophetic poems to the Isle of Sgiach in Ireland, the island of an old warrior queen. Goddess Nyx seems to bless Aphrodite a lot, but she put more favor on the human prophetess as she decides to start speaking through Aphrodite. Back in Tulsa Stevie Rae continues to care for Rephaim until he recovers, while dealing with rogue red fledglings. If the three fail to watch out, they will get burned.

Zoey has returned from the Otherworld and is spending time on Sgiach, learning how to use her powers and the old magick, still heartbroken and unwilling to face the real world. Back at the House of Night, Stevie Rae fights back to counteract the influence of Neferet and sort out her link to Rephaim. Both of them will learns that only by facing their secrets that they could survive.

Zoey Redbird has started a new House of Night in the tunnels with her friends, but is devastated when she finds out of her mother's death. Rephaim, gifted with human form at night by the Goddess, struggles to resist the pull of his father’s call and to retain his humanity. Aurox, Neferet’s vessel given by Darkness, does Neferet’s bidding but reminds Zoey of Heath.


     The House of Night series started out great, but sad to say, I have to agree with most of the reviewers. Starting from book 4 or 5, the scenes and plotlines has become redundant and repeating. Sure, the threats are different but are almost the same, by the villains and well, feel. A new threat is introduced, there are prophetic poems and visions, the group figure things out, they save the world at the nick of time. And the threat is always Neferet. I’m sick of her already! Please, the Casts should kill her off at least three books ago.

     Plot aside, the writing was realistic, though the swearing is getting out of hand. The Casts has a way of making you feel excited and eager for what’s happening next. The characters well developed but Aphrodite’s a lil’ annoying, Erick’s a lil’ clingy, Stark’s dumb sometimes and Zoey, please, you have responsibility, so stop slacking off. And I don't like the pop references(iPhones, iPads...). Too much and too way too much. If I re-read the novels years later I just might find myself wondering what those things were.

     Way to kill a series, I have to say. The series started with promising prospect but now, it’s getting bad. Real bad. Still, I love the House of Night series despite the repeative plot.

For the covers: Love ‘em all except for the Destined cover. Still, US covers are my favorite.

Ratings: 4 stars (half a star for the effort, even though the novels doesn’t deserve the rating)

* For mature readers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Dec 14

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Seriously, no books pop out into my mind this week. Either the books I've been waiting for are out, or they're simply published, or was featured in WoW before.

Well, there's a few books I'd requested on NetGalley, and they're pretty awesome books too, and if I couldn't read them, I still want them when the books are published. So here goes.

New Girl by Paige Harbison
Out January 31, 2012

A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. They call me 'New Girl'... Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her. Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be. And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Out March 13, 2012

When his billionaire father marries French governess Nicola Vileroy, high society is all abuzz-but Thomas, the most popular student at Marlowe, is just plain high. Ever since his girlfriend Belle dumped him, he's been spending less time with old friends and more time getting wasted at clubs. But after someone slips him a designer drug one night-and his stepmother seems to know way too much about his private life-things really start to get scary. As Thomas's blackouts give way to a sinister voice inside his head, and as news of a vicious hate crime has students on edge, Thomas comes to the sickening realization that Madame Vileroy has made him a victim of a horrifying supernatural plan. How can he muster the strength and will to stop it? The pulse-quickening climax revisits Jekyll and Hyde as a current-day cautionary tale laced with a heady dose of paranormal intrigue.

 So, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: BEAUTIFUL CHAOS by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

 I just spent two hour writing the review of Virtuosity, and now I'm extremely lazy, so I'll make this extremely short.

     Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes are facing higher stakes in this novel. Having the Order of the world broken, the strongest casters of the Duchanne family is finding a way to rebind the Order. But Sarafine is in their way, and John Breed is still missing. What will the star-crossed couple face this time? This is an exciting novel of paranormal suspense and forbidden romance.

     Beautiful Chaos is the next installment in the Southern Gothic Series. Almost without flaw, Garcia and Margaret bring us the fast moving world of Casters and mortal love.

     Ethan's voice is stronger than ever. He is always a solid character, having us readers wooing and ahhing for him. As is Lena. In this novel, she is more melancholy and depressed, and it's annoying that she's so gloomy this time. Well, we have emo chick, so we have a sunny girl, Liv. she is the perfect contrast to Lena, as pointed out in the novel. Malcon and Emma is as lovely as the past books, only Emma is darker than usual, in Ethan's words.

     The Caster world and mortal world is even more complete in this installment. The plot is full of stakes, but the authors throw in clues and reveal the result as if Ethan is dumb. He is not! And I can see the ending just right after the clue is dropped. 

     In Beautiful Chaos, every aspect of the novel is notched up a lot: pace, plot, stakes, characters, world building. Intriguing, dark and compelling, brace yourself for the mesmerizing world of Caster magic.

     The cover: simple, nice, dark, gorgeous.

Ratings: 4 stars

Sunday, December 11, 2011


In the realm of the Faery, it’s time for Roiben’s coronation. On the night of the coronation, Kaye, drunk from faery wine, declares her love for Roiben and asks for a quest. Roiben sends her on an impossible one: to find a faery that can tell an untruth, and everybody knows no faery can tell a lie, even the tiniest one. See how impossible the quest is? Miserable and convinced that she doesn’t belong anywhere, Kaye tells her mother the truth - that she is a changeling in the place of her daughter. So Kaye ventures to the Seelie Court to see Queen Silarial. In exchange for the human Kaye, she has to give out Roiben’s real name. She uses a fake one, and escapes with Ethine, Roiben’s sister. The two, along with Corny, Kaye’s gay friend, went into hiding. Later, Kaye finds out about the Seelie Queen’s plan, to let Roiben battle his sister to death for the Seelie throne. Will Kaye make it in time to warn Roiben? Or will she fail to save her love because of the quest?

     Author Holly Black brings us another tale of dark faery politics and dangerous love. Darker and deadlier than the previous novel, Tithe( I haven’t read Valiant, and judging by the summary, Valiant took place way before Tithe), Ironside is sexy and completely different from the norm. Language lively and expressively vivid, the plot is complete and not without a lot of twists and turns.

     Kaye, as always, is brave and very likeable. Roiben is his usual stay-away-from-me-as-you-will-hurt-yourself self. All of the characters are fully fleshed out and lively.

     Also, the relationship between Kaye and Roiben is as heartbreaking as ever. You’ll cry and laugh as Kaye dances a figurative dance of love with Roiben. I love how Kaye’s relationship with her mother shift and change into a deeper, truer relationship. The misunderstandings are cleared and lies busted, as Kaye learns that her mother’s love will never diminish, even if she’s a pixie.

    Intriguing and magickal, Ironside is a dark modern faery tale with a fresh angle. A job well done by Holly Black, though I wish there were more stories of Kaye and Roiben. Perhaps there are necessary full-stops for wonderful stories.

     Cover: This is a cover I Love! See how the well the black contrasts with the  shine?

Ratings: 5 stars

* For mature readers

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