Wednesday, February 29, 2012

13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes 
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Little Blue Envelope # 1
Published: 1st published Aug. 23, 2005 by HarperCollins
Format: Paperback (reprint)
Pages: 317
Genre: YA Contemporary/ChickLit

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

 When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel

My Thoughts:

I really, really had fun reading this book. It’s light, fun, full of adventures and surprisingly a depth in the story that I didn’t expect.

The dares in the letters from Ginny’s aunt is not that hard, it is just simple, but the lesson and story behind that is just amazing. Ginny is not the only one who is travelling, while reading this book it felt like I am also a part of it.

I love the characters, Ginny, Keith, Richard and the people she met along the way. They are just ordinary people like us, no pretentions, no sugar coating on anything. I love that they are all imperfect and act normally.

Like I said, I really had fun reading this book. It is my first Maureen Johnson book and I can’t wait to read more of her works. Her writing style is just awesome!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012


Ash by Malinda LoTitle: Ash 
Author: Malinda Lo
Published: Oct. 05, 2010 by Little, Brown and Co (1st published 09/01/09)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 264
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling

My rating: ★

 In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

My Thoughts:

It will be too judgmental for me to give ASH a 1 star rating. But I can’t help it, that’s how I really feel about the book.

I don’t have any connections with the characters, Ash, Kaisa and Sidhean. It felt like I am just reading them, no interest in their life totally.

The writing style has the fairy tale essence that is pretty good. However, the plot is just too plain and ordinary. There is no spark and magical feel in the story. Sometimes I do think that saying it is a Cinderella retelling is just illogical, senseless. I really don’t mind about Ash’s choice and preferences but the way it was presented seems a little bit tacky.

I don’t have much to say about the book, it just that it doesn’t really work out for me and I simply don’t like it. I hate to say this but I wish I didn’t even bother reading this book because it totally shattered my illusion and fantasy about the Cinderella fairy tale. I really love it when I was a kid and I wanted it to stay it that way but now it was ruined.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Under the Never Sky

Under The Never Sky by Veronica RossiTitle:Under The Never Sky 
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky # 1
Published: Jan. 03, 2012 by HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 374
Genre: YA Dystopia/Sci-Fi

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse. 
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive. 
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky

My Thoughts:

Is it a fantastic read? Yes, maybe depending on how you look at it. Do I love it? Nah, not that much.

Under the Never Sky is one of those typical dystopian/post apocalyptic stories that I have read so far. Nothing new, not much originality. I am hooked in the story I admit despite the few issues I have in the story but for me it is not compelling enough to totally love it.

One thing I really don’t like about the story is the characters. I really don’t care much about them, not even fascinated. Honestly, I didn’t like Aria at all. I found her way too stubborn and plainly stupid. Though slowly she tried to redeem herself, but for me it is too late. I found her being strong and kick ass heroine at the end so fake and too forced. I am not convinced enough to love her. Oh well, maybe I like Perry a little bit because of his compassion. Only if Roar and Cinder’s character explored more, I know for sure that I am going to love those two.

The story plot is pretty much the same with the other dystopia out there. Dwellers and Savages life were introduced but the explanations are scarce. The society was not explained properly. The story mainly focused on Perry and Aria’s adventure which is a little bit ok. What I love the most about it is that the love/romance part was done nicely; it is just right and not too overwhelming. Finally! Because as a reader, if I am reading a dystopia/post apocalyptic story, I wanted the story to focused more in the society and the people rather than 2 or 3 characters entangled in love.

Oh and another thing, I really love the Sci-Fi kick in this story.

All in all, Under the Never Sky is pretty much an impressive read. Though it is not really a mind blowing read. But if you love this kind of story, go ahead and indulge yourself with it. I am looking forward to read the next book.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox (28)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ www.thestorysiren.com


  • EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton
  • INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows
Everneath and Incarnate are 2012 Debut Novels that I wanted and so excited to read

  • DREAMING AWAKE by Gwen Hayes [Falling Under # 2]
  • HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand [Unearthly # 2]
Sequels of the 2011 Debut Novel that I love and can't wait to devour

  • BEWITCHING by Alex Flinn [I love Alex Flinn's books so definitely is part of my to read list]
  • FORBIDDEN by Syrie James and Ryan M. James [I really don't know anything about this book, the mother and son writing tandem is very intriguing though. And also I have been seeing this book in some of the book hauls from the previous IMM so I got curious and decided to purchase it]

  • After our dinner date for Valentine's Day, my husband and I went to the bookstore and he told me to pick any books that I want and he will pay for it. But the catch is I only have 5 minutes to choose the books. So I immediately went to the New Released section and picked up those books. I wanted more but time is very limited so I have no choice. But still I am definitely satisfied with the books that I acquired.

    Little did I know I have more surprise waiting in our house! I’ve got 2 more surprise gifts from my hubby =)

  • So aside from those wonderful books, I also received two more Valentines gift from my husband! =) Imagine my surprise when I saw his gifts waiting for me in our room, I nearly fainted hahaha. A camera and a bag, I am truly a happy girl that time.

What did you get in your mailboxes this week? leave a link in the comments section for your IMM post and I'll be happy to check it out!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Darker Still

Darker Still by Leanna Renee HieberTitle: Darker Still 
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Series: Magic Most Foul # 1
Published: Nov. 08, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Paperback
Pages: 317
Genre: YA Historical/Fantasy

My rating: ★ ★ ★

I was obsessed. 
It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike. 
There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame. 
I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

My Thoughts:

Darker Still is one of those books that I am having a hard time to decide if I like it or not. Maybe because one of the reasons why is that I got so confused while reading this book. And instead getting some answers at the end, I ended up more confused, and still my questions left unanswered.

I am expecting a spine-tingling adventure on this one but I didn’t get anything. Yes, Natalie’s ability to cross into the painting is such a fantastic concept but somehow it doesn’t impress me much the way it was executed. Aside from being confused, I got a little bored too. Simply because I felt like this story revolves only between Natalie, Lord Denbury and Mrs. Northe. Most of the situation is just them in it. I want some adventures, some mystery. I want to be creep out of my bones, but sadly I did not.

I am disappointed simply because I wanted more but I can’t deny the fact that the writing is really good. The ending seems so abrupt and too convenient. There are some insinuations that the next book will be more adventurous but at this point I am not sure if I am going to continue on with the series, maybe only if I read some good reviews in the next book.

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Monday, February 13, 2012


Illuminated by Erica OrloffTitle: Illuminated 
Author: Erica Orloff
Published: December 08, 2011 by Speak [Penguin]
Format: Paperback
Pages: 244

My rating: ★ ★

Summary:Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story - and hers - takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary - and that of Heloise and Abelard's ancient romance - their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can't last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

My Thoughts:

Why 2 stars? It is simply because I found the story about Calliope and August so unrealistic. Everything happens way too fast. Lately, I’m having a little issue with the instant love situation but I am not minding it that much because somehow it works with the story. But in this book, it is just way unbelievable. Flirting is one thing but thinking they have love for each other just merely hours after they met is just absurd. I’m not buying it!

At first, I thought that this was a Romeo and Juliet based story. I was wrong, the story is about Heloise and Abelard tragic love story [which I have no idea about them before, silly me]. Calliope and August life are inextricably linked together with Heloise and Abelard. Up to this point, I am not sure if this is a reincarnation story but there is some insinuation that it is.

Story concept is really good; I love the idea of it actually. The mystery involved in the story is a brilliant idea. But the way it was written is not that good; I am looking for more substance in the story. And one of the issues I have here is that we were given the impression that Calliope and August were star-crossed lovers and that they need to do something big to prove their love for each other. But to be honest, that is not the case. I am expecting an epic love story but it was a major failure.

I cannot give it a 1 star rating because it is not that bad. I know that some readers may love this more than I do, only if instant everything doesn’t bother them.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox (27)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ www.thestorysiren.com

  • FIXING DELILAH by Sarah Ockler [love Twenty Boy Summer, I wanted to read this book since it was released but i just can't find a copy before. Now I have it in my possession, need to read it asap]
  • ONLY THE GOOD SPY YOUNG by Ally Carter [book 4 of Gallagher Girls series, it was a cute, mystery series]
  • CLARITY by Kim Harrington 
  • ANGELFIRE by Courtney Allison Moulton
[2011 Debut Novel that I've been wanting to read for quite sometime, Clarity and Angelfire. Heard so many good things about these two books.]
  • BLOODROSE by Andrea Cremer [3rd and final book in the Nightshade trilogy. Excited to read it but I am a little hesitant as well because I am afraid that I may not like the ending at all.]
  • UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi [2012 Debut Novel that is part of my most anticipated read of 2012. I can't wait to immersed myself in this story]

These are the books that I've got for this week. Of course, for me they are a wonderful addition in my book collections. I can't wait to read them all, though I am always saying that =)

What did you get in your mailboxes this week? leave a link in the comments section for your IMM post and I'll be happy to check it out!

What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah DessenTitle: What Happened to Goodbye 
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 10, 2011 by Viking
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 402
Genre: YA Contemporary

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out. 

My Thoughts:

What happened to goodbye is only my third Sarah Dessen book. I’ve only read Just Listen and Along for the ride and I love them both. Though at this point, Just Listen is still by far my favorite.

The book still have the Sarah Dessen ‘magic’ but it is not as good as I expected it to be. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad book, in fact I did enjoyed reading it, it’s just that I found the story plot a little bit boring. I like the idea of McLean’s reinventing her life every move. It is really intriguing but I felt there is something missing in the story. I am looking for something but I still can’t pinpoint what.

McLean’s life is a complicated mess and I am quite amazed on her ability to adapt a different persona that easily on their every move. Though I know it is a wrong way to cope up with their situation, I rather found it fascinating. At first, I really don’t like Katie, McLean’s mom, but in the end I understand her more. Gus, McLean’s dad, is just ok though his exposure is minimal.

Now about Mclean and Dave, I really like the subtle romance between them. No rush, taking things one step at a time. I love it.

I think the stronger point in this story is that it was more focused on McLean’s family life rather than her love interest. It makes the story more realistic. Though I got bored a little, this is a great story about life, family drama and acceptance.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Switched by Amanda HockingTitle: Switched 
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Trylle # 1
Published: January 03, 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 318
Genre: YA Paranormal

My rating: ★ ★ ★

 When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

My Thoughts:

Now I’ve finally discovered why this book is a popular one. Simply because of one thing, TROLL, I can’t deny the fact that the concept of troll [or trylle] is very unique and intriguing.

I like this book, I really do, but I’m not impressed with it. Maybe because I am somewhat expecting a mind-blowing read but it’s not. Simply because I have some issues with the story plot and the characters and a little disappointed with it.

Wendy is an okay character but she is not a remarkable one. She is not as strong as I expected her to be. I am simply not impressed with Finn, for me he is not exciting enough. I don’t know why, but who knows, maybe on the next book he will redeem himself for me to like him. Rhys and Tove are the one that I found intriguing enough to capture my attention [and they are just secondary characters]. There is only one who actually evokes my emotions real hard and that is Elora, I truly hate her.

With the story plot, all I can say is that it is definitely a fast paced read. But even though it is an easy and fast read, I got bored. Why? Because most of the scenes took place in the “palace” or Elora’s house and nothing really happens except in the last part of the book. And I need more explanations about the Trylle world, their place and history. Or would I get those answers in the next book? It is just frustrating, I can even feel and relate to Wendy’s frustration when she was kept in the dark but they expected her to know everything and perform well. I hate those “let’s not talk about it” or “let’s talk about it later” lines that they told Wendy every time she asks a question, so freaking annoying.

I am not really convinced with the attraction that Wendy and Finn had for each other. I think the romance part somehow fell flat, I just don’t feel any love brewing in the air.

This is one of those books that didn’t fully captivate me but it arouses my curiosity enough to continue on with the series. I will definitely read Torn and Ascend hoping that those two are better than Switched .

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ www.thestorysiren.com

  • LOVER REVEALED by J.R. Ward (I am slowly collecting the books in the series though I'm not sure when I can read them)
  • HAVEN by Kristi Cook (This one of the 2011 debut novel that I wanted to read but I opted out to wait for the paperback of it instead)
  • LEGEND by Marie Lu (another 2011 debut that I wanted to read because I heard so many good reviews about it)
  • THE GATHERING STORM by Robin Bridges (My very first 2012 Debut novel purchased. I am so excited to read this one, I love the concept of a Russian world during 1888. And I would like to find out how the paranormal stuff can be incorporated in this)

These are the books that I purchased this week. Not much though but I am definitely a happy camper. All of them are the books that I have been wanting to read for quite sometime.

What did you get in your mailboxes this week? leave a link in the comments section for your IMM post and I'll be happy to check it out! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: Sept. 29, 2011 by Dutton
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 338
Genre: YA Contemporary/ChickLit

My Rating: 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. 
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My Thoughts: 

Wow! This is definitely one of my favorite read of 2012. Lola and the Boy Next Door is simple yet truly fascinating story that I can’t help but fall in love with.

The characters as always are just wonderful. Lola is such a hilarious one yet so fabulous. I love her unique ideas and style on dressing up. She is just mesmerizing. I think I love Lola better than Anna. It’s just that I found her more confident and surer on her actions. But with the guys, that’s entirely a different story, a tough one. I can’t deny the fact that I love St. Clair, I even want my own one, but Cricket is equally fantastic and lovable. Choosing between Cricket and St. Clair is so freaking hard so I will just love them both. Maybe because they are very similar alike yet so different. They are both good in their own swoon-worthy ways.

Anna and St. Clair participation in the story was really a good addition in the story. They played a small part on it but a remarkable one. St. Clair as expected is just amusing, captivating and very charming.

And oh yes! Stephanie Perkins certainly did it again! She created another simple but extraordinary story. Got to admit that Anna and Lola’s story has some situations that are very similar but the way she worked on it is just unbelievably exceptional. Her writing style has a magic touch that you will have no choice but be enthralled with the story.

I love it, I love it really! I definitely can’t wait to read the story of Isla.

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